OpenDNS – Complete Filtering

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Discovered a new method of internet content filtering a few months back….a service called OpenDNS.

http://www.opendns.com/

Very easy and reliable to use. Content gets filtered at an external server before it even arrives to your router which makes it a lot more difficult (if not impossible) to bypass when compared to locally installed solutions.

These folks have essentially divided the internet into 50+ categories….from the obvious filth to other things such as games and social sites that you might not want your kids to be on during say exam weeks. You get to select what to allow and what to block.

It also has some many other nice features…too many to list here.

Check it out 🙂

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May Allah guide us and may he send salutations & blessings upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions

“All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” [Quran 1:2]

 

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Securing the Home – Protect Your Family

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Okay, so you’ve taken proactive steps to protect yourself from the poisoned arrows of Shaitan. What about your family? We all will be questioned about our efforts in drawing them closer to Allah swt. Before tackling the enemy, it first helps to know the avenues of assault. In this day and age, there are 3 primary streams of filth entering our homes: mail, tv, and the net.

1) The Mail: sale papers, newspapers, and magazines.

Marketing strategists know that scantily clad women will boost sales. That is why those almost- naked fitnas will are employed to incite your nafs. As it comes in a hadith (Razin), “Women are the snares of Satan.” Note that this applies to those women who allow themselves to be used as a tool of the devil.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a method to stop the delivery of sale papers. If one needs to look for a particular product or special promotion, then all of this can be done online. If there is a necessity with paper, outsource the task to the womenfolk.

As for newspapers and magazines, this is the digital age. By the time you get those delivered, it is old news. If there is a necessity, use the internet as most editions can be found online. However, don’t visit those trashy sites that sensationalize the news for the masses. Most major news networks operate such and their main target is maximum viewers. They have boxes that show that most viewed articles, and usually it tends to be related to some sort of nonsense. Even if a person seeks out relevant articles, there is no way to avoid coming across the invitations.

We don’t want to even know who posed for what and which new boundary of decency was trespassed. Remember one thing, Shaitan gradually misleads people. We know from hadith that one of the signs before the end of times is that people will be openly committing zina in public places and such incidences should not grab our attention. We should have it placed in our minds that people enslaved to their nafs will never stop in their indecencies and there is no need for us to even hear about them. And they call it breaking news.

Much of the news is irrelevant to our daily lives and falls under useless knowledge and it is best to avoid it altogether. It takes one away from the remembrance of Allah and trashes the find with the remembrance of the duniya. For the person that must, it would be recommended to follow academic periodicals and other outlets that might not be as famous. The key is to find those news sources that are not focused on increasing their readership.

2) Television – Trash It

Forget the fiqhi debate about digital and non-digital images. The ulema have long stood against television, but looking at the research put out by the scholars of the duniya alone is enough to convince a sane minded person to throw the box away. Nearly all of television content is utter trash. The statistics on violent and sexual content are appalling. There is no shortage of research that blames television for lower academic performance and a host of developmental problems amongst children.

Parents are so particular about making sure their children do not spend time in the bad company of an unknown friend, yet those same parents have absolutely no problem letting their children waste hours with the bad company of thousands of strangers.

Returning to the issue of chastity, you know there will be insufficiently covered women everywhere…on almost every channel, on almost every program. Lowering one’s gaze while watching television is as fabulous of an idea as a person lowering his gaze at a strip club. It is counterintuitive to expose oneself to that environment from the get go. Gaze guarding is more proactive than it is reactive.

And even if you do restrict yourself to the small islands of good (like the mecca tarawih channel), what about everyone else in your family? The only solution is to junk those TV sets. Don’t even sell it to someone because you don’t want to accumulate a share of their sins. Follow the footsteps of your father Ibrahim AS and hammer that idol to death. That will even prevent the scavengers with the pickup trucks in the alley from reusing your fitna box.

3) The Internet – Routers With Parental Control Options

The internet has resulted in a conglomeration of all the previous media used by Shatian. For those that threw out their music CDs and TV sets, they have all been resurrected in a more virulent form.  Unfortunately, you can’t really “throw out” the internet as it is need for email, work, school, and so forth. The related blog post entitled “Protecting Your Eyes With Firefox” discusses several effective and comprehensive methods for safer surfing. It would be pointless to restate all those points here.

Nowadays, many people have their own laptops and many households have gone wireless. While most people are inherently good, it can be quite easy for an innocent young one to get caught in shaitan’s web. In order decrease the probability of that happening, specific routers can be used. Linksys supplies the option of choosing the time interval when the internet is accessible and when it will be denied. It even allows for the schedule to change depending on the day of the week. Obviously, the internet should not be on after bed time. The night is when immorality thrives, both in the real world and virtual. Having set times also allows for more efficient time usage as human beings tend to be more productive under time constraints, be it for work or play.

Another option would be to remove the wireless connection all together and have everything wired at one open and visible location [family room]. That way will be much easier to keep track of whether homework is really getting done [as opposed to facebook or runescape].

These strategies are shown not because there is a lack of trust, but because it is so very easy in this day and age to fall prey to shaitan and our nafs. The situation will be worse in the future as internet equipped cell phones will follow us 24/7.

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May Allah protect us with His special protection and may he send salutations & blessings upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions

“… there is no help except from Allah…” [Quran 3:126]

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FoxFilter 6 is back [again]!!

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

If you are using version 6 of FoxFilter, do not upgrade to version 7. The latest version charges money for what was once a completely free service.

However, solutions are available [again]. Special thanks to the person who showed me the links in the comment below.

http://mirror-fpt-telecom.fpt.net/mozilla/addons/4351/

Mirrors  allow you to reinstall FoxFilter while keeping all original settings. I used a different mirror [now removed] and it essentially allowed me to downgrade back to FoxFilter 6.

If you wish to use other addons, the following are FoxFilter alternatives:

Procon Latte
BlockSite
LeechBlock

Procon Latte appeared to be simple and effective and therefore I throw my recommendation behind it.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1803

May Allah help both you and I protect our eyes and hearts from the unlawful. And may he send salutations & blessings upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions.

assalamu alaikum

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“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Quran 24:30]

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Tips On Censoring Women From Your Surroundings

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Good news: summer is approaching and temperatures are warming up.
Bad news: legions of unclothed women will soon attempt to steal our imaan.

The following 3 tips work well for any environment…in summer or outside summer.

1)Headgear – The Hat Trick

Brimmed hats! They shade your eyes from the hot sun, tilt your head down 45 degrees and they now shade them from hot chicks. May Allah shade us under his throne.

Be it dockers, cowboy hats…even baseball caps do the trick. In fact, baseball caps might be more effective as the curvature eliminates some of the side vision as well. Some of these hats can be quite fashionable, but make sure your intentions stay for Allah.

Sunnah headgear is also effective. Most people would not dare to gawk at women while dressed in the clothes of Rasulullah (Allah’s peace & blessings be upon him)…that’s totally anti-dawah!! While skullcaps and turbans may not serve as a visor, a shawl (or an Arab keffiyeh) could also be worn such that it provides some screen for the front and side vision fields.

2)Eyewear

Throw on some heavy duty sun glasses. Not only do they look cool (not your niyyah!), but they also act to remove some color and other details from your vision. Basically counteracts some of the efforts women spend into painting their faces and finding the right color combinations. The UV protection is an added bonus.

If you wear prescription glasses, take them off when they’re not needed. Blurred women result in less spiritual damage than clearly defined ones. Make sure you put them in a case or someplace safe as glasses are fragile and you don’t want to have a costly accident.

3)Accessories – Mp3 Players

Always have something that can be used to focus your eyes on…be it a book, a laptop, mp3 player, anything. There are many situations where you have to sit around and wait in difficult environments, and these tools let you guard your gaze nonchalantly. Added bonus with the mp3 player is that you can use it while standing and walking as well. Plus, they’re also very lightweight and portable. Insha’Allah you will be listening to qaris crying or the ulema lecturing, for music is certainly not worth the nifaq (hypocrisy) it breeds in the heart. ———————————————————————————————————–

May Allah grant you and I success, for He alone grants success. And may he send salutations & blessings upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions.

“For the like of this let all strive, who wish to strive.” [Quran 37:61]

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Lowering the Gaze – Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed

Bimillahir Rahmanir Rahim

A well detailed lecture on the topic. Shaykh Mufti Kamaluddin Ahmed discusses quranic verses, ahadith, and advice of the pious predecessors.

In addition, he elucidates the symptoms, negative consequences, and the cures…both spiritual and worldly…for everyday scenarios. He highlights that lowering the gaze is not just a reactionary response, but rather a proactive way of life that requires continuous effort.

Two parts – highly recommended given the speaker’s American background and extensive traditional Islamic education.

http://www.islamicspirituality.com/audio/2004/controlling_desires_partone.wma

http://www.islamicspirituality.com/audio/2004/controlling_desires_parttwo.wma

More information on Shaykh Kamal can be found at:

http://www.tasawwuf.org/khulafa/shaykh_kamal.htm

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Protecting Your Eyes with Firefox

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Keeping your eyes glued to your feet is not feasible when on the internet. In order to make the browsing experience safer, there are some other strategies that can be used.

Your browser

Most internet browsers have options as to what sort of content one wants to load.

In internet explorer, this can be accessed by clicking on tools internet options. Under the advanced tab, one can uncheck the boxes that say “show pictures”, “play videos”, and so forth.

In firefox, it’s similar. Click on tools options, and then the content tab. Here “load images automatically box” can be unchecked.

The disadvantage with this method is that it blocks all pictures…and lets face it…we do need images be it for school, work, or recreational browsing.

Solution: Use firefox!

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html

My intention wasn’t to promote any single browser, but firefox is a believer’s dear friend. If one has to block all the images for a particular website, simply right click the image and click on “Block images from….”. This restricts all the images from that website permanently.

Being open sourced, it has numerous addons that can be downloaded for different uses. The ones that we care about our summarized below. The addons will provide more flexibility than the block images feature described in the last paragraph. Icons for many of the addons mentioned below can be added below the navigation toolbar which will make it a lot easier to play around with the options.

Adblock

Advertisers know that scantily clad women increase sales. We don’t like scantily clad iman thieves. Plus, we aren’t too fond of advertisements either. Therefore, Adblock Plus is a must have.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865

This addon comes with some custom lists of known advertiser URLs and you can create your own lists. After installation, right click an ad (or even any image) and click on “AdBlock image”. This will give you the choice to choose between blocking just that image with the custom option (Example: cheerleader on high school homepage) or blocking entire patterns of images coming from a website or subdirectory on that website.

The options tab also allows you to add your own filtering rules so you don’t have to wait to be first struck by shaitan. You know you’re going to see unveiled women on those news sites, might as well add it to the list beforehand. So now, you can be very selective as to what you filter out and what you allow to pass through.


Flashblock

Images of scantily clad women sell. Moving images of scantily clad women sell more. In order to get rid of those advertisements with motion (which are flash based), one needs to download the addon called Flashblock.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433

Once enabled, the flash based areas of your screen are represented by a play button sign. Click on it and you can access what was blocked. The addon also comes with a whitelist filter found in the options which can allow the flash content of certain websites to always pass thorough. Useful for islamic video sites as steaming video players (like youtube) are flash based.


ImgLikeOpera

This add-on allows firefox users to have the capability to play around with their image settings the way Opera users can. With one click in the toolbar, one can alter from various modes such as “Load all images”, “Load images for this site only”, “Load cached images only”, and “Don’t load images”.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1672

This tool comes in handy when browsing unknown websites. Adblock and flashblock can be tweaked to work well for advertisements AND content of regularly visited websites. However, ImgLikeOpera lets you seamlessly flow between different modes so that you can browse uncharted websites with a certain level of protection. It should be noted that one might need to refresh the page or clear the image cache in the history to see that changes where switching modes.

In addition, there is also a way to make lists fro the 4 image modes mentioned above. One can make a list for websites where all the images need to be displayed, another list where the should be cached, and so forth.

It’s usually easier to run it on “cached images only” as this does not alter spacing on the site. Adblock removes the images and does not even let you know that it was there to begin with. ImgLikeOpera shows the border and gives you the option of right clicking the empty space and then clicking on “load image”. Even though the two provide overlapped security for some of the same content, the more precaution the better.

ProCon Latte

This addon is a content based filter. It blocks the user from viewing the contents of a page. The internet is a huge place with lots of different people. Some of those people have put up stuff that you never ever want to see. It is not at all difficult to accidentally run into that kind of content and this provides protection for just that.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1803

It comes with a variety of options, but let us just touch the basics. It has a whitelist for websites that never need to be blocked (askimam), a black list for websites that always need to be blocked (x x x),  another blacklist for filtering based on words,  and varied sensitivity settings. Respectively, these lists can have specific URLs added or just simple words and phrases.

The sensitivity settings allow for examining the URL, the title, the meta content (words used to guide search engines), and the actual body content of the page. A low sensitivity might allow harmful stuff to pass whereas a high sensitivity will result in innocent sites getting filtered. Tweaking it in between would be the way to go.

It also comes with a profanity filter that replaces foul speech with asterisks.

This is also great for children as it comes with password protection that can prevent it from being disabled or uninstalled.

Hope these strategies will be of help for everyone, both those that want wipe out the remaining blemishes and those that are struggling with their nafs.

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Please do distribute.

May Allah grant you and I tawfiq to engage in piety, ward off disobedience, and allow us to gaze upon His countenance on the day of Judgement. And may he send salutations & blessings upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions.

“Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty). Looking towards their Lord.”

[Quran 75:22-23]

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Purpose for this blog

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

assalamu alaikum brothers and sisters,

We live in a world where immorality is ready to attack us in almost all aspects of our lives. In the streets, at work, school, on billboards, in magazines……it seems as if everywhere. With the internet and television,  our own homes are not safe.

The opportunities to sin are available to us in a manner that could not be imagined by any of our predecessors. Fortunately, this also means that we have in our grasps vast rewards that were unavailable to them.

Since shaitan has upgraded the tools he uses to drag us to hell, we have to upgrade the tools we use to ward him off.

Insha’Allah this blog will compile together practical tips and strategies for protecting our gazes. Links will be posted to inspirational lectures or related features, but the primary goal is to find ways to implement Allah’s commands. This is intended for everyone…….be you an aspiring scholar or a struggling slave.

If you have any ideas of your own, please do comment.

Additional Note: Where ever I have used words such as “you” or “your”, I am first particularly addressing myself and then any believer that reads this. This way I am able to both prepare myself for Allah’s obedience and be of benefit to my brothers while also avoiding the threats of the verse, “Do you exhort people to goodness and forget yourselves, and you recite the Book? Have you no understanding?” [Quran 2:44]

assalamu alaikum

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