Empathy: A Trait that Can Transform Your Life

Empathy is a transformative character trait that positively enhances all areas of your life, including your personal well-being, family life and work relationships. Not many people know the power of empathy in enhancing their own personal well-being, as well as in changing the way they interact and feel about the world around them. In this article, we will discuss what empathy is, how it is encouraged in Islam and how you can use it to bring transformative change to your life.

https://productivemuslim.com/empathy-transform-life/

Morning & Evening Supplications

💡Don’t Miss Morning & Evening Adhkaar

☀️Morning & Evening Adhkaar🌙
⬇️
Play the role of a shield 🛡

🔼 the thicker it is the more its owner will not be affected. 🚷

Rather, its strength can reach to such an extent that the arrow shot 🏹 at it will bounce back to affect the one who shot it.” ↩️

👤 Ibn al-Qayyim

Morning & Evening supplications can be found in this app ‘waiyyaka nastaeen’ by Dr. Farhat Hasmi, the links are down below:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wa-iyyaka-nastaeen/id972441057

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alhuda.duas.iyykanastaeen

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Ruqyah

For the longest time I’ve been saying… people, learn to do ruqyah for yourselves. Learn the Qur’an well and the Qur’an will be all you need – believe me, nobody can fool you once you master its verses. Don’t rely on others so much. Ruqyah is not difficult and even if you go to someone qualified, it should never cost an arm and a leg – run a mile if it does.

Your vulnerabilities are sacred so don’t hand them over so easily. Train yourself, get knowledgeable, get strong and capable, and take care of your affairs yourself first. Wa tawakkal ‘ala-Allah.

#AllahLovesTheStrongBeliever
#TakeTheBookWithStrength

-Fajr

There’s a ruqyah booklet at the bottom of this page (PDF) or you can order a free copy too which simply shows you how to do ruqyah on yourself:

https://uwt.org/about-us/daily-adhkar/

The Powerful Dua of a Parent

Oh Allah, I submit myself to you. I realise that parenting a child is a very difficult task and I turn to You in humility for Your help. I implore you for Your wisdom and guidance. Oh Allah, I know that our children are an amanaat from You, to care for and raise. Help me do that in the best way. Allow me to be a God fearing role model with all the communication, teaching and nurturing skills that I may need. Oh Allah, you know what our children need. Help and guide us in praying for our children. Oh Allah, put a hedge of safety around our children. Protect their bodies, minds and emotions from any kind of evil and harm. Oh Allah, I pray that You protect them from accidents, diseases, injuries and any other physical, mental or emotional afflictions and abuse. Oh Allah, I pray that you keep our children free from any addictions and vices. Draw them close to You for protection from every ill and evil influence of our society, whether it’s apparent to us or not. Oh Allah, grant our children hidayaah and a heart that loves to obey You. Shine Your light on any secret or unseen rebellion in their hearts and destroy it before it takes root. Oh Allah, guide them away from any pride, selfishness, jealousy, hypocrisy, malice and greed and make them uncomfortable with sins. Penetrate their hearts with Your love today and always Oh Allah make apparent to them the truth in any situation and let them not be misled by falsehood. Oh Allah, grant our children the ability to make clear decisions and let them always be attracted to good things that are pure, noble, true and just. Oh Allah, guide them in making choices that please You. Oh Allah, help them to taste the sweetness of walking with a humble spirit in obedience and submission to You. Oh Allah grant them the wisdom to choose their words carefully and bless them with a generous and caring spirit. Oh Allah, I pray that they never stray from the path of deen and that You give them a future filled with Your best promises. Oh Allah, always keep our children cleansed and pure from evil and shaytaan. Oh Allah, keep them steadfast in establishing Salaah and help them revere the Glorious Quran as Your Word and Law and to read it with understanding daily. Let it be their source of light and guidance. Oh Allah, let our daughters love wearing hijab and our sons the dress of a humble Muslim. Let their dress be a representation of their Imaan and of their love and respect for Your commands. Lead them to a position where they rely truly on Your power alone and fear You in the open and in secret. Oh Allah, make them so strong in their deen that they never encounter doubt. Oh Allah, do not allow any negative attitudes in the place of our children’s lives. Oh Allah, guide our children in honouring and obeying You, Your Rasool SAW and us as parents. Make them the coolness of our eyes. Oh Allah, fill our children with compassion and caring that will overflow to each member of our family. Oh Allah, grant them piety. Help them love, value and appreciate and respect one another with good communication between them always. Oh Allah, drive out any division between our children and bring them healing. I pray there be no strain, breach, misunderstanding, arguing, fighting or severing of ties.. Oh Allah, I pray for a close, loving, happy and fulfilling relationship with them for all the days of our lives. Ameen .

Why 6 days of shawwal?

❝Another benefit is that fasting in Shawwal and Sha’ban is like the regular optional prayers before and after the fardh prayers – for they make up whatever defects and deficiencies took place in the fardh prayers. (…)

And most people have some deficiencies in their obligatory fasts (in Ramadhan), so they are in need of the actions which will make up for those and patch them up. It was for this reason that the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade any person to say: ‘I have fasted the entire Ramadhan,’ or ‘I have done all of the night prayers.’❞
– Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله

❝Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.❞
– Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
[Muslim & Ibn Hajah]

In other narrations a year!

Last 2 Surahs of Quran

So, Allah jalla wa ‘ala says in al-Nas, 1-3:

“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of men, the King of men, the God of men.'”

It’s only when you study the last two Surahs of the Qur’an do you realise that from all the enemies we have out there in the world, there is little that compares to the enemy within.

Reflect on how in the previous Surah – al-Falaq – how we seek refuge with Allah *once* from three types of evil/enemy:

“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of daybreak.
From the evil of what He has created,
From the darkness when it gathers,
From the evil of witches who blow on knots.”

But in Surah al-Nas, we are told to seek refuge in Allah *three* times by using three of His different magnificent and mighty Names and Attributes, but now from *one* enemy: OURSELVES.

“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of men,
The King of men,
The God of men,
From the evil of the withdrawing whisperer.”

Reflect on how the focus isn’t even so much on the whisperer himself, and whether it is just Shaytan himself or indeed other humans (hence, “Who whispers in the breasts of men, from Jinn and Men”), and indeed the focus isn’t even so much on the waswas/ideas/desires themselves either, but rather the *evil* of those whisperings.

And that evil, or that lack of control, or lack of knowledge, or weakness that allows even the simplest thought to become a bad one that leads to the consequence of being played out through a statement or an action, is something entirely from *you*. You won’t be able to blame Shaytan for that later. That is the human condition. That is the human reality. And that is our true enemy: our enemy within.

Ramadhan is a great example: with all the devils still merrily chained up, we all failed so many times to control our anger, or suppress our feelings, or do the right thing, all because we succumbed to our desires or waswas in our hearts and minds. The end of the month and what we said to each other in trying to establish Eid whilst still fasting is proof enough.

How we express our thoughts, words and actions every single day is a *direct* result of how successful our refuge in Allah has been from our desires or evil being elicited within ourselves. Allah jalla wa ‘ala made this abundantly clear in the Surah He chose to complete His Book with, and what every person who practises Islam will end up memorising.

That’s because Allah knows what we should repeat to ourselves every single day: our enemies are many, but none deserve more focus than the enemy within.

#QuranicART
#ChapterThirty
#WeDidIt

-Sh. Abu Eesa

“Amidst family”

** It’s special when your spouse praises you **

I’ve been contemplating the sheer amount of praise that our mother ‘Aisha heaped onto her husband – the Prophet Mohammad PBUH – with respect to his conduct, manners, and worship, particularly in the month of Ramadan.

She said: كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ العَشْرَ الأوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى

“He used to seclude himself in the Mosque for worship in the last 10 nights of Ramadan till the day he died.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

She also said: كَانَ إِذَا دَخَلَ العَشْرُ أَحْيَا اللَّيلَ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ، وَجَدَّ وَشَدَّ المِئْزَر

“When the last ten nights of Ramadan arrived, he would wake up his family to pray, exert himself and prepared for hard work.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

She also said:

كان يُصَلِّي أرْبَعًا فَلاَ تَسْألْ عَنْ حُسْنِهِنَّ وَطُولِهِنَّ ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي أرْبَعًا فَلاَ تَسْألْ عَنْ حُسْنِهِنَّ وطُولِهِنَّ

“He used to pray four units, but don’t ask about how long and beautiful they were. Then, he’d pray another four, but don’t ask about how long and beautiful they were [..]”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

I don’t want you to necessarily focus on the rulings contained within these narrations as much as I wish to draw your attention to something else that can be sensed between the lines;

The undertone of admiration that she had for her husband.

Can your spouse say the same about you?

You see, the praise that one receives by colleagues at work, training partners or friends isn’t that special, as it’s so easy to put up a front in public that everyone loves. We all do it.

It’s at home, however, when the mask falls off, and where you are seen for who you truly are.

Perhaps this is one of the secrets why the people of Paradise will eventually say, listing the qualities that brought them to Paradise:

إِنَّا كُنَّا قَبْلُ فِي أَهْلِنَا مُشْفِقِينَ

“Before, we used to be people who were afraid (of Allah) amidst our families.”
(Al-Qur’an, 52:26)

Notice how they didn’t say;

“amidst our friends”
“amidst the community”
“amidst our brothers/sisters in the Mosque”, no –

Their fear was amidst their “families”

An indication of just how sincere and genuine they were, for a person who’s cautious of Allah in private – “amidst family” – will most certainly be likewise in public. But the opposite is not always true, hence consider the precision of their words!

In the initial phase of marriage, we all try to hide certain negative traits about ourselves, be it stinginess, a short temper, laziness, as well as pretending to be things that we’re not.

We may pull it off for a week, month, perhaps even a year, but whether you like it or not, the façade has to eventually deteriorate, uncovering the person you truly are. If, despite this, your spouse can still say;

“s/he is unbelievably dedicated to Allah”
“I’ve never seen a person who keeps a distance from sins like him/her”
“The example s/he is setting is putting me to shame”
“I’ve become such a better Muslim since marrying him/her”

Then you truly are a special person.

Just like the Prophet Mohammad PBUH did at home, be an example, raise the bar, and let your presence always be that reminder of Allah and the Home of the Hereafter, both during Ramadan and beyond.

– Ust. ALI h.

Fasting & the Qur’an

**This is what they had to say about the Qur’an**

The Qur’an has created links between certain things:

– Between Salaah and Zakaah

– Between obeying Allah and His messenger

– Between gratitude to Allah and parents

The Qur’an mentions these in pairs, making the unbreakable link between them evident.

There is another very obvious link which the Qur’an makes;

Fasting and the Qur’an.

Consider how Allah said: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed..”

And in the same Ayah: “So whoever of you witnesses the month must fast it”
(Al-Qur’an, 2:185)

This link was also applied practically in the Prophet’s PBUH life when the angel Jibreel would study the Qur’an with him on a *nightly* basis in Ramadan.

Fasting in Ramadan is the most universally observed practical pillar of Islam, hence the majority of us will not regret having not fasted, Alhamdulillah. The worry is about its counterpart; the Qur’an.

The great scholar of Hadith, Al-A’mash, said:

“ومما رفعني الله به؛ القرآن”

“What Allah elevated me with was the Qur’an.”

The great student of Ibnu ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, said:

“طلبت إعراب القرآن خمسة وأربعين سنة أو أربعين سنة”

“I have been studying the linguistics of the Qur’an for 40 (or 45) years.”

Al-Hurr AnNahawi said:

“والله لا تبلغوا ذروة هذا الأمر حتى لا يكون شيء أحب إليكم من الله، فمَن أحب القرآن؛ فقد أحب الله، افقهوا ما يقال لكم”.

“By Allah, you shall never reach the peak of the matter till nothing is dearer to you than Allah. Thus whoever loves the Qur’an has loved Allah. Understand what is being said to you! (i.e. the Qur’an)”

The great scholar of Hadith, Sufyan Ath-Thawri, said:

“ليتني كنت اقتصرت على القرآن”

“I wish I’d limited myself to the Qur’an.”

Shaykhul Islam Ibnu Taymiyya said towards the end of his life:

وندمت على تضييع أكثر أوقاتي في غير معاني القرآن

“I regret having wasted the majority of my time in other than the meanings of the Qur’an.

Their entire lives orbited around the learning, teaching and application of the Qur’an, yet during their final moments, they regretted not dedicating more to it.

The wise are those who benefit from the experiences of those before them.

May He (SWT) make you and I from the people of the Qur’an in what remains of Ramadan, and in what remains of our lives as well.

– Ust. ALI h.

Don’t recline just yet!

** Don’t recline just yet! **

The term “blessing” is a general term that can include so many things; Righteous children, beneficial wealth, good health, a spacious house, and so on. But some blessings are better than others, and this is precisely why the Prophet PBUH said:

وَمَا أُعْطِيَ أَحَدٌ عَطَاءً خَيْرًا وَأوْسَعَ مِنَ الصَّبْر

“No one can be given a blessing that is greater and vaster than that of patience.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

What are the origins of all motivation and willpower?
Isn’t it patience?

What is the source of insistence on a matter till it is achieved with excellence?
Isn’t it patience?

What is at the heart of a person’s ability to resist the prohibitions despite their pull?
Isn’t it patience?

What is the core of a woman’s dedication to the Hijab despite the challenges of weather, mockery and societal demands?
Isn’t it patience?

Also, what is at the centre of a person’s resolve for worship in the last 10 days of Ramadan, to then carry such resolve post Ramadan till death?
Isn’t it patience?

Analyse every single element of goodness that possibly exist, and you’ll discover that patience is at its core. Ramadan is a yearly refresher of this value.

Consider how we know so much of the reward associated with prayer, charity, hajj and their likes. As for fasting, the full reward hasn’t actually been disclosed. Allah said:

الصِّيَامُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ

“Fasting is for Me, and I am the One who shall reward for it.”
(Narrated by An-Nasaa’i)

“How come?” one may ask, “why is the reward for fasting not specified?” This is because fasting is an act of patience, and Allah said:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

“Those who are patient shall be given their reward without measure.”
(Al-Qur’an, 39:10)

Speaking about this, Imam Al-Awzaa’i said:

لَيْسَ يُوزَن لَهُمْ وَلَا يُكَال لَهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُغْرَف لَهُمْ غَرْفًا

“There rewards will not be measured on scales or according to any other measure. Rather, their rewards shall be scooped up for them in heaps”

In a few days’ time, Ramadan will become a memory of the past, and our entire lives as well. So, with the patience of a committed believer, don’t recline just yet.

Consider these five separate descriptions of paradise and its people:

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَى فُرُشٍ بَطَائِنُهَا مِنْ إِسْتَبْرَقٍ

“They will recline on beds. Their inner linings are of silk brocade”
(Al-Qur’an, 55:54)

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَى سُرُرٍ مَصْفُوفَةٍ

“They will recline on thrones lined up”
(Al-Qur’an, 52:20)

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَى رَفْرَفٍ خُضْرٍ وَعَبْقَرِيٍّ حِسَانٍ

“They will recline on green cushions and rich carpets of beauty.”
(Al-Qur’an, 55:76)

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَيْهَا مُتَقَابِلِينَ

“They will recline on thrones lined up”
(Al-Qur’an, 56:16)

فِي ظِلَالٍ عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ مُتَّكِئُونَ

“They will be in shade, reclining on adorned couches”.
(Al-Qur’an, 36:56)

We’re at the last leg of Ramadan.
Work patiently today.
Recline in Jannah tomorrow.

You shall not be let down.

-Ust. Ali H

Love & Mercy

So, Allah jalla wa ‘ala says in al-Rum, 21:

“Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He placed love and mercy between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.”

There are many things to say about this magnificent verse but we do the random stuff remember?

So look at this – “He placed love and mercy between you” – just two characteristics in any old order right?

Behave. You *know* Allah doesn’t just do “any old order”!

This verse exposes the *true* reality behind all marriages, and the solution for saving them too.

See, Allah starts with the basic concept of “love” because it is really only present in the initial stage of a marriage that ignites the relationship between you, a state where there is such an attraction and forgiving nature to one another that the time period is actually called a “honeymoon period” because of just how taken they are with each other.

Actually, this doesn’t work in English. In Arabic however it makes much more sense. See, “love” is a big thing in Arabic with a bucket load of words referring to different types, levels and intensity of love. The word used in this verse is مَّوَدَّةً (mawaddah) which of course a translator can only translate to “love”, but as Allah tells us to deeply reflect on the verse at the end of it, we should realise that this is not some generic ordinary “love”, but rather one of the most intense types of love that is found when men and women get together. It involves passion and intimacy that one expects at the onset of a relationship yet it is a lesser love and level to the next higher category of love which is known as العِشْرَةُ (‘ishrah) – and ‘ishrah is only achieved as the linguists said when a significant time has passed between a husband and wife. In normal human terms it is as deep as love can get between a couple. And ‘ishrah by definition, has mawaddah as only its opening stage.

If you’ve understood *that* then you will realise that mawaddah is only limited in its impact at the beginning of a marriage, and as Allah now tells us, it will *not* be enough for a *successful* marriage in the long term.

That’s because once that initial love starts to fade and the water starts to run dry, something bigger and more important needs to kick in: MERCY.

To give the example of a dish: you might have a fabulous recipe and lovely fresh ingredients which you throw into the pot and everything starts cooking great, but now for the final perfect result we have to put the gas right down and let it simmer and trot along for the next few hours.

Leave the gas too high and *it* will burn out and it will burn everything in the pot.
Turn the gas off, you get no dish.
Put it on a low slow gas, you’ll get a perfect result at the end. And yes, that low gas is “mercy”.

That is why Allah put love and mercy in this order, to show us that although love is important, it’s not the vital ingredient; indeed, what is love except a second hand emotion as a golden oldie once told us?

Allah tells us that we need to activate the mercy button pretty quick in a marriage. We shouldn’t wait until the love runs out, but if it ever does, then being merciful – to one another’s mistakes, irritations, bad habits, laziness etc etc etc that all married couples know all too well – will be the solution to saving that marriage.

Of course this isn’t easy and there will be many legitimate complaints but most of the time this is a perfectly good relationship that is just struggling and needs as much mercy as you can possibly muster. As much Sunnah as you can possibly muster. As much hadith like “When you see something that displeases you, look to that which pleases you” as you can possibly muster.

Allah could have said “mercy and love” in the verse, but that doesn’t fit with our human experience. And because He is the Creator of the human experience, His accuracy in the verse is what we expect!

In summary: love ignites a marriage and mercy sustains it.

-Sh. Abu Eesa

Actions are by their endings

**Horses are not better than us!**

It’s true. You and I may have not had the best Ramadan so far.

Perhaps we’re still struggling with certain habits, perhaps hearts are still rock solid, perhaps laziness hasn’t changed much, and perhaps eyes remain tear-less, but there is worse;

To doubt the enormous opportunity that’s now ahead of you to, not only catch up, but outshine others as well and be written amongst the eternally happy ones with Allah.

Imam Ibnul Jawzi said,

ﺇﻥ ﺍﻟﺨﻴﻞ ﺇﺫﺍ ﺷﺎﺭﻓﺖ ﻧﻬﺎﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﻤﻀﻤﺎﺭ ﺑﺬﻟﺖ ﻗﺼﺎﺭﻯ ﺟﻬﺪﻫﺎ ﻟﺘﻔﻮﺯ ﺑﺎﻟﺴﺒﺎﻕ .. ﻓﻼ ﺗﻜﻦ ﺍﻟﺨﻴﻞ ﺃﻓﻄﻦ ﻣﻨﻚ !ﻓﺈﻧﻤﺎ ﺍﻷﻋﻤﺎﻝ ﺑﺎﻟﺨﻮﺍﺗﻴﻢ ..ﻓﺈﻧﻚ ﺇﺫﺍ ﻟﻢ ﺗﺤﺴﻦ ﺍﻻﺳﺘﻘﺒﺎﻝ ﻟﻌﻠﻚ ﺗﺤﺴﻦ ﺍﻟﻮﺩﺍﻉ

“When horses race and draw close to the finish line, they exert their maximum to win. Therefore do not allow horses to be wiser than you! Actions are by their endings and thus if you didn’t do too well in the reception, perhaps you may do well in the farewell!”

Ahead of you are the last ten nights of Ramadan, which means that the finish line is now so close. This is when hearts must break like never before at the doorstep of Allah, and if you’re true to Him then rest assured that you shall not be disadvantaged by your slow start in the least.

Ibnu Taymiyya said: ﺍﻟﻌﺒﺮﺓ ﺑﻜﻤﺎﻝ ﺍﻟﻨﻬﺎﻳﺎﺕ ﻻ ﺑﻨﻘﺺ ﺍﻟﺒﺪﺍﻳﺎﺕ

“What matters the most are excellent endings, not the faulty beginnings.”

Besides, in the example set by the Prophet Mohammad PBUH himself, his effort in the first 20 days of Ramadan was different to his effort to the last 10 days.

His wife, ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يجتهد في رمضان ما لا يجتهد في غيره، وفي العشر الأواخر منه، ما لا يجتهد في غيره

“The Prophet’s PBUH effort in worship in the month of Ramadan was greater than in any other month, and his effort during the last 10 nights of Ramadan was greater than before it.”
(Narrated by Muslim)

So, why are you shooting yourself down?

Why are you closing a door that Allah has kept open?

Why are you conceding defeat when your Lord is still inviting you to succeed?

O Allah, make the best of our deeds the last of them, and make the best of our days those in which we finally meet You.

-Ust Ali H

Allah made the end of Ramaḍān better than its beginning because the soul is active in the beginning and weakens towards the end. And so the honest one remains steadfast and the hypocrite slackens, and to the extent of one’s īmān is his steadfastness.

Humility before Allah

** One of the toughest forms of worship **

It is one of the (1) most important acts of worship in the life of a Muslim, (2) one of the most neglected, and (3) one of the toughest acts of worship out there, one that demands immense training till one’s heart is positioned in its domain;

= I refer to Al-Khushoo’ / Humility before Allah.

This isn’t necessarily something you physically do nor is it limited to Salaah, but an inward state that envelops your heart around the clock.

It is to walk the earth whilst truly feeling in need of Allah, that you’re helpless without His assistance and paralysed without His aid.

It is when you raise your head from prostration only to realise that your heart is still prostrating. It is to buy, sell, converse and socialise with others, whilst your heart quietly calls out,

“O Allah, do not leave me to my own devises, I am at your mercy.”

“O Allah, pardon my shortcomings, You see what others don’t see.”

“O Allah, I have not worshipped You as You deserve to be worshipped.”

Consider the words of Imam Ibnul Qayyim who said,

دخلت على الله من أبواب الطاعات كلها ، فما دخلت من باب إلا رأيت عليه الزحام فلم أتمكن من الدخول

“I have tried drawing closer to Allah by entering every possible door of worship, but every time I approached a door, I found it congested with people, and so I was unable to enter..”

[In other words, the popular acts of worship like prayer, fasting, charity, Da’wah, Qur’an and their likes are practised by so many, Alhamdulillah, and so it’s hard to compete. He continues and says]

حتى جئت باب الذل والافتقار ، فإذا هو أقرب باب إليه وأوسعه ، ولا مزاحم فيه ولا معوق ، فما هو إلا أن وضعت قدمي في عتبته ، فإذا هو سبحانه قد أخذ بيدي وأدخلني عليه

“… until I approached the door of humility and bankruptcy to Allah, where I found that it was in fact the quickest and widest of all doors to Allah, but to my surprise, I realised that there wasn’t any congestion at it nor were there any barriers. I placed my foot inside and at once, I was taken by the hand and allowed to walk inside.”

Getting the outward form of worship on point is easy, but that inner state of desperation, humility, and genuine need of The King is, according to Ibnul Qayyim, the missing jigsaw piece in the lives of the masses, the piece that makes all the difference.

Honestly, it’s not all about appearances, eloquent sermons and carefully crafted Islamic posts, but it’s about that secret relationship that exists between you and Allah which nobody else sees. A single atoms worth of this quality is dearer to Allah than mountains worth of deeds that are machinelike.

Practically speaking, how is this wonder of an act of worship to be attained?

(1) By knowing Him

Imam Ibnul Qayyim said: من عرف الله أحبه ولا بد
“Whoever knows Allah has to love Allah.”

Make a conscious effort to rediscover The One whom you claim you worship through the Qur’an, through the study of his names and attributes, and watch how the Khushoo’ within you that had been asleep will slowly begin to reawaken.

(2) By thinking about Him

Allah said: أَوَلَمْ يَنْظُرُوا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ

“Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created..”

Allah said: قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا

“Say: ‘I exhort you to one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and then to think ..”

This universe is an enormous Masjid built for your contemplation. When Ummud Dardaa was asked “which act of worship did you see your husband, Abud Dardaa, engaging in the most?”

She replied: التفكر والإعتبار / “Contemplation and deep thought.”

(3) By freeing up some space for Khushoo’

We have already established the Al-Khushoo’ is not an action of the outer, but one of the heart, and with this we understand why, for many of us, it’s so difficult to attain; because we haven’t left any space for it.

There’s only so much that the human heart can house, and if you’ve filled it with sins, distractions, addictions and perversions, then how will Khushoo’ finds its place when it’s constantly being evicted? Each and every one of us knows exactly where to start and what inner items need unloading.

(4) By begging Allah for it

Memorise the words of the Prophet PBUH this Ramadan:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ،وَالْهَرَمِ،وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ،اللَّهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا،وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا، أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلَاهَا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ، وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ، وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لَا تَشْبَعُ، وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, laziness, stinginess, cowardice, senility, the torment of the grave. O Allah, make my soul obedient and purify it, for You are the best One to purify it, You are its Guardian and Lord. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that doesn’t benefit, and a heart that has no Khushoo’, and a soul that is not satisfied, and a Du’aa that is not answered.”

As millions all around the world bow and prostrate during this evening’s Taraaweeh prayers, ask yourself:

“I wonder how many, at this moment, are living the reality of Khushoo'”

-Ust Ali Hammuda

Importance of Khushu’

The Reward for Prayer depends on the amount of Khushu in prayer.

For indeed it may be that a servant prays; and emerges with the complete reward; yet he may pray and emerges with half the reward or with a tenth of the reward – or with less than that. Or that he may pray; and he does not emerge with any reward at all, hence the one that is does not have humility and attentiveness in his prayer; then no reward is written for him.

‘Ammar ibn Yasir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, a man may return from his prayer and nothing good is written for him but a tenth of his prayer, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a fourth, or a third, or a half.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 796

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:

The meaning of khushoo’ linguistically is: to humble oneself as well as to have submission for Allaah, The Glorified and Most High, and the origin of khushoo’ is in the heart; and so it becomes manifest upon the limbs – such that they are tranquil; and upon the tongue – such that it is subdued.

Khushoo’ (humility and attentiveness) in the prayer: it the very soul of the prayer, due to this; He, The Most High stated:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ

((Successful indeed are the believers. Those who in their prayer are khaashi’oon [have humility and attentiveness].)) (Al-Mu-minoon: 1-2)

The Root of Heart’s Strength

Musa (peace be upon him) stood facing the sea with pharaoh’s army coming up behind him. He looked at the oppressed, innocent people he was leading to freedom. Their faces were covered with panic, fear, anxiety, and even hopelessness.

Some of them cried out, “”Musa! We’re doomed!””
Musa (alayhissalam) calmly and steadily replied, “”NEVER. My Lord is with me. HE will show me the way.“”

Allah then commanded Musa (pbuh) to strike the sea with his staff.
What would that accomplish?
What difference would it make?
It’s important to remember that there’s always work to be done. Quitting is not an option.
When Musa (pbuh) remained firm and did what he could do, one of the greatest miracles unfolded. The sea split. The oppressed were delivered to safety, dignity, and freedom against all odds. The oppressors were dealt with by God.

Allah has not forsaken us. We will not lose faith. HE will guide us and show us the way. We will continue to work hard to establish peace, dignity, and justice inshaAllah.

Whoever says in the morning and in the evening “”Sufficient for me is Allah, there is no god besides Him; in Him have I put my trust and He is the Lord of the mighty Throne”” seven times, Allah, may He be exalted, will suffice him for what concerns him.

حَسْبِىَ اللَّهُ لآ إلَهَ إلّا هُوَ، عَلَيْهَ ثَوَكَّلتُ، وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

[Abu Dawood]
– Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda

* Money matters *

When we are presented with a business opportunity, our analysis is thorough.

“What are the start-up costs?”
“How many partners are involved?”
“What’s the likely return on the investment?”

However, the most important questions may not even arise in our minds:

“What is the Islamic ruling surrounding this venture?”

The Prophet PBUH had prophesized that such a day would arrive. He said:

يَأْتِي عَلَى النَّاسِ زَمَانٌ، لاَ يُبَالِي المَرْءُ مَا أَخَذَ مِنْهُ، أَمِنَ الحَلاَلِ أَمْ مِنَ الحَرَامِ

“There will come a time when people will not care about what they take; whether it is from Halaal or from Haraam.”
(Al-Bukhari)

You may be thinking: “What does this topic have to do with Ramadan?” The link between the two is actually far stronger than we may have thought.

If you’ve allowed this type of wealth into your account, it means that you’ve unleashed a devastating weapon against yourself and your family.

The danger of such a weapon is that its effects are not always being immediately noticeable. It doesn’t make any loud sounds, it doesn’t tear down buildings, it doesn’t release any toxic smells, but nevertheless, it is so ruthless in its effects that it has the power to single-handedly devastate your Dunya and Deen; the casualties are beyond count.

(a) Yes, you’re giving charity this month, but ..

With prohibited wealth, one has successfully managed to close the door of charity between himself and Allah, and the fact that our Zakaah comes under this category should terrify us. The Prophet PBUH said:

من جمع مالا حراما، ثم تصدق به، لم يكن له فيه أجر، وكان إصره عليه

“Whoever accumulates prohibited wealth then gives out in charity from it, he will not be rewarded for it and will have to bear the consequences of it.”
(Narrated by Ibnu Khuzayma)

(b) Yes, you’re makings so much Du’aa this month, but ..

With prohibited wealth, one has cut the rope of Du’aa between him and Allah, leaving such a person to himself.

The Prophet PBUH made mention of a man who:

يطيل السفر أشعث أغبر يمد يديه إلى السماء يا رب يا رب ومطعمه حرام ومشربه حرام وملبسه حرام وغذي بالحرام فأنى يستجاب لذلك

“… having journeyed far, being in a dishevelled and dusty state, and spreads out his hands to the sky in Du’aa, saying, “O Lord! O Lord!” while his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram; so how can his Du’aa be answered?”
(Muslim)

Notice, all of the reasons for an accepted Du’aa are present with him! He is (1) travelling, (2) in a humbled state, (3) raising his hands in Du’aa, and (4) repeating his Du’aa. However, despite these elements combined, Allah will leave the man’s hands empty.

It was well known that the Du’aa of the companion Sa’d Ibnu Abi Waqqaas was answered by Allah every single time. He was asked about this, to which he replied:

ما رفعت إلى فمي لقمة إلا وأنا عالم من أين جاءت ومن أين خرجت

“I have not raised any bit of food to my mouth without knowing the details of where it was sourced.”

(c) Yes, you’re worshipping Allah so much this month, but ..

The harm of prohibited wealth isn’t limited to your Du’aa, but in fact extends its cancerous roots to every Salaah, fast, hajj, and act of worship in general. Honestly, is all the money of the world worth it?

Al-Ghazaali said:
العبادة مع أكل الحرام كالبناء على أمواج البحار

“One’s worship whilst consuming the prohibited is just like the construction of a building on top of the waves of the oceans.”

Ibnu ‘Abbaas said:
لا يقبل اللّه صلاة امرىء في جوفه حرام

“Allah does not accept the Salaah of a person who has the prohibited within him.”

With such casualties associated with prohibited wealth, what good is there left in the life of a person who earns it?

With the courage of a believer, walk away from such sources at once, or minimally, create an exit plan as a matter of urgency.

It’s not just your Ramadan that depends on it.

-Ust. Ali h.

The Effects of Sadaqa

** Medication that most medics don’t prescribe **

The famous scholar of Hadeeth, Al-Haakim An-Naysaaboori, has a well-known story about an illness that he battled against for months on end. His face was afflicted with blisters which he tried treating for around a year using a variety of techniques without avail.

On one Friday, he requested Imam Abu ‘Uthman As-Saabooni to make Du’aa for him during the sermon. He did just that and people engaged passionately in Du’aa for him.

The week after, a woman handed over a letter, mentioning that she was present during last week’s sermon and was heartbroken to hear about what happened to Al-Haakim. So, she returned home, made Du’aa for him, and saw the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in her dream that evening, who said to her:

قولوا لأبي عبد الله يوسِّع الماء على المسلمين

“Tell Al-Haakim to provide water for the Muslims.”

This letter was shown to Al-Haakim, and so at once, he dug a pool of water in his front garden, filled it with ice and dedicated it to the free usage of the public. The narration says:

فما مرَّت عليه أسبوع حتى ظهر الشفاء وزالت تلك القروح، وعاد وجهه إلى ما كان، وعاش بعد ذلك سنين

“It was only one week that passed before his blisters began to clear up. They totally disappeared, his face returned to how it was and he lived many years afterwards.”

This is a medicine that most medics don’t prescribe to the ill; charity.

Shaykh Ali Al-Faifi, author of the wonderful book “Because you are Allah” speaks of a friend of his who, as he was making his way to the Masjid, realized that the horrific had just happened; he’d accidently reversed his car into his two year old niece! He pulled her from beneath the tire and raced to the hospital as she dipped in and out of life. She was assessed and her family were told that her death was 80% likely.

A relative of theirs contacted a student of knowledge for some advice and solace, and he told him “sacrifice an animal and distribute its meat with the intention of her healing”. They did just that. He said: “By the time it was dawn, she was discharged from the hospital healthy and well.”

Imam Ibnul Qayyim said:

فــإن للـصدقة تأثـيرا عجـيبا فـي دفـع أنــواع البـلاء ولـو كـانت مـن فاجـر أو مـن ظالـم بـل مـن كافـر

“The effects of Sadaqa in repelling all types of calamities are extraordinary, even if its giver is a sinner, oppressor or even of no faith.”

Al-Munaawi said:

و قـد جـرب ذلك المـوفقون فوجـدوا اﻷدويـة الروحـانية تفـعل مـا ﻻ تفعلـه اﻷدويـة الحـسية ولا ينكر ذلك إلا من كثف حجابه

“This has been tried by the blessed ones, and they found that such spiritual remedies can do what tangible remedies fail to, and none rejects this except those who’ve been severely covered from understanding.”

Charity repels calamities, eases pains, diverts misery, and yields an inner sense of expanse that cannot be quantified.

Are you challenged in your health in any way? Set aside a sum of money for a charitable cause with this intention in mind, and what better month to start training for life-long charity than Ramadan?

Ibnu ‘Abbas said:

“The Messenger of Allah PBUH was the most generous of people, and he was most generous in Ramadan”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Ust. ALI H.

Positive thinking

When the enemies of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam) twisted his name to “Mudhammam” (meaning the “dispraised” instead of praised one), he said to his companions,

أَلاَ تَعْجَبُونَ كَيْفَ يَصْرِفُ اللَّهُ عَنِّي شَتْمَ قُرَيْشٍ وَلَعْنَهُمْ يَشْتِمُونَ مُذَمَّمًا وَيَلْعَنُونَ مُذَمَّمًا وَأَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ

“Doesn’t it astonish you how Allāh protects me from the Quraish’s abusing and cursing? They abuse “Mudhammam” and curse “Mudhammam” while I am Muḥammad.” [Bukhari]

This is absolute genius thinking from the Prophet (sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam), he flipped the propaganda and attacks on him through positive thinking. Similarly, we should strive to think in an optimistic manner in situations that could harm us emotionally.