“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.

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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.

Ramadan is a preparation

** Preparing full-timers **

Now that we’re three days into Ramadan, it’s usually around now where the initial hype of Ramadan begins to dampen.

Tonight, cast a quick glance around you at the Masjid during the night prayer, and you’ll probably realise that numbers have in fact started to dwindle.

It therefore comes as no surprise why Laylatul Qadr/The Night of Decree – the most rewarding night of the year – hasn’t been placed in the beginning of Ramadan, but during its end.

This, on its own, is a treasure of a lesson that Ramadan teaches its students year in year out;

Being a *consistently* practicing Muslim, during both Ramadan and after Ramadan, is what Allah wants from us.

As Imam Ibnu Taymiyyah said,

أعظم الكرامة لزوم الاستقامة

“The peak of *all* honour is in Istiqaama/ steadfastness”

It’s true.

So many started off with the Hijab then later abandoned it, and many started planning for an Islamic project then gave up, and many started as very adherent Muslims then their views changed. Similarly, many start Ramadan with huge enthusiasm, then it changes.

Ramadan is a preparation –

A preparation of full-timers.

O Allah, allow us to live and die upon Islam, and allow this Ramadan to seal the deal.

-Ustadh Ali H.

3 Levels of Taqwa

Fasting has been legislated in order that we may gain taqwa, as Allah – the Most High – said:

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed upon those before you in order that you may attain taqwa.”
{Surah Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 183}

The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said:
Fasting is a shield with which the servant protects himself from the Fire.”
(Hasan: Ahmad, authenticated by al-Albani in Saheeh ut-Targheeb)

6 Quick Ramadan tips

Ramadan’s in upon us. Here are quick reminders to get us started.
1. Prepare your Dua list in advance. You’ll have many opportunities for Dua in Ramadan – those who have their list in advance will take advantage. Those that don’t, will miss out.
2. Keep your Dua list short – focus on 6 priority Duas to take your attention, energy, and passion.
3. Automate now. Buy your Eid clothes, your groceries for the month, prepare food in advance so you’re not distracted later. This will free your mind and heart for what matters.
4. Excellence does not happen by accident. Strategize and plan your good deeds in advance read Quran at a specific time, give sadaqa at a specific time, pray on time, so that your body gets into a rhythm. In time, your body will expect it and good deeds will become easy.
5. You’re not a camel. Don’t over drink or overeat to “store for later”. Our bodies don’t work like that. Eat healthy portions and drink water throughout the evening. There is blessing in suhoor, enjoy that meal.
6. Expect a dip in energy. Have mercy on yourself in that dip. Don’t throw in the towel. Pick yourself up and keep going.
May you have an outstanding Ramadan 2019.

-Sh. Muhammad alShareef

*A suggested daily programme for Ramaḍān*

A suggested daily programme for Ramaḍān:

1) Ensure that you wake up for Suhūr, even if you do not enjoy eating at that time. Eat or drink something small so that you earn the reward of applying the Sunnah of Suhūr each night, for in Suhūr there is blessing (barakah).

2) During that time, ensure that you pray at least two units of voluntary Salāh so that you earn the reward of praying and making Duʿā’ in the greatest part of the night – its last third. Utilise this time to reflect upon your sins and follow that up with Istighfār (seeking forgiveness), for Allāh has praised those who do this during this time of night.

3) Ensure, that you, at the least, make Fajr and ʿIshā’ Ṣalāh in congregation in the Masjid, as they do not clash with most people’s working hours. In doing so, you will be given the reward of spending the entire night in Ṣalāh.

4) Ensure that you recite the morning remembrances after Ṣalāh al-Fajr and the evening remembrances after Ṣalāh al-ʿAsr without fail.

5) On the days that you are off work, try to remain in the Masjid after Ṣalāh al-Fajr, occupying yourself with the recitation of Qur’ān and Dhikr until sunrise. Then pray the Duha prayer 15 minutes after the rising of the sun or, better still, you may wish to delay it until about 10 minutes before midday; a person who does this is given the reward of a complete Hajj and ‘Umrah, inshāAllāh.

6) Set an intention each day before going to work to use those hours to acquire Halāl wealth to spend in Allāh’s path so that you are rewarded for every minute of your day. Ensure that you give your mouth little rest from Allāh’s remembrance throughout your 9-5 and that your limbs are fasting with you, as you restrain them from every form of sin.

7) After coming home and briefly resting, dedicate an hour for the recitation of the Qur’ān and/or the study of its meanings.

8) Dedicate the final 30 minutes before Iftār to Duʿā’, as the Duʿā’ of the fasting person is accepted throughout his fast.

10) Ensure that you do not miss a single day’s worth of Tarāwīh prayers. Choose the Masjid which offers the recitation that connects with your heart the most.

11) Dedicate a manageable portion of charity that you will give each day. If you worry about forgetting to give it out on some days, then set up a daily direct debit.

12) Set yourself a target of attending at least one circle of knowledge each week, for they are gatherings that are visited by the angels and shrouded by the mercy of Allāh.

13) Set yourself a target of calling or visiting one relative of yours a day, as upholding family ties extends one’s life, expands one’s wealth and protects a person from an evil ending to one’s life.

I would, nevertheless, recommend that whatever your targets may be, that they be in the numerical form. For example, “I will do such and such X number of times, and such and such Y number of times”. In this way you have a base to rate your performance in the coming years.

I ask Allāh to make us amongst the people of īmān who meet His kindness with kindness, His offerings with acceptance and His worship with excitement and preparation.

Source: islam21c

Distractions & Diversions

When you sit to recite the Quran, your phone will ring.
When you stand to pray two rak’ah, a message will ping you.
When you intend to do a righteous act, a distraction or disturbance will surface.

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله)said, “When the servant embarks on a devotional act, Allah sends diversions to him to test his truthfulness. If he fights, endures, and stands his ground, these diversions are soon replaced by that which assists him in devotion.”