Self-love

❤️Self-love is truly a prerequisite to having a good relationship with anyone. Many people assume that self-love means arrogance, selfishness or narcissism. I’m not referring to any of those traits as they go against our Islamic character.

❤️The definition of self-love is to feel worthy of being loved, to appreciate the blessings Allah has given you and to feel you have something unique to offer. When a person lacks this essential trait, they never feel worthy of love hence they endure abuse and neglect.

❤️When someone knows their self-worth they will not tolerate mistreatment from others and they will believe those who express their love to them.

❤️If you don’t start by loving yourself, no one else will be able to love you.

❤️If you don’t have someone to love, focus on developing self-love and nurturing yourself.

❤️What does self-love mean to you?

~Haleh Banani

People of Qur’an

I’m always amazed at the statement of al-Hasan al-Basri where he says that the hafidh of the Qur’an is not just preserving the Qur’an through his hifdh. No, rather the Qur’an is what is preserving him/her.

The more we surround ourselves with the Qur’an and busy ourselves in its recital and memorisation, the more Allah preserves us and protects us through it.

When we think about how, at times, thousands of Angels descended with just one Surah (e.g. Al-An’am) or one verse, it is no surprise then to know that Angels surround, protect, and walk alongside the huffadh of Qur’an who spend their days in the company of this Book. It is no surprise if – due to their continuous recital – they find their life blossoming, their affairs being taken care of, their illnesses being removed, their heart being settled in peace, things working out for them and so on. When you preserve the Qur’an, realise that the Qur’an preserves you tons more.

May Allah make us from amongst the people of Qur’an, ameen.

~Fajr

Great Advise!

Al-Khattab ibn Mu`alla’s great advice to his son:

“… O my son, be conscious of Allah and be in His obedience. Stay away from His prohibitions by following the Sunnah and the milestones (on this path) until your faults are rectified and coolness is brought to your eyes. Truly, nothing is hidden to Allah.

I have written down some characteristics for you and I have drawn up a plan for you. If you memorise it, understand it and follow it, you will fill the eyes of kings, be followed by the poor and destitute, and you will always be hoped for; you’ll be a superior who will always be needed and people shall desire what lies with you….

Obey your father, restrict your advice to him, open your heart to him and pay close attention to this. Beware of excessive speech, beware of laughing and joking too much, and beware of belittling your friends, because that does away with beauty and instead creates rancour and enmity. Always be dignified and composed but let not arrogance be described of you nor let haughtiness and pride be related from you. Meet both your friend and enemy with a face of goodness & pleasure and prevent harm without humiliating yourself for them or standing in awe of them.

Be moderate in all your affairs, for truly the best of affairs lies in their moderation. Lessen your speech, spread the greeting of peace, walk with strength and purpose and do not drag your feet or tug on your clothes… Do not look here and there, turning about too much and do not stop by the groups of people that gather. Do not make the market the place of your hang out, nor take the shops as a place to sit and talk. Don’t always argue, and do not debate with the foolish ones; if you speak, be concise, and if you joke then limit your jokes…

Let your sitting be one of calmness, and let your speech be divided (i.e. let others speak too). Attribute the goodly words to those who said them to you without displaying amazement, and do not always ask for questions to be repeated… Don’t speak too much about your admiration for your children, your maid, your horse or your sword, and beware of relaying your dreams because if you are amazed by them, the foolish will display desire towards that and they will make up dreams for you and then discredit your intelligence…

Do not teach your family – and those other than them even more so – how to count your money, for if they see you possessing little, you will become lowly to them, and if they see you possessing much, you will not be able to satisfy or please them…

If you fall into argument, then have respect and do not show ignorance. Steer clear from haste and think about your proofs and points of argument… If someone proves ignorant towards you, then forebear it, and only speak when your anger resides… Protect your honour and cast away excessiveness from yourself. If the ruler draws you close, then beware of him, and if he shows delight at your presence, then do not feel safe from him suddenly changing towards you.

If you promise, fulfil your promise and if you speak, speak only the truth. Choose the best of words when you do speak and if you narrate something you heard, then attribute those words to their speaker… Truthfulness is a beauty and lies are a disgrace; a truth which brings about the downfall of a person has better outcomes than a lie which saves him. Imitate the people of virtue and understanding; and you shall soon be amongst them.

Know that every person is only where they place themselves, and every worker will have their work attributed to them. A man is known by his close companions; so beware of evil brethren because they betray those who accompany them and grieve the one who befriends them… Brethren are of two types: the one who preserves you at the time of calamities, and the one who befriends you at the time of ease and goodness. So preserve the friend who was there during the difficulties and abandon the one who’s there only in times of ease for they are the worst of enemies…

And whoever follows his desires, they shall cast him to his destruction. Do not be surprised by short-tempered men and do not belittle those of thin physique for a person’s essence only lies in two components: his heart and his tongue…

Protect yourself from corruption, even if you are in the lands of the enemy. Do not spread down your honour to one who is beneath you, and do not allow your wealth to mean more to you than your honour. Do not increase your speech such that you become burdensome to the people. Smile at those who sit with you and accept the one who comes to meet you…

O my son, the wife of a man is his means of serenity, and there is no life worthwhile by contradicting her. So if you wish to marry a woman, then ask about her family, for it is the goodly roots that bear the sweetest fruits. And know that women are extremely different to one another just like the fingers on a hand are different to each other…’”

He (rahimahullah) then ended his advice by saying:

“… O my son, may Allah make you from those who follow the guidance, who achieve piety, who steer clear from the wrath of Allah and love His Pleasure. I place you in the care of Allah after I’m gone, and He is in charge of your affairs. There is no strength or power except in Allah the Most High and Great, and may Allah send His peace and blessings upon the Prophet of Guidance, and upon his family.”

[Translated from ‘Rawdhat al-‘Uqala” by Ibn Hibban]

Key to Paradise

Ibn Qayyim رحمه الله said:

Bukhari mentions in his Saheeh from Wahab bin Munnabih that it was said to him: ‘Is not ‘La ilaha illa Allaah’ the key to Paradise?’

He said: ‘Of course, however there is no key except that it has teeth, so if a key is brought which has teeth then it will be opened, otherwise it will not open.’

Ibn Qayyim رحمه الله continues:

‘Allah has placed keys for everything that is necessary, and they open the way, so Allah made purification the key for prayer, as the Messenger صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said:

‘The key to prayer is purification.’
[Saheeh al-Jamia as-Sagheer No.5885] .

Like wise

– Ihram is the key to Hajj,

– Truthfulness is the key to righteousness,

– Tawheed is the key to Paradise,

– Asking good questions and being attentive is the key to knowledge,

– Patience is the key to victory and triumph,

– Gratitude is the key to increase of provision,

– Remembrance of Allah is the key to having loyalty to Allah and His love,

– Taqwa (piety) is the key to success,

– Fervent desire and dread of Allah is the key to being successful,

– Dua’ (Supplicating) is the key to being responded to,

– Zuhd (Abstaining from the luxuries of the world) is the key to desiring the Hereafter,

– Reflecting about that which Allah calls His slaves to is the key to Eeman (having faith),

– Making the heart accept Islam and making it secure for Allah and having sincerity for Him by having love and hate and fulfilling

– His commands and leaving the prohibitions is the key to going in front of Allah,

– Pondering upon the Qur’an, and imploring Allah before dawn and not sinning is the key to giving the heart life,

– Being kind to the worshippers of the Creator and striving to benefit His worshippers is the key to obtaining mercy,

– Striving to seek forgiveness from Allaah and Taqwa (piety) is the key to Rizq (provisions),

-Obedience to Allaah and His Messenger is the key to honour,
Longing for the Hereafter is the key to being prepared for the Hereafter,

-Fervent desire for Allaah and the Hereafter is the key to all goodness,

-Love for the world, continuously longing for it and turning away from the Hereafter is the key to all evil.

This is a great matter from the most beneficial chapters of knowledge, namely knowing the keys to goodness and evil.’

[Taken from: ‘Haadi al-Arwaaha ila Bilaad al-Afraaha’ by Ibn Qayyim vol 1 p.139]

[Imam Ibn al Qayyim Rahimahullah]

5 Gears

It’s time to shift gears from vacation mode to work mode. Let me tell you…it’s never easy, but with the right attitude we can do it!

1. Instead of dreading going back to work or school, be grateful that you have the opportunity to work and study.

2. Purify your intention to please Allah in everything you do in order to maximize your rewards.

3. Visualize yourself being content and productive in your work week.

4. Avoid any negative self-talk when referring to going back to work or school.

5. Program yourself for success by telling yourself what you want to achieve, how you want to feel and the mood you will have throughout the week.

-Haleh Banani

The 5 Gears of Life & Work:

Prick of a thorn

The Prophet ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it.”
{Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim}

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided.”
{Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 155}

For a believer, every difficulty is a means of expiation of sins.

But when the believer expects the best compensation from Allah for that difficulty, then the difficulty becomes a means of expiation of sins *and* reward.
So in hardship, don’t just try to be patient. Also expect the best compensation from Allah in this life and the next.

Journey to the Hereafter

► What happens to our souls when we die?
► We are made of body and soul. When we die, our bodies are buried… What about our soul?
► Do souls die? Do they stay on Earth? Or do they return to Allah?

In this lecture series, learn major events that happen after death, from the grave to our eventual destination.

Make Progress

This one phrase from my Quran teacher 23 years ago changed my life:

“You’re either striving and moving forward or you’re moving backwards- you’re never at a standstill.

Make sure you’re always making progress in your life and not regressing. You would never want to go from walking to crawling or from high school to elementary. Focus on improving your personality, spirituality and mentality. Every day you should be better, wiser, more patient and more accepting than yesterday. Make it your ultimate goal to improve your character and overcome your shortcomings.

The most comforting thing to keep in mind is that even if you’re struggling and falling into mistakes- Allah sees your effort and rewards you for trying. Stay strong and move forward!💪🏼💞

~Sister Haleh Banani

Happy Strangers!

Bismillah,

In explaining the hadith of “Islam began as something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers,” Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (rA) said the following while talking about the blessings the “strangers” will rejoice in:

“وَلِهَذَا يُوجَدُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ الْمُتَمَسِّكُونَ بِالْإِسْلَامِ فِي بِلَادِ الْكُفْرِ لَهُمْ السَّعَادَةُ كُلَّمَا كَانُوا أَتَمَّ تَمَسُّكًا بِالْإِسْلَامِ فَإِنْ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ شَرٌّ كَانَ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ؛ حَتَّى إنَّ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَأَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إذَا رَأَوْا الْمُسْلِمَ الْقَائِمَ بِالْإِسْلَامِ عَظَّمُوهُ وَأَكْرَمُوهُ وَأَعْفَوْهُ مِنْ الْأَعْمَالِ الَّتِي يَسْتَعْمِلُونَ بِهَا الْمُنْتَسِبِينَ إلَى ظَاهِرِ الْإِسْلَامِ مِنْ غَيْرِ عَمَلٍ بِحَقِيقَتِهِ.”
“Thus, there are those Muslims adhering to Islam in the lands of unbelief, happiness will be their lot, commensurate with their level of adherence to Islam. If evil befalls them, it would be because of their sins; even the polytheists and the people of the book, when they see the Muslim who truly upholds the teachings of Islam, they elevate him, honor him, and exempt him from the work they demand of those who profess Islam without adhering to its essence.”

Being a “stranger” does not mean being miserable or negative. Rejoice in the bounty of Allah and His mercy. You have an opportunity to actualize all of your potentials in courage, endurance, forbearance, independence, grace, confidence, positivity, wisdom, nobility, and many more. Do your best; your test will soon end – regardless of its nature.

وصلى الله على محمد والحمد لله رب العالمين

-Sh. Hatem al Haj

Why do we gain Knowledge?

❝But those who had been given knowledge said, “Woe to you! The reward of Allah is better for he who believes and does righteousness. And none are granted it except the patient.”❞
{Surah Al Qasas 28: Verse 80}

The blessing and beauty of gaining knowledge is that it keeps its companion grounded when everyone else is distracted and blinded by events, emotions, or hardships. It equips the seeker of knowledge with a foresight when people are blinded or unable to see past this world or that which is temporary. It reminds its companion to have patience, to remember the Hereafter, and to see beyond the strike of a calamity or a call of the Dunya.

Productive Pregnancy

Allah swt has chosen you for a great task ahead. He has honoured you with continuing the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) ummah. But these are not usually the dominating thoughts when you are pregnant, right?

The hormonal imbalance coupled with mood swings, frequent urination, headaches and back pain do not make pregnancy a good experience to cherish. Well, the truth is, you can choose to make pregnancy the most memorable and productive experience of your life, or you can spend it whining and crying.

Below are few tips to make pregnancy a joyous and productive experience of life, In sha Allah

https://productivemuslim.com/productive-pregnancy/

Believer’s Heart 💖

We often praise the soft of heart. We rightly condemn those who are hard of heart. But the Believer’s heart is somewhere in between.

When too soft, like a sponge, it soaks up all and everything that it sees, hears, experiences, comes into contact with. Worse, it retains it as well. For that is what sponges do.

Ibn al-Qayyim was complaining about doubts and issues once, and so was advised by Ibn Taymiyyah that he should not let his heart be like a sponge retaining all these doubts that he comes across in the seeking and protection of sacred knowledge. But he didn’t tell him to make his heart hard. For that would kill it. No, he told Ibn al-Qayyim to make it *harder*, like glass, clear solid glass. It will then see the issue/doubt and understand it but it will not retain in as it passes over it and goes on its way.

This is excellent advice in the matter of creed and theology (‘aqidah) especially in our modern times with doubts over evolution and genetics and science and secular humanism etc. These matters can be refuted without letting them penetrate us.

But as many as there are people affected by doubts in their ‘aqidah, an equal number are affected by normal day-to-day events that impact on their emotions – that includes how soft or hard to be, how harsh or merciful to be, how much to grieve and how much to ignore and be “heartless” etc.

We all live in difficult times. You don’t need to live in a war-zone and have your children killed in front of you to be the only one deserving to be depressed. Sure, there are varying levels of trials, but we must never dismiss the middle class guy who loses his job or the “First World” sister who gets a divorce. Grief is universal and exists at every loss and turn in life and we need to manage that without denigrating or exaggerating the pain and challenges of others. Everybody hurts. Sometimes.

But we *must* learn not to hurt *so* much. We must learn that grief is natural and permissible but never to the amount that it becomes paralyzing. There is divine wisdom in sanctioned mourning periods. There is divine beauty in those verses which remind us of the negligible value of everything in this world. If our softness when we rule, or our mercy when we judge, or our grief when we try to recover starts to affect our lives so much that our lives are forced to change, obligations are neglected, worship is affected and the rules are changed etc, then we need to re-examine our hearts.

Our hearts are made stronger and more stoic when we reflect that this dunya is but a shooting star, and that every single painful event that occurs in our life is insignificant when seen in light of the bigger picture that is the Akhirah.

So don’t let your hearts become so soft like a sponge. Make it harder. Not like a stone, from which you cannot come back from and there is no room for manoeuvre, but instead like glass. Glass is solid and thus it will allow you to see and feel the pain of others and thus empathize and take care of them, it will not retain grief or the depression of the world just automatically, but it is of course fragile and breaks easily which can then be used to our advantage when it is needed for our hearts to be softer than usual.

We were all given eyes to cry. But we were all born to eventually die. We must focus on our destination, not keep asking why.

~Sh. Abu Eesa

Taqwa & Good character

If Taqwa is the crown of the believer, then good character is the crown of Taqwa, for many people think that taqwa is to fulfill the rights of Allah without fulfilling the rights of His creation!

Abu Ad-Darda narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.” (Tirmidhi)

Let no one beat you to the taqwa of Allah and let no one beat you to beautiful character.

You’ve come of age at a time in which the majority of our interactions are online, and in that world harshness and cruelty are low hanging fruit seemingly devoid of consequences.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever lives in the deserts becomes harsh.” (Abu Dawood)

And social media is a desert, it is an experience where we are all alone, together.

So choose gentleness over harshness, choose forgiveness over vindictiveness, choose truth over falsehood and protect people from your harm.

For the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “I am a guarantor of a house in the highest part of Jannah for whoever makes their character good.”

May Allah make us from them.

Rain Drop

Rain Drop 💧

✨Your Worth is with whom
You are Associated with✨

🔸Beautiful explanation by Maulana Rumi:

Explaining the meaning of ‘Association’ he said:..

“💦 A rain drop from the sky: if it is caught by clean hands, is pure enough for drinking.

💧If it falls in the gutter, its value drops so much that it can’t be used even for washing your feet.

💧If it falls on a hot surface, it will evaporate…

💧If it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl

💧and finally, if it falls on an oyster, it becomes a pearl…

💧The drop is the same, but its existence & worth depends on whom it is associated with.”…

🔸Always be associated with people who are good at heart..You will experience your own inner transformation”…

Focus on what truly matters!

It’s not the size of your achievement, but your sincerity in your effort.

It’s not the number of likes from others that matters, but the one like from Allah that matters most.

It’s not about what the masses think of you, but what your spouse, kids and parents think of you.

Instead of being distracted or driven for the wrong reasons, focus instead on personal improvement and interpersonal relationships.

Only a select few will have the wisdom to focus their attention on the things that truly matter. Be One Of Them!

In a beautiful hadith, Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“Whoever is focused only on this world, Allah will confound his affairs and make him fear poverty constantly, and he will not get anything of this world except that which has been decreed for him. And whoever is focused on the Hereafter, Allah will settle his affairs for him and make him feel content with his loss, and his provision and worldly gains will undoubtedly come to him.” [Ibn Majah]

PS: The hadith do not call for abandonment of this Dunya. Rather, Islam teaches us to take the necessary steps and put in the time required to secure our provisions in this world. However, the hadith recalibrates our internal compass and reminds us where our focus and ultimate desires should be.

Who are the fools?

**Who are the fools?**

A “fool” in (some of) our eyes is perhaps someone who fails at school, is unable or unwilling to hold a job, keeps forgetting things, is clumsy, or so on. But, to Allah, who’s the fool?

The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

ما تستقل الشمس فيبقى شيءٌ من خلق الله إلا سبح الله بحمده إلا ما كان من الشياطين وأغبياء بني آدم

“Every morning when the sun rises, there isn’t anything from Allah’s creation except that it is in a state of His remembrance, with the exception to the devils, as well as the fools from humanity.”

(Narrated by Ibnu As-Sunni)

Something to think about tomorrow morning after Fajr.

Day of ‘Arafah

Allah ‘azza wa jall never descends to the lowest heaven during the day except for today, the Day of ‘Arafah. He is close to you and wants to hear your prayers and worship. He is close and has left the door open.

“Allah draws close on the ‘ashiyyah (time between ‘Asr and Maghrib) of ‘Arafah and boasts to the angels” –Narrated by Ahmad

And the prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The best thing that I have uttered, I and the prophets before me is ‘There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah alone, having no partners. To Him is the Dominion and to Him is the praise. And He is able to do all things.”- Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi

Umar ibn Al-Ward said, “ Ataa Al-Khurasani said to me,

‘If you have the ability to seclude yourself in the after ‘Asr period on the day of ‘Arafah then do so.’ “

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar would raise his voice at the after ‘Asr period on the day of ‘Arafah and say, “There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah alone, having no partners. To Him is the Dominion and to Him is the praise. And He is able to do all things. Oh Allah! Guide us by Guidance and beautify us by Taqwa and forgive us in first life and the hereafter.”

Then he would lower his voice and say, “ Oh Allah I ask You from Your Grace and Generosity provision that is pure and blessed. Oh Allah You have commanded supplication and have decreed upon Yourself to respond, and You do not break Your promise or betray Your covenant. Oh Allah what You love of goodness make beloved to us and facilitate for us. And what You dislike of something then make it disliked to us and divert away from us. And don’t take away Islam from us after you have granted it to us.”

‘Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak said, “I came to Sufyan Al-Thawri at the after ‘Asr period of Arafah, he was on his knees and teary eyed. I asked him, ‘who is the worst state on this day?’

He responded, ‘The one who does not think that they will be forgiven.’”

Ibn Taymiyyah said in his Majmu’ Al-Fatawa “It may be that the mercy that descends upon the pilgrims at the after ‘Asr period of ‘Arafah and upon those who attended the gathering, that its blessings spread out to encompass those who were not in attendance (due to legitimate reason) so that they would also have a portion of accepted supplication and a share along with those who are present (there).

Abu ‘Uwana said, “I saw Al-Hassan Al-Basri on the day of ‘Arafah after ‘Asr sit and supplicate and make remembrance of Allah.”

One of the righteous said, “By Allah I never made a supplication on the day of ‘Arafah except that it would become manifested before a year would be completed.”

So show Allah from yourself goodness today.

10 comprehensive supplications

1) Oh Allah! Grant us goodness in this world and in the hereafter goodness, and protect us from the hellfire.
2) Oh Allah forgive all of my sins; the small of them and the great, the first of them and the last of them, the hidden of them and the apparent of them.
3) Oh Allah I ask you for guidance, tawa, chastity and self sufficiency.
4) Oh Allah I seek refuge in you against the turmoils, attacks of misfortunes, and evil of judgement and joys of the enemies.”
5) O Allah! I seek refuge in You against the declining of Your Favours, passing of safety, the suddenness of Your punishment and all that which displeases You
6) O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is of no benefit, a heart that is not humble, a supplication that is not heard and a soul that is not satisfied
7) O Allah, make my religion easy for me by virtue of which my affairs are protected, set right for me my world where my life exists, make good for me my Hereafter which is my resort to which I have to return, and make my life prone to perform all types of good, and make death a comfort for me from every evil
8) O Allah! I seek refuge in You from helplessness (to do good), laziness, cowardice, senility, and miserliness; and I seek Your Protection against the torment of the grave and the trials of life and death].” Another narration adds: “wa dala’id-daini wa ghalabatir-rijal (And from the burden of indebtedness and the tyranny of men
9) O Allah! Forgive my errors, ignorance and immoderation in my affairs. You are better aware of my faults than myself. O Allah! Forgive my faults which I committed in seriousness or in fun deliberately or inadvertently. O Allah! Grant me pardon for those sins which I committed in the past and I may commit in future, which I committed in privacy or in public and all those sins of which You are better aware than me. You Alone can send whomever You will to Jannah, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire and You are able to do all things.
10) Oh Allah You are the King, O Allah, You are the Sovereign and there is none worthy of worship but You. I am Your slave, I have wronged myself and I acknowledge my sin. Forgive me all my sins for no one forgives sins but You. Guide me to the best of manners for none can guide to the best of them but You. Protect me from bad manners for none can protect against them but You. I am at Your service, all goodness is in Your hands, and evil is not attributed to You. I rely on You and turn to You, blessed and exalted are You, I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You

Recite these supplications and share with your loved ones.

Soft spot

“They cry out to [the believers, saying], ‘Weren’t we with you?!’ They (the believers) will say, ‘Yes, but you *subjected yourselves* to temptations / trials…’” {57:14}

يُنَادُونَهُمْ أَلَمْ نَكُنْ مَعَكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ فَتَنْتُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ

“Each of us has a point of vulnerability in our personality; a soft spot that when pressed lightly brings us to the brink of defeat and the abandonment of our principles. A person’s success depends on identifying that “soft-spot”, concealing it, and surrounding it with fences of great caution, so that you do not subject your fortress to being conquered from its weakest wall. Some people unravel in fear, others compromise in greed, others when their emotions are stirred, others when praised, others when guilted, and so forth.”

‎لكل منّا خاصرة ضعيفة في شخصيته؛ تجعله مع الضغط عليها أقرب للانهزام وهجر مبادئه، والخير كل الخير أن تسترها، وتحوطها بأسوار من الحذر؛ فمن الناس من يتراخى عند الخوف، ومنهم من يتنازل عند الطمع، وآخرون عند تحريك العواطف، وقوم عند التبجيل، وأناس عند الحرب النفسية . – كتبه بدر الثوعي

And as our Prophet (sAws) said, “…just like the shepherd who grazes around a preserve; very soon he will trespass into it.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Master Your Sleep

1. Master Your Sleep Routine:

Do you have a sleep routine? In this ProductiveMuslim.com article the ‘ideal’ ProductiveMuslim sleep routine is described that starts 90 minutes before you actually hit the bed. It goes like this:

9:30 P.M. – Wudhu & Witr
10:00 P.M. – Reading (Optional)
10:30 P.M. – Sleep Duas & Recitation of Quran
11:00 P.M. – Shut Eye!

The routine above helps you prepare for sleep both physically and spiritually and is from the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and from certain personal development science findings. Try the above routine and let me know how you feel.

2. Master Your Sleep Cycle:

If you want to be a true sleep master, you need to understand and master your sleep cycle. We’ve described the sleep pattern in brief and different stages that one goes through when he/she sleeps. As a starting point, most people go through their entire sleep cycles in one hour and a half periods. Do your best to sleep a multiple of this, e.g. If you sleep at 11 P.M. and need to wake up at 4:00 A.M. for Suhoor, you should technically sleep for 3×1.5 hours and wake up at 3.30 AM.

Now sometimes, you wake up a bit too early from the intended time. In the example above, you wake up at 3:30 A.M. when you really need to wake up at 4 A.M. Rather than ignoring your sleep pattern and trying to sleep right through to 4 A.M. and thus waking up in the middle of your sleep cycle – which can be difficult, my suggestion would be to wake up at 3:30 A.M., get out of bed, move around a bit, then go back to sleep for another 20 minute nap till 4 A.M. What you’re doing here is: completely disconnecting one sleep pattern from the other.

3. Master Power Naps:

Nothing beats a ‘20 minute nap’ for a true energy booster, and this works in Ramadan and outside Ramadan. If you’re ever tired and need some rest but don’t want to sleep too much, take a 20 minute nap (make sure you stick to 20 minutes!) and you’ll wake up totally refreshed. I’ll be honest, there’s only 1 way to master ‘20 minute naps’: practice, practice, practice! The more you practice, the better you’ll become at it. There are certain softwares and audio files that can help you practice this (e.g. www.pzizz.com) but once you master this technique, you wouldn’t need any software or audio files.

Regarding the best time to nap, there’s a couple of time slots that are known from the Sunnah:

1. Between Azan and Iqama of Fajr
2. Before/After Dhuhur

4. Master Your Body:

Mastering sleep is all about mastering the relationship between you and your body and what it needs. Make sure you’re not too strict upon your body that it shuts down or gets ill, thus refusing to work with you (happens at times!) or too relaxed with your body that sleep simply takes over your life. Treat your body as you treat a child: always listen to it, but never do what it always tells you to do but do what’s right for it.

Few other pointers regarding sleep, the following pointers would help improve your quality of sleep, which is very important during Ramadan and beyond:

When NOT to sleep!

The following times have been advised for us NOT to sleep in, either from the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) or scholars: between true dawn (when the time for Fajr salah sets in) and sunrise, between Maghrib and Isha, and after Asr prayer.

Sleep positions

It is recommended to sleep on the right side while facing the Qibla and keeping the right hand placed under the right cheek as per the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Sleeping on the left side or lying on the stomach is disliked and thus should be avoided.

Always sleep with wudhu

It is also important to maintain cleanliness when sleeping. We should: ”Sweep the beds at the time of sleeping, so that any harmful insects settled in it may be thrown away and you may remain safe from harm.” It is a good idea to sweep your pillow. Also:

– Brush your teeth
– Go to the bathroom
– Cleanse yourself from sweat and unpleasant odors before sleeping
– Make wudhu

Author “The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity”

A Means to an End

Everything we do in life is a means to an end.

For a Muslim, the ‘end’ is the pleasure of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) and reserving our place in the highest gardens of Jannah. This is the ultimate goal, and the ‘means’ is simply the way in which one goes about attaining this.

So with this, we can say that:

– the degrees that we study;
– the jobs that we work;
– the knowledge that we seek;
– the decisions that we make;
– the parents that we obey;
– the families that we love;
– and the Islamic daʿwah projects that we volunteer for, are all examples of this.

The problem, however, lies when one gives greater importance to the means, making them lose track of the end. They detach themselves from the end and instead attach themselves to the means.

And now as we are approaching the season of Ḥajj, there is an important lesson we can learn from the life of Prophet Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi al-Salām).

Upon describing his dream, he said to his son:

‎يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ

“O my son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you.”
(Al-Qur’ān 37:102)

Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi al-Salām) loved his son, but he loved Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) more. So when the commandment came to sacrifice his son, it was not his son that was to be slaughtered, it was his attachment to him that Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) was testing.

And did he pass the test?

‎قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“You have fulfilled the dream. This is how we reward those who do good.”
(Al-Qur’ān 37:105)

If that Islamic project or daʿwah organisation that you give your time to shuts down, your overall daʿwah or activism should not shut down with it. For that organisation was just a means, and there are other organisations to be part of to serve the dīn.

If you are made redundant in your job, that does not mean you stop providing for your family altogether. For that job was a means, and there are other ways to earn a halāl income.

If the local sheikh, whom you like and attend all of his lectures, moves cities or travels abroad, that does not mean you stop attending ḥalaqas and lectures altogether. For that sheikh was simply a means, and there are other classes taking place in your locality for you to benefit.

Be like Prophet Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi al-Salām); show your love to your Lord by detaching yourself from the means and re-attaching yourself to the end.

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.

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.”

Shaytan’s traps

The 6 Affairs Shaytān attempts to cast mankind into… Ibn ul-Qayyim رحمه الله

• Take Note: If Shaytān cannot cause you to fall into evil, he attempts to minimise your good at least…So beware & strive to your best in Knowledge, Understanding, & Practice of Islām!

Protect your tongue

Al-Imam Al-Shiraazi once said: Once, I stayed up the night with my father, while everyone around us remained asleep.
I said to him: Not a single person got up to even pray two rak’ahs?

He responded: It would have been better to sleep, my son, than to speak negatively of others.

Omar ibn Abd-Aziz once said: We lived in a time when we considered righteousness, not in fasting or prayer, but in withholding oneself from speaking poorly of others, for a person who spends his nights praying and days fasting will have his deeds go bankrupt on the Day of Resurrection if he doesn’t protect his tongue.

The 8 main signs of a weak/hard heart

The 8 main signs of a weak/hard heart by Ustadh Saad Tasleem:

1.You become lazy in your ibada, lazy in your worship (ex: delaying your prayer, skipping a sunnah).

2. Being lazy in goodness…in doing good deeds, and belittling your bad deeds.

3. Recitation of Qur’an doesn’t affect you, doesn’t make your heart tremble with the remembrance of Allah.

4. Things happening around you and the world don’t bother you (earthquakes, war, death), and you don’t notice the blessings Allah swt has given you (your sight, your health).

5. Pleasures of this life become your priority and you become consumed by the duniya.

6. You become not bothered by sinning taking place around you (ex: you are in a gathering where gossiping is taking place and you don’t mind it).

7. Your own sins turn into habits.

8. You’ve lost purpose in life. You live your life in a routine of going to school/work, coming home, eating dinner, going to sleep, and doing it all over again the next day, living aimlessly and uneasily.

Your Faith Wears Out

Think of your favorite shirt. It fades slightly each time you wash it, and will eventually wear out if you don’t take proper care of it. Faith is the same way – but unlike a piece of clothing, it’s the most valuable asset you have. Without faith, you have nothing. Use this du’aa to ask Allah to renew your faith.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the faith of one of you will diminish just as a shirt becomes worn out, so ask Allah to renew faith in your hearts.”

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

The great companion Abdullah ibn Mas`ud used to regularly pray, “O Allah, increase us in faith, certitude, and understanding (Allahumma zidna imana(n) wa yaqina(n) wa fiqha(n).” [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

اللهم زدنا إيمانا ويقينا وفقهاً

Companion for Life

Shortcuts are laid out through the pages of Qur’an just like shells align the seashores.

Lessons in gratitude and patience, skill and hard work, principles and the end of all matters.

Its passages teach you the plots of shaytan so you can recognize them before they engulf you.

Its verses teach you the ways out of every mistake or how to climb back out of tragedy.

Shortcuts are given to us but because we don’t open the pages enough, because we don’t make effort enough, we spend a lifetime finding out – often through trial and error.

~Fajr

Fruitful Habits

من شب على شيء شاب عليه

‘Whoever spends his youth on something, will spend his old age in it’

Habits are hard to break and they follow us for more years than we ever anticipate! But imagine establishing a good habit, like reading a portion of Qur’an every day or giving charity every Friday, or regularly visiting your grandmother, or passing the orphanages and hospitals once a month. These are fruitful habits that you never want to see stop and their reward lasts beyond a lifetime.

🌟🌸

💎Pearls of Wisdom: Gentleness

In today’s class of الرفق واللين , i understood the concept of gentleness is very vast and covers almost every aspect of life. We usually think the gentle is the one who speaks gently. Gentleness and عجل are inversely proportional. Gentleness and patience are interconnected. And gentleness and hikmah are interconnected.

A person is considered gentle when his or her affairs are properly planned with wisdom. (H)She has given proper time to grip the task and knows how to perform the task. There is hikmah in the processes of the task.

We claim to be gentle but what we actually do whenever there is some work or task, we jump into the task without planning step by step. For example our day to day routine, most of us just jump into the day and go with the flow whatever come at front we start doing it. We do not plan our days properly. How much time for home, how much for Dawah, some days are wasted because of our mood swings, laziness.

Amna Irfan

** Nails and planks of wood **

Prophet Nooh (PBUH) spent a long time constructing the ark. However, it had to be something out of the ordinary, as it would need to survive a flood the like of which humanity had never seen before, and was due for war with waves like mountains.

Nevertheless, Allah said, in description of the ark:

وَحَمَلْنَاهُ عَلَى ذَاتِ أَلْوَاحٍ وَدُسُرٍ

“And We carried him on a [ship of] planks and nails”
(Al-Qur’an, 54:13)

It wasn’t described as “a ship of engineering mastery” or “an ark of robust construction” but simply “planks and nails”

This is a subtle Qur’anic indication that Prophet Nooh’s ship was merely a means, and that had Allah not carried the ship through the relentless storms, it could never have made it. It was His preservation all along.

Thus Allah said in the Ayah after it:

تَجْرِي بِأَعْيُنِنَا

“Sailing under Our Eyes .. ”
(Al-Qur’an, 54:14)

This is a reality to recall when pursuing knowledge, giving Da’wah, applying for a job, searching for marriage, attempting to raise children upon Islam, or their likes;

Those of us whose heart becomes attached to the means will fail, whilst those whose hearts rely upon Allah – The Lord of all means – must succeed.

O Allah, do not leave us to ourselves for even the blink of an eye.

-Ustadh Ali Hammuda

Do not be a trial for wrongdoers

عَلَى اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحْمَتِكَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Upon Allāh we have relied! Our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people. And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people.”

Al-Qur’ān, 10: 85-86

What does this actually mean? How can we be a trial for wrongdoing people?

Imām al-Shawkani gives two ways of understanding this:

The first understanding: O Allāh, do not allow the wrongdoing people to persecute us in our Dīn thus exposing our faith to fitnah (trials).

With this understanding, it becomes clear just how key this Du’ā is particularly for Muslims as minorities where the upper hand may be against them.

The second understanding: One is essentially asking Allāh for protection from being overcome whilst, at the same time, asking for the protection of non-Muslims from seeing Islām in a negative light. Both understandings are captured by the wording of the Du’ā. In summary, it is saying:

“O Allāh, protect us from behaving in ways that will put people off Islām.”

The followers of Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) are afraid, many challenges lie ahead of them, a confrontation with the Pharaoh seems imminent, and they and their families are under genuine threat, yet in spite of these factors combined, they make Du’ā for others before making Du’ā for themselves, not wanting others to go astray because of them;

“…Our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people…”

Only after they made this Du’ā did they then say:

“And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people”

This truly does speak volumes about the mind-set of a believer.

Benefits to keep in mind:

1: Dīn will always come first

Notice the arrangement of the Du’ā of Mūsā’s followers. They first requested the protection of the Dīn; “Do not make us a fitnah for the wrongdoing people”, then came second in line the Du’ā for the protection of their worldly matters; “And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people.”

If your religious matters are in place, then every other matter comes second place and every other loss is bearable. This is why the Prophet (sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam) would say in his Du’ā:

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ مُصِيبَتَنَا فِي دِينِنَا

“…and do not make our calamity in our religion.”

At-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar

Beware of allowing society, culture, social media, friends, or their like, to ever change that arrangement.

2: Beg Allāh to keep you safe from fitnah

The followers of Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) sought refuge in Allāh from being a means of fitnah to others and from being the subjects of fitnah themselves. At a time when the pull to sins is more intense than ever before and accessibility is unrestricted, there can be no safety save for those who have been chosen by Allāh. This is the time, therefore, to memorise this Du’ā and implore Allāh with it from the bottom of our hearts.

The Prophet (sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam) said:

تعوَّذوا باللهِ من الفتنِ ، ما ظهر منها وما بطن

“Seek refuge in Allāh from fitnah, the outward and the inward.”

Muslim, on the authority of Zaid b. Thābit

The inward fitnah includes rejection of faith, envy, showing off, self-admiration, confusion, loss of interest in Islām, and their like. As for the outward fitnah, this includes the fitnah of the opposite gender, trials that come with children, fame, wealth, and so on.

We ask You, O Allāh, to safeguard us and our children from fitnah, the outward and the inward.

Full article on http://www.islam21c.com

✨🌟Easy Deeds, Massive Rewards!

✨Easy Deeds ➡Massive Rewards📈

🏆Reward of 50 Righteous Ones 💎

Rasul Alllah ﷺ said:

“Ahead of you there lie days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. 🔥

The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty men who do such deeds.

– And someone else added – They said: O Messenger of Allaah, the reward of fifty of them?

He said: “The reward of fifty of you.” 💎

📜 Abu Dawood (4341);
📜 Tirmidhi (3085) and he said: it is a hasan hadeeth.

🎖It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (494).

📌In some reports of the hadeeth it says: “They are the ones who will revive my Sunnah and teach it to the people.”

May Allahﷻ add us to this category, آمــــــــــين

5 within 5

One of the righteous in the past said, We sought 5 things and found them to be within 5 things:

We sought light in the grave and found it within the night prayer.

We sought the ability to answer the questions of Munkar and Nakir (Angels in the grave), and found it within recital of Qur’an.

We sought the safe crossing of the Sirat, and found it within charity.

We sought salvation from thirst on the Day of Judgement and found it within fasting.

We sought blessing in our provision, and found it within praying Fajr.

The graves are full of people who thought they would practice Islam when they get old. If you have the intention no matter how small your step is, start practicing Islam. Don’t delay it. Today and now is the moment.
Bismillah!
Take one step and inshaAllah Allah will lead you further.

“Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.”-ALLAH
[Hadith Qudsi]

*What* will you exhaust yourself in?

Allah created us with ambitious spirits; spirits bent on toiling, grinding, and scraping to experience satisfaction, tranquility, and peace. The only variable in this equation is *what* we will exhaust ourselves in to experience that, not whether or not we will exhaust ourselves. Most exhaust themselves for a shallow and short-lived immediate return. The wise exhaust themselves a little extra for a sweeter immediate return, and an unimaginable upgrade in Jannah that continues enhancing with every moment without end.

As one of the salaf, “The hearts were made to roam, some roam around the Throne, and some roam around the sewers.”
القلوب جوالة، منها ما يجول حول العرش ومنها ما يجول حول الحش

“The unexhausted spirit only exists when a spirit has rusted or died. The spirit at peace (nafsul muṭma’inna) is actually a spirit that exhausts itself with worthy burdens (the demands of worship), or endures others that are inescapable (calamities) during the trial of life.” -Sh Ahmad Salim

Quran Gem: Flee to Allah

When Allah speaks about our pursuit of worldly matters, He uses the term, فَامْشُوا / “Walk”
{Surah Al Mulk 67: Verse 15}

When speaking about our pursuit of Salaah, Allah uses the
term, فَاسْعَوْا / “Proceed”
{Surah Al Jumu’ah 62: Verse 9}

When speaking about our pursuit of Paradise, He uses the
term, سَابِقُوا / “Race!”
{Surah Al Hadid 57: Verse 21}

But, when speaking about our pursuit of Him, Allah uses the term, فَفِرُّوا / “Flee!”
{Surah Adh Dhariyat 51: Verse 50}

Not every ambition in life deserves the same amount of effort.

With the above said, consider your own life, your own aspirations and what you invest most time in.

Is the above an accurate reflection of us?

Or have we flipped this Qur’anic standard upside down, where we ‘walk’ towards Allah, but ‘flee’ towards everything other than Him?

Let your slogan in life be the words of Prophet Musa عليه السلام who said,
وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَى

” .. and I *rush* to You, my Lord, so that You be pleased.”
{Surah At Taha 20: Verse 84}

Ya Allah help us prioritize our affairs in a way that is pleasing to you – ameen ya rabbi.

Souls Assorted: “What’s YOUR spiritual personality?”

One of the most beneficial papers I’ve read has been the paper on spiritual personality, uniquely combining faith and psychology. Now we bring you a spiritual personality test. Both the paper and the quiz have been in the works for over 6 months. Take your quiz below, and don’t forget to read the paper thoroughly 🙂

“Say: Everyone will act according to their nature, and your Lord knows best who is rightly guided.” (Qur’an 17:84).

https://myspiritualpersonality.yaqeeninstitute.org

https://yaqeeninstitute.org/en/zohair/souls-assorted-an-islamic-theory-of-spiritual-personality/

Sh. Omar Suleiman

Winning Hearts

“I don’t sugarcoat nothin’ for nobody!”
“I speak my mind; ain’t no hypocrite!”

Some people say this in proud boast, while in reality this isn’t always a praiseworthy quality. Noble people have forever been known for their courtesy, sensitivity, feigning naivety, and pretending in order to win people’s hearts.

Abu ad-Darda’ (رضي الله عنه) said, “At times, we smile in peoples’ faces though our hearts despise them.” [Sahih al-Bukhari; Chapter on Kindly Indulging People]

A man said to Ahnaf Ibn Qays, “I don’t care what people say.” He said, “You relieved yourself of what exhausted the people of nobility.”

Some people confuse between speaking the truth and disrespecting others. They fail to differentiate between being straightforward and the fact that not everything that’s true should be said.

Yes, when sugar-coating becomes excessive, a person finds himself in the mud of hypocrisy. But at the same time, when a person is overly blunt, that lands him in the swamp of insolence.

Our salaf (early Muslims) would tell their students to select their words as they select their fruits, and remind them that your words are your prisoners until you release them and become their prisoners!

O Allah, help us internalize the manners of Your Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

{translated from various sources}

Zakah

The Zakah due on your knowledge is skillfully spreading it. The Zakah due on your righteousness is genuinely helping others become more righteous. The Zakah due on your steadfastness is anchoring others in faith during their turbulent moments.

Sometimes it’s a single word that – without you even realizing it – shelters people from being engulfed by doubt, and anchors them in the face of raging temptations. Other times, that single word will not benefit them, but – without you even realizing it – will be deemed by Allah the reason He keeps you on His path.

It’s just like the Zakah on wealth; only when you pay your dues on what you enjoy, you remain eligible to keep enjoying it.

Inspired by Dr Khalid AbuShadi

Top 10⭐

✨ My Top 10 blog posts ✨

🍃1. Sweetness of Iman:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/sweetness-of-iman/

📖2. Surah Al Kahf 💎:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/surah-al-kahf-%f0%9f%92%8e/

⏳3. Turning Habits into Worship:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/turning-habits-into-worship-2/

😇4. The Barakah Effect:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/the-barakah-mindset-2/

😕5. Mastering the Art of Patience:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/mastering-the-art-of-patience/

💕6. Devotion with Certainty:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/devotion-with-certainty/

✔7. 10 things to *be* in the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/10-things-to-be-in-the-10-days-of-dhul-hijjah/

✨8. Blessings of Tahajjud Prayer:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2017/07/01/blessings-of-tahajjud-prayer/

👑9. Ramadan Reflections #19:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/ramadan-reflections-19/

🌹10. The Real Challenge:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/the-real-challenge/

Bonus 💜♥!

Keeping it real in Prayer:

https://liveforallah.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/keeping-it-real-in-the-prayer/

Sweetness of Iman

Imam AlShafi’ee said, “Journey to Allah limping and broken and don’t wait for wellness, because waiting for wellness is inability.”

What is the meaning of journey to Allah broken?

It means, for example, that you get up to pray but your prayer is still without focus, you recite the quran but it is a broken recitation far from perfection…

Don’t worry, continue and seek out who will teach you to recite.

You begin to live your life in a way that is pleasing to Allah but at times your soul and desires overpower you…

Continue journeying to Allah and don’t delay. Don’t wait for the right moment to turn towards Allah. The moment your heart is inclined to Allah then go to Him Immediately.

Ibn AlQayyim said, “A person will continue to struggle with obedience until it becomes beloved to them. And so Allah will send angels that will inspire them and push them.

They will awaken him from his sleep for it, and from his gatherings for it. Allah said, “And those who strive in our path, we will certainly guide them to our path.”

Strive. Try. Endure. Persevere. And ask Allah.

However much a person comes closer to Allah they are gifted to experience a sweetness that they taste in their wakefulness, in their sleep and in their food. Until they experience what Allah has promised, “We will give them a beautiful life.”

Oh Allah grant us the sweetness of iman.

– Shaykh Waleed Basyouni

Sūrah Al-Kahf 💎

Whoever reflects upon Surat Al-Kahf will know that its meanings carry what would be incredibly beneficial for them in protecting them from the trials of this world and security from the dajjal. That is why its recitation was legislated every Friday out of Allah’s wisdom and mercy.

Surat Al-Kahf encompasses four stories, four different types of trials (fitan) and four causes of salvation:

1) The companions of the cave: The fitnah of religion.

Their story was of believing youth who were living amongst disbelievers and committed to migrate and flee with their religion after a clash between them and their people. Allah sufficed them with the mercy of the cave. When they awoke they found their entire community had become believers.

Their salvation: Righteous companionship.

2) The owner of the two gardens: The fitnah of wealth and children

The story of a man whom Allah blessed but forgot that blessing and belittled it. He was arrogant and didnt thank Allah for the blessings though his companion reminded him. When his wealth was destroyed he was remorseful when remorse didn’t count!

Salvation from that trial: Knowing the reality of the dunya

3) Musa and Khidr: The fitnah of knowledge.

The story of Musa when he was asked about who the most knowledgable person on earth was and he responded saying “me,” without referring that knowledge back to Allah, and so Allah revealed to him that indeed there was. Musa then traveled to learn from that person that the Divine Wisdom could be incomprehensible at times, but the One designing it is All-Wise. Like the harming of the ship for example.

Salvation from that trial: Humility

4) The story of Dhul Qarnain: The fitnah of power

The story of a great ruler who was given both knowledge and power and traveled the earth relieving hardship and spreading goodness. He solved the problem of Yajuj and Majuj by sealing them in the earth and in doing so was able to mobilize the resources of a people who could hardly understand his speech!

Salvation from that trial: Sincerity

Ibn Taymiyah Gems

Ibn al-Qayyim (rA) writes: Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah be pleased with him) once said to me, as I presented him with one antagonist’s argument after another:

“Do not allow your heart to become like a sponge towards the arguments and doubts [posed by others], soaking them up and then becoming unable to champion anything but them. Instead, let it be like solid glass, whereby the doubts pass by it without ever settling in it. It sees [the doubt] by virtue of its pure transparency yet also rejects it by virtue of its toughness. Otherwise, if your heart soaks up every doubt presented before it, it will became a nesting ground for all doubts.”

His words were something to this effect, and I do not know that I’ve benefited from any advice with regards to repelling doubts as much as I have befitted from this one. [Miftar Dar as-Sa’adah: 1/443]

قال لي شيخ الإسلام – رضي الله عنه – وقد جعلت أورد عليه إيراد بعد إيراد: لا تجعل قلبك للإيرادات والشبهات مثل السفنجة، فيتشربها؛ فلا ينضح إلا بها ولكن اجعله كالزجاجة المصمتة، تمر الشبهات بظاهرها ولا تستقر فيها؛ فيراها بصفائه ويدفعها بصلابته، وإلا فإذا أَشربت قلبك كل شبهة تمر عليها صار مقراً للشبهات، أو كما قال، وما أعلم أني انتفعت بوصية في دفع الشبهات كانتفاعي بذلك) ((مفتاح دار السعادة)) (1/ 443).

Al-Kawthar

We have Given you Al-Kawthar (Surat AlKawthar v. 1)

“Al-Kawthar is a pool that his nation will drink from,
On the day of Judgment,
And the one who drinks from it will never be thirsty again,
And so everytime they sip on something in paradise,
It will never be to quench their thirst,
But always for the pleasure of the drink,
Some said that Al-Kawthar is Islam,
Or Al-Kawthar is prophethood, or Al-Kawthar’s the Quran,
Or al-kawthar’s the greatness of his nation,
Their numbers and population,
And some said that all of this can be understood,
By saying that Al-Kawthar is simply great good,
And in every way that’s what the prophet was given;
The raising of his remembrance, or his sins that were forgiven,
the blessed Night of Power, or mankind being his mission,
the entire earth a place of prayer, concise expressive diction”

~Sh. Ammar AlShukry

Ramadan-a metaphor of life

I’ve learned something amazing. Ramadan is such a powerful and comprehensive metaphor of life. As with life, in Ramadan we must struggle hard. We must let go of things we love (food, drink, intimacy) in order to attain things we love more (mercy and pleasure of God). Our greatest day of joy is at the End–at the Final breaking of the fast. In Ramadan, that day is Eid. In life, that day is in the hereafter. And although this greatest day of joy is at the end, Allah allows us small joys along the way. In Ramadan, He gives us daily celebrations at iftar, before the Final celebration at Eid. In life, He gives us glimpses of pleasure, before the Real joy in the hereafter. In this life, He gives us the peace of prayer, the coolness of the eyes of family. A loyal friend. The beauty of a sunset, or full moon. Majestic trees. These are the small iftars, before the True Feast.
And this is why we know that for the one who fasts (from both food and what displeases Allah), there are two joys. One joy is at the time of breaking the minor fast (from food) at iftar. And the other joy is at the breaking of the major fast (from haram) at the meeting with Allah.
But, of all the life lessons of Ramadan, there is one we forget most. When we mess up the beginning, when we feel suffocated by the weight of wasted opportunities and unfulfilled plans, we still have a chance. A chance to come back. A chance to rise up from our spiritual crawl, and walk–maybe even run–to the finish line.
No matter what we’ve done, He still gives a chance to leave strong, by giving us the mercy of the night of power and the last 10 nights.
And in life, the same.
No matter how much suffering you see around you, there is also joy. No matter how dark it is for you right now, this isn’t the end; you can still leave strong. You can still rise up.
May Allah make us among those who, despite our beginnings, leave only with strong endings.

Husn ul khaatima, ya Allah.

Devotion with Certainty

Once, all the people in a certain village decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer, all the people gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella – that’s faith.

 I love the above anecdote as it illustrates an immense level of confidence, certainty and trust in Allah. The fact the boy walked out to the prayer gathering with an umbrella clearly shows that he had the utmost certainty and trust that after making du’a, Allah will send rain to the village! He went prepared for the rain with an umbrella!

Just like the boy had his umbrella ready to receive what was being prayed for, we should also be prepared to receive the gifts and blessings we are asking for from Allah after making du’a. Be confident and have that complete certainty that Allah will answer our du’a. Allah most High Himself states, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” [Bukhari]; therefore if we believe Allah will answer our du’a, He will!

The great Gnostic, Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari wrote in his Hikam:

“When Allah inspires your tongue to ask, know that He wants to give” 

Allah is the One who places a need in our hearts and wants us to seek that need out by asking Him. He loves it when we ask Him; our asking is His giving. Petition with Allah; place your need in front of Him and have complete certainty and trust that He will answer.

Sayyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab -radiaAllahu anh- said, “I do not worry about an answer to my supplication, rather I worry about making supplication! I know that if I am inspired [by Allah] to supplicate, then the answer will come with it.”

Keep the faith and keep making du’a fervently!  

Be different to see a difference!

Most Muslim parents will naturally, upon hearing of some kid’s misguidance or misfortune, say from the bottom of their heart, “Ya Allah, don’t let that be my kid one day.”


However, if you’re not willing to be a little different in your parenting, be certain your children will most likely not be any different in their outcome.


Yes, believe from the core of your heart in destiny, but also commit with all your might to the Sharia. Otherwise, you’ve basically bought into into the modern secular notion of God being some cosmic superbuddy that will magically intervene in your favor no matter how many times you kick His instructions aside; you will be disappointed.


Don’t do that to your children. Don’t sell yourself a lie. Be different to see a difference. It will not be free. It will be received with some criticism. It will sometimes cause awkwardness. But you know what? “Glad tidings to the strangers.”

-Sh. Muhammad elshinawy 

WINTER, THE BELIEVER’S SEASON 

⛈WINTER, THE BELIEVER’S SEASON ⛈

“It is said that winter is a time when people suffer fromSeasonal Affective Disorder, also known as ‘the Winter Blues’ or winter depression. 
However, it is interesting to see how the early Muslims welcomed winter, as it is clear that they saw it in a totally different light.
[One of the ways] they would benefit from winter is through [Qiyamul-Layl and Siyam]
It was reported by al-Haythami in ‘Majma’ az-Zawa’id’ (3/203) with a hasan chain that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
🍃 “Winter is the best season for the believer. Its nights are long for him to pray in, and its days are short for him to fast in.”
And Ahmad reported in ‘az-Zuhd’ (p. 118) with an authentic chain that ‘Umar bin al-Khattab said: 
🍃“Winter is the prize (Ghaneema) of the worshippers.”
Ibn Rajab al-Hambali said in ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’ (p. 276):
“🍃Winter is the best season for the believer because…Allah strengthens his practice in it by making worship easy for him. 
This is because in winter, the believer can fast during the day with ease without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he therefore doesn’t feel the hardship of fasting…
PRAYING AT NIGHT

As for praying at night in the winter due to its long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then get up to pray afterwards and recite all that he usually recites of the Qur’an while he has had enough sleep. 
So, he can combine between the sleep that he needs and the usual amount of recitation of the Qur’an that he completes in a day. So, he fulfills the interests of both his religion and the comfort of his body…
And it was narrated that Ibn Mas’ud said: 
🍃“Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.” 

It is also narrated from him and al-Hasan: 
🍃“Winter is a wonderful time for the believer. Its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.” 
When it was winter time, ‘Ubayd bin ‘Umayr would say: 
🍃“O people of the Qur’an! Your nights are now long for you to recite in. So, recite! Your days are now short for you to fast in. So, fast! Night prayer in the winter equals fasting during the day in the summer.” 
This is why Mu’adh wept on his deathbed and said: 
🍃“I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.””
It was reported by Ahmad (4/335) with a chain authenticated by al-Albani in ‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’ (1922) that the Prophet said: 

🍃“Fasting in the winter is the easy prize.”
Ibn Rajab commented on this in ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’ (p. 276):
“🍃And the meaning of it being an easy prize is that it is a prize obtained without any battle or effort or hardship. So, the owner of this prize has been given it as a favor without any effort on his part.”
🍃✨🍃

Actions & Intentions 

Allah SWT will reward a person for what they intend and what they act upon. In the following hadith, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“[People] in this world are of four types:

1) A person to whom Allah grants wealth and knowledge, so he fears his Lord with regard to it, upholds his ties of kinship with it, and acknowledges the rights of Allah concerning it – he is of the highest status.

2) A person to whom Allah grants knowledge but He does not grant him wealth, so he is sincere in his intention and says: If I had wealth, I would do the same as So and so does. He will be rewarded according to his intention and their reward will be the same.

3) A person to whom Allah grants wealth, but He does not grant him knowledge, so he squanders his wealth without knowledge; he does not fear his Lord concerning it, he does not uphold his ties of kinship with it and he does not acknowledge the rights of Allah concerning it – he is of the worst status.

4) A person to whom Allah does not grant either wealth or knowledge, so he says: If I had wealth, I would do the same as So and so does. He will be requited according to his intention and their burden of sin will be the same.”

[Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah – Classed as saheeh by Sheikh Albaani]

“Their reward will be the same” refers to the reward which is the basic reward for actions, but not with regard to the multiplication of that reward. Multiplication of reward is only for the one who actually does the deed.

Allah SWT says in the Quran: “Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward” [an-Nisa’ 4:95]

Ibn ‘Abbaas and others said: Those who sit (at home), above whom those who strive hard are preferred in grades are those who have excuses, and those who sit (at home), above whom those who strive hard are preferred by a huge reward, are those who do not have excuses.

Furthermore, Allah SWT will reward you for what you intend as mentioned in Surah Baqrah:

“but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned”

[al-Baqarah 2:225]

In another hadith, the Prophet SAW said:

“Verily Allah has written down the good deeds and the evil deeds”, and then explained it [by saying]: “Whosoever intended to perform a good deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended to perform it and did perform it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds up to seven hundred fold, up to many times multiplied. And if he intended to perform an evil deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended it [i.e., the evil deed] and then performed it, then Allah writes it down as one evil deed.”

[Reported by Bukhari & Muslim]

Therefore, always be sincere in your intentions when you wish to do a deed, so that you may receive the reward for it, even if you don’t get the chance to actually take action on it.

May Allah SWT make us from those who are sincere in faith ameen.

​Who is a Scholar?

Who is a scholar?
We often translate the word Alim as a religious scholar or simply a scholar. But there is more to it than just the process of retaining or even analyzing information that say an academic scholar would be good at. 
We even demoted the requirement of a religious scholar in the last decade or two. If someone is able to tell a story (granted from Quran or authentic Sunnah), we call him/her a scholar. In the old days, they called those people Qussas (you guessed right, storytellers). Mind you, those people weren’t taken seriously at all. In fact, in many cases they were avoided altogether esp. by the Muhadithoon (scholars of Hadith)
Or we may think a scholar is someone who’s able to pull anecdotes from the Quran. Oh look if you add the letters here, look what you get. If you read this verse backwards, look what you get. I’m not denying the numerical miracles of the Quran, but I wouldn’t call something a computer can do better than me knowledge. 
In fact, if you were to ask me for a good definition of Islamic knowledge I would say, anything that Google cannot find. Yes you read it right, CANNOT!  This could take an article, but let me try to explain briefly. 
Sacred knowledge trickles in very slowly. This is why our predecessors used to say, “if you seek knowledge at once, you will lose it at once. Knowledge comes through countless days and nights”.  This is because it takes time to think through something. It takes time for a critical concept to sink in. Imagine if you have been thinking about the same verse for 30 or 40 years?  Many so called scholars haven’t even lived that long!!
Sacred knowledge is something you internalize.  It becomes part of you. This is why when you read the description of a “true” scholar of the past, your see something like “اختلط العلم بلحمه ودمه”. Knowledge became his flesh and blood. This is a far cry from knowledge on the tongue, which the Prophet AS even warned from ” منافق عليم اللسان”. 
In fact, have you noticed how some Companions faith and knowledge (because they’re not that much separate) were described?  They would say “بشيئ وقر في قلبه” or “Something settled in their hearts”.  Yes, knowledge eventually settles in the heart and turns into wisdom. It gives you peace and coolness of the heart. But we don’t even have the patience to wait. Like everything else, we want knowledge as immediate gratification.
Knowledge and fame don’t have to go hand in hand. Some scholars became famous only after their death. Take for example ibn Taymiyah. His books were banned during his lifetime. His students had to write his articles in other books in order to hide them. Imam Sarkhasi wrote an entire book while he was jailed down a dried well.  Many stories like that BTW. 
I hope from this post (or short article) you have gathered some idea about what true scholarship in Islam is. To sum it up, I can’t think of anything better than what Imam Ahmad said, “رأس العلم خشية الله”.   Something to the effect, “the peak of knowledge is fear of Allah”.  So when you see someone who’s called a scholar but doesn’t fear Allah, I hope you now have a better answer than just getting all confused.

-Sh. Anas Hlayhel

Salah n Sabr

Read carefully… Allah revealed: “Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle Salah and stand before Allah in obedience.” (alBaqarah 2:238)

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ

The verses before deal with divorce. The verses after it deal with divorce. Why was this verse placed in the middle? The Ulama’ have suggested, Wa Allaahu a’lam, that in the hard times that a person goes through, they should not forget the remembrance of Allah – the Salah. And it is that Salah coupled with Sabr that will pull them through. (Al Baqarah 2/153)

-Sh. Muhammad Alshareef

Happiness is Found Here

In no era in history has the means of comfort and welfare ever been so within reach like they are today. Never has the knowledge of the world’s complex mysteries and the ability of subduing nature’s unfriendly elements ever been attained like it has today. Online shopping, laser eye surgery, electricity, central heating, the list continues. Despite these remarkable achievements, and in spite of possessing all the means for a better life, the goal of a pleasant life and happiness has never drifted further away like it has today.

The 21st century has taught us how to fly in the air like birds and how to swim in the oceans like fish, but many of us still do not know how to walk as happy and content individuals. And yet, when such an individual sits down to work out where the problem lies, he cannot pinpoint the problem.

Let us take a look at the life of a Muslim whose way of life has equipped him with a completely unique perspective which keeps him smiling at all times.

When cash is a little low, the believer is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān,

“And there is not a moving creature on earth except that it is upon Allāh to provide for it.”[1]

When somebody tries to degrade him, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “and dignity is for Allāh, His messenger and to the believers.”[2]

When he finds himself alone and without companionship, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Do not be sad, Allāh is with us”,[3] and he reads, “Your Lord has not forsaken you nor does He hate you.”[4]

When he feels under threat and vulnerable, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Is Allāh not sufficient for His servants?”[5]

When he feels no one understands him and no one is willing to listen to his problems, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allāh”.[6]

When any difficulty arrives at the doorstep of a believer, he is able to remain happy as he reads in the Qur’ān, “with difficulty is ease.”[7]

This is the peace of mind which Islām gives its people, just as the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“How strange is the affair of the believer, as all of his affairs are good! If he is struck with goodness, he shows gratitude and this is good for him, and if he is struck with difficulty, he shows patience and this is good for him” [8]

Thus, if someone asks you to summarise the happy life of a Muslim, respond by saying: “Gratitude during times of ease, patience during times of hardship, and the gardens of paradise in the end.” This is the beautiful life of a Muslim we wish to share with the entire world.

The life of a practicing believer is one of unexplainable bliss because he is pleased with every one of Allāh’s decrees. Happiness cannot be attained in the least without firm belief in Qadar/predestination, it is a cornerstone to happiness. The Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) also taught us what to say in various situations.

When the Muslim wakes up in the morning, he has been taught to say:

All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho gave us life after our dying and to Him will be the resurrection.”[9]

When the Muslim goes to bed at night, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho has given us food and drink, and given us enough and refuge, for how many people have neither.”[10]

When a Muslim puts on new clothes, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, You clothed me with this.”[11]

When the Muslims exits the bathroom, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho removed harm from me and gave me wellbeing.”[12]

When the Muslim sees a person with a disability, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh who has spared me from what He has trialled you with and has favoured me over you and over many whom He has created a great favouring.”[13]

When the Muslim achieves a matter he wished to accomplish, what has he been taught to say?

“All praise and thanks are due to Allah, whom, by His favour, all good things are achieved.” [14]

And when a Muslim fails to achieve a matter that he wanted to accomplish, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh in all circumstances.”[15]


And so the Muslim finds himself shifting from one form of gratitude to another, from one form of contentment to another, regardless of the outcome or situation at hand.


In the absence of this mentality pains become unbearable, calamities become intolerable and life becomes like the one who consumes salty water; theirs is a thirst that can never be satisfied. Such a person finds himself desperately alternating from one avenue of sin to another, from one bed to another, from one drink to another, from one relationship to another, from one online video of obscenity to another, in desperate search for peace and lasting happiness, but his distance from Allāh only causes his heart to further tighten and his life to further darken. He craves to fill the gaps within his heart, but this is not how they are to be filled.

Imām Ibnul Qayyim said,

“In the heart of every human being, there is a sense of scattering which can only be gathered by turning to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of loneliness which can only be filled by being close to Allāh, and in the heart there is a fear and anxiety, which can only be removed by escaping to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of regret, which can only be removed by being content with Allāh.”

By looking at these examples, we discover something profound. We realise that true peace of mind and the fullest meaning of happiness is in one’s closeness to Allāh and distance from His prohibitions. It is that simple, as Allāh said,

“Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.”[16]

And Allāh said,

“… then whoever follows My Guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, then for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”[17]

We can read all the mainstream theories, take every medicine on the shelf and try knocking on every door in search for this gem called happiness, but it will not be found anywhere except where the Creator of happiness has taught us to find it. That is because,

“It is He who grants laughter and tears.”[18]

We are happy; happy that we know Allāh, happy with Him as our Lord. We are happy that the Qur’ān is our guidance in life and that we have not been left at the mercy of the ideas of man. We are happy that we will be the first to be held accountable on day of Judgement and the first of all nations to enter Paradise.

 Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’an, Surah 11, Ayah 6

[2] Al-Qur’an, Surah 63, Ayah 8

[3] Al-Qur’an, Surah 7, Ayah 40

[4] Al-Qur’an, Surah 93, Ayah 3

[5] Al-Qur’an, Surah 39, Ayah 36

[6] Al-Qur’an, Surah 12, Ayah 86

[7] Al-Qur’an, Surah 94, Ayah 5

[8] Muslim, on the authority of Suhaib

[9] Bukhari, on the authority of Hudhaifa

[10] Muslim, on the authority of Anas

[11] AtTirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Sa’eed

[12] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Abu Dharr (Mawqoof)

[13] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Ibnu ‘Umar (Mawqoof)

[14] Al-Adkhaar of Imam AnNawawi, on the authority of ‘Aisha

[15] Ibid

[16] Al-Qur’an, Surah 16, Ayah 97

[17] Al-Qur’an, Surah 20, Aayaat 123-124

[18] Al-Qur’an, Surah 52, Ayah 43

10 things to *be* in the 10 days of dhul Hijjah

10 things to *be* in the 10 days of dhul Hujjah;

Today marks the beginning of one of the *best* days in the year! Alhamdulilah we lived to witness the 10 days of dhul Hujjah! 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, nor greater in reward, than a *good deed* done during the ten days of Sacrifice.” 

*Planning* increased acts of worship and good deeds like we do in Ramadan is essential to reap the multiplied rewards and blessings;

1. Be a Mukhlis taa’eb (*Sincere repentant*) someone who decides that today also marks the beginning of a new leaf in my book of deeds! 

2. Gain taqwa through *fasting*! If one can’t fast the 9 days; fasting the day of arafah shouldn’t be missed! (expiates the sins in previous year and upcoming one!)

3. Be charitable and love it more than you love money spent on anything else! know that you give yourself when you give to *charity*…it all comes back to you invested and in the best of ways! try giving daily in these 10 days (whatever you  can give!)

4. Enlighten your heart and soul with the words of Allah: Recite the *Qur’an* with reflection and a present heart… even if a few pages…

5. Humble yourself before your creator and make *dua* knowing with certainty that all you ask for will be answered! Write a list of dua (idea> 10 for the 10 days!) and recite these dua everyday as much as you can > in your sujood, driving, after salah, etc 

6. Be visible in the Sight of Allah when most are sleeping in *Tahajud / Qiyam*… Alone, with family or a group of friends – just like in Ramadan!

7. Be from the best of Ibaad of Allah; the ones who constantly *remember Him* (swt)… busy your tongue with thikr (and avoid backbiting at all costs!)

8. Be an active believer > *Help* those who need help in your community (visit a sick person, babysit a new mums baby or kids while she rests, cook dinner for a family grieving a death, comfort a person struggling with anxiety or depression, etc)

9. Purify your heart by forgiving those who you imprisoned inside it! Let them go… This is the best time for *forgiveness* and letting go (of how others should’ve been when they weren’t > leave everyone to their own journey…we are all flawed… forgive and be free)

 10. *Breathe and reflect* consciously everyday in those ten days daily and see how much this will reflect on your mood, dealings with others, khushu in salah, etc

May Allah accept hajj from those who are in Hajj now, forgive the ones who aren’t performing hajj, and facilitate and grant a hajj next year to whoever hasn’t been yet!

Optimism: I am as my Servant thinks of Me

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah, the Most High, said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ ” [Hadith Qudsi]

Positive thinking is a great quality of any human being. In order to be stress-free and more effective, we will have to start thinking positively. Positive thinking does not mean that we should ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that our attitude towards unpleasant situations will be more positive and we will deal with them in a more productive way. We should think the best is going to happen, not the worst. There is a negative attitude that has spread across the Muslim world. If we have trouble finding a job, we will blame society around us for being racist. If someone is going through hard times, we will assume Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is punishing them because they are bad Muslims. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an at many places that we should always expect the best of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will have mercy on us and will relieve us of hardship. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us if we seek forgiveness, will accept our repentance if we repent, will answer us if we supplicate, and will suffice us if we ask for something. We should call upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) while we are certain that we will be answered by Him. The mindset for us, and for our children, must be to fulfill our obligations while we are certain that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept our actions and forgive our sins and make our matters easier for us. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and is from the greatest of the major sins. Sometimes we assume the worst. We start to think that we are deprived of our rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and our soul bears witness to this while our tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. So, let us ask ourselves, are we protected from this type of mindset? This type of attitude is very destructive and we should try our best to keep our children from negativity and always think positive in all situations.

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “By the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, the believer is not given anything good better than his good expectations of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), and by the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, no servant of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) expects good of Him except that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives him what he expected, since all good is in His Hand.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best From Allāh, P.No:6]

Click to read more: http://productivemuslim.com

Our love of beauty a Sign..

Have you ever seen a dog stunned by the sunset,Or a bear marvelling mountains capped by snow?Or a camel enamored by a starry desert night, Or a bird breathless by the scenes it sees below?And if you’ve never seen a cat gaze fondly, in the eyes of another with resolution impressed,

then maybe something extra has been placed, in our souls, that is not be by evolution addressed,

For if we are animals just like all others, then why are our souls so easily captured,

By beautiful places and beautiful things, by beautiful moments enraptured,

May be The Beautiful made us and left, our love of beauty a sign,

that we believe in Him and recognize, that beauty points to the Divine.

~Ammar

Upbringing of Sons 

Guiding Principles for the Upbringing of Sons 
Upbringing of sons is a difficult and tiresome task . Many a parent suffer grief due to the transgression of their offsprings and are in agony because of it . 
In respect of this issue Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawzi [may Allah be pleased with him] comments : 
” Sometimes the grief faced by man due to his children is the expiation of some of his sins and nothing else ! Hence there is glad tiding for the one who tried to bring up his children on the ways preferred by Allah The Glorious and Exalted. And good news is for the one who endured the ordeal  of bringing up his children and it becomes expiation for his sins. So, if you experience fatigue in rearing of your offsprings seek from your Lord forgiveness of your sins ” .
Maqatil bin Suleiman [may Allah have mercy upon him] visited Abbasid Caliph Mansur the day of his pledge of allegiance. Mansur said to him:
“O Maqatil! Admonish me about something.”
To which Maqatil said: “Do I advice you from what I saw or from what I heard?”
Mansur said : “From what you saw.”
Maqatil said : “Listen, O Amir ul Momineen!”
“Omar bin Abdul Aziz had eleven sons and he died leaving only eighteen dinars out of which five dinars were

 used to shroud him, four spent to buy his grave and rest were distributed amongst his sons.
And Hisham bin Abdul Malik too had eleven sons. He left for each son inheritance worth ten lac dinars.
By Allah! O Amir ul Momineen! In just one day I saw one son of Omar bin Abdul Aziz giving away sadaqah in the way of Allah one hundred horses and I saw the son of Hisham begging in the bazar (markets)!!!”
When Omar bin Abdul Aziz was on his death bed people asked him,”what are you leaving behind for your sons?”
To which he replied :
” I have left behind for them Taqwa [piety/fear] of Allah The Glorious The Exalted, so if they are righteous, Allah The Glorious and Exalted is Friend / Guardian of the righteous and if they are otherwise, I shall not leave wealth for them which is helpful for them in the ways of disobedience of Allah.”
Point to Ponder:
People usually work extremely hard to secure their children’s future; striving at great lengths; assuming, after their demise their offspring will only be well and at peace because of the wealth. Whereas they remain ignorant of the larger security which is in the Taqwa [fear / piety] of Allah.  They don’t gift their children the piety which Allah The Glorious, The Exalted has mentioned in His book by saying: [And let those fear as if they had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice]. [Al Nisa:9] 
When a man would see decline in the character of his son he would do sadaqah / charity, would feed people reciting this verse: [take from their wealth sadaqah to cleanse them and to purify them with it].

And would pray,”O Allah! this charity from me is so that my son develops purity in character because this distortion of his is more cumbersome/ painful for me than his physical disease would be.”
Similarly it is said about another person whenever he couldn’t do sadaqah due to his poverty and his son would annoy him, he would stand in nightly salah, recite Surah AlBaqarah and invoke saying:

“O Allah ! This is sadaqah from me. Accept it from me, and because of it, make him righteous.”
Turn towards Allah by worshipping him with the intention for the righteousness of one’s offspring . Even if they overcome your efforts still they are not able to overcome your intentions.
Our Lord! grant us from among our wives/ spouses and offspring, comfort to our eyes, and make us a leader/ example for the righteous.

Ameen .

-Ustadha Dr Farhat Hashmi 

Blessings of Tahajjud prayer

Blessings of Tahajjud prayer | Al-Isra v.79 | Dr. Sh. Yasir Qadhi

Surah Al-Isra, Verse 79:

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا


And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.

(English – Shakir)


via iQuran

Ramadan Reflections #23

Day 29 / Juz 29 & 30 (Ramadan ’17):-
“My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my home as a believer…” [71: 28]
The Qur’an details many of the du’as made by the Prophets and this particular du’a by Nuh (AS) is one that leaves a warm feeling in my heart. Nuh goes out of his way to seek forgiveness (a major theme in this surah) not just for his parents but also every single person who walked into his house as a believer. Such a beautiful du’a. He is essentially making his home a sanctuary where people are prayed for and they receive the gift of his prophetic supplication.
Our homes are places of safety, mercy, and well-wishes. It’s a place where we welcome others and offer our peace to them. We host them and we feed them. But Nuh went a step further and made his home a place where the forgiveness of Allah touched everyone who walked in. Paradise is called the ‘Home of Peace’ (Dar al-Salam) and so Nuh is teaching us to create homes of peace, a little oasis of Paradise right here on earth by seeking the forgiveness of Allah for ourselves, our families, and everyone who steps into our home.
As Ramadan draws to an end, I ask Allah to forgive me, my parents and family, and everyone who reads this or has read these posts and benefited. May we witness many more Ramadans, ameen 🙂

Ramadan Reflections #22

Day 28 / Juz 28 (Ramadan ’17):-
“When the prayer is finished, disperse through the land and seek the bounty of God…” [62: 10]
There is a time for this and a time for that. A time to worship and a time to do business. A time to celebrate joyously and a time to remember solemnly. A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to converse with society and a time to converse with your soul. It’s all about balance and being careful not to hit extremities or dwell for too long in the corners of life.
Even when it comes to prayer, Allah `azza wa jall is instructing us to go out and disperse through town once we are finished praying. We have to tend to the other aspects of our lives and we’re not allowed to seclude ourselves forever in worship; that’s something people have unnecessarily burdened themselves with or guilt-trip others with. As mentioned towards the end of the previous Juz, it’s not only impossible to sustain, but it’s actually not even true piety. True righteousness is being able to live in this world and despite its hustle and bustle, you still remember Allah, you still worship Him, and you still make time for Him.

Ramadan Reflections #21

Day 27 / Juz 27 (Ramadan ’17):-
“…And He will appoint for you a light whereby you shall walk…” [57: 28]
In a world that is fast being engulfed by darkness of all sorts, most of us yearn for some light. There are people that walk the earth with light; they see with clear clarity and are enlightened from within. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have any problems, but it means that despite the problems, they feel peace and are well-nourished and protected by their Iman.
Allah `azza wa jall promises us this light from Him, but all it takes is 2 things as the verse mentions: “O believers, be conscious of God, and believe in His Messenger, and He will give you a twofold portion of His mercy; and He will appoint for you a light whereby you shall walk, and forgive you; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.” [57: 28]
That’s all it takes to completely transform our lives from inside out. Have some God-consciousness within you and follow in the footsteps of His final Messenger. You will be led through the earth and led through life – with light from Him. You’ll come across mercy twice-fold. You’ll make it out of every problem and you’ll never be defeated by anything though it may test you fiercely. You will see His signs and appreciate them, and you’ll find yourself through them. How many people long to find themselves. You’ll see bravery and courage develop within you as you become fearless due to your ever-increasing fear of God, and you’ll also soften and become vulnerable in ways you didn’t stop to think about. It’s a tale of you finally seeing yourself and transforming because when light hits something, you really begin to see it for what it is – and that’s a powerful thing.

Fajr literary 

Ramadan Reflections #20

Day 26 / Juz 26 (Ramadan ’17):-
“O Mankind, indeed We have created you from a male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [49: 13]
How often we come across this verse! It tells us of our origins and why we are all so different. And ain’t that a beautiful thing 🙂 There’s a hadith that fascinates me in relation to this, and it’s when the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Allah created Adam from a handful that He gathered from the entire earth, so the sons of Adam come like the earth. Some of them are red, some are white, some are black and some are in between. Some of them are easy, some of them are difficult, some are evil and some are good.” [al-Tirmidhi, hasan sahih]
We are as different as the grains of sand on earth, and if you know anything about sand particles you’ll know how vastly different we are. This is not only to be celebrated, but it’s also to be understood… You won’t always see eye to eye with people, you won’t always understand why they react the way they do, and you won’t always understand their reasons for so many things. You may get along absolutely fine with some people and yet be stumped by others and be frustrated by them. Understand that they are from a different grain of sand.
I have a firm belief that we should all be able to get along with people on a basic level, no matter how much we disagree or dislike them. You can always choose to be amiable, choose to interpret words well, and choose to respond with balance and piety. This is how to build bridges with people who are different, and this is how we can get to know one another… after all, it’s our differences that create a strong intrigue inside each of us.