Ramadan Reflections #16

Someone asked me today about what they should do tonight in terms of worship. I suggested a couple of things (other than Tarawih since they were going to the masjid anyway) but here is what I want to tell you:
You may be running out of steam but keep going and finish strong. Just like a work out: the last few seconds are the most difficult, painful and exhausting, but you have to muster up all the energy and force you have and keep going. You cannot afford to give up. If you drop 10 seconds too early from your plank you might as well start all over again. The last two dead lifts might make you feel like you will drop dead, but you cannot step away. You MUST pick that bar up and do your thing!

“When you think you are done you’re only 40% of what your body is capable of doing. That’s just the limit that we put on ourselves.” – David Goggins

Taiymiyyah zubair

Ramadan Reflections #11

#HalfwayThru #FinishStrong #DoRamadanRight
Ibn al-Jawzi (rA) said:
“When the race horse knows that it is nearing the end of the track, it expends all of its effort to win the race. Do not allow the race horse to be more clever than you. For certainly, deeds are judged by their conclusions. So if you didn’t do well with welcoming Ramadan then perhaps you will do better bidding it farewell.”
Ibn Tamyiya (rA) said:
“What really matters [with Allah] is the perfection of the finale, not the deficiency of the beginning.”
Hasan al-Basri (rA) said:
“Enhance your performance in what is left (of time) and you will be forgiven for that which has passed. But take special care of the time you have left because you do not know when your soul will be turned over to Allah’s Mercy.”

Sh. Mohammad elshinawy

Ramadan Reflections #10

The word shaytan comes from “shatan” meaning rope, which is the rope used to control one’s animal. This points to the chief desire of Shaytan: to control people. In contrast, Allah wants us to be liberated, hence the goal of the Sacred Law to eradicate intoxicants and usury. 
‘Shatana’ also means ‘to be far from,’ i.e. to be far from the mercy of Allah. One notes that the Prophetic way is to be near. Near to family, near to community, not to cut oneself off. Shaytan loves break away movements, because it makes his job easier when one is a lone sheep. 
Allah tells us that Shaytan wants us to be in constant fear. But what is the difference between this fear and taqwa, the fear of Allah. Taqwa is more akin to a warning; a fear of a known thing, the protection from which is in our control. Sdna Ubayy b Kab said, “It as if saying there are thorns on the road so walk carefully.” It’s known and it’s in your control. However satanic scare tactics are from unknown things that are not in your control, so you are completely paralyzed and can’t change it. He wants you to turn to him for help. 
Lastly, if dhikr of Allah expels Shaytan then how can worshippers who make dhikr every day be misguided? Two reasons. One, there is a certain shaytan assigned to all of us who is immune to dhikr. Second, there are Shayateen al-Ins, human beings who have embodied all of these satanic ways and can influence the unlearned worshipper. Hence the value of knowledge. Knowledge protects us from misguidance, while worship purifies us and raises our heavenly ranks. Both are essential. 
We ask Allah protection from the human and non human shayateen.

Sh. Mohammad Elshinawy

Ramadan Reflections #9

“So where are you going?” [Qur’an: Chapter 81, Verse 26]
Stop in your tracks. Reflect. Where are we heading towards right now with our life? Look at your life from a 50,000 ft view and tell me, where are you going?

The Power of Pause 🙂 Ramadan, a blessed month providing us such a wonderful opportunity ❤️

Ramadan Reflections #8

“The example of a believer, who recites the Qur’an and acts on it, is like an orange (utrujjah) which tastes nice and smells nice.

And the example of the believer who does not recite the Qur’an but acts on it is like a date that tastes sweet but has no smell.

And the example of the hypocrite who recites the Quran is like a sweet basil which smells good but tastes bitter.

And the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like a colocynth (bitter apple) which tastes bitter and has a bad smell.”

[Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim ].

The One Thing that took my Prayer to the next level

RASHIDOON

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Like everyone else I have had my challenges with the Prayer. For quite a while I was frustrated with the level of focus and khushu’ that was at best slim. Therefore, I understand the dissatisfaction some of you feel towards their level of khushu’. At one stage of my life I came to a tentative conclusion that some people were destined to have more khushu’ than others, that some were born with the tendency to develop khushu’ while others were not. Unfortunately, I thought I was among the latter!

However, Allah has blessed me with a persistent and annoying dissatisfaction with lack of focus and khushu’ in my Prayer, that it was easier for me to do something about it than just to live with it. When that point of transformation tipped I found myself gravitating to lectures and books that focus on one’s inner experience of the acts of…

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*Real* Fitnah

With Trump becoming America’s President today, I think that Muslims fear further oppression in the world, and for life to get far more difficult for them specifically in the USA – and perhaps they even fear they might lose their Deen too due to the pressure on them from the Administration and society at large. 
This fear is understandable and not far-fetched. The threat is easy to see and hear, and gives folks clarity as to the danger and its source. Also, external threats are always easier to spot and focus on. 

I just wonder whether we see *internal* threats the same way.
I’ll be honest with y’all, I’m bored of Trump-terror and the super focus on the nightmare it will be (even though we should never get lazy and apathetic of course to resisting external evil with everything we have and enjoining good and forbidding evil), because I think our personal disobedience of our Creator is far bigger, more serious and more important a problem than *any* external threat. Especially Trump the plum. So I guess I am using this historic day for a personal reminder to myself whilst sitting on the train. 
The most blessed of mankind are those who fear sin and stay well away from it. 

Those less fortunate fall into that sin they feared but are blessed enough to recognise it when it happens and make amends. 

Those even less fortunate fall into that sin they feared but carry on living in that sin and don’t make amends

The most wretched of all are those who don’t recognise sin, don’t care for it, and whether in sin or not, they carry on with life without a care in the world. 
We should fear disobeying our Creator – in any single thing or way – more than anything else in the world. And we should fear its consequences even more. 
The worst consequence of all? For us to then be punished by being allowed to go astray from our Deen, to turn away from our Lord, and to take this life as our only objective. 

This is a reality that we don’t think about much when it comes to our personal sins. But we often visualise it easily with external threats, even when it isn’t likely or sure to happen. 

That’s what happens when we lose focus. That’s what happens when we make external threats bigger than our internal ones. And this, is the *real* fitnah that we should be terrified of. 
Allahumma sallim ya Rabb. 

-AE