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30
Nov

Lecture: Day of Aashoora – Lessons, Fasting and Merits

Assalamu Alaikum.

Aashoora is the 10th of Muharram and is a special day.

By “special day”, I mean that it has some historical significance (Musa (alaihissalam). not Karbala) and there are some legislated deeds to be done therein (fasting, not whipping yourself and your little children like some highly deviant sects do, may Allah save us from such misguidance).

Here’s a lecture that gives us an insight into Aashoora:

Day of Aashoora – Lessons, Fasting and Merits by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah) (Download):

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29
Nov

A Pictorial Summary of what our iman levels might look like

Assalamu Alaikum.

[You’re free to disagree with me, of course…]

Yes, peaks and valleys. The story of our lives…

28
Nov

Website: Arabic Comes First

Assalamu Alaikum.

Okay, as we’re on the topic of learning Arabic in our post-Ramadan Teensie Weensie Tips, I thought I’d mention one of the better Arabic learning websites out there:

http://www.arabicfirst.co.uk/

And for kiddies:

http://www.kids.arabicfirst.co.uk/

They’ve both got some great stuff (which you won’t get on other sites). Please be sure to check them both out (especially if you are a teacher or a parent).

PS. French speakers, you’ll like this website…

 

 

27
Nov

Remember Ramadan Ramblings – Episode 3: Muharram – Our Fourth Chance

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, Ramadan was our 2nd chance and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah was the 3rd.

Now, we have yet another chance: Muharram.

You might wonder why I keep pointing to specific months as being 3rd or 4th chances when, in reality, a person can make a fresh start from…NOW.

Yes, that’s true. However, the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah and Muharram are what I call mini-goals and iman-boosting opportunities, because of their many virtues.

It is very difficult for a person to think about working hard for a lifetime. So we need to shorten that to working hard until the end of Ramadan, so that we can take it year by year. However, as Ramadan is still quite far away, we need to work towards another goal that is close by in order to keep ourselves motivated.

That’s what I’ve noticed about most people. They need deadlines. I’m like that too. I need a real tangible deadline so that I can get the adrenaline going.

So, let’s give ourselves yet another deadline to improve: Muharram.

And we’ll just keep doing this until Ramadan comes, insha-Allah.

Remember: The only way to actually “remember” Ramadan is to become our “Ramadan selves” and better in all the months.

PS. Question to all of you: Are you still asking Allah to accept your Ramadan? If not, then why not? The early generations did this for 6 months after Ramadan!

26
Nov

Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tip #5: Start learning Arabic (if you haven’t already) – Part 3

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Part 1 and Part 2.]

5) Try to use your strongest language to learn Arabic.

Okay, there are two key words here: “use” and “strongest”.

Let’s take the second word first.

a) What is a person’s strongest language?

It’s what is known as the “native language”. And just for your information, according to many people, that is exactly the same thing as one’s mother tongue.

People seem to think that the language that you speak at home with your parents is your native language. It doesn’t have to be.

If you’re confused as to what your native language is (and I’ve met many people who are), ask yourself this simple question: What language do you think in?

People generally think in just one language.

[By the way, judging by some of the conversations that I’ve had, it seems that the language that you think in can change, if you use another language for a long time. For example, a German sister pointed out to me how she had started to think in English because she used it far more than she used German.]

Okay, so why should we use one’s strongest language? Well, I’m assuming that everyone thinks like me. See, if someone asked me to translate from French to Arabic, then I wouldn’t be able to do it without first translating from French to English and then from English to Arabic. From what I understand, this is the case with most people.

Also, there is the little issue of “getting lost in translation”. You lose so much by going from one language to another. Imagine what would happen if you went through more than one language!

Now someone might say “Eh? Doesn’t everyone use their native language when learning a new one?”

Erm no, which is why I felt the need to write all the above.

Read more »

25
Nov

Lecture: The Effects of Sins

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Okay, this is really a sneaky attempt to continue Project “Give Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) sadaqah jaariyah”.]

Many of us (or perhaps all of us?) underestimate the bad effects that sins have on our lives. To us, a sin we committed might just be a “little” one but its repercussions might be grave.

Sadly, the one month where many Muslims try to avoid committing sins is Ramadan. Outside that, many people do not seem to care. Yes, a lot of us try to continue doing good deeds after Ramadan, but very few of us try to stop sinning.

One of the main reasons for this is that these sins are not recognised as being such.

For example, you’ll see most Muslim women refuse to touch alcohol. Why? Because it’s a big sin to drink it, they’ll say. Well, many of these same women do not wear hijab. Why? Well, one reason is weakness of iman. Another reason is because they think that not covering one’s body is a “little” thing. They do not realise that not wearing hijab, like drinking alcohol, is a major sin.

[By the by, major sins need to be repented from in order to be forgiven. Doing good deeds won’t erase them. That only works for minor sins.]

Anyway, here’s a lecture on this topic based on writings of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah). I’ve put the translation of that below the lecture.

The Effects of Sins by Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) (Download)

Read more »

24
Nov

Seriously Short Reminder No. 2 – Don’t sleep until you…

Assalamu Alaikum.

….read the Quran.

Yes, we need to make the Quran a daily (not weekly, monthly or yearly) part of our lives.

So, no matter how tired you are or how late it is, make sure you DO NOT sleep until you have read at least a few ayaat (verses) from the Quran.

[And if you can’t understand Arabic, then please do read the translation of those ayaat as well.]

23
Nov

The Second Best Month in which to fast…

Assalamu Alaikum.

Is it Dhul Hijjah, you ask?

Nope. It’s Muharram.

And it’s coming up in less than two weeks.

As always, here’s a nice article to get us warmed up:

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/books/77

The Virtues of Allah’s sacred month of Muharram

Praise be to Allaah,

the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.

Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]

Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).

Read more »

22
Nov

Seriously Short Reminder No. 1 – Be Fit, not Fat

Assalamu Alaikum.

Seriously.

Fitness plays a HUGE role in the quality of your ibaadah (worship). If you’re healthy, you’ll be able to do much more ibaadah and it’ll be with much more focus (a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, remember?).

So, start walking and stop eating all that junk food!

PS. Question to the sisters: What do you think of starting a private blog (i.e. restricted to members alone) wherein the members keep track of their health, share ideas and encourage each other?

Jazakunallahu kheira.