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18
Apr

Off to another blogging break…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, I’m taking some time off from blogging again.

1) How long?

About 3 weeks, insha-Allah.

2) Why?

I have too much work to catch up on (including my Ramadan preparation!) so there hasn’t been much time for blogging.

I don’t want to blog just for the sake of blogging. I prefer to write with quality and I really haven’t been able to do that for the last couple of weeks.

Also, I think everyone needs a time out once in a while in order to come back refreshed.

3) Why do I announce my breaks?

Well, it’s because quite a few of my friends and acquaintances read my blog. If I disappear without telling anyone, they might think that I’ve died or gone for Umrah (that’s what usually happens).

4) What about the pending articles and the new blogs?

I haven’t had time to write any long articles for quite a while now. I hope to work on all those posts when I return, insha-Allah.

As for the news blogs, I had mentioned two on this blog: the health one and the new Muslim one. Again, I haven’t had much time for those either. Insha-Allah, I hope that I can launch them next month (assuming that I get some quality time near my PC!)

My apologies to all those who may have been waiting for the articles and the blogs.

PS. Ustadh Fahad Al-Tahiri is starting a new batch of his Sarf I (Arabic Grammar) classes on Wiziq. Please read this post for more details.

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17
Apr

Website: Ilm for All

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

For all those who want to increase in knowledge, here’s a good place to start:

http://ilmforall.net/

The site is run by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Maliki, a student of knowledge from Saudi Arabia. He has classes (in English) on Wiziq (http://www.wiziq.com/ilmforall-shaikh-mohammad-al-malki1075303) and Paltalk.

All his lessons are available on his website.

I haven’t had a chance to take any of his classes yet but I’ve heard good things about him.

For those of you who live in countries which don’t have much in the way of Islamic classes, it would be good to join his classes so that you get the opportunity to study under a shaikh, rather than self-study.

[It seems that the course “The Key to Knowledge” is going to be quite extensive according to this post. Allahu Alam.]

16
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 18: Remember to say “Assalamu Alaikum”…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…or “Wa Alaikum Assalam” (depending on whether you initiated the salaam or returned it).

1) Why should we say it?

Well, here are some reasons.

2) To whom should we say it?

Well, to every Muslim as it is their right. However, if a man is greeting a woman whom he is not a mahram to, or vice-versa, then that has a special ruling.

A reminder: It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or not. One of the signs of the Last Day is that people will greet only those whom they know:

إن من أشراط الساعة إذا كانت التحية على المعرفة

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, from the signs of the Hour is that the greetings will (only) be extended to acquaintances.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah, No. 648. Shaikhs Al-Albani, Ahmad Shakir and Muqbil Al-Wadiee (rahimahumullah) all authenticated it. You may check the Dorar results here.]

Subhan Allah, how many of us are guilty of this?

Tip: Try and initiate the salaam to a Muslim stranger (man to a man and woman to a woman) and see the response. You’ll see why the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) suggested spreading the salaam as a way of loving one another.

Also, read this short article on why initiating the greeting is more rewarding than reply to it.

3) Don’t be stingy.

Huh, you say?

What I mean by that is: Please use this greeting liberally. Use it to start your emails, your SMS messages, your phone conversations (can we get rid of  “hello”?), etc. Oh and please remember to reply to it (in emails, SMS messages, comments on any of my posts, etc).

What I also mean by that is: Please type the whole thing and not “ASAK” or “As”. I’m sorry but that is not “Assalamu Alaikum”.

I have one question to the people who abbreviate this greeting: Do you think that you will get the same reward for typing “Asak” or “As” as someone who took the time and effort to type out the whole greeting? Just a thought…

15
Apr

Lecture: Making every second count

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

One of you asked for more lectures of time management so here goes…

[Reminder: I’m still waiting for feedback from those of you who have not gotten around to it yet.]

Here’s a lecture to remind us of the importance of each SECOND.

Making Every Second Count by Dr. Bilal Philips (Download)

14
Apr

Article: Signs of a diseased heart

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

We spend so much time trying to rectify our limbs but we often forget that we need to rectify something else before that: our hearts.

Why? Well, because of the following hadeeth:

[I’m only putting the last portion.]

 ألا وإن في الجسد مضغة : إذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله ، وإذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله ، ألا وهي القلب

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam said): “Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 50]

[So much for all those people who disobey Allah all the time and then have the nerve to say “But my heart is clean”!]

So, how does one know if one’s heart is sick and needs to be rectified? Here’s an article by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) where he mentions some signs of a diseased heart:

____________________________________________________________

http://rawdah.org/2011/04/15/signs-of-a-diseased-heart/

Signs of a Diseased Heart

Ibn ul Qayyim (Rahimahullah) mentions in his monumental book Ighatha tul Lahfan min Masa’id ush Shatan Vol. 1 Pg. 68:

“Every muscle in the body was created to execute a specific function, by which, it can obtain the pinnacle of its performance. And the sickness of that particular body part is its failure to execute the function for which it was created or having some level of deficiency in performing it, if it even functions at all.

The sickness of the hand is its inability to grab or clutch. The sickness of the eye is its inability to see or observe. The sickness of the tongue is its inability to utter. The sickness of the body is its inability to move in the natural order it was created to or its deficiency in doing do. The sickness of the heart is its inability to execute the functions it was created to perform such as; being conscious of Allah, knowing Allah, loving Allah, desiring to meet Allah and turning constantly towards Him, while giving precedence to this over the heart’s every ardent desire.

Consequently, if the slave knows everything else but fails to know Allah, it is as if he knows absolutely nothing. Even if he achieves some share or portion of what this transient life has to offer (from its many pleasures and desires) but fails to develop a solid intimate relationship with Allah which produces an ardent desire to meet Him emerging from a strong love of Him, then he has failed to achieve the bliss this life has to offer as well as forfeited the ultimate pleasure of his eye.

Rather if the heart is completely void of the knowledge of Allah and the desire to meet Him, then all of what he obtained from the pleasures and delights of this life will inevitably become a punishment for him. Thus he becomes a punisher of his own self, with the same exact thing he thought he was granting himself happiness and pleasure with. And this is from two angles:

The First:  Because of the sorrow and grief that resulted from his forfeiture and his desire of the transient things of this life, it became a barrier between him and obtaining what his soul was utterly attached to.

The Second: Because he forfeited what was better, more beneficial and longer lasting for him, in that he never achieved it.

Hence, the beloved thing he attained was actually forfeited and the more beloved thing was never even achieved.  Everyone who truly knows Allah loves Him and devotes his worship to Him sincerely and completely and does not give precedence to the other things that are beloved to him over Allah.  And whoever does so, his heart is truly sick. Similar to the intestines of the human being, if it gives precedence to unhealthy food over food that is healthy, it loses its desire for the food that is actually healthy and accustoms
itself to the unhealthy food.

It is possible for the heart to become sick, and the sickness will continue to increase while the individual does not even realize it, due to his preoccupation and negligence regarding its wellbeing and the means by which this wellbeing is acquired. Rather the heart can die while the individual is not even aware of its demise. The indication that the heart is sick is that it is not affected by the injurious nature of evil, not bothered by the fact that it is ignorant of the haqq (i.e. truth), and its beliefs are flawed.

The heart that is full of life is affected by the injurious nature of evil and harmed by its ignorance of the truth based upon the extent of its life. But it is possible that the individual can recognize the sickness  of his heart, however, tolerating the bitterness of the medicine to cure it could be just as painful as the sickness itself.

Thus he gives precedence to the continuity of the sickness over the difficulties found in the remedy because the remedy actually opposes his desires and this is the most difficult thing for the soul but there is nothing more beneficial for it.

At times the individual accustoms himself to patience then it dissolves and his steadfastness weakens and eventually subsides due to his lack of knowledge, foresight and impatience, like a person who traverses upon a frightening path that actually leads to safety and security. And he knows that if he exerts patience the fear will subside and he will attain the safety and security he desires.

Nonetheless, he is in dire need of unyielding perseverance and certainty about the path upon which he is traversing. And whenever his patience and certainty weakens he will turn back from the path and will not be able to endure the difficulties of it, especially if he is alone without a companion to traverse this path with him. He will begin to say: “Where did all the people go? I need someone to emulate!”

This is the state of most people and is also the main component of their destruction. So the one who is truly knowledgeable, never feels alienated because there is a lack of camaraderie upon the path he is traversing or because he was abandoned, especially when his heart recognizes that it has a camaraderie with the foremost generation, those upon whom Allah has bestowed His bounty upon from the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous, and how great is the company of these individuals.

Therefore the ability of the slave to traverse this path alone in search of his success is, in itself, proof of the sincerity in his quest.Ishaaq Ibn Ra’huyah (Rahimahullah), one of the contemporaries of Imam Ahmad, was asked about an issue and when he replied to it, someone said to him: “Your brother Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked the same question and responded with the same reply as you did!” So Ishaaq said: “I didn’t think anyone would agree with me in this issue!“

Thus Ishaaq didn’t feel alienated because no one agreed with him about the matter, even before the truth of the matter became apparent to everyone else and this is because, when the truth becomes apparent, it is not in need of anyone to testify on its behalf. For the heart can see the truth just as the eye can see the sun. If the individual sees the sun with his own eyes his knowledge and belief regarding it, is not in need of anyone testifying or agreeing to the confirmation of its rising.

Translated by Abu Azzubayr Shadeed Muhammad 1/26/11 corresponding to the 21st of Safar 1432H. USA.

13
Apr

A Pictorial Summary of where to be and where not to be during Ramadan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Where to be

[That’s the Jumeirah Masjid in Dubai, by the way. It’s close to one of my favourite childhood places: Dubai Zoo.]

Of course, Masjid Al-Haram would be the best place to be in Ramadan.

Where not to be

[Even if this is a rather funky looking kitchen.]

Ah…the kitchen. If one is looking to increase in iman, this is the last place to be in!

12
Apr

Who will have the last laugh?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Ever been laughed at for practicing Islam?

Perhaps it was  because of your dress code (the hijab, the niqab, the beard, the garments above the ankles (for the men), etc).

Or perhaps it was because of your refusal to join the others in their activities in order to safeguard your iman.

Or perhaps it was because you preferred to do things honestly, rather than cheat.

Whatever it was, it probably hurt to be laughed at for doing the right thing (i.e. obeying Allah).

So, what should one do in this situation?

Well, be patient and remember the following ayah (verse):

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا كَانُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يَضْحَكُونَ

وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِهِمْ يَتَغَامَزُونَ

وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ

وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ لَضَالُّونَ

وَمَا أُرْسِلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَافِظِينَ

فَالْيَوْمَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ يَضْحَكُونَ

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ

هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

“Verily! (During the worldly life) those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed.

And whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another (in mockery);

And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting;

And when they saw them, they said: “Verily! These have indeed gone astray!”

But they (disbelievers, sinners) had not been sent as watchers over them (the believers).

But this Day (the Day of Resurrection) those who believe will laugh at the disbelievers.

On (high) thrones, looking (at all things).

Are not the disbelievers paid (fully) for what they used to do?”

[Surah Al-Mutaffifin (83) : 29-36]

The ones who laugh last will indeed laugh the loudest…

11
Apr

Feedback time…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, it’s poll time again.

Why? Because I’d like your input on how we can improve this blog.

Of course, you could just ignore it. However, that would mean you just take (i.e. read) and do not give (i.e. comments and suggestions). We should be givers not just takers, remember?

I would really appreciate it if all of you would take 5 minutes out of your time to answer the following questions.

Jazakumullahu kheira.

Question No. 1


Question No. 2

Question No. 3

Question No. 4

[I debated whether or not to add the following questions because I have no control over the quality of posts. I write whatever I feel like writing.]

Question No. 5

Question No. 6

Question No. 7

Question No. 8

Question No. 9

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the blog? Or any constructive criticism regarding the posts? If so, please fill out the feedback form below.

Please don’t think of any suggestion as being too small. I take any feedback very seriously.

Once again, jazakumullahu kheira for taking the time out to answer the questions.

10
Apr

Book: A Mercy to the Universe

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Allah says :

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” [Surah Al-Anbiya (21) : 107]

So, how much do we know about our Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam), a mercy to the universe?

It is indeed a great blessing from Allah that He has preserved the life of His last messenger so that we can pretty much get a first-hand view of his mercy (and all his other great qualities for that matter).

We need to be grateful for this blessing. How? Well, we need to start reading about the Prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) life and then we need to model our life after his. It’s as simple as that.

We also need to read his biography (known as “seerah”) to our children, instead of fairy tales (“Once upon a time, there was a ferocious dragon who lived in Timbuktu. His name was Murphy.”)

There are many biographies of him out there, alhamdulillah. Here is a nice and simple one that I just came across:

A Mercy to the Universe by Shaikh Saeed Al-Qahtani (rahimahullah)*

[*He’s the one who compiled Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim)].

[Oh and for more bedtime stories, you could try the story of Salman Al-Farisi (radiallahu anhu). Positively heartwarming story indeed.]