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Posts from the ‘Pictorial Summaries’ Category

16
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #3: Get excited…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yep, Ramadan is 3-4 days away.

How do you feel?

Are you EXCITED?

Or are you stressed? Anxious? Nervous? Worried about getting ready? Dreading that Ramadan is so close?

Stop.

Step back.

Relax.

Stop thinking so much. [Okay, I’m the last person who should be saying that…]

This is the best of months.

The most awesome time of the year.

The month where it’s easy to worship Allah.

The month where the doors of Paradise are opened.

The month where those annoying devils are chained up.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

All I have to say is:

I repeat:

Your condition should NOT be:

Rather it should be:

Too often, I’ve noticed that we don’t take enough pleasure in practicing Islam.

[This is something that I noticed in the survey answers and will discuss this in the Step by Step series when I resume it after Hajj season, insha-Allah. I did talk about this issue in this post and in this one though.]

Let’s change that this year.

Let’s feel excited that we’re going to be fasting.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll be doing taraweeh.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll get another chance at Laylatul Qadr.

In short: Instead of dreading the fact that Ramadan is so close, let’s get excited and feel happy that the Greatest Month is practically at our doorsteps!

Remember, we are:

15
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #2: Start working…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Subhan Allah, there’s only 4-5 more days to go before Ramadan is here.

Only 4-5 days.

If we haven’t started working, we need to start NOW for two reasons:

1) We can’t guarantee that we’ll be alive that long.

Subhan Allah, Ramadan is so close…and yet it’s so far away. We won’t reach it until we actually DO reach it.

2) I’m sorry but we can’t wait for the moon to be sighted in order to start increasing in worship.

That’s too late because that means we’ll be using Ramadan to adjust to our new schedules, whereas we should already have adjusted by then!

So:

We need to start improving our prayers NOW.

We need to start increasing in recitation of the Quran NOW.

We need to start increasing in giving charity NOW.

[We also need to ditch those sins (random examples: smoking, listening to music, backbiting, etc) NOW.]

What are you (and I) waiting for?

25
Jun

Those who glorify and worship Allah…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[A question to the readers before I proceed: For the last two Ramadans, I’ve focused on a series. In 2010, it was the “Teensie-weensie Reminders” and last year it was “An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds”.

This year, I was thinking of doing one of the following (just for the first 18-20 days):

1) Continuing The Lord of the Worlds Series

2) A series on the Major Sins

I’m not just going to focus on what not to do (i.e. the sins), I’ll also be focusing on what to do (i.e. the good deeds).

3) Thought of the Day

Ultra-short posts.

Obviously, Series #1 and 2 will still be written, insha-Allah, but most of the posts will be after Ramadan (if they are not done in Ramadan, I mean).

So, which one should I focus on? [It will be just ONE of them, not all three!]

Or do you have another idea?

I’ll be basing my decision on your comments.

“What if there are no comments?”

That means that you don’t want me to write anything in Ramadan….]

So, who are those who glorify and worship Allah?

Well, there are many so I’ll just mention a few examples (some of which were inspired by Imam Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (explanation) of Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah No. 74]

The Hoopoe (Hud-hud)

[I never said that I was going to be talking about human beings now, did I?]

وَتَفَقَّدَ الطَّيْرَ‌ فَقَالَ مَا لِيَ لَا أَرَ‌ى الْهُدْهُدَ أَمْ كَانَ مِنَ الْغَائِبِينَ

لَأُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا أَوْ لَأَذْبَحَنَّهُ أَوْ لَيَأْتِيَنِّي بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ

فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ‌ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ

إِنِّي وَجَدتُّ امْرَ‌أَةً تَمْلِكُهُمْ وَأُوتِيَتْ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَلَهَا عَرْ‌شٌ عَظِيمٌ

وَجَدتُّهَا وَقَوْمَهَا يَسْجُدُونَ لِلشَّمْسِ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ فَهُمْ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ

أَلَّا يَسْجُدُوا لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي يُخْرِ‌جُ الْخَبْءَ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُخْفُونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ

اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَ‌بُّ الْعَرْ‌شِ الْعَظِيمِ

“He (Sulaiman) inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.” But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba (Sheba) with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance, Al-Laa (this word has two interpretations) (A) [As Shaitan has barred them from Allah’s Way] so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or (B) So that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!”” [Surah An-Naml (27):20-26]

Look at this bird’s concern for tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and let’s compare that to many of the people of today who don’t even have a quarter of this concern!

The Sun

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي ذر حين غربت الشمس : ( تدري أين تذهب ) . قلت : الله ورسوله أعلم ، قال : ( فإنها تذهب حتى تسجد تحت العرش ، فتستأذن فيؤذن لها ، ويوشك أن تسجد فلا يقبل منها ، وتستأذن فلا يؤذن لها ، يقال لها : ارجعي من حيث جئت ، فتطلع من مغربها ، فذلك قوله تعالى : والشمس تجري لمستقر لها ذلك تقدير العزيز العليم ) 

Narrated Abu Dharr (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah:

وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِ‌ي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ‌ لَّهَا ۚذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ‌ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

“And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” [Surah Ya-Seen (36) : 38]

[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 421]

The Mountains

إِنَّا عَرَ‌ضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

“Truly, We did offer Al-­Amaanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” [Surah Al-Ahzab (33) : 72]

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْ‌آنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَ‌أَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِ‌بُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ

“Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 21]

[Fearing Allah is one of the ways of worshipping Him.]

And let’s not forget everybody’s favourite mountain:

إن أحدا جبل يحبنا ونحبه

AIlah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) cast a glance at Uhud and said: Uhud is a mountain which loves us and we love it.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 3208]

[Loving the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiallahu anhum) is an act of worship.]

Stones

[Okay so mountains are stones as well but I mean the rest of them.]

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَ‌ةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَ‌ةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ‌ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ‌ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُ‌جُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّـهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 74]

[As I said earlier, fear of Allah is a type of worship.]

The Stars and the Trees

وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ‌ يَسْجُدَانِ

“And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate.” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 6]

The Thunder

وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّ‌عْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ وَيُرْ‌سِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَن يَشَاءُ وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي اللَّـهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ الْمِحَالِ

“And Ar-Raad (thunder) glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe, He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.” [Surah Raad (13) : 13]

Almost everyone

Even the heavens and the earth glorify Him.

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْ‌ضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْ‌هًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ

“Then He Istawaa (rose over) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come, willingly.”” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 11]

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْ‌ضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورً‌ا

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 44]

Even the moon and living creatures prostrate to Him.

أَلَمْ تَرَ‌ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ‌ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ‌ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ ۗ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّـهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِ‌مٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. [Surah Al-Hajj (22) :18]

[A note: All these ayaat (verses) are not “metaphorical”. All of these things do really glorify, worship and prostrate to Allah. Our limited minds just cannot comprehend how it happens, nor are we required to know how it happens.]

Okay, what’s this? There’s a hold out? Not all of mankind worships Allah, when even stones, trees, mountains, etc do????

Subhan Allah! And I thought that we were an “intelligent” species!

Why is it that many of are so complacent when it comes to the worship of Allah? Some people don’t do it at all, whereas some others do it only in Ramadan. These “inanimate” objects, on the other hand, submit to Him throughout the year.

This is something for us all to ponder over. In fact, Allah has asked us to look at creation and ponder over it so that we realise who it is that deserves our worship:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِ‌ي فِي الْبَحْرِ‌ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِ‌يفِ الرِّ‌يَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ‌ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayaat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 164]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُ‌ونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ رَ‌بَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190-191]

لقد نزلت علي الليلة آيات ويل لمن قرأها و لم يتفكر فيها : ” إن في خلق السموات و الأرض ” الآية

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “On this night, this ayah (verse) was revealed to me. Woe to him who recites it but does not contemplate it”

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.”  [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190]

[Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, Hadeeth No. 68. I got this reference from Dorar as I don’t have this book.]

So, you want some “inspiration” to worship Allah? It’s all around you. Just take a look.

تَبَارَ‌كَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌

“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ‌

Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ۖ مَّا تَرَ‌ىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ فَارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ هَلْ تَرَ‌ىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ‌

Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”

ثُمَّ ارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ كَرَّ‌تَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ‌ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ‌

Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out”
[Surah Al-Mulk (67) : 1- 4]
19
Jun

A Pictorial Summary of Shaban then vs. Shaban now

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, we’re almost in Shaban.

SHABAN THEN (i.e. in the good old days)

________________________________________________________________

SHABAN NOW

3
Apr

A Pictorial Summary of Our Favourite Excuse…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So you ask someone to do something useful.

Their reply?

It’s almost like this word is pasted all over the walls.

So what exactly are they busy doing, one wonders?

Yes, that just about summarises it.

A sister once mentioned that “busy” was just a short form for:

Being

Under

Satan’s

Yoke

[Meaning being under the devil’s control.]

All sarcasm aside, this issue is a very important one. Whenever one asks another to worship Allah, this is the only response that one hears!

“I’m too busy!”

Can someone actually be too busy to worship Allah???

We need to ask ourselves two simple questions:

1) Are we really that busy?

2) If so, then what are we busy doing?

Insha-Allah, I’m going to have a post later this week that discusses this issue. [Yes, I’m going to dissect this excuse.]

28
Mar

Three steps that will help us to prepare for Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, less than four months to go for the Big Event.

How can we prepare?

Well, I would suggest the following:

STEP 1

STEP 2

STEP 3

We all dream of having an ideal Ramadan preparation (along with an ideal Ramadan, of course). The operative word here is “dream”.

Then when the time comes to prepare for it we say “Insha-Allah, we’ll see” or “Not at the moment because I have too much to do.”

In fact, many of us plan but very few of us actually get around to executing the plan.

So when are we* going to get around to preparing for Ramadan?

[We = those like me who haven’t started yet.]

Let’s just start, insha-Allah!

PS. We could finally start implementing the plans of Ramadan Preps past…

27
Mar

A Summary of….Life?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note: Please read this post with an open mind, otherwise you’ll hate it. The style is different from all my previous posts. Then again, perhaps it isn’t. However, as with all my posts, if you find that I have written something wrong, then please do point it out.]

So, one hits puberty and life begins:

[Disclaimer: All images are courtesy of Google Images and do not belong to me.]

Read more »

15
Aug

A Pictorial Summary of what is left of Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

What’s left of it, you ask?

Well….

Half of it is left.

Yes, I know that half of it is gone – just like the cake.

However, half of it is left – just like the cake.

So, instead of moaning and groaning about how half of Ramadan is gone, let’s think of the second half of Ramadan as though it were the remaining half of the cake.

Let’s saviour what’s left of it.

And let’s take each day as it comes and increase in our ibaadah (worship), insha-Allah.

26
Jul

A Pictorial Summary of some of the things that we might need to bid farewell to during Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, let’s say:

Oops. Wrong Language.

One more time then.

Let’s say:

To what, you ask?

Well, to:

And to:

And to:

[That Reese peanut butter chocolate is really tasty.]

And to:

[Actually, we could ditch this one permanently. I think all the husbands will celebrate and so will all the poor people who can get this money as charity.]

That’s all we need to leave, you ask?

Erm no. This was just a summary. You can find all our resolutions here.

[Oh and here’s my memorable rant from last year.]