Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Activity’ Category

26
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 25

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 24.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in various ayaat (verses):

مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِ‌ضُ اللَّـهَ قَرْ‌ضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَ‌ةً ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْ‌جَعُونَ

“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 245]

لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 12]

Interestingly enough, this Surah (i.e. Ash-Shura) mentions the giving of provision two more times (the attribute of giving lavishly (or enlarging) is mentioned in the second ayah):

اللَّـهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْ‌زُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ

“Allah is Lateef (very Gracious and Kind) to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 19]

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ‌ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ‌ بَصِيرٌ‌

“And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them).” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 27]

The second ayah (verse) shows that it is from Allah’s Perfection and complete ability that He can both withhold and extend provisions. This is why these two attributes, although opposites, are always mentioned together.

اللَّـهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ وَفَرِ‌حُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ

“Allah increases the provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” [Surah Ar-Raad (13) : 26]

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْ‌بَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ‌ تَبْذِيرً‌ا

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِ‌ينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَ‌بِّهِ كَفُورً‌ا

وَإِمَّا تُعْرِ‌ضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَ‌حْمَةٍ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكَ تَرْ‌جُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُورً‌ا

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورً‌ا

إِنَّ رَ‌بَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرً‌ا بَصِيرً‌ا

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْ‌زُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرً‌ا

“And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskeen (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

And if you (O Muhammad) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allah will give me and I shall give you).

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.

And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”

[Surah Al-Israa (17) : 26-31]

In the above ayaat (verses), Allah first orders us to give in charity and then informs us not to be spendthrifts (i.e. be moderate in spending). After this, we are informed that He enlarges and withholds provision out of His Knowledge. Then He commands us not to kill our children due to poverty as He will provide for us and them.

Ponder over the order of these ayaat. It’s very interesting.

The last ayah should also be a reply to those who say that they don’t want children or want only one or two because they “can’t afford the expenses”.

وَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا فِي قَرْ‌يَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ‌ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَ‌فُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْ‌سِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُ‌ونَ

وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ‌ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

قُلْ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ‌ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّ‌بُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُ‌فَاتِ آمِنُونَ

وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُ‌ونَ

قُلْ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ‌ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ‌ الرَّ‌ازِقِينَ

“And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: “We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.

And they say: “We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.”

Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.”

And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.

And those who strive against Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), to frustrate them, will be brought to the torment.

Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.””

[Surah Saba (34) : 34-39]

In the above ayaat, the fact that Allah enlarges and straitens provision is mentioned TWICE.

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّـهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ

“The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills.” [Surah Al-Maaidah (5) : 64]

Al-Qaabidh is the One who takes the provisions (i.e. withholds them) and the souls. Al-Baasit is the One who freely gives provisions and gives life to the hearts.

So, the first Name should cause us to increase in fear and the second Name should cause us to increase in hope.

Al-Baasit also gives people a chance to repent for the sins that they committed during the day:

إن الله عز وجل يبسط يده بالليل ، ليتوب مسيء النهار . ويبسط يده بالنهار ، ليتوب مسيء الليل . حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها

Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6644]

So, we should rush to take advantage of this by repenting from our sins. [And no, this hadeeth does not mean that we can sin and then repent as we wish!]

Want Al-Baasit to grant you more provision? Well, here’s what you have to do:

من أحب أن يبسط له في رزقه ، وينسأ له في أثره ، فليصل رحمه

Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 15]

[Visiting inquisitive elderly aunts doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?]

There is a lot more to these two Names. I’ve just summarised it and pointed out the aspects which relate to what we’ve already covered like giving and rizq (provision).

What we also learn from these Names is that WE should generously to others.

Insha-Allah, this will be the last post for this Ramadan (I mentioned earlier that I was only going to be blogging for 7 days).

[I had mentioned earlier that I was going to cover dawah (calling to Islam) in this series during Ramadan but I wasn’t able to get to it. I’ll cover that in future, insha-Allah.]

I would like to remind myself and all of you to study the Names and Attributes of Allah, because without it, we won’t be able to know who Allah is. And if we don’t know who He is, we won’t worship Him the way that we’re supposed to.

I would also like to remind everyone to apply this knowledge in their daily lives. This is not just theoretical information. We can’t say “Oh yeah, I know the Names of Allah because I read a few blog posts on this topic.”

We need to keep learning them until we understand them.

Let me give you an example related to Ramadan:

Here we are in Ramadan, the Month of Rectification and these are some of the search terms that people used to reach my blog:

– “Is it okay not to fast in Ramadan?” [They got this post.]

– “Is it haram to masturbate whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]

-“Is it haram to listen to music whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]

These have been the top search terms for the past week now.

Subhan Allah, these people don’t realise that Allah is the All-Seer, the All-Hearer and the All-Knower. If they had known, this would have been a reason for them to try to overcome these problems rather than trying to google a way out.

Also, if they had realised that He was Samee As-Dua (the Hearer of supplications), they would have asked Him to aid them in worshipping Him and fighting their weaknesses

So, let’s remember His Names during this month as that will help us to improve (and yes, all of us need to improve).

A final reminder: I read this article by Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan recently and the following part caught my eye:

“Slaves of Allah, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)would strive hard in this month more than he would strive in other months; and he, upon him be prayers and peace, would be serious in al-‘Ibaadah during all of its times. He would remove himself in this month from most distractions which are in actuality worship, but he would remove himself from the virtuous acts for that which was more virtuous than it. And the Salafus-Saalih would follow his example in that and would particularize this month with an abundance of importance and they would dedicate themselves therein to righteous actions. They would spend its night in Tahajjud and its day in fasting, remembrance and recitation of the Qur’aan. They would spend time in the masaajid with that; so let us compare our affair to their affair and what is the extent of our knowledge with this month. And let us know that just as the good deeds are multiplied therein, the sins committed therein are likewise and their punishment is increased. So let us fear Allah the Glorified and honor His sacred things: “And whoever honors the sacred things of Allah that is better for him with his Lord.” (Al-Hajj 22:30)”

So, I advise myself and you to take heed of this advice and fill up this month with the most virtuous acts of worship, including itikaf (retreat in the masjid) during the last ten days.

There are lots of resources on this blog for all the topics mentioned for those who are interested in learning more (the search function really, really does help).

Insha-Allah, I’ll resume this blog after Hajj season as I want to focus on my Hajj blogs (the links are on the right hand corner of the site) after Ramadan.

May Allah accept our fasts, prayers and all our good deeds in this blessed month.

Advertisements
19
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #4: Milk it for all it’s worth…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, that title might sound highly unusual.

It’s an English saying which means making the most out of an opportunity.

Imagine if you went to a park and found lots of little gold coins on the ground. What would you do?

Well, you know what you’d do. You’d try to pick up as many coins as possible.

Imagine if you went to a food exhibition and they were offering free fruits. [Ironically, this actually happened here once!] What would you do?

You’d try to get your hands on as many fruits as you possibly could, that’s would you’d do.

Okay, that’s what we do with gold coins and fruits. What do many people do with regards to Ramadan?

It’s Shaban 29th. Maghrib comes.

Nobody is sure if it’s Ramadan or not.

Most people just twiddle their thumbs and wait for the announcement, instead of realising that they should increase in their ibaadah  (worship) as Ramadan might have already started. And if not, then at least this will help them prepare for it.

What happens once people know that it’s Ramadan? Well, for many people, nothing happens. They wait until the next day to start fasting because they think that this is when Ramadan begins.

Then they proceed to be very active in the first few days and do taraweeh every night.

After that? Well, many people tend to drop off the radar only to return in time for the 27th night.

Then on the 29th of Ramadan after Maghrib, everyone twiddles their thumbs yet again waiting for an Eid announcement, not realising that if it’s still Ramadan (i.e. it’s not Eid the next day), they need to make use of its final hours.

The minutes of Ramadan are more precious than those gold coins so why do we treat them like nothing???

We need to use our time wisely – right from the beginning of Ramadan until the end, when the moon of Shawwal is spotted.

We need to remember to use the mornings and the nights for good deeds.

We need to pace ourselves so that we steadily increase in worship throughout the month and peak in the last ten nights.

We need to make the best out of every situation whether it is at work, in the car, in the kitchen, in university, etc.

The amazing thing about our purpose of life (i.e worshipping Allah alone) is that we can do it anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance, and in any age. [This is one of the main purposes of Ramadan –  to remind us of our purpose in life and to remind us to use our time in pursuing this goal.]

So, we should use every opportunity possible.

In the car? Listen to a nice Islamic lecture.

Stuck in a queue? Do istighfar (seek forgiveness).

Stuck in the kitchen? Do tasbeeh (say “subhan Allah”).

At work? Well, do your work properly and in a good way, knowing that we’ve been commanded to do all things well.

At university? Same as above.

Got stuck in a conversation with your elderly highly-talkative neighbour whom you find very annoying? Talk to them politely and remember that neighbours have rights and that we’ve been commanded to be good to the elderly. This conversation will then turn into an act of worship (I’m assuming that the neighbour is of the same gender as you) and will be a witness for you instead of being a witness against you.

In short: Milk every minute for what it’s worth. In this Ramadan and even beyond that.

Perhaps Ramadan has already begun for some of you (it hasn’t where I am).

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you.

May Allah grant us tawfeeq (guidance) in this great month.

PS. After much thought, I’ve decided to blog only for the first 7 days and then stop for the rest of Ramadan. That’s because I spent far too much time blogging the last two Ramadans and did not spend enough time with the Quran.So this year, I’m going to be rectifying that, insha-Allah.

I’ll be continuing with the Lords of the Worlds series as promised but just for the first 7 days, insha-Allah.

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?

4
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 7

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.]

What should knowledge do for us?

I spoke about the importance of applying one’s knowledge in the previous parts so in this part, I’d just like to summarise what this knowledge should do for us:

-It should increase us in our knowledge of Allah i.e. His Names and His Attributes.

– It should improve us as people – both from the perspective of ibaadah (worship) and good manners.

– It should soften our hearts.

Yes soften, NOT harden because sadly, some people let their hearts get hard even though the knowledge has come to them.

– It should make us aware of our deficiencies and ignorance.

– It should make us humble, not arrogant. Basically it needs to break us and pour into our pores (if you will).

The following two ahadeeth should clarify the above points:

إن المؤمن يرى ذنوبه كأنه قاعد تحت جبل يخاف أن يقع عليه ، وإن الفاجر يرى ذنوبه كذباب مر على أنفه ، فقال به هكذا . قال أبو شهاب بيده فوق أنفه

Narrated Al-Harith ibn Suwaid: Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) related to us two narrations: One from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the other from himself, saying: A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this.” Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator) moved his hand over his nose in illustration. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 320]

أن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه أتي بطعام ، وكان صائما ، فقال : قتل مصعب بن عمير ، وهو خير مني ، كفن في بردة : إن غطي رأسه بدت رجلاه ، وإن غطي رجلاه بدا رأسه . وأراه قال : وقتل حمزة ، وهو خير مني ، ثم بسط لنا من الدنيا ما بسط ، أو قال : أعطينا من الدنيا ما أعطينا ، وقد خشينا أن تكون حسناتنا عجلت لنا ، ثم جعل يبكي حتى ترك الطعام 

Narrated Ibrahim: Once a meal was brought to Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) and he was fasting. He said, “Musab ibnUmair was martyred and he was better than I and was shrouded in his Burd (a black square narrow dress)  and when his head was covered with it, his legs became bare, and when his legs were covered his head got uncovered. Hamza was martyred and was better than I. Now the worldly wealth have been bestowed upon us (or said a similar thing). No doubt, I fear that the rewards of my deeds might have been given earlier in this world.” Then he started weeping and left his food. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 2, Hadeeth No. 365]

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was one of the greatest companions and he was one of those who was granted Paradise in his lifetime. Subhan Allah, look at how much he feared Allah!

Read more »

2
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 6

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.]

Some of the problems with the way knowledge is sought today (contd.)

5) Not submitting oneself to Allah

It might seem strange that I’ve put this here so let me explain.

The whole purpose of life is to worship Allah, which means we need to submit to His orders. So, if we seek knowledge, that means we want to increase in worship and submission.

The people of the past differed AFTER the knowledge came to them. Before that, they were one big happy family following falsehood. After the truth came, they split up into two parties: one following the truth and one opposing it.

Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ وَرَ‌زَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ فَمَا اخْتَلَفُوا حَتَّىٰ جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ ۚ إِنَّ رَ‌بَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

“And indeed We settled the Children of Israel in an honourable dwelling place , and provided them with good things, and they differed not until the knowledge came to them. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in that in which they used to differ.” [Surah Yunus (10) : 93]

[You can read Imam As-Saadi’s tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse) here.]

So, this knowledge needs to make us submit to the truth, even if it opposes our “logic” and desires. [By the way, not a single aspect of Islam contradicts the SOUND intellect.]

Allah has warned us against those who follow their “logic” and desires:

فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ‌ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are dhaalimoon (wrong-doers, disobedient to Allah, and polytheists).” [Surah Al-Qasas (28) : 50]

Read more »

9
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 28: Remember to remove it…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, there we are walking. We see something harmful on the ground like a nail or a safety pin, for example.

What do we do? Well, most of us make sure that we avoid it and then we proceed to forget about it.

“So what’s wrong with that?”

Well, if one wants to be average, then there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if one wishes to excel in the hereafter, then a great opportunity has been lost.

الإيمان بضع وسبعون أو بضع وستون شعبة . فأفضلها قول لا إله إلا الله . وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق . والحياء شعبة من الإيمان

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Iman (faith) has over seventy or sixty odd branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and the lowest of which is the removal of what is harmful from the path: and modesty is a branch of iman.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 56]

Here’s a man who took advantage of this great opportunity:

بينما رجل يمشي بطريق ، وجد غصن شوك على الطريق فأخره ، فشكر الله له فغفر له

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “While a man was going on a way, he saw a thorny branch and removed it from the way and Allah became pleased by his action and forgave him for that.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 624]

I was telling one of my friends about the virtues of fasting 3 days a month. She was very surprised. She pointed out that if we did these little deeds, we could earn so much reward, yet we were so lax. [Little things add up, remember?]

And this is the truth. Fasting three days a month and moving a harmful object from the way are very easy things. Sadly, we find that few people do them.

So, let’s try to implement these little things, for the sake of Allah. Who knows, perhaps they will be our entrance to Paradise, as they were for the man mentioned above.

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.]

2
Apr

Ramadan 2012 Prep: The various things that we need to work on…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Insha-Allah, I’ll be starting a new series on preparing for Ramadan 2012 (much like the ones I had the previous 2 years).

I think that all of us need to work on the following ahead of Ramadan:

1) Ibaadah (worship)

This includes our prayers, fasting, charity, dua (supplication), adhkar (remembrance), reciting the Quran, etc. 

2) Seeking knowledge

This is something that each and every one of us needs to do: seek knowledge.

Why? Because we need to worship Allah based on knowledge, not on our own fantasies, desires or logic.

So in order for us to worship Him based on knowledge, we need to learn this knowledge first. Simple, isn’t it?

Insha-Allah, the first few posts of this series will focus on this aspect because this is the main problem that most people have (from what I’ve seen anyway).

I’m going to cover learning Arabic (and understanding the Quran), as well as give an overview of the various sciences of Islam.

3) Health and Fitness

[Yes, I am rather obsessed with this topic. I’m sure you’ve noticed.]

So, we want to fast the whole day (without sleeping) and not end up stuffing our faces at iftar time.

We also want to then stand up in prayer the whole night without dozing off.

Okay, this is not going to happen if the only time we use the word “walk” in our daily lives is “I’m going to walk to the elevator.”

We need to MOVE. And we also need to eat properly.

This is our third major problem (after lack of knowledge and ibaadah). It’s one of the reasons why many of us are always tired. We’re just not fit enough.

So, in order for us NOT to sleepwalk through Ramadan, we have to start working on this aspect.

4) Logistics and planning

Okay, I wasn’t sure how to phrase this one. What I meant was all the other stuff that we need to take care of.

For example, suppose you are not sure what you’ll be doing come July and August (especially as this is holiday time for most people). You need to plan and make sure that the environment you’ll be in is conducive to having a proper Ramadan.

Many people want to have their summer holidays so they go abroad. Well, one needs to make sure that they aren’t going for Kenyan safaris during Ramadan, if you know what I mean.

So, those are the four areas that I plan to cover, inshaAllah.

[I had originally planned to make worksheets as I’ve found them to be very helpful, but seeing that most people have difficulty finding time to participate in polls and surveys, etc, I realised that it wouldn’t be very helpful because most people wouldn’t use them.]

Are there any others that you can think of? If so, please do share, barakallahu feekum.

As for the other series, yes, I plan to continue with them as well, insha-Allah. This will include the Lord of the Worlds series.

Are there any other things that you’d like me to focus on? Or any particular topics that you’d like me to address? As I’ve said before, this is our blog, not my blog.

[I’ve read all the previous suggestions and I plan to implement them, insha-Allah. I meant something else in addition to these.]

Lastly, please remember that if we truly want something, we will put in the effort. [Remember this post?]

PS. I don’t think I’ll be very consistent in posting for the next 2.5 months because of other work that I need to focus on. I’ll try, insha-Allah but no promises.

19
Aug

Some resources for the Last Ten Days and Eid

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, they’re almost upon us – the best nights of the year.

No more napping. We need to take some action.

This Ramadan, I haven’t posted many resources because I did that last year.

I thought I would just link to the useful ones:

[All of these link to the post which contains the resource.]

Last Ten Days, Laylatul Qadr, Itikaf, Zakaatul Fitr and Eid

Articles / Books

1) When is Laylatul Qadr? [Don’t forget to read this one!]

2) The Excellence of the Night of Qadr

3) The Last Ten Days of Ramadan

4)  A Guide to the Last Ten Days

5) Why have the Muslims forsaken Itikaaf?

6) Resources for Itikaf – Umm Muawiyah’s very own guide as to what you REALLY need for itikaf.

7) “There is no Itikaf except in the three Masjids”

8) A Book on Zakaatul Fitr

[Note: It seems that some people get confused between Zakaah and Zakaatul Fitr. They are two totally different things.]

9) Resources for Eid

10) Some more Resources for Eid

Lectures

1) Making the Most of the End of Ramadan

2) Focusing on Laylatul Qadr and Itikaaf

3) Rulings and Virtues of Itikaf

4) Zakaatul Fitr – Is it money or food?

Is this the last post for this Ramadan, you ask?

I wish but no. A few more to go, insha-Allah…