بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“Spoil who? The kiddies?”
No, of course not. I meant that we need to spoil the guests. [As for the kiddies, they shouldn’t be spoilt at all!!!]
سمعت أذناي ، وأبصرت عيناي ، حين تكلم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : ( من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليكرم جاره ، ومن كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليكرم ضيفه جائزته ) . قال : وما جائزته يا رسول الله ؟ قال : ( يوم وليلة ، والضيافة ثلاثة أيام ، فما كان وراء ذلك فهو صدقة عليه ، ومن كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيرا أو ليصمت ) .
Narrated by Abu Shuraih Al-Adawi (radiallahu anhu): My ears heard and my eyes saw the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) when he spoke, “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his neighbor generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should serve his guest generously by giving him his reward.” It was asked. “What is his reward, O Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “(To be entertained generously) for a day and a night (with high quality of food) and the guest has the right to be entertained for three days (with ordinary food) and if he stays longer, what he will be provided with will be regarded as sadaqah (a charitable gift). And anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quite (i.e. abstain from all kinds of dirty and evil talks).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 48]
ومن نزل بقوم فعليهم أن يقروه ، فإن لم يقروه فله أن يغصبهم بمثل قراه
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever stops among a people, they are obliged to entertain him, and if they do not entertain him, then he has the right to take from them an amount equivalent to that which they should have entertained him.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani, Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4604.]
This is something that I would consider a “forgotten” sunnah. These days, you’d be blessed to get a glass of water when you visit someone.
Sadly, many people are unaware that showing hospitality to guests is an obligation.
So, let’s not forget to be good hosts and hostesses because this is part of being a good Muslim.
And Allah knows Better.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Remember this series? The last part discussed khushoo (humility) in prayer.
Salaah (prayer) is the second pillar of Islam. After this comes the zakaah (the obligatory charity).
[Note: It is zakaah and not zakaat. And while we’re having a language lesson, I’d also like to point out that “namaz” is an Urdu/Farsi/Turkish word, not an Arabic word so could we please stop using it in the English language? Baarakallahu feekum.]
Prayer is the right of Allah, whereas zakaah is the right of the slaves of Allah.
Allah has mentioned salaah and zakaah together 82 times in the Quran (according to Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan), thereby showing how intertwined these two really are.
So it’s strange to find people who pray but do not give zakaah. [Of course, it’s even stranger to find people who give zakaah but do not pray!]
If one wants to be a complete Muslim, one should fulfill both the rights of Allah and the rights of creation. Safeguarding one’s prayers and paying the zakaah are the first steps towards that.
I’m completely useless with the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah so I won’t even go there. [I studied it 4 times and it just keeps going above my head.] You may find many resources here though.
However, I’d like to point out the following important points:
1) Zakaah is obligatory but sadaqah (charity) isn’t.
Zakaah is a bit like the five obligatory prayers and sadaqah is a bit like the voluntary prayers, in the sense that you have the obligatory part for everyone and you also have the voluntary part for those that want to go the extra mile.
2) Zakaah is not necessarily due in Ramadan. It is due when one (lunar) year passes on the wealth.
You might have multiple times where you pay zakaah during the year as you might have zakaah due on different things.
4) Zakaah and Zakaatul fitr are two totally different things.
The former is due after one (lunar) year. The latter is due at the end of Ramadan and is paid in the form of food.
5) Zakaah is not due on everybody. It is only due on those who fulfill the required conditions .
6) The one who doesn’t pay the zakaah out of stinginess is a major sinner. However, the one who doesn’t pay the zakaah because he doesn’t think it it obligatory is a disbeliever.
7) Zakaah can only be given to one of eight categories of people, whereas there is no restriction on who sadaqah can be given to.
Apart from the fasts and the night prayers, what also distinguishes Ramadan from the other months is the brotherhood (which is shown through the zakaah and sadaqah). So we need to extend this brotherhood to the other months as well.
Unfortunately, one of the issues that we’re facing today as an ummah (nation) is that the money flows in during Ramadan and all the people in need get enough.
However, in the other 11 months, the well seems to dry up.
Why is that? Well, I guess it’s the same reason that some people pray only in Ramadan but not outside of it.
The reason is that they don’t understand the Names and Attributes of Allah, nor do they know about His Rights. Due to this, they cheat themselves by only worshipping Him during Ramadan.
So, it is incumbent for the one who is truly sincere in worshipping Allah that he does so 12 months a year, not just one!
So we not only need to work on improving our prayers but we also need to be more consistent in giving charity.
An amazing story of consistency in giving charity would be Shaikh ibn Baz (rahimahullah). I heard that he gave so much charity that he never paid zakaah (because his wealth did not fulfill the conditions as he gave it away before the year passed), subhan Allah.
Insha-Allah, in the next post of this series, I’ll clear up some misunderstandings that people have about charity.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Part 1.]
Okay, this post is quite late but it’s okay. You can use the ideas for post-Ramadan projects as well.
I’m just mentioning a few right now. I’ll mention the rest in another post later on, insha-Allah.
Some dawah ideas
[Here’s a nice website for dawah: http://www.dawahdesk.com/ It’s a virtual one stop thingy for aspiring daees.
Oh and it takes every possible opportunity to talk about tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). I like that.]
1) Give Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim dua book) to every Muslim that you can find. They’ll love you for it.
And if you give it to them in their own language, they’ll love you even more.
However, if you don’t care about their love, then at least think about all the rewards you’ll get every time they read from the book.
2) Download some nice authentic lectures or the recitation of the Quran with the translation, and burn it onto a CD and then pass it on.
People can listen to it in their cars (and most people do, believe me).
3) Help the ill to pray by giving them books about prayer for ill people.
This one is my professor’s idea.
He pointed out that rather than giving an ill person (in hospital) sweets or gifts, it would be better to give them a small booklet showing them how they could pray in their current state.
4) Buy some small Islamic books and give them to people who might read them.
If you work in an office, you can just keep some books on your desk, so that anyone who comes to talk to you can spot them. After they ask about them, you innocently ask them if they want to read the books…
5) Start a blog.
It works. Trust me.
6) I heard of a sister that sends dates and other Ramadanish stuff to Muslims in South American countries.
I thought that this was a great idea and a real heart softener.
7) Good at designing? Well, why don’t you make some nice dawah posters? Everyone loves well-designed stuff.
Some charity ideas
1) Compile a list of the needy and send an email to all your contacts out asking for donations.
Oh and this only works if people are convinced that you won’t embezzle their money.
2) Send an SMS to your contacts asking them to help out a certain poor person.
If they don’t reply, send them another SMS.
3) You could help everyone out by collecting people’s zakaatul fitr for them and then passing it on to the poor.
4) Forward emails about authentic charity cases. Believe me, you have no idea who might be willing to help.
5) Collect a dirham each day from all your family members and then distribute it at the end of the month to the poor.
Some health project ideas
1) Visit the ill people in the hospital who have no relatives in town.
Many of these people aren’t critically ill but they are very depressed. [Hospitals are enough to make the happiest people depressed. They’ve got the most awful smell.]
2) Perhaps you could find out which people in your area has some health issues and then try to collect money for their cause.
3) Distribute black seed oil. It’s wonderful and it’s from the sunnah.
4) Donate blood.
Okay, that’s it for now. I know the ideas were simple but hey, we have to start somewhere, right?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
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!]
6) Resources for Itikaf – Umm Muawiyah’s very own guide as to what you REALLY need for itikaf.
[Note: It seems that some people get confused between Zakaah and Zakaatul Fitr. They are two totally different things.]
Is this the last post for this Ramadan, you ask?
I wish but no. A few more to go, insha-Allah…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Month of Righteous Deeds (which are done to earn Allah’s Pleasure)
رب صائم ليس له من صيامه إلا الجوع ورب قائم ليس له من قيامه إلا السهر
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690. Graded “hasan sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690.]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Once a upon a time, Ramadan was a month of giving. Today, it seems to have become a month of taking.
During Ramadan, we all become so busy with our own ibaadah (worship) like fasting, praying and reciting the Quran, that we sometimes forget that helping others is also a great act of ibaadah.
It was something that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) practiced all the time and he increased in it during Ramadan.
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة
Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]
Here are some pointers for those who want to follow the sunnah (way of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)) of helping out others:
1) Please don’t look at the size of your project.
Even if you’re helping out just ONE person, then go ahead and do it. Too often, we mislead ourselves into thinking that bigger is better and due to this, we don’t do anything because we think that it’s pointless to start such a small project.
If each of us helped just one person, then believe me, everyone would be taken care of!
2) Today it could be one, tomorrow it might be two.
I remember something that a friend of mine told me. She pointed out how each person has a circle of influence. As a person does more, his/her circle of influence will grow.
So, today you might just be helping out one person. In time, you might start helping out more people so perhaps in a few Ramadans time, you could be helping out a thousand people, insha-Allah. You never know.
[And anyway, the point is not how many people we help. It’s whether or not Allah accepts our efforts because that is the most important thing.]
3) Do something that YOU are interested in.
You’d be amazed at how any people work on things that they’re not interested in.
[Don’t ask me why they do that because it does not make any sense to me.]
Note to parents: Don’t bully your children into doing projects of YOUR choice. Let them choose what they want to do. This way, you won’t have to push them into working on the project.
4) Be practical.
Yeah, we all want to save the world but Ramadan will be over in 40 days.
We’ll try to save the world next year, insha-Allah. In the meantime, we’ll work on a nice doable, project this year.
5) Work with others. Don’t compete with them.
For example, suppose you want to prepare Eid gifts for the orphans in your area, and you find out that there are a few people already doing that.
Why not try to find out if you can work with those people rather than doing something on your own?
Too often, we don’t want to work with others because of our huge egos. [Sorry, but it’s the truth.]
6) Don’t overdo it.
“How can one overdo helping others”, you ask?
Well, some people become so involved in this that they forget their own ibaadah and their own priorities. So, for example, they help every poor person that they can but forget their own priorities.
I recall a sister asking me about a man who gave charity to everyone that he possible could yet did not give his own wife enough money for her needs!
7) You could work on dawah, charity, health, etc projects.
Yes, I have plenty, alhamdulillah, but that’s for Part 2, insha-Allah.
To be continued…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yes, today is the day (where I finally cross a big activity off my huge Pending Tasks list).
[For those who missed the story, I had promised someone on this blog that I would launch the new Muslim blog weeks ago.
My apologies to both the brother and the sister who have been waiting for this blog. I hope that it was worth the wait though.]
Before I give you the blog link, let me mention a few things:
1) The blog is still quite bare.
I didn’t want to post a whole lot of things before I launched the blog. The readers might have found it difficult to catch up with all the information.
[The blog is going in a step by step manner. If you look at the order of the posts, you’ll realise that.]
I need to add a lot more things, insha-Allah and I will, step by step.
Will it be daily? That depends. If the readers want it to be daily, it will be daily, insha-Allah.
2) The personal touch is still not there.
Someone just pointed out that she couldn’t see the “personal” side of that blog, unlike the Ramadan blog. [Okay, I’m paraphrasing the words.]
Insha-Allah, it will come soon.
This blog will have lots of little bits of advice to get our new brothers and sisters moving along.
3) I need your help.
Yes, all of you.
I’d like the non new-Muslims (old Muslims?) to participate in this blog as well. Remember this blog is for new Muslims and I’d like them to feel part of a community.
The first thing that I’d like you to do is to check the blog and give me your input:
[And please keep in mind what I wrote above: that there will be more changes to the blog now that it’s gone live.]
For those who are too shy to leave comments, you may leave your feedback below:
I hope that this blog will be off some benefit for those who are new to Islam, insha-Allah.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I was thinking about the areas that we mess up in the most during this great month. What are the things that we could (and should) do that would help us improve our Ramadan?
1) We can (and should) sleep less.
Yes, yes, I know. You might say: “Hey most of us sleep less during this month!”
I beg to differ. I think that people snooze more in this month (or at least that’s what the people in this part of the world do) than they do outside of it.
This is NOT the month of “catching up on our sleep”.
2) We can (and should) stop wasting our time with useless activities, and instead focus on our ibaadah (worship).
Want to surf the Internet? Well, do it after Ramadan.
Part of the reason that we waste our time is that we have deceived ourselves into thinking that fasting is only achieved by staying hungry and as we are staying hungry, we are in a state of worship.
Well, no, there’s much more to fasting than just starving.
3) We can (and should) eat healthy food.
Yes, we can. Really.
Just stand in front of the mirror and repeat it a hundred times. Mass repetition is known to help the brain accept an idea, no matter how impossible it sounds.
[Oh and we can (and should) eat less as well. That would really end many a woman’s kitchen nightmares….]
4) We can (and should) stop fighting with each other in the masjid.
Completely silly question: Is there any particular reason that we all single out Ramadan for masjid fights……..?
5) We can (and should) take it hour by hour and not think too far ahead.
One of the main reasons that many of us flunk in Ramadan is that we go all out in the first few days and then fizzle out early. Instead, we need to take things step by step.
Question to all of you (if you’re still around. Everyone seems to have disappeared?): What other things are there that we can (and should) do in order to have a great Ramadan?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I was looking for a hadeeth and just happened to stumble upon this eye-opener:
إذا أتى أحدكم خادمه بطعامه ، فإن لم يجلسه معه ، فليناوله أكلة أو أكلتين ، أو لقمة أو لقمتين ، فإنه ولي حره وعلاجه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When your servant brings your food to you, if you do not ask him to join you, then at least ask him to take one or two handfuls, for he has suffered from its heat (while cooking it) and has taken pains to cook it nicely.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 7, Hadeeth No. 370]
Subhan Allah, this is really something to think about.
For those of you who have servants (not uncommon in this part of the world), ask yourselves:
1) Do you do this? If not, then why not? Is the religion of Islam only about praying and fasting?
2) What’s it like in Ramadan? Is the poor servant just cooking and cooking? And does she at least get to eat the iftar that she cooked?
Oh and this hadeeth is also a great rebuttal of all those losers (i.e. many of the kuffar) out there who have nothing better to do than mock our beloved Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
When I read these kind of ahadeeth (i.e. those that point to his excellent character), all I can think is “He is just so sweet.”
And he is, isn’t it?
And if we obey Allah, we can meet this wonderful man on the Last Day at his cistern and drink the water of Kawthar from his hands.
Can it get better than that?
[Well, yes it can, as a matter of fact.]