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Posts from the ‘Charity’ Category

26
Jul

How to learn about the rules of zakaah in an easy way…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Someone sent me an absolutely marvelous link on zakaah the other day.

It was an interactive e-magazine which explains the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah in an easy way.

If you’re anything like me (i.e. the fiqh of zakaah just goes above your head), then this e-mag is for you:

http://www.islam21c.com/emag/zakat/

Make sure you click on all the links, otherwise you’ll lose out on the “interactive” part of the magazine.

[Note: Zakaah has nothing to do with Ramadan. It’s just that most Muslims seem to pay their zakaah in Ramadan.]

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25
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 24

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 23.]

In the previous part, I mentioned the two types of giving with regards to Allah’s Name Al-Mutee (the One who gives): the general (which includes believers and the disbelievers) and the specific (which is only for the believers, both in this world and the Hereafter).

The following hadeeth mentions the greatest thing that Al-Mutee gives His slaves in the Hereafter:

إن الله يقول لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة ! فيقولون : لبيك . ربنا ! وسعديك . والخير في يديك . فيقول : هل رضيتم ؟ فيقولون : وما لنا لا نرضى ؟ يا رب ! وقد أعطيتنا ما لم تعط أحدا من خلقك . فيقول : ألا أعطيكم أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقولون : يا رب ! وأي شيء أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقول : أحل عليكم رضواني . فلا أسخط عليكم بعده أبدا

Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that Allah would say to the inmates of Paradise: O, Dwellers of Paradise, and they would say in response: At Your service and pleasure, our Lord, the good is in Your Hand. He (the Lord) would say: Are you well pleased now? They would say: Why should we not be pleased, O Lord, when You have given us what You have not given to any of Your creatures? He would, however, say: May I not give you (something) even more excellent than that? And they would say: O Lord, what thing can be more excellent than this? And He would say: I shall cause My pleasure to alight upon you and I shall never be angry with you after this. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 6787]

I ask Allah, Al-Mutee by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes that He make us of those who He is pleased with, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

We should remember the following things:

a) Whatever blessings we have were given to us by Al-Mutee.

We forget this quite frequently, don’t we? We think we “earned” it, don’t we? 

يا عبادي ! لو أن أولكم وآخركم . وإنسكم وجنكم . قاموا في صعيد واحد فسألوني . فأعطيت كل إنسان مسألته . ما نقص ذلك مما عندي إلا كما ينقص المخيط إذا أدخل البحر . يا عبادي ! إنما هي أعمالكم أحصيها لكم . ثم أوفيكم إياها . فمن وجد خيرا فليحمد الله . ومن وجد غير ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه

O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6246]

[The full narration can be found here.]

I recall reading an article which asked us something like: “If you have a degree, then who caused you to have it?” It pointed out that so many people came from poor families who could not afford to pay for education.

Something for us to think about.

When we realise that we did not “earn” these blessings, then perhaps we’ll be a bit more grateful for all the stuff that we have instead of sounding like this.

b) There are no limits to His giving, nor does His giving decrease His Kingdom in the least.

The hadeeth mentioned above is a proof of this statement.

Subhan Allah, He gives to all of creation!

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

“Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)!” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 29]

c) If we want something, we should ask Allah to grant it to us.

We should do dua (supplication) and remember that if He wants to grant us something, out of His Mercy, then nobody can prevent it.

However, we should also remember that if He wants to prevent us from getting something, out of His Wisdom and Justice, then nobody can give it to us!

And this leads us to another topic: Being pleased with what Allah has decreed for us, in terms of provisions and the like.

This is a very lengthy topic. All I want to point out is that we should ask Allah and be grateful if we get what we want, and be patient if we don’t get it.

A reminder: Turn to Allah in times of distress and ask Him to grant you a way out. Do not turn to people.

من أصابته فاقة فأنزلها بالناس لم تسد فاقته ومن أنزلها بالله أوشك الله له بالغنى إما بموت عاجل أو غنى عاجل

Ibn Masud (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is afflicted with a distress, and turns to the people (to solve it), he will not have his distress solved. And whoever turns to Allah, Allah will hasten independence to him, either by a quick death or a speedy richness.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645]

d) Nobody should say “Oh, I’m not guided because Allah did not give me guidance.”

This is a common chirp. What the person really means is “I know that I have to be good, but I just don’t want to be.”

A person is misguided due to his own sins:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِ‌بَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا

فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَ‌ادَ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 26]

In contrast, the sincere ones are the ones who are guided:

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.” [Surah Muhammad (47) : 17]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) states in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse):

“(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.

(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance.”

So, the one who sincerely seeks guidance will be given it. So we need to do lot of dua asking Allah to guide us and then we need to take the means i.e. studying about Islam and increasing in our worship.

e) Al-Mutee gives more to certain types of people so we should try to adopt those qualities.

One of those types would be kind people:

يا عائشة ! إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق . ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف . وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Aishah, verily Allah is Rafeeq (kind) and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6273]

This hadeeth mentions another Name of Allah: Ar-Rafeeq (kind). So, if we want Al-Mutee, Ar-Rafeeq to give us more, we need to increase in kindness towards His creation, even if it were a wild camel.

f) We should also give.

If we want Allah to give us more, then obviously we should give more to others, shouldn’t we?

الأيدي ثلاثة فيد الله العليا ويد المعطي التي تليها ويد السائل السفلى فأعط الفضل ولا تعجز عن نفسك

Malik ibn Nadlah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are three types of hands: The Hand of Allah is the highest, and the hand of the giver is below it, and the hand of the one who asks is the lowest. So give blessings (charity) and do not be too weak to overcome yourself.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649.]

Reminder: This is Ramadan, the month where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would increase in his generosity, so we should follow his sunnah (way):

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 (sallallahu 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 (sallallahu 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]

2) He is Al-Musair (the One who determines).

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

[I’ve mentioned this hadeeth before when I discussed the Names Ar-Raaziq and Ar-Razzaq on Day 10.]

So Allah is the One who determines things (like prices, provisions, life etc) through His will, so we should be content with that. The people who don’t know this are the ones who suffer anxiety. [I just came across this interesting article on the Islamic perspective on the financial crisis.]

This should also encourage a person to be lenient with regards to prices, instead of behaving like a pest when he sells or buys.

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلاً سَمْحًا إِذَا بَاعَ، وَإِذَا اشْتَرَى، وَإِذَا اقْتَضَى ‏

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdillah (radiallahu anhuma): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on a man who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadith No. 290]

3) He is Al-Qaabidh (the Taker / the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly/ the Extender).

The hadeeth mentioned above about Al-Musair also mentions these two Names.

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in the following dua of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam). In the previous post, I pointed out that this dua mentioned the attribute of giving as well:

لما كان يوم أحد ، وانكفأ المشركون ، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استووا حتى أثني على ربي عز و جل اللهم لك الحمد كله ، اللهم لا قابض لما بسطت ، و لا مقرب لما باعدت ، و لا مباعد لما قربت ، و لا معطي لما منعت ، و لا مانع لما أعطيت أسألك ابسط علينا من بركاتك و رحمتك و فضلك و رزقك ، اللهم إني أسألك النعيم المقيم الذي لا يحول و لا يزول اللهم إني أسألك النعيم يوم العيلة ، و الأمن يوم الحرب ، اللهم عائذا بك من سوء ما أعطينا ، و شر ما منعت منا اللهم حبب إلينا الإيمان وزينه في قلوبنا ، وكره إلينا الكفر والفسوق والعصيان واجعلنا من الراشدين اللهم توفنا مسلمين ، و أحينا مسلمين و ألحقنا بالصالحين ، غير خزايا ، و لا مفتونين اللهم قاتل الكفرة الذين يصدون عن سبيلك ، و يكذبون رسلك ، و اجعل عليهم رجزك و عذابك قاتل الكفرة الذين أوتوا الكتاب ، إله الحق

Rifaa az-Zurqi (radiallahu anhu) said, “In the Battle of Uhud when the idolaters retreated, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Form straight ranks so that I can praise my Almighty Lord.’ They formed in ranks behind him. He said, ‘O Allah, all praise is due to You. O Allah, none can contract what You expand nor bring near what you put far away. None can put far away what You bring near. None can give what You withhold nor withhold what You give. O Allah, expand to us some of Your blessings, mercy and favour and give us provision! O Allah, I ask You for the abiding blessing which is neither changed nor removed. O Allah, I ask You for blessing on the Day of Utter Poverty and security on the Day of Fear. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the evil of what You give us. O Allah, make us love belief and adorn our hearts with it. Make us hate disbelief, deviance and rebellion. Place us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, make us die Muslims and make us live as Muslims and join us to the rightly, acting, who are neither disappointed nor afflicted. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who bar your path and who deny Your Messengers. Place You abasement and punishment over them. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who were given the Book, O Lord of Truth!'” [Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 699. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 538. I got the latter reference from Dorar.]

[Completely awesome dua, isn’t it?]

You might have noticed that both these attributes are opposites of each other.

Insha-Allah, I’ll discuss that in the next part.

To be continued…

18
Jul

Article: A Brief Guide to Zakaah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Are Zakaah and Ramadan related?

In reality, they are not. [Zakaatul Fitr, which is different from zakaah, IS related to Ramadan though.]

However, many people pay their zakaah in Ramadan (only for some of them to erase the word “charity” from their vocabulary for the next 11 months).

I’ve put up some resources on zakaah before (the search function is very useful, you know).

However, here is a very simple guide to zakaah: A Brief Guide to Zakaah

There are two important issues that people always ask about:

1) How does one pay zakaah on the interest money they earned (which are unlawful earnings obviously) before they repented?

Here’s the fatwa (ruling) of Shaikh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah) on this issue.

2) How does one pay zakaah on money that he has loaned to others?

Here’s the fatwa of Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah) on this issue.

5
Apr

Project “Recover Ramadan” – Step 17: Remember that zakaah and sadaqah are not limited to Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

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.

25
Aug

So, who are you helping out in Ramadan? – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[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.

Ooh.

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?

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…

10
Aug

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 10

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[This post picks up from where yesterday’s post left off.]

6) There is a difference between the Names of Allah and His Attributes.

[Note: I’m translating this portion from my teacher Ustadh Azeez Farhan’s class notes on Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah.

Haven’t heard of him, say the UAE folks? That’s sad because he’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the country.

Obviously, he lectures in Arabic. Here’s his website.]

What is the difference?

Read more »

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.]

24
Jul

So, who are you helping out in Ramadan? – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

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.

NO!

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.

Ideas?

Yes, I have plenty, alhamdulillah, but that’s for Part 2, insha-Allah.

To be continued…