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21
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 20

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 19.]

3. He is Al-Qareeb (the One who is close) and Al-Mujeeb (the One who responds/answers).

وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُ‌هُ ۖ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاسْتَعْمَرَ‌كُمْ فِيهَا فَاسْتَغْفِرُ‌وهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ مُّجِيبٌ

“And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Saleh. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.”” [Surah Hud (11) : 61]

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

[This ayah (verse) comes right after the ayah about Ramadan being the month of Quran. The ayah after this also relates to fasting and Ramadan. Something to think about, isn’t it?]

وَقَالَ رَ‌بُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُ‌ونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِ‌ينَ

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!”” [Surah Ghafir (40) : 60]

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20
Jul

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 19

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 18. That’s where I stopped last year. I’ll just continue using the same numbering system.]

Note: Last year I forgot to mention some of the sources that I’m using for this series. I’m using this book compiled from Tafsir As-Saadi, Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen’s explanation of Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah as well as my teacher Ustadh Aziz Farhan’s explanation of it (these are class notes so they are not publicly available), Fiqh Al-Asmaa was-Sifaat by Shaikh Abdur Razzaq Al-Abbaad, Sharh Asma Allah Al-Husna by Shaikh Saeed ibn Wahf Al-Qahtani (the author of the Fortress of the Muslim) as well as some other sources depending on the Names being discussed.

11. He is As-Samee (The All-Hearer), Al-Qareeb (the One who is close) and Al-Mujeeb (the One who answers). He is the One who has commanded us to supplicate to Him alone and loves that we do so.

As usual, let’s take this step by step:

1) He is As-Samee (the All-Hearer), whose Hearing is Perfect and encompasses all sounds and languages.

Allah says:

مَّن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّـهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرً‌ا

“Whoever desires a reward in this life of the world, then with Allah (Alone and none else) is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And Allah is Ever All­-Hearer, All­-Seer.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 134]

فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا ۖ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ ۖ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 137]

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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.

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.

18
Jul

Article: Fasting in Ramadan (includes a kiddie version)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Need a quick refresher on what fasting and Ramadan are all about?

Well, here’s an extremely nice article which mentions many of the virtues of fasting and Ramadan: Fasting in Ramadan

Oh and they even have a version for kiddies. [The differences aren’t immediately obvious but they are definitely there.]

“Oh, my kids are too young for that.”

Well, in that case, you might be in interesting in this Ramadan coloring book and this coloring page.

18
Jul

Lecture in Dubai (tomorrow) entitled “Why Ramadan is important to Non-Muslims”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Live in Dubai and want to encourage your non-Muslim family or colleagues to know more about Ramadan?

Well then, you need to bring them to the following lecture entitled: “Why Ramadan is important to Non-Muslims”

Lecturer: Brother Taher Khalid

Date and Time: Thursday 19th July (tomorrow!) at 8pm

Location: Jumeirah Islamic Learning Centre

Here’s the location map.

You can contact them at:

Tel: +971 4 394 9461

Email: infojilc@yahoo.com

Please forward this to all the non-Muslims that you know (in Dubai and thereabouts) as this is an excellent opportunity for them to understand what Ramadan is all about.

Baarakallahu feekunn.

17
Jul

A reminder as to why fasting was enjoined upon us…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So I came across another article that told us why Muslims fast in Ramadan.

The only problem was that it – like most of the articles before it – failed to mention the MAIN reason that fasting was enjoined.

No, it’s not to feel empathy with the poor. [I heard that so many times when I was younger!]

What did Allah say?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]

So, this is the reason that fasting was prescribed: to increase us in taqwa (piety).

What is fasting, after all? It’s staying away from three HALAL (lawful) things (food, drink and sexual intercourse with one’s spouse) from dawn to dusk during Ramadan.

Why? Well, just because Allah said so.

So, this begs the question: If we can give up the halal from dawn to dusk for 30 days, just because Allah said so, why can’t we give up the haram (unlawful) outside of Ramadan just because Allah said so?

I read or heard (can’t remember) a shaikh say something very interesting. He pointed out that many people fast but do not pray (and such a fast is invalid by the way) which did not make any sense (how could a person who wanted to increase in piety leave the prayer??).

Apart from the fact that prayer is the greater pillar, fasting was tougher than prayer! You had to do it for a whole day whereas a simple prayer could be done in 5-10 minutes.

He pointed out that these people do the more difficult act of worship and leave the easier one.

Does that make sense? Obviously not.

So, we need to make sure that we know the purpose of fasting, because if we don’t, we won’t get the benefit of performing this great act of worship.

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?