Archive for September, 2007

~Ramadhan Reflecions~

September 26, 2007

They are very moving, thought-provoking, simple and above all a collection of much needed advice, timed perfectly!

check it out: http://www.thoughthouse.net/jeewan/?p=21

also, http://jeewanc.com/

Orphan Sponsorship Program (OSP)

September 26, 2007

Orphan Sponsorship Program (OSP)


The Prophet (peace be upon him)) said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together. [Sahih Al- Bukhari] .


Would you like to make the most of Ramdan by making a positive difference in the live of an orphan and be in
Paradise together with the Prophet (PBUH)?! 

The Orphan Sponsorship Program (OSP) is sponsoring 100 orphans from 17 different countries Masha’Allah. It would now cost around $44,000 to re-sponsor all the orphans for an additional year and this can only be possible with your help!

It costs $360/year to sponsor an orphan from: Afghanistan, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Guyana and Indonesia.

It costs $720/year to sponsor an orphan from: Palestine, Lebanon and Bosnia

It costs $396/year to sponsor an orphan from: Egypt and Burkina Faso

Donate any amount you can through various methods:

– All Jumu’ah donations (at Hart House) during Ramadan will go to sponsor orphans.
– Donate at the iftars on campus.
– By cheque or even online using paypal via our website.

 For further information contact: osp.uoft@yahoo.ca  or http://www.ospuoft.wordpress.com 

~ Ramadan Reminders ~

September 15, 2007

Click on the title to view the source/original website* 

~ Ramadan Reminders ~

Ramadan is a month that goes by very fast. And if we don’t make the most of it, you’ll be the one to loose and you’ll not have benefited from your fast much.

Ramadan is not about eating, its about fasting, reading quran, worship, getting closer to Allah subhanahu wa Ta’ala. It is about how your heart feels and how you get closer and closer to Allah, and its about doing ibadah. But most of all, Ramadan is about that feeling you have in your heart… that closeness you feel.. that “feeling” that you experience through out the month of Ramadan.

And remember, during Ramadan, Shayateen are chained. If you find that you are not doing well in your ibadah, or if you are not acting upon the manners of islam.. if you are not living islam with ur heart and soul, then its not shayateen that are telling you to be bad.. it is YOU who is being bad..

This is because he (shaytan) trained our nafs very well, so now all he needs to do is sit back and watch us, while we commit sins and do all the work on our own. Now that Shaytan is chained, he is not worried.. He knows we will be just fine with the training we got from him. What we need to really do though during this month (and this is our chance), is to train ourselves and fix our hearts. And if we are not good in Ramadan, then when are we going to be good? In the rest of the year?! It won’t happen because now is the chance. Ramadan is a chance that Allah gives us to not be influenced by Shaytan. It is a chance.. Allah tells us “ok… here you go.. I chained them for you, be good now”.

We must tell our selves that we are “good”, and promise your self that you’ll do your best in this Ramadan.

This is not to say that you’ll be an angel, there is a hadith, that if you were to be like angels with no sins, then Allah will replace us with people who will sin and then repent!

That is because when we repent we become humble, and humiliate our self in front of Allah(swt). The prophet has told us that a man with an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will not enter jannah!!

So, for at least one month, try hard to do a lot of work, and pray to Allah. Make du’a tell Allah that ya Allah… I did many mistakes ya Rabb! I have done many bad things, but I need your help ya Rabb, please forgive me and guide me… help me get closer..

Ask Allah (swt) from your heart, and Allah will help you because you do not need to do much to get close to Allah(swt) for Allah comes closer to you when you turn to Allah!

Get up right now after this halaqa, and pray 2 raka’as to Allah and talk to Allah (swt) in the last sujood of two raka’ahs, ask Allah to give you one more chance and to make this Ramadan different and to get closer to Allah and promise that you’ll work hard in this Ramadan.

Say it from your heart, make dua sincerely and with deepness. Ramadan is a time when Allah accepts dua, and you never know when your dua will be accepted? First day, second or the last day??? So make dua everyday!

We all have things to do, work, school etc…. but this Ramadan is also a chance for you to do lots of good things. For example, you build a house in jannah every single day if you pray sunnah prayers! So if this is the reward to pray in regular days, in Ramadan this is multiplied!!!!! What would that be???? So it is only an extra five minutes in every prayer. Do you thikr, your morning remembrances, all other remembrances that we learned. There is lots of chances for you to make your scale heavy and provide yourself with enough provision to keep you ok for the rest of the year.

Prophet(saw) said that there is not a single ibadah that is better than the dhikr of Allah

And there are two phrases that Allah (Swt) loves. As a human being if someone were to tell you that there are these things that your husband loves then you’ll say it every time u see him!

Then What About Allah (swt) !!! the two phrases are:

سبحان الله وبحمده
سبحان الله العظيم

Very easy on tongue and very very heavy on your scale on the day of judgement (yawm al qiyamah), and most beloved to Allah. This is how Prophet(saw) described it!

If you want to get to close to Allah, then you talk to Allah. And Allah (swt) will reply to you but not in a human way, like if you made dua to Allah then the you pick up the quran and the page speaks to you, or if we were wondering about something then you go to a halaqa and there you find the person talking about things you were just thinking etc…So Allah(swt) talks to us in different ways…. We just need to open our hearts and listen to Allah guide us in His way.

Also, read Quran in ramadan, so if you never finished quran in ramadan put your goal to finish it this Ramadan, or if u do usually once then do it twice, or even if u don’t finish it then at least you tried to finish it!

Here is a story to motivate you, there is this brother who is busy with family, kids, work, masjid etc, and he finishes the quran 9 times in Ramadan!!! And how does he do it??? He reads it in prayer, qiyam, taraweeh, and if he has time and even a minute then he just does it!!! So make a goal that you can achieve logically, not something u can’t do, something like okay I’ll do it once etc. So make a goal that is doable, and then increase it by little bit to leave room for “taqseer”.

Question came up in halaqa:

“I was just wondering … i see people reading it like a lot , but sometimes its just like they are tired and reading it, not as much passion and stuff… shouldnt’ we read it with translation so we actually want to read more and its not just for finishing it once or twice?”

There is a reward for reading quran, scholars separated it as two parts: 1) set yourself some time in the day just reading it and 2) trying to understand it. So, a logical goal is to read it without translation, so read a section and every time you have extra time then read the translation. And if for some reason you missed the translation then at least you finished reciting it. Ramadan is a short time, so you don’t get too much done but its better to read the translation if you have finished quran already! Reading the translation and understanding the quran should be something we do throughout the year, and so when Ramadan comes, we should be in the stage to use Quran as a Ibada not as a “learning” experience. Everything has a time.. and Ramadan is the month of ibada.. yes learning is Ibada.. but we could make the most of Ramadan if we do the translation another time, then do ur ibada of reading it and reviewing it now.

You need to define your relationship with the quran in Ramadan.

Have a list of things you want to do every day and check with urself if you did do it or not: e.g. did I do fajr sunnah, did I read the quran, did I go to the halaqa every thursday?

Then check your self, Monday, tues, etc make a schedule and make a week’s schedule.

Did I improve in something? If you say I’ll do what comes to mind….you won’t be able to do much!

You’ll loose track. Pray qiyaam! Even 2 raka’ahs! So when you get up for suhoor get up a little early…and read a page…and don’t think you’re very bad in reading quran, you’ll learn. When you’re reading on your own you’ll make a lot of mistakes but don’t stop reading it (because of that)!

If you have time continue reading quran until the sunrise (after suhoor) same reward as hajj and umrah!!! Again, this is multiplied in reward for Ramadan.

So these are some of the rewards for Ramadan. So pls today make duaa, that deep dua, remember Ramadan is at our door…we have no more time…tomorrow might be the last day (of sha’aban)…in islam the night starts a new day so if we see the moon tomorrow then that’s the first night of Ramadan!!

Another thing to try if you want this year, remember the blessings of Allah(swt), even thinking about the blessings is actually a worship and you get reward for it! Try to pick 1 blessing every day of Ramadan and try to thank Allah for them. E.g. I have Eyes, and how can I be grateful? Then read an extra section of the quran! Many people cant speak, then say something good (as being grateful for Allah has blessed you with tongue). Thank Allah (swt).

Home work:

If you take the bus, or have an hour like that, think of Surah al-fatiha (which is a SUMMARY of the whole quran) therefore, you have to know/understand surah Al fatiha. So when you’re in a bus/car (or free) etc take verse by verse…and repeat it e.g. Alhamdulillahi rabbil 3alamin…meaning thanking Allah…then think what are you thanking HIM about? That you are able to speak, see etc???

You are saying Rabbil 3alameen? What did Allah created, think of the creation? Repeat the verse over and over and each time thank Allah for 1 thing. That you’ve good parents, or that you were really sick? Not only yourself but also the people you love, who got thru hard times etc. So try it for a week, and then share with us what you thought about it. You can write it, email all of us, or talk about it. It’s a beautiful feeling, you have to try it, I can’t just describe it.

Read the daily dua’s from Husnal- muslim (the fortresses of the muslim), pray salatul doha- before dhur (so if dhur is like around 01:30ish then do it around or before 11 o’clock). So do this in Ramadan….2 or four rakah in salat al-doha. And do sunnah, and do qiyaam at any time you want, at least do it on weekends.

If Ramadan is like a regular day for you, then pls catch up in the first week b4 first week is over. If you reach the middle then you lost much.

Scholars always say, beginning 10 days is re7ma (mercy), then middle is maghfirah (forgiveness-that is, forgiveness for you if you have done well), and the last is being saved from the Hell-fire. Celebrating Eid is not b’cause we can start to eat, but rather celebrating it after we’ve worked hard. Like after exams, you celebrate. So, If you don’t work hard in Ramadan then what are you celebrating???? Its kind of silly of us to be soooooo happy and celebrate even though we might not have worked hard! Its like you celebrating because someone at York graduated! …

Tell yourself if you don’t do well this Ramadan, then do not celebrate, like not buy yourself anything etc.

Remember also, tomorrow is Friday. Friday is the day to study surah al-kahf. So, you must be practicing in Ramadan. We are not the worshippers of Ramadan, so it’s a time to practice not to worship just for Ramadan. A scholar says that the way to tell that you have passed the test in Ramadan, is to look at your self afterwards, if you’re able to do what you did in Ramadan, then you passed and if not then you did not! At least, you must have improved in something… that’s how you know you actually benefited and passed the test.

Read Surah Tabarak every night, practice, and do a lot of dua in Ramadan.

To end our halaqa, there is a Hadeeth:

Whenever people gather in a place to remember Allah, Angels roaming around gather around and they call upon other angels until they reach the skies and they stretch their wings, so perhaps the angels are gathering around us (during halaqa).

Try new things to motivate yourself. For example, how about having an angel as a friend!!! See an angel as a friend who is telling you to do good things throughout your day in Ramadan, like childhood “imaginative” friends!!!! Reminds you of your childhood!!! So be creative in ways to motivate your self!!! For all those studying, your studying is worship!! As long as you have that intention that you’re going to work/or do it for Allah(swt). So it’s not a waste of time, think of it as worship, a duty given to you by Allah and who are we to complain about what duties Allah asks us to do!!! To acquire knowledge is iba’dah. And make your intention that this is for the sake of Allah. And so you’ll find that Allah will bless you with your time. By the way, do not forget to make dua that Allah blesses you in your time, you need it!

Another thing to learn, you might find very beneficial inshallah. If you say Allahumma salle 3la sayyidna Muhammad (salah upon the prophet(saw)- in the beginning and the end- of your dua, then Allah will accept your dua (a dua will not be rejected).

Treat Ramadan as a guest, so when a guest comes over you clean your house, look nice etc…so when you pray look nice…it is important. Like having an interview! This is your meeting with Allah(swt). This is our deen to look pretty (nice), and not ugly!

Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika, ashadu an la ilaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.
(Glory is to You, Oh Allah, and praise is to You. I seek Your forgiveness and return to You.)

A useful link:
http://www.ilmfruits.com/index.php/2006/08/19/alhamdulillah/

 

 

 

~ Ahadeeth ~


* Hadith – Ahmad and an-Nasa’i :
`Arfajah said “We were with `Utbah ibn Farqad while he was discussing Ramadan. A companion of the Prophet entered upon the scene. When `Utbah saw him, he became shy and stopped talking. The man [the companion] spoke about Ramadan, saying: I heard the Messenger of Allah say during Ramadan: “The gates of Hell are closed, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are in chains. An angel calls out : ‘O you who intend to do good deeds, have glad tidings. O you who intend to do evil, refrain, until Ramadan is completed”.

* In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “If you did not commit sin, Allah would do away with you and bring people who would commit sins then ask Him to forgive them, so He would forgive them.”

* ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No one who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “And if the man likes his clothes to be good and his sandals to be good?” He said, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means to renounce the truth and abase people.” [Muslim]

* Abu Hurairah, radiallaahu ‘anhu, reports that Allaah’s Messenger (saws) said, “Two words are most beloved to the Most Merciful, light upon the tongue and heavy upon the Balance: Subhaanallahi wa bihamdihi and Subhaanallahil ‘Adheem.” Reported by al-Bukhaaree

* The Prophet, blessings and peace be onhim, said: Whenever people gather in one of the houses of Allah for reading the Qur’an and teaching it to one another, peace descends upon them, mercy covers them, angels spread their wings over them, and Allah mentions them to those around Him (Muslim).

Thoughts on the First Day of Ramadhan!

September 15, 2007

Ofcourse, you can always skip the thoughts!

Ramadan Kareem! It’s already here. It took me by surprise, unprepared again. SubhanAlah, it’s the 3rd day of Ramadhan now, going away too fast, too soon.  And in this short time there is so much to do, so much to gain! I am penning down my thoughts I had on the first day of ramadhan, it’s interesting to know what people are thinking this ramadhan. So here are my thoughts, and inshaAllah it would be great to hear from others  as well (you can always post after ramadhan too, as time is so precious now, time always is!)

Driving my way home on the first of ramadhan I was thinking how I would explain the importance of ramadhan to a non-muslim. Being a minority in west, I find it difficult to explain to others what this month really is. To tell them that it is more than a personal choice, an annual ritual, a detoxifying fast from sunrise to sunset, a sacrifice, to connect to those who are less fortunate, to instill charity, to spiritually recharge ourselves, and so on and so forth.

 I remember hearing the khateeb liking Ramadan to a graduate school, where we train our minds and body, and eid is the graduation party! But if we truly didn’t achieve anything, then really eid is to be less of a joyous occasion for us. It’s a wonderful way of reminding ourselves of the purpose of ramadhan.

I think of ramadhan as a second chance, a truly amazing opportunity, given only to those who are extremely lucky. This is why ramadhan is so special, so precious, its one night worth more than a thousand other nights. It is such a blessed month, such a beautiful guest, like a stranger who changes our lives. It is truly out of the mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’ala that this month is given to all of  His (Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) creation, to every one, an opportunity we must seize, to change the course of our lives.

But why we must deny ourselves the most basics of life to taste the blessings of this month? Why we should go hungry to feel for one? Why so many rules to follow, it doesn’t make sense.

Perhaps it is to teach man that there is more that we don’t know and don’t understand, more we can’t know and can’t comprehend, than we think. If we believe in God, then we must submit fully and not question the logic of each and every obligation, for our minds our very limited.  Was this the first lesson our dear father, Adam (AS) learned, when shaytan came to him and said:

 “Then Shaytaan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : ‘O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?” [Ta-Ha 20:120-121 – interpretation of the meaning]

In reality, Shaytaan promised Adam (as) the two things Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) had already given him(as). We are all eternal, our earthly presence is temporary but we truly are eternal beings! And Adam (AS) was in al-Jannah, a kingdom that will never waste away.

Indeed, there is very little we know. Lets claim back our place, or increase in our rank, in the sight of Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala), through obedience. May, we be as quick in repenting as our blessed parents, Adam and Hawa (Eve)-(Peace and blessings be upon them both) who said:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers”  [al-A’raaf 7:23]

“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do”    [al-Shoora 42:25]

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam”  [Aal ‘Imraan 3:19]

The month of Qura’an:

Here is a good link to get started:http://www.islamonline.net/english/ramadan/1428/index.shtml

I’m sharing the few notes I took from a halaqah:Just like one must be pure to carry the quran, one’s heart must be pure to carry the quran.The one who carries the Quran, fears Allah, is silent, not having a loud voice (as in rude), and does not commit sins like backbiting etc (perhaps the meaning here is- one doesn’t constantly commits such sins without repentance).

It is important to listen to the quran as well.

Even the Prophet(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked the companions to recite the Quran to him(sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

Do not raise your voice over the Quran.

When you see a verse of Sajdah, do sujood.

(SubhanAllah, a lecture by Hamza Yusuf coems to mind, where he said that quran is not just for reciting, that is why we do sajdah rite after an ayah of sajdah, to hear and then to obey-no delays/hesitations)

 Adaab of the Mushaf: 

Do not put it on floor or under other books. Some Scholars consider it haram to put it on floor.

It is mustahab (recommended) to smell nice. Have wudu’ before holding a mushaf.

Makrooh (disliked) to hang it. (example: for protection)

One is not allowed to touch it if in a state of najas akbar (ghusl required for purification).Some scholars say not allowed to even read the quran in such a state (there is ikhtilaaf among scholars over the issue of haid)

Tilawah- Read the quran with proper tajweed, and read slowly.

Haraam to read with wrong tashkeel, read it wrong.

*Do not wait for the last 10 days of ramadhan to increase your ibadah. Do it now, it is the blessings of doing it in the beginning of ramadhan that will able you to do more in the last days of ramadhan as well.

 Ramadhan Checklist: 

The credit goes to the friend who gave the above halaqah and also made this checklist to follow, it really is helpful, not too much to so, not too little!

May Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) always bless us to be in the company of those who conctantly remind us to turn towards Him (Subhanahu wa Taa’ala). Ameen.

Ramadhan Checklist