Archive for the ‘Purifying Heart’ Category

The Light of Islam

May 10, 2008

  The Sun is an imposing presence in our Solar System, providing the heat and light that sustains life on Earth. With a radius of around 700 000 kilometres (more than a hundred times larger than the Earth’s) the Sun dwarfs all the planets in the Solar System and contains 99.8% of its mass. The Sun has a north and south pole, just like the Earth, and rotates on its axis.

 A planet’s distance from the Sun can determine whether it’s able to sustain life. Those too close experience extreme temperatures, while those too distant are so dark and cold that life cannot survive. The light from the Sun is so intense that even here on Earth, some 93 million miles away, it is dangerous to look at the Sun with the naked eye.

Surah Tawbah(9): Ayaat 32-33

Fain would they extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

It is He Who hath sent His Apostle with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).

 

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِئُواْ نُورَ اللّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللّهُ إِلاَّ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

Interesting Read: When Islam almost Vanished by Jawad Jafry

 

 

Advertisements

ImanFlash!

May 3, 2008

Something beautiful from a very beautiful  site: www.imanflash.wordpress.com

AL-Quran Al-Kareem

 

When Things Go Wrong!

April 12, 2008

A Beautiful Dua!

 

 

 اللهم لا أسألك رد القضاء ولكن أسألك اللطف فيه

 

O Allah, I do not ask you to “return” or “undo” al qada’a (event that has occurred), but I ask you to have mercy in it (for me).

“Al-lotf” which is kindness or mercy in it (i.e in the qada’a which you have decreed upon us)

Any better translation would be greatly appreciated. However, I am most fascinated by this dua, because it shows the human factor of wishing to undo things and turn the time back. Yet, as we know that is impossible we simply ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to make the misfortune we’ve caused to befall on ourselves, to be full of mercy.

Notes on Surah Tabarak/Al-Mulk

April 12, 2008

Surah Tabarak and Juz 29:

Allah says: Verily this quran guides to the best, give glad tidings to the believers who do good and for them is the great reward.

إِنَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ يِهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا            

17:9- VERILY, this Qur’an shows the way to all that is most upright, and gives the believers who do good deeds the glad tiding that theirs will be a great reward.

(And, those who read the book of Allah and perform salah, and dispense from what we give them in secret and in public, they trade in partnership that is never unsuccessful and he will give them more and he will increase them in the reward, he is most giving….)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

35:29- (It is) they who [truly] follow God’s revelation, and are constant in prayer, and spend on others, secretly and openly, out of what We provide for them as sustenance – it is they who may look forward to a bargain that can never fail.

Hadith: Verily Allah has special people on this earth ( dunya), they are the people of the  quran in this dunya.

The Quran is the miracle from Allah, it is  a guidance for people. And Quran is not a book like any other book, you don’t read Quran just to get hasanaat (reward), it is a book that you ponder upon and get guidance from it.

Many people read Quran but do not benefit from it, becuase they are not seeking any benefit from it. Quran talks to us all on different levels, and if you’re not willing to listen and your hearts are closed then you’ll not benefit from it.

A part of the Quran was revealed in Makkah for the unbelievers, and a part in medina where there were mixed religions, and later in medina when muslims became majority. So Quran has different styles for people in makkah and medina.

In Makkah due to jahiliyya (ignorance), the verses were very strong and powerful because the arabs did not believe in Allah but had ver good grasp of the Arabic language. These verses were to destroy their believes and prove them wrong, hence very challenging too. These verses were on tawhid (the oneness of Allah subhanahu wata’ala) and Ar-rububiyyah (to believe that there is only one god, who created the universe and they only one with power).

People in general love the makki surahs/verses, and perhaps it is because we need this tawheed, and not to learn so much about fiqhi issues. Verses also spoke about the stories of people/nations passed before and how they were punished for their disbelieve.

If we move towards the medina verses, the Quran was mainly talking to a group of muslims,  and  takes a different approach. It talks about angels, books, our relationship with jews/Christians, and about jannah, akhira, patience when hurt by disbelievers etc.

These verses also talk about ahkaam (orders/obligations), and halal/haram and jihad because jihad comes after you learn about Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala. It talks about the hypocrites as well in medina.

Every juzz has special characteristics and topics that it revolves around.

All of the verses in juz 29 are makkiyaa. The first thing it talks about is aqueedah (believe/creed), for the early muslims in islam, and to let them know who the creator is and build a strong society based on the correct believe in Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala to establish and carry on the message.

So, if you believe in Allah then it is easier to follow the ahkaam but if you do not believe then it is very hard to follow all these ahkaam.

Aqueedah:

The Quran paid special attention to aqueedah from the very beginning. The first verse”Whoever disbeleives in imaan, all his work will be useless an on the day of judgement, and  he will be among the losers!!!  So Allah makes it clear that there is no way around it!

The six pillars of imaan: the first is the belief in Allah-one who has dominion of everything, who has created and gives rizq  sustenance etc.

Beginning of surah  tabrak talks about this.

Later on the verses ask about who will/can protect and give rizq from Allah.

Then on the belief in messengers and truth, and akhira.

Later on in the juzz is surah qiyaamah, where it talks about the day of judgement.

Muslim is not to be lost in this dunya and not know what they are doing here in this world.

Surah Tabarak is the key to the whole juzz:

1st verse: the power of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, who has created life and death and he gives and takes, and this is a test to see who is good and who is bad. The purpose of living and dying?

The verse ends with Allah is most merciful, and most forgiving. That to Allah belongs the most perfect and good characteristics.

He subhanhu wa ta’ala created 7 heavens, and He created the earth to walk in its path, and later on the sings of the birds flying on top of them, these are the wonders of Allah and the perfection in creation, a challenge to find a fault in His creation, and obviously human beings can’t.

 

Later on in another surah Allah says: “no  soul will carry the burdens of other”

“Every soul is responsible for what it has earned”

The same message is carried and extended upon in the whole juzz.

Even Akhira and the punishment ties in to the very first verse: He has power over everything and the power to reward and punish.

The verses of punishment are followed by the verses of reward for believers, so muslims have hope in Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala.

Also tying in with the power of Allah, are the verses that say: are you not scare that Allah will cause the earth to shake and send winds and no one will be able to protect them, this is the part of aqueedah.

At the end, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: Say He is Arrahman the most merciful, and we believe in Him and we have our trust in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And this is the aqueedah we need and the whole chapter says it over and over again. This is all talking to the disbelievers, Allah is talking to people who do not even believe in Him!

1)      The believe that Allah has power, dominion, creator, and He is the only one ot seek help form, the one who gives and takes.

2)      He is the only creator, and he created perfectly.

3)      The truth of life and death, so we are tested in our life,

4)       The punishment of akhira, jannah and rewards for believer.

5)      Allah is responsible for disbelievers, and He will deal with them

6)      Allah has described the right way to jannah, and with His mercy we will enter jannah if we follow it.

 

In Thy Name, We live

October 27, 2007

InshaAllah everyone had a blessed ramadan and the joys of Eid with their family and loved ones.

After the short ramadan break, it seems all the things we were able to do in ramadan have somehow become so strenous and time consuming that we start to slack and slowly we stop doing them.

We can feel our imaan declining, islam taking a back seat in our lives, but we do nothing about it, until the next ramadan comes. We then make another set of ramadan resolutions, which last as long as the ramadan itself, then we break them. 

Allah Subhanahu wata’ala protects His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) servants, those who seek His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) help and protection.

We would not sin continously and disobey Allah(subhanahu wa ta’ala), if we knew Him(subhanahu wa ta’ala). One can not love someone unless you know him/her.

So here is a chance to get to know your Lord, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

In Thy Name, We Live

Al-Fattah (The Superb Arbiter)

Al-Afou (The Effacer of sins)

Al-Wali (The Gaurdian or Protector -the inspiration to start this blog came form this episode)

Al-Wakeel (The Ever-Trustee)

Al-Aziz (the Almighty)

SubhanAllah, I’m tempted to post all of them, but inshaAlalh hope you watch all of them, or read the articles (I personally prefer to watch- perhaps this will cut your tv time!).

Also, a good read: Be a servant of Allah, all year long!

I Think it’s time to bring it back! by Muhajirah.

I hope the above will motivate us enough to keep trying to please Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala.

Oh Allah, bless us to live by Your names, to worship You and none but You, to seek only Your help and assistance. Oh Allah, purify for us our hearts, eyes and bodies, able us to carry the quran in our hearts, make the quran easy for us to remember and even easier to follow it, help us understand Your words, ya Allah. Ya Rabb, please forgive us, we have sinned much, but Your Grace and Forgiveness is much greater than our sins, Oh Allah protect us all from disobeying You, openly and secretly.

Ya Rabb, we are weak, ignorant of what is best for us, Oh Allah please do not leave us to oursleves even for a blink of an eye. Ya Kareem, let us start living the way that pleases You. Ya Rehman, Ya Ghafour, Ya Raheem, Ya Wali, Ya Rabbul Arshil 3adheem- protect us, save us, we are drowning in our sins, Ya Rabb no one can save us except You.  Ya Allah, please do not let this world distract us from You, Do not let us be among those who will be unable to fall in sujood on the day of Judgement, Ya Rabb, we truly love You, and sincerely worship You alone, not sharing anyone with You. O Allah please protect us and our homes, please forgive us, and erase our sin, for we can not face You with our great  sins, Oh Allah, You are so merciful You have convered our faults and sins from others, please erase them from our records and hide our sins in Akhira.

We have no hope to survive except in You, we stand no chance except with Your mercy, we beg You to not let our lives be wasted, we beg you to not make us among the humiliated ones in akhira, Ya Ghafour, Ya 3Afou erase our sins, remove our humiliation, forgive us and let us not return to the state we are in. Oh Allah, we’ve taken the first step, please make our hearts strong upon this deen and let our hearts not falter again from the path You have shown us.

Oh Allah all praises are for You, ya Rabb, we can not count Your praises, You are as You have praised Yourself. You are our protector, our only Lord, the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

Allahumma salli wa sallim ala nabiyyina Muhammad ( O Allah, we ask for Your peace and blessing upon our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu Alayhi wasallam).

Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.

~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/

~ 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

Acts that will lead to Al-Jannah

August 22, 2007

reflect.jpg  Sha’abaan Planning…

In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet is reported to have said:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If you guarantee me six things on your part, I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something, fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes, and restrain your hands from injustice. (Al Tirmidhi, Hadith 1260)

 Abu Dharr reported that,” One day he asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him), `How can a slave rescue himself from Hell-fire?’ The Prophet answered: “By having strong Faith.” I said: “O Allah’s Prophet! should this faith be manifested in action? The Prophet said: “You must give as much as you can from what Allah has bestowed on you.” I said: “O Allah’s Prophet, what if one was so poor that he is not able to give anything? The Prophet said: “Then he must enjoin the good and forbid the wrong.” I said: “What if he cannot do that?” The Prophet said: “Then he must help his brother who is without any skills.” I said: O Allah’s Prophet: “What if he does not master any skill whatsoever?” The Prophet said: “Then he must help the oppressed.” I said “O Allah’s Prophet, what if he was so weak that he could not help the oppressed?” The Prophet said: “You are leaving your friend no chance to do good. Then he must abstain from his evil doing.” I said: “O Allah’s Prophet, “Is this enough for him to enter Paradise? The Prophet answered: “If any one does any of the former things, then I will personally take him by his hand until he enters Pradise” [Note: Mentioned by AI-Haisami in Al-Majma’, saying: It is reported by AI-Tabarani in AI-Kabir]    

“Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘You will not enter Paradise until you have faith, and you will not have faith until you love each other. Shall I direct you to something which if you fulfill you will love one another? Spread salam amongst yourselves.”
Sahih Muslim (Book 001, Number 0096)

 The keys to the Quraan: 

  1. Look at the quran and its message as it was revealed to us, to interact with it and apply it in our daily lives.
  2. Put yourself in the same situation as the Muslims (companions of the Prophet (saw) were when the verses were revealed. Connect with the verses, the same way Muslims did at the time of revelation, then take this feeling and apply to your self today (i.e. daily life).

“Operation Memorizing Quran”

June 14, 2007

I found this article very encouraging and helpful, at the end of it are also some words of advice added by a teacher of quran.

=====================================================

Tips on memorizing the Qur’an

By Muhammad Alshareef

Notice the young brothers that memorized the Qur’an in your community, they are already pushed to the front of the congregation by virtue of their accomplishment. They, at this early start, are forced to contribute to the community and live a life of significance. Bi idhnillah. That’s what we all want. The Qur’an can do it for you. But these gifts have a condition: the taqwa of Allah. There is one absolute naseeha that will make or break the persons drive to memorize the Qur’an: One must desist from sin! Ibn Mas’ood said, “I feel that indeed someone will forget knowledge they had a acquired because of sins they commit.”

iWhen Abu Haneefah, rahimahullah, was confronted with a Fiqh Mas’alah that he was unable to conclude, he would get up and pray two raka’at in tawbah to Allah. These are people who truly knew the prize to be won. Allah ta’ala teaches us in the Qur’an: “[Be conscious of Allah and Allah will teach you.] This knowledge is from Allah ta’ala, a gift. It makes no sense that someone spends their nights disobeying the gift-giver while awaiting His gifts in the morning”.

Al-Khateeb reported in al-Jaami’ (2/387) that Yahya ibn Yahya said: “A man asked Maalik ibn Anas, ‘O Abu ‘Abd-Allaah! Is there anything that will improve my memory?’ Maalik ibn Anas, rahimahullah, replied, ‘If anything will improve it, it is giving up sin.” Bishr Alhaafee, rahimahullah, said “A servant commits a sin, and is deprived [thereby] of performing tahajjud.”

One of the key: if you want your children to be effective in their Deen and their memorization of Qur’an, YOU have to be the one that you want your children to become. Do not let them see a contradiction.i
When I was young, I did not want to go to a Qur’an school. Subhan Allah. I went to that Qur’an school, I went to Madinah University and here I am today. I recently received a beautiful email after giving a lecture to the Canadian Hujjaj, my father’s group. While I spoke, my father had his head up high, smiling and crying during the speech. The brother wrote in his email that he was watching my father during the lecture. It dawned on him that Muhammad is here today giving this speech because of the dua of this man! I hadn’t contemplated it much until I read that email, for indeed it is correct. After the tawfeeq of Allah, it was the dua of my parents for me that helped me become who I am.

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, The heart that has no Qur’an in it is like an abandoned ruined dwelling.” [At-Tirmidhi]. What kind of home would you like your heart to dwell in? excusitis, is a most powerful sickness that keeps people back from accomplishing in life. Excuse-itis. If you interview effective people, you will rarely find them making excuses. If you want to succeed in your memorization, never make excuses. Do what you have to do. I forbid those around me from making excuses. I advise the same for you. Do what you have to do to accomplish. If you cannot, then do not make excuses.i

One of the interesting excuses is “I have to completely understand the Qur’an before I memorize it. I have to know Arabic, and Fiqh and Hadith before I start from the source.” Do not look at what a scholar is currently reading or studying. Look at what he did in the beginning. Every single scholar I have ever met started with Qur’an, nothing else. If you want to accumulate massive knowledge of this Deen, you must begin with memorization of the Qur’an. The children in the Hifdh school are well on their way to accomplishing massive accumulation of knowledge of this deen by virtue of their Hifdh. Bi idhnillah.

Let me give you two views by two very different people and how they look at the challenges of life:

Person 1: “Oh man, that’s a killer. I can’t do that. This time I just give up. Looks like I’m finally whipped. I’ll never amount to anything. I’m tired.”

Person 2: “Awesome, that was the kind of challenge I’ve been waiting for. Yaa Rabb, I am going to make you proud of me. I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to pump 110% of my energy into every part of this challenge!”

Guess which one will succeed in their memorization of the Qur’an. That’s right, the second one. Why? Because the second one has the right attitude.

When I hear someone talking about their attempts to memorize Qur’an, I can usually tell which category they have locked themselves into. It is not the Qur’an. The Qur’an is easy to remember. Allah ta’ala testifies to that in the Qur’an: [And verily we made the Qur’an easy to remember, so is there anyone who will take heed?] If you think it’s easy for you, it is. If you think it is hard for you, it is. It is your attitude that determines it.


Below are some quick tips that will help you in memorizing the Qur’an:

1. You absolutely must have a teacher.

Do NOT memorize on your own. You must have a teacher who you respect and whom you fear. Don’t ask ‘how’ to memorize the Qur’an. Ask where you can find the best teacher. The teacher will then guide you on the ‘how’.

2. Distractions.

In memorizing the Qur’an, you must free your mind and environment of distractions. Imagine trying to memorize at a football game? Tough, huh? How about a theme park, could you sit down and control yourself to memorize? Probably not. Getting into a Qur’an Hifdh program with a teacher and discipline will assist you in creating the perfect atmosphere for memorization.

3. Memorize through Audio.

A lot of people think they are memorizing the ‘look’ of the Mushaf, but actually you are memorizing the ‘sound’ of Ayat. When I review, I record my recitation on CD and listen to it again and again. The students that read the loudest in class are all the strongest students. Why? Because they can hear themselves the most?When I was in Qur’an school, the boy beside me read so loud. I asked the teacher to ask him to read more quietly. He said a most powerful statement that became my motto: “No, you read louder!” I did and it benefited me unbelievably.

4. Location of the Mushaf.

Your eyes follow a specific direction depending on what you are thinking or doing. If you are lying, your eyes go left. If you are remembering something visual, like where you left your keys, your eyes will look upwards. When you memorize, the direction of memorization is right and left, not downwards. The mistake I see people make is that they put their mushaf low on the ground and then try to memorize. In order to fully harness the power of your mind, you must keep the mushaf at eye level, and not dip your head..

5. Eat brain food.

We’ve all heard the advice of uncles that you have to eat Badams (almonds) to improve memory. Well, I’m here to tell you that the uncles were right! The food you eat, the drinks you drink, directly affect your ability to excel in memorization of the Qur’an. Do not eat fatty, unhealthy food. Do not drink soda. Eat a nutritious light breakfast, a nutritious light lunch, with almonds for snacks during the day. Subhan Allah, you will find you accomplish much more in your day.

6. Make everyday a victory.

 You can move a mountain rock by rock. Enjoy every page you memorize, every Ayah.


I am often asked about my secret to memorizing the Qur’an. They are expecting me to teach them a special ‘south-beach-hifdh-diet’ or something. (I call it tip shopping, they are expecting a specific tip). I say again and again, there is no doubt that there are three ingredients. If you have these three ingredients, you will accomplish what you set out for:

1. Dua, supplication (you must always reflect your desire to Allah).
2. Sabr, patience (it will be a testing path, fill your bags with Sabr powerbars).

3. Taqwa, protecting yourself from sin.

If you do not remember anything from this article except these three ingredients (DST – Dua, Sabr, Taqwa – DST) then, bi idhnillah, it will suffice.

`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The one who was devoted to the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: `Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

 

How many ranks will you climb on the Day of Resurrection?
How many ranks would you like to climb?