Racing to Good Deeds

 

 

All praise is due to Allah, whom we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from whatever evil our hearts conceal and from the consequences of our evil deeds. Whoever Allah grants guidance will never be led astray. Whoever He leaves astray will never find guidance.

I attest that none is worthy of worship except Allah, who has no partners and I attest that Muhammad is the final slave and Messenger of Allah.

Usually when we receive a special guest we try to make sure that we look our best and that our houses are clean so that we can give the guest a great impression when they arrive. We request that the table is laid with our most expensive cutlery and dinner set, that the best meal is prepared and that the house is spick and span in anticipation of the guests’ arrival.

This is what most of us do, right?

We have a special guest; a guest that changes our personalities, a guest that makes us good people every time he comes. This guest is here for a month. He is not staying for a weekend, nor a week; he stays for a whole month. This guest is the month of mercy, the month of opportunity, it is the month of Ramadaan, the month of the first revelation of the Glorious Qur’an. As Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah V. 185;

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance.”

Just as we would prepare ourselves for any other special guest, we should prepare ourselves for this guest because he is a different one, he doesn’t care if you have the cleanest house, the nicest clothes, or the best smell, but he cares about the cleanliness of your heart, and how pure your niyyah (intention) is.  Ramadan wants us to take advantage of him; he is only one month long; that is why he wants us to do everything we can to get the best reward from Allah. Ramadaan is not like any other month, the rewards in Ramadaan are doubled, and tripled to thousands of times than all the other months.

This month is so valuable that if you lose one day of it you can never pay it back no matter how hard you try. The Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever breaks his fast of one day in Ramadan without any excuse or sickness, he will never be able to make that one day up, even if he fasts for the whole year.” (An-Nisa’I, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

That is how great the reward is of fasting one day in Ramadaan is, it is so great that you can never ever make it up, so imagine fasting for the whole month!

And when we read Qur’an the reward gets even greater. Why? Because it is the month that the Qur’an was revealed in, As Allah says, “The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’an” (Surah Baqarah 2:185)

Look at how the salaf (the righteous followers of the sahaba) used to read the Qur’an in Ramadan. It is said that Al- Aswad Bin Yazid used to complete the whole Qur’an in only two nights in Ramadan, he would sleep between Maghrib and Isha, and during the other months besides Ramadan he would complete the whole Qur’an in six nights!

When Ramadan would come, Malik Ibn Anas would avoid talking; he would only read the Qur’an until the month was over, just to pile up the rewards.

Ash-shafi’, the great scholar, used to complete reading the whole Qur’an in Ramadaan 60 times, and during the other months 30 times. These people made reading the Qur’an their primary aim during Ramadaan.

Honestly speaking, where are we in comparison to them? When Ramadaan comes we get excited about the delicious Sambusak and the TV series Tash ma Tash. Many of us forget about getting closer to Allah, we forget about reading the Glorious Qur’an.

We forget the true purpose of Ramadaan; women are busy shopping in the ‘Souq’ with full make-up, the men are not lowering their gaze, the coffee shops are full of boyfriends and girlfriends having a date like its ok! This is Ramadaan, there is no joke; the punishment is double the punishment, in the other months. Besides, these actions are unacceptable in all twelve months of the year, not only in Ramadaan.

Some people say; “What should I do, Ya Akhi, the shaytaan is stronger than me!” What shaytaan? Did the Shaytaan hold a machine gun to your head? No. Did the shaytaan pull you by your ears to sit with a woman at the coffee shop? No. Did Shaytaan threaten you? No…

Moreover, there is no Shaytaan in Ramadaan, as the Prophet Muhammad said: “When Ramadaan comes, the doors of heaven are open, the doors of hell are locked and the devils are chained up.” (Bukhari) If the Shaytaan was around whispering to us we’d have an excuse, but Allah has made it easy for us to keep away from sins.

So sit back, take a minute and think about this opportunity – forgiveness from Allah. We need the forgiveness; what does it require for us to do to be forgiven? Fast? Read the Qur’an? Give Sadaqah? Is this true indeed?

No! It requires me to purify my niyyah first, to clean my intention, and then fast, pray Qiyam Al-Layl, read the Qur’an, and give charity.

But if my intention is not pure before I do any of these good deeds, then what is the benefit of doing them? Nothing, there is no benefit.

That’s why the sahabah and the salaf used to purify their intentions before Ramadaan comes, and before they do any act of good deeds. Doing good deeds was like a competition for them, they would race for it. Oh, fulan reads the Qur’an in one week? Then I will read it in one day. Just like that. Why? Because they understood, by knowing the truth it lead them to perform good actions with the intention of impressing Allah, because when a person impresses Allah, he will be impressed when he meets Allah. Does Allah get impressed? Yes. How can a person impress Allah? By racing to do good and by believing in Allah. If these two actions are there, then congratulations!

وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُون

And we shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter). Surah An-Nahl (16:97)

The best of what they used to do. Do you know what that means?

Take this for example: Each year you have two performance tests to get a higher position at work. You take the first test and get 60/100; six months later you take the second test and get 100/100.

Your boss takes a look at the 60/100 then he looks at the 100/100, he erases the 60, and makes it 100/100 instead. Why? Because you did perfect on one test so you deserve a higher position at work due to your perfection on that one test.

That is how Allah impresses those who impress him, Allah impresses them with his generosity when they meet him. You go to Allah walking and He comes to you at speed. And for Allah is the best examples.

Imagine that you are a footballer performing at a match, and you keep shooting goals by implementing what your coach taught you, the score is 5 nil and you are the one who is scoring those goals. Your coach, audience and fans will be ecstatic and thrilled at your performance.

Imagine Ramadaan as a football match, your preparation for Ramadaan is your training with your coach, your obedience to Allah is your performance at the match, and Allah is your audience. If you keep shooting goals by obeying Allah, your audience “Allah” will be impressed right?

So after the individual purifies his intention, what is left for him to do is that he must race to do good deeds. Why?

1)      So he can prove that his intention is pure. He has to compete with others, and try to surpass all the believers he knows.

Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “One day, the Messenger of Allah commanded us to give Sadaqa. At that time Umar said: I had some property, so I said, ‘Today I shall surpass Abu Bakr, I will give more than Abu Bakr.’ I, therefore, brought half of my property. The Messenger of Allah asked, ‘What have you left for your family?’ Umar replied, ‘The same amount.’ Abu Bakr came and he brought all his money, everything that he had with him. The Messenger of Allah asked him, ‘What have you left for your family?’ He replied, ‘I have left Allah and His Messenger for them.’ Umar said, ‘I shall never be able to compete with him in anything.’”

It was a competition between them, Abu Bakr As-siddeeq was always the first one to do good, that is why Umar Ibn al-khattab said: Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’s imaan, his faith, is equivalent to the whole ummah’s faith.

2)      Competing with others and racing to good deeds is also proof that Allah loves you, because he chose you to be a key amongst the good keys on Earth.

As Allah says,

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ

“And We made them leaders, guiding (mankind) by Our Command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds.” (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:73)

Not just anybody gets this manzila; this is a status for a selected group of Allah’s slaves.

The Prophet Muhammad said, “Some people open the door to good and close the door to evil…” Meaning they do all kinds of good deeds that can possibly be done, and they avoid all that is haram. “And some people open the door to evil and close the door to good. So Glad tidings to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to evil.” (Ibn Majah 237, Saheeh)

It is only our deeds that count in this life, nothing else. If the individual does good; the result is good, and if he does bad, the result is bad. It’s simple, if you study for your exam; you pass, and if you don’t study you fail. This Qur’an was given to us as a guide, it is up to us where we decide to go with it.

We are all one of three types of people:

Allaah says:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۖ ۚ

“Then We gave the Book (the Quran) for inheritance to such of Our slaves whom We chose.

فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لِنَفْسِهِ

Then of them are some who wrong their own selves, {this is the first type}

وَمِنْهُمْ مُقْتَصِدٌ

and of them are some who follow a middle course, {This is the second type}

وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ

and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, racing with good deeds. {This is the third type}

ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

That (inheritance of the Quran), that is indeed a great grace.”

Rayan Arab,

CEO, AAT

 

Lost for Words

The first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Saw) was, “Read!” SubhanAllah what else do we need to know the importance of Knowledge in our beautiful religion.

Let me tell you a story, my story …a very common story that is too often repeated with many muslims involved in da’wah.

This story compelled me to bring to light the importance of knowledge for a da’ee. The knowledge needed is not just about our religion but also the happenings and current state of the muslim ummah and world.

So, I met a Danish Christian woman currently living in Dubai. After formal greetings, she almost immediately asked me about why a young girl, would be covered in hijab. She found it very odd and peculiar for a teen to not show her beauty. The norm in today’s society is to parade beauty, to be the centre of attraction. I seized the opportunity for me to tell her about Islam. I explained to her about the many benefits that the hijab serves and she even agreed to them. But then she said to me,

“My son has many girlfriends who wear hijab.”

At that moment I was LOST….Lost for words! I was stunned into silence. How can girls wearing hijab easily mingle with non-mahrams? I had no idea, that muslims who wore hijab could behave in such a manner. After that, I really couldn’t go on explaining Islam and Hijab as I didn’t know how to respond in this situation.

However, from my story I learned some lessons; first of all, with regards to myself, I didn’t have knowledge of the current situation of the muslims around the world. I didn’t know the right approach to da’wah either. After that incident, I tried to console myself thinking I was young back then and therefore was in no knowledgeable position, but that was just an excuse, one of the excuses we all make when slacking off the obligation of seeking knowledge.

I learnt that da’wah begins with Tawheed. Introducing a mad’oo to the concept of Tawheed is the only correct way of da’wah; otherwise they will not comprehend the teachings of Islam, nor why so many muslims practice islam at different levels.

I also learnt that although da’wah is primarily aimed at non-muslims, muslims are also in serious need of education, myself included, we need to learn the foundations, fundamentals and rulings of our deen. The only reason that muslim girls can mingle freely with non-mahrams, to the extent of being in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is that they do not fully know or understand the teachings of Islam. They do not know the rulings of engaging with the opposite gender, and neither do they know the extent of Allah’s knowledge, and punishment.

But it’s never too late, I am determined now to gain knowledge and to educate those around me. Knowledge in essence is nourishment for our souls, a means of helping us get closer to Allah.

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Read! In the name of your Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) Who created— created man, out of a leech-like clot: Read!  And your Rabb is Most Bountiful Who has taught (the use of)  pen.  He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Qur’an, 96:1-5)

“Those to whom We have given the Book (the Qur’an) study it as it should be studied: they are the ones that believe therein: those who reject faith therein the loss is their own.”  (Qur’an, 2:121)

So what knowledge should we acquire?

Firstly:

The knowledge of our deen Islam which includes the Quran ; Ahadith ; and various books by Renowned scholars.

Second:

The situation of the Muslim world. What practices have become common amongst muslims. Moreover, muslims are divided into sects; we need to know what are their beliefs and try to correct them using the Quran and authentic Sunnah.

The situation of Muslims also includes Muslims claiming to be Orthodox, conservative, fundamentalists, modern and what not.

Third:

To know the basics about other religions as we can understand the person better by what background they come from.

I hope the importance of knowledge is very clear to everyone.

“If Allah wants to do good to a person, he makes him comprehend the religion and of course knowledge is attained by learning.” (Bukhari 1/67)

In shaa Allah, our Da’ees will gain knowledge with full commitment to do better da’wah and serve Allah and never be Lost for words!

Fatima Damad,

Writer, Admin Assistant, AAT

You are on a Mission

You are on a Mission!

Soon after Allah guided me I dug myself deep into the teachings of Islam and isolated myself from everyone including my own family. In the room on my bed, I studied tafsir on weekends, read the Quran and Hadith day and night. The prayers of Qiyam al layl and Duha (morning prayer) were my best friends, and fasting from dust to dawn became second nature. My father became concerned and advised me, “son I worry you may be taking it to extreme”. I still remember his words. I would respond within myself, not wanting to disobey, “O father I’m on the correct path and I want to bring you straight with me.”

This is my story…

I began writing poetry when I was 8 years old, and moved to New York when I was 16. I was taken away from the teachings of Islam, and practically lived with the gangsters surfing the streets. I got paintballed a few times, almost got robbed, but I never got into fights because there was some good in me, and Allah was protecting me. I became a rapper when I was 17 and changed my name to “Malevolent” by the time I was 18. The Police stopped me often when I was 19 as my last name is “ARAB,” not surprising, the police never liked me. I came back to Jeddah when I was almost 20, but still I was astray. Skip a few years to 24; and those around me were passing away; my friends and relatives, so much so that I believed I was next.
Alhamdulilah at the age of 24 is when Allah guided me. I looked to my right and all I saw was my grave, I looked to my left and all I saw was the hereafter, in front of me and behind was nothing but the feeling of death being near. I looked up to the sky and Allah’s guidance was right before me. His Hidayah; Allah guides whomsoever he wills. If you have been guided then you are blessed, because you have been chosen. Allah chose you of all the billions of people to work for him, and he chose you to be on his side. Never forget the day he guided you, and never be deceived by the dunya and forget what He wants from you.

The reality is that this life is short, it’s a test from Allah. We have to live up to the examples of the prophets. But remember, Allah will not help us until we change what is within ourselves. “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:11) You have to want to be guided. Deep inside you have to be searching for the guidance. Then Allah will open your doors and guide you.

You are on a mission!

The Secrets of Da’wah: Tricks of the Trade

As a new and upcoming da’ee you will have to know the ‘tricks’ of the trade. I say ‘tricks’ in inverted commas because they are not really tricks, they are more of… well you’ll see as you read on:

1)      Always revert the conversation back to Tawheed. The main purpose of da’wah is to invite people to the unity of Allah. So make this your focus. No matter what topic the mad’oo (the one being invited to Islam) brings up, be prepared to direct it back to Tawheed, whether it polygamy, hijab or even jihad. Find a way to return to Tawheed.

2)      Sweet Patience. It is easy to get frustrated when giving da’wah, even more so when you feel like you have come across a brick wall, and the mad’oo fails to see the truth…still be patient, you’ll get better results. Nuh (as) invited his people for 950 years, they covered themselves with their cloaks and put their fingers in their ears. Imagine what he had to endure!

3)      Akhlaaq. More than often, actions speak louder than words. If you are giving da’wah make sure you have a good reputation, as people are more likely to listen to you. Don’t forget to practice what you preach. Be a role model. The prophet (saw) himself was sent to perfect character[1]. He (saw), had a high social status and was so trustworthy to the extent that he was called ‘Al-Ameen’.

4)      Persevere-don’t give up. The mad’oo may not listen today, but tomorrow Allah may open their heart to Islam. But also keep in mind that Allah is the one who guides, not us.

5)      Be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes. Understand how the mad’oo feels, give him/her breathing space and do not bombard them…go slow, and easy.

6)      Be consistent. Despite the previous point above, you have to check in on your mad’oo to find out how they have taken the information you have presented to them. Follow up your da’wah with a phone call, or invite them round, everyone loves dinner!

7)      Equip yourself with evidences and proof. Back up your statements. Hollow speech is a bad trait. Remember the mad’oo may not yet believe the Qur’an to be the word of God, therefore it may not be the most appropriate form of evidence to use with them. Use examples from the creation and then link it to the Qur’an, i.e ‘did you know Allah asks us to reflect on this in the Qur’an?’

8)      Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’.  Once a man came from a far distance to ask Imaam Malik questions on behalf of his people. Imaam Malik only answered four and for the remaining 36 said ‘I don’t know’. When the man asked what he should tell the people about these unanswered questions Imaan Malik, replied ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know’. Now, he was a great Imaam of fiqh yet he was unashamed to say I don’t know. Nevertheless, you can do the research and ask someone more knowledgeable. Don’t leave the mad’oo hanging, without an answer and doubts plaguing his/her mind.

9)      Be creative in your da’wah. Use different styles and techniques. Lectures are not the only way to give da’wah, nor is simply giving someone a Qur’an to read.  Use your talent; if you are a graphic designer, design a piece about Islam and get your non-Muslim acquaintance to check it out and evaluate your graphic designing skills. They will be exposed to the message, and will have to judge it for themselves. Poetry, blogging, and video making are all creative ways to give da’wah. Make the message appealing to the mad’oo in terms of their emotional, intellectual and sensory capacity.

10)  Get involved with your local da’wah community. They can often provide resources, and specifically tailored advice to suit your circumstances.

Another great way to build on your skills, is to follow Br. Rayan’s ‘Da’ees Smart Start.’ They are a simple set of five principles which can give you a head-start in your da’wah work.

1)      Compete with other da’ees. As Muslims we are allowed to strive to compete in good things. Umar (ra) used to compete with Abu-Bakr to achieve more good deeds than him[2].

2)      Be a wise decision maker. Weigh out the advantages and disadvantages, before coming to a conclusion. Evaluate the situation and remember to keep in mind the bigger picture.

3)      Divorce impossibility! Nothing is impossible, especially when Allah is on your side. Try to be the best you can; make the effort and du’aa and Allah will see to the rest.

4)      Judge others responsibly. First impressions, though they are lasting impressions can often be wrong. Don’t be hasty to decide on the character of a person. Be open-minded and analyse correctly and effectively.

5)      Think outside the box. Think fast, in a manner that is befitting to the situation. Change your perspective if necessary, and be creative in your approaches.

Hopefully these tips and ‘tricks’ will help find your feet in the world of da’wah. Inshallah they will help you to build your confidence and assurance in your ability to fulfil your obligation. May Allah make it easy for all of us, and may He accept our efforts. Ameen.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut

Editor-in-Chief, AAT



[1] Muwatta Imaam Malik, Book 47, Hadith No. 8

[2] Hadith in which Umar (ra) brought half his wealth, and Abu-Bakr brought it all, saying that he left Allah and his prophet (saw) for his family.

Our Mission: Attaining Allah’s Pleasure

In the name of Allah…

When our imaan is at its lowest level, we have to stop and think back, in order to boost our imaan.  We have to ask ourselves: What is our mission in life?

Do we really have that many choices in life? No. Our sole mission in life is to attain Allah’s pleasure.  How exactly are we going to achieve that? Are words alone enough to express this love?

Why is it important to attain Allah’s pleasure? First let’s ask ourselves this; why are we even created?

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51:56)

There are reasons for our existence. We have been created to worship The Creator, Allah Azza Wa Jal alone. This reason alone is strong enough for us to obey His commands.

“Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (6:162)

As servants of Ar-Rahman, during the journey to achieve our mission, our iman has its ups and downs. We are never far from making mistakes and committing sins.  Sometimes, whilst talking to colleagues, we so easily fall into gossiping! Sometimes, without realising, we have hurt a person. For that, we always ask forgiveness from Allah Al-Ghaffar Ar-Rahim. We return to Allah in order to gain His pleasure.

Repentance. That is the keyword.

“..Allah loves those who are constantly repentant…” (2:222)

“The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.” (4:17)

“But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (5:39)

In our journey to accomplish this mission, there will be tests and trials. It doesn’t matter how hard our trials are, this is a sign of Allah’s love.

“The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allah loves people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it gains the pleasure of Allah and whoever complains earns His wrath.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani.

Whenever we go through hardships and calamities, remember Allah. For everything is up to Allah’s will. The reasons behind everything is not of our knowledge, but Allah’s alone.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does),’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.” (Narrated by Muslim (2664)).

The most important thing on our journeyin earning the pleasure of Allah, is to be a good muslim. How are we going to do that? When we heard an ayah from the Qur’an, and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wassalam), we hear, and we obey them, instead of using our aqal (intellect) to look for excuses.

“The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.” 24:51)

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”” (3:31)

To conclude, our mission is one: to attain Allah’s pleasure. In order to achieve that, we need to be a proper muslim, by obeying the commands of Allah. Imaan (faith) and Taqwa (God-Consciousness) in our acts of worship (ibaadah), in our akhlaaq (character) and our dressing (modest and covering awrah). It also means to leave that which is forbidden (haraam). In short, let Islam be our way of life.

So, let us walk hand in hand, to achieve this mission. Let us keep on reminding each other, without condemning or belittling the others. Let me end this post with something. A motivation for us to be a better muslims.

“But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.” (79:40-41)

“And if they had believed and feared Allah, then the reward from Allah would have been [far] better, if they only knew.” (2:103)

May Allah guide us all and protect us from evil doings. May He make us amongst those with whom He is pleased. Ameen.

Anisah Matasim,

Writer, AAT

 

Calling to Allah

Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful has blessed all mankind with the perfect and complete religion and the best way of life, Islam. He has sent down His Qur’an as His Book of Divine Guidance and has chosen Prophet Muhammad (Saw) as His Messenger and the best example to all humanity. Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the Traditions and Practices, which include the Ahadîth or teachings and sayings of the Prophet) constitute Allah’s mercy to all of mankind. The Muslims who sincerely adhere to the Qur’ân and the Sunnah are on the Right Path. Allah assures them of success especially in the eternal Paradise. However, those who disbelieve, those who practice Bid`ah (innovation or fabrication) in the Religion are doomed to suffer in the Hell-Fire, if Allah will not forgive them.

It is part of Allah’s mercy that He enjoins us Muslims to invite all to Islam. We, the Du’at (those who invite or call people to Islam), must excel in our noble task. We have to do Da’wah sincerely for the pleasure of Allah. We can only succeed and earn Allah’s reward if we do it based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. The reason is plain and simple: what we are going to convey is Islam, the divine Message that is complete and perfect. It is the divine guidance to all mankind that applies to all people, in all generations, and at all times. It guides us how to develop our character as Du’at which makes us closer to Allah and subsequently earn His Pleasure. It teaches us how to do Da’wah with Hikmah (wisdom) and beautiful preaching in the most humane, professional and diplomatic approach possible that opens the minds and hearts of the non-practicing or secular Muslims and the non-Muslims who sincerely seek the Truth.

Indeed, we Muslims are very blessed that Allah has guided us to the Right Path. It is imperative that we do Da’wah (call or invite people to Islâm) as a way to show our gratitude to Allah the Almighty. We should do Da’wah based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Tradition of the Messenger of Allâh) purely for Allah’s pleasure for the following reasons: 

First

To call people to Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism or the absolute Oneness of Allah) especially inviting them to Tawhid Al-Uloohiyah or Ibadaa (Allah as the Only One Worthy of true worship). Tawhid is Allah’s Divine Message to the whole mankind. Allah has commanded us to worship Him alone with sincere devotion for our guidance and ultimate success. Allah the Almighty says in the following Ayat (Verses):

“Here is a Message for mankind: Let them take warning there from, and let them know that He is (no other than) One Allah: Let men of understanding take heed.” (Qur’an 14:52)

By calling people to Tawhid they will be guided to perform and submit to Allah’s very purpose of creating mankind (and the jinns) ¾ that is for all of us to worship Him throughout our lives. Allah makes this very clear in the Qur’an when He says:

“I have created not the jinns and men except that they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, Most Strong” (Qur’an 51:56-58)

Second

We must do Da’wah in order to let the Law of Allah (the Shari’ah, which is based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the deductions from these two revealed sources of guidance) prevail, instead of the man-made laws. This is to please Allah and, thus, attain His rewards and Mercy. Allah clearly tells us:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) and render not vain your deeds.” (Qur’an 47:33)

“For We had certainly sent unto them a Book based on knowledge, which We explained in detail a guide and a Mercy to all who believe” (Qur’an 7:52)

“Yet you (O Muhammad) were sent as a Mercy from your Rabb to give warning to a people to whom no Warner had come before you in order that they may receive admonition.” (Qur’an 28:46)

Third

By upholding the Law of Allah, it means that we have to stick to the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet and avoid Bid’ah (any new invented belief and way in the religion outside the Qur’an and the Sunnah). For guidance we must avoid any innovation in matters of our religion. We should take admonition from the following authentic Ahadîth (Teachings and Sayings of the Prophet):

Jabir Bin ‘Abdullah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, “The best speech is that embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. The most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is an error.” (Muslim 1885)

To conclude, as Du’at we must embody the Quraan and Sunnah and deliver its message clearly to as many people as we can. By doing so, we are obeying Allah’s command and demonstrating our gratitude to Him. Da’wah is essential to establish the Oneness of Allah and His worship alone, to implement the Shari’ah and last but not least to live the way Allah has commanded us to; by following His book of divine guidance (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah of Muhammad (saw).

Mohammad Ameeruddin, AAT

The True Essence of Fasting

Ramadaan is a month characterised by fasting and constant ibaadah. For the entire month muslims abstain from food and drink in order to please Allah. But how many of us really understand the essence of fasting?

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Fasting is not the mere abstention from food and drink. It is much deeper than that. Fasting affects the very core of our being; our soul. Allah has designed the month of Ramdaan in such a manner that the spiritual upliftment gained from fasting is rewarding to the soul and body in this life and the hereafter.

Fasting is an obligation which Allah ordered us to do in the Qur’aan, “O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you…” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183) So, as believers of Tawheed we should abstain from food and drink as Allah has commanded us. However, the continuation of the Ayah states, “that you may attain Taqwa (God-consciouness).” Thus fasting of the stomach is not the only means of fasting, though it fulfils the basic condition for fasting. To attain taqwa, a believer should fast with all their limbs.

Sh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz said, “the fasting of the limbs is distancing them from that which Allah has prohibited them from.” (Fatawa Nur Ala Ad-Darb, Vol 16, pg 20)

Fasting of the Heart:

The true fast can only be achieved if the heart is engaged in that which is pleasing to Allah. One’s heart should participate in the fast and it should abstain from corruptions, pride and all that is evil. The believer’s heart should remain pure and sincere whilst enduring the ‘difficult’ conditions of lack of food and drink. They should fast from anger, impatience and frustration, all of which are emotions which could result from hunger and thirst. Among the signs of righteousness in Ramadaan is that a fasting person remains calm, carries a smile, is gentle and in general maintains a good character.

Fasting of the Eyes:

The gaze was described by Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as “an arrow from among Iblees’ arrows,” (Ahmad, Vol 5, No. 264) thus it is only natural that whilst fasting a person’s gaze should be restrained. The eyes should fast from gazing freely at that which it is forbidden to look at. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “Tell the believers to lower their gaze…” (Surah An-Nur 24:30) The reward for doing so, is that Allah replaces it with a sweetness of Imaan!

Fasting of Tongue:

The tongue can be one of the best parts of the body or the worst. If used for the remembrance of Allah it can bring heap loads of benefit. However, if used incorrectly it can be the cause of entering to hell, as the prophet (saw) told Mua’dh ibn Jabal; “Shall I show you what will gather for you all of that (good)? Mu’adh replied, “Of course!” He (saw) said, “Restrain this,” and he took hold of his tongue. Mua’dh asked, “O Messenger of Allah are we accountable for what we speak?” He (saw) replied, “May your mother lose you! Will people be poured into hellfire on their noses for other than what their tongues reap?!” (Tirmidhi, vol 2 no. 103) Thus the tongue should fast from abusive language, cursing, gossiping lying and all that will earn you nothing but sins. This Ramadaan, save your tongue and voice for reciting the book of Allah. Or as the prophet (saw) taught us, Subhanallahi wa bihamdih, subhanallahil atheem; phrases which he said are “light on the tongue, heavy on the scales and dear to The Most Merciful” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim).

I have only given a few examples of how the greatness and goal of fasting can be accomplished. The list of examples can go on, but I think you understand. Each part of our body should fast from doing that which is haram and displeasing to Allah, so that we may attain Taqwa, and get closer to Allah. Our hands, our ears, and every limb should abstain from the prohibited. Only when we fully engage ourselves in this respect can we realise and experience the true essence of fasting, and allow our souls to take full advantage of the spiritual treat.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut

 

 

Make a Difference-Akhlaq

 Make a difference – Akhlaq

As you walk along the road of life, you see things you don’t want to see. Things disrupting the society. Things that you wish to change, to be part of the change. An individual making a small change which may seem insignificant can make a big difference.Be the change you want to see. Allah says in the Quraan, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” (13:11) This indicates that the change begins within the individual. We must change ourselves before expecting society around us to change.

You must have heard of the saying, “the first impression is a lasting impression”. As a da’ee, your Akhlaq (the practice of virtue, morality, manners in Islamic theology) matters the most, as you will be representing your deen. It is the utmost priority that one sets a good image of our religion through his/her behaviour.

Allah says in the Holy Quran; “He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul.” (91 :9-10)

We learn from this verse that our success in the world and hereafter is by purifying our character, cleansing ourselves of traits such as greed, envy, arrogance etc; and in place of these we must adorn the heart with compassion, generosity, benevolence, humility and asceticism.

Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) had the best akhlaq. In a hadith he (saw) is reported to have said “I was sent to perfect and complete noble character.” (Muslim) We see that most successful daees are ones with the best akhlaq.

In a hadith the Prophet said ” The best among you are those who have the best manners and character ” (Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 8 ; Hadith no. 56)

In order to acquire good Akhlaq, we first need to acquire knowledge of Tawheed because Tawheed helps us understand who Allah is and what Allah wants from us. By knowing these we can easily and most efficiently follow the way of the Prophet in regards to Akhlaq and also other matters. In shaa Allah.

Discussing some of the most important qualities you should have includes having a smile and not a frown on your face at all times, having patience , being trustworthy, desiring what you want for yourself also for others, having a feeling of empathy etc. These are just a few examples but the chapter of Akhlaq is vast and needs to be studied carefully. As da’ee such traits are of utmost importance when dealing with others who do not share the same beliefs or values as you. Da’ees need to be considerate and respectable to the person you are dealing with.

So let’s start making a change by perfecting our Akhlaq.

A good muslim is a good human whom everybody loves.

Fatima Damad

Admin Assistant, AAT