Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

actions speak louder than words

Dawah is obligatory on every muslim, we are obliged to call people towards the good and forbid what is evil. Those who hold Islam to be correct, should surely call to it, and invite others to share in the truth. Enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is an important mission, hence those who undertake this mission must be of good character and must understand the objectives of shariah; they must call people with wisdom and fair preaching and deal with them in a kind and gentle manner.

“Actions speak louder than words,” a strong saying indeed! Throughout history there are countless examples of empty words and inaction, which have lead to the masses losing trust in the leader or speaker. Such situations can only escalate, as people lose hope in that individual, and refuse to trust them anymore. When one embarks on a Da’wah mission, not only must they convey the truth, but they should also pair their message with correct action.

“Look at Islam and not the Muslims,” is yet another coined phrase. Though Muslims are supposed to be an embodiment of Islam and its principles, sadly this phrase has become an all too common sight. Our Prophet peace and blessing be upon him, won the hearts of people through his exceptional standard of character, to the extent that his enemies could not speak about him in regard to it!

Muslims need to be exemplary so that non-Muslims begin to judge Islam by the people who adhere to it, as the media has already engraved a very negative and hostile image of Islam, especially for those who have little contact with Muslims. People are thirsty, thirsty for the truth, and as the saying explains, your actions often leave a bigger impact and more lasting effect in people’s minds. You will be judged as a Muslim, and some may receive guidance from the way you talk, walk, deal with others overall how you carry yourself.  Plant a seed of interest and curiosity in the person’s heart by your excellent character, and the person will be inquisitive to find out more.

The Prophet was sent as an example for us to follow.  When asked about the Prophet’s manners, Aishah, the Mother of the believers said: “He was a walking Qur’an”.

He (peace and blessing be upon him) applied the Qu’ran in his life so much so that it was as though he was the Qur’an! A muslim, who truly believes that the Qur’an was the final guidance, should adhere to its guidance! Allah says in the Qur’an,

“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do” [Surah Al-Saff  61:2-3]  

When we say we believe in the Quran then we must adhere to its every word and letter.

Let us now try to focus on some points that will help us to be a positive impact while giving dawah and also be a better Muslim:

  1. Gentleness goes a long way:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.”(Sahih Muslim)

Be gentle in your approach and your speech. Effective da’wah is done in a gentle and loving manner. Everyone loves to be addressed in a gentle tone. A simple smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Smile at those around you, as it is an act of charity, the Prophet was always seen smiling; it is amazing how a smile can brighten a person’s day up.

Quick tip to remember: First Impression is a lasting impression.

  1. Dress the part:

Decent dressing makes a good impression on the mad’oo. Dressing appropriately, neatly and with clean clothes will alter other’s perspective of you. People are more accepting of one whose clothes are tidy and who has well-kept outlook. Wearing clothes that are within the limits of Islam will also show dedication and devotion to your faith.

  1. Empathise with theMad’oo:

One needs to first understand where the madoo is coming from, what is his level of understanding and knowledge, his background etc. This will provide insight as to how best to introduce Islam, and what aspects of Islam will touch a senstive chord with the mad’oo.

One should try to open the conversation with friendliness, perhaps by touching up on similar interests and activities. By doing so, the madoo will find you an interesting person and not think of you as muslim and a potential threat.

Imam Ibn Qayyim said in his Fawa’id: “The smart one calls the people to Allah from their dunya, and this makes it easier for them to respond to him. The zahid (ascetic) calls them to Allah by way of abandoning the dunya, and this makes it hard for them to respond, since it is very hard to pull someone away from the breast that he has developed his mind while suckling on…”

  1. Inviting neighbours and giving presents:

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Serve Allah and join not any partners with Him: Show kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin and the fellow traveller and what your right hands possess: for Allah loves not the arrogant the vainglorious.”  [Surah An-Nisa,04:36]

Our neighbours are the first rightful owners of our da’wah. One should be kind to them, help them in every way and keep good contact with them. Taking time to visit them, saying hello to each other in the morning, all will do wonders.

The neighbour has so many rights upon us, and are so special that the sahaba thought that they could be ordered to make their neighbours inheritors of their property, due to their numerous rights.

  1. Help those with greater needs than yourself.

It is considered a cliché to hold doors for others, but it never fails to attract appreciation. Giving up a seat for the elderly or the pregnant or those with little children may come as a natural response to some; Muslims however should always be the first to use initiatives that brings comfort to others. Aid anyone who may need assistance, help them as best as you can, give them the right of way and show patience instead of irritation. Whatever ensures the comfort of people should always be preferable to the Muslims. Turn every situation into an opportunity for da’wah.

  1. Do not over-exert yourself

Enthusiasm is good, however we must always remembers the Prophetic advice that the best form of charity is that which is done regularly. Da’wah is also a form of charity, where the Muslim spends time and makes effort for the benefit of others. Do not over-exert yourself and take time-out when you need it. Make sure you always spend time to learn and grow with Islamic knowledge. Take enough time to refresh and revitalise the senses as is needed. Take a break to boost your iman and personal growth every now and then.

  1. Wear Islam Responsibly.

The Qur’an and the Sunnah are the ‘blueprints’ of Islam; when Muslims start to follow them, they will become positive examples to those around them. Whether we like it or not, people will judge Islam by what they see, if people see hypocrisy, internal fighting, cheating, continuous brash debating etc. they will likely dismiss Islam out of hand. They will equate such behaviour with Islam and won’t understand that Muslims, who are humans after all, may not always be “Islamic”. The fundamental principle of ‘practicing what you preach’ must always be at the forefront of our minds.

The most important task for the daa’ee is that he must have a righteous lifestyle, he must be righteous in his actions and possess a righteous character so that he can be emulated in his words and actions.

As for the successful believers they call to the truth, act upon it, eagerly seek it, and hasten towards it. They also keep away from those things that they themselves forbid. We must remember that a bad word travels faster, much more than a good word.

So Don’t tell the People, show them…..

actions-speak-louder

Fatima Damad

Writer, AAT

 

Signs of the Hour 9

love muhammad 2

All praise is to Allah. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger. 

Ramadaan was with us just few days back and now it’s gone. It went by so swiftly that we all must have barely felt its essence. Those moments which we spent in worshiping Allah were indeed astounding. Ramadaan is indeed a month of giving and sharing. The coherence of rich and poor, healthy and unhealthy persons, in the month of Ramadaan was just like a feather in a hat!

Before Ramadaan, our goal was to ask Allah to help us in reaching Ramadaan. Now that it is over, our goal is to prepare for the day of Judgement, though this has always been a priority on our lists.

Doomsday is a day of turmoil.  It is the day when the sight becomes dazed and the moon becomes dark. It is that moment when the sun and the moon are brought together.

Our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had foretold us all the signs prior to the Final Day. Have you ever thought what could be the first sign of The Overwhelming Hour? It was the death of our Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)!

“On that day, some faces shall be bright, looking to their Lord with glee whilst other faces shall be gloomy.” (Surah Qiyamah 22-24)

In the aforementioned verse, it is clear that the faces, that would shine, would be of the righteous Muslims who were content with what Allah (The Exalted) had bestowed upon them. They held on to the rope of Allah, and remained firm upon the Sunnah. Whereas, those gloomy and sullen faces belong to those who disbelieved in Allah. They’re those who persisted upon sinning and died without asking for repentance.

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prophesied about 1400 years ago occurrences that would materialize in the approach of the final hour. One of those is abandonment and rejection of the Sunnah.

Sunnah is the verbally transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as well as various reports about Muhammad’s companions. They are a form of guidance, steering us to the way of Allah.

Today, many have left his practices, and are unaware of its importance. “Why are we following the Sunnah?” proclaimed one of my classmates in high school. This question is peculiar and sounds eerie to practicing Muslims.

To answer it, I’d like to say, Islam is not a buffet where we can pick and choose whatever we want. Rather, we have to accept whatever Allah has prescribed upon us. It is binding upon us to follow the Qur’an as well as Sunnah.

There are many references from Qur’an which shows how significant it is to follow the path of Sunnah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

 “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah…” [Al-Nisaa’ 4:80]

Glory be to Allah! Allah has described obedience to Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as being a part of obedience to Him! This alone clearly justifies why being obedient to Prophet is so imperative.

In the same Surah, Allah made a connection between obedience to Him and obedience to Prophet.

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger …” [Al-Nisaa’ 4:59]

Before the appearance of the final hour, there would be rejection of Sunnah. A hadith on this phrase can be quoted.

Narrated By Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’dikarib: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Beware! I have been given the Qur’an and something like it (i.e. the sunnah), yet the time is coming when a man reclining on his couch will say: Keep (follow) to the Qur’an; what you find in it to be permissible treat as permissible, and what you find in it to be prohibited treat as prohibited. [Abu Dawud Book 035, Hadith Number 4587]

There are so many Sunan which we can follow throughout the day and night. Yet many of us, either forget to follow the Sunnah or abandon it. One way to salvation is by following our Prophet’s sunnah, and tracing his way of life, because he was the best of all people to walk the earth.

May Allah make us amongst those who obey Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). 

Ameen

Bint Nayeem

Writer, AAT

 

 

Praise

alhamdulilah 3

If you could hear the pens of the angels as they write everything you did, how would you behave? How would feel, if you heard them writing down a deed you did, and classed it as a good deed. A surge of emotions would rush over you, washing over your entire being, and it would affect you to your core, just as when a wave washes over the beach, reaching deep beneath, and affecting even the tiniest particle of sand.

Now, on the same thought trail, it never ceases to amaze me that thirty angels rushed to write down the words uttered by one man in the spur of a moment. Perhaps you are unaware of the words I am referring to; nonetheless picture a scene in which thirty angels, who are perfect, sinless and in complete obedience to Allah, compete and race to note a few words; a small phrase, simply because of their happiness and the value it carries. The angels assigned to write this man’s deeds, did not simply write these words down. No. Rather, thirty angels, rushed to do so, they were eager, they hurried. I shall narrate to you the incident,

Abu Rifa’ bin Rafi Az-Zuraqi said, “one day we were praying behind the Prophet (peace be upon him). When he raised his head from bowing (ruku’) he said, ‘Sami’ Allahu liman hamidah.’ (Allah hears those who praise Him.) A man behind him said, ‘rabbana wa lakal hamd, hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh’ meaning, ‘O our Lord, all praises are for you, many good and blessed praises.’ When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, ‘Who said these words?’ The man replied, ‘I.’ The Prophet said, ‘I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1, Book 12, No 764)

ruku

The Prophet (peace be upon him, related to us about another similar situation. He (peace be upon him), said, “A servant of Allah once said ‘O Allah, Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the grace of Your face and the greatness of Your supreme authority.’ The two angels were confused as to how to write these words. They ascended to Allah and said, ‘O our Lord! A servant has just uttered a statement and we are unsure of how to record it for him. Allah said, while having more knowledge in what His servant had said, ‘What did my servant say?’ They said, ‘He said, ‘O Allah, Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the Grace of Your face and the greatness of Your supreme authority.’’ Allah said to them, ‘Write is as my servant has said it, until he meets Me, and then I shall reward him for it.’” (Ibn Majah 2:1249)

hamd

Amazing isn’t it? Wouldn’t you want the angels to do the same for you? Such short simple words, easy to remember, and pleasing to the Lord of the Worlds. Don’t you anticipate the reward of Allah, which is incomparable to anything you have ever seen, heard or experienced before and superior to it?

As human beings we love it when we are praised. We love it when others voice admiration of us, when they compliment us, we thrive on it. Now, for Allah is the highest and best of examples.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “Verily, your Lord likes Al-Hamd (praise).” (Collected by Ahmad and An-Nisa’i)

Many of us work hard in youth and old age to please our parents. To ensure they are happy, that they are content with what we do. If we see them sad, or unsmiling we will do everything in our power to make them smile, and will even ask what makes them frown. Their worries are our concerns. Their pains are our sufferings, because we love them, because of their care and devotion to us. We will go to the ends of the world to make our parents pleased. Shouldn’t this be even more so for our Rabb, who has taken care of each and every one of us, and not neglected us? And you know what, even our Rabb smiles, Glory be to Him!

When Ali was asked about ‘Alhamdulilah’ he said, “a statement that Allah liked for Himself, was pleased with for Himself, and He likes that it be repeated.” (At-Tabari 1:13, and mentioned in Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Abridged English Version, Volume 1)

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best dhikr is ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ and the best supplication is ‘Alhamdulillah.” (At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’I and Ibn Majah)

Immerse yourself in praising Allah, for ‘hamd’ is a general statement of praise, signifying that all praise is for Allah, alone, not any of the objects worshipped instead of Him or besides Him. It is a praise that Allah has praised Himself with, indicating that we too should participate in His praise.

 

Al-Mannan

al mannan

The name of Allah, Al-Mannan is not mentioned in the Qur’an but rather in the Prophet’s Sunnah.

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said:

“I was sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and a man was standing and praying. When he bowed, prostrated and recited the tashahhud, he supplicated, and in his supplication he said: “Allahumma inni as’aluka bi-anna lakal-hamd, lailaha illa ant, al-mannanu badi’us-samawati wal-ard, ya dhal-jalali wal-ikram! Ya hayyu ya qayyum! Inni as’aluka” (O Allah, indeed I ask You since all praise is due to You, there is none worthy of worship but You, the Bestower, the Creator of the heavens and earth, O Possessor of majesty and honor, O Ever-living, O-Eternal, I ask of You.)’ The Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘Do you know what he has supplicated with?’ They said: “Allah (SWT) and His Messenger know best.” He said: ‘By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, he called upon Allah by His greatest Name, which, if He is called by it, He responds, and if He is asked by it, He gives.’” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 1300; Sahih Darussalam)

Al-Mannan refers to the One who Bestows abundantly, favours extensively. He is the One who graciously gives favours and gifts even before He is asked. He is the One who shows kindness to His creation by bestowing upon them and providing them with everything they need. His favours are upon the creation and not vice versa.

He bestows His favours both on believers and disbelievers.

It is also a great blessing that Allah, the All Mighty has guided His special servants to Dar us-Salam (Paradise). He protects them from committing sins, and beautifies Iman (faith) in their hearts and makes them repellent to transgression (fisq), Kufr, and disobedience.

“And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah an-Nahl: 18)

“They recognize the favour of Allah; then they deny it. And most of them are disbelievers.” (Surah an-Nahl: 83)

Whoever wishes to gain insight into Allah’s favours upon us should go through the garden of Qur’an and reflect over the countable and uncountable favours and bestowments.

Allah (may He be Glorified) has considered guidance towards light and protection from Shirk (polytheism) and Kufr (disobedience) as a favour, according to the following ayats:

“O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favour upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (Surah an-Nisa: 94)

“They consider it a favour to you that they have accepted Islam. Say, “Do not consider your Islam a favour to me. Rather, Allah has conferred favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.” (Surah al-Hujrat:17)

Allah has beautified faith in the hearts of those who believe, and has made disbelief repugnant to them. Indeed, Allah’s favours upon us are immense, and uncountable!

“And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided. [It is] as bounty from Allah and favour. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surah al-Hujrat: 7-8)

“O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. And if not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Surah an-Noor: 21)

By appointing the messengers and prophets, Allah (may He be Exalted) have favoured upon us and honoured this Ummah by appointing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

“Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.” (Surah al-Aal Imran: 164)

Similarly, Allah (may He be Glorified) has favoured upon His faithful servants by entering them in Paradise and saving them from Hell.

“And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.”” (Surah al-A’raf, 07: 43)

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, when one acknowledges Allah’s favours and gifts upon him/her then it becomes compulsory to thank Allah (may He be Exalted) for the bounties and praise Allah (may He be glorified) for the favours, as stated in the following ayah:

“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.”” (Surah al-Ahqaf: 15)

In conclusion, Allah (may He be Exalted) commanded His servants to be grateful and obstructed them from being ungrateful. He praised the one who are grateful and promised them Paradise in exchange.

By the will of Allah, we shall look into the effects on Iman (faith) of this Name in the next issue.

 

Who do Muslims Worship?

 

allah_the_name_god

Misconception #10

Many people are confused as to what, or who muslims worship. Majority of religions have an image or statue which is a depiction of their god in some form or shape; often this is a representation of the founder of that religion, to whom the followers direct their acts of worship and devotion. Hence, they assume that it is just the same for Muslims too.

To explain who muslims worship, it is necessary to explain what Islam; the religion adhered to by muslims, is. Islam is the total submission to the will of Almighty God. Keeping this definition in mind, Islam is a way of life; that has been in existence since the beginning of time, and is as old as history itself. Muhammad was not the founder of Islam, as Islam has been the religion of the Prophets and Messengers since the creation of the first man on earth. Each of the apostles submitted their will to the will of Almighty God; Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, all of them surrendered themselves to the One God, hence were all muslims.

Back to point of who Muslims worship. Some would assume muslims worship the black box in the desert (also called the Ka’bah), this is merely a point of direction for unity amongst muslims. In reality, muslims worship Allah, the One Almighty God. Allah is the proper name for God in Arabic; it refers to the Supreme Being who is unlike any of the creation, who has no partners or associates, and no daughters or sons, who resembles none. Neither was He born nor, does He give birth.

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah the One. The Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor was He begotten and there is none like him.” (Surah Ikhlaas, 112:1-4)

The role of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was merely that of a messenger, to convey to the people the message which Allah had entrusted him with, and that is to teach the worship of Allah alone. He communicated to us the message of Allah, and the words of Allah, which are contained in the Qur’an.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “O Mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous. He who made for you the earth as a bed (spread out) and the sky a ceiling, and sent down from the sky rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know (there is nothing similar to Him).” (Al Baqarah 02:21-22)

Allah informs us, that He is our Lord, our Creator and Provider. Muslims believe that Allah possesses numerous attributes which describe His being. These attributes cannot be fully understood by our limited knowledge, nor are they similar to that of any created being. Some of these are mentioned in the Qur’an, and some double up as names.

“He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and witnessed. He is Ar-Rahman (The Entirely Merciful), Ar-Raheem, (The Especially Mericful). He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Al-Malik (The Sovereign), Al-Quddus (The Pure), As-Salam (The source of Peace), Al-Mu’min (The Bestower of Faith), Al-Muhaymin (The Overseer), Al-Aziz (The Exalted in Might), Al-Jabbar (The Compeller), Al-Mutakabbir (The Superior). He is Allah, Al-Khaliq (The Creator), Al-Bari (The Inventor), Al-Musawwir (The Fashioner), to Him belong the best names…” (Al-Hashr 59:22-24)

These are the descriptions and Names of Allah. However, we cannot see Him in this life, until the Day of Judgement. He is beyond the limitations of time, and space. He is perfect in His attributes, with no defect, fatigue does not touch Him, nor inability. He is over all things competent and able.

Muhammad was a man who lived amongst the people, who ate food, who retired to rest. Allah, on the other hand, is unaffected by ‘human nature’ and is above the need for nourishment and reproduction. If god were to manifest himself in human form, he seizes to be a god, for Almighty God is perfect and without need, whereas humans are flawed. How can one who is need of support, support others? How can one who is lost, serve as a guide for others? How can one who is weak, and prone to maladies and poverty, be a source of strength and victory for others? How can one who is in need, give to others? Such is the nature of human kind, we are in need of support, weak, frail, prone to maladies and poverty, in need, and lost. Only a being, who is above these lowly qualities, can be a Lord for us. How can we turn our attention and devotion to men who are like ourselves? They are in need like us, lost like us, weak like us. Thus it is Allah to whom we submit, for truly He has power of all things.He gives without measure, forgives without reproach, creates without examples, sees without limits, and hears without impediments. Everything is under His command, and we are subservient to Him.

“And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth, and Allah is over all things competent.” (Surah Aal-Imran 03:189)

 

Hayaa Pt3

spring peach tree blossom

 

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty…” (Qur’an Nur, 30-31)

Here are some easy steps to achieve Hayaa.

1-Reflect:

Every night instil a habit of reflecting upon the sins and immodest actions you did and when you wake up the next day think about how you will avoid that undesirable action.

2-Say No to Fashion Hijab!

The Prophet said, “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen yet. People with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait. They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”

Also Allah mentions in the Holy Quran,

“… and not to show off their adornment…” [An-Noor 24:31]

The hadith mentions women who wear clothes yet naked which means that the clothes are so tight that the shape of their body is revealed. Unfortunately we see our Muslim women wearing tight fitting clothes with a little piece of cloth on their heads covering only the hair. Sisters if you want to observe hijab do it like the wives of the prophet and don’t adopt the fashion hijab, which does not fulfill the proper requirements.

3-Seek Knowledge to keep a sound heart:

“The Day on which neither wealth nor sons will be of any use, except for whoever brings to Allah a sound heart.” [Quran 26:88-89]

Knowledge is food for the soul. It helps us to keep our iman at its highest peak always. This way we will always be aware of immodest acts. Modesty is a fruit of imān and knowing Allah, the All-Mighty and Exalted will increase our Iman.

4-Remember Allah is always watching:

It is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, Allah the Exalted is Modest and Concealing (Sittīr); and He loves modesty and concealment. So, when any of you bathe, let him conceal himself.”

Wherever you are and what time it is, we should remember that Allah is watching and He is the All-Knowing.

5-If you have nothing good to say, be quiet:

“Allah does not like that evil should be mentioned in public except by one who has been done injustice. And Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ 04: 148]

Abstain from shameless words or actions, such as foul speech. This will aggravate Satan, who beautifies these actions, and tempts people with them. So, not engaging in such actions will make him hopeless, and he would in turn retract in disgrace.

6-Constantly increase your acts of worship:

Allah, says: “Verily, prayer prevents lewdness and evil deeds.”

It was said to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): “So-and-so prays all night, but when he wakes up he steals!” So, he (peace be upon him) said: “What you mentioned [i.e. his prayers] will [eventually] prevent him from that.” Or he said: “His prayers will prevent him.”

Zakah is another example. Allah, Most-Glorified, says regarding zakah: “Take a portion of their wealth as charity [zakah] to purify them and increase them with it.” (Qur’an, 9:103)

7-Better be alone than in an ill company:

Accompanying people who are immodest will not help you to have Hayaa, in fact it will do the opposite. Try to find good and modest people with high iman so that you too can benefit from them.

8-Ask for forgiveness:

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'” (Surah Zumar 39:53)

Asking for forgiveness for your past immodest acts will make you ashamed of yourself and the next time you turn to anything immodest you will think twice as to will this be forgiven again. Verily Allah is the all-Forgiving.

 

Following these steps will Inshallah will make us modest people and modesty will lead us to Paradise. I ask Allah to make our youth more modest so that our future generation is more modest than the present.

Fatima Damad,

Writer, AAT

Shirk

Ways To Jannah #10

grave worship

 

Wearing white turbans and clad in white, as they prostrate wailing, crying out loud “Ya Ali,” “Ya Husayn”, to the deceased bodies of saints, singing at the top of their voices, one feels abomination creeping in, oh! Indeed what a horrible state to find some Muslims in. Even more astonishing is the sight when some of them take it upon themselves to perform tawaf around the graves, kissing them and pleading to them.

These are nonetheless but acts of shirk and as a matter of fact, grave worship is just one among the many ‘varieties’ by which people associate partners with Allah.

The crime of associating partners with Allah is indeed the greatest of crimes and is recompensed by none other than Hell unless the person repents.

However, the coin provides a shiny surface to both of its sides and thereby a person who doesn’t associate partners with Allah The Exalted, will be rewarded with paradise as proved by the following hadith:

It is narrated on the authority of Jabir b. Abdullah, I heard the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) saying, “He who met Allah without associating anything with Allah entered Paradise and he who met Him associating (anything) with Him entered the Fire.”  (Muslim; Book #001, Hadith #0169)

Bingo! Here we go, yet another way to Jannah

But alas, shirk is of many types and we can hardly testify to knowing all of them. One might actually commit shirk without even realizing it. Hence it’s imperative that we educate ourselves properly.

Before we continue, another hadith to mention is narrated by Anas who said, ‘I was informed that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) had said to Mu’adh, “Whosoever will meet Allah without associating anything in worship with Him will go to Paradise.” Mu’adh asked the Prophet, “Should I not inform the people of this good news?” The Prophet replied, “No, I am afraid, lest they should depend upon it (absolutely).”  (Sahih Bukhari Book #3, Hadith#131)

Therefore, we comprehend that it is crucial to hone ourselves in performing other good deeds as well lest we fall in the aforementioned category.

I conclude by this beautiful invocation, as taught by our beloved Prophet,

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You lest I associate anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for what I know not.”

Bint Ayesha

Writer, AAT

 

Lack of Composure in Prayer

 

pray

Khushu’ or humility in the prayer, is of utmost importance and integral to the validity of one’s prayer.  We rush through the prayer eager to get it over and done, as though it is a heavy burden weighing down on our backs.

How can our worries end, if we don’t communicate with Allah properly? We stand before the greatest of all kings, the king of all kings, yet we do not give Him his due attention. We stand on the prayer mat for a few short minutes, yet somehow manage to go shopping, browsing through the isles, we even pop into the bank, check our accounts, do the washing up and clean our houses all whilst we stand before our Creator. Are we not ashamed?!

I’m not saying Khushu’ is easy to achieve. No. Even the most righteous of our salaf struggled to attain Khushu’, but they put the effort in, and they were rewarded, by tasting the sweetness of iman. May Allah reward them for their devotion. Khinzib and his associates work tirelessly to distract us from our Salaah, he has been assigned specifically for the task and he does not give us a break. Nevertheless, we should take pride in our Salaah and enjoy every moment of it.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘prayer was made the coolness of my eyes.” (Ahmad and An-Nisa’i) In Salaah one finds peace and tranquility; it is a break from the rat race, from the rushing to and fro.

One who does not observe his prayers with the correct etiquettes, is referred to as stealing from his prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “‘the worst type of thief, is the one who steals from his prayer.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can one steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘by not doing ruku’ and sujood properly.’” (Ahmad 5/310, Saheeh Al-Jami’ no 997)

When one prays he should allow his bones time to settle with each move he makes. When he bows (ruku’) he should ensure that his back is flat and leveled, such that one is able to put a glass of water without it spilling over. He should hold his position long enough for him to recite the recommended supplications without rushing them. Similarly, when one prostrates in Sajdah, he should be sure that the seven parts of his body required to touch the ground do so, and he should pause long enough for him to supplicate Allah.

Posture is one of the pillars of the Salaah, and the Prophet warned us severely when he said, “a man’s prayer is not good enough until his back is straight in ruku’ and sujood.” (Abu Dawud 1/533, and Saheeh Al-Jami’ number 7224)

The Prophet compared one who bows and prostrates hurriedly to a crow pecking. Abu Abdullah Al-Ash’ari reported that the Prophet led his companions in prayer, then he sat with a group of them. A man came in and began praying, but made his movements rapid. The Prophet commented saying, “do you see this? Whoever dies having done this has died outside the community of Muhammad and his prayer is like a crow pecking blood. The person who bows and then pecks in his sujood is like a hungry man who eats no more than one or two dates; what good will that do to him?”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) disassociated himself from one who prays as such!

However, posture is not limited to ruku’ and sujood. Your posture throughout the entire Salaah has to be in accordance with the Sunnah.

Brothers and Sisters, many of us have a busy day scheduled, and we rush our Salaah. I urge you to take heed; plan your day and chores around your Salaah, not your Salaah around your day. Don’t squeeze in your Salaah, like it is an inconvenience. We were created for, and our sole purpose is to worship Allah, and Salaah is the core of that worship. Pray like you mean it. I’m sure we want to be amongst the Ummah of Muhammad, and we love him dearly, but what good is love without action? Pray as the Prophet taught us to pray with Khushu’. Ramadaan is here, and through the Taraweeh we stand long hours. So why not carry on that good, by keeping up Salaah with beautiful recitation and increased concentration?

I leave you with one last point, The Prophet once saw a man praying hurriedly. The man completed his prayer and approached the Prophet. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “go back and repeat your prayer, for you have not prayed.’ The man again prayed, and came to Rasoolullah, the Prophet repeated his instruction, and again the same thing happened. (Bukhari and Muslim) The Prophet was not shy to tell the man to repeat his prayer, due to the defects in it, because he rushed.

My question is, what would the Prophet say to us if he saw the way we prayed? How many times would he ask us to repeat our Salaah?

 

Life After Death

I was so well absorbed into the dunya that the thought of a life after death was, well, not really a thought at all. I always thought that there was life after death, but I thought that after death a new life would start and we would keep being reincarnated into something of an animal or a human being with a better life. As I am writing this, I find myself with a smile as the thought of reincarnation is rather amusing. The thought of a new life beginning on earth after your previous death is a very entertaining thought to say the least! However, I used to think like this, and sadly many people still do.

Life after death? Yes.

But the next life is either in The Gardens of Paradise or in the Hellfire. So which one is it for you? Only Allah knows. You don’t even know where you will go but all you can do is prepare for this Day.

Though I just entered into Islam not long ago I already feel the need to up my good deeds and make sure that the scale over-weighs the bad deeds scale. I will tell you this much, though I struggled with different things in my past life, I now have to struggle with new things in my new life. But of course life is nothing but a test and what I like to call a “pit stop”. To test us and to keep testing us to see how strong our Deen is and how strong our desire is to meet Our Creator on The Day.

Perhaps if you take everything away from the dunya and put it aside for one minute and just picture yourself on a journey in the desert. You have your camel, the map to your destination, and the pit stops to rest and recover. Along the way you will encounter things that are unnatural and displeasing. You will discover that the weather will not always be to your liking and you may struggle many times during your journey to find a place to sit under the shade to take to a break.

“Know that the life of this world (dunya) is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children… the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.”(Al-Hadid 57:20)

Your journey is exhausting but you keep reminding yourself that the end destination is an island full of pure, sheer beauty. An island where the water is so blue it is almost white from the sun’s reflection. An island where there are no worries, nothing unnatural or displeasing. An island where all the inhabitants are of the purest souls and most kind-hearted. An island where you will be taken care of. An island called Paradise.

Umm Abdur-Rahman,

Writer, AAT

Family and Friends

khuda

If we were given a beautiful gift like a pair of diamond earrings or a brand new luxury sports car, by default, we would like to show the world what we have. When there is something given to us, normally we do not just keep it hidden and stored away from others so nobody can see it! We want to share with people and show them the beauty of what we own! Similarly, once we are blessed with the gift of Islam, we should feel the urge to share this huge blessing with everyone we know and don’t know!

When I became Muslim four years ago, I was so full of zeal and joy that I wanted all my family members to know that Islam is the truth! Coming from a Chinese background where I was raised as a Christian, who later was forced to become a Buddhist, I wanted my parents to know about Islam so they would understand how true the religion is! Of course Allah guides whom He wills and giving dawah to my parents and family members truly was not as easy as I thought it would be. Rather, it was very difficult. I do admit though, my ignorance added to the challenge of conveying the message to them. I was trying to tell them about Islam instead of showing them Islam. Prior to Islam, I had bad manners and was a very rude person. I was very selfish and I also would go through many different phases in my life. My parents thought my reversion to Islam was just another phase but I wanted to prove them wrong! My uncle had been feeding them a lot of lies about Islam and he was always saying rude things and turning my parents against me. I know he was just worried about me but he did more harm than good. Subhana’Allah (Glory be to Allah!) Allah took his life a few months after I had reverted and it brought me closer to my parents. From then on was when my journey to giving dawah to them truly began.

Prior to my uncle’s death, I would often just preach about Islam and try to send them things that would tell to them about Islam and how Isa (Jesus) was not the son of God and I even tried to make my father read the Qur’an in Chinese! All of this did not work and it only caused more problems between us. After some time, I moved away to America to be with my husband and the distance made my relationship with my parents much stronger. I started learning more about Islam and how to preach by good manners and good deeds instead of just with speech as Allah says in the Qur’an, “And who is better in speech than he who (says: ‘My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and) invites (men) to Allah (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims.'” (Quran, Fussilat: 33)

“Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (Quran, an-Nahl: 125)

I remembered that Allah often mentioned the importance of treating parents with kindness and gentleness. That was something I had never done before with my parents. I never had a close relationship with my mother because she sort of just had this “I give up on her” attitude with me because of all the things I put her and my father through. I was a true rebel before Islam, so I tried really hard and asked Allah for assistance to help me with my manners towards my parents. I asked Allah to soften my heart towards them. Alhamdulillah, somehow, some way, I started to treat my parents with more respect and good manners. Allah says in the Qur’an,

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.” (Qur’an, Al Isra 17:23)

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.  His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.” (Qur’an, Luqman 31:14)

I tried hard to exercise these verses whenever I had to deal with my parents. Every time I went home to visit, I would try my best to go above and beyond and show them with my manners what my religion has taught me. I would bite my tongue (sometimes literally) to keep my mouth from talking back or saying rude things. I kept telling myself there was no room for failure because I am trying to represent the deen of Allah to my parents. I kept thinking that one wrong move, and they would change their perception of Islam forever. I am representing Islam and my actions and speech are crucial. Although this put a lot of pressure on me, I knew that good things don’t come easy and I really needed to work hard to change their idea of me, and Islam. I kept working at it slowly and steadily and by the Permission of Allah, I saw my parent’s attitude towards me slowly start to change. They became more pleased with me and happy with me! Something that was very rare in my non-Muslim days. We argued less and even my mom became more careful with her words around me. I can even wear abaya and hijab with them and go out in public with them and my mom tells her friends how proud she is of me with my huge change. This is not to boast, Allah knows best my intentions, but I wanted to share this as an example to let other knows that it is possible for our parents to accept us and our religion, it just starts with us and our actions. We must be wise and learn how to deal with our parents.

My relationship with my parents has changed a complete 180 degrees and all because of Allah the Almighty. How important it is to read the Qur’an and reflect upon the verses and to truly know what is expected of us as Muslims? Had I not come across these verses and reflected upon them, I would still be treating my parents with an attitude that was displeasing to Allah. The key to giving Dawah to your family is not just through speech, because parents have this “talk is cheap, actions are louder than words” mentality so we should show them through our actions as they hold a heavier weight. Making lots of duaa and being sincere to Allah and understanding the importance of spreading the deen in a kind, gentle way is something that must be done in order for success. I still struggle with my attitude sometimes , and that is normal since I am only a human being, so do realise that you are not perfect and you will have your moments where you slip, but ask Allah for forgiveness and tawfeeq and get back up and keep going. This journey is not an easy one but hopefully our parents will see the beauty of Islam and decide to follow us together to Jannah insha’Allah.

Umm Abdur-Rahman