I chose Islam

If you asked me 6 months ago what my religion was, I would tell you Christianity. If you asked me why, I would tell you because it’s all I have ever known, it’s what my grandparents are, it’s who my grandparents are. But here is what you don’t know. I’ve always prayed to God. Always. I always felt that God was listening, that He hears our prayers if we just humble ourselves to Him. I can’t tell you exactly when I knew that God was real, I’ve just always known. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), I follow his teachings (more so now than ever before) and I know that  he done great and amazing things, through GOD. Jesus says in the bible that he is nothing without his Father. I’m not going to go back and forth with scriptures. I love Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, etc. I don’t judge. Anyway, my point was, I didn’t know WHY I associated with the Christian faith other than “just because my family did”. Fast forward to February 28, 2015, I find out that my best friend of 29 years has died. She was 33 years old. I’ve known her since I was 4 years old. In kindergarten is was like we were looking for each other, like our souls were connected. You can ask any of my classmates from way back then, and if they remember, they can tell you that we were inseparable.

I was lost. I was devastated. I was broken. I was scared of myself. But, no one understood, not really. Maybe I wasn’t accepting of the ones who tried, I don’t know.. all I know is that I was a different person. All I knew was that I needed someone, something, to make it all make sense. I turned to this and that and finally I started searching for a closer relationship with God. Because when no one else is there, God is there. Always, God never leaves us. He never abandons us. He is merciful. Even if your sins reach as high as the sky, God forgives us, if we just ask.

I started questioning what I’d heard my whole life. I started looking into different religions and looking at the similarities of the great religions of the world. I always believed in Jesus (peace be upon him) but I never worshiped him as God. I had questions that no one has ever answered for me answered in Islam. Islam makes sense to me. Islam and Muslim simply mean to believe in one God and willful submission to God. That’s all Islam means. There isn’t beheadings and torture and kill, kill, kill. That’s all media rhetoric. It’s not true. It’s fabrications and misinterpretations and distorting verses. If any of you have any questions at all, ask me. If I can’t answer them, then I can find someone who can, or I can give you resources and references. Please don’t think I would take my salvation blindly. That I would risk my soul on something that I haven’t researched and something that I don’t fully understand or believe in. Yes, it’s been hard. I have lost friends, I have lost family, simply because I believe in God? It doesn’t make sense to me, but God knows best. If you ask me today what religion I am, I will tell you I am Muslim. I am not perfect. No, I don’t go out in Jacksonville wearing a hijab (headscarf), simply because, I don’t feel it’s safe, due to the number of PTSD Veterans that we have in this town. I am Muslim but I am not a terrorist. Terrorism has no religion. Please don’t hate me. Please let me show you that Islam is peaceful and Islam is love. I just ask for acceptance. I will never push my faith on you. I respect all religions and people who have no religion. I am finally a happier me.

LeAnna

A Mini Eid

athan

Abu Hurairah narrated that, the Prophet said: “The best day that the sun has risen upon is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he entered Paradise, and on it, he was expelled from it. And the Hour will not be established except on Friday.” (Jami At-Tirmidhi, Sahih)

It’s Friday again. Well, tomorrow will be Inshallah…and that means it is a break from the usual chores of the weekdays; for most of us. For those of us in the West, Friday is little different from other weekdays; we still have to join the morning rush hour on the way to work. Our Lunch hour is the few moments where we experience the joy of Friday, as we eagerly rush to the local mosque to catch the congregational prayer. Then, we are back to work to finish off the rest of the day. Nonetheless, we should strive to make our Fridays different by following the Sunnah of the Prophet and taking up those actions which we are required to do.

For muslims, Fridays are a weekly Eid, and usually implies a family get together. Or at least a lunch feast after the Jumu’ah prayers. But let’s rewind a bit to the start of the day. The day, as we know begins from Maghrib of the day before. The night comes before the day, so before Friday day, is Friday night. What the West would commonly call Thursday evening, in actuality is Friday evening….I hope you understand what I mean

-One should send salawaat upon the Prophet peace be upon him, for he taught us, “Among the best of your days is Friday; so supplicate Allah more often for me in it, for your supplications will be displayed to me.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! How will our blessings be displayed to you when your decayed body will have mixed with the earth?” He replied, “Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets.”

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1047; classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in his comments on Sunan Abi Dawood, 4/273; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 925)

One is encouraged to send salutations upon the Prophet peace be upon him. Furthermore, one of the etiquettes of making duaa is to send salaawat on the Prophet, prior to invoking Allah. When one makes duaa for another in his absence, the angels pray for him saying ‘and likewise for you too.’ Sending Salawaat is a form of duaa, and so imagine that every time one repeats it, the angels make duaa for him. The angels are pure, they do not disobey Allah, nor commit sins which could obstruct duaa, they also have a high status, so ponder upon the fact that they will invoke Allah for you!

-One should perform ghusul, on this day in accordance with the Sunnah.

It was narrated that Salman said, “The Messenger of Allah said to me: ‘There is no man who purifies himself on Friday as he is commanded, then comes out of his house to the Friday prayer, and listens attentively until he finishes his prayer, but it will be an expiation for what came before it the week before.” (An-Nisa’I, Saheeh)

-Another practice that makes the Friday special is the Friday Prayer. One should attend the Friday congregational Prayer, and should attempt to be there early, so as to be recorded.

Narrated Abu Huraira, The Prophet said, “On every Friday the angels take their stand at every gate of the mosque to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer) and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.” (Bukhari)

Once the Khutbah has started, the angels no longer record the names, so late-comers are deprived of this opportunity. One should do their utmost to attend the Friday Prayer, it is the highlight of the day, it is the culmination of the week, and opportunity to increase your deeds.

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah that they heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say on the minbar, “Let people stop neglecting Jumu’ah, or Allah will place a seal on their hearts, then they will be among those who are neglectful.”  (Narrated by Muslim, 865)

May Allah protect us from such! When one’s heart is sealed, then no light or guidance can enter it, except by the will and permission of Allah, and Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

-The next blessing of Fridays is Sa’at Al-Istijaaba, the hour in which duaas are answered.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned Friday and said: “On this day there is a time when no Muslim stands and prays, asking Allah for something, but Allah will grant him it” – and he gestured with his hands to indicate how short that time is. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 893; Muslim, 852)

There are different opinions regarding the hour in which the duaa is accepted, so why waste time in idle pursuits, when you can use the time to make duaa?

-I’m pretty sure we know this one, and there is a whole article dedicated to its virtues. Nevertheless it is necessary to repeat it here, and reminders may prove beneficial! It is the recital of Surah Kahf.

It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads Surat al-Kahf on Friday, he will be illuminated with light between the two Fridays.” (Narrated by al-Haakim; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 836)

It may seem to take up a lot of time, but with practice one will improve. Think of the rewards my dear brothers and sisters, is anything difficult when it comes to Jannah and our salvation? Can anything be difficult when we do it seeking the Face of Our Lord Most High?

-Abdullah bin Amr narrated that, The Messenger of Allah said: “No Muslim dies on the day of Friday, nor the night of Friday, except that Allah protects him from the trials of the grave.” (Jami At-Tirmidhi, Hasan)

Ask Allah for a good ending. Allah grants a good ending to those who did good in their lives, and who are deserving of it. Look to the way you live, if you find it deficient, improve it before it is too late.

And finally, I leave you with this hadith,

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said, The five (daily) prayers and one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer are expiations (for the sins committed in the intervals) between them. (Muslim)

My dear brothers and Sisters, let us take hold of the reigns of the Salah, and if nothing else, attempt to perfect it. Strive, and strive, until you can strive no more!

The merchandise of Allah is expensive, as the Prophet said, the merchandise of Allah is Jannah! We need every favour of Allah. Let us utilise the occasion and pursue the merchandise of Allah.

The Mercy of Allah

Once my teacher displayed to us an A-4 sized paper and then folded a tiny corner of it, leaving us quite baffled whilst we tried to comprehend the significance of such a demonstration. Whilst the gears of our brain were yet grinding, she enlightened us about the presentation by telling us to hypothetically imagine that the whole foolscap represented the enormous amount of blessings bestowed upon us by Allah the Most Merciful, whereas the miniscule folded corner denoted the blessings that we actually acknowledged.

Thinking it back, the clear truth of this experiment seems to simply manifest itself increasingly as I try to realize all those blessings that I simply take for granted or even those blessings for which initially I am overwhelmed with gratitude and then later forget about as a trivial thing of the past. Also the shameful thing is our ghastly attitude when we use the very blessings of Allah to commit sins, for example when Allah blesses us with money we go ahead to purchase the latest touch screen gadget to use it for a “variety of xyz purposes”. I feel certain that I hardly need to elucidate on our delinquencies and it won’t be hypocritical for me to say that I am affirmative that I indeed am not the only one sailing in this boat of acute ingratitude and that definitely, quite some of us are guilty of this offence.

But, it’s never too late to atone for one’s folly, so let us all sit back for a while and try to have a small brainstorm session where we list down something that we have and which isn’t from the mercy of Allah to us.

Not surprisingly, our list shall note only blank spaces, for everything without a second thought, is but a blessing from Allah.

So my dear friends, don’t you think it’s incumbent that we turn to our Rabb in gratitude, think about the innumerable times where we commit great sins and yet Allah forgives us and forgives us, but are we grateful to Allah for being so merciful to us and for not depriving us from His Blessings? After all we are still able to eat, drink and live!

When one enters a medical field, one realizes the astronomical number of diseases that Allah has protected us from, but do we realize this? My friends, if Allah was to punish us for our endless crimes, than what would be of us?!

Indeed our attitude is revolting, but I sincerely hope and believe that we can try to turn for the better, and humble ourselves in gratitude to Allah, the Most Gracious.

Furthermore the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said “Whoever says ‘I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my religion and Muhammad Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as my Prophet’ paradise becomes compulsory for them. [Abu Dawud – Classed as Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani]

pleased

Truly this hadith brings tears to my eyes, the mercy of Allah is indeed so vast that He the Almighty honours us miserable ungrateful slaves to even say such a phrase.

Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi Subhanallahil Adheem!

This hadith shows the mercy of Allah Almighty whereby He The Exalted gives such great reward and makes paradise compulsory for a person in return for such a small action which requires little effort.

However, one should keep in mind that this does not mean that the utterance of these words is at all sufficient. One should express his satisfaction which entails acting upon these words by worshipping Allah Almighty alone and making Him unique in His Lordship, Worship and in His names and attributes and this is being pleased with Allah as our Lord. We should follow the Shariah of Islam and strive to perform that which it orders and avoid that which it prohibits and this is being pleased with Islam as our religion. Last but not least, following the Sunnah of the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and taking his path and rejecting all other paths as this is being pleased with Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as our Prophet.

And Allah Knows Best!

Indeed the aforementioned criteria is no piece of cake, and one shall have to strive to fulfil these rights, but remember the reward is Jannah. Also our foremost motivation for the doing the aforementioned should be to please Allah who is so generous and merciful to us. Doesn’t the thoughts of His blessings escalate our love for Him, and when we love someone we strive to please them?

I pray that Allah makes us among the grateful and helps us we endeavour to fulfil the rights of the aforementioned dua and honour us with the gift of Paradise.

Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen

Bint Ayesha

Writer, AAT

 

The Khutbah

Muharramat:

mimbar

He takes off his shoes and places them on the designated racks. He clears his throat as he takes the next few steps. A smile lingers on his lips, he cannot hide his happiness. It’s Friday, the best day of the week, a mini-Eid, and oh he cannot wait to get tucked into the delicious lunch that was on the stove as he left home, the aroma still lingers. It will be ready by the time Jumu’ah is over. He is so busy in his thoughts, that he momentarily forgets that he is late. He pushes open the doors of the mosque, and announces out loud, “Assalamu Alaykum!”

He looks around the mosque, catching the eyes of a few people. Some reply, others give ‘looks that could kill’ and others totally ignore his salam, without turning their heads or even giving the slightest nod. The Shaytaan, who loves to stir hatred, gets to work, and his anger builds, he thinks to himself, “horrible people, what’s wrong with them?! Can’t they even reply to my salam?!!!” As he prevents himself from making a scene in the mosque, the voice of the imam drowns out his frustration and soon he becomes absorbed in the Khutbah.

Moments pass by and the imam’s speech continues. He hears his belly rumble, and it’s awfully loud. He looks around the mosque, and suddenly he feels sleepy. He turns to the brother beside him, and asks the time. He forgot his watch at home, because he was running late and had to rush. The brother ‘shushes’ him. “How rude,” he thinks to himself. He begins to shoot him dirty looks, but his impatience with the length of the Khutbah is far worse, and so restlessly he begins to shift his position. He leans on one arm, then the next, he stretches his legs forward, he folds them again. Why didn’t he sit next to a pillar so he could rest on it?!

This scene is all too common. It is repeated every Friday. My dear friends, it is time we address the issue.

Abu-Darda’ said, “the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat on the minbar and addressed the people, and he recited a verse. Ubayy ibn Ka’b was next to me, so I said to him: “O Ubayy, when was this verse revealed?” But he refused to speak to me, so I asked him again and he refused to speak to me, until the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came down (from the minbar). Then Ubayy said to me: “You have gained nothing from your Jumu’ah except idle talk.” When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had finished (the prayer), I went to him and told him (what had happened). He said: “Ubayy was right. When you hear your imam speaking, then keep quiet and listen attentively until he has finished.”

(Narrated by Ahmad, 20780; Ibn Maajah, 1111; classed as saheeh by al-Busayri and al-Albaani in Tamaam al-Mannah, p. 338)

Subhanallah, the Prophet was the greatest teacher, he truly was an excellent example. By remaining silent and paying attention to the lecture, one can learn much, and benefit from the reminder. We are in need of constant reminders, for we humans are weak, and prone to fall into error. The reminder may strike a chord, and inspire us in our worship.

We also find in a hadith narrated by Abu-Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If you say to your companion when the imam is preaching on Friday, ‘Be quiet and listen,’ you have engaged in idle talk.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 892; Muslim, 851)

Thus it is obligatory for one who hears the Khutbah to remain silent, and refrain from all speech otherwise he has invalidated his Jumu’ah, included in this is giving salams and replying to them. To merely ask others to quieten down is also considered idle talk. Concession however is given in cases of necessities or an emergency and the like.

Regarding talking during the Khutbah, specifically greeting-wise, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said,

“It is haraam to give salaams during the Friday khutbah, so it is not permissible for one who enters the mosque whilst the imam is delivering the khutbah to give salaams, and it is also haraam to return the greeting.” (Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/100)

To further add to the above point; Abu Hurayrah also narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Whoever performs ablution and performs ablution well, then comes to Friday (prayer) and sits near (the Imam), and keeps quiet and listens, he will be forgiven for what was between that and the previous Friday (of sins), and three days more. And whoever touches the pebbles then he has engaged in Laghw (idle talk or behaviour).” (Muslim)

This hadith points to fiddling and fidgeting, which are a distraction from the Khutbah. The Shaytaan will try his utmost to make you lose your Jumu’ah, if not at least deplete your rewards, have an ‘iron will;’ pay attention to the khateeb. Focus on what he says, let it touch your heart, take heed and learn from his words.

We repeatedly err and forget, and we are in desperate need of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. We are in need of every bounty He bestows, and confers upon us. This opportunity to have our sins forgiven as conveyed to us on the lips of our beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), is no less of a chance attain the blessings of the forgiveness of Allah.

May Allah admit us to His mercy and forgiveness.

 

The Red Band

“Traversing across the Arabian sands,

the banner of war is raised high,

the stamping of hooves reverberate

As Pious Men stand with their heads held high,

With the enemy at the forefront,

Our noble predecessors take a deep plunge.

To spread the word of truth out-front

Hoping for the reward of Paradise.”

red band

On the day of the battle of Uhud, Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) took hold of a sword and said “Who will take this from me?” A number of the companions (May Allah be pleased with them) extended their arms, but then the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) asked, “But who will take it and fulfil its rights?” Many stepped back and Simmak ibn kharashah, commonly known as Abu Dujanah (May Allah be pleased with him) asked, “And what is its right, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “For you to strike the enemy with it until it bends.” Abu Dujanah said, “I will take and fulfil its rights,” upon which he was handed the sword. Abu Dujanah strutted in front of the other companions with the sword, then took out a red band and tied it around his head, and the people of Ansaar said, “Abu Dujanah has taken out the head cloth of death”, which is what the red band signified, for whoever he met from the enemy, he killed. He wrecked and caused havoc in the ranks of the enemy, giving the sword its due right.

Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awwaam (May Allah be pleased with him) later recounted that, that day there was a man amongst the enemy who would finish off every one of the wounded Muslim. That man and Abu Dujaanah were on a course to meet one another, and as they slowly came closer to one another, Az-Zubayr invoked Allah to make them come together (and fight). They met and traded blows. The polytheist hit Abu Dujanah who warded off the blow with his shield and then returned the blow with a strike that killed the man. And this was Abu Dujanah, a true lion in the battlefield, blazing with the pure desire of martyrdom, a tower of strength for the Muslim army.

He longed to be a martyr and his wish was fulfilled as he attained the sacred ranks of the Shuhadaa in the Battle of Yamamah.

Bint hasan

 

Ghibtah

Evidently as we discussed in our previous article; anger produces hatred and Envy. But Allah has made values and morals to be used in a positive manner, so how can we have envy but not hate on others?

Every moral or value should have a limit , it shouldn’t exceed the limits nor fall short as it can become transgression or deficiency on our part respectively. It exceeds the limits when the person wishes that a gift be removed from others and strives to hurt others. When It falls short of this limit, then it becomes lowliness and lack of zeal. So Envy too has a limit and that is competition , competing each other towards excellence in attaining Jannah and escape from hell fire .Competition is very beneficial as it inspires us to do our best and not just good enough. Competition makes a person more inquisitive , learn more and strive more. Competition is permissible in Islam.

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Race one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your lord,” (57:21)

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that, the Messenger of Allah said: “There is a kind of protective jealousy that Allah loves and a kind that Allah hates. As for that which Allah loves, it is protective jealousy when there are grounds for suspicion. And as for that which He hates, it is protective jealousy when there are no grounds for suspicion.” (Ibn Majah , Saheeh)

If the competition is related to acts of worship as in Salah, Zakah etc. then it is mandatory. Competition helps the Muslim to strive and overcome the hurdles in front of them as life is a race and the believer faces the most difficulties.

Salim narrated on the authority of his father (Ibn ‘Umar) that the Messenger of Allah () said: Envy is not justified but in case of two persons only: one who, having been given (knowledge of) the Qur’an by Allah, recites it during the night and day (and also acts upon it) and a man who, having been given wealth by God, spends it during the night and the day (for the welfare of others. seeking the pleasure of the Lord). (Muslim)

‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying, There should be no envy but only in case of two persons: one having been endowed with wealth and power to spend it in the cause of Truth, and (the other) who has been endowed with wisdom and he decides cases with the help of it and teaches it (to others). (Muslim)

In the hadith mentioned above the type of envy or Hasad mentioned is called Ghibtah, in which a person wishes to have the blessing but does not want it to be removed from the envied person. Such a person loves to see his fellow brother blessed, but would alos love to be blessed so as to get a chance to attain the same rewards.

The prophet explained in another hadith that a person should wish for something that another person has to do good and not to sin as if the wish is to sin then that type of envy has been denounced by the prophet.

Therefore there is no harm to have Ghitbah of others as long as he doesn’t wish it to be removed from others or you wish to have the same in order to sin.

In conclusion we should have a pure heart and use the feeling of envy in a positive manner.

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said, “It was said to the Messenger of Allah (): ‘Which of the people is best?’ He said: ‘Everyone who is pure of heart and sincere in speech.’ They said: ‘Sincere in speech, we know what this is, but what is pure of heart?’ He said: ‘It is (the heart) that is pious and pure, with no sin, injustice, rancour or envy in it.’”

Fatima Damad

Trading on Fridays

images (9)

Fridays are a day of Eid for us muslims, and whilst we are permitted to work on this day, it does not entail that one must disobey Allah whilst doing so. Once the second call for prayer (athan) is sounded, trading is no longer permitted and one should abstain from trading whether he is the buyer or seller.

“O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (Al-Jumu’ah 62:09)

To even buy a siwaak after the athan is incurring sin. Yes, it’s a good thing to use, and from the Sunnah, but trading after the athan is impermissible. If you need a siwaak, arrive early, so that you may purchase one without disobeying Allah.

Many a times, muslims ignore this rule, and continue going about their businesses not only ignoring the fact that they should stop trading, but also ignoring the call to prayer. The salah is means of success, how can one expect their business to flourish when they have blanked out the call to success, and the one who gave them the ability to trade in the first place.

May Allah guide us, and make us of those who remember Him often.

Al-Ghaffar and Al-Ghafoor 2


Welcome back dear readers! As you have read in the previous session that one of the beautiful names of Allah is Al-Ghafoor and Al-Ghaffar, which is the Most-forgiving and the Ever-forgiving. Allah willing, in this session we will discuss the things pertaining to seeking forgiveness.

Since istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) is an act of worship, it has certain conditions for it to be accepted:

  1. Istighfar intended solely for the pleasure of Allah the All-Mighty. Directing our hearts towards Him with absolute humility and submissiveness.
  2. Hoping for a reward from Allah (Glory to Him)
  3. Performing plenty of good deeds after committing sin.

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? -and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.”[1]

“Otherwise, he who wrongs, then substitutes good after evil – indeed, I am Forgiving and Merciful.”[2]

  1. Wholeheartedly not repeating the sin.

The Greatness of Al-Ghafoor Al-Ghaffar and the importance of Istiqhfar (forgiveness):

Seeking forgiveness is one of the commandments of Allah (Praise be to Him) which can be found in various places in the Qur’an.

“And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Ever-forgiving and Merciful.”[3]

“…And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”[4]

-In other words, Istighfar is an act of Ibadah (worship)

As mentioned in the previous session that humans are in need of forgiveness because we are prone to committing mistakes.

-An expiation of any assembly:

Abu Barzah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Towards the end of his life, Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would supplicate before leaving an assembly thus: “Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika, ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilaika (O Allah, You are free from every imperfection; all praise is for You. I testify that there is no true god except You, I ask Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance).” A man once said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! You have spoken such words as you have never uttered before.” He said, “It is an expiation of that which goes on in the assembly.”[5]

Allah’s pardoning meaning sins been wiped off.

-A servant of Allah receives love, pleasure and Mercy of Allah (Praise be to Him) from Istighfar:

“He said, “O my people, why are you impatient for evil instead of good? Why do you not seek forgiveness of Allah that you may receive mercy?””[6]

-Istighfar is a source of gaining goodness and blessings in abundance. Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) said to his people:

“…And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals.”[7]

-The increase of money and offspring also include in bestowments.

-Istighfar prevents one from afflicting to hardships.

-Frequent Istighfar ward off the devils, makes ones heart free from grief.

-Allah called those who frequently seek forgiveness as “Thakireen” (those who mention Allah often)

What effect does the understanding of the names Al-Ghafoor Al-Ghaffar have on our iman (faith)?

-A believer increases his Love for Allah (Glory be to him) and hopes for Allah’s Mercy even more. He also gains much hope that Allah (Praise be to Him) will certainly forgive him for his sins committed and removes the guilt from his heart so that he move on doing good deeds for seeking the pleasure of Allah the All-Mighty alone.

-Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) softens the heart.

-It creates the quality of ‘forgiving others’ in him.

-A believer also gains strength in body and soul.

-Lastly, his Iman (faith) and Yaqeen (certainty) in Allah increases.

 

[1] Surah Aal Imran (03:135)

[2] Surah An-Naml (11)

[3] Surah An-Nisa (04:106)

[4] Surah Muzammil (20)

[5] Abu Dawud, Book 5, No. 833

[6] Surah An-Naml 46

[7] Surah Hud (11:52)

Signs of the Hour 12

It is a fact that materialism, which has taken over the lives of so many people, has played and continues to play a major role in turning mankind away from thinking about their final destination and imminent end. Consequently, their religious resolve and strength have succumbed to various weaknesses and shortcomings, resulting in ignoring the rights of Allah, The Exalted and Ever High, which has become rampant.

“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (death),” (Surah Hijr 15:99)

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) drew several lines and said: ‘This is man and this is his life term. While he is like this, the nearest line strikes him.’” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

Mentioning death, even if it brings grief and dissipates your dreams, will make you realize about its inevitability. And it’d help one to work hard enough to be able to reap its benefits on the Day of Judgement.

Allah has prescribed for us everything in the Lawh Al Mahfooz (preserved tablet). He has destined our life course, our time of death and has even prescribed the time at which we will all be resurrected. Before the Day of Resurrection, Allah (Glory be to Him) will prepare us by manifesting some of the portents.

  • Fight between Muslims and Jews:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim Book 041, Hadith Number 6985)

The fighting between Muslims and Jews will occur prior to the Day of Judgement. The trees and rocks will speak and support the Muslims to win the battle. This all would be the work of Allah, The Giver of Protection.

Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The Jews will fight you, but you will prevail over them, until a rock will say: ‘Muslim, here is a Jew behind me, kill him.’”

The trees and rocks speaking is one of the signs of the Hour. However, the Jewish Gharqad tree will not speak.

  • Removal of mountains from their places:

Allah (Glory be to Him) has fixed the mountains in order to stabilize the earth. Another sign of the Day is the scrapping down of the mountains. This could be either be by landslides or thunderbolts and possibly as a result of people’s actions, such as demolition.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “the hour will not begin until the mountains are moved from their places and you see great calamities which you have never seen before.” (At-Tabaraani, classed as Saheeh by Albaani)

Today, hundreds of mountains are being removed and replaced by lofty buildings and edifices, far-flung mountains are being crushed and supressed deep into the earth for the construction of massive structures.

For all of us, knowing and learning these signs offer a window through which we can predict the occurrences prior to the Hour. These portents also serve as a reminder of an important Day; the Day of Judgement.

To conclude, our strength does not come from our wealth or money, but from our submission to Allah and our commitment to the path of Islam.

May Allah support us in achieving devotion to the path of Islam.

Bint Nayeem,

Writer, AAT

 

Big Sis Lil Sis

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We had a chance to sit with Umm Abdur-Rahman, one of the founding members of the Big Sis Little Sis Project, and interview her all about it…
1) So what is the Big Sister Little Sister Project?
Thank you for taking the time to inquire about the Big sis project! We are a bunch of big sisters aged 21-31 who are from different backgrounds and come from different walks of life. Some of us are born Muslims and reverts who have experienced many things during our youth and we understand the problems that are facing the Muslim sisters in today’s society. Also, many of us have struggled and continue to struggle living as a Muslim in non-Muslim countries. We are a group of fun, genuine, loving, caring and sweet individuals. Disclaimer, we are not students of knowledge playing the role of a shaykha. We do not issue fatwas unless there are ones already made by the scholars of Islam. If sisters have a question regarding fiqh we direct them to their local imam to answer their queries.
2) Who is the target audience, or who do you hope to involve in your project?
Our target audience are little sisters aged 12-25 (born Muslimahs, non-practising Muslimahs, revert Muslimahs) from all around the world from different walks of life; trying to teach them that to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return!
3)What inspired you to commence this project?
I noticed a lot of young sisters from all around the world were contacting me through my blog and always asking me for advice and just wanted someone to talk to, so I had an idea one day in Ramadan and decided to start a platform completely for this purpose!
4) How can one become a part of this project?
Anyone can be involved! We are always looking for little sisters to reach out to us and talk to us! Anyone who is in need and wants a mentor or a big sis to talk to is welcome! We are a judgement free zone and have a strict privacy policy!
5) Has the project fully launched? If not, how can we keep up to date with its progress?
Yes the project has been fully launched! We hope to develop it more in the future by maybe having a website and a youtube channel once we grow bidhniAllah!
If you want to know more about the Big Sis Little Sis Project, leave a comment below, and we will follow up with you inshallah.