Category Archives: Ramadaan

I Dropped The Qur’an!

How many times has the mushaf accidentally fallen out of your hands, especially as a child. Though you carried it meticulously, by some way or other, it slipped from your grasp. The horror that manifested on your face, was unparalleled. You felt hurt and pained, and perhaps blamed carelessness on your part. It felt like it was the end of the world, and you were doomed.

You quickly uttered the words of istighfaar and hoped everything was ok.

Then came the advice of the well-meaning adults and elders that surrounded you. ‘Quickly pick it up!’ shouted one. Another said, “Oh, be quick, you’re getting ‘gunaa’ (sin)!” “have you got butter fingers? kiss it!” scolded someone else. And last came the means of redemption, “you have to measure sugar equivalent to its weight and give it in charity.”

Sounds fishy, but that’s what many children are told to do. However, this has no basis in the Sunnah, nor the practice of the early generation. Neither kissing it, rubbing it against oneself, or touching the mushaf to the forehead or cheeks, or giving its weight in sugar to charity was practiced by any of the early generation. Yes, they respected the Quran, they revered it to such a degree that perhaps we can never reach. They emulated the Quranic teachings and that is the pinnacle of reverence for the Quran.

Instead of innovating ways to make up for the accident, one must simply be sincere in their quest for forgiveness. There’s nothing more to do. Our deen is simple.

Allah describes the believers as saying (interpretation of the meaning): “‘Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.’” (Baqarah 2:286)

Allah is Merciful, He will not punish us for what we did unintentionally, provided we genuinely made the mistake.

Thus, one who drops the Quran should merely be careful, and do their best not to repeat the mistake again in future. Just take extra precaution.

 

Women in Ramadaan!

For all the sisters out there, who have experienced the struggle of trying to maximise the rewards of whilst balancing out the million of other tasks, that seem to pile up just in Ramadaan, this is for you. But brothers, stick around, there are women in your lives too, so this is important for you to know as well.

Before the month sets in, we have to ensure the house is spick and span. We are all geared up for the month, full of energy and vigour, ready to take it by storm. And so begins the suhur preparations, they have to be filling and tasty, to ensure the rest of the family is able to make it through the long hours. We take time off from sleep, rising earlier than everyone else to prepare it. Once the meal is over, dishes are done, the kitchen and dining area tidied before we head off to pray fajr. We squeeze in some Qur’an too, as we want to make the most of the blessed time. Then we catch quick nap, before waking up for work, school, and other duties. We somehow make it to the end of the day only to be welcomed by the iftaar rush. We have to prepare an elaborate meal with delicacies and lay the table…

We all know the routines of Ramadaan. However, by mid-month we are exhausted. Lack of sleep catches up, and what Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam only adds to the pain. Then begins the Laylatul-Qadr and Eid rush. While maintaining a high level of Ibadah we also have to prepare for Eid, with shopping, gift-wrapping, major house cleaning, ironing Eid clothes and decorating the house with balloons and lights.

So how should women strike a balance between everything?

  • Prioritise: prioritise your ibadah, extra tasks that can be abandoned, leave them for the month.
  • Make you house work an ibadah: have a sincere intention to please Allah hoping for his rewards when you feed your fasting family.
  • Multi-task: when your hands are busy, use you ears to listen to Quran or motivating lecture, or keep your tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah
  • Get some rest: your body has a right over you, ensure you get some sleep so that you can focus in your salaah and other ibadaat.
  • Prepare for Eid before Ramadaan: Eid preparation takes a lot of time, do what you can before Ramadaan arrives.

But what can a woman do when her monthly cycle comes?

There is much a woman can do. She should not feel distant, or lack momentum during this time. Rather, she should know that it is the decree of Allah and as such should be content with it, and bear it patiently. By not fasting and praying during this time, she is being obedient to Allah for which she will be rewarded. Nonetheless, she should not take this time as an opportunity to put Ramadaan on pause and neglect her other forms of ibadah. She should use this time wisely. During this time she is able to perform all acts of worship excluding, fasting, prayer, tawaf and I’tikaaf.

Here are ten ways you can earn rewards, whilst on your menses:

  • Some women spend this time absorbed in house chores. Hence, she should purify her intention, so as to earn rewards while doing these menial tasks.
  • Duaa: praise Allah, send blessings on the Prophet, and seek forgiveness from Allah. By following the etiquettes of duaa, you maximise the chances of your duaa being accepted. Learn the duaa the Prophet taught A’ishah, and repeat it, sincerely seeking the forgiveness of Allah.
  • Qur’an: there is a difference of opinion whether a woman can recite Quran from memory. However, the stronger opinion is that she is allowed to do so, as there are no clear authentic ahadiths that prevent her. (See https://islamqa.info/en/2564 for more information)

A phone does not take the same ruling as a mushaf and hence, she may use it to recite from. (See https://islamqa.info/en/106961)

If a person holds the opinion that she cannot recite, then should at least listen and not deprive herself of its blessings.

  • Dhikr- remembering Allah, with tasbeeh, tahleel, tahmeed and takbeer, and other expressions:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Two are the expressions which are light on the tongue, but heavy in scale, dear to the Compassionate One:” Subhanallahi wa bihamdih (Glory be to Allah and praise is due to Him); “Subhanallahil ‘Atheem ( Glory be to Allah, the Great).”

 

  • Istighfaar: seeking the forgiveness of Allah. Ramadaan is the month of forgiveness, what better way to spend your time that Asking Allah for His pardon?!
  • Give up a sin or a bad habit; whether it be music, gossiping or any other sin. Change your habits this Ramadaan for the better.
  • Take up a new good deed: revive a sunnah in your home, whether it be reciting Ayatul-kursi before sleeping or using a siwak
  • Perform a charity: charity is not limited to wealth, rather in can be in efforts and time, and even a smile in charity.
  • Encourage your family in the performance of good deeds: for the Prophet peace be upon him taught, “one who encourages to good gets the same reward as the doer.”
  • Feed the fasting: let’s admit our culinary skills seems to be refined in Ramadaan! Share your skills and blessings with others. Send a tray of food to your neighbours, or to your local mosque. I am sure they will all appreciate it.

These are just a few of the numerous ways a woman can benefit from these blessed days whilst on her menstrual cycle.

May Allah aid us in attaining His forgiveness, pleasure and paradise!

If you need the extra motivation watch this:

What Breaks the Fast

Every year we fast and every year we forget what breaks our fasts. Perhaps it is because we haven’t practiced fasting, and so lose touch. Or perhaps we are concerned about this month of fasting and hope to obtain full reward, so we revise what breaks the fast out of caution. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon those fasting to know what breaks the fast.

  • Eating or drinking deliberately: If one eats or drinks intentionally, and breaks his fast without a legitimate excuse, he is sinful. However, if one eats or drinks out of forgetfulness and later remembers, it does not nullify his fast, he can continue his fast and does not need to make it up.
  • Intercourse: Abu Hurayrah said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadaan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”…  (Bukhari, 1936; Muslim, 1111)

One has to repent, continue the fast of that day due to the sanctity of the month. Then he should also make it up later. One must also offer expiation for that day.

  • Masturbation: This is forbidden usually, and even more so in Ramadaan. One who does so must continue the fast and make up the day if he ejaculated. If he did not, then the fast is valid, and he does not have to make up the day. (see https://islamqa.info/en/2571)
  • What is similar to food and drink:
  1. receiving a blood transfusion, for blood is formed from food and drink. This includes dialysing for kidney patients.
  2. Receiving a needle with nourishing substances which take the place of food and drink
  3. Injections that do not take the place of food and drink, but are administered for medical purposes are permissible, however it is safer to take them after completing the fast
  • Donating blood and Cupping: donating blood comes under the same heading as cupping. If one does either of these he must make up the day later. the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” (Abu Dawood, saheeh by al-Albaani)
  • Vomiting intentionally: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” (-Tirmidhi, saheeh by al-Albaani)

 

All of the above-mentioned categories only break the fast if the following three conditions are met:

  1. The person was aware of the ruling
  2. The person performed the action voluntarily, and was not forced
  3. And they did the action knowingly and not out of forgetfulness

 

  • Menses or Post-partum blood: this is what Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam. It is better to remain with the normal cycle than to prevent it. However, if one does prevent it by medication or otherwise and chooses to fast, her fast is valid.

 

This is a basic outline of what nullifies the fast. For a more detailed explanation and ruling on specific cases please consult a person of knowledge.

Preparation

Every year, we hear the same thing, year in, year out. Perhaps it’s tiring or annoying to have the same monotonous advice repeated so often.

Yep, it’s “Ramadaan reminders time.” But the truth is, we all know the specialty of the coming month. We all know its virtues; the opportunities for rewards and the yummy recipes to accompany it all.

The question is, despite these constant reminders, have we made the change? Have we attained the perfection we seek so earnestly? Have we earned the paradise? Or has all the reminders filled one ear, only to be emptied on the other side, without staying a moment for our brains to grasp and understand them? And do we continue in our erroneous ways, without paradise in sight?

Dreary, right?

Our situation is indeed pitiable.

The only way we can change, is if we follow the footsteps of those who came before us. Those who made u-turns in their lives, who made enormous sacrifices, and who changed for the better, such that their names are remembered until today.

But the problem is, we may not even know these great men and women who made such admirable changes. Their names are a blur in distant histories. Other things preoccupy our thoughts. To us, those men and women died years ago; what benefit could they possibly bring in today’s world?

The truth is, they changed, and the effects of their change are still visible today, hence Islam thrives. Moreover, they changed at a time, where culture ruled and barbaric practices where rife and firmly rooted. If they could do it, then, why can’t we, in our times of flexibility, and ease?!

Change was not a last-minute decision in their lives. It was pondered over and analysed. They prepared in advance.

Let us do the same this year. Let us be like them. Begin early. Begin now.

 

Women in the Mosque

mosque-w

In some parts of the world it is a common misconception that women are to be kept at home restrained from going out. In other parts, the misconception takes a different form; the mosques are for men, and women should not be seen there. Both these ideas are alien to Islam, which permitted women to go out for her necessities, and made the mosques a place of worship, not just for men, but for women also. Though it is more rewarding for a woman to pray in her house, it is perfectly acceptable for her to offer her prayers in the mosque and benefit from the activities that go on there.

Sadly, the misconception stated above results in many mosques being erected without any consideration for the female slaves of Allah. Such mosque committees wonder at the affairs of the muslim women when the see them astray and trolling the streets, yet they neither seek to educate them, nor accommodate for them.

To top it off, some women agree with this notion, and resort to ignorance of the Sunnah of permitting women to attend the mosques, and ignorance of the etiquettes of the mosque under the pretext that they do not attend the mosques. My sisters, this is not an excuse for ignorance. Rise above and learn, for seeking knowledge is an obligation in our religion.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not prevent your women from going to the mosques, although their houses are better for them.” (Abu Dawud, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 515)

In fact, women are permitted to go to the mosques, and their menfolk cannot prohibit them.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “When your womenfolk ask you for permission to go to the mosque, give them permission.”

According to another version, “Do not forbid women their share of the mosques if they ask you for permission.” Bilaal – a son of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – said, “By Allah, we will stop them.” ‘Abdullah ibn Umar said to him, “I say ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said…’ and you say, ‘We will stop them’?!” (Muslim)

Thus the command of the Prophet to give the women permission, has a higher status than anyone else’s opinion. For he was the Messenger of Allah, and spoke not of his own whims.

A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “If the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seen the way the women are behaving, he would have forbidden them to go to the mosque as the women of the Children of Israel were forbidden.”

Yet, the women were not forbidden. Nonetheless, the muslim woman should be cautious about her behaviour and dress when attending the mosque. There are guidelines to follow:

In his book Hiraasat al-Fadeelah (p. 86), Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd listed the conditions for women to go out to the mosque. He said:

“Women are allowed to go out to the mosque according to the following rulings:

1-     That there is no risk of them tempting others or being tempted

2-     That their attendance will not lead to anything that is forbidden according to sharee’ah

3-     That they do not jostle with men in the street or in the mosque

4-     That they should go out not wearing perfume

5-     That they should go out wearing full hijab, not making a wanton display of their adornment

6-     A door should be set aside in the mosque just for women to enter and exit, as mentioned in the hadeeth narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood and elsewhere.

7-     The women’s rows should be behind the men

8-     The best rows for women are those at the back behind the men, unlike the case for men

9-     If the imam makes any mistake in his prayer, men should say “Subhan Allaah!” and women should clap

10-The women should leave the mosque before the men, and the men should wait until the women have dispersed to their homes, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Umm Salamah in Saheeh Al-Bukhari and elsewhere.”

When a woman attends the mosque, she should do so seeking the pleasure of Allah, to earn His rewards and to boost her iman. To go to the mosque for the sake of socialising, and causing other such commotions only incurs the wrath of Allah, of which we should be wary.

Thus, I encourage our sisters to attend the mosques to benefit from the halaqas and classes, but I also advise that they should follow the Sunnah in doing so and should not become a fitna for others.

May Allah aid us in attaining His pleasure.

Etiquettes of Attending the Mosque

mosque

The mosques are once again filled. Sadly,  many who attend the mosque are not regular goers, and what’s worse, many are unaware of the etiquettes of praying in the mosque. Wonky lines, preceding the imam, praying away from the jama’ah, and chit chatting are all too common sights…such that it is almost embarrassing!

My dear brothers and sisters, Ramadaan is a time for spiritual upliftment, and hence salah is crucial tnow and after Ramdaan too! It should be one our focuses to maximise our rewards throughout the year. Easy, simple sunnahs if adhered to will warrant mountains of rewards…it doesn’t take a lot!

Let’s begin with the basics:

Please note for the sake of brevity, I have not mentioned all the relevant Ahadith that pertain to these issues.

  • Wudhu: Salah is not valid without wudhu. Ensure your wudhu is complete, and according to the Sunnah. Don’t forget to say Bismillah before beginning. Read the duaa upon completion for the extra ajr.
  • Awrah: wear adequate clothing to cover your awrah during the salah at all times, so that even if you bend, your back or legs (for sisters) are not exposed.
  • Avoid eating food with strong odours, such as onions and garlic before attending the mosque.
  • Enter the mosque with your right foot
  • Read the relevant duaa’s
  • Praying tahiyyatul-masjid: Upon entering the mosque, one should pray two units of prayer as ‘greeting the mosque,’ whether these be voluntary prayers or combine the intention with your obligatory prayer. (See Islamqa for more details)
  • Put Your shoes on the Racks: Shoes scattered on the floor not only look embarassingly untidy, but they are also a hazard.
  • Do not obstruct the entrances: the mosques are places of remembering Allah. Whilst making salam is permissible and encouraged do not hang around the entrances and exits or make mosque attendance a social gathering for idle talk, blocking others from entering and leaving
  • Do not raise your voices: When conversing in the mosque be mindful that others are praying, and that mosques are for the remembrance of Allah.
  • Fill up the first rows:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones. (Muslim)

If you are a woman in the women’s section of the mosque this does not mean that you pray right at the back, rather you fill up the first of the rows allocated for the sisters, which is behind the men. Furthermore, it is only polite to leave space for late comers in the back, so that they do inconvenience anyone by having to walk in front of one who is already praying.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete the first row, then the next one, and if there is to be any incomplete row let it be the last row.” (Ahmad, An-Nisa’i, Abu Dawud, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

If worshipers leave the row in front of you, it is obligatory for you to fill that gap and connect the rows.

  • Make the rows straight: Each person should be in-line, none ahead and none behind.

Our Prophet commanded us, ‘Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting the prayer.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Join shoulders to shoulders and feet to feet: Literally touch your feet with the person beside you. We are all one ummah, and this was a command from our Prophet.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allah will reward him, and whoever breaks a row, Allah will forsake him. (Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa’i, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

Tip: Be careful not to inconvenience anyone by squashing them or stepping on their toes when trying to implement this Sunnah. The widest part of your body is your shoulders, therefore align your feet to the width of your shoulders when standing, automatically you will line up, joining with the person beside you without inconveniencing them.

  • Do not distract others: Distracting others by sitting ahead of the row, making a scene, reading Quran loudly, talking, laughing, crying etc., all deduct from the khushu (humility and concentration) of others and inconveniences them.
  • Sneezing: Be sure to cover your mouth, and do not reply ‘Yarhamukallah’ (May Allah have mercy on you) or anything else to one who has sneezed, for it interrupts the prayer and talking is impermissible during the prayer.
  • Coughing, yawning, burping and the like: cover your mouth and do not breath towards others. Burping is a big issue in Ramadaan, and sadly many worshippers are inconvenienced by horrible smells. (See more at http://aateam.org/blog/onions-and-garlic/)
  • There is no prayer once the iqamah is sounded: If a person enters the mosque and is praying the sunnah while the iqamah is called, then the best opinion in this case is that if he is in his second rak‘ah, he should shorten it, and if he is in the first rak‘ah, he should just break his prayer and enter the congregation with the Imam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘If iqamah is called for the prayer then there is no prayer except the obligatory one.’  (Sahih Muslim)
  • The Imam is appointed to be followed: It is impermissible to anticipate the imam’s actions and precede him. The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘“The imam is only appointed to be followed, so when he says takbeer, then say takbeer; when he bows, then bow (and do not bow until he bows), when he says ‘Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah’, then say ‘Allahumma rabbana lakal hamd’.” (Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud)
  • Joining the Jama’ah and being in a row by yourself: The most correct view is that if there is a congregation, one should join in, as praying alone in a row is incorrect, and standing in the row is obligatory. Unless there is no room in the last row, then he is to begin a new row. To pull someone out from the last row to join you is incorrect, because it inconveniences him, makes him lose concentration in his prayer, and moves him from a better spot to a worse one (as the first rows have more reward), and it also breaks a row which is impermissible.
  • Children in the mosque: It is permissible for a child who has reached the age of discernment, which is the age of seven years, to stand in the row with adults during the congregational prayer. This is indicated by the report narrated by Bukhari from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I and an orphan in our house prayed behind the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and my mother Umm Sulaym (prayed) behind us.

It is also permissible for a parent to break their prayer to quieten their child if his or her cries are disturbing to the worshipers. Similarly, the imam is permitted to shorten the prayers if he hears a child’s cries.

These are just some basic guidelines for attending the mosque, and praying congregation, which if followed will create unity and sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. May Allah aid us in implementing the Sunnah to the best of our abilities. Ameen

 

 

 

Becoming Complacent

Now that Ramadaan is over, some people will sadly revert to their old selves, wasting away the hours spent in training to change for the better. Others will use the excuse that Ramadaan makes up for the rest of the year. But this, my friends, is simply a mask for laziness and perhaps hypocrisy also. We are in no position to judge anyone for their lack of sincerity after Ramadaan, but we must point out that one of the signs of an accepted Ramadaan is that the spiritual high continues on long after the month has passed.

We may have come across a few of the following types of people who fall back into their old habits after Ramadaan. This is just a few of them and this is just a few of the many excuses they use.

People of the 27th Night:

These people only come out on the 27th night of Ramadaan, they filled the mosques with pillows and blankets as they camped up to read Quran, make dhikr, duaa and istighfaar. Amongst these are some who feel that the worship done on the 27th night covers them for the rest of their life. My brothers and sisters beware of falling into this trap of Shaytaan. Yes, the night of Layla-tul-qadr is better than a thousand months (approximately eighty-three years), but it does not remove the obligation of worship for the rest of your life. Furthermore, there is no confirmation that Layla-tul-qadr is on the 27th night. According to the various Ahadith it could have fallen on any of the last ten nights of Ramadaan.

We remind such people, that Allah has commanded us to worship Him every day, through our five daily prayers. He has designated acts of worship throughout the year to bring us closer to Him, so that we may attain His pleasure, His mercy and His Jannah.

The People of Ramadaan:

Another group of people are those who only worship Allah during Ramadaan. They believe solely in the following hadith,

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” (Muslim)

As such, these look to the latter part of the hadith, and so feel that they are not obliged to do any more than fast the days of Ramadaan. The remaining eleven months of the year are free for them to enjoy life…. Or so they think.

We hope that, inshallah, the worship these people do during Ramadan, will be the rope that brings them back to worshipping Allah every day without exception. For Allah did not restrict His blessings and gifts to Ramadaan alone, but rather to everyday that the sun rises upon and every night, and thus we should show gratitude to Him constantly for His immense blessings.

The people of Eid:

These people fill the mosques and musalla on Eid…and so the mosques are overflowing like never before, the musalla is alive with a new buzz; the scene is heart warming and the atmosphere so pleasing to witness; many muslims in one gathering with one intent; to pray the Eid salah. Sorrowfully, just as quickly as the prayer places filled up, so quickly do they empty, only to be filled at the next Eid prayer. The mosques are once again quiet, and the buzz no longer in the air.

My brothers and sisters, we have no guarantee that we will live to see the next Eid prayer. We have no idea when death will strike. We do not know whether we will live to see the next Ramadaan or 27th night. We don’t even know if we will live until tomorrow, for how many have passed away in their sleep? How many were with us last Ramadaan, but are no longer here? Ramadaan was month of training, don’t waste it away and become complacent with the good you have done in it. We don’t even know if our good deeds were accepted, though we hope, with utmost hope almost to the point of certainty, that they are accepted. Yet we should fear almost to the point of desperation that they may not be accepted. This should spur us on to continue to invoke our Lord, The Most Gracious and Merciful to accept our deeds, this should motivate us to continue the good we have done.

My brothers and sisters, are you amongst any of those mentioned above? If you find yourself to be there, then you still have a chance. Allah has given you today. And you have made the first step on the road of repentance; that is acknowledging your error. Now take the next step, and seek forgiveness from your Lord, and begin a journey of obedience to Allah, Most Great.

We want to be amongst those Allah mentioned in the Quran when He said,

“Only those believe in Our verses, who, when they are reminded by them, fall down in prostration and exalt [Allah] with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant. They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend. And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.” (Surah As-sajdah 32:15-17)

And also,

“Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about – That Allah may reward them [according to] the best of what they did and increase them from His bounty. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.” (Surah An-Nur 24:37-38)

My brothers and sisters, the striving has just begun, Shaytaan is unleashed. Do not become complacent with what you have done, but strive to do more, and be better.

May Allah accept the good we have done, and help us to do more. Ameen

Ramadaan is Departing

 

Watching my family having a whale of a time while shopping for Eid is great but there is a deep sorrow inside me. I feel content seeing their gleeful faces, but at the same time I’m down in the mouth.

I feel a throbbing sensation in my throat on realising that Ramadan will leave us soon; too soon.

A few days ago, we all were united and were blessed to welcome Ramadan with full spirit.There was a joy in ushering the month of Ramadan. A joy that I can never forget.

Ramadan is indeed a month of mercy. I feel really grateful upon the arrival of this month. Everything about Ramadan is special.

There is actually fun in feeding the poor. Going for Taraweeh is like a feather on a hat. The unison of Muslims, irrespective of their status, colour, health and wealth, for standing up together for Allah and praying long qiyaam is so beautiful to see.

Oh how could I not mention the pangs of hunger while fasting! They remind me of how the poor would survive in various parts of the world without food.

Ramadan is not just a month. It’s a lesson for us to learn how to endure, to learn how to share and care and to realize that you’ve the ability to keep yourself away from your shortcomings and weaknesses.

Allah (The Exalted) has revealed a beautiful verse regarding Ramadan. I’m pretty sure we all know this since it is recited by Sheikh Sudais every first day of Ramadan.

It was just few days back, when I was on the table, twiddling my thumbs waiting to break my fast at Maghrib, I heard him recite the same verse. And that verse made my hair raise. It’s definitely a hair-raising verse

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance” (Surah Al Baqarah)

The Quran was revealed for our betterment and for guiding ourselves to the straight path. In it is a cure. A cure for a dead and dry heart that had become impassive due to neglecting our duties which we owe to our Lord.

In hindsight, it would be better for us to reap the benefits in this holy month by collecting as many good deeds as we can rather than regretting later for not doing so.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, I appeal to you to make the best use of this time. Remember that for some of us this Ramadan maybe a new lease of life and for some it maybe the last they confront.

Ibn Rajab said, “this month is shortening, so increase in righteous deeds as every month will be replaced, but not Ramadaan.” (Lata’if Al Ma’arif pg 262)

I pray to Allah, that He grant us longevity so that we experience Ramadan every year with the same joy and glee, and that each year we develop ourselves further and increase our iman. Aameen

What have you taken from this blessed month?

 

Ramadaan Rewards

So, the month of fasting, spirituality and the Qur’an has come to meet us once again. Many who were here last Ramadaan, are no longer with us to reap the fruits of this blessed month. We ask Allah to accept their good deeds and forgive them. My dear brothers and sisters, we have been supplicating Allah, saying, ‘Allahumma balighna Ramdaan,’ asking Him to allow us to live to see Ramadaan. We have been repeating this duaa, yet do we truly know why we so badly want to see Ramadaan? Do want Ramadaan, because we look forward to the Eid celebrations that follow? Or do we love Ramadaan due to the delicious meals, and delicacies that prepared in this month?

 

There is a hadith that captures the value of Ramadaan so clearly, and I would like to share it with you.

 

It was narrated from Talhah bin ‘Ubaidullah that two men from Bali came to the Messenger of Allah (). They had become Muslim together, but one of them used to strive harder than the other. The one who used to strive harder went out to fight and was martyred. The other one stayed for a year longer, then he passed away. Talhah said: “I saw in a dream that I was at the gate of Paradise and I saw them (those two men). Someone came out of Paradise and admitted the one who had died last, then he came out and admitted the one who had been martyred. Then he came back to me and said: ‘Go back, for your time has not yet come.’” The next morning, Talhah told the people of that and they were amazed. News of that reached the Messenger of Allah () and they told him the story. He said: “Why are you so amazed at that?” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, the first one was the one who strove harder, then he was martyred, but the other one was admitted to Paradise before him. The Messenger of Allah () said: “Did he not stay behind for a year?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “And did not Ramadan come and he fasted, and he offered such and such prayers during that year?” They said: “Yes.” The Messenger of Allah () said: “The difference between them is greater than the difference between heaven and earth.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Sahih)

 

Witnessing one Ramadaan, and working through it made the one who died later, and who worked less than his companion, enter Jannah first! Not only this, it made the difference between the two men, greater than that between the heavens and earth, despite the fact that the man who died first was a martyr. And what is the status of a martyr?! As we know the souls of martyrs are in bodies of green birds flying round the throne of Allah in paradise wherever they please, and He (Glory be to Him) provides for them. To add to this the martyrs also have seven favours from Allah (as per the various Ahadith): he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed; he will be shown his place in Paradise; he will be spared the trial of the grave; and he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror (the Day of Judgement); there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it; he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn; and he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.” (Tirmidhi) Imagine my brothers and sisters, this is the honour of the Shaheed, this is his status, and yet a man who worked for one Ramadaan, was able to trump it.  This is the blessing of Ramadaan if we use its limited days wisely.

Moving on; what are the rewards that await us in Ramadaan?

  • Multiplication of Reward for all good deeds: The reward for any good deed is multiplied in quantity and quality. Meaning the number of rewards the deed yields is greater, as is the reward is made more abundant.
  • The amount of reward of the fast is in the Hands of Allah: “Except for fasting which is only for My sake, and I will reward him for it. (Bukhari in Al-Fath, Saheeh al-Targheeb)
  • Breaking the fast: Oh…we all look forward to hearing the athan of maghrib to begin eating! And I’m sure we all feel that the food is so rewarding and satisfying after the days fast!
  • Meeting Allah: The Prophet is reported to have said, ‘The fasting person has two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast and one when he meets his Lord and rejoices over his fasting(Muslim)
  • The reward of Hajj with the Prophet: It was narrated that the said: “Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent (in reward) to Hajj – or to Hajj with me.” (Bukahri and Muslim)

Al-Qaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “equivalent (in reward) to Hajj” means: it is equal in terms of reward. (Mirqaat al-Mafaatih)

  • Forgiveness of all past sins:

-The Prophet said: “whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

-It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

-Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Entrance into Jannah by the gate of Ar-Rayyan: “In Paradise there is a gate called Ar-Rayyaan, through those who fast will enter, and no one will enter it except them; when they have entered it will be locked, and no-one else will enter through it. (Bukhari)
  • The acts of worship done on Layla-tul-Qadr are better than a thousand months:

-“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months” [Al-Qadr 97:3] That is, worship on that night is better than worshipping for a thousand months.

-Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah said: “There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”  (An-nasaa’i, Ahmad, Sahih by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb)

  • Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins. The Prophet said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” (Muslim)
  • Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months:

-From Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari, “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” (Muslim)

-The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.” (Ahmad)

  • Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer: Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” (Abu Dawud and others, Sahih by al-Albaani in Salaatal-Taraaweeh)
  • Same reward as the fasting person if you feed him: Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Sahih by al-Albaani)
  • Duaa is answered: Abu Sa’eed said, the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah has people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadaan – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.”  (Al-Bazzaar)
  • The intercession of fasting in the grave and on the Day of Judgement: The Prophet said, “Fasting will intercede for a person on the Day of Judgement, and will say, “O Lord, I prevented him from his food and physical desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.”(Ahmad, Al-Haythami classed its isnaad as hasan in al-Majma’. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb)
  • A protection against the hellfire: The Prophet is reported to have said, “Fasting is a protection and a strong fortress that keeps a person safe from the Fire.”(Ahmad, Saheeh al-Targheeb and Saheeh al-Jaami’)
  • Spared seventy years distance from the hellfire: The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will remove his face seventy years’ distance from the Fire.” (Muslim)
  • Being saved from the hellfire: 

-There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [Ahmad]

-Abu Umaamah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems from hell.” (Ahmad, Sahih by Al-Albaani)

  • The reward of Paradise: The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts one day seeking the pleasure of Allah, if that is the last day of his life, he will enter Paradise.” (Ahmad; Saheeh al-Targheeb)

This is just a few of the many rewards that can be attained during Ramadaan. Allah’s mercy is vast and All-Encompassing, and so the rewards will be many more! We ask Allah to enable us to utilise this month in seeking His reward and pleasure, to shower us with His Mercy, to grant us forgiveness, to save us from the hellfire and to enter us into Jannah, and allow us to His Majestic Face. Ameen.

 

Get Closer to Allah

As muslims we are constantly seeking out ways to earn Allah’s pleasure and get closer to Him. It is a day in and day out struggle trying to maintain a connection with Allah. Allah never cuts the line, but for own part, sometimes we slack and the connection crackles, or worst scenario, it is severed. May Allah protect us, and allow us to be constantly connected to Him.

Here are a few tips to help you on a daily basis to stay connected with you Creator, your Sustainer, Maker and Cherisher.

  • Purify your intention: Before you carry out any of the following tips begin with a sincere intention. Renew your intention to reconnect with the purpose behind your action. Dig deep, why are you doing this good deed? What are the benefits? Your intention is within your heart, and if you cannot find it, ask yourself, ‘Why am I about to do this deed?’ and let your heart answer. Then, cleanse your intention, and make it solely to earn Allah’s pleasure, to come closer to Him and to earn His rewards.
  • Get to know Allah: Learn His names and Attributes. Learn about Him; what is Allah’s role in your life. Ponder upon Allah’s significance in your day. Is He your first priority? The more you know about Allah, the more you can love Him and come closer to Him.
  • Make duaa: Ask Allah to help you to come closer to Him. Ask Allah every step of the way for every little thing in your day. By calling on Him so often, your heart will soften at His mention.
  • Read Quran daily: The Quran is Allah’s words and instructions to us. Reading the words of Allah will naturally establish an attachment between us and our Rabb.
  • Understand what you recite from the Quran and in Salah: Repeating phrases that you have memorised but have little or no understanding of; though the rewards will pile up, and it may well affect your heart, your brain however…will be tongue tied! Derive full benefit from your salah and reading Quran by understanding what you are saying. Learn the translations, though these are inaccurate to say the least, and learning Arabic would be much more beneficial. Doings so will build a stepping stone to connecting with Allah
  • Secret good deeds: Connect with Allah in private, by doing good deeds that others are unaware of. It will make you feel closer to Allah, just by knowing that Allah is the only witness to your deed, plus it will help you to have a sincere intention.
  • Learn the daily athkar: doing so will help you remember Allah at various times of the day. And when you remember Allah, Allah remembers you! What better way to improve the link between you and your Creator?
  • Remember death: Death is one of those things that everyone puts to the back of their minds until an emergency occurs, except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. Remembering death is from the Sunnah (not to the point that it causes depression!), it is a motivation for one to increase their good deeds, and be conscious that their meeting with Allah is soon to come. If you have love for Allah in your heart then you will yearn for this meeting, and so you will work hard to ensure that it is a pleasant and frequent appointment.
  • Learn about the life of the Prophet and his companions: Knowing how the Prophet and the best of generations lived will inspire you into action.
  • Reflect on your surroundings: sometimes it’s the small things in life that helps us see the bigger picture. Take note of the creation of Allah that surrounds you, the occurrences in your daily life that is part of His Qadr, and link it all back to Allah’s Wisdom and Majesty.