Tag Archives: duaa

How to Perform Umrah

So dear readers, we are back again, now after reading the previous article, let us now continue on this journey to enlighten ourselves about Hajj In Sha Allah

Now if you haven’t read the previous article, I would strongly recommend you to do so, as the first step of Umrah (which we shall cover currently) is Ihram, explained in the previous article.

Umrah consists of ihraam, tawaf, saa’i and shaving the head or cutting the hair.

To understand the steps of Umrah, let us commence by first understanding the different types of Tawaf.

1. Tawaf

1. Types of circumambulation:

2. Conditions for the validity of Tawaf

Now most of the acts of worship have conditions, so let’s see what conditions of Tawaf are,

There are thirteen conditions for the validity of Tawaf (circumambulation) as follows:

3. Steps of performing Tawaf

It is preferred to do Ghusl when entering Makkah

When the pilgrim approaches Makkah, he should do ghusl before entering, if possible, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did ghusl when he entered Makkah. [Narrated by Muslim, 1259.]

1. When he enters al-Masjid al-Haraam he should do so with his right foot first, and say:

“Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allaah A’oodhu Billaah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem Allaahumma aftah li abwaab rahmatika.

(In the name of Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. I seek refuge with Allaah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and His eternal power from the accursed Satan O Allaah open to me the gates of Your mercy.)

2. Then he should go to the Black Stone in order to start Tawaf.

3. He should touch the Stone with his right hand and kiss it; if he cannot kiss it then he should touch it with his right hand and kiss his hand. If he cannot touch it with his hand then he should face the Stone and point to it with his right hand and say “Allaahu Akbar”, but he should not kiss his hand.

There is great virtue for touching the Black stone.

 

It is better not to crowd around and cause annoyance to people or be annoyed by them, because of the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Umar: “O Umar, you are a strong man, do not crowd around the Stone and disturb the weak. If you find space, then touch it, otherwise just face it and say ‘Allaahu Akbar.’” [Narrated by Ahmad, 191; classed as qawiy by al-Albaani in Risaalat Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah, p. 21.]

4. Then he should move towards the right, with the Ka’bah on his left.

5. When he reaches the Yemeni Corner (al-Rukn al-Yamaani, which is the third corner after the Black Stone) he should touch it with his right hand, without kissing his hand or saying “Allaahu Akbar”. If he cannot touch it then he should move on, and not crowd around it.

6. Between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone he should say:

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Allahumma Rabbanaa aatina fi’l-dunya hasanah wa fi’l-aakhirah hasanah wa qinna ‘adhaab al-Naar

O Allah! Our Lord! Give us in this world that, which is good and in the Hereafter that, which is good and save us from the torment of the Fire.”

[Sahih Bukhari Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 47]

7. Every time he passes the Black Stone he should face it and say ‘Allaahu Akbar’, and in the rest of his Tawaf he should recite whatever he likes of dhikr, du’aa’ and Qur’an, because Tawaf around the Ka’bah has been established for the remembrance of Allaah.

In Tawaf men should do two things:

A – Uncovering the right shoulder (idtibaa’) from the beginning of tawaf until the end. This is done by placing the middle of the rida’ (upper garment) beneath the right armpit and the ends of the rida’ over the left shoulder. When the

pilgrim finishes tawaf, he should put his rida’ back as it was before tawaf, because the time for wearing it with one shoulder uncovered is only in tawaf.

B – Raml in the first three circuits only. Raml means walking quickly with short steps. In the last four circuits there is no raml, rather the pilgrim should walk normally.

8. When the pilgrim has completed seven circuits of tawaf, he should cover his right shoulder and then go to the Station of Ibraheem (Maqaam Ibraheem) and recite the:

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ

“And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibraheem (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka‘bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak‘at after the Tawaf of the Ka‘bah at Makkah),” [al-Baqarah 2:125]

9. Then he should pray two rak’ahs behind the Station; in the first rak’ah after reciting al-Faatihah he should recite Soorat al-Kaafiroon; (109) and in the second, Soorat al-Ikhlaas; (112).

10. Then when he has finished this prayer he should go to the Black Stone and touch it if he can. It is prescribed at this point to touch it only; if he cannot do that then he should go away and not point to it.

Afterwards, a pilgrim should head towards As-Safa to perform saa’i (going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah).

2. Saa’i

For a pilgrim performing Hajj Tamatuu’- A pilgrim wears Ihram for Umrah only during the months of Hajj, which means when a pilgrim reaches Makkah, he/she makes Tawaf and Saa’i for Umrah.

For a pilgrim performing Hajj Qiraan or Ifraad he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Saa’i for Hajj When he reaches Makkah, It is permissible for him to postpone his Saa’i for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.

1. Conditions of the validity of Saa’i:

2. Steps of performing Saa’i

1. He should go out to the Mas’aa (place for saa’i) and when he comes near to al-Safa’ he should face the Ka’bah and recite (interpretation of the meaning):

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ

“Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allaah” [al-Baqarah 2:158]

2. And he should say:

“Abda’u bima bada’a Allaah bihi (We start with that with which Allaah started).”

3. Then he should climb al-Safa until he can see the Ka’bah, then he should face it and say thrice:

There is no true God but Allah, Allah is the Greatest

4. Then he should raise his hands and praise Allah, and make du’aa’ as he wishes. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say:

“Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdah, anjaza wa’dah, wa nasara ‘abdah, wa hazamaa al-ahzaaba wahdah

(There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He is able to do all things. There is no god but Allah alone; he fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave, and defeated the confederates alone). [” Narrated by Muslim, 1218.]

5. He should repeat that three times, and make du’aa’ in between. He should recite this dhikr then make du’aa’, then recite it again and make du’aa’, and recite it a third time, then come down to al-Marwah.

6. When he reaches the green marker he should run as quickly as he can without disturbing anyone, because it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did saa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwah, and he said,

“The river bed is not crossed except with vigor.”

[Narrated by Ibn Maajah and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 2419.]

The river bed [it was a dried river bed in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] is the area between the two green markers that stand there now.

7. When he reaches the second green marker, he should walk normally until he reaches al-Marwah.

8. He should climb up it and turn to face the qiblah, and raise his hands and say what he had said at al-Safa. However, he doesn’t repeat the ayat as it is said only at Safa in the first round.

9. Then he should come down from al-Marwah and head for al-Safa, walking in the place of walking and running in the place of running.

10. When he reaches al-Safa he should do what he did the first time, and the same when he goes back to al-Marwah, until he has completed seven circuits; going from al-Safa’ to al-Marwah is one circuit, and coming back from al-Marwah to al-Safa is another circuit.

11. During his saa’i he can say whatever he likes or dhikr and du’aa’, and recite Qur’an. There is no specific supplication for Saa’i, except for what has been reported about making Takbeer and Tahleel on the mounts of Safa and Marwah.

3 – Shaving the head or cutting the hair

· When he has completed seven circuits (of saa’i) he should shave his head if he is a man, or cut some of his hair. If he shaves his head he must shave his entire head, and if he cuts his hair he must cut from all over his head. Shaving is better than cutting because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made du’aa’ three times for those who shaved their heads and once for those who cut their hair. [Narrated by Muslim, 1303.]

· Women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair.

However, those pilgrims who are performing Qiraan and Ifraad maintain their Ihram and do not shave or cut their hair after the Saa’I performed after Tawaf Al-Qudoom, he remains in Ihram till after he stones Jamrah Al-Aqaba on the Eid day

With these actions, the Umrah is complete.

Some rulings related to Circumambulation:

1. A person can pray the two Rak’ahs of circumambulation anywhere in the Sacred Mosque.

2. In occasions with a lot of rush, one can join in with the crowd, (the centripetal flow) and reach the corner of the black stone from where he should commence the Tawaf. Ensure that you don’t commence the Tawaf a step behind or after the Black stone

3. It is fine to circumambulate in the hallway and all the floors as long as you are inside the Sacred Mosque. However, the closer you are to the Ka’bah the better

4. The one who has trouble performing circumambulation due to illness, fatigue or the intensity of the crowds can circumambulate by being carried by someone or in a wheelchair. You cannot appoint someone to perform circumambulation on behalf of you.

5. If a woman prevents or stops menstruation by taking pills and is completely dry, then her circumambulation is valid after bathing.

6. When the Iqamah for prayer is heard the person should pray with the people, and then complete his circumambulation from where he stopped.

7. If a person has doubt concerning the number of rounds he has performed, he should base on certainty which is the lowest number. However, if he doubts after leaving the circumambulation or the Saa’i

there is no significance in it and he should continue on with whatever he was doing.

8. One should ensure that they circumambulate around the Ka’bah and that they shouldn’t enter into the Hijr whilst circumambulating, as it is considered to be a part of the Ka’bah.

9. If unable to touch the black stone, one is recommended to raise his RIGHT HAND and say Allahu Akbar. The person should not raise both his hands in this situation

10. Some people hug the Ka’bah, wipe their clothes on it, try to take pieces of it etc. These acts aren’t justified by the Sunnah in any way. On the contrary such acts may spoil their Hajj. One should keep in mind the hadith :

When Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), approached the Black Stone he would say: “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. And had I not seen Allaah’s Messenger, (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissing you I would not have kissed you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

11. There are no specific du‘aa’s for each circuit of tawaaf, with the exception of the dua mentioned above) said at Rukum Al- Yamani.

Hence one should beware of these booklets that many pilgrims carry, in which there is a specific du‘aa’ for each circuit. This is an innovation that was not narrated from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“Every innovation is a going astray.” [Narrated by Muslim.]

12. Revealing the right shoulder (Idhtibaa’) is done for the circumambulation. The shoulders should then be covered whilst praying and for Saa’i

Some rulings regarding Saa’i:

1. The verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allaah” [Al-Baqarah 2:158] should be recited by the pilgrim who wants to perform saa’i when he approaches al-Safa at the beginning of saa’i only. It is not mustahabb to repeat it every time he approaches al-Safa and al-Marwah, as some people do.

2. The one performing Hajj At-Tamattu’ should not perform Saa’i of Hajj before ‘Arafah. As for the ones performing Ifraad and Qiraan, they can perform Saa’i after the circumambulation of arrival.

3. Ablution (purity) is not required to perform Saa’I, although we should always try to remain pure whilst performing such noble deeds

4. It is recommended for men to hurry between the two green signs.

5. It is obligatory to cross the distance between the two mounts during Saa’i, but it is not obligatory to climb the mountain. It suffices to reach the balcony on the second floor of the Mass’aa and its roof without going all the way around it.

6. There is no need to raise the hand and signal the Ka’bah from the Mounts of As-Safa and Al- Marwah. (This practice is restricted only during Tawaf wherein we signal to the black stone when we can’t touch it)

We ask Allah to help us to do righteous deeds, and to accept them from us, for He is Ever Near and responds to our prayers.

Return To Your Lord

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

Ever felt like you’ve reached a low point in your Iman? That after being a very enthusiastic gainer of good deeds you are becoming lenient and your enthusiasm is fading?

I’ve felt that many times. I’m sure we all do. it’s pretty common to feel that way. Imaan is just like a roller coaster, sometimes it goes up making us feel contented and sometimes it goes down and low, a danger zone. Yes! I call that a danger zone. And it is must for us to take steps to come out of that perilous zone.

In the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to follow Allah’s commands. We are indulged in the comforts of this world, shrugging off everything related to the after-life, and hence our iman begins to drop.

It is usual for us to feel lackadaisical in following and abiding by Allah’s commands. It is a human nature to sin and to err.

so here are some tips to pick up your iman and give you that much-need iman boost:

  1. Open the Qur’an and see what Allah wants to tell you:

The Qur’an is the nourishment of every person’s soul, the light of the heart and guidance to the straight path.

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 9]

Whenever you feel like you are losing your energy and that your performance is starting to drop, quickly turn to the Qur’an and you will always find a way out.

2. Read books related to Islam:

There are a variety of books that one can buy from bookshops or kiosks which are related to Islam. Try reading Stories of the Prophets. They’re interesting to read and will give us knowledge about the lives of the Prophets and the difficulties they went through. it’s sure to help your iman rise.

Start with one book and see the snowball effect!

3. Sit with those who learn and practice Islam:

A man learns the best from his friends.

As cliche as it sounds, the reality is: The more time we spend with a person, the more prone we are to gather their habits.

The bottom line is: Spend time with those who learn and preach Islam.

4. Make dua

Dua is a weapon of a believer. Make dua during prostration. Make dua that your Iman be high. Make dua that you be persistent in gaining good deeds and in pleasing Allah.

In the end, I’d like to remind you all to jot down the tid bits which will help us in raising our Imaan.

I ask Allah to make us better practicing Muslims than what we were yesterday. Aameen

Maha Bassad, AAT

Eating and Drinking

Every act that a believer does is to please Allah (Glory be to Him) alone. With good intention, a believer turns any lawful act into an act of worship. However, every deed to be accepted has to be in accordance to the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and with sincerity. Eating and drinking is part of our lives, well…it’s our survival need. A believer can turn these acts into acts of worship if he follows the etiquettes of the prophet (peace be upon him) during eating and drinking and other right intentions made out of it.

Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.” (Tirmidhi)

Etiquettes before Eating and Drinking:

1) The food must be lawful, pure, and obtained lawfully.

2) The food/drink served should not be made for impermissible reasons such as Durood, Fatiha, in the name of other than Allah (Glory be to Him).

3) Eat /drink with the intention of worship.

4) Cleanse our hands.

5) It is better to eat/drink in a simple and unadorned manner. Avoid excessive formalities because Islam teaches simplicity.

6) Sit humbly and modestly, whether on the floor or on the table. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I do not take my meals while leaning.” (Bukhari) There should be no sign of haughtiness in a believer.

7) A believer eats only when he feels hungry; he eats to live and not live to eat. ‘Umar saw a man with a huge belly and said: “What is this?” He said, “A blessing from Allah.” He said, “Rather it is a punishment from Allah.”

8) When the food is served, wait for the elderly or guest to begin first.

9) Be wary of your companions and give preference to their need.

10) Do not stare at your companions. Refrain from acts which disturbs/harms others.

Eating with poor people is selflessness, eating with peers is fun, and eating with elderly is honor.

Etiquettes after eating/drinking:

1) Cease eating before feeling fully satisfied.

2) Do not throw away what’s left.

“…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance” (07:31)

3) Wash/cleanse hands and plate.

4) Floss and gargle (khilaal) your mouth.

5) Recite the following dua at the end: ‘Praise is to Allah Who has given me this food and sustained me with it though I was unable to do it and powerless.’

The next time you settle down to enjoy a meal, remember these tips to gain rewards even whilst you fulfill your basic need of food and drink.

Maliha Rahmat

Five Steps to Good Character

Good character is recognised amongst every society on earth, be they muslim or otherwise, modern or ancient, all civilisations have acknowledged good morals. Some civilisations have higher standards than others, and Islam has the highest standard of all. Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was “sent to perfect good character,” (Adab Al Mufrad, saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani) for which he himself was a role model, as Allah says, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (68:04) Thus, a true muslim desires to perfect his character, and emulate the best of people following the Sunnah in their mannerisms.

Soon, during the month of Dhul-Hijjah, for those who embark on the journey of a lifetime; facing crowds, rushing to and fro, tensions can sometimes run high. It is important that during this auspicious occasion we ensure the best of manners to secure the rewards, and not reduce the value of our Hajj.

Our religion prides itself for upholding good morals, and places great importance on character, so much so that there is great reward for it,

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: By his good character a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Saheeh Sh Al-Albaani)

And it is narrated that he ﷺ used to say, ‘The best among you are the best in character (having good manners).”‘ (Bukhari)

Hence, we find that good character is extremely important, for it is a means by which one can enter paradise, and enjoy life for eternity. We can go on listing the virtues of good character, for they are many, but let’s be brief.

There is a great consequence for neglecting one’s character;

For on another occasion, Abu Ad-Dardha narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “…Indeed Allah, Most High, is angered by the shameless obscene person.” (Tirmithi, saheeh)

After learning the importance of good character in our religion, one would naturally desire to possess good character.

  1. Learn what is good character, and what isn’t

For example: Aisha reported: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said,

“Verily, whoever has been given the quality of kindness has been given his portion of good in this life and in the Hereafter. Maintaining family ties, good character, and good treatment of neighbours will build their heavenly abodes and increase their life span.” (Musnad Aḥmad, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)

Hence, kindness, good treatment to family, neighbours are all part of good character.

Abu Wahb narrated that: Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak explained good character, and then he said: “It is a smiling face, doing one’s best in good, and refraining from harm.” (Tirmithi, saheeh)

And there are many other narrations concerning this.

One can also learn from the seerah for the most excellent in manners was the Prophet, whom Allah praised for his excellent character.

2. Learn the consequences of Bad Character: observe how bad character can affect you in this life, and how people would lose respect for one with bad character. Notice, how one with bad morals negatively affect a person’s reputation, until their bad traits become their signature. Also learn how bad character can affect one’s hereafter and the punishments for it.

3. Implement what you have learnt by avoiding what is not good character, and performing what is. This should come as a natural consequence of what you have learnt. True learning is only so, when one implements and applies what they have learnt.

4. Learn the immense rewards in store for good character: in this life people will love you and respect you. You will be honoured and revered. And in the hereafter, Allah has prepared what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard and what has no crossed the heart of any person.

Abu ad-Darda narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The heaviest thing which will be put on the believer’s scale (on the Day of Resurrection) will be good morals.” Related by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi who graded it as Sahih.

Also, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa of Allah, and good character.” (Tirmithi, Saheeh)

5. Follow it up with the duaa of the Prophet:

Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

اَللَّهُمَّ كَمَا أَحْسَنْتَ خَلْقِي, فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي

(Allahumma kama ahsanta khalqi fahassin khuluqi)

“O Allah You have made my creation perfect, so make my moral characteristics also be the best.” (Ahmad, authenticated by Ibn Hibban)

 And in another narration,

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّیْ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنْ مُنْكَرَاتِ الْاَخْلَاقِ وَالْاَعْمَالِ وَالْاَھْوَاءِ

(Allahumma inni a’uthu bika min munkaratil Akhlaaqi wal a’maali wal ahwaa)

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You from a bad character and bad actions and bad desires.” (Tirmithi, Saheeh)

May Allah aid us in attaining the best of character.

 

 

 

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:

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.

 

Al-Warith

“And indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritor.” (Surah al-Hijr: 23)

The Name “Al-Warith” occurred three times in the Qur’an; all in the plural form. Linguistically, “Al-Warith” means an heir, inheritor, owner, sustainer, and survivor. The general usage of the word “inheritor” means a person who receives estate of another after death which legally wasn’t in his/her. How is Allah “the Inheritor”?

Allah “Al-Warith” is the Only One who remains after everything perishes in the heavens and the earth. He is the Successor who has/had no predecessor.  He is, and has always been, the Owner of Everything which He bequeaths.  When He blesses us with life and sustenance, we return to Him leaving both (death). Allah (Glory be to Him) is the best Inheritor.

  • Allah (Praise be to Him) inherits from His bounties to whomever He wills and to whomever He loves:

“Moses said to his people, “Seek help through Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” (Surah al-A’raaf: 128)

  • He (Glory be to Him) makes His true believers inheritors over the disbelievers in this life and the hereafter:

“And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their properties and a land which you have not trodden. And ever is Allah, over all things, competent.” (Surah al-Ahzab: 27)

  • He (Glory be to Him) chose amongst them inheritors of His Books though we have differences in levels, conditions, etc., but everyone got their part of the Books’ inheritance:

“Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants; and among them is he who wrongs himself, and among them is he who is moderate, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by permission of Allah. That [inheritance] is what is the great bounty.” (Surah Fatir: 32)

Dear readers, let’s talk about inheritance of money about which Allah (Praise be to Him) says: “Your wealth and your children are but a trial…” (Surah at-Taghabun: 15)

Allah “Al-Warith” inspires the believers to spend his/her wealth in the cause of Allah (Glory be to Him) granted to you and made you His representatives:

“Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.”  (Surah al-Hadid: 8)

Prophet Zakariyyah (may peace be upon him) asked Allah (Praise be to Him) for an heir when his wife was barren, and the result of his sincerity was as follows in the aayah:

“And [mention] Zakariyyah, when he called to his Lord, “My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.” So We responded to him, and We gave to him Yahya (John), and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.”

It should also be noted that Prophets (peace be upon them all) never supplicated an heir for wealth but rather for inheritors of knowledge and Da’wah (calling towards Allah). Allah “Al-Warith” is the only One who makes us the successor and the predecessor of each other.

We also need to beware of the consequence of heedlessness towards what has been temporarily inherited to us because He (Glory Be to Him) says:

“And how many a city have We destroyed that was insolent in its [way of] living, and those are their dwellings which have not been inhabited after them except briefly. And it is We who were the inheritors.” (Surah al-Qasas: 58)

“Indeed, it is We who will inherit the earth and whoever is on it, and to Us they will be returned.” (Surah Mariam: 40)

In the above aayah, Allah “Al-Warith” warns every being who became heedless in this worldly life that this life will soon be separated from him.  Allah is informing that He is the Creator, the Owner and the Controller of all matters. All of the creation will be destroyed and only He, the Most High and Most Holy, will remain. There is no one who can claim absolute ownership and control of affairs besides Him. He is the Inheritor of all His creation. He is the Eternal, Who will remain after they are gone and He is the Judge of their affairs. Therefore, no soul will be done any injustice, nor wronged even the weight of a mosquito or an atom. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Having learnt about the greatness of Allah’s Name “Al-Warith”, a believer develops the following characteristics:

  1. A believer acknowledges his good deeds as only true inheritance.

“That is Paradise, which We give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah.” (Surah Mariam: 63)

  1. He also constantly fears Allah (Glory be to Him) in the issues of rights of inheritance and does not nor will do injustice to his/her inheritors.
  2. The only thing Prophets (May peace and blessings be upon them all) bequeathed knowledge, thus a believer embraces the circles of true knowledge.
  3. A believer always hopes that Allah (Praise be to Him) grants him/her progeny and never grieves if that favor hasn’t been granted anytime. He/she should supplicate: “My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” (Rabbī hablī min as-Sāliheen)

“O Allah, give me pleasure in my hearing and my sight, and make it the inheritor from me, and aid me against whoever oppresses me, and take vengeance from him for me (Allāhumma matti`nī bisam`ī wa baṣarī waj`alhumal-wāritha minnī, wanṣurnī `alā man yaẓlimunī, wa khudh minhu bitha’rī)” (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi: 3604)

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The Day of Arafah

arafah

Of the best Days Allah has decreed for us, is the Day of Arafah. For those of us on Hajj it is the essence of Hajj, it is what makes the Hajj. For those of us left behind, it is still a great day and there are ways in which we can reap the rewards too.

What makes the Day of Arafah so special?

  • It is the Day on which Allah perfected the Religion for us and revealed verse five of Surah Ma’idah,

Umar ibn al-Khattaab narrated that a Jewish man said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival).” Umar said, “Which aayah?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Ma’idah 5:3). Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It was when he was standing in Arafah, on a Friday.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Thus based on the above it is a day of celebration, (but please refrain from party poppers and cake….spend the time wisely doing thikr)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Yawm Arafah (the day of Arafah), Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” (This was narrated by the authors of As–Sunan)

It another narration Umar said: “It – i.e., the ayah ‘This day I have perfected…’ was revealed on a Friday, the Day of Arafah, both of which – praise be to Allah – are Eids for us.”

  • To highlight its greatness, Allah took an oath by it in Surah Burooj when He said, “By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of Arafah].” (Burooj 85:3)

It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of Arafah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

  • Fasting this day brings expiation for two years, imagine that! We will cover this further on.
  • This day also was the Day on which Allah took a covenant with us all,

Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers a foretime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Baatil (i.e., ploytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?’ (Al-A’raaf 7:172-173).” (Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

And there is no greater day than this and no greater covenant than this.

  • To cream it off, it is a day of salvation and forgiveness, and Allah’s pride in the people who are there is known,

‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” (Muslim)

It was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of Arafah, about the people of Arafah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Ahmad and classed as saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

To conclude, there are many reasons for the Day of Arafah to be revered and honoured, for Allah honoured it in singling it out as Day of forgiveness and Mercy. However, beware of false narrations which spread, regarding an innovated virtue about the Day of Arafah. People claim that if the Day of Arafah falls on Friday that it is equal to seventy hajjs or seventy-two hajjs. This belief has no basis, and so-called Ahadith found on this matter are false and nothing has been narrated from the Prophet regarding this.

Bearing in mind that this day has many virtues, what should one do on the Day of Arafah?

Fasting on the Day of Arafah:

It is a confirmed Sunnah for the non-pilgrims:

It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah and he said: “It expiates for the past and coming years.” (Muslim) According to another report: “I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it and the year that comes after it.”

Having a Ghusl on the Day of Arafah:

It is mustahabb (unconfirmed Sunnah) for the pilgrim to make Ghusul for the standing on Arafah, because he is gathering with the people. Furthermore, some of the sahabahs did it, and advised for it to be done, but this is only for those who will gather with people.

Making Du’aa on this Day:

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘Aas  that the Prophet  said: “The best of du’aa is du’aa on the day of Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” (Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)

It was narrated from Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn Kurayz: “The best of du’aa is du’aa on the day of Arafah.” (Malik in Al-Muwatta; classed as hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)

And this goes for all people, whether performing hajj or not. One should spend time making duaa, hoping that Allah forgives him and saves him from the fire.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.

We ask Allah to grant the Hujjaaj an accepted Hajj and to accept their duaas and ours too. 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.