Tag Archives: intention

Ihram

Although clichéd, it truly is the best way to begin with…So here we go:

As we have studied in the article titled “Components of Hajj” we know that Ihram is the first pillar of Hajj, therefore common sense dictates us to realize that our first step for performing Hajj would be to assume Ihram.

In the previous article, we already discussed the sites wherein Ihram has to be assumed from, so In Sha Allah in this article we shall see how is Ihram assumed.

Now, most probably, most of you may already know how to do this, but I still urge you to continue reading, not only because I want you to read this article, written by yours truly, but also, maybe just maybe, you may come across something that you weren’t aware of, and reading an Islamic article is always beneficial. Think about the 101 times you spent reading the lamest jokes ever witnessed on planet Earth! Remember reading this with the correct intention will enable you to get ajar In Sha Allah.

Now, enough with the lecturing and now to the topic of interest:

When we think about Ihram, the first picture that floods our minds are that of white unstitched clothes (something which I used to unfortunately think of as large towels when I was young…) However, ihram does not mean donning on unstitched white clothes, rather this is one of the actions that one does to assume Ihram. Ihram is the ritual consecration either during Hajj or Umrah and is defined as the “intention” to start the rites.

Ihram is derived from the Arabic word “haram,” which means “forbidden” or “prohibited.” Now I am certain we don’t need really need Mr. Sherlock Holmes to conjecture that it is so named because there are certain acts that are prohibited in the state of Ihram, although they are permissible when not in Ihram, we shall mention those actions in a while.

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:197)

Now it is important to realize that there are certain pre-requisites for assuming Ihram. To illustrate this Shaykhul- Islam Ibn Taiymiyyah said:

A man is not considered in a state of Ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Makkah). So there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of Ihram.”

There are mainly 4 pre-requisites before assuming Ihram:

By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of Ihram, but such acts themselves are not called Ihram as many people mistakenly believe. Thus, a pilgrim is not considered to be in a state of Ihram just by wearing the aforementioned clothing of Ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or Umrah.

As for a female Muhrim, she may wear whatever cloth she likes black or any other color, so long as she avoids wanton display (tabarruj) or clothes of fame and vanity such as tight, see-through, short, thin or decorated clothes. Women must also be careful to avoid clothes that resemble the clothes of men or the kuffaar.
However, she isn’t permitted to wear a burqa (a veil that covers the face and has 2 eyeholes for vision). In this case, the lady covers her face with other things such as a khimar (shawl like clothing that covers the head and shoulders) and a gown.
Moreover the female Muhrim shouldn’t wear gloves

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would have uncover our faces.

A pilgrim is free to choose either of the 3 kinds of Ihram

Steps of Assuming Ihram:

  1. The intention:
    The intention for Ihram is made in the heart, and accompanied by the following wordings:

  • The one who is performing Hajj or Umrah on behalf of someone else should say: “Labbayka an Fulaan” (I am here at the service of so and so) and if he has forgotten their name, he can say “for the one who assigned me.”
  1. If one fears that he or she will not complete the Umrah or Hajj due to illness, he should say:

Allaahumma mahillee haithu habastanee.

O Allah, my place is wherever you prevent me.

  • The benefit of making this condition upon entering the state of Ihram is that if the person is unable to complete his Hajj then he can discontinue (leave the state of Ihram) and he does not have to expiate for it, there is no recommendatory sacrifice due upon him and there is no sin on him.
  • It is not lawful for the pilgrim to make a condition unless he fears that something will prevent him from completing the ritual
  • Making a condition is done when entering the state of Ihram and it must be uttered, as merely having the intention does not suffice.
  • It is not permissible to make the condition a long period after entering the state of Ihram.
  1. Then he should stand facing the Qiblah and say

اللَّهُمَّ حِجَّةٌ لاَ رِيَاءَ فِيهَا وَلاَ سُمْعَة ‏‏
“Allaahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah
(O Allah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), was reciting this: “O Allah make this Hajj one that has no show or fame.”

  1. Then he should chant the Talbiyah.
  • The virtue of saying the talbiyah is indeed great as we derive form the following hadith:

Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said:
“There is no Muslim who says the Talbiyah except that – on his right and left, until the end of the land, from here to there – the rocks, or trees, or mud say the Talbiyah.”

It will be chanted by everything on his right and his left, especially when he ascends or descends somewhere

  • What the Talbiyah means is responding to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because the word “labbayk” means: I am responding to You. He should continue reciting the Talbiyah until he begins the tawaaf of umrah
  • And the one saying the Talbiyah is ORDERED to raise his voice with it, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said:

“Jibreel came to me and ordered me to order my companions and those with me to raise their voices with Talbiyah

A woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it, unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.

  • The muhrim (person who has entered Ihram) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin
  • The one performing Umrah should discontinue the Talbiyah when starting Tawaaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) and the pilgrim should stop before throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah.

The Talbiyah is:

Labbaik allaahumma labbaik labbaika laa shareeka laka labbaik innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulka laa shareeka laka

Here I am O Allah, here I am, there is no partner for You, here I am, Verily all praise is for You, and every bounty is from You, and all dominion is Yours – You have no partner.

And now finally to the last topic of this article. I am aware that this article was extremely long, but Ihram is a long topic, so please be patient and may Allah reward you in quest of knowledge.

The last thing that we shall be talking about are the acts that are forbidden in Ihram,

Abstaining from the actions that are unlawful during Ihram is a form of honoring Allah’s sacred ordinances, some of these include:

And with this we come to our long awaited conclusion

I applaud all those who have reached it till here and pray to Allah that he rewards you abundantly for your patience and earnestness.

Watch out for the next article in the Hajj series.

Begging

In the world we live, when credit and loans are so easily available…one no longer needs to trail the streets to be amongst those who ask without need. It is tantalisingly simple to obtain a loan, a few clicks of buttons and money that we don’t truly need, is filling our bank accounts. We bask in the luxury, not reflecting upon the consequences of our actions.

While many loans and credit will incur riba (interest or usury), a big crime in of itself, today our focus is on another aspect,

Sahl Ibn Handhaliyyah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Whoever asks people for money when he has what is sufficient for him is only asking for more of the embers of Hell.’ They asked him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What is sufficient so that he does not have to ask for more?’ He said, ‘Having enough to eat lunch and dinner.’ (Abu Dawud)

What an amazing lesson and warning from our beloved Prophet who cared for us and wished that no harm should befall us. He left behind such words for us to cling on to, to live by so that we do not cause our own afflictions.

Holding a burning ember from this earth is torture enough, for anyone who has accidentally burnt themselves know that fire is not to be played with. However, the hadith mentions an ember from hell. Hell; whose fire is seventy times hotter than our earthly flames! Hell; whose heat alone causes faces to melt and bellies to boil. What would a burning ember from deep within it cause of pain! May Allah protect us.

My dear brothers and sisters. The responsibility is upon our shoulders. We have to stop our habits of begging, borrowing and asking without need. Let us learn to be content with what we have, and spend wisely and only from what is within our means.

Further to the threat of amassing burning embers, Ibn Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘whoever asks people for money when he has what is sufficient for him will come on the day of Judgement with scratches and lacerations on his face.’ (Ahmad)

Only Allah knows the severity of these lacerations, and how they came about, but nonetheless in no way are they pleasant. Rather they are an apparent manifestation of Allah’s displeasure, for the world to see, on a Day when everyone will be gathered. What an embarrassment it would be!

It was narrated that Qabeesah ibn Mukhaariq al-Hilaali said: The Messenger of Allah said: “O Qabeesah, asking for help is not permissible except in one of three cases: a man who has incurred a debt (in order to reconcile between two parties), for whom it is permissible to ask for help until he has paid it off, then he should refrain; a man who has been stricken by a calamity that has destroyed all his wealth, for whom it is permissible to ask for help until he gets enough to get by – or he gets enough to meet his basic needs; and a man who is stricken by poverty and three men of wisdom among his people acknowledge that So and so has been stricken by poverty, then it becomes permissible for him to ask for help until he gets enough to get by – or to meet his basic needs. Apart from these cases asking for help, O Qabeesah, is haram and the one who begs is consuming something haram.” (Ahmad, Muslim, an-Nasa’i and Abu Dawood)

Those who beg and take what they do not need, must be wary of the threat of punishment. They are consuming that which is unlawful for which there is a hefty price to pay in the akhirah.

In another hadith, our Prophet taught, “Charity is not permissible for a rich person, or for one who is strong and healthy.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu, Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

Only ask for what you need, and do not exceed the limits. In this way, society will function in harmony, and the wealth can go to those are truly deserving of it, and in need of it.

On the other hand, for those who are the givers, these ahadith should in no way hinder our charity. Rather our hands and hearts should be open to give to others. Repulsing or chiding the beggar is also disallowed because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “and do not chide the one who asks for help.” [ad-Duha 93:10]

Furthermore, the Prophet peace be upon him taught us, “Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” (Muslim) What a great principle to live by! Believing in this and acting upon it prevents miserliness and stinginess. It limits greed, and teaches the believer to be generous whether with his time, effort or wealth.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A man said: I shall certainly give charity. He went out with his charity and placed it in the hand of a thief. The next morning, they said: He gave charity to a thief. He said: O Allah, praise be to You; I shall certainly give charity (again). He went out with his charity and placed it in the hands of a prostitute. The next morning they said: Last night he gave charity to a prostitute. He said: O Allah, praise be to You for a prostitute. I shall certainly give charity (again).’ He went out with his charity and placed it in the hand of a rich man. The next morning, they said, Last night he gave charity to a rich man. He said: O Allah, to You be praise for a thief, a prostitute and a rich man. It was said to him: As for what you gave in charity to a thief, perhaps it will be the cause of his refraining from stealing; as for the prostitute, perhaps it will be the cause of her refraining from fornication; and as for the rich man, perhaps he will learn a lesson and spend from that which Allah has given him.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

If a person gives to one who is seemingly undeserving thinking that he is in need of it, he will still have his reward, for his actions is based on his intention, and he genuinely thought that person was in need, even if he later learns that he was not. His action is accepted and he will be rewarded, but as for the one who takes without need, then he needs to ponder upon the warnings issued by the messenger, and think twice before he takes or asks.

 

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.

Showing Off

 

A-Muslim-man-praying-alone

Ibadah is something we do solely for Allah, it is one of the conditions for our deeds to be accepted. Showing off is not allowed, as the deed is no longer done to please Allah but instead to show people how pious or righteous one is.

Allah says,

“Woe to those who pray, those who are neglectful of their prayers, who make a show of their deeds.” (Surah Ma’oon 107:4-6)

In reference to this verse the prophet said, “this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite…” (Muslim)

The Prophet has identified such a person who shows off as a hypocrite. And I am sure we all know the place of the hypocrite in the Hellfire, they will be in “the lowest depths” living in the sewage and remnants of the inhabitants of hell.

Ibn kathir explains that such a person only stands to pray it so that the people will see him praying, and not seeking the Face of Allah. This is just as if he did not pray at all.

Similarly, Allah says in the Qur’an,

“Verily the hypocrites, seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.” (Surah An-Nisa 04:142)

We need to be cautious about our intentions, as falling into this sin is a form shirk. May Allah protect us.

The Prophet peace be upon him said, “The thing that I fear most for you is minor shirk.” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is minor shirk?” He said: “Showing off, for Allaah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.’” (Classed as saheeh bySh  al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 951)

My dear brothers and sisters, Ramadaan is here, and all muslims should be fasting unless they have a valid reason. But amazingly no one can actually see whether you are fasting or not. Fasting is one the few acts of worship which riyaa is difficult to penetrate, for the simple fact that it is not an apparent or obvious deed. Nonetheless we should still purify our intentions when we fast, because there is a severe warning from the prophet.

He peace be upon him said, “Whoever tries to make the people hear of his deed, Allah the One Who Hears His creation, will hear it and make him despised and degraded.” (Ahmad)

In the narration collected by Muslim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever does things to be seen and heard by others, Allah will cause him to be seen and heard as an example to others.”

Imagine Allah making you an example to others! I highly doubt it refers to a ‘good’ example! What dishonour, shame and humiliation that would be!

Allah alone is worthy of our worship and good deeds, they should be done seeking His pleasure and reward alone. We should not fast or pray to please our parents, or teachers or even our families. We should pray, fast and give charity because Allah has commanded us to, and it is pleasing to Him and we will be rewarded immensely for doing so.

Allah says in the Hadith Qudsi,

“I am so Self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does a deed for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that deed renounced by Me to the one he associated with Me.” (Muslim 4/2289)

May Allah help us to purify our intentions during this blessed month that we may take full advantage of the rewards available.

And finally, the Prophet peace be upon hims said, “Shirk among you is more subtle than the sound of the footsteps of an ant on a rock. Shall I not tell you of something which, if you do it, it will take that away from you, both minor and major forms of it. Say: Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika an ushrika bika wa ana a’lam wastaghfiruka lima laa a’lam (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from associating anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for that of which I am unaware).” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2876)

 

Racing to Good Deeds

 

 

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

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

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

This is what most of us do, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُون

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Allah says,

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ

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

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

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

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

We are all one of three types of people:

Allaah says:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۖ ۚ

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

فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لِنَفْسِهِ

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

وَمِنْهُمْ مُقْتَصِدٌ

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

وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ

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

ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

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

Rayan Arab,

CEO, AAT