Tag Archives: reward

The Importance of Hajj

Characteristic of our species, Homo Sapiens, the importance of any subject holds great magnitude in our eyes, let us now then understand the importance and benefits of Hajj.

Before we enlighten ourselves with the benefits of performing Hajj, I would like to request you all to take a few minutes and introspect, introspect on your lives, however much old you are, think about what you have accomplished until now, whether you can guarantee even a single day in your entire life which you have spent without even a blob of sin and can affirm that you have spent the entire day with only productivity?

Such retrospection definitely give rise to one certain emotion in my heart, that of jealousy, envy towards a newborn, born with a clean slate, with a pure heart, without even a shed of sin scarring his life. Oh! What wouldn’t I do to be like that, to start a fresh, to start anew!

Praise Be To The Almighty, The Most Merciful, The Most Kind

Did you know that we demeritorious people stained by stains and stained repeatedly by sins have actually been  granted by our Lord, The Most Loving an opportunity to actually wipe off our slates clean, to spring back, to start a fresh

Hajj is that, which gives us this opportunity

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying. He who came to this House (Ka’ba) (with the intention of performing Pilgrimage), and neither spoke indecently nor did he act wickedly would return (free from sin) as on the (very first day) his mother bore him.

Truly, we have to admit that this by far is one of the greatest rewards that we could ever hope to receive

Another hadith that shows the importance of Hajj is:

Narrated `Aisha: (The mother of the faithful believers) I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! We consider Jihad as the best deed.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.”

But Oh wait, dear readers, we aren’t done yet

Let me now tell you that Hajj also enables us to get the greatest of all rewards.

As Muslims our ultimate goal is Paradise, so know this, Hajj is our way to paradise

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“From one ‘Umrah to another is an expiation for the sins that came in between them, and Hajj Mabrur (an accepted Hajj) brings no less a reward than Paradise.

Also Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) narrated that: 

The Messenger of Allah said: “Alternate between Hajj and Umrah; for those two remove poverty and sins just as the bellows removes filth from iron, gold, and silver – and there is no reward for Al-Hajj Al-Mabrur except for Paradise.”

What more could we even hope for, truly this ought to make us say Alhamdulillah from the very depths of our hearts

But Oh dear friends, do focus on the ahadith, all of them give emphasis on an accepted performance of Hajj, or Hajj Mabrur, please comprehend that by spending copious amounts of money so as to perform Hajj is not sufficient to attain Paradise, paradise cannot be bought, it has to be earned. An accepted performance of Hajj is that which is perfectly performed and is not tarnished with ill deeds. It is also maintained that an accepted Hajj is that which is worthy of being accepted by Allah, hence we need to make absolutely sure that the Hajj that we perform is definitely performed in the best way we can.

We need to give it our all, we need to put in our best, hence the purpose of this article series

Actions can be manifested by knowledge and knowledge has to be attained, so please look out for our next article whence we shall divulge on the pillars of Hajj and the obligatory actions of Hajj

Note: Please click on the ahadith to get its reference

Also please read on the same vein http://aateam.org/blog/our-salt-bags/

 

 

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.

 

10 Benefits of Sabr

In the previous article, we discussed some lessons to be drawn from the concept of Sabr.

Now we will discuss the resulting benefits of sabr, the reward for it, and the greatness of this concept in Islam. Allah often advises us to patience and for good reason. Sabr is a noble quality to possess, and is regarded by all nations, no matter how civilised or backward to be a magnificent character. The benefits of this incredible concept are innumerable, from rewards in this life, to rewards that continue into the hereafter.

Allah exhorts His slaves to seek help with patience and prayer when facing calamities that may befall a person. Allah says, “And seek help in patience and As-Salaah (the prayer),” (al-Baqarah 2:45), for patience is a ticket to ease, a way out from afflictions, and a source of comfort and tranquillity.

We will mention just a few of the many benefits of sabr:

  • Victory: Just a relief comes with hardship, and ease after difficulty, victory is attained with patience. Victory in this worldly life and in the hereafter,

Regarding victory in this life against the disbelievers, Allah says,

“But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do,” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:120)

The life of this world is a short, temporary life, that will end soon. Bearing the struggles of this life by holding fast to the rope of Allah and being patient, for only a few short years after which a great reward awaits. The reward of paradise and deliverance from the hellfire is reserved for those who were patient, as Allah says,

 “Verily, I have rewarded them this Day for their patience; they are indeed the ones that are successful” [al-Mu’minoon 23:111] 

  • Sabr also brings an amazing source of support, for

“Surely, Allah is with those who are As‑Saabiroon (the patient),” [al-Anfaal 6:46]

It’s a source of support from the Lord of the Worlds, the Possessor of Might and Majesty, the One who has power to do as He wills, the One to whom all else is subservient!

  • Sabr brings power and strength:

“Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good‑doers) to be lost,” [Yusuf 12:90]

This is the example of Prophet Yusuf, who bore the trials of life with patience. He was thrown in a well, sold as a slave in an unknown land, lost his family, tempted to evil by the Aziz’s wife, imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and more, yet, he remained patient, and for all this he was rewarded with strength and power, and became a man of great status in the land.

  • Sabr brings Guidance:

Allah elevated the those who are patient by granting them the ability to recognise the signs of Allah, and thus guiding them. He distinguished them in this manner four times in the Qur’an,

“Truly, therein are Ayaat (evidences, proofs and signs) for every patient, thankful (person),” [Ibrahim 14:5; Luqman 31:31; Saba 24:19; Ash-Shura 42:33] 

  • To add to this list, Allah has granted the patient three special things, He says,

“But give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones,” [al-Baqarah 2:155-157]

Those who have sabr are blessed with the Salawaat, the mercy of Allah and His guidance. And what can be better than the ni’am (blessings) of Allah?!

  • The Reward of Allah:

“But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are As‑Saabiroon (the patient in following the truth).” (Qasas 28:80)

And none knows what Allah has kept, for what is in Jannah, no eye has seen, no ear has heard and it has not crossed the mind of any human being. It is beyond our imagination and better. So, have patience, my friends!

  • Forgiveness:

We sin by day and by night, our sins accumulate, and truly there is none who is forgiving but our Merciful Lord. He has reserved forgiveness for those who are patient,

 “Except those who show patience and do righteous good deeds: those, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward (Paradise),” [Hood 11:11]

  • More Patience:

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “…whoever is patient Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

There is nothing better to have than the ability to be patient, and Allah gives it to those who exert effort in this regard more of this quality, and He makes it easy for them.

  • Compensation:

We all would like something in return for our efforts,

Umm Salamah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and says what Allah has enjoined – ‘Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ – but Allah will compensate him with something better.”  (Muslim)

When one bears a calamity patiently, and invokes Allah with the supplication, then Allahw ill compensate him for what he lost. Imagine getting compensation from Allah…it is a concept we can barely grasp!

  • And last but in no way least, the love of Allah:

“And Allah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:146]

And what more could a person want? For we know from the hadith in Bukhari and Muslim that when Allah loves a person, He calls on Jibril and commands him to love this person, and all the inhabitants of the sky/heaven also, until acceptance on earth is decreed for this person, and he is loved. Would you not like to be amongst those whom Allah loves?

My brothers and sisters, patience is an honourable characteristic. It makes one dignified in times of hardship, and beautiful in times of ease. It is a character we should seek to learn and engrain in children. May Allah makes us amongst those who are patient.

 

 

Surah Ikhlaas

Surah Ikhlas

Only four ayahs long, and one of the shortest surahs in the Qu’ran. For many of us, it is the first surah we memorise, and it stays with us until we enter our graves. Sadly, many of us simply repeat its verses, without paying much attention to its status or meaning. If only we knew the value of these few verses, and their implications!

Surah Ikhlaas or Ahad, is Surah number 112 of the Quran. It was revealed to answer the ignorant inquiries of the Quraysh, who asked Muhammad (peace be upon him) to relate to them the lineage of Allah. And so Allah revealed this Surah to quieten their foul talk. Surah Ikhlaas is amongst the Surahs the Prophet (peace be upon) would recite daily before retiring to bed, seeking protection from the Almighty.

Did you know that this is a surah by which on can earn the love of Al-Wadud (The All-Loving)? During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he sent a man as a commander of a war expedition and he used to lead his companions in prayer with recitation (of the Qur’an). And he would complete his recitation with the recitation of ‘Qul huwa Allahu ahad.’ So when they returned the companions mentioned that to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he (peace be upon him) said, ‘ask him why he does that.’ So they asked him and he said, ‘because it is the description of Ar-Rahman and I love to recite it.’ So the Prophet said, ‘inform him that Allah the Most High loves him.’” (Bukhari)

Getting to know Allah and His description suggests that one is coming closer to Allah, and so one increases in the love of Allah, thereby warranting the love of Allah!

Many a times we echo the words of our Creator without knowing its significance. How we have deviated from what the companions were upon! They understood these words, and so they loved to recite them.

In a similar incident, one of the Ansar used to lead the Ansar in Salah in the Quba’ mosque and it was his habit to recite Qul huwa Allahu Ahad whenever he wanted to recite something in Salah. When he finished that Surah, he would recite another one with it. He followed the same procedure in each Rak’ah. His companions discussed this with him and said, “You recite this Surah and do not consider it sufficient and then you recite another. So would you recite it alone or leave it and recite some other.” He said, “I will never leave it and if you want me to be your Imam on this condition then it is all right; otherwise I will leave you.” They knew that he was the best amongst them and they did not like someone else to lead them in Salah. When the Prophet (ﷺ) went to them as usual, they informed him about it. The Prophet (ﷺ) addressed him and said, “O so-and-so, what forbids you from doing what your companions ask you to do? Why do you read this Surah particularly in every Rak’ah?” He replied, “I love this Surah.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your love for this Surah will make you enter Paradise.” (Bukhari)

Not only does love of this Surah earn you Allah’s love, but it is also a means to enter paradise. In fact the Prophet said that paradise was compulsory upon one who recites it, from the bottom of his heart. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) heard a man reciting Qul huwa Allahu ahad, and said, “It is his right.’ They asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is his right?’ He said, ‘Paradise is his right.’ (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 7669)

Little do we reflect upon the significance of this Surah! Did you know that it is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’an! Our beloved Prophet told us so, he said, “‘Qul huwa Allahu Ahad’ is one-third of the Qur’an.” (Sunan an-Nisa’i)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also informed us, “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allahu ahad ten times, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 6472) To recite these four ayah barely takes thirty seconds, to recite it ten times, will take a few minutes at most, and it will be time well spent, with ample reward in the hereafter.

The virtues of this Surah are numerous, however innovations regarding this surah are also prevalent. Reciting Surah Ikhlaas five hundred times, or one hundred times is a practice that has no basis in the Sunnah and one should not adhere to these numbers. Similarly, reciting it in a certain Salah a specified number of times also has no proof. One must be careful to abstain from such innovations, and should follow the exact Sunnah without altering by adding or taking away from it.

May Allah make us amongst those who recite the Qur’an with understanding and apply it in our lives.

 

Anticipating the Imam

Muharramat

imam

Praying in jama’a or congregation is a blessing from the blessings of Allah, and a meritorious action. Those who attend the congregational prayers are rewarded up to twenty-seven times more than one offering the Salah alone. It strengthens the brotherhood and brings happiness to the one who engages in it.

There are etiquettes for salah in congregation, of which one must be aware.

The imam is the leader of the congregation, and those behind him are followers. Thus they should not precede him; they should await his ‘signal’ (i.e. saying the takbeer) before performing the next action. The Prophet has cautioned us, when he said, “does the person who raises his head before the imam, not fear that Allah may turn his head into the head of a donkey?” (Muslim, 1/320-321)

What other deterrent do we need? Who would like to walk around with his head resembling and in the form of a donkey’s? What an embarrassment and shame it would be! I adjure you to fear Allah!

Knowing that people are forgetful, the Prophet was not short in reminding. When he (peace be upon him) grew old, he announced, “O people I have gained weight, so do not anticipate me in performing ruku, and sujood.” (Al Bayhaqi, 2/93 and classed Hasan)

What an excellent teacher our Prophet was! He reminded the people, and took into account the change in circumstances. He further instructed us, “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’. If he prays standing then pray standing.” (Bukhari 378, Muslim 417, Abu Dawud 603)

The words ‘do not’ indicate a command, and it is imperative that we oblige. It is also concluded from the above hadith that it is prohibited to precede the imam. If a person does so knowingly, their prayer is invalid, and if they do so out of forgetfulness, their prayer is valid, but they should be cautious.

The best of generations was the sahabahs, and so we should learn from their example. Bara ibn Azib describes their prayer, “When he (peace be upon him) raised his head from ruku’ I would never see anyone bending his back in sujood until the Messenger had placed his forehead on the ground, then everyone would go down in sujood behind him.” (Muslim 474) So the next time you pray in congregation, wait for the imam before making the next movement.

To help us, the fuqaha (jurists) have described a way to control this issue. They said, that a person following the imam should only start his movements after the imam has finished pronouncing the ‘ra’ (r) of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and only then is a person permitted to move, not before or after. This will inshallah make it easy for us to follow the Sunnah in this matter.

May Allah aid us in perfecting our Salah.

 

Longer Qiyaam

Lessons from Scenes in Ramadaan: Longer Qiyaam

taraweeh_tips-529x270

“Huff!” someone sighed loudly over the imam’s recitation. The mosque was small, the prayer area was crowded, and the atmosphere was stuffy. The room was getting hot and people were becoming agitated and tired. The imam’s recitation was dwindling, it seemed even he was exhausted from the long fast. Sounds of yawning and shifting could be heard as people were already ‘bored’ of Taraweeh. We had barely just begun, only four rakaah’s in! The congregation was lousy, their lines were wonky and their shoulders drooped from fatigue. They barely concentrated on the words of Allah. They merely waited for the moment they had to respond.

“Ameeeeen!” they all chimed with the imaam, when he completed Surah Fatihah. This is one of the liveliest parts of Taraweeh, everyone eager to make their voices heard, to have their ‘Ameen’ coincide with the ‘Ameen’ of the angels. Yet as soon as it was over, people seemingly fell asleep again. They shifted on their feet, bumping those next to them. They subconsciously counted the minutes until the imaam would say “Allahu Akbar” indicating the next part of the salaah. Once in ruku’ they would hurriedly mumble the words, “Subhana Rabbi al Atheem” and impatiently wait for the imaam to say “Allahu Akbar.” So impatient are they, they often rise before the imaam! Then they would all rush into sujood, banging their knees on the ground with a loud ‘thump!’

Yes, this scene is exaggerated; but often this is the case. As much as we want to pray and gain Allah’s rewards there are etiquettes for praying; beginning with lining up straight. Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon) said, “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is a part of perfecting the prayer.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Moreover, we are standing before Allah, Lord of the worlds, should we not line up properly; the way the angels do?

Secondly, the issue of khushu’. We should not pray if we are tired, because our concentration or khushu’ will be nil. The Prophet said, “if anyone of you feels drowsy when praying, let him sleep, so that (when he gets up) he knows what he is reciting.” (Bukhari) So, if you are unable to keep still in Taraweeh, and you feel drowsy; take a nap, either before going to Taraweeh, or delay your taraweeh and pray qiyaam later in the night. When we pray, we are talking to Allah, and He listens and responds. With each verse of Surah Fatihah that we recite, Allah answers us. However, if we are repeating like parrots… well, there is no need to explain. We should stand before Him with humility and not be impatient. We should focus on our words and actions within the salaah, whether we are hot, cold, tired or hungry.

Thirdly, rising before the imaam. This is a big no-no. The imaam should have risen or bowed first, before we make a move. The Prophet said “do not bow until he bows, and do not prostrate until he prostrates. Does the one who raises his head before the imaam not fear that Allah may turn his head into the head of a donkey or turn his form like that of a donkey?” This is a severe warning from the Prophet and we should do our best, to follow the imaam and not lead him! To ensure we are not ahead of the imam, wait until he completes the phrase ‘Allahu-Akbar’ before following him.

Lastly, the du’aa in witr. That’s another part everyone waits for. Holding their hands up high, and begging Allah for forgiveness. When it comes to du’aa people often forget that they are tired, sweaty or uncomfortably positioned. This is from the blessings of Allah, and throughout our Taraweeh we should be such; unconcerned with the ache in our feet, or the sleep that makes our eyelids heavy, or the heat of the room. We should devote our full attention to our Taraweeh, and should not be distracted from it, especially during the last ten nights when we are searching for Layla tul Qadr. A night better than a thousand nights, during which we may be saved from the hell fire and have all our sins forgiven. May Allah make it easy for us, and may He allow us to witness Layla tul Qadr and benefit from it!

So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you stand for any Salah, follow the above tips to ensure you maximise the reward. For the reward is according to how you prayed.

“A man may finish (from his prayer) and all that is written (for him of reward), is one-tenth, one-ninth, one-eighth, one-seventh, one-sixth, one-fifth, one-fourth, one-third, or one-half of it.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)

Maximise the reward of your salaah by focusing and giving it its due rights. Pray as if it is your final prayer.

I leave you with a final hadith to ponder upon,

“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” (Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih)