THE SACRED MONTHS

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

‘Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.’

Qur’an 9:36

The ending of the above verse is a warning from Allah ﷻ to emphasize the sanctity of these months with the instruction of not engaging in sins during them. Engaging in sins in any month, at any time is wrong but Allah ﷻ made sins during these months severe. Likewise, righteous deeds have more reward so a person should choose which group they want to belong and strive towards attaining it.

Ibn Kathir رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ‎ writes in His Tafsir of Suratul Tawbah vs 36  that Qatadah رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ‎ explained the phrase ‘so do not wrong yourself during them’ He said: ‘Injustice (injustice in this context refers to committing a wrongdoing against yourself by sinning) during the Sacred Months is worse and graver than injustice in other months. Verily, injustice is always wrong, but Allah ﷻ makes things graver than others as He will.’ He added ‘Allah ﷻ has chosen some of His creation above others. He chose Messengers from angels and from men. He also chose His Speech above all speech, the Masajid above other areas of the earth, Ramadan and the Sacred Months above all months, Friday above the other days and Laylatul-Qadr (The night of Qadr) above all night. Therefore, sanctify what Allah ﷻ has sanctified, for doing so is the practice of people of understanding and comprehension.’

How can we sanctify these months? By doing what we are commanded and refraining from SINS.

The Prophet ﷺ  informs us of the 4 Sacred Months:  It was narrated from Abu Bakrah رضي الله عنه, from the Prophet ﷺ : “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah ﷻ created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, out of which four are sacred: three are in succession Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada (Ath-Thaniyah) and Sha‘baan.” Sahih Bukhari.

Allah choose these months to be sacred and we should maximise them by engaging in good deeds in them. It is from the mercy of Almighty Allah ﷻ that we have seasons to earn more rewards for acts of worship. So, capitalizing on these months should be our goals.

Moreover, there are historical reasons why the Arabs in the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance) considered these months to be sacred before it was confirmed by Allah ﷻ in the Qur’an. It was sacred to the Arabs due to the Hajj pilgrimage and they refrained from fighting in them. This was to allow pilgrims perform Hajj and Umrah with ease. Dhul-Qadah, the month before Hajj was made sacred because they avoided fighting during that month. Dhul-Hijjah because it is the month of Hajj during which Hajj rituals were performed. Muharram the month after Dhul-Hijjah was made sacred so that the pilgrims can return safely after engaging in Hajj. Rajab which is in the middle of the lunar year was made sacred so that those coming from the farthest area of Arabia are able to perform Umrah and visit The House (Kabah) and then return to their areas safely.  

Besides, when the Prophet ﷺ and the Muslims from the tribe of Banu Hashim and Banu Al-Muttalib were boycotted by the Quraysh in Makkah. They resorted to withdraw and live in Shib-e Abu Talib (the valley of Abu Talib) He ﷺ used to go to the Kabah and preach during the Sacred Months to the Pilgrims because violence was considered sacrilege during them. The Muslims were also allowed more freedom in their movements during them. This shows the reverence the Arabs had for this month in the pre-Islamic era. If the Arabs can give reverence to what is due before they became Muslims, we as Muslims should revere it further by refraining from sins and intensifying acts of worship during them. This should be our goal in these month and May Almighty Allahﷻ make us obedient slaves who obey His command and worship Him.

A very short video emphasising the superiority of engaging in righteous actions in the Sacred Months. 🙂

PS: we are still in a sacred month (Dhul-Hijjah) and another (Muharram) is coming in few days.

I hope you have learnt something new from this post about the Sacred months in Islam?  Is there any other information you know about the Sacred months? If you do I’d love to hear your thought in the comment section below.

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

‘And to Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call upon Him by them’ (Qur’an 7:180)

This post is based on a webinar I attended. It is supplemented by other readings.

What is DUA?

“Dua is a whispering conversation with Allah ﷻ, our Creator, Lord and Sustainer. We ask Him because only He can give. He has Power over everything, whilst we have none. His knowledge encompasses everything, whilst we know little. He is the Lord and we are His slaves.”

I AM NEAR, A guide to Du’a: Supplications from the Qur’an and Authentic Hadith by Ummah Welfare Trust Dhul Qa’dah 1440/July 2019.

Dua is also called the weapon of a believer. Thus, just like in this world a weapon is only as good as the person using it. So, a dua is as good as the person making it. We should learn how to make dua properly to be able to have a meaningful conversation with Allah. ﷻ 

Etiquette of making dua can be classified into 3 dimensions

1. HEART: certain feelings and sentiment should arise in our heart when we make dua.

2. SPACE AND TIME: you can make dua wherever you are but there are places and moments where dua will be accepted more and we should make the best of the propitious moment.

3. TONGUE: how do you supplicate to Allah ﷻ? How would you earn Allah’s pleasure through your supplication?

We’ll go through each dimension

1. HEARTWhat should you feel in your heart?

Conviction. A level of conviction that Allah ﷻ is listening. He is As Sameer (The All Hearing) Al Aleem (The All Knowing) So ask wholeheartedly. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Make dua to Allah whilst you are certain of a response, because Allah does not accept a dua from a heedless heart’ (Tirmidhi)

Sincerity- Ikhlas. Believing that Allah ﷻ is the only one who can help and you won’t turn your hand of need to anyone but Him.

Trust. Trust that Allah ﷻ will respond to your dua’s, the way you don’t rely on your own abilities. Do not be impatient. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said ‘The dua of everyone of you is accepted as long as he does not grow impatient and says : ‘I made dua but it was not accepted’” (Muslim)

2. SPACE and TIMEWhen should you make your dua?

In Solitude. Preferably be alone by yourself. This brings the element of sincerity as people are not seeing you. There is less chance of your actions being for show-off. A moment between you and your Rabb – Allah ﷻ.

During Blessed times. Such as the middle of the night. When traveling, between Adhan and Iqamah, between Asr and Magrib on Friday. When fasting (especially before your break) when completing a good deed, when it’s raining. etc. (Feel free to add to it in the comment section below so that others may benefit.)

TIMES WHEN DUA ARE ACCEPTED!

Face the Qiblah. Performing wudu and facing the Qiblah are not necessary but recommended and praiseworthy.

Raising your hands. Raising your hands to Allah ﷻ reflect that you are begging Him. (Rubbing the hands over the face is not included. Rubbing the hands over the face was done by the Prophet ﷺ when he is making supplication before sleeping (Bukhari (5017))

3.TONGUE How do you use your tongue to make your request?

Praise Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does.” (Bukhari). The Messenger of Allah once heard a person making du’a’ during prayer. He did not glorify Allah nor invoke salawat upon the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: He was too hasty. He called him and said: When one of you makes dua, he should start off with praising and glorifying His Lord , and should then invoke salawat on the Prophet. He should then make du’a’ for whatever he wishes.’ (Abu Dāwüd)

Send salawat upon the Prophet. ﷺ A narration from Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه,  goes thus: “Du’a is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet ﷺ Tirmidhi (486)

Seek forgiveness. Allah is Al-Ghafur (The Most Forgiving) and he loves to forgive. Ibn Rajab (Rahimullah) said: ‘People! Your hearts are essentially pure, but they have been stained with splashes of sins. So splash on them in turn the tears of your eyes and you will find your hearts purified!

Using Allah’s Names. To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them’ (Qur’an 7:180). The name should be in Arabic not the translation. Relevant Names can also be called upon for specific requests. Such as ‘Ya Tawwab (O Acceptor of repentance) accept my repentance’. Also, remove the ‘al’ when invoking Allah with His Names; so you would say Ya Razzaq not Ya Al-Razzaq’.

Making the request. When you ask, make your dua in Arabic if you can (not compulsory). You can request using the Qur’anic and hadith dua’s. When you are making your request do not over-do it on the details for you do not know if what you are asking for is good for you. Ask Allah ﷻ in general terms because He alone knows what is good for you. Express your dire need of Allah ﷻ with humility and desperation, express your weakness as we are weak and in need of Allah ﷻ for everything. Ask wholeheartedly and sincerely!

Repeat your request. Repeatedly asking is a means of showing Allah ﷻ your desperation for Him.

Be patient for dua are answered in 3 ways:  Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Prophet, ﷺ said, “There is no Muslim who calls upon Allah, without sin or cutting family ties, but that Allah will give him one of three answers: He will quickly fulfill his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case we will ask for more.” The Prophet said, “Allah has even more.” Musnad Ahmad 10749 So, do not be in a haste that you give up.

GUIDE FOR MAKING DUA!

Know that there is a difference between a dua that is accepted and a dua that is responded to. Every time we supplicate to Allah ﷻ it is accepted but it may not be responded to, explaining why we do not always get what we want. The blessed times are when duas are likely to be accepted and responded to!

Feel free to include anything you’ve learnt about Etiquette of making dua. You never know who it will help. Share this post with others you feel will benefit from it!

You might be interested in reading other related post

RAMADAN PREP

BARAKAH ACTIONS

A PROMISE FROM ALLAH

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

Till next time Fi ammanillah 

RAMADAN PREP 1442/2021

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Ramadan is an important month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of mandatory fasting “Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa.” (Quran, 2:183) Fasting in this month is one of the articles of Islam.

The Reward for Ramadan is unknown to human “(Allah ﷻ said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari)

You might be reading this and wondering why the topic Ramadan Prep as we are not nearing the month of Shaban. Answer –  It was narrated from some of the Sahabas (companions) that they used to make dua (supplicate) to Almighty Allah for six (6) month that they would live to witness Ramadan and they would pray for five (5) months afterwards that He ﷻ would accept it from them. (Source Islamqa)  This an act that we can revive together. No need to wait for Shaban to start preparing okay!  

Straight to the discussion, how can we prepare for Ramadan?

  • Make dua (supplicate) that Almighty Allah ﷻ accepts your last year’s Ramadan. Act of worship requires acceptance from Allah. Hence, the need to complete your act of worship with dua.
  • Make dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ keeps you alive to witness the next Ramadan. So many people have died between last year Ramadan and now – allowing us to witness limitation in the human ability. Supplicate that Almighty Allah ﷻ increase your lifespan with the intention to do good.
  • Pay off your Last year Ramadan if you are still owing.
  • Make an action plan. Review your last year Ramadan and things you planned to do after Ramadan.

PUTTING THINGS INTO PRACTICE (ACTION PLAN)

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
  • The aim is to turn good deeds into habit that you will be able to stick to and incorporate in your lifestyle.
  • To do this it is recommended that you get a journal/ notebook where you write things down. By writing things down, you are more likely to follow it as you can always review it.
  • Write down some actions you developed in Ramadan and why you want to incorporate them in your lifestyle. For example, if one of your actions was to pray Tahajjud (night prayer), identify whether you have committed to it and whether you have stuck to the habit post Ramadan.
  • Take active steps to materialize your action. Using the example of Tahajjud above, what will you do to ensure that you are able to wake up for Taajjud? It may be by sleeping earlier, making dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ makes it possible for you to wake up, make wudu before going to bed and have the intention to wake up for Tahajjud. To avoid overwhelming yourself you may want to start by waking up once a week and gradually increase your capability as you become more consistent.
  • You can pick one Barakah action and implement it in your life.

Some tasks you can complete in preparing for Ramadan.

  • Write down what else you can do to prepare for Ramadan.
  • After writing your to-do list then write actions to implement what you have written.
  • Set some goals around improving/adding to your daily prayers that can be accomplished by the end of Ramadan. Such as praying all your nawafil prayers after Salah, reciting Qur’an before or after Salah.
  • Try to supplicate often, Almighty Allah ﷻ loves to hear from us, especially in the last hours of the night. Narrated Abu Huraira (Radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Apostle ﷺ said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari]

We should aim to be better after every Ramadan in our lives, as it comes to purify us. Cleanse us. And make us conscious of our relationship with Allah ﷻ. We should use it as an opportunity to review our lives and measure whether we have improved in an aspect of the deen as we grow. Think realistically on how Ramadan is benefitting you, rather than how you are only acting in that month!

You might be interested in reading other related post

Barakah actions

 A PROMISE FROM ALLAH

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

Till next time Fi ammanillah 

BARAKAH ACTIONS

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Barakah means blessing. Barakah comes from Allah ﷻ. With blessings we are able to manage time efficiently, more productive and feel a sense of satisfaction in our life. With Barakah there is GROWTH AND INCREASE beyond expectation ((Khayr) more goodness with less). It also comes with a sense of CONTINUITY – the thing may not increase in a sense but the ability to continue engaging in it.

It may sound counterintuitive that you have to engage in some actions when you are possibly looking for time to do things. But this is blessing from Allah ﷻ, by implementing them you will find yourself having time to do things and with the right intention!

P:S It doesn’t matter what mundane actions you’re partaking in. As  long as you make sincere intentions doing it. You get rewarded and it becomes an act of Ibadah

Below is a compilation of actions we can engage in to attract barakah in our lives.

◼️Clarifying and renewing your intentions in all you do –  being intentional and sincere in your actions.

◼️Praying Salah on time – ‘…establish regular prayers. Indeed, performing prayers is a duty on the believers at the appointed times.’ (Qur’an 4:103)

◼️Reciting the Qur’an – ‘This is a blessed Book which We have revealed’ (Qur’an 6:92)

◼️Staying away from haram dealings

◼️Learning about the deen

◼️Adhering and following the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ

◼️Saying Bismillah before starting a task

◼️Supplicating – for yourself, loved ones, others, and the Ummah.

◼️Making wudu frequently. Being in a constant state of wudu. And try making wudu before you start a task.

◼️Spending on your family and for children being dutiful to their parents.

◼️Helping people in any way.

◼️Expressing gratitude to Almighty Allah ﷻ

◼️Giving charity.

◼️Upholding ties of kinship.

◼️Honesty in your dealings.

Know that when you begin to implement these actions you may not see the effect/reward immediately. It may take a while because your intentions will continuously be put to check. So be steadfast and be consistent. Pick one Barakah Action from the list and implement it in your Day. May Almighty Allah ﷻ fill our life with Barakah.

Feel free to include actions you engage in for Barakah. You never know who it will help. Share this post with others you feel will benefit from it!

You might be interested in reading other related post

 FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

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Till next time Fi ammanillah 

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

This is an overdue post. It has been sitting in my word document for a long time 🙈 I enjoyed writing it and I pray you benefit from it!♥️


Alhamdulillah for being a Muslim. I believe we have it easy with identifying our life’s purpose for Allah ﷻ tells us in the Qur’an. Allah ﷻ says: ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’  Qur’an 51:56 This is a verse we have heard countless times and it sums up the purpose of our creation. As Muslims we should be grateful for this direction because people search for meaning and purpose in life. They want to have a clear sense and purpose of their life. As Muslims we know the ‘WHY’ of our creation – to worship Allah! Research proves that people who have a sense of purpose are physically and mentally healthier and are more socially connected with their community. This is because to live a meaningful life we must understand the reason and purpose of living. Indeed, it is from the grace of Allah ﷻ that you are a Muslim 🙂

Allah ﷻ legislates worship upon us. We learn from the Seerah that when the Prophet ﷺ went on the Isra and Miraj, Allah ﷻ enjoined upon the Prophet ﷺ that we should pray 50 times a day. Following the instruction of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ the Prophet ﷺ returned to Allah ﷻ and it was reduced to 5 with the reward for praying 50 times a day. This exemplifies that we were created for worship. Imagine if we have to pray 50 times a day? We will not have time for the dunya. The question that then arises, how do we fulfil this purpose? What are the things we engage in to fulfil the purpose of our creation?

Most times we attribute Ibadah’s to fulfilling obligations or the so called “recognized” voluntary deeds and try to disassociate ourselves from engaging in worldly activities. The more a person is becoming more religious, the more they begin to feel disassociated from the dunya. They start getting resentful of worldly activities (which is a normal feeling) But, disassociating yourself from the dunya is quite impossible as the dunya is a place for us to fulfil this PURPOSE. It may be difficult and challenging for some people who believe that if the act they are engaging in is not “Worship” they will not engage in it.  However, we need to learn how to balance. Merge them together to fulfill our purpose because Islam is a complete way of life. It informs what we do in all spheres of our lives.

Many of you may be like me who at some point began to question whether they are fulfilling this purpose. I question myself for days, looked for answers until I learnt about finding purpose in everything. And that was it. It connected the dots for me because I learnt about how I should connect the things I do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. (I will explain this in detail soon). And with this I had a complete change of perception with my approach to life. Alhamdulillah. (keep on reading to learn how I connected an hobby to fulfilling life’s purpose😉)

“Worshipping does not mean only praying and fasting. Every action in the life of a true Muslim is considered an act of worship, and it is the right intention and sincerity that turn a mere physical or social ritual into an act of worship and obedience to the Almighty. Having this clear picture in mind ensures that our short-term goals are always compatible with the ultimate purpose of our creation.”

The True Secret Dr. AMIRA AYAD

To fulfill this purpose of worship. It is not by constantly praying 24/7, not by constantly fasting. In essence we can be doing anything (halal) and it would serve as a means to fulfill our purpose. I once heard how a pious predecessor use to regard sleeping as an Ibadah. He would sleep with the intention to wake up energized to perform Taajjud and pray. This goes with reframing your mindset and working on your intentions. With this new framework seek reward in whatever you do. Whether it is helping someone, speaking to a friend, being a listening ear, cooking, serving your parents, being kind to people, studying, in your career, taking care of your families, shopping for the house etc.

How can we find purpose in everything (to turn our life activities into Ibadah)? By finding meaning and purpose in things we do daily, things we love doing and, in the people, around us. In Sha Allah by this we will strive to live a more fulfilled life. Ask yourself what do you do frequently that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose? And through this learn how to connect the things you do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.

How can we learn to connect the dots?

We’ll do this through a popular hadith. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “A man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Yes, in every creature with a moist liver is a reward for charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This man connected his thirst to that of the dog, recognized it was Allah ﷻ that made it possible for him to quench his thirst and did the same for the dog.

Another great example is the hadith about Tawakkul. Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to him, he would provide for you just as he provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” (Tirmidhi) Someone made an interesting connection by feeding birds and when she is asked she says: ‘don’t you want Allah ﷻ to provide for you as He provides for the birds’. By making this connection she found purpose in feeding the birds and consequently found fulfilment in feeding the birds with the hope of gaining reward from Allah ﷻ.

It may be difficult to begin with finding purpose in all you do and making that connection. But practice it with something you enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy cooking and you are cooking for your family remember that the food you are cooking will make someone happy. And you will ease someone’s task. Just remember the Hadith on Allah ﷻ loves those who are beneficial to others and you will find pleasure and fulfilment in making the food. Attach whatever you do to seek the pleasure of your Rabb! By making this connection with the things you do in your life it will help you a great deal in finding purpose in all you do. It is by making that connection between what we do in the dunya and connecting them to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ that gives us a sense of meaning in our life.

And if you look around you, Almighty Allah ﷻ provides opportunities for you to fulfil this life purpose. I end with urging YOU to find purpose in everything YOU do.

I’d love to hear your thought on this post in the comment section and feel free to share how you make connection with ordinary things to gain the pleasure of Allah ﷻ

If you’ve enjoyed reading do share with friends and families. Till next time Fiammanillah 👋

A promise from Allah

A promise from Allah: giving up something for His sake!

The Prophet, ﷺ said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” (Ahmad)

This is a guaranteed promise 💫 from Allah! Give up something for the sake of Allah ﷻ sincerely and you will be recompense with something BETTER. “So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth.”  [Qur’an 30:60]

The reward may be immediate, and it may not. Know that there is nothing Allah ﷻ has commanded us to forsake except that they are harmful. 😔

Ask yourself today what forbidden act am I doing and make a sincere intention to leave it for the sake of Allah ﷻ. It may be your dressing, some habits and manners, your language, a job, changing your environment, cutting/ending a haram relationship, changing friends, implementing a fard (obligation). 

It might be a difficult process but you have to take action, and make sincere duas 🤲 to Allah ﷻ to make it easy for you to give up things for His sake – to please and attain His pleasure. (If possible seek help – “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” Qur’an 5:2)

I conclude with two famous supplications of the Prophet ﷺ: YAA MUQALLIBAL QULOOB THABBIT QALBEE ‘ALAA DEENIK. “Oh turner of the hearts keep our hearts firm on your religion” and YA MUSSARIFAL QULUB SARRIF QALBI ALA TA’ATIK “O Director of Hearts, direct my heart to your good deeds”. The first dua is to maintain your heart upon the right path and turning from sins. While the second is that Allah ﷻ direct your heart to good deeds – to what is pleasing to Him!

May Almighty Allah ﷻ make our hearts ♥️❤💚💜🧡💙 steadfast in adhering to the straight path. 🛣

Feel free to share any tip/action that has helped you to stay clear from forbidden actions in the comment section below.

If you’ve found this post beneficial kindly share with others. Don’t forget to subscribe by entering your email below and follow the Instagram page for frequent updates!

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Please take time to watch the short video before reading and when you’re done keep on reading. The video is just 30 seconds long.

Blind man reciting the Quran with brail.

Now that you’re done watching, keep on reading 😊

I came across this video and it was really touching. It made me reflect a lot in terms of the beauty of the Qur’an. The way Almighty Allah ﷻ has made it easy to learn. ‘And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?’ Qur’an 54:17 I know that people struggle, and I struggle as well with learning the Qur’an. It’s normal. But you know what, watching this video made me think: what excuse do I have not to learn the Qur’an?  An Hadith goes thus: “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.’ [At-Tirmidhi]. This Hadith urges us to learn the Qur’an, recite it and informs us of the great reward for reciting it.

Moreover, “[T]he best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” [Al-Bukhari]

Besides, there is the reward if you struggle to recite the Qur’an. To anyone struggling – don’t give up, for Allah ﷻ guarantees you a reward for your struggle.

Mother Aisha رضي الله عنهما reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. This Hadith highlights that anyone who cannot recite the Qur’an fluently and is committed to read it with great effort will be given double reward; one for the difficulty encountered in reciting it, and another for reading it. So, I urge you to keep trying, keep learning, for Allah ﷻ will reward your effort.

Photo by fatemah khaled on Pexels.com

I thought it would be nice to share this video and my reflections over it. Many of us always claim to have excuses and reasons why we do not have time, such as: “I am still in school”, “I am busy”, “preoccupied with X and Y”, an endless list goes on. But I tell You, that you have to find that time. The Qur’an is important. It’s a priority in our lives and we must take time out to learn it. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is delicious. A believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a date-fruit which has no fragrance but has a sweet taste. The hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is like a colocynth whose fragrance is so sweet, but its taste is bitter. The hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like basil which has no fragrance and its taste is bitter.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

If a blind person can learn the Qur’an through a brail, what more YOU, that you are able to see. Ask yourself what excuse do I have to say to Allah ﷻ?

Photo by Ahmet Polat on Pexels.com

I say to myself before anyone else. What is your excuse? What is hindering you from learning the Qur’an?

I hope the video and this post inspires and reminds someone out there to take time, know the importance of the Qur’an. If you’ve abandoned the Qur’an, go back to it. It’s not too late. (Some of the Sahabas (companions) learnt the Qur’an when they were old.) If you intend to learn the Qur’an, start! Don’t wait till there is a time when you are less busy, because you never will. Take that step. Take that move and get closer to your creator. Learn the Qur’an. May Almighty Allah ﷻ make it easy for us to learn the Qur’an; make us people of the Qur’an; and raise our ranks through the Qur’an on the day of judgement.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]. “The one who was devoted to the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.” [Dawud and Tirmidhi] The merit of committing the Qur’an to memory is mentioned in this Hadith. The word ‘ascend’ here means to rise in ranks in the Jannah. The more one remembers the Qur’an, the clearer and more distinct is his/her recitation of it, the higher would be the status that he/she will go on attaining through its blessings. Thus, this Hadith provides inducement for the remembrance of the Qur’an and tells us that its frequent recitation is a means to attain higher ranks in Jannah.

So, I urge us all to leave whatever excuses we have and set our priorities right. Find that time and be committed. I have heard the importance of learning the Qur’an after the Fajr salah. You can start with that. If you are going to pay someone to teach you, take it up and learn the Qur’an.

Here are some practical tips to apply to ease your Qur’an learning

  • Make dua ﷻ to Allah and keep your intentions pure. Be sincere in your memorization.
  • Have a teacher. This will put you on check. But remember most of the work will be done by you. Your teacher can only teach and aid your learning. You must find time to revise.
  • Be consistent with your pace of learning. Ensure you learn something every day. Be as regular as possible.
  • Have a routine and time you learn. Some people learn early in the morning, some in the afternoon and others at night. Have a place you learn and stick to a Mushaf.
  • Repeat, repeat and repeat what you are learning.
  • Listen a lot to your memorization. Pick one reciter you love and stick to that person.
  • Try to recite what you are learning in the Salah.
  • Have time to recite what you have learnt previously so that you do not forget. Revision is important.
  • Remember consistency is the key!

May Almighty Allah ﷻ make this journey to knowing Him easy for all of us and accept our deeds. May He make us people who love Him and do things to draw closer to Him. Amen! AS SALAM ALAIKUM WARAMATULLAH WABARAKATU.

Is there any tip you have applied to aid your Qur’an learning or one you have learnt? Please share in the comment section to make others benefit from it. If you have found this post beneficial please do share with others. Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

I leave you with this short clip on the effect of the Qur’an in the heart!

DUA OF AN OPPRESSED

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.  [Bukhari]

Prophet Muhammed ﷺ

My name is Bee and I will be narrating to you today about an incident that happened in my life. The event I am about to share happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. I decided to share this story because I feel it is important that people know how to use their tongue.  

I was in my sitting room watching the TV when my phone rang. A colleague from work called to inform me of a shocking news – the death of a co-worker. He died due to contracting coronavirus. I was a bit indifferent, unsure how to react. Immediately I supplicated to Allah ﷻ, expressing gratitude for my dua being answered. I am sure you are wondering what happened?  What dua did I supplicate to Allah for?

I remember vividly when the pandemic started and there was panicking at the workplace. I heard this colleague of mine who I will refer to as Sid, telling another colleague: ‘I pray that Bee (me) gets the virus and dies from it’. I am sure he did not know I heard him. Immediately I heard this, I was sad, scared, worries, distressed afraid of what I heard. I went straight to my musallah (prayer place at work) raised my hands to Allahﷻ and said I wish him the same, I wish him what he wishes me. I supplicated against him 😦

Sid has always given me a hard time at work, always complains of how I dress, what I do, about me having a prayer place at work, he complains when I am praying and he constantly makes my life unbearable in the workplace. My employers have tried to caution him to be respectful and tolerant, but he doesn’t listen.

Making dua was all I could do to pacify myself and remove my worries. I did not tell anyone else of what he did, not to my employers or family. I complained only to Allah ﷻ for comfort and that was it. It was few weeks later I received a call to hear that Sid died from coronavirus.

After I received the news I called the sister I was living with and narrated what happened to her. I asked her do you think I made the right dua? And she responded saying from what you told me he is an oppressor and you basically just wished him what he wished you.

PURPOSE OF SHARING THIS STORY: Oppression is something Allah ﷻ has forbidden and He disassociate Himself from. Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allahﷺ said: ‘Allah the Exalted said: O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and I have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another’ Sahih Muslim. As Muslims we should be cautions of our actions and avoid oppressing others. Allah ﷻ deals with oppressors at the right time and punishes them. Look at the story of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, and Firawn. The story of Abu Jahl persecuting the Muslims. Bilal رضي الله عنه  and Ummayah Ibn Khallaf… and the list goes on. Eventually Allah ﷻ punished the oppressor for transgressing. It may take time and to anyone being oppressed in any manner hold fast unto Allah ﷻ for YOU will one day be victorious. In Sha Allah you will look back and express gratitude to Allah ﷻ for lessons you learnt through the process.

After listening to Sister Bee’s story, I will like to expand on 3 points.

The importance of Tawakkul and complaining to Allah. For any worry, problem, issue You have, Turn to Allah! ﷻ Bee did not confront Sid nor report Sid to her employers, she did not tell anyone what she heard. Bee cried and turned unto Allah ﷻ and He ﷻ responded to her. She did only one thing – DUA. She made dua at her weak point. And the Prophet ﷺ guarantees that there is no barrier between the supplication of the oppressed and Allahﷻ (paraphrased) Sahih Bukhari so, whenever you are down, at your weakest point turn to Allah, cry to Him, talk to Allah ﷻ before anyone else because He is As-Sami (The All Hearing)  Al-Basir (The All Seeing) and have the conviction He will respond because He is Al Mujib (The Responsive).

Wishing good for others. What do you wish for others? What comes out of your tongue? We should be careful and conscious of how we use our tongue? The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘no Muslim servant supplicates for his brother behind his back but that the angel says: ‘And for you the same.’ (Muslim) This is an angel wishing you what you wish someone else. So, wish good for others and don’t use your tongue against yourself.

Avoid oppression. ‘Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression…’ Qur’an 16:90 . This is something Allah ﷻ disassociates Himself from and The Prophet ﷺ enjoins us to prevent oppression by ‘help[ing] your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.’ It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the oppressed, but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By seizing his hand.” In another narration, the Prophet said, By restraining him or preventing him from committing injustice, for that is how you support him. Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

POINT OF REFLECTION: when reading this story what came to your mind? We should look within ourselves and check whether we have in any way, shaped or form oppressed someone. It’s very easy to point fingers at others but look within and see if the problem comes from YOU. 

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading and have learnt from this story, if you found it insightful share with someone who will enjoy it as you do. Are there any lessons you learnt from this post please share in the comment section below.

TRUE LIFE STORIES

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

I hope you are excited as we are 🥳

Introducing a new category into the blog. It’s called TRUE LIFE STORIES. 💯

The aim of adopting this initiative is for us to be able to relate with others. Learn from what people have gone through – their challenges and how they reacted in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

It is hoped that this will provide an opportunity for us to look inward into our actions and be conscious of Allah ﷻ. We constantly learn from people and sharing life experiences on this blog is a medium through which we hope will encourage us to lead our lives to please Allah ﷻ.

All the stories shared on this platform are completely anonymized and cannot be attributed personally to anyone. If you would like to share your story or life event in a way to inspire others. Please get in touch. We would love to tell your story. ♥️

PS: In Sha Allah a story will be released this coming Friday. Make sure to subscribe by entering your email below 👇 to receive immediate notifications when a new post is uploaded. Don’t forget to share with friends and families too. 😌

Till then Fi Amanillah.

MUHARRAM: THE MONTH OF ALLAH

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Muharram linguistically means forbidden. It is the first month in the Islamic calendar signifying a new beginning. It is one of the Sacred months in Islam and we are instructed by Allah ﷻ not to engage in sins during them. (To read more about the Sacred months click here

This is the only month that is called the Month of Allah ﷻ. This is a high honor because Allah ﷻ associated Himself with this month and this speaks volume of its significance. As the Month of Allah ﷻ it is different from the other month in the Islamic calendar. This month has great virtue, making the beginning of the month special. It is recorded that the people of Quraish used to make tawba (repentance) during this month. They apologise to people for the wrongdoing they committed. They seek forgiveness from Allah ﷻ in this month.

 A virtuous act of worship to engage in this month is to fast for:

‘The best fast after the month of Ramadan is fasting in the month of Allah, al-Muharram.’ [Sahih Muslim]

Prophet Muhammed ﷺ

Therefore, there are more rewards for fasting in this month. Especially on the Day of Ashura. It is the best day to fast in Muharram because it is narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was keen to fast the Day of Ashura as much as he was keen to fast in Ramadan.

Ubaydallah رضي الله عنه reported: Ibn Abbas, رضي الله عنه, said: ‘I did not see the Prophet ﷺ as eager to fast a day and preferring it over others except for this Day of Ashura and this month of Ramadan’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet ﷺ informs us of the reward of fasting on this day:

‘It serves as an expiation of forgiveness from the previous year.’ [Sahih Muslim]

The recommended way to fast is to fast a day before or after and some scholars even say it’s better to fast the 9th, 10th and 11th consecutively.

Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘If I remain [alive] till the following year, I will most certainly fast the ninth alongside the tenth of al-Muharram’ [Muslim].

It is also reported that Ibn ’Abbas رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Fast the Day of Ashura and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it. [Ahmad]

Therefore, we should endeavor to strive for excellence by fasting more. Do not be limited to fasting only the Day of Ashura. Ibn Hajar al-ʿAsqalani says رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ‎ that fasting of Ashura is of 3 levels.

The first is to fast on the 10th of Ashura. The second is to fast on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th. And the highest is to fast on the 9th, 10th, and 11th. 

The least we can try to do is to fast on the 10th for it serves as an expiation of minor sins.

Why is the Day of Ashura important in Islam?

The Day of Ashura is special in Islam for so many reasons

  • It was the Day Allah ﷻ saved Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, and the Israelites from Firawn.

Allah says: ‘Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. And We advanced thereto the pursuers. And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.’ Qur’an 26: 63-68

The sea was parted miraculously for Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and the Israelites. After the Israelites passed the sea closed up and Firawn and his army got drowned.

  • Fasting on the Day of Ashura was previously mandated.

Besides, fasting on the Day of Ashura was previously compulsory, but with the introduction of Ramadan as an obligation. ‘O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting…’Qur’an 2:183 fasting on Ashura became voluntary. Mother Aisha رضي الله عنهما narrates ‘The people used to fast on ’Ashura before the fasting of Ramadan was made obligatory… When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramadan compulsory, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ’Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so’. (Bukhari)

  • Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ also fasted on the Day of Ashura to express gratitude to Allah. We know this from the Prophetic tradition which goes thus: ‘On the authority of Ibn ’Abbas رضي الله عنه  who said, “The Prophet ﷺ came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the Day of Ashura. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah ﷻ saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa عليه السلام fasted on this day’. He said, ‘We have more right to Musa عليه السلام than you’, so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day”’.[Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
  • This was also the day Prophet Nuh’s عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) ark landed on mount Judi (now Turkey).

  A narration reported by Imam Ahmad رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ‎ reads: it was on this day that the Ark of Nuh عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ came to rest on Mount Judi. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

And it was said, ‘O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].” And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judiyy. And it was said, “Away with the wrongdoing people.’ (Qur’an 11:44)

What goes wrong on Ashura Day?

Some people celebrate/mark the tragedy of the Death of Hussein رضي الله عنه   but this massacre of Karbala has no significance as the Day of Ashura was holy before the death of Hussein رضي الله عنه. It is not a day of mourning, rather we should worship Allah. There should be no wailing or any tearing of clothes as practiced in some places.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud  رضي الله عنه  reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘He is not one of us he who slaps his cheeks, tears open his clothes, and wails in the manner of the days of ignorance.’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

Take time to watch this short video. It contains information on the key dates to fast in the Month of Muharram 1442AH.

As a season of goodness we should engage in more Ibadah and refrain from bad deeds. May Almighty Allah make it easy for us to fast the Day of Ashura and allow us to reap its reward. Amen… Till next time Fi Amanillah!

SMALL JOY TAGS

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Alhamdulillah! Few days ago Thoughts and Reflections was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award (click to read). And we are pleased to announce it has been awarded for Small Joy Tag. 🥳🎉 This was nominated by Atul (again) from the The Justice Mirror. Thanks so much for this recognition. 🙏

Atul’s blog is so informative. He writes extensively across various matters relating to law, religion and politics. He is also an advocate of peace and writes on environmental issues. This has earned him ‘The Great Achiever Mahasiddhi blogger Award’ for promoting peace and saving the environment.

These awards are a means of recognition! WordPress regards these awards as:

‘a way to recognise and support blogs beyond following, commenting, or liking. When someone gives you an award, it’s their way of saying, “Your blog is so wonderful that everyone should read it!”

WordPress

What is Small Joy Tag.

There are so many things that bring us joy and makes us happy – writing is one of the medium through which joy and happiness are spread and I hope you get that from this blog.😉

Rules of this nomination.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • List 15 of your small joys.
  • Nominate five other blogger friends who bring you joy.

Thoughts and Reflections is run by a team. So, below is a compilation of Small joys of the team.  

15 Small Joys of the team

  1. Spending time with people who remind me of Allah ﷻ 🌺
  2. Achieving my goals. x2✊
  3. Recitation of the Qur’an with contemplation. 😌
  4. Able to help others in my capacity. 👋
  5. Food. 😋
  6. Taking pictures (Still-life, nature, landscape).📷
  7. Learning how to drive. 🚘
  8. Trying out a new recipe. 👩‍🍳
  9. Learning new things. 🆕️
  10. Improving my culinary skills. 👨‍🍳
  11. Watching and playing football. ⚽️
  12. Speaking to friends and families. 🥰
  13. Having time to write my journal.✍
  14. Designing. 🎨
  15. Reading 📚

Further nominations

Atul asked me to nominate 5 other bloggers for the Small Joy Tag. It is my pleasure to nominate other amazing bloggers. Kindly visit their blogs to know more about them and explore their contents.

  1. Khayra –  The Muslimah Musing. Learn about her life experiences from an Islamic perspective.
  2. Saba Niaz Siddique –  Saba Niaz Siddique. Filled with contents to make you learn and get rid of ignorance.
  3. Sara –  Sunflower Seeds. Spreading bits of positivity through writing.
  4. Muntazzir – Muntazzir. Read poems to broaden your horizon.
  5. Shivam Choudhary  Ashivamchoudharyblogger. Writes across various matters focusing on India audience.

The list is endless… there are so many things that brings us joy (some we don’t even acknowledge ☹). Do you share a Small Joy Tag with one of the team? 🤔 Comment below 👇to share things that give you joy.

Till next time. May Almighty Allah ﷻ keep joy 🤗 radiating in our lives. Amen…