Friday, March 27, 2009

Attaining Jannah in the Duniya

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi Al-'Aalameen. I testify that there is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah SWT. The true believer feels that he is rewarded in this world itself. SubhanAllah, this is the mercy of Allah SWT, that when we obey Allah Azza Wajal, He puts peace of mind and tranquility of soul and heart in us. He puts the sense of contentment in our hearts, a satisfaction that comes with truly believing that our purpose of this life is Hereafter, and working towards its betterment. The true believer knows that Allah will keep His Promise if he does his small part of obeying His Lord in this world. He believes that His Lord is The Most Merciful and The Most Just.

Allah SWT is The Most Gracious. He promises us Eternal Paradise for the one who believes and does righteous deeds. We have so little to do to attain the ever-lasting bounties of The Hereafter, and still we fail by allowing our chances to slip away! And SubhanAllah, if one lets his numerous chances slip away, he is losing the Jannah of this world too. And only the one who attains Jannah in this world will attain the Jannah of the Hereafter.

By attaining Jannah in this world, I mean, attaining peace of mind and tranquility in our hearts. Nowadays, we have a notion that if we are physically enjoying perfect health, have wealth and all the latest technologies and facilities that come with it, we will find our inner peace and will be able to be happy. But true happiness comes with being content with The Lord and what He Azza Wajal has provided us with. It is a sense of stability that carries us throughout the trials of life.

Our Prophet said: “Whoever makes this world his goal God will confuse his affairs and place poverty before his eyes and he will be able to attain nothing from this world except for what God has already written for him. Whoever sets the Hereafter as his goal, God gathers his affairs for him, gives him richness of (faith in) the heart and the world will come to him grudgingly and submissively.” (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan)

We can enjoy inner peace and thus enjoy happiness in this world and Paradise in the Hereafter if we can always reflect on the following:

- Surrender completely to the will of Allah SWT. Allah Azza Wajal has not commanded us to do anything that is not beneficial for ourselves and the whole mankind in this world and/or the Hereafter. We should have that trust in Him and thus, follow His Dheen (religion). For example, when someone is going for a job interview, and she removes her hijab (or he shaves his beard) fearing that she (he) won't get a job otherwise; shows the lack of trust in Allah SWT. He/she feels that following the dheen of Islam is going to be against him/her, and thus prefers to disobey Allah SWT.

Ibn Abbas Radhiyallahu anh narrated that one day he was riding behind Allah's Messenger and he said, "Young man, if you are mindful of Allah, He will be mindful of you, and if you are mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. When you ask for anything, ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help in Allah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only what Allah has recorded for you, and if they were to unite to do you some injury, they could injure you only with what Allah has recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi -Sahih).

Allah says:

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَاً بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ - إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلَـمُ

Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (also bear witness to this); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. (Surah Aal Imran: 18,19)

- Total Submission and Obedience, which is required after the surrender: There is no "but"s, it is incumbent on every believing man and woman. When we fully submit to the commands of Allah, and try to excel as much as we can, we will be pleased with ourselves, for we know that we are trying to please no one but The Lord Almighty whose approval is the most important thing to us. Allah SWT says:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً مُّبِيناً

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error. (Surah Al-Ahzaab: 36)

- Remembrance: The constant remembrance that it is Allah SWT who created us and sent each one of us to earth for a purpose. Each one of us is a representative of Allah (khalifah) on Earth. Each one of us should have one purpose in this life, and that is to attain Jannah in The Hereafter. And we should remember that inshAllah we will meet with Our Lord, and will be able to see Him.(Ya Allah, bless us to be among those who will be able to see You, Ar-Rahman!) And only those who surrender and submit with firm belief will be able to do so. Allah says in the Qur'an:

الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ طُوبَى لَهُمْ وَحُسْنُ مَـَابٍ

Those who believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. Those who believed, and work righteousness, happiness and comfort is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return. (Surah Ar-Ra'd: 28-29)

Everything a Muslim does will be with the remembrance of Allah, be it in his thoughts, speech or actions. This is like what Allah says:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

Say: "Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." (Surah Al-An'aam: 162-163)

- Patience and Accepting the will of Allah SWT: We always say that we believe in the six pillars of emaan, one of them being the belief in the good and evil, that it is all from Allah. And at times of distress, we start complaining and asking Our Lord, "Why me?!" This is because we forget that we believe in the Qadr of Allah SWT by becoming impatient. A strong and firm believer will always be content with the will of Allah, and understand that there is good (khair) in every trial and difficulty, and that there is no absolute evil. And that Allah knows what is best; and sometimes, what we, as humans, comprehend as bad and evil is in reality, good for us. Allah SWT says:

وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know. (Surah Al-Baqara: 216)

And Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الاٌّمَوَالِ وَالاٌّنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّـبِرِينَ - الَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُم
مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ - أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (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 Salawat (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. (Surah Al-Baqara: 155-157)

Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Whoever pretends to be patient (with a desire to be patient) God will give him patience. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

- Thawakkul upon Allah: The content believer does his part and then prays to Allah for the khair (good) to happen, and leaves all his affairs unto Him. He knows that Allah will facilitate the best for him. This is the meaning of the famous hadeeth of Rasoolullah: Tie your camel first and then, put your trust in Allah Azza Wajal. (At-Thirmidhi)

We should ponder upon ayahs like:

اللَّهُ خَـلِقُ كُـلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُل شَىْءٍ وَكِيلٌ

Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Trustee (Guardian and Disposer of all affairs) over all things. (Surah Az-Zumar: 62)

Let's pray to Allah with utmost humility that we become sincere Muslims putting our trust in Allah SWT alone, and find contentment within ourselves. May Allah give us tranquility of heart and soul, and purify them for us. May Allah give us happiness in both the worlds, aameen.

Good manners

Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:
"Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day either speak good or be silent. Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day honour his neighbour. Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day honour his guest."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

First Command in The Qur'an: Surah Al-Baqara: 21

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Oh mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa. (Surah Al-Baqara: 21)

SubhanAllah, this is the first command in the Qur'an, and it comes only after Allah SWT educates mankind about Himself, The Most High, in Surah Al-Fathiha, about His Book (The Noble Qur'an) that it is Guidance for the believer, and the characteristics of believers, disbelievers and the hypocrites. This shows that Allah SWT has given us the free will to choose, but has given us the guidance and the truth before He commands anything from us.

SubhanAllah, the command is all mankind, and not just the believers. The Qur'an is for all mankind to pay heed to.

Our purpose in this world is to worship Allah, alone with Ikhlaas (sincerity and total submission to Him). Through worship, we can acquire taqwa- fear of Allah, love and hope, sincerity, humility in front of the Lord Almighty.

And Allah knows best.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Knowledge about our future- Death and Grave

Alhamdulillah, unlike other religions, Islam gives a lot of insight into the subject of our future, The Eternal Hereafter. Allah SWT, in The Qur'an has given us a lot of descriptions in details and stages of what is going to happen in the future. And the traditions (ahadeeth) of our Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam add to this. This enables us to increase our belief in the Hereafter, with more certainty and vision- that it will happen for sure, and that we have a purpose in the life of this duniya, to work towards a great future and avoid sins and actions that will displease Our Lord. If we remember this in each breath we take, then InshAllah, with His Mercy and Blessings, we will be successful.

When someone dies, his personal yaum-al-qiyamah (Day of Judgement) has started. In fact, the recompense starts at the time of death itself. For the believer, who is waiting to meet his Lord Almighty, he is eager to leave this world; he leaves this world with high state of emaan we say, and as he dies, the angels welcome him and give him glad tidings, SubhanAllah.

Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: “…when the time of the death of a believer approaches, he receives the good news of God’s pleasure with him and His blessings upon him, and so at that time nothing is dearer to him than what lies ahead of him. He therefore loves meeting God, and God loves meeting him.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

For the one who disbelieved, and was disobedient to Allah SWT, he dreads meeting with his Lord, and knows it is not going to bring good to him. Prophet Sallallahu alihi wassalam warned us: “When the time of the death of a disbeliever approaches, he receives the evil news of God’s torment and His Requital, whereupon nothing is more hateful to him than what is before him. Therefore, he hates the meeting with God, and God too, hates the meeting with him.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

As death approaches the wicked disbeliever, he is made to feel something of the heat of the Hellfire. This taste of what is to come causes him to plead for a second chance on earth to do the good he knew he should have done. The evil soul leaves the body with great difficulty, drawn out by the angels as a thronged skewer is dragged through wet wool.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ - لَعَلِّى أَعْمَلُ صَـلِحاً فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَآئِلُهَا وَمِن وَرَآئِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

“Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: ‘O my Lord. Send me back to life (on earth) in order that I may do good deeds in the things that I neglected.’ By no means! It is only an utterance that he says. And before them is a barrier (preventing them from returning: the life of the grave) until the Day (of Resurrection) they are resurrected.” (Surah Al-Mu'minoon: 99-100)

Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّـلِمُونَ فِى غَمَرَاتِ الْمَوْتِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ بَاسِطُواْ أَيْدِيهِمْ أَخْرِجُواْ أَنفُسَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَكُنتُمْ عَنْ ءَايَـتِهِ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayah with disrespect!'' (Surah Al-An'am: 93)

Allah SWT says:

وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ يَتَوَفَّى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَـرَهُمْ وَذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ

And if you could not see when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieved… striking their faces and their backs and saying, "Taste the punishment of the Blazing Fire." (Surah Al-Anfaal: 50)

Recompense and questioning starts in the Barzakh (transition phase between this life and the Aakhirah) itself. One will go through what he/she deserves on account of his/ her deeds in this world. The questioning will be a cake walk for the true believer. It dies not matter whether one knows the answers to the questions that the Angels Munkar and Nakeer will ask, in this world. At that time, only the one who died with strong emaan, and the one who pleased Allah Azza Wajal will be able to answer the questions. There is no time factor in the Hereafter. Two people who are equal in their status of emaan and in deeds, but lived and died in different times, will experience in their Barzakh what they deserve equally. We ask Allah SWT to protect us from the 'Adhaab of the trials and horror in the Barzakh (grave), aameen. And we ask Allah to always keep us on the straight path, living by His commandments.

The true believer and the righteous, the one who will be accepted into Jannah, will have his grave roomy and spacious and filled with light. He is shown what would have been his abode in Hell - had he been a wicked sinner - before a portal is opened for him every morning and evening showing him his actual home in Paradise. He will have a blissful journey and the angels will be waiting to welcome him in the heavens. Allah SWT says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَـمُواْ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ أَلاَّ تَخَافُواْ وَلاَ تَحْزَنُواْ وَأَبْشِرُواْ بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِى كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ - نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَآؤُكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِى أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ - نُزُلاً مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ

Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' (Surah Al-Fussilat: 30-32)

However, for the doomed, his experience in the grave will be a torturous one. The floor of his grave is set alight with some of Hell’s fierce fire, and his grave is made narrow and constricted to the extent that his ribs become intertwined as his body is crushed. Then, an incredibly ugly being, wearing ugly garments and giving off a foul and offensive odor comes to the disbelieving soul and says: “Be grieved with what displeases you, for this is your day which you have been promised.” The disbeliever will ask: “Who are you, with your face so ugly and bringing evil?” The ugly one will reply: “I am your wicked deeds!” The disbeliever is then made to taste bitter remorse as he is shown what would have been his abode in Paradise - had he lived a righteous life - before a portal is opened for him every morning and evening showing him his actual home in Hell. Allah mentions in His Book how the wicked people of Pharaoh are, at this very moment, suffering from such an exposure to Hell from within their graves:

النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوّاً وَعَشِيّاً وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ

The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Admit Fir`awn's people into the severest torment!'' (Surah Al-Ghaafir: 46)

Zaid Ibn Thaabit Radhiyallahu anh narrates that when the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions were once passing some graves of polytheists, the Prophet’s horse bolted and almost unseated him. The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam then said:“These people are being tortured in their graves, and were it not that you would stop burying your dead, I would ask God to let you hear the punishment in the grave which I (and this horse) can hear.” (Sahih Muslim)

May Allah SWT always guide us on the Sirathul Musthaqueem, and grant us high positions in Jannathul Firdaws. May He save us from the torment of the grave and the Hell-fire, aameen.

And Allah knows best.

Shaytan is a betrayer, so let's not listen to him

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى فَلاَ تَلُومُونِى وَلُومُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ مَّآ أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَآ أَنتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِىَّ إِنِّى كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrongdoers.'' (Surah Ibraheem: 22)

- Shaytan will say thus, on the Day of Resurrection to the people that will be punished in Jahannum.
- He knows the truth and still denies it out of pride and arrogance.
- He is trying to lead us astray too and earn the wrath of Allah SWT. Since, he will burn in Hell, he wants to pull in as many companions as he can.
- Whenever we do not follow what the Qur'an and Sunah teaches us, remember that we are obeying Shaytan instead and we are falling into his (the most cursed) traps.
- Let's be more aware of the works of Iblees and his associates, and let's drive him away.

And Allah knows best.

Envy to attain good characters

Ibn Mas'ood Radhiya Allahu anhu said that RasulAllah salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "Let there be no envy except in two things; a man to whom Allah gave wealth and guided him to spend it in a righteous way and a man to whom Allah gave wisdom and he acts wisely and teaches it to others."
(Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

-Shows importance of spending your wealth in the way of Allah, and to please Him alone. We will be questioned about each and every penny. And this is the difference between the rich and the poor. The poor will not be questioned as much as the one who Allah had blessed with wealth. We should always remember that the wealth we have is a trust from Allah SWT, and that Allah has given it to us so that we give to others, and spend on good things. Possession of wealth is a big responsibility.
-Also shows the importance of seeking beneficial knowledge. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is that one can have knowledge and still not have wisdom if he does not act according to it. Da'wah (teaching others) is a very important branch of the duties of a Muslim.
- Envy is not a good quality to possess. But still, it is allowed to be envious for the above reasons, in a healthy manner, that will encourage us to excel in both these fields.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Finding alternative recreation for our children

Today, most of us live in a mixed community of all kinds of people. Our kids are exposed to the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, The Islamic and the Non-Islamic. Especially for Muslim parents living in the west, it has become a big challenge in raising children, and as parents, we are constantly worried about where to draw the limits. (Oh well, it is a challenge everywhere, because unfortunately, the western culture is spreading to the East too- so it cannot be called "Western" anymore- because certain kinds of people pride themselves in aping the West.)
We cannot always keep saying "NO" to our kids, as that won't satisfy their curious minds and hence, they will become rebellious. They need explanations, and if they are too young for that, then they need alternatives.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik Radhiyallahu anh said: "During the Jaahiliyyah, the people had two days each year when they would play. When the Prophet Sallallahualihiwassalam came to Madeenah he said, 'You had two days on which you would play, but Allah has given you something better than them: the day of al-Fitr and the day of al-Adha." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa'i- Classified as Sahih by Sheikh Albaani)
From this hadeeth, we see that the sunnah of Allah SWT and His Prophet was to give a suitable alternative for recreation rather than simply laying down a prohibition. We should apply this technique with our kids as much as we can. This will help us in raising happier children, who will be proud to be Muslims, inshAllahu tha'ala.
Some points I can think of:
- Television and the Internet, is perhaps the biggest fitnah today for ourselves and our kids. The eyes of the one who watches it, be it a kid or an adult, is glued to it, and he/she becomes completely oblivious to the surroundings.
There are certain safe kids' cartoons and other programmes that are slow paced, and educative. The fast paced cartoons are not good for the brain development of the kids, even according to the American Pediatrics Association. Apart from these, we can also give them better alternatives that will educate them in their dheen, in a fun way. Alhamdulillah, for this, we have videos of Prophets' stories and other stories that teach Islamic mannerisms and morals. Even this practice should not be one where the kids are passively involved. We should sit with them, and discuss the stories, and talk to them while they watch.
- Music attracts everybody, and therefore, it is a "shaytan" in itself. By music, I mean the music of the pop culture etc. (and I am not saying that it is haram or halal, but just giving a better alternative.) Let them listen and learn Nasheeds, and beautiful Adhkaar of Allah SWT and Rasoolullah. Sing Dhikr for them, in tunes they will enjoy.
- Involve them in the work you do at home. Get them to help you in ways that are interesting to them, every child is different, and so, there is no rule for this; we just have to find new ways with them, that will make work a play for them. Result: you get the help that is needed, they learn family values like sharing household chores, and most importantly, they are occupied.
- Take them to Aquariums, Zoos, gardens and other nature places where they can appreciate the creation of Allah SWT. Say "SubhanAllah" aloud. (Alhamdulillah, we have a better way of saying "wow"!) Let them love the animals and be fascinated by them rather than dinosaurs etc. Seriously, do not encourage them to have a fascination of dinosaurs that don't even exist, and probably never did, and is just a theory that is against Islamic teachings. (Remember its part of the evolution theory.) When taking them outdoors, these places are better than artificial man-made wonders like amusement parks etc.(not that I am against it, and inshAllah I will have to do so too as my kids get older.)
- Take them for hiking, picnics, camping etc. While camping, remind yourself and your kids that camping is what the less privileged kids do all their life. Camping can be fun once in a year or lifetime, but it sure is not fun, if it was an everyday thing. Let them be thankful for the homes they live in, alhamdulillah.
All these activities might not be something new, or something only Muslims do. But what I am trying to say to myself and all others is, "Islamicize" every moment in your life, remember Our Lord Azza Wajal in everything we do, and make it a habit for our kids too. Let them really love Allah and Islam. And then let's pray for the best, and that Allah guides us and our children always.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Surah An-Naml: 87-90 (Day the trumpet will be blown)

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَيَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِى الصُّورِ فَفَزِعَ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ مَن شَآءَ اللَّهُ وَكُلٌّ أَتَوْهُ دَخِرِينَ - وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِىَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِى أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ - مَن جَآءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهَا وَهُمْ مِّن فَزَعٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ ءَامِنُونَ - وَمَن جَآءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَكُبَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِى النَّارِ هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

87. And (remember) the Day on which the Trumpet (Sur) will be blown -- and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth, will be terrified except him whom Allah wills. And all shall come to Him, humbled.

88. And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds. The work of Allah, Who perfected all things, verily, He is well-acquainted with what you do.

89. Whoever brings a good deed, will have better than its worth; and they will be safe from the terror on that Day.

90. And whoever brings an evil deed, they will be cast down on their faces in the Fire. (And it will be said to them) "Are you being recompensed anything except what you used to do?''


Imam Muslim recorded Abdullah bin Amr, Radhiyallahu anh, said that a man came to him and said, "What is this Hadith that you are narrating, that the Hour will come upon such and such people'' He said, "Subhan Allah or `La Ilaha Illallah (or something similar), I had decided that I would not narrate anything to anyone now. I had only said that after a little while, you will see a major event which will destroy the House (Ka`bah), and such and such will happen.'' Then he said, "The Messenger of Allah said: The Dajjal will emerge in my Ummah, and will remain for forty -- I do not know whether he said forty days, or forty months, or forty years -- then Allah will send `Isa son of Maryam, who looks like `Urwah bin Mas`ud, and he will search for him and destroy him. Then mankind will remain for seven years during which there will not be any enmity between any two people. Then Allah will send a cool wind from the direction of Syria, and no one will be left on the face of the earth who has even a speck of goodness or faith in his heart, but it will take him. Even if he entered into the heart of a mountain, the wind would follow him and seize him.'' He said, "I heard it from the Messenger of Allah who said: Then the most evil of people will remain, and they will be as nimble as birds and will be more temperamental than wild beasts. They will not recognize anything good or denounce anything evil. The Shaytan will appear to them and will say, "Will you do as I tell you'' They will say, "What do you command us to do'' He will command them to worship idols but in spite of this their provision will be plentiful and they will lead comfortable lives. Then the Sur (Trumpet) will be blown, and no one will hear it but he will tilt his head to hear the sound. The first person to hear it will be a man who is setting up the tank for watering his camels. He will fall down, and all the other people will also fall down. Then Allah would send or He would cause to send rain which would be like dew and there would grow out of it the bodies of the people. Then the Trumpet will be blown again, and they will get up and look around. Then it will be said: "O mankind! Go to your Lord!'' And they will be stopped, for they are to be questioned. Then it will be said: "Bring forth the people who are to be sent to the Fire.'' It will be asked: "How many are they'' It will be said, "Out of every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.'' That will be the Day which will make the children grey-headed, and that would be the day about which it has been said:

يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ

"On the day when the shank would be uncovered" (Surah Al- Qalam: 42) meaning, the Day of Judgement and the horrors, earthquakes, trials, tests and great matters that will occur during it.

The woman who challenged tyranny

Yes, she is none other than Aasiyah Radhiyallahu anha- the wife of Firawn. Allah made her an example for the believing men and women until the Hour comes, and He praised her in His Book. She is a symbol for those who want to follow the ways of Allah in life, and thus, be guided. Allah SWT says:

وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً لّلَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ امْرَأَةَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبّ ابْنِ لِى عِندَكَ بَيْتاً فِى الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجّنِى مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجّنِى مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـلِمِينَ
And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir`awn, when she said: "My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir`awn and his work, and save me from the people who are wrongdoers. (Surah At-Tahreem: 11)

She was a woman of great wisdom, courage and patience. She freed herself from the control of the "kafir" (Firawn) and sought a home with The Lord, which is more beautiful and ever-lasting than the luxuries in the palace of Firawn. She had strong faith in Allah, and because of her sincerity to Her Lord, she was able to speak the word of faith and truth to her tyrant husband. She was tortured, but she bore it with great patience. Because she knew that what she wanted was a better home which should be earned by following the true religion, and not by unjust means like her husband.

Allah says:
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِى جَنَّـتٍ وَنَهَرٍ- فِى مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍ مُّقْتَدِرِ
Verily, those who have Taqwa, will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers. In a seat of truth, near the Muqtadir(The Magnificent) King. (Surah Al-Qamar: 54-55)

May Allah SWT give us more patience, courage and wisdom to face the trials in life and be successful in The Hereafter, aameen...

-With strong faith and sincerity to Allah SWT, one will be able to be brave and courageous no matter what the situation. There is no power or strength except with Allah.
-Your utmost devotion should always be to Allah SWT first, only then to your husband or anybody else.
- Constant remembrance of Allah and The Hereafter will help you overcome difficulties in this world. The hereafter is better than this world for the true believer.
- We have the best women on earth like Aasiya, Maryam Alihumassalam, and the Mothers of the believers (the wives of Our beloved prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam), Fathima (daughter of The Prophet) Radhiyallahu anhum, as our role models. We have no reason to look for role models elsewhere. And to learn more about them, we have The Qur'an and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah.

And Allah knows best.

Truth of the Message, Surah Al-Kahf:110

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدَا
Say: "I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.''

-This is the last ayah of Surah Al-Kahf, which talks about the stories of the people of cave, Dhul Qarnain etc.
-Prophet Muhammed sallallahu alihiwassalam is only a man, and he knew only what Allah SWT made known to him. He was an illiterate man, and Qur'an being revealed to him, is the wisdom of Allah SWT. Had he been among the educated people in the tribe of Quraysh, the eloquent words of The Lord would have been subjected to more doubt (whether it is the word of Muhammed or The Lord Almighty). So this is a proof that Qur'an is truly the words of Allah. And hence, Allah challenges to bring something similar like the Qur'an for those who doubt. And no one will be able to bring something so true and never-ending in the guidance.
- La ilaha illa Allah- There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. Nothing or no one has the right to be associated to Him.
- Let him work righteousness- if one hopes for the meeting with His Lord, and a good reward and recompense, then he should be righteous only to seek the pleasure of Allah, and no one else.
-Here righteousness means practising dheen in accordance with the prescribed laws of Allah Azza Wajal.
-Associate none as a partner to Allah: Purity of intention should be there in whatever we do, it should be only for the sake of earning the pleasure of Allah (not to show others or for humanitarian cause), and in accordance with the ways of the Messenger Sallallahu alihiwassalam. Imam Ahmad recorded that Mahmud bin Labid said that the Messenger of Allah said: "What I fear the most for you is the small Shirk." They said: "What is the small Shirk, O Messenger of Allah'' He said, "Showing off (Ar-Riya')". Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, when the people are rewarded or punished for their deeds, "Go to the one for whom you were showing off in the world and see if you will find any reward with him.''

And Allah knows best.

Disputation of The Qur'an

'Abdullah ibn 'Umar Radhiyallahu anh reported: I went to Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu alihiwassalam) in the morning and he heard the voice of two persons who were having an argument with each other about a verse. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) came to us (and) the (signs) of anger could be seen on his face. He said: Verily, the people before you were ruined because of their disputation in the Book.

- It is natural to have difference of opinion in everything. Even the best among people (the companions of the Prophet had). You can share and discuss your difference of opinions, but not get into arguments.
- Do not cause evil to make your point of view clear, even though you maybe be on the "right" side.
- In matters of religion, unless you are a scholar, it is better to refrain from giving conclusions regarding certain rulings, Instead we should try to seek advice or opinion of scholars, and turn to the Qur'an and Sunnah. We should always concentrate on seeking more knowledge that will benefit us in increasing our emaan, and not argue with the little knowledge we have.
- We should always remember that Allah knows best in all matters, and show humility.
- And to help us to stick to the above qualities, we should remember that the people of the book were ruined because of their nature of delving into such situations which will cause fitna.

And Allah knows best.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny?!

In the Name of Allah, The Most gracious, The Most Merciful.

فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

"Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both(jinns and the mankind) deny?!" (Surah Ar-Rahman)

This Ayah is repeated throughout Surah Ar-Rahman, and this shows the magnanimity of the verse, subhanAllah...Allah says this ayah after mentioning each of His Blessings and creations that only a super-natural, supreme power is capable of doing. How can one not believe in God when they see all these proofs around them? How can it all be a coincidence? Suppose there is a bucket of ink over a table and plain unwritten sheets of paper under the table. What are the possibilities that the bucket of ink spills over the papers and it forms the oxford Dictionary?! None!!! Then how can this universe and each one of the human race and animals etc. be a coincidence??

Allah is The Most Gracious,The Most Magnificent. SubhanaAllah....The world we see around ourselves, and that which we do not see, is a creation of Allah SWT, The Most High. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher of His Creations. Allah has created everything in the world as pairs. Only Allah is Unique and The One. He has created the heavens and the earth, the Sun and the Moon, Stars and all other celestial bodies. Allah created mankind and jinn, provided us with provisions (air, light, fruits, grains and water). He created mankind in pairs, the male and female so that they complement each other. He gave us death and life, and our return will be unto Him. He created Paradise and Hell-fire, as recompense for this world. He gave us descriptions of these, and gave us guidance as Qur'an and as everything that we see around us. Allah's creation alone is a miracle and guidance for those who think.

If we were to really contemplate on all this more often, we will not want to stop Glorifying Him Azza Wajal and showing Him gratitude in our actions and speech and thoughts by obeying Him at all times. Allah tells us clearly about the Hellfire and Paradise, and this is a Blessing , Mercy and Guidance.

And then how can we deny the Blessings of Allah, by not remembering Him enough?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to free oneself

On the authority of Abu Malik al-Harith bin 'Asim al-Ash'ari, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:
"Purification is half of iman (faith). Saying 'Al-Hamdulillah' (Praise be to Allah) fills the scales. Saying 'Subhanallah wa al-Hamdulillahi' (Exhalted be Allah and Praise be to Allah) fills the space between the heavens and the earth. Salah (prayer) is a light. Sadaqah (charity) is a proof. Sabr (patience) is a shining glory. The Qur'an is an argument either for you or against you. Everybody goes out in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves."

(Sahih Muslim)

SubhanAllah, one of the most beautiful ahadeeth I have heard in my life.

- Purification is through ablution(wudu) as it nullifies minor sins. When you are in wudu, you also feel guilty to disobey allah SWT. We should make it a practice inshAllah to be in wudu most of the time. It was the sunnah of Our prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam to go to sleep in a state of wudu.
- Importance of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah at all times). Alhamdulillah (Praise and Gratitude be to Allah) fills the scales, showing gratitude not only in our speech but also in our actions by showing obedience to Him SWT. The reward of saying "SubhanAllahu wabihamdihi" is magnanimous. Dhikr with speech will help increase our emaan, and help us become better Muslims, by keeping our minds focused on the remembrance of The Lord, and thereby, away from sinning and disobedience. Dhikr of Allah also includes the specific duahs we say during every act.
- Salah is the coolness of the eyes of the believer. He finds comfort, satisfaction and enlightenment of his heart through Salah, and Salah is a dialogue with Allah SWT.
-Sadaqah(charity) is a proof that reflects the emaan of the believer. People usually love wealth and money and if they challenge this love and overpower their greed for the sake of Allah, they indeed have strong emaan.
- Being patient is a very difficult and painful experience. It requires a lot of effort and struggle within. So when people control themselves and overcome impatience, they develop a good habit of self-control and become masters of their own selves. When we have a disagreement with someone, or someone says something against you, we feel very tempted to say things back, to prove our point, and we try to make our voice heard louder, as though that will prove a point. And it gives us a false kind of satisfaction and a sense of victory. But in reality, true victory is when we are able to control ourselves. Sabr is also the patience one shows in perseverance in doing acts of worship and righteous deeds and in abstaining from acts of disobedience to Allah SWT. Patience is also being patient with the Qadr(decree) of Allah SWT and not complaining about it.
-Quran is a proof for you if you recite it, reflect and act upon it. It is a proof against you if you ignore it completely, or recite it, and have the knowledge, but do not enact it.
- Every morning we sell ourselves either by freeing ourselves from the punishment or leading ourselves into punishment and hence destroying ourselves. If they work for Allah and obey Him they are winners, but if they violate the rules of Allah and disobey Him then they gain nothing but loss after loss.

(Explanation taken from Imam Nawawi Rahimahullah's commentary.)

And Allah knows best.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sura Isra': 37

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الاٌّرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً

"And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height."

- The quality of arrogance is so hateful to Allah SWT. We have no reason to be arrogant. Even if we compare ourselves to non-living creations of Allah Azza Wajal, like the mountains, we have no might and are so helpless.
- We should not walk in a boastful or pompous manner, with an air of pride.

And Allah knows best.

Characteristics of A true believer when he recites the Qur'an

To read the previous part, click here

Allah mentions about how the believer is when he recites the Qur'an:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord. (Surah Al-Anfaal: 2)

Allah SWT says:

قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا - وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً - وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا
Say: "Believe in it or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their chins (faces) in humble prostration.'' And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'' And they fall down on their chins (faces) weeping and it increases their humility. (Surah Isra': 107-109)

Allah uses the parable of mountains that are so prominent, strong and fixed to the ground firmly crumbling down due to humbleness when Qur'an is sent upon them. So just imagine how we as humans, who have been placed with hearts in our chests, should be when we hear verses from the Qur'an. Allah says:

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَـشِعاً مُّتَصَدِّعاً مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الاٌّمْثَـلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect. (Surah Al-Hashr: 21)

Allah SWT cautions us not to be like those before us, the disbelievers, who did not show humility and accept the guidance from The Holy Book. He says:

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلاَ يَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الاٌّمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَـسِقُونَ
Has not the time yet come for the believers that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah And that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture before, and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened And many of them were rebellious. (Surah Al-Hadeed: 16)

When we face difficulties and trials in our life, we turn to Allah, and recite the Qur'an for comfort to our hearts. And in doing so, we feel at peace, gratitude, love, patience, contentment etc. Just imagine if we were to turn to This Greatest Book at all times, and contemplate on it, and reflect it in our actions and thoughts. It would keep us away from the corruption and ruins of the heart, and it would continue to nourish and strengthen our soul, and give us a sense of complacence.

The words of the Qur'an are so powerful that when it was revealed to the Arabs who were living in ignorance (jahiliyyah), their hearts would soften. To the extent that, even the enemies of Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam, like Abu Jahal (who was too proud to accept Islam) would be in awe, and hence would prevent themselves and others from listening to it. We should remember that the Arabs were very poetic people, and yet, they felt they had never heard such eloquent words before. And we also know the story of Umar Al-Khattab Radhiyallahu anh who accepted Islam even though he had been a strong enemy of Rasoolullah and Islam in the beginning. And therefore, we should work more hard to be able to appreciate the qur'an more, inshallah. May SWT give us the thawfeeque to learn more and more and attain the fruit of it, which will lead us to jannah.


The Qur'an we recite will guard us in our grave, in the form of a handsome man. However, it can also act as a proof against us. (Oh Allah, save us from such a situation, and ease our trials in our grave for us, aameen.) Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalm said: Verily Allah raises up a people with His Book, and He abases others. It has also been affirmed that he said: And the Qur'an is either a proof for you or against you. (Both these ahadeeth have been related by Muslim)

Reciting the Qur'an without understanding is also a virtuous and has merits, but the merits increase when we try to understand it. Similarly, reciting the Noble Words with the best and correct intonation and pronunciation (tajweed) is also recommended highly, but over-burdening yourself to do that alone, without paying attention to the meaning itself is not encouraged. Similarly, it is a good act to start a function or program with the verses of the Qur'an. But when we use it to start a program, where matters that are against the teachings of the qur'an happen (like starting a function where singing, dancing, intermingling etc takes place), then we are doing injustice to the Qur'an. The words of The Lord are too great to be dishonoured like that.

And Allah knows best.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reciting the Qur'an and comtemplating on it

To read previous part, click here

This is one of the greatest branches of knowledge that can lead to increase, stability and strengthening of emaan. Allah SWT has revealed the Qur'an for the mankind as the source of guidance, light, mercy and glad tidings and as a remembrance for those who remember.

Allah Subhanahu Watha'ala says:

وَهَـذَا كِتَـبٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

And this is a blessed Book (the Qur'an) which We have sent down, so follow it and have Taqwa(fear Allah), so that you may receive mercy. (Surah Al-An'am: 155)

Allah says:

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَـؤُلآءِ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation from among themselves, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these. And We have revealed the Book (the Qur'an) to you as an explanation of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and good news for the Muslims. (Surah An-Nahl: 89)

Allah SWT says:

كِتَـبٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَـرَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُواْ ءَايَـتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُو الاٌّلْبَـبِ

(This is) a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember. (Surah Saad: 29)

Qur'an is a guidance for those who seek it with open hearts, for those who try to read and learn the qur'an with the intention of accepting the words of the Lord, Almighty with utter submission and humility. The guidance is from Allah, The Just, and so it is so Just and Right.
Qur'an is a mercy and blessing to mankind, because without its light, we would be lost in darkness and go astray.
Qur'an is a constant reminder of the Hereafter, so that we may not become blind in the following of our desires for this life.
It is a constant reminder of things that we as humans very often forget, like the importance of salah and sabr(patience).
Qur'an is a glad tiding for those who believe, it tells us about Paradise and its beautiful descriptions so that we be encouraged to strive towards the goal of our life.

The Most noble words of Our Lord softens the heart of those who has an opened heart, or gives a heedful ear, that shows acceptance. It increases, develops and strengthens the one who reads it, because he will come across within the discourse of the Qur'an, The King who possess all dominion, for whom alone is all praise. And Allah is all-aware of what is in the hearts and souls of men. He sees and hears, gives and withholds, rewards and punishes, and honours and abases. This is as Allah azza Wajal said:

إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. (Surah Qaaf: 37)

Allah Azza Wajal says:

إِنَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانَ يِهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا - وأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

Verily, this Qur'an guides to that which is most just and right and gives good news to those who believe, those who do righteous deeds, that they will have a great reward (Paradise). And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful torment (Hell). (Surah Isra': 9-10)

Allah placed within its words a cure for illnesses, especially the illnesses and diseases of misconceptions and desires of the heart.

The Qur'an teaches us through the most beautiful and perfect parables, and stories of nations who were destroyed due to their arrogance. It makes us realise the dire need that we are in, of Allah SWT, and how helpless we are, without His Mercy and Blessings. It is us that will profit if we worship Him and be righteous, and it is us who are at loss if we do not. Allah is The Unique, The Independent, The One everything and everyone else is dependent upon (As-Sammad).


How can then we be not attached to His (Subhanahu watha'ala)'s remembrance? How can our love for Him, our desire to meet Him (InshAllah, with His Mercy) and feeling close to Him not be our nourishment and strength without which we will not benefit from this life?

Allah says:

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ

Will they not then reflect upon the Qur'an, or are there locks upon their hearts. (Surah Muhammed: 24)

Allah says that he revealed the Qur'an only so that we ponder upon it. And He SWT explains the lack of guidance for the one who deviates from the straight path is his disregard for reflecting upon the Qur'an. He says:

قَدْ كَانَتْ ءَايَـتِى تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَكُنتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَـبِكُمْ تَنكِصُونَ

Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels. (Surah Al-Mu'minoon: 66)

May Allah SWT bless us with the true understanding of the Qur'an, that will benefit us in both the worlds. May He give us the thawfeeqe to live by the Qur'an and strengthen our emaan till our last breath, aameen...

To read the next part, click here

Modesty- Character of Islam

Yahya related to me from Malik from Salama ibn Safwan ibn Salama az-Zuraqi that Zayd ibn Talha ibn Rukana, who attributed it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Every deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty.'
(Imam Malik's Muwatta)

Three acts of worship advised by Our Beloved Prophet

Narrated By Abu Huraira Radhiyallahu anh: My friend (the Prophet Sallallahu ailiwassalam) advised me to do three things and I shall not leave them till I die, these are: To fast three days every month, to offer the Dhuha prayer, and to offer Witr before sleeping .
(Sahih Bukhari)

- The three days are the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month of the Hijri calender.
- Dhuha prayer is the prayer to be offered after sunrise and before midday.
- Witr means "one", it is the odd raka'h that is to be offered at night. We can either pray it as 1, 3, 5, 7, 11 etc.

And Allah knows best.

Surah Isra': 36 (do not speak of which you have no knowledge)

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً
"And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah)." (Surah Isra': 36)

-Ibn Abbas said: This means do not say anything of which you have no knowledge.
-Al-`Awfi said: "Do not accuse anyone of that of which you have no knowledge.''
-Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said: "It means bearing false witness.''
-Qatadah said: "Do not say, `I have seen', when you did not see anything, or `I have heard', when you did not hear anything, or `I know', when you do not know, for Allah will ask you about all of that.''
- In short, it means do not speak without knowledge, and on the basis of mere suspicions.
-A hadeeth from Sunan Abi Dawud: Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.
-Allah says: Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. (Surah Al-Hujaraat:12)

And Allah knows best.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Balancing matters of Duniya and Aakhirah- do we have time to work for the Hereafter

Allah has sent us to This world(the duniya) for a purpose, and the purpose is nothing but to worship Him Azza Wajal and do righteous deeds to seek His pleasure. And the religion He wants us to follow, is one of total submission and obedience - and a complete way of life. Allah SWT says:

الَّذِى خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَوةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Al-Mulk: 2)

And Allah says:

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Oh mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa. (Surah Al-Baqara: 21)

Islam should be inculcated into every action and deed in our everyday routine, be it at our work, in our business transactions, our family life (with our spouse and kids), our parents, our social life among our friends, community and everything that surrounds us and to matters of our heart. And inshAllah with this in our mind, all of us will be able to balance our time between the matters of Duniya and matters of the Hereafter. For a believer, all matters of the duniya are also matters of the Hereafter. He does not keep them separate. He indulges in matters of the duniya in such a way that will benefit him and not bring harm or evil to him in The Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

وَمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَآ إِلاَّ لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَلَلدَّارُ الاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
The life of this world is nothing but a play and amusement. The hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. So will you not use your intellect? (Surah al-An'am: 32)

A true believer will always, therefore, remember his final destination. He does not forget the Hereafter, even for a second. He will live in this life as though he is a traveller, and he has to earn and prepare for his eternal abode, a luxurious, successful life.

Ibn 'Umar Radhiyallahu anh narrated that Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveller on a path.” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

Imagine a man is travelling by road from a point 'A' to his destination 'B' and he has a prescribed time to reach 'B'. He has his GPS with him to guide him to the right place. He needs to have food on his way. What do you think? Should he stop at a point 'C', which is on the way to 'B', or should he take a completely different out-of-the-way direction and go to a restaurant at point 'D' that might be more fancier and more expensive? Should he compromise on his time at this point, and trade his time just to enjoy more fancy food? And then, he sees something else that he feels he has to check out, and he stops there also, all the while moving farther and farther away from his destination. (And hence, 'D' leads him to 'E' and 'F' and so on to greater mistakes and farther from point B) But the Mercy of Allah Azza Wajal is this, if by mistake, he does take to point 'C' or even 'D', he can re-calculate and re-route himself to 'B' again through his GPS. And similar is the believer's true repentance.

This is a parable of our life in this world. Our final destination is The Aakhirah, and we have time to accumulate ibadah(worship Allah SWT) and do good deeds only till we die. And we don't even have a known prescribed time for this, unlike the example above! It can be anytime, anywhere. If we are consistent in the remembrance of Allah, we will be prepared when Malak-ul-Mauth approaches, and it is time for us to leave. (May Allah Bless us to die in a high state of emaan, aameen) We should use our provisions that Allah has blessed us with, in a way that will please Him, all the while staying on the right path, without going farther from our road to our final abode, Jannah.

Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى يُخْرِجُ الْحَىَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَمُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَىِّ ذلِكُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ
Verily! It is Allah Who causes the seed grain and the fruit stone to split and sprout. He brings forth the living from the dead, and it is He Who brings forth the dead from the living. Such is Allah, then how are you deluded away from the truth. (Surah Al-An'am: 95)

The Qur'an is like The GPS and more, that keeps guiding us, and we should pay serious heed to it, with strong faith in the instructions and guidelines it provides endlessly. The Qur'an is perfect in all senses and flawless, and if we stick to it, we will never be led astray with The Mercy and Blessings of Allah Azza Wajal.

Allah says:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
That is the Book in which there is no doubt, guidance for the Muttaqin." (Surah Al-Baqara: 2)

If a matter of Duniya that will not benefit us, attracts us from a distance away from the straight path we are on, we should not think that maybe for once, we can move towards it, and then run back to the path we are supposed to be on, as we never know what is in store for us at that point. Maybe we could end up moving further away because of other worldly mirages, and ultimately leave us in darkness and lead to Hell-fire. Shaytan has a way of making our evil thoughts and actions look like "harmless fun" and nothing more.

Allah says:

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالاٌّخِرَةِ فَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ
Those are the people who trade the hereafter for the world. The punishment will not be lightened for them nor shall they be helped. (Surat al-Baqara: 86)

InshAllah, let's be cautious of ourselves so that we will not be included in this type of people, may Allah save us all. Allah says:

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَعِباً وَلَهْواً وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا
Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. (Surah Al-An'am: 70)

This does not mean that one cannot have fun in this world. Have fun, but within the boundaries of Islam. And keep it balanced. And now to the question: how do we balance it? I have heard people talking about the comparatively few people who try to live their life as much "Muslim" as they can: Come on, he is too orthodox. One is supposed to balance the Duniya and The Aakhirah.
Answer: For one, like mentioned above, a true believer tries to make his whole life an ibadah.And his life can be an ibadah only if he is obeying His Lord at all times. For example, at his work place, he follows the etiquettes and laws of Islam by being nice to his colleagues, trying to give Da'wah when he gets a chance (needn't be through speech, his actions speak too), abstaining from intermingling(talking unnecessarily, coming in contact like shaking hands, patting each other etc.), being sincere to his work not just for worldly gains but out of fear of Allah SWT and most of all, having a halal job. In his business transactions, he will be fair, stay away from interest and any other kind of dealings that are against the shariah of Islam. Even when he relaxes and has fun, he keeps thanking Allah SWT.

Secondly, let's weigh the time we spend to make our life here better and the time we spend to make our Aakhirah better, by keeping in mind that the Aakhirah is eternal and this world is for such a short span of life. Surely, we spend quite an amount of unavoidable time for the duniya. How can we then, be satisfied with ourselves for the amount of time we spent only to worship Allah SWT and the little or no time we spend in learning His dheen? (Indeed, He is The Most Merciful that inshAllah, we will enter Paradise, for the little we do here for our own Aakhirah's sake as gratitude for this life he has Blessed us with!)

Allah SWT says:

يأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْاْ يَوْماً لاَّ يَجْزِى وَالِدٌ عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلاَ مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئاً إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَلاَ تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ
Oh mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true, let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah. (Surah Luqman: 33)

Thirdly, let's always stop ourselves and think twice when we feel tempted to think/say, "We have no time", when it comes to doing a good deed or an act or worship. Allah has given each and everyone of us 24 hours a day and 7 days in a week. All men are equal. If the companions of The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam and the rightly guided scholars of the Islamic Era, (may Allah be pleased with them all) were able to run homes (sometimes more than one) with many kids, run businesses or do some work in order to earn their bread, govern the nation/state, do da'wah and teach Islam to their people, recite the Qur'an and contemplate on it on a daily basis, participate in battles, travel to seek knowledge of dheen, pray thahajjud and other extra prayers etc, why cannot we find time then?

"O Lord ! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and guard us from that doom of the Fire ".

Instill love of ibadah to The Creator in your child

All of us as parents, constantly think about the various ways in how to bring up our children to love Allah SWT and our ways of life. The Key is in being a good muslim ourselves. Children watch and observe, and grasp every action that we do. They love to, and try to imitate that we do, atleast most of the time. The way to upbringing your children in the Islamic way is, being steadfast ourselves, and adhering to Islamic teachings as much as we can. We should start preparing for this, even before our child is born, and not wait till they come of understandable age. But then again, its never too late. As soon as we realise the need to change, we should start implemeting it in our lives, and work hard towards it.

We do not have to worry about teaching our child the concept of One God, as every child is already born with that (the natural instinct of believing in One god, and the inclination to the truth and the ability to distinguish right and wrong), and as they grow older, they understand it better, and recognise the miracles of this world, and thus, will attribute it all to Allah Subhanahu Wa Tha'ala.

The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said, "No baby is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim)." (Sahih Bukhari)

What we need to worry about is, training them to love to do good deeds and establish acts of worship. And for this, try to involve them in what we do. Tell them, "its good to do so-and-so". Believe me, they will accept it, just as simple as that. And we do not have to wait for them to turn 3 or 4 years old for this. We can start as early as 1 year old or even younger.

Some of the things we can do are:

1. Play Qur'an recitation as often as you can, at home, or in the car. Just tell them: Isn't it so beautiful to listen to this recitation? Use simple words like Qur'an is good or nice.
2. While we do salah, just tell them casually: If you want, you can stand with me, to pray. Never enforce them when they are too young, and never command or ask them, as kids always have the tendency to do the opposite just so that they will be told again and again. They just love to repeat things and things repeated to them.
3. If they get hurt, ask them after a while, if the "boo-boo" (hurt, pain) is gone, and when they say yes, say "Alhamdulillah" loudly or even "Thank you, Allah".
4. Saying "Bismillah" before eating.
5. Say duahs loudly and make them repeat it if they seem interested. Again, do not command, just offer (do you want to say the duah?)
6. When they sneeze, let them say, "Alhamdulillah" (or Abdullah, or Ahmedulillah, lol!- let's not correct them too much when they don't say it right, ultimately, they will get frustrated and will quit saying at all)
7. When someone in the family is sick, teach them to pray to Allah. Teach them to pray for all family members and themselves before going to bed, (it can be anytime, but night time is best, as that's the only time they will be little calm, and less playful and excited about other things.) Make it a routine along with the duah that we say, before going to bed.
8. Teach them to appreciate nature, not just the names. (Instead of saying, "look, that is the moon!", say,"wow, look at how nice/beautiful the moon is!")
9. Take them to the masjid as often as we can. Take them for community programs etc. Sometimes, it can be a little testing for them, as they need to behave well in such places. So promise them a reward for it. When you reward them, do not over-do it. Reward them appropraitely, with something small.

May Allah always guide us and our kids through the Sirathul Musthaqueem. May Allah increase us in Sabr (patience) to bring our children up in the way that will please Him. We should always be consistent in our actions, only then our children will acquire it from us; may Allah help us in being consistent always in our dheen. May Allah make us and our children among the righteous. Aameen....

Sura Isra': 34-35

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُواْ بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤُولاً - وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُواْ بِالقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً

34. And come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about.
35. And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.

- If we become guardians of orphans, we have no right to consume their property for ourselves.
- "Do not consume it (the orphan's property) wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever (among guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labor)." [Surah An-Nissa': 6]
- We should always keep our promises that we have made, and covenants (contracts) that we have agreed upon. We will be accountable to Allah SWT on the Day of Reckoning.
- When dealing with weights and measures, be it food like grains, sugar etc, or gold, silver etc, we should always be fair, and not cheat in our dealings. Ibn `Abbas Radhiyallahu anh used to say: "Oh people, you are entrusted with two things for which the people who came before you were destroyed - these weights and measures.'' (Tafseer Ibn Katheer). This was about the people of Prophet Shu'aib alihissalam.
And Allah knows best.

Consistency when doing acts of worship

'A'isha Radhiyallahu anha is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alihiwassalam was asked about the act most pleasing to Allah. He replied: That which is done continuously, even if it is small.
(Sahih Muslim)

- When we start doing an act of worship, we should observe steadfastness and continuity.
- Allah SWT loves the acts that are done continuously even it they are small. For example, reciting a page from the Qur'an or reading 2 Ayahs from the Qur'an with tafseer and contemplating on it, on a daily basis.
- For example, if we keep the niyyah of fasting "nafl" fasts, on the 13th, 14th and 15th (or on Mondays, and/or Thursdays of every month, then we should try to keep up with it. This requires some struggle in the beginning, and then Allah will make it easier for us each time.
- One lesson I got from this is, the importance of steadfastness, because we never know when our death is. InshAllah may Allah bless us to die in the high state of emaan. And for this to be possible inshallah, we should keep doing good deeds and acts of worship. We should not think of stopping it for a while. What if we die at that time?!

May Allah SWT always keep us on Hidaya, and inshAllah lets all strive to be consistent with our actions.

And Allah knows best.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Qur'an is The Ultimate Truth (How Abu Lahab could have tried to prove otherwise)

When Allah SWT ordered His Messenger Sallallahu alihiwassalam to propagate Islam openly, he went out to the valley and ascended Mount Safa, and cried out to his people, "Oh people, come at once!" So the Quraysh gathered around him. Then he said, "If I told you all that the enemy was going to attack you in the morning, or in the evening, would you all believe me?" They replied, "Yes.'' Then he said, "Verily, I am a Warner (sent) to you all before the coming of a severe torment." (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, do not associate anyone unto Him, and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah.)

And then Abu lahab said, "Have you gathered us for this? May you perish!''

And thus, Allah revealed:
تَبَّتْ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ - مَآ أَغْنَى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ - سَيَصْلَى نَاراً ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ - وَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ - فِى جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ
"Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he! His wealth and his children will not benefit him! He will enter a Fire full of flames! And his wife too, who carries wood. In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad."

And this is what will happen inshAllah. During the time of the Battle of Badr, he could not take part in it against Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam, along with the Quraysh, the disbelievers of that time. Sickness had taken over him, and his sickness was such that not even his children went near him, and his body became so rotten with pus and other fluid, and so his children could not benefit him at all. And when he died, his body was thrown into his grave using a stick. May Allah save us from all these punishments, aameen.

When this surah was revealed, Abu Lahab could have proven it to be wrong by accepting Islam, just to prove Allah and His Messenger wrong, and not truthful. For had he done that, then this surah would have been proven false. But Abu Lahab did not do that, and that is the Qadr (decree) of Allah Azza Wajal. He was only blinded by his hatred for Allah's Messenger and the Message of truth he brought, and this was due to his arrogance to accept the truth which was against all what he had believed and done. He feared he would lose authority and fame and name if he chose to submit to the dheen that Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam had brought. And Allah chose not to give him hidaya (true guidance). True guidance is something that Allah wills, for He knows what is in the hearts of men. If one has an open heart to accept the truth with humility, then Allah blesses him with hidaya.

And Allah knows best.