Monday, June 19, 2023
The Virtues of the Month of Zil Hijjah
IMPORTANCE OF FIRST TEN DAYS OF ZIL-HIJJAH
The first ten days of Zul Hijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days."(Hadith -Bukhari)
Almighty Allah Ta'ala says, (By the dawn; by the ten nights) (Quran-Al-Fajr 89: 1-2). Ibn `Abbas, ibn az-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations are of the opinion that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413)
The Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship of "Lailatul-Qadr".(Hadith-Tirmizi)
Every Muslim should avail oneself of this wonderful opportunity by performing as much Ibadah (acts of worship) as he or she can during this period.
THE TAKBEERAAT OF TASHREEQ
The words of the Takbeeraat of Tashreeq are as follows:
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Transliteration: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar laa ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar. Allahu Akbar walillaahil hamd.
Translation: "Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest and all praises belong to Him Alone."
It was reported from Abu Qutaadah that the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of 'Arafah ( 9 Zil Hijjah). He said, "It atones for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year." (Hadith-Muslim)
QURBANI / UDHIYYA
Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (R.A.) reports that the Companions of Rasulullah (Sallalaho alihe wassallam) asked him:
" Oh Prohpet of Allah (pbuh), what is this sacrifice?" He said: "It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim(AS) ." They asked:"What (reward) is for us therein?" He replied: "There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal's body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair)." They asked: "For the wool, Ya Rasulullah?" He replied: "There is one reward for every strand of wool." (Hadith:Ahmed, Ibn Majah)
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Walking down the road, sporting the latest handbag , designer shoes and the trendiest figure hugging abayah….Wow is she turning heads around here! Is this our new cover girl? The Beloved Messenger of Allah( S.A.W ) said: There are two types of people who will be punished in hell and whom I've not seen:(the second type)Women will be dressed but appear to be naked, they will attract others to themselves, and they themselves will be attracted to others. Their heads will appear like the humps of the camels, they will not enter Paradise and they will not smell its fragrance which can be smelt from such and such a distance. Shaytaan's ambition is to mislead. When a muslimah makes a niyyah to wear the hijaab he jumps into action. Plot 1: He tries to stop her. If he fails… Plot 2:Misleads her in donning hijaab. She thinks she is covering,but chooses a figure hugging abayah or she lifts the jalabeeb instead of lowering…. So lets ask ourselves,are we really covered girls or do we want to be "cover girls?" There is a parable of a flower and a pearl both striking in their beauty, lets ponder and take a lesson, which one do we want to be? Suddenly, a tinge of distress appeared on the flower. "Nothing accounts for sorrow in your talk; so why are u depressed?" The pearl asked."Human beings deal with us carelessly; they slight us. They don't grow us for our sake but to get pleasure from our fragrance and beautiful appearance. They throw us on the street or in the garbage can after we are dispossessed of the most valuable properties; brilliance and fragrance" The flower sighed. And then the flower said to the pearl: "Speak to me about your life! How do you live? How do you feel it? You are buried in the bottom of the sea. " The pearl answered: "Although I have none of your distinctive colours and sweet scents, humans think I am precious. They do the impossible to procure me. They go on long journeys, dive deep in the seas searching for me. You might be astounded to know that the further I lay, the more beautiful and brilliant I become. That's what upraises my value in their thought. I live in a thick shell isolated in the dark seas. However, I'm happy and proud to be in a safe zone far from wanton and mischievous hands and still the humans consider me highly valuable" Do you know what the flower and the pearl symbolize? Think ..Think.. You will find that The flower is the woman who shows her charms and the pearl is the veiled woman who conceals her beauties. Ponder about it! "O Prophet(pbuh)! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.(Al Quran Al-Ahzab:59)
Saturday, May 13, 2023
The Smoke Signal
By Abu Muhammad Yusuf
The journey of life can be like a roller coaster. We often experience extreme conditions which create despondency and hopelessness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath." (Hadith-Tirmidhi)
We have to try hard to embrace the struggles of life and Trust in Allah. There's no development without pain. Life's difficulties are necessary for our own development, so when they come along, accept them, embrace them and never ever lose hope and always place complete Reliance and Trust in Allah. Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles; they toughen and make you strong.
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for Allah to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. He nevertheless remained hopeful of Allah's help and continued his praying every day.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.
The "worst" had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief. "Allah, how could this happen to me!" he cried. Early the next day, just before Fajr Salaah (early morning prayer) he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" the man asked the sailors on the ship. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
Allah says "...Bear with patience whatever befalls you...." (Qur'an 31:17) and "Be not sad, surely Allah is with us." (Qur'an 9:40)
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because Allah is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Allah Ta'ala says "Verily, with hardship there is relief" (Qur'an 94:6) and "And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him". ( Qur'an 65:3)
Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace and help of Allah!
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
The Day of Eid!
By Umm Muhammad Yusuf
The Month of Ramadaan is coming to an end and the transition from Ramadaan to Eid and thereafter should be a path the that brings us closer to our Creator and a path that treads the Sunnah i.e. The way of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) .
After a month of sacrifice, Allah Ta'ala takes it upon Himself to reward His faithful servants. Allah Ta'ala is the Most Generous and Most Benevolent. Indeed Allah Ta'ala's Generosity multiplies in Ramadaan. When Allah Ta'ala sees His servants carry out all their duties faithfully and strive to gain closeness to Him through fasting ,salaat (prayer) ,patience ,recitation of Quraan ,zikr ,dua ,and controlling of even permissible desires and needs like food, drink etc. then Allah Ta'ala bestows on His faithful servants a special prize on the night preceding the day of Eid…
THE PRIZE GIVING NIGHT:
Allah Ta'ala bestows the rewards on those who have spent the month in His obedience and all their Du'as (prayers) on such an occasion are indeed accepted. It has been the practice of The Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (pbuh)that he would not sleep during the night preceding Eid-ul –Fitr, this night has been named Laylatul Jaaiza (The Prize Giving night). The night when the faithful and obedient servants of Allah Ta'ala are given the true reward. To benefit from this opportunity, one should exert in prayer and ask Allah Ta'ala for all our needs.Our Beloved Rasulullah (Salallaho alaihe wassallam) said: "The person who stays awake on the nights preceding the two Eids occupying himself with ibâdah(worship), his heart will not die on the day when everyone's heart will perish." (his heart will not die during the time of evil and corruption). It could also mean that with the blowing of the trumpet his soul will not become unconscious. (Hadith –Ibn Majah)
The then comes the joyous day of…
Celebrated on the first day of Shawwaal, at the completion of Ramadhaan. Shawwaal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Eid-al-Fitr is a very joyous day for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the many blessings Allah Ta'ala has given to them to fulfil their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadhaan.
Indeed this joyous day can cannot pass by without remembering the poor and destitute…
Islam has prescribed a simple yet graceful way to observe this happy day. First of all well off Muslims start their day by giving charity Sadaqtul Fitr to the poor of their society, so that the less endowed can also enjoy their day along with others. Ibn Abbas(RA) said that the Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (pbuh) enjoined Sadaqatul Fitr so that those who fasted may be purified of idle deeds and shameful talk committed during Ramadaan and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before salaah( even days before) will have his obligation accepted, and whoever gives it after salaah it will be an ordinary charity.(Hadith -Abu Dawood)
This day of Eid should be spent in the way shown to us by The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)…
SUNNAH ACTS ON THE DAY OF EID:
· Wake up early.
· Take a Ghusl (bath) before Eid Salaah
· Brush your teeth (use Miswaak)
· Dress up, putting on best clothes available.
· Use itr (perfume)
· Eat something sweet before proceeding to the Eid Musallah e.g. Dates etc.
· Pay Sadaqatul Fit r before Salaatul-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr).
· Go to Eid Musallah (Eid Gah/prayer ground) early.
· Offer Salaah-al-Eid in congregation in an Eid Musallah except when weather is not permitting like rain, snow, etc.
· Use different roads en route to the Eid Musallah and back home.
· Recite the following Takbir on the way to Eid Musallah :
Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar. La ila-ha illallahu Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar. Wa-lillahil hamd. (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. There is no god but Allah. Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest. And all praises are for Allah)
THE EID PRAYER-And then comes along the morning of Eid, Allah Ta'ala sends down the angels to all the lands in the earth, where they take their positions at access points of roads calling out with a voice that is heard by all accept man and jinn. Allah Ta'ala then says: I call you to witness, Oh my Angels that for their having fasted during the month of Ramadaan ,and for their having stood before me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as reward My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness.-Allah Ta'ala will then say…,Oh my servants ask now of Me, for I swear by My honour and My Greatness, that whatsoever you shall beg of me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of the Hereafter ,I shall grant you, and what so ever you shall ask for your worldly needs shall look at you favourably. (Hadith-Targheeb)
Jubayr ibn Nufayr (RA) said: 'When the companions of Allah Ta'ala's Messenger (peace be upon him) met on the day of `Eid, they would say to each other, 'TaqaballAllahu Ta'ala minna wa minkum (may Allah Ta'ala accept from you and us )." (Fathul Bari ).
TIPS ON HOW TO SPEND THE DAY OF EID:
· Keep in mind the pleasure of Allah and uphold Shari'ah at ALL times.
· Adorn yourself and your family modestly in the best of garments (not necessarily new).
· Avoid over eating and other festivities that have no benefit.
· Visit the poor, needy, orphans, elderly and sick.
· Should Eid be made at "my mum or your mum or wherever?" This requires Shura/Mashurah (mutual consultation). Shurah is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Sallalaho alaihe wassallam).Try to compromise and accommodate each other.
· Maintain and strengthen family bonds- Rasulullah (Salallaho alaihe wassallam) is reported to have said, "Anyone who wishes to have his means of livelihood enlarged and a prol onged life, should treat his relatives with kindness."(Hadith)
· Don't forget the suffering, oppressed, poor and needy Muslims in all parts of the world in your du'as and charity.
· Be punctual with our acts of worship and on this joyous day.
BE CAUTIOUS!- Avoid excessive indulgence of any kind and stay away from places where the laws of Islam are violated. It is a joyous occasion indeed and let it be spent in ways that are pleasing to our Creator. Use the day profitably to earn the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala and continue to do so everyday!
"A Muslim is a Muslim for life and not just during Ramadaan!"
WHAT NOW AFTER RAMADAAN…We leave the month Ramadaan, its beautiful days and nights, we leave the Month of Mercy wherein we excelled in recitation of the Quraan , Taqwa and Ibadat, sympathy ,forgiveness...we need to ask ourselves: Ramadaaan is over and what have we gained?
Ramadaan was a 30 day course on self-restraint and piety , have we graduated from the course having learnt to fight our desires and defeat them..? Have we recharged our spiritual batteries and gained Taqwa (Allah consciousness)? If we have …then ALHAMDULILLAH (Praise be to Allah)…now let us continue to obey Allah Ta'ala and ask Allah Ta'ala to keep us steadfast. Ramadaan is over and Shawwal has come, let us save the changes that we all made in our lives during the month of Ramadaan. Let Ramadaan not be a final destination but a stepping stone to greater good from now on. We need to make a firm resolution to continue with the momentum and lead a life of piety and free of sins. We now face another eleven months after this training. Let it be that we come out stronger and better servants of Allah Ta'ala…AMEEN!
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
The Dirty Laundry…
In life we often tend to be judgmental and very often look down upon others without exploring deeper as to why the person is behaving in such a way. The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said "It is enough of evil for a person to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All of a Muslim is sacred to another Muslim: his blood, his wealth and his honour." (Hadith- Muslim)
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbour hanging the laundry outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap. "Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbour would hang her washing to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean laundry on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."
"The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows"
Lesson: If our windows are dirty so will we see others as dirty too. What we see in others is indeed a reflection of our inner-selves! So it is with life that what we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. It is easy for us to discuss other people, their lives & things that really doesn't even concern us and we tend to forget - our windows may not be that clean after all! If we good we will see good…
The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
"A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim"(Hadith_Abu Dawud)
If the finger feels the pain…
By Abu Muhammad Yusuf
Globally the Muslim Ummah is in crisis. From Australia in the south to Canada in the north, from China in east to USA in the west we find Islamophobia raising its venomous head. "War on Terror", persecution, oppression, discrimination, etc against innocent and peace loving Muslims has become the order of the day. The raining of missiles on families in Palestine-Gaza , the merciless killing of innocent civilians in Syria and Egypt, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, torture and rape in Afghanistan and Iraq, war in Somalia, Chechnya etc. The list is extensive.
As Muslims we should not turn a blind eye and be apathetic to the sufferings of millions of our fellow brothers and sisters globally. We should not only feel the pain in our hearts, but should constructively engage ourselves in physically assisting the Ummah with whatever means we have at our disposal.
Allah Ta'ala says in the Noble Qur'aan: " Indeed, Muslims are brothers."(Qur'an: Al Hujurat:10)
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has emphatically stated that "No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself".(Hadith-Bukhari & Muslims)
We are ONE UMMAH, if the finger feels a pain the whole body feels the pain. It is our duty to share the pain, responsibilities, burdens and needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a body; if one of the organs is afflicted, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever."(Hadith-Muslim)
Our ancestors in Islam, the esteemed Companions of Muhammad Salallaho alaihe wassallam demonstrated practically what was meant by true love for our brothers(sisters) in Islam. Hadhrat Abu-Jahm-bin-Huzaifah (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates:"During the battle of Yarmuk, I went out in search of my cousin, who was in the forefront of the fight. I also took some water with me for him. I found him in the very thick of battle in the last throes of death. I advanced to help him with the little water I had. But, soon, another sorely wounded soldier beside him gave a groan, and my cousin averted his face, and beckoned me to take the water to that person first. I went to this other person with the water. He turned out to be Hishaam bin Abil Aas (Radhiyallaho anho). But I had hardly reached him, when there was heard the groan of yet another person lying not very far off. Hisham (Radhiyallaho anho) too motioned me in his direction. Alas, before I could approach him, he had breathed his last. I made all haste back to Hishaam and found him dead as well. Thereupon, I hurried as fast as I could to my cousin, and, lo! in the meantime he had also joined the other two."
Many an incident of such self-denial and heroic sacrifice is recorded in the books of Hadith. This is the last word in self-sacrifice, that each dying person should forego slaking his own thirst in favour of his other needy brother. May Allah bless their souls with His choicest favours for their sacrifice for others even at the time of death, when a person has seldom the sense to make a choice.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THE UMMAH?
Every little bit of help counts! No single piece of assistance no matter how minute or what form it may take is insignificant. There was a King who had a festival. He asked everyone to bring a jug of milk that evening and pour it into a huge container so everyone, even the poor, could enjoy it the next day. A certain man thought that if he poured a jug of water instead of milk into the container it won't be noticed in the dark and he really thought that it won't make a significant difference. So he poured a jug of water. When he came the next day he surprisingly witnessed that the huge container was almost full of water. It was quite clear that in his community everyone thought the same.
All we need as an Ummah is to play our "small" part. If we each do our "little" then combined it will Insha Allah be a lot! The "little" we do will Insha Allah go a long way. Here are some practical ways we can show our genuine love for the Allah Ta'ala, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and our fellow Muslims who are suffering.
1. DU'AA(SUPPLICATION): Indeed no condition or situation can ever improve without the Help of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that; "Dua is a weapon of a believer." (Hadith-Al Hakim). Du'aa should be made individually and collectively. Do it at home with the family and also in the Masjid. Children should be encouraged to also join in. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) encouraged the Ummah to read Qunoot-e-Naazilah supplication (dua) at the time of distress and calamity. (Hadith- Abu Dawood). Imaams of Masjids should also read the Qunoot-e-Naazilah in the congregational prayers of Fajr and to ask the Almighty's Guidance and intervention to save and protect the Ummah. Also keep fast and perform optional prayer.
2. CONTRIBUTE: We should generously contribute in whatever way possible. The Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (peace be upon) said that: "Charity (Sadaqah) does not decrease the wealth" (Hadith-Muslim) and he (pbuh) also said that daily two angels offer Du'aa, "O Allah, compensate those who spend, and bring ruin to those who withhold". (Hadith- Bukhari). Encourage our children to contribute from their own savings even if it just a few cents. In this way the worry and concern for the Ummah will be inculcated in them. Search for credible Islamic relief organisations operating in areas where our funds are most needed. Be wary of bogus collectors. Be pro-active in raising funds. The Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (peace be upon) is reported to have said: "Indeed, Allah blesses certain people with special bounties for the benefit of other people. As long as they benefit others, Allah continues His bounties upon them but when they stop benefitting others, Allah takes these bounties back from them and transfers to others." (Hadith-Tabarani)
3. JOIN: We need to be as much as possible physically involved. The best is to be at your Muslim brother's or sister's side when they really need you the most. Distance, race, colour, social status etc should never be a barrier in assisting the Ummah. Join and engage ourselves in those activities that will support and bring genuine relief to the distressed Ummah. Be cautious that our activities are always in compliance with the Laws of Allah Ta'ala.
4. EDUCATE: Be pro-active and educate yourself. Be knowledgeable on the subject. Our families and communities should be educated about the plight of the Ummah. Masjids, media, schools etc should be used to for this purpose. Keep a vigilant eye on the news outlets; magazines etc. and respond timeously to their bias comments and views. Forward pertinent and relevant articles you come across to the International and local media outlets.Using the world atlas or internet, show our children where the affected part of the Ummah is. Do not support those that directly or indirectly assist the oppression and persecution of the Muslim Ummah.
5. HOPE: Always be hopeful and never be despondent. Allah Ta'ala will help even though it may be after some time. Often the media tries to create hopelessness and many Muslims are left in despair. It may seem that the death of millions of innocents is now inevitable, but we must continue to strive our utmost to defend them and to spread the truth about these immoral actions perpetrated against innocent Muslims. Above all, we must remember that Allah Most High has control over all things and can provide Help in ways we could never imagine. Not even the 'greatest' superpower can overpower Him! No falsehood is to remain forever. No oppression is to remain forever. After hardship comes ease. Insha Allah the difficulty of the Muslim nation will come to end and tomorrow will be definitely better than today. We should have HOPE in the ALL encompassing MERCY and HELP of Allah Most High under all circumstances, whether it be in victory, defeat, happiness or sadness.
The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) has said that whosoever helps a Muslim at the time of loss of honour and humility; will receive Help from Allah when he is in need of help.(Hadith-Abu Dawood)
Most importantly remember the Muslim Ummah is ONE! Let us not forget that behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining…