Saturday, June 30, 2012

15th Night of Sha'baan (Lailatul Bara'at)

What a night!

By Abdur Rahmaan Umar

"So, sheikh," asked Ahmed fidgeting with his topee(hat), "Why did Allah put this night of Shabe Bara'at(Lailatul Bara'at) right here so near to Ramadaan. I mean in two weeks time we have the greatest month with all the forgiveness and good things.... so why would Allah want to put this night of forgiveness so close?"'

Without waiting for a response he continued, "In Ramadaan we have the special night of Qadr. So there is really no need for this night, is there? Maybe it should have been in another part of the year?"

Sheikh Hamaad quietly shifted in his seat, his tasbeeh moving in synch with his mouth, saying nothing he continued paying careful attention to Ahmed's words.

"So what's the meaning of this?" said Ahmed his face distorting with confusion.

Sheikh Hamaad wordlessly gathered his thoughts. Such questions he knew were always better explained by way of example. He continued stroking his beard and a few white hairs fell onto his kurtha(thobe). He meticulously picked up each one of them then began:

"Hmmm, have you ever helped your mother with the washing?" he enquired still searching for any stray hair that may have gone unnoticed.

"You know I don't do that sort of stuff," Ahmed shot back without a pause, his head jerking back in surprise.

"Perhaps you should help your mother," advised Sheikh, "but I'm sure you've watched her do the washing."

"Yea, sometimes," replied Ahmed shifting his topee(hat) over his face, "I try to help....sometimes, but..."

Sheikh Hamaad didn't wait for his full defence but continued, "Have you noticed how she takes out some garments with really bad stains on them? And then she gives them a bit of a pre-wash, usually spraying one of those many new cleaners on the stain for good measure."

Ahmed's eyebrow lifted as he remembered, "Yea, I've seen her do that a couple of times. Usually its Little Joe's.... errr...Yusuf's clothes with all the food stains." He shot a quick glance at his own T-shirt - quick check for any stains.

"Well, in the same way ..., " explained Sheikh Hamaad his Tasbeeh resting quietly on his lap, "Ramadaan is a great month and it's meant to purify and elevate us all. But some of us, actually all of us, need a bit of a pre-wash. So Allah Ta'ala, in His mercy has granted this night. So we can be cleansed of our sins before Ramadaan."

"Then what will Ramadaan do for us," question Ahmed, "Isn't Ramadaan supposed to be for that?"

"For some, but what Allah really wants is to elevate our stages in Ramadaan, so He grants us these opportunities to cleanse ourselves of all sins and to use Ramadaan to pour His mercies upon us. And for us to be drawn closer to Him."

"Wow!" exclaimed Ahmed, "Allah is really very merciful. But what about those few who will not be forgiven like the drunkard, the one who is disobedient to his parents, those who drink alcohol...and the one who wears his trousers below his ankles...and...Ay, I can't remember the others."

"Yes, there are a few that Allah will not forgive. To add to your list those who harbour enmity against one another, those who sever family ties, idol worshippers and those who commit adultery and murder."

"So Allah will never forgive them!" cried Ahmed, "They're doomed then!"

"No, no it's not like that," Sheikh softened his voice to calm Ahmed, "Allah will forgive whoever he wants but these people have committed such crimes that will require a very special effort on their part to get forgiven."

"Like the really, really stubborn stains?" Yusuf smiled, pleased at understanding the Sheikh's example.

"Yes, they will have to give up their ways and make sincere Tauba, repentance to Allah before He will forgive them. They must make a firm resolution never to commit that crime again and be very remorseful of what they did in the past. And if they turn to Allah on this special night He will forgive them too."

A silence filled the room as the two became awed by the magnanimity of Allah's mercy.

Sheikh wiped the little moisture that gathered in his eyes and continued, "And you notice all these crimes beside idolatry are crimes against man. Man upon man! Not crimes against Allah Ta'ala?"

"Yup, that's true," replied Ahmed, "Never really noticed that ... but you right."

"That's how much Allah cares for us, that it's not only what we do with Him but what we do to one another that's so important."

Ahmed continued staring at his T-shirt for a while, waiting for the tears to settle, then he asked, "So what should I do on this night?"

Sheikh Hamaad closed his eyes contemplating the long list of activities usually prescribed for this night and knew that many of them were not substantiated from the Ahadith.

"You need to do just two things."

"Just two things!" exclaimed Yusuf

"Firstly you must make sure that you are not one of those that Allah has mentioned as stubborn stains, and if you are then you must repent and make Tauba (Repent). If you have been disobedient to your parents or cut off family ties then you must set this right first. It doesn't help you try to earn Allah's pleasure while these things still hang over your head."

"And the second thing?" he asked while the Sheikh paused to sip some water.

"The second thing is to do those things that will draw Allah's attention and earn His pleasure like reading the Quran, salaah, zikr and of course, dua to beg Him for His Mercy and Favours."

A broad smile covered Ahmed's face, "I am so glad Allah Ta'ala granted us this opportunity for a pre-wash before Ramadaan. Allahu Alkbar!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ARE YOU HAPPY ?(Motivational)

Are you happy?

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

We are all searching for happiness. In achieving this happiness our attitude in life plays a crucial role.

After years of hard and dedicated service to his Company,  Ahmed was being appointed at an elegant reception  as the new Director. It was a small function where his wife Fatimah, a Home Executive,  and  some of the wives of the other persons in top management were also present.

In an adjacent room, Ann, the wife of the CEO of the Company, asked Ahmed's wife a very odd an usual question; "Does your husband make you happy?"

The husband, Ahmed, who at that moment was not at her side, but was sufficiently near to hear the question, paid attention to the conversation, sitting up slightly, feeling secure, even filling his chest lightly in pride and hope, knowing that his spouse was a role model Muslimah and would definitely not publically lower or degrade her husband, would answer affirmatively, since she had always been there for him during their marriage and generally in life. Nevertheless, to both his and the others' surprise, she replied simply;

"No, no he doesn't make me happy…"

The room became uncomfortably silent, as if everyone were listening to the spouse's response. There was a sudden coldness in the air. The husband was petrified. A frown appeared on his face. He couldn't believe what his wife was saying, especially at such an important occasion for him. To the amazement of her husband and of everyone!

Fatimah sat up firmly, moved her elegant black hijab in place, and explained in a modest but stern tone to the other wives who were present;

"No, he doesn't make me happy… I AM HAPPY. The fact that I am happy or not doesn't depend on him, but on me. Allah Ta'ala is Most Wise and has granted each of us intellect and discretion to reason, interpret and decide. Allah Ta'ala made me the person upon which my happiness depends. I make the choice to be happy in each situation and in each moment of my life. If my happiness were to depend on other people, on other things or circumstances on the face of this earth, I would be in serious trouble! Over my life I have learned a couple of things: I decide to be happy and the rest is a matter of 'experiences or circumstances;' like helping, and understanding, accepting, listening, consoling; and with my spouse, I have lived and practiced this many times. Honestly true happiness lies in being content"

Relieved and reassured, a smile was clearly noticed on Ahmed's face.

Moral:  Happiness will always be found in contentment, forgiveness and in loving yourself and others. To truly love is difficult, it is to forgive unconditionally, to live, to take the "experiences or circumstances" as they are, facing them together and being happy with conviction. There are those who say I cannot be happy  :

·       Because I am sick.

·       Because I have no money.

·       Because it's too cold.

·       Because they insulted me.

·       Because someone stopped loving me.

·       Because someone didn't appreciate me.

But what you don't know is that you can be happy even though you are sick, whether it is too hot, whether you have money or not, whether someone has insulted you, or someone didn't love you, or hasn't valued you.

The Noble Messenger of Allah Ta'ala is reported to have said: "The happiness of the son of Adam depends on his being content with what Allah has decreed for him…the misery of the son of Adam results from in his discontent with what Allah has decreed for him." (Hadith- Tarmidhi)

Being Happy is an attitude about life and each one of us must decide!

Being Happy, depends on you!

Just 5 More Minutes - Motivational story

Just 5 More Minutes

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a lady on a bench near a playground. "That's my son over there," she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

"He's a fine looking boy," the lady said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at her watch, she called to his son. "What do you say we go, Sameer?"

Sameer pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Mummy. Please? Just five more minutes." The lady nodded and Sameer continued to swing to his heart's content.

Minutes passed and the mother stood and called again to her son. "Time to go now?" Again Sameer pleaded, "Five more minutes, Mum. Just five more minutes." The lady smiled and said, "O.K."

"My, you certainly are a patient mother," the woman responded.

The lady smiled and then said, "My older son Haitham was killed in a road accident last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent as much time with Haitham as I could have, and now I 'd give anything for just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with Sameer. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch him play."

Lets spare some quality time with those who are near dear to us lest a time comes when we wished we had the opportunity but it is no longer there...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

Deconstructing Sibling Rivalry

Tricks for Muslim Parents

Although sibling rivalry is normal, it can be rather taxing if it persists without any guidance for reform in a positive light.

Every mother knows that raising a child is full of challenges. However, once that first precious child becomes an older brother or sister, a new challenge emerges for parents – sibling rivalry.

The "HE'S NOT BEING FAIR," to "SHE RIPPED MY DRAWING," to "I NEVER WANT TO PLAY WITH THE BABY AGAIN," to "I HATE HIM!" are all loud telling signs of sibling rivalry. The quieter signs are the grumpy sulks in the corner of the house and the cold treatment from one sibling to another.

Although sibling rivalry is normal, it can be rather taxing if it persists without any guidance for reform in a positive light.

The trick mostly is to honor your children as unique individuals with distinct personalities and strengths. There are a lot of advantages in diversity, and children should learn how to capitalize on that. Remind them that Allah created a diverse population, and within families too; there are differences for each member to benefit from.

Also, it is important to tell the kids gently and remind them that though we can choose who we befriend, Allah has already decreed our siblings. In fact, siblings have been chosen for all of us, as our closest companions, and this is very true while growing up.

Although it may be frustrating when the baby tears down the "tallest tower in the world," or when the eldest is being a bit too bossy, siblings are the closest relations your children have genetically; ties between them should not be severed.

As parents, we can help cultivate the closeness of siblings camaraderie, helping everyone get along, work together, and love each other unconditionally.

Honor Their Personalities

Everyone is different, respect that. Some children are louder than others. One may need more quiet time than his brothers. One little sanguine girl could have a little brother with a melancholic disposition. An extrovert boy is no different from his introvert sister, as these are both special personality traits that have advantages and disadvantages.

The important thing here is not to compare – no child is better than the next, whether it relates to their personality traits, strengths or interests. The more we focus on the postive aspects of the above, the more children will find that they are appreciated as individuals.

Get to know their unique personalities and honor them. When each child finds that mom and dad respect them as individuals, the higher the likelihood that they will also respect each other as individuals.

Figure Out Their Love Languages

Learn to love your children and their love language. Gary Chapman, the author of "The Five Love Languages," lists down our five main love languages as: undivided time, touch, gifts, positive affirmations and acts of service. Every person speaks at least one main love language followed by a secondary love language.

Similarly, each of your children expresses and understands love in a different way. For example, some children love to be hugged more than others, while other children thrive when they are able to spend undivided quality time with their parents. Figure out your child's love language and you may find that it differs from his or her sibling.

This way, you will be able to "show" love to each of your children differently, to honor their differences and to remind them that no matter how much different they are, you love them all the same.

Learn About Their Interests and Their Strengths

Children thrive the most when they are engaged in activities that interest them.

Interests are different from one child to another (but could very well be the same) and they change from time to time. So keep up with your children's interest and indulge in them as well. If two or more siblings are interested in rocks, for example, that's even better, have them work together on building rock gardens or painting rocks.

Finding common interests is a good way to build relationships.

Capitalize on their strengths. Every child has unique strengths, so recognize them and help them develop their hobbies even more.

Recognizing that each child has unique strengths will help them be appreciative and secure of themselves, and in turn will help them appreciate their siblings as well.

Carve out a Niche Each and Imbue Respect for Each Other

Now that you recognize their personalities, love languages, interests and strengths, allow them to flourish in their fields and encourage their siblings to cheer them along.

This has to happen for everyone. When siblings see each other as different but special beings that they have as companions, they will learn to respect and love each other even more.

Always remind them that there are reasons why everyone is good at something, and it's important to lend support whenever possible.

Come Together – Work as a Family

Make a list of rules and guidelines to build good kinship. Once our children realize that they are all different, unique, special and treated with equity, teach them how to value each other.

No Muslim is a believer until he wishes the same for his brother or sister, what he wishes for himself. We need to teach that to our children. If one sibling is feeling down, do something to help him out. If a sister is in need of a glass of water, help her quench her thirst.

Being nice and working together is a good guideline to work by. It sounds simple, but it is also very easy for children to fall into malicious footsteps and instigate trouble amongst each other.

Remind the older ones that sometimes they are being influnced by Satan to cause trouble amongst those who care about them the most. Teach the younger ones to respect the older ones and always capitalize on "family time" for them to come together and express their feelings.

Simple guidelines to help siblings work together is to read to each other, discuss their interests, to share their toys, and to help tidy up the home, with a duty roster if needed. If someone is hungry, help make two portions, so it can help feed another potentially hungry stomach.

If there are groceries that need to be stored, everyone must take part in helping out in the kitchen. If the yard needs cleaning, everyone has to get involved.

Working together and being nice encompasses all the mini-rules that exist in unique households. The rules are there, not to punish, but to enforce appreciation for each other and the family unit.

When Quibbles get the Wiggles

No matter how much you try iron out the problems related to sibling rivalry, there may always be bickering. View this as a learning curve and things will get better.

Separate them for a bit, calm them down, give a gentle reminder to the perpetrator(s) and move on. Every time your children exhibit good behaviour, by working together or sharing toys, remember to praise Allah and praise them too.

Tell them that you are happy with them and hope that they will always be this nice.

Make Du'a for Your Children

Make du'a, plenty and plenty of du'a, for your children.

A mother's du'a goes a long way. Ask for guidance and protection. Ask Allah to bless your children. And ask for the little things too – for them to get along, to love each other and to protect each other as brothers and sisters in Islam.

Ask for Allah to keep ill feelings at bay, like jealousy and envy. Jealousy and envy amongst loved ones have nearly always led to catastrophes like inheritance squabbles at best and the severing of family ties at worse.

We see it all the time and we hear of it through our friends, our neighbours, our distant relatives. Make du'a for your children to always care for one another, for their future children, and their nieces and nephews.

Family ties are precious in Islam, and it is important that we impart this value onto the next generation, because they will be the parents of the future.

There are many blessings in having more than one child.

Having siblings, teach children how to share and to be considerate of other people's feelings. Our children will have to deal with all kinds of people in a patient and kind manner.

We have to hone into these advantages as parents, as siblings are important members of any family, even if a little bit of rivalry surfaces from time to time and that is normal and natural for any set of siblings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Musalli (Mosque go-er)

The Musalli (Mosque go-er)
Allah, the Exalted, says:

"The attendants of Allah's Masjid(mosque) are those who believe in Allah and the last day" [Quran-At-Taubah 18].

A Mosque go-er wrote a letter to the editor of An Islamic Journal and complained that it made no sense to go to Mosque. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 Bayaans (Lectures). But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time(going to the Mosque) and the Imams are wasting theirs by giving Bayaans(Lectures) at all ."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wise person wrote this clincher.

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to Mosque for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

The Excellence in Going to The Masjid(Mosque)


The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:


·         "Whoever attends the mosque, Allah prepares a special hospitality for him" (Muslim).

·         "If anyone goes back and forth to the mosque, Allah will prepare for him a feast in paradise as often as he goes back and forth."

·         "If anyone purifies himself in his house, and then walks to one of the houses of Allah to fulfill one of the obligations laid down by Allah, then [each one] of his steps will erase one of his sins and the next will raise his degrees."

·         "The mosque is a house for every pious person, and Allah provides everyone whose house is the mosque with comfort, leisure, and a path to Allah's pleasure, to paradise."

"Allah makes the way to Jannah(Paradise) easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.''[Hadith-Muslim].

Monday, June 11, 2012

10 ways of developing love for ALLAH!

10 ways of developing love for Allah

Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim {rahimahullah} says: "The reason which cause mahabbah (love) of Allaah to develop, are ten:

First: Reciting the Qur'aan, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Second: Drawing closer to Allaah - the Most High - through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Third: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs - under all circumstances. The more continuant the dhikr, the more muhabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourth: Giving precedence to what Allaah loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifth: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allaah.

Sixth: Recognizing and remembering the favors and bounties of Allaah - both manifest and hidden.

Seventh: To be humble and submissive before Allaah - and this is the greatest matter.

Eighth: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur'aan, during that time in which Allaah descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allaah's forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninth: To sit in the gatherings of the true and sincere lovers of Allaah, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefit others as well.

Tenth: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allaah and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved

Friday, June 1, 2012




And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah. [The Noble Qur'an 42:43]

"Allah is not kind to him who is not kind to people."                               [Hadith - Muslim & Bukhari ]


"He who does not thank people does not thank Allah."
Hadith - Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi


"Those who are kind and considerate to Allah's creatures, Allah bestows His kindness and affection on them. Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allah may be kind to you."
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Fath 48:29

Winter: The Best Season!

Winter: The Best Season!


Some ways to enjoy it!!!!

It is said that winter is a time when people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as 'the Winter Blues' or winter depression. However, it is interesting to see how Muslims welcome winter, as it is clear that they see it in a totally different light.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Winter is the best season for the believer. Its nights are long for him to pray in, and its days are short for him to fast in." [Hadith-Majma' az-Zawa'id' (3/203)]

'Umar bin al-Khattab(RA) said: "Winter is the prize of the worshippers."

You can increase your good deeds, take care of your obligations and earn the Pleasure of Allaah all at the same time! Here are some ways to would benefit from winter:

Fasting and praying

Winter is the best season for the believer because Allah makes worship easy for him. This is because in winter, the believer can fast during the day with ease without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he therefore doesn't feel the hardship of fasting…

It is reported  The Prophet Muhammad said: "Fasting in the winter is the easy prize."

"And the meaning of it being an easy prize is that it is a prize obtained without any battle or effort or hardship. So, the owner of this prize has been given it as a favor without any effort on his part."

We all know that making up the days of missed fasting is fardh (compulsory) on every adult Muslim man and woman and not doing so is a sin. So if we have missed a fast for a valid reason (travel, sickness etc) we need to "catch-up".

Thus, we should hasten to fast the number of days we missed. And what better opportunity than this? How much easier could it get? The days are short and the weather is cool, so you don't really get thirsty or even feel hungry.

Allaah, in his Infinite Mercy, is providing us with an easy opportunity to seek rewards from Him. So shouldn't we take it up?   Abu Hurayrah RA  said to some people: "Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds?" They asked, "And what is that O, Abu Hurayrah?" He replied, "Fasting in winter."

As for praying at night in the winter due to its long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then get up to pray afterwards and recite all that he usually recites of the Qur'an while he has had enough sleep. So, he can combine between the sleep that he needs and the usual amount of recitation of the Qur'an that he completes in a day. So, he fulfills the interests of both his religion and the comfort of his body…

And it was narrated that Ibn Mas'ud said: "Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in." This is why Mu'adh(RA) wept on his deathbed and said: "I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.""

Caring for the poor

 The Prophet Muhammad said: "Whoever feeds a hungry believer will be fed by Allah on the Day of Judgement from the fruits of Paradise, and whoever quenches his thirst will have his thirst quenched from the Sealed Nectar, and whoever clothes him will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise."

In many parts of the world there is so much difficulty associated with winter. Extreme cold, poor heating, hunger etc. There is so much we can do such as:

·         Organise some blankets for the poor and destitute

·         Start a community soup kitchen

·         Help elderly by offering them a lift in the cold

·         Visiting the elderly and sick in our community

Try and involve our family and community in these activities. Buy some gloves and warm hats and take your kids along to distribute it to the needy. There is so much good we can do if we just put ourselves forward.

Remembering the realities of Hell

It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad said: "Hell complained to its Lord, saying: "Parts of me have consumed the other parts." So, He allowed it two breaths of exhalation: one in winter and one in summer. As for its breath in winter, that is the bitter cold, and its breath in the summer is the extreme heat."

Among the virtues of winter is that it reminds one of the extreme cold of Hell and pushes one to seek refuge from it and to do such noble actions that will ensure one is protected from Jahannam(Hell)

Spend Quality time with your family indoors

As it is cold we can enjoy quality time indoors with our family which we find generally difficult in these times as we are all "busy"! Plan and do such activities that will bond the family and bring us closer to Allaah. Read good Islamic books while cuddling under your cozy blanket, ask the kids to help you in household activities, spend more quality time with your spouse and kids. Be innovative and have fun within the confinements of Sharia.

So, these examples show that winter time is a special time that we should mark not by being down and inactive, but rather by being pro-active in reviving our energy in worship and servitude to Allah.

And actually, if you think about it, the winter is a big blessing from among the innumerable, uncountable blessings of Allaah. He is honoring us by the bounty of His Giving, His gracious Blessing and His great Favor, so that we may be able to pray at night, fast during the day and worship Him.

May Allaah, Most High enable us all to make better use of our winters. Ameen.