Sunday, July 29, 2012

Motivational- Fasting

Sincerity of a young Muslimah

There was a little girl (six years old) who was fasting in Ramadhan, even though it is not obligatory on people below the age of puberty. She was in school, and at lunch time, when all the other children went out to eat and have lunch, she sat in the classroom, because she was fasting. Her (non-muslim) teacher thought that she was too young to fast, and so said that it was not necessary, and she could eat a little. The girl still didn't eat. Then the teacher said: "Your parents are not here, it doesn't matter if you eat a little". The girl replied: "I am not fasting for my parents, I am fasting for Allah". This simple statement had such a profound effect on the teacher, that later she accepted Islam.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fasting and Backbiting

Fasting and Backbiting


Abu Ubaidah (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reports: "I have heard RasuluLlah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) saying: "Fasting is a protective Shield for Man, as long as he does not tear up that protection'


Once somebody inquired from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), "What causes the fast to be rent[destroyed]?" He replied: 'Telling lies and backbiting.'



 During the time of our Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), two women were fasting and suffered the pangs of hunger to such an extent that the fast became unbearable and both were on the point of death. The "Sahaaba" brought this to the notice of our Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), who sent a bowl commanding them to vomit into it. When they both vomitted in the bowl, pieces of meat and fresh blood were found in it. The "Sahaaba" were greatly surprised, upon which our Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: "They fasted with 'Halaal' food from Allah, but partook of 'Haraam' food by backbiting other people." 


 Once the Prophet, (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), on seeing some people, asked them to pick their teeth. They said that they had not tasted any meat that day, on which the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "So and so's flesh is sticking to your teeth." It transpired that they had been backbiting. May Allah keep us safe from this evil, because we are very neglectful of this warning. All are guilty of this; not to speak of the common man, even the people of importance indulge in it, even the religious people in their gatherings do not avoid backbiting. Worst of all is the fact that we do not even realize what backbiting is; even when we suspect ourselves of this, we try to cover it up as narration of some event.


One of the 'Sahaaba' inquired from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) "What is backbiting?" Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) replied: "To mention something about your brother behind his back, which he would resent." The 'Sahaabi' then said: "And is it still backbiting if the thing mentioned about him is really true?" Our Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: 'In that case (if that which was mentioned is really true) it is precisely backbiting; but if what is mentioned is false, then you have in fact slandered him."


Once our Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) passed by two graves. He said: "On both the inmates of these graves, punishment is being inflicted in the grave. One is being punished because of backbiting, the other because of not having taken precautions (to stay clean) when passing urine. Rasulullah ((Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) also said: "There are more than seventy degrees of evil in (Usury) interest. The lowest form of it is comparable to committing incest with own mother; and taking one 'Dirham' of interest is a worse evil than having fornicated thirty five times. The worst and most evil degree of taking interest is the slandering of a Muslim."


It is equally unlawful to listen to anything that should not be said. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has said, 'In backbiting, both the bickbiter and the one who listens to it are equal partners in sin.'


Dua: '

What ailment is there O Allah that is not in me,
Heal me from every illness and grant me my needs
Verily I have a heart that is sick
Verily you are the Healer of the sick'




Muslims generally break their fast by eating dates. Prophet Muhammad (SallalahuAlai
wasallam) is reported to have said: "if anyone of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. In case he does not have them, then with water. Verily water is a purifier."

The Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam) used to break his fast by eating some dates
before offering Maghrib prayer, and if ripe dates were not available, he used tosubstitute them with some dried grapes. When they too were not available, he used tohave a few sips of water, according to some reports. Modern science has proved that dates are part of a healthy diet. They contain sugar, fat and proteins, as well as important vitamins. Hence the great importance attached to them by the Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam).

Dates are also rich in natural fibres. Modern medicine has shown that they are effective in preventing abdominal cancer. They also surpass other fruits in the sheer variety of their constituents. They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. In other words, one date is a minimum of a balanced and healthy diet. Arabs usually combine dates with milk and yogurt or bread, butter and fish. This combination indeed makes a self-sufficient and tasty diet for both mind and body. Dates and date palms have been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an 20 times, thus showing their importance.

The Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam) likened a good Muslim to the date palm, saying,
"Among trees, there is a tree like a Muslim. Its leaves do not fall."

Sayyidah Mariam (AlaihisSalaam), mother of Nabie 'Isa (AlaihisSalaam), had dates as
her food when she felt labour pains and during confinement. They are definitely the
"crown of sweets", and ideal food which is easy to digest, and within half an hour
of taking it, the tired body regains a renewed vigour. The reason for this is that a
shortage of sugar in the blood is the main factor that makes people feel hungry and
not an empty stomach as is often assumed. When the body absorbs the nutritional
essence of a few dates, the feeling of hunger becomes appeased. When one breaking the fast with dates takes some other food afterwards, he cannot eat much. It would seem that breaking the fast with dates then helps one avoid excessive eating.

Experiments have also shown that dates contain some stimulants that strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy. This helps the dilation of the uterus at the time of delivery on one hand and reduces the bleeding after delivery on the other. Dieticians consider dates as the best food for women in confinement and those who are breast-feeding. This is because dates contain elements that assist in alleviating depression in mothers and enriching the breast-milk with all the elements needed to make the child healthy and resistant to disease. The Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam) has emphasized the importance of dates and their effectiveness in the growth of the fetus. He has also recommended they be given to women. Modern dietary institutes now recommend dates to be given to children suffering from a nervous nature or hyperactivity. The Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam) has also recommended dates as a medicine for heart troubles, according to some reports. Modern science has also proved the effectiveness of dates in reventing diseases of the respiratory system.

Sayyidah Aeysha (RadiaAllahu anhu), wife of Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam), used
to prescribe dates for those suffering from giddiness. It is now well known that a
fall in the level of the sugar in the blood and low blood pressure are among the causes of giddiness. She was also reported to have used dates combined with cucumber to treat her over-slim condition! She said, "They've tried to fatten me giving me everything. But I did not become fat. Then they fattened me with cucumber and ripe dates and I gained!" Aeysha (RadiaAllahu anhu) was quite correct, as we now know that one kilogram of dates contains nearly 3,000 calories which alone are sufficient to supply the minimum daily requirements of an active man for one full day.

Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals. When the level of trace elements
falls in the body, the health of the blood vessels is affected leading to an
increased heart-rate and a consequent inability to perform its function with normal
efficiency. As dates are also rich in calcium, they help strengthen the bones. When
the calcium content in the body decreases, children are affected with rickets and the bones of adults become brittle and weak.

Dates are also important in keeping up the health of eyes. It is quite effective in
guarding against night-blindness. In the early years of Islam, dates served as food
for Muslim warriors. They used to carry them in special bags hung at their sides.
They are the best stimulant for muscles and so the best food for a warrior about to
engage in battle.

The Prophet (SallalahuAlai wasallam) used to combine dates with bread sometimes. At other times he mixed ripe dates with cucumber, or dates combined with ghee. He used to take all varieties of dates, but he preferred the variety called Ajwah

How it looks - It is a tall palm growing up to 36 m. in length with its trunk covered by the bases of petioles. The leaves are pinnate as in all palms but the lower ones are modified into spines and the flowers are in spadices. The fruits are oval reddish or yellowish brown berries with fleshy sweet pulp and hard single furrowed seeds.

What we use - Leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds

What it does -

·       Leaves - aphrodisiac, hepato protective

·       Flowers - purgative, expectorant, hepatic, febrifuge

·       Fruits - cooling, aphrodisiac, tonic diuretic

Home Remedies for the Cure of General Disorders

·       In cough, and respiratory disorders - Make a paste of dates, raisins, pepper, saunph seeds, honey and ghee and lick a tsp of this preparation twice a day to expectorate phlegm and calm respiratory spasms.

·       In dryness of mouth - At the end of long durations of illnesses, the mouth becomes dry, sore making swallowing and talking difficult. In such cases, make a paste of dates and raisins and coat the mouth with it. Hold the same paste in the mouth for a few minutes and eat it with honey and ghee.

·       In hiccups - Powder the seeds of dates, mix it with pepper powder and lick it with honey to arrest hiccups.

·       In excessive bleeding - Dates are cooling and bestow blood and are therefore ideal in bleeding conditions. Paste the fruit with honey and eat twice a day.

·       In constipation - Soak dates in hot milk for a few hours and then take the preparation at bed time to free bowel movements. Dates soaked in water make for excellent diuretics.

·       As a nervine tonic - Dates and raisins pasted with honey are excellent in nervous disorders and can be taken as a general rejuvenator.

The GREATEST BENEFIT is that it is a SUNNAH of  Rasulullah [Salallaho alaihe wassallam] to eat dates!

motivational- fasting

Sincerity of a young Muslimah


There was a little girl (six years old) who was fasting in Ramadhan, even though it is not obligatory on people below the age of puberty. She was in school, and at lunch time, when all the other children went out to eat and have lunch, she sat in the classroom, because she was fasting. Her (non-muslim) teacher thought that she was too young to fast, and so said that it was not necessary, and she could eat a little. The girl still didn't eat. Then the teacher said: "Your parents are not here, it doesn't matter if you eat a little". The girl replied: "I am not fasting for my parents, I am fasting for Allah". This simple statement had such a profound effect on the teacher, that later she accepted Islam.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Check Myself for Sin

Want to know for sure something is a sin?

I don't mean missing Fajr prayer, or back-biting. These are clearly bad.

No, I mean the things that you habitually do, that you maybe know might, perhaps, just maaaaybe wrong. but your mind somehow makes okay.

The litmus test: the month of Ramadan.

If you feel truly uneasy doing this deed in Ramadan, it's most likely a sin.

If you have the self-control to give it up completely, Masha'Allah, it's 99.9999% likely a sin, or at the very least, a waste of your precious time.

So, really, let's reflect on that for a moment. If the above is true, then we should ideally never resume committing those doubtful acts after Ramadan, right? I mean, what's a sin in Ramadan, is still a sin on Eid day, and onwards still.

If gold, and diamonds, and oyster pearls are precious by their rarity alone, then it is clear that every moment we exist, every breath we inhale, then exhale after that, is pure gold dust, if only because they are all rarer than the rarest gemstones; never to be seen again, until the day that our deeds are played back to us on the ultimate cinematic, widescreen, surround sound, ultra high def experience of Yaum al-Qiyamah(The Day of Judgement).

So what makes those acts that seem wasteful in Ramadan, suddenly become a good use of our time after the month has swiftly past through our fingers?

What validation do we put forth for our thinly veiled hypocrisy?

Weakness? Perhaps. We are made weak. But still. We have a month to train hard. To build up our spiritual muscles. Yes, you can get that emaan six-pack you always wanted - and in just THIRTY DAYS, insha'Allah!

So, take another look at that mental list you wrote; the one titled, "What I plan to give up during Ramadan", and ask yourself: "If I can last 30 days without it. and with it, my Ramadan is tainted then is it really that important to me? And do I really want it back in my life ever again?".

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad(peace be upon him)said: "Righteousness is good character, and sin is that which wavers in your heart and which you do not want people to know about." [Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said to his Companion: "You have come to ask about righteousness ?" "Yes," I answered. He said: "Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast, even though people give you their opinion (in your favour) and continue to do so." [A good hadith transmitted from the Musnads of the two Imams, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Al-Darimi]

May Allah guide us to the true answer to those questions, and make it easy for us all to do the right thing.! Ameen

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Preparing for Ramadhaan

 Preparing For Ramadhaan-The 'Month Of Mercy'
By Sister  S Bemath

As the dawn of Ramadhaan approaches, offering us glimpse of its golden rays of purity, every Muslim around the world prepares to experience the warm ambience which only this month can bring. From Suhoor to Iftaar to Taraaweeh Salaah, Ramadhaan brings together brothers, sisters, parents and children. In order to derive the utmost benefit from the sacred month of Ramadhaan, it is crucial to recognize the spiritual significance and importance of this month. Fasting during this month should be only for ALLAH TA'ALA, and that HE will give the reward for it, for the reward of ALLAH, the Bountiful and Munificent, is greater and vaster than anyone could imagine, Subhaan-ALLAH!

A Hadith so beautifully encapsulates:"The reward for every good deed of Adam will be multiplied anywhere between ten and seven hundred times. ALLAH said: 'Except for fasting, because it is for ME and I MYSELF will give recompense for it. He gives up his food and his passion for ME.' For the one who fasts, there are two times of rejoicing, one when he breaks the fast, and one when he meets his Lord. Verily the smell that comes from the mouth of one who is fasting is more pleasing to ALLAH than the scent of musk." (Hadith:Bukhari and Muslim)

Beloved Reader! This is a month which ALLAH TA'ALA has designated for the revitalization of the soul and one's spiritual ascension after a year full of sin and spiritual retrogression. However, all this will only be possible if we value this precious month and prepare for it accordingly. It is reported that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to commence His preparation two months prior to Ramadhaan by reciting the following supplication at the beginning of Rajab, "O ALLAH! bless us in Rajab and Sha'baan and make us reach Ramadhaan" .This shows the importance of conditioning oneself mentally and spiritually for the advent of this month. Ramadhaan is a long- awaited celestial guest; accordingly, we ought to prepare the grandest reception in appreciation for all of it's beautiful blessings and barakah. It is only through such yearning and longing that the significance of Ramadhaan will develop in our hearts serving as a catalyst to increase our good deeds and to fulfil the objectives of Ramadhaan.

Therefore, we should strike a balance, during this all-too-short blessed month, between our domestic duties and the opportunity this month brings, to draw closer to ALLAH through worship and good deeds. Do not let our household chores and other work distract us from performing the obligatory Salaah at the appointed times or from reading the Qur'aan Kareemf or Nafl Salaah. Nor should we let traditional late-night family gatherings keep us from performing Qiyaam al-Layl and making Du'a. There are three main objectives to attain from this blessed month, namely absolution of one's sins, attainment of piety and enhancing one's communion with ALLAH TA'ALA. In regards to absolution of sin, Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned, "Whoever fasts and stands for worship in Ramadhaan out of faith and anticipation of reward, all of his previous sins will be forgiven." (Ibn Majah)

The main element mentioned in this Hadith is that our effort and striving in worship throughout the month should be with the zest of Imaan and zeal of reward. The recompense of this will be a thorough effacement of sins. The veil of inhibition that impedes a person from his or her Rabb will be removed and the doors to a life of spiritual bliss, ecstasy and harmony will be flung open. Subhaan-ALLAH!

ALLAH TA'ALA states,

"O you who believe, fasting has made compulsory upon you as it made compulsory upon those before you so that you may become ALLAH fearing." (Quran:2:183)

Alhamdulillah! Fasting is one of the best spiritual exercises to establish piety, patience and a perpetual consciousness of ALLAH TA'ALA and the reward for true patience is Jannah. In this beautiful month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Rabb, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Rabb, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no diety to worship except ALLAH (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa Ilaaha Illallaah) and make much Istighfaar (beg ALLAH'S forgiveness with Astaghfirullaah)." And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of ALLAH, entrance into Paradise and ask refuge in HIM from Jahannam(Hell)." Once a person feels the bliss of being completely pardoned and relieved from the burden of sins coupled with the feelings of ALLAH'S Omnipresence, he or she would have reached a very high pedestal of divine communion. This pedestal is what referred to as the stage of Ihsaan; where a person worships ALLAH as if he or she is seeing HIM or with the full conviction and cognizance that ALLAH is watching him or her.

Beloved Reader! The Mubarak month of Ramadhaan requires special preparation because it requires complete dedication on part of the Mu'min. Below are a few easy ways to Inshaa-ALLAH (ALLAH willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.

One of the most essential elements of preparing for the arrival of Ramadhaan is to make the intention for preparation for verily "every action judged by it's intention"(Hadith-Bukhari).  The preparation begins the day you start practicing humility and patience and learn how to control your nafs (desires) and anger.

In the spirit of Ramadhaan, it is best to start preparing for the blessed month by performing actions that are rewarding and appreciated by our beautiful ALLAH. According to a Hadith, "If a person says, "SubhaanALLAH"(Glory be to ALLAH) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away."

To start preparing for the blessed month of Ramadhaan, it is best if you start increasing your worship. This will allow you to adjust your routine for the arrival of Ramadhaan.  Increase all forms of Ibadah(worship) such Fasting,recitation of Qur'an, Zikr, Sadaqah(Charity) , Nafl (voluntary) Salaah etc

To adjust your body to fasting, it is best that you start fasting beforehand. You should define specific days for fasting. For example, if you fast every Monday and Thursday, you will be more fully prepared for Ramadhaan making the adjustment much easier.

For individuals who have not prepared for reading and reciting Qur'aan during Ramadhaan, Qur'aan Kareem recitation while fasting becomes difficult. It is best if you start reading the Mubarak Qur'aan  after Fajr salaah on a daily basis just to prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit.

Ramadhaan teaches us to adjust the way we lead our life. Therefore, before the arrival of Ramadhaan, it is ideal if you start adjusting your sleeping habits. You should start off by going to bed early and rising early. If you are used to this routine, you will not feel sleepy and tired when Ramadhaan arrives.

Ramadhaan is the ideal month to embark on your journey to fresh objectives. If you are a smoker and want to quit this habit, you should start off with this month. If you want to be an early riser, still Ramadhaan is the perfect month for you.

In essence, Ramadhaan is the most blessed and rewarding month. Therefore, all Muslims should try their best prepare for this auspicious month of Ramadhaan. Regular recitation of Qur'aan, voluntary charity and recitation and offering prayers will help you prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit. Inshaa-ALLAH!

O Beloved Reader! Let us embellish our Akhlaaq(character) in this beautiful and blessed month with gifts presented by the Prophet of guidance (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Let us make this Ramadhaan a means of gaining nearness to Allah Ta'ala and preparing for the eternal journey that each and every one of us must traverse.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Virtues of feeding the fasting person

On Feeding a Fasting Person

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


"Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk."


 "And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah." [Hadith-Bahaiqi]

Virtues of Fasting

 Rewards of Fasting


It is narrated by Abu Huraira (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) that the blessed messenger of Allah Almighty said,

'Indeed your Lord (Almighty) says, 'The reward of every good action is between 10 times its amount to 700 times its amount, (however), the fast is (solely) for me, and I alone will reward it, and the fast is a shield from the fire of hell. The odour from the mouth of the fasting man is more fragrant to Allah Almighty than musk. If an ignorant man speaks foul to any one from amongst you who is fasting then say, 'I am fasting'". (Hadith Sahih Bukhari)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Proven Techniques for a Successful Positive Change this Ramadan

Proven Techniques for a Successful Positive Change this Ramadan

You CAN do it!!!

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad[peace be upon him] has said,"Almighty Allah says, 'I treat my slave (man) according to his expectations from Me, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart…. if he walks towards Me, I run unto him."[Hadith-Qudsi]

Make this Ramadan the month of "Change"..Are You Ready for it???

"Change" is the vogue today. "Change" is being chanted by the Presidents to rally up public support; "Change" is being demanded by the masses suffering due to skyrocketing fuel and commodity prices; "Change", a drastic one indeed, is what we are witnessing with awe in the global weather patterns.

For Muslims, Ramadan is the prime time for change. This month dramatically alters our routines and schedules. From tight sleep schedules, to hunger for extended hours, to reduction in consumption of junk foods, to a technology diet; to withdrawal from caffeine addiction, to lengthy standing in Taraweeh prayers at night, to extensive listening to the Quran. What a change indeed!

Beyond Routines and Rituals

The real change, however, Ramadan demands of us is the internal change – a change that positively transforms our lifestyle, character, attitudes, conversations, and habits. Allah has described this change in the month of Ramadan as follows: "O you who believe, fasting has been ordained on you as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may adopt Taqwa[Taqwa is Allah consciousness ]" (2:183 [Quran 2:183].

Slavery to Ramadan?

If our change is limited to outer physical practices only, we become slaves to Ramadan, instead of being servants to Ar-Rahman (Allah, the Merciful).

Prophet Muhammad[peace be upon him] has warned us about those who don't fast from bad behaviour:

"Allah has no interest in any person's abstention from eating and drinking, if that person does not give up lying and dishonest actions" [Sahih al-Bukhari].

Ramadan Resolutions

Every Ramadan we make resolutions and tell ourselves: "This Ramadan will be different. I'm going to change my ______ habit." "I will give up ………", "I will take my practice of Islam to the next level". But how many of us are really able to follow through? Plenty of good intentions, many amazing wishes, but sadly enough, life goes on as usual the morning of Eid.

Ask yourself, how is my fasting benefitting my spiritual connection with Allah? How is my extensive worship in Ramadan helping me discipline my tongue (taste and speech), eyes, ears, and habits?

Are you ready to take that first step to transform your bad habits into good ones?

Ways to Kick Bad Habits

Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.

However, the good news is, Ramadan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from "positive psychology" (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes between 30 to 40 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.

In addition to the physical discipline during the month of Ramadan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can transform your habits for life.

Try these proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits during Ramadan and beyond!

1. Acknowledge and Identify your bad habits: First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won't recognize that you have a bad habit to change.

2. Pick a habit for this month: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for this month. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, Allah-willing.

3. Realize that it's in us to change: Don't believe the old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don't want to.

4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: Prophet Muhammad[peace be upon him] said:

"By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them." [Sahih Muslim]

5. Intention & Plan to change: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.

6. Replace a bad habit with a good one: Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it's crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.

For instance, it's easier to replace or balance your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading, than to suddenly remove the TV from your life. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad[peace be upon him], the greatest 'psychologist' of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:

"Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people." [At-Tirmidhi]

7. Change your Environment: Resist the negative peer pressure by finding a better company of friends. Collective action to change is very powerful. Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] explained this peer pressure effect with this analogy:

"A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace." [Sahih al-Bukhari & Muslim]

8. Exercise: Spiritual exercise is important for lasting change. You may not realize that by exerting your yourself in spiritual exercises like the reading of Quran and Hadith, fasting, giving charity, Zikr[remembering Allah] etc helps in eliminating a number of bad habits. Through the spiritual light of doing noble deeds evil ones will gradually be eradicated from your life. Allah says : "Indeed, Salah restrains from Shameful and unjust deeds" [Quran:29:45]. A person complained to the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] about someone who read salaah and also committed theft .The Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] said "His salaat will very soon wean him off that sin.' This shows that the evil habits can be got rid of by adhering to good practises. The doing of good deeds such as remembering Allah cleanses the heart. A clean heart encourages a person to do good deeds and refrains one from evil habits!

Moreover, exercising your will power (struggle to fight temptations) for this month helps you kick all kinds of bad habits and form new good ones. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you strengthen it.

9. Think of yourself as a changed, different, new person. This simple psychological shift in your thinking about your own image can do wonders. Tell yourself, "I can't continue this ill-behaviour. I am better than that. I am stronger. I am wiser."

10. Reward success: The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the "law of effect." It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits.

Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks. As Muslims we should also remember that the ultimate reward is Allah's Pleasure and Paradise in the Hereafter.

11. Get help: Tell someone about your effort to change if it helps. He or she may keep you on track and may offer some good advice. Read books that will encourage you to do virtues actions. Join programs in your local Mosque. Ladies should endeavour to join their local Taalimi Halqas. There are good and sincere people who are ready to assist. We are not an island- We are an Ummah!

12. Boost your spiritual immune system: By fasting,doiung good actions, spending time in the Mosque or going in the path of Allah will boost your Imaan[faith] which will provide you with internal strength to overcome temptations to reverting to old bad habits.

13. Remind yourself of Death and Hereafter often: "Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures [i.e. death]," the Prophet [peace be upon him]once stated. [At-Tirmidhi.]

14. Resolve to continue on and follow up: Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as "Tazkiyyah" in Islamic terminology. It's more difficult than the first few steps of change. ("How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?"). So ensure that you follow up. Link yourself to a good Allah-fearing Islamic Scholar and make a habit of spending time in Allah path.

15. Develop a relapse strategy: How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the 'cost' of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways. For example that if you do___ act than you will keep three fast or pay so much sadaqah[charity] etc

16. Ask Allah for Help: MOST IMPORTANT!-Make Asking for Allah's Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah's Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to Help and to Respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him. Allah will NEVER disappoint us!

"And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He (Allah) will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine."
[Quran 65:2-3]

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Racing With Your Wife?

Racing With Your Wife?

When was the last time you raced with your wife?

Yes, when was the last time you raced with your wife???

You might mockingly or disapprovingly smile, yet the question remains, for it bespeaks an invitation to you to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in his kind attitude toward his wives. If you claim to follow and love the Noble Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, Sunnah, in keeping a beard, cleaning your teeth with a Siwaak (tooth stick) and shortening your clothes to reach above the ankle, you are likewise required to emulate him in the way he treated his spouses .

Moreover, the leniency, mercy and patience of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, with his wives is not merely his tradition, but an obligation confirmed by many Quranic verses, among which is the one in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4:20]

Rasulullah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "He is the best amongst you who is the kindest towards his wives and I am the kindest amongst you towards my wives."

Thus, racing was a compassionate gesture of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in order to be friendly and open with his wives.

'Aa'ishah [Allah be pleased with her] narrates that
as a young and thin girl, she was once accompanying the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, on one of his journeys. He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam asked his Companions to move ahead of them, which they did. He, sallaallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, then asked to race with her; she did and won. Some time later, after she had forgotten about this, she was with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, on another of his journeys and he wanted to race her. She wanted to excuse herself, by telling him she could not, since she had gained some weight, but he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, insisted. They raced and this time he won; so the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, laughed and said; "This [is] for that."

Some husbands contend that they do not race with their wives because they are too busy and have many responsibilities. Our retort is that by no means can they be busier than the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who bore the responsibility of conveying the Message of Islam to the entire world. He also led the army in combat alongside running errands for his family and doing household chores. Nevertheless, all this did not stop him from twice racing with his wife 'Aa'ishah[RA] .

Other husbands might argue that the streets are not a suitable place for racing; so, they can surely take their wives away from people, on a picnic. Moreover, competition is not just in running. One can compete to win in a permissible electronic game or general knowledge quiz, in which one can ask each other questions and keep score.

A third group of husbands believes that such competitions may cause their wives to become too bold and eventually challenge them. This is not true, because the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, raced with his wife, so this is an act to be followed, for copying his behaviour with his wives can bring nothing but good. Also, modern research has established that being kind and easygoing with one's wife makes it easier for her to be mindful of you.

There are lessons to be learned from the aforementioned incident related by 'Aa'ishah concerning the Prophet's, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, kindness toward his wives.

1- The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was the one to ask for a race both times. This teaches husbands that they should take the initiative in such competitions. Wives may be too busy with housework or fear rejection or, as is the generally innate nature of women, be too shy to propose such an idea. However, on their part, they should try to urge their husbands when they see they are free and in a good mood.

2- A husband should not incessantly brag of superiority over his wife. We notice that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, outran 'Aa'ishah after she had already outran him the first time.

3- Alternately, a husband should neither always deliberately lose for the sake of his wife or the competition would be meaningless. The factor that decided the win of 'Aa'ishah the first time was her youth and fitness, and when she put on some weight, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, outran her.

4- A husband should remember that such competitions are just for amiability and fun. Neither of the spouses should get worked up or a row could ensue and the activity would lose its desired aim. This can be understood from the reaction of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who only cheerfully referred to his win to counter that of 'Aa'ishah's .

Verily in the noble way of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is there a recipe for happiness.
The lifestyle of Allah's Final Messenger Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is indeed the Noblest of all examples!!!

Marriage: Keep the Spark of Love Alive

Keep the Spark of Love Alive

By Faraz Ibn Adam


As the days come to closer to one's marriage, excitement, ecstasy and elation pump through the bride and groom. The build up to marriage is an experience of thrill and jubilation. When the marriage is solemnised, one's happiness and delight is on the verge of brimming and tipping over. When the newlywed couple meet for the first time, words cannot describe the sweetness of the bliss, serenity, pleasure and elation tasted by the two.

If every day of the marriage can mirror the first day of marriage, and every night reflect the first night of marriage, then the marriage will be a euphoric experience on this world.

The gentleness, passion, love, tenderness displayed on the first day and night of the marriage should be portrayed throughout one's life.

The first couple of months are always a 'honeymoon'. Once the couple settle down, then reality begins. Many couples fail at this point. The husband gets engrossed in his job. He comes home tired and late, feeling hungry and tired. He demands for the food and feels lazy to do anything. He eats, puts the dirty plates in the sink and lies down on the sofa. He might awaken to perform salāh if he is conscious of salāh. Otherwise, he wakes up later on towards the night, phones a few friends, watches TV and keeps ordering the wife to get him x and y. When it is time to sleep, the husband if he is feeling in a good mood he will have relations with his wife-but only to satisfy his needs. Once he is fulfilled, he stops and drops off to sleep. Whether the wife is satisfied or not does not even cross his mind. This becomes the routine of his life.

The wife on the other hand, she initially tries to please her husband. She slowly loses her enthusiasm as she does not receive enough attention from her husband. She cooks to please her husband. She will put effort into her food. She will try and perfect every detail in the food. The presentation, ingredients and spices are put meticulously so they complement each other. After a while she begins to tire from this as the husband does not comment or he criticises her food. As soon as the husband goes to work, she is on the phone to her associates. She cooks, watches TV, cleans the house and enjoys her day before her husband comes home. Once the husband comes, she becomes a slave again.

This style of marriage where there is no affection shown, no real emotion transmitted from one party to the other is heading towards destruction.

The husband needs to implement the romance the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam displayed. We consider Romeo to be romantic but not the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam. If I was to say the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam was the most romantic individual, I would not be lying. Looking attentively to the biography of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam, you will find that he was extending a great deal of respect to his wives and was displaying high attention, care and love toward them.

He was the best example for the ideal manners toward the wife. He was comforting for his wives, wiping their tears, respecting their emotions, hearing their words, caring for their complaints, alleviating their sadness, going in picnics with them, racing with them, bearing their abandonment, discussing matters with them, keeping their dignity, supporting them in emergencies, declaring his love to them and was very happy with such love.

The husband and wife have to bond with one another psychologically, physically and spiritually. Here are some attractive examples and points we need to adopt to achieve a marriage of romance:

1. Know their feelings

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam was telling Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha : "I know well when you are pleased or angry with me. Aisha replied: How you know that? He said: When you are pleased with me you swear by saying "By the God of Mohammad" but when you are angry you swear by saying "By the God of Ibrahim". She said: You are right, I don't mention your name."

The husband and wife should be aware of each other's feelings. The husband should be able to gauge when his wife is upset or sad, likewise the wife should be able to read her husband's behaviour. By being conscious of one another's feelings, it will help in resolving any differences. When your spouse is down or upset, be there to console him/her. Sit with them, speak with them, listen to them. Try and make them smile. If the husband is always conscious of his wife's feelings, and the wife is always conscious of the husband's feelings, then this will assist greatly in keeping the 'flicker' alight.

2. Console her

Sayyidah Safiyah radiallahu anha was on a journey with the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam. She was late so the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam received her while she was crying. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam wiped her tears with his own hands and tried his utmost to calm her down.

This is another feature a marriage must have. Each spouse has to be there for the other in the good and bad times. The wife should find comfort and solace in the husband and the husband should find warmth and love in his wife. Be gentle with one another.

3. Laying in the wife's lap

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would recline in the lap of our beloved mother Sayyidah Aisha radaillahu anha even in the state when she would be menstruating. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would recite the Qur῾ān whilst reclining in his wife's lap.

How many times have we rested in the lap of our spouse? These gestures may seem trivial but they are the acts which bring the hearts close. The wife can sense and see the love of her husband for her in such actions. Every so often come home and just go and rest in the lap of your wife. She will appreciate this gesture greatly.

4. Combing the spouse's hair:

Aisha radiallahu anha would comb the hair of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam and wash his hair.

This is how close a couple has to be. Love evolves and grows to such an extent that a spouse yearns to do everything for the other spouse even if it simply combing their hair. To maintain a high intensity of love, do the little things for your spouse also. Little acts have a huge psychological impact on the mind of the spouse. Seldom comb their hair, take their clothes out to wear, bring them a cold drink on a hot day, prepare something for them etc.

5. Drinking and eating from one place:

Aisha radiallahu anha would drink from a cup. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would take this cup and search for the place where the lips of his beloved wife made contact. Upon finding the place where his wife drank from the cup, he would put his lips on the very same place so that his lips have touched the place where her lips touched. He would then drink the contents of the cup at the same time enjoying with his spouse. When there was meat to eat, Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha would take a bite. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would take the meat from her hand and again place his mouth the very same place where his wife ate from. This would add taste of love to his food.

Do things together with your wife. Do not just eat at the same time and on the same tablecloth, but eat from the same plate. Let alone the same plate, eat together from the same article of food. This will bond the hearts so close to one another. When everything your wife comes into contact with becomes more beloved to you than food itself, imagine the flame of love in your lives?

6. Kissing: -

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would kiss his wife regularly. Even when he salallahu alaihi wasallam would be fasting, he would kiss his wife.

Compliment your spouse often with kisses. When exiting the house, make it habit you leave by coming into contact with your spouse. When returning home, along with saying salām to her, show that you have missed her dearly.

When she is working or busy in her household chores, surprise her with a kiss. You have to show your love. Love is the fuel of marriage; if you desire your marriage to progress, you have to express your love in every way you can.

Physical relations in a marriage are very important. The famous saying is, "actions speak louder than words." Show your spouse you love her. Sharī῾ah promotes romance and physical relations between the husband and wife. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam categorically stated,

"Conjugal relations with your wife is a sadaqah."

7. Lifting the morsel to her mouth

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam said : If you spend an amount you will be rewarded for it, -even when you lift the morsel to your wife's mouth."

The husband and wife should make these gentle gestures to exhibit their love and appreciation. Feed your spouse with your own hands now and then. This will rekindle the flame of love in your marriage.

8. Assisting her in the housework:

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would clean and help at home. He would see to his needs himself rather than demanding his wife. He would clean and see to his clothing himself.

Without being asked, if the couple help each other in day to day activities, it will make one appreciate the other. Likewise, one should try his best not to demand his/her spouse to do things too much. Whatever one can do himself, he should do. We need to be considerate of the spouse. The wife works tirelessly all day. So if the husband was to be considerate and realise his wife works hard, this will touch the wife. Likewise, if the wife was to go out of her way to see to the needs of her husband being considerate, it will induce a great spark of love between the two.

9. Telling her stories

Discuss stories and events with your spouse. Engage in light hearted discussions with her-something to laugh and joke over. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam on many occasions would discuss stories, events and have light hearted discussions. The famous story narrated by Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha regarding Umm Zar' is evident.

This is one angle which is neglected more so than often. It is all 'business' between the husband and wife. They do not get into light hearted conversations. Instead, the husband rings his friends and chuckles with them. The wife on the other hand giggles during the day with her friends. This should not be the case. Focus and divert all your amusement and entertainment at your spouse. If you want to laugh, then let it be that you are laughing with your wife.

Make it a point in your busy schedule daily where you sit with your wife and do nothing but have fun with her.

10. Sharing happy occasions with her:

Once when the Ethiopians were practicing target shooting in the masjid complex, the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam stood with his wife watching. Not only did the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam stand with his wife, he put his cloak around her. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam although he had other jobs to do, he stayed there standing with his wife. He only went when his wife wanted to go.

A husband should be one who shares happy occasions and experiences with his wife. When it is raining, cold or sunny, one should shelter his wife.

You should be willing to sacrifice your errands to spend time with your wife. When the spouse sees sacrifice for her sake, it will create immense love and respect in their heart.

11. Racing with his wife

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would exercise and play with his wife also. The famous incident of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam challenging his wife to race is well known.

When a couple can have such good times together, it only ignites the love even more.

12. Calling her by a beautiful name:

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would call his wife 'Humairā'' out of love. Linguistically it means the little reddish one, but the scholars state that in reality it refers to someone who is so fair that due to the sun they get a reddish tan. This was the reason why the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam called her Humairaa'.

Call your spouse nice sweet names. One has to show his partner love and affection in every little thing. One needs to feed love constantly to his spouse to keep the flame burning.

Once the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam stared into his wife's eyes. He was gazing at the world within his wife's eyes. He then said to Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha in praise of her beauty,

"How white are your eyes."

This is what is needed. The husband and wife should be constantly complementing and praising each other. The husband has to show his love and attraction to his wife. The wife needs to show her infatuation for her husband. When there is a reciprocal relationship, the marriage climbs heights.

13. Dress for your spouse

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbās radiallahu anhu said: "As my wife adorns herself for me, I adorn myself for her. I do not want to take all of my rights from her so that she will not take all of her rights from me because Allah, the Exalted, stated the following: "And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them." (Qur῾ān 2 :228.)

This is another area where many spouses fail. The wife only dresses when it is a special occasion. The husband on the hand stays scruffy and does not take care to be neat and tidy. If the couple want their everyday to be a special occasion like their wedding day, they must dress to impress!

The wife should wear the clothing which pleases her husband. Likewise, the husband should wear what the wife likes. Every time the husband and wife glance at each other, the glance should arouse them and stir up more love for their spouse. This will ignite the love in the heart.

14. Utilising perfume:

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would have a container for perfume. He would use perfume constantly.[xii] One should make an effort to smell good for his wife all the time. Looking good, keeping clean, smelling nice compliments a relationship exceptionally. Make sure you hair is tidy, your clothes are neat and you smell pleasant. This will attract your spouse always and inject affection into the marriage.

15. Do not talk about her private matters:

The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam described the one who discloses his wife's affairs to others as amongst the worst of people.

Whatever occurs between yourself and your spouse should remain between you two. How unmanly and shameful is it when a husband discusses his wife to his friends? The secrets and issues of the spouse must not be narrated at all to anyone. Do not talk about your wife to others. Your wife is for you. You are for your wife. Your fidelity and loyalty should always be to your spouse.

16. Loving & respecting their families

Another great factor to contribute to a healthy relationship is to love and cherish the family of your spouse. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam was once asked whom he loved the most. He replied, "Aisha." When the questioner rephrased his question and asked from amongst the men, he replied, "Her father."

The Prophet could have easily said Abu Bakr. His answer displays such intelligence and ingenuity, that in one response he displayed his devotion to his wife and her family. He exhibited his fondness for his in-laws. Imagine how happy his wife Sayyidah Aisha would have become upon hearing this response?

Compliment your in laws in front of your wife. Compliment your wife to her family. Your wife will really appreciate this.

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife's mouth, opening the car's door for her, etc.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala will always result in having more peace at home.