Wednesday, June 26, 2013

8 Easy Steps to Recite the Entire Qur'an this Ramadan

8 Easy Steps to Recite the Entire Qur'an this Ramadan

By Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar  (Fee Qalbee blog)



It has been said that everything has a beloved & that the month of Ramadan has a beloved, too: The Glorious Qur'an. For the duration of this month, Muslims worldwide honour Ramadan's beloved and aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'an.

In this article you'll learn how you too can work towards achieving this noble goal, insha'Allah.


Our beloved Messenger of Allah(peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us – through his words & actions – the importance of one's intent or purpose. Establishing one's intention is an effective catalyst for implementation. Once your intention has been established, remember to renew it often. Whilst reciting and even upon completion of the Qur'an, recall your intention and renew it, thus ensuring that it is constantly purified & you are seeking His Divine Acceptance, inshaAllah.


For some, as much as they aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'an during Ramadan, they are overwhelmed by the number of pages or the length of some Surahs. Remove 'I can't' from your vocabulary and eliminate negative thinking, for the believer puts their trust in Allah, matched by striving with their actions. Remind yourself that you are (if Allah wills) fully capable of achieving your Qur'anic aspirations, whether it be completing Qur'an 1 or 5 times. This second point is key. Put your heart into this accomplishment & reap the rewards throughout, inshaAllah.


Prior to commencing with your recitation it's important to plan around your routine and block out time for your Qur'an goal e.g. your work hours, rest hours & any other commitments which you may have. Structure a realistic plan of how to complete the recitation of Qur'an within the month by dividing each Juz per day. Draw up this personal plan, review it constantly, and put it into action!

As you put your plan to paper, consider past Ramadan's and ask yourself if there have been instances where you were unable to complete Qur'anic recitation. Reflect over why and how this occurred. Is there a different mechanism that you could put into place? How could you enhance your daily Qur'an routine if these distractions were dealt with?

Take the first opportunity that comes, to begin your Qur'anic quest. So when the moon is sighted & the announcement has been made for the 1st Salaatul-Taraweeh, begin in earnest, with Surah Al-Fatiha, Surah Al-Baqarah etc.


Read the translation of the Juz you will be reciting daily. Having a basic knowledge of the theme, topic, message & meaning of what you are reciting makes the recitation of the Qur'an an incredibly uplifting experience that you do not want to miss out on!


Develop close bonds with brothers/sisters who are known for their attachment to the Qur'an. They'll be your spiritual friends. Engage a Qur'an Buddy in your noble Qur'an productivity goals. Request that they remind you to fulfil your goals and spiritual aspirations so they can help you in times of slacking.

In life, we compete with many materialistic goals and race one another, but what about following the footsteps of the best of generations that had come before us in a competition this Ramadan? In striving and competing with our friends and colleagues towards our noble goals, in a good-natured way, we can motivate ourselves to finish our Qur'an goal.

One of the common aspects which deter a Muslim from completing this task is excessive communication. Often, many of us spend too much unnecessary time surfing the net, chatting, texting, etc… . Reduce this even by a third and you will see, feel and witness the blessings in your time, inshaAllah.


A deeply inspiring story in 'lessons from the waiting room' – where a mother; who has taken her unwell child to the hospital; waits for the doctor to see to her child. She notices a young Muslim who uses his time in the waiting room, in a most effective & spiritually rewarding way, reciting from a pocket-sized Quran. Lesson to be taken here: Invest in a pocket-sized Qur'an and make it your best friend this Ramadan. Seize every opportunity and moment to be with Allah (glorified and exalted be He) through your recitation.

One of the best times at which to recite Qur'an, is after Suhoor(pre- dawn meal). Having partaken from the Sunnah meal, and within an hour or two still to go before work or school, this is the ideal jump start to your day. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) asked Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to bless our Ummah in the early hours, and you will also be more likely to memorise ayahs at this time. Research shows that morning study creates better performance in students so don't miss the morning recitation!

Time Tip: Salah Followed by Qur'an.

Consider the following option that has worked well for numerous people in past Ramadan's. Try reciting 6 – 8 pages of Qur'an (depending on the Mus-haf(copy of the Qur'an) that you are using) after each of your 5 daily salah. Add Qiyaamul-Layl (late night salah) as a 6th addition, and you will reach the end of Ramadan, having completed your Qur'an recitation with ease & perhaps, even before the last 5 days of Ramadan so long as you remain committed.

Time Tip: Recite before going to sleep.

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says: "Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence and more suitable for words" (Qur'an73:6). Reciting during the day is also beneficial, however the night time recitation is easier as well during Ramadan as there are less distractions and noise.


The key to any success is consistency. Once you've mapped your plan, stick to it. Remind yourself of the greatness of this month, of the opportunities that it provides for your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Qur'an. Don't be willing to compromise it in this month.


Nothing can be achieved without the aid and guidance of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). When making your intention to complete your recitation or memorisation of Qur'an, supplicate to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to ease this noble pathway and to crown your efforts with success, inshaAllah.

These are the 8 ways I wanted to share with you on starting and completing your journey through recitation of the Qur'an this Ramadan. Indeed, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: "This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.'' In the hours of the days and nights of this sacred month, may the Qur'an be your companion of light and guidance, resonating through your words, actions and life mission. May your relationship with the Qur'an be strengthened, enriched & enlivened with the profound wisdom and divine message from Allah (glorified and exalted be He).


Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Artist-motivational

The Artist


Once upon a time, a well-known painter was finishing his painting. It's an incredibly beautiful painting to be shown at the Airport during the upcoming Hajj Season.


The painter wanted this painting to be a master piece. He worked on it for weeks on the top of a 24 storey building. He was consumed by and excited with his own painting that he unconsciously took a few step backward while admiring the 2 x 8 m painting. He didn't look back when he walked backward. He kept on walking backward until it was a step away from the edge of the 24storey building. Just one more step backward and he could have fallen to his death.


A man saw what the painter was doing and was about to shout at him to warn him when he realized that his shout might surprise the painter and thus make him take that fatal one step backward and fall down. So the man took a brush and some paint and began to paint on the beautiful painting until it was completely damaged.


Upon realizing what happened to his painting, the painter got very angry and moved forward to hit the man. However, some other people who were also present at the vicinity held him and showed him his last position which almost made him fall.


MORAL: Sometimes we have painted our future with such beauty and dreamed of beautiful days we will spend with our loved one, but then Allah seemed to destroy our beautiful painting when Allah sees what danger lies ahead of us. Sometimes we are angry and annoyed by what Allah has done to us, but one thing we have to keep in our mind is that our Creator Allah is Most Wise an always keeps our best of interest in mind!

So when Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala , in His Infinite Wisdom, tests us with a situation that we think is  difficult or takes away something that in our mind was good for us, we need to remember that perhaps it may not be so. Perhaps if we had continued in our way, it might have been harmful for us and whatever Allah decreed for us is actually better for us, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.

Allah says:"…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." (Surah Baqarah: 216)

A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.

Blessings in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise…

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

The journey of life often encompasses difficulties, challenges, trials and tribulations. With the right frame of mind and positive attitude we can come out of each “dark tunnel” better, stronger and wiser.

We have a choice on how we respond to life’s “storms.” Either we can cast blame while becoming resentful and bitter or we can be positive and turn to Allah Ta’ala and exercise patience. Every hurdle we face in life has a meaning and Allah Ta’ala will not expose us to a burden we cannot endure. “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an: 2:286).

“Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” (Hadith- Tirmidhi)
“…….If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allah has decreed and what He wills He does , for (saying) ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan(devil).” (Hadith-Muslim ).
As part of our Imaan (faith), we believe that all matters are in the hands of Allah Ta’ala. However, our Imaan can get shaken during times of trials and hardships. It is during such times though that we should remind ourselves that a believer’s position and rank is raised in front of Allah and that such a hardship may very well be a sign of Allah’s love for the believer. This can help us in maintaining and even strengthening our faith.
Once a boy found a cocoon of a butterfly and took it home. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. Then the boy decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The boy continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the boy in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Allah Ta’ala's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If Allah allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would sometimes cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been and possibly never be able to “fly”.
Sometimes we need heat and warmth to ripen fruit and sometimes cold is needed in certain fruit to complete the ripening process. So exactly is the same in life sometimes we may have to undergo various conditions that may appear to be unfavourable so that we “ripen” and are ready for the onward journey.
I wise person once said: “ I asked for Strength...And Allah gave me Difficulties to make me strong. I asked for Wisdom...And Allah gave me Problems to solve. I asked for Prosperity...And Allah gave me Brain and Brawn to work. I asked for Courage...And Allah gave me Danger to overcome. I asked for Love...And Allah gave me Underprivileged people to help. I asked for Favours...And Allah gave me Opportunities. I received nothing I wanted ...Yet I received everything I needed!”
Accepting and enduring our condition and the Divine Decree of Allah Ta’ala can help us in not only shedding burdens of the past but to also win Allah’s pleasure. Suppressing our urge to blame others for the pains that we encounter by maintaining a positive mindset can help us maintain a less stressful life and promote healthy relationships.
“Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed.” (Hadith-Bukhaari )
Hardships and trials are part of everyone’s life. The important thing is for us to have the right attitude of trusting Allah and His plans when facing such hardships and trials. During such trying times, always remember that nothing happens without the Will of Allah. Second, we may not know that our trials and hardships may be part of a bigger plan of which we may have only limited knowledge. It’s only at a later stage when the bigger Plans of Allah reveal themselves to everyone. We can see an example of this from the following verse of Qur’an-Surah Yousuf that when the step brothers of Prophet Yousuf (peace be upon him) were taking him to throw him into a dark well, Allah revealed to Prophet Yousuf (AS) that,”Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.” (Qur’an, 65:7) and this is exactly what happened.
Allah also reminds us:"…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." (Qur’an-Surah Baqarah: 216)
“There is a blessing in calamity that the wise man should not ignore, for it erases sins, gives one the opportunity to attain the reward for patience, dispels negligence, reminds one of blessings at the time of health, calls one to repent and encourages one to give charity and endure.”
Life is a learning curve and the challenges are there to make us stronger and to condition us and build us emotionally, spiritually and physically for the greater challenges that we will encounter tomorrow. Outwardly circumstances may be perceived as hardships but in reality they may really be blessings in disguise! 

Pearls of Wisdom No. 30

Pearls of Wisdom: No.30

"Food for the Soul"

Subject: Being Thankful

Allah, The Most Exalted, says:

'If you are thankful, I will surely increase you (in favor); but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe'." (Qur'an 14:7)

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


"He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah". (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

"If the recipient of a kindness says to his benefactor Jazakallahu Khair (May Allah reward you with goodness), indeed he has fully praised and been thankful." (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

Note: Indeed one who does not thank those who were kind to him, is not thankful to Allah Ta'ala. We should endeavour to show favour and kindness to those who have benefitted us in whatever way. To pray in these words "Jazakallahu Khair" expresses that I am unable to recompense, so I invoke Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala that He may give you a better reward for this. Thus, these words carry praise and benefit for the benefactor.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The event of Al-Israa' and Al-Me'raj - Ultimate belief in the unseen

Al Israa and Al Meraj


The event of Al-Israa' and Al-Me'raj - Ultimate belief in the unseen


Belief in the Unseen represents a major and essential part of Islam. When we review the key principles of Islam such as belief in Allah, the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell, angels and jinn, past prophets and books, we find that all these issues are ghayb (unseen) and need unshakable conviction in Rasulullah SAW's truthfulness. The Night Journey and Ascension (Al-Israa' wa Al-Me'raj) posed a crucial test for early Muslims to assess their belief in the Unseen. This journey brought to light the unshakeable, firmly rooted faith of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and the weak faith of some other people who rejected Islam totally once they heard the story.


The event of Al-Israa' and Al-Me'raj is recorded in the Quran and Hadith. It is the miraculous Night Journey of Rasulullah SAW which consists of two phases. Phase one covers his trip from Makkah to Jerusalem , known as Al-Israa', and phase two covers his ascent from Jerusalem into the Heavens, known as Al-Me'raj. It is the opinion of some historians that Rasulullah SAW went on this remarkable journey on the night of Rajab 27 (in the seventh month of the Islamic calendar). Some authors refer to the year in which this event is recorded as the Year of Grief. It was the year in which Rasulullah SAW lost his beloved wife Khadijah RA and his dear uncle, Abu Talib, who had nurtured him as a child and protected him when he was proclaimed a prophet of Allah. During this same year, he went to the city of Ta'if to invite the people to Islam, but he was stoned and driven out of the city by the street urchins. Rasulullah SAW is reported to have said that the day in Ta'if was the most difficult day of his life.

Due to these three events, Rasulullah SAW was very sad, but Allah Almighty had a superb plan to relieve His Chosen Messenger from distress, as is embodied in the following Quran verse: [ Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer, the Seer ] (Al-Israa' 17:1). The above verse refers to Al-Israa', the journey from Makkah to Jerusalem .


In a hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Abu Dhar RA narrated the event of Al-Me'raj or Ascension, as described by Rasulullah SAW. Abu Dhar RA narrated as follows: Rasulullah SAW was in Makkah and the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) descended through the roof, opened his chest, washed it with Zamzam water, filled it with wisdom and faith, and then closed it. He was then taken by Jibreel to the nearest heaven, where Jibreel was asked by the gatekeeper, "Jibreel is there anyone with you?" He answered that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was with him. Again he asked, "Has he been called?" And Jibreel answered in the affirmative. The gate was then opened and they entered the nearest heaven, where they saw a man sitting with a large number of people on his right and also on his left. When he looked on his right he laughed, and when he looked at his left he wept. Then he said, "Welcome! O pious prophet and pious son." Rasulullah SAW inquired from Jibreel who the man was and Jibreel informed him that he was Adam and the people around him were his offspring. Those on his right were the people of Paradise and on his left, the people of Hell.


They then travelled to the second heaven. Here Jibreel was asked the same questions as before and he gave the same response, and so the gate was opened. Anas RA reported that Abu Dhar RA added that Rasulullah SAW met Adam, Idris (Enoch), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Ibrahim (Abraham), but Abu Dhar RA did not mention in which heaven they were, except that Rasulullah SAW met Adam in the first and Ibrahim in the sixth. Each of these prophets welcomed Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and Jibreel identified each of them. Ibn Abbas RA and Abu Habba Al-Ansari RA reported that Rasulullah SAW also said that Jibreel ascended with him to a place where he heard the creaking of pens. Allah prescribed fifty Prayers on His followers.


When Rasulullah SAW returned with this order from Allah, he passed by Musa, who inquired, "What has Allah enjoined on your followers?" He replied, "He has enjoined fifty Prayers on them." Musa advised him to go back and appeal for a reduction because his followers would not be able to bear it. So he went back to Allah (a few times) and appealed for a reduction until it was reduced to five per day, and Allah said, "These are five Prayers and they are all equal to fifty in reward, for My Word does not change." Rasulullah SAW returned to Musa AS , who advised him to seek a further reduction, but he said he felt shy to ask again.


After this, he was taken by Jibreel to Sidrat Al-Muntaha or the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary, which was shrouded in colours that are indescribable. He was then admitted into Paradise , where he saw that its walls were made of pearls and its earth was made of musk.


As we contemplate the occurrences of this remarkable night, we can say that Allah had a very good reason for Rasulullah SAW to be transported from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to the Seven Heavens. Jerusalem was the Qiblah or the direction towards which Rasulullah SAW turned in Prayer, and up to that time was the seat of learning for all previously revealed scriptures. This unique incident also demonstrates Allah's infinite mercy to the believers. His benevolent gift of Prayer gives the believers the privilege of acquiring countless blessings and also forgiveness for their indiscretions.