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Wage War Against Yourself

Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadi Al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) said:
“Wage war against yourself from falling into arrogance. An evil characteristic, leading one to disbelief, belittlement of people and rejecting the truth. This is why the wise one (Luqmaan) advised his son not to turn his face away from men, full of pride. This, so that he doesn’t become arrogant towards people.

A person speaks to you while you are haughty turning away from him. Humble yourself. You are a poor person, weak, created from earth, created from a sperm that is of little value, you excrete and go to the toilet many times every day, how can you be arrogant?!

How can you be arrogant towards people while you are in this state? Who are you (to be arrogant)? Then, if a thorn pierces you, you cry because of it, (so) how can you be arrogant towards people?

It is obligatory upon the person to degrade himself if his soul becomes arrogant, haughty and he should remind it of how worthless and lowly it is and that from the most degraded of people are the arrogant ones.

By Allaah, I myself do not look down upon anyone except the arrogant one and (the) liars. By Allaah, I may see the weakest of people and say he is better than me. And I see the arrogant, proud one and he may be whatever level (he has reached), by Allaah, he is the most insignificant of people and most despicable of people to me. There isn’t anyone lowlier than an arrogant person and no one becomes arrogant except from a despicable trait and degraded character and soul.”

[Taken from the appendix of “15 Characteristics Of The Slaves Of The Most Merciful” Pp. 48-49]
via Ihsaan Thomas

Stop missing the bounty from your Lord!

Despite all the narrations on adhkaar after salat, many of us are still missing it. Among them is where the prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said; 

“Whoever makes Tasbih (saying: “SubhanAllaah [Glory be to Allah]”) thirty-three times, Tahmid (saying: “Alhamdulillaah [All praise is due to Allaah]”) thirty-three times, Takbir (saying: “Allaahu Akbar [Allaah is the Greatest]”), the total number of which will be ninety-nine times, and then completes a hundred by saying: “La ilaha illAllaahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in Qadeer”, his sins will be forgiven for him even though they might be as much as the foam of the sea.”
What about the one narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels send blessings upon one of you so long as he is in his prayer-place where he offered his prayer, so long as he does not break his wudoo’; they say: ‘O Allaah forgive him, O Allaah have mercy on him.’” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
SubhanAllaah! What a great bounty. But how do we say it today? How many people are really saying or completing it? While many leave the mosque immediately after the tasleem without doing any adhkaar, others are rushing it to the extent that one wonders what they are actually saying. How will someone be talking and counting at the same time? How will someone be saying adhkaar while watching football or TV? SubhanAllaah! Little by little, we are missing some of the bounties from our Lord.
Therefore we urge ourselves to maximise the opportunity by saying our adkhaar the way it was prescribed by the Prophet with concentration and humility. May Allaah accept our supplications.
…Abide by the truth even if your mind deserts you.

Finding YOURSELF as a Mother

You hear it all the time- mothers expressing that they don’t know who they are anymore after having children- and it makes total sense to feel this way. However, remember that it doesn’t have to be this way forever.

Here are a few suggestions to help you find yourself after becoming a mother:

Change Your Thinking

The way we think impacts how we feel, that’s why it is key to keep in mind that raising children does not mean our life has come to an end; rather your life has changed- and that’s okay!

It’s easy to slip into the mindset that children will prevent you from living life to your fullest, that you won’t be as social as you once were, traveling will be harder, or that you don’t have time for self care anymore; however, don’t lose sight of what you are gaining.

Children will bring joy into your life, you’ll get to see them reach important milestones, grow into kind adults- all of which will give you a fulfillment you will get otherwise.  

Finding Peace In Prayer

It’s beautiful how a time of chaos (i.e amidst kids crying and throwing tantrums) can be combated by a few moments of peace through prayer! When you’re stressed, praying will give you that break your mind and body so desire.

No longer will your mind be stressed, instead it will be focused on Allah subhanu wa taala and you will find yourself doing back to finding the true meaning of this life- pleasing Allah.

How wonderful is it that, during five times a day, your mind and soul is in a state of peace and content via prayer?

Do What You LOVE

You may feel tired and exhausted as a mother, but don’t forget to go back to the things you once loved to do, even if it’s just for half an hour a day or once a week.

If you love reading, treat yourself to a new book; if you love to just be with friends, then schedule a coffee date with them whenever you can. It really is the simple things that will allow you to feel like your old self again!

Find Alternatives

Often times, we may want to do something, but then think, “wait a minute, how can I do this as a mother with children?” The solution is to find alternatives!

For example, if you love to travel, then know that you still can, but it would be best to look for child friendly resorts that can accommodate your children’s needs. If you are missing going to events, then look for events that have on-site babysitting options available. If you feel lonely and want to interact with more adults, but find it difficult to go anywhere with your children, then you may want to consider going to places like an indoor playground, that will keep your children busy while you chat with the other mom’s.

Do Things Together

More so than not, mothers may feel that they are not meeting their personal goals, compared to as they once were prior to having children. But what about achieving your personal goals with your family? This a great way to not only get things done, but to also feel good about yourself.

For instance, if your goal is to workout and eat healthy, then put on a fitness DVD and exercise with your children at home- I have tried this and it’s an excellent way to spend time with your children, plus they are burning off their energy and you are burning calories 😉 Also, get your children involved in cooking healthy foods, like whole wheat pizza where they get to select their own toppings!

I pray that these tips will be of some use for mothers who are struggling to find themselves after having children! I personally know of the struggles we face as parents, but taking note of the blessings that come with parenthood- that is a huge blessing in itself!

What’s Happening to my Dua?

hear to us. He is waiting for us to ask Him so that He can fulfill it for us. But, are we worthy of His favor? Have we surrounded ourselves and our lives with activities that push us away from this Mercy of Allah? The answer is a resounding yes, at least for most of us. Let’s see why:

  1. Haraam Income:

The Messenger of Allah SAWSmentioned a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying, “O Lord! O Lord!” while his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered? 1

If every single penny we earn is from haraamsources or is based on interest, how can we expect AllahSWT to accept our dua’?

AllahSWTforbade us from riba, yet we consume it as if nothing is wrong! Allah SWT says that He and His MessengerSAWSwill be at war with those who eat riba on the Day of Judgement, 2 but even this does not deter us from giving it up!

How sad is our state that we cannot give up something so small just for the pleasure of Allah SWT, but we expect AllahSWTto forgive every sin that we commit and answer our dua’. Selfish we are! 

How sad is our state that we cannot give up something so small just for the pleasure of Allah, but we expect Allah to forgive every sin that we commit and answer our dua’. Selfish we are!2

  1. Heedlessness in dua’:

Eyes closed, hands raised, lips in motion, words tumbling out of our mouth in a hurry, yet our mind and heart is in a different world. Our thoughts and the words that are racing through our tongue do not match. If this is the level of ‘seriousness’ we employ to ask Allah SWT to fulfill our wishes, I believe the outcome is not a surprise!

  1. Zina:

Some of us ask Allah SWT to accept our dua’while committing the most heinous of sins. Sins that we are very careful to commit in secret. Yet, we forget that our Lord is watching us when we are at it! So strict is the command about zina, that Allah SWT instructs us not to even approach it, let alone fall into it. 3  And when the zaani 4has committed this shameful act, he turns to Allah SWT with this heavy pile of evil deeds asking for His bounties! SubhanAllah! Doesn’t his face drop in shame before lifting it to face Allah SWT?5

  1. All Sinful Deeds:

Backbiting, gossiping, lying, cheating, causing distress to others and so on are actions that are forbidden by Allah SWT. But we expect Him SWTto answer our prayers while we continue to disobey Him!

What audacity do we have to stand before our Lord and ask Him SWTfor His bounties when we are doing exactly the opposite of what He has instructed us!

But There Is Hope……

There is another side to the question that we began with. Those who are obedient to Allah SWT, who are sincere in their actions, who abstain from sins fearing the punishment of Allah SWTand who do good seeking the pleasure of their Lord do not despair if your dua’ is not answered!

“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘When is the help of Allah?’ Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:214)

(26Oct)Blog Post-Inside poster-duaThis is just a test. And no one in his right state of mind would want to fail this test as the rewards are humungous! If the Messenger of Allah SAWS, the one who AllahSWT has Himself consoled in the Qur’an 6 is being tested, where do we stand O Muslims? Do not give up, for our Lord is with us.Let the tears of sincerity flow; make dua’ with utmost trust in Allah SWT. Know that He will never let you down!1

Prophet MuhammedSAWSsaid, “When Allah loves a servant, He tests him,”7

Also, in a hadith qudsi, AllahSWTtells Jibreel to delay the response to the dua’ of a servant because AllahSWT loves hearing his voice!2 8

Remember, our dua’s do not go waste. Scholars have pointed out that when Muslims make dua’, it is heard and accepted but this acceptance, however, can be in a number of different ways.

Either Allah will respond and fulfill the desire of the person who made the dua’, or He will ward off some evil from him because of the dua’, or He will make something good easy for him to attain because of it, or He will save it with Him for him on the Day of Resurrection when he will be most in need of it.” 9

Ask, Even If It Were For A Broken Shoe Lace….1.

Ibn Rajab rahimullah said:

…..Allah likes His slaves to ask Him for everything that is in their spiritual and worldly interests such as food, drink, clothing etc, and to ask Him for guidance and forgiveness. In the hadeeth Thabit Al-Bunani narrated that the Messenger of Allah SAWS said:“Let one of you ask his Lord for his every need, until he asks Him for salt, and asks Him for the strap of his sandal when it breaks.” 10 it says: “Let one of you ask his Lord for everything that he needs, even a lace for his shoe if it breaks.” Some of the salaf used to ask Allah in their prayers for everything, even salt for their dough and food for their sheep. In al-Israa’eeliyyaat it is narrated that Moosa alayhisalaam said: O Lord, I have some worldly needs but I feel too shy to ask You. He said: Ask Me even for the salt for your dough and food for your donkey.

Whatever a person needs, if he asks Allah for it, then he has demonstrated his need of Him, and that is something that Allah loves. Some of the salaf would feel too shy to ask Allah for their worldly needs, but following the Sunnah is better. 11

Brothers and sister in Islam, ask AllahSWT! The ProphetSAWShas told us:

Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty.212

As for those of you who have drowned in the glitter of this worldly life and have strayed far away from the commands of Allah SWT, repent to the Merciful and seek His Forgiveness. Maketawbah and turn to Allah SWT in sincere repentance.

Don’t you want to taste the sweetness of Allah’s miracles in your life too?

Have you experienced the miracles of dua in your life? What advice would you like to give to others reading this article? Please share your views in the comments section below. :)

References:

  1.   Muslim ↩
  2.  Surah al Baqarah, 2:278-279 ↩
  3.   Surah al ‘Isra, 17:32 ↩
  4.   A male fornicator; zaaniya(f) ↩
  5.   Applies to both male and female ↩
  6.  Surah ash-Sharh, 94: 1-8 ↩
  7.   Tirmidhi ↩
  8.   Tabrani ↩
  9.   Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, islamqa.info↩
  10.   Hasan (Darussalam): Jami` at-Tirmidhi; Book 48, Hadith 244 ↩
  11.   Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam (1/225): http://islamqa.info/en/98196 ↩
  12.   Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi ↩

Showing Kindness to non-Muslims in an Era of Islamophobia

How do we deal with Islamophobia in this day and age? Let’s read this article to find out.

Prophet Muhammad SAWS said: “All creatures are like a family (dependents) of God: and He loves most those who are kindest to his family.” [1.  Narrated by Anas. Mishkat al-Masabih,3:1392; quoted from Bukhari]

The above hadith teaches Muslims to be kind to non-Muslims because they are Allah’s creation.

The Quran reminds us to be kind to non-Muslims as long as they do not harm us:

Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you due to (your) religion, and have not driven you from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.” (Quran, 60:8)

Learn from each other

The Quran teaches that AllahSWT created different groups of people so that they can learn about one another:

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another…”(Quran 49:13)

Terrorism has no place in Islam

Terrorism is totally against the teachings of Islam. To kill an innocent person is like killing all of humanity:

…If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or for corruption (done) in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind… (Quran, 5:32)

Self defense

Quran teaches that fighting is only done in self-defence and must stop if the enemy desires peace:

“Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits.” (Quran 2:190)

…But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against those who practice oppression.” (Quran 2:193)

“But if the enemy inclines towards peace, you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah… Even if they intend to deceive you, remember that God is sufficient for you…” (Quran 8:61-62)

If fighting must occur for self defense, prisoners of war should be treated with kindness.

About captives of war, the Prophet said, “They are your brothers! Offer them what you eat and drink!” 1

After the Battle of Badr, prisoners of war were brought. Among them was al-Abbas. He did not have a shirt on, so the Prophet looked for a shirt for him. It turned out that a shirt of Abdullah bin Ubayy was the right size, so the Prophet gave it to al-Abbas to wear and compensated Abdullah with his own shirt. [3.  Bukhari]

Free will

The Quran states that all people have the right to choose their religion and that it is God’s will that people have different religions.

Islamic Scholar Muhammad Abdel Haleem writes: “Nowhere in the Quran is changing people’s religion given as a cause for waging war. The Qur’an gives a clear instruction that there is no compulsion in religion (Quran 2:256). It states that people will remain different (Quran 11:118), they will always have different religions and ways and this is an unalterable fact (Quran 5:48) – God tells the Prophet that most people will not believe “even if you are eager that they should” (Quran 12:103).” 2

Islamophobia

Islamophobia is prejudice and discrimination towards Muslims due to their religion. The above hadith encourages kindness as a means to please God. Therefore, kindness is the primary solution for Islamophobia. The Quran states:

“Good and Evil deeds are not alike. Repel evil with good, and he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend.” (Quran 41:34)

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid reminds us how the Prophet SAWS responded to ill treatment:

“Remember the Prophet. The Prophet was subject to horrible insults and hate crimes in his lifetime. He remained steadfast, patient and tolerant in the face of this Islamophobia. We must model this same behavior.” 3

Imam Mujahid recommends kindness to neighbors as a solution:

Instead of a term of distance like “Non-Muslims” use a term of relationship like “neighbors” when referring to our neighbors. The Prophet said, “Jibril kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance to the neighbors.” (Bukhari and Muslim). Given this level of familiarity and closeness we should have with our neighbors, it is amazing the way we keep ignoring them, especially in neighborhoods with large, vibrant mosques and Islamic centers.” 4

Over to you. Please share with us in the comments section on ways to tackle Islamophobia.

  1.  Muslim ↩
  2.  http://www.islamicity.org/4270/war-and-peace-in-the-quran/ ↩
  3.  http://www.soundvision.com/article/14-ways-you-can-fight-islamophobia ↩
  4.  http://www.soundvision.com/article/five-values-to-remember-in-the-fight-against-islamophobia ↩