Monthly Archives: October 2013

The extra acts of Worship

To build our relationship with Allah (SWT), we need to continue performing good deeds.

Once we establish the obligatory acts of Islam, we start performing the nawafil(voluntary) acts which are very beneficial to increase our imaan.

Verily, Allah (swt) said: Whoever shows enmity to a Walee (close, obedient slave, who worships Allah alone without associating partners with Him in worship, performs good deeds, and avoids sins) of mine, then I declare war upon him. No slave seeks closeness to Me with anything that is more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And My slave continues to seek closeness to Me through voluntary acts (of worship) until I love him. And when I love him, I become his hearting that he hears with, his sight that he sees with, his hand that he strikes with, and his leg that he walks with. If he asks Me, I give him; if he seeks refuge with Me. I give him. And I have never hesitated about something I do that way I hesitate to take the soul of a believer; he dislikes death, and I dislike his being distressed (or harmed).    Related by Bukhaaree (6502)

1. Pray the most beneficial Night Prayer – Qiyam-al-Layl or Tahajjud in the last third part of the night. 2 rakat of Prayer is enough. However, 8 rakat are the recommended.

2. Pray Salat-ul-duha – the timing for Duha prayer starts 20 minutes after sunrise and ends 30 minutes before Duhr prayer.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was reported as saying:
“Whoever prays 12 rakaat for the Duha Prayer, Allaah will build a Golden Castle for him in paradise.
(Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

3. Recite Quran at Fajr

Allah says in Surah al-Isra that “Quran at Fajr is witnessed”. There is abundant blessings in reciting Quran at Fajr time.

4. Start memorizing the Quran. Make Niyyah of memorizing the Quran.

“It will be said to the companion of the Qur’aan after he has entered Paradise, ‘Recite, and rise!’ For every verse he recites he will rise one level (in Paradise), until he recites the last verse with him (i.e., in his memory).” (Aboo Dawood)

5. Observe voluntary fast every Monday and Thursday. Or three days of every month. Every good deed is multiplied ten times. It would be as if you are fasting the entire year.

6. Fast on the days of Arafa (9th of Dhul-hijjah). It expiates the sins of preceding year and the coming year.

7. Fast on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). It expiates the sins of the previous year.

8. Give voluntary charity(sadaqa).

“Three things will benefit a person after they pass away: Knowledge that they leave behind that people benefit from, a continuing charity (sadaqah jaariyah), and a righteous child that will seek forgiveness for their parents.”

The Prophet (SAW) explains what constitutes as sadaqah jariyah in another hadith: “A slave of Allah will continue to get rewarded for seven things after they are deceased and in their graves: 1- Whoever taught knowledge. 2- Facilitated a pathway for water 3- Built a well 4- Planted a tree 5- Built a Masjid 6- Gave a copy of the Quran 7- Left a child behind that will seek forgiveness for them after their death.” (Sahih Al-Jami’ 3602)

All said, it is recommended to act upon voluntary acts which can be done regularly even if they are small. A consistent voluntary act(even if it is small) is more rewarded than inconsistent voluntary act. Do not overburden yourself with voluntary acts of worship.

When a Calamity befalls us… Be Thankful

It is narrated that the Companions of our Prophet(SAWS) used to thank Allah (SWT) in times of trials for three things:

1. That the trial could have been worse.

2. That the trial is not in their Imaan.

3. That the trial is in this world(duniya) and NOT in the Hereafter(Akhirah)

SubhanAllah, May Allah (SWT) grant us the knowledge and patience. Ameen.

 

In times of Difficulty…

My life has changed much since I started to realize my various challenges. The toughest challenge has been to be in control and composed in adverse situations. The only way I knew was try cry away.  In fact, my conscious goal for many years has been “To Stop crying”. On the way I realized many things.

One, it is a sign of weakness, where we throw up our hands and say I can do nothing – so start crying.

Two, my belief in Allah (SWT) and Qadr(divine decree) was not so strong.

Three, there was too much anxiety building up at every situation – thanks to self help books which say that you can manifest anything you want, if you want it enough, visualize it enough etc. What these self help books miss out is the crucial part – in addition to giving it our best, we should also make dua abundantly and to know that “what Allah wills only will ever happen”.

Alhamdulillah, when I face a challenging situation now, I handle it quite differently. I am also more composed and peaceful. If we observe the above three things I mentioned, we can see that all three are interconnected.

Once we have strong belief in Allah (SWT) and his plan for us(Qadr), we don’t throw up our hands anymore and we don’t feel the anxiety anymore. We know that if we do the following, something good will be granted by Allah (SWT) either in this world(duniya) or in the akhirah(hereafter)

1. We put in our best effort to correct the situation or to find a solution.

2. We make plenty of dua(supplication) to Allah (SWT)

3. Try to pray Qiyam-al-Layl most of the days and make dua to HIM in the blessed hours of the night(last one-thirds of the night)

4. Develop a habit of Thanking Allah (SWT) even when a calamity has befallen.

5. Continuously seek Allah’s help and seek guidance.

6. Improve our relationship with Allah – By performing all obligatory acts and adding more nawafil acts

7. Continue worshiping Allah (SWT) in the best possible way for us even after the calamity or the difficult situation has passed.

While doing all this, it is important to keep in mind the following:

1. We make the best of our efforts and make lots of Dua – still nothing good seems to be happening. Remember that Allah (SWT) knows best what is good for us, and we may not see the goodness in a situation now and may see it in the long term.

2. Allah (SWT) may grant us good in this world(Duniya) or in the Hereafter(Akhirah). So, we may not realize it just yet.

3. Allah (SWT) gives us a situation so we can turn to Him and worship Him a lot. So, Alhamdulillah.

When I do all these and know that I am on the right path, I am more peaceful, composed and confident than ever before. I thank Allah(SWT) for granting me the understanding Alhamdulillah. I pray that I don’t waiver from this understanding and that we all realize peace and calm in this life. Ameen.

Final sermon from our Beloved Prophet (SAWS)

The last sermon of our beloved Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam), delivered on the 9th day of Hajj at the plain of Arafat. I pray to Allah (SWT) that he gives us the hidaya to follow his words and be of those who are blessed by the mercy of The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious Allah (SWT):

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. God has Judged that there shall be no interest, and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd’al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived…

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under a trust from God and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God, perform your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and offer Zakat. Perform Hajj if you have the means.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before God and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and it may be that the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon, and upon it, near the summit of Arafat, the revelation came down:

“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3)

I  could not stop thinking of those blessed brothers and sisters on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, who Allah (SWT) called and they performed Hajj by the mercy of Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) accept their deeds and dua’s insh’Allah. Ameen.

The Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angels, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” [ Hadith Muslim].