Category Archives: worship

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.

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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.

Powerful yet Simple Duas

I have collected some simple duas which take less time to recite but have huge benefits in this world and in the hereafter. Remember me in your duas.

1. The dearest words to Allah are:

  1. SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah)
  2. Alhamdulillah(All Praises be to Allah)
  3. la ilaha illallah (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah)
  4. Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)

Best way is to recite the above very often. Recommended is SubhanAllah(33 times) + Alhamdulillah(33 times) + Allahu Akbar(34 times) before going to bed. Makes things easy for us.

2. Recite this dua three times after Fajr and after Maghrib.

        Allahumma inni as’alukal Jannata  (O Allah! I ask you to grant me paradise)

Ask for Jannat three times, then Jannah says O Allah Let him enter

3. Recite this dua seven times after Fajr and after Maghrib

       Allahumma ajirni minannar    (O Allah! Protect me from the fire)

If you die that night, Allah will write for you protection from the fire i.e., Hell Fire

4. Recite this dua 100 times in the morning and 100 times in the evening, which is enough.

      Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi     (Allah is free from imperfection and His is the praise)

5. Recite this dua after maghrib to be saved from a calamity

      A’oothu Bikale-ma-til-lahit-tam-maate min Shar-re ma Khalaq  (I seek refuge with the complete words of Allah)

6. Recite this dua 3 times after fajr and after maghrib. Thus will not suffer any sudden affliction.

    Bismillahl alethee la yadhuru ma ‘ismuhu sha-e’ feel ardh wa fees sama ‘ wa who was samee’ul aleem.  (In the name of Allah, when Whose name is mentioned nothing on Earth or in Heaven can cause harm, and He is the Hearer, the Knower.)

 7. Whoever recites this dua 100 times a day, will have a recompense equal to that of freeing ten slaves. Also, 100 good actions are written for him, 100 wrong actions are erased from him, and it is a protection from Satan for that day until the night. No one does anything more excellent than someone who does more than that.”

    La illaha illallah, wah-dahu la sharika lah, Lahul-mulku wa lahul hamd, wa huwa ‘ala Kul-li shayin Qadeer.        (There is no god but Allah, alone, without any partner. The Kingdom and praise belong to Him and He has power over everything.)

Bare minimum for the love of Allah

Excerpts from lecture from “Navaid Aziz”

Three types of people – Surah Fatir

1. Who oppresses himself

He does not perform any of the obligations. He also indulges in some of the prohibitions.

2. Who takes the middle path – Does the Bare minimum and he is happy with it.

a. Prays 5 times a day Salah

b. Pays 2.5% Zakat

c. Fasts only month of Ramadan

d. Performs Hajj only once in his lifetime

3. One who does good deeds. Competing in performing voluntary acts in addition to obligatory acts.

What differentiates them is their actions. The most fundamental action is Salah. Most important act of worship is Salah. Salah is what differentiates between Allah’s wrath and Allah’s pleasure. Between Allah’s paradise and Allah’s hellfire. Between Allah’s love, mercy, compassion and Allah’s wrath, anger.

Three levels in prayer

lowest level – Only Faraid

second level – Sunnah(Rawatib) in addition to Faraid prayers.

Higher level – Nafil (Qiyam-al-Layl, Duha) in addition to Faraid and Rawatib prayers.

Key to success with Allah – Be consistent in worship.

This lecture was an eye opener for me. We, in this day and age think praying 3 or 4 times a day, giving away a little bit of money with lot of show-off is a very big thing we do. Whereas in reality 5 times a day Salah, Fasting in Ramadan, 2.5% Zakat are all the bare minimum.

We have to add much more to our worship plan(sunnah, nawafil, duas) and clear our intentions to be able to get closer to Allah (SWT)

Best Ramadan duas

1-

للّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ، والعًجْـزِ والكَسَلِ والبُخْـلِوالجُـبْنِ، وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال

Allahumma inni ‘audhubika min al-hammi wal huzani,wal ‘ajzi wal kasali, wal bukhli wal jubni, wa dala’ad-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijâl.

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.

2-
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِيالدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Rubbana aatina fid-dunya hassana,wa fil akhirati hassana, waqina ‘adhab an-nar

Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. 2:201

3-
رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَالصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ
رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِيوَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

Rubbi j’alnee muqeem as-salati wa mindhuriyyati. Rubbana, wa taqabbal dua’. Rubbana ighfir li wa li walidayya wa lilmu’mineena yawma yaqoom ul-hisab

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established. 14:40-41

4-
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أسْـأَلُـكَ العَـفْوَوَالعـافِـيةَ في الدُّنْـيا وَالآخِـرَة ، اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أسْـأَلُـكَالعَـفْوَ وَالعـافِـيةَ في ديني وَدُنْـيايَ وَأهْـلي وَمالـي ، اللّهُـمَّاسْتُـرْ عـوْراتي وَآمِـنْ رَوْعاتـي ، اللّهُـمَّ احْفَظْـني مِن بَـينِ يَدَيَّوَمِن خَلْفـي وَعَن يَمـيني وَعَن شِمـالي ، وَمِن فَوْقـي ، وَأَعـوذُ بِعَظَمَـتِكَأَن أُغْـتالَ مِن تَحْتـي

Allahumma inni as-alukaal-‘afwa wal ‘afiyata fid dunya wal akhira. Allahumma inni as-aluka al ‘afwa walafiyata fee deeni wa dunyaya wa ahlee wa malee. Allahumma ustur ‘awrati wa aminrow’ati. Allahumma ahfadhnee min bayni yadayya min khalfi wa ‘an yameeni wa ‘anshimali wa min fowqi wa a’oodhu bi ‘adhmatika an aghtaala min tahti.

“O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in this life and the next. O Allah,I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religious and worldly affairs, and my family and my wealth. O Allah, veil my weaknesses and set at ease my dismay. O Allah, preserve me from the front and from behind and on my right and on my left and from above, and I take refuge with You lest I be swallowed up by the earth.”

5-

اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْأَلُـكَ عِلْمـاً نافِعـاً وَرِزْقـاً طَيِّـباً ،وَعَمَـلاً مُتَقَـبَّلاً

Allahuma inni as-aluka‘ilman nafi’an wa rizqan tayyiban wa ‘amalan matqaballa

“O Allah, I ask You for knowledge which is beneficial and sustenance which is good, and deeds which are acceptable. [to be said after giving salam for the fajr prayer]”

6-

اللّهُـمَّ أَعِـنِّي عَلـى ذِكْـرِكَ وَشُكْـرِك ، وَحُسْـنِ عِبـادَتِـك
Allahuma a’inni ‘aladhikrika washukrika wahusni‘ibadatik

“O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best of manners.”

7-

اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْأَلُـكَ الجَـنَّةَ وأََعوذُ بِـكَ مِـنَ الـنّار

Allahuma inni as-aluka al-jannata wa a’udhubika min an-nar.

“O Allah, I ask You to grant me Paradise and I take refuge in You from the Fire.”