Category Archives: Books

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NOW is the Time to Learn Arabic!

Bismillah walhamdulillah, was Salaatu was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaah.

“On the Day of Judgment, the Qur’an and its people who used to act by it in the world shall be brought, being lead by Surat ul-Baqarah and Al-e-Imraan, which shall be arguing on behalf of their companions.” (Reported by Muslim)

We all strive to become a companion of the Qur’an, but who are its true companions? The companions of the Qur’an are those who studied it, memorized it, implemented it and lived by it. It is not possible, in the least bit, for one to become a companion of the Qur’an and not know Arabic. Learning the language is the starting point of a life long journey with the Qur’an. Allah ta’ala chose this blessed language, as He states 11 times throughout the Qur’an: “A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail as an Arabic Qur’an, for people who know.” (41:3), “An Arabic Qur’an, without any crookedness, so that they may have Taqwa.” (39:28), “We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may gain understanding.” (12:2).

For those who do not know the language of the Qur’an, they will be deprived of its true sweetness, of its blessings and most importantly, understanding the words of Allah ta’ala. It is a cause of much grief and sadness to know that the majority of our ummah has lost the connection with the Book of Allah because the language has been lost, as the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah raises up peoples by this Book, and puts down by it others.” (Saheeh Muslim) We have abandoned this book, and the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam will testify to Allah ta’ala on the day of judgment: “And the Messenger will say, O my Rabb, indeed my people deserted this Qur’an!” (25:30)

The righteous companions and scholars of the past have testified to the importance of learning this language and they themselves, who were native Arab speakers, were concerned with studying this language. Umar radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic for it is a part of your deen.” (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/207) It is also reported that Ubay ibn Ka’b radi Allahu anhu said, “Learn Arabic just as you learn to memorize the Qur’an.” (Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.7 p150)

Many of us want to take the proper steps to learn Arabic, but do not know where to start. What is the solution? Where do we begin? The best option is to study overseas, however many of us do not have that option to learn Arabic, so inshaAllah we’ll cover in this article some easy steps one can take to begin the process of learning Qur’anic Arabic if they cannot travel to do so.

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What Should I Read?

Last month before summer ends, we let the days go by or wrap up summer courses before it all starts over again! To get that degree, we consistently keep up with projects, homework, study for tests, etc. And sure enough, most of us accomplish this ‘goal’ within the time we aimed for.

But do we have similar goals for learning the deen? It might be something we admired–and perhaps desired–but never really worked for. It is not a shock to find most of us spent our youth and failed to reach any significant levels of acheivement with respect to our knowledge of Islam–which is supposed to be our way of life. Do we prepare to pass this life’s test even remotely at the same level as we do for our duniya education and goals? How regularly do we study the Qur’an or the Arabic language?

If you have asked any of the above questions, you are amongst the thousands of muslims facing the same problem. What is the resolution? Study the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) on a regular basis.

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وس) said, “I am leaving you with two murshids.” The term murshid refers to the one who guides to the right path. The first is the talking murshid, the Qur’an, the second is the silent murshid, mawt or death. These are the only two things that will lead us to the right path: learning Qur’an and remembering death. If we truly remember death, we realize we have a deadline, and would work towards our goals in an efficient manner. Insha’Allah, the following outlines a recommended routine.

Daily

Try to read the Qur’an on a regular basis. It is better to read small portions consistently, rather than large portions occasionally. A good start would be from the interpretation of the 30th juzu: pray qiyam, and read from it at night. Those who say they do not feel submissive prayers should try this and see the results. This way, you truly taste the sweetness of qiyam. Suggested choices for interpretation:

  • Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn-Katheer (The Abridged Interpretation of Ibn-Katheer).
  • Fee thilal Al Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an) by Sheik Sayyed Kutb (part 6 has the 30th juz interpretation)
Weekly

Try to observe what time of the week most of the family members are around. Read one topic from a book weekly with them. Even if you cannot cover the full topic, set up the family halaqa to be at least an hour long. You can incorporate this with any picnics or outgoing activities that your family takes part in to make it more enjoyable and rewarding! Some good books include:

  • Riyad As-Saliheen (The Gardens of the Pious) by Al-Imam An-Nawawi. Explains kind treatment towards parents, Qiyam, praying at masjid, etc. and it states all the authentic ahadith only for the specific topics.
  • Al-Imam An-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith, Commentary by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo
Monthly

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) said: “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself.” [Bukhari]

How many of us claim that we love the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) more then ourselves? How much do we know about him? In order to truly love him more then ourselves, we must first learn the seerah, learn about his life, learn about manners, and learn about his sunnah. A good way to do this is to set goals for yourself, to read at least one book that allows you to learn more about the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) and derive lessons for yourself. This can be done monthly or bi-monthly, depending on how fast you read. Suggested books:

  • Fiqh As-Seerah (understanding the life of the Prophet) by Sheikh Said Ramadan Al-Buty.
  • Ar-Raheek Al-Makhtoom (The Sealed Nectar), it teaches of the life of prophet as well as lessons that can be taken from it.
  • Fiqh As-Sunnah (Understanding the Tradition of the Prophet, especially part 1) by Sheikh Sayyed Sadek. Outlines how the Prophet performed wudu’ (ablution), prayed, fasted and so on in detail.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) allow us all to make the best use of our limited lifespans, ameen!

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