Category Archives: Gems

Amazing, Islamic bite-sized concepts, ideas, and quotes. Benefit from them.

The Caller Footsteps

 

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [33:21].

No matter what stage of life we are going through, or whatever roles we are trying to fill: be it be as father, husband, son, friend, leader and others, we will always find guidance in the life of our beloved Prophet(peace be upon him). One such area of guidance is for the da’ee – people who call muslims and non muslims alike to the path of the Allah. In this paper, we will see glimpses of the best methodology, examples and guidelines for a da’ee from the Meccan era of the Seerah. Here are the 10 lessons:

1. A Da’ee should teach the basics and work on the Emaan first:


Most of the verses revealed in the Meccan era dealt with issues of Tauheed: oneness of Allah, concept of worship, day of judgment, accountability etc. Later in the Medinan era, the detailed rulings were revealed.
This was done so that the new Muslims could have their hearts fully attached to the deen so that when the time came to implement a command of Allaah, they did it with no hesitation. Aisha (RA) commented “…If the first thing to be revealed was: ‘Do not drink alcoholic drinks.’ people would have said, ‘We will never leave alcoholic drinks,’ and …” [Bhukari]
People are more accepting of something if it doesn’t come in and demand a change in lifestyle immediately to something on the opposite side of the spectrum.
When we call people to Islam, we should focus on similar topics. We shouldn’t get into get into arguments about specific controversial rulings of Islam like polygamy, hijab, pork and wine. Similarly, when we teach our fellow Muslims, we should focus on purifying their hearts and increasing their Emaan, as opposed to “do this, this is halal, this is haram, don’t do this..” and so on.

2. A Da’ee focuses on creating a team of dedicated people:

Prophet (peace be upon him) did secret Daawah for three years. Also the pledge of Aqaba was done in secret. He established core group of Ansars first in medina and then told Muslims to migrate to Medina.
If you want to start an organization or dawah project, do not go out in the open and call people until you have established a strong core group. Go to people you know will sacrifice their time and effort. Also, try to start with the people around you. They know you best so they will be most likely to believe and help you. Even if the leader of the call is harmed, his followers will continue the obligation of calling others.

3. Da’ee makes use of all available resources even Non Muslims and other organizations:

Non Muslims are different in how each one of them deals with Muslims – we cannot simply say all are good or all are bad. People like Abu Talib, who gave protection to the Prophet (SAW) ,and Hisham bin Amr (who was instrumental in lifting the ban and boycott from Banu Hashim), played a key role in their support of the Muslims.
We should take advantage of the legal system and the environment we are living in. These days, da’ees should work with non profit and NGO organizations to fight against the bans, discrimination, and injustices against the Muslims.

4. Da’ee should always remember that guidance is from Allah:

The stern enemies of Islam, Umar (RA) and Abu Sufyan and others, enter Islam, and yet the strong supporter of the Prophet (SAW), his own uncle, Abu Talib died as a disbeliever. This clearly shows that the guidance is only from Allah. The caller to Deen, gives the message and then leaves the rest to Allah. If the person is not guided, then da’ee is not sad and is content with the decree of Allah.

5. Da’ee should focus on inviting the leaders, people in authority and those masses look upto:

When the Prophet (PBUH) arrived in Taaif, he went straight to the leaders. Generally, when giving dawah somewhere, one should meet with the leaders of the place because, with their support, the message will be passed along to their people.  In our times, we should try to give the message of Islam to movie stars, sports players, pop starts and other popular personalities. People look up to them and if they accept Islam, others would be more inclined to do so as well.

InshaAllah, we will continue with the remaining Five lessons in our next post.

References:

  • The Quran: Saheeh International, AbulWasim Publishing House 1997
  • Rajab Isaam, Arees Institute BA Program,USA: Class of 2009
  • Yahya Abdulbary, Course: The Shepherd’s Path, NY, US: Almaghrib Institute.
  • Dr As-Sibaaie Mustafa, The Life of Prophet Muhammad Highlights and Lessons, Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House 2004
  • Abdullah Daud, Course: Seerah 101, Islamic Online University
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Week 10 – Manners of Sneezing and Yawning

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This is the continuation of the series, that focuses on implementing sunnah in our lives. In the last post, we talked about the manners of sleeping. In this post, we will look at the Sunnahs of sneezing and yawning:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah loves sneezing but dislikes yawning; so if anyone of you sneezes and then praises Allah, every Muslim who hears him (praising Allah) has to say Tashmit to him. But as regards yawning, it is from Satan, so if one of you yawns, he should try his best to stop it, for when anyone of you yawns, Satan laughs at him." [Bhukari: English reference: Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 245. Arabic reference : Book 78, Hadith 6298]

Click here to show evidences/reference links

Sneezing:

Manners of Yawning:

Tip of the Week:

"You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” Anthony Robbins. All of us probably know many of these manners of sneezing and yawning but the problem is that we don't practice what we know. Make it your goal that for the next seven days, you will practice what you learnt in this post!

Action Item:

  1. Share this post on social networks.
  2. Review the old posts in the series

References:

Previous Post in this Series:

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A Siwaak a Day

This is the continuation of the series, that focuses on implementing sunnah in our lives. I hope everyone had emaan rushed Ramadhan and you were able to apply the things we learned in this series.

Here is the sunnah items, we will be focusing on in this week:

Using Siwak:

Action Item:

  1. Buy Siwak and start using it

References:

Previous Post in this Series:


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    Oswatun Hasana – The Best Uncle

    cloth on floor

    And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds. [21:107]

    In the last post, we looked at how our beloved prophet (SAW) set for us an excellent example as a father. Inshallah, continuing with the theme, in this post, we will explore two more roles:  uncle and the master.

    Treatment with niece

    • After the Taif Campaign, one of the captives As-Shaima, the daughter of Al-Harith As-Sadiya, the Messenger’s foster sister was brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) , she introduced herself to him. Upon recognizing her by a certain mark, he honored her, spread for her his garment and seated her on it. He was graceful and released her and made her turn back to her people. [The Sealed Nectar]

    Amazing! For those of us, who have the nieces, do we treat them with the respect, honor and love? How about with our own sisters? Note that As-Shaima was the daughter of the foster sister and yet the prophet (SAW) treated her with so much kindness.

    Treatment with servant:

    • Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had the best disposition amongst people. He sent me on an errand one day, and I said:  By Allah, I would not go. I had, however, this idea in my mind that I would do as Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) had commanded me to do. I went out until I happened to come across children who had been playing in the street. In the meanwhile, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came there and he caught me by the back of my neck from behind me. As I looked towards him I found him smiling and he said: Unais, did you go where I commanded you to go? I said: Allah’s Messenger, yes, I am going. Anas further said: I served him for nine years but I know not that he ever said to me about a thing which I had done why I did that, or about a thing I had left as to why I had not done that. [Muslim]

    Subhanallah, how many of us actually do that? When we are given a position of authority, be it be at work (supervisor, manager, business owners) or at home, how do we treat the people under us? Are we gentle, merciful and forgiving. We need to learn from our beloved Prophet (SAW).

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    The Beautiful Qualities of Yahya alayhi salam

    Bismillah walhamdolilah wassalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

    Allah subhaanhu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an (the meaning of which is):

    (It was said to his son): “O Yahya (John)! Hold fast the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)].” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. And (made him) sympathetic to men as a mercy (or a grant) from Us, and pure from sins [i.e. Yahya (John)] and he was righteous, and dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither an arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents). So Peace on him the day he was born the day that he dies and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)! [19:12-15]

    Here we see that Allah gives certain people over others honour and nobility. Allah begins by telling us that Yahya alayhi salam is given knowledge, understanding, and adherance to the scripture. On top of that, he is given wisdom. In this is a great lessons for mankind. Verily, knowledge of scriptures is useless without the ability to excercise wisdom in teaching it and learning from it. Thus we see that in knowledge and wisdom is true nobility and status.

    Ibn Kathir rahimuhallah says in his tafsir:

    This means he (Yahya alayhi salam) was given understanding, knowledge, fortitude, diligence and zeal for good and the pursuit of good. He was blessed with these characteristics even though he was young. Then Allah mentions: “And (made him) hananan from Us”. Ibn Abbas radhiAllah anhu and others such as ‘Ikrimah and Qatada rahimuhumallah said: “This means mercy from Us.” Ad-Dahhak rahimuhallah added, “Mercy that no one would be able to give except Us.”  This means that he (Yahya alayhi salam) was a compassionate man, who was righteous.

    After Allah mentioned Yahya’s obedience to his Lord and that Allah created him full of mercy, purity and piety, He attached to it his obedience to his parents and his good treatment of them. Allah mentioned that he refrained from disobeying them in speech, actions, commands and prohibitions.

    Then, after mentioning these beautiful characteristics, Allah mentions his reward of security and safety in three circumstances. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah rahimuhallah said, “The loneliest that a man will ever feel is in three situations. The first situation is on the day that he is born, when he sees himself coming out of what he was in. The second situation is on the day that he dies, when he sees people that he will not see anymore. The third situation is on the day when he is resurrected, when he sees himself in the great gathering. Allah has exclusively honored Yahya, the son of Zakariyya, by granting him peace in these situations.”

    SubhanAllah! What beautiful qualities for us to follow! Here’s a quick recap of the 8 characteristics mentioned about Yahya alayhi salam:

    1) He was given knowledge and understanding of the scripture
    2) He was granted wisdom
    3) He was compassionate to mankind
    4) He was pure (i.e. from sins)
    5) He was righteous (i.e. was aware of Allah, had taqwa)
    6) He was dutiful of his parents
    7) He was not arrogant towards Allah or his parents
    8) He was not disobedient towards Allah or his parents

    May Allah give us the ability to follow the guidance given to us by our Lord. Ameen.

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    Reminder Series: Seeking His Love 3

    Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

    Continuing in the ten ways to achieve the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, here are the last five points as per ibn al-Qayyim rahimuhallauh:

    Sixth, observing Allaah’s kindness, goodness and bounties, both hidden and open.

    It is to be aware of the vast amounts of Mercy Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has engulfed His slaves with. It is to recognize and accept the blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and to show thanks for it. As Allah says: “Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?” [Surah Rehman V.13]

    Seventh, and this is the most wonderful, the heart being soft, subdued and meek before Allaah.

    Eighth, being alone with Allaah during the time when the Lord descends during the last portion of the night while reading His Book and ending that by asking for forgiveness and repenting.

    Allah says in the Qur’an, the meaning of which is: “And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salat (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Quran in the prayer), as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawafil) for you (O Muhammad SAW). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqaman Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory, i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!)” [17:79]

    Imam as-Suyooti rahimuhallah says in his tafsir of this verse: “It may be that your Lord will raise you to, establish you, in the Hereafter in a praiseworthy station, one for which the first and last [of mankind] will praise you — and this is the station of intercession [which will take place] during [the passing of] the Final Judgement”

    Much can be said about the blessings of the night prayer. It is sufficient though for our purpose to quote the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah radhiAllah anhu in which the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam said (the meaning of which is): “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?'”

    Truly, those who regularily commit to praying in the last third of the night, they are the successful ones. We ask Allah to make us amongst the blessed people who can reach that status.

    Ninth, sitting with the beloved and sincere, benefitting from the most fruitful of their speech. And not to speak unless speaking is more beneficial and you know that it will improve your state and be beneficial to others.

    Tenth, remaining away from every cause that comes between the heart and Allaah

    In a hadith collected  by Imam Bukhari rahimuhallah and narrated by Nu’man ibn Bashir radhiAllah anhu, the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam said: “…Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.”

    The purity of this heart is directly linked to the actions of the heart, the limbs, and the statements of the tongues because these are the three means of sinning. With every sin the Son of Adam commits his eman diminishes and his heart gets dirtier.

    In regards to the heart, some of the salaf used to say: “The heart is the king of the limbs and the rest of the limbs are its soldiers; they always obey him by implementing his instructions and they never disobey him in any regard.  (Remember) when the king is pious, his soldiers will also be pious.  Similarly, when the king is sinful, his soldiers will also be sinful.”

    May Allah shower us with a blessed journey towards attaining His Love. Ameen.

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    Reminder Series: Seeking His Love 2

    Bismillah walhamdolilah wassalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

    Here are ten ways to attain the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as per Ibn al-Qayyim rahimuhallah:

    First, reciting the Qur’an while pondering over its meanings and what is meant by it.

    Allah says, the meaning of which is: “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction” [4:82]

    Allah rebukes those who do not ponder and reflect over the Qur’an. Thus, this verse is a means to motivate the believing men and women to reflect and ponder over the book of Allah so that they are not considered among that rebuked category of people.

    In the tafsir of the above verse, Ibn Kathir rahimuhallah mentions:

    Allah commands them to contemplate about the Qur’an and forbids them from ignoring it, or ignoring its wise meanings and eloquent words. Allah states that there are no inconsistencies, contradictions, conflicting statements or discrepancies in the Qur’an, because it is a revelation from the Most-Wise, Worthy of all praise. Therefore, the Qur’an is the truth coming from the Truth, Allah. This is why Allah said in another Ayah, “Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it.”

    Second, getting closer to Allaah by performing voluntary deeds after completing obligatory deeds. This is as is stated in a Hadith Qudsi: “…My slave continues getting closer to Me by performing voluntary deeds until I love him.”

    The love of Allah will come after we take the steps in coming closer to Him, starting with what He has made an obligation upon us. This isn’t to say that its easy. It’s difficult job to struggle in worship and struggle to achieve His love. Initially, we may be weak and find it difficult and quit. However, if we stick with it,we will find our love for those deeds to grow within our hearts. And with the love of those deeds comes the love of the Most Loving, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    Third, continual remembrance of Allaah under all circumstances, with one’s tongue, heart and actions. The extent of one’s love of Allaah is determined by this.

    Allah says, the meaning of which is: “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41]

    Fourth, giving precedence to what He loves over what you love when you are overtaken by your desires.

    Truly, this is a sign of a believer and one who has submitted to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The lover will always put his lovers desires over his own. Then who is more worthy of loving than Allah?

    Fifth, the heart being avid of Allaah’s Names, and Attributes and the heart roaming in that garden of knowledge.

    Indeed, knowledge brings about awareness and awareness bring about understanding and understanding brings about love. The one who loves seeks out the ways to love and ways to attain his lover’s love. In the same manner, the love of Allah is in knowing the deen, and implementing it in our lives. And of the greatest forms of knowledge is to have the knowledge of His beautiful Names and Attributes. By knowing His Names and Attributes, you begin to understand Allah, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. And I ask you, who doesn’t want to know His Lord?

    Allah says, the meaning of which is: “And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them” [7:180]

    Stay tuned for the last five…

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    Reminder Series: Seeking His Love

    Bismillah walhamdolilah wassalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

    We live this life yearning to be amongst those whom Allah loves. On top of that, we wish and pray that Allah gives us the opportunity to be amonst the blessed who sincerly love Him. Truly, this only comes from His Will and we should beg him for that opportunity day and night.

    Here is a a beautiful du’a that we have been taught by the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam:

    Allahuma innee as aluka hubbak wa hubba maiyy yuhibbook wal ‘amalalathzee yuballighunee hubbak

    O Allah! Indeed I ask you for your love and love of those who love you and love of the deed which will draw me in attaining your love.

    SubhanAllah! What a beautiful du’a. May Allah give us the ability to memorize this du’a and use it everyday in our journey of attaining His love. Ameen.

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    Oswatun Hasana – The Best Father

    prostration

    “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”  [33:21]

    Inshallah in this post and in future posts, we will be looking at seerah. We will look at how the prophet (SAW) set an excellent example for us in different roles; be it be as a husband, father, friend, leader and other such roles. In today’s post, we will look at his life as a father and grandfather.

    Let us seen what Anas ibn Malik who served the prophet (SAW) for 10 years as servant said “I have never seen a man who was more compassionate to his family members than Muhammad.” (Muslim)

    As a Grandfather

    • Abu Huraira reported: I went along with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) at a time during the day but he did not talk to me and I did not talk to him until he reached Bazar of Banu Qainuqal. He came back to the tent of Fatima and said: Is the little chap (meaning Hasan) there? We were under the impression that his mother had detained him in order to bathe him and dress him and garland him with a sweet garland. Not much time had passed that he (Hasan) came running until both of them embraced each other, thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: O Allah, I love him; love him Thou and love one who loves him (Hasan). [Muslim]
    • Abdullah b. Ja’a’far reported that when Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came back from a journey he met us. Once he met me, Hasan or Husain, and he mounted one of us before him and the other one behind him until we entered Medina. [Muslim]
    • The Prophet came out towards us, while carrying Umamah, the daughter of Abi Al-As (his grand-daughter) over his shoulder. He prayed, and when he wanted to bow, he put her down, and when he stood up, he lifted her up. [Bhukari]
    • Once while the prophet was delivering a sermon in the mosque, Al-Hasan came treading on the edge of his garment, falling down every now and then. The prophet could not stand the sight. So he interrupted his sermon, came down from the pulpit, carried Al-Hasan and resumed the sermon [Heroes of Islam – Darus Salam]

    As a father

    • Aisha reported: We, the wives of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him), were with him (during his last illness) and none was absent therefrom that Fatima, who walked after the style of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), came there, and when he saw her he welcomed her saying: You are welcome, my daughter. He then made her sit on his right side or on his left side… [Muslim]
    • “When Fatima, his daughter, visited him at his house the Prophet would take her hand, kiss her and make her to sit next to him. She did the same when he visited her.” (atTirmidhi)

    Action Steps

    • If you know of other examples from the seerah that fit into the theme of this post, please post them in the comments along with proper reference
    • In future posts, inshallah we want to look at the seerah from other roles: husband, leader, friend etc. If you know of stories from seerah that fall in these roles, please post them in the comments.
    • Share this post with someone preferably a father or a grandfather
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    Thanking Allah in times of a Calamity

    Bismillah walhamdolilah wassalatu wassalam ‘ala rasool Allah

    Umer radhiAllah anhu used to say:

    “If Allah strikes me with calamity I will thank Allah for four things: 1) that the test was not in my deen 2) the calamity could have been worse 3) it is an expiation for my sins 4) any loss after losing the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam is nothing”

    The greatest man that lived after the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam and Abu Bakr as-Siddiq radhiAllah anhu, Umer ibn al-Khattab radhiAllah anhu. What a man! SubhanAllah. We thank Allah for giving us such amazing examples of people to emulate and look up to. Alhamdolilah!

    Being thankful to Allah is indeed a great favour granted to the slave from Him. Without His will we would never have the ability to thank Him. On top of that, being thankful to Allah in times of a calamity is a greater favour granted to the slave from Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala. Not only has Allah allowed the slave to thank Him for the bounties that are evident, but He has allowed him to look deeper and thank Him for those bounties that arn’t as evident.

    My brothers and sisters, all calamities are indeed a great blessing from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because it gives us an opportunity to reflect and understand that everything is in His control. and if He has willed it, then it is always for our betterment. Look to the example of Umer ibn al-Khattab radhiAllah anhu, and let’s start putting things into correct perspective. Next time we stricken with a calamity–a lost job, car accident, death in  the family–go back and thank Allah because atleast you are still Muslim and you still have Jannah waiting for you in the hereafter. Thank Allah, say Alhamdolilah, because we all know things could have always been much worse: if you lost your job, you could have lost your home; if you had a car accident, you could have lost your legs; if you lost a member in the family, you’ve already lost the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam.  And thank Allah, in abundance, because that little bit of distress and difficulty is an expiation of your sins. Allahuakber!

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