Category Archives: Ibadah

All things related to acts of worship.

[Khutbah] Allah’s Beloved Month

As we enter into the middle portion of the month of Ramadan, many of us will find that our resolve has started to get weaker. A completely normal occurrence with a very simple solution, by the permission of Allah.

This khutbah details the abundant blessings awaiting us in Allah’s beloved month, the month of Ramadan, with hopes to motivate and energize the listener to overcome this slump and attain the massive treasure that is waiting to be taken.

 
icon for podpress  Allah's Beloved Month - Khutbah by Yasin Ahmed: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (422)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

To Do List After Ramadan

prayer-beads
Image credit: Wikipedia

Ramadan ended. (May Allah accept all our prayer, fasting, du’a, and good deeds during this blessed month — ameen!) How should we, as Muslims, act now?

We graduated from the school of Ramadan; can life simply return to normal?

Our scholars mention a few points about this:

  • Allah says, in surah Baqarah, that Ramadan was prescribed on us in the hope that we gain taqwa. Did we achieve that goal of the school of Ramadan? Or did we simply fast because of our parents, our friends, our spouse, or our culture?
  • The continuation of our deeds shows the acceptance of our deeds (even if we continue them at a smaller scale than during Ramadan).
  • We live life for a purpose, not haphazardly; just like we create dunya goals (get a degree, get a job, get a spouse, get a house, etc.) we must create deen goals, and work towards improving ourselves. Ramadan puts us through an obligatory one-month “boot camp” of self-improvement every year.

Did you pass the test of Ramadan? Did you benefit from Ramadan? The litmus test is: are you better after Ramadan than you were before Ramadan?

You can’t compare to yourself to in-Ramadan, because it’s not sustainable. At the same time, scholars say, if you live your life like you did in Ramadan, the Day of Repayment will be your Eid. That’s what this is all about. That is a goal worthy of setting.

Now, the game plan: the secret sauce of what to do after Ramadan comes from one key hadith of rasulullah (ﷺ):

أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَجْلاَنَ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْمَقْبُرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَصِيرَةٌ يَبْسُطُهَا بِالنَّهَارِ وَيَحْتَجِرُهَا بِاللَّيْلِ فَيُصَلِّي فِيهَا فَفَطِنَ لَهُ النَّاسُ فَصَلَّوْا بِصَلاَتِهِ وَبَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُمُ الْحَصِيرَةُ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اكْلَفُوا مِنَ الْعَمَلِ مَا تُطِيقُونَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَمَلُّ حَتَّى تَمَلُّوا وَإِنَّ أَحَبَّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَدْوَمُهُ وَإِنْ قَلَّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ تَرَكَ مُصَلاَّهُ ذَلِكَ فَمَا عَادَ لَهُ حَتَّى قَبَضَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَكَانَ إِذَا عَمِلَ عَمَلاً أَثْبَتَهُ ‏.‏
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Do as much of good deeds as you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are continuous, even if they are few.‘ Then he stopped that prayer and did not return to it until Allah took him (in death), and if he started to do something he would persist in it.” (Sunan An-Nasaai, 9/21)

(You can click the link to read the full English translation, instead of just this excerpt.)

In Ramadan, think about the actions we performed. We:

  • Prayed a lot.
  • Prayed in jama’ah/congregation
  • Prayed Qiyaam Al-Layl
  • Fasted. Every day.
  • Gave charity. Lots of it.
  • Reached out to our family.

We can continue all these deeds after Ramadan:

  • Don’t pray 5x a day yet? Start. Improve yourself. Add just one prayer to what you pray now.
  • Don’t pray qiyaam? Start. Pray two short rakahs right after Isha, and gradually make it longer and later and larger in quantity.
  • Don’t fast any extra fasts? Start. Aim for three times a month (the White Days), or every Monday, or every Monday and Thursday.
  • Don’t give sadaqah outside of Ramadan? Start. Give sadaqah, even if only a dollar once a week.
  • Don’t have a good relationship with some of your relatives? Fix it. Talk to your family, especially distant relatives.
  • Don’t read the Qur’an regularly? Start. Read something every day. Start with just one page a day, but read it with tafseer.

And a final warning: aim for slow, steady improvement over time. One trick Shaytaan capitalizes on is to encourage us to do everything and anything, all at once. Just like you can’t quit smoking today and run a marathon tomorrow, you can’t change full-force in a short amount of time.

Don’t even try. This may appear to work — for a day or two, or a week — until you burn out, and give up completely. Don’t fall for it. Start slow, and improve yourself until you become a much better person than you are.

May Allah allow us to seek the true, long-term benefits of Ramadan and better ourselves as people.

Source: Friday Khutbah at ISNA by shaykh Alaa Elsayed, August 7, 2015.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Powerful Tips for the Last 10 Nights

By Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury

1. Do not let your ‘performance’ until now affect your last 10 days. The moment of forgiveness could be today or anytime in the coming days! It is not all lost! If you sincerely wish it could have been better – Chin up and get ready to make it your best yet! Start with a positive, sincere intention!

2. Today, take a little time to read the Tafseer of Surah al-Qadr to understand what actually happens this night! You will feel its power & greatness so much more!

3. Do not wait for the 27th Night to give it your “all”. The entire last 10 days should be your target. Stay up each night! Would you want to miss Laylatul Qadr even “by chance”?

4. Do not fall into any innovations/celebrations any masjid or culture might try to promote. Follow the Sunnah! The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) guided us simply: “Whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

5. Memorize and keep asking the dua’ taught by Rasulullah (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).

6. Prepare a short dua’ list. Remember this is as awesome as it ever gets for a servant of Allah! The Night of Qadr, of Destiny! Consciously pick each and everything you crucially wish for in this dunya, in your deen, family, and in your aakhirah! Don’t forget to include the brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering and in grief!

7. Take brief naps during the day, if possible. Keep your stomach light and sleep as soon as you have prayed ‘isha. Do not delay! After a brief nap, refresh yourself and get. ready for worship.

8. Don’t neglect your family! Rasulullah made it a point to wake up his wives throughout these nights! And yes, your children are not too young to stay up some part of the night – if they can be allowed to play video games or watch TV, they can be inspired to be up atleast for sometime! Prepare them, make them excited, plan some activities for them to do!

9. Look the Part: The way we dress and prepare.has a big effect on our psychology. Wear your best, perfume yourself, and feel the energy!

10. Choose a spot, whether in the Masjid or in your home, where you can have peace and solitude. Keep your mushaf, praying mat, and water at hand so that you are not distracted by constantly getting up for this or that.

11. IMP: This is not the night to tweet pics or update FB statuses about how amazing the night is and how you are feeling & worshipping Allah! Let that be a secret between you & your Rabb! So switch off those phones, wifi, laptops and computers. Disconnect with the world, and connect with al-‘Afuww!

12. If you find yourself feeling sleepy, vary your acts of worship. Alternate between qiyaam, heartfelt dua’a, reading the Qur’an. Do not spend the night listening to lectures or recitations. Or do it only for a short while when you feel the sleep coming on!

13. Patience is the Key: The last 10 days might be tiring. You might still have work or school. This is the time to bear all that hardship, and keep firm sabr. Think how Allah has blessed you with this tremendous opportunity that might NEVER come again in your life again. If you knew for sure that this was your last Ramadan , if you knew certainly that Jannah was up for grabs, wouldn’t you sprint for it no matter what it takes?

14. This is most important: Keep husn adh-dhann bi Allah (good expectations from Allah). When you ask, remember you are asking the Most Generous King. If you hope for the best, He will give you the best. Don’t hold back. Trust in Him, pour out your heart in front of Him, and let no doubt, no barrier, no evil thoughts keep you away from ar-
Rahman, ar-Raheem!

Allahumma ballighna laylatal qadr..

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Pray as if This is your Last Prayer

99670325-565x376_4

You often hear the khatheeb or imam, right before the salah starts, saying “pray as if this is your last prayer.” Sure, but what does it mean, and how do we do it?

As one of the righteous people of the past said:

Pray as if Jannah is on your right side, Hellfire is on your left side, the siraat (bridge over Hellfire) is under you, the angel of death is behind you (waiting to take your soul any minute), your sins are above you (waiting to crush and destroy you), and this is the last deed, the one that decides if you go to Jannah or Jahannam forever.

Imagine that these are the last few moments of your life, of your last salah. Imagine the green, lush gardens on your right. Imagine the heat, the smoke, on your left. Imagine a bridge under you, thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword.

Imagine the angel of death, like the head of a team, waiting behind you; waiting to take your soul at any instant.

Imagine your sins, the ones people know about and the ones they don’t, the ones you make excuses for and the ones you justify, the things you know you should do but don’t, all hovering above you like a giant black mountain, waiting to crush you from their collective weight.

This is it; this is your last chance, your last moment, your last deed, before your books are closed, your story is over. Life is upon the ending; will your ending be good, or evil?

It’s your choice, to decide right now, in these last moments as you pray your final farewell prayer to dunya.

How would you pray in those moments? Nobody knows when they will be; they may very well be right now.

That is the feeling you want to capture in your heart and mind as you pray. Everything else in this life will fade away compared to that.

Try it. You will feel the difference for yourself.


Source: Friday Khutbah at ISNA by shaykh Alaa Elsayed, August 22, 2014.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

O Boy – Ya Ghulam!

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This is the continuation of the series, that focuses on implementing sunnah in our lives.

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

Click here to show evidences/reference links

Sunnah’s of Eating:

After Eating:

Tip of the Week:

Go through the list again and for each item, ask yourself “Do I follow this sunnah most of time , or some of the time, rarely or not at all” and then act accordingly.

Action Item:

  1. Share this post on Facebook.

References:

Previous Post in this Series:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Follow the Sunnah – Week 5

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

Making Dua:

  • Raise your hands
  • Glorify and praise Allah, in the beginning and at the end
  • Send salutations on Prophet (May Allah Peace and Blessing be on him) in the beginning and at the end
  • Cry while making dua

Adhaan:

Breakfast:

Tip of the Week:

But things like this and this one for your kids

Action Item:

  1. Memorize the duas from the sunnah: Mashary Qunoot Dua, Alhuda Masnoon Duas Collection, Saad al Ghamdi Qunoot Dua – Learn some ways to praise and glorify Allah in the duas

Inshallah, next week, we will look at the sunnah on wearing clothes and going out of the house

Previous Post in this Series:

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International (download link)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Follow the Sunnah – Week 4

Last week, we focus on the sunnah of making ablution and coming out of the washroom. Here is the sunnah for this week:

After the fard salahs:

  • After slautation, say Allahu Akbar in loud voice
  • Say “Astagfirullah” thrice in low voice
  • Recite “Ayat Kursi”
  • Read the morning and evening supplications after farjar and asar prayers (Another Link)
  • Recite other Adhkars and Supplications
  • Pray the two rakahs of ishraq after the fajar prayer (The Messenger of Allah [SAWS] said, “Whoever prays the dawn prayer (fajr) in a group and then sits and does dhikr until the sun rises, then prays two rakas, shall have the like of the reward of a hajj and an umra.”)

Tip of the Week:

Get some nice colorful cards/sticky notes. Put the relevant information and stick them in various places in the house as reminders.  For example, summarize the sunnahs about using the washroom that we have learnt in previous weeks, put it on the card and stick it on the washroom mirror or door.

Action Item:

  1. Share this post with 5 other people and get the ajar. Post on facebook, twitter, email etc

Previous Post in this Series:

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Mcdonald, KFC, Moon Sighting…

Muslims, living in the Muslim Countries, generally tend to have limited exposure to Fiqh and its rulings. There is usually one dominant madhab and that’s all people know about. Rarely, if ever, people are exposed to other madahibs. However, the situation for many of us living in west, like Canada, is quite different.

Because of the diversity of muslims, from various countries, cultures and backgrounds, we are exposed to many madhabs. We find many different opinions on a given issue. We see people praying little differently in mosque. When Ramadhan comes, the whole moon sighting debate starts and not to mention the zabiha meat issues.

The question then arises, why do scholars differ? This then would be the topic of these series of posts Inshallah. So let’s get started.  To make it easy for us to understand these difference, scholars usually divide the reasons of differences into various categories and aspects. Here is one such categorization. The differences exists, due to:

  1. Interpretation of word meanings and grammatical constructions
  2. Hadith narrations
  3. Admissibility  of  certain principles
  4. Methods of Qiyas

In the next few posts, we will look at each category one by one.

Action Item:

  1. To get the feeling of some of these difference, skim though some of the fiqh issues in the following books:
  2. Post in the comments, evidences that show that the differences of opinions existed in the time of the Messenger (SAW) and that the differences are inherently bad or evil. (Hint: there is a post on this website, that talks about this)

References:

  • The Evolution of Fiqh by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

May Allah make this series beneficial for us.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail