Thursday, September 17, 2009

AFTER RAMADAN


Even though Ramadan is ending, we all have to make sure it stays with us. How, might you ask? Everybody knows that Ramadan lasts only for a month, 29 or 30 wonderful days. This special month is a time to get closer to Allah (SWT), physically and mentally. And we have to take care not to lose this closeness with Allah (SWT).
We know that Ramadan is a very special time in our lives. In addition to the obvious, fasting from sunrise to sunset, we must also abstain from so many other things. One added bonus that comes with fasting is that we actually learn to be more kind to those around us.
Since we strive to strengthen our bodies with both the physical and mental power that we need to complete our fasts, let's take that a step further and make it last throughout the year. It takes real devotion to Allah to fast for His sake only. There is a hadith narrated by Sufyaan ibn 'Abdallah (RA) who said, "O Messenger of Allah (SAW), tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you." He (SAW) replied, "Say, 'I believe in Allah' and then be steadfast (upon that)." Saheeh Muslim
This hadith is proof that we are obligated, after having faith in Allah, to be steadfast in obeying Allah by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is Islam. If a Muslim lives through Ramadan and spent his days in fasting and his nights in prayer and he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allah at all times.
In fact, steadfastness after Ramadan is the greatest sign that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadan. These are the real signs of a successful Ramadan. Furthermore, the deeds of a Muslim do not come to an end with the end of Ramadan. Rather, they continue and extend throughout the year. Allah (SWT) says, "And worship your Lord until the certainty (death) comes to you." (Al Hijr; 99)
When the fasting of Ramadan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fast is prescribed throughout the entire year. When standing in prayer at night in Ramadan comes to an end, then indeed the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if zakat ul fitr comes to an end then there is still the zakat that is still obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Quran and pondering over its meaning, as well as every other good deed that was sought, for these can be performed at all times. Therefore, the zeal that was felt throughout Ramadan must continue through the whole year.
It is unfortunate to find that some people perform worship by doing righteous deeds only during Ramadan. They guard strictly upon their five daily prayers, they recite Quran, and they give charity. But when Ramadan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Sometimes, they even abandon their obligation entirely.
Truly, there is much reward that Allah grants his servant in the fasting of Ramadan. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, "He wants that you must complete the same number of days and that you must magnify Allah (by saying Allah Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him." (Quran 2: 185)
Ramadan is a time to correct and change our habits that we have acquired over the year without the whispers of Satan. For now is the time in which Shaytan is locked up and he does not have the chance to twist our thoughts and change our good actions. The first step is always hard to take, but Ramadan is the time to do it. So after Ramadan, may we all try to keep up with our good deeds—praying at the correct times, charity to the less fortunate, and genuinely being more patient and kind with one another.
May Allah (SWT) shower us with blessings, forgiveour sins and grant us all Paradise. Ameen!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power)








There is night in the month of Ramadhan which is better than a thousand months (83 years, 4 months). This night is called Laitatul Qadr.

According to Hadith, this night occurs during the last ten days of Ramadhan on one of the odd numbered nights. Usually it is celebrated on the 27th night of this holy month. It is a night of great importance and enormous blessings for Muslims.

A night such as Lailatul Qadr was not granted to any religious community (Ummah) before Muslims. Only the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were favoured with a night of huge reward. Once reason, it was granted, was to enable Muslims to equal the worship of any people who lived before us. In the distant past it is said that people lived very long lives of hundreds of years. We, today, live much shorter lives. And so Allah gave us Laitatul Qadr to enable us to do as much worship as a man who lived even hundreds of years longer. If in a lifetime, you only worshipped on Lailatul Qadr ten times, you would have equaled in those ten nights 833 years of worship.

Signs of Laitul Qadr

  • There are some signs that reveal which night is Laitatul Qadr.
  • The night will be peaceful, neither hot nor cold, with a clear moon shinning but with no rays.
  • There will be no shooting stars in the night
  • At sunrise the sun will rise as just a disc without and radiant beams of light.
  • One companion of the Prophet reported that on Laitatul Qadr he tasted sea water and it was sweet.

Nawafil (Optional Prayers) for Laitatul Qadr

1. Two Rakaat - In each Rakaat

Surah Al-Fatiha (Alhamdu) - Once

Surah Al-Qadr (Inna Anzalna) - Once

Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwal Lahu) - Once

One who observes this Nafl prayer will be granted the enormous rewards of Laitatul Qadr.

2. Two Rakaat - In each Rakaat

Surah Al-Fatiha (Alhamdu) - Once

Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwal Lahu) - Seven times

After Completing this nafl prayer recite 70 times :

Qadr Dua One

"Astaghfirullah hallazi la-ila-ha illa huwal Hayyul Qayyumo wa atu-bu ilaihe"

"I seek forgiveness from Allah, the almighty, there is no god but He. He is the self-existent, the Eternal and I turn to Him"

Once who observes this prayer, Allah the Merciful will forgive sins of that person and their parents' sins.

3. Four Rakaat - In each Rakaat

Surah Al-Fatiha (Alhamdu) - Once

Surah Takathur (Alhakumat Takasur) - Once

Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwal Lahu) - Three times

A person observing this prayer will be protected from pain and hardship at the time of death and will be saved from the punishment of the grave.

4. Four Rakaat - In each Rakaat

Surah Al-Fatiha (Alhamdu) - Once

Surah Al-Qadr (Inna Anzalna) - Three times

Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwal Lahu) - Fifty times

After completing this prayer recite once :

Qadr Dua Two

"All glory and All Praise are for Allah, and there is no God but Allah and Allah is the Greatest".

The dua of the person observing this prayer will be accepted by Allah Almighty.

5. Four Rakaat - In each Rakaat

Surah Al-Fatiha (Alhamdu) - Once

Surah Al-Qadr (Inna Anzalna) - Once

Surah Al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwal Lahu) - Twenty Seven times

For one who observes this prayer all their sins are forgiven by Allah Almighty and they will enter into Heaven.

Dua of Lailatul Qadr

The Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) taught this dua to Hazrat Ayesha for Lailatul Qadr.

Qadr Dua Three

"O Allah, you are the One who grants pardon for sins. You love to pardon so pardon me".


Monday, September 7, 2009

Ramadhan - Month of the Quran & its affect upon us

The graceful month of Ramadhan has set in; the month during which the gates of Mercy are wide open, the gates of Hell are shut and the Shayateen are chained up. It is a month chosen by Allah سبحانه وتعالى as a month of fasting; an act of Ibadat that Allah سبحانه وتعالى made special to Him. He سبحانه وتعالى favoured this month over all other months by making it the month of mercy and reverence for all the believers.

Also, in this month were revealed the scriptures of Ibrahim (as) and Musa (as), as well as the Zabuur and the Injeel. Indeed, this month is the most superior of months in which Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed His final revelation, the Qur'an.

So in this month we recite the Qur'an everyday, we pray the Taraweeh salah in which the Qur'an is recited. But do we understand and practice this Qur'an? Aisha (ra) described the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم character as being the walking Qur'an, are we in our characters like the Qur'an. Do we implement in our lives? Do we feel the weight of the Qur'an on our shoulders? Do we feel the burden of the Qur'an? Have we realised the power and might of this Qur'an which revealed by the one almighty in power?

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Qur'an in Surah al Hashr:

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

"Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and split asunder (crumbling) by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables that We put forward to mankind that they may reflect." [Al-Hashr, 59:21]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى is saying that if He had sent the Qur'an upon a mountain, imagine the size and magnitude of a mountain. From humbling itself it would split asunder by the fear of Allah.

Let us ask ourselves, the Qur'an has been revealed to us, not to the mountain! Do we feel humbled by it?

وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

"Such are the parables that We put forward to mankind that they may reflect."

Is this the impact that the Qur'an has on our souls and on the lives of this Ummah. Let us look at the impact that this Qur'an had on the Sahabah and the Muslims in the past, it is known that some of the Sahabah when hearing a verse of the Qur'an would faint.

So what made Abdullah ibn Masud go out and recite this Qur'an in front of the Quraysh and endured a beating, fearing none but Allah.

So what made Abu Huraira (ra), one of the stars of the sky cry on his deathbed and he was asked: "What makes you cry?" He replied: "I do not cry for this world of yours, rather I cry over the long journey ahead of me and how few provisions I have with me. I am rising on a runaway to paradise and Hellfire and I do not know which of them it would lead to."

What made Tariq bin Ziyad, the conqueror of Spain in the month of Ramadhan burn his boats motivating the Muslims that Paradise lay ahead of them and defeat and the sea to the rear, leading to the conquest of Spain in this blessed month.

إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ

"Verily Allah hath bought of the believers their lives and their riches for the price that theirs shall be the Garden" [Tawba, 9:111]

Mu'ad ibn Jabal (ra) once called the people of the town and said to them, "Today the reciters of Qur'an are few but the implementers are many, what of the time when the reciters will be many and the implementers will be few."

He was describing our time! Today the reciters may be many but the implementers are few.

Why is it that many Muslims come to the mosque and pray taraweeh - so we see the mosques are full but as soon as Eid comes, many people stop coming to the mosque, stop reading the Qur'an and even stop praying regularly. Today we read the Qur'an but do we implement it?

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

"O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah is the Knower, Aware." [Hujraat, 49:13]

Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi said that the circumstances in which this Ayah was revealed, the Asbab an Nuzul (circumstances of revelation) was when in the opening of Makkah which occurred in Ramadhan, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ordered Bilal (ra) to say the Adhan and Abu Sufyan said can't you find someone better than this black man to say the Adhan then this verse was revealed. Explaining to us that in Islam no one better on the basis of colour or from what part of the world he has come - rather what distinguishes us in the sight of Allah سبحانه وتعالى is our actions. So the noblest of us is the best of us in our actions.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين».

"Allah will elevate some nations through this book and degrade others with it" [Muslim]

We know how the Islamic Ummah was elevated in the past through the implementation of the Qur'an, the Khulafaah in the past through implementing the Shari'ah of Allah سبحانه وتعالى made this Ummah elevate and progress and look how we are degraded today when the Qur'an is not implemented.

Today the Qur'an is not implemented in our lands, if we look to the problems in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or others how do our countries deal with them? What solution do these people bring, do they look to the Qur'an and the Sunnah which tells us to liberate Muslim land and not to take the colonialists as our Allies? No! rather they run to America and the United Nations for solutions.

Ziyad ibn Labid narrated that Allah's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم spoke of something and said: It will happen when knowledge will be no more. I said: Allah's Messenger, how will knowledge vanish despite the fact that we will be reciting the Qur'an and teaching its recitation to our children and our children will teach its recitation to their children up to the Day of Resurrection? Thereupon he said: Ziyad, may your mother weep over you. I was of the opinion that you were one of those who have greatest understanding of religion in Medina. Do these Jews and Christians not recite the Torah and the Bible but not act according to what is contained in them? [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi.]

Today the rulers have become like the aforementioned who may recite the Qur'an but not implement it, they even attack those who work for the re-establishment of the Khilafah. So we may hear of the beautiful recitation of the Qur'an in the Haram in Makkah, yet we see that the Qur'an is not implemented over this land in which the Ka'ba resides. Rather the Americans still have their troops stationed in this land.

Some Muslims have become like those who were chastised by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم because they recite the Qur'an but do not act according to it in their lives, so limit the Qur'an to Ramadhan and not in the rest of their lives.

The leaders of the Muslim lands have made Bush their Mufassir, the Whitehouse their Qibla and hold fast to the rope of Kufr.

We need to take the Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم as our Mufassir, restore the Ka'ba as our Qibla and hold fast to the book of Allah. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

"And hold fast all together by the rope which Allah and be not divided among yourselves" [Al-Imran, 3:103]

Ibn Masud said that the rope of Allah in this ayah means the Qur'an.

We are in the month of reward in which the Qur'an was revealed, we must hold fast to the rope of Allah, we must recite the Qur'an, increase our understanding of it and implement it in our lives.

Abdullah ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "He in whose heart there is nothing of the Qur'an is like a house in ruin." [Tirmidhi]

The Qur'an should never be allowed to left on our shelves gathering dust, we must realise that it is the Guidance that Allah سبحانه وتعالى has sent for humanity.

The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said "Learn the Qur'an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur'an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk, the fragrance whereof spreads over the entire place, and a person who has learnt the Qur'an but sleeps while the Qur'an is in his heart, is like a bag of musk but with its mouth closed" [Tirmidhi, Nisaa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban]

Let us not allow our hearts to become rusty devoid of the Qur'an!

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "These hearts become rusty just as iron does when water affects it." On being asked what could clear them he replied, "A great amount of remembrance of death and recitation of the Qur'an." [Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu'ab al-Iman. Abdullah ibn Umar narrated]

The implementation of the Qur'an is what the world is in need of today, look at the oppression in every place - In Palestine, Afghanistan, in Iraq as well as in the West.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:

الَر كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

"ALIF-LAAM-RAA'. This is a Book we have revealed unto you, O Muhammad, in order that you may lead mankind out of darkness into the light". [Ibrahim, 14:1]

So let us make this month of Ramadhan, the month of prayer, the month of worship, the month of recitation of Qur'an, the month of giving Zakah, the month of strengthening the relations between our relatives, the month of generosity and goodness to the needy, the month of being aware of our speech and actions, the month of re-invigorating our Iman and purifying our hearts and the month of engaging in the da'wa to re-establish the Khilafah, the implementation of the Qur'an on the earth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be thankful for everything!

He Who created the heavens and the Earth and everything in between them in six days, and then established Himself firmly on the Throne; the All-Merciful - ask anyone who is informed about Him. (Surat al-Furqan,59)

Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to God. God is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. (Surah Luqman,26)

Are we thankful enough?
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