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Your Intention Makes the Difference – Part 2

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived. 
They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire;  And lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do.
[Surat Hud: Aayah 15]

The Salaf-us-Saalih have commented on this verse:

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu said concerning this verse, “Verily those who show off, will be given their reward for their good deeds in this life. This will be so that they are not wronged, even the amount equivalent to the size of the speck on a date-stone.” Ibn `Abbas Radhi Allahu ‘Anhu continued saying, “Therefore, whoever does a good deed seeking to acquire worldly gain – like fasting, prayer, or standing for prayer at night – and he does so in order to acquire worldly benefit, then Allah says, `Give him the reward of that which he sought in the worldly life,’ and his deed that he did is wasted because he was only seeking the life of this world. In the Hereafter he will be of the losers.”

Mujahid and others said, “This verse was revealed concerning the people who perform deeds to be seen.”

Qatadah said, “Whoever’s concern, intention and goal is this worldly life, then Allah will reward him for his good deeds in this life. Then, when he reaches the next life, he will not have any good deeds that will be rewarded. However, concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.”

[The commentary above was taken from Tafseer Ibn Kathir]

Let’s focus on those golden words above once again to understand that Qatadah Rahimahullah is talking about two people, who are doing absolutely the SAME deed, but one wins only in this world and the other wins both here and in the hereafter:

Person 1:

“Whoever’s concern, intention and goal is this worldly life, then Allah will reward him for his good deeds in this life. Then, when he reaches the next life, he will not have any good deeds that will be rewarded.”

Person 2:

“Concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.”

Take the example from Part 1 of this topic where the wealthy man spent his provision in the path of Allah, and yet he will be thrown into the hell fire. The other man whose provision was half a date that he spent in charity, is likely to be saved from the fire. Both men are doing the SAME deed of spending and yet one excels only in this world while the other excels both in this world and in the hereafter. Half a date of charity outweighed a lifetime of accumulated wealth. The intention made the difference.

Your intention is such an important aspect of your deed that you can use to invest EVERYTHING that you do here in this world and gain reward in the hereafter, even acts that you may not consider to be worship towards Allah such as: sleeping, eating, playing football, going to the gym, cooking, painting. How, you ask? Where is the proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah you ask? Let us explore the topic of intention (sincerity towards Allah) a bit more and truly realize how broad it is and what we are missing out on.

The famous hadeeth on niyyah

The Commander of the Faithful, Umar ibn al-Khattab, relates that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) say:

“Actions are but by intentions and every man will have only what he intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated to attain something of this world or to marry a woman, then his emigration was for whatever reason he emigrated.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

This hadeeth is so important that Imam Al-Bukhari chose to record this as the very first hadeeth in the famous Sahih Al-Bukhari.
Imam As-Shafi`i said: “This hadeeth contains a third of knowledge. It applies to seventy distinct branches of Islamic Law.”
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that this hadeeth is one of three that covers the principles of Islam.

The background of the hadeeth is as follows: 

When the believers were migrating from Makkah to Madinah, some Muslims immigrated for the love and pleasure of Allah. But others migrated for worldly gain.

It is related that a man sought the hand of a woman called Umm Qays. She refused to marry him unless he undertook the emigration to Madinah. So he made the emigration and married her in Madinah. He became known as “the emigrant to Umm Qays”.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari entitled Fath al-Bari, asserts that the story of the “emigrant to Umm Qays” is authentic. In fact, its chain of transmission fulfills all of the conditions of authenticity set forth by al-Bukhari and Muslim. However, Ibn Hajar also points out that there is no evidence to indicate that the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was referring to this incident when he said “Actions are but by intentions…”

In any case, this hadeeth is general in its meaning relating in some way to every action that has or should have an intention behind it.

So we see two men, both migrating to the city of Madinah. Both undertaking the tedious, weary task of giving up their nice comfortable homes that they lived in for so long, leaving behind wealth and possession, a fantastic secure job, then taking the trouble of travelling for many hundreds of miles to get to a destination that was completely new to them and could possibly be the beginning of a tough time to settle in. Both these men are going through the SAME thing. But one gains the reward of Allah and the other doesn’t. One wins and the other loses. Isn’t that astonishing? What makes the difference? The intention. One did it for the pleasure of Allah. The other for a woman.

The winner converted his action to worship by a simple intention in the heart to please Allah.

So the lesson here is that: the famous hadeeth on niyyah is not just for established acts of worship in our shariah, like fasting or praying. Rather this hadeeth is for any permissible deed that we do. This is what Ahmad ibn Hanbal understood from the hadeeth, because he said: “I prefer that when anyone does any deed – whether it be prayer, fasting, or charity, or whether it be any other kind of virtuous deed – he should have his intentions always precede his actions, for the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Actions are but by intentions…’.”

The important lesson above is stressed in the following quote by Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid:

It should be noted that intentions are of two types [1]:

1 – Obligatory intention, without which an act of worship is not valid, such as the intention in doing wudoo’, praying, paying zakah (obligatory alms), fasting and doing Hajj (Pilgrimage). This intention is something that no one can do without. When you pray, you already have an intention in your heart. It is difficult for a person to forget to form the intention in such cases.

2 – The second type of intention is that which is mustahabb (preferable) in order to attain reward. This is what some people forget, which is to keep the intention in mind when doing permissible things, so that they will be acts of worship, such as eating, drinking and sleeping with the intention of strengthening oneself to do acts of worship, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“You will never spend anything that you spend for the sake of Allah, but you will be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you put in your wife’s mouth.”

Narrated by al-Bukhari (56)

And similarly, the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said to Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas Radhi Allahu ‘Anhu:

“You will not spend charity with which you seek Allah’s Face, but you will ascend a higher degree and status because of it, including what you put in your wife’s mouth.”

Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim, as noted in Tafsir Ibn Kathir under Aayah 2:274

It should also be noted that:

1) Your niyyah needs to precede your action.

2) The niyyah is in the heart.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said “The intention of purifying oneself by doing wudoo’ ghusl or tayammum, of praying, fasting, paying zakaah, offering kaffarah (expiation) and other acts of worship does not need to be uttered verbally, according to the consensus of the imaams of Islam. Rather the place of intention is the heart, according to the consensus among them. If a person utters something by mistake that goes against what is in his heart, then what counts is what he intended, not what he said.” [2]

3) A person’s intention should be comprised of:

A– That he is performing the specific act of worship, like wudoo’, salah, zakah etc. (This is important because you cannot make the intention after the act of worship. For e.g. you take a shower and then after you finish you cannot make the intention that you performed ghusl and expect reward from it).
B– That he’s performing it for the sake of Allah
C– That he’s performing the act of worship so as to fulfill the command of Allah

This is the complete intention (Allah knows best).

[Sharh Riyadh Us Saliheen by Shaikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen (1/14)]

How doing the same deed made one a winner and the other a loser

Now let us see some more examples of how the same deed made people winners and others losers because one intended by the deed to seek the pleasure of Allah and the other didn’t.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:

“There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allah’s Cause), or Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward.”
[Surat An-Nisaa’: 114]

Ibn Rajab comments on this verse:

Allah describes enjoining alms giving, goodness, and reconciliation as good deeds in and of themselves. This is because such deeds benefit the people. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out these deeds “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”. Therefore, if a person performs these good and beneficial deeds for the sake of Allah, then the deeds will be good for him as well as for those who benefit from his deeds. If he had other ulterior motives, then these deeds will be of no good for him. [Jami` al-`Ulum wa al-Hikam]

Similarly,  using Ibn Rajab’s words again, the deed such as going to the gym may be a good deed in and of itself because you may do it to improve your health and stay fit. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out this deed “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”.

You can just about place any good deed in the underlined part above and it will still hold true. Lets try again.

A deed such as sleeping may be a good deed in and of itself because you may do it to  relieve yourself from the hardships of the day. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out this deed “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”.

See? It is that simple. It requires you to be attentive of Allah in your actions all the time, whether you’re sitting, moving, at your work place, with your family, with your friends, whatever and wherever. As Allah says:

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners).
Then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.

[Surat Aal ‘Imran: Aayahs 190-191]

Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

I sleep and I get up (to pray at night), and I seek reward for my sleep as I seek reward for my getting up.

Narrated by al-Bukhari (4088)

He (may Allah be pleased with him) sought reward for his sleep just as he sought reward for his getting up to pray at night, because he intended by sleeping to gain strength to do acts of worship.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath: What this means is that he sought reward by resting just as he sought reward by striving, because if the intention in resting is to enable one to do acts of worship, one attains reward.[1]

So why can’t we make the same intention when we work, play football, cook food, wash ourselves or whatever, to be sincere to Allah and seek reward through it? Take each of the deeds just mentioned and relate it to the hereafter:

Work: Hasn’t the Prophet Sallalahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam commanded us numerous times to work for our provision, one being in the following hadeeth :

It was narrated that ‘Aishah RadhiAllahu ‘Anha said:
“The Messenger of Allah said:
“The best (most Pure) food that a man eats is that which he has earned himself.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i 4449
In-book reference : Book 44, Hadith 1
English translation : Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 4454

In another hadeeth:

Ka`b ibn `Ujarah رضي الله عنه said: “A man passed by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions were impressed by the man’s strength and energy. They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, if only this was for the sake of Allah!’
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

❝If he goes out to work for the sake of his young children, he is striving for the sake of Allah;
if he goes out to work for the sake of his aged parents, he is striving for the sake of Allah;
if he goes out to work to keep himself from having to beg, he is striving for the sake of Allah;
but if he goes out to work for the purposes of showing off and boasting, then he is striving in the way of the Shaytaan.❞

[Al-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (282) and in al-Sagheer (940) and graded as “Saheeh li-ghairihi” by Shaikh al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1692 & 1959) and in as-Saheehah (2232) from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah]

Most of us have a Monday to Friday fixed hours job that we get up for about 70% of the times in a week. We get up to go to work, why can’t we go to work to worship Allah? A simple sincere conscious intention towards seeking the pleasure of Allah is all that is required.

Say you are a doctor. Abu ‘Aisha Amjad writes [3],

“The Muslim doctor should hope for Allah’s reward and good recompense.  He (or she) should be sincere to Allah in his (or her) profession and should not practice medicine only for his (or her) status to be acknowledged. Rather he (or she) should be sincere and hope for Allah’s reward.* Alqamah Ibn Waqqaas Al-Laythiy said: I heard Umar Ibn Al-khattaab (radiyallaahu-‘anhu) saying whilst on the minbar: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallal-laahu-‘alayhi-wasallam ) saying:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه

“Actions are (judged) by intentions and every person will have what he intended. So he whose migration was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger. And he whose migration was for some worldly (gain) or for a woman to marry, then his migration is to that for which he migrated.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Why don’t we think about the above before we go to work? All it requires is a sincere intention and then Allah will reward us even whilst we are typing away on a computer or performing a heart surgery or whatever our job is, because our intention was to please Him alone.

Play football: Hasn’t the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam commanded us in numerous places to stay fit, healthy and strong, one of which is:

“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer.”

In-book reference : Sahih Muslim, Book 46, Hadith 52
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 33, Hadith 6441

Why don’t we think about this before we start exercising or going to the gym or playing for physical fitness. All we have to do is form a sincere intention towards Allah to please Him abiding by the commandments He gave us to follow Himself for taking care of our-selves. And then we can enjoy both this time of keeping ourselves healthy in this world and also reap reward in the hereafter because we converted our action into worship for the sake of Allah.

Cook Food: Hasn’t Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la said:

O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.

[Surat Al-Baqarah: Aayah 172]

Why don’t we think about this before we start cooking or eating, why don’t we think about wanting to please Allah, forming an intention and then proceeding with the action and gaining numerous reward at the same time in this world and hereafter as opposed to the one who starts the deed without being conscious of Allah and thus not benefiting from the time and effort that he/she spends cooking and eating?

Washing ourselves: Hasn’t the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam taught us by his actions to clean ourselves, one incident being:

“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to relieve himself, then another boy and I would bring a vessel of water and a short spear [to use as a sutrah for the prayer he was going to do after doing wudoo’] and he would cleanse himself with the water.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 149; Muslim, 271

Why don’t we think about this action of cleansing that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam did before entering the bathroom, reciting the du’aas that he Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam has taught us to say before entering the bathroom, forming an intention to please Allah to clean ourselves for His sake and His pleasure because the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam used to clean himself and thus gain the reward of Allah and His Blessings, Mercy and Victory in this world and the hereafter?

These are just some deeds that we do everyday. We do many more and by Allah! we will find something in the Qur’an or Sunnah guiding us and telling us how to go about doing it.

Do you see how Allah has guided us in every single matter of our lives from prayer to professional work to how to clean ourselves in the bathroom to physical fitness? Allah has showed us how His religion is comprehensively part of everything that we do here in this world and how we can relate everything to Him and seek His pleasure and gain great reward.

And why else would Allah tell us to say and remind ourselves that:

Say (O Muhammad Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

[Surat Al-An’am: Aayah 162]

Allah has guided us in every aspect of our lives and has taught us how to relate everything that we do with seeking His pleasure and the Hereafter. And the one who doesn’t do so, is not mindful of Allah in all his activities and therefore has no sincerity or intention behind what he does and he just aimlessly does the deed, is surely in loss. This also goes for the people who don’t make an effort to know Allah and don’t invest the time to build a relationship with Allah that would have helped them to remember and want to please Allah all the time in whatever they do. Such people will surely be in loss in the hereafter. Which is why the great scholar Imaam lbn al-Qayyim Rahimahullah said:

“The lifespan of a person is the period of his life, and there is no life for the one who has turned away from the (worship) of Allah, and is occupied with other than Him, rather the life of the animals is better than his life. For indeed, a person’s life is by way of his heart and soul, and there is no life for a person’s heart except by having knowledge of its Creator, having love for Him, and worship of Him alone, turning to Him in repentance, having tranquility and comfort in His remembrance, and having delight in drawing closer to Him. So whoever is deprived of this life has indeed been deprived of goodness in its entirety. Rather there is nothing in this world with all that it has that could compensate for this life (of having knowledge of Allah, worshiping Him, and having delight in drawing closer to Him etc).

[Ad-Daa’ wad-Dawaa’ (pg. 201), Daar’Aalim al-Fawaaid print, 2nd edition]

Some practical steps in order for us to be mindful of Allah and seek reward from our deed with a sincere intention:

Sheikh Saalih Al-Munajjid writes:

“What helps to keep this intention in mind is:

Deliberating, thinking and not being hasty.

So you should think about what you are intending to do, take stock of yourself before acting, think about whether it is halaal or haraam (permissible or impermissible), then look at your intention:

What do you want from this?

Every time you take stock of yourself and think before acting, this will remind you about forming the intention, until it becomes second nature and a habit that you adopt, so that you will not enter or exit, eat or drink, give or withhold, without having an intention in doing so; thus most of your time will become times of worship.”[1]

To Conclude:

Allah says:

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me.
Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.

[Surat Adh-Dhariyaat: Aayahs 56-58]

It is possible for you to worship Allah 24 hours a day. You are not worshiping Allah only when you are in the mosque. Your entire life can revolve around worship. You are here for the hereafter. You were given life because of worship. And your sincerity, your intention towards Allah will make the difference.

Please read part 1 of this topic here: Your Intention Makes the Difference Part 1

The Intention Makes the Difference Part 2

Resources used:

[1] https://islamqa.info/en/answers/95095/forgetting-intention

[2] https://islamqa.info/en/answers/13337/ruling-on-uttering-the-intention-niyyah-in-acts-of-worship

[3] https://salaficentre.com/2015/05/3-the-muslim-doctor-and-the-goal-behind-medicine/

A Muslims Reflection on Hawking and the Likes…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

As a student of Astrophysics, I have always found myself plunging into studying the cosmos. Lately I have also started reading about particle physics. In short I can describe my experience as breath-taking! I am stunned by the creation of Almighty.

At the same time, I always wonder, why the likes of smart people, highly intelligent, like Hawking (Theorotical Physicist – highly known for his work on Black Holes and Hawking Radiation, who died today), Ed Witten (proposer of M-theory) etc. did/do not receive guidance to believe in a Superme Creator..

image

(Hawking has produced some amazing research on Black Holes. Hawking Radiation describes the process on how a black hole slowly evaporates and loses its existence)

I found my answer in the Nobel Qur’an, where Allaah عز وجل says,

وَعَادًا وَثَمُودَ وَقَدْ تَبَيَّنَ لَكُمْ مِنْ مَسَاكِنِهِمْ ۖ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ

“And ‘Ad and Thamud (people)! And indeed (their destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined) dwellings. Shaitan (Satan) made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and turned them away from the (Right) Path, though they were intelligent.”

-Sura Al-Ankabut, Ayah 38

For anyone who knows the history of the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, it becomes apparent that they were highly intelligent, strongly built, carved homes in sand hills – a feat which requires planned engineering (refer Tasfir ibn Kathir). This becomes explicit in the ayah,

أَوَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً وَأَثَارُوا الْأَرْضَ وَعَمَرُوهَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا عَمَرُوهَا وَجَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ۖ فَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

“Do they not travel in the land, and see what was the end of those before them? They were superior to them in strength, and they tilled the earth and populated it in greater numbers than these (pagans) have done, and there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs. Surely, Allah wronged them not, but they used to wrong themselves.”

-Sura Ar-Rum, Ayah 9

Going back the former ayah in Surah al-Ankabut, Allaah عز وجل uses the word مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ to describe the people of ‘Ad and Thamud – that means they were given baseerah – they were a people with deep insights. That’s why, Dr. Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Deen al-Hilali (May Allaah have mercy upon both of them) interpreted the word مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ as ‘they (people of ‘Ad and Thamud) were intelligent’.

So it becomes explicit now, people with high intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be guided. Why aren’t they guided then?

Dr. Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Deen al-Hilali mentioned the five reasons why people fall into major disbelief in the appendix of their interpretation of the Noble Qur’an,

image

(To understand what a true Muslim believes and what are the six articles of faith, please download the concise thirteen page book here – Belief of a Muslim)

So basically, it is one of the reasons above, the well known scientists today persist in their disbelief and hence lack guidance towards the ultimate truth.

I’d like to conclude this article by including another ayah from the Noble Qur’an and سبحان الله , this from Surah al-Ankabut again,

Allaah عز وجل says,

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers).”

-Sura Al-Ankabut, Ayah 69

May Allaah عز وجل guide all those who sincerely strive to seek the truth.

– Compiled by Sarfarāz ibn Shuja

 

PicsArt_03-19-12.46.56

First Ask Why

Professor Hefley sat on the empty table across John Doe and with a  cheerful smile on his face asked him, 
“So why did you come late to class John?”
John was caught completely by surprise and in a shy voice muttered the words,
“I missed the early bus”, 
hoping that the rest of the class wouldn’t hear. But of course, they did. Professor Hefley’s smile widened and then he asked John, 
“Why did you miss the bus?”
John quickly answered, 
“I couldn’t make it to the bus stop on time”.
“Why couldn’t you make it on time?”.
John took a moment to recall and then replied, 
“I was speaking to someone on the phone.”
Professor Hefley didn’t stop there, he asked, 
“Why were you speaking on the phone?” 
John was having fun at this point, and once again resorted to the mode of thinking. 
“There was this package that I was expecting from India that did not arrive on time. I needed to make an inquiry.”
The professor theatrically exclaimed, 
“Aha! That is the problem you see!”
The professor pointed out to John that the phone call wasn’t made on the right time and also that his package not arriving on schedule was a reason for John to come late to class.

This episode took place in a Project Management class where the subject of the day was Project Quality Management. Specifically, what do when there is a problem in quality. And this is how Clinical Professor Hefley would teach us, by giving us real-time, understandable examples of the subject matter he was presenting at hand, with a touch of humor. He would use the environment around him and spontaneously come up with remarkable examples to explain complex concepts. He once had to explain this concept of  object ‘encapsulation’ in software development during object oriented analysis in the problem domain, which was for information hiding that enforces protection of what goes on inside an object from the outside world  to ensure no one can change the way the software operates without permission and they just have to trust it works. To explain this jibberish, he grabbed a glass of water that just happened to be in front of him and took a big gulp. And then he asked the class while rubbing his tummy,
“Do you know whats going on inside?”
The class replied, “No!”
“But do you trust it?”, he asked with a grin.
And the class all nodded their head in approval of the point they had got.
And then there was this other instance where he had to explain the messaging that takes place between objects in an information system and that a return value is a reply that a message may invoke from the receiving object after an operation has been complete. To explain this, he just shouted “Marco!” and someone from the back of the class who knew the game shouted back “Polo!”. The concept was seared into the mind from that moment onwards.

This man was very talented as a teacher and I would always be at the edge of my seat in his class while he passionately delivered his genius on the subject until he would start to lose his breath. No wonder he has accomplished so much in his profession from being a Project Manager and System Developer in top class MNC’s; researcher and Ph.D holder in Computers, Organizations and Society; Professor, adviser and Program Director at Carnegie Mellon University and now a prestigious clinical professor at University of Texas at Dallas, the place where I happened to study under him.

Back to the John Doe incident in the Project Quality Management class. The professor was giving everyone a live example of a technique called the ‘5 Whys Technique’. This is a technique that is used when there’s a complaint for a quality problem in a project.This technique helps us to do two things:

  1. Trace complaints about quality problems back the responsible production operations, back to where the cause of problem might have erupted from.
  2. Take a corrective action to resolve the cause of the problem.

In simple words, the technique helps you to find the root cause of a problem and then solve it.

So John Doe’s case can be summarized as follows:

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
The Cause:
Made an inquiry call about package delivery at the wrong time
Corrective action:
Adjust time for making calls

Let’s say after further questioning we discover that the cause to John Does problem is not the call that he made. After asking him ‘Why’ he called at a time like that, he tells us that he had planned to make that call earlier but because he got into the washroom late, he ended up delaying the call. In this case, we notice that the cause of the problem has changed. And so subsequently the corrective action needs to change!:

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
The Cause:
Got into the bathroom late
Corrective action:
Adjust time for bathroom use

And another ‘Why?’ question reveals to us that he got into the bathroom late because his alarm clock didn’t go off, which would yet again change the corrective action to take against the cause:

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
The Cause:
Got up late because Alarm didn’t go off
Corrective action:
Check Alarm clock batteries

And with these discoveries we can draw what’s called a ‘Cause-and-Effect’ diagram, or a ‘Fishbone’ or ‘Ishikawa Diagram’. The problem or effect is placed at the ‘fish head’. The causes of the effect are then laid out along the ‘bones’. This diagram helps us easily present the entire case to simplify the analysis.

blank-diagram-page-1-2

This is a very basic example of the profound use this technique has to offer. We notice that the problem remains the same, but a proper approach to problem solving helps us discover so many corrective measures to take that would help us best solve the case, because here we have to understand one very important principle that Professor Hefley taught us:

We have to correct the Cause, not the Problem

We see that upon asking a simple ‘Why’ to the individual we learn more about the problem. We discover new pathways that could potentially help us to arrive at the root cause of the problem.
By spending some time analyzing the problem and by introducing the ‘Cause‘ variable to the scenario, we can take a more appropriate and closer to accurate stance of implementing the corrective action against the Cause, and not the Problem itself. Thereby making our problems practicably solvable for a long term because we plug the cause of the problem forever.  What if we hadn’t introduced the variable of the ‘Cause’ in our measures to solve the problem? We would probably have ended up with:

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
Corrective action:
Warn John to catch the bus on time

or

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
Corrective action:
Scold John

or

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
Corrective action:
Tell John that he is lazy

or

The Problem:
John Doe came late to class
Corrective action:
Punish John by commanding him to go clean the class room white board

We see that none of the corrective actions discussed above have any guarantee of solving the problem. We don’t even know whether they address the thing that lead to the Problem. It’s like throwing the dart in the air without knowing where the center of the dartboard is. Or like giving a patient a remedy without knowing what the source of the disease is! You will only score the maximum points if you know the correct way of throwing (corrective action) and hit the dartboard (the Problem) at the bullseye (‘the Cause’). And you will only have a chance of curing a cancer patient if you kill the source of the cancer cells, the Cause of the cancer cells.

Such blind problem solving skills often result in the wrong outcome such as:

  • Not being able to solve the problem at all
  • Making the problem worse because of taking the wrong corrective action
  • Offending the doer of the mistake by alleging a charge against him that he did not commit.

Taking the corrective action to ‘Warn John to catch the bus on time’ (above) is almost an indirect allegation that he deliberately missed the bus, let alone the wrong corrective action.

The ‘5 Whys Technique’ was introduced by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of the 12 billion dollar ‘Toyota Industries’ and father of Kiichiro Toyoda who found the gigantic 30 Trillion dollar company called the ‘Toyota Motor Corporation’. The technique was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies. Since then it has been fine-tuned within the Toyota Motor Corporation as a critical component of its problem-solving training.

Taiichi Ohno, the architect of the Toyota Production System in the 1950s, says in his book ‘Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production’ that the ‘5 Whys Technique’ is “the basis of Toyota’s scientific approach . . . by repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear.”[1]

The technique is now used in Six Sigma DMAIC [2], Lean Manufacturing [3] and Kaizen [4] project management methodologies.

But the technique of asking ‘Why’ in solving quality problems is not something new to the world. It existed centuries ago.

In his book ‘The Prophet’s Method for Correcting People’s Mistakes’ [5], Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid cites instances of how the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam solved social problems that could have otherwise resulted in viscous feuds just by first asking ‘Why’. Study the following case:

An-Nisaa`i (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported from Abbaad ibn Sharhabeel RadhiAllahuAnhu (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
“I came with my (paternal) uncles to Madeenah, and we entered one of the gardens of the city. I rubbed some of the wheat, and the owner of the garden came and took my cloak and hit me. I came to the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam – peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asking for his help. He sent for that man and they brought him to him. He (the Messenger Sallalalahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said to him,
‘What made you do that ?’ or ‘Why did you do that?’
He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, he went into my garden and took some of my wheat and rubbed it.’
The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, 
‘You did not teach him if it was the matter of him not knowing, and you did not feed him if it was the matter of him being hungry.Give him back his cloak.’
And the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ordered that I should be given a wasq or half a wasq (a measure of wheat).”
[Al-Nisaa`i, al-MuLtabaa, Kitaab Aadaab al-Qudaat, Baab al-Isti’daa’; Saheeh Sunan al-Nisaa`i, no. 4999]

So here is the case from the garden owners point of view:

The Problem:
Abbaad rubbed the wheat of my garden
Corrective action:
Take his clock and hit him

What did that result in? Did it solve the problem? Following were the results of that corrective action:

  • Abbaad RadhiAllahu Anhu became upset.
  • He went and made a complaint to the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam which was enough to scare the daylights out of anyone.
  • Most importantly, the problem wasn’t solved.

And when the case was brought to The Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam, what did he do? He taught the owner of the garden to properly inquire about the ‘Cause’ of the Problem first before deciding on the Corrective Action to take. So by saying:

‘You did not teach him if it was the matter of him not knowing, and you did not feed him if it was the matter of him being hungry.’

the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam taught the owner how to deal with problem by looking at the case differently after finding out about the ‘Cause’ variable:

The Problem:
Abbaad rubbed the wheat of my garden
The Cause:
Abbad says he is hungry
Corrective action:
Give him some wheat

How else do you think the Cause of the Problem could have ever been discovered except by the owner taking the step to first ask Why?
Here is another incident that Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid cites in the same book where the outcome was much better because the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam intervened with his wisdom to first ask Why:
Anas ibn Maalik RadhiAllahu Anhu reported:

“Whilst we were in the mosque with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a Bedouin came and stood urinating in the mosque. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,
“Stop it! Stop it!”
But the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,
“Do not interrupt him; leave him alone.” (In another report by Bukhari, he said to them: “You have been sent to make things easy for people, not to make things hard.”)
So they left him until he had finished urinating…..Saheeh Muslim, no. 285
The incident continues in the following report where the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam called the Bedouin to find out the Cause by asking him:
“What made you urinate in our mosque?” or “Why did you urinate in our mosque?”
He (the Bedouin) said,
“By the One Who sent you with the truth, I thought it was just like any other place so I urinated in it.” ….Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, no. 11552, vol. 11, p.220.
The Corrective action that the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam took is reported to have been to advice the Bedouin the following:
“In these mosques it is not right to do anything like urinating or defecating; they are only for remembering Allah, praying and reading Qur`aan, or words to that effect. Then he commanded a man who was there to bring a bucket of water and throw it over the urine, and he did so.” …….Saheeh Muslim, no. 285

So here is the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam, teaching the sahabah (the companions of the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam) the importance of not jumping to correct the problem without proper evaluation. We can make the following analysis based on this case:

The Problem:
The Bedouin urinated in the mosque
The Cause:
The Bedouin thought the mosque is just like any other place where one may urinate
Corrective action:
Explain to the Bedouin what a mosque is used for

It is clear from this case that the Corrective action that the sahabah were about to use was to stop the Bedouin. But the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam had the foresightedness to solve the Problem for a long term using a different and more effective corrective action. So effective that when this incident was over, the character and wisdom of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam had left such an impression on the Bedouin that he is reported to have said:

“He got up, may my mother and my father be sacrificed for him, he did not rebuke me or insult me. He just said, ‘We do not urinate in this mosque; it was only built for the remembrance of Allah and for prayer.’ Then he called for a bucket of water and poured it over the urine.” ….Sunan Ibn Maajah

Written by Jibran Asif Shareef

Capture

[1] https://open.buffer.com/5-whys-process/

[2] https://www.isixsigma.com/tools-templates/cause-effect/determine-root-cause-5-whys/

[3] https://hbr.org/2010/04/the-five-whys-for-startups

[4] http://www.toyota-global.com/company/toyota_traditions/quality/mar_apr_2006.html

[5] The Prophet’s Methods for Correcting People’s Mistakes

How We Love To Talk

I was walking back home from Salah and I happened to see a young child of around the age of seven standing near a shawarma stall. But there was something peculiar about him that puzzled me to the point that I stopped to observe.

This cute little guy, in all the innocence that accompanied his age and pretty well dressed so he couldn’t have been poverty stricken, was pointing at a coffee seller, one of those guys you see walking around with a jug of coffee and some cups. This little child was pointing at the cups he was carrying and then pointing towards his mouth. He did this a couple of times whilst running around the coffee seller. It made me wonder why he wasn’t just asking for coffee since I was sure he could speak, but all that came out of his mouth were sounds like ‘aaaaa –aaaa’ while he kept pointing at the cups and then towards his mouth, back and forth.

That’s when I realized he was dumb, he was severely speech impaired.

At such a young and bubbly age, at an age when people like us learn to read and spell after having learnt the English Alphabet with precision, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala did not facilitate this little guy from a blessing that we take for granted. Allah is the Most Just and He does whatever He Wills.

It made me wonder whether he will ever get his voice back again and enjoy communication that is one of the most powerful bonds between human beings. Did this child ever look into his mother’s eyes to say how much he loves her? (May Allah bless her for her patience wherever she is). I imagined the problems he might be facing at school. Will he ever be able to make dhikr of Allah and read the most blessed book on the planet that is the Quran out loud?

I was pretty sad at thoughts that kept rushing through my sensitive head but then I remembered a something that our Prophet Muhammed Sallalahu Alayhi wa sallam said.

Narrated by Sahl bin Sa’d RadhiAllahu Anhu :

Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.”

Sahih Al Bukhari

Volume 8, Book 76, Number 481

I thought that this deprivation of his could be a means by which Allah wants to grant him paradise. This could be a mean for him to avoid the accountability we will all hold towards the use of our tongues which hold a very high place of responsibility like the Prophet (PBUH) indicated in the hadith above.

This deprivation of his could save him from all the useless speech, from all the ill talk, from all the gossip, backbiting and use of foul language that is done today without the slightest of worry. He wouldn’t have to be held accountable for any of this and perhaps it could save him form the hell fire and admit him to paradise.

But than what about us who have been given the blessing of speech? Is it really a blessing in today’s time I wonder? Will it really be helpful for us on the day when we will be held responsible for every single word that was uttered through our mouths or through our fingers on the internet or through concealed messages?

I leave you with an Aya from the Quran that we must all carefully reflect upon.

Allah says,

“On the day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions.”

[ Surat An-Nur : Verse 24 ]

And how we love to talk…..

 

Written by Jibran Asif Shareef

 

PicsArt_1467315374019

 

Solace

The heart gets weary.

The eyes are teary.

In Allah alone is the solace sought.

The madness is at peak.

The devils sneak.

With Allah alone is the refuge sought.

The world goes haywire.

It calls you a liar.

In Allah alone is the solace sought.

The evil leaps.

The truth leads.

With Allah alone is the refuge sought. 

Tranquility descends.

Mercy transcends.

In Allah alone is the solace sought.

Silence speaks.

Soul weeps.

With Allah alone is the refuge sought. 

The One and only, Allah.

– Written by Zahra bint Zaki

Solace

Social Media – What has it made us?

Let’s start this poem with a simple question
On Facebook and Twitter, what was the last thing you mentioned?

Was it someone’s marriage or your best friend’s birthday?
Or enjoyment with family at a picnic some Sunday?

Whatever the case may be, did you ever try to contemplate?
That our lives were different before these new things were made

Our lives were peaceful and joyous before signing up at social media
Feeling contented with Yahoo Messenger, Google and Wikipedia

Internet was used more for work rather than leisure
Unlike today, wherein it is used by the youth for haraam pleasure

Feeling delight in interacting with opposite gender via chatting
We often forget the fact that Allah is always watching

Be it posting a status update or changing your profile picture
Or updates of sports news where some cricketer hits a sixer

Did you ever try to comprehend upon its philosophy?
“You like mine and I’ll like yours back”, this is usually the mentality

Believe it or not, it’s just a ‘like-comment’ game
At the end of the day, it’s all about gaining fame

The more people like, the more ‘Serotonin*’ is released
Yet the greediness of this son of Aadam is difficult to cease

If you don’t agree with me, do this small exercise
Recall the last time you opened your post to check the no. of likes

I know it’s sad but it’s true about these new inventions
I think this is enough to show the level of our obsession

Now, what’s the solution to this problem talked about?
First and foremost Allah’s aid should be sought

Following that, we need to set our priorities straight
Along with learning to manage time in this case

Remember that each and every second that we are enjoying
We will be questioned about it on the Day of Reckoning

Time once gone, can never be brought back
Even though some may wish for it but it would be too late to realize that

Tick-tock tick-tock, is how the clock runs every second
Yesterday we were born, today we are here & we don’t know whether we will live till the next moment

Till when will you sleep, O slave of your maker!
Open your eyes, wake up, before it’s time to meet your Creator

– Written by Safi Ahmed

*Serotonin: Serotonin is called the happiness hormone. Serotonin regulates the mood, prevents depression and makes us feel happy.

We are living in times wherein most of the people, especially the youth are so obsessed with the usage of social media that it has become almost impossible for us now, to imagine our lives without these applications. Be it Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter, they seem to have replaced many things in our lives today.

This poem is intended to bring awareness to this problem and help others in trying to limit its usage as much as possible.

Social media - What has it made us

Ramadhan: It is time we change to connect

Ramadhan is around the corner! And we have all waited eagerly for this blessed month. Let’s make this Ramadhan a significant life changer! Let’s make this Ramadhan a way to become better Muslims and oblige by the teachings in this beautiful religion of Islam of which we’ve been heedless of. And as a result,  become closer to Allah, the One who created us. And what better way to connect to Him than prayer?

For us to understand the value of prayers, we first need to understand the purpose of our existence, and most crucially make ourselves know about Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted), for if a person truly knows his Lord, only then will he worship Him in the way that He truly deserves.

We Muslims believe in the worship of one Lord, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) who alone has the right to be worshiped and Mohammed SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and blessings be upon him) to be His final Messenger. There are two things that a believer should adhere to –
i)  the book of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) and
ii) the Authentic Sunnah (Actions and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)).
Even the person who does not pray knows this. But what makes him/her careless about the prayer? The problem is lack of knowledge, strong conviction deep inside the heart, realization of the Akhirah (Hereafter) and most significantly love,
fear and hope of the one who created him.

Our religion Islam is built on five pillars –
i)   Shahadah (Testimony of Kalima لا اله الا الله)
ii)  SALAH (5 obligatory prayers)
iii) Zakaah,
iv) Hajj and
v)  Saum (Fasting during Ramadhan)

Among these 5, we have As-Salaat – the Fardh (obligatory prayer). To understand why these five prayers are obligatory, we need to understand why Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) has asked us to pray and  what exactly is an obligatory prayer. Of course we know the technical aspect of it that there are 5 and we have certain set of Raka’as for each Salah, but what do they mainly signify?

Salah is an act of worship. It’s the one-on-one connection of the human creation with the Creator. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says in the Noble Quran:

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.” [Quran 51:56-58]

Know that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la is free of any need, He is self Sufficient; instead we are the ones who need Him and we are in the urgent need to worship Him because He is the one who created us, He is the one who is the controller of our lives, He is the One who is going to reward and punish us according to our worship and deeds.And we have only time to earn His reward till the moment of our death from which there is no escape.

“Death is going to reach you even if you are in the fortified towers.” [Quran 4:78]

When death is inevitable, why not ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to guide us and make us die in a righteous state? Even though we have wronged ourselves all this time, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has given us a majestic blessing – a chance to repent. SubhanAllah! Repent from what you did in the past, bring a new you and sincerely prepare yourself for the hereafter which is the ultimate abode for every single one of us.

Know that this life is short lived. Everything has to perish, that’s the law, that’s the rule of the Creator, and nobody can possibly deny this. Everybody has to die and return to where they belong.  We belong to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and to only Him we shall return. Doesn’t a person realize that if he were to return to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala then he should meet Him in his righteous state?

Jabir RadhiAllahu Anhu reported:

I heard Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam as saying, “Every servant would be raised (in the same very state) in which he dies”

(Reference: Sahih Muslim 2878 a ;In-book reference: Book 53, Hadith 101)

If you die in an act of disobedience to Allah, you will be raised once again in that very state of disobedience after your death. But if you die in an act of obedience to Allah, you will be raised in that state of obedience after your death. Which do you prefer? In which state do you want to meet Allah?

All the enthusiasm that springs up in the heart to fulfill the beautiful act of praying is driven by the awareness that we will meet Allah one day.

Worship Allah by offering Salah as though you are seeing Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and if you cannot see Him, then know that He definitely is watching you.

Jibreel Alayhis Salam asked the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa sallam:

“O Allah’s Messenger, What is Ihsan (i.e. perfection or Benevolence)?” The Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then Allah sees you.”

Narrated Abu Huraira, Sahih Al Bukhari, Book 65, Hadith 4777

How can a person not pray when he realizes that the very first question to be asked when he meets his Lord will be about Salah and everything else comes next?

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing among their deeds for which the people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be prayer. Our Lord will say to His angels, although He knows best, ‘Look at My slave’s prayer, is it complete or lacking?’ If it is complete, it will be recorded as complete, but if it is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether my slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he had done voluntary prayers, He will say, ‘Complete the obligatory prayers of My slave from his voluntary prayers.’ Then the rest of his deeds will be examined in a similar manner.”

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 864; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 770).

If we are not praying, then surely there is something wrong with our hearts. The Heart is the leading central feature of a human which has to sincerely submit to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

The Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and blessings be upon him) said “Indeed there is  a piece of flesh in the body, if it is sound, the entire body is sound, and when it is corrupt, the entire body is corrupt.Truly it is the heart.”

[Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 52; In-book reference: Book 2, Hadith 45]

Belief, yes; Speech, yes; But Action, NO?  Does that do any justice to our belief?

When the heart believes in the oneness of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala; love, fear and hope are infused in the heart of the slave of Allah.[1] And when this love fear and hope of his Lord rises in the heart – this drives the slave to do something – the slave remembers Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) in his mind, his thoughts and by his speech. The body starts following the heart and bows down to Him in the act of worship of Salah!

The Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness of faith: The one to whom Allah and His messenger become dearer than anything else; he loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake, and he hates to revert to disbelief after Allah has saved him from it, as he hates to be thrown in fire.”

[Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 16; In-book reference: Book 2, Hadith 9]

The essence and a sense of comfort that you feel while in the state of sujood (prostration) before Allah is one of the best testimonies for the love of Allah.

The following is an amazingly beautiful prayer made by Ibrahim Alayhis Salaam that signifies the importance of prayer:

“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.” [Quran 14:40]

If you haven’t prayed even once in your life, don’t let the Shaitaan deceive you into thinking that Allah will never accept your repentance. The following remarkably touching Ayah of the Noble Quran gives us a lesson that the servant of Allah should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted).

Say, “O my servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [Quran 39:53]

So repent now and return to connect with Allah 5 times a day.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says: 

“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.” [Quran 29:45]

So when you are praying right, you are saving yourself from wrongdoing. This is one of the reasons why Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) has asked us to pray.

Ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) for forgiveness – admit, accept and confess your mistakes to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted). Cry your heart to Allah! For verily only He can understand you and He knows you more than you can possibly imagine. Pray all your pain away unto him. Remember that your heart will never find peace except in the remembrance of Allah as Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala Himself said:

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. ”  [Quran 13:28]

You’ll only land into greater troubles if you don’t pray to Him, you’ll wander blindly in darkness, you’ll lose soberness, you’ll feel constricted when anybody does not feed your ego, your entire life revolves around walloped hopes, your life becomes superficial, you’ll create an impenetrable wall in your heart which cannot allow anything into it. Once this dangerous bug (Not having a sense of praying) gets into you, it infects everything – your heart, your soul, everything.  

And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the house in the Hereafter for those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Will you not then understand?” [Quran 6:32]

Doesn’t a person realize that whatever he has is from his Creator and that he should thank Him?

“Then we forgave you after that so perhaps you would be grateful” [Quran 2:52]

If you turn back to Him, He will make the light shine upon you even if you are in the deepest pit hole of the nastiest sins. Look at what He tells you:

“Indeed what is to come will be better for you than what has gone by.” [Quran 93:4]

“No one besides Allah can rescue a soul from hardship.” [Quran 53:58]

You just need to turn back to Him! His mercy is endless, boundless and that which encompasses everything.

“My punishment – I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things.” So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses -” [Quran 7:156]

Narrated Abu Huraira : Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His book which is with Him on His throne, “My MERCY overpowers my anger”

[Bukhari Book#54, Hadith #416]

Never never ever give up on the mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted), He has the power over all things, He is Strong and we are weak. Nothing is difficult for Him, He just has to say it to ‘be’ and it is.

Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is! [Quran 36:82]

So ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) to guide you, to make you understand the value, spiritual urgency and importance of prayer. Ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to help you increase in knowledge and seek Allah’s protection from a heart that does not fear Him.

There are signs and examples right in front of us. We ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to protect us from blindness. How many times have we seen that people from our family, among relatives or friends or our neighborhood, who lived with us, talked to us, who were healthy and died in front of our eyes? We saw them dead. We saw them at their death bed. We cried and moaned. We realized at that moment that it is Allah to whom we shall return. We learnt to live without them. But then what did we do? We went back to live our lives making ourselves busy with gaining the pleasures of this life while being negligent of our duties to Allah, and then again there came a reminder, a live example of one more death and then another, and another. And then we might be next. Who knows? For the certainty of our time is only and only with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted).  We certainly have no knowledge of the time of our death, and hence we have to be prepared and ready all the time by praying all the prayers on time.

The time is now to make a transformation in you, the time is right now, even while reading this, if you have missed a prayer or the time for prayer is running out, go pray! Set your priorities right.  Remember that knowledge without practice is culpable. If Salah is important for you, you will definitely make the effort to complete it, for it is in your complete capability to do so.

It is either His way or no way, remember this. He is our ultimate refuge. The more you ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to help you in fulfilling your duties, the more He responds to you.

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.” [Quran 40:60]

This issue also comes to proper parenting; righteous parents push their children towards Salah. Realize the purpose you serve towards yourself and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted). If you pray five times daily, take along your friend who doesn’t. Humble yourself and reconnect with the one who created you and blessed you with all the provisions in this World. It’s high time we realise and prepare ourselves for the Day when things cannot be undone. It is easy for you to say, “let’s face it on the Day of Judgement.” Seriously? Without a shadow of a doubt you will face it but will you be able to do anything about it at that time?

And once we start praying properly, our fasting will be even more enjoyable. The essence of fasting is not just being hungry; it’s about attaining righteousness and will you be able to achieve this without fulfilling this very important act of worship?

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -” [Quran 2:183]

It should all be only between you and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted), fasting is only for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) and He is the only one who values it with reward, the quality of our fast is known only by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted), no one else, and Allah has ordained us to fast, to fast by not missing the obligatory prayers.

Narrated by Abu Huraira RadhiAllahu Anhu:
Allah’s Apostle Sallalahu Alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’(Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128, Agreed upon)

Remember that we get unending rewards during this blessed month, even a small act of worship has its rewards multiplied by several units, [2] SubhanAllah.

Don’t miss this endless reward by making this Ramadhan just a medium to suffice your hunger and thirst at the end of the day and nothing else. While Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) is observing our fasts independently, this being a very great privilege to all of us, talk to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted), talk to him about everything, understand what Surah you are reciting in the Salah, connect with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted). And the best best feeling, sometimes is that – out of utmost humility in front of Him, you may even cry, but that is the best feeling ever, and we get this chance 5 times a day! SubhanAllah ! Don’t we want to make the most of it? Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) says,

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Quran 2:186]

 

The obligatory prayer in congregation is better than performed individually by 27 degrees. And in Ramadhan, rewards are multiplied, you cannot imagine how many rewards are waiting to be filled into your account!

Allah’s Messenger Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said, “The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by a person alone.”

[Reference:  Sahih al-Bukhari 645; In-book reference: Book 10, Hadith 42]

Allah wants to give us, and if we on the other hand fail to offer prayers, what a sad and unfortunate predicament!

The act that makes us differ from the non- Muslims is the Salah.

Jabir bin Abdullah RadhiAllahu Anhu says: I heard the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam saying this: “The difference between a man (Muslim) and kufr is the abandoning of salaah.”

(Sahih Muslim: Kitab ul Iman: Book 001, Number 0147)

What’s gone is gone, the Past is gone forever, you are alive – Ma sha Allah, blessed are you that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) is giving you a chance to repent now and start praying. You CAN repair the damage caused, keep repenting relentlessly and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) will shower His blessings upon you.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) is Al-Ghafoor (The All forgiving) , He is Al-Haleem(The Most Forbearing). He does not haste to punish His servants even if He is capable of doing so.

Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah)  said in al-Nooniyyah (3278): “He is the Forbearing and does not hasten the punishment for His slave, (granting him respite) so that he may repent from his sin.”

Al-Sa’di said in his Tafseer (19):  “Al-Haleem is the One Who keeps bestowing blessings, both visible and hidden, on His creation, even though they disobey Him and make many mistakes. So He forgives and does not give the sinners the punishment they deserve; He encourages them to repent and gives them time to turn to Him.” [3]

“Allah, may He be exalted, loves those who believe, hence He makes faith dear to them. And He hates those who disbelieve and disobey Him, unless they repent. If Allah helps a person to believe and makes faith dear to his heart, and makes the believers dear to him and makes him dear to them, and he lives and dies following that, then he is one of those whom Allah loves.” – Sheikh Muhammed Saalih Al Munajjid

Allah, may He be exalted, said of the people of faith whom He loves (interpretation of the meaning):

“but Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) hateful to you. These! They are the rightly guided ones” [Quran 49:7]

To sum it up, if a person has the characteristics of obedience to Allah and to His Messenger, then he may be one of those whom Allah loves; if a person persists in disobedience to Allah and His Messenger, then he deserves to incur the hatred and wrath of Allah. [4]

So I conclude by making the following duas for you and myself.

May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) make us realize the private consciousness and awareness of Him within us, immerse our feelings into piety, and may He guide us to understand that it’s not just about fasting of the mouth (i.e. refraining oneself from eating/drinking) but it’s about fasting of the heart, the limbs, the thoughts etc. and that fasting helps us to attain righteousness and piousness. May we continue praying regularly even after Ramadhan and for the rest of our lives.

And May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted) guide us to reflect outside what we believe inwardly. Allahumma Ameen. Summa Ameen.

“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.” [Quran 14:40]
“O Lord. Let not our hearts deviate after you have guided us.” [Quran 3:8]

 

Written by Sidra Ali

Ramadhan_ It is time we change to connect

References:

[1] – Worshiping Allah out of love, fear and hope;

http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/sp.cfm?subsecID=IBD01&articleID=IBD010006&articlePages=1

[2] – Good deeds get multiplied in the month of Ramadhan;

https://islamqa.info/en/221733

[3] – Meaning of Al-Haleem;

http://islamqa.info/en/22210

[4] – Allah loves those who are obedient to Him;

http://islamqa.info/en/192976

 

The English translation of the Noble Quran

When you start reading the Quran and listening to it with meaning, you immerse yourself in a whole new place and you start looking at the world and everything in it differently and intelligently, opening doors of knowledge you never even knew existed.
But above all, you gain a closeness to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la (Glory be to Him the Most High) like never before.

And so in order to help you do just that, here is the link to the PDF version of Dr. Muhsin Khan’s and Taqi Uddin Al Hilali’s English translation of the Quran:

Quran ( English translation by Dr. Mohsin Khan and Taqi Uddin Al Hilali )

6 reasons why you might want to read from this book and it’s PDF version rather than another English translation or a random android app are as follows:

  1. This PDF is the exact replica of the actual hard cover book that is available in the market and is so popular that it is the standard one used in the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, in Saudi Arabia and around the globe because of which it has been translated into multiple languages.
  2. It has been reported to be the most popular and now the most widely disseminated Qur’an in most Islamic bookstores.
  3. It comes with a seal of approval from both the University of Medina and the Saudi Dar al-Ifta.
  4. And because it is the exact replica of the actual book, the beauty of the PDF is that it comes with a lot of footnotes in the form of explanations of a particular arabic word or hadith of the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa sallam in relation to the Ayah you are reading and also incidents at the time the Ayah was being revealed.
    All this will help you understand the Noble Quran better and gain a lot of knowledge insha’Allah.
  5. The English translation itself is so brilliant that you will get a thorough understanding of the most prominent Arabic words used in the Noble Quran like ‘Muttaqoon’ or ‘Ayat’ or ‘Aaalameen’.
  6. The ease with which you can read the Arabic as well it’s English translation in landscape mode on your mobile to seamlessly go from one Ayah to the next is simply overwhelming.

Some advice:

  1. Use a PDF reader that helps you to bookmark the page you’re on. We suggest Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Save the PDF on your computers desktop or your mobiles home screen for ease of access.
  3. Understanding, pondering over and implementing 5 Ayahs a day is better than regurgitating 10 pages a week without understanding anything.
  4. If there’s any particular Ayah that takes your breath away, and this will happen more than once insha’Allah, you could probably take a screen shot and save it to memorize, or even share it so that others may benefit.

If you still prefer reading from a mobile application, you can download Dr. Muhsin Khan’s and Taqi Uddin Al Hilali’s English translation of the Quran with the following mobile apps:

For Android users:

“Quran for Android”

Or

“Quran – Naskh (Indopak Quran)”

(The only difference between the two applications above is the style of writing of the Arabic text. Choose the one that suits you.)

For iOS users:

“Quran Majeed Free Edition”

For Windows Phone users:

“Al Quran”

But we still recommend that you choose to download the PDF file of the English translation of the Noble Quran instead of these applications because of the six reasons we mentioned above.

Start reading from today itself from the very first Surah. You will love it.
Happy reading!

The English translation of the Noble Quran

Six Important ways to spend a Pleasant but Productive Time in Ramadhan

All Perfect Praise be to Allah Subhanau wa Ta’la (Glory be to Him the Most High), The Lord of the Worlds. We testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam ( Please and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) is His slave and Messenger.

Time is a gift from Allah Subhhana hu wa Ta’la and we are running out of it. Every minute that passes by is the last we see of it, we will never ever see that one minute again even if we were to spend millions to try to get it back.

But there is one thing that we will see for sure with utmost certainty – it is what we spent that one minute doing.

The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

 “Make the most of five things before five others: LIFE before death, HEALTH before sickness, FREE TIME before becoming busy, YOUTH before old age, and WEALTH before poverty.”

See Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077.

We as Muslims believe that there will come this Grand Day when we will stand before Allah, on which Allah will show us what we used to spend our time in and we will see it with our very eyes as clearly as we see the screen we are reading this on today.

Let’s try to spend our time efficiently in things that reap reward after reward from Allah. And what kind of a reward are we talking about here? Let’s say you bought the latest gadget in the market that you were looking forward to this season for yourself. Now imagine having the capability buying hundreds of thousands of them and then selling them again to buy yourself a car that you cruise in to a party held in your honour at the most expensive restaurant that exists on the planet, dressed in an attire of the most exquisite clothing brand on Earth.  Let’s strain our imagination a little further and say that you had enough money to buy yourself that car company, that restaurant and that clothing brand too and to spend your entire lifetime lying on a beach under a shady tree with a bottle of chilled fruit juice by your side having nothing to do but to enjoy yourself all day.

All this is nothing compared to a single reward that Allah might have in store for you on the Day of Judgement. Why? Because all materialistic things in this world tend to come to an end by nature. But the reward of Allah will never die. It will be everlasting and far more superior to anything you have ever imagined because Allah says:

“And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.” 

( Surat As Sajda 32; Ayah 17 )

 And our beloved Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

 “There would be bounties which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard and no human heart has ever perceived them.”

And then he recited the ayah mentioned above.

Book 40, Number 6783: Sahih Muslim

So while we still breathe, let us spend our time accumulating good deeds for that Great day. And when better to spend such time than the blessed month of Ramadhan itself?

Below are six of the best ways you could engage yourselves in. It doesn’t consist of obvious things like praying five times a day because if you aren’t doing that already then please don’t fast as well and quietly place yourself in a trash can somewhere.

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1)  Help your parents

 

Read the following Hadith carefully and especially the letters in bold:

Al-Walid bin ‘Aizar RadhiAllahu ‘anhu (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

I heard Abi Amr ‘Ash-Shaibani saying, “The owner of this house”, he pointed to Abdullah’s house, “said: I asked the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam:“Which deed is loved most by Allah?” He replied, “To offer prayers at their early (very first) stated times.” Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “To be good and dutiful to one’s parents.” Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “To participate in Jihad for Allah’s Cause.” Abdullah added, “The Prophet narrated to me these three things, and if I had asked more, he would have told me more.”

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 1:

Sahih Bukhari

Our parents aren’t going to be around forever, and we have to make sure that they are pleased with us while they still stand by our side. Throughout the year we do worse than that which Allah has commanded us not to do, which is to say ‘UFF!!’ to our parents. The deed of being kind and dutiful towards is so great that it falls right after prayer according to the hadith above, and one cannot simply imagine the reward which would be just as great.

Go help your mom in the kitchen even if it’s just helping her to open and close the fridge. Or even if it’s just picking up something that fell off the ground while she tirelessly works to ensure that she could provide you with a happy meal. Go help her do the cleaning and buying for the house or maybe help her finish off some unfinished work that’s giving her a headache to complete. Do it without even here having to tell you to. There will come a day when standing beside her will only be a wish that will never come true. Make use of the time you have with her today and reap great reward from Allah because what has Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said about a mother?:

Mu’awiyah ibn Jahima (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) reported:

Jahima RadhiAllahu ‘anhu came to the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and he said: “O Messenger of Allah Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam, I intend to join the expedition and I seek your advice.” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Do you have a mother?” He said, “Yes.” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Stay with her, for verily Paradise is beneath her feet.”

Sunan An-Nasa’i, Book of Jihad, Number 3104

A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your father.”

Bukhari, Muslim

Dad deserves our attention too. Let’s be on our toes to fulfil any command that he has to give us, just like he is on his feet 10 hours a day to make sure you are well fed and educated, who taught you how to stand and talk in the first place. What has Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said about a father?:

Abu Darda’ RadhiAllahu ‘anhu said that he heard the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam saying: “A father is one of the strongest doors of Paradise, If you wish you may pull it down, or if you wish you may protect it.”

Al-Tirmidhi- Hadith 127

Parents are a blessing that not even a trillion continuous sujoods will be enough to thank Allah for their presence, lets love them as much as we can and strengthen our relationship with them while we still have them around unlike many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, still young and bubbly, who have lost them in the most brutal of ways.

 

2)  Understand the Quran, don’t just read it

 

Allah revealed the Quran in this month, as He says:

“The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…”

( Surat Al-Baqarah 2; Ayah185 )

Now guys, lets be very clear and straightforward here. We are well educated people. We have enough intelligence by the grace of Allah to study our books pertaining to our profession alongside books and articles that we love to read in our pass time and understand them greatly. We go into great depths to understand this problem and that, we make sure we memorize things that seem important and interesting that we can talk about with our friends like a new computer programme you learnt (the nerdish kind) or the aero dynamics of a new car that you read about (the Vin Diesel’ish kind).

Why isn’t it the same with the mightiest Book that exists in the universe?! The Book which if were to be sent down upon a mountain, the mountain would be crushed into smithereens! [ Refer to Surah Al Hashr (59); verse 21 ]

Why do we just sit with the Quran and rush through it at 766 km per hour? Aren’t you aware that English translations and tafseer (explanation) of the Quran exist that are very easy to understand? (We recommend ‘Tafsir Ibn Kathir’.)

Spend your time pondering over the meanings and memorizing ayats that boggle and strike your mind for Allah’s sake.

Do two simple things:

a) Memorize an ayah a day with understanding from an easy surah of your choosing that you could use in your prayers besides the usual ‘Al nas and Al Falaq’. This would improve your concentration in prayer because now you would finally start to understand what Allah has to say and come closer to your Lord. The descriptions of Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell) are so enriching that you will see the hair on your hands stand up in awe.

b) Recite the Quran following your usual routine, whether it’s a Juz (chapter) a day or a half. But do it with meaning in a language you understand and proper pronunciation (Tajweed) if possible.

Allah Subhanahu wa Tala says:

“..and recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.”

( Surat Al-Muzzammil 73:4 )

It was narrated from Aa’ishah that the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

“The one who recites the Quran and learns it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven) and the one who exerts himself to learn the Quran by heart and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4653; Muslim, 798

Refer to the trillions of YouTube videos to learn the proper pronunciation (Tajweed) instead of learning about what Vin Diesel ate for lunch.

 

3)  Seek Knowledge

 

Includes both seeking knowledge of this world (other than studies of course) and knowledge of the religion (which is obligatory). Do we know the ar-kaan of salah (pillars of salah) or the ah-kaam of sajda sahw (rulings pertaining to the prostration of forgetfulness), or about how to enhance khushoo (tranquility and concentration) in Salah? Other than these matters of Fiqh, knowing the right Aqeedah (Creed/ Belief system) is very important due to the emergence of so many distorted beliefs and practices in our religion today. What was the Aqeedah and Manhaj (methodology of practising Islam) of the greatest generation to exist on this planet that is the Sahabah (the companions of the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi Sallam)? What did they understand of Islam and what were their practices of Islam like that we need to adopt? After all who were they taught all this under other than the greatest man to ever be Created by Allah Subhanu wa Ta’la?

There are basically two methods of seeking knowledge, through reading books or listening to the duroos (lectures) either live by going to the mosque or online. Youtube can either be a blessing or a cause of destruction depending on the way it is used. Watch an hour of a lecture after taraweeh or so to sooth your minds with knowledge and peace.

If you can attend in the mosque then Alhamdulillah but make sure that you are taking from the right sources, every bearded man giving a lecture in a masjid is not necesserily an ‘aalim (a scholar of Islam). You can listen to lectures online as well but the same thing should be applied that it is important to know where you take the knowledge from. You can contact us if you want and we will direct you to some beneficial websites which are authentic and online videos of speakers whom we trust and from whom proper knowledge can be leant from like the way it was taught by the Prophet Sallahu Alayi wa Sallam. Also please keep in contact with our HH network here:

HH on Facebook

 

4)  Make lots and LOTS of dua

 

This is something that so many of us forget. Dua for most of us is just sitting behind the imam for those three minutes after Salah listening to what he says something in a language we don’t understand and rushing off. Why cant we sit for at least a reasonable period of time to make some proper, sincere, heart felt dua personally? When the deed of fasting of a person is so noble in the Sight of Allah, how do you think Allah the Most Just is going to deal with the dua of the fasting person? Read the following:

Narrated by Ahmad (8030) from Abu Hurayrah RadhiAllahu ‘anhu,

The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

“There are three whose dua will not be rejected: a just ruler, a fasting person until he breaks the fast, and the prayer of one who has been wronged.”

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin ‘As that the Messenger of Allah Salllahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

“When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back.”

Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1753

Just for a while, sit alone in the corner of a closed room somewhere when no ones’s looking or in sujood which is the position in which you are closest to Allah and ask Allah for all that you had ever wished to have in the deepest depths of your heart. Beg Allah for it with humility, knowing that you are incapable of getting any of the things you are asking for without His Power. Ask Allah for the health, wealth and prosperity of everyone. Ask Allah for His Jannah and His Protection from the Hell fire. Ask Allah that He makes you a millionaire who will be able to spend millions for the sake of Allah on the poor and the oppressed, for this is nothing for Allah to answer, the OWNER of all bounty Who tells you to:

“….ask Allâh of His Bounty…..

(Surah An Nisa; Ayah 32) 

 

5)  Qiyam Al Layl (Taraweeh)

 

After having slept for eleven months, isn’t it time we take out a few moments of our lives for such a noble deed? Don’t stand with the imam for just two rakah’s to rush off for the ice cream waiting for you in the fridge in record time. Bear in mind the following hadith:

Al-Tirmidhi (806) narrated that Abu Dharr RadhiAllahu ‘anhu said:

The Messenger of Allaah  Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

“Whoever prays qiyaam – i.e., Taraweeh – with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded as if he spent the whole night in prayer.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

It’s not about 8 rakah’s or 20 rakah’s. It’s not about how many you pray, but whether or not you stood praying before Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la as long as the imam stood praying.

 

6) Recreation!

 

Now after doing all that work, you deserve to enjoy yourselves in a halaal manner, but that’s only AFTER you accomplish doing everything above, otherwise quietly place yourself in a trash can again.

Physical fitness is important so there should be some time for recreation or exercising. Start with a sincere intention of doing everything for the sake of Allah and take out some time to play games either indoor (with your younger siblings) or outdoor with friends so that love and friendship is instilled in our hearts for the people living around us along with the dual benefit of staying fit. (Extensive exercise and play may not be possible in Ramadhan though.)

Note: Playing Candy Crush is not on this list.

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We wish you a very pleasant but productive and reward reaping Ramadhan that you utilize every minute of. Days have gone by so fast and the days to come will go by even faster. It’s time we pull our socks up and do as much as we can this Ramadhan for it may be our last.

If you haven’t already, please also go through our article on:

Important Sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) for a Pleasant but Productive Ramadhan 

BarakAllahufeek (May Allah Bless you).

RamadhanPP Black