Book: The Islamic Awakening – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen (d. 1421 AH)

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaykh Salih Al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله was born in Unayzah, Saudi Arabia. He was taught under many prominent scholars such as Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin ash-Shanqitee and Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Bāz, may Allāh have mercy upon them.

Shaykh Salih Al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله was known for his own style of interpretations. He is from among those scholars who served Islam without any type of religious prejudice and kept themselves away from the limitations of blind-following. He is distinguished in his exertion of effort in religious matters, which proved his understanding of Islam. Furthermore, the Shaykh’s rulings were based on the manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.

May Allāh have mercy upon him and enter him into the highest levels of jannah, ameen.

ABOUT THE BOOK

This book is aimed at the youth of the islamic awakening. When giving da’wah, guiding people to Islam, there is a huge emphasis on adhering to the Qur’ān and the Sunnah as well as being aware that there will be people that will oppose it.

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate it. (61:8)

The book is divided into three sections:

  1. Guidelines for the success of an islamic awakening
  2. Moderation and mildness in calling others to Islam
  3. Questions and answers for the youth of this awakening

However, I will only be going through one of the principles of the first section inshaAllāh.

Adhering to the Qur’ān and Sunnah

You must strive in order to adhere to the Qur’ān. Allāh سبحانه و تعالى says:

كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

This is a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember. (38:29)

If the Qur’ān was revealed to understand and remember, then return to the Qur’ān and ponder over its verses and apply its teachings. If you follow His guidance, then you will not fall into distress and misery. The one who turns away from the Qur’ān, from the words of Allāh, will have a life of hardship. That is why you will not find anyone who is at peace in his heart than the believer.

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مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he or she is a true believer, verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do. (16:97)

In reference to the “good life”, Shaykh Salih Al Uthaymeen رحمه الله clarifies that a good life is not an abundance of wealth or having many children. Rather it is having a peaceful content heart, even if one is in the most difficult of circumstances. Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for the affair of the believer is good in its entireity, and that is a quality that is for no one. If he is afflicted with hardship, he is patient, and that is better for him. And if something good befalls him, he is thankful to Allāh, and that is better for him.”(Muslim 2999)

Shaykh Salih Al Uthaymeen رحمه الله suggests that when a disbeliever is afflicted with hardship, he is not patient. Rather he becomes sad and the world is constricted for him. But, the believer is patient and finds that the joy of patience results in contentment.

Furthermore, Shaykh Salih رحمه الله also points out how to bring harmony between returning to the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and the schools of thought. For example, if you offer a religious ruling to one of them referring to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم teachings and a person says “I am of the Hanafi/Maliki/Hanbali’Shafi’i madh-hab (school of thought)”. You should respond with “We all say, ‘I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allāh, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh.” The reason for this is because it is the sayings of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم so do not oppose it with anything else.

It is important that we return to Allāh’s Book and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه و سلم. We must not give preference to any sayings over them, no matter who it is that is in opposition of them.

In order to be fully content in your heart, as a believer, it is important to ponder over the verses of the Qur’ān, apply its teachings, aim to follow His guidance, and be patient in times of trials and hardship.

Conclusion

With verses of the Qur’ān and teachings from Sunnah intertwined into each section, Shaykh Salih Al Uthaymeen رحمه الله discusses in great detail of the key components of a successful islamic awakening.

This is only a short snippet of the book, and there are many more important principles discussed. I highly recommend this book to those who want to give advice to others or want to engage in da’wah. One of the key guidelines is the youth should have open minds and hearts regarding the differences of opinion. In this day and age, there are many people who use social media and other platforms to refute scholars. May Allāh guide us all.

I hope this has benefited you all InshaAllāh. And Allāh knows best.

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Ramadhan has arrived

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind. 

Ramadhan has approached us once again and I hope you all have prepared yourselves for this blessed month. 

Create a plan of what you want to make du’a for and what you aim to achieve by the end of Ramadhan.

Forgive those who have hurt you and enter this month with a clean heart. Aim to do as much ibaadah you can and seek forgiveness. Your good deeds are multiplied in this month so reap the rewards inshaAllah. 

Remember the purpose of Ramadhan. It is so we attain taqwa, and self-restraint. 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may learn self-restraint. (2:183)

Ask Allāh to accept it from us and that He makes it a means for our salvation. Please remember me in you du’as. Forgive me for my shortcomings. May Allah accept it from you and me. 🍂🍃

Preparing for Ramadhan

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

The time during the month of Rajab and Sha’ban should be utilised wisely. One should work hard by engaging in Ibadah, fast, and recite the Qur’an in order to see the fruits of Ramadhan.

Abu Bakr Al-Balkhi said:

“The month of Rajab is the month for planting, the month of Sha’ban is the month of irrigating the crops and the month of Ramadhan is the month of harvesting the crops.”

  • Fasting

Aisha (رضي الله عنه) said:

“I never saw the Messenger of Allah complete a month of fasting except Ramadhan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’ban.”

[Bukhari, Muslim]

Muhammad (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) would fast during the month of Sha’ban because of the virtues behind it:

Usamah ibn Zayd said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any month more than in Sha’ban.’

He said, ‘That is a month concerning which many people are heedless, between Rajab and Ramadhan. It is the month is which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds, and I would like my deeds to be taken up whilst I am fasting.’”

(Narrated by Al-Nasaa’i, Abu Dawud)
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i: 2221 and saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah

If you have not made up for your fasts from last Ramadhan, make up for them before the upcoming Ramadhan inshaAllah.

  • Qur’an

One should attempt to read a daily portion of the Qur’an per day before Ramadhan arrives. Many people leave the opportunity of completing the reading of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadhan and once it arrives, they are overwhelmed with adding it to their daily routine. Others only read the Qur’an during the month of Ramadhan.

Yes, Ramadhan is the month of the Qur’an. But, if you want to be closer to Allah, you want to be guided, you want to change yourself and your way of life; then you must make time to recite His words.

Recite, reflect and ponder over the meanings. Read the translation or the tafseer of the Qur’an, so it will touch your heart and affect your emaan.

“This is a Book which we have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.”

(Surah Saad 32:29)

Do not pass one ayah until you understand it. We must understand the Qur’an to please Him. The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) would not move on from ten verses until they had learned them, and learned the knowledge they contained and how to act upon it. So they learned the Qur’aan and knowledge and action all together.

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”

[Surah al-Baqarah 2:183]

May Allah make us the people of the Qur’an and make us among Al-Muttaqoon, Ameen.

To Arabic students: Importance of studying Arabic Grammar

Going back to when I was studying Arabic grammar and how overwhelming it was, I only wish that I had given it more time and effort. It was an intense course, trying to learn so much content in one year when really the course should have been spread out over two years.
Even though I cannot speak Arabic, I do not regret studying and taking my time out to do so. I did learn something to a point that I can atleast understand when others speak Arabic or when reading Arabic texts.

For those that are struggling while studying Arabic grammar, remind yourself why you are doing this and what you are trying to achieve.

My Ustadha would remind us each lesson when she would see some of the students looking upset, she would say:

Before you come to class, say I only want to learn Arabic because I love Allah and rasoolullah (saw)

Purify your intentions each morning before heading to class and make du’a to Allah to make it easy for you.

If you want to go further and study books of fiqh, aqeedah from the heart of the Arabic language, you must understand  grammar and morphology. If you want to memorise the Qur’an, then you should be able to understand briefly what each surah conveys. Yes, there is tafseer, and there is translation but, what would be more beautiful if you could understand the kalam of Allah directly?

My last advice to Arabic students, make time outside class, individual study as well as working with your peers. Teach each other the grammar rules and try to complete each exercise to the best of your ability. Practice writing sentences, and speak to your peers in Arabic.

May Allah make it easy for you. 🌹

Self-Educating yourself on Islamic Knowledge

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind. IMG_20160409_133428

Learning about one’s religion is a lifelong process that requires commitment, awareness and guided study. Nevertheless, it is obligatory on every Muslim to have this knowledge (Ibn Majah). Indeed, Allah (swt) has provided us with a du’a to help us:

“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge”

{20:114}

Everyone needs guidance from the Shuyukh, as they have an immense amount of knowledge that we can learn from. The following Ayah’s from the Qur’an and hadiths shows why we should learn from others:

“Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not? It is only men of understanding who will remember.'”

{39:9}

“He grants hikmah (wisdom) to whom He pleases, and he, to whom hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding”

{2:269}

The Prophet (saw) said:

“If Allah desires good for someone, He gives him understanding in the deen. Knowledge is gained by learning”

{Bukhari}

The Prophet (saw) said:

“The Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”

{Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ahmad, and others}

So, if one doesn’t have a place to go to study Islam from a person of knowledge, where do they go? Alhamdulilah, technology has opened up many opportunities and platforms to acquire ‘ilm. However, if you have many opportunities around your area where you can attain knowledge, then you should attend as whoever follows a path to seek knowledge, Allah will make their path to Jannah easy for them (Sahih, Muslim). No one can say that they know everything about Islam and what their religion entails as we need knowledge like every breath we take.

Steps on Self-Educating yourself

  • Choose topics to study

There is knowledge that one must know which is necessary. For example, salah is important for everyone and one should know the importance of it as the Prophet (saw) said:

“The first thing one will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgement is prayer”

{Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i}

Another example is when someone is getting married, they should know the fiqh of marriage. Or, if someone is starting a new business, they should learn what Islam teaches about commercial transactions. My advice is learn about the things that are obligatory upon a Muslim and what is necessary to know in your daily routine.

  • Learn from legitimate sources

Please be careful when you search on the internet. This is often known as “Sheikh Google”. It requires a great deal of caution and people who write stuff on the internet can have very little knowledge. Many people have gone astray by reading something on the internet and assuming that it is coming from a reputable source. Alhamdulilah, there is now access to a Shaykh through online courses. You don’t need to travel far for knowledge or wait for an Ustadh’/Shaykh to come to your area. But, of course you should attend lectures or halaqahs in your area as there is more reward. Be aware of who you seek knowledge from. Look at the scholars credentials, where they studied and if they follow the majority opinion.

  • Include studying in your daily routine and take a gradual process

Learning anything requires commitment and perseverance. Make studying a habit by making time for it in your routine. Choose a certain time where you study the deen so it becomes a second nature. Eventually, it will become something that your heart and soul will long for it.

Muhammad (saw) said:

“The most beloved actions to Allah are those which are the most constant, even if they are little.”

{Bukhari}

If you try to learn too much too quickly in a short amount of time, you will feel overwhelmed. A Sahabah,  Abdullah ibn Umar, took 8 years to learn Surah Al – Baqarah (Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Abbas). This shows that he would learn 10 Ayah’s at a time and then implement them before learning more. Set up a daily routine, work with other obligations and don’t overdo it.

  • Enjoy the Process

With secular knowledge, a subject can be drained but there is no end to what can be learned of the deen. For example, Musa (as) knew that Khidr (as) has knowledge that he did not have by asking him:

“May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught by Allah?”

{18:66}

No matter how much anyone studies, there will always be more to learn. So, the process of learning should be something you enjoy as you are elevating you level in deen.

  • Know that you do not know

Understand that no matter how much you study on your own, you are not a scholar, you cannot issue fatwas or interpret the Qur’an and hadith. To reach that level, you must begin a more defined educational path under far more guidance. Knowledge gained that is acted upon is a blessing. But, it also carries a risk that one will share information that they are not qualified to share. Be aware of the warnings from Allah (swt) and Muhammad (saw):

“Then who does more wrong that one who invents a lie against Allah, to lead mankind astray without knowledge”

{6:144}

“Do not tell lies about me. Whoever falsely attributes a statement to me will enter the Fire”

{Bukhari}

I hope this has benefited you all InshaAllah. And Allah knows best.

 

Book: You can be the Happiest Woman in the World – Dr. ‘Aid al-Qarni

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind. Munkee_0401004425

This book is for someone who is looking for happiness, has low motivation or is feeling stressed on a regular basis. It is a treasure chest of reminders to give inspiration for women in all distressful situations. Instead of being upset or worried, think about the goodness from it and how it can make you a better wife, mother or sister. We should always look up to the greatest women in Islamic history for they are the best example. Take one step closer to Allah (swt), He will take 10 more to be closer to you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. ‘Aid al-Qarni was born in 1379 AH. He is a writer in poetry and prose in Arabic and is well-known for his inspiring lectures and speeches. al-Qarni has written more than 30 books, a range of topics from fiqh to self-motivational works. He obtained his PhD in Hadith Sciences. May Allah reward him.

 A Woman who Challenged Tyranny

 “And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’awn (Pharaoh), when she said: ‘My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir’awn and his work, and save me from the people who are Zaalimun (polytheists, disbelievers in Allah).'”{66:11}

There is no power and no strength except with Allah. Allah made Asiyah a living example for believing men and women. She was a wise woman who put away her worldly interests and sought a home with Allah (swt). She refused to live in Fir’awns palace with all it’s luxuries because she knew that the home with Allah, is more ever-lasting and more beautiful in Paradise. She was tortured for the sake of Allah but Asiyah earned it.

Dr.’Aid uses Asiyah as an example for the believing women to show that whatever obstacles you face, rely upon Allah. If you have any attachments to this world, know that this dunya is nothing but temporary. And in order to achieve happiness, you need to let go of this dunya and aim for your ultimate goal: Jannah.

You have a Huge Wealth of Blessings

“Verily with every difficulty, there is relief”{94:6}

The calamities and distress will come to an end, by the will of Allah. Remember that you will be rewarded in times like this. If you are a mother, your children will intercede for you in the akhirah. If you bring them up properly, they will make du’a for you when they prostrate and at the end of the night, before fajr. Al-Qarni reminds the reader that Aminah, the mother of Muhammad (saw) gave mankind a leader, the seal of the Prophets.

Dr.’Aid encourages women that they have the potential to be a da’iyah (caller to Islam) for other women to the straight path with kind words and setting an example. It is very common to enter a society where people talk about another woman’s religious commitments, her modesty, her attitude, her hijab, and how she treats her neighbour. This is what we should all try to achieve in order to attain happiness. When a person that is not Muslim sees that this is how Muslims are, that our adhaab (behaviour) and akhlaaq (manners) is from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

Look at the Clouds and not at the Ground

al-Qarni gives advice on how one should pick themselves up, always have hope and be ambitious. Be aware of falling and understand that this will happen but remember to pick yourself up. Always keep trying and keep repenting. If you go back to sin, then repent again and don’t go back to the sin.

Memorize Qur’an, and if you forget it, go back and memorize it again and again. Whatever happens, you shouldn’t feel frustrated because there is no such thing as the bitter end, rather there is trial and error, and learning from your mistakes. Put away all your thoughts of failure and don’t think about your problems for Allah (swt) says:

“…and put your trust in Allah if you are indeed believers.”{5:23}

Conclusion

This is only a short snippet of the book to help you to achieve happiness. When you start reading this book, you feel like everything makes sense now and why situations had occured to you. Remember that Allah only tests the one whom He really loves. In everything you do, think about your intentions and question yourself, will this help you in the akhirah? Will Allah be pleased with you?

I hope this has benefited you all, InshaAllah.

A Prophet Beaten by His People

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Narrated from Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RA) who said:

“It is as though I am looking at the Prophet (saw) while he was speaking to us about a prophet, from among the prophets, who was beaten by his people, causing him to bleed. As he wiped the blood from his face, he said,

‘Oh Allah, forgive my people for they do not know.'”

(Sahih Al Bukhari – 3477, Sahih Muslim – 1792)

In this hadith, Muhammad (saw) speaks about something that had occurred to the prophets (as). The prophets are those whom Allah trusted with the message because they were suitable for the task.

Allah (swt) says:

“Allah knows best with whom to place His Message”

(Surah Al-An’am 6:124)

They are those who are chosen to convey the message, to give da’wah (calling people to Islam), enjoin the good and forbid the evil and to be patient upon that. The Messengers (as) were harmed with words and actions which sometimes led to violence. Allah (swt) says to Muhammad (saw):

“Verily, many messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our Help reached them, and none can alter the Words of Allah. Surely, there has reached you information about the messengers before you. If their aversion is hard on you, then if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the sky, so that you may bring them  a sign.”

(Surah Al-An’am 6:34-35)

The Prophet (saw) spoke of a prophet that was beaten because the people believed he was giving a false impression of himself. They beat him till blood flowed from his face. This is the highest extent of patience. This prophet was giving da’wah and he was not receiving any compensation for his da’wah hence why he asks Allah to forgive his people.

The Prophet (saw) told this story for us to take it as a lesson and act upon it. Indeed, in these stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding (12:111). The lesson from this is that we are patient upon the harms we receive from words and actions in the path of da’wah.

We must be patient upon what afflicts us what we hear and what is said about us as a result of our giving da’wah. Perhaps, our da’wah has its errors and our sincerity has deficiencies or there may be inadequacies in our methods of giving da’wah. These damages we hear will be an atonement for our mistakes.

Regardless of what the person does, he will lack in one thing or another as it is never possible for someone to be perfect. Therefore, if he is afflicted with damages in the path of da’wah, then this is what will complete his da’wah and raise him in degrees. One who gives da’wah should be patient. This dunya is not long, it is only days, then the days will pass. Be patient until the affair of Allah comes.

And Allah knows best.

{From the book: Beneficial Stories from Riyaadh-us-Saliheen by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen}

Book: In the Early Hours – Khurram Murad (d.1996)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

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I remember, a year ago, I was reading this book at a park in Kensington. It was a time where I felt like I needed to focus on the right path, remember my purpose and reflect on my spirituality. Without a shadow of a doubt, Murad has given inspirational advice on how to become closer to Allah.

Chapter 1: The Process of Self Development

The start of this process is to understand that Allah is at the central place in your life. The Arabic term closest to ‘self-development’ is ‘Tazkiya’ which means purification – cleansing oneself. In order to achieve success in this dunya and in the ‘akhirah, you must depend on purifying your character.

“Successful Indeed is the one who purifies his whole self.”

(Ash-Shams 91:9)

We must attain the pleasure of Allah in order to enter Paradise. Murad explains the ultimate goal for us is Jannah. Surely, this dunya is nothing but temporary and Jannah is eternal, everlasting.

For one to attain Jannah, you must choose a new life to begin a new journey. The selection of the ultimate goal of Paradise must be made consciously and may involve an absolute break from the past. Improving your habits and actions is a long process, the desire will provide the momentum for attaining your goal.

To take the first step, you must ask yourself, what does Allah require from me in order to succeed? Allah wants you to be a Mu’min and a Mujahid. A Mu’min is someone who is true and firm in his faith. A Mujahid is someone who strives his utmost with all the means at his disposal to gain Allah’s pleasure. If you are a Mu’min or a Mujahid, Allah will help you to rise higher levels in this world and the hereafter.

When embarking on this journey, you may feel like your knowledge of Islam is limited. But, this is normal. We all need knowledge, like every breath we take. Don’t allow these shortcomings affect your feelings. Each day you must strive to improve, better yourself and you will improve.

This moves you to the level of purifying yourself (tazkiya). Step by step, you see a change in yourself. Murad explains that you shouldn’t expect to change all at once. When the Prophet (saw) was aware of people that converted to Islam recently, he (saw) wouldn’t ask them to start all their obligations immediately. Rather, as much as they could bear at a time. Keep in mind of the principle of gradualism otherwise you may try to attain the impossible and when you do not achieve it, you may become frustrated. Once you commit yourself to Allah, all that you have must be spent in His way.

Conditions of Tazkiya

1. Personal Responsibility

You only see the results of your personal development through your own effort and your own realisation. No one else can perform Tazkiya for you. this is your own responsibility.

“And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burden; and if one weighed down by his load calls upon [another] to help him carry it, nothing thereof may be carried [by that other], even if is be one’s near of kin.”

[Al-Fatir 35:18]

Tazkiya is about your behaviour, conduct and how you live your life. You must translate your knowledge into practice. Acquire knowledge through the study of Qur’an and Sunnah. To help, seek the company of those who are striving to please Allah. They will help you towards righteousness.

2. Genuine Effort

You must have a deep desire to fulfil your obligations as a Muslim. With desire comes actions without genuine effort, nothing can happen. Prayer is part of the effort. You may say, ‘Ya Allah, guide me and make me good’. It will bring you benefit if you are determined to become good.

There will never be a point when you will be able to say that you have reached your full potential or that you are now a perfect person. If at any point you say so, that is your downfall.

3. Sustaining Will-Power

Irada – you need to have the will to do something with all your efforts. Without will, you cannot do anything. The Qur’an explains the weakness of human nature and the weakness of will.

“And, Indeed, long ago We made Our covenant with Adam; but he forgot, and We found no firmness of purpose in him.”

[Ta-Ha 20:115]

Irada requires strengths and consistency. There should be no doubts, no hesitation.

4. Reliance on Allah

Self-confidence comes from depending on Allah. This helps you to srive and struggle in His way.

“So he who gives [in charity] and fears Allah and [in all sincerity] testifies to the best – We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss.”

[Al-Layl 92:5-7]

If you consistently hold yourself back believing that you are weak and incapable, you are bound to fail. Confidence, hope and determination are all important ingredients for your success.

5. Best use of Time

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Time is limited. Strive to make the most out of it. You will need to make time for self development. Structure your time, and remember the deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are a few. Whilst you strive to make the most out of your time, try to aim for excellence in everything you do.

6. Tazkiya, All-embracing Process

Tazkiya must encompass your entire life. Everything must be in conformity with Allah’s will. One thing you should keep in mind is that there should be a balance between your obligations such as, your obligations to Allah, towards others and yourself. The Prophet (saw) was against any kind of extremism:

The Prophet (saw) said: “Have I heard right that you fast everyday and stand in prayer all night?”

Abdullah ibn Amr (ra): “Yes, Ya Rasoolullah”

The Prophet (saw): “Do not do that. Fast, as well as eat and drink. Stand in prayer, as well as sleep. For your body has a right upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your guest has a right upon you.”

(Bukhari, Muslim)

If you were to approach tazkiya as an all-embracing process, you will realise that each part of your life compliments another part. The struggle to the straight path may come easier and be full of blessings. Remember that you have the example of the Prophet (saw) to follow:

“Indeed, you have the Messenger of Allah as an excellent exemplar, whoever places his hopes in God and the Final Day, and who remembers Allah much.”

[Al-Ahzab 33:21]

Conclusion

This is just a fragment of seven sections to help you understand how to develop yourself and to focus on your ultimate goal. This new journey will purify your heart and the will of Allah will become easier for you to follow. Soon, all your efforts will be directed towards the pleasure of Allah and Jannah.

I hope this has benefited you all, InshaAllah.

 

 

 

Tafsir Notes: Surah An-Naas and Surah Al-Falaq

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These notes are based on Tafseer ibn Katheer’s explanation on Juz ‘Amma.

Surah An-Naas (Humankind)

14

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of humankind (1)
The King of humankind (2)
The Diety of humankind (3)
From the evil of the sneaking whisperer (4)
Who whispers into the hearts of people (5)
From the jinn and humankind (6)

__________________________________________

The first three verses, mentions three attributes of Allah:

  • His Lordship
  • His Kingship
  • His Diety

This means that Allah should be worshipped alone for He is the Lord of everything. Everything was created to worship Him.

Allah tells us to seek refuge in Him from the evil of Shaytan. The Shaytan whispers in our ears and tries to make evil look attractive to us.

Bukhari and Muslim report on the authority of Anas, the story of Safiyyah’s visit to the Prophet (saw):

Muhammad (saw) said: “Don’t say ‘Perish Shaytan!’ because when you do, Shaytan becomes larger and says, ‘By my power I have defeated him!’ But, if you say, ‘Bismillah!’ – Shaytan becomes smaller and smaller until he is like a fly.”
(narrated by Ahmad – strong chain)

When the heart remembers Allah, it makes Shaytan smaller. If Allah is not mentioned, Shaytan becomes stronger.

Surah Al-Falaq (Daybreak)

13

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Kind.

Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak (1)
From the evil of what He has created (2)
From the evil of the darkness when it is intense (3)
And from the evil of malignant witchcraft (4)
And from the evil of the envier when he envies (5)

__________________________________________

Ayah 1: Ibn Hatim relates that ‘Falaq’ means the morning/daybreak. However, there are different interpretations that ‘Falaq’ could mean the depths of the Hellfire or it one of the names of Hellfire. But, Ibn Jareer states that the most correct tafsir is that it means ‘daybreak’ which is also the opinion of Bukhari.

Ayah 2: Seek refuge in Allah from all created things especially the evil that is created. According to Al-Hasan al-Basri, it means from the evil of Shaytan and from the Hellfire.

Ayah 3: Mujahid suggests that is means the setting of the sun, which is also narrated from him by Bukhari. The word ‘Ghasiq’ has been interpreted as the falling star or meteorite. However, the main evidence is a narration to A’ishah (ra):

The Prophet (saw) took her by the hand and showed her the moon s it was rising and said to her, ‘Seek protection with Allah from this “ghasiq” when it darkens.’

(Tirmidhi, Nasa’i in their collections of Hadith)

Ayah 4 & 5: Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others suggest that this verse refers to sorcerers. Mujahid explains that is of those who engage in magic, create chants and blow on the knots. Be aware that one who participates in magic, that they are closer to shirk.

Jibreel (as) said to the Prophet (saw): ‘Are you complaining of anything, Ya Muhammad?‘ He replied, ‘Yes.’

Jibreel (as) said,‘In the Name of Allah, I incant for you an incantation of protection from every illness which might affect you, from the envious person and from the evil eye; may Allah cure you.’

This may have occurred during the period when Muhammad (saw) was bewitched. Allah restored his health and exposed the envious Jewish sorcerers plotting against the Prophet (saw).

~

And Allah knows best.

Finding True Happiness

Have you ever come to a stage where you feel like your life is on pause?

Have you ever felt like everything and everyone around you is moving on, and you are far behind?

Right now, this is how I feel.

https%3A%2F%2F41.media.tumblr.com%2Fb7f7ae5bd0ea13437053892a3618c87d%2Ftumblr_nwjsd4Jw061usmriko1_500I want to go back in time and change things; make things right. I wish certain situations didn’t happen. Only because I have made a lot of mistakes. Recently I have found myself unhappy, depressed and full of regret. But, it took me ages to find out what was wrong: I was searching for happiness in the wrong places.

You will not find happiness from those around you. They are likely to inflict pain. But, the only place you will be able to find true happiness is only from Allah. He will never hurt you. He will never disappoint you. He only tests whom He loves. That is why a believer will never find peace in this world. To be a true believer, you have to go through trials. There is no easy route to get to Paradise.

I wanted to go back in time to change things but I realised I was wrong. I have to accept the qadr of Allah. I have to accept that things happen for a reason. It may be a blessing in disguise or a lesson to learn from. The best thing to do is have a fresh start. Seek for forgiveness and seek help from Allah. Forget about your past and focus on your future goals. Think about how to please Him. And from there you will find your true happiness.