Friday, 29 July 2011

Only 2 more days Insha-Allah

Source
Subhanallah only 2 more days left until we witness the great month of Ramadan insha-Allah. Couple of my relatives, friends have already left us within the last year to meet Allah SWT. We are indeed the lucky one to Insha-Allah witness another Ramadan in our life. Allah SWT has blessed us with so much, alhamdulillah. I want to show my gratitude through doing a lot of good deeds in Ramadan Insha-Allah!

I have been quite busy with the magazine work but I am glad that finally we have managed to re-launch the magazine today, Alhamdulillah :-) May Allah SWT accept the magazine as a sadaqah Jaariyah (ongoing charity) from us, Ameen! Now I hope to have a long break from all the magazine stuff Insha-Allah. I hope to focus more on my relationship with my Rabb Allah SWT. Imam Ibn Qayim (RA) said , "The month of Ramadan to the other months is like Yusuf to his brothers. So, just like Yusuf was the most beloved son to Ya'qub, Ramadan is likewise the most beloved month to Allah." This is the month of Qur'an. Allah SWT reveealed the Qur'an in Ramadan. I hope to also focus on the Quran and study the meaning and the tafseer ( Explanation) Insha-Allah. As a mother of three young kids, praying twenty rakat of taraweeh can be quite difficlut, given I am already struggling with my night prayer :-( But I am thinking about the quality of my worship rather than the quantity Insha-Allah. I will try to do whatever I am capable of insha-Allah. One of my weaknesses is spending so much time on-line. Facebook and blogging are the main temptations for me :-( I hope to reduce my time online insha-Allah.

So in a nutshell, during Ramadan I will try to spend more time on my salah (prayer), reciting and studying the Qur'an, doing lots of zikr , attending sisters' halaqa ( gathering), spending more quality time with my 3 & a half years old son Imran, 2 years old Ayesha and my baby Yusuf and yobo :-) insha-Allah. Sometimes I feel guilty that I spend quite a lot of time working for the magazine and not spending quality time with my family. So I am hoping that this Ramadan I will try my best to be a better wife, a better mother for my children!  I am also hoping to organise some iftar gathering for family and friends insha-Allah and I am also  thinking of trying to finish some of the books I have been planning to read for ages! My sister TK was asking me whether I would like to compete with her to memorize the surah Yaseen during Ramadan. Sounds like a good idea mashallah. Insha-Allah I hope I can do that :-) I hope and make dua to Allah SWT that He makes everything easy for us and bless us with a very productive and unforgettable Ramadan , Ameen, Ameen, Ameen!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Al-Noor Summer event

Alhamdulillah it was our 5th Al-Noor event. Mashallah once again they have done a great job. It was great to attend the event. There was a bit of shower but overall we really enjoyed our time alhmadulillah. Every year we as a family look forward to the event. May Allah swt reward the organisers, ameen.
Brothet Jawad was there mashallah. I'm so looking forward to his Ramdan tv programmes insha-Allah!
 Yummy food court :-)


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Towards an outstanding Ramadan Insha-Allah

Mashallah last year for the first time I saw this beautiful talk by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Shareef. He is truly an amazing life coach mashallah. Whenever I listen to his talk, I feel very motivated, alhamdulillah. May Allah swt reward him with the best, ameen ! I watched it today again to get me into Ramadan mode Insha-Allah. He gives some tips about how to make it an unforgettable Ramadan. He talks about having a good intention and making lots of duas. At the end he explains briefly an imam's daily routine in Ramadan. Most of the time he is busy reviewing the Qur'an as he needs to lead the taraweeh salah at night. You must watch the video insha-Allah. May Allah swt bless us all with an outstanding & forgettable Ramadan, Ameen!


Virtues of Ramadan

Ramadan is approaching us very soon insha-Allah . Only 12/11 days left! Our prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) has hardly cursed anyone as he was so merciful even towards the people who tried to harm him. However,  he ( peace and blessing be upon him) did cursed the people who are fortunate enough to witness Ramadan in their life but don't make any effort to get their sins forgiven and gain closer to Allah swt!
May Allah swt save us from being among those people, ameen!
Allah swt made it easy for us to do good deed in this month by chaining the Satan and his workers for the whole month. So when we do sin in this month, we really can't blame him for our action. We will be accountable for our wrong action. May Allah swt save us from committing sins in this sacred month, ameen!

Fasting in Ramadan, solely to please Allah swt, is one of the greatest way to gain taqwa ( God consciousness) . This is also known as month of sabr (patience) as we try to refrain from eating, drinking, physical relation, backbiting and so on. This is also a great month to re-establish our relationship with the Book of Allah SWT, the Qur'an. Abdullah Ibn Amr (Radiallahu anhu) reported that the prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: " The fast and the Qur'an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Qur'an will say ' I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted." (Ahmad)

Our duas ( supplication) are more likely to get accepted in this month. Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu anhu) reported that the prophet Muhammad ( Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks his/her fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah & Ibn Hibban) We can make a Dua  list and jot down all the things we want to ask Allah swt for, insha-Allah.

There is a beautiful and very inspiring hadith regarding Ramadan which can motivate us again and again to do our best Insha-Allah. The prophet Muhammad ( Peace and blessings be upon him) said, " My Ummah has been given five things in regards to Ramadan which has not been given to any other Ummah before them.
One is that the odour of the mouth of the fasting person is more fragrant, to Allah swt, than mask (perfume).
The second is that the angels continuously seek forgiveness on their behalf until they end their fast.
The third is that Allah swt every day adorns His Heaven and then says (to it), 'The time is near when my pious servants shall be freed from difficulties and (meagre) provisions and they will come to You.'
 The fourth is that the Shayateen will be shackled and refrained from performing the mischief that they can perform outside Ramadan.
The fifth is that they (the fasting) will be forgiven in the last night of Ramadan." (Ahmad)
To know more about the virtues of Ramadan , you can watch the video below. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi has very eloquently described the blessings of Ramadan. Mashallah his talks are always very inspiring. May Allah swt reward him for all the efforts, ameen!  Please keep me in your duas insha-Allah and spread the message :-)


Monday, 18 July 2011

The greatest women of Islam

Today I was listening to a talk given by Shaykh Tawfique Choudhury. Mashallah the talk was so inspiring! He talked about the greatest women Maryam (AS), Aasia (AS), Khadija (RAW), Fatema (RAW). All of them are mentioned in a hadith as the women who completed their faith (Iman), mashallah! The more I am knowing about them, the more I feel inspired to be like them, insha-Allah. He also mentioned the story of Ar-Rumaysa , another great woman, subhanallah. Mothers of great men like Al-Bukhari, Salahuddeen are also mentioned. Please do watch the video given below and spread the knowledge, fisabilillah!

We are living in an age, where we are obsessed with 'pretty' celebrities, desperately trying to look and behave like them. If we truely understand the greatness of the women of Islam, we will never find the women of this age so 'attractive' and worth following. May Allah swt help us in knowing more about the pious women and help us in follwing their footstep, Insha-Allah. May Allah swt make us the best of daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, muslimah of the ummah, Ameen!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The night of 15th of Sha'ban

Salam alaikum my dear readers ,
Insha-Allah today by the grace of Allah SWT we will witness the blessed night of 15th of Sha'ban. Once upon a time, thanks to my 'super salafi mode' I ignored this great night :-( Alhamdulillah now gaining more knowledge of my beautiful faith, I am aware of the importance of this night. I used to believe it's a Bid'a i. e innovation to pray extra salah . May Allah swt forgive me.

Insha-Allah I would like to do more ibadah tonight given my children go to sleep on time insha-Allah :-) I feel my imaan is quite low. Unfortunately I am struggling with daily five salah, most of the time not being able to pray on time especially the Isha (night) and fazr (dawn) salah. I don't how I'm going to cope in Ramadan.

 Insha-Allah tonight I would try my best to be awake and ask Allah swt help me in worshiping Him as much as possible. 15/14 more days to go till Ramadan insha-Allah! May Allah swt bless us with the great month and help us doing our best to gain taqwa, ameen.
 Mashallah some of my beloved FB sisters have shared some great info regarding the 15th of Sha'ban. I am sharing it with you :-) Please spread the word. Wish you a very productive night today INSHA'ALLAH !

"It is reported from Sayyiduna `Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "Let all of you spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in worship (i.e. partly) and its day in fasting. Allah descends to the nearest heaven during this night, beginning with sunset, and says: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth until until dawn rises. [Narrated by Ibn Majah with a weak chain.]"

"It is the night in which what Allah has decreed for His slaves for the ensuing year becomes manifest. Their provision is allotted and those who are destined to die are named. `Ata’ bin Yasar said that on this night the Angel of Death receives a scroll on which are the names of all those who are destined to die in the coming year. “A man may plant crops, get married and build buildings while his name has already been recorded amongst the dead. The Angel of Death is only waiting for the order to take his soul.” Thus many of the pious would ask Allah on this night to be recorded amongst the felicitous just as they would ask for plentiful provision."

"There is general consensus that weak hadiths may be acted upon for virtuous acts, such as voluntary fasting and prayer, as long as the hadith is not excessively weak, returns to a general basis in the Shariah, and one is not convinced that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) specifically prescribed it. And Allah swt knows best!"
The fiqh of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

"It is a sunna to worship Allah at every moment and with every breath. It is clearly stated in the fiqh works of the madhhabs that it is recommended to worship on this night. Even Ibn Taymiyya says this.
1. Imam Haskafi said in his Durr al-Mukhtar, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school:
"Among the recommended [prayers] are on. . . . the nights of the two Eids, the middle of Sha`ban, the last ten of Ramadan, and the first [ten] of Dhul-Hijjah."
2. Ibn Taymiyya was asked about the prayer of mid-Sha`ban [i.e. the night of].
He answered:
If a person prays that night alone, or in a select congregation, as many groups (tawaif) of the Early Muslims used to do, it is very good.
As for gathering in the mosque for a particular fixed prayer, such as gather for 100 rakats in which 1,000 QulhuwaAllahuAhad are read every time, this is a reprehensible innovation, which none of the imams have allowed. [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2; 222-138]
3. This corresponds to what Imam Nawawi mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latters al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.
Note, of course, that the night of the 15th is the night before it."
A beautiful dua by my sister in deen Eva :-)
" May Allah not deprive us of any of the gifts that are bestowed on this great night. May He give us the ability to seek His pleasure by praying to Him and seeking His forgiveness in this night and we ask that He decrees for us all that is good Allahumma amin." 


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Good old knitting :-)

I love wearing my mum's knitted dresses. She loves knitting and enjoys knitting for us four sisters and now the grandchildren alhamdulillah. When I like something, I just tell my mum to knit it. Alhamdulillah I am a one lucky daughter! I feel bad that I can't knit :-( I tried when I was quite young but found it quite difficult. I just saw a very cute video and thought I have to share it with you :-) Insha-Allah I am going to post some of  my mum's knitted scarves, jumpers and so on very soon.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

7/7/2005

That was my first day of work as a sociology teacher . I was really excited. The headteacher introduced me to a very lovely sister who helped me to familiarise myself with the school and the girls I was suppose to teach. Her name was Farzana. She was happily married and mother of three beautiful children. On that day when the bombing happened, all the buses were suspended. I was quite scared thinking how on earth I am gonna go home! As a hijabi I felt quite unsafe to step out of the school. People were already guessing the culprits must be Muslim but unfortunately they were not wrong :-( I still don't understand how those guys thought that they were going to do a great job by murdering innocent people. They believed that nobody is innocent. Apparently most of us voted for Tony Blair's government so we have to pay the price. What a ridiculous argument! When Muslims don't really study and understand their faith, this sort of disastrous concept can cloud their mind and as a result we end up with some messed up Muslims who through their stupid action do more harm than good for the ummah. That day no doubt was a sad day for all of us but for me that day will always bring some special memories of my friend and sister in deen Farzana. She showed me all the stuff I needed for teaching. She introduced all her colleagues and students to me. I thought she must be a popular teacher mashallah. During all the hustle and bustle she was feeding her 2 years old daughter. She was so nice to me that she dropped me near my house on that day. I felt really grateful to her for helping me so much given we just met on that day. Needless to say, our friendship was getting stronger day by day. We used to discuss about all sorts of issue affecting the Muslims. I enjoyed talking to her as unlike most of the girls, we didn't really talk about make up and dresses and so on.

Sadly she was diagnosed with cancer in Ramadan.We lost her in March of 2008. I still remember the last time I talked to her on phone. Her brother donated her bone marrow and we all thought she was recovering from the cancer. She sounded very fragile but she was as usual very strong. She told me she was all right. I felt very happy thinking she is healing but just after couple of days I received the news of her death. Inna lillahe wa inna ilaiher rajeuun ... Certainly we belong to our Lord Allah swt and we will return to Him!

Last Sunday I went to her grave in Garden of Peace. My 3 and a half years old son Imran was with me. He looked a bit confused. I told him my friend is sleeping here. I felt so sad thinking about her. She was only 35. Her children were all under 10 around that time. Her children must be missing her so much. I miss her. Looking at the graves there I was thinking I can end up here very soon. Have I prepared myself for this home? Soon or later I am going to my grave. I am so scared just thinking about it as I feel I am not ready yet. May Allah swt grant my dear sister jannatul ferdous. May Allah swt bless her children and make them the best of Muslims. May Allah swt forgive us and help us to become better Muslims, Ameen.

Some beautiful suggestions mashallah

Mashallah my beautiful sister-in-faith Eva Zaynab wrote some beautiful comments after reading my post on having the right intention I have benefited a lot from her beautiful advice that's why I would like to share her comments with you. Jazakllah khairan sis Eva :-)

She wrote: Your article mashAllah was beautifully written and you gave one of the most important reminders- always have an intention. In Hadith one of the famour 40 Hadith of Imam Nawawi says:

‎" Actions are ( judged) by motives ( niyayah, so each man will have what he intended. Thus he , whose migration ( Hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, of for a wife he might marry, his migration is that for which he migrated." Al Bukhari and Muslim). when I was in Tarim, there was not a single time, where the word intention was not mentioned. Actions are indeed by intentions and the intention has to come from the heart. So a reminder to myself first, whateever we do, before we embark on any journey or any task have the right intention, always only for Allah swt and always , as you mentioned in your article with the " Bismillah".

Habib Umar bin Hafiz mentioned ones to the nearest meaning :" Any action that starts without the Bismillah is corrupt of blessings. A deed is not a deed unless there is a pious intention".Before every action, we must have a true sound will. and intention. May Allah swt give us all the ability to not be negligent in remembering intentions and honesty. I am sorry for the longish comments, but I wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed your last three articles. MashAllah, May Allah swt reward you, sis, for giving such reminders, for dedicating ur time and effort in writing them. Ameen
 
My little boy Muhammad Hamza is now 5 months old and exclusively breastfed. InshAllah I will do my best to fast, but if I see that my breastmilk is being affected or that my health deteriorates then I will stop. At the end of the way we need to remember that above all Allah subhana wa Ta Allah is Ar-Rahman and nursing mums and also people with health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes are excluded from fasting. And we should not feel in anyway that just because we do not fast, Allah swt is not going to shower his Mercy on us . We can do so much ibada during this month-Night vigils, reading Quaran and inshAllah finishing a Khatam, Dhikr, extra nafl prayers, getting up for Suhr and preparing the Iftar for ur spouses or our parents, giving sadaqa and so much more.Two years ago , as my daughter was born 10 days before Ramadhan, I really thought that I will not be able to make the most of that blessed month, as it can be quite tiring with a newborn and constantly breast-feeding . I had to remind myself that I have a limit in regards to what I can achieve and I should be realistic in my goals rather than having some very high expectations. so the end result- I didnt do a Khatam of the Holy Quran, but I made sure during the day , I read a few ayas. Some nights I was not able to do Qiyamat Layl but alhamdullilah i observed the blessed 27th of Ramadhan. But above all I made sure that I honoured the rights of my child and my husband , and no matter how tired I was, even if my husband insisted not, I would make sure I get up and prepare the suhur( which can be very hard when you lack sleep) and always did my best to cook our own iftar, At the end of the day instead of throwing a whole banquet of samosas, spring rolls, ahne, dali borah etc, we always had milk, dates, a rice dish and some fruits and my hubby alahmaudllilah loved it.
 
So a reminder to all the nursing mums or people with health problems, lets not forget that just because we dont fast, we cannot do other ibadah during this special month. Have the right intention and make the most of this scared month. Dont just let it pass and then feel guilty about it. As scholars have said : if we only knew the blessings of this month, we would want every month to be Ramadhan. May Allah swt give us all the tawfeeq to make the most of the coming Ramadhan and inshAllah to bring us close to the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him and ultimately to Allah subhana Wa Ta Alla. Ameen.
And sorry just another thought about Tarawih prayers. For the last two years I never did my Tarawih prayers in the masjid and I often felt very lonely or as if I am missing something or not making the most of Ramadhan in that aspect. I shared this with my husband and he reminded me that my Salah at home is far superior than Salat in the Masjid. Narrated Umm Humaid As-Sa’diyah who once said to the Prophet (SAW): Messenger of Allah (SAW)! I love to pray with you (i.e. in the mosque)! Upon hearing this, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:

"I know that you love to say your prayer with me. However, the prayer you offer in your residence is more excellent than that you offer in your people’s mosque. And your prayer in your people’s mosque is better for you than you prayer in the (lager) congregational mosque." (Abu Dawud; Musnad of Imaam Ahmad; & At-Tabarani)


And to be honest I think I had the wrong intention as well, which was very sad, I used to think that if I go to the masjid with my baby, I can meet other women as well and have a chit chat after our Tarawih prayers. Masjid=barakah tots playgroup. Before having children , I used to see always mums with their newborns in their carseats or toddlers and you could see that some of them really came for the chit chat and it was quite disturbing. Some sisters used the opportunity to show off the latest designer abayas from Dubai , especially for Ramadhan. Some sisters were not even able to perform their Tarawih prayers because their babies were crying , some due to hunger, some due to the uncomfortable car seat ( believe me you may think it is comfortable, but come on, it is not the same as their comfy cot bed, or moses basket). So alhamdullilah the solution for me was- praying at home without a disturbed routine for my child, without dragging her out at 10 pm,when most babies are asleep and as for my chit chat or catch up with the sisters, I did it during the day.