Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 22

Bismillah.. In the name of Allah the Most Merciful

I hope everyone is doing their best during these last couple of nights left. It is hard to keep awake the whole night, but we all know how important these nights are for us. Imagine, how many of us will be alive for 83 years! If we do, will we be able to be fit enough to worship our Lord that much? So please don't waste this great opportunity. May Allah subahanu wa ta'ala enable us to witness the night of power and accept our deeds, ameen! Now a days, I am trying to avoid going online . Most of my work requires me to be online which is quite challenging for me given I love browsing and reading. But I am trying to balance bi'idnillah. MashAllah Sheikh Omer Suleiman's today's Ramadan resolution is very timely. Let us try our best to have "cyber i'tikaf" as much as possible, inshAllah.

‪#‎RamadanResolution‬ Day 22 (Cyber I’itikaf) by Sheikh Omer Sulaiman 

" The world of the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand: it provides us access to Islamic lectures/information and allows us to establish the ties of friendship and family. On the other hand: it provides us access to not so Islamic things and allows us to destroy our ties of friendship and family with a dumb email or an ill-mannered form of writing (Ref. #RamadanResolution Day 19). So lets face it, it really can go both ways. But one of the greatest casualties of increased Internet usage is our ability to engage in tadabbur (reflection) and tafakkur (contemplation). In fact, you may notice people, even in I’itikaf (seclusion) in the masjid these last 10 nights, who never part with their smart phones. And no, they’re not all just reading Quran  We’re just so addicted to the internet/phone/ipad that we don’t know what to do with ourselves anymore without these things and so we never experience the true sweetness of alone time.

All of the pious predecessors were known to have an hour of the day, a day of the week, etc. in which they would completely seclude themselves from everyone including family. In our day and age, even when we seclude ourselves we still take calls, check emails, and update statuses.

So here’s a tip for your sanity and mine. Spend some time every week in cyber I’itikaf. That means no phone calls, no FB statuses, no tweets, etc. Just focus on answering the call of Allah, checking the status of your faith, and tweeting your love to your Lord."

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 21

Bismillah  In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful

I watched an excellent video today . Most of us know that our beloved prophet Muhammad salllallahu alaihe wa sallam taught us through our mother A'isha RadiAllahu Anha the dua we should be doing during the last ten days of Ramadan. He (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) taught us that the most frequent and beloved dua to be said on the last 10 nights is: Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuh’ibbul ‘afwa fa’ffu ‘Anni (O Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me).

But how many of us really understand how powerful this tiny dua is? Subhanallah the video is just mind-blowing. Please listen carefully. May Allah subhanau wa ta'ala give us the ability to do the dua very frequently, ameen! May He accept this dua from us, ameen!

Also another great reminder by Imam Zaid Shakir of Zaytuna College

"One of the greatest forms of deception in this world is the assumption that we will be given a long life. Hence, we assume that we have ample time to repent, ample time to get serious about the religion, ample time to restore broken relations. Oftentimes, our enjoyment of worldly delights and pleasures leads to our procrastination in undertaking good deeds.

Such thinking is deceptive because tomorrow is promised to no one. One of the reasons this fact escapes the procrastinator is his or her infatuation with the world. They revel in its delights and do not stop to take time to consider the sobering reality of death, which is one of the greatest means of cutting short ones hopes for a long life and ones procrastination in undertaking religious responsibilities.

In this respect, one of the most penetrating bits of advice ever given is contained in the saying of the Prophet, peace upon him, “Be in the world as if you are a stranger or a wayfarer.” In the same hadith he mentioned, “When you turn in at night do not anticipate that you will live until the morning, and when you arise in the morning do not anticipate that you will live until the evening.” (Imam Zaid Shakir)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: day 20

Bismillah... In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful

Subhanallah today is the first odd night, possibly the night of power! InshAllah I hope to do my best to connect to my Lord, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Hopefully, I won't be really blogging anymore but share the great work our wonderful teachers are doing through this blog, bi'idnillah. I have been tempted to deactivate my Facebook account and re-schedule our magazine issue which is due this Friday inshAllah. But alhamdulillah I am benefiting a lot from the wonderful posts on FB as well as the articles sent to me for the next issue. We as believers need reminders on a regular basis. These beautiful reminders are the food of our souls. So I will keep sharing the khayr through this blog on a daily basis bi'idnillah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala accept this humble deed as an act of ibadah, ameen! InshAllah I hope you  all, our precious readers will benefit from the reminders and keep us in your precious duas. Jazakallah khairan :-) Love you all feesabilillah!

Powerful Tips for the Last 10 Nights by Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward our sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury for his excellent reminder, ameen! May Allah subhanau wa ta'ala enable us to follow these powerful tips, ameen!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections : Day 19

In the Name of Allah.. The Most Merciful

Ramadan for me is a month of dua, month of asking Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Today I want to share with you some favourite duas of mine. Please never underestimate the power of dua. Dua is the essence of worship. This month is all about worshiping our Lord. So making plenty of dua is a great way to worship Allah Subahanahu  Wa Ta'ala. 

"My prayers and my devotions, my life and my death are all for Allah, Lord of the Universe. He has no peer. Allah's guidance is the only guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the Universe, to pray and to fear Him. Before Him shall you be gathered all. " [Qur'an Al-an'am:6 ] 

"My Rabb! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and my parents and that I may do righteous good deeds such as please You and make my offspring good. Truly I have turned to You in repentance and truly I am one of the Muslims. " [Qur'an Al-Ahqah:15] 

"My lord, make me one who establishes prayer and of my offspring. Our Lord, accept my prayer. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day reckoning is made." [Qur'an 14:40-41] 

"Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire!" [ Qur'an 2:201] 

"O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and wellbeing in my religion, my worldly life, my family and my wealth." [Mustadrak] 

"O Allah, help me in You remembrance, Your thanks and in perfecting Your prescribed worship." [Tirmidhi] 

"O Allah ! Give me love of you, love of the people who love You and love of every action which draws me nearer to Your love." [Tirmidhi] 

"O Allah, I ask You beneficial knowledge and goodly sustenance and accepted acts of worship." [Ibn Maja] 

" O Allah, I ask of You guidance, piety, chastity and independence [from Your creation] " (Muslim). 

"O Allah, Turner of hearts, turn our hearts toward Your obedience (Muslim). "

"O Controller of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your Religion (Tirmidhi, Mustadrak). "

"O Allah, I seek Your protection from inability, laziness, cowardice, decrepitude and miserliness and I seek Your protection from the punishment of the grave and I seek Your protection from the mischief of life and death "(Bukhari). 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 18

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

Yesterday in Egypt lot of innocent people have been murdered by criminals of Sisi's "government". Yesterday was also the anniversary of battle of Badr, the first battle between truth and falsehood. So many Muslims around the world are suffering , subhanallah. Every single day, watching the TV channels, remind us what atrocities are talking place around the world. Yesterday I tuned into Ramadan TV to watch the Penny Appeal for Syria. One sister called to donate money and couldn't stop crying. I was thinking how hard my heart must be that while hearing about the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Bangladesh, Burma and so many other countries, no tears are shed. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala have mercy on me and enable me to relate to my brothers and sisters around the world, ameen!

Without a doubt, there are plenty of people who are crying and making sincere dua every single day of the year mashAllah. In our faith, Muslim ummah is seen as one body. If one limb hurts, the whole body feels the pain. Brotherhood is very important for us. That's why watching people in hardship in Egypt makes us sad and angry. We make dua that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless the victims of yesterday with jannatul ferdous, the highest Garden and give strength and patience to their loved ones, ameen! 

Commenting on yesterday's event, Sheikh Abu Eesa has said it brilliantly on his FB page " Our dead are in jannah, in sha Allah. The martyrs of Egypt and Syria have only moved on and upwards

Yet your *living* ones O Tamarod supporters, O Sisi, O Assad, are burning inside mentally. You have destroyed yourselves. Your lives will remain tortured forever with this blood on your hands. Your stupidity and brazenness makes me laugh, not cry. AND the Fire awaits you. Well done."

As you know today is 18th of ramadan alhamdulillah. Only two days to go till the last 10 days of Ramadan inshallah.  Let us remember our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world frequently in our duas. 

O Allah, we ask you to restrain them by their necks and we seek refuge in You from their evil. ( Abu Dawud) 

Allah is sufficient for us and the best of those on whom to depend. (At-Tirmidhi)

O Allah forgive all the believers, men and women and all Muslims, men and women. Unite their hearts in mutual love, and set aright their mutual affairs and help them against Your and their enemies. O Allah curse the unbelievers among the people of the book who belie the Prophets and who fight Your chosen ones. O Allah divide them, and make their feet tremble and send down upon them Your punishment, which You do not turn away from the people of sin. (Musannaf 'Abd al-Razzaq)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 17

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

Subhanallah today is the 17th day of Ramadan ! How quickly time is passing us ! Not that many days left till Eid! I hope we can do our best with the last two weeks remaining, bi'idnillah. 

Today I want to share a very beautiful  message I have received recently. This can be enough to motivate us to ask for forgiveness i.e do istighfar on a regular basis inshAllah. 

A man came to Hasan Al-Basri and complained to him: " The sky does not shower us with rain." He replied: "Seek Allah's forgiveness (i.e say Astagferullah)". Then another man came to him and said: " I complain of poverty." He said: " Seek Allah's forgiveness." Then another person came to him and complained: " My wife is barren; she cannot bear children." He replied: " Seek Allah's forgiveness." 

The people who were present, said to Al-Hasan: " Every time a person came to you complaining , you instructed them to seek Allah's forgiveness?"

Al-Hasan al-Basri said, " Have you not read the statement of Allah? 'I said "Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance; increase you in wealth and children; grant you gardens and bestow on you rivers." " (Nuh 71:10-12) 

Subhanallah what a beautiful reminder! Do you know the best way to ask for forgiveness? Let me share bi'idnillah the best of Istighfar according to our beloved prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam.

Sayyid Al-Istighfar (The greatest prayer for forgiveness) 

Allahumma Anta Rabbi laa ilaaha illaa Ant(a), khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduk(a), wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’t(u), a-‘udhu bika min sharri maa sana’t(u), abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayy(a), wa abu’u bi dhanbi, fa’ghfir lii ha innahu laa yaghfiru’dh-dhunuba illaa Ant(a). 

O Allah, You are my Lord. There is no god but You. You have created me and I am Your servant and as far as possible I abide by Your promise and covenant (which I made with You). I seek Your protection against the consequences of my wrongdoings. I fully acknowledge the grace You have bestowed upon me and confess my faults. So pardon me as none besides You can pardon sins. 

Whoever recites this during the day or night with firm belief, then happens to pass away before the next evening or morning, he/she will be counted among the dwellers of Paradise. (Bukhari) 

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us the ability and ease in asking for forgiveness from Him on a daily basis, ameen!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 16

Bismillah... In the Name of Allah. the Most Merciful

Yesterday London time 12 midnight, I tuned into ILF live-stream "The halftime Report" a very timely conversation between Sheikh Omar Suleiman and Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, the two giants working very hard in sharing their knowledge of our beautiful faith, MashAllah. May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala accept their efforts, ameen! May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us the ability to learn from them and implement the lessons in our life, ameen!

I love the way they explain the issues we as the Muslims of this post-modern world face on a daily basis. I can really relate to them. One of the best thing about them is their use of recent technology to reach out as many people as possible, mashAllah. I am so blessed to have Bayyinah TV in my life. When I listen to the tafseer of the Qur'an by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, I feel like I have never heard the verses of the Qur'an he mentioned during the tafseer session. I have read the Qur'an so many times but didn't really understand the meaning of most of the verses. When you listen to the talks, it opens your heart and mind subhanallah. You can really connect to the Qur'an when you sincerely listen to the tafseer by him. InshAllah I hope to dedicate one whole post on Bayyinah very soon. 

Alhamdulillah Sheikh Omar Suleiman's project ILF (Islamic Learning Foundation) is another awesome initiative to provide a solid foundation of knowledge. I have had  the opportunity to listen to some of the lectures alhamdulillah. Yesterday , after the conversation Sheikh Omar did a surprise announcement alahmdulillah. I am so glad to let you know that from now on ILMFlix will be absolutely free! Alhamdulillah.

We will be able to listen to all ILF Texas online and onsite courses and Live broadcasts for absolutely no charge. Please don't miss this great opportunity. Alhamdulillah we are living at an age where the knowledge is coming to us through the internet alhamdulillah. Our predecessors had to travel for years to seek knowledge. Do we have any excuse not to seek knowledge, when Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has made it so easy for us? So let us make this Ramadan an unforgettable one by registering and benefiting like a proper student to seek knowledge with adab (etiquette) only to please Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

Having said that. please if you are able, do donate generously to ILF project. To make any project successful, we need regular amount of money coming in so that ILF can bring more teachers, introduce more course and improve the quality of live broadcast and videos. So we really need to be part of this khayr, bi'idnillah. You can donate at iLoveIlmFlix. Please spread the links and share the khayr with family and friends. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 15

Bismillah... In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful

Alhamdulillah we have reached the middle of Ramadan 1433. Only 14/15 days are left of this sacred month. If we haven't done or achieved that much, then this is the time to start to step up the game, bi'idnillah! No excuses! ( As I mentioned earlier my beautiful readers, first and foremost, this order applies to me) One of the categories of people who are  cursed ( Attention! Did I just mentioned CURSED) by our beloved prophet Muhammad SAllalahu Alaihe Wa Sallam and the great Angel Jibreel Alaihes Salam is the people who are lucky enough to witness this great month but are not even bothered to try to get their sins forgiven and gain Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala's Pleasure (Ridwaan)! Month of Ramadan offers us a great opportunity get our sins forgiven, free ourselves from the Fire and earn Allah subhana Wa Ta'ala's Mercy and Ridwaan which will eventually lead us to His Eternal Garden. Not just that, if we can get to the Garden ( Jannah), then we will be able to meet Him! See Him for real! Subhanallah !  Who on earth would like to miss this ?!? I have been worshiping Him by His Grace. Because of Him, I exist. He has showered me with immense amount of blessings Alhamdulillah. How can I even not have any inclination to meet Him and see Him with my own eyes? I really want to see HIM Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. May Allah grant me and all the Muslims this ultimate meeting, ameeen! ameen! ameeen!

Around this time, the people who are fasting starts to feel quite tired and kind of slow down. When Ramadan starts, mosques are overwhelmed with so many people turning up to pray taraweeh, the long night prayers. Around this time, the number of people attending the taraweeh decreases. Sometimes after 8 raka' not that many people are left to continue the rest of the taraweeh salah ( in total, it's 20 raka'). 

It gets flooded again with Muslims during the last 10 days, especially the night of 27th of Ramadan, assuming that 27th IS the Night of Power ( Laylatul Qadr). Our prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Allam was made to forget the exact date of the Night of Power. He Saallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam told us to search for the night during the last ten days of Ramadan. He also said to search for the night during the last 5 odd nights so it can be 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. Only Allah subhana wa ta'ala knows which night is the Night. InshAllah during the next 2 weeks, we hope to witness the blessed night. Let us know as much as possible about this great night and start from today to prepare for the last ten nights bi'idnillah. If from today for the next 14/15 days we try our best to worship Him, inshAllah we won't miss this great night and we will hopefully feel glad at the end thinking we have tried to do our best, inshAllah. We can only try and hope He accepts it from us. Rabbana taqabbal minnaa....May Allah give us the ability to worship Him, give thanks to Him, ameen!

One of my ustadha, says that Ramadan is not the time when you start the acts of worship instead this is the time to INCREASE the acts of worship, bi'idnillah. As you all may know, an obligatory act is rewarded up to  70 times or even more, if Allah subhana ta'ala wills. An supererogatory act as rewarded as an obligatory act. And the reward of Fast for His sake is just unimaginable as He Subahan Wa Ta'ala will give us the reward Himself! Subhanallah what an honour that would be! May Allah subhana wa ta'ala give us the ability to do our best to fast for Him, ameen! 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 14

Today I am completely shattered. Alhamdulillah I had a goal to accomplish and I have done it so as a treat to myself I won't be writing anything :-) Instead I would like to share an awesome reminder from Ustadh Omar Suleiman. Please do like his Facebook page. He is doing an excellent job, mashAllah. Also, register for the ILMfix. He is a great teacher mashAllah.

‪#‎RamadanResolution‬ Day 14 (The Daily Death)

Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajioon. Today I woke up to a heartbreaking text message. The son in law of our beloved Imam Farooq in Baton Rouge, Akbar Raqeeb, died in his sleep last night. He was a husband and father, only in his 40s, who just last night prayed taraweeh behind his hafidh son. I ask Allah to have mercy upon him, enter him into al firdaws, grant his family steadfastness, and bestow upon them all tranquility. Ameen

Every single night, Allah takes our souls and we have no idea whether or not they will be returned to see another day of this world. Imagine how much better we would be as people if we treated sleep like death? The news this morning caused me to reflect on three key resolutions:

1. Observing all of the bedtime sunnahs of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam). Amongst them are:
a. Making wudu before sleeping
b. Reading Surah Al Mulk (protection from the punishment of the grave) and Al Sajda
c. Laying on your right side
d. Reading the sunnah adhkar (remembrances):
Its amazing that if you die in your sleep having recited these words, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said that you die in a state of pure tawheed and are guaranteed Jannah

2. Making sure we do not go to sleep while being upset with family/friends or making them upset. Losing a loved one is painful enough. I can’t imagine what its like to lose someone you love in the midst of a dispute. 

3. Finally, the most important lesson to take from this is that its absolutely essential to ask yourself every night if you’re ready to meet your Creator. This nightly self-questioning will surely lead you to abandon habitual sin and increase the quality of your good deeds.

I ask Allah to take us all when He is most pleased with us. ameen.

Omar Suleiman.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 13

Bismillah ... In the name of Allah subhana wa ta'ala

The best gift someone on this earth can have is a righteous wife ( based on a hadith of our beloved prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihe wa sallam). Subhanallah this is a very profound statement. As Muslim wives, we have so much potentials to change everything for better bi'idnillah. Once someone said, a pious wife can make a poor husband feel like the richest man in the world with her contentment, satisfaction and gratitude. While any other wife who is not as such will make her rich husband feel poor with her nagging, demands and never-ending complains.

So many times around us, we see wives who are always complaining and not content with their husbands at all. This negative behaviour affects the children . By default, children tend to support the mothers without thinking logically as they are tend to be more emotionally atteched to their mothers. Sometimes children grow up disrespecting, hating their fathers. By the time, they realize their mistakes it's too late. Lot of fathers leave this world with broken hearts. Most of the men as fathers do a great job, sacrificing their life to bring up families. It's the job of the mother to inculcate the love and respect for the father in children. 

We as women really need to be careful how we treat our families. By undermining the husband, a wife can create a huge fitna within the family. Husband is the head of the family. This great responsibility has been allocated to him by Allah subhana wa ta'ala. However, he can only run the family properly with the full support of his wife. 
I am not saying that all the men/fathers are perfect but we really need to question ourselves sincerely, are all the women/mothers perfect? None of us are perfect but we have a keen desire to change for the better. In our faith, a couple works as a strong team. They compliment each other. They are described as clothes for each other. Just like clothes are there to cover our shame (faults, shortcomings) & protect us from harm ( hot/cold weather), husband and wife cover each other's back. 

It is very sad to see sisters backbiting about their husbands. We are suppose to be clothes for each other but we are trying to uncover the shame! Just try to visualize a wife backbiting about her husband to her freinds and family, while her children are around. How painful this scenario can be for the poor kids! Do we honestly think these poor children will enjoy this act of their beloved mother? 

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala make us truly understand the significance of this noble task of being a wife and let us do our best to do the job with great efforts and become the best gift for our beloved husbands, ameen!

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala bless every home with happiness & love, ameen!

Appreciate your spouses. They are a very precious gift from Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Alhamdulillah.

A house is built with bricks and a home is built with love..Let the love grow to strength to strength bi'idnillah.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 12

Alhamdulillah we have just went through the 12th day of Ramadan. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala accept our fasts, ameen! I am still struggling but alhamdulillah trying to do my best. At the end of the day, we all need to realize that we have different abilities and our situations are also very different from each other. Only I know my strength and shortcomings. I try to stop comparing myself with others (especially the amazing multi-tasking sisters), which I must confess is not really an easy task! But I keep reminding myself that Allah subhana wa ta'ala does not burden us more than we can bare. He loves us to carry on small but regular good deeds. Never lose hope or underestimate your abilities. Keep trying and have good hope and trust Allah subhana wa ta'ala.  

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 11

Alhamdulillah day 11 is about to finish bi'idnillah. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala accept our fasts, ameen!

I have been quite tired and just feel like sleeping most of the time. My eldest who is almost 6 asks me, "Mum, what do you like most, sleeping, reading books or talking to us? You can only choose one!" Quite difficult to choose for me :-( I think as I have reached almost the middle of the month, my body is feeling weaker. Everything seems hard to do around this time. I am in surviving mode, just plodding along! May Allah subhana wa ta'ala make it easy for all of us, ameen! 

When I am struggling with hunger, thirst and aches & pains, I realize how weak and dependent I am! Subhanallah I am nothing without Him. We exist because of His Mercy. During this month , abstaining ourselves from  food and drink, we realize how dependent we are on these blessings Allah subhana wa ta'ala has provided us with. All the hardship, reminds me what my Lord, Allah subhana wa ta'ala means to me. And that is the essence of Taqwa - Allah consciousness. Through the struggle during this month, we realize our Rabb's significance in every moment of our life. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala give us the understanding and love for Him and His beautiful deen, ameen!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 10

Bismillah.. Salam alaikum my dear readers, 

Hope everyone has had a very productive first 10 days of Ramadan. If you haven't (just like me), don't despair. WE got 20 more days to do our best. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala make it easy for all of us, ameen! Please listen to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan's excellent tips bi'idnillahi ta'ala. Ramadan 10 day check-in. 

Today I want to share some beautiful quotes I have been reading. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala reward our precious teachers.

“When we hear the Quran, we should reflect on the meanings. The Quran should not become for us a replacement for pop songs that we used to hear before. People buy recordings of their favourite reciters for the beauty of their voice… The listening of the Quran has become more of a musical thing. We are entertained by that music, so much so that when the reciter is reading, we hear people in the background going, “Allah! Allah! Allah!" People making statements in the background as though it were a pop show! This is not the Quran… Allah tells us, " Will they not reflect on the meanings ?” Sheikh Bilal Philips

Know that Almighty God is in control of the affairs of the creation and has promised good to the people of goodness. Therefore, do not allow the climate of hatred being fostered by some to cause you to despair. Your love and mercy are greater than their hatred. Also, know that if you are an active agent of good you will see unexpected positive consequences result from your actions. God mentions in the Qur'an, “Good and evil are not equal. Respond to evil with what is best. Unexpectedly, you will see one between whom you and him was great enmity become like an intimate friend. This is only realized by those who patiently persevere; this is only realized by one possessing a lofty spiritual station (41:34-35).” Have faith in God and His promise and never despair. Good is more powerful than evil; do all in your power to ensure that you are a force for good in the world. Patience is a great virtue; patiently persevere in doing all of the good things you are currently doing and God will bless you in many wonderful ways." Imam Zaid Shakir

#‎RamadanResolution‬ Day 10 (Braking Too Soon) by Ustadh Omar Suleiman 

" We’ve officially arrived at the middle 10 nights when the numbers at taraweeh dwindle and Ramadan enthusiasts take a break waiting for the last 10 nights to get to Khatam-hopping and worship hard! Ok, maybe that’s a little exaggerated. But I think we’ve all come to expect the annual Ramadan dip at this time of the year.

So here are my thoughts and tips on how to avoid it:

1. The acceptance of an act is its continuation as Ibn Al Qayyim (ra) mentions. Our hope should be that we are leaving sins in Ramadan and developing good deeds that will continue throughout the year. If you’re already falling off WITHIN Ramadan, that’s a blaring siren that you may not be doing it right.
2. Read slightly more Quran in these 10 days than you did it the first 10 so as to prepare yourself for the last 10 nights. 
3. Appoint someone to call you out if you’re suddenly slacking with your prayers in the masjid.
4. In order to be from those who surpass the rest (Al Sabiqoon), make sure you’re outdoing everyone in your family and/or close circle of friends.
5. Recognize the opportunity to vie for Allahs love here. As people fall off in these 10 nights, stand up in prayer and say “Oh Allah, I am still here standing seeking Your pleasure alone, hoping for Your forgiveness, and asking for Your highest garden, Al Firdaws”

May Allah make us amongst those who progress in these next 10 nights and reward us with the highest level of Jannatul Firdaws. Ameen! 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 9


Assalamu alaikum my dear readers,

Alhamdulillah we have just completed the 9th fast of Ramadan. I feel sad as almost one third of this magical month is gone! The weather in London is quite hot and that's why I try to avoid going out as much as possible. I am getting quite hungry and thirsty by 12. I feel like sleeping most of the time! But my kids keep me busy, alhamdulillah. They are at that age, where you love exploring . They have been upto quite a lot of cheeky stuff. I try to control my reaction thinking once upon a time I was in that stage too. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala reward my parents especially my mum for having patience with me. Most of the time, it is the mum who has to deal with daily cheekiness! May Allah subhana wa ta'ala reward them and make it easy for them and the kids, ameen!

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. For me during Ramadan, praying taraweeh (night prayer) is really difficult. I try but feel quite guilty with the quality of my prayer. Most of time, I am sleeping. I am trying to concentrate more on reciting the Qur'an , alhamdulillah. The whole point of Ramadan is to gain Taqwa - Allah consciousness. I don't think I am really getting anywhere spiritually through the taraweeh apart from feeling exhausted. But I do love reading the Qur'an. Alhamdulillah last year, I started an intensive Arabic course through Quranic gems. It has been really intensive for me and I have decided to give up learning through the course. Alhamdulillah I have learnt some good rules and it has definitely made me understand the Qur'an more. As the course is too intensive for me, I hope to learn at my own pace inshAllah through brother Nouman Ali Khan's Arabic with Husna, bi'idnillahi ta'ala. 

Just to motivate me and you all to read, recite, study, ponder upon the Qur'an with the only goal to gain taqwa of our Rabb, I have gathered some beautiful hadith of our beloved prophet Muhammad Sallalhu alaihe wa sallam. 

Umaamah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: 

"Recite the Qur'aan for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgement as an intercessor for its Ashaab (those who read, memorize and implement it)." [Saheeh Muslim]

An-Nawaas Ibn Sama'aan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: 'The Qur'aan will be brought on the Day of Judgement as well as the people who used to act upon it. Surat-ul-Baqarah and Aal 'Imraan will then approach them.' The Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) likened them to three examples, which I have not forgotten afterwards. He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: 'As if they were two clouds or two dark black canopies with light between them both or like two flocks of birds stretching their wings in the air pleading for the one who recited them.'" [Saheeh Muslim]

'Abdullaah Ibn 'Amr (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "The fast and the Qur'aan will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say: 'My Lord, I restricted him from food and drink, so allow me to intercede for him.' And the Qur'aan will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night, so allow me to intercede for him.' So they will be allowed to intercede." [Saheeh Muslim]

Subhanallah these couple of hadith is enough to understand how essential it is for us who are fasting to recite the Qur'aan much during these blessed days and sacred nights. For indeed, there is a special virtue for the abundance of recitation in these days, which is not found in any other month. We should take advantage of the nobleness of time during this month, in which Allah subhanau wa ta'ala revealed the Qur'an. 

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us the tawfique (ability) and tayseer (easiness) to read, study His Book during this great month and let us become the people of the Qur'an, ameen! ameen! ameeeen!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 8


Assalamu alaikum dear readers,

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I hope to study the Qur'an in this month to get closer to my Rabb. Just reciting or even completing the whole Qur'an is not enough to understand the real message of this great Book. This month is the month of the Qur'an and I hope to do my best to connect to it and gain the pleasure of my Rabb, bi'idnillahi ta'ala. I hope to share the gems through regular (hopefully daily) posts inshAllah. And I hope to keep it short ( which is quite difficult for moi!).

I have been listening to brother Nouman Ali Khan's series on Parenting. One great series, I must admit, mashAllah. One of the topic is 'Concerned parents' in the Qur'an. He talks about our father Ibrahim (AS). He was always in state of gratitude towards Allah subhanau wa ta'ala. As we know, he has gone through really difficult tests and trails in his life. From the very start of his life, he started facing hardship. Even his own dad was against his faith. One of the ayah (verses) brother Nouman went through is:

And remember when his Lord tried Ibrahim with His commands and he fulfilled them; He said: Verily, I have appointed you a leader for people. (Ibrahim) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said: My covenant includes not the wrongdoers. Surah Al-Baqara: 124

After successfully passing all of his tests, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala appointed him as the leader of the whole humanity. This is a great honour but for Ibrahim AS it was also a huge responsibility. When we do something good, we feel closer to our Rabb and like to ask Him what we want. For Ibrahim AS as a very concerned parent, it was the perfect time to ask Allah to save all of his children from kufr (disbelief). He asked Allah to keep his children and the children of his children Muslim. But Allah subhana wa ta'ala made it very clear that He will not guide the wrongdoers even if they are from the children of Ibrahim (AS).

As a parent, Ibrahim AS was really concerned about his children and the children of his children and all the generations afterwards. He knew his children was his responsibility and he wanted to make sure every one of them remain good Muslims. There is a great lesson here. No matter how perfect someone is as a parent, still there is no guarantee that the child will turn up good. For example, Nuh AS was an awesome parent but his son refused to listen to him. Yakoob AS was a great parent. Not all of his sons turned out great except Yusuf AS. As parents we really need to understand that we may do our best but it doesn't mean all of our children will be good Muslims. 

This talk made me think deeply about my role as a parent. Yes I can understand that even if I try to be the best parent ever, my children still can mess up and end up in hell. The fact is whats the guarantee that I will not end up in hell. May Allah subahana wa ta'ala save us and our precious children from the Fire and let us enter His Garden, Jannatul ferdous, ameen!

As parents, we are the imam (leader) over our children. If we don't raise our children the right way, we are going to face the consequence of that. Allah will ask us what we do with the trust given to us from Him. We have to carry their burden too if we haven't done our parenting job properly. Unfortunately, so many of us are negligent of our responsibility as parents. The first 7 years is very crucial to inculcate good values and Islamic etiquette. By the time, our children are teenagers, (confess it or not) we start to face the not-so-cute side of them. Immediately, we start questing ourselves what went wrong. But unfortunately it becomes quite late! The damage is already done. May Allah subhana wa ta'lala save us all from this very sad situation we witness around us, ameen!  

As it's the month of Ramadan and people go to pray Taraweeh in the mosque at night, we see the naughty teenagers around the mosque premises or worse on the streets of London causing problem for the community. Antisocial behaviour is not just common in black and white youth in this country. Unfortunately quite a lot of Muslim youth has been playing their part in this regard. Sometimes I wonder, how much of their lifestyle is known to their parents. I guess lot of these parents go to mosque thinking their 'lovely' kids are at home, sleeping peacefully. In reality, they are causing sleepless nights for the people around them. I feel specially sad for the elders in the community. They are very vulnerable and quite scared by these antisocial thugs. I feel ashamed that lot of  these youth are Muslims. I guess they were never taught Islam in real sense. Or may be they have been raised with the basics of Islam but they chose to ignore.

I hope in this month, we as a community, will look inward and try our best to understand the problem and do our best to come up with a good solution, bi'idnillah. To solve any problem, first and foremost, we must admit that the problem exists. Let us be honest and sincere with ourselves and think critically what went wrong and how we as the parents solve this issue. 

"My Rabb! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and my parents and that I may do righteous good deeds such as please You and make my offspring good. Truly I have turned to You in repentance and truly I am one of the Muslims. " [Qur'an 46:15] 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ramadan reflections: Day 7


Assalamu alaikum dear readers, 

I have been quite busy with children. Last two days, their friends came and they had a great time together. Most of the time they were in the garden as the weather is beautiful mashAllah. They had lots of fruits as part of healthy snacks alhamdulillah. I must admit, cutting fruits while fasting is quite therapeutic! Alhamdulillah today we read some books on Ramadan together. They also did some Ramadan rhymes and songs. They did some activities i.e coloring Ramadan pictures, alhamdulillah.
It's really good for them to socialize with their Muslim friends as I hope they will be able to relate to each other when they are teenagers and when they are adults bi'idnilillahi wa ta'ala. Alhamdulillah we have some good Muslims families around us which is a huge blessing for us, alhamdulillah. The day before Ramadan I took my daughter Ayesha and the youngest son to the talk done by a very beloved teacher of mine. I was telling Ayesha that it will be a great opportunity for her to make new friends. She told me that attending the talk will also help her make new aunties inshAllah :-) Alhamdulillah I am really blessed to have her as my daughter. She is very kind to other children and always try to help. I hope she can live up to her name, InshAllah.

I feel really glad that my children have quite a good and strong relation with our friends, alhamdulillah. Having good Muslimah role models and Muslim male models are very crucial for our children. I hope they will always look up to their aunts and uncles, inshAllah. As you know, it takes a village to raise a good child. I hope we as a community can do our best to raise good , well-balanced Muslims inshAllah. 

As it's Ramadan and the weather is quite hot, I do feel quite tired by the evening. But I do wake up early in the morning. I don't want my children to suffer just because I am fasting. They do their daily activities. It does become quite tiring for me but I try to remind myself that this is my ibadah to please my Rabb, inshAllah. They are a trust ( amanah) from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and I must to my best to honour the trust, bi'idnillahi ta'ala. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala make it easy for every mum and accept our deeds, ameen!

Now some images of their healthy snacks, mashAllah tabarakallah :-) Subhanallah which blessing of our Lord we can deny! Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, Ar-Razzak. Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi, adada khalkihi, wa rida'a nafsihi, wa zinata arshi'hi.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 6

Alhamdulillah 6th day of Ramadan is over now. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala accept our fast and enable us to enter Jannah tul Ferdous through the exclusive door of Ar-Rayyan (only reserved for the people who fast in Ramadan), ameen! ameen! ameeen!

Just before I write about my Ramadan Reflections, I want to remind myself that this reminder is first and foremost for myself inshAllah. Anything good I write is from my Rabb Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and anything bad is only my fault. So please do forgive my shortcomings. 

Ramadan is a great month to purify our soul. The pure soul is the only way to get to the Garden (Jannah). One of the way to purify our soul to give sadaqa (charity). I have been watching almost everyday the charity appeals on TV. One of the best charity appeal I have seen is the Penny Appeal which deals with feeding poor people around the world. Feeding people is one of the best way of getting reward (azr) from our Rabb. MashAllah they are doing an excellent job. Please do have a look at their site and donate as much as possible. As the name suggests, every penny counts. How many of us spend lot more than a mere penny to get our tea/coffee or chicken and chips on a daily and weekly basis? Do we really have any excuse not to donate? 

We really need to understand that all the charity we do, we do it for our own sake. Allah subhana wa ta'ala does not need our charity. When we donate for His sake, we do it so that He purifies our nafs and our wealth. This is a great investment for our hereafter, the eternal life. On the day of Judgement, we won't be allowed to move until we tell Him how we spent our wealth ( given by Him). Every penny of it! Let us donate as much as possible. Don't make any excuse. Trust me, even if you think that you haven't got that much and you can only donate 1 pound, that is more that enough. Imagine every single of us donating 1 pound! That can make such a huge difference. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala does not look at how much we donate but what we are willing to do for His Pleasure (Ridwaan). 

As lot of you know, our people in Syria are suffering. These people are our beloved brothers and sisters. Recently, a fatwa was issued by the scholars of Syria that the people who are at risk of starvation can eat cat and rat meat! Can you imagine eating cat and rat meat or even feeding them to our children? Here we are, Muslims in the West, having a feast at Iftar time. Our fridge is bursting with food. Sometimes we are even chucking the food as we are getting fresh food from our families and neighbours. We will be asked about all these numerous blessings. What are we doing to help our people in Syria? Let us do our best to help them. One great charity to support Syrian people is Syria Relief. Please do have a look at their site and donate generously. If we donate, we donate for pleasing our Lord. And we want our reward only from Him Subhanahu wa ta'ala. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala forgive us and enable us to do our best to help our brothers and sisters around the world, ameen! 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Ramadan Reflections: Day 5

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah my precious readers,

Subhanallah we are fasting our 5th fast today! How quickly time passes! May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us the ability to use every precious moment of Ramadan in His remembrance, ameen!

We do our weekly shopping on Saturdays. By the time, we return home it's almost Zuhr time. It is recommended by our noble scholars not to waste time during this sacred month, shopping without any real necessity. We live in a world where shopping is seen as a great pastime. We, the people of the post-modern world, love shopping even window shopping as it pleases our nafs. In this month, we feel more aware of our limited time. Most of us feel reluctant to go shopping. If only its necessary, we should go out and get things done as soon as possible. I know some sisters who do internet shopping to save time and temptation to some extent. If that's not really an option for you ( certainly not for me as I like to see what I am buying, especially fruits and veg) , try to do the dua for shopping. This dua taught by our beloved prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. This is a great way to turn shopping an act of ibadah, alhamdulillah.

When entering a shopping center,
" Laa ilaaha illa 'Llahu wahdahu laa shariika lah(u), lahu 'l-mulku wa lahu 'l-hamdul(u), yuhyi wa yumit(u), wa Huwa Hayyul laa yamuut(u), bi yadihi 'l-khayr(u), wa Huwa 'alaa kulli shay'in qadir(un).

There is no god but Allah. He is One and has no partner. His is the Kingdom and to Him belongs all praise. He gives life and gives death. He is living, not subject to death. In His Hand is goodness and He has power over all things.

Whoever recites this dua, Allah will reward her with a million good deeds, forgive a million of her sins and raise her rank by a million degrees. [Tirmidhi, Mustadrak]

Subhanallah , we can get so much reward just by making this dua before shopping ( only the necessary one, I guess) Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala always makes everything easy and full of baraka for us, alhamdulillah. So how many of us will follow this dua? May Allah subhana wa ta'ala give us the ability and easeness to do this dua on a regular basis, ameen! If we do it loudly, then our children can learn it too, just by listening. Sometimes, kids remind us to do the dua. Imagine how much more reward we can get through them, our precious investments bi'idnillahi ta'ala.
N.B The dua above is taken from the excellent book 'Reflections of pearls' by Inam Uddin & Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf, Published by White Thread.
I did do a review of this book couple of years ago.