Assalamu alaikum

...Live as long as you will, for verily you must die. Love whoever you wish, for one day you shall taste its seperation, and do what you will, You will be rewarded accordingly.Imam Ghazzali... ....

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Thoughts...

Assalamu alaikum,

The blessed month of Ramadhan has dawned upon us once again alhamdulillah; an opportunity to reflect & attempt to clear our minds & lives of the worldly things that we have grasped onto & become so accustomed & dependant upon & to instead replace these with love, knowledge & understanding of our beautiful deen insha'allah.

A thought crossed my mind earlier today that prompted this post (almost two years since my last) which involved a sense of realisation. Every year we are given an opportunity to experience the blessed month of Ramadhan, but do we take this opportunity for granted?

I remember someone very close to me who I lost just over two years ago; I remember the very special zeal & excitement that they had for the month of Ramadhan, in fact just before this special person left the dunya they had even prepared for their payment of zakat not knowing that very soon before the holy month would start they would be no more in this dunya...

Just remembering this made me start thinking; How well prepared are we to make this ramadhan our last? There is no guarantee that we will see the Ramadhan of next year...
How well prepared are we to leave this dunya & to answer those vital questions in our graves? Will we be able to recall the answers that we are expected to answer to the angels? Do our worldly actions reflect on how easy or hard our life of the grave will be? Life is so short that before you know it has come to an end. Not one of us is certain of when we will leave this dunya, so shouldn't we be preparing for this unexpected departure more than anything else?

The grave is a lonely place where we will all be alone with no one to help or save us; we will leave behind all our worldly assets, pleasures, family & friends...before we know it our visitors will become few and less frequent & then as generations pass we may be forgotten as someone who existed in the past; if we are remembered. The world will carry on but we will be alone, experiencing the life of the grave until akhira....

I leave you with a verse from the Holy Qur'an to contemplate upon:

“What is the life of this world but amusement and play? But verily the Home in the Hereafter, – that is life indeed, if they but knew.” (Qur’an, 29:64)

Please remember me, my family & the entire ummah in your humble dua'as during this holy month,

Wassalam

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Levels of prayer

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

"And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels."

The First:
The level of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, performing the prayer upon its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.

The Second:
The one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.


The Third:
The one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (Shaitan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihad.


The Fourth:
The one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and its perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord, the Exalted.


The Fifth:
The one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, delighted with Him.


The first type will be punished, the second type will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of the one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fatimah Radiallahu anha

Fatimah (ra) was the fifth child of Muhammad (saw) and Khadijah (ra). She was born at a time when her noble father had begun to spend long periods in the solitude of mountains around Makkah, meditating and reflecting on the great mysteries of creation.

This was the time, before the Bi'thah, when her eldest sister Zaynab (ra) was married to her cousin, al-'As ibn ar-Rabi'ah. Then followed the marriage of her two other sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum (ra), to the sons of Abu Lahab, a paternal uncle of the Prophet (saw). Both Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil turned out to be flaming enemies of the Prophet (saw) from the very beginning of his public mission.

The little Fatimah (ra) thus saw her sisters leave home one after the other to live with their husbands. She was too young to understand the meaning of marriage and the reasons why her sisters had to leave home. She loved them dearly and was sad and lonely when they left. It is said that a certain silence and painful sadness came over her then.

Of course, even after the marriage of her sisters, she was not alone in the house of her parents. Barakah (ra), the maid-servant of Aminah (ra), the Prophet's mother, who had been with the Prophet (saw) since his birth, Zayd ibn Harithah, and 'Ali (ra), the young son of Abu Talib (ra) were all part of Muhammad's household at this time. And of course there was her loving mother, the lady Khadijah (ra).

In her mother and in Barakah, Fatimah (ra) found a great deal of solace and comfort. In 'Ali (ra), who was about four years older than she, she found a "brother" and a friend who somehow took the place of her own brother al-Qasim (ra) who had died in his infancy. Her other brother 'Abdullah (ra), known as the Good and the Pure, who was born after her, also died in his infancy. However, in none of the people in her father's household did Fatimah (ra) find the carefree joy and happiness that she enjoyed with her sisters.

When she was five, she heard that her father had become Rasul Allah, the Messenger of Allah (saw). His first task was to convey the good news of Islam to his family and close relations. They were to worship Allah Almighty alone. Her mother, who was a tower of strength and support, explained to Fatimah (ra) what her father had to do. From this time on, she became more closely attached to him and felt a deep and abiding love for him. Often she would be at his side walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Makkah, visiting the Ka'bah or attending secret gatherings of the early Muslims who had accepted Islam.

One day, when she was not yet ten, she accompanied her father to the Masjid al-Haram. He stood in the place known as al-Hijr facing the Ka'bah and began to pray. Fatimah (ra) stood at his side. A group of Quraysh, by no means well-disposed to the Prophet (saw) gathered about him. They included Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, the Prophet's uncle, 'Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, and Shaybah and Utbah, sons of ar-Rabi'ah. Menacingly, the group went up to the Prophet (saw) and Abu Jahl, the ringleader, asked:

"Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad (saw)?"

'Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt, one of the vilest of the lot volunteered and hurried off. He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet (saw) while he was still prostrating. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (ra), a companion of the Prophet, was present but he was powerless to do or say anything.

Imagine the feelings of Fatimah (ra) as she saw her father being treated in this fashion. What could she, a girl not ten years old, do? She went up to her father and removed the offensive matter and then stood firmly and angrily before the group of Quraysh thugs and lashed out against them. They didn't say a single word to her.

The Noble Prophet (saw) raised his head on completion of the prostration and went on to complete the Salat. He then said:

"O Lord, may you punish the Quraysh!" and repeated this imprecation three times. Then he continued:

"May You punish 'Utbah, 'Uqbah, Abu Jahl and Shaybah." (These whom he named all perished many years later at the Battle of Badr.)

On another occasion, Fatimah (ra) was with the Prophet (saw) as he made tawaf around the Ka'bah. A Quraysh mob gathered around him. They seized him and tried to strangle him with his own clothes. Fatimah (ra) screamed and shouted for help. Abu Bakr (ra) rushed to the scene and managed to free the Prophet (saw). While he was doing so, he pleaded:

"Would you kill a man who says, 'My Lord is God?'"

Far from giving up, the mob turned on Abu Bakr (ra) and began beating him until blood flowed from his head and face.

Such scenes of vicious opposition and harassment against her father and the early Muslims were witnessed by the young Fatimah (ra). She did not meekly stand aside but joined in the struggle in defense of her father and his noble mission. She was still a young girl and instead of the cheerful romping, the gaiety and liveliness which children of her age are and should normally be accustomed to, Fatimah (ra) had to witness and participate in such ordeals.

Of course, she was not alone in this. The whole of the Prophet's (saw) family suffered from the mindless violence of the disbelieving Quraysh. Her sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum (ra), also suffered. They were living at this time in the very nest of hatred and intrigue against the Prophet (saw). Their husbands were 'Utbah and 'Utaybah, sons of Abu Lahab and Umm Jamil. Umm Jamil was known to be a hard and harsh woman who had a sharp and evil tongue. It was mainly because of her that Khadijah (ra) was not pleased with the marriages of her daughters to Umm Jamil's sons in the first place. It must have been painful for Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum (ra) to be living in the household of such inveterate enemies who not only joined but led the campaign against their father.

As a mark of disgrace to Muhammad (saw) and his family, 'Utbah and 'Utaybah were prevailed upon by their parents to divorce their wives. This was part of the process of ostracizing the Prophet (saw) totally. The Prophet (saw) in fact welcomed his daughters back to his home with joy, happiness and relief.

Fatimah (ra), no doubt, must have been happy to be with her sisters once again. They all wished that their eldest sister, Zaynab (ra), would also be divorced by her husband. In fact, the Quraysh brought pressure on Abu-l 'As to do so but he refused. When the Quraysh leaders came up to him and promised him the richest and most beautiful woman as a wife should he divorce Zaynab (ra), he replied:

"I love my wife deeply and passionately and I have a great and high esteem for her father even though I have not entered the religion of Islam."

Both Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum (ra) were happy to be back with their loving parents and to be rid of the unbearable mental torture to which they had been subjected in the house of Umm Jamil. Shortly afterwards, Ruqayaah (ra) married again, to the young and shy 'Uthman ibn 'Affan (ra) who was among the first to have accepted Islam. They both left for Abyssinia among the first muhajirin who sought refuge in that land and stayed there for several years. Fatimah (ra) was not to see Ruqayyah again until after their mother had died.

The persecution of the Prophet (saw), his family and his followers continued and even became worse after the migration of the first Muslims to Abyssinia. In about the seventh year of his mission, the Prophet (saw) and his family were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in a rugged little valley enclosed by hill on all sides and which could only be entered from Makkah by a narrow defile.

To this arid valley, Muhammad (saw) and the clans of Banu Hashim and al-Muttalib were forced to retire with limited supplies of food. Fatimah (ra) was one of the youngest members of the clans - just about twelve years old - and had to undergo months of hardship and suffering. The wailing of hungry children and women in the valley could be heard from Makkah. The Quraysh allowed no food and contact with the Muslims whose hardship was only relieved somewhat during the season of pilgrimage.

The boycott lasted for three years. When it was lifted, the Prophet (saw) had to face even more trials and difficulties. Khadijah (ra) the faithful and loving, died shortly afterwards. With her death, the Prophet (saw) and his family lost one of the greatest sources of comfort and strength, which had sustained them through the difficult period. The year in which the noble Khadijah (ra), and later Abu Talib, died is known as the Year of Sadness. Fatimah (ra), now a young lady, was greatly distressed by her mother's death. She wept bitterly and for some time was so grief-stricken that her health deteriorated. It was even feared she might die of grief.

Although her older sister, Umm Kulthum (ra), stayed in the same household, Fatimah (ra) realized that she now had a greater responsibility with the passing away of her mother. She felt that she had to give even greater support to her father. With loving tenderness, she devoted herself to looking after his needs. So concerned was she for his welfare that she came to be called "Umm Abi-ha" - the "mother of her father". She also provided him with solace and comfort during times of trial, difficulty and crisis.

Often the trials were too much for her. Once, about this time, an insolent mob heaped dust and earth upon his gracious head. As he entered his home, Fatimah (ra) wept profusely as she wiped the dust from her father's head.

"Do not cry, my daughter," he said, "for Allah (swt) shall protect your father."

The Prophet (saw) had a special love for Fatimah (ra). He once said:

"Whoever has pleased Fatimah (ra) has indeed pleased Allah (swt) and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered Allah (swt). Fatimah (ra) is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me."

He also said:

"The best women in all the world are four: the Virgin Mary, Asiyah the wife of Pharaoh, Khadijah Mother of the Believers, and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad." Fatimah (ra) thus acquired a place of love and esteem in the Prophet's heart that was only occupied by his wife Khadijah (ra).

Fatimah (ra) was given the title of "az-Zahra" which means "the Resplendent One". That was because of her beaming face that seemed to radiate light. It is said that when she stood for prayer, the mihrab would reflect the light of her countenance. She was also called "al-Batul" because of her purity and asceticism. Instead of spending her time in the company of women, much of her time would be spent in Salat, in reading the Qur'an and in other acts of 'ibadah.

Fatimah (ra) had a strong resemblance to her father, the Messenger of Allah (saw). 'A'ishah (ra), the wife of the Prophet (saw), said of her:

"I have not seen any one of Allah's creation resemble the Messenger of Allah (saw) more in speech, conversation and manner of sitting than Fatimah. When the Prophet (saw) saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting." She would do the same when the Prophet (saw) came to her.

Fatimah's fine manners and gentle speech were part of her lovely and endearing personality. She was especially kind to poor and indigent folk and would often give all the food she had to those in need even if she herself remained hungry. She had no craving for the ornaments of this world nor the luxury and comforts of life. She lived simply, although on occasion as we shall see, circumstances seemed to be too much and too difficult for her.

She inherited from her father a persuasive eloquence that was rooted in wisdom. When she spoke, people would often be moved to tears. She had the ability and the sincerity to stir their emotions, move people to tears and fill their hearts with praise and gratitude to Allah (swt) for His grace and His inestimable bounties.

Fatimah (ra) migrated to Madinah a few weeks after the Prophet (saw) did. She went with Zayd ibn Harithah (ra) who was sent by the Prophet (saw) back to Makkah to bring the rest of his family. The party included Fatimah and Umm Kulthum, Sawda', the Prophet's wife, Zayd's wife Barakah and her son Usamah (ra). Traveling with the group also were 'Abdullah the son of Abu Bakr who accompanied his mother and his sisters, 'A'ishah and Asma' (ra).

In Madinah, Fatimah (ra) lived with her father in the simple dwelling he had built adjoining the mosque. In the second year after the Hijrah, she received proposals of marriage through her father, two of which were turned down. Then 'Ali the son of Abu Talib (ra), plucked up courage and went to the Prophet (saw) to ask for her hand in marriage. In the presence of the Prophet, however, 'Ali (ra) became over-awed and tongue-tied. He stared at the ground and could not say anything. The Prophet (saw) then asked:

"Why have you come? Do you need something?"

'Ali (ra) still could not speak and then the Prophet (saw) suggested:

"Perhaps you have come to propose marriage to Fatimah (ra)."

"Yes," replied 'Ali.

At this, according to one report, the Prophet (saw) said simply:

"Marhaban wa ahlan - Welcome to the family," and this was taken by 'Ali (ra) and a group of Ansar who were waiting outside for him as indicating the Prophet (saw) approved and went on to ask 'Ali if he had anything to give as mahr. 'Ali (ra) replied that he didn't. The Prophet (saw) reminded him that he had a shield that could be sold.

'Ali sold the shield to 'Uthman (ra) for four hundred dirhams and as he was hurrying back to the Prophet (saw) to hand over the sum as mahr, 'Uthman (ra) stopped him and said:

"I am returning your shield to you as a present from me on your marriage to Fatimah."

Fatimah and 'Ali (ra) were thus married most probably at the beginning of the second year after the Hijrah. She was about nineteen years old at the time and 'Ali (ra) was about twenty-one. The Prophet (saw) himself performed the marriage ceremony. At the walimah, the guests were served with dates, figs and hais (a mixture of dates and butter fat). A leading member of the Ansar donated a ram and others made offerings of grain. All Madinah rejoiced.

On her marriage, the Prophet (saw) is said to have presented Fatimah and Ali (ra) with a wooden bed intertwined with palm leaves, a velvet coverlet, a leather cushion filled with the leaves of the idhkhir plant, a sheepskin, a pot, a waterskin and a quern for grinding grain.

Fatimah (ra) left the home of beloved father for the first time to begin life with her husband. The Prophet (saw) was clearly anxious on her account and sent Barakah (ra) with her should she be in need of any help. And no doubt Barakah was a source of comfort and solace to her. The Prophet (saw) prayed for them:

"O Lord, bless them both, bless their house and bless their offspring."

In 'Ali's humble dwelling, there was only a sheepskin for a bed. In the morning after the wedding night, the Prophet (saw) went to 'Ali's house and knocked on the door.

Barakah (ra) came out and the Prophet said to her:

"O Umm Ayman, call my brother for me."

"Your bother? That's the one who married your daughter?" asked Barakah (ra) somewhat incredulously as if to say: Why should the Prophet (saw) call 'Ali his "brother"?

(He referred to 'Ali (ra) as his brother because just as pairs of Muslims were joined in brotherhood after the Hijrah, so the Prophet (saw) and 'Ali (ra) were linked as "brothers".)

The Prophet (saw) repeated what he had said in a louder voice. 'Ali (ra) came and the Prophet (saw) made a du'a, invoking the blessings of Allah (swt) on him. Then he asked for Fatimah (ra). She came almost cringing with a mixture of awe and shyness and the Prophet (saw) said to her:

"I have married you to the dearest of my family to me." In this way, he sought to reassure her. She was not starting life with a complete stranger but with one who had grown up in the same household, who was among the first to become a Muslim at a tender age, who was known for his courage, bravery and virtue, and whom the Prophet (saw) described as his "brother in this world and the hereafter".

Fatimah's life with 'Ali (ra) was as simple and frugal as it was in her father's household. In fact, so far as material comforts were concerned, it was a life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout their life together, 'Ali (ra) remained poor because he did not set great store by material wealth. Fatimah (ra) was the only one of her sisters who was not married to a wealthy man.

In fact, it could be said that Fatimah's life with 'Ali (ra) was even more rigorous than life in her father's home. At least before marriage, there were always a number of ready helping hands in the Prophet's household. But now she had to cope virtually on her own. To relieve their extreme poverty, 'Ali (ra) worked as a drawer and carrier of water and she as a grinder of corn. One day she said to 'Ali:

"I have ground until my hands are blistered."

"I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest," said 'Ali and went on to suggest to Fatimah (ra): "Allah (swt) has given your father some captives of war, so go and ask him to give you a servant."

Reluctantly, she went to the Prophet (saw) who said:

"What has brought you here, my little daughter?"

"I came to give you greetings of peace," she said, for in awe of him she could not bring herself to ask what she had intended.

"What did you do?" asked 'Ali (ra) when she returned alone.

"I was ashamed to ask him," she said.

So the two of them went together, but the Prophet (saw) felt they were less in need than others.

"I will not give to you," he said, "and let the Ahl as-Suffah (poor Muslims who stayed in the mosque) be tormented with hunger. I have not enough for their keep…"

'Ali and Fatimah (ra) returned home feeling somewhat dejected but that night, after they had gone to bed, they heard the voice of the Prophet (saw) asking permission to enter. Welcoming him, they both rose to their feet, but he told them:

"Stay where you are," and sat down beside them. "Shall I not tell you of something better than that which you asked of me?" he asked and when they said yes he said:

"Words which Jibril (as) taught me, that you should say 'Subhan Allah - Glory be to Allah' ten times after every prayer, and ten times 'Al hamdu lillah - All Praise is for Allah,' and ten times 'Allahu Akbar - Allah is Great.' And that when you go to bed you should say them thirty-three times each."

'Ali (ra) used to say in later years:

"I have never once failed to say them since the Messenger of Allah (saw) taught them to us."

There are many reports of the hard and difficult times that Fatimah (ra) had to face. Often there was no food in her house. Once the Prophet (saw) was hungry. He went to one after another of his wives' apartments but there was no food. He then went to Fatimah's house and she had no food either. When he eventually got some food, he sent two loaves and a piece of meat to Fatimah (ra). At another time, he went to the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and from the food he was given, he saved some for her. Fatimah (ra) also knew that the Prophet (saw) was without food for long periods and she in turn would take food to him when she could. Once she took a piece of barley bread and he said to her:

"This is the first food you father has eaten in three days."

Through these acts of kindness she showed how much she loved her father; and he loved her, really loved her in return.

Once he returned from a journey outside Madinah. He went to the mosque first of all and prayed two rak'ats as was his custom. Then, as he often did, he went to Fatimah's house before going to his wives. Fatimah welcomed him and kissed his face, his mouth and his eyes and cried.

"Why do you cry?" the Prophet (saw) asked.

"I see you, O Rasul Allah," she said, "your color is pale and sallow and your clothes have become worn and shabby."

"O Fatimah," the Prophet (saw) replied tenderly, "don't cry, for Allah (swt) has sent your father with a mission which He would cause to affect every house on the face of the earth whether it be in towns, villages or tents (in the desert) bringing either glory or humiliation until this mission is fulfilled, just as night (inevitably) comes." With such comments Fatimah (ra) was often taken from the harsh realities of daily life to get a glimpse of the vast and far-reaching vistas opened up by the mission entrusted to her noble father.

Fatimah (ra) eventually returned to live in a house close to that of the Prophet (saw). The place was donated by an Ansari who knew that the Prophet (saw) would rejoice in having his daughter as his neighbor. Together they shared in the joys and triumphs, the sorrows and the hardships of the crowded and momentous Madinah days and years.

In the middle of the second year after the Hijrah, her sister Ruqayyah (ra) fell ill with fever and measles. This was shortly before the great campaign of Badr. 'Uthman (ra), her husband, stayed by her bedside and missed the campaign. Ruqayyah (ra) died just before her father returned. On his return to Madinah, one of the first acts of the Prophet (saw) was to visit her grave.

Fatimah (ra) went with him. This was the first bereavement they had suffered within their closest family since the death of Khadijah (ra). Fatimah (ra) was greatly distressed by the loss of her sister. The tears poured from her eyes as she sat beside her father at the edge of the grave. And he comforted her and sought to dry her tears with the corner of his cloak.

The Prophet (saw) has previously spoken against lamentations for the dead, but this had lead to a misunderstanding, and when they had returned from the cemetery the voice of 'Umar (ra) was heard raised in anger against the women who were weeping for the martyrs of Badr and for Ruqayyah (ra).

"'Umar, let them weep," he said and then added, "What comes from the heart and from the eye, that is from Allah and His mercy, but what comes from the hand and from the tongue, that is from Shaytan." By the hand he meant the beating of breasts and the smiting of cheeks, and by the tongue he meant the loud clamor in which women often joined as a mark of public sympathy.

'Uthman (ra) later married the other daughter of the Prophet, Umm Kulthum (ra), and on this account came to be known as Dhu-n Nurayn - Possessor of the Two Lights.

The bereavement in which the family suffered by the death of Ruqayyah (ra) was followed by happiness when, to the great joy of all the believers, Fatimah (ra) gave birth to a boy in Ramadan of the third year after the Hijrah. The Prophet (saw) spoke the words of the Adhan in to the ear of the newborn babe and called him al-Hasan, which means the Beautiful One.

One year later, she gave birth to another son who was called al-Husayn, which means "little Hasan" or the little beautiful one.

Fatimah (ra) would often bring her two sons to see their grandfather who was exceedingly fond of them. Later he would take them to the Mosque and they would climb onto his back when he prostrated. He did the same with his little granddaughter Umamah, the daughter of Zaynab (ra).

In the eighth year after the Hijrah, Fatimah (ra) gave birth to a third child, a girl whom she named after her eldest sister Zaynab (ra) who had died shortly before her birth. This Zaynab (ra) was to grow up and become famous as the "Heroine of Karbala". Fatimah's fourth child was born two years later. This child was also a girl and the Prophet (saw) chose for her the name Umm Kulum after Fatimah's sister who had died the year before after an illness.

It was only through Fatimah (ra) that the progeny of the Prophet (saw) was perpetuated. All the Prophet's male children had died in their infancy and the two children of Zaynab, named 'Ali and Umamah (ra), died young. Ruqayyah's child, 'Abdullah (ra), also died when he was yet two years old. This is an added reason for the reverence which is accorded to Fatimah (ra).

Although Fatimah was so often busy with pregnancies and giving birth and rearing children, she took as much part as she could in the affairs of the growing Muslim community of Madinah. Before her marriage, she acted as a sort of hostess to the poor and destitute Ahl al-Suffah. As soon as the Battle of Uhud was over, she went with other women to the battlefield and wept over the dead martyrs and took time to dress her father's wounds. At the Battle of the Trench, she played a major supportive role together with other women in preparing food during the long and difficult siege. In the place of her camp there stands a mosque named Masjid Fatimah, one of the seven mosques where the Muslims stood guard and performed their devotions.

Fatimah (ra) also accompanied the Prophet (saw) when he made 'Umrah in the sixth year after the Hijrah after the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. In the following year, she and her sister Umm Kulthum (ra), were among the mighty throng of Muslims who took part with the Prophet (saw) in the liberation of Makkah. It is said that on this occasion, both Fatimah and Umm Kulthum (ra) visited the home and the grave of their mother Khadijah (ra) and recalled memories of their childhood and memories of jihad, of long struggles in the early years of the Prophet's mission.

In Ramadan of the tenth year just before he went on his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet (saw) confided to Fatimah (ra), as a secret not yet to be told to others:

"Jibril (as) recited the Qur'an to me and I to him once every year, but this year he has recited it with me twice. I cannot but think that my time has come."

On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet (saw) did become seriously ill. His final days were spent in the apartment of his wife 'A'isha (ra). When Fatimah came to visit him, 'A'isha (ra) would leave father and daughter together.

One day he summoned Fatimah (ra). When she came, he kissed her and whispered some words in her ear. She wept. Then again he whispered in her ear and she smiled. 'A'isha (ra) saw and asked:

"You cry and you laugh at the same time, Fatimah? What did the Messenger of Allah say to you?" Fatimah (ra) replied:

"He first told me that he would meet his Lord after a short while and so I cried. Then he said to me: 'Don't cry, for you will be the first of my household to join me.' So I laughed."

He also said to her then:

"Aren't you pleased that you are the First Lady (Sayyidatu-n Nisa') of this Ummah?"

Not long afterwards the Noble Prophet (saw) passed away. Fatimah (ra) was grief-stricken and she would often be seen weeping profusely. One of the companions noted that he did not see Fatimah (ra) laugh after the death of her father.

One morning, early in the month of Ramadan, just less that five months after her noble father had passed away, Fatimah (ra) woke up looking unusually happy and full of mirth. In the afternoon of that day, it is said that she called Salma bint Umays (ra) who was looking after her. She asked for some water and had a bath. She then put on new clothes and perfumed herself. She then asked Salma (ra) to put her bed in the courtyard of the house. With her face looking to the heavens above, she asked for her husband 'Ali (ra).

He was taken aback when he saw her lying in the middle of the courtyard and asked her what was wrong. She smiled and said:

"I have an appointment today with the Messenger of Allah (saw)."

'Ali (ra) cried and she tried to console him. She told him to look after their sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn (ra) and advised that she should be buried without ceremony. She then turned and faced the Qiblah, closed her eyes, and slept. It was a sleep from which she did not awake.

She, Fatimah the Resplendent One, was just twenty-nine years old.

Taken from Islamicity.com

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pious children

Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,


"Allah Ta'ala will elevate the ranks of the Muslims in paradise. A person will say, 'O My Rabb! How did I get this high rank?' Allah Ta'ala will say, 'Your children prayed for your pardon and it is due to the Du'aas of your children, I have granted you this position.'"


Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Saliallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, "The deceased in the grave is like a drowning person screaming for help and assistance." He waits for help from the people of the world through gifts of virtuous deeds, Du'aas, etc.

When anyone sends a gift to him, he regards the entire world insignificant in comparison to that gift. Due to the Du'aas of the living, Allah Ta'ala bestows upon the deceased rewards equivalent to the mountains.

If parents want to benefit from virtuous deeds of their children after death, they should sacrifice in making their children pious. This is generally possible by imbuing one's children with Ilm-e-Deen and instilling in them Islamic values and principles. That will be the driving force behind one benefiting from the virtuous deeds and Du'aas of one's children after death.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Marriage in Islam - Talk

Poster Removed

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thorns

Why should I grieve because of a thorn?
Once it had made laughter known to me.
Whatever you lost through the stroke of destiny,
know it was to save you from adversity.
One small affliction keeps off greater afflictions;
one small loss prevents greater losses.

-Rumi

Taken from here

Friday, November 23, 2007

Persistence...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

To my other half...

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,


To keep it short, my husband requested me to post this some time ago. Therefore this post is dedicted to my much missed other half...

Asma Radiallahu anha said to her daughter at the time of her marriage:

"You are going to spend such a life where you shall have to live long and you are going to the bed of such a person who you have no acquaintance. You are going to love one with whom you had no love before.
Make for him such a world, which will be heaven for you, prepare for him such a bed, which will be a pillar for you. Be such a slave for him that he may become your slave. Don't go willingly to him, lest you become to him an object of hatred. Don't remain far from him, lest he may forget you.
When he remains near you, be near him, when he stays distant from you save your nose, ears and eyes.
Let him not get from you except sweet smiles. Let him not hear from you except sweet words. Let him not see in you except beauty"

Ihya Uloom Din
Duas humbly requested,
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

Monday, November 05, 2007

Surah Baqarah 255-257

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

The Realplayer on the right hand side bar has been paused in order to view this video.

Duas humbly requested as always,

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah


Saturday, October 06, 2007

The body and Heart

The body and heart are pure and blameless in themselves.
However, when our heart becomes embodied with worldly temptations, we tend to forget the nature of our hearts. Thus, we become attached to this world and develop spiritual diseases such as greed, lust and pride.
These spiritual diseases show us the ugly attributes of the heart like thorns growing in a field.
In order to beautify yourselves, avoid these attributes and implement finer qualities which will bring you closer to Allah Ta'ala such as kind heartedness, humbleness and gratitide.
Every person yearns for a meaning to life and for that which will make his heart sound.
The only way to do this is to purify one's self.
Taken from: Tasawwuf in Brief, Shaykh Muhammad Imran

Friday, August 24, 2007

Three parts to a day...

Bismillahir'rahman'nir-rahim.

Allahumma sali'ala sayyiddina Muhammadin wa 'ala alay sayyiddina Muhammadin wa barik wa salim.

Asalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Sister Mujahidah an Nafs will [probably] be away for sometime...Alhamdulillah all is well...really well, so no worries. However she did ask me to make a quick guest post about something or another...

So...recently I've encountered a new set of people who it seems as if take Islam to an extreme...not a "dangeros to the well being of others" extreme but the extreme where they seem to forget that Yes, this Deen is Submission but there is also Moderation in this Deen.

Allah has indeed commanded us to worship Him; but worshipping Allah does not only come in three or four forms such as salah only, charity only, learning the deen only etc....Allah is So Great and Limitless, so then how can The ibadah of Allah ta'ala be limited? Does His ibadah not include fullfilling the rights of His creation so long as there is no displeasure to Allah? The Ibadah of Allah Most High comes not only in just these few things mentioned above but in various forms, we just haven't understood this yet.

The following small article addresses this issue well
--------
The THREE Major Phases of Prophet's Day
(taken from Islam-globe.com)

"Ordinary men generally retire to their private residence for rest and pleasure, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never knew the leisure of that sort. His work did not end with his coming home-- only a new order of engagements and activities commenced which filled most of his private time. The jurists generally refer to THREE phases of his private life as follows:

(1)- The Family Phase, where he received his wives and fulfilled his duties as husband, father, father-in-law. Every day, he received all his wives in private audience, in the late afternoon, though of course he spent the night and some part of the day with one of them, by rotation.

(2)- A Personal Phase, which he took for himself. But it was during this time that he received an endless flow of guests and visitors-- some attracted no doubt, by the grace of his noble company, others seeking religious and moral guidance, still others with needs, demands, problems and disputes. Thus the Prophet (peace be upon him) had to fulfil a variety of highly diversified roles, ranging from that of gracious host, munificent giver, teacher, arbiter, governor and judge, as well as friend and companion.

(3)- The Spiritual Phase, normally placed towards the last third of the night, was perhaps the most important of his private life. Ever since he received his initial revelation at (Cave) Hira, Allah commanded him to observe and perform Qiyaam al-Layl (night vigil in prayer). Qiyaam al-Layl was prescribed as the method of self-preparation for the projected role of the Messenger of God, which the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was destined to fulfil in the remaining portion of his life. No description of the private life of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) can be adequate without taking into consideration all three of these phases of his day."

(Taken from: "Sunshine at Madinah", pp. 141-142, by Dr. Zakaria Bashier)

-----

Rasulullah Sal'Allahu'alayhiwasalam is The Greatest Example for us in all matters, and the above shows us how he fullfilled his duties to Allah by a)direct ibadah and b)indirect ibadah- fullfilling the rights of his family and companions.

Masha'Allah recently quite a few people I know have gotten married, and I felt this was important because from a bystander's view it seems that life becomes so busy during that transitional stage of newlyweds and the desire to grow in our deen even more so that we often forget the haq we have on our spouse and they have on us. eventually people become stuck in this 'rut' and this often leads to complications later in marriage... Eliminate the problem before it starts just be fair and remember that our Submission to Allah teaches us to do things in moderation.

This article above from islam-globe.com holds a great amount of wisdom for us today, as many of us have forgotten that our duty is not only to Allah but also to His creation, we all have a "right" upon one another; Friend, Family or Foe.

May Allah grant all those newlyweds patience, barakah and happiness in their lives with one another and allow them be reunited in the gardens of Jannah insha'Allah.

Allahumma sali'ala sayyiddina Muhammadin wa 'ala alay sayyiddina Muhammadin wa barik wa salim. Rawdhina billahi Rabba wa bil'islaami deena wa bi'Muhammadin nabiyaa, wa akhirud'duana anil'hamdulillahi rabbil'alameen.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Key advices to a daughter

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

A few key advices that I posted a while back on this blog from a mother to a daughter which seem quite relevant at this point in time, click the link below to read Inshallah Ta'ala.





Always in need of your humble duas,
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The spiritual Dr

Many are perplexed by the lack of spirituality in their lives which becomes a hindrance in their aims to gain the proximity of Allah (s.w.t). This form of anxiety is common amongst those who are punctual with their salah and adhere to the other ‘Faraaidh' (fundamental duties) such as ‘Sawm' (Fasting), ‘Hajj' (The Holy Pilgrimage), etc, but are disheartened by their apparent inability to abstain from sins and how they continually succumb to their base desires. Another great concern is the failure to recognise many of our advances, which are predominant in society and have unfortunately become accepted as the norm, as sins. Both ignorance and negligence have contributed towards the emergence of the latter.
The solution to this dilemma can be deduced from the influence of Rasullullah in terms of his sheer existence over fourteen centuries ago, his invaluable teaching, his social conduct and sagacious dealings with the respected Sahaba Radiallaho Anhum.
“Verily in the lifestyle of the Prophet there is a great example for you”
Rasullullah taught us the root cause of this problem when he said, “Behold! In the body there lies a piece of flesh. When it is reformed, the entire body is reformed, and when it becomes corrupt the entire body becomes corrupt”. Behold! This (piece of flesh) is the heart. (Bukhari)
We learn from this Hadith that the heart heavily influences our behavioural pattern and is at the centre of our actions. This also agrees with our rationale because our actions are often the result of our beliefs, opinions, and desires which lie deep within us. If we make a sincere effort to purify our souls and mould them to be submissive to the will of Allah, it will become much easier to obey him and safeguard ourselves from inviting his wrath. What many of us fail to realise is that any progress in this task demands great effort and diligence from our side along with the constant duaa (supplication), pleading with Allah for guidance, which we are so accustomed to (Alhamdulillah). Allah mentions in the Holy Quran, “And (to) those who strive in our way We undoubtedly open our paths”.
If we leave no stone unturned in confronting Shaytaan and the ‘nafs' (the soul), striving wholeheartedly not to fall prey to them, then Allah will, out of his boundless mercy, open the doors of guidance for us. He will direct us to his obedience and holding steadfast to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet which is described in the Quran as being the key to success:
“And he who obey Allah and His Prophet has indeed achieved a great triumph”
Adopting the company of the pious and the ulama
Ok! So we have a poorly patient in need of Spiritual doctoring. But how do we diagnose its maladies? And how do we go about treating them? Where do we search for the cure?
If we study the life of Rasullullah , we will find that his social conduct and dealings with anyone he came into contact with, especially the eminent Sahaba, illustrates and clearly outlines the principles we need to assimilate and implement in order to achieve the best results. The revolution of Arabia and the renaissance of morals and good conduct was the outcome of his priceless company adopted by his companions. The examples of the Prophet and his companions allegorically sets the benchmark for self-rectification and purification of the soul. It is a great shame that we do not take lesson from this. There are still very few who regard the company of the pious, the friends of Allah to be of any importance. Hakeemul Ummah, Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alay emphasized that not all of the Sahaba were Ulamaa (learned scholars of religion) but they achieved whatever they had achieved merely through his company. He further stressed that the righteous friends of Allah have always held firm onto ‘Suhbat' (adopting the company of the Pious). They have never given as much attention to acquiring knowledge as they have to Suhbat and Companionship.

“O those who believe, fear Allah and seek unto Him a medium and strive in His path so that you may be successful.”
In this verse Allah instructs us to search for means through which we can reach Him. The commentary of this verse, as according to many of the Sahaba and Tabieen, suggests that the word ‘Waseelah' in this verse (translated as a medium or means) literally refers to every source which aids one in attaining the ultimate pleasure of Allah, and gaining nearness to Him. The saintly and devout servants of Allah are a great means of guidance for us. Accompanying them can open many channels directly leading to the pleasure of Allah. Therefore, it is imperative to befriend them, comply with their consultations and remain in their company.
Only then we will be able to benefit from them and taste the fruits which blossom from deep within them. The blessings of Allah constantly descend upon His friends and they are perpetually caressed with His favours. If we accompany them it is highly possible that we may be granted a portion of these bounties.
We live in an era wherein the world has been stripped of any shame or modesty. Modern ills and traits encapsulating over environments have gradually crept into those parts of the world where Muslims are densely populated, such as the Middle East , Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Not only our actions, but our thinking and frame of mind have also transformed.
The detestable traits and foul habits of the non-Muslims have become a part of us, darkening our souls, preventing the light of Imaan (faith) from penetrating the heart. Thus, we have fallen short of the remembrance of our creator and spiritually we are dying. The Prophet of Allah explained: “An example of that person who remembers His Lord and one that does not, is like that of the living and the dead” (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Ahlu-llah are sometimes referred to as ‘Ahle-dil' (people of the heart) because they are like spiritual doctors who treat the soul. These very people can diagnose ailments through insight gifted to them by Allah. They have the remedies to cure our spiritual illnesses and aid us in the struggle to change our lives. They can help us to revive the remembrance of Allah in our hearts which have become dormant due to our disobedience. It is essential to maintain a strong connection with such people as history has shown repeatedly that those who have failed to affiliate with them have deviated in someway or another.
May Allah bless us with the company of such saints and may He grant us the capacity and the strength to benefit from them. (Ameen)
Courtesy of: Inter-Islam

Monday, June 04, 2007

An Evening of Knowledge


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Key Advice for the Newly Wed

Based on the advices of Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat
prepared by Brother Aslam Patel

Taken from www.haqislam.org

“You have never seen anything better than marriage for those who love.”
(Ibne Mãjah)

Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat dãmat barakãtuhum advises:

1. Every action is dependant upon intention. When marrying, both partners should therefore make a firm intention to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Following the Sunnah of our beloved Nabee Muhammad s.
  • Safeguarding oneself from sins.
  • Parenting pious children.

2. When marrying, each becomes the other’s lifetime companion. Each should understand and appreciate that Allah S has brought them both together and that their destiny in life has now become one. Whatever the circumstances: happiness or sorrow; health or sickness; wealth or poverty; comfort or hardship; trial or ease; all events are to be confronted together as a team with mutual affection and respect. No matter how wealthy, affluent, materially prosperous and “better-off” another couple may appear, one’s circumstances are to be happily accepted with qanã‘at (contentment upon the Choice of Allah S). The wife should happily accept her husband, his home and income as her lot and should always feel that her husband is her true beloved and best friend and well-wisher in all family decisions. The husband too should accept his wife as his partner-for-life and not cast a glance towards another.

3. Nowadays, the husband reads about, and is well-informed of his rights and demands them. Similarly, the wife reads of her rights and expects them. However, both should concentrate on being aware of each other’s rights and then strive to fulfil them. This is the prescription for a prosperous marriage and everlasting love.

4. During the first year of marriage, the couple must try and spend as much time as possible together. This is especially true for the first two months as it provides an opportunity to understand each other’s temperaments and establishes a firm foundation which contributes towards securing a prosperous marriage.

5. The couple (especially the husband) must make a point to arrive home early after ‘Ishã Salãh and scrupulously avoid the habit of socialising with friends late into the evening. Wherever possible, business, employment and other activities should be concluded beforehand or curtailed in order to set aside time for spending together.

6. Mutual respect between husband and wife should not be lost. They should each be very particular about following the Deen right from the initial stages of married life. This will also ensure a religious environment for the children to be nurtured in, contributing greatly towards their successful upbringing.

7. True and everlasting prosperity is only possible for Muslims when they follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah s in all affairs. The couple too, should adhere to the teachings of Rasoolullah s in all their matters and abstain from anything which contradicts them. Careful attention should be given to this in their intimate relationship too. Inshã’allah this will be an assured approach to acquiring the blessing of pious offspring.

8. In the initial stages of marriage, the love between the couple is a physical bond, wherein emotional changes take place all the time. Despite great passion and physical love for each other, affection between the couple is not yet well established or on a rational basis. Such rational love comes after many years together. It is therefore extremely important for the husband not to succumb to emotional weaknesses at the onset and let the marriage waver towards an irreligious direction. Both the husband and wife should make a pledge to each other to steadfastly follow the Deen, especially in the performance of Salãh and in avoiding all sins.

9. Marriage is like the weather, forever changing. Sometimes it is cloudy and rainy, life appears gloomy, then the sun appears and rays of happiness break through bringing joy. At times, one experiences rain, wind and sunshine all in one day. Such is life, and like the seasons, we go through different experiences. The secret is to remain devoted and steadfast to one’s Deen and spouse.

10. The husband should be sympathetic to the fact that his wife has left her parents, brothers and sisters to start a new life with him. Her sacrifice and her feelings should be respected and joy should be felt by both partners at the expansion of their families. Just as the wife should treat her husband’s parents as her own, he should also extend affection, courtesy and respect to his new in-laws.

11. As soon as one experiences a problem, no matter how trivial, which remains unresolved for more than three days, consult a person who is both knowledgeable and your sincere well-wisher.

Source: Islamic Da'wah Academy

Monday, May 14, 2007

Seven Persons in Allah Ta'ala's shade on the day of judgement

Narrated Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu): The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihe Wassalam)) said:

"Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His. These seven persons are:
1) A just ruler,
2) A youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood),
3) A man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation),
4) Two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only,
5) A man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah,
6) A man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity),
7) And a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears."


[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 11, Number 629]
Know that Allah does give life to a dead heart just as He gives life to earth after its death

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Taking a break...


قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كُنتُ عَلَىَ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنْهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَى مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ إِنْ أُرِيدُ إِلاَّ الإِصْلاَحَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ وَمَا تَوْفِيقِي إِلاَّ بِاللّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ

Qala ya qawmi araaytum in kuntu AAala bayyinatin min rabbee warazaqanee minhu rizqan hasanan wama oreedu an okhalifakum ila ma anhakum AAanhu in oreedu illa alislaha ma istataAAtu wama tawfeeqee illa biAllahi AAalayhi tawakkaltu wailayhi oneebu
11:88 (Surah Hud)

He said: "O my people! see ye whether I have a Clear (Sign) from my Lord, and He hath given me sustenance (pure and) good as from Himself? I wish not, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The real richness..

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
'Plenty of provision or abundance do not make a person rich and wealthy; real richness is the benevolence of the heart'
{Sahih Bhukari}

Maulana Ibrahim Memon Madani mentioned the following in one of his dars during my stay in Buffalo:

Allah Ta'ala asks us to ponder upon the fact that He has created all things in the dunya for us. It is important for us to realise that all that we see around us has been created for us but this does not mean that we need to use all that has been created for us. We are not supposed to 'serve' these things; they were created to 'serve' us. Allah Ta'ala tells us in short, not to become slaves of these objects. When we forget the bounties that Allah Ta'ala has bestowed upon us and we become engrossed in the dunya so much so that we become slaves of these objects and begin to like, love, protect and then eventually worship them. The immense love for money that society holds is an example of how begin to worship that which has been created for us.

History has shown that at all times people have had something that they hold in great esteem e.g. respect for a certain picture on the wall or a certain idol. The respect observed for these objects sometimes reaches a point where eventually individuals begin to bow down before them. Maulana Ibrahim Memon mentioned the example of the $100 bill. Even if a person is praying salah, if he sees a $100 bill flying in front of him, he will pick up the dollar bill never mind the salah! In this case the individual has placed greater importance to the money over his salah.

When a person thinks that they will loose something e.g. wealth, status, family or friends, it is natural for the person to want to protect these things. However, at this point shaytaan finds a fine opportunity to grasp hold of us by telling us that we will definitely loose these things. Isn’t it funny how we do not worry or concern ourselves in the slightest when it comes to loosing the deen of Allah Ta’ala?

Allah Ta’ala says that He has created man and jinn for his worship alone, why do we then become the servants on the dunya?

Allah Ta’ala has created everything on the dunya with a fixed purpose. Even those things that we do not have control over such as the sun and the moon are busy in fulfilling the command of Allah Ta’ala.

Commitments of this life are many and encompass everyday of our lives but our main commitment is to Allah Ta’ala. At any moment, the angle of death will come to visit us and all schedules and commitments will disappear forever. No Money, no Family nor friends will accompany us to the grave. It will be our amaal that will remain with us in this dunya and in the hereafter.

Allah Ta’ala causes us to live and causes us to die. When we sleep we undergo the minor death but when daylight breaks we once again come back to life. Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon us every opportunity to conduct good deeds however we have become so accustomed to waking up from this minor death that we continue to delay these good deeds until later on. How many times have we heard our friends or family remark that they will delay a good deed for later on and then make the change in their life? This is shaytaan playing with us for shaytaan is very intelligent and knows that it is a race against time. When Allah Ta’ala commands for our soul to be taken there will be no ‘later on’ for us to carry out this good deed.
‘Kal naa aye, kabhi naa ayegi yeh kal’
If tomorrow does not come, Tomorrow will never come

Whatever we need to do, we need to do it today. By postponing what we are meant to do, we are postponing our commitment to Rabbul Alameen.

Allah Ta’ala has given us everything from respect, knowledge and abilities to carry out the most skilled of tasks; yet we forget what Rabbul Alameen has given us, and succumb to the tricks of the shaytaan. We put our deen as our final and least important priority. Why is it that we prefer the ‘living idols’ such as our boss or the company over our creator and sustainer?

On a final note, I leave you with the following to ponder upon..

…real richness is the benevolence of the heart'

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The eleven women of hijaz

Narrated by Aisha Radiallahu anha:

Eleven women sat (at a place) and promised and contracted that they would not conceal anything of the news of their husbands.
The first one said, "My husband is like the meat of a lean weak camel which is kept on the top of a mountain which is neither easy to climb, nor is the meat fat, so that one might put up with the trouble of fetching it."
The second one said, "I shall not relate my husband's news, for I fear that I may not be able to finish his story, for if I describe him, I will mention all his defects and bad traits."
The third one said, "My husband is a tall man; if I describe him (and he hears of that) he will divorce me, and if I keep quiet, he will neither divorce me nor treat me as a wife."
The fourth one said, "My husband is a moderate person like the night of Tihama which is neither hot nor cold. I am neither afraid of him, nor am I discontented with him."
The fifth one said, "My husband, when entering (the house) is a leopard, and when going out, is a lion. He does not ask about whatever is in the house."
The sixth one said, "If my husband eats. he eats too much (leaving the dishes empty), and if he drinks he leaves nothing, and if he sleeps he sleeps alone (away from me) covered in garments and does not stretch his hands here and there so as to know how I fare (get along)."
The seventh one said, "My husband is a wrong-doer or weak and foolish. All the defects are present in him. He may injure your head or your body or may do both."
The eighth one said, "My husband is soft to touch like a rabbit and smells like a Zarnab (a kind of good smelling grass)."
The ninth one said, "My husband is a tall generous man wearing a long strap for carrying his sword. His ashes are abundant and his house is near to the people who would easily consult him."
The tenth one said, "My husband is Malik, and what is Malik? Malik is greater than whatever I say about him. (He is beyond and above all praises which can come to my mind). Most of his camels are kept at home (ready to be slaughtered for the guests) and only a few are taken to the pastures. When the camels hear the sound of the lute (or the tambourine) they realize that they are going to be slaughtered for the guests."
The eleventh one said, "My husband is Abu Zar and what is Abu Zar (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them and my arms have become fat (i.e., I have become fat). And he has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself. He found me with my family who were mere owners of sheep and living in poverty, and brought me to a respected family having horses and camels and threshing and purifying grain . Whatever I say, he does not rebuke or insult me. When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning, and when I drink water (or milk), I drink my fill.
The mother of Abu Zar and what may one say in praise of the mother of Abu Zar? Her saddle bags were always full of provision and her house was spacious. As for the son of Abu Zar, what may one say of the son of Abu Zar? His bed is as narrow as an unsheathed sword and an arm of a kid (of four months) satisfies his hunger. As for the daughter of Abu Zar, she is obedient to her father and to her mother. She has a fat well-built body and that arouses the jealousy of her husband's other wife. As for the (maid) slave girl of Abu Zar, what may one say of the (maid) slavegirl of Abu Zar? She does not uncover our secrets but keeps them, and does not waste our provisions and does not leave the rubbish scattered everywhere in our house."
The eleventh lady added, "One day it so happened that Abu Zar went out at the time when the milk was being milked from the animals, and he saw a woman who had two sons like two leopards playing with her two breasts. (On seeing her) he divorced me and married her.
Thereafter I married a noble man who used to ride a fast tireless horse and keep a spear in his hand. He gave me many things, and also a pair of every kind of livestock and said, 'Eat (of this), O Um Zar, and give provision to your relatives." She added, "Yet, all those things which my second husband gave me could not fill the smallest utensil of Abu Zar's." 'Aisha then said: Allah's Apostle said to me, "I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife Um Zar."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The power of dua

By Khalid Baig Posted: 14 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423, 27 May 2002 www.albalagh.net
Once Prophet Muhammad passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. "Why don't they make dua (pray) to Allah for protection," he said. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today.
It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed --- an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.

What a tragedy, for dua is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between.

Dua is conversation with Allah, out Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His path for that is the only path for success. We feel blessed with each such commitment

In every difficulty our first action is dua, as is our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make dua for all of these. We make dua before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter.

Dua is the essence of ibadah. A person engaged in dua affirms his belief in Tawheed (monotheism) and shuns belief in all false gods. With each dua his belief in Allah grows. He beseeches Him, affirming his own powerlessness. A person seriously and sincerely engaged in dua understands exactly the relationship between himself and the Creator and affirms it through his actions. That is the essence of worship! Additionally, such a person can never become arrogant or proud, a logical result of true worship.
Dua is our most potent weapon in all struggles of life as well as in jihad in the battlefield. During the battle of Badr, the Prophet Muhammad stood up all night in prayer seeking Allah's help in the battle between unequal armies that would follow the next day. In the decisive battles against the crusaders, Sultan Salatuddin Ayyubi was busy day and night. His days were devoted to Jihad. His nights were spent making dua, crying, seeking Allah's help. This has been the practice of all true mujahideen.

We should make it a point to make dua for all things big and small. It is the beginning of wisdom to realize that big and small are arbitrary labels that are totally irrelevant in this context. Nothing is too big for Whom we are asking from; nothing is too small for the one who is asking. That is why we have been taught to ask Allah when we need something as small as shoelaces. We should ask as a beggar, as a destitute person, for that is what we in reality are in relationship to Allah. At the same time we should ask with great hope and conviction that we shall be granted our prayers. We should remember the Hadith: "There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant making dua to Him." On the other hand, a prayer lacking concentration and conviction is no prayer at all.

We should make dua at all times, not only during times of distress. The Prophet Muhammad said: "Whosoever desires that Allah answers his duas in unfavorable and difficult conditions, he should make plentiful dua in days of ease and comfort." Also he said: "The person who does not ask from Allah, Allah becomes angry with him."

We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they don't care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame no body but themselves for the total ruin in that world that Qur'an assures us awaits them. Those who only concentrate on the later are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's help to lead a good life here as well.
We should make dua not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet said: "The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.'" [Sahih Muslim]

In the dark ages that we are living in today, everyday brings fresh news about atrocities committed against our brothers in Palestine, Kashmir, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, and the list goes on. And what do we do? We can continue to just feel frustrated and depressed. We can petition the determined perpetrators or a fictional "International Community". We can just forget all this and move on to some other subject. Or we can stand up before Allah and pray for His help, who alone can help. The dua can change our life, our outlook, and our fate. It is the most potent weapon. But it works only for those who try sincerely and seriously to use it.

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