Islamic Deen Articles Part 9

Guide on Bringing up Children in an Islamic Way

Guidance of Bringing up Children

by Imam Ashraf Ali al-Tahanawi

It should be borne in mind that the bringing up of children in the proper manner is of prime importance. This is because whatever good or bad habits they learn in their childhood, they do not leave them for the rest of their lives. From the time of infancy till they reach maturity, the following matters should be strictly adhered to:

1. Ensure that the child drinks the milk of a pious, religious woman. Milk has a great effect in the life of a person.

2. It is the habit of women to frighten their children by mentioning the police or other frightening persons or objects. This is an evil habit. Children become weak-hearted because of this.

3. Set aside specific times for making him drink his milk or feeding him so that he may remain healthy.

4. Keep him clean, neat and tidy because one remains healthy in this way.

5. Do not beautify and adorn the child excessively.

6. If the child is a boy, do not lengthen the hair on his head.

7. If it is a girl, do not make her wear any jewelry as long as she does not reach the age where she has to observe purdah. This is because this will pose a danger to her life. The other reason is that it is not a good habit to create a love for jewelry in a girl's mind when she is still so young.

8. Have the habit of handing over the responsibility of distributing food, clothing, money, etc. that is to be given to poor people to your children. Similarly, give them the task of distributing food, sweets, etc. to their brothers, sisters and other children. This is so that they will inculcate the practice of generosity. However, you should remember that you must only ask them to distribute those things that belong to you. It is not permissible for anyone to ask them to distribute those items or things that belong to them from the Shar'îah point of view.

9. You should mention the harms of over-eating to them. However, do not mention anyone by name. Instead, tell them that the one who eats too much is regarded as an ox (or any other similar example).

10. If it is a boy, incline him towards wearing white clothes and create a dislike in his heart for colorful and gaudy clothing by telling him that such clothes are worn by women and that he is a man. You should always teach him in this way.

11. If it is a girl, do not give her the habit of worrying too much about plaiting and parting her hair or wearing very stylish clothing.

12. When a child persists or insists on having something, do not fulfill all his wishes or else he will become spoilt.

13. Prevent the child from talking very loudly or shouting. Especially if it is a girl and she speaks in this loud shouting manner, you should scold her and reprimand her. If you do not do this, this habit will remain when she grows up.

14. Safeguard your child from speaking or mixing with children who have evil habits, who are not interested in their learning, who are in the habit of wearing stylish clothes or eating extravagant dishes.

15. Always inculcate a hatred for the following actions in your child, i.e. teach him to hate the following acts:

(a) becoming angry,

(b) speaking lies,

(c) envying someone,

(d) stealing,

(e) carrying tales,

(f) defending whatever he does or says,

(g) to unnecessarily "make up" stories,

(h) speaking excessively without any benefit,

(i) laughing unnecessarily or laughing excessively,

(j) cheating or deluding someone,

(k) not thinking about or not differentiating between good and bad.

If any of these acts or traits is found in him, stop him immediately and warn him.

16. If he breaks something or begins to hit someone, punish him accordingly so that he does not repeat such acts. Loving the child, consoling him or allowing him to commit such acts always causes the child to become "lost" or spoilt.

17. Do not allow the child to sleep very early.

18. The habit of waking up early should be inculcated in the child.

19. When the child reaches the age of seven, inculcate the habit of offering salât.

20. Once he reaches the age wherein he can go to madrasah, first teach him to recite the Quran.

21. As far as is possible, make him learn under a religious-minded teacher.

22. Don't ever allow him to absent himself from going to madrasah.

23. Set aside certain times in which you narrate stories of the pious to him.

24. Do not allow the child to look at books that contain love stories, stories that are contrary to the Sharî‘ah, stories that are obscene or that have no benefit, love poems, etc.

25. Give them books that cover the different aspects of the Dîn, and books that cover the necessary aspects of this world.

26. Once the child returns from the madrasah, permit him to play around in order to occupy him and so that he does not become dull-headed. However, the games must be such that there is no sin in playing them and at the same time there is no fear of physical injury.

27. Do not give the child any money to purchase fireworks, musical instruments or any other similar unnecessary items which amount to wasting of money.

28. The habit of watching games, matches, etc. should not be inculcated in the child.

29. Always teach your children some sort of hobby or trade which will help them at the time of need or necessity whereby they can support their families.

30. Teach girls to write to the extent that they are able to write necessary letters and also work out the expenses of the house.

31. The habit of doing their own work should be inculcated in the children so that they do not become dependent and lazy. You should order them to lay out their own beds at night and to get up early in the morning and neaten their beds again. They should keep their clothes neatly. Clothes that become undone or torn should be stitched by themselves. Clothes that are clean or dirty should be kept in a place where there is no fear of moths.

32. Emphasize on the girls to check the jewelry that they are wearing before they go to sleep and once they wake up the following morning.

33. You should order the girls to watch attentively at the cooking, sewing, threading, dying, and all the other work that is carried out at home so that they will also learn these things.

34. When the child does something good, praise him, kiss him, and reward him so that he will feel happy. When he commits an evil act, call him aside in privacy and make him understand that he has committed an evil act and that others will think badly of him, and that whoever else comes to know of it will also think badly of him. You should warn him against committing such an act again and explain to him that good children do not do such things. If he repeats that act, punish him appropriately.

35. It is the duty of the mother to create respect for the father in the child's heart.

36. Do not allow the child to do anything secretly. This is irrespective of whether it is some game, food or any other act. If he does anything secretly, you should immediately understand that he regards it to be evil. If the act is in fact evil, teach him to abstain from it. If it is a good act, such as eating or drinking, then tell him to eat and drink in the presence of others.

37. Set aside some strenuous work for the children which will keep them healthy, energetic and which will not allow laziness to overtake them. If it is a boy, he should do gymnastics, weightlifting or walking for a few kilometers. As for girls, it is necessary for them to work with the grinding stone and spinning wheel. The benefit of doing these things is that they will not regard such work to be below their dignity.

38. When walking, teach them not to walk very swiftly, nor should they raise their gazes when walking.

39. Inculcate the habit of humility in them. Their manner of speaking, walking, conversing, etc. should be such that they do not become boastful. They should be taught humility to such an extent that they should not even sit with their classmates and boast about their clothes, house, family, books, pens, ink, exercise books, etc.

40. Occasionally you should give them some money so that they may purchase whatever they wish. However, inculcate the habit in them that they should not conceal whatever they buy.

41. Teach them the etiquette and manners of eating, sitting and standing in gatherings. We will now enumerate a few of these etiquette:

The etiquette of eating

1. Eat with the right hand.

2. Read Bismillâh in the beginning.

3. Eat the food that is in front of you.

4. Do not commence eating before others.

5. Do not ogle or stare at the food.

6. Do not look at those who are eating.

7. Do not eat very quickly.

8. Chew the food well.

9. Do not take another morsel as long as the morsel that is in your mouth is not chewed and swallowed.

10. Do not allow the gravy and other liquids to drip onto the clothes.

11. The fingers should not be allowed to become too messy.

The etiquette of gatherings

1. Whoever you meet, meet with respect and speak kindly.

2. Do not spit in gatherings nor clean your nose. But if there is a need to do so, excuse yourself and go to another place.

3. If you have to yawn or sneeze, cover your mouth with your hands and try to muffle the sound.

4. Do not face your back towards anyone.

5. Do not face your feet towards anyone.

6. Do not sit by placing your hand under your chin.

7. Do not crack your fingers.

8. Do not look in the direction of anyone repeatedly and unnecessarily.

9. Remain seated with respect.

10. Do not speak excessively.

11. Do not take oaths over trivial matters.

12. As far as possible, do not commence with any conversation. When the other person speaks, listen attentively so that his spirits are not dampened. However, if it is a sinful conversation, do not listen. Either stop him, or leave that place.

13. As long as a person does not complete whatever he wishes to say, do not interrupt him.

14. If someone comes and wishes to sit in the gathering and there is no place, make way for that person and sit closely so that he may be able to get some place.

15. When you meet someone or bid them farewell, say As-salâmu ‘alaykum, and when replying to someone's salaam, say Wa ‘alaykumus salâm. Do not utter other forms of greeting.

(b) Meet their friends and relatives in a friendly way and also assist them wherever possible.

(c) If you have the finances, fulfill their unpaid debts and the permissible bequests that they have made.

(d) When they pass away, abstain from crying and wailing aloud or else their souls will be troubled.

6. According to the Sharî‘ah, the rights of the paternal and maternal grandparents are similar to those of the parents and they should be regarded as such.

7. Similarly, the rights of the maternal and paternal uncles and aunts are similar to those of the parents. This has been deduced from certain ‘Ahâdîth. (Rasûlullâh sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: "The maternal aunt has the status of one’s mother." - Tirmidhî)

Logic and Learn


The King and His Four Wives

Read This Carefully.

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant, and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her! One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I ! now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go." The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was so skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"

In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.


Ya Allah

Today, upon a bus,

I saw a girl with golden hair.

and wished I was as fair.

When suddenly she rose to leave,

I saw her hobble down the aisle.

She had one leg and wore a crutch.

But as she passed, a smile.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.

I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.

The lad who sold it had such charm.

I talked with him, he seemed so glad.

If I were late, it'd do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me,

"I thank you, you've been so kind.

It's nice to talk with folks like you.

You see," he said, "I'm blind."

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.

I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later, while walking down the street,

I saw a child with eyes of blue.

He stood and watched the others play.

He did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said,

"Why don't you join the others, dear?"

He looked ahead without a word; and then I knew, he wouldn't hear.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.

I have 2 ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go.

With eyes to see the sunset's glow.

With ears to hear what I'd know.

Ya Allah, forgive me when I whine.

I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.


SATAN'S MEETING:

(Read even if you're busy)

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said,

"We can't keep Muslims from going to Mosque."

"We can't keep them from reading their Quran and knowing the truth."

"We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Allah and his messenger Muhammad."

"Once they gain that connection with Allah, our power over them is broken."

"So let them go to their Mosques; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Allah and his messenger Muhammad."

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil:

"Distract them from gaining hold of their Allah and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted.

"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered.

"Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."

"Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles."

"Keep them from spending time with their children."

"As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"

"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice."

"Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive." "To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly."

"This will jam their minds and break that union with Allah and his messenger Muhammad."

"Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers."

"Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day."

"Invade their driving moments with billboards."

"Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes."

"Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. "

"Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night."

Give them headaches too!

"If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere."

"That will fragment their families quickly!"

"Give them story books to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Salat."

"Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on Allah's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead. "Keep them busy, busy, busy!"

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."

"Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Allah."

"Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause."

"It will work!" "It will work!"

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Muslims everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there.

Having little time for their Allah or their families.

Having no time to tell others about the power of Allah and his messenger Muhammad to change lives.

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes?

You be the judge!!!!! Does "BUSY" mean:

B-usy

U-nder

S-atan's

Y-oke?

Please pass this on, if you aren't too BUSY!


Ten Things We Waste

(Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah)

1. Knowledge:

Wasted when not taking action with it.

2. Actions:

Wasted when we do anything without sincerity. Intentions count.

3. Wealth:

Wasted when used on things that will not bring us âjr (reward). We waste our money, our status, our authority,on things that have no benefit in this life or in âkhirah (The Hereafter).

4. Hearts:

Wasted when empty from the love of Allah, and the longing for Him/Her, and devoid of peace & contentment.

5. Bodies:

Wasted when we don't use them in ibâdah (worship) and service of Allah in serving humankind.

6. Love:

Wasted when our emotional love is misdirected, not towards Allah,but towards something/someone else.

7. Time

Wasted when not used properly, by not doing what is righteous.

8. Intellect

Wasted on things that are detrimental to society and the individual,not in contemplation or reflection.

9. Service:

Wasted when in service of someone who will not bring us closer to Allah.

10. Dhikr:

Wasted when it does not effect our hearts.


Please Take me !

"I was driving to the grocery store just thinking of everything on my list to do today. Taking the kids to soccer practice, cleaning the house, getting groceries, getting the oil changed in the car, the list went on and on. i was feeling overwhelmed and was already tired before I had even gotten started.

On my way to the store I saw something horrible happen!! A train had run into a car that was crossing the tracks. I thought "Oh no!, This is horrible, there is no way the driver of that car could have lived!!"

I was the closest car to the tracks so I put my car in park and got out. I ran over to the car and looked in and could not believe what I was seeing. Tears came to my eyes and I just couldn't take it. Inside the car was a woman driving that was obviously dead. In the backseat was a baby in it's car seat bleeding everywhere and next to the baby was a little girl who I guessed to be about 4 years old and she was bleeding also. Just then the little girl spoke. She said, "Is my mommy and baby sister okay?" I just looked at her and said "Honey I don't know. There is a doctor on his way right now."

Just then the little girl started crying saying, "Don't take my mommy and my baby sister - Take me with you too!! Please!!" She was pleading at who knows what to take her - but take her where?? I asked the little girl who she was talking to and she said, "don't you see ?" That Angel is taking my mommy and my baby sister! I want to go with them too! My mommy is waving goodbye to me and she is holding my baby sister and she is smiling!"

The little girl started to cry because she did not want to stay, she wanted to go with her mommy and her baby sister. I felt so sorry for her. I didn't believe in God and I thought to myself, "Where did an Angel come from? What kind of God would take a mommy and a baby but not the little sister?"

At that moment I saw the little girl start to smile so big as she held her arms out to something, someone to pick her up. I thought to myself that she must be delirious and maybe she is hurt worse that I thought. Just then the little girl closed her eyes and slumped over in her seat. She was dead!

I couldn't be sad even though this was a 4 year old little girl that had just died. You wouldn't be sad either if you could see that beautiful smile on her face! I guess her mommy and baby sister came back to get her. That was also the day that God came to get me - as that was the day that I became a believer and turned my life over to the only One God."

<-- WHERE i GOT THE STORY FROM


Foods of the Prophet(SAW)

Vinegar was also a food Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) used to eat with olive oil. [That's now a fashion in expensive Italian Restaurants ]

Milk: The Prophet(SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, increases the brain, augments intelligence, renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.

Honey: Considered to be the best remedy for diarrhea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm, as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye salve and mouthwash. It is extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water and is also a Sunnah.

Olive oil: excellent treatment for skin and hair, delays old age, treats inflammation of the stomach

Mushroom: The Prophet(SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes, it also serves as a form of birth control and arrests paralysis.

Grapes: The Prophet was very fond of grapes, it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.

Dates: The Prophet(SAW) said that a house without dates has no food, also to be eaten at the time of childbirth.

Figs: It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles.

Barley: Good for fever in a soup form

Melon: Melon contains 1000 blessings and 1000 mercies, The prophet SAW said "None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring who are good in countenance and good in character.

Pomegranate: The Prophet(SAW) said it cleanse you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40 days.

Water: the Prophet(SAW) said the best drink in this world and the next is Water, when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.

So praise be to our beloved Nabi(SAW) who related us with marvelous knowledge which dazzles the wisest minds. May this information be beneficial to all of us Insha Allâh.


BLANK CANVAS

by T.Bowes, 18 February 2001

A brother sent me an article in the last few days by a sister about her choice to wear hijab. It was like others I had read before: a defensive response to the perceptions of others. 'So next time you see me,' the author concludes, 'don't look at me sympathetically. I am not under duress or a male-worshipping female captive from those barbarous Arabic deserts. I've been liberated.'

I have often reflected on our response to non-Muslims'perceptions of us; indeed, on our perception of their perception. I have no doubt that we do often encounter hostility, but I wish to say that we must not let ourselves 'expect' it. I recall the day I became Muslim and the weeks after it. My shahada came after a very personal journey over the preceding years, months and weeks, and yet when I had made the decision to utter those words, I found my whole life thrust into public view for all to scrutinise as they pleased. I had considered it a personal affair, but within only hours the news was in the public domain. I had many friends at the start of that day who, by nightfall, would now refuse to speak to me. At the time we were in the midst of our second year exams and I put their strange behaviour down to exam stress. Only, when the exams came to an end, the same people would still only smile, as if embarrassed, when I said hello, if they didn't just turn their back on me and walk away.

Relating to other people became very difficult: it was paranoia time. I came to understand the reactions of two unconnected sisters to my behaviour when I was not a Muslim after they had taken to wearing hijab. When I first went to university, there were really only two things which I 'knew' about Islam: Muslims don't eat pork 'because pigs eat dirt', and Muslims only eat halal food. I didn't have an opinion of Muslims - I didn't even think they were all terrorists or that they oppressed women. But one thing I found when I went to university was that there were Muslim women there who wore the head scarf. I cannot tell you why I reacted as I did, because I do not know; I just thought that I should; but whenever I saw such a person, my eyes would hit the floor. I would not look at her face. I think I thought that because she wore the scarf, she wanted privacy and, therefore, I was not allowed to look at her. I remember there was a day when I was sitting with an 'ordinary' Muslim girl from my course in the university's common room, and she pointed to this sister wearing hijab and said, 'Can you guess where she's from?' I thought this was incredibly odd, because I thought I was not meant to look.

I encountered the paranoia tendency twice because of the way I behaved. The first time it was in my first year, the second time in my second year; both times those involved were new to wearing the head scarf. Both times my refusal to even look at the person was taken as meaning that I hated Muslims or that, at least, I had a great problem with them wearing hijab. I really thought neither; I just acted as I thought was expected of me.

Now that I have been there, almost in their shoes, I know just what is like. Visually, little had changed about me, but words were enough: without me even telling anyone, the grapevine revealed that I had become a Muslim. Most of those acquaintances who have never been very close, but you considered them friends, drop you in an instant. They blank you when you say hello or look at them, and you come to know that they hate Muslims or that, at least, they have a problem with something that you believe. Later, other friends, even your closest friends, drift away. They don't have a problem with you, they say, but then they cut off all our ties. And when you experience this, you start to think that everyone thinks this way.

But they don't.I remember finding people on my course when I was in the third year periodically ignoring me. I would think, 'Oh, well this is because I'm a Muslim.' But often it wasn't. People get stressed, consumed in their own worries. Study gets on top of them. Then there are the people who don't know exactly how to react around you; they just want to show respect. So there was me, once upon a time, feeling that I should show respect, my intentions being misinterpreted, and then me later on doing the misinterpreting when others respond to me in exactly the same way.

In the two and a half years that I have been a Muslim, I have encountered all sorts of different reactions to me and my beliefs. I have encountered fascination as well as disinterest, respect as well as hatred, curiosity as well as being boycotted, sincerity as well as mockery. I have met people who have asked me question after question about Islam, searching on their own for the truth. I have known people who don't even have an opinion on Islam; who aren't even confident that they can pronounce the word 'Muslim.'

So what I'm really trying to say here is, please treat every potential Muslim you meet as a blank canvas. Don't assume things about that person. It is so hard, I know from experience, to decipher what people are thinking, but we must try our best to be optimistic. Should we start on a negative like, 'I'm not a terrorist, you know?' or begin with a positive like, 'Hello, how are you?' Islam is a blessing, so don't forget to share it. We really have been liberated!

got this through Jimas New Muslims Stories


Easy to Say but Difficult to Do

Easy is to get a place is someone's address book. Difficult is to get a place in someone's heart.

Easy is to judge the mistakes of others Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes

Easy is to talk without thinking Difficult is to refrain the tongue

Easy is to hurt someone who loves us. Difficult is to heal the wound...

Easy is to forgive others Difficult is to ask for forgiveness

Easy is to set rules. Difficult is to follow them...

Easy is to dream every night. Difficult is to fight for a dream...

Easy is to show victory. Difficult is to assume defeat with dignity...

Easy is to admire a full moon. Difficult to see the other side...

Easy is to stumble with a stone. Difficult is to get up...

Easy is to enjoy life every day. Difficult to give its real value...

Easy is to promise something to someone. Difficult is to fulfill that promise...

Easy is to say we love. Difficult is to show it every day...

Easy is to criticize others. Difficult is to improve oneself...

Easy is to make mistakes. Difficult is to learn from them...

Easy is to weep for a lost love. Difficult is to take care of it so not to lose it.

Easy is to think about improving. Difficult is to stop thinking it and put it into action...

Easy is to think bad of others Difficult is to give them the benefit of the doubt...

Easy is to receive Difficult is to give

Easy to read this Difficult to follow

Easy is keep the friendship with words Difficult is to keep it with meanings


Good To The Last Drop

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they had gotten soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma, and then asked, "What's the point, Mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity- boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

a.. Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

b.. Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

c.. Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?


THE PRICE OF IMAAN

Several years ago an imaam moved to London. He often took the bus from his home to the downtown area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the same bus. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him twenty pence too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, oh forget it, it's only twenty pence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from Almighty Allah and keep quite. When his stop came, the Imaam paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said " Here, you gave me too much change." The driver with a smile replied " Aren't you the new Imaam in this area? I have been thinking lately about going to worship at your mosque. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change." When the Imaam stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft. He had to grab the nearest light pole and held for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried "Oh Allah, I almost sold Islam for twenty pence!"

Remember, we may never see the impact our actions have on people. Sometimes we are the only knowledge of Quran someone will read, or the only Islam a non-Muslim will see. What we need to provide, Insha Allah is an example for others to see. Be careful and be honest everyday, because you never know who is watching your actions and judging you as a Muslim


Pearl

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Aisha got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbour and asked Aunty Jamshed if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Aisha loved her pearls.

They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday madressa classes, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Aisha had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story from the Quraan. One night as he finished the story, he asked Aisha , "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favourite." "That's okay, Aisha, daddy loves you. Allah-hafez." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Aisha's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper. "That's okay. Sleep well.

May Allah bless you & protect you, Aisha. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Aisha was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Aisha? What's the matter?" Aisha didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Aisha's daddy reached out with one hand to take the cheap necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Aisha.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Allah Almighty. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't Allah great? Are you holding onto things that Allah wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities that you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing Allah will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. The greatest gifts happen when you share love and touch others' hearts!


DUNYA

A man was walking through the marketplace one afternoon when, just as the muezzin began the call to prayer, his eye fell on a woman’s back. She was strangely attractive, though dressed in fulsome black, a veil over head and face, and she now turned to him as if somehow conscious of his over-lingering regard, and gave him a slight but meaningful nod before she rounded the corner into the lane of silk sellers. As if struck by a bolt from heaven, the man was at once drawn, his heart a prisoner of that look, forever. In vain he struggled with his heart, offering it one sound reason after another to go his way—wasn’t it time to pray?—but it was finished: there was nothing but to follow.

He hastened after her, turning into the market of silks, breathing from the exertion of catching up with the woman, who had unexpectedly outpaced him and even now lingered for an instant at the far end of the market, many shops ahead. She turned toward him, and he thought he could see a flash of a mischievious smile from beneath the black muslin of her veil, as she—was it his imagination?—beckoned to him again.

The poor man was beside himself. Who was she? The daughter of a wealthy family? What did she want? He requickened his steps and turned into the lane where she had disappeared. And so she led him, always beyond reach, always tantalizingly ahead, now through the weapons market, now the oil merchants’, now the leather sellers’; farther and farther from where they began. The feeling within him grew rather than decreased. Was she mad? On and on she led, to the very edge of town.The sun declined and set, and there she was, before him as ever. Now they were come, of all places, to the City of Tombs. Had he been in his normal senses, he would have been afraid, but indeed, he now reflected, stranger places than this had seen a lovers’ tryst.

There were scarcely twenty cubits between them when he saw her look back, and, giving a little start, she skipped down the steps and through the great bronze door of what seemed to be a very old sepulcher. A soberer moment might have seen the man pause, but in his present state, there was no turning back, and he went down the steps and slid in after her. Inside, as his eyes saw after a moment, there were two flights of steps that led down to a second door, from whence a light shone, and which he equally passed through. He found himself in a large room, somehow unsuspected by the outside world, lit with candles upon its walls. There sat the woman, opposite the door on a pallet of rich stuff in her full black dress, still veiled, reclining on a pillow against the far wall. To the right of the pallet, the man noticed a well set in the floor.

“Lock the door behind you,” she said in a low, husky voice that was almost a whisper, “and bring the key.”He did as he was told. She gestured carelessly at the well. “Throw it in.” A ray of sense seemed to penetrate for a moment the clouds over his understanding, and a bystander, had there been one, might have detected the slightest of pauses. “Go on,” she said laughingly, “You didn’t hesitate to miss the prayer as you followed me here, did you?” He said nothing. “The time for sunset prayer has almost finished as well,” she said with gentle mockery. “Why worry? Go on, throw it in. You want to please me, don’t you?” He extended his hand over the mouth of the well, and watched as he let the key drop. An uncanny feeling rose from the pit of his stomach as moments passed but no sound came. He felt wonder, then horror, then comprehension.

“It is time to see me,” she said, and she lifted her veil to reveal not the face of a fresh young girl, but of a hideous old crone, all darkness and vice, not a particle of light anywhere in its eldritch lines. “See me well,” she said. “My name is Dunya, This World. I am your beloved. You spent your time running after me, and now you have caught up with me. In your grave. Welcome, welcome.” At this she laughed and laughed, until she shook herself into a small mound of fine dust, whose fitful shadows, as the candles went out, returned to the darkness one by one.

by Nuh Ha Mim Keller


One Way ticket to the Underground

When we are leaving this world for the next one, it shall be like a trip to another country. Where details of that country won’t be found in glamourous travel brochures but in the Holy Qur’aan and the Ahadiths. Where our plane won’t be British Airways, Gulf Air or American Airlines but Air Janazah. Where our luggage won’t be the allowed 23 kgs but our deeds no matter how heavy they weigh. You don’t pay for excess luggage. They are carried free of charge. With your Creator’s compliment. Where our dress won’t be a Pierre Cardin suit or the like but the white cotton shroud Where our perfume won’t be Chanel, Paco Rabane, but the camphor and attar. Where our passports won’t be British, French or American but Al Islam Where our visa won’t be the 6 months leave to stay or else but the "La Illaha Illallah.." Where the airhostess won’t be gorgeous females but Isra’iil and its like Where the in-flight services won’t be 1st class or economy but a piece of beautifully scented or foul smelling cloth. Where our place of destination won’t be Heathrow Terminal 1 or Jeddah International Terminal but the Qabarastaan. Where our waiting lounge won’t be nice carpeted and air-conditioned rooms but the 6 feet deep gloomy Qabar. Where the Immigration Officer won’t be Her Majesty’s officers but Munkir and Nakir. They only check out whether you deserve the place you yearn to go. Where there is no need for Customs Officers or detectors. Where the transit airport will be Al Barzaakh. Where our final place of destination will be either the Garden under which rivers flow or the Hell Fire This trip does not come with a price tag. It is free of charge. So your savings would not come handy This flight can never be hijacked so do not worry about terrorists. Food won’t be served on this flight so do not worry about your allergies or whether the food is Halal. Do not worry about legroom; you won’t need it, as your legs will become things of the past. Do not worry about delays. This flight is always punctual. It arrives and leaves on time. Do not worry about the in-flight entertainment programme because you would have lost all your sense of joy Do not worry about booking this trip, it has already been booked the day you became a foetus in your mother’s womb. Ah! Atlast good news! Do not worry about who will be sitting next to you. You will have the luxury of being the only passenger. So enjoy it while you can. If only you can!One small snag though, this trip comes with no warning. Are you prepared ?


Whisper Allah

Today I got a burden, And I felt that I should pray, For something seemed to tell me, That you were having a bad day. I don't know just what that problem is, But I sure do know the cure, And if you'll only let Him, God "Allah" will keep you safe and secure. In life there's always problems, Cropping up to spoil our day, But my friend, you know the answer, All you have to do is "Pray". If you still feel you're defeated, And you want to run and hide, Just reach out and I'll be there, Standing right there by your side. So remember ... just Whisper "Allah" , For He's only a prayer away, He's so close that you can touch Him, All you have to do is "Pray".


A long time ago, there was an Emperor who told his horseman that if hecould ride on his horse and cover as much land area as he likes, then the Emperor would give him the area of land he has covered. Sure enough, the horseman quickly jumped onto his horse and rode as fast as possible to cover as much land area as he could. He kept on riding and riding, whipping the horse to go as fast as possible. When he was hungry or tired, he did not stop because he wanted to cover as much area as possible.

Came to a point when he had covered a substantial area and he was exhausted and was dying. Then he asked himself, "Why did I push myself so hard to cover so much land area? Now I am dying and I only need a very small area to bury myself." The above story is similar with the journey of our Life. We push very hard everyday to make more money, to gain power and recognition. We neglect our health , time with our family and to appreciate the surrounding beauty and the hobbies we love.

One day when we look back , we will realize that we don't really need that much, but then we cannot turn back time for what we have missed. Life is not about making money, acquiring power or recognition . Life is definitely not about work! Work is only necessary to keep us living so as to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of life. Life is a balance of Work and Play, Family and Personal time. You have to decide how you want to balance your Life. Define your priorities, realize what you are able to compromise but always let some of your decisions be based on your instincts. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of Life, the whole aim of human existence. So, take it easy, do what you want to do and appreciate nature. Life is fragile, Life is short. Do not take Life for granted. Live a balanced lifestyle and enjoy Life! Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character . Watch your character; it becomes your destiny .


Seven Wonders of the World

A class of students were asked to list what they thought were the present seven wonders of the world. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes: 1. Egypt's great pyramids. 2 The Taj mahal. 3. The Grand canyon. 4. Panama Canal. 5. Empire State Building. 6. St. Peter's Basilica. 7. China's Great Wall.

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that tone quiet student hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked if the girl was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read: "I think the seven wonders of the world are:

1. To see. 2. to taste. 3. to touch. 4. to hear. She hesitated a little then added:

5. to feel. 6. to laugh. 7. and to love.

The room was so full of silence you could have heard a pin drop. Those things we overlook as simple and ordinary are truly wondrous. A gentle reminder this year that the most precious things in life cannot be bought.


Golden Box

The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a box to put for Eid celebrations. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Momma."

The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she found the box was empty. She spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" The little girl looked up at her with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma,it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full." The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her to forgive her for her unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children,family,and friends. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.


Beautiful way to look at life

Sometimes, don't we wonder "What did I do to deserve this", or "Why did God have to do this to me". Here is a God sent explanation!!! A little boy is telling his Grandma how everything is going wrong. School, family problems, severe health problems, etc. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which, of course,he does. "Here, have some cooking oil." "Yuck" says the boy. "How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Grandma!" "Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?" "Grandma, those are all yucky!" To which Grandma replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!"

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!


The Window

Two men, both seriously ill..... Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young couples walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed. One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Lessons: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy. People will forget what you said... People will forget what you did... But people will never forget how you made them feel... Make someone happy, share a kind word today. A good word is charity. (Bukhari, Muslim)


A scholar visiting China.

A Muslim scholar (sheikh) was on a visit to China to give a series of lectures to the local Muslim community. One day, he was Scheduled. To give a lecture at a local hall and was about to take a taxi along with his companions to that location. They got into the taxi and the Sheikh asked about the length of time it would take to get to the lecture hall. The taxi driver, through the interpreter, answered "Two hours."

The Sheikh immediately turned to his companions and said: "well, we can't sit in this taxi with the driver for two hours and not tell him about our religion. If we did that then we would be no different than any other non-Muslim or kaffir who uses this taxi. We are the people that Allah(SWT)chose to carry His message and honoured us to be Muslims. It is our duty to tell this person about Islam." However, the driver was a native Chinese and didn't have a common language with the Sheikh. They had to communicate through an interpreter. Sheikh to interpreter: "Ask the man if he believes in any religion?" Driver: "No, I don't believe in religion. I just get up in the morning, go to work and earn money. At the end of the day, I collect my money, go buy some food and drink for my family. What do I need religion for?" Sheikh (thru interpreter): "Ask this man if he has ever heard anything about Islam." Driver: "Not much. I've seen a tape once and showed Muslims as violent people. I don't know much else." Sheikh (thru interpreter):"Ask him about computers. What does he think of computer?" Driver: "I think the computer is an excellent invention. It is very useful and very sophisticated." Sheikh: "Does he think that the computer could have invented itself or does he think that a human being invented it?" Driver: "A human invented it, of course. It is not capable of inventing itself." Sheikh: "Which one is more complicated the computer or the human being?" Driver: "The human being is more complicated, of course." Sheikh: "O.K., if the computer must have been invented by a human being, then it follows that a human being (which is more complicated) must also have a creator." Driver: "O.K." Sheikh: "In Islam, we believe that Allah is the creator of human beings and all other beings. Fine, now let's move on. Assume that you have never seen a computer before and never heard of it. If I brought a computer to you and gave it to you, would you know what to do with it? Would you be able to use to its full potential?" Driver: "No, I wouldn't." Sheikh: "Now, if I gave you a catalogue for the computer, then you will be able to better use it? Correct?" Driver: "Correct!" Sheikh: "In Islam, we view Quran as the catalogue used by human beings to manage their lives. Without this catalogue, they will ruin themselves! Now, if this inventor of the computer assembled the machine and printed the catalogue, what would be the next step? He would need to train some engineers and others on how to spread the message about this machine. These people would, in turn, train others and others until everyone knows about the machine. In the example of Allah and Quran, the prophets of Allah play the role of the engineers. They learn the message and teach it to others so that the message will spread. Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the final messenger of Allah and he was ordered to take the message to all human beings." By this time, the trip was coming to an end and they almost reached the lecture hall. But the Sheikh can see that there were tears coming out of the driver's eyes. The words of the Sheikh were having a significant effect on this driver. Driver: "These ideas are very interesting to me. Do you mind spending 15 more minutes with me to tell me about this religion?" The Sheikh agreed to spend those few minutes with this person and did. The man asked many questions and seemed genuine in his desire to learn more about this religion. At the end of these few minutes, the driver said: "I want to join this religion of yours. How do I do that?" He was told that all he needs to do is say: "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is his servant and messenger." Allahu Akbar!! Sounds simple, doesn't it? A taxi trip in the crowded streets of a Chinese city brings the light of Islam into the heart of a Chinese man. A man who started his day as an atheist never suspected that he will end his day as a Muslim. There are many people out there who are thirsty for the message of Islam. Gaining them as Muslim brothers and sisters could be as simple as this TRUE story.


Share your time..

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?" "Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the father. "Daddy, how much money do you make an hour? "That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the father said angrily. "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"pleaded the little boy."If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour." "Oh," the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?" The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make, is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep son?" he asked."No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy. "I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the father. "It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $10.00 you asked for." The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you daddy!" he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The father, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the father. "Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled. "Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

Share some time with those who need you. They need your time more than you will ever know


Four Poisons of the Heart

1. Unnecessary Talking Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a frequent sinner."

2. Unrestrained Glances It has been related that the Prophet (s) once said words to the effect:"The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart on the day that he meets Him."

3. Too Much Food Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'd Yakrib said:"I heard the Messenger of Allah (s) say:"The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing."

4. Keeping Bad Company Allah's Apostle said:"The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is I like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith's bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof."

Source: http://www.witness-pioneer.org/

Forgive!

Do you hate someone? Do you really hate someone? You haven't spoken to him for a while? You've been blaming him? You're not the only one; the Muslim Ummah today is diseased with this to the extent that almost every Muslim knows another Muslim who he hates. The Ummah is like a building with the Muslims as it's bricks, brotherhood is the cement. Without forgiveness you cannot have brotherhood. OK then, he wronged you. He deceived you. He backbited you. He lied to you. But even in these extreme situations the Qur'an and the Hadeeth teach us that we have to forgive others (especially those who hurt us the most) if we wish to earn the forgiveness of Allah on the day of judgement. We have all committed many sins, made many mistakes and no doubt we have wronged others, we have deceived others, we have backbited others and no doubt we have lied to others. So what makes us focus onto brothers' and sisters' errors while we remain unconscious of our own. Not to forgive is like to live in arrogance, and ignorance of our own shortcomings. Forgiveness is linked with piety and God-consciousness, is there anybody who is not without sin? Is there anybody who can be arrogant enough to say that he does not need to forgive? Do we not know that Allah forgives those who forgive others? Therefore, we should realise the difficulties of others and forgive them. Allah says in the Quran: "Be quick in the forgiveness from your Lord, and pardon (all) men - for Allah loves those who do good."(Al-Qur'an 3:133-134) And we know that Allah Himself is Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Compassionate) and Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) and that His Mercy is infinite, and that no matter the sin (except shirk) Allah is always willing to answer the person's call for forgiveness. In fact Allah loves the tear drop that falls from the eye of one who sincerely seeks the forgiveness of his Lord. And Allah loves us to have hearts that are ready to forgive. The Prophet (S) once asked his companions "Do you know what will cause you to have high walled palaces in Paradise (as a symbol of great reward) and will cause you to be raised by God?" When they replied in the negative, he said, "To be forgiving and to control yourself in the face of provocation, to give justice to the person who was unfair and unjust to you, to give to someone even though he did not give to you when you were in need and to keep connection with someone who may not have reciprocated your concern." Similarly the Prophet (S) said that the best of people are those who are slow to get angry and quick to forgive. On the other hand the worst of people are those, he said who get angry quickly but are slow to forgive.The characteristic that makes a person most likely to forgive is the purity of his or her heart. Apologies must be accepted, the Prophet (S) said that: "Whoever apologises to his brother and that apology is not accepted, then the person who refuses to accept the apology bears the sin of one who takes the property of another unjustly.And the Prophet (S) also said that:"The doors of the Garden are open on Monday and Thursday. Every Muslim slave who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven except for the man who has enmity between him and his brother. It is said, 'Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation. Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation.'"If we look at the example and the character of the Prophet (S) we can see that he was always forgiving and never showed enmity to anyone except those who waged war against him. There was an old lady who used to throw rubbish in his way every day, on one occasion she did not throw rubbish in the street, so he decided to go and see what was the matter. She was ill in bed, to her amazement, the Messenger of Allah (S) came to see her and find out about her. She accepted Islam. This is the example of the man whom we claim to follow. Thumamah, as the chief of his tribe had killed many Muslims. On his travels, he was caught by the Muslim soldiers and was taken to the Prophet's mosque and tied to one of the pillars. The Messenger of Allah (S) commanded his companions to untie him and give him the best food. The Messenger of God (S) was indeed a mercy for the worlds. We should similarly be merciful with each other.

First of all, we ourselves should not do anything to upset our brothers and sisters (because this is in itself a part of mercy) and then we should forgive those who have upset us or made us angry. We will never be a strong ummah if we are not able to forgive. Some might say that to forgive is a sign of weakness and humiliation, and for them it is better to be strong and preserve their honor. But honor in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness. "But indeed if any shows patience and forgives that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs." (42:43) If we are to be really strong then we have to be strong against Shaytaan and forgive our brothers and sisters, and in this way maybe Allah will decide insha-Allah to forgive ourselves for our many mistakes. "honour in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness....."


The Major Sins

--Al-Kaba'r-- Source: The Major Sins Al-Kaba'r By Muhammad bin 'Uthman Adh-Dhahabi, rendered into English by Mohammad Moinuddin Siddiqui

The major sins are those acts which have been forbidden by Allah in the Quran and by His Messenger (Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam) in the Sunnah(practise of the Prophet), and which have been made clear by the actions ofthe first righteous generation of Muslims, the Companions of the Prophet(Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam). Allah Most High says in His Glorious Book: If you avoid the major (part) of what you have been forbidden (to do), We will cancel out for you your (other) evil deeds and willadmit you (to Paradise) with a noble entry. (Al-Nisa 4:31)

Thus by this verse, Allah Most High has guaranteed the Garden of Paradise tothose who avoid the major sins. And Allah Most High also says: Those who avoid the greatest of sins and indecencies, and forgive when they are angry (Al-Shura 42:37) Those who avoid the greatest sins and indecencies, except for oversights, (will find that) surely your Lord is ample in forgiveness.(Al-Najm 53:32)

The Messenger of Allah ((Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam)) said: "The five[daily] prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan make atonement for what has happened since the previous one when major sins have been avoided." It is therefore very important to determine exactly what the greatest vices,technically called "the major sins" (Kaba'ir), are, in order that Muslims should avoid them. There is some difference of opinion among scholars in this regard. Some say these major sins are seven, and in support of their position they quote the tradition: "Avoid the seven noxious things"- and after having said this, the prophet ((Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam)) mentioned them: "associatinganything with Allah; magic; killing one whom Allah has declared inviolatewithout a just case, consuming the property of an orphan, devouring usury,turning back when the army advances, and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet."(Bukhari and Muslim)

'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas said: "Seventy is closer to their number than seven,"and indeed that is correct. The above tradition does not limit the majorsins to those mentioned in it. Rather, it points to the type of sins which fall into the category of "major." These include those crimes which call for a prescribed punishment (HADD; plural, HUDUD),such as theft, fornication or adultery (ZINA), and murder; those prohibited acts for which a warning of a severe punishment in the Next is given in the Qur'an or the tradition; and also those deeds which are cursed by our Prophet ((Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam)). These are all major sins.Of course, there is a gradation among them, since some are more serious thanothers. We see that the Prophet ((Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam)) has included SHIRK (associating someone or something with Allah) among them, and from the text of the Qur'an we know that a person who commits SHIRK will not his sin be forgiven and will remain in Hell forever. Allah Most High says: Surely, Allah does not forgive associating anything with Him, and He forgives whatever is other than that to whomever He wills. (Al-Nisa 4:48 and 116)

01. Associating anything with Allah

02. Murder

03. Practising magic

04. Not Praying

05. Not paying Zakat

06. Not fasting on a Day of Ramadan without excuse

07. Not performing Hajj, while being able to do so

08. Disrespect to parents

09. Abandoning relatives

10. Fornication and Adultery

11. Homosexuality(sodomy)

12. Interest(Riba)

13. Wrongfully consuming the property of an orphan

14. Lying about Allah and His Messenger

15. Running away from the battlefield

16. A leader's deceiving his people and being unjust to them

17. Pride and arrogance

18. Bearing false witness

19. Drinking Khamr (wine)

20. Gambling

21. Slandering chaste women

22. Stealing from the spoils of war

23. Stealing

24. Highway Robbery

25. Taking false oath

26. Oppression

27. Illegal gain

28. Consuming wealth acquired unlawfully

29. Committing suicide

30. Frequent lying

31. Judging unjustly

32. Giving and Accepting bribes

33. Woman's imitating man and man's imitating woman

34. Being ???????

35. Marrying a divorced woman in order to make her lawful for the husband

36. Not protecting oneself from urine

37. Showing-off

38. Learning knowledge of the religion for the sake of this world and concealing that knowledge

39. Bertrayal of trust

40. Recounting favours

41. Denying Allah's Decree

42. Listening (to) people's private conversations

43. Carrying tales

44. Cursing

45. Breaking contracts

46. Believing in fortune-tellers and astrologers

47. A woman's bad conduct towards her husband

48. Making statues and pictures

49. Lamenting, wailing, tearing the clothing, and doing other things of thissort when an affliction befalls

50. Treating others unjustly

51. Overbearing conduct toward the wife, the servant, the weak, and animals

52. Offending one's neighbour

53. Offending and abusing Muslims

54. Offending people and having an arrogant attitude toward them

55. Trailing one's garment in pride

56. Men's wearing silk and gold

57. A slave's running away from his master

58. Slaughtering an animal which has been dedicated to anyone other than Allah

59. To knowingly ascribe one's paternity to a father other than one's own

60. Arguing and disputing violently

61. Witholding excess water

62. Giving short weight or measure

63. Feeling secure from Allah's Plan

64. Offending Allah's righteous friends

65. Not praying in congregation but praying alone without an excuse

66. Persistently missing Friday Prayers without any excuse

67. Unsurping the rights of the heir through bequests

68. Deceiving and plotting evil

69. Spying for the enemy of the Muslims

70. Cursing or insulting any of the Companions of Allah's Messenger


Nail in the Fence

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."


Humbleness

Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah

Moral Character of the Daa`iya Translated by Muhammad Buneef

Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]. Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. As it was said, "Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty." We don't say to an ordinary person, "Humble yourself." But it is said to him, "Know the value of yourself, and do not place it in the wrong place!" It was narrated by al-Khattabi in al-Uzlah that Imaam `Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak came to Khuraassaan [in Persia] and went to a person who was known for his zuhd and wara' [asceticism and cautiousness in piety], so when he entered where the man was, he (the man) did not turn around nor give him any consideration at all. When 'Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak left, some of the people who were inside with the man said to him, "Don't you know who that was?!" He said, "No," He was told, "This is the 'Amir of the believers...this is... this is... this is... `Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak." So the man was astonished and came out to Ibn al-Mubaarak in a hurry apologizing and absolving himself from what happened, saying, "O Abu 'Abd al-Rahmaan! Forgive me and advise me!" Ibn al-Mubaarak said, "Yes... whenever you come out of your house and see someone, assume that he is better than you!" He knew that the man was conceited. When Ibn al-Mubaarak inquired as to what the man's profession was, he found out that he was a weaver!! [See comments of adh-Dhahabi in aI-Mizaan concerning Waasil bin Ata'a]. Therefore, this educated Imam noticed that this mutazahid (devoted pious person) possessed a kind of arrogance, conceitedness and feeling of superiority over others. This disease sometimes envelops pious people; this is why he offered advice that was easy for him. Many times we find this characteristic in some of the pious people, as well as some of the duaat. But when it reaches the small students who misbehave with their shaykhs, scholars and teachers this really hurts inside! There is no objection if you differ in opinion or judgement with a scholar or a daai'ya as long as you are qualified to do so The problem occurs when this difference of opinion becomes a destructive element to the scholar's dignity, diminishes his value, disregards and disrespects him. This may be accepted from the common people, or from the people of innovation and misguidance, but it is not allowed in any circumstance for Ahl-As Sunnah and from the students of `Ilm al-Shariyyah. Surely the scholars of Ahl as Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah in particular, are requested to call for that which is good and to forbid the forbidden, as well as to take into consideration the prominent people... if they are disappointed by the closest people to them, then they are not expected to react in the same manner. Therefore one of them is like a brave knight who is only supported by women! That is, if the Ahl as Sunnah protected their scholars' honor, and knew their value, and encircled them, they could have carried the duty of calling for that which is good and forbidding the forbidden in the correct way. But when a scholar is disappointed from among his own circles, he can't say anything. How sad it is that some people of innovation on the contrary reached the point that they even grant their shaykhs and masters some kind of sanctity, blindly follow behind them. This is in reality a kind of slavery and dissolution of the follower into the followed. This is the practice of the Batiniyya groups through the ages, in such a manner that it conditions its individuals to give a certain degree of al-`isma (protection from error) to their leaders and Imams. Even the Mu`atazila, the ones who practice "rationalism" and almost have no place for emotions... one of their poets said about their Shaykh Waasil bin Ata'a, "He has, behind the sea of China to it's farthest parts, and in every place behind the barbarians, men (duaat) whose leader is not weakened by the irony of a tyrant... nor by the plot of a deceiver ... They are the people of Allah's religion in every place, and the lords of its fatawa and the science of dispute." And the people of the Sunnah are worthier of evaluation and respect of their scholars. There is no good in a nation where the young do not respect the older, and the older do not have mercy on the younger. It is from the humbleness, from knowing the self value that the young beginner should not look at himself as a rival to this or that scholar, and say, "They are men... and we are men"!! As a matter of fact, manhood differs, that is, the description of manhood in the Noble Qur'an was addressed in a form of glorification in many places, "...in it are men who love that they should be purified…" (Surat al-Tawba:108) and, "In houses which Allah has ordered to be raised, and that His name may be remembered therein; they glorify Him in the mornings and the evenings. Men whom neither merchandise nor trade divert from the remembrance of Allah and keeping to prayer and giving zakah. They fear a day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about..." (Surat al-Nur: 36-37). Manhood also refers only to masculinity in other places: "And that men from among people used to seek refuge with men from among jinn..." (Surat al-Jinn:6) Therefore, men are not all the same. Humbleness is that one should humble himself with his companions. Frequently when the spirit of competition and envy is agitated between companions and rivals, a person may feel superior over his companion, he may be pleased by harming him, degrading his value and importance, accusing him of defects or exaggerating his faults. Faults that may have come to light when seeking advice, or correction. In reality this is what is called jealousy. It is amazing that the daa`iya becomes jealous about the gathering of a thousand or two at a meeting of knowledge or da`wah but he will not have any kind of reaction if he heard that twenty of thirty thousand people attended a concert or a sports event. By Allah, this is sad, for even if you were not pleased with your brother about something, it should be sufficient for you that he is calling to Allah ta`ala and teaching people the Deen and is sincere in general. In fact, he may even be correct in some of the things that you criticized him about. Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins. According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah a mentioned that a man said, "By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so," and that Allah Ta`ala said, "Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deed" [Muslim]. Therefore, do not act in arrogance towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not act superior towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also posses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently give da`wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance. Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted, "Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa." (Surat al-Maida: 27) This is why some of the Salaf said, "If I knew that Allah accepted one tasbeeh from me, I would have wished to die right now!" Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have. As for he who Allah ta`ala has protected, if he finds one who will advise him and show him his defects, he'll overcome his nafs, accept from him, thank and make du`aa for him. This is why He sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and despising the people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud]. The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex.

This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness. Here he is, The 'Amir of the Believers `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, raising the flag and lifting the motto, "May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects." http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=433


What Can You Do in 10 Minutes ...

Muhammad Alshareef

10. Pray 2 Rakahs (Salatul Duha) anytime after sunrise and before Dhuhr Abu Huraish (RA) - said, "My Khaleel - Allah's Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - advised me to do three things (1) That I fast 3 days of each month and (2) To pray 2 rakahs of Duha and (3) That I do my witr before sleeping." - Bukhari and Muslim

9. Pray for Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam He - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "Whoever prays for me once,Allah blesses that person 10 times (because of that prayer)." - Muslim

8. Repeat what the Mu'adhdhin is saying Abdullah ibn Amr narrates: a man said, "O Messenger of Allah, the ones That call the people to prayer receive more reward than us." So Allah's Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - replied, "Say what they say, then when you finish pray for anything and you shall be given it." - Abu Dawood

7. Say 'Subhan Allah - How far Allah is from imperfection!' 100 times Mus'ab ibn Sa'd said: My father told me that he was with Allah's Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - when he remarked, "Does any one of you not have the ability to attain 1000 good deeds (hasanaat) every day? Let him do tasbeeh (Subhan Allah!) 100 times, it will be written for him 1000 hasanat or 1000 sins will be wiped from his record." - Muslim

6. Play with your children for the sake of Allah Jabir narrates: We were with Allah's Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - invited for a meal when we passed al-Husayn playing in the alley with some Ansar children. Allah's Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - walked a little faster to go and play with him. He stuck out his hand to take him, but Al-Husayn ran here and there squealing gleefully until Allah's Messenger caught him. Then he - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - held his chin with one hand and his head with the other and kissed Al-Husayn and hugged him. - A sound hadith narrated by Bukhari in al adab al mufrad

5. Make Dua' often during times of ease Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "Whoever it pleases that Allah answers his supplications during times of calamity and hardship, let him increase his supplication amidst the times of ease." - narrated by Tirmidhi and Al Hakim who classified it as authentic.

BONUS: Say the Dhikr after Making Wudu Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "If anyone of you, after perfecting his Wudu, says, 'Ash hadu An Laa ilaaha illa Allah, Wa Ash hadu Anna Muhammadan 'Abduhu wa Rasooluh - I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his slave and Messenger...the eight gates of Jannah will open for him and he will permitted to enter from whichever he wishes." - Narrated by Muslim

(4) Pick up the phone to call your mother (or a close relative) and tell them that you love them Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "The Wasil (One who fulfils the rights of his ties of kinship) is not the one who does good when family members do good (and bad when they are bad). The Wasil is the one who, when family members cut him off he does good to them." -Interpretation of a Bukhari Hadith.

(3) Take a few minutes to stop and contemplate Allah's amazing creation of your eyes, voice and entire body. Allah says in the Qur'an: [And on the earth are signs for the certain (in faith). And in yourselves, will you not see (and contemplate).] - Surah AdhDhariyaat 51/20,21

(2) Share a part of your lunch with someone Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "Oh Abu Dharr! If you cook any soup increase it's water; then look to your neighbors and give them some of it." - Narrated by Muslim

And the number one deed you can do in less then 10 minutes... (1) Make Du'a for your brother in his absence Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "If a person prays for his (or her) brother in their absence (without them knowing), an Angel (hears the Du'a) and replies: 'Aameen! And may Allah give you the same." - narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi. In fact, whenever the Sahaabah and Taabi'een wanted their Du'a to be answered quickly, they would ask the same thing for their brother in order to get the angel to reply, 'Aameen! And may Allah give you the same.'


The farmer and stones

A farmer in Bangladesh was preparing his land for planting crops. As he dug through the soil the equipments kept getting stuck in one place. Out of curiosity he decided to check out what was in there. He dug the ground and discovered a big box. The farmer quickly opened the box to see what was in it but to his dissapointment, there were only black stones inside the box. He decided to throw those stones at the birds when they come to eat the crops at the time for harvesting. Eventually, a day came when the crops were ready and the birds come to eat them. So, he started throwing the stones at the birds from where ever they showed up. One day a man was walking by the field who sells precious stones such as pearls, diamonds, rubis etc. Two stones happened to fall right in front of him when the farmer threw them at the birds. The man brought the stones to the farmer and asked if he was willing to sell them to him for $5,000 each. The farmer thought that the man was joking so he replied, "No." Then the man offered $50,000 for each stone and explained that they were precious jewels. Now the farmer started crying saying that he had only 1 or 2 stones left and the rest were thrown away.

This story is mentioned in the book "20 Reminders" by Muhammad Abu Yusuf.

In fact, every second of our time is very valuable. Today, we are just throwing them away here and there. But on the Day of Judgement, we will realize how valuable they were but it will be too late. Now is the chance to use our time properly.


The Use and Abuse of Knowledge

The shahadah. Seven words that changed the world in less than twenty-five years. It was the inspiration for reflecting into the signs of the Creator, when He (SWT) said:"We will show them Our signs on the horizons and in themselves, and they will recognize them to be Truth." (Al-Qur'an 41:53)

What happens when - absent an Islamic structure -the scholars are unable to relate sharee'ah as the motivation for continuous learning and exploration - as "the cure for what is in the hearts and a mercy for believers?" (Al-Qur'an 17:83)?

This question was asked by Imam Juwayni (478 AH) in Ghiyathul Umam. He addressed the necessity for public awareness of the characteristics of sharee'ah. By the grace of Allah, this is an effort to bring a few characteristics of sharee'ah from the perspective of Islam’s divine guidance as an ideal faith. We would endeavor to present its various characteristics not only from the sources of sharee'ah (the Qur'an and sunnab), but also by contrasting it with the extremism and failures of human whim and individualistic judgment. This effort is not worthy of being mentioned with the great names it quotes, and is only attempting to relate their teachings to the reader of English. Rasulullah (S) said: "May Allah bless whoever hears my words and relates them as he understands them. Perhaps one would carry fiqh and be not a faqih. And perhaps one would carry fiqh to someone who exceeds him in it."Indeed, all glory belongs to Allah.

Methodology and Definitions This effort revolves around three issues: Faith as identity, the timeless, eternal applicability of sharee'ah, and the spiritual awareness needed in the process of exploring its characteristics. Dates are related to give the reader a sense of the continuity of Islamic scholarly tradition through the ages and to place the element of thought in its proper socio-political historical context. We would also attempt to relate the human dimension of sharee'ah by relating the stories and wit of its carriers (the sahaba and the early scholars) - not as legends, but real people with hopes, dreams and families to feed.

Constructive Knowledge It is by virtue of knowledge that Allah has elevated the human above the ranks of the angels when He said: "and He taught Adam all names." (2:31) Allah (SWT) also said to His Messenger (S): "Know that there is no god but Allah." (47:19) The Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "The best deen is to fear what might hurt you in the akhir'ah (wara’)." AI-Hafith lbn Abd al-Birr (463 AH) in Jami Bayan al-’Ilm, categorized "knowledge incumbent upon a Muslim," into four areas: "To know your Lord,", "To know yourself through what He (SWT) intended for you" (this is through the message of the Prophet (S)), "To know what He requires of you," (that is His injunctions and prohibitions) and "To know how to repent to Him from your faults." In Minhaj al-Abidin, Imam Ghazali (505 AH) says that incumbant knowledge is "that which one does not feel safe from demise through his ignorance regarding it -particularly in matters of aqeedah." According to the author of Miftah al-Jannah, all sciences of deen (sharee'ah) and its means are based on the explanation of the honorable word of tawheed. These sciences illustrate what duties La ilaha illallah makes incumbent in matters of worship and worldly dealings - through conviction, word and deed.

Sharee'ah emphasizes what is constructive of knowledge to bring us closer in sincerity to Allah. He (SWT) said:"Say: I do not seek any reward from you, nor am I pretentious." (38:86) This is why the sahabah (R) warned their students about complex philosophical questions that do not lead to action and upon which no injunction (takleef) would be based. ‘Umar (R) ibn al-Khattab (23 AH) said: "If a matter is to be, Allah will facilitate for you its attainment." Thus, intellectual capacity in the Islamic discipline, according to Abu Bakr al-Baqallani (403 AH), is to "understand what is required (wajibat), to know what is impossible (mustaheelat) and to realize universal divine laws that govern all existence (majari al-’adat)." Rasulullah (S) said: "There will come a time upon people where scholars (fuqaha) will be few and orators would be many. Few can quench people’s abundant search for knowledge. At that time, knowledge is better than action." This is a warning against action without proper knowledge - and not a call to knowledge without action, wallahu a’lam. This may also be explained further by the hadith on the authority of Anas (R) ibn Malik (93 AH) who said:"A man came to the Prophet (S) and asked him about the best knowledge. Rasulullah (S) replied that it was ‘knowledge of Allah.’ The man then asked about the best action, and the Prophet (S) said it was ‘knowledge of Allah.’ Upon wondering about the identical reply, RasululIah (S) explained to the man: ‘Little action is beneficial with knowledge while ample action is not beneficial with ignorance."’ In this regard Al Hasan al-Basri (110 AH) explained the dua’ in the verse 2:201:"Our Lord grant us good in this life,"as knowledge and worship, and "good in the Hereafter," as paradise. The Prophet (S) constantly sought refuge in "knowledge that does not benefit its bearer." Imam Awza’i (157 AH) described knowledge (‘ilm) saying: "It is what is transmitted by the companions of the Prophet (S). What is not transmitted on their authority is not knowledge. You should only mention them [the sahaba] (R) and anyone from your Ummah kindly. And if you hear someone criticize another, he is in essence saying, ‘I am better than him."’ When Ata’ replied to a question, the questioner asked, "Is this answer opinion (ray) or knowledge (‘iIm)?" And Ata, the imam of tabi’in in Mecca, said, "We heard from so and so that he heard the Prophet (S) say..." Conversely, supreme ignorance, as described in the Qur'an, is moving away from, or denying one’s inherent humanity (fitra)- for there "is no way to alter Allah’s creation." (30:30). Ali ibn Abu Talib (R) (40 AH) said: "He who does not respect his limitations will break down. He who seeks to penetrate complexity will drown. He who is impressed with his own opinion will go astray. He who feels self-sufficient with his intellect will fall. And he who is lead by ignorance finds the path of injustice."

What greater injustice is there than dividing our ummah based on ignorance, or selfish opinion toward any material gain? Imam Shatibi related in AI-I’tisam, that Abdullah ibn Abbas (R) explained the reason for difference among the ummah -though our Messenger (S) is one, our book is one, and our qibla is one. He (R) said: "When a verse was revealed, we (the sahabah) knew when it was revealed, why it was revealed and we understood its injunctions and prohibitions. There will come a time when people would read a verse and they do not understand its language [Arabic]. They do not know when it was revealed or why it was revealed, and they understand neither its injunctions nor its prohibitions. When asked about it, they will state their own opinions and their opinions will clash. And when their opinions clash they will fight among each other." As Imam Ghazali relates, divine guidance is one and does not divide people. Any difference which generates divisiveness or bickering is not in the spirit of sharee'ah and has its roots in ignorance. Positive ‘difference’ is that which encourages growth in the service of sharee'ah. When Imam Ahmad (241 AH) was asked about a book that one of his students had entitled, ‘The Book of Diversity (ikhtilaf) among Scholars,’ he said:"Call it: ‘The Book of Sunnah."’ Imam lbn al-Qayem (751 AH), in ‘Ilam al-Muwaaqi’in, relates numerous incidents where the sahaba (R) had to exercise their understanding of established principles within the changing context of human experience. Thus, the established aims (maqaasid) and principles (usul) of sharee'ah are eternal. Different opinions about ancillary, side issues were never considered differences by the sahaba (R), but rather a manifestation of the richness and timeless applicability of sharee'ah.


Chapter: Pushing back the one who passes in front of the one who is praying and the sin that is upon the passer

Imam ash-Shawkani ‘Nayl al-Awtaar’ [3/5-6], with slight summary Translation by Abu Rumays

From ibn Umar that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "when one of you is praying then do not let anyone pass in front of him, and if he refuses then fight him for indeed he has a companion [i.e. a shaytaan] with him." Reported by Ahmad, Muslim and ibn Maajah. From Abu Sa’eed who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, "when one of you prays towards something that acts as a sutrah for him from the rest of the people and someone wishes to pass in from of him [i.e. between him and the sutrah] then push him back, and if he refuses then fight him for he is a shaytaan." Reported by the Group except for at-Tirmidhee and ibn Maajah. [Note: A sutrah is a object that is placed in front of the one who is praying such that the people become aware that he is praying and do not pass directly in front of him but rather from beyond the sutrah.]

His saying [no.1], "when one of you is praying then do not…" this is a general statement which finds specification in the hadeeth of Abu Sa`eed [no. 2], "when one of you prays towards something that acts as a sutrah for him," so it is not permissible to push back or fight except for the one who has a sutrah. An-Nawawee said, "they have agreed that all of this [pushing and fighting] is for the one who has not been negligent in his prayer, rather he has been careful and prayed towards a sutrah or has prayed in a place in which he is safe from people passing in front of him."His saying [no.1], "then do not let anyone pass in front of him." The literal sense of forbiddance is that it is haraam to do so. His saying [no.1], "and if he refuses then fight him." I.e. He first pushes him back without fighting him thereby starting with the easiest way, then he moves on to employing more force then even more until he reaches the point that he fights him. Qaadee Ayaadh and al-Qurtobee said, "they have unanimously agreed that this does not require him to fight him with a weapon, this because it contradicts the basic principle of concentrating and busying oneself with the prayer."

A group of the Shaafi`ee scholars generalised and said that it is upon him to literally fight the one who passes in front of him but ibn al-Arabee declared this far fetched saying, "what is meant by fighting is pushing back [with force]." Al-Baajee was of a strange opinion saying, "it is possible that what is meant by fighting is cursing and rebuke." Al-Haafidh [ibn Hajr] followed this up by saying that this would require him to speak in the prayer thereby invalidating it which is not true of enacting the easy matter [i.e. pushing back]. Al-Ismaa`eelee reported the hadeeth with the wording, "and if he refuses then place his hand on his chest and push him back," this is explicit that the pushing back is to be done with the hand. This was done by Abu Sa`eed to the slave who wished to pass in front of him – he pushed him back by pushing his chest – then when the slave returned he pushed him back with more force as occurs in al-Bukhaaree and others. Al-Bayhaqee quoted from ash-Shaafi`ee that "the meaning of fighting was to push back with more force than was employed on the first occasion." Qaadee Ayaadh said, "if he pushed him back in a permissible manner and caused his death then there is no retribution [qawad] against him by agreement of the scholars but is blood money due upon him or not? There are two opinions of the scholars concerning this both of these being voiced by the Maalikee scholars." Qaadee Ayaadh and ibn Battaal report a consensus that it is not permissible to walk from ones place in order to push back or to perform a great deal of movement and action in pushing back. This is because these types of actions are more detrimental to the prayer then having someone walk in front of you. An-Nawawee said, "I do not know of any of the legal jurists who were of the opinion that this pushing back was obligatory." Al-Haafidh followed this up by saying that the Dhaahirees had explicitly stated that it was obligatory. The literal sense of the hadeeth supports them. His saying [no.2], "for indeed he is a shaytaan." Al-Haafidh said, "applying the term shaytaan to the human being who passes in front of the one praying is something permissible for their occurs in the Qur`aan the saying of the Exalted, "the shaytaans of the humans and jinn." The reason for this application is that he has done an action of Shaytaan. It is said that the meaning is that it is Shaytaan who has incited him to pass in front of the one who is praying and not go back. Ibn Battaal said: the permissibility of applying the term shaytaan to the one who causes fitna in the religion can be derived from this hadeeth." Al-Haafidh said, "this is built upon the fact that the word shaytaan can be literally applied to humans and figuratively applied to jinns but such a premise requires investigation." It is also said that the meaning of Shaytaan is companion as occurs in the first hadeeth. Ibn Abee Jumrah derived from his saying, "for indeed he is a shaytaan" that the meaning of fighting is to push back gently and not to literally fight, this because combating shaytaan is through seeking refuge with Allaah and erecting a barrier from him by mentioning the Name of Allaah and the likes. He went on to say, "so does the fighting lie in fighting the distraction that the one who is praying faces due to someone passing in front of him or does it lie in his trying to bridle the sin of the one passing (by pushing him back)? The second option is more obvious." Al-Haafidh said, "others said: rather the first is more obvious because the concentration of the one praying takes precedence over his being concerned with bridling the sin of another. Ibn Abee Shaybah reported from ibn Mas`ud that someone passing in front of the one praying severs half his prayer. Abu Nu`aym reported from Umar, ‘that if the people knew how much their prayer was diminished due to someone passing in front of them they would never cease to pray towards something that would act as a sutrah from the rest of the people.’ So these two narrations dictate that the pushing back is linked to the distraction that the one praying faces and is not specified to the one passing.

These two narrations even if they end at a Sahaabah they have the ruling of being from the Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallaam, because the likes of this is not said from personal opinion."


Muslims Steal

AB Khan Al Jumuah Vol 9, Issues 4 & 5, 1418 H

Some Muslims today often display an admirable zeal in applying some parts of Islam that may not even be obligatory while they take on a complacent, self-satisfied attitude with respect to the essentials of the Deen. In one particular area, this results in Muslims stealing. The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "The worst thief among men is the one who steals from his prayer." When his companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah, how does he steal from his prayer?", he replied, "He does not complete its rukoo (bowing) and sujood (prostration)." In a related report, the Prophet, observing a man not completing his rukoo properly, and pecking in his sujood, warned that if the man were to die in that state, he would die on a faith other than Islam. In any mosque, one can observe Muslims pecking, bobbing down and quickly back up in rukoo and sujood. Some of us move so impatiently through our prostrations that one is left wondering how it was humanly possible for an individual to have said "subhaana rabbiyal a'laa" the minimum three times. And even if this was accomplished, what was its significance? Can we really reflect on our relationship with the Creator if we move through our prayer so quickly? Have we understood and pondered about what was said during any part of our Salah?

Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala says in the Qur'aan, "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with humility and attentiveness (khushoo')." [23:1-2] If we rush through our rukoo and sujood but spend long hours in idle talk or even in meetings regarding some activity we usually have, what have we achieved? The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said "The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If If is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is defective, then the rest of his deeds will be defective." If our prayer is no more than a no-impact, mildly aerobic workout, is it any wonder that the rest of our deeds, individual and collective, are often ineffective? Rukoo and sujood are symptomatic of the problems we have with our salah as a whole. The important thing to keep in mind is that each and every one of us, scholar or student, experienced imam or newcomer to Islam, man or woman, can and should improve our prayer from the day we learn it to the day we die. So the next time we prepare to bow down, let's make sure we don't get caught stealing.


A Guide to Maintain Fajr Salat

Author - Anonymous student of Islamic knowlege with an introduction by Sheik Abdullah Ibn Jibreen

Surah Maryam 59-60]

Introduction Sufficient it is for me to praise Allah and supplicate Him for peace on those servants of His whom he has chosen. To proceed: I have read this letter entitled "Mending the Rift" and found it to be valuable in the choice of its subject matter. Thanks to Allah, the author succeeded in realising the growing tendency of people to miss the Dawn Prayer in congregation inthe mosque. He noticed with dismay that mosques are getting virtually empty of people at that time, except for a few elderly people and some adults who, with Allah's assistance, found their way back into the mosque. Indeed, even a sizeable majority of these elderly people have stopped coming to the mosque to uphold this prayer in congregation and have grown lazy about the other prayers as well.

Our Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) is our exemplar who provided the best example in spending long hours of the night in prayer and waking intime for Fajr Prayer. This record was authentically known of him both in his teachings and his living example as he did not like sleeping before Ishaa [night] Prayer and discouraged his followers from useless talk after it. In this he was followed by his companions and all the muslims up to a time not very far from our own days. They knew the reasons which cause laziness and lessen motivation to observe prayers in time (be such prayers Fard [obligatory] or Nafla [optional] and warned people against them so much that some of them are reported to have said: "If you are unable to pray at night, then that is a clear sign that your sins have shackled you and deprived you of good deeds". Al-Hasan al-Basri was once asked: "Why is it that we cannot uphold prayers at night?" He answered: "You are shackled in your own sins".

Motivation is presently lacking among muslims. Otherwise they would not have given in to sleep even if they had to stay awake in the first part of the night. When one of them is required by his work arrangements or for his own worldly benefit to wake early at dawn, he would no doubt take the necessary precaution not to miss his appointment. He will forsake his peace of mind and have a restless sleep just for fear he might be punished or have his salary reduced. When it comes to prayer, they have no excuse especially when in our modern times Allah has provided us with alarm clocks which would be set at any time we wish. The problem therefore, is one of laziness. Such people do not know what they are missing. The Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said with respect to those who do not observe Ishaa and Fajr prayers: "Had one of them known that he would find a wholesome meal or two good targets, he would have come for Ishaa prayer." All in all, for him who sincerely wants to purify his soul from the attributes of the hypocrites, let him steer clear of laziness, be active,put into practice the action inspiring instructions laid out in our religion, accustom himself to take the initiative and realise what he and everybody in his position are missing in terms of the health of the body and great reward from Allah. Only then will his performance improve, Allah willing, and he will make up for what he has missed and follow the lead of the best of generations.

Allah, the Most High and Exalted, is the Provider of success and assistance. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammed, his household and followers. Signed, Abdullah Ibn Abdur-Rahmaan al-Jibreen.

The Text

Most surely all praise belongs to Allah, we praise Him and we seek His Aid and Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides there is none to misguides and whomsever He misguides their is none to guide. I send prayers and blessing upon our leader Muhammed with the best of prayers and the most complete submission.

To proceed: One of the ill-seeming phenomena and most serious precedents boding impending danger and punishment, giving reason to fear and calling for most urgent consideration on our part requiring immediate investigation into its causes and treatment of its symptoms is the fact that a growing number of observers of prayer deliberately shun Fajr prayer in congregation and only perform it at times other than its lawful time. It may be the case that this is due to their wasting away long hours at night engaged in idle and leisure pursuits. Our ancestors not very long ago used to make a point of going to bed early, to lock their doors after Ishaa prayer & 2make their dinner light so as to be able to wake up for Fajr prayer in an energetic state. That is why they led a happy, peaceful and healthy life experiencing the real taste of life. The advent of modern civilisation spoiled both our religious observances and our worldly arrangements. As a result, we have fallen into laziness and inertia; our bodies grew fat and flabby; we move about less frequently whilst showing a greater readiness to sleep and a marked inability to perform the most trivial of manual actions. The present paper attempts therefore to suggest ways which may be of help in inducing us to wake up for Fajr Prayer; for instance:

ONE: To make sure to go to bed early as the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam)used to discourage sleep before performing Ishaa prayer and especially engaging in conversation after it. Certain cases were excepted, some of which are enumerated by Imam Nawawi in his explanation of Muslim's account. Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him says: The reason why conversation after it is discouraged is the fear lest it leads to staying awake for long , which might induce drowsiness and difficulty with observing night prayers or Subh [dawn] prayer in their permitted, preferred or best times. The topics covered by this restriction are all fulfilling no good useful purpose. However, as to useful verbal activities, such as the pursuit of knowledge, listening to the wise tales of righteous people, talking to one's guest or bride, or members of one's family for the sake of company, interacting with travellers with a view to protect themselves and their goods, embarking on talks designed to conciliate between people or intercede before them in a good cause or to enjoin good and forbid evil and admonish people by pointing to a beneficial course of action to follow etc... there are no such restrictions.

TWO: To be assiduous in observing the Aadaab [good manners prescribed in Islam] as to what to do before sleep such as making Du'aa [supplication], bringing one's palms together, very mildly spitting into them and reciting the last three soorah's of the Qur'aaninto them and them wiping them over one's face, head and body, being physically and religiously pure and performing a two rakah voluntary prayer after wudhoo [ablution]. A muslim has to ask his wife, parents, relatives or neighbours to help waking him up. Once waken up, he should not linger lazily for long in bed, lest he acquiresthe vices of the hypocrites who come to prayer showing ample signs of laziness and lack of enthusiasm.

THREE:To fill one's heart with faith and good deeds. Once faith is alive in the heart, it induces the person to do good deeds and strive unremittingly hard. Faith is like a tree which only yields good fruit when irrigated from the streamlets of good deeds, thus bringing about an improvement both in personal conduct and at the interactional level with society at large. The lack of such streamlets or water supplies proportionately causes faith to wither and wilt. The heart is highly sensitive to external hardening stimuli, such as excess food or drink or aberrations in watching or listening (letting your eyes and ears loose to what is unlawful for them). You should therefore protect your heart from such external allurements.

FOUR: To keep away from Ma'aasi [acts of disobedience to Allah] by protecting the eyes, the tongue, the hearing and all the senses from indulging in the perception of objects that Allah has made unlawful for us. As an alternative, one should concern himself with matters pertaining to the worship of Allaah, such as devoting one's sight to the reading of Allaah's Book, meditating over the creatures that Allaah has created in this universe, reading books of knowledge etc. One member of the rightly guided early generations was asked about the reason why people found it difficult to uphold voluntary prayers at night. He answered: "Your sins have shackled you". No doubt sins can be a major cause for a persons inability to enjoy the blessings of piety. As Imaam Ibn ul-Qayyim said, sins are wounds and some wounds can be fatal.

FIVE: To bear in mind the great reward for attending Fajr prayer in congregation on time, and the strong rebuke for him to fails to observe it and to satisfy its conditions. Uthmaan ibn 'Affaanrelated: I heard Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) say: "He who prays Ishaa in Jamaa'ah [congregation] is as if he has prayed for half the night. As to him who (also) prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed all night." [narrated by Maalik and the wording is that of Muslim who also reported it] Similarly, Bukhaaaree and Muslim and An-Nasaaee related on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud (radiallaahu-anhu) that he said: The case of a man who slept all the night up to sunrise (without waking up for Fajr) was related to the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) whereupon he said: "That was a man in whose ear Shaytaan has urinated", or he said "in both his ears". The urinating is literally true, as Imaam Qurtubi says, since Shaytaan urinates and has sexual intercourse and procreates in a manner that Allah alone knows (1). To ascertain for yourself the truth of this assertion, look at the faces of those who come to deal in their daily business withouthaving prayed Fajr in congregation at due time; look at their faces at working hours. You will surely ask Allaah for refuge from a lot as miserable as theirs. But, after all what do you expect from a person in whose heart Shaytaan has urinated!!!

SIX: To realise the bad effects resulting from one's failure to pray Fajr, such as the melancholic and depressive state of mind and the loss of many religious and worldly benefits, and the good effects resulting from managing to perform it. In this respect the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "Shaytaan ties three knots on the crown of any one of you in your sleep. He says upon each knot that he ties: "You have a long night before you, therefore sleep". But if you wake up and mention Allah, Most Exalted in remembrance one knot will be untied. If you then make ablution another knot will be undone. If you then proceed to pray the last knot will be disentangled. Thus, you will feel in the morning energetic and in good spirits. Otherwise you will feel in a despicable state, lazy". [narrated by Maalik, Bukhaaree, Muslim and Abu Dawood] The time following Fajr prayer is full of goodness and blessings. At-Tirmidhee narrated upon the authority of Al Ghamdi that the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "O Allah bless my Ummah in its early rising!" and whenever he dispatched an expedition or army he sent them early at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant who always sent his merchandise early in morning thus, becoming wealthy (3). That is why we find the craftsmen and traders are particular about making good use of this time. Those who sleep up to the late morning have denied themselves the blessings of this early hour.

There are many benefits to the health derived from waking up for Fajr prayer. For instance, the highest proportion of ozone gas (03) in the atmosphere is registered at dawn. It then gradually fades away until comlplete disappearance by sunrise. This gas has a very beneficial effect on the nervous system as it vivifies the brain and energises the muscles such that when a person inhales the beautiful breeze of the dawn, known as the SABAA wind, he will experience a pleasure that is unparalleled at any other time of the day or night (4).

SEVEN: To lose no time to categorically clear yourself from the stigma of hypocrisy. Because of the difficulty of waking for this time, praying Fajr in congregation provides evidence that a person has firm faith and is free from hypocrisy. That is why in a hadeeth narrated by Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "Indeed, the most difficult of prayers to bear, for the hypocrites, are Ishaa [night] and Fajr prayers. If only they knew what they are missing , they would sooner come, even if crawling on their knees". The most worthy companion, Abdullaah and Ibn Mas'ood (radiallaahu-anhu) asserts "The only one indeed who misses them[i.e. Ishaa and Fajr prayers] is a confirmed hypocrite" (5). Ibn Umar (radiallaahu-anhu) said "When we find a man missing from the Ishaa and Fajr prayers we nurture suspicions about him" (6)If you want a criterion for evaluating a person's degree of faith and truthfulness monitor his observance of Fajr prayer. If he passes the test, that should be taken as a sign indicating the strength of his Eeman [belief, faith]. Let us then testify to his truthfulness since he managed to achieve the greatest victory over himself and to be superior to the pleasure of sleeping in bed. If he fails the test, this is an index to his weakness in faith, a hardness in his heart, an indulgence in self-gratification and a defeat against his own whims. How is it then that he who indulges in sleep and misses prayer should conceivably feel comfortable while people are delighting in the mosques in the company of the Qur'aan, listening raptuously to Allaah's message, and basking happily in His gardens. He who prefers the pleasures of the bed to the pleasure of the communion with Allaah is the real loser.

These are a few suggestions to help you wake up for Fajr prayer. May Allah make them useful. Glory be to Allah, Most Exalted over any false attributions and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all Beings.


Why are we not able to wake up for Fajr? (and some helpful tips)

Our Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) is our exemplar whoprovided the best example in spending long hours of the night in prayer and waking in time for Fajr Prayer. This record was authentically known of him both in his teachings and his living example as he did not like sleeping before Ishaa [night] Prayer and discouraged his followers from useless talk after it. In this he was followed by his companions and all the muslims up to a time not very far from our own days. They knew the reasons which cause laziness and lessen motivation to observe prayers in time (be such prayers Fard [obligatory] or Nafla [optional]) and warned people against them so much that some of them are reported to have said: "If you are unable to pray at night, then that is a clear sign that your sins have shackled you and deprived you of good deeds". Al-Hasan al-Basri was once asked: "Why is it that we cannot uphold prayers at night?" He answered: "You are shackled in your own sins". Motivation is presently lacking among muslims. Otherwise they would not have given in to sleep even if they had to stay awake in the first part of the night. When one of them is required by his work arrangements or for his own worldly benefit to wake early at dawn, he would no doubt take the necessary precaution not to miss his appointment. He will forsake his peace of mind and have a restless sleep just for fear he might be punished or have his salary reduced When it comes to prayer, they have no excuse especially when in our modern times Allah has provided us with alarm clocks which would be set at any time we wish. The problem therefore, is one of laziness. Such people do not know what they are missing. The Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said with respect to those who do not observe Ishaa and Fajr prayers: "Had one of them known that he would find a whlesome meal or two good targets, he would have come for Ishaa prayer."

All in all, for him who sincerely wants to purify his soul from the attributes of the hypocrites, let him steer clear of laziness, be active, put into practice the action inspiring instructions laid out in our religion, accustom himself to take the initiative and realise what he and everybody in his position are missing in terms of the health of the body and great reward from Allah. Only then will his performance improve, Allah willing, and he will make up for what he has missed and follow the lead of the best of generations. Allah, the Most High and Exalted, is the Provider of success and assistance. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammed, his household and followers.

Signed Abdullah Ibn Abdur-Rahmaan al-Jibreen.

The Text

Most surely all praise belongs to Allah, we praise Him and we seek His Aid and Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides there is none to misguides and whomsever He misguides their is none to guide. I send prayers and blessing upon our leader Muhammed with the best of prayers and the most complete submission. To proceed: One of the ill-seeming phenomena and most serious precedents boding impending danger and punishment, giving reason to fear and calling for most urgent consideration on our part requiring immediate investigation into its causes and treatment of its symptoms is the fact that a growing number of observers of prayer deliberately shun Fajr prayer in congregation and only perform it at times other than its lawful time. It may be the case that this is due to their wasting away long hours at night engaged in idle and leisure pursuits. Our ancestors not very long ago used to make a point of going to bed early, to lock their doors after Ishaa prayer and to make their dinner light so as to be able to wake up for Fajr prayer in an energetic state. That is why they led a happy, peaceful and healthy life experiencing the real taste of life. The advent of modern civilisation spoiled both our religious observances and our worldly arrangements. As a result, we have fallen into laziness and inertia; our bodies grew fat and flabby; we move about less frequently whilst showing a greater readiness to sleep and a marked inability to perform the most trivial of manual actions. The present paper attempts therefore to suggest ways which may be of help in inducing us to wake up for Fajr Prayer; for instance:

ONE: To make sure to go to bed early as the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam)used to discourage sleep before performing Ishaa prayer and especially engaging in conversation after it. Certain cases were excepted, some of which are enumerated by Imam Nawawi in his explanation of Muslim's account. Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him says: The reason why converation after it is discouraged is the fear lest it leads to staying awake for long , which might induce drowsiness and difficulty with observing night prayers or Subh[dawn] prayer in their permitted, preferred or best times. The topics covered by this restriction are all fulfilling no good useful purpose. However, as to useful verbal activities, such as the pursuit of knowledge, listening to the wise tales of righteous people, talking to one's guest or bride, or members of one's family for the sake of company, interacting with travellers with a view to protect themselves and their goods, embarking on talks designed to conciliate between people or intercede before them in a good cause or to enjoin good and forbid evil and admonish people by pointing to a beneficial course of action to follow etc... there are no such restrictions.

TWO: To be assiduous in observing the Aadaab [good manners prescribed in Islam] as to what to do before sleep such as making Du'aa [supplication], bringing one's palms together, very mildly spitting into them and reciting the last three soorah's of the Qur'aan into them and them wiping them over one's face, head and body, being physically and religiously pure and performing a two rakah voluntary prayer after wudhoo [ablution]. A muslim has to ask his wife, parents, relatives or neighbours to help waking him up. Once waken up, he should not linger lazily for long in bed, lest he acquires the vices of the hypocrites who come to prayer showing ample signs of laziness and lack of enthusiasm.

THREE: To fill one's heart with faith and good deeds. Once faith is alive in the heart, it induces the person to do good deeds and strive unremittingly hard. Faith is like a tree which only yields good fruit when irrigated from the streamlets of good deeds, thus bringing about an improvement both in personal conduct and at the interactional level with society at large. The lack of such streamlets or water supplies proportionately causes faith to wither and wilt. The heart is highly sensitive to external hardening stimuli, such as excess food or drink or aberrations in watching or listening (letting your eyes and ears loose to what is unlawful for them). You should therefore protect your heart from such external allurements.

FOUR: To keep away from Ma'aasi [acts of disobedience to Allah] by protecting the eyes, the tongue, the hearing and all the senses from indulging in the perception of objects that Allah has made unlawful for us. As an alternative, one should concern himself with matters pertaining to the worship of Allaah, such as devoting one's sight to the reading of Allaah's Book, meditating over the creatures that Allaah has created in this universe, reading books of knowledge etc. One member of the rightly guided early generations was asked about the reason why people found it difficult to uphold voluntary prayers at night. He answered: "Your sins have shackled you". No doubt sins can be a major cause for a persons inability to enjoy the blessings of piety. As Imaam Ibn ul-Qayyim said, sins are wounds and some wounds can be fatal.

FIVE: To bear in mind the great reward for attending Fajr prayer in congregation on time, and the strong rebuke for him to fails to observe it and to satisfy its conditions. Uthmaan ibn 'Affaan related: I heard Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) say: "He who prays Ishaa in Jamaa'ah [congregation] is as if he has prayed for half the night . As to him who (also) prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed all night." [narrated by Maalik and the wording is that of Muslim who also reported it] Similarly, Bukhaaaree and Muslim and An-Nasaaee related on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud (radiallaahu-anhu) that he said: The case of a man who slept all the night up to sunrise (without waking up for Fajr) was related to the Prophet(sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) whereupon he said: "That was a man in whose ear Shaytaan has urinated", or he said "in both his ears". The urinating is literally true, as Imaam Qurtubi says, since Shaytaan urinates and has sexual intercourse and procreates in a manner that Allah alone knows (1). To ascertain for yourself the truth of this assertion, look at the faces of those who come to deal in their daily business without having prayed Fajr in congregation at due time; look at their faces at working hours. You will surely ask Allaah for refuge from a lot as miserable as theirs. But, after all what do you expect from a person in whose heart Shaytaan has urinated!!!

SIX: To realise the bad effects resulting from one's failure to pray Fajr, such as the melancholic and depressive state of mind and the loss of many religious and worldly benefits, and the good effects resulting from managing to perform it. In this respect the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "Shaytaan ties three knots on the crown of any one of you in your sleep. He says upon each knot that he ties: "You have a long night before you, therefore sleep". But if you wake up and mention Allah, Most Exalted in remembrance one knot will be untied. If you then make ablution another knot will be undone. If you then proceed to pray the last knot will be disentangled. Thus, you will feel in the morning energetic and in good spirits. Otherwise you will feel in a despicable state, lazy". [narrated by Maalik, Bukhaaree, Muslim and Abu Dawood] The time following Fajr prayer is full of goodness and blessings. At-Tirmidhee narrated upon the authority of Al Ghamdi that the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "O Allah bless my Ummah in its early rising!" and whenever he dispatched an expedition or army he sent them early at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant who always sent his merchandise early in morning thus, becoming wealthy

(3). That is why we find the craftsmen and traders are particular about making good use of this time. Those who sleep up to the late morning have denied themselves the blessings of this early hour. There are many benefits to the health derived from waking up for Fajr prayer. For instance, the highest proportion of ozone gas (O3) in the atmosphere is registered at dawn. It then gradually fades away until comlplete disappearance by sunrise. This gas has a very beneficial effect on the nervous system as it vivifies the brain and energises the muscles such that when a person inhales the beautiful breeze of the dawn, known as the SABAA wind, he will experience a pleasure that is unparalleled at any other time of the day or night (4).

SEVEN: To lose no time to categorically clear yourself from the stigma of hypocrisy. Because of the difficulty of waking for this time, praying Fajr in congregation provides evidence that a person has firm faith and is free from hypocrisy. That is why in a hadeeth narrated by Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "Indeed, the most difficult of prayers to bear, for the hypocrites, are Ishaa [night] and Fajr prayers. If only they knew what they are missing , they would sooner come, even if crawling on their knees". The most worthy companion, Abdullaah and Ibn Mas'ood (radiallaahu-anhu) asserts "The only one indeed who misses them [i.e. Ishaa and Fajr prayers] is a confirmed hypocrite" (5). Ibn Umar (radiallaahu-anhu) said "When we find a man missing from the Ishaa and Fajr prayers we nurture suspicions about him" (6). If you want a criterion for evaluating a person's degree of faith and truthfulness monitor his observance of Fajr prayer. If he passes the test, that should be taken as a sign indicating the strength of his Eeman [belief, faith]. Let us then testify to his truthfulness since he managed to achieve the greatest victory over himself and to be superior to the pleasure of sleeping in bed. If he fails the test, this is an index to his weakness in faith, a hardness in his heart, an indulgence in self-gratification and a defeat against his own whims.

How is it then that he who indulges in sleep and misses prayer should conceivably feel comfortable while people are delighting in the mosques in the company of the Qur'aan, listening raptuously to Allaah's message, and basking happily in His gardens. He who prefers the pleasures of the bed to the pleasure of the communion with Allaah is the real loser.

These are a few suggestions to help you wake up for Fajr prayer. May Allah make them useful. Glory be to Allah, Most Exalted over any false attributions and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all Beings. Written by an anonymous student of Islamic knowlege with an introduction by Sheik Abdullah Ibn Jibreen


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