The Lonely Ember

A Musalli of a certain Masjid, who previously had been attending salaah in congregation regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the Imaam decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The Imaam found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the Imaam’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The Imaam made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the Imaam took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the Imaam was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the Imaam reached the door to leave, his host said, “May Allah reward you so much for your visit and especially for the “fiery” sermon. I shall be back for salaah in the Masjid at Fajr.”
“Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and reason with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance”. (Qur’an Surah An-Nahl: 125)

Juma’at Mubarak!

Islam is simple…don’t make it complicated

The Qur’an says: “We have sent down the Book to you which manifests the truth about all things and as guidance and mercy and good news for Muslims.” (Qur’an, 16:89)

The religion is easy, beautiful and simply perfect. Why make things hard? The Qur’an reads: “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (Qur’an, 2:185). This verse explains that Islam is easy to follow and rather encourages us to create ease in religion. Unfortunately most Muslims are under the misconception that the more stringent they are in following religion, the more pious they become. This is totally in contradiction to what our religion teaches us. The misconception is a result of lack of understanding of religion and at times drives some people away from religion, mainly because of the way it is presented to them.

It is known in fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always resisted any tendency toward religious excessiveness. He once said to his close companion Abdullah ibn Amr: “Have I heard right that you fast everyday and stand in prayer all night?” Abdullah replied: “Yes, O Messenger of God”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not do that. Fast, as well as, eat and drink. Stand in prayer, as well as, sleep. This is because your body has a right upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your guest has a right upon you.” (Al-Bukhari, 127)

This Hadith indicates that it is significant to maintain a delicate balance between the various obligations that demand our attention; between our obligations to God, our obligations toward others and our obligations toward ourselves. This is also demonstrated in many verses in the Qur’an illustrating that God is both merciful and kind.

Balancing between individual rights and responsibilities, we find that as life continues to bring us down many familiar journeys, one of those being a quest of living, we must work toward making everything ‘simpler’ including our worships if we are to continue on our steady pace toward our ultimate goal, Heaven. ‘Simple’ here does not mean we shouldn’t strive for excellence or growth in eeman, but means we should avoid ‘excessiveness’.Bear in mind we must allow others to influence us positively whenever we are going wrong. After all, God has promised that He is not going to make any soul accountable for anything more than what his potential is, promising that He will forgive those who repent.

May Allah continue to guide us aright, ameen.

Juma’ah Mubarak!

 

Spend In The Way of Allah

In the times of Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) there was a severe famine. All the people of Madinah were suffering due to the shortage of food. A caravan made up of a thousand camels loaded with a large stock of food grains belonging to Uthman (Radiallahu Anhu) arrived from Shaam (Syria). Several merchants offered to buy all of it. He asked them what profit they would pay. “Five per cent,” they said. He answered that he could get higher profit than that. They began to argue with him, saying that they did not know of any merchant who would offer him more than their quote. He said to them, “I know of one who repays a profit of more than seven hundred to a dirham (Arabian currency).” He then recited the verse of the Noble Quran in which Allah Ta’ala mentioned this profit. “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (2:261).

“O traders! Bear witness with me that I donate all this to the poor people of Madinah!” said Uthman (Radiallahu Anhu).

Dear readers, what ever we give for the sake of Allah is really ours and whatever we keep with us will one day be someone else’s. Let us follow the footsteps of our Prophet and the pious Sahabah, with whom Allah was pleased with, by helping the needy ones as much as we can! 

Remember to do so strictly for the pleasure of Allah!

May Allah accept it from us (ameen).

Jumuah Mubarak!!

Make your heart bigger

One day a boy asked an older man, “I get angry a lot, so what should I do?”.. The old man replied to him by saying “make your heart bigger”.
The boy was confused as to what, making your heart bigger, will do in the acts of anger.

The old man told him to get a cup and fill it with water.
The boy did as told and came back with the cup filled with water.
Then the old man put in a spoon full of salt into it.
Once he put the salt into it, the old man, told the boy to drink it.
The boy told the man “it is so bitter that you can’t even take a taste.”

Then the man told him to go fill a jug with water.
The boy did as told and brought the jug filled with water.
Then the old man put the same spoon full of salt in the jug as he did in the cup. 
After doing so ,the old man, told the boy to drink it.
The boy told the man “I can’t taste the salt so now I can even drink a glass full.”

So when a human makes their heart bigger then even in the state of anger he will have little anger, in his big heart, that he will be able to control it. Or if not control, then at least have really less anger.

Imam al‑Baqir (a) said: “..Indeed, this anger is a spark lit by Satan in the heart of the son of Adam..” [Al‑Kulayni, al‑Kafi, vol. 2, p. 304, hadith # 12]

The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad MHMD said:
Whoever curbs his anger
“Whoever curbs his anger, while being able to act, Allah will fill his heart with certainty of faith.”
Therefore the consequence for whoever does not curb his anger is that he or she will sooner or later feel its evil consequences.

May Allah help us control our anger, ameen,

Jumu’ah Mubarak!

Virtue of Helping Others

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
“What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap
in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no
consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the goat and told her “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The goat sympathised, but said “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the camel and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The camel said “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. 
In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the
farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. 
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. 
To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat. 
The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the camel slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember: 
when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life.

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. (Muslim)

In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment” (Quran 5:2).

 

May Allah continue to grant us understanding, ameen

Juma’ah Mubarak!

Continue Being a Better YOU after Ramadan

How do you feel after the month of Ramadan?

That one sacred Month where Satan was shackled and the only thing stopping you from committing to good deeds was your soul. And now, few days after, how are your good deeds rippling into your lives?

The ripple effect of good deeds vs. bad ones is a telling sign as to how Ramadan has changed a person. If a good deed is followed by another good deed, this person is amongst those who have successfully committed themselves to spiritual enlightenment throughout Ramadan.

It is never too late to change one’s route however, and for those who feel that they have succeeded well throughout Ramadan, there is most certainly a chance to continue on a good deed reel, even after Ramadan. Here are a few tips to continue being the best of Muslims.

  1. Remember and Savor the Importance of the Fast

There is no time like Ramadan, as that is the pillar of Islam that requires us to commit to such an activity for the entire month. However, the benefits of fasting trickle throughout the year. It first starts with the six days of Shawwal at the very earliest on the 2nd day of the month. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days fasting in Shawwal has done as if he has fast for life. (Muslim)

2. Take Time to Perfect Your Prayer

Another integral part about Ramadan is prayer. This is mostly because of the special Tarawih (Night prayer). Praying Tarawih is always a humbling experience as we only put our foreheads on the floor for God so many times late at night. And sometimes it is during Ramadan that we also pay more heed to our obligatory prayers. This is a good reminder that we should pay more attention to perfecting our daily prayers.

Study the Sunnah of prayers. Are your movements correct? Are your recitations correct? What could you do to achieve a higher focus?

3. Be in Constant Remembrance of the Day of Judgement

There is nothing more humbling that constantly remembering the Day of Judgment for Muslims. The Day of Judgment is not hearsay; it has been fully recorded in numerous Prophetic sayings in detail. Remembering the Day of Judgment is vital throughout the year, even after Ramadan.

Constantly remembering the Day of Judgment automatically forces us to be better Muslims, to be more conscientious of our deeds, to take more care in our behavior and to be wiser in our speech.

Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded. For the life of this world is but goods of chattels of deception. (Quran 3: 185)

May Allah help us in achieving this feat (ameen).

Jumua’ah Mabrook!

 

Source: Maria Zain (2020)

SIGNIFICANCE OF REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH

“Stay Close To Anything That Reminds You Of Allah”

Dhikr means Remembrance. In Islam Dhikr means remembering Allah in heart and mentioning Him by the tongue. Dhikr is a very powerful and simple way to worship Allah (SWT) which carries many benefits and virtues.

Allah (SWT) wants us to remember Him in every situation no matter whether its happy or sad situation as much as we possibly can. By praising and glorifying Allah (SWT) we are showing our gratitude to Him and recognizing His nobility. We are accepting that we have no power without Him, as He has power over all things.

Once we have truly understood this, we can understand that we are not actually in control of our lives, and it is only with the help and will of Allah (SWT) that we can achieve things in our lives. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also advocated the importance of Dhikr:

If your hearts were always in the state that they are in during dhikr, the angel would come to see you to the point that they would greet you in the middle of the road” (Sahih Muslim)

8 Benefits of Dhikr

  1. The dhikr of Allah removes the rust of your heart and purifies the heart. As mentioned in Quran“Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.”
  2. Dhikr makes Muslims closer to Allah. Through this, a person makes direct connection with Allah.
  3. The Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and tears that are shed – give a person shade on the Day of Judgment.
  4. Allah (SWT) remembers those who remember Him. As he mentioned in His Holy Book: Therefore remember Me I will remember you,”(Al-Baqarah 2:152). Such prestige and dignity are enough for a Muslim to be proud of and it shows the greatness of this act.
  5. Dhikr of Allah protects you from your enemies. It works like a shield around you and protects from any harm.
  6. The beloved Prophet (PBUH) advised to remember and praise Allah (SWT) all the time because it the best deed being considered in Islam and possible to do while doing anything.
  7. Dhikr is Remembrance of Allah [Dhikr] which is basis of Gratitude and thanks [Shukr] – when you remember Him abundantly you thank Him abundantly.
  8. It endows the heart with life. Ibn Taymiyah said, ‘Remembrance is to the heart what water is to fish. What happens to the fish that leaves the water?’

In short, remembering Allah (SWT) is one of the virtuous acts of worship through which one can achieve tranquility, rest and peace of mind and heart. May Allah give us the strength to do Dhikr regularly and honestly, Ameen!

Forgive and Forbear

You Do Not Do Evil To Those Who Do Evil To You, But You Deal With Them With Forgiveness And Kindness”

When ever I read Surat An Nur and reach this verse where Allah (May He be Glorified and Exalted) says…

“Let those among you who are bounteous and resourceful not swear to withhold giving to the kindred, to the needy, and to those who have forsaken their homes in the cause of Allah; rather, let them forgive and forbear. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.”   [Verse 22],

…I ponder and look deep inside my heart if I am fulfilling what Allah is asking me in regards to forgiving others who have harmed me in many various ways and wiping the damage they have caused as if it wasn’t there. This verse was revealed after the slander against our mother Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her), in which she was absolved from, and Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) revealed verses from the seven heavens declaring her innocence. One of the people who were involved in spreading the false accusation against Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was Mistah bin Uthatha, Abu bakr’s own relative whom Abu Bakr supported him financially. When the above verses were revealed and our mother Aisha was declared innocent, Abu Bakr swore that he would no longer support Mistah bin Uthatha. This is when Verse 22 was revealed. The amazing immediate action Abu Bakr responded with when he heard the verse, especially at the end of the verse where Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) said (what means) “let forgive and forbear. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? ” Abu Bakr replied with “By Allah! We do want that Allah should forgive us.” And he again started helping Mistah.

What great character Abu Bakr had, he didn’t only forgive the person who accused his daughter for something she didn’t do-which also affected his own family honor-but he also wiped away all harm Mistah did to him.

Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) said in another verse:

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel [the evil] with one which is better; then verily he between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a closed friend.} [Surat Fussilat: Verse 35]”

So you must be in a state of repelling in order to reach that level where the person who just caused your pain ends up as your best friend. But the secret comes in the verse after this:

“But none attains to this except those who are patient and none attains to this except those endowed with mighty good fortune. } [Verse 36]”

It’s having patience in assessing yourself and struggling to finally let go and reach the state of forbearing (As Safah) and none will reach that except those who relied on Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted), and did it for His sake. In deed those will be the ones that have good fortune. I Ask Allah (SWT) to bestow in our heart the ability to forgive and forbear others in order to attain his forgiveness in this world and the hereafter. Ameen!

Speak Good or Remain Silent

“He Who Believes In Allah And The Last Day Should Either Speak Good Or Remain Silent” ~ Muslim

Silence is wisdom, especially if there are no good words to say. Nowadays people tend to say anything for the sake of speaking. A few of them know that silence is one of the good deeds that will be heavy on the scale, if you remain silent you will save your self from falling into a sin. The Prophet of Allah the Almighty (Prayer and peace of Allah the Almighty be upon him) has taught us that believing in Allah the Almighty and the Hereafter was connected to saying good words or remaining silent. As good words always bring goodness in this life and the hereafter. Good words will allow you to see the goodness of others and hence you have no hatred instilled in your heart. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” [Al-Bukahri and Muslim].

If we put this concept into practice, words can not describe the peace and tranquility that will flow through out our day and applying this virtue helps us to become more productive by making full use of our time which results from making remembrance, reading beneficial books or simply contemplating.   It is also vital to know why silence is preferred when there’s no good words to say, as our tongue will trap us into backbiting, falling into speaking about others in bad intentions and say things that might cause regret later on. Each day all the other body parts ask the tongue to fear Allah the Almighty in them.  Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri(may Allah the Almighty be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (prayer and peace of Allah the Almighty be upon him) has said,

“When the son of Adam wakes up, all of his body parts defer to the tongue and say: fear Allah concerning us, we are only part of you; if you are upright, then we are upright; but if you are crooked, then we are crooked.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi].”

This Hadith shows the importance of becoming aware of the tongue, if only goodness comes out of it then the other body parts will follow and if it’s the opposite then they tend to follow as well. There are many evidences from Hadith and Verses from the Holy Qur’an that address this issue, the advice we should take from the mentioned ahadiths are that we should safeguard our tongues and be aware of what comes from it, as we would not want to enter hellfire due to the harvest of our tongue. Lets analyze ourselves and think on what went on through out the day. Be cautious of your words if you have nothing to say remember, “speak good or remain silent”. May Allah the Almighty make us among those who hear the good advice and follow the best of it (ameen).

IMAN

“Whoever tastes the sweetness of Iman, will always recognize the bitterness of sins”

WHAT IS IMAN (FAITH)

Generally, any feeling that can move one’s emotions and shape or direct his attitudes is regarded as faith or belief. Islamic scholars have defined iman as “to believe with one’s heart, to confess with one’s tongue and to demonstrate in one’s physical actions.”

Therefore, Iman is the soul of hearts and bodies. It is the key to happiness. It is the mean of salvation in this life and the next. It brings contentment and satisfaction to the heart. Moreover, the higher a person climbs in the levels of iman, the more he entitled to taste and cherish the sweetness of Iman, and his soul (the true soul) gets satisfaction from it.

Imân comes from the Arabic root amana, whose original linguistic meaning signifies calmness of the soul and freedom from fear. It also means safety and security, which result from a sound relationship with Allah.

The concept of Iman (faith) is fundamental to Islam. It defines the nature of Muslim life and the essence of the religion as a whole. Iman is based on interpretation of the Qur’an, Hadith, sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, and the conduct of the pious ancestors of the first three centuries of Islam.

Iman (Faith) is important. Prayers. Meditation. Prostration. Dua.

It denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam. However, Iman is different from faith in the sense that it should not be blind belief, and should be accompanied by reason.

Iman means committing to a program of action.

A Muslim who has iman does not merely believe in Allah, he or she commits to follow the commands of Allah in every aspect of life.

Iman is key to success in the religious realm, but also in other areas.

Good students have a kind of iman; they believe in their success and as a result, they commit by studying regularly, attending classes, and reading textbooks.

Dieters that lose significant numbers of pounds (or kilos) commit to action; they eat healthy foods and exercise every day. Also, they avoid eating fatty or sugary foods that will jeopardize their success.

Iman affects not only the actions a person does, but also the actions a person avoids.

Iman, on the other hand, does create a commitment. Iman creates an amana (the Arabic word for a trust or surety). Islamic iman creates a commitment to Allah. The commitment entails learning about Islam, practicing Islam, and teaching Islam to others.

May Allah help us grow our iman.