…Tawbah All The Way!

Theme: Do Not Delay Tawbah (Repentance) Because As The Journey Gets Longer, The Return Also Becomes Harder

Does this scenario sound familiar? You are doing very well spiritually. You feel deeply connected with Allah, and then… you commit a sin! Once you do it, you feel like your entire life has collapsed. You start despising yourself, you think you are hypocritical, you think Allah will not accept you or take you seriously again.

It could be that you decided to quit a particular sin, and you actually refrained from it for a long period. You felt like you were really at the top of your game, but then you slipped… And once you did, you thought that everything has gone to waste, there is no more hope in you…

If this is what you’re thinking, then Please Stop This Line of Thinking NOW!

NEVER think that you are hopeless or that you’ve lost the battle. Never! So long as you’re breathing, you can completely change the situation, reclaim your life, control the sin and not allow it to control you.

Now, there are a few points to remember here.

1. One of the major obstacles to one’s spiritual productivity is falling into sin.

2. Yes, sins are ugly and they fill the heart, mind and soul with darkness, sadness and burden. As a matter of fact, we learn from the hadith that Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said:

“Verily, when the slave (of Allah) commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. When he refrains from it, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is polished clean. But if he returns, it increases until it covers his entire heart. And that is the ‘Ran’ which Allah mentioned: ‘Nay, but on their hearts is the Ran which they used to earn.’”[Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

3. All human beings commit sins. We cannot be sinless, but we can definitely control being sinful by working on disciplining our nafs (self), purifying our thoughts and actions, doing good deeds, seeking righteous companions and repenting often. It was narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

4. Yes, we sin, but sin is not our identity. Rather, struggling against sin could truly refine our character, faith, perseverance and commitment to Allah . 


So, if you’re in a position of making tawbah, then you are in a position of receiving the love of Allah. Do you see why Shaitan wants you to feel hopeless and prevent you from seeking forgiveness and tawbah? Because his ultimate goal is to divert you from the path of Allah and tawbah not only puts you back on track, but it also earns you the love of Allah Almighty, The Most Merciful, Most Loving, Most Affectionate .

So, tawbah all the way!

Significance of Remembrance of Allah

Theme: 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!

SPENDING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH (SWT)

Theme: You cannot attain true piety unless you spend in the way of Allah (SWT) what you love the most. (Al-Imran V92)

Spending in the way of Allah (SWT) is one of the important characteristics of a true believer. Allah (SWT) not only commands us but also motivates us in a beautiful way.
For example Allah (SWT) says in Al-Baqarah (V265):

“And the likeness of those who spend their wealth in the search of Allah’s pleasure, and the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on the height. When the rainstorm strikes it, it brings forth its fruits twofold and if rainstorm does not strike it then a little shower is enough. Allah (SWT) is Seer of what you do.”

It is easy to talk about spending for the sake of Allah (SWT), but it requires a considerable amount of willpower to do so.  Hence spending in this way strengthens the soul and morale of a person. Furthermore, even a tiny spending with true sincerity is enough to earn a big reward from Allah (SWT).

Allah (SWT) motivates us in Surah Al-Hadeed  (V7) in a different way:

Believe in Allah (SWT) and His messenger and spend of what Allah (SWT) has made you trustees. Hence those of you who are believers and spend, there will be great reward”

Here Allah (SWT) is explaining to us, that someone before us owned whatever we have. Similarly whatever we have now will be owned by someone else after us. Hence we have temporary custody of it or we are only acting as trustees. We should therefore have no hesitation in spending from whatever is in our temporary ownership.  

The companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had very spontaneous effect from the guidance of Allah (SWT).  For example you recall the verse from Al-Imran (V92)

“You cannot attain true piety unless you spend in the way of Allah (SWT) what you love the most.”

As soon as Abu Talha (RU) listened to this verse, he went running to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and gave his best garden in charity. Similarly Zaid bin Haris (RU) gave his best horse in charity.

I pray to Allah (SWT) to help us imbibe the habit of giving sadaqa, sincerely and generously. Ameen.

SIGNIFICANCE OF TRUST AND TRUSTEESHIP IN ISLAM

Theme: Fulfill The Trust For The One Who Entrusted You, And Do Not Cheat The One That Cheated You ~ At-Tirmidhi

Allah (SWT) says in Surah An-Nisa’ (verse 58),

“Indeed, Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners and if you judge between mankind, you should judge justly. Indeed, Allah gives you very good advice. Allah is ever hearing and seeing.”

The circumstances in which this verse was revealed are very interesting. We know that before the conquest of Mecca, the keys for the house of Allah (SWT) were kept by Uthman bin-Talha. At the time of the conquest of Makkah, Prophet Mohammad (SAW) asked Uthman bin-Talha to hand him over the keys. Uthman bin-Talha gave them reluctantly saying that it is ‘amana’ (trust) with you. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) opened the House of Allah (SWT) and removed all the idols from it. At that time his uncle Abbas and Ali (RU) requested that these keys be kept in the family. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not give them the keys. As narrated by Umar (RU), the Prophet (SAW) came out of the house of Allah reciting verse 58 of Surah An-Nisa’. He handed the keys back to Uthman bin-Talha. This surprised Uthman, since the Holy Prophet (SAW) as a conqueror, could keep these keys for good. Uthman bin-Talha was highly moved by the character of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and immediately accepted Islam.

Anas (RU) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) always insisted on fulfilling covenants. Anas (RU) said that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) rarely gave a khutbah in which he did not mention the following:

“He who betrays his trust, does not have an iota of faith in him. He who breaks a promise has no sense of Islamic life.”

We further note that trust is a big responsibility and should be fulfilled. On betraying the trust, grave consequences will occur. As an example, one time Abu-Zhar (RU) asked Prophet Mohammad (SAS) to assign him a position of high responsibility. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, as mentioned in Muslim,

“Oh, Abu-Zhar, you are an old man and a position of responsibility is a trust with Allah. Those who cannot fulfill the trust will be highly disgraced by Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment. Those who keep the spirit of trust, however, will be safe from this shame and misery.”

Last of all, we note that at the time of migration of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Makkah to Madina, he left Ali (RU) in his bed and instructed him to return all the deposits to their owners. This was the time when all tribes had joined hands and surrounded the house of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to kill him outright. The Prophet on the other hand displays such high character that he insures that all deposits, even of his worst foes, are delivered to them under all circumstances.

May Allah help us to fulfill our trusts and promises with the same spirit. Ameen.

Significance of Remembrance of Allah

Theme: 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!

Do Not Underestimate Du’a

Just like WhatsApp, if we could see blue ticks every time Allah heard our du’as, how amazing would that be? But we don’t even need that, because more amazing is the promise of Allah to us:

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 186]

The most amazing part about this ayah is that Allah did not say, “when my pious servant calls upon Me”, He just says – ‘supplicant’, which could be anyone. Allah promises that He will respond to the supplication of anyone without the need of a mediator. 

So sit in a quiet place, raise your hands and talk to Allah  – He is the One who knows you the best, the One to whom you can complain, the One who can rectify any situations for you.

The Prophet (SAW) has promised that Allah responds to our duas in three ways. He  said, There is no Muslim who calls upon his Lord with a dua in which there is no sin or severing of family ties, but Allah  will give him one of three things: either He  will answer his prayer quickly, or He  will store (the reward for) it in the Hereafter, or He  will divert an equivalent evil away from him.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

On this blessed day of Juma’ah, let’s ensure we make as much du’a as possible, for ourselves, our families, and the ummah at large.

May Allah accept our du’as (ameen).

Recognising The Blessings Of Allah

Look at those who are below you, and do not look at those who are above you, for that is more likely to hold you back from belittling the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: 

“Look at those who are below you, and do not look at those who are above you, for that is more likely to hold you back from belittling the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you.”   [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This Hadīth provides a beneficial and comprehensive advice that explains the methodology every Muslim should follow in his/her life. If people apply this advice, they will enjoy a life full of patience, gratitude, and content. The advice in the Hadīth has two parts:

1. One should look at those who are at a lower level than him regarding worldly affairs. 

2. One should not look at those who are above him regarding worldly affairs. 

When anyone does so, he will enjoy tranquility, peacefulness, and a good life as he will always recognize the blessings of Allah, the Almighty, upon him, for which he will show thankfulness and humbleness. Of course, this Hadīth speaks about worldly affairs in specific, because one should always look at those who are above him/her when it comes to the affairs related to the Hereafter. This will urge him to follow their example, and try to do more acts of obedience as he comes to know his negligence in comparison to their diligence

May Allah continue to grant us content (ameen)

Tests from Allah

The Prophet (SAW) said: “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick of a thorn.”  [Bukhari, Muslim].

So instead of seeing tests as a punishment from Allah, this shows that in fact, Allah wants to save us from punishment – i.e. the punishment of the Hereafter which is much worse than any test faced in this Dunya.

A test can be a form of protection from something that might have befallen us.  Or being deprived of something might, in fact, be saving us from something that is not good for us, even though we don’t have the knowledge to realize it at the time.  Allah tells us: 

“Perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Qur’an 4: 19] 

Therefore the test which might seem so awful to you at the time is, in fact, a blessing.

The Prophet (SAW) said: 

“The people who face the most difficult tests are the Prophets, then the righteous, then those following them in degree. A person is tried according to his religion. So if there is firmness in his religion, then the trial is increased, and if there is a weakness, then it is lightened”. 

Allah wants to refine us, out of His love and mercy, so that we can attain not just Paradise but the highest rank of the Prophets and the righteous. Tests expose our faults and weaknesses to ourselves—and that awareness enables us to be more focused and proactive in rectifying those aspects of our character.

May Allah continue to grant us understanding (ameen)

Now That Ramadan is Over…

If one truly observed the etiquettes of Ramadan, he/she is bound to have developed some good habits during the course of the Holy Month. We all know that it took about 3 weeks to develop such good habit(s). But in the absence of the drive of this obligatory act, many of us might lose the good habit(s). Nonetheless, we all slip up for the rest of the year. There a few things we can do to maintain the good habits developed during Ramadan.

Keep the Sahoor alarm there

Obviously, the morning decides how your rest of the day will go. So, after Eid don’t switch off the sahoor alarm. It will give some drive to wake up, at the same time, pray tahajud, and use the extra hours to complete off the routine work.

Stay minimalistic during the day

Even if you are not fasting, keep those habits of less talking, more working, less eating and being patient. Remember that Ramadan is a grooming program designed by Allah to bring out the real humanity and productivity within HIS believers.

Make fasting a habit

If you want to maintain the levels of your good habits after Ramadan, then it’s better to make it a part of your daily routine. Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW); so you can observe fasting and maintain good habit(s) to boost the additional advantages throughout the year.

Make a weekly personal analysis

Take an hour or a half out to compare your Ramadan deeds with daily ones. Evaluate whether you are doing enough charity as you did in Ramadan? Are you keeping a hold on your tongue? Do you avoid conflicts and forgiving more often just like you did whilst fasting? Did you fear Allah’s presence like you did back then? Answer to yourself these 4 questions every week to analyze yourself. If you’re getting low on these levels, don’t get dismayed; instead, revive yourself by observing fast the very next day. It’ll keep you on track.

Get help from a close one

Either it’s your spouse, bestie, mother or father or any close sibling; take them on board for this task. Let them join you to offer on-time prayers, sahoor and iftar for Nafl fasts, and discuss the daily ayah of Quran you recite. It will not only encourage you to keep up with your target but also strengthen your relationship with them.

EndNote

We all are trying to gather the most out of these divine moments. I hope we’ll keep our spirits high for the whole year and become exactly what Allah wants us to be. May Allah help us to become HIS favorite believers (Ameen).

Juma’at wa Eid Mubarak!!

Source: Aaliyah (Int’l Link Tours)

This Life Is Nothing But A Moment…

You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. [Qur’ān, Sūrah Fātiḥah (1), verse 5]

It has been reported from scholars and saints of the earliest centuries of Islām that Sūrah Fātiḥah is the secret (i.e. gist) of the entire Qur’ān. And this verse is the secret of the whole Sūrah for the first sentence of the verse is a declaration of one being free from shirk and from all desires to associate anyone with Allāh, and the second is an expression of one being exempt from all wish to trust in one’s own power and will. Such an affirmation would naturally lead to putting one’s self in the hands of Allāh (SWT) in all concerns.

The Qur’ān again and again commands us to do so: ‘Worship Him and put your trust in Him’. (11:123).

‘Say He is the All-Merciful, we believe in Him and we put all our trust in Him.’ (67:29).

He is the Lord of the east and the west, there is no God but He; so take Him for a guardian.’ (73:9).

All of these verses come to simply mean that a true Muslim should, in anything that he undertakes, rely neither on his own faculties nor on the help of another, but should entrust himself completely to Allah, He alone is All-Powerful and He alone is the Absolute Helper.

May Allah help us perfect our endings (ameen).