The Sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) | Extremely Emotional


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My brothers in Islam, Allah (swt) does not look at the amount that you sacrifice, but what Allah (swt) looks at is- this heart. Does this heart love Allah (swt) the most?

Allah (swt) commands Ibrahim (as) to slaughter his son Ismail (as). Can you put yourself in the place of Ibrahim (as)?

The attachment, that Ibrahim (as) had for his son Ismail (as) is more than the average attachment that, a father has for his son.


Because, Ibrahim (as) waited for over one hundred years until he had his first child.

Ibrahim (as) waited for over one hundred years until Allah (swt) gave him the first child.

Ibrahim’s (as)  heart was a lot more attached to Ismail (as) than the average heart of us as parents (because mostly Allah (swt) grants us a child just after marriage.) But then, when that Ibrahim’s (as) only child grew up, piety and righteousness appeared on the face of Ismail (as). Ibrahim (as) saw his son as a very righteous and pious Prophet to be.

When you have a righteous son with a bright future, your heart becomes a lot more attached to this son.

So, Ibrahim (as) became so attached to Ismail (as), and Ibrahim (as) saw Ismail (as) growing with piety, and righteousness, and obedience to Allah (swt) and his parents. And that moment, when Ibrahim (as) became so attached to Ismail (as), so close to Ismail (as), so loving to Ismail (as)-

Allah (swt) commanded Ibrahim (as) to slaughter his son Ismail (as), Allahu Akbar!

What a test……!

What a test……!

What was the test upon Ibrahim (as)?

It was not to leave Ismail (as) after Allah (swt) tested him to take Ismail, and his mother Hajar in the middle of a valley when no being lived there. But then, the test was that Ismail (as) be slaughtered by his father Ibrahim (as):

قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!””

(As-Saffat 37:102)

Imagine you say that to your son! The police would be knocking on your door in less than a minute.

Ismail’s (as) response to his father’s dream

What did this righteous, pious young man say to his father? He said: O father! Do what Allah (swt) had commanded you to do, By the will of Allah; you will find me among those who are patient!

Patient! Patient! For the sake of Allah (swt), if that Allah (swt) commands you, O dad, do not even hesitate.

Because, Allah (swt)’s commandments come before loving son!

Allah’s (swt) commandment comes before loving anyone!

And now, Ibrahim (as) grabs his son Ismail (as) walking…but where did they go?

To some beautiful park, to an amusement and entertaining park? Walking with his son knowing that could be his last time walking with his son, and that could be the last time a son could walk with his father.

And then, he laid him on that rock he saw in his dream where he slaughtered his son Ismail (as). He grabbed the knife and came to slaughter his son Ismail (as), but, by the will of Allah, Allah (swt) prevented the knife to slaughter Ismail (as). Then, the call came from Allah (swt), from above the heavens, and Allah (swt) called upon Ibrahim (as) that it was the Big Test! Don’t slaughter him.

Ya Allah (swt)! But you commanded me to slaughter him.

Well, it’s not about slaughtering your son or not, it’s about what’s in your heart!

What’s in your heart?

Ibrahim (as) did everything he could to slaughter Ismail (as) but Allah (swt) did not allow the slaughter of Ismail (as)- because, slaughtering Ismail (as) did not benefit Allah (swt), but, what Allah (swt) wanted to see was, the sincerity and love for Allah (swt) in the heart of Ibrahim (as).

Sacrifice! It’s not about what you sacrifice, what you give? It’s about pure intention and love in the heart to make Allah (swt) happy!

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi




Prophet Ibrahim’s Sacrifice

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On the story of Ibrahim (as), what are some of the most incredible tests that he was put through?

  • Sacrificing his son.
  • Jumping into fire.

Can you think of some other?

I would say leaving the family where? Middle of the desert. I am not worried about leaving in the middle of the desert; I am more worried about how you get there?

Because, when you are on a road trip with your family it’s torturous!

And, we like traveling in our SUV’s, in our vans’ with air conditions, with the hand held devices, and whatever is playing on the radio, with the scenes outside- and the kids saying: that area…, that area….!

And after, three hours on a trip, you say: Oh I am never going to do this again- it was hard!

Can you imagine- the SUV Ibrahim (as) is driving and a baby? What air conditioning? What climate control? What rest stops? Subhan Allah!

I am a father, if I leave my kids at the airport; and I am late to pick them up, I do that all the time. I used to have a job of picking up my kids from the school, and that one time I overslept, and I did not tell my wife- as she was not there. So, I am driving and she calls, how are the kids? I say: they are good. But, she would go: O my God! You forgot to pick them up. How could you? And I am thinking in my head: Yes! How could I leave them in an air condition room with the teacher infront of them in the secure laws of school for the next thirty minutes?

I would say: No! No!

I am sorry!

I am sorry!

I pick them up now.

But, where Ibrahim (as) is leaving his family? What seems to the naked eye is sudden death; there is no way out of that except death! And he has to leave them .

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi


What Is Your Sacrifice?

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When we say sacrifice, one of the prime issues that come into our minds- The sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) of his son Ismail (as).

May peace be upon them all and upon us. Ameen.

If we take a look at what happened- according to the narrations- the historic narrations and some of the Ahadeeth of RasulAllah (sa). It was a dream-an instruction to a Nabi of Allah (swt)- to Ibrahim (as) to do something that pleased Allah (swt). Although, it did not make sense to that man. But, he knew it was coming from Allah (swt). So, whether it made sense or not, he had to get that fulfilled because it was:

Wahi– a revelation.

It was from Allah (swt).

It was an instruction from the Maker.

There it was, and he planned to get that fulfilled.

He was instructed to sacrifice his son.

And, the upbringing of that particular son was such, that when he spoke to the son, the son said:

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’ Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

(As-Saffat 37:102)

This was the upbringing of the child. May Allah (swt) help us to give our children similar upbringing that when the decree of Allah (swt) is mentioned to them, they do not find it difficult to surrender to it. Ameen.

Today, we do not read Salah, and we expect our children to read Salah. We do not dress appropriately, and we are saddened when our children dress more indecently than us.

There are two ways, Insha’Allah to solve that matter. May Allah (swt) grant us a solution to that.

Ibrahim (as), when he went to fulfill the instruction of Allah (swt), Shaytan came to him. When Shaytan came to him, he pelted the devil on three occasions according to some narrations, and later on, he fulfilled this sacrifice.

Points to Ponder from Ibrahim’s (as) sacrifice

Every one of us is taught to engage in that sacrifice in one way or another, by the will of Allah (swt), not because it’s all about the festival of meat, and it’s all about enjoying eating. It’s not only that. Subhan’Allah.

The celebration is on the obedience of Allah (swt), and upon putting a knife between you and that which comes in the path of earning the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Let me share an example- what is the point of someone sacrificing a Ram at the time of Eid-ul-Adha yet, they have not put a knife to adultery they are committing for the last ten years.

What’s the point?

What is your sacrifice?

What have you put to an end in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt), from the sin that, you are committing?

A person lies every day, yet they want to slaughter animals and  enjoy the meat. But, brother your sacrifice is to cut your lies. Some people speak rough to their family members; they have no way of communication. They speak to their wives or sometimes the (women) speak to their husbands, or their children, or parents, or in-laws in such a rough way that they can only be pleasing the devil- yet they will come to you at the time of Eid-ul-Adha.

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak! Subhan’Allah

Eid is not only about greeting people, No!

It is a bigger, much bigger issue. It is the development of yourself- you celebrate upon the fact that you have put a knife to that, which was displeasing ALLAH (swt); or when it came in to the instruction of ALLAH (swt), you made sure that come what may- you adopted that instruction. May Allah (swt) grant us goodness.

We have people, who cannot give up pornography; but, when it comes to sacrifice they are quick to put the knife on the Ram, and say: ‘We sent twenty animals to Bangladesh, and we sent fifty animals to India, and we sent another five hundred to Africa, Masha’Allah! That is very good, but…What did you do about the animal within you? You have not yet slaughtered it. Allahu Akbar!

What about the pornography inside that you are so hooked to?

Cut it out my brothers and sisters, cut it out and see….How you will enjoy the sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha.

You are sacrificing something for the pleasure of  Allah (swt).

People have so much money. Some people have serious connection to false wealth that is not theirs. They want to use usurp wealth through robbery or deception, and they get happy about it- ‘Brother: I am a very rich man.’ How did you get your money? If you did it Halal, Alhumdulillah! We are happy for you. If not, put a knife to it! That money will not come about with any form of goodness. If we are not prepared to put a knife to it, then Subhan’Allah, how will we earn the pleasure of Allah (swt)?

This is one angle of looking at that sacrifice of Ibrahim (as)- what am I prepared to sacrifice to earn pleasure of Allah (swt). On one hand, Ibrahim (as) was instructed to do something that did not make sense to him, nor will it ever make sense to anyone of us.

Imagine, sacrifice your son!

Can it make sense to you? No!

Did it make sense to him? No!

But, it definitely was never a point of question, because he knew the source of the instruction. Once Allah (swt) said, Do this. He said: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا -‘we have heard it and we have obeyed it’

Whereas, we have light items to fulfill. No one has asked us to sacrifice our children, or do something barbaric in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt)- No!

But, it is the small things in our lives that we are not even prepared to look into. How then are we going to be able to sacrifice them?

Cut them out for the sake of Allah (swt).

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi







Hajj 2015 – the Good I Witnessed


It might be startling for many to believe that there was any good in Hajj 2015, especially after the unfortunate tragedies of the crane crash and Mina stampede. May Allah swt accept the Shahadah (martyrdom) of those who lost their lives. But I was there performing my very first pilgrimage to Bait-ul-Allah. It was an ethereal experience.

The system in place to manage 30 lac pilgrims was quite impressive. The exits and entrances to Masjid al Haram were efficiently monitored to prevent any crowd surges. Policemen were lined up with spray bottles filled with cold water, ready to spray at any face that wanted respite from the heat. Free potable water and juice cartons were distributed to weary Hajis trudging on foot. Free bus rides were arranged from Khana-e-Kaabah to other parts of the city from where one could either walk home or hail a cab. Eager volunteers were present to guide you to your destination sometimes in sign language if you didn’t speak Arabic. Public toilets were present after every few meters and were considerably usable for Wudu and to answer the call of nature.

And who can forget the call of the beautiful Adhan soring high in the Haram. It raised the hair on one’s back, lifted the lowest of Imans, brought tears to eyes blurring the black majestic Kabah ahead. Each worshipper poured his heart out to his Rabb. Everyone had a love story of his own to narrate. Their hands stretched out yearning for the Lord’s Mercy and Love. It was the moment. All else faded away in the background.

Hajj was truly a picture of supreme brotherhood. Muslims from all continents and of every colour praying in one direction, to one God in one language.  We shared food, water, our prayer mats and smiles. We tried conversing in sign language, broken English and wavering Arabic. We pushed wheel chairs of complete strangers and shared taxi rides with them too.

Personally three things helped me immensely. I embarked on the pilgrimage with my husband with zero expectations. I realized that if I was a guest of Allah (swt) I had to trust and respect His hospitality. This meant no complaining and exhibiting patience. And believe me this submission to Allah (swt) worked wonders. We were always pleasantly surprised since we expected nothing.

Hajj is not a vacation. If you want to go on a holiday you should trek to Bali or Dubai maybe. Hajj is serious worship

Secondly offering Sadqah every day in the morning reassured our faith. Be it the cleaners at the Haram or old and frail Hajis, we felt a sense of tranquility to be able to help the lesser privileged. In return we asked of Allah’s (swt) pleasure and mercy in our affairs.

Lastly the prayer of Ibrahim (as) “Husbiy allaha wanaimal wakeel” was a fort against every forwarding trouble in sight. He recited these words when he was thrown into the fire by King Namrood. Allah (swt) had commanded the fire to cool down and offer safety to prophet Ibrahim instead and he walked away unhurt. Hence I relied on the same prayer for the slightest of issues possible. Be it long queues, day’s heat, big crowds, wait for the cab, chance to enter the Haram gates, possibility of Tawaf, etc.

On a closing note, Hajj is not a vacation. If you want to go on a holiday you should trek to Bali or Dubai maybe. Hajj is serious worship. It is meant for the ones who want to grow spiritually and are ready to offer sacrifices of their everyday comforts and conveniences. It’s not for those who think that since they are wealthy enough they should embark on it as they are an eligible candidate for it. If we wish to have our entire life’s sins wiped out, we will have to pay some price.

A very highly recommended exercise for those who wish to perform Hajj next year would be to read a good book on the Prophet’s (sa) Seerah

A very highly recommended exercise for those who wish to perform Hajj next year would be to read a good book on the Prophet’s (sa) Seerah right before they advance for their pilgrimage. It will help them greatly appreciate the lofty sacrifices Muhammad (sa) made for us. At Hajj we could pray anywhere in the Haram, perform as many Tawaf as possible in the ocean of other pilgrims, behold the captivating sight of the breathless Kabah. But Prophet (sa) was beaten at the same place so many times by the disbelievers of Makkah in the first thirteen years of his prophethood for simply offering Salah on the same grounds. And finally he was driven out of the city.

We can today peacefully go for Hajj and worship lovingly all we can. The inconveniences we face in this journey should not even be mentioned if we remember what our Prophet (sa) bore in the way of Allah (swt).

“By the fig, and the olive. By Mount Sinai. By this city of security (Makkah).” (Surat  at- tin 95:1-3)

Welcome Eid and say “Go” to your Ego!

Mend a broken heartAnd those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah’s Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell) .” (Ar-Rad 13:25)

The institution of family and kinship is one of the most valued aspects for mankind- proving its positivity through moral as well as the religious perspectives. No one can deny the noble relationship which is shared by two people of the same family as they possess similar blood running through their veins, and there are many other characteristics which link them to each and other. This is the reason why the Holy religion Islam has also directed a great deal of attention towards the aspect of creating harmonious social life for the Muslims. The Last Messenger (sa) directed people to maintain brotherhood amongst themselves.

“You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another.” (Muslim)

Muslims are ought to put up a shared stand against any group which tends to threaten their solidarity, or any other aspect of the Islamic state. It is morally regarded that unlike the other relationships where the barter trade of help is conducted, the family members assist each other spontaneously and with minimal expectations- as the bondage they share is beyond the other ordinary relationships.

The slaughtering of animals is only the face-value, but it possesses greater significance.

Now, as we enter into the mode of sacrificial worship on this Eid, it must be kept in mind that the sacrifice on this Eid has greater spiritual implication. The slaughtering of animals is only the face-value, but it possesses greater significance. To witness the vitality of sacrifice, one needs to have an insight and follow the findings. Mending the broken ties of relationship is one of the facets of the spirituality on this occasion.

Amidst the hostility, injustice and criticism, there are many underlying reasons beyond the broken ties. There may be some past experiences of hurting caused by one party to another; favours being given to one sibling when wills are formed; or a small rift among the children culminating in enormous issues. All these moments may have been ominous, but it does not mean that the relationships must be broken. For instance, brothers often do not talk to each other for a lifetime, keeping their families apart due to some past fight; they are only messing up their own lives. People often negate to take one last glance of the dead relative’s face because they did not talk for a long time, and do not desire to bid farewell. The two sides have an exaggerated style of battling, and this fails them to give an ear to what the other has to say.

But this Eid, let all the broken relationships get reconstructed. As Henri Frederic Amiel puts it,

“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”

A few acts that could be done to rectify the severed ties are:

Sending Gifts
Presents are considered as one of the most vital instruments in strengthening love and bondage between the relationships. It is, therefore, a tool that could be used to make the people on the other side happy. It may make them feel special and awaken the concern for each other. Send them gifts for their children, or send them home-cooked food with fine décor. Little effort with pure motives works miracles.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: On this Eid people also exchange gifts, i.e., they make food and invite one another to come and eat, and they get together and celebrate. There is nothing wrong with this custom because these are days of Eid.

Instead of being judgmental or criticizing the actions they make, work on having conversation with your agonized relative. Emotional engagement and compassion can catalyze healing comfort and improve connectivity.

Express Concerns and demonstrate willingness to change
Show them that you desire to improve. Take steps towards reinvigoration. Once, they notice that you take their concerns seriously- they will feel valued and respected. They will be motivated to aggravate their own endeavours as well.

Making Frequent Calls
Re-connectivity is also boosted by the occasional calls. Pledge to call them often and ask about their children, health, profession etc. The common affairs would then help to bridge the gap Insha’Allah.

As this is a festive occasion where people often arrange extensive parties for their relatives; you can also make such arrangements. Make special calls to the people who are upon no-talking terms and insist them to attend. If they don’t, let not your morals be down- call them to say how they were missed by all the recipients.

Boost your morale- even if you are repeatedly rejected by the other side- as it is for Allah (swt) you are carrying out these deeds

Conclusively , the acts of bridging ties must not be only limited for the occasion of Eid, but let them become constant. Boost your morale- even if you are repeatedly rejected by the other side- as it is for Allah (swt) you are carrying out these deeds. For once or twice, lower down your self-respect and not be egotistical. Consistency in this regard would eventually uplift the concern on the opposite side- making them feel guilty for their unresponsive attitude, and speculate at how they could restore the relationship through their own effort. It would also raise charges from you when Allah (swt) questions us all on the Day of Judgement.

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.” (Al-Imran 3:103)

Sunnahs of Eid-ul-Adha

India Eid al Fitr“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my Salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)’ (Al-Anam 6:162)

Eid-ul-Adha literally means “festival of the sacrifice”. It is an Islamic festival to commemorate the obedience of Ibrahim (as) to obey Allah’s (swt) command to sacrifice his own son Ismael (as). According to the lunar based Islamic calendar, Eid-ul-Adha falls on the 10thof Dhul-Hijjah. Muslims have two events to celebrate, one is Eid-ul-Fitr, which comes right after the month of Ramadan, and the other is Eid-ul-Adha.

Allah’s (swt) messenger Muhammad (sa) said: “Allah (swt) has given you two days better than these, the day of Al-Fitr and the day of Al-Adha.”  (Abu Dawood)

“It is Mustahab (recommended) for women to come out and attend the Eid prayers.” It is narrated by Umm ‘Attiyyah (ra) that the messenger of Allah (sa) commanded us to bring them (women) out on (Eid) Al – Fitr and (Eid) Al – Adha, and to bring out adolescent girls, menstruating women and virgins, but the menstruating women were to stay away from the prayer, but to witness the goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: “O Messenger of Allah (sa), what if one of us does not have a Jilbaab?” He said: “Let her sister lend her a Jilbab.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Recommended Islamic practices for Eid-ul-Adha:

  • Taking a bath before Eid prayer. It is Mustahabb (recommended) to take a bath before going out to the prayer. (Saheeh Hadeeth)
  • It is a Sunnah for the Imam to deliver a sermon after Eid prayers, which consists of two Rakahs. It is a Sunnah of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) to listen to the sermon.
  • Offering Eid prayer in congregation, preferably in an open area.The practical Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) was to leave his mosque for the Eid prayers and perform these prayers in the Musalla (prayer room) that was at the outer gate of Madinah. Going out to the prayer-place for Eid prayer is Sunnah, even if the Jaami’ Mosque is large enough to accommodate. This is the view of the majority of Shaykhs.
  • Eating before going out to pray Eid prayers. Prophet Muhammad (sa) never used to go out on the morning of Eid until he had eaten some dates…of which he would eat an odd number. (Bukhari)
  • Reciting Takbeer.This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of Eid. Umar (ra) would try hard in reciting Takbeer until he came to the prayer place, then he would continue to recite Takbeer until the imam came out. In case of Eid Al – Adha, the Takbeer begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah, and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashreeq. The days of Tashreeq are 11, 12 and 13 of DhulHijjah, it is also referred to as Takbeer Tashreeq. Men should recite it loudly whereas women should not raise their voices.

Takbeer: Allahuakbar, Allahuakbar, La-Ilaha illa-Allah, Wa-Allah-u-Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa-Lillah-il-Hamd (Allah (swt) is the Most Great, Allah (swt) is the most Great, there is no god but Allah (swt), Allah is the Most great, Allah is the most great, and to Allah (swt) be the praise).

  • Offering congratulations. The companions of the Prophet (sa) used to congratulate each other on the day of Eid. Any permissible words can be used to greet each other.
  • Beautifying oneself on the occasion of Eid. The Prophet (sa) agreed with Umar (ra) on the idea of adorning oneself for Eid, but he denounced him for choosing a particular cloak because it was made of silk. (Bukhari)
  • Going to the prayer by one route and returning by another. It was narrated that Jaabir ibn Abd – Allah (ra) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (sa) used to vary his route. (Bukhari). It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, for the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection, and say what was done on it, both good and bad.
  • Slaughtering an animal for the sake of Allah (swt) on Eid-ul-Adha is a Sunnah of Ibrahim (as) and Prophet Muhammad (sa).  The time for offering the sacrifice begins after the Eid prayer on Eid al-Adha and ends when the sun sets on the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah. So there are four days of sacrifice: the day of Eid-ual-Adha and the three days after it. It is better to hasten to offer the sacrifice after the Eid prayer, as the Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to do, then the first thing he would eat on the day of Eid would be the meat from his sacrifice. Ahmad narrated that Buraydah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allah (sa) did not go out on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr until he had eaten, and he did not eat on the day of Eid al-Adha until he came back, then he would eat from his sacrifice. (Al-Zayla’i narrated in Nasb al-Raayah that Ibn al-Qattaan classed it as Saheeh.)
  • It is a Sunnah that if one wants to offer a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha must stop cutting his hair, nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (sa) said: “when you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if anyone of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” (Muslim).

The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (sa) said: The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the first nine days of  Dhul-Hijjah, and the day of Ashoora, and the three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. (Abu Dawood)

Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to recite Surah Al – Aala of the Quran in the first Rakah and Al – Ghashiyah of the Quran in the second Rakah. He also recited Surah Qaf of the Quran in the first Rakah, and Surah Al – Qamar of the Quran in the second Rakah. (Saheeh)

Visiting the graves is not something to be done especially on the day of Eid or Friday or any particular day. It was proven that the Prophet (saw) visited the graves at night, as mentioned in the Hadeeth of Aisha (ra) narrated by Muslim. And the Prophet (sa) said: “Visit the graves for they will remind you of the Hereafter.”

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah (swt) bless us all with all good things in this world and in the hereafter – Ameen

(Part 2) Love and loyalty for Allah (swt) – Divine legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (as)

Sahara-Desert-9Click here to read the first part of the article.

3.  Submission
This love brought about submission towards Allah (swt) for Ibrahim (as) because obeying and submitting to the orders is the natural consequence of love. If you can’t submit, you don’t really love.

Every prophet has a specific quality. When it comes to Ibrahim (as), his unique quality is submission. He was submissive to his Lord.

“When his Lord said to him, “Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists).” (Al-Baqarah 2:131)

The scholars describe this verse as:  When Allah (swt) ordered him to submit, there was no pause and no intermission, and no question asked. Allah (swt) said, “Submit,” and Ibrahim (as) immediately said, “I submit to the Lord of the worlds.”  He did not even ask a question in any regard.  When we check the life of Ibrahim (as) and the rites of Hajj, we see the submission of Ibrahim (as).  For that reason, Islam (which is submission and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt)) goes all the way back to the original practice of monotheism of Ibrahim (as). Whereas we need to have a thousand questions answered, a hundred heart attacks, many motivational reminders and many sleepless nights making the decision before we finally take up some Quranic command- wearing Hijab, for instance.

When Allah (swt) ordered him to submit, there was no pause and no intermission, and no question asked.

This is what we learn from the experience of Ibrahim (as); he submitted to the Will of Allah (swt). But, we have a problem with this type of submission. If you look closely, the heart of the Quran’s message is:
1. Accept Allah (swt) as your Master.
2. Accept yourself as His slave.
3. Guidance comes to those who accept themselves as His slaves.

It is very easy for us to accept that Allah (swt) is Merciful. We accept that, and say “cool, I will still do whatever I want.”

But, we have a hard time accepting that He is our Master. Because that implies we are slaves and slaves are not free people; they are supposed to do all that their Master says. They are supposed to submit.
And because our evil desires and egos are so inflated, we fail to accept Him as our Master. We might say it with our tongues, but our actions prove otherwise.

If you want to really live the legacy of Ibrahim (as), you have to accept Allah (swt) as your Master and submit to His commands.

4. Sacrifice
Because of this over flowing love for Allah (swt), Ibrahim (as) was ever ready to give up anything and everything for Allah (swt).
He left his father, his people and his homeland where he lived and grew up, his comfort and eventually, even prepared to literally slaughter his extremely beloved son, Ismail (as) – all for the sake of Allah (swt).

But, Allah (swt) saved him from the great trial of sacrificing his beloved son. Because the purpose was not to slaughter the son, rather the aim was to make the heart pure for Allah’s (swt) love. And Ibrahim (as) had that pure love.

Are we ready to give up all that we desire for the Only One we believe in?

If we are able to take this lesson of sacrificing everything for the love of Allah (swt) from the act of sacrifice done on Eid-ul-Adha, then we have achieved the essence of the message. Because in the end, it all comes down to this: Are we ready to give up all that we desire for the Only One we believe in?

5. Tawakkul

“O Ibrahim, will you go and leave us in this valley in which there are no people and nothing?” Hajra (ra) said that to her husband, Ibrahim (as), several times, and he did not answer her. Then she said to him: “Is it Allah (swt) Who has commanded you to do this?” He said: “Yes.” She said: “Then He will not forsake us.” (Bukhari)

It is an unparalleled example of having trust in Allah’s (swt) plan. But with it also reflect on Ibrahim’s (as)  state of Tawakkul. Is it easy to leave behind your family in a remote place like this? Definitely not. But, when Allah (swt) tells you so, you do it without any hesitation and fear.

Can we do that? With our current state of faith, the answer will be obvious.

Any rewards of this love for Allah (swt) and this unmatched submission? Yes many. And one of the obvious ones is:

6. Hajj and building the Kabah

“And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Ismail (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Kabah at Makkah), (saying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower’” (Al-Baqarah 2:127)

The chapter of the establishment of Hajj is a unique chapter.  Muslims are still following the legacy of Ibrahim (as). Remember  whenever you go for Hajj, you are the response of Ibrahim (as). You are the response of his call when Allah (swt) told him to call the people to come for Hajj!  Proclaim the Hajj, and let the people come and answer his call! Till this day, we remember him and follow his example.
The essence of Propfet Ibrahim (as) legacy
This is the legacy of the great Prophet of Allah (swt), Ibrahim (as). Love Allah (swt). Then submit. And that’s the true meaning of being a Muslim.

Love for Allah (swt) made him succesful. And Allah (swt) praised him as follows,

“And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) [i.e., Allah] tried him with (certain) Commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), “Verily, I am going to make you a leader (Prophet) of mankind.” [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said, “And of my offspring (to make leaders).” (Allah) said, “My Covenant (Prophethood, etc.) includes not Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).”

(Al-Baqarah 2:124)

La ilaha illa Allah is not just a statement of the tongue; let the heart bear witness!

Love and loyalty for Allah (swt) – Divine legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (as)

maqam“And Allah did take Ibrahim (Abraham) as a Khaleel (an intimate friend)” (An-Nisa 4:125)

All of us are going to leave our footsteps and traces behind in this world. And when we die, we will be remembered and judged according to those traces. They can be either good or bad. That will be the legacy we leave behind.

Surely our legacy should be powerful and inspiring. But what should that be? What can we do that will outdo other common legacies? How about delving into one of the most brilliant legacies ever left behind? The legacy of Ibrahim (as). For the Quran says,

“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Abraham and those with him” (Al-Mumtahinah 60:4)

People leave behind their stories which the world remembers and cheers upon. But, the legacy we are going to mention here is unique. It is unique, simply because, it is not only a legacy of power and a great vision- but more importantly-  it is a legacy of loyalty and pure heart-felt love; a legacy of loving Allah (swt).

Ibrahim (as) was a man of vision and deep insight. He thought of not only his immediate children, but rather, his entire progeny. His concern for their spiritual well being and his constant prayers to Allah (swt) depict his deep vision; the vision of making pure Tawheed stay alive in his descendants.

Spiritually enriched legacy of Ibrahim (as)

1. Pure love for Allah (swt) and living La ilaha illa Allah

“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Allah (swt) praised his friend in His Book, the Quran,

Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allah, Hanifa (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah).”(An-Nisa 16:120)

Due to his love for Allah (swt), he found what we all keep looking for all through our lives; and, it is the most hard-to-snag things of all – peace!

1. Devotion.
2. True in faith.
3. No shirk (which means absolute Tawheed)
The pure concept of Tawheed etched in ones heart + devotion + truthfulness in faith = 100% pure love for Allah (swt) and Him alone.

This was Ibrahim (as)!
2. Attainment of peace through struggle and sacrifice

Strangely, if you see Ibrahim’s (as) life in a quick glance, you see no fruits- because what you find is, either struggle or sacrifice. But, analyzing much more deeply, you find contentment behind those struggles; and extreme love behind those sacrifices. Due to his love for Allah (swt), he found what we all keep looking for all through our lives; and, it is the most hard-to-snag things of all – peace!

Contrary to what Ibrahim (as) had for Allah (swt) – i.e. pure love and firm belief in Tawheed – what we have is another story. Simply put, we do not have that peace in our lives; we cringe at the very thought of separation with our loved ones. We cannot even begin to imagine the idea of sacrificing something small (like to quit smoking) for Allah (swt) – let alone something big! Our lives revolve around obsessive love for our spouses, crazy children-centered homes, overwhelming desire for a friend, excessive love for wealth, extra hope pinned in some human being…
You can go on and on as the list is pretty much endless.

We seek for love in all the wrong places, and hence, come back heartbroken.

Fault with our theory of love

We seek for love in all the wrong places, and hence, come back heartbroken. The moment we love anything more than our Creator, that very thing we love more becomes the cause of our greatest pain. But, Ibrahim (as) found love in its right place with Allah (swt), and that’s why, he had “Qalb-e-Saleem” – a sound heart.

We profess with our tongues that we believe in La ilaha illa Allah, but our actions seldom actualize the Kalimah. We claim we love Allah (swt) the most, but fail to give Him priority every time.(You delay Fajr prayer for sleep, you miss Dhuhr for work, Isha for the World Cup, take interest based loans to please your wife etc.)

We are taken over by the love of this world, and that leaves us with less or no room for the love of the Creator in our lives. The famous novel “Twilight” teaches us obsessive love for humans- which involves loving the creation more than the Creator; breaking all the boundaries of Halal and Haram in the name of love for some other creature.

Nowadays, other forms of love are creeping in a Muslim’s heart.  Muslims need to make the love of Allah (swt) superior to all other love ideologies.

Ibrahim (as) found love in its right place with Allah (swt), and that’s why, he had “Qalb-e-Saleem” – a sound heart.

Know that people will continue their lives when you die. Indeed, when you die they will stop calling you by your name: they will ask, “Where is the Janazah? Where is the body?” Once you’re buried, they will refer to you as “his grave”; and will say, “I’m going to visit the grave of so and so.”
Hence, do not sacrifice your relationship with your Lord for the sake of your family and friends.
Focus on a relationship that is for eternity: your relationship with Allah (swt).

Look at this profound piece of writing:

“Allah (swt) has decreed that he who loves something other than Him will surely be tormented by it; that one who fears something other than Allah (swt) will come under its control; that one who involves himself with something to the exclusion of Allah (swt), will find it a source of grief; that one who prefers another over Allah (swt) will not be blessed therein; and that one who tries to please a fellow creature by anything displeasing Allah (swt), will without fail, bring His anger upon himself.”
(Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya)

[To be continued Insha Allah]

The Best Days are Here!

Top five things to pack for hajj

Do you know what days are better than all other days of the year? The days of Ramadan? No! (The last ten nights of Ramadan are higher in status though, as they comprise Laylatul-Qadr) It’s the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah as narrated by Ibn Abbas (rta):

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “There is no deed that is better before Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of al-Adha (sacrifice).” It was said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” (Bukhari and Darimi)

Surprisingly, the masses are unaware of these virtuous days and miss the opportunity to gain rewards and Allah’s pleasure in these blessed days. According to the Sunnah these are some of the important actions done in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:

  1. Hajj: Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. Those who get the opportunity of Hajj should make the most of these days as an accepted Hajj eradicates all past sins. Hajj is not just a ritual that needs to be finished; it is a spiritual cleansing, a treasure chest of lessons that need to be learnt and safe kept for life long.
  2. Sacrifice: Eid-ul-Adha, the second Muslim festival, also comes in the blessed month. The price of the animal purchased for slaughter and quality of the barbeque served at Eid parties is not just it. What matters is the intention and Taqwa behind our actions. Allah says: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.” (Hajj 22:37)
  3. Fasting: Fasting on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah (The tenth day is Eid!) is an established Sunnah of the Prophet (sa). (Nasai and Abu Dawood).
  4. Remembering Allah (swt): The remembrance of Allah (swt) is one of the most beloved of deeds to Him, especially during these days. Prophet Muhammad (sa) has said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so recite a great deal of Tahleel (La ilaha illallah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhumdulillah) during them.” (Ahmad)
  5. Takbeerat: Recite them as much as you can. See this page for details.

So, there is something for everyone. If you’re not going for Hajj, you may sacrifice. If you cannot afford an animal, you can still fast. If you’re incapable of fasting you can always remember Allah! We must race after every virtue that we can lay our hands on. Life is too short and every passing second is an asset.

Personality Development: The Jewels of the Household

diamond_1461404cWe are the nucleus of the family- whether a daughter, sister, wife or mother. We keep the bonds strong. The touch of a loving mother is irreplaceable- who wraps her children in a blanket of love, affection and protection, while tending their needs as well as raising them to be good Muslims and Muslimahs. When she hears the call of the prayer, she sits to worship her loving Creator, Allah (swt) and positions her child next to her on the prayer mat facing the Qiblah. A dutiful daughter aids her mother. A devoted wife propels her husband to the summits of success whilst he goes out to earn the daily bread. Indeed, the following saying is true:

‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’.

In Islam, women are not considered as maids of the households rather it acknowledges women’s equality with men in many aspects. Allah (swt) stated in the Holy Quran,

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Exemplary Muslimah in Islamic history

Throughout the Islamic history, women have played a major role in spreading Islam and our beloved Prophet (sa) has praised the following: his youngest daughter, Fatimah (ra), his beloved wife Khadijah (ra), Maryam (as) and Asiya (as), the wife of Pharoah. These diamonds are core role models and legendary beacons of productivity and balance of how we as Muslim women can divide our time fairly between family, work, home and Islam to reach our ultimate goal- Jannat-ul-Firdous. A place free of pain, hardship and sorrow can be replaced with eternal happiness, relief and ease if we learn from the lives of our role models. One of the prime examples is of, Fatimah (ra).

Who was Fatimah (ra)?

A patient and consistent slave of Allah (swt)

She was a passionate worshipper, who put a hard effort in looking after her home and daily chores. She was both- a dutiful wife and daughter, and had a stance in the community for helping the poor and needy, as well as, good Islamic manners. Often, she would give all her food to the poor and stay hungry. She would never complain, no matter how difficult the circumstances were. Aisha (ra) said:

‘I did not see any one resembling the blessed Prophet (sa), regarding all manners, more perfectly than Fatimah (ra), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (swt).’

She and her husband, who was the Prophet’s (sa) cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) led a simple, but content life and had two sons: Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra) who were very dear to Prophet Muhammad (sa). They also had two daughters Zainab (ra) and Umm Kulsum (ra). Her relationship with Prophet Muhammad (sa) was very close; and it shone with pure love and affection that he said once:

‘Fatimah is part of me, and he who makes her angry, makes me angry’ (Al-Bukhari)

Immense love and respect for her father

He usually visited her house. Her childhood was a shadow of trials and tribulations as her father underwent hardships spreading Islam in Makkah in the time of ignorance. Thus, she grew up with patience and determination. She courageously protected her father, and wept when she saw him bleed. She comforted her father. Once, the disbelievers sacrificed a camel. At the time, Prophet Muhammad (sa) was praying with his companions. Abu Jahl dared his friends to put the bowels and filth on Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) back. Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’it took up of the offer and piled it on the Prophet’s (sa) back. When Fatimah (ra) heard of this, she ran to her father; she removed the filth with her hands from her beloved father’s back, and scolded the disbelievers due to the brutal treatment they performed towards him. When Prophet (sa) completed his prayer, he lifted his hands to supplicate Allah (swt) to hold Abu Jahl, Uqbah and those involved. The Prophet’s (sa) supplications were answered.

Compassionate servant of Islam

Fatimah (ra) even helped during the battles by nursing the wounded. After her mother’s death, she would devoutly look after her father. When he passed away, she was saddened and lived only a few months after him.

Fatimah was an exemplary Muslimah for every Muslim woman- a woman of courage, piety and righteousness. Her aim in life was to serve Islam. May Allah (swt) allow us all to learn from this jewel of Islam on how to find the right balance between Deen and Dunya. Ameen.

[Stories from the Quran] An Uncalled-For Murder

quran-2The Background

This is a story about the nature of evil, anger and hostility- as well as-the nature of goodness, forgiveness and peace. These two characteristics are in complete contrast, and result in the first murder that humanity ever experienced. This is the story told in Surah Maidah, verses 27 to 31.


“And (O Muhammad (sa)) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam in truth…”Allah (swt) narrates the tale of two brothers who are the sons of Adam (as). This story occurs only once in the Quran, and we know that it is the truth. No authentic Hadeeth, or Quran, mentions the names of the main characters – the two sons, nor are we told the time or place where the incident occurs. Ibn Qutb says: “Leaving the story in the general terms in which it is given in the Qurān ensures that the purpose of relating it is fulfilled and its lessons are understood”.

Generally, siblings fight with each other, but they also love and protect one another; this is inherent in our nature as humans. Siblings are essentially the people we are closest to and care about. So, let’s see what happened between the two sons that resulted in a violent crime.

Faith or Fury?

“…when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other.”

Each of the sons offered a sacrifice to Allah (swt). This situation in any normal person’s mind is about pleasing and obedience to Allah (swt). However, when they both offered their sacrifices, one was accepted and the other was not. The Quran or Hadeeth does not detail the nature of how an offering was accepted at that time; hence, we deem it as unimportant. What we must focus on is that one son offered the best sacrifice only to please and obey Allah (swt), he proved to be God-fearing; while, the other brother’s sacrifice was not accompanied by Taqwa.


The fire of desire

“The latter said to the former: I will surely kill you.” This statement clearly shows the evil intent of one brother. It makes us shocked and horrified. How can such a severe punishment be given for no crime at all? We all disapprove of this son’s behaviour and thought process. The only reason for such a statement is envy. Envy is a serious disease of the heart; it is what led Iblees towards pride, which resulted in Allah’s (swt) disobedience.

“The former said: Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun. If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns, and all that exists).Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).”

Envy is a serious disease of the heart; it is what led Iblees towards pride, which resulted in Allah’s (swt) disobedience.

The other brother did not react violently; he remained calm and tried to reason with his sibling. He put the entire matter in a proper perspective. This son of Adam said that, “It is not you or I who is better- it is the way we perform our sacrifices for Allah (swt).” This brother after explaining why the sacrifice was not accepted tried to reason with his sibling. He assured his brother, “I shall not lay my hand on you to kill you…” He feared Allah (swt) and would not commit a sin, even though he was being wronged. This was his advice, in a gentle calm manner.

Ibn Qutb describes this as, “What we have here is a case of a peaceful man making clear that his attitude is based on fearing God and implementing His commandments. We must admire the victim’s calmness, reassurance, and the fact that he fears God alone. His gentle words should have been sufficient to quench his brother’s rage, reduce his anger, re-establish the feelings of brotherhood and the reassurance of faith.”

The just brother added a warning- in case his gentle words were not heeded. He said that, “If you murder me, it would only add to all your other sins and you would ultimately be a loser.” The murdering brother would be gaining a double sin. He, the just brother, was staying on the right path at the stake of his life. He was not ready to go against Allah’s (swt) commands.

The narcotic Nafs

“So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers. Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother? Then he became one of those who regretted.”

After all the peaceful persuasion and gentle warnings, the crime was committed. The murderer’s evil soul was able to overrule his good side. Following only his Nafs, removed all obstacles and drove him towards killing. He lost a sibling, a brother who was a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and a companion. More importantly, he lost his after life, as he added that new sin to his earlier ones. Once the deed was done, the crime then took on a physical shape in the form of his brother’s dead body. It began to rot and he did not know what to do. He felt helpless and weak, not because he was remorseful, but because he did not know what to do.

Allah (swt) sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body. Once he had hidden the body, he was regretful; not because he killed- but because he realized how useless the crime was. This son of Adam (as) did not gain anything from murder; the killing of his brother didn’t make his sacrifice more acceptable to Allah (swt). He was helpless and weak, in complete loss due to his actions – a result of envy and pride.

Moral of the story


Transcribed and adapted by Tasneem Vali.

How Much Do You Love Allah (swt)?

how much do you love AllahGoing through Surah Saffat (37), I came across a very beautiful section. Right after Allah (swt) talks about Ibrahim (as) when he, as a young man taught his people about Shirk and Tauheed, it is mentioned that when Ibrahim (as) grew old, Allah (swt) blessed him with a beautiful son named Ismail (as). Ismail (as) learnt to walk but we don’t know his exact age. Some scholars state that he had just started to walk, while others say that he could actually walk at the same pace as his father Ibrahim (as), so he might have been thirteen years of age.

Nevertheless, Ibrahim (as) saw in his dream that he was killing his son. This is mentioned in the Quran:

“And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!’ He said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).’” (As-Saffat 37:102)

Ibrahim (as) beautified his son Ismail (as) on that day, put on him his best clothes, and fed him a great breakfast. Then he took him to the place of slaughtering. Some scholars of Tafseer state it was Mina, which is in Makkah, while others say it was Syria.

“Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering).” (As-Saffat 37:103)

When Ibrahim (as) laid Ismail (as) on the ground and sharpened his sword, tears rolled down his cheeks. Verse 103 states “Falamma Aslama” (“when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah)”) and “Wa Tallaho lil Jabeen” (“he had laid him prostrate on his forehead”). This is strange because when you place someone on the ground, you generally have him lie face up, so when you cut the neck, you simply slit the windpipe. If you place him face down, you will have to cut his spinal cord in the bones.

So why did Ibrahim (as) put him face down? And what was the purpose of asking Ibrahim (as) to slaughter his son?

To read the rest of this article and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Sacrifice – Leaving Something at the Cost of Another



  1. Spend from what is beloved: Make a part of your routine to spend a portion of your wealth, even if it is a small one, for Allah (swt). “By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness), unless you spend (in Allah’s cause) of that which you love.” (Al-Imran 3:92) Cut down on one dress or the new mobile model and spend in charity or an Islamic book or the like. Take advantage of the time when spending is easier so that giving up when it is harder would not be as difficult.
  2. Volunteer: Engage in volunteer work that may help you attain the pleasure of Allah (swt). Volunteering demands time and effort and trains you to be committed to a cause without the expectation of material/monetary returns. It is the Sadaqah of your health and resources. Whatever capability you have, whether it is teaching, writing, graphic designing, etc., use your skills for the benefit of the Ummah.
  3. Productive habits: A Mumin is someone living a purposeful life – he does not merely drift wherever the tide takes him. Set some attainable weekly goals for yourself. How much time will I dedicate for learning the Quran and seeking Islamic knowledge? What Adhkar will I add to my daily routine? Take the pain to attain these small goals – part with a little sleep, a little procrastination, and some of your desires and, you will see that with time, giving up for Allah (swt) will become a habit.
  4. Prioritize your brothers/sisters: “None of you will believe unless you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Bukhari, Muslim) This is a golden rule that can solve many problems in our individual and collective lives. If we love that no one rebukes us and talks ill about us, then we should love the same for our brothers/sisters. If we love that we have the best that money can buy, then we should also remember those who cannot even afford a meal a day. If we love safety, we should remember those having to live under constant bombardments. This love should not just be lip service – if it comes from the heart, it will enable you to act upon those feelings for the benefit of those in need. Rein in your Nafs by putting yourself in others’ shoes.
  5. Keep an eye on the prize: Hook yourself to the remembrance of the afterlife and the high price Allah (swt) is paying for all that you are sacrificing for His sake: Jannah, the everlasting (Tawbah 9:111). “A place in Paradise as small as the bow or lash of one of you is better than the entire world and whatever is in it.” (Bukhari)

Top Five Ways to Imbibe an Attitude of Sacrifice this Eid-ul-Adha

1011It is quite easy to talk about the spirit of sacrifice when discussing Eid-ul-Adha. But it is not quite simple to implement it in one’s daily life. As the age-old adage says, it is easier said than done. However much it is NOT easy, it is definitely not impossible either.

So how do you embark upon the journey towards implementing the spirit of sacrifice in your daily life? Here are some handy tips you can use:-

1. Be positive:- Yes, it is easier to talk about sacrifice than actually give the sacrifice when the time comes, but never let this belief deter you in your objective. You may consider yourself to be a weak person, but you can always derive your strength from your faith.

2. Make loads of Duas:- Prayer is the best source of strength. Ask Allah (SWT)’s help at all times. Make loads of invocations and Insha’Allah He (SWT) will make things easier for you.

3. Try and try again:- You may falter – not once, but many times. However, don’t let that get to you. Maybe you couldn’t do what was right in one situation – learn from it and move on.

4. Keep the end goal in mind:- If at any time you start getting this feeling of: “why do I always have to give the sacrifice?” remind yourself that it is Satan trying to mislead you. Emphasize to yourself that you are doing this for Allah (SWT)’s pleasure and your ultimate goal – Jannah.

5. Beware of publicizing your sacrifices:– Showing off good deeds always lessens the amount of blessing you get for it. Whatever sacrifices you make for Allah (SWT), keep them to yourself rather than glorifying yourself in public or feeling excessively proud. Again, remind yourself of your ultimate goal whenever you feel the urge to
talk about all that you have done.

This article was first published in The Intellect Magazine – it is being reprinted here with their permission.

Wither Spirit of Sacrifice

goatIt was the day of Eid-ul-Adha in a close-knit neighbourhood. It was a neighbourhood which generally came together to celebrate every occasion. Today was no different. Children from different households, along with some adults, were hurriedly making their way to whichever house was doing the sacrifice of animals. There, they would all congregate and watch it together. Children and men would stand on the road, while women would peep from their windows, terraces or roofs.

Sidra and Sarah were two sisters who were part of the brigade of children who were enthusiastically following the sacrifice of all the houses. They had been a part and parcel of these celebrations year after year, and they were not planning to miss any thing today. However, something seemed out of place this year. Sarah, the younger sister, spotted it first.

Entertainment – this is essentially what Eid-ul-Adha has come to signify.

“Is that my imagination or are those guys over there making videos from their cell phone cameras?” she wondered aloud.

Sidra craned her neck to look. Sure enough, a bunch of teenaged boys along with some adults were making a video of the entire process of a cow being slaughtered for sacrifice. There were many laughs and shrieks of delight as this particular crowd captured and exchanged visual after visual. As the two sisters watched stunned, some of the crowd even clapped and cheered as a few men tried to control an over-excited cow and tie it down.

“Let’s leave,” said Sidra. “This is nothing but entertainment.”

When you do your sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, do you think it reflects in your attitude for the rest of the year?

And sadly, this tale of one neighbourhood says it all. Entertainment – this is essentially what Eid-ul-Adha has come to signify. You get up early, you go watch all the sacrifices of animals being done in your neighbourhood, you clap and cheer, then you come back, sort out the meat of your own sacrificial animal, and then it’s all about either dressing up to go out for dinner or spending a majority of time in the kitchen cooking meat-related delicacies for Eid parties being hosted in your own house.

But really, is that only what this Eid is all about? Of course, all of you reading this know exactly why this Eid is celebrated, so without going into all of that, let’s just bring it down to one basic question – when you do your sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, do you think it reflects in your attitude for the rest of the year?

And if the above question makes no sense, think again about why this Eid is celebrated. You sacrifice an animal in the way of Allah (SWT). And if you do this simple act with the intention of imbibing the true spirit of sacrifice in your daily life, then one Eid will definitely go a long way in making a positive change in your attitude for the rest of the year. And if you start to dwindle in your resolve, another Eid comes to remind you of it.

This leads to another question. What does it mean to have the true spirit of sacrifice in one’s daily life? It basically means to give up your favourite and most-cherished things in the way of Allah (SWT) at all times. For instance, suppose your mother asks you to give away some of your clothes to the less privileged. Honestly ask yourself what you do in this situation – do you hasten to give away your oldest, most worn out clothes or do you willingly give away your newer, better-looking clothes? The answer will tell you the extent to which you have the spirit of sacrifice within you.

How willingly you go for the lesser-liked choice is the spirit of sacrifice.

Then think about what you do when you are faced with a difficult situation in your everyday life. For example, your mother is not feeling well and you must cook dinner. At the same time, there is a party at your best friend’s house, which you don’t want to miss. Again, are you willing to give up some of your fun for the sake of your household or do you insist on going to the party come what may? The answer, even to this question, will tell you for sure whether or not you have the spirit of sacrifice in you.

In a nutshell, there will always be instances and circumstances where you will have to give up your favoured choice, and go for the one which you don’t like – for the greater good. How willingly you go for the lesser-liked choice is the spirit of sacrifice, and every year in which you experience Eid-ul-Adha reminds you that such sacrifices are worth making for the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and the long term investment (Jannah).

This article was first published in The Intellect Magazine – it is being reprinted here with their permission