This Ramadan Protect your Iman from the whispers of Shaytan


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Shayateen are widely believed to be chained during the holy month of Ramadan; yet, people are seen committing sins. How does it happen to be so?

Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (sa) said:

“When the month of Ramadan starts- the gates of heaven are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the Shayateen are chained.”

The above words of the Messenger of Allah (sa) explain that the Shayateen are chained- not annihilated or eliminated completely.

Apparently, Shaytan is our affirmed enemy, and he will always try to mislead the believers with his tricks, lies and deception, though restricted and imprisoned he may be.

Shaytan’s power during Ramadan

During this pious month Allah (swt) restricts Shaytan’s power to inspire evil and mischief to a considerable extent- as compared to the other times of the year.  In any way it does not mean that they are ruined completely from creating mischief.

In fact, it is clearly evident from what happens to the believers in the month of Ramadan.

Those, who normally do not pray, begin to perform the prayers regularly; those who are never seen in the mosques, start attending the religious congregations more frequently; those who hardly read Quran, make conscious efforts to recite the glorious Book of guidance in the holy month of Ramadan. There is a definite and notable increase in the devoutness and worship of the believers in this blessed month.

Locked, yet strong!

Although, the Shayateen are restrained by Allah (swt), yet they can whisper; and through whispering- Shayateen try, and get the human beings close to them.

It is narrated by Ali bin Al Husain from Safiya (rta), that the Prophet Muhammad (sa) said:

“The Shaytan circulates in the body of Adam’s (as) offspring, as one’s blood circulates in it.”

It means the Shaytan circulates in the body of a man, just like one’s blood circulates in it; thus, this avowed enemy of man is constant in his whispering of evil- whenever he is given an opportunity.

Shaytan’s main target- You!

Undoubtedly, the Shaytan’s main target is the true believer of Allah (swt); even though, he is chained and his power is curtailed during this holy month of Ramadan- but because of his keen hatred, and enmity towards the believers and worshippers of Allah (swt), he will continue to make mischief in whatsoever way he can.

The Almighty mentions in the Quran,

“Who whispers in the breasts of mankind, Of Jinns and men.” (An-Naas 114:5-6)

Evidently, if a person is sinning continuously for eleven months, and Shaytan has worked hard on him/her- it is as if the evil has been injected inside the heart and mind of the person. Hence, the person will still feel the effect of the sin throughout Ramadan- no matter Shaytan has been locked up.

The most common example is watching television. Many people are so addicted to watching their daily soaps. or their favourite TV shows. Some can’t resist and watch during Ramadan; and some record them so that they can watch it later.

Stronger the belief, weaker the mischief

The believers, who are observing the rules of Allah (swt), are concerned and apprehensive; hence, Shaytan control over them is reduced.

This sacred month, with all its blessings and spiritual motivations, lays pressure on Shaytan; and therefore, it acts as a kind of a barrier between the believer and the Shatyan.

The one who has deep faith in Allah (swt), His Messenger (sa) and the Last Day, identifies the evil’s mischief, and whispering of the Shaytan. The more faith and trust one has in Allah (swt), and the Last Day, the more he will be able to distinguish, and tackle the mischief of the Shaytan.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran,

“O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true. So let not this present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah. Surely, Shaytan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire.” (Al Fatir 35:5-6)

Indeed, we praise Allah (swt), seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah (swt) guides, none can misguide; and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright.


Five Weaknesses to Overcome This Ramadan


5 weakness

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The Arabic word for fasting is Saum, derived from the word Saim. Saim is a horse that is kept hungry by his master, and raced to build his stamina for battles. By commanding us to give up on our desires for some part of the day, Allah (swt) intends to build our stamina for our enemy. Who is our enemy? Our enemy is Shaytan (Satan) – man’s clearest enemy. He does not hide his intention to harm us. In fact, that is his purpose in life to cause us to slip, and appear displeasing to Allah (swt).

Ramadan is an annual training month for the Muslims. Through this one month of training, Allah (swt) plans to train us for the entire year. He teaches us what we need to control to strengthen our faith, and become strong soldiers of His army. If one follows the routine in other months as well, by no means can he fail.

Here are the five things – the five weaknesses of man – which one must learn to control.


  1. Hunger


When Allah (swt) created Adam (as), Shaytan looked at Adam’s (as) hollow belly, and knew his place for overcoming this creation. Our indulgence and love for food can be figured out by the number of new restaurants opening up every day in almost every street. The Sunnah is not to eat to our fill. Overeating affects mental, emotional and physical health. Instead of treating yourself to culinary pleasures- eat simple food and feed the deprived instead. Raise your scales for the hereafter.


  1. Desires


Desires lead man to spread corruption. It is desire that provokes a man and a woman to strike an illicit relationship. It is desire to stand-out from the crowd that entices us to buy more and the exclusive. We can splurge without thinking how much Sadaqah could have been given instead. Shaytan knows all his traps well. The day we overcome our desires and only satisfy them through Halal means, we will overcome our enemy.


  1. Sleep


Life of this world is for action while the next life is for rest and leisure. Whenever sleep overtakes, remind yourself of your limited time on earth. Get up and do something that will help in the hereafter. Have extra time? Memorise the Quran. Know it already? Teach a skill to someone especially the underprivileged and help them improve their lives.


  1. Tongue


Misuse of the tongue harms relationships. Therefore, the Prophet (sa) warned us about it, and the scholars have written books narrating the sins of the tongue. Speak good or remain silent. Plant trees in the Paradise by busying your tongue in the remembrance of Allah (swt).


  1. Anger


Returning from the meeting with the Divine when Musa (as) found his people idol worshipping, he flared-up and lost control. Immediately, he made Dua for himself and his brother. Know that anger is from Shaytan. Find the reason for outburst and resolve the matter. Recite the Duas for protection, and ask Allah (swt) to allow you to focus your energies in a better direction.


Combating Depression, Sadness and Anxiety

Depression, sadness and pain related crossword(This article has been “proof read” by a foreign qualified Psychologist)

Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28)

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” (TaHa 20:124)

The above two verses from The Quran explain the basic requirement in order to achieve tranquility of the heart. The heart and mind shall be at peace when it is filled with the remembrance of Allah (swt); on the contrary, it will be full of anxiety and restlessness in its absence.

The “Shaytan” (Satan) wants to inflict pain to us. His work is done for the disbelievers but his main targets are Muslims. Anyone who tries to get closer to Allah (swt), Allah (swt) makes the path even easier for him; whereas somebody who continues to ignore his Creator, Allah (swt) appoints a Shaytan (Satan) for that person, and makes that also easy for him, so it is our choice to choose our course.

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allah) (i.e. this Quran and worship of Allah), We appoint for him Shaytan (Satan – devil) to be a Qarin (an intimate companion) to him.” (Az-Zukhruf 43:36)

In contrast to the above verse, Allah (swt) gives good news to those who remain close to Him and do good deeds, they will not only have contentment of heart in this world but will also have a good ending, which means good return in the afterlife. Insha’Allah.

The heart and mind shall be at peace when it is filled with the remembrance of Allah (swt); on the contrary, it will be full of anxiety and restlessness in its absence.

“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and work righteousness, Tuba (it means all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return.” (Ar-Rad 13: 28-29)

A believer is grateful to Allah (swt) when he is blessed in some way, and he is patient when he is going through a test in order to wait for Allah’s (swt) help.  Imagine how Yaqoob (as) wept for his son Yusuf (as) and lost his sight. Imagine how distress and overwhelmed ‘Aishah (ra) was when people slandered her by telling lies about her, and she kept weeping so much that she said: “I thought that grief would tear me apart.”  (Source: Shaykh Al – Munajjad, Saudi Arabia)

Turn each worry into a Dua and each Dua into an action plan.

As human beings, we have a habit to get attached to people and worldly things. We also tend to expect quick results and humans are generally impatient by nature. Many times, even after much effort when the results do not turn out the way we planned, we get depressed. Most common reasons of depression are loss of wealth, health problems, demise of a family member and relationship conflicts. There is no running away from stress because in this life there will always be something small or big troubling us. All that matters is how you deal with it.

This article does not deal with the factors of stress, anxiety, and depression, nor is it a clinical advice. This article would help to develop an attitude to combat with it on a daily basis Insha’Allah. If you feel depressed, you are not alone. It has been estimated that 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians in America are for stress-related problems. Turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into a Dua (supplication). Look at it as another reason to submit to God and be in “Sajdah” (prostration), during which you are closest to Allah (swt). God listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ask Him for what you want. Allah (swt) is displeased with those who do not ask Him for anything.

A Muslim turns towards Allah (swt) and calls for His help in all types of distress.

Adopt the Prophetic approach

Our job is to carry out our responsibilities to the best of our capacity parallel with a clear belief that we do not control the outcome of events. Even the Prophets did not control the outcome of their efforts. Some were successful, others were not. There will be Prophets on the Day of Judgement with one, two and more people; and some with not even one. Does that mean Prophets with very few or nobody were failures? No! They did their best and had their faith in Allah (swt), but Allah (swt) did not choose guidance for their Ummah (nation). Similarly, our role in this life is to make the best with the given resources, and leave the rest in Allah’s (swt) hands. Regardless of the results of your efforts, you will be rewarded for the part you have played.  (Insha’Allah)

However, never underestimate your abilities. Understand the concept of Barakah (blessings from Allah (swt); and remember that Allah (swt) can and Insha’Allah will expand them if you are sincerely exerting your energies for the right path.

A person can be sad due to various reasons.  Depression may be caused with or without a reason. In all types of grief and sadness, a Muslim deals with it differently from a non-believer. A Muslim turns towards Allah (swt) and calls for His help in all types of distress. We can encapsulate it in two categories for easy understanding:

1. Due to a specific reason, such as loss of wealth or loss of a family member.

2. Due to no reason at all. Person may start crying or get aggressive for no reason.

In both of the above situations, it is essential for a person to have a connection with his/her Creator. Whether it is a medical healing or a spiritual healing, the Healer is only The Creator.

              15 Islamic tips to overcome sadness, depression and anxiety

  • Believing that Life and Death are in the hands of Allah (swt) only. Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “Wherever you are, death will find you out, even if you are in towers built up strong and high!” (Quran 4:78)
  •  Believing that ease and difficulty come from Him only.
  • Believing that Allah (swt) is the Only “Raaziq” (Provider). Our job is to make efforts and leave the rest to Him. Our “Rizq” (provision) was decided and written when we were 4 months old in our mother’s womb.  Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb (p. 36). Shaykh Muhammad ibnSaalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Saudi Arabia  (quoted and checked by Shaykh Al-Munajjad, Saudi Arabia) “How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? Allah (swt) says, “It is Allah Who feeds them and you, for He hears and knows all things.” (Quran 29:60)  Allah (swt) further says in the Quran, “And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion” (Quran 65:3)
  • Believing that what He gave us was never our right and what He took away from us was always His in the first place.
  • Turning towards Allah (swt) in “Taubah” (repentance) in order to seek His help and forgiveness. Allah’s (swt) mercy overshadows His anger.
  • Keeping a clear focus on those who are less privileged and in greater pain than us.  This should be done on a daily basis as a reminder.
  • Take a spiritual break from the world and have a private moment with Allah (swt). This can be done in various ways such as, by going to Masjid for prayers, doing long prostrations, shedding tears during Dua and keeping total faith in The Creator or by going on a family vacation. It is extremely important to break the monotony of our daily routine before we reach our limits.
  • Recognizing the ultimate enemy- The Satan. He plays with our mind. We can put up a fight with him with Allah’s (swt) help.
  • Appreciate the blessings that cannot be bought with worldly wealth. Health, family and friends are some examples of such blessings that have no price tag.
  • Find a hobby. Involve in some community service. Be a volunteer or even start your own organization if you can. It gives an inner peace and satisfaction when a selfless deed is performed.
  • Staying away from negative people- especially the ones who keep putting us down. Keep a constant check of your company. The ideal company is of somebody who is positive, helps you get closer to Allah (swt); somebody who is honest to you and becomes your shoulder when you need him or her.  It is important not to have too many confidants.
  • Try not to verbalize the negative thoughts. Fighting negative thoughts is better than verbalizing them, which eventually turn into negative actions. Diversion is better and recommended by getting involved in something more positive and constructive.
  • Learn to let go of the things that are not in your control.
  • Exercise daily. Walking and swimming are one of the best exercises for depression. Healthy mind only exists in a healthy body.
  • Learn to forgive. Forgiving is important for our own peace. Once we forgive, we will be able to forget also. Keeping grudges is very unhealthy and self-destructive.
  • Do not fall prey to worldly material things and do not let them control us. We all want money, cars, house and jewellery etc. but there will always be people who will have more than us, and there will be ones who will have less- this is how it works. It is important to have decent living but it is more important to have good health, nice family and friends.

The above method is a road leading towards positive living.


A lot of worry and psychological stress is caused by not being content with the will and decree of Allah (swt). Even after getting what we want, we may still suffer from anxiety and fear of losing that blessing. There is no remedy for this apart from accepting the decree of Allah (swt), thanking Him for His blessings, and patiently bearing the difficulties and calamities that Allah (swt) has decreed for us.


May Allah (swt) bestow His blessings up on us in this life and in the hereafter. May He give us peace of heart and mind, give us courage and wisdom and guide us to the right path. May He make us of those whom He loved and shown His mercy to. Ameen!

Etiquettes of Sneezing and Yawning – 2

largeProphet’s (sa) instruction for yawning

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Yawning comes from the Shaytan, so if one of you feels the urge to yawn, let him suppress it as much as he can, for if one of you says ‘ha’ (the sound made when yawning), the Shaytan laughs.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

It was proven in the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Allah (swt) likes the act of sneezing and dislikes the act of yawning, so if any one of you sneezes and praises Allah (swt) (says “Alhumdulillah”), it is a duty on every Muslim who hears him to say to him, “YarhamukAllah (may Allah (swt) have mercy on you).”

As for yawning, it is from the Shaytan, so if any of you feels the urge to yawn, he should suppress it as much as he can, for when any one of you yawns, the Shaytan laughs at him.” (Bukhari)

Various phrases to be used by the “Sneezer” to praise Allah (swt) 

Alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah (swt))

Alhumdulillah ‘Alakullihaal (Praise be to Allah (swt) in all situations)

Alhumdulillah Rabbil-‘Aalameen (Praise be to Allah (swt) the Lord of the Worlds)

Various phrases to be used to pray for mercy for the sneezer

YahdeekumAllah-wayuslihu-balakum (May Allah (swt) guide you and rectify your condition)

YaghfirAllahu-lana-walakum (May Allah (swt) forgive us and you)

‘AafanaAllah-waiyyakum-min-al-nar, YarhamukumAllah (May Allah (swt) save us and you from the Fire; may Allah (swt) have mercy on you)

YarhamunaAllahu-waiyyakum-wayaghfirlana-walakum (may Allah (swt) have mercy on us and you, may He forgive us and you)

All of the above narrations are “Saheeh” and a Muslim may choose whichever of them he wants.  And Allah (swt) knows best.

The Prophet (sa) stated that yawning comes from the Shaytan (Satan), and he told us to suppress yawning as much as we can, but if yawning overtakes us, then he told us to put our hands over our mouths.

1. It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (rta) said: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “If one of you yawns – according to another report: whilst praying – let him suppress it as much as he can, for the Shaytan comes in.” (Muslim)

2. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Yawning comes from the Shaytan, so if one of you feels the urge to yawn, let him suppress it as much as he can, for if one of you says ‘ha’ (the sound made when yawning), the Shaytan laughs.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Ruling on saying “Alhumdulillah” after sneezing when praying:

It is prescribed for him/her to say Alhumdulillah, because it is proven in the Saheeh Hadeeth that the Prophet (sa) heard someone say Alhumdulillah after sneezing and he did not rebuke him, rather he said: “I saw such and such a number of angels, all of whom were hastening to write it down.” And because praising Allah (swt) is akin to the phrases of prayer, and is not contrary to it.”

(Majmoo’ Fataawa al-ShaykhIbnBaaz)


Muslims should submit to the authentic Islamic texts and act accordingly, without trying too hard to understand precisely why a text commands or forbids something. They should believe that Allah (swt) is the Wise and Aware, Who does not prescribe anything for His slaves- unless it is in their best interests, in this world and the next; even though it may not cross their minds and some people may understand part of the wisdom behind it, whereas others will never know. The Muslim’s basic rule is to follow the commands, and if he has some knowledge of the reason behind the commands, then praise be to Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) make us from those who obeyed Him and made Him happy. May He make us from those whom He forgave, and bestowed upon His mercy. May He bless us the best of both worlds – Ameen.

Etiquettes of Sneezing and Yawning – 1

tissuesLet’s begin with the name of Allah (swt), The Creator of everything in existence. Let’s pray, may Allah (swt) help us in gaining the correct knowledge, and may He make it beneficial to whoever hears it – Ameen.

Our religion Islam is complete in every manner Alhumdulillah (Praise be to Allah). Be it a big issue like marriage, or a small issue such as entering a house, yawning or sneezing; a complete code of conduct is prescribed for all types of matters and situations – Praise be to Allah (swt).

There are certain etiquettes (manners) that should be observed in times of yawning and sneezing. The best and the only way for us (Muslims) is the way suggested by Allah (swt) and His Prophet Muhammad (sa).

Three words are of great importance in Islam when doing any action; “Ikhlas” (Sincerety), “Ihsan” (being in a state of awareness that Allah (swt) is watching me at all times) and “Ikhlaq” (manners/etiquettes). If a deed is done in a state of Ihsan with proper etiquettes for the sake of Allah (swt) with Ikhlas in it, it will never go unrewarded. Insha’Allah (if Allah (swt) wills)

There are certain manners and supplications that were practiced by our Prophet Muhammad (sa) when he sneezed and yawned. A good deed must comprise of the following two components:

1. It is for Allah (swt) only.

2. It is done as prescribed by Allah (swt) and/or Prophet (sa) .

Once our deeds, irrespective of their size, are encapsulated in the above two components, they will be readily accepted by our Creator in the best way – Insha’Allah.

Our Prophet Muhammad (sa) was sent to us by Allah (swt) as the best living example for the mankind.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad (sa) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

There are certain etiquettes and various supplications for “Sneezing” and “Yawning” that are present in various (authentic) “Saheeh Ahadeeth”, which are important to be remembered and performed when someone sneezes or yawns. Many of us may think sneezing and yawning is a small thing, and why should we give importance to this level of subject. Whereas, the reality for the believers is, that we need, as many good deeds as possible, in our account, since we do not know which of the tiniest good deed may land us in Jannah (Heaven) on the Day of Judgement.

Prophet’s (sa) instruction for sneezing

Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “When one of you sneezes, let him say, ‘Alhumdulillah (Praise be to Allah (swt)),’ and let his brother or companion say to him. ‘YarhamukAllah (May Allah (swt) have mercy on you).’ If he says, ‘Yarhamuk-Allah,’ then let (the sneezer) say, ‘Yahdeekum-Allah-Wayuslihu-Balakum (May Allah (swt) guide you and rectify your condition).’”

[To be continued Insha Allah]

Keep Your Doors Locked: An Introduction to Shaytan and his Avenues

locked door“O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily! He is to you a plain enemy.”(Al-Baqarah 2:208)

Believers are Momineen, a rank higher than Muslimeen. In the above verse, Allah (swt) addresses the believers- the believers who submit to their Lord. Their thoughts, action, speech and silence- are all out of submission to Allah (swt).

Faith is not like a glass of water you can drink. It rises gradually like tiny droplets of rain showering gently. Faith increases with knowledge and application combined. Allah (swt) brings Deen forward to those who are prepared to receive it out of submission. They don’t question why, what, how, where, who, etc.

What prevents people from submitting to Allah (swt) and entering Islam fully?

The Prophet (sa) warned: “The Shaytan (devil) flows in a man like his blood.” (Abu Dawood). He is naturally aware of our weaknesses. Hence, plots against us. He injects evil ideas and makes them seem fair. He beautifies actions of disobedience.  But, our Nafs is more powerful. Shaytan may throw ideas into our mind and heart like a ball. It is up to our Nafs to catch them or let them pass. We need to be vigilant and strict about our fleeting thoughts. But if, our Nafs forms a treaty with the Shaytan, we will belong to the companionship of Shaytan.

The first door through which Shaytan enters is that of desire

He uses this door for majority of the people. The scholars call this entrance ‘Al-Bahimah’ cattle-like. The trial of Adam (as) and Hawa (as) started with food. They were commanded not to go close to a particular tree, and Shaytan tempted Adam (as) to eat of it in order to become immortal. The consequence was that they had to leave Jannah.

Shaytan builds attraction around food, drink and intimate relationships. This is especially relevant to Ramadan, when Allah (swt) forbids indulgence into Halal to train our Nafs against Shaytan. But, Shaytan’s mission is to make us indulge excessively into food and sexual relations.

How can we guard ourselves?

Make Dua to Allah (swt). Eat Halal (permissible) and Tayyab (pure) only. Ask yourself before eating: “Am I really hungry?” Avoid overeating- as it poorly affects our worship, mannerisms, moods, etc. Don’t force-feed a sick person, a guest in the house or a small child. Do not equate food with love.

The second door through which Shaytan enters is that of anger

The scholars call this entrance, ‘Sabaiyah’ like wild animals. An angry person just wants to attack. He carries a burning feeling in his heart.  Anger also leads us to pride and arrogance. Shaytan whispers to people to take revenge, instead of forgiving them.

As a result, we act disgracefully- regretting our actions later. He turns us into a Zalim (oppressor) whom Allah (swt) hates. Instead, Allah (swt) loves Muhsinun (who act beautifully) and suppress their fury.

The third door through which Shaytan enters is the door of Hawa

Shaytan makes some people obey their moods and conveniences. The scholars call this entrance ‘Shaytaniyah’ demonic. They may worship Allah (swt) as much as they like to, in the manner they like to and not be bothered about what Allah’s (swt) commands are. For them their personal choices matter more; hence, they pick and choose. Hawa is like a stubborn child. It will jump into a deep swimming pool simply because it appeals to it.

This attitude is opposite of Taqwa- the state in which you obey Allah (swt) regardless of your own desires and feelings.This sin can be originally seen in Iblees, who used to worship Allah (swt) out of desires because he found pleasure in it. But, when Allah (swt) commanded Iblees to prostrate before Adam (as), Iblees refused.

There is a difference between Shahwah and Hawa. Shahwah is restricted to excess in food, drink, sleep, relations, etc. But Hawa is dangerous, because it prevents a person from entering Islam completely. He embraces some parts and rejects the rest. He is entirely dictated by his moods. He creates innovations.

The cure is to know Allah (swt). Renew our intentions to gain knowledge only to please Allah (swt). And to analyze every action we take.

Navigating Our Mind

thinkingAbu Hurairah has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “To harbour good thoughts is a part of well-conducted worship.” (Abu Dawood)

Often we, as human beings, have thoughts, of which we are ashamed of and feel glad that no one can read our minds. The Most Merciful forgives us for our evil thoughts, as long as we do not utter them or put them into practice. The following is a practical example explaining the Hadeeth, which encourages positive thinking.

Surrendering to our Thoughts

Many thoughts are uncontrollable; sometimes they are from our own Fitrah or nature, while at other times, they occur from the whisperings of Shayateen. However, the Hadeeth above is a proof that we can and should monitor our thinking and foster good thoughts. Various prominent Shuyukh teach that when we commit a sin, Shaitan tells us we are worthless, not worthy of gaining or even asking for forgiveness from Allah (swt); therefore, we should not even try to acquire it. Despite all this, it is of utmost importance for us to remember that Allah (swt) is Ghafoor ur Raheem (the Most Forgiving). He is even more forgiving than us to our own selves, and He is the Most Merciful. Remembering this attribute of Allah (swt) pushes us towards the act of seeking forgiveness from Him, and we repent immediately. Similarly, it is the backbone of our religion to have complete trust in Allah (swt) and have a good opinion about Allah (swt), for Allah (swt) says, “I am as my servant thinks of Me.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Success is in our Hands – Take the Control!

Let us analyze this Hadeeth from the following perspective. Say you got hired somewhere and it was your first real job. It did not even last for two days. You had a bad experience at your internship, and you did not do well in college as well. Needless to say, these are depressing thoughts. It is important to first realize that you are entering into a thick fog of negativity, which will blind you from seeing clearly. Success is when you learn from your mistakes and improve. You cannot progress in life, if you think that you can never succeed. Negative thoughts are a great hindrance to your progress. If you keep trying, keep learning from your mistakes and keep strategizing, then, by the Will of Allah (swt), you will move forward – this is success.

We face such a challenge, when it comes to our five times prayer. It is important to keep our daily prayers at the top of our list, because if we miss even one, we are likely to miss two. And then they pile up, and it may become harder for some of us to make up for them. We might start thinking that there’s no use of praying even once or twice a day, because we can never manage all five of them. But we should never let these thoughts occupy our minds. We should always acknowledge that we succeeded in performing one or two of the daily prayers and realize that there is always a need and room for improvement. Hence, we should keep on trying to perform the other three prayers as well. Not only our thoughts of incapability are bad for our Deen, they are also bad for our overall mental and physical health. We should always think in affirmative: “Yes, I can do it! And I will do it as soon as possible and then follow through.” It is guaranteed that a positive and can-do attitude in our religious rituals will overflow into our worldly affairs without us even realizing it; thus improving our well-being Bi-idhnillah.

Similarly, when practicing a Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) or doing a good deed, we should never think that we are not good enough to perform this action. Rather, we should think of the deed as an opportunity to improve ourselves. If we ever think we are not noble enough, this is an indicator of a buffer inside us, and we should take immediate steps to fill it with goodness.

Ramadan – A Time to Improve and Sustain Yourself

RamadanAbdul Azeez Qari invites all Muslims to make the most of the blessings of Ramadan

The Prophet (sa) used to give glad tidings to his companions, upon the arrival of this month. Allah made it a time of action, when believers should strive for four things: fasting, Quran, worship, and righteous deeds. These are the most obvious gifts of Ramadan.

Why does evil diminish in Ramadan?

Abu Hurairah (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Heaven (in another narration – the gates of Paradise) are opened, the gates of the Hellfire are sealed, and the Shayateen (devils) are chained” (Bukhari and Muslim)

He (sa) also said: “On the first night of Ramadan, the Shayateen and the leaders of the Jinn are chained.” (Ibn Majah)

This means that during Ramadan, their ability to tempt people diminishes. Evil and disobedience decrease, because, although the causes of disobedience are many, the greatest factor of all is the whispers of Satan. However, narrations prove that during this month only the leaders of the Shayateen are chained. This is why the evil does not come to a complete halt.

There also are many other sources for evil, one of them being the human soul, which is naturally inclined towards evil. Human devils are another reason for immorality in addition to man’s own lusts and desires. Yet another reason is that the remaining devils, which do not get chained, continue to misguide people. Nevertheless, all of these sources of evil have a lesser effect on the fasting people, because fasting bestows upon them a certain blessing.

What are the mercies of Allah during Ramadan?

Allah ordained fasting during this month, whereby people refrain from food, drink, and conjugal relations from dawn until sunset. When the sun sets, a fasting person can eat, drink, and have marital relations. The nations that came before us were not allowed to touch their spouses even at night. Likewise, if a person from them fell asleep before he had the chance to eat or drink, he was restricted from food and drink until the end of the next day.

However, Allah has made it easy for this nation. He says: “…Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and (wants) for you to complete the period and to magnify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

One of such signs of ease is that an ill person and a traveller can break their fasts and make them up at a later time after Ramadan. Also, the elderly who cannot bear fasting, as well as the people, who have no hope for a cure (i.e., the chronically ill), instead of fasting, can feed the needy – they do not have to make up their missed fasts. In these mentioned cases, the believers should make use of the permission Allah has furnished for them, because He likes, when people take heed of the mercy He has endowed.

O, Muslims! Know that fasting is a protection from wrongdoing. This month is an opportunity for you to purify yourselves. During Ramadan, a Muslim has fewer burdens, as his desires are diminished and he acquires more goodness from being involved in fasting. One can rid himself of bad habits, such as overdoing matters, which are lawful – overeating, talking too much, and being over indulgent in sexual relations with ones spouse. We must stop the awful habit of going to extremes in fulfilling these desires.

What about hypocrites during Ramadan?

Some people fail to understand the reality of fasting. They spend their mornings hungry, while their evenings are full of sin. They spend the whole night watching television with their families, eating all night long to make up for the food they have missed while fasting. Therefore, fasting means no more to such people, but a change in the times of eating.

A Hadeeth states: “A man by the name of Abu Ghazwan came to visit the Prophet (sa). This was before Abu Ghazwan had become Muslim. The Prophet (sa) was the most generous of all people. He milked seven sheep for him, so the man drank all of the milk. Then the Prophet (sa) said to him: ‘Is it not time for you to become a Muslim?’ He replied, ‘Yes’ and became a Muslim. The Prophet (sa) then stroked his chest (while supplicating for him). The next day, the Prophet (sa) milked only one sheep for him, but Abu Ghazwan, was not able to drink all of the milk. So, the Prophet (sa) asked: ‘What is the matter, Abu Ghazwan?’ He, responded: ‘I swear by the One Who sent you as a Prophet, I have had enough.’ So the Prophet (sa) said: ‘Last night you had seven stomachs, while you were a disbeliever, and today you have only one stomach’ (At-Tabarani)

A believer can eat less and control his desires more, since he does not eat to enjoy nor to fulfil a desire, but rather to stop hunger and become stronger, so that he can worship Allah. The disbeliever, however, who does not believe in the Day-to-come, eats with a strong desire and the lust of animals, as Allah describes him in the Qur’an, saying that which means:

“…But those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as grazing livestock eat, and the Fire will be a residence for them.” (Muhammad 47:12)

What about the marketing strategy for MORE?

One type of cooked food is enough; let us not be like the Children of Israel, who would not settle for only one kind of food. O, people, who observe fasting! When you put these different types of foods on the table in front of you, before you begin to eat, remember that the Prophet (sa) would remain without lighting a fire in his house (i.e., without cooking) for one or even two months: “He and his family only ate dates and drank water” (Bukhari)

This was not because he could not have obtained it. It was merely because he stayed away from worldly pleasures, living a simple life and aiming to draw ever closer to Allah. Even though Allah offered him control of the treasures of the earth, the Prophet (sa) chose to live in poor conditions, eating as a slave eats, sitting as a slave sits. He used to say: “O Allah! Let me live as a Miskeen (humble servant) and resurrect me with the Masakeen (humble)” (Tirmidhi & Baihaqi)

How does Allah reward fasting?

Allah says as reported in a Hadeeth Qudsi: “He left eating and drinking and his desires for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I give reward for it – one blessing (for fasting) is multiplied ten times.” (Bukhari)