Preserve Your Iman in Dunya


Where does Iman stand in the life of a believer? When you realize the purpose of this life, Iman stands first in the priority list. All worldly relationships are temporary. The only matter we will be concerned about as we breathe our last, lie in the grave, and stand on the Day of Judgement, will be our Iman.

To spend a righteous life, we need to polish, nourish, cleanse, and purify our Iman. Only after that will we be able to lead a pure life of Taqwa.

Dunya is full of temptations, but there are certain wonderful tips which can help keep our Iman fresh and everlasting. Here are some of them:


Talk to Allah (swt). Have indepth conversations with Him. When we supplicate to Allah (swt), we should follow the way of the prophets. If we ponder over the starting verses of Surah Maryam (the supplication of Prophet Zakariya (as)), we can learn the art of presenting our problems and needs in front of Allah (swt) in the most beautiful way. Prophet Zakariya (as) talked to Allah (swt), telling Him his entire situation, including the minute details. He did not hand to Allah (swt) a list of desires and needs. Instead, he talked and discussed the things because he loved Allah (swt) and had a strong relationship with Him.

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The Ashab-e-Kahf For Today’s Youth

Ashab e Kahf

Transcribed for hiba by Asma Imran

I would like to highlight some lessons from the story of the Ashab-e-Kahf (People of the Cave) which I feel are significantly missing in Muslim discourse especially those related to our youth.

Withdrawal from Mainstream Culture

The first thing I want to talk about is the cultural onslaught. The People of the Cave drew themselves away from the dominant culture when they observed that it was overwhelmingly evil. Actually, a verdict was passed against them according to which they were to be executed as a result of their faith; so they pulled themselves out.

One of the most important lessons to draw from this is that until our lives are in danger, we have to engage with the society. As Muslims, we cannot have the attitude that we are not going to mingle in the society because everything outside is a Fitnah from which we have to protect and shelter ourselves, and the only way we are going to preserve our faith is by totally shutting ourselves out from the outside world. This means that we’ve already accepted defeat. It says that everybody else is attacking us, and we’ve got to save ourselves by pulling back and staying strong within our fort.

However, the entire idea of Islam and the imagery that Allah (swt) presents of Islam is that of truth being hurled against falsehood. Allah (swt) gives the image of truth being like a weapon and falsehood being the victim and running away. Thus, the truth is attacking falsehood, and falsehood is on the run. So who’s on the offense and who’s on the defence? Who’s actually questioning the wrong happening in our society and engaging with it and saying: “We are here to change things?” That’s the truth. And who’s actually supposed to go into hiding? That’s supposed to be falsehood.

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Day of Arafah – To-Do List

If you are not performing Hajj this year and are wondering how you can make the most out of the Day of Arafah, here is a quick to-do list that you may find useful:

  1. Fasting: Try your best to observe fasts on the 8th and 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Fasting on the Day of Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.” (Muslim and Ibn Majah). According to Shaykh Salih Al-Munajjid: “This (fasting) is mustahabb for those who are not on Hajj.” The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khalid (rta) reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet  (sa) said: “The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, on the day of Ashoora, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” (Abu Dawood and An-Nasai)
  2. Supplication: Talha ibn Ubaydullah ibn Kariz (rta) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “The best Dua is Dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best thing that I or the Prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without any partner.’ (La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharika lah.)” (Malik)
  3. Good deeds: The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are almost over. Use the time left to engage in worship, voluntary prayers, recitation of the Quran and sincere repentance and submission to Allah (swt).
  4. Takbeerat: Continue to recite as much of Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Tahleel (La Ilaha Illa Allah) and Tahmeed (Alhumdulillah) as you can (individually). Another Takbeer includes the following words:

Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise)

Another important thing to do on the Day of Arafah is to reflect upon its meaning and significance. Take some time out to ponder over this day and its virtues. Some of these include the following, as mentioned by Shaykh Salih Al-Munajjid:

  1. It is the day on which Allah perfected our religion for us. A Jew said to Umar (rta): “If this Verse had been revealed to us, we would have taken it (that day) as a festival (Eid): ‘This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.’ (Al-Maidah 5:3)” Umar said: “I know the day when it was reveled and the night of which it was revealed; a Friday night when we were with Messenger of Allah (sa) in Arafah.” (An-Nasai)
  2. Allah (swt) has sworn by this day in the Quran: “And by the witnessing day (i.e. Friday), and by the witnessed day [i.e. the day of ‘Arafat (Hajj) the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah];” (Al-Burooj 85:3) Subhan’Allah! Allah (swt) only swears by something which has a great significance.
  3. Mankind gave the testimony of faith to Allah (swt) in Arafah: It is mentioned in a Saheeh Hadeeth recorded by Imam Ahmad, reported by Ibn ‘Abbas (rta) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him. Then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allaah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e., ploytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allaah)?’ (Al-Araf 7:172-173).”
  4. For the people who are performing Hajj, it is a day to secure freedom from hellfire: It was narrated from Aisha (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying: ‘What do these people want?'” (Muslim)  It was reported from Ibn Umar (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of Isha on the Day of Arafah, about the people of Arafah. He says: Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Ahmad)

Compiled by Umm Ibrahim

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Beyond imagination is the love of Allah (swt)- 2

keep-calm-because-allah-loves-you-2Continued from here

10:30 a.m. April 7th 2013

It was not that she had never been insulted before. Being a house help, she was used to people looking down at her. It was not that she had never been insulted because of money. It was always money which made her beg in front of people- people she worked hard for. She had been insulted all her life by them just because she asked for some extra money to pay for some tuition fees or an unexpected medical expense.

But it was different this time.

This time, it was Amir who insulted her.

This time, it was Amir who insulted her because of money.

Money she had borrowed from him some months ago. She never thought of it as a debt. It was her son’s money. She deserved to spend it. She never thought he would ask for it. And in such a way!

“I want my money back!” he frowned with not even a sprinkle of recognition in his eyes, “You said you’d give it back in two months. It has been four already. I’ve been very patient.  But now I need the money.”

“I….I’ll see what I can do……” was all she could mutter.

Why did Allah (swt) make her suffer in the hands of her own flesh? Were her life-long sufferings not enough?

The way Amir looked at her was still alive in her mind. She just couldn’t shake the image off. How can he be so cruel to his own mother? It was so hard for her to accept that fact.

11:30 a.m. March 15th 2013

“Assalamu alaikum.”

“Wa alaikum asalam Farri, How are you?”

“Alhumdulillah Bhai. I’ve made the envelopes as you told me to. I had been so busy with the kids’ exams that I just couldn’t do it before.”

“Oh, it’s ok Farri. I know it must be real hard with kids and all. Take your time. Once you’ll start this, everything will just fall into a routine and it won’t be hard every month. I really appreciate you doing this.”

“Oh Bhai, please don’t say it like this. I’m doing it for Allah (swt) and I’ll get the reward from Him Insha’Allah.”

“Let me know when you plan to deliver these envelopes.”

“Sure, Insha’Allah in a week.”

“Allah Hafiz.”

“Allah hafiz.”

11:00 a.m. April 7th 2013

She had been crying since morning. She was tired. She had to look for a way to return the money to her son. She just wouldn’t allow anyone to look down upon her even if it was her son. She had too much self-respect to allow that to happen. She opened her locker. She had been saving money for a bad time. She never knew her bad time was around the corner. She counted out the cash. It was only 4500. She had to return ten thousand! Where will she get the remaining money from? She just didn’t have the strength to think about it. Suddenly, she made a decision. She had a small pendant left of her jewellery. She had given whatever she had to her daughters and daughter in law. She was saving this pendant as it was very dear to her………the only gift left of her husband. But, the task was more important. She hurriedly went to the jewellery store in the market near her house. It was closed. Who opens a store at eleven a.m.? In her hurry, she didn’t even look at the time.

Clumsily, she walked back home. Everything was going wrong that day.

“Allah (swt) just does not care what happens to me. He just cares about the people who do big things in His way. I’m such a sinner, why would He waste His precious time on me?”

She just couldn’t stop herself from thinking.

9:00 a.m. April 7th 2013

“Assalamu alaikum Bhai, I’m going with Ahmer today to distribute the envelopes so thought I should let you know.”

“Wa alaikumasalam. You still didn’t? I thought you made the envelopes 15-fifteen days ago.”

“Yes Bhai, but Ahmer couldn’t find the time before today.”

“Hmm……I’ve already sent the next installment of the money. Make sure you don’t delay it this time.”

“No Bhai, this is my first time so I’m taking Ahmer along as he knows all the addresses. Once I know the addresses, I’ll do it alone next time.”

11:15 a.m. April 7th 2013

As she returned home to her room, she realized she only had few hours left before her son returned. She had to have the money before that. She just didn’t know what to do. Her eyes kept coming back to the prayer mat folded on the table.

“How can I ask Him? Why would he care?”

“But do you have anyone else to turn to?” someone pleaded inside her.

“I need the money now. How can He help now? I just don’t see any way.”

“Why don’t you just submit yourself? Put your worries in His hands and sit back.” The voice spoke again, but this time with determination.

She stood up and put her head on the floor crying hysterically.

“You know I have nowhere to go. You know I never asked anyone else for help. You know very well if You won’t help me, I’ll be helpless.”

She was just crying her heart out.

“I have no one else but You, Ya Rabbi. Don’t leave me now. I know I have sinned a lot and I’m not a very loyal servant to You, but still I am Your servant. You have to help me. I need You.”

She didn’t know what she was saying. She just wept uncontrollably in front of her Lord.

She was so absorbed in her conversation with her Allah (swt) that she did not hear the doorbell. It was when her grandson came running into the room saying someone had come to meet her. Then she raised her head from the floor.

11:30 a.m. April 7th 2013

“Assalamu alaikum auntie, how are you?”

“Wa alaikum assalam Farzana Beta, it’s been a long time since I last saw you.”

“Yes auntie, it’s been a long time. Were you crying? Your face looks so puffy?”

“I was just resting. Amir’s son told me that you had come. I didn’t even hear the doorbell.”

After twenty minutes, and a cup of tea, Farzana stood up to leave. She handed an envelope to her whispering, “Bhai sent this auntie. He had been planning this for about six months but it took so long to actually happen. He’ll send this every month from now.”

She started to show her disapproval, but Farzana just pressed her hand lovingly.

“Aren’t we your children auntie? Don’t you have any rights over us? Just take this as our mother. Please. You’ll make us very happy if you take this from us.”

12:00 p.m. April 7th 2013

Her hands were trembling as she opened the envelope in the privacy of her room. It was 10-ten thousand rupees,  exactly ten thousand. The same amount she needed. The same amount she had been begging Allah (swt) for. He did listen. He did care. He did answer. She was overwhelmed with emotions.

“Ya Rabbi, You helped me from a way that I never thought existed. I was so foolish to think so low of You. You are the owner of the heavens and the Earth and You love me. How could I think you’d leave me when I make Dua to you.” She was in Sujud again begging for His forgiveness for thinking Allah (swt) would not answer her Dua. Then, out of nowhere, a thought struck her mind! Wasn’t she upset? Didn’t she cry that morning? Didn’t she make Dua for the money? But Farzana said they had been planning to give this for six months. Had Allah (swt) heard her Dua even before she uttered it? Did Allah (swt) love her so much that even when she didn’t know she would need the money, he had started planning how she’d get the money? Can there be anyone else but Allah (swt) to love her? She had attained peace. She had found the greatest friend.

Prayer: Is it a one-way communication?

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My Quran Reflections Journal
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 21 Reflection
(Al-Baqarah 2:186)

Sometimes, the inner ‘me’ screams. It screams to be set free! Free of guilt, pain and misery.

Sometimes, I feel like shouting out loud and crying to Allah (swt) to let Him know that I cannot take it anymore – that I have had enough and am losing the courage to remain steadfast; that I have to drag myself to the prayer mat, and that sometimes I don’t even want to pray.

Then I realize: who is it that needs my prayers? Allah (swt) doesn’t for sure. It is a one way communication anyways. I would cry to Him and tell Him what I am feeling, but He won’t answer me.

Really? Is prayer just a one-way communication? No! Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “My Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.” (Hud 11:61)

“My Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.” (Hud 11:61)

I may not be able to stop my shouts, screams and complaints. I may not be able to pray regularly or with as much zeal as I do pray on particular days; yet, I shouldn’t give up! I must drag myself to the prayer mat and pray. There’s no way out! If I don’t let out my inner feelings to Allah (swt), how else would I feel relieved? How else would I find peace?

After all, I am human. I need an outlet. So prayer is not a one-way communication. Allah (swt) is the All Hearing and the All Knowing. It is my need that He hears what I wish to speak to Him. It is my body’s limitation that it has to fall in Sujud to rise in the state of Iman. It is my mind’s manipulation that it has to feel that it is being responded to, to feel loved. It is my heart’s desire to be consoled, to be able to feel cared for.

So there’s no harm in shouting, crying and screaming in pain to Him. But, there’s greater peace and everlasting bliss in knowing that indeed He hears even our silence. He understands our sobbing and aching, even if we were to weep silently in our solitude, Subhan’Allah!

And according to His promise, He will respond too in His way. In the way, He sees it best for us. We need to have complete trust in Him!

“And when My slaves ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me, then (answer them) – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls upon Me…” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

So, the next time I feel I don’t want to pray, I would drag myself to my praying spot and perform all actions as I should, believing that the Turner of the hearts knows best, how hurt my heart is at that point in time! Insha’Allah!

Do you sometimes feel the same, too?

Top Five Ways to Maintain a Strong Connection with Allah (swt)

asking allahIf the hustle and bustle of this life is weakening our connection with Allah (swt) or if we are disconnected from Him (swt) and feeling frustrated, then we need to engage ourselves in His worship. “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28) Connection with Allah (swt) is as important for us as water is important for the plants. Allah’s (swt) remembrance and worship nourishes our faith and keeps us on straight path. Here are some top ways to foster a strong connection with our Rabb (swt).

1. Salah with Presence of Mind

  • Try to plan the Salah. We need to plan our meeting with Allah (swt) – just the way we plan our worldly meetings.
  • Every night before sleeping, build a strong and sincere intention to perform an excellent Salah the next day.
  • Every morning, the first thought should be the thought of performing each Salah on time. Presence of mind comes when we understand the meanings of the words we recite daily in our Salah. While reciting Surah al-Fatihah, ponder over the meanings. Just think about it: you are praising the Lord of the lords. You are talking to the king of the worlds.
  • Try to memorize new Surahs. Start with short ones.
  • Supplicate after Adhan. Try to answer the Adhan and supplicate to Allah (swt) for solace.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Decide which Surahs you are going to recite. Pray Salah calmly and consciously.

2. Reciting and Understanding the Quran

  • Recite the Quran with understanding; read its translation and Tafseer.
  • Act upon the Quran.
  • Share the knowledge with your family and friends.
  • Open the Quran and know what Allah (swt) is telling us. Read about Him, the author of the best book of the world. Read about the Author Who is in love with the readers.
  • Personalize your Quran, where you can highlight your favourite verses and Duas.
  • If you don’t understand Arabic, get a Quran with translation. Make sure that your children have their personal Quran.

3. Supplication

  • Seek Allah (swt) through supplication. Converse with him. Praise him. Talk to him about every small and big thing. Cry before him. Tell him about how much you need him. The one who cries before Allah (swt) does not need to cry before anyone else.
  • Make Allah (swt) your best friend. No friend in the world can be as loyal as Allah (swt) is. He loves His creation seventy times more than a mother loves her child. He is closer to you than your jugular vein.
  • Keep Allah (swt) in your mind, every second. Talk to him in your heart, every moment. Allah (swt) even hears the whispers. Remember! Allah’s (swt) love is the most guaranteed love.

4. Repentance

Allah (swt) loves those who repent. Let’s be in the list of those whom Allah (swt) loves. Let’s please the Creator with the act that He loves the most. Allah (swt) waits for us to repent.  Let’s put off the burden of our sins. Repent repeatedly each day. Don’t let the sins accumulate. Every sin puts a black dot on the heart, and we need to wash our heart constantly.

5. Gratitude to Allah

Take a pen and a paper and start writing down Allah’s (swt) blessings. We would surely have a never-ending list. Keep adding things to the list every day. Every breath is His blessing. How much ungratefulness we show when we complain to Allah (swt), disregarding all the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. We need to be grateful to Him for the smallest things that He has given us. His greatest blessing is that He has chosen us to be Muslims. Be grateful to Him for the guidance that He has given us.

May Allah (swt) enable us to maintain a strong connection with Him always. Ameen

And my Dua was Accepted…

Dua was Accepted“Mother’s Dua has been accepted!” My children’s energetic loud voice woke me up from my sleep.

We were residents in UAE. My husband and I were working as teachers in a school, when that school’s principle fired both of us, due to his personal enmity with us.

Ramadan was going on. Our visa was going to expire after two months; therefore, we tried hard to find another job but in vain. My three little children were in primary and the two older ones were studying in secondary schools. Residential problem, rent for the house, children’s school fees and grocery money was urgently needed; we were running out of savings and were greatly depressed. All our emergency funds were coming to an end. I told my children to stay calm and pray to Allah (swt) with a pure heart and strong belief.

Allah (swt) had accepted my prayer word to word.

After a few days, my husband’s friend came to our house and said that he has been called in Sharjah for a job interview in a school – he was going to leave for Sharjah. My husband’s friend asked my husband to accompany him. My husband refused, as there was no reason for him to go. However, his friend insisted, terming that as an important visit. When I learned about this, I told my husband to go. Then my husband told his friend that he was ready to go with him. I spoke my heart out: “May Allah (swt) make them ask you to start your job there from the very next day.”

My husband and his friend took off for Sharjah together. As it was the month of Ramadan, I fell asleep during the day and when I woke up, it was nearly Maghrib time. I came to know that my husband had returned from the trip, and as soon as I entered the room, my husband repeated the same sentence that I said before he was leaving, “May Allah (swt) make them ask you to start your job there from the very next day.” My husband said that the school’s interviewer had offered him a job there and then.

I doubted, whether it was real or a dream, because I was awakened by my children’s cheers, “Mother’s prayer is accepted!” But, Alhumdulillah, it was real.

My husband said that the school’s interviewer had offered him a job there and then.

No doubt, my Allah (swt) had accepted my Dua that was prayed with a pure heart. Allah (swt) had accepted my prayer word to word. I could not control my tears, and I bowed in front of Allah (swt) thanking Him for His help.

Although many years have passed since that event, but even today my heart gets filled with gratitude to Allah (swt), because I had prayed to Him (swt) with a pure heart and strong faith. My Allah (swt) answered my sincere prayer positively, Alhumdulillah!

Dua – Fortress of Islam

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Selection of DuasHow do you make Dua? For many of us, Dua is a way of just reciting verses. And for few it is the mode where one turns to Allah (swt) in difficult times and makes Dua to Him to remove the affliction that he is going through. For a few, it is like a daily routine where we recite Dua after every Salah; many of us don’t do even that much…

Dua round the clock

How exactly should we make Dua? How should we strengthen our connection with The All-Hearer (As-Sami)? We should make Dua in every prospect of life; in fact, every moment. Not only while you are facing huge problems, but even for small needs you should ask Him for He is The Provider (Ar-Razzaq).

For example, if you need a pen, ask Allah (swt) and make Dua to Him, before you go to buy it. If the strap of your shoe breaks, ask Allah (swt) for a new pair; but we tend to forget that it is He, Who provides and look around for solutions.

Dua as a form of worship

Do you know you get rewarded for making Dua? Hence, we should be constantly engaged in making Dua. When Allah (swt) mentions Dua in Quran, he establishes a direct connection with you. Even Prophet Muhammad (sa) is not mentioned in between. Usually, Allah (swt) commands Prophet Muhammad (sa) to “tell His command” to the people. But when it comes to a verse with a Dua, the word “Qul” is removed. This conveys pure Tawheed. Dua makes a direct connection between you and Allah (swt), no messenger; no Wali is between you and Allah (swt).

Subhan’Allah! Thus whenever you start making Dua, take a moment and visualize a direct connection that is established between you and Allah (swt) and experience the beautiful essence of Dua!

“Therefore, remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” (Al-Baqarah 2:152)

Thus O you believers! Make Dua for Allah (swt) does not return a servant empty handed.

The power of Dua in the light of Sunnah

Salman Al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Indeed, Allah (swt) is Hayy (Generous), when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.” (Tirmidhi)

Allah (swt) loves to see you make Dua. Allah (swt) gets angry, when you do not ask Him or make Dua to Him. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Whoever does not call upon Allah (swt), He will be angry with him.” (Ibn Majah)

Isn’t this so wonderful? Allah (swt) wants us to gain His mercy in every possible way. He is Al –Wadud (the All-loving), and the most important thing to keep in mind is to be patient. Do not be in haste. Don’t keep any negative thoughts about whether you Dua is going to be accepted or not; in fact, erase them totally! “The Dua of any one of you will be answered as long as he is not hasty in seeking a response and does not say, ‘I prayed but I have not had a response.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)

So we all need to try to make a connection with Al-Qareeb (the One Who is near), and He will definitely answer His slaves. Keep seeking for His forgiveness and ask for best in both worlds. May Allah (swt) grant us the highest level in Jannah (Jannat ul Firdaws) and may blessings be upon Muhammad (sa) and his companions. Ameen.

7 Practical Tips for Praying Qiyam al-Layl

salatBy Muhammad Nasir ad-Deen al-Albani and Shaykh Salih al-Munajjad

1. Ikhlas (Sincerity) – the key to Allah’s Help and Blessings

Help of Allah is needed to accomplish and achieve success in all our affairs. And Allah only helps those who are sincere in their hearts. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” (An-Nasai and al-Hakim) Therefore, one should have a sincere intention to pray Qiyam al-Layl; seek the Pleasure of Allah Alone and avoid the desire of praise or fame. Allah says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone…” (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The degree to which a person is helped and aided by Allah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. Help from Allah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes and fears, and failure comes to them in like manner.”

2. Knowing the Virtues of Qiyam al-Layl

Knowing the virtues and rewards of performing worship produces willingness and desire to perform the worship. We have previously mentioned numerous virtues of regularly praying Qiyam al-Layl, here we mention the excellence of praying Qiyam al-Layl particularly in the great month of Ramadan. Abu Hurayrah (rta) reported: “Allah’s Messenger (sa) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyam during Ramadan. He used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Muslim)

3. Taking a nap in the daytime

Taking a nap before or after Dhuhr Salah will dismiss the stress and thus, enable one to get up in the night and stand in front of his Lord. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen (Satans) do not take naps.” (at-Tabarani)

4. Sleeping according to the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sa)

(a) Sleep early: Sleeping early is a healthy habit and it was the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sa) to sleep directly after performing the Isha prayer. Abu Barzah al-Aslami (rta) said that the Prophet (sa) used to prefer to delay Isha, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.” (Bukhari)

(b) Sleep in a state of Taharah (purity): Ibn Abbas (rta) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Purify these bodies and Allah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the angel] says, ‘O Allah! Forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.’” (at-Tabarani)

(c) Choose a suitable bed: Excessive luxurious or soft bed provokes laziness and makes one sleep more and become negligent. A’ishah (rta) narrates that the pillow of the Prophet (sa) on which he slept at night was made of leather stuffed with palm fibres.” (Abu Dawood and Ahmad)

Once Umar Ibn al-Khattab (rta) entered upon the Messenger of Allah (sa) when he was lying on a mat of palm fibres that had left marks on his side. Umar (rta) said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you not get something more comfortable than this?” He (sa) said: “What do I have to do with this world? My relationship with this world is like that of a traveller on a hot summer’s day, who seeks shade under a tree for an hour, then moves on.” (Ahmad and al-Hakim)

(d) Cleaning the bed and lying on the right side: Abu Hurayrah (rta) reported: “The Prophet (sa) said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

(e) Reciting the Adhkar (supplications) mentioned in the Sunnah before sleeping

There are a number of Adhkar prescribed in the Sunnah before going to bed; amongst them are reciting the last verses of Soorah al-Baqarah, reciting Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah an-Nas and Soorah Ikhlas; blow in the palms and wipe as much of the body possible, starting from the head, face and then the front of the body doing it three times. (Bukhari and Muslim)

5. Avoid too much food and drink

Too much food or drink is one of the main obstacles that make one lazy and negligent of Qiyam al-Layl. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to have a few mouthfuls to give him the strength he needs. If he has to fill his stomach, then let him leave one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” (at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

6. Striving against oneself

Striving against oneself to get up and pray and suppressing one’s desires bring about Allah’s help and His Pleasure for the slave. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And as for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinoon (good-doers).” (Al-Ankabut 29: 69)

The Prophet (sa) said: “The Mujahid (one who strives in way of Allah) is the one who strives against his own self for the sake of Allah.” (Reported by at-Tirmidhi)

7. Rebuking one’s self for not praying Qiyam al-Layl

Qiyam al-Layl is a great blessing from Allah, the Exalted, and He has placed in it numerous spiritual benefits and rewards for the believer. Therefore, one should rebuke one’s self, if he misses this great opportunity of achieving rewards and Pleasure of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (Al-Hashr 59:18)

Adapted from As-Sunnah Islamic Newsletter Issue 15


Selection of Duas

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Selection of DuasBy J. Samia Mair

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “The Jews were divided into seventy-one sects, one of which is in Paradise, and seventy are in the Fire. The Christians were divided into seventy-two sects, seventy-one of which are in the Fire, and one is in Paradise. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, my Ummah will be divided into seventy-three sects, one of which will be in Paradise, and seventy-two will be in the Fire.” It was said: “Messenger of Allah, who are they?” He said: “Al-Jamah.” (Awf Ibn Malik)

I usually keep quiet, when a brother tells me something incorrect about Islam. I have learned through experience that silence is often the best answer.

Because of my status as a convert and a woman, my words are less credible to some. But this day I could not keep quiet. I could not let his interpretation of the Holy Quran go unchallenged. I could not risk my silence implied that I agreed.

“Brother,” I said at one point in the conversation, “how can you be so sure that you are in the one sect that follows the straight path?”

Perhaps, I should not have been so surprised, when he told me that he was sure. But I was surprised. How can anyone be sure? Indeed, how can any of us be confident that our worship is sincere, correct and accepted? I suggest that if you have not worried about your status on the path, then this fact itself should make you worry.

Allah (swt) says: “And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Allah (swt) instructed the Prophet (sa) to tell us: “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’ Say (O Muhammad (sa)): ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad (sa)).’ But if they turn away, Allah does not like disbelievers.” (Al-Imran 3:31-32)

Scholars tell us that our goal is to become beloved by our Creator, so that we may spend eternity in His (swt) Divine Presence. To be loved by Allah (swt), we must obey Him. Obedience means following the Quran and the Sunnah. To know, what the Quran and the Sunnah require from us, we must turn to people of knowledge. This is exactly where the problem lays. Who are the people of knowledge?

At a recent lecture, Imam Zaid, scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute, referred to ‘Sheikh Google’ – a humorous but painfully accurate description of the current state of Islamic scholarship in the West. Let’s face it – the spiritual leadership in many Masjids is abysmal. Very few Imams are scholars and many lack any significant Islamic education. They freely issue Fatwahs, forgetting that it is best to remain silent, when one does not know the answer. I do not question the sincerity of these Imams, but clearly many are not qualified to teach and unwittingly lead other Muslims astray.

What is the average Muslim to do? I try to learn from a variety of sources, what different scholars say on a particular topic. Then I make an educated decision about my practice. This approach is not wholly satisfying. I find scholars, whose writings I trust, and my friends turn to others. Sometimes our scholars disagree on important issues, and so it seems extremely difficult to know, who is right. I believe the answer is to pray. Only Allah (swt) can lead us to the straight path, only with His (swt) mercy and compassion are we rightly guided.

The Fatihah is my favorite Dua, when asking for knowledge. The first time I read the translation, I knew I was going to convert. The seven verses said exactly what I had wanted from Allah, but could not find the words myself.

Other Duas that I say regularly are below. I have collected them from various books and lectures. I always start with a Dua asking for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. Allahu A’lam.

O Allah, You are my Lord; there is no God but You. You created me and I am Your servant. And Your covenant and promise I uphold to the best of my ability. And I seek refuge in You from the evil of whatever I have done. I acknowledge that all my blessings are from You. And to You I bring my sins, so forgive me, because no one can forgive sins but You. (Bukhari)

O Possessor of Majesty and Generosity, whoever You guide cannot be led astray; whoever You lead astray cannot be guided. Please, let me my family and the believing men and women be among those rightly guided. Increase our knowledge, cure the diseases in our hearts and make what is pleasurable to you pleasurable to us, and what is displeasurable to you displeasurable to us. Let us live in Islam and die in faith. Let our graves be spacious. Give us light, shade and water on the Day of Doom. Build us a home in the highest level of Paradise in the company of our Master Muhammad (sa) and in Thy Presence (swt). (An assorted Dua I put together myself.)

O Allah, save us from the torture of the grave, grant us wisdom and unite us with the righteous.

O Allah, I ask You for the good of this day, its openings, victories, lights, blessings and right-guidance.

O Allah, make my inward better than my outward and make my outward virtuous.

O Allah, place a light in my heart, my family’s heart, the believing men and women’s hearts, in our ears, our eyes, and our mouth; on our right, on our left, before us, behind us, above, below us. Give us light and make us light. (Muslim)

O Lord Allah, we ask You by the Light of Your Face and by Your right over Yourself to grant us a good ending at the time of death – for us, our loved ones and for all the Muslims, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. Lord, allow not our hearts to swerve after You have guided us; grant us Your Mercy, You are the Bestower. Lord, make us patient, and take us to You as Muslims surrendering with sound hearts.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the straight path and increase our knowledge, Ameen.