And then one day it’ll be our Reality Too 

I recently came across an article about vandalism in the graveyard. There was an accompanying picture of the vandalized tombstone. What struck me however, wasn’t the vandalism, but rather the year inscribed on the plaque. The year of my birth…

That really hit me because someone out there has been dead for as long as I’ve been alive. Someone out there has been dead for longer than I’ve been alive. Someone out there has been dead for longer than the oldest living person. And one day that’ll and be our reality too. And that is scary because we will all spend more time in our graves than we will on this earth.

Yet we make preparations for daily life and none for the aakhira. I’m saying this from my observations of people: there will be no one to pray for you when you die, you cannot rely on others to repent for you. I have seen time and again how the people who supposedly loved you will move on and forget you. In fact your own loved ones (children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts and uncles and yes even spouses and in some cases especially spouses) will be hard pressed to pray for you.

Life is unpredictable, we don’t know how many children we’ll have or if we’ll even have children. We don’t know when we will get married or if we will even get married. The one thing we do know for certain, however, is that we will die.

That’s why we need to leave some lasting form of sadaqah behind so that even after we die we can still earn good deeds. Below listed are a few things we can do to earn ever lasting reward In Shaa Allah:

♡ Spread Islamic knowledge.
In years to come books will change, social media will change. What is relevant now may not even exist then. But the one thing that will exist is knowledge that is practiced upon and spread by teaching. Teach your family a sunnah or a dua so that they may teach others. In turn this will be passed on to the next generation and the one thereafter thus creating a continuous chain which will earn us continuous reward. In Shaa Allah.

♡Build a water well or plant a tree
If you cannot physically do it yourself then donate to an institution that will be able to do so. Water wells and boreholes are expensive, but even if you contribute a small amount to it you will still be rewarded for it. It’s not the amount that counts, rather it is the intention behind the deed.

♡Donate towards a Masjid
Again an expensive venture but donate whatever little you can to such a cause. Do not think little of whatever small amount you can give. Allah looks not at the amount but rather at the intention.

♡Donate a Quran
My mother’s grandmother gave each of her grandchildren a Quran when they got married. Up till today my mother still uses the same Quraan that was given to her by her late  grandmother. Subhanallah imagine her reward.

♡Purchase a musallah/burka/abaya for your loved ones
Every time they make use of of it to pray you will be rewarded.

♡Donate kitaabs/a blackboard to a madressah
Every time they make use of the kitaab to learn or the board to teach you will be rewarded 

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Decrease in Sustenance?

With the volatile economy and here in South Africa the ever plummeting Rand, some of us may find ourselves in a  financial situation. What we earn just never seems to be enough.
Aside from poor economic climate, there may be other factors that contribute to a decrease in our sustenance. The major contributing factor is our sins which stand in the way of our sustenance.

*We spend 5 minutes making namaz and 5 hours watching TV
*We spend endless hours scrolling through social media but don’t have time to open the Qur’an
*We look at illicit pictures and videos on the phone/internet but don’t bother to open up books on deen
*We forward lewd jokes to each other but never encourage each other to sincerely do good (and by this is don’t mean forwarding those supposedly islamic whatsapp chain messages)
*We freely look at other women/men and then come home and grumble about our own spouses.
*We think about doing wrong but never think about death
*We listen to music but not to Quran
*We chat endlessly about futile issues but never make dhikr
*We plan for work/school/university/the next day but never for the aakhira

How then do we still expect Allah’s mercy and blessings to be showered upon us? Making radical changes is not going to benefit us either. We need to slowly start replacing our bad habits with good ones. Make the effort to inculcate more good in our lives and Allah will certainly help us.

Another very effective means of increasing our rizq is to make abundant istigfaar (seek forgiveness).

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud]

In addition I have come across the below mentioned dua

:

Life Lessons Learnt 

Recently I looked back and realized that on this journey of life there are many things that I’ve learnt. I have documented some of the things that I can remember and I hope to share it so that it may be of benefit to others on their journey. None of us are perfect in imaan and we’re all learning as we go along the way, therefore I hope that the things I’ve learnt will be of benefit to someone at their stage of life.
I’ve learnt to never ask Allah for what I want but instead to ask for what is best for me. There is a reason beyond your and my comprehension as to why Allah is withholding something from us. Sometimes we’re so hell bent on what we want that Allah shows us why He didn’t give us what we were asking for.

I’ve learnt that everything is predetermined. There is nothing that we could have done differently. It was meant to happen and so it did. That’s why we should stop worrying about the trivial things because Allah has already written out what’s meant for us.

I’ve learnt that giving in charity does not detract from you. It earns you reward for the aakhira and saves you from calamities in this world. We should give in charity even when we feel stingy because we’re doing it for ourselves and not the person asking of us.

I’ve learnt that trials and tests are a means to expiate our sins. It’s not Allah’s wrath but rather His mercy on us. It’s also a reminder that this world is but temporary and that we should be striving for the aakhira.

I’ve learnt that our actions and our thoughts are a result of what we “feed” ourselves. If we feed our soul with wrong (haraam food, illicit material, books that promote zina etc.) we will perpetuate wrong. But if we feed our soul with good we will in turn do good.

I’ve learnt that people try to tamper with fate or decide their own destinies by bribing, dating and stealing because they have no tawakkul in Allah. If we truly in our hearts believed that Allah had pre-written everything we wouldn’t do such things.

I’ve learnt that money is more often a curse than a blessing. Its easy to get swept up in the material pursuits of the dunia (world) when money is in abundance. We should rather pray for contentment with what we have. Besides the poor enter jannah 500 years before the rich.

I’ve learnt that Allah does not give us everything. He withholds something from us as a means of trial for us. That’s why we tend to look at others and feel jealous, yet we need to look at ourselves and see what we do have and not what we don’t. Also by leaving that one thing missing it allows us not to get too attached to the dunia. All out hearts desires will be fulfilled only in Jannah. If we had everything we wanted we would never want to leave this world, we would never need to strive for Jannah.

I’ve learnt that rizq is predetermined by Allah. It’s not dependent on how hard we work or what we choose to study. Make the effort and Allah will provide for us. There’s no need to steal or neglect our families or take advantage of others to earn money because we will only get that which Allah ordained for you. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I’ve learnt that the key to guidance is through dhikr. If you really want to change, if you really want to be a better Muslim: make dhikr abundantly. On your own wherever you are, while waiting, standing, driving etc. make dhikr and you will soon see yourself being guided to the straight path.

I’ve learnt that if we are truly in distress we should make abundant istigfaar (seek forgiveness) because Allah promises that He will make a way out of every distress for one who constantly makes istigfaar. Sometimes our sins stand in our path to receiving blessings. Therefore by repenting we clear the way to blessings.

I’ve learnt that once we die people will forget about us. They’ll mourn for a while but life will still carry on for them. Some will forget us and move on with their own lives no matter how much they ‘loved’ us in our lifetime. They too will eventually die and there will be no one to pray for us. People have been dead for longer than we’ve been alive. We have to pray for ourselves and do good deeds for ourselves because no one will be there to pray for us.

I have learnt to at least try and be nice to people because truly they are battling something we know nothing about. Cliche as it may sound. If they were to expose their problems to us we would be astounded.

I’ve learnt that people don’t need to know the good we do. They don’t even need to think that we’re “nice” people. We don’t need them to thank us for what we do for them. As long as Allah knows that is sufficient.

I’ve learnt not to buy things unnecessarily. Before we buy something think about whether we’re really going go wear it/use it. If you only intend to wear/use it once off don’t buy it. It’s wasteful and Allah dislikes waste.

I’ve learnt to spend on others just as we spend on ourselves because one day we will be called to account for the way in which we spent what Allah had given to us.

I’ve learnt that the way you live is the way you’ll die. Death can come at any time so be careful of what you do, where you go and how you dress.

I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter how many people you reach. The important thing is that you tried. Allah guides only those whom He chooses to.

May Allah make us among those whom He chooses to guide.

I’m Praying So Why Aren’t Things Going Right for me?

It’s a question many of us have been confronted with at some point or another. We start praying but things are still not going right. We’re still experiencing financial difficulty, we’re still feuding with our family, we still can’t find a job, we still can’t find a spouse etc.

We started praying, so why isn’t anything changing? Why are things still going wrong?

Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience. Remember all those times we disobeyed Allah without a second thought and now we bow down on the musallah and expect instant results?

It doesn’t work that way.

We have to continue our efforts and place our trust in Allah. We have to repent and make up for all the times we didn’t pray. Most of all we have to be patient because regardless of how much we sin, Allah is still listening.

It may be that He wishes to hear our voices call out to Him because we’d been astray for so long. It may also be that He is waiting for the right time to answer our duas.

Remember also that we are all tested in different ways. It may be that this is our test.

Allah says in the Quraan:
“And We will surely test you (all) with something of fear and hunger and loss of property, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the (steadfast) patient, who, when a calamity befalls them, (by showing perseverance), say: ‘ Verily we belong to Allah, and certainly unto Him shall we return’. Those are they on whom are blessings and Mercy from their Lord, and they are the ones that are guided (aright).”
[Surah Bakarah: 155-157]

Hence we see that Allah wants us to be patient and that He has promised glad tidings for those who are patient.

Furthermore it is stated in a hadith:
“If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].

From the above we see that the key to relief from our distress is to be patient and to repent.

Why Does Islam Command the Muslim Woman to Cover up?

This is a sensitive topic for many sisters who don’t like being told to cover up. However let’s explore the reasoning behind covering up.

If you were to purchase an item for example a laptop. Would you buy it if they were offering it to you without a box? Would you purchase any valuable item if it had no wrapping?

Now in no way am I comparing women to mere items that are meant to be bought and sold. Instead the analogy is that of something valuable. Islam grants such a great value to women and that is why they are commanded to cover up.

Think about where you find diamonds and gold. Under layers of rock. Whereas ordinary stones are found everywhere. Gold is worth thousands but stones are worth nothing.

Aside from the fact that all things valuable are covered, Allah commands Muslim women to cover up as a protection for themselves. Remember my dear sisters that Allah loves us more than anyone else in this world. More than our parents, our siblings, our spouses and our friends. Whatever He commands for us is only for our benefit. Would the One who loves you want to harm you?

When we step out of the house uncovered we are bound to get the attention of men. Not only men that some would want to admire them but also men who are old, who are perverts, who are undressing you with their eyes. And in some instances that job is made easy for them because our sisters step out of the house with so little clothes on.

Furthermore when we step out of the house uncovered or upload photos like that on social media we get sin for every man who casts a lustful or ‘appreciative’ glance at us. Imagine then how many men are looking at us.

Allah commands both the believing men and the believing woman to lower their gazes, but He also commands the believing women to cover up. Therefore men will be guilty for the sin of looking in the first place but so too will women be guilty of stepping out uncovered.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her husband’s house (to show off for unlawful purposes), has broken Allah’s shield upon her.” [Ahmad]

That means that when we step out of the house uncovered we have broken Allah’s shield of protection on us. We are no longer under His protection. Think about calamities, tragedies, accidents, abuse, rape…

While there is no excuse for a man to rape a woman, why flout Allah’s rules when He already prescribed it as a protective measure?

Fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, it’s time we caught a wake up and stopped allowing our women folk to walk around close to naked. Whether it be on their wedding day or everyday, it’s not acceptable. When did we stoop so low that some of us are more uncovered than non-Muslim women?

Let our reality not be such that we’re only truly covered on the day we die (in our kaffans). May Allah guide us all. Ameen.

The First 10 Days of Zul Hijjah 

The first 10 days of Zul Hijjah will commence tomorrow In Shaa Allah. Good deeds done in these 10 days are better than those done any other time of the year.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah than these days i.e the first 10 days of Zul Hijjah. They said “Oh Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the path of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, The Most High, except if a man goes out for Jihad with his self and his wealth and doesn’t return with anything from that” (Bukhari, Abu Dawood)

Let’s make use of these opportunities as best as we can as we are all always in need of good deeds.

What to do in these 10 days?

♢Recite Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Tahleel (Laa ilaaha illallah), and tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) 

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “There aren’t any days greater, nor any days in which deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah, Most High, than these 10 days of Zul Hijjah. So increase in them the saying of Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Tahleel (Laa ilaaha illallah), and tahmeed (Alhamdulillah). [Ahmad]

♢Make istigfaar  (seek repentance)
♢Recite Quraan
♢Make dhikr
♢Recite Durood
♢Give charity
♢Do as much good deeds as possible
♢Keep fasts

Set goals for each day in order to prevent wasting time. Remember not to overburden ourselves otherwise we’ll burn out and end up wasting time anyway. May it be a fruitful 10 days for all of us. Ameen.

Supplications Every Muslim Should Know 

 
1. Good in this World and in the Hereafter

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatow wa fil ‘akhirati hasanatow waqina ‘adhaban-nar

“Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire”
[2:201]

*This dua encompasses everything a believer could ask for: all that is good in this world, all that is good in the hereafter. In addition we are asking Allah to save us from His punishment.

2. When We Need Allah’s Guidance in Making a Decision

اللَّهُمَّ خِرْ لِيْ وَاخْتَرْ لِي

Allahuma khirli wakhtarli

“O Allah (SWT) grant me a choice and choose for me.”

*This dua is a short istikhaara dua. Whenever we are confused about a decision we should recite this dua. In doing so we are asking Allah’s help for He knows that which we know not.

3. The Greatest Supplication for Seeking Forgiveness

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لايَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ

Allaahmma anta rabbee laa elaaha illaa ant. Anta khalaqtanee wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’t. A’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’t. Aboo’u laka bi ni’matika alayya wa aboo’u laka bi thambee. Faghfir lee. Fa innahoo laa yaghfiruth-thunooba illaa anta

[O Allah, You are my Lord. There is no god besides You. You created me and I am Your servant, following your covenant and [my] promise to you as much as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil that I have done. Before You I acknowledge Your blessings bestowed upon me and I confess my sins to You. So forgive me, for surely no one can forgive sins except You.]

The Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said ‘anyone who says this during the day, firmly believing in it, and dies before the evening; or says it in the evening, firmly believing in it, and dies before the following morning, will be among the people of paradise.’ ”

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

4. Reward for Sitting an Entire Morning in Prayerfor

The Mother of the Believers, Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith reported that, “the Prophet came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet said, ”Are you still in the same position as I left you.” I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet said, “I recited four phrases three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are: Subhan-Allah Wa bihamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, wa rida-a nafsihi, wa zinatah ‘arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi (Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise).”  [Muslim]

5. The Dua of Moosa  (Alayhis Salaam)

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

Rabbi Innee Limaa anzalta ilaiyya min khairin faqeer*

“Oh Lord I am in desperate need of whatever good you send down to me”
(Quran 28:24)

*Moosa (Alayhis Salaam) recited this dua after escaping from Firaun. He was tired, hungry and Impoverished having travelled far. After recitating this dua Allah blessed Moosa (Alayhis Salaam) with enough provision to live for 10 years as well as a wife to start his family.

Imaan-e-Mufassal 

Imaan-e-Mufassal literally translates as:

“I believe in Allah and His Angel’s and His books and His messengers and the last day and in taqdeer, the good and bad thereof- which is from Allah the Most High and I believe in the rising after death”

○”I believe in Allah and His Angels”

We believe in Allah as the Supreme Being and as One. We believe that He is our Lord and in addition we believe in the existence of His Angel’s. We believe that there are two angels sitting on our shoulders and recording our deeds. We believe in the angel of death and in the Munkar and Nakeer (the angels who will question us in our graves). We believe in angel Jibraeel (the angel sent to Rasullallah who commanded him to read) and Israfeel (the blower of the trumpet on the last day). We believe that there are angels sent to collect durood from the reciters and to deliver it to Rasullallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). We believe in all of the angels that Allah has created.

○”and His books”

We believe not only in the Quraan but in the Torah, Zaboor and Injeel too.

○”and His messengers”

Not only do we believe in Muhammad  (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) but we also believe in Prophet Ebrahim, Ismail, Yusuf, Dawood, Nuh, Eesa and all the other prophets too.

○”And the Last Day”

We believe in the day of Qiyamah. That we will all be brought forward in front of Allah to account for our deeds. A day on which nothing will be hidden, when our good and bad deeds will be placed before us. A day on which the sun will be an arms length above our heads and when people drown in their own sweat and blood.

○”and in taqdeer, the good and bad thereof which is from Allah Most High”

We believe that everything has been preordained by Allah. From the time we are born, to the person we marry, to the opportunities that come our way to the time we die. Not even a leaf falls from the tree without the will of Allah. Not only do we believe in the good He sends to us but we believe in the bad too. We believe that Allah sends calamities too (for reasons in His infinite wisdom, whether that is to remind us of Him, to teach us gratitude or to bring us closer to Him through trials).

○”and in the rising after death”

We believe that a day will come when all creation will cease to exist. Every living being will die. And after we die we will be resurrected again to account for our deeds and then to dwell in the abode prepared for us (i.e Jannah or Jahannum)

♡If we think about the Kalimahs and the fact that we read them before going to sleep, what we’re doing every night is praising and glorifying Allah, we negate shirk and reaffirm that we believe only in Allah. We ask for forgiveness for committing shirk unknowingly and we reaffirm that we believe in all of the creation of Allah even if we have never seen it).

The Kalimahs: What Are We Reading?

Most of us read our kalimahs a bit mechanically without really knowing what we’re reading. This post seeks to touch on the first few kalimahs but to go into detail on Kalimah Radde-Kufr.

Kalimah tayyibah, kalimah shahaadah, kalimah tamjeed and kalimah tawheed profess the Oneness of Allah and accept Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as His final Messenger. They extol the virtues of Allah and praise Allah.

Kalimah Radde-Kufr, however, has a much deeper meaning. It translates directly as:

“Oh Allah! I seek protection from You that I should join any partner with You knowingly. I seek forgiveness from that which I do not know. I repent from ignorance. I free myself from disbelief and from joining partners with You (and I free myself from) all sins. I submit to Your will. I believe and I declare: there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah”

“Oh Allah! I seek protection from You that I should join any partner with You knowingly”

We are seeking protection from Allah (thus appointing Him our protector). And we are seeking protection from associating partners with Him because we know that the only sin Allah will not forgive is kufr  (associating partners with Him).

“I seek forgiveness from that which I do not know. I repent from ignorance”

It may be that we sometimes commit an act of kufr unknowingly. Thus we seek Allah’s forgiveness if we have committed such an act that we are unaware of.

“I free myself from disbelief and from joining partners with You (and I free myself from) all sins”

So we may have committed an act of kufr and we don’t know and we’ve asked for forgiveness for it but now we are declaring that we still believe only in Allah. The act which we may have committed in ignorance has no bearing on the fact that we still accept Allah as One.

“I submit to Your will”

There are times when we cannot understand why something is happening to us. When we don’t know why we’re being led to a different thing. But despite our fears and doubts we submit to Allah and accept His will. We accept that whatever He wills for us is what is best for us.

“I believe and I declare: there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah”

This time we do only declare the Oneness of Allah, but we profess that we believe it as well. Thus we negate kufr.

The entire Kalimah is dedicated to negating kufr, thus allowing us to ask forgiveness for the one sin for which there is no forgiveness.

The next post will be on Iman-e-Mufassal. In Shaa Allah.