The Best 10 Days

The first 10 days of Zul Hijjah are upon us, Alhamdulillah. 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]

♢Display good behavior

The Prophet ﷺ said, “No deed that will be placed on the scale of deeds [on the Day of Judgement] will be heavier than good character. Indeed, a person with good character will attain the rank of those with a good record of voluntary fasts and prayers.” [At-Tirmidhi]

♢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.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The dearest of actions to Allah is that which is done regularly, even if it is small.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Therefore doing something consistently is more virtuous than doing a lot one day and then doing nothing at all the next. May it be a fruitful 10 days for all of us. Ameen.

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The Night of Power, Laylatul Qadr

As we enter the last 10 days of this blessed month we should we anticipate Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Look for Laylatul Qadr on an odd-numbered night (i.e 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th nights) during the last ten nights of Ramadaan” [Bukhari].

It is important to note that in Islam night precedes day. Therefore the odd nights will precede the odd numbered fast.

But what is Laylatul Qadr?

The Prophet said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven” [Bukhari & Muslim].

Allah says in Surah Qadr:

“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”

Therefore we gather that the Quraan was sent down on this night. It is a night so powerful that it is better than 1000 months of worship. If we stay up in prayer on this night hoping for its rewards we will have our previous sins forgiven. In Shaa Allah.

Virtues of Laylatul Qadr

*Laylatul Qadr is know as “the night of power”. It’s not just known as “a night of power”. That implies that if there was one night that was superior to all others it would be Laylatul Qadr.

*Laylatul Qadr was not given to any previous nations. It was only given to the ummah of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the reason for this is that the previous prophets lived for thousands of years whereas nowadays the average lifespan of people is between 60-70 years. Rasullallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked Allah how his ummah was to compete with the previous nations as they lived for so many more years whereas our lifespans are a mere fraction of theirs. And that is when Allah blessed the ummah of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with Laylatul Qadr so that we have the opportunity to pray in a night that is better than a 1000 months (83 years) of worship.

*Allah didn’t say it is equal to 1000 months worships but He said it is BETTER than 1000 months of worship. Which means that it is superior to praying for 83 years.

*Even if one lives until the age of 83 and over can we truly profess that we spend every second of every day in worship? The truth is that the average person prays for 2-3 hours a day while research suggests that we will spend one third of our lives sleeping. If you multiply 24 hours by 83 years that equals 1992 hours of worship. Compare this to 2-3 years of worship for 50 years (because we spend the first few years of our lives growing up) which equals only 100 hours of worship.

*It is for this reason that it is stated in a hadith: “The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great]. [Ahmad].

What to do on Laylatul Qadr?

*Aishah (Radiyyallahu Anha) reported:

I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Laylatul-Qadr, what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).”

[At-Tirmidhi]

-Make Magrib, Esha and Taraweeh salaah (remember we get rewarded for performing our fardh ibaadat)

-Read nafl or qadha salaah

-Read Quraan (as the Quraan was sent down during this night)

-Wake up for Tahajjud salaah

*-Make dua

*-Make Dhikr

*-Read durood

*-Make istigfaar and tauba (seek forgiveness)

*-Give in charity

*-Try and gain Islamic knowledge by reading Islamic books, kitaabs, articles etc.

*-Listen to the recitation of the Quraan

*-Read your eating, toilet and after Azaan duas

*-Read morning and evening duas

*-Share Islamic knowledge with your loved ones

(Ladies in haidh, nifaas etc. Can do all the ones marked with a star*)

Have a dua/dhikr list with you so that you have things to read. It’s also advisable to set goals for the nights e.g

*500× durood

*500× subhanallah

*Give in charity

*Read 1 juz etc

(Make your own list according to your own capabilities).

It is difficult to stay up the entire night especially when we have to go to work/study/go to school/see to the house the next day, but let’s try to stay awake for as long as we can. In addition, let’s try to wake up for Tahajjud as Laylatul Qadr lasts up until Fajr sets in.

Dhikr List

Below listed are a few things that one can read in Ramadaan (and any other time of the year) to gain reward. Copy, save and share with your dear ones so that they may benefit from it too. Add your own things to the lists as well.

Dhikr/things to recite:

1. Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest)

2. Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah)

3. Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah)

Allah showers his mercy on the one who makes dhikr and the angels make dua for him/her. Allah blesses the one who makes dhikr with guidance and understanding of deen. Allah will greet those who made dhikr with the words ‘As salaamu alaikum’ on the day that we meet Him. [Surah Ahzab]

4. Astagfirullah

“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]

5. Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi Subhanallahil Azeem

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon him) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

6. Kalimah tayyibah (first kalimah)

The words that profess the Oneness of Allah and the words that need to be on our tongue when we breathe our last.

7. Durood shareef

The Holy Prophet said that: “Whoever from my ummah sends durood on me once ten good deeds are recorded on his behalf, his ten (minor) sins are pardoned and he is elevated by ten stages” [Sunan Nisai and Musnad Ahmed, AI-targhib li al Mundhari]

8. Laa hawla wa laa quwata illah billah

Hadhrat Abu Dharr narrated that Rasulallah said: “Should I not tell you of one treasure of the unlimited treasures of Paradise?” I replied spontaneously “Oh Rasulallah (Peace be upon him) that would be an honour indeed!” Rasulallah said: “That rare treasure is LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH.” (“The strength to do good and to refrain from evil comes from the grace and mercy of Allah!”) [Ibn Majah]

9. SubhanAllahi Wa bihamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wa zinatah ‘arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi

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).” [Narrated by Muslim]

10. Allahumma innaka afuwan tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me) [At-Tirmidhi]

11. Allaahmma anta rabbee laa elaaha illaa Anta khalaqtanee wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu. A’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’tu. Aboo’u laka bi ni’matika alayya wa aboo’u laka bi thambee. Faghfir lee. Fa innahoo laa yaghfiruth-thunooba illaa anta

Shaddad ibn Aws narrated that the Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said; “the most superior request for forgiveness is to say:

‘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 ant.’

[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] then added, ‘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]

12. Rabbana aatina fid dunya hasanatow wa fil aakhirati hasanatow wa kina azaaban naar

“My Lord please grant me the best of this world and the best of the hereafter and save me from the punishment of Jahannum”

12. Surah ikhlaas (Qul huwallahu Ahad)

13. Surah Zil Zaal (Izaa zul zila)

14. Surah Kaafiroon (Qul yaa ayyuhal kaafiroon)

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. [At-Tirmidhi]

15. Surah Qadr (inna anzal na hu Fi laylatil qadr)

The Surah explaining what the night of power is.

* Ladies that are in haidh/nifaas can recite 1-11.

Nothing More Beautiful

For many of us, there is some type of discomfort or another associated with fasting. Not only are we giving up food and drink but we’re also giving up sleep, we battle fatigue and hunger. We go to work, drive an hour home, see to the children, prepare for exams while battling headaches and a lack of sleep etc. But through all of the hardships and difficulties we experience we’re granted the opportunity to have our duas answered.

There is nothing more beautiful than a servant who endures difficulties throughout the day for his Lord only to bow down at the end of the day when his hunger and fatigue are at its peak, to ask of his Lord for everything that he wants knowing that his Lord will grant him anything he wishes for.

Therefore let’s make use of this beautiful opportunity granted to us.

Not Feeling the Ramadaan Spirit?

Almost half of Ramadaan is already over, time is passing us by, but some of us are not feeling the Ramadaan spirit. We want so badly to feel something but somehow we can’t seem to muster up that excitement. So what can we do?

Firstly the reason we don’t feel the Ramadaan spirit and excitement is because we don’t make sufficient preparations beforehand for Ramadaan. When Ramadaan comes we can’t simply expect to start feeling differently.

It’s like awaiting a much anticipated guest. What if we knew that a visitor was coming with lots of gifts for us? Would we not prepare for this visitor in advance so that their stay is a comfortable and enjoyable one?

On the other hand if a visitor was suddenly just to pitch up at our door and demand attention would we not feel inconvenienced by it? But what if this unexpected visitor told us that they brought gifts along, would we then not get excited and make an effort?

Likewise even if we didn’t prepare for Ramadaan beforehand thus not feeling that Ramadaan spirit, we can still change that. We can still make an effort because Ramadaan has a few more days stay with us.

And what are these gifts that Ramadaan has brought for us?

1. Everyday thousands of souls that were destined for Jahannum will be freed from the hell fire [Ahmad].

Imagine on the day of Qiyamah being sent to Jahannum, seeing the fire raging before you, hearing people scream as they’re thrown in, feeling the heat as you near, smelling flesh burning…but suddenly you’re pulled away. Saved from the punishment of Jahannum by your ibaadat in Ramadaan.

2. It is an expiation for our sins [Muslim]

How many sins have we committed? How many of these sins can we even remember? Imagine being forgiven for all of our sins, those that we remember and those that we do not. Imagine that, a clean slate of deeds for fasting properly. In Shaa Allah.

3. Duas of the fasting are accepted [Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi]

Ask for anything (aside from impermissible things) and it will be granted. We can rest assured without a shadow of doubt that purpose duas will be accepted. Unlike other times when we make dua we have hope that it will be accepted, now we have a guarantee that it will be accepted.

4. Shaytaan is locked up [Bukhari]

This is the perfect time to do good deeds as shaytaan is not there to dissuade us from doing good. It’s also a good opportunity to introspect. Those times we’re too lazy to stand for salaah or read Quraan, it’s not even shaytaan tempting us, it’s our own nafs.

So what should we do for the remaining days of Ramadaan?

*We should not only fast from food and drink, but we should fast from our distractions too. Our cellphones, social media, the opposite gender, the TV etc. Whatever it is that is taking us away from the ibaadat of Allah we should try and avoid as much as possible. We’d quickly relapse if we cut it out completely so let’s rather cut down on our distractions.

*Make a list of goals that we need to achieve each day. The minimum that each of us should start off with is 100 Subhan-Allah, 100 Alhamdulillah, 100 Allahu Akbar, 100 Astagfirullah. But why stop there, why not add a little more (not more than we can humanly manage because if we set unrealistic goals we’ll fail and feel demotivated). But add on things like a kind words, something small in charity, reading at least one page of Quraan etc.

*Soldier on even if you don’t accomplish the goals for one day. Tomorrow is another opportunity, another day of Ramadaan in which we should try to be better.

*Remind ourselves that this is no ordinary month. It brings with it so much blessings but only stays for a short while.

May Allah accept all our efforts, no matter how small they may be, for He looks at the quality of our deeds and not the quantity thereof. Ameen.

The True Purpose of Ramadaan

Have you ever wondered what the true purpose of Ramadaan is? Why do we really fast? What are we meant to gain from fasting?

Allah says in the Quraan: “O you who have believed, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may attain Taqwa” [2:183].

But what is Taqwa?

Various translations of this aayah define Taqwa as: righteousness/piety, self restraint, fearing Allah and guarding oneself against evil.

If we think about this we do all of this in Ramadaan. We attain piety by increasing in ibaadat, making more dhikr, reading more Quraan etc. We restrain ourselves from eating even though the act of eating is halaal at other times of the year. Therefore we learn self restraint. We increase in ibaadat therefore we have a heightened awareness of Allah. People make a greater effort in Ramadaan, by wearing scarf, abstaining from watching TV and listening to music etc. thereby guarding ourselves against evil.

In this way we attain Taqwa, the true purpose of Ramadaan. So don’t laugh and mock at those who practice more in Ramadaan. They actually have the right idea. The only thing is that we’ve got to carry these changes with us even after Ramadaan.

May Allah accept from us the efforts we make for His pleasure. Ameen.

One day we’ll look back…

One day we’ll look back and regret. Regret that we didn’t use our time wisely.

How many Ramadaans have we experienced after we attained puberty? 10? 20? 40?

How many of those can we really say we’ve utilized properly?

Let the day of regret not be the day of Qiyamah. For once we die we will never get the chance to come back to this world to do good deeds that we so desperately need.

That’s why let’s utilize the time while we have it, while we’re still alive to witness another Ramadaan. While the doors of Jannah are open and the doors of Jahannum closed.

So how can we utilize this time?

By setting goals. Set realistic goals that we will be able to accomplish. It doesn’t help to set unrealistic goals that we can’t achieve and then we feel demotivated and then stop because we’re just not getting anywhere.

Start small and build up as each day goes by. If all you can manage per day are 1 page of Quraan and 100 durood then so be it. Progress to 2 pages of Quraan and 100 durood and 100 Subhanallah and so on.

Remember that Allah rewards us according to our intention. So if our intentions are to become better then He will aid and reward us for it no matter how small the effort may seem. In Shaa Allah.

5 Blessings of Ramadaan

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrates: Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

My Ummah were given five things for Ramadhaan which were not given to anyone (previously) besides them:

*(1)* The smell from the mouth of a fasting person is more sweeter to Allah Ta’ala than the fragrant smell of musk.

*(2)* On their behalf the fish in the ocean seek forgiveness until they open their fast.

*(3)* Everyday, Allah Taàlah prepares and decorates a special garden in jannah for them.

*(4)* The evil-minded shaytaan is chained.

*(5)* On the last night of Ramadhaan they are forgiven.

[Ahmad]

Why do we fast? And why should we be excited about Ramadaan?

The blessed month of Ramadaan is on our doorsteps once again. While it is the month of abstinence it also is a month with great blessings.

A couple of months back I was asked by a non-Muslim, why do you fast? The truth is do we as Muslims know why we fast and what we get out of fasting?

* Firstly we give up that which is halaal (eating, drinking, spousal relations) for the pleasure of Allah. If we can abstain from that which is halaal surely we can abstain from that which is haraam?

* Secondly it teaches us self control and Allah consciousness. You could eat while no one is watching, but you don’t because Allah is watching and you are keeping fast for Him.

Abu Huraira (Radiyyallahu Anhu) reported the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except As-Siyam (the fasting) which is (exclusively) for Me, and I will reward him for it.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]

*It inculcates in us good actions. People stop watching TV, put scarfs on, grow their beards, and try to abstain from getting angry and using foul language because we understand the magnanimity of this month.

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting) [Bukhari].

*It gives us a glimpse into the lives of so many others. Remember those beggars you ignored on the street? The hunger you feel when fasting is nothing compared to the hunger they feel daily. While our iftaar tables groan under the weight of so much food, they go through days and possibly months without proper food. Think about the poor who are starving, countries where there is famine. What we experience is only a small fraction of their everyday reality.

Why should we be excited about Ramadaan? What blessings does Ramadaan hold for us?

♡It is an expiation of our sins if done properly.
“Whoever observes fasting during the month of Ramadaan with faith, seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven” [Muslim].

♡We experiences two types of joy, joy at the time of breaking fast because you can finally eat all those yummy savouries prepared by mummy, nani, dadi, etc. And we will experience joy at the time of meeting Allah.
“The one who fasts, experiences two joys: he feels pleasure when he breaks the fast. He is joyful by virtue of his fast when he meets his Rubb.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

♡Every day Allah saves the souls of thousands of people who were destined for Jahannum.
“There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [Ahmad]

♡We have the opportunity for our duas to be accepted.
‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: when a fasting person breaks fast (in another narration, the fasting person until he breaks his fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed’ [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi].

♡ ‘When Ramadan comes, the Doors of Mercy (another narration says Paradise) are opened, and the doors of Hell are closed, and the Shaitans are locked up’ (Bukhari).

♡ In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]

Many of the youth make it their objective to pass time as quickly as possible. Either by driving around, sleeping most of the day or hanging around with friends waiting for iftaar. Ramadaan has so many blessings let’s try not to squander this time, but instead to accumulate good deeds.
How many of us can safely say we’ve done enough good deeds to get us admitted to Jannah? We’re all always in need of good deeds on our records. What better time than Ramadaan to do good?

Drive around doing your mother’s errands or taking someone who doesn’t have a car to their destination and don’t forget to make dhikr when you drive. Sleep in the morning but wake up before Zohr so that you have energy to read taraweeh and pray thereafter. Take your friends and start a charity project. Visit the elderly, go to an orphanage, feed the poor, visit the graveyard.

Don’t waste this time because it may be our last Ramadaan. Sounds cliché right? But think about it, whether it’s this year or in a few years time, one year it really will be our last Ramadaan. What if that’s the Ramadaan that we wasted?

Let’s not be among those unfortunate souls for whom Ramadaan was just the month where we starved, the month where we gained nothing but weight.

Huraira related that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness” (Darimi).

Ramadaan Mubarak to one and all. Remember this struggling servant in your duas. Have a blessed Ramadaan.

Funeral Etiquette

Having recently lost another grandparent I have once again observed the inappropriate things people do at funerals. Therefore I would like to educate one and all about what to do and what not to do at funerals. In Shaa Allah we will share it with our loved ones so that the knowledge spreads and so that we do not become the perpetrators of such behaviors.

Do NOT:

*First and most important, if you are experiencing your menses please do not sit in the room with the janaazah. The angels of Mercy will not descend near the body if you sit there.

*Don’t just sit around and wait for someone to talk to. Pick up a Yaseen kitaab or Para of the Quraan and read for the deceased. If you are in your menses make dhikr. Don’t sit around like a piece of glass. This applies to the men too. The men in general have a tendency to sit and talk and do nothing. You’re not exempt from praying.

*The most cliché one but I’m going to say it anyway: do not gossip. A person just passed away but we don’t take lesson from them, we don’t think that one day our bodies will be lying there too. How can one even think about gossip at a time like that?

*If the deceased was not your mahram (females) or your female family member with whom you cannot marry (males) then please do not insist on seeing their face.

*Don’t stand in the way such that you obstruct close family members from seeing the deceased, especially before the janaazah is picked up.

*Do not whatsapp or BBM or use any social media for that matter while you’re in the room with the deceased.

*Do not come without wudhu and then decline to read on that basis

*Do not read with a scarf that is see-through or with three-quarter sleeves (females).

*Do not boss the family around. Give your suggestion and if they choose to follow it Alhamdulillah. If they choose not to follow it don’t get angry.

*Don’t bother the bereaved family by asking for a burka or abaya to make namaz in. Come dressed decently in the first place.

*If you are served food do not send back the food and demand that it be heated

*When you’re done eating don’t linger on the table and make idle chit chat. Get up, clear your dirt away and offer to serve the family. It’s been a long day for them and they’re hungry too. If you sit and chat and don’t bother to pick up after yourself you just make it more difficult for the family

*In the days that follow the funeral do not just pitch up at the family’s house and expect food. It places undue pressure on the family to feed these uninvited guests who just pitch up unannounced.

*In grief people sometimes say or do things that they otherwise would not do. Grief makes people do strange things. Don’t hold grudges against the family for their behavior during their time of grief.

*Don’t make unnecessary dishes. Clean up after yourself and your children.

*Do not complain that you don’t eat this food or that food. If you don’t eat what’s being served go eat at home.

* Don’t stand in the way

* Don’t obstruct the opposite gender from getting in and out of the house

*In the days following the funeral do not visit late at night, nor should you stay till late. Some of the family members have to go to work the next day. Be considerate

Do:

*If you are in the position to do so then make something for the family to eat on the day. Death is always unexpected even when the person is sick. No one would have had time to cook or make food. Therefore if you can bring something for the family because it’s usually a long tiring day for them and they’re usually starving.

*In the days that follow cook a pot of food for them. They’re bereaved, cooking food is the last thing on their mind.

*Do come with wudhu and read something. Even if it’s not Quraan at least make dhikr with the intention of esaale thawaab for the deceased.

*The family doesn’t have time to go out and buy groceries, therefore if you can lighten their load by doing some shopping for them do so. Even supposedly mundane things like bringing soap or toilet paper that will help.

*Do offer your support to the family. It doesn’t have to be monetary contributions. Just being there emotionally for them helps.

*Give the family some space. They’ve been through a lot. Sometimes they just need some time alone

*If space in the funeral home is limited and you’re still young get up so that the old people can sit

*When food is being served let the old people eat first