Archive for August, 2010

RAS 08 – Observing I’tikaf

August 27, 2010

As we are drawing closer to the last ten night of Ramadan, it is essential that we try our utmost to seek out Laylatul-Qadr. One of the best ways to do so is by observing i’tikaf (seclusion in the masjid) and spending the last ten nights of Ramadan in the ibadah of Allah.

I’tikaf – A forgotten Sunnah?

Unfortunately not a lot of people observe this sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم), be that due to work, busy lifestyles etc. However the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم), the sahabah and those after them were very strict in adhering to this sunnah.

A’ishah said that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) used to observe i’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah took his soul, then his wives observed i’tikaf after he was gone. [Bukhari]

Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri said: It is strange that the Muslims have given up i’tikaf when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) did not give it up from the time he entered Medina until Allah took him (in death).

Purpose of I’tikaf

The Prophet observed i’tikaf to draw closer to Allah and seek out Laylatul-Qadr.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) observed i’tikaf during the first ten days of Ramadan, then he observed i’tikaf during the middle ten days in a small tent at the door of which was a reed mat. He took the mat in his hand and lifted it. Then he put his head out and spoke to the people, and they came close to him. He said: “I observed i’tikaf during the first ten days seeking this night, then I observed i’tikaf during the middle ten days. Then someone came and said to me that it is in the last ten days (i.e Laylatul-Qadr), so whoever among you wishes to observe i’tikaf let him do so.” So the people observed i’tikaf with him[Muslim]

Other reasons include; renewing ones spirituality and increasing in worship of Allah with prayer, reciting Qur’an, making dua and dhikr

Action Points

  • Make intention to observe i’tikaf, even if is just for one hour.
  • Increase your worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

RAS 07 – Making Dua Whilst Fasting

August 20, 2010

There are many blessings of the month of Ramadan and so we should all hasten in doing good deeds and spreading the khayr. One blessing of Ramadan that we should take advantage of is that the dua of the fasting person is not rejected. Therefore we should spend our time making dua, for the dunya and akhirah, for ourselves and others.

Three Prayers are not Rejected

It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) said: “Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveller.” [Bayhaqi]

Dua after Iftar

Ibn ‘Umar said: When the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) broke his fast, he would say:

ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَ ابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ، وَ ثَبَتَ الأجْرُ إنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ

Dhahabadh-dhamaa’u wab-tallatil ‘uruuqi, wa thabatal-ajru inshaa’Allah

The thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah Wills. [Abu Dawud]

Action Points

  • Make a dua list. Repeat these duas throughout Ramadan, especially the last ten night.
  • Make time before and after Iftar to make dua. Many times when Iftar time draws near we are rushing to prepare food etc. Have the food ready ten minutes early and spend some time making dua.
  • Memorise the above dua.

Dutifulness to One’s Parents

August 17, 2010

Abdullah bin Abu Aufa narrated: We were with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) and someone came to him and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! There is a young man who is dying and it was said to him say La ilaha illallah, but he is unable to recite it.’

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) asked, ‘Did he used to pray?’ The man said, ‘Yes.’

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) went to the young man and ordered him, ‘Say: La ilaha illallah!’ He replied, ‘I cannot.’ The Prophet asked him why and he said, ‘My heart is sealed; every time I want to recite it, my heart prevents me from doing so.’ The Prophet asked him, ‘Why?’ The young man said, ‘Because of my ‘Uquq (undutiful treatment) towards my mother.’

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) sent for her and asked, ‘What if I command that a great fire is started and you were asked to invoke Allah to forgive your son, or else he will be thrown in it?’ She said, ‘In that case, I will invoke Allah for him, O Allah’s Messenger!’ The Prophet said, ‘Then bear witness to Allah and then to me that you have forgiven him.’ She said, ‘I bear witness to You (O Allah) and then to Your Messenger that I have forgiven my son,’

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) said to the young man, ‘Say: La ilaha illallah!’ That man said, ‘La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu’.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) said thrice, ‘All praise is due to Allah for saving you from the Fire.’”

Taken from Gems and Jewels.

Compiled by Abdul-Malik Mujahid

RAS 06 – Reciting Surat al-Mulk

August 13, 2010

With the onset of the month of Ramadan, it is time to really step it up with regards to our ibadah. This makes it the perfect time to start implementing some of the various sunnahs of the day. One sunnah is the regular recitation of Surat al-Mulk, a short but very powerful and rewarding surah to read.

It Will Intercede For You

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) said: “A surah from the Qur’an containing thirty verses will intercede for a man so that he will be forgiven. It is the Surah Tabaarak Aladhi bi yadihi’l-mulk (i.e. Surat al-Mulk).” [Tirmidhi]

Reciting it Every Night

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever reads Tabaarak allaahi bi yadihi’l-mulk (i.e. Surat al-Mulk) every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) we used to call it al-maani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. [al-Nasaa’i]

Virtues of Surat al-Mulk

From the above two hadith we see that Surat al-Mulk has the following virtues:

  • It will intercede for you.
  • It will protect you from the grave punishment.

Action Points

  • Recite this surah every night. Allocate yourself a specific time for it to be recited (e.g. straight after Maghrib) so that you get into a routine.
  • Memorise this surah. This will mean that even if you don’t have a mushaf at hand you can still read this surah. If you memorise one ayah a day you will have the complete surah memorised within the month. Set this as one of your Ramadan goals!

RAS 05 – Saying the Shahadah after Wudhu

August 6, 2010

How many times do we make wudhu in a day? If we renew our wudhu before each salah, that would be five times. Therefore that gives us at the very least five chances in the day to implement this simple sunnah, so no excuses!

Saying the Shahadah after Wudhu

It is from the sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) that you say the shahadah / testification after you complete your wudhu.

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدَهُ وَرَسُولَهُ

Ashhadu al- laa ilaaha illallahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluh

I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger

The Eight Doors of Paradise

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلّم) said: “There is no one among you who does wudhu and does it properly and does it well, then he says, I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger except that the eight doors of Paradise will be opened to him and he may enter through whichever of them he wishes.” [Muslim]

Action Points

  • Each time you make wudhu make sure you say the shahadah.
  • Write out the hadith and stick it somewhere that will remind you to implement this sunnah.
  • Remember, the hadith talks about doing wudhu well and then saying the shahadah. Each time you do wudhu, make sure you are doing it properly. DON’T RUSH.
  • Teach others (friends, family) and earn reward!

Make Dua For Your Parents

August 5, 2010

It’s important that we honour our parents. That doesn’t mean that once every year we make them breakfast in bed, and buy them some flowers. That means that we should make them feel special and loved every single day!

One of the things that we should do regularly is make dua for them. One of the most beautiful duas in the Qur’an is where Allah commands us to say:

رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

Rabbir-ham humaa kamaa rabbayaanee sagheeraa

“O Lord! Have mercy on them (my parents) as they did bring me up when I was small.”

[Surah Bani Isra’eel 17:24]

Because the simple fact of the matter is that nothing we ever do can ever repay what our parents have done for us! Therefore the very least we can do for them is make this dua for them.

Action Points

  • Download the attached document – Print it out and stick it somewhere you will see it everyday.
  • Learn and memorise the dua.
  • Make dua for your parents as much as you can.

Download: Dua for Parents

Ramadan Toolkit 2010!

August 4, 2010

With Ramadan fast approaching it is essential that we plan and prepare for it. The Ramadan Toolkit is back with even more resources to help make this Ramadan amazing!

Ramadan Checklist – Daily checklist for Ramadan.

Ramadan Preparation Pack – Wisdom and benefits behind Fasting, Ramadan, the Month,Understanding the Qur’an, Nurturing Love for the Lord, Allah, From the Gates of ar‐Rayyan, A practical Ramadan checklist, Concerning Itikaaf, Ramadan in Captivity Al‐Aseer, Protecting our Deeds.

Heart Wheel Journey – A 30-Day Tarbiyah Journal guiding you through the month of Ramadan. Designed by Muhammad Alshareef.

The Virtues of Fasting in the Summer – Ibn Rajab describes the virtues of fasting in the summer, great motivation for those of us who are daunted by the long days this Ramadan

Outstanding Ramadan – A great e-book detailing how to make this Ramadan outstanding!

Ramadan Resources – A number of great lectures, e-books and articles about Ramadan.