Category: Five Pillars of Islam


Ramadan Reflection Part 2


By Fadia Bint Ismail

I realize that Ramadan is gone for now but how can I have a reflection part 1 without following it with a final part 2.

I think looking back at the blessed month of Ramadan I can say that every month is different I may not have accomplished all the goals I set out for Ramadan and although I feel disappointed in myself I know that circumstances change, life changes daily and even a few small constant good deeds are better than doing to many things at once which are not constant.

I think this Ramadan was probably the most challenging because of the different environment I work in as apposed to where I use to work.

What made the challenges fruitful and completely worth it was having support from your colleagues who are not even Muslim but who respects your religion and found it in their heart to support you by even fasting with you for the entire month. They realized the beauty and benefits of fasting and to be able to inspire others to fast well I think that is an accomplishment which only Allah has provided.

My colleagues have expressed how fasting the month of Ramadan has changed them especially where consuming less food, being more aware of why we fast and what happens to our bodies when we fast. Asking questions as to what we do at night when we break our fast etc. So yes this Ramadan was different to any other Ramadan good challenges difficult challenges spiritually and mentally but Alhamdulillah through the grace and mercy of Allah (SWT) it turned out to be amazing.

I only Hope and Make Dua that I reach another Ramadan by Allahs will. Inshallah

Make your Ramadan a month to inspire others with your character and belief Inshallah.

Ramadan Reflection Part 1


By Fadia Bint Ismail

It has truly dawned upon me that Ramadan just started but now it is already ending

Does it not make you wonder how precious time really is ?

Do you not wonder how our life passes us by in a blink of an eye ?

Ramadan is a precious time where we can reflect and renew ourselves it is a time where we can truly see how much control our Naafs truly has on us.

I have written before about Ramadan and the ways in which one could change and the beauty of this month but i think every Ramadan is a different experience and i definately experienced alot thus far, there were good moments and moments of struggle.

It is now the last ten days of the Ramadan, time has really flown by so quickly i think the best way to evaluate your Ramadan thus far is to ask yourself what you did in the first ten days compared to what you have changed in the last ten days. Nothing is perfect and everyday will be a struggle, no Human being is perfect and everyone’s level of Eemaan changes. Sometimes you can find yourself on a high level of spiritually but then there are times when your levels are not so satisfactory but Allah challenges us only to help to remind us of his bounties and to be greatful each and everyday.

This is the essence of Ramadan remembering what you have good or bad Allah challenges us all whether we are rich or poor we all have to face the same tune one day Inshallah.

Well the blessed Month of Ramadan is not yet complete so i hope Inshallah to reach the end with the blessings of Allah (SWT).

 

 

 


islamic_quote5

By Fadia Bint Ismail

Who to start with?

Sometimes we are all in denial when it comes to ourselves. We look at others around us and we believe that they are the ones who need to change. But have you ever thought that perhaps you are the one who needs to change. Everyone lacks something but we first need to start looking at ourselves before we want to change the world and others. Like the saying goes “Sweep in front of your own door step first” . When it comes to our faith there are always certain influences that cause us to stray, be it your friend circles, family members and many other factors but when we want to gain closeness to Allah to return back to him there are many things we need to learn and take heed of. Even treating your Muslim Brothers and Sisters is an act of faith and reward from Allah. That is why by changing ourselves to follow the commands of Allah and our Rasool (SAW) we will be able to not only conquer the quest in bettering ourselves we will also win the battle against Shaytaan (Devil)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to, then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” [Muslim and Ahmed]

To begin with our transformation by changing ourselves first there are certain things we need to look at first. For example.

  1. How is your relationship with Allah
  2. How is your prayer, humbleness, distraction
  3. How is your Aqeedah (Faith)
  4. How is your connection with the Quran and Sunnah(Prophetic Traditions)

It is very imperative that a person should take his soul to account and treat his deficiencies and match yourself according to those 4 pointers that i have set out.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:  “Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him then he should look to what he has prepared for Allaah.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah]

After those 4 points we need to continuously strive to better our conditions with our creator. If you change what is in your heart Allah will change your condition. The best way to always make sure that you are striving and gaining closeness to Allah is to remember we are the created. From Allah we came and to him we shall indeed return.

Now test yourself when you hear the call to prayer. If you notice a desire to delay answering it in order to pursue your interests. Then know that Shaytaan (Devil) is leading your astray and gradually he wants you to fail in the pursuit of you changing yourself.

That is why we should constantly remind ourselves each day that we will all meet death. But it is better to meet death whilst trying to improve our own condition.

With following those four points that i have mentioned it will also help to implement the following.

 

  • Understand that all shall be well with Allah’s will. Allah forgives minor sins for He is All-Understanding and All-Forgiving. Even if you feel that you are already too deep to become the good Muslim that you truly can be.
  • Discover where the influences causing you to turn your back on your religion comes from. Maybe you can trace back the cause to either family situations or friends that are leading you on the wrong path. Leave the friends. They will not be there on the Day of Judgement when you have to face Allah on your own. If it is because of family, it is a little more difficult.
  • Pray five times a day. Before you get on the prayer rug, learn what the prayer words mean to enhance your contemplation within prayer. If you do not speak Arabic, try to find some translated versions of the prayer words and take some time to read and understand what the words mean. Start making prayer a normal part of your day, the way eating is a need of ours, our spiritual food is prayers.
  • Read the Quran. Read the Quran and also try to read the translation of the Quran and truly try to understand its meaning. You can read the translation in English as well. Reading the Quran will help establish a useful relationship with Allah and will also allow you to understand how beautiful the religion is. Listening to it (you can find videos online) also makes you feel closer to Allah.
  •  Learn more about Islam. Know what you have to do (which is called ‘wajib’ things) and what you can’t do (Haram things).  Do not only rely on the web “Imam Google” as some may put it. There are many unauthentic websites that promote propaganda. Always verify and check what sites you go on to. The best way to learn more about Islam i believe is through the old school method, attending the mosque, Islamic classes and purchasing or hiring Islamic books from your libraries or bookstores.
  •  Allocate a minimum amount of time each day to Islamic activities. For example, four hours for salah, Quran and Islamic studies will enable you to build up your relationship with Allah (SWT) and make good progress towards acquiring knowledge. Remember that the five daily Fard Salaah are your top priority and you should form the framework of your daily routine around these.
  • Hang out with good friends. Going with the theme you may want to make friends who share your mission of being a good Muslim. Avoid negative influences including old friends. Even though Shaytaan (Devil) can tempt us it is our responsibility as Muslims to fight these temptations and urges by increasing our faith and spirituality.
  • Forgive yourself and ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for any sins you may have committed. You need to let go of past mistakes and work on improving the future. Whatever has happened is done. It is in the past and there is nothing you can do to change it or better it. The only thing you can do is forgive yourself and sincerely repent to Allah (SWT) and sincerely ask Him for forgiveness. Use those negative experiences as motivation to get better and do good. Also notice where your weaknesses are and avoid them.
  • Take it day by day. If you make it a priority in your mind that you want to strive to be the best Muslim possible, you will achieve this goal without even realizing it! Every time you are about to do something, think: “Is this something good or religious?” If it isn’t, don’t do it! Simply remind yourself and be ready to stop yourself, just in case. Every single moment of every day must be devoted to pleasing Allah (SWT).

 

I hope that this information will benefit everyone Inshallah. Even if we think that we are good and on the right path we should never stop increasing our faith with good things. Everyone is prone to temptations but life is a battle that we need to fight to win the legitimate test from the Almighty Allah (SWT)

 

 


fatiha

 

SURAH AL FATIHAH (THE OPENING)

By Fadia Bint Ismail 

In preparing for Ramadan i think it is best that we try to perfect our Salaah and therefore to understand the first Surah that we commence every Salaah with Surah Al Fatihah.

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
Aameen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen.

Al Fatihah- The opening- because it opens the book and by it the recitation in prayer commences. It is recited 17 times a day in a Fard (compulsory prayer) This Surah is also called Umm Al Kitab (The mother of the book). Surah Al Fatihah contains 7 Ayat, 25 words and 113 letters.

 

In an authentic Hadith recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin is the Mother of the Qur’an, the Mother of the Book, and the seven repeated Ayat of the Glorious Qur’an”

 

It is also called Al-Hamd and As-Salah, because the Prophet said that his Lord said

The prayer (i.e., Al-Fatihah) is divided into two halves between Me and My servants.’ When the servant says, `All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of existence,’ Allah says, ‘My servant has praised Me”

 

Al-Fatihah was revealed in Makkah as Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Abu Al-`Aliyah stated. Allah said,

And indeed, We have bestowed upon you the seven Mathani) (seven repeatedly recited verses), (i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah) (15:87). Allah knows best”

 

The Glorious Names of Surah Fatihah 

  • Al-Fatihah (The Opening) – It is named Al-Fatihah, the Opening – because it opens the Book and by it the recitation in prayer commences.
  • Umm al-Quran (Mother of the Quran) – According to At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The chapter commencing with] “All praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Worlds” is the Mother of the Quran, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Quran.” Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said that it was named so because the meaning of the entire Quran is summarized therein. The Arabs named anything that concisely summarizes something or comprises its most important part, Umm, or Mother.
  • Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book) – Al-Bukhari said in the beginning of the Book of Tafsir in his Sahih: “It is named Umm al-Quran because it is the first chapter written in the Quranic texts and the recitation in prayer commences with it.”
  • Sab’ul-Mathani (The Seven Oft Repeated Verses) – It is also named Sab’ul-Mathani, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses, because they are frequently recited and indeed recited in every rakaah of the prayer. Allah says in the Quran:
  • Al-Hamd (Praises to Allah) – It is also named Al-Hamd, the Praise, because it contains mention of hamd just as Al-Baqarah is named so because it contains mention of the cow. Some scholars also gave the reasoning that Al-Hamd comprises heart of Al-Fatihah.
  • As-Salah (The Prayer) – It is named the Prayer because its recitation is a condition for the validity of the prayer.
  • Ash-Shifa – It is also named Ash-Shifa’, the Cure, due to what Ad-Darimi reports on the authority of Abu Sa’id that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The Opening of the Book is a cure to every poison.”
  • Ar-Ruqyah – It is also named Ar-Ruqya, the Spiritual Cure due to the hadith of Abu Sa’id reported by Bukhari that after he had recited it to cure a person who had been bitten by a scorpion, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked him, “…And what made you to know that it was a ruqyah.”
  • Asas al-Quran (the Foundation of the Quran) – Ash-Sha’bi records on the authority of Ibn Abbas that he named it , and that he said, “The foundation of Al-Fatihah is, “Bismillah…” (with the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful.)

 

Narrated ‘Ubâdah bin As-Sâmit Allâh’s Messenger said,

“Whoever does not recite Sûrat Al-Fâtihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid. (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.1, Hadîth No. 723).

 

 

Hajj


Hajj

 

The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life. When the pilgrim is around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mecca, he/she must dress in Ihram Clothing which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. After a Muslim makes the trip to Mecca, he/she is known as a hajj/hajja (one who made the pilgrimage to Mecca).The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba termed Tawaf, touching the Black Stone termed Istilam, traveling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah termed Sa’yee, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina termed Ramee.

The pilgrim or the haji, is honoured in the Muslim community. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement.

A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah, and while not mandatory is strongly recommended. Also, they make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem in their alms giving feast.


 

Zakat-710x270

Zakah or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakah consists of spending 2.5% of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy,like debtors or travelers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward.

There are five principles that should be followed when giving the Zakah.

  1. The giver must declare to God his intention to give the Zakah.
  2. The Zakah must be paid on the day that it is due.
  3. After the offering, the payer must not exaggerate on spending his money more than usual means.
  4. Payment must be in kind. This means if one is wealthy then he or she needs to pay 2.5% of their income. If a person does not have much money, then they should compensate for it in different ways, such as good deeds and good behavior toward others.
  5. The Zakah must be distributed in the community from which it was taken.

Tips for waking up for Fajr


 

download

 

 

Today a common problem for many people is the issue of getting up for Fajr and praying Isha. The many Ahadith state, “The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are Isha and Fajr

Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar radiallahu anhuma used to say, “If we did not see a person at Fajr and Isha prayers, we would think badly of him.”

The most beloved thing at this point no longer remains our Mussala (prayer mat) but our warm, comfy beds. This prayer holds immense virtues just like the rest but is one of the most neglected prayers. For one, whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah. However, here are a few tips that you could adhere to perhaps if you are struggling from waking up for Fajr.

  • To make a very strong intention is really necessary. It will be really hard to wake up for Fajr when your heart does not even fully want to. It is a necessity that one clenches his fists and makes it clear to his nafs (desires) and shaytaan that he will wake up for Fajr no matter what.
  • To make Dua’a in abundance the night before. One should really try his best to make Dua’a from his heart and beg Allah Ta’ala to make the struggle of waking up for Fajr easy. This will give the heart contentment too that your intention is not half hearted but a sincere plea to Allah Ta’ala. The intention and Dua’a together are like the brick and cement of a house, the building will fail to establish itself with both of them.
  • Many people fail to realise that what they do the night before contributes to whether they wake up in the morning or not. It is very difficult for a person to wake up for Fajr if he spends the night watching TV, speaking to the opposite gender on the phone and indulging in other Haraam. This will intoxicate his mind with other things besides Allah Ta’ala. However, if Allah Ta’ala was the last thing we went to sleep thinking about then most assuredly Inshallah, He will be the first thing we think about in the morning. This too will help wake us up inshallah.
  • One should keep an alarm on his phone or clock. Many phones have the ability to have five alarms, one should set all these alarms as perhaps one of them may get you out of bed. It is also an idea to keep the phone away from your bed so that you do not press ‘snooze’ or ‘off’.
  • Get friends who are steadfast or who also have a desire to pray Fajr and ring one another in the morning. Leave your phone on loud so that it wakes you up.
  • Sleep early the night before, avoid getting into a scheme where you sleep extremely late and are not able to wake up for Fajr. Some from among us may have insomnia and in situations like this it is really important to keep someone close who can wake you up with care and love.
  • Once you get into the habit of reading Fajr, it doesn’t matter how late you sleep, your eyes will automatically wake up at the time of Fajr and soon you will find it firm in your life Inshallah. One should continually make Dua’a and seek the help of Allah Ta’ala.
  • After waking up, it is quite hard to sleep. One should make Zhikr, Istigfaar and send Durood Sharif in this time..
  • Ponder over the words Hazrat Umar radiallahu anhu proclaimed a short while before his death. “There is no Islam for the one who leaves his prayer.”

Much more can be said but I fear Shaytaan may cause your wonderful eyes to close before you finish this article. May Allah Ta’ala give me and you all the ability to protect each one of our prayers. May He make it easy for us and create a deep love for prayer in our hearts


 

10013062_285707508252115_277013524_a

 

 

I saw this post and i thought i should share it. it is a simple way which we could all follow in order to help us attain Khushu in our nemaaz.

 

This is one of the best way you can follow to attain “Khushu’ “
A righteous man (Hatim Al Asam) was asked:”how can you attain khushu’ (concentration) in ‘Nemaaz’. “every time I stand to perform Nemaaz…

I imagine that : Kabah is in front of me, Al Sirat is under my feet , Jannah (Paradise) to my right and Jahannam (Hell) to my left, that the messenger of Allah (SAWS) is watching me praying, and that this is my final Nemaaz, and Angel of Death is behind me waiting me to finish my Nemaaz so that he take my soul, Then I would stand between hope and fear. Carefully pronounce “Allahu Akbar!” Then recite the Qur’an harmoniously, bow in humility and prostrate myself submissively. Then with a big hope in Allah’s Mercy, I start wondering :  did Allah accept my nemaaz or not ?
Always perform prayer as if it is your last one, because you would never know when Allah will call you home …

Tears fill my eyes as i sit and think of the little time i have left with you.

The time has gone by so quickly. It feels like just the other day that we welcomed you into our homes, into our lives.

You brought with you the Qura, the Taraweeh, the Siyaam. You brought peace and tranquility.

When you came our bodies were starved but our souls were filled. You brought with you a night which is better than a thousand months. You brought with you a Gift which is so great that only on the Day of Judgement will we truly know its value.

Oh Ramadan. How i hope and pray that i have gained maximum benefit from you. How i hope and i pray that i did not waste my time on things other than the gifts that came with you. How i hope and pray that i have been forgiven during my time with you. Most of all i hope and i pray that on the day when i will meet Allah. My time with you will cause me to smile.

Oh Ramadan you have brought with you love and unity between people of this Ummah. Because of you our noble guest. We strove hard to help one another, to guide one another, to show kindness to one another and to love one another simply because we share the Kalimah of La ilaha IllAllah.

O Ramadan. This Ummah will surely miss you. I hope and pray that this love and unity of this Ummah will continue and grow from strength to strength after you have gone.

Al Widaa Ya Ramadan. May we meet again Next year. Inshallah

Exercising in Ramadan


 

ghi-21

 

1. Get clearance from your doctor:

I know you’re eager to exercise, but your doctor must be aware, especially if you are taking any medication or suffer from any condition. Staying on the cautious side by taking your doctor’s advise can save you a lot of pain later on. If your doctor is not Muslim, this is an excellent opportunity to explain how Muslims fast. However, your doctor might tell you not to exercise at all just so that they don’t take any chances. In that case, if you feel there’s no reason why you can’t exercise, then go for it.

2. Best time to workout:

If you can, get in about 25 minutes of exercise right before sehri/suhoor. This way you do not dehydrate your body while working out during you fast, and you are able to fuel yourself right away. However I realise this is not feasible for everyone, so another option is spending another 25 minutes just before iftar. If you find yourself really exhausted and in no shape to workout at that time, then have a light iftar, wait for an hour, and exercise right before taraweeh.

3. 25 minutes is adequate

10 minutes of cardio, 15 minutes of strength training. Alternate between upper body and core and lower body and core, and this will ensure you are targeting your body overall. The duration is short enough to keep you from feeling thirsty. And if you feel you need more cardio, go for taraweeh early, park far away, and run/jog to the mosque.

4. Avoid foods that will slow you down

As I said in the beginning, food is your fuel, and you want to make sure you avoid fatty foods, overeating, and too much sweets to ensure your workouts are successful.

5. Drink a lot of water when you can
This is essential. Water has 100s of benefits, from weight loss to optimal bodily functions. Stay away from other sugary drinks, and drink as much water during the evening as you can. Carry a bottle to taraweeh.

6. Listen to your body

If you are tired or exhausted, then either shorten your workout, or change your routine. Change the time. Try different things to see what works the best for you. In the end, the purpose of Ramadan is spiritual development, so nothing should take away from that.

7. Consult an expert

A lot of the times we don’t know if what we are doing is enough, right, or even necessary! Don’t stay in doubt, find your local fitness expert and nutritionist and get your questions answered today

%d bloggers like this: