In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Welcome to pearls to reach the stars. Pearls and stars are metaphors. The pearls are very precious, highly valued things and stars indicate a category of excellence. Thus,the aims of Pearls to Reach the Stars are to stimulate our inner feelings, our minds and arouse our spirit in order that our speech, actions and thoughts are reflected positively, optimistically and virtuously as true muslims who are close to God. The collection of some pearls of wisdom from various authentic and reliable sources to reach the stars like motivational quotes, inspirational phrases , poems, aesthetic expressions, for inner stimulation to become a worthy person. May God forgive us and place us in the group of people who have good intentions, who love and help each other for the sake of Him and may Allah place us in the group of As-habul Yamin on the Day of Judgment in the hereafter. Ameen.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What After Ramadan?

AlHamdulillahi wa kafaa, was-Salatu was-salamu `alaa `ibaadihi-lladheena Stafaa

We leave the blessed month of Ramadan, its beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of the Qur'an, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from hellfire…

Have we fulfilled the requirements of taqwa and graduated from the Ramadan school with the diploma of the god-fearing?

Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our customs and blind imitations?

Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfills the conditions for receiving mercy, forgiveness and release from the Fire?

Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the heart of the sincere Muslim, who asks and answers with truthfulness.

What Have We Gained From Ramadan?

Ramadan is a school of iman and a 'stop to recharge one's spiritual batteries' - to acquire one's provision for the rest of the year...

For when will one take a lesson and change for better if not in the month of Ramadan?

The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the Law of Allah 'azza wa jall. “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra`d, 11]

If you are from those who benefited from Ramadan, fulfilled the requirements of taqwa, truly fasted the month, prayed in it with truthfulness, and strove against you soul, then praise and thank Allah, and ask Him for steadfastness upon it until you meet your death.

Be not like one who has sewn a shirt and then destroyed it... Have you seen one who sewed a shirt or thawb, so when she looked at it, she liked it. Then she destroyed it pulling a thread by thread for no reason. What would people say about such a person?! Or have you seen one who earns a fortune trading throughout the day, then when the night comes, he throws away all that he earned, dirham by dirham. What would people say about such a person?!

This is the condition of one who returns to sinning and evildoing after Ramadan and leaves obedience and righteous actions. So after he was favored with the blessing of obedience and enjoyment of communicating with Allah he returned to the blaze of sins and evil actions. How evil are the people who know Allah only in Ramadan!

My dear ones,

falling short in one's commitment to Islam after Ramadan is manifested in many ways, including:

1 – Men leaving the five prayers in congregation, after they filled mosques for Taraweeh prayers, thus going to the masjid for recommended prayers and leaving obligatory ones.

2 – Return to musical entertainment, forbidden films, women displaying their adornment beyond that which ordinarily appears thereof, free mixing etc.

This is not thankfulness for blessings and favors, nor is it the sign of acceptance of one's actions, rather this is opposition to favors and absence of thankfulness.

These are from signs of one's deeds not being accepted – and Allah's refuge is sought – for one who truly fasts rejoices on the occasion of `eid, praises his Lord for helping him complete the fast, and remains fearful that Allah may not accept his fasting, just as the Salaf would continue asking for acceptance of their actions in Ramadan for six months after it.

From signs that one's deeds are accepted is that he or she has improved in his or her obedience to Allah `azza wa jall. “And remember when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Ibrahim, 7] Increase you in good, faith and righteous actions. So if the servant is truly thankful to his Lord, you will see him guided to more obedience and distanced from sinfulness. Thankfulness is leaving sins, as the early Muslims said.

“And worship your Lord until there comes you to the certainty [i.e. death].” [al-Hijr, 99]

The Muslim must continuously be in the state of obedience of Allah, firm upon His Sharee`ah, steadfast upon His Deen, so that he or she is not of those who worship Allah only during one month or only in one place. Rather, the believer knows that the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of other months, and that He is the Lord of all times and places, so he is steadfast upon the Sharee`ah of Allah until he meets Him while He is pleased with him. Allah ta`ala said, “So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah].” [Hud, 112] And, “So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Fussilat, 6] And the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, “Say 'I believe in Allah', then be steadfast.” [Muslim]

-- If the fasting in Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary fasting, such as fasting six days in Shawwal, on Mondays and Thursdays, the three days in the middle of the month, the days of `Aashoora and `Arafat, and others.

-- If standing in prayer at night during Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary night prayer throughout the year. “They used to sleep but little of the night.” [Adh-Dhaariyaat, 17]

-- If the charity in Ramadan and zakat ul-fitr have ended, then there is the obligatory Zakat, and also there are many other open doors to charity, voluntary actions and jihad.

-- Reading of the Qur'an and contemplating it is not only for Ramadan, rather it is for all times.

Righteous actions are for all times and all places, so strive – O my brother and sister – and beware of laziness. And remember that it is not allowed for us to leave the obligatory actions or delay them, such as the five daily prayers on time, in congregation etc.

And do not fall into forbidden actions, such as forbidden sayings, food and drinks, or by looking at or listening to what is forbidden.

Be steadfast and upright upon the Deen of Allah at all times, for you do not know when you'll meet the Angel of Death. Beware of him taking you while you are in a state of sin. “O Allah, Who turns the hearts, keep our hearts steadfast upon Your Deen.”

I ask Allah to accept from us and you our fasting, our prayers and other righteous actions, that our condition after Ramadan be a better one, that the state of our Ummah improves, that we are granted honour and that we truly turn to our Lord…Ameen

Adapted from "Wa maadha ba`da Ramadaan", by Dar Al-Watan

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fasting in the Month of Shawwal

Allaah `azza wa jall, says in the Qur’aan, what means: "Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [al-Qur’aan, 3:31]

This is a beautiful verse, named by some of the salaf as "the verse of the test", as it tests how true one’s love of Allaah is. They explained that if one loves Allaah, then he must show that in his/her following of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. The verse tells us that those who follow the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, if sincere, can in shaa’ Allaah expect the following two:

- Allaah ta`aalaa loving them
- Allaah ta`aalaa forgiving their sins.

One of the ways to manifest our loving of Allaah, by following the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, is to do those acts that he, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, advised his Companions, and the Ummah in general, to do. A sunnah which is certainly relevant to us in these days is his, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, practice to fast six days in the month of Shawwaal.

Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaaree narrated: Allaah’s Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: "He who fasts Ramadhaan, and six of Shawwaal, it will be (in terms of rewards) as if the fasted a whole year." [Reported by Muslim, at-Tirmidhee, Aboo Daawood, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah]

So this is an established sunnah, which carries a great reward, even though we find a great Imaam differing in this issue. Ibn Rushd al-Qurtubee said that Maalik, raHimahumallaah considered this fast to be disapproved, "either because people might associate with Ramadhaan what is not a part of it, or either because the tradition had not reached him or it did not prove to be authentic for him, which is more likely." [Bidaayat ul-Mujtahid] However, we know that Imaam Maalik said: "Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it." [Reported by Ibn `Abdul Barr, Ibn Hazm and al-Fulaanee]

In commenting on the above mentioned hadeeth, As-San`aanee said in Subul us-Salaam: "If the thirty days of Ramadhaan fasting are assimilated with the six days of fasting in Shawwaal, it altogether makes 36 days. According to Sharee`ah, each virtue is rewarded ten times. Therefore, if we multiply 36 with 10, it makes 360, a number which equals the days of a year. Some scholars are of the opinion that these six days of fasting in Shawwaal must be completed in a continuous order right after the end of Ramadhaan. Some believe that is enough to merely complete six days of fasting in Shawwaal (in any order, either successive or with intervals), an opinion which is deemed to be correct."

Perhaps it is proper for us to pray these days on Mondays and Thursdays, as in that case we would be following another Sunnah: `Aa’isha, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: "The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [an-Nasaa'ee, Saheeh]

If it is easier for one to fast on weekends, then in that case one would still be following another sunnah at the same time: Umm Salama, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: Allaah’s Messenger used to fast mostly on Saturday and Sunday, and he used to say: "They are the festival days for the mushrikeen, and I like to act contrary to them." [an-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Khuzaymah, who graded it saheeh, and Ibn Hajar agreed]

But, again, this fast is not obligatory, rather only recommended. There is reward for whoever does it, and no blame upon anyone who leaves it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reconciling the Hearts

Reconciling the Hearts

Allaah - the One free from all imperfections - said:
"So have taqwaa (fear and obedience) of Allaah and reconcile the differences between yourselves." [Soorah al-Anfaal 8:1].

"Indeed the Believers are but brothers. Therefore reconcile the differences between your brothers, and fear Allaah so that you may receive mercy." [Soorah al-Hujuraat 49:10].

"So this is a knot which Allaah has bound the Believers together with, such that whenever a person is found possessing eemaan (faith) in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Bay - whether in the eastern or western part of the world - then such a person becomes the brother of the Believers. This brotherhood obligates that the Believers should love for that person that which they love for themselves, and hate for that person that which they hate for themselves. Therefore, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said - whilst ordering the brotherhood of eemaan (faith): "Do not envy one another. Do not inflate prices upon one another. Do not hate one another. Do not forsake one another. Do not under-cut one another. But be worshippers of Allaah and brothers. The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he neither oppresses him, nor humiliates him, nor lies to him, nor holds him in contempt. And piety is right here - and he pointed to his chest three times. It is enough evil for a person to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is sacred; his blood, his property and his honour."1 And he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The Believer to the Believer is like a solid structure, one part supporting the other." And he interlaced his fingers to demonstrate this.2

Thus Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ordered that the rights of the Believers be fulfilled by each other, and that those matters which will bring about harmony, love and togetherness be carried out. All of this is to be done in order to further the rights that they have over one another. So from such tights is that when fighting occurs between them - thereby causing their hearts to separate and to have hatred and to cut-off from each other - then the Believers should bring about reconciliation between their brothers and do that which will remove the enmity. Then Allaah ordered taqwaa in general and made the bestowal of His Mercy the consequence of their having taqwaa and their fulfilling the rights of the Believers. So He said: "And have taqwaa of Allaah in order that you may receive mercy." Thus, if Allaah's Mercy is attained, then the good of this world and the Hereafter will also be attained."3

'Aaishah radiallaahu 'anhaa used to say, that when people abandoned acting upon this Aayah (verse): "When two parties of the Believers fight each other, then make reconciliation between them." [Soorah al-Hujuraat 49:9]. So when the Muslims began fighting each other, it was obligatory to reconcile them, as Allaah - the Most High - ordered. However, when they did not do this, then fitnah (trials and tribulations) spread, as did ignorance, and this is what caused the differences to continue.4
Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Shall I not inform you of something that is greeter in degree than (optional) fasting, charity and Prayer?" They said: Indeed inform us. So he said: "It is reconciling the people. For indeed causing corruption between them is the shaver!"5

And he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam explained this shaving in another saying: "The disease of the people before you has overcome you, namely envy and hatred and it is the shaver. I do not say that it shaves-off the heir. Rather, it shaves-off the religion!"6

1. Related by Muslim (no.2564), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu 'anhu.
2. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.481) and Muslim (no.2585), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu 'anhu.
3. Tayseerul-Kareemur-Rahmaan (7/133-134) of Shaykh as-Sa'dee.
4. Related by Ibn Abil-'lzz in Sharhul-'Aqeedatit-Tahaawiyyah (2/777). Al-Bayhaqee related something similar to this in his Sunanul-Kubraa (8/172).
5. Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no.2640) and Abu Daawood (no.4919), from Abud-Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu. It was authentitated by al-Albaanee in Ghaayatul-Maraam (no.414).
6. Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no.2641), from az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwaam radiallaahu 'anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (no.2038).



Allaah - the Most High - said:
"Indeed those who say: Our Lord is Allaah, and then do istiqaamah (be upright and obedient) upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Those will be the companions of Paradise, to dwell therein forever - a reward for what they used to do." [Soorah Ahqaaf 46:13].

From Abu 'Umar Sufyan ibn 'Abdullaah radiallaahu 'anhu, who said: O Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam! Tell me something about Islaam which I can ask of no one but you? So he said: "Say: My Lord is Allaah and then do istiqaamah (be upright)." Abu 'Umar then asked him: O Messenger of Allaah! What do you fear that is the most harmful to me? So he took hold of his tongue and said: "Control this." 1

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq radiallaahu 'anhu said, whilst explaining the meaning of the aayah (verse): "thereafter do istiqaamah" said: "Not associating any partners in the worship of Allaah." And he said: "Not turning to other than Him."

Abul-'Aaliyah (d.90H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"To make the religion and one's actions pure and sincere for Allaah alone."

Qataadah (d.104H) - rahimahullaah - said:
"To stand firm upon obedience to Allaah." 2

Ibn Rajab (d.795H) - rahimahullaah - said: 3
"The foundation of istiqaamah is: firmness of the heart upon tawheed (i.e. firmness in worshipping Allaah alone, not worshipping others along with Him) - as Abu Bakr and others have explained.

Thus when the heart is firm and upright upon the ma'rifah (realisation and knowledge) of Allaah, and upon fear, veneration and awe of Him, and upon love, desire and hope in Him, calling upon Him, and repenting and turning away from everything besides Him - then the limbs will all follow in obedience to Him. This is because the heart is the king of the limbs and they are its army. So if the king is upright, then his army and subjects will be upright.

Then, after the heart, the greatest of the body-parts which takes care of one's istiqaamah is the tongue - since the tongue is the translator of the heart and is its interpreter (i.e. the tongue is like a ladle which scoops-out what is in the heart). This is why, when the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ordered Abu 'Umar with istiqaamah, he then ordered him to safeguard his tongue.

The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said:
"The eemaan (faith) of a person will not be upon istiqaamah (firmness and obedience to Allaah), until his heart is upon istiqaamah. And his heart will not be upon istiqaamah, until his tongue is upon istiqaamah." 4

And he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"When the son of Aadam wakes up in the morning, then all of the body-parts humble themselves to the tongue, saying: Fear Allaah with regards to us, for we are dependant upon you. If you have istiqaamah, then we have istiqaamah, and if you swerve, then we also swerve." 5"

1. Related by Muslim (no.31) and at-Tirmidhee (no.2535).
2. Ibn Katheer related these narrations in his Tafseer Qur'aanul-'Adheem (4/106-107).
3. Jaami'ul-'Uloom wal-Hikam (pp.312-313), abridged.
4. Related by Ahmad (3/198) with a Hasan isnaad.
5. Hasan: Related by at-Tirmidhee (no.2531), from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree radiallaahu 'anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami' (no.351).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eid : A Mercy of Allah

Eid - a Mercy of Allah:
Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Madeenah and the people of Madeenah had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement (they are the day of Niarooz (New Years Day) and the day of Maharajaan (Final Day of the Year). So, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “I came to you and you had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement. Indeed, Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (breaking fast).” [(saheeh) Musnad Ahmad (3/103, 178, 235 and others)]

Eid - a day of gathering:
Eid (pl. 'Ayad') is any day of gathering. It is derived from 'ada' (meaning returned), because people return to it periodically. Ibn ul-Arabi says: “It is called Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness. Some scholars say it is derived from ‘adah’ (custom or practice) because people are accustomed to celebrating it.
Ibn Abidayn said: “The Eid days are thus named because Allah renews His Bounties in them; and He distributes His blessings to His worshipers. From these are Fitr (eating), after food had been prohibited and Sadaqaat al-Fitr (the charity of breaking the fast) to the needy. And on Eid al-Adha, the completion of Hajj with the final Tawaaf of visiting; the meat from sacrifices and many other acts. Also because the custom in Eid is joy, happiness, cheerfulness and gladness.” [Hashiyah Ibn Abidayn (2/165)]

Recommended Acts on Eid:
Eid is a purely religious occasion, since it is granted by Allah through the revelation and when Allah grants something, he grants it complete and perfect. Thus, He granted us Eid and instructions to celebrate it.

1 - Ghusl (bathing): It is recommended to take bath on the morning of Eid. Nafi reports: “Abdullah bin Umar (radhi allahu anhu) used to bathe on the day of Fitr before setting out to the Musallah.” [(saheeh) Reported by Malik (1/177) Shafi'ee (73)]

2 - Adornment and beautifying Oneself for Eid: Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: “Umar (radhi allahu anhu) bought a silk outer-garment that was being sold in the market. He came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: “Take this garment, to adorn (yourself) with on Eid and for meeting delegations with. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “Indeed, this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter.” Umar remained as long as Allah willed him to remain and then left. Then, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) sent to him the silk garment. So Umar came with it to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! You said indeed this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter but you sent this garment to me!” So the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Sell it and fulfill your needs with its profit.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (886, 947, 2104, 3054, 5841) and Saheeh Muslim (2068) and others]
Haafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) said: “The evidence derived from this Hadeeth is that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) approved Umar on the basic principle of beautifying oneself for Eid and restricted him to wear garment made of silk.” [Fath al-Baree 2/234]
From beautifying oneself on Eid is wearing Kohl (surmah), perfumes and oil, wearing turban, caps etc. It is also recommended to wear best clothes on Eid.

3 - Eating some dates on the morning of Eid: Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (radhi allahu anhu): “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would not leave (his house) on the day of Fitr until he ate some dates.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and others]
Imaam al-Muhallab said: “The wisdom in eating before the prayer is to avoid the assumption that one must continue to fast until the Eid prayer is over.” [Fath al-Baree (2/447)]

4 - Proceeding to the Musallah: The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. The outdoor place is known as the Musallah. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (radhi allahu anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) on the day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha would go to the Musallah and the first thing that he would begin with is the prayer.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (957) and Saheeh Muslim (889) and an-Nisa'ee (3/187)]
The renowned scholar Ibn Hajee al-Maalikee said: “The Sunnah with regards to the Eid prayer is to perform it at the Musallah. This is because the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Prayer in my Masjid is a thousand times better than a prayer anywhere else except the Masjid al-Haraam.”[Saheeh al-Bukharee (1190) and Saheeh Muslim (1394)]
He, who is unable to proceed to the Musallah, due to illness or old age can pray in the mosque and there is no blame on him, Insha'Allah. [Refer to al-Mughnee (2/230)]

5 - Going to and returning from the Musallah: Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radhi allahu anhu) said: “When it was the day of Eid, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would alter his routes (of returning).” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (986)]
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to change his route on the days of Eid, such that he went by one route and returned by another. It is said (he did this) to give salaams upon the people of both routes. Or so that both groups get some of his blessings. Or so that anybody who has a need can take care of it. Or to make manifest the ruling of Islam… and this is the most correct opinion for all these reasons and for other reasons of wisdom which his actions contain.” [Zaad al-Maad 1/449]
Imaam an-Nawawi after mentioning the previous sayings writes: “Even if the reason is not known, it is still definitely preferred to make it a ruling guideline to be followed and Allah knows best.” [Rawdat ul-Taalibeen (2/77)]

6 - The goal of offering the prayer in the Musallah is to gather the majority of Muslims in one place. However, we see that many countries today have established many Musallahs, even without the need for them. The scholars have warned people against such a thing. [Nihayat al-Muhtaj by ar-Ramli (2/375)] And these numerous Musallahs have turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no Might or Power except Allah!

7 - Going Early: Imaam al-Baghawee said in Sharh us-Sunnah (4/302 - 303): “It is preferred that the people leave for the Musallah after praying the dawn prayer (Fajr), so that they can take their places and make Takbeer. While the Imaam proceeds when it is time for the prayer.”

8 - Walking to the Musallah: It is recommended to walk to the Musallah, if it is at a short distance. Alee Ibn Abee Talib (radhi allahu anhu) said: “From the sunnah is to proceed to the Eid (Musalaah) by foot.” [at-Tirmidhee (530)]

9 - Takbeer: Allah says: “…you must exclaim Allah's greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful.” [ (2): 185]
Takbeer is a distinctive feature of Muslim Eid celebration. It starts from the time one leaves his house heading towards the Musallah. It is established that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would emerge on the day of Eid al-Fitr and say the Takbeer until he reached the Musallah and until he had performed the prayer. So, when he had performed the prayer, he stopped saying the Takbeer.” [Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah (170)]

Wisdom in Takbeer: Muslims are instructed to proclaim the Takbeer frequently, especially in situations, which might imply feelings of arrogance in the heart. For example; when a person slaughters an animal, he may feel arrogant because he has the power to kill, but when he says: 'Allah is the Greatest', he remembers his true position, and that no matter how great and mighty he thinks himself, Allah is Greater and Mightier, and He is the One Who provided him with the animal and gave him the strength to slaughter it. Similarly, throwing stones in Mina is an act of power and aggression. But when the pilgrims say: 'Allahu Akbar', they remembers Allah's Power and Might.

In their travels, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and his companions used to say, 'Allahu Akbar' when they ascended a hill. Rising to a high place is another act that may cause arrogance in the heart. By applying this Sunnah, one controls himself and remembers that Allah is Greater and Higher.
Likewise, celebrations are occasions of rejoice and happiness. People tend then to be arrogant. But when they remember Allah's greatness so very frequently, they retain their position of submission and servitude before Him.

Furthermore, saying the Takbeer loudly and frequently makes people remember that the Eid is a gift granted by Allah, He is greater than worries and fears, which could mar the Eid spirit; He is the One who guides them, and who is capable of protecting them, removing their worries, and accepting their acts of worship that precedes the Eid.

The Words of Takbeer: No authentic saying of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is found describing the exact words of the Takbeer. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu):
1. Ibn Mas'ood (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [(Saheeh) Irwaa al-Ghaleel (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)
2. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala ma hadana.” [(saheeh) - Bayhaqee (3/315)](Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)
3. Salman (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabeera.” [(saheeh) - Bayhaqee (3/316)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)

Eid Greetings
It is permissible for Muslims to greet each other on the day of Eid with specific greetings, which have been reported from the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu). Responding to a question in this regard, Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said: “As for the greetings on the day of Eid, then it is by saying to one another when meeting after the prayer: “'TaKabbala Allahu minnaa wa minkum wa Ahaala Allaahu 'alaika' [Majmoo al-Fatawa (24/253)] “May Allah accept it from you and us and may Allah make it return to you, and other things of this nature.”
Haafidh Ibn Hajr said: “We have related in 'Mahaamiliyaat' with a chain of narration, which is hasan, from Jubair bin Nufair, who said: “The Companions of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) when they met on the day of Eid, would say to each other: ‘Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum' “May Allah accept it from you and us” [Fath al-Baree (2/446)]
This is the greeting with which the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) used to greet each other with. Therefore, greeting one another in this manner is a part of the religion and thus one will be rewarded for it by Allah.
Source: As-Sunnah Newsletter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Remember Just Remember ~Anonymous

When things are down
And you are out of your mind
Remember just remember

Allah is The Kind.
When your life is in darkness
And nothing is right
Remember just remember

Through the darkness Allah is The Light.
When nothing makes sense
And your heading for demise
Remember just remember

It doesn't make sense, but Allah is The Wise.
When times are troubled
And no one seems to care
Remember just remember

Allah won't hurt you, He is The Fair.
When your heart is breaking
And your pain makes you fall
Remember just remember

Allah Sees it all.
When you are weak
And the road seems long
Remember just remember

Seek strength from The Strong.
When life is a burden
And everything is unstable
Remember just remember

Allah is The Able.
When the way is cloudy
And there is no one by your side
Remember just remember

Allah is The Only Guide.
When no one wants to listen
Or is willing to lend an ear
Remember just remember

Allah is always ready to hear.
When you are poor and penniless
And you are stuck in a niche
Remember just remember

Allah is The Rich.
When you are down in your misery
And there is nowhere to run
Remember just remember

You can always run to The One.
When your all alone
And your pain has no end
Remember just remember

Allah is your Friend.
And when your scars are hurting
And your heart is in fear
Remember just remember

Allah is really here.

Four things that most people believe in but their actions belie.

Shaqique Ibne Ibrahim rahmatullahi alayh says: People seem to agree with me when they say that they believe in four things, but their actions belie what they claim to believe:-
1 They say that they are slaves (bondsmen) of Allah Ta’ala, but their actions betray that they regard themselves to be freemen;

2 They say that Allah Ta’ala has taken upon Himself the responsibility to give us our sustenance, but they never rest content until they hoard enough of worldly provisions;
3 They say that akhirah (Hereafter) is preferable to this world, but they are ever engaged in amassing wealth, and are least concerned about akhirah.

4 They say that death is inevitable, but they are absorbed in worldly activities as though they were to live here forever.

(Tanbeehul Ghaafileen)

- Entering into conversations : Imam Shafie -

There are four types of people in this world who enter a conversation/ discussion:

1. One who knows not, and himself knows he knows not, is a student. Teach that person.

2. One who knows, and others know he knows, is a teacher. Learn from that person.

3. One who knows, and himself knows not that he knows, is humble. Encourage him.

4. One who knows not, and himself knows not that he knows not, is stupid. Avoid that person. *

In any dialogue keep these in mind, and you shall be guided to productive discourses.

[* refers to a person who himself thinks he knows, but does not know that he does not know - usually due to arrogance mixed with ignorance.]

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Essence of Abstinence

You who are kept in pawn to food,
you can be free if you suffer yourself to be weaned,
Truly in hunger there is abundant nourishment:
search after it diligently and cherish the hope of finding it.
Feed on the Light, be like the eye,
be in harmony with the angels,
O best of humankind.
Like the Angel,
make glorification of God your sustenance.

See how the hand is invisible while the pen is writing;
the horse careening, yet the rider is unseen;
the arrow flying, but the bow out of sight;
individual souls existing,
while is Soul of the souls is hidden.

Don't strive so much to complete your worldly affairs;
don't strive in any affair that's not sacred.

Otherwise at the end. you'll leave incomplete,
your spiritual affairs damaged and your bread unbaked.

The beautifying of your grave isn't done
by means of wood and stone and plaster;

no, but by digging your grave in spiritual purity
and burying your own selfhood in His (mission),
and by becoming His dust, buried in love of Him,
so that from His breath, yours may be replenished.

The smell of pride and greed and lust
will betray you when you speak
as much as the onions you have eaten.

Many prayers are rejected because of their smell;
the corrupt heart reveals itself in the tongue.
But if your meaning is pure,
God (may) accept even your clumsy expression.

Ahmad Sam’ani [Rawh al-arwah, p.312]

{Invite (mankind, O Muhammad ) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur'an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.}
(Holy Quran-16:125)

{And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."} (Holy Quran-41:33)

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "By Allah, if Allah guides one person by you, it is better for you than the best types of camels." [al-Bukhaaree, Muslim]

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, "Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to the reward of the one who follows him, without the reward of either of them being lessened at all."
[Muslim, Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa'ee, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah]

Translation Surah Ash-Shu’ara:83 "O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me,and join me with the righteous;
Translation Surah Ash-Shu’ara 85 And place me among the inheritors of the Garden of Delight," Ameen


“Close friends, that Day will beenemies to each other, except forthe righteous.” (Quran 43;67)
“And the day the wrongdoer will biteon his hands (in regret) he will say,“Oh, I wish I had taken with the
Messenger a way.” (Quran 25:27)
Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan to man a deserter.”(Quran:25;28,29)

• Not following the Prophet (s.a.w) on the path of guidance
• Befriending a person who diverted one from the truth

Friendship is every person’s need. Without loving and being loved , our personality can never be complete.

• Lead you away from the remembrance of Allah
• Make you deviate from the straight path
• Affect your ability to differentiate between halaal and haraam
• Overpower your mind to the exclusion of all else
• Make you neglect your obligations

They are unreal and transitory
The Prophet (s.a.w) said:
“A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.”(Abu Dawud )
“ Everyone will be with those he loves.”(Bukhari)
“Keep company with a believer only and let your food be eaten only be the righteous.” (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)

In A Good Friendship, there is :
-Common love for Allah
-Increase in Taqwa, Allah-consciousness
-Increase in emaan in each other’s company
-Urging each other to do good deeds and -
stopping each other from sinning
-No wastage of each other’s time, energy, wealth or abilities
-Discouragement of aimless talk, sinful or senseless speech or bad behavior
-Drawing towards Allah and not towards each other

• Pose a danger to your eeman
• Draw you to herself and not towards Allah
• Distract you from Allah’s remembrance
• Draw you into sinful activities and make them feelenjoyable
• Waste your time and energy
• Justify your mistakes and faults rather thanfocusing on improvement
• Be possessive and resent the time you spendelsewhere Contd..
•Flatter you even when you don’t deserve praise
•Make you a slave of whims and fancies
•Make never ending demands on you and expect them to be met
•Not be happy when you say ‘No”
•Abandon you in your troubled times
•Be selfish and seek to fulfill her own agenda
•Forget you when you are out of sight A WRONG FRIEND will..

• There are Satans amongst both Jinn and humans • Beware of the enemy in the garb of a friend!
The Prophet (s.a.w) said:
“The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him, but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him.”

• What do you talk about when you aretogether? Is it about Allah, the Prophet (s.a.w) or other people?
• What do your do together? Obey Allah’scommands or your own desires?
• Do you help each other in righteousness andpiety and and stop each other from sin and aggression?
• When you spend money on each other, is itto please Allah or to impress each other or other people?
• Do you waste each other’s time and energy?
• Do you point out each other’s faults in a sincere and wise manner and accept thecriticismconstructively ?
• Does your friendship advance you spiritually?
• When you look at your friend, does it bring Allah to mind?
• Most Importantly…Do you love each otherfor the sake of Allah?

The Prophet (saw) said:
“O people, listen and understand. Allah has slaves who are neither prophets nor martyrs, but both the prophets and martyrs envy them for their closeness to Allah. They are from various peoples and tribes who have no ties of relationship between them. They love each other purely for the sake of Allah. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will present them pulpits of light for them to sit on. Their faces will be light and their clothes will be light. The people will be scared on the Day of Resurrection, but they will not be scared. They are the friends of Allah who will not have any fear upon them nor will they grieve.”(Ahmad)

The Prophet (s.a.w) said:
“On the Day of Judgment. Allah the Most High will announce, “Where are those persons who love each other for the sake of My Pleasure? This day I am going to shelter them in the shade provided by Me. Today there is no shade except My shade.” (Muslim)

The Prophet (s.a.w) said;
Allah has decided: It is incumbent upon Me to bestow My love on those who love one another for My sake, meet one another for My sake , visit one another for My sake and spend for each other for My sake.(Malik)

The Prophet (s.a.w) said:
In Paradise there are pillars of rubies on which there are rooms of emeralds with open doors shining like sparkling planets.” He (s.a.w) was asked who would occupy them and he replied: “Those who love one another for Allah’s sake and those who visit one another for Allah’s sake.” (Baihaiqi)

•Be moderate in your friendship
•Keep reasonable expectations from each other
“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” (Quran 5;2)
There are 3 types of ‘friends’..
Those that are necessary like nourishment and you cannot live without them; those that are like medicine and are beneficial, so you need them sometimes; and finally, those that are like a sickness and you do not need them at all!

Allahumma innee as’aluka hubbaka wa hubba main yuhibbuka wal ‘amal ladhi yuballighunee hubbak
O Allah ! I ask of You Your love and the love of whoever loves You and the love of of the deed which will draw me in attaining Your love. Ameen
Allahumma innee as’aluka hubbaka wa hubba main yuhibbuka wal ‘amal ladhi yuballighunee hubbak
O Allah ! I ask of You Your love and the love of whoever loves You and the love of of the deed which will draw me in attaining Your love. Ameen

Source ~reflections of my life~

Monday, September 7, 2009

He who wishes that people always remember him with goodness is neither God-fearing nor sincere.
~Ibrahim bin Adham~

"I pray God the Omnipotent to place us in the ranks of His chosen, among the number of those He directs to the path of safety; in whom He inspires fervour lest they forget Him; whom He cleanses from all defilement, that nothing remain in them except Himself; yea, of those whom He indwells completely, that they may adore none beside Him."

Imam Al Ghazzali

Purifying Our Souls Written by Imam Noor Salie

C.M.R.M. Claremont. 14th. August 2009
Purifying Our Souls - "Tazkiyatun Nafs".

Almighty Allah exhort us in the Holy Quran: " It is He (Allah) Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves reciting (and Explaining) to them His Ayaah, (Revelation /Signs / instructions) purifying them and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom, and before that they were clearly in manifest error." (Surah Al-Jumu'ah 62:2)
The Prophet (saw) stated: - Verily Almighty Allah Loves A Servant (ABD)- that is Purified - Independent (In this Life) and MODEST (Not doing Things for showing off but only for the sake of Allah).

We will be commencing the sacred Month of Ramadan next week. This Khutbah is a short reminder about the Holy Month. That Ramadan was designed by Almighty Allah to bring "Self-purification" -- how to rely on Almighty Allah and, how can we make the best of Ramadan? And what we should do to get the maximum benefit and purifying the self?
From the Ayah I have quoted - Almighty Allah instructs that among the many aims and Objectives a Muslim should have in this life is to purify his self. (Nafs). This is known as Tazkiyyah Tun Nafs. As the verse indicates, Almighty Allah sent Messengers and Prophets to show us the methodology to purify our selves. (All the Prophets of Allah were Spiritual Physicians who came at strategic times in History when man was definitely on a course of destruction - Let us look at the Pagan Arabs in the time of the Prophet (saw) -- Edwin GIBBON states in his book - "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" - The Arabs were the scum of the earth - fighting over chickens etc -They were surrounded by-- Romans -(most civilized nation) Egyptians (Great Architects / Giants of medicine)- Persians ( Great Literary Giants) - According to Gibbon - The Prophet Of Islam came and moulded this uncouth nation into the most civilized nation of their time.

When we purify our souls, we are benefited. Our success in this world and in the hereafter comes through Tazkiyyah, and our failure comes through corruption of the self. Nafs (pl. Anfus or Nufus) lexically means soul, the psyche, the ego, self, life, person, heart or mind. Although some scholars have classified the Nafs up to 7 stages, there is agreement among most Ulamaah' that in the Quran, Allah (s.w.t.) has described at least 3 main types of the Nafs. And these are in rank from the worse to better: Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' (The carnal self/the Nafs that urges evil), Nafs al-Lawwama (the Nafs that Blames) and Nafs al-Mutma'inna (the Nafs at Peace).

Nafs-i-Mutmaina: This level is called the Tranquil, contented, developed, purified SELF -- Real contentment is based on knowledge and pure obedience in every way to Almighty Allah and to the Prophet (saw) -and all humans should aspire toward such states -- The path to the purification of the soul comes from the Quran and Authentic Sunnah. There is no other way to purification of the soul (not through mystics, psychics, etc). We can purify our soul by understanding and reflecting on the meaning of the Quran. We should not only recite the Quran often but we should contemplate on what Allah is telling us.
"In the (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised,- in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons and evenings. Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the remembrance of Allah, or from performing the prayer, or from giving alms (Zakah). They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be shattered. That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills." (Surah Al-Nur 24: 36-38)

Taking this verse as an example, we should examine what Allah is telling us. We should ask ourselves if we are behaving the way Almighty Allah has ordained - and as exemplified and personified by the Prophet (saw). --
Another way to purify our souls is building a relationship with Almighty Allah. -. Through Salaah, Zakaah, Siyaam, (Fasting) Hajj and Knowing Allah's Names and Attributes- as has been described to us in the Quran and Sunnah
"The True believers (people of Taqwah) are those who when Allah is mentioned they feel a fear/ tremor (out of love for Allah) in their hearts and when His Ayah / Signs / Instructions are recited unto them, (and they understand) they increase their Imaan / faith, and they put their trust in their Lord. It is those people Who perform their Salaah (Consistently and regularly) and spend out of what We have provided for them. (In Zakaah and Tattawu) It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades/levels of dignity with their Lord, (Allah) and Forgiveness and a generous provision." (Surah Al-Anfal 8: 2-4)

These ayah mentions Taqwah consciousness- fear and love for Allah, Tawwakul - placing our trust and reliance on Allah - necessary attribute of a believer, Salaah - establishing the prayer, and Zakaah and Sadaqaah -spending our wealth for the Cause of Allah. Let Us try to go over one aspect, which is having Tawwakul - trust and reliance on Allah.
"And put your trust and reliance in Allah, and sufficient is Allah as a Trustee." (Surah Al-Ahzaab 33: 3) One aspect of Tawwakul is Isti'aana, which is seeking only Allah's help. Muslims recite this daily in Surah Al-Fatihah: "You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help." (Surah Al-Fatihah 1: 5) We do not need to go to a graveyard to ask somebody dead for help, or pray to a dead person, since Allah is sufficient and Allah is the only One who will never die. Almighty Allah tells us in the Holy Quran -"And trust and rely on the Living One (Allah), Who will never die, and celebrate His praises and thanks. And Sufficient is He to be acquainted with the sins of His slaves." (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:58) -

We should have the following components to fully trust and rely upon Allah.
1. Proper Knowledge of Allah. Since Tawwakul is a way to purify our soul, it also involves having the proper knowledge of Allah and His Attributes. If we rely on Allah then we should know His characteristics. In addition to the ones stated previously, Allah is also the One Who is Living and does not die, the All-Mighty, All-Wise, Most gracious, Most Merciful (Al-Aziz, Al-Hakim, Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem), and He can do whatever He wants.

2. Using Tawwakul to Earn One's Sustenance. Tawwakul is one of the Asbaab (causes) of bringing about the desired result such as Rizq (sustenance). Rasulullah (S) said, "Were you to put your complete trust and reliance on Allah, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They issue forth hungry in the morning and return filled in the evening. (Tirmidhi)

3. Understanding Tauheed (Oneness of Allah). UNICITY / INDIVISIBILITY Having the correct understanding of Tauheed helps to increase one's Tawwakul. One who thinks it is all right to pray to some one besides Allah does not have the correct knowledge of Tauheed; therefore they are not properly trusting and relying upon Allah. - Confirmation of TAUHEED every Day in Salaah - "Thee ALONE do we worship and Thee alone do we ask for help"

4. The Heart's Complete Reliance and Calmness. Our heart should be content and satisfied that Allah will bring a good result. We should remember that the Prophet Muhammad (S) stated, "Nothing happens to a believer except that it is good for them." Allah has given us much, and with Sabr/patience Insha'Allah we will see the results of our deeds.

5. Have Good Expectations of Allah. We trust and rely in Allah, We turn to Him in DUA - knowing He will bring about good.

6. Put Our Matters completely with Allah. Whatever Happens We Accept It. We know what Allah brings about is the best, and we are pleased with that. We should not use our having Tawwakul as an excuse to not work. Some people just sit down and expect things to happen to them, but they do not do anything to achieve their goal. Some people might expect money to come to them, but they just sit and do not seek sustenance. The bird goes and follows the Asbaab (cause) and seeks food.

7. Sabr (Patience). There are often times that we face what seems to be difficulties and hardships. In these situations it is important to have Sabr. Allah has described to us in Surah-al-Asr: "Verily through the declining day, man is in loss, except for those who believe and do good deeds and strongly advise one another to truth and strongly advise one another to patience." (Surah Al-Asr 103) "O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer. Truly Allah is with those who are patient." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:153) We need to be patient in performing the things which Allah has made obligatory upon us, and we need to be patient in staying away from the unlawful (Haraam) things as well. Prophet Muhammad (S) said the road to Paradise is paved with hardships, while the road to Hell is paved with desires.

As Muslims we must have patience in dealing with adversity as well as success. About having patience in dealing with adversity: Prophet Muhammad (saw) said everything that happens to a true believer is decreed by Allah and is good for the believer.
"Do men imagine they will be left because they say, "We believe," and will not be tested (with afflictions?) And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known those who are true, and will certainly make known those who are liars." (Surah Al-Ankabut 29: 2-3) These are the times when we need to have Sabr in our lives, and we need remember Allah and place out trust and reliance on during these times, and remember, Allah has said: - "But with hardship comes ease, with hardship comes ease." (Surah 94: 5-6)

Umm Salama (RA) narrated that she heard Prophet Muhammad (S) say: "No slave is afflicted with an affliction and says: "We belong to Allah and unto Him everything will return. - O Allah reward me for my affliction and grant me something better than it in exchange.",. She reported when her husband, Abu Salama, passed away she made this Dua and she was married to the Prophet Muhammad (S). Umar (ra) said, "I was never afflicted with any trial except that I had to thank Allah for four blessings related to it (1) it was not related to my (Deen) religion,(2) that it was not greater than it was, (3) that I am not kept from being pleased of it, and (4) that I hope for a reward from Allah for it."
When we encounter good success we also need to be patient and be thankful for what Allah has given us. We can improve ourselves by working on increasing our Iman and Ammal (DEEDS). We can think of how temporary this world is and we can think of the Hereafter and what will be the penalty for those who did not obey Allah and the reward for those who did obey Allah and Insha'Allah we can increase our knowledge and practices to obey Allah correctly, because Allah has indeed created us to worship Him.

The last verses of Surah Al Fajr, are indeed the words we would all like to hear from Allah, when we die and return to Him: "O Purified Soul, well pleased with yourself, and well-pleasing to Me, enter you among my devotees, enter you into my garden."
Many of us are of the opinion that Ramadan is a time to ‘go slow' and to avoid exerting ourselves. Some of us, if we had the opportunity, we would want to sleep all day until iftaar. This is completely wrong. Ramadan is not a time for hibernation. That's for the polar bears and grizzly bears in the cold North American winter. It's not for Muslims! -
Ramadan is the time we should be busy reading-understanding and internalising the Quran, studying our faith and trying to improve our knowledge and above all our character. It's a time of spiritual renewal and revival.
Some of the important events that took place in Ramadan:
The Holy Quran was revealed in Ramadan.

The Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan.

Makkah was conquered in a bloodless battle by Prophet Muhammad sws during Ramadan.

Tauriq bin Ziyad conquered Spain during Ramadan. -- The list goes on and on...
I pray that every one of us here will use this Ramadan as an opportunity to fight this most important of all struggles, the Greater Jihad of taking control of our lives, control of our lower passions and desires. This struggle to cultivate self-discipline is not only for Ramadan. It's a lifelong struggle. .
We must constantly keep in mind that Allah will hold us to account for our actions. We do not want to be among the losers, the ones whose end is hellfire, -We want to be among the winners, the ones who will enter paradise. We want to spend our lives, purifying our thoughts and words and actions, so that when we die we have a purified heart and soul. We want our Ruh, our soul to be pure and unblemished as the day when we were born.
Ramadan is not an excuse for laziness. It is a time for improving ourselves, improving our mind -body and spirit. We must welcome Ramadan like a long lost friend.
May Allah accept our fasting which we are going to do only for His sake.
May Allah spread His richest blessings on all of us, and on all those who fast during Ramadan, purely out of love for Him. May He help us to purify ourselves, by forgiving our sins.

O Allah, help us to purify ourselves in body, mind, heart and spirit. Help us to seek and find your good pleasure, and O Allah, remember us in the company of your beloved friends - the Auwliyah Allah the Prophets -the Martyrs and the righteous people on the day of resurrection.

Rabbana laa tuzigh quloobanaa, ba'da ith hadaytanaa wahablanaa milla dunka Rahma. Innaka antal wah-haab. "O Allah, do not let our hearts deviate from the Truth now that we have been guided , but grant us Mercy from Your very Presence, for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.
..Rabbi ja'alni muqeemus salaati, wamin dur-riy-yati, Rabbanaa wata qabbal du'aah..." My Lord, help me to perfect my prayer, and of my descendants, Our Lord, accept this prayer
Rabbigh firlee wali waali dayya, walil Mu'mineena yawma yaqoomul hisaab...My Lord, forgive me, and my parents, and all Believers until the Day of Reckoning..
"Soob' haanaka Rabika Rabbil-‘'izzati 'Ammaa yasifoon, wasalaamun 'alal Mursaleen, wal Hamdu lil-Laahi Rabbil Aalameen."---Glory to Allah, Lord of Majesty and Honour, and Peace on the Prophets, and Praise to Allah, Lord of all creation!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Great Physician

Welcome to the Great Physician's
Office hours are as you come,
He's a specialist in all problems
And His day is never done.

He can heal a heart that's broken
He can mend the spirit too,
No matter what your ailment
He does have the cure for you.

His fee for service never alters
He serves rich and poor as well,
He's our one chance for salvation
He alone saves us from Hell.

There's no fee for services rendered
All He asks is we believe.
and do as He has commanded us
And His blessings we will receive.

Do you have a special problem
That is troubling you this hour?
Then just simply turn to Him
You can find no greater power.

Don't delay in seeking treatment
Please my friend don't hesitate,
For His office is soon closing
And He'll shut and lock the gate.

I wouldn't want for you to suffer
While the doctor's so close by,
Your whole life will be much better
If the physician you will try.

Author Unknown

Allah Almighty, اَلْسَّلاَمُ
He is the One who saves the believing servants from all dangers, bringing them peace, blessings and security of paradise.


In the name of Allah, the Compassionate Source of All Mercy
The Blessed Prophet once said, "In poetry there is some wisdom" (Bukhari) With this maxim we present for you examples of poetry gleaned from the pages of Muslim history. Some of the finest poetry in the classical world was written by Muslims, especially between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. The two following poets wrote in this era.

Abu Nuwas:
On Allah’s Forgiveness
Stunned by the great amount
of my sins,
I saw hope, Lord,
and laid it side by side
With that great mercy
that is only Yours,
And measured both with a ruler
up and down.
My sin is great,
but now I know,
O Lord,
That Your forgiveness
is even greater!

We see that the speaker is "stunned" with the amount of sin that he has accumulated. Even though he saw his sin, he also saw "hope." This may seem strange considering the sin that he sees. Because of Islam, however, the speaker also sees a chance in the mercy of Allah.
The idea of equation is used when the sin is "laid (down) side by side with that great mercy..." This is interesting because it shows that Muslims are aware of Allah's mercy. Where there is sin, there is Allah's mercy waiting for you.
The forgiveness of Allah is great. This does not justify the sins, for the speaker states, "but now I know." In other words, awareness has been achieved thereby bringing about a sense of regret.

Abdel Rahman Jaami:
The Meaning of Poetry
What is poetry?
The song of the bird of the mind.
What is poetry?
The likeness of the world of
The value of the bird
Becomes clear through it,
And one discovers whether it comes from the oven
In a bath house or a rose garden.
It composes poetry from the Divine rose.

The use of questions at the beginning draws the reader in quickly. "The song of the bird" brings to mind a typical answer, a bird's song connotes nature, ergo, this is poetry. However, the last word of the line is mind. This brings to thought a sense of logic, ergo, something that's anti-poetic.
The next answer is almost paradoxical, for we know that our world won't be "eternal." The author then gives us a clue: "The value of the bird becomes clear" the clarity is a dichotomy.
Reason and nature are connected; this world and the hereafter are also connected. The discovery is realizing that both "parts" come from the "Divine rose"- the ultimate union of reason and beauty: Allah.

Living Islam Today
A Magazine for Muslim Americans
Vol. 1 Issue 1 Spring 1420/ 2000

How could I ever thank my Friend?
by Saadi

How could I ever thank my Friend?
No thanks could ever begin to be worthy.
Every hair of my body is a gift from Him;
How could I thank Him for each hair?
Praise that lavish Lord forever
Who from nothing conjures all living beings!
Who could ever describe His goodness?
His infinite glory lays all praise waste.
Look, He has graced you a robe of splendor
From childhood's first cries to old age!
He made you pure in His own image; stay pure.
It is horrible to die blackened by sin.
Never let dust settle on your mirror's shining;
Let it once grow dull and it will never polish.
When you work in the world to earn your living
Do not, for one moment, rely on your own strength.
Self-worshiper, don't you understand anything yet?
It is God alone that gives your arms their power.
If, by your striving, you achieve something good,
Don't claim the credit all for yourself;
It is fate that decides who wins and who loses
And all success streams only from the grace of God.
In this world you never stand by your own strength;
It is the Invisible that sustains you every moment.

Shaykh Muslihu'd-Din Sadi of Shiraz, a remarkable Persian poet, who is also known as Saadi. He is known for his Sufi classics of prose and verse , the Bustan (the Garden) and the Gulistan (The Rose Garden) which are major work of Persian Literature. His astounding prose and verses which are like Rumi’s work can penetrate into our hearts if we are observant readers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Do Everything to Please Allah By Imam Abdullah El-Amin

When you do kind actions for other people, do you do it so they will be pleased and appreciative? If you think a person would like a gift from you, do you rush to buy it in hopes you will see them happy and they will be grateful? If you do you are a good and generous person and I pray ALLAH will reward you immensely.
But on the other hand, you may be setting yourself up to be hurt and disappointed by the response you may get. If the person is not as responsive as you think they should be, does that make you feel unappreciated? This is not unusual because we as human beings naturally want to have our good actions to others recognized with acknowledgement and gratitude.

But there is a way to be certain of feeling wanted, needed, and appreciated by everyone. And that is to do everything with the thought in mind of pleasing ALLAH. You see, when you think and act fi sabillilah, the admiration of mankind is secondary. When you consciously strive to please ALLAH first, then the human recipient of your goodness should be happy too. If not, it is no matter because they are simply the fringe benefit of your desire to please ALLAH.

This is also true, and especially important if you are being wronged by someone. It might be your husband or wife who belittles you or abuses you. If you go about trying to do things to please them so they will learn to love you or treat you better, you’re going about it in the wrong way. It will probably be worse and have an adverse effect because they will feel they have all the power over you, and will continue being mean.

But if you treat them as a human being, FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH, it doesn’t matter if they appreciate it or not. You might be giving too much, whereas if you did it with the intention to please ALLAH, it will be just right.

ALLAH made us all equal human beings, both men and women. And the only superiority of one person over another is directly related to the amount of God-consciousness he or she posses in their heart. So if you approach everybody and everything with the expressed intention of pleasing ALLAH, you are instantly elevated above those who do not. And if they don’t appreciate your benevolence, it won’t matter. It wasn’t for them anyway…it was for ALLAH.

So the next time you think of doing something good to anybody, for any reason, think of ALLAH first. Ask yourself if this action would be pleasing to ALLAH, and if the answer is yes, then go to it. You will be happier and give yourself less chance to be hurt. Isn’t ALLAH wonderful?

As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin

That which is false troubles the heart,
but truth brings joyous tranquility.

Mevlana Rumi (1207 - 1273)
Source: Rumi Daylight: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance

The Great Virtue of Lowering the Gaze by Hadhrat Imam Ibn Qayym (RA)

Taken from ‘al-Muntaqaa min Ighaathatul Lufhaan fee Masaayid ash-Shaytaan’ [pp.’s 102-105] of ibn al-Qayyim, summarised by Alee Hasan
Allaah, the Exalted said, "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allaah is well acquainted with all that they do." [an-Nur (24):30]
So Allaah made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowrering ones gaze from (seeing) the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.

The First: experiencing the delight and sweetness of faith.
This delight and sweetness is far greater and more desirable that which might have been attained from the object that one lowered his gaze from for the sake of Allaah. Indeed, "whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allaah then Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it."
The soul is a temptress and loves to look at beautiful forms and the eye is the guide of the heart. The heart commissions its guide to go and look to see what is there and when the eye informs it of a beautiful image it shudders out of love and desire for it. Frequently such inter-relations tire and wear down both the heart and the eye as is said:
When you sent your eye as a guide
For your heart one day, the object of sight fatigued you
For you saw one over whom you had no power
Neither a portion or in totality, instead you had to be patient.
Therefore when the sight is prevented from looking and investigating the heart finds relief from having to go through the arduous task of (vainly) seeking and desiring.
Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabaabah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharaamah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (ishk) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allaah i.e. he worshipped Allaah.
Hence the heart begins to worship that which is not correct for it to worship and the reason behind all of this was an illegal glance. The heart is now bound in chains whereas before it used to be the master, it is now imprisoned whereas before it was free. It has been oppressed by the eye and it complains to it upon which the eye replies: I am your guide and messenger and it was you who sent me in the first place!
All that has been mentioned applies to the heart that has relinquished the love of Allaah and being sincere to Him for indeed the heart must have an object of love that it devotes itself to. Therefore when the heart does not love Allaah Alone and does not take Him as its God then it must worship something else.
Allaah said concerning Yusuf as-Siddeeq (AS),
"Thus (did We order) so that We might turn away from him all evil and indecent actions for he was one of Our sincere servants." [Yusuf (12): 24]
It was because the wife of al-Azeez was a polytheist that (the passionate love) entered her heart despite her being married. It was because Yusuf (AS) was sincere to Allaah that he was saved from it despite his being a young man, unamarried and a servant.

The Second: the illumination of the heart, clear perception and penetrating insight.
Ibn Shujaa` al-Kirmaanee said, "whosoever builds his outward form upon following the Sunnah, his internal form upon perpetual contemplation and awareness of Allaah, he restrains his soul from following desires, he lowers his gaze from the forbidden things and he always eats the lawful things then his perception and insight shall never be wrong."
Allaah mentioned the people of Lut and what they were afflicted with and then He went on to say,
"Indeed in this are signs for the Mutawassimeen." [al-Hijr (15): 75]
The Mutwassimeen are those who have clear perception and penetrating insight, those who are secure from looking at the unlawful and performing indecent acts.
Allaah said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the gaze,
"Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth." [an-Nur (24): 35]
The reason behind this is that the reward is of the same type as the action. So whosoever lowers his gaze from the unlawful for the sake of Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, He will replace it with something better than it of the same type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling upon the unlawful, Allaah blesses the light of his sight and heart thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had he not lowered his gaze.
This is a matter that the person can physically sense in himself for the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleaned of the rust then it will reflect the realities (haqaa`iq) as they actually are. However if it remains rusty then it will not reflect properly and therefore its knowledge and speech will arise from conjecture and doubt.

The Third: the heart becoming strong, firm and courageous.
Allaah will give it the might of aid for its strength just as He gave it the might of clear proofs for its light. Hence the heart shall combine both of these factors and as a result, Shaytaan shall flee from it. It is mentioned in the narration, "whosoever opposes his base desires, the Shaytaan shall flee in terror from his shade."
This is why the one who follows his base desires shall find in himself the ignominy of the soul, its being weak, feeble and contemptible. Indeed Allaah places nobilty for the one who obeys Him and disgrace for the one who disobeys Him,
"So do not lose heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith." [Aali Imraan(3): 139]
"If any do seek for nobilty and power then to Allaah belongs all nobility and power." [Faatir(35): 10]
Meaning that whosoever seeks after disobedience and sin then Allaah, the Might and Magnificent, will humiliate the one who disobeys Him.
Some of the salaf said, "the people seek nobilty and power at the door of the Kings and they will not find it except through the obedience of Allaah."
This is because the one who who obeys Allaah has taken Allaah as his friend and protector and Allaah will never humiliate the one who takes his Lord as friend and patron. In the Du`aa Qunut their occurs, "the one who You take as a friend is not humiliated and the one who You take as an enemy is not ennobled."

Portrait of a Traveler

Portrait of a Traveler

By Muhammad Al-Shareef
Al Fudayl ibn Iyaadh (RA) once sat with a senior and asked him, “How old are you?” The man replied, “60 years old.” “Did you know,” said Al Fudayl, “that for 60 years you have been traveling towards your Lord, and that you have almost arrived.” The man was reduced to silence. He whispered, “Inna lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raaji’oon (To Allah we belong and to Him we return).” Al Fudayl asked, “Do you know the meaning of that statement.

You are saying that you are Allah’s slave and that to Him you are returning. Whoever knows that he is the slave of Allah, and that to Him he shall return, should know that he shall be stopped on the Day of Judgment. And whoever knows that he will be stopped, let him also know that he will be responsible for what he did in life. And whoever knows that he will be responsible for what he did, let him know that he will be questioned.

And whoever knows that he will be questioned, let him prepare an answer now!” “What then shall I do,” asked the man. “It is simple,” said Al Fudayl. “Do good in what is left of your life, forgiven shall be your past. If not, you shall be taken to account for the past and what is to come.”

In the not-so-far-away days of old, whenever a journey was to be undertaken proper provisions had to be prepared. The deserts were long, hot, and harsh. Unmerciful.
There were no truck stops to fill up with Doritos, or rest stops to buy a coke from a vending machine. In fact, there was not even a human in sight for miles upon miles of barren sand dunes. Thus, you had to have the provision with you before you made the journey. Enough food, enough water, enough everything to carry you to your destination.
From here, in the verses dealing of Hajj, when everyone shall have to make some sort of journey to reach the Ka’bah, Allah tuned the attention of His slaves to another journey, a journey every soul is traveling, whether they know it or care to just remain heedless.

Allah turned their attention to the journey to the Hereafter, to Paradise or Hell, “And take a provision (with you) for the journey; verily the best provision is Taqwa (piety and righteousness)” – Al Baqarah 2:197
Ibn Umar narrates: one day I was with the Messenger of Allah (SAAWS). He then turned to me, held my shoulders with both of his blessed hands, and said: “Be in this life like a stranger or a traveler.”

And whenever Ibn Umar narrated this to his disciples he would add: “If you reach the evening, do not await (to be alive) by dawn, and if you reach dawn, do not await (to be alive) by evening. Take advantage of your Health before you fall sick. And take advantage of your life, before you die.” – Bukhari

Your story and mine in this life should be the story of a stranger in town or a traveler. Recently, the writer lived the life of a stranger about to begin a journey. It had been six years that he had lived in Madinah Munawwarah and now had come the time to move on.

In the last days, he would buy a bar of soap and think, ‘will I be around long enough to use the whole bar or should I get a smaller one.’ Gadgets and inventions bounced off the supermarket’s shelves.
It all looked interesting, but there was no time to enjoy it, it had to be left on the shelf. The journey was about to begin. A few extra trips were made to the Prophet’s Masjid. Concentration was up a few notches in prayer. The journey was about to begin.

When our father and mother, Adam and Hawwa’ (AS) were expelled from Paradise, their hearts continued to sob in remembrance of their first home. You know how it is when some youth go to camp.
Night after night they cry homesick. Well that’s how our parents were. And as their children, believers in Allah, His Messenger, and the hereafter, that is the kind of homesickness we should have day after day, until we come home, in sha’ Allah. That is what a stranger feels; this is how we should go through life.
In a Hasan hadith narrated by Ahmed and Tirmithi, the Prophet (SAAWS) said, “What have I got to do with the material world? The example of the material world and I is that of a traveler.

Traveling in the afternoon heat, he stopped to rest under the shade of a tree for some moments. Then, he rose and left it.”
The journey: life. The destination: Paradise or Hellfire. Ali (RA) used to say, “The material world has gotten up to leave you and the Hereafter has gotten up on its way towards you.

Both of them have children, so be from amongst the children of the Hereafter and not from the children of the material world. For verily, today is deeds and no accountancy, and tomorrow is accountancy and no deeds.”
A Wiseman once said, “Strange is he who has the material world walking away from him and the hereafter walking towards him. How could he busy himself with what is leaving him and turn his back to that which is coming towards him.”

This is the journey that we are all traveling. Now it is up to us to take advantage of the time. Muhammad ibn Wasi’ (RA) was asked once how he was feeling. He replied, “What’s your opinion of someone who travels a mile towards the hereafter every single day?” Dear brother, dear sister. Every soul is on this journey.

Some have understood this and are spending their days in preparation for the questions to come, for the repayment. Others are living life ‘to the fullest’ as they say, heedless and negligent of the hereafter. Allah (SWT) describes the day that they will finally wake up and smell the fire in sura 50, verse 22, “Indeed you were heedless of this, now We have removed your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!” They are living in a satanic intoxication.

All that concerns them is a new car, a bigger house, and a handsome mate. Some wake up in this life with time to repent. Others will here the above verse when regret will be worthless.
In Surah Al Qiyamah, verse 26, Allah (SWT) describes the extraction of the soul, those last minutes, “Nay, when (the soul) reaches to the collarbone (i.e. up to the throat in its exit).” He probably went to sleep that night not intending to pray Fajr. He promised his kids they would go to Disney Land in the summer.
He promised his wife a new dress. He promised himself a new car if he beat his golf score. Tonight, however, he had an unexpected visitor. O the visitor had an appointment with him; he was just careless and forgot.

The soul does not leave the entire body in one swoop. It leaves body part by body part until it reaches the collarbone, until it reaches the throat. His legs were dead, his arms were dead. The soul gargled in his throat.
He screamed. His wife and children ran to his side. What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Not now, he is about to begin another journey. Allah says in Surah Al Qiyamah, verse 27, “And it will be said: ‘Who can cure him and save him from death?’”

Even in the last breaths, the wife runs to the phone to call an ambulance. The children look left and right for someone to save their dad. Nay, no one can save him from death when death arrives.
Everyone shall die. “And (the dying person) will conclude that it is the time of departure (death)” Al Qiyamah, verse 28

Reality has hit him now. He knows this is the end. The time for departure has arrived; the journey is about to begin. What is he departing from though? From a Quran he used to recite after Asr? From 4 rakas he used to pray during those long winter nights? Was he even departing from the 5 daily prayers?

“And leg will be joined with another leg (i.e. shrouded)” Al Qiyamah, verse 29
Strangers washed his body, strange hands shrouded his body, strangers prayed on his body. Down, down into that hole that was waiting for him from the day he entered this world. Now, the journey begins...
“The drive will be, on that Day, to your Lord (Allah)!” Al Qiyamah, verse 30
Dear brother, dear Sister. Do not leave your repentance till Ramadan. Do not wait until you go for Hajj. Do not even wait till tomorrow. Do it now and prepare for this journey. Come back to Allah before it is too late. Come now! Ali (RA) once stood at the head of a grave and said to his companion, “If he had a chance to return to this life, what do you think he would do?” His companion replied, “He would do nothing but good deeds.” Ali (RA) then said, “If it is not going to be him, then let it be you.”

If you are young and handsome now, fear Allah (SWT) and cover as He commanded you. If you are healthy now, worship Allah (SWT) as much as you can before you are old. If you are wealthy now, use your wealth for the sake of Allah (SWT) before the day comes when you may lose it. If you have some free time now, spend it memorizing Quran and reading Hadith before a time comes when you will not find the time. If you are alive now, take advantage of your life in preparation for the next leg of your journey, in preparation for your meeting with Allah (SWT).
Ibn Abbas (RA) heard the Prophet (SAAWS) advising someone, saying, “Take advantage of five before five: You’re youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you become occupied, and your life before your death.”

Weep No More:

Weep No More:
From Canaan Joseph shall return, whose face
A little time was hidden: weep no more -
Oh, weep no more! in sorrow's dwelling-place
The roses yet shall spring from the bare floor!
And heart bowed down beneath a secret pain -
Oh stricken heart! joy shall return again,
Peace to the love-tossed brain - oh, weep no more!
Oh, weep no more! for once again Life's Spring
Shall throne her to the meadows green, and o'er
Her head the minstrel of the night shall fling
A canopy of rose leaves, score on score.
The secret of the world thou shalt not learn,
And yet behind the veil Love's fire may burn -
Weep'st thou? let hope return and weep no more!
Today may pass, tomorrow pass, before
The turning wheel give me my heart's desire;
Heaven's self shall change, and turn not evermore
The universal wheel of Fate in ire.
Oh Pilgrim nearing Mecca's holy fane,
The thorny maghilan wounds thee in vain,
The desert blooms again - oh, weep no more!
What though the river of mortality
Round the unstable house of Life doth roar,
Weep not, oh heart, Noah shall pilot thee,
And guide thine ark to the desired shore!
The goal lies far, and perilous is thy road,
Yet every path leads to that same abode
Where thou shalt drop thy load - oh, weep no more!
Mine enemies have persecuted me,
My love has turned and fled from out my door -
God counts our tears and knows our misery;
Ah, weep not! He has heard thy weeping sore.
And chained in poverty and plunged in night,
Oh Hafiz, take thy Koran and recite
Litanies infinite, and weep no more!
---Hafiz Shirazi---

Note: The poem above was written by the Persian poet, Hafiz in his, "Divan
Hafiz" which is a collection of his poems. It was translated by Gertrude Bell in the book, "Teachings Of Hafiz" and can also be found in, "A Treasury Of Asian Literature" edited by John Yohannan. divan = collection. maghilian = a thorny shrub which grows in the deserts of Arabia near Mecca

How To Win Hearts ~The Islamic Way~

1. Smile: It is the first arrow and the fastest of them all. It is like the salt for food. It is also regarded as a kind of worship and alms-giving as is mentioned in a hadith "Smiling at your brother's face is as charity (Sadaqa)" (Jami Tirmidhi). "Abdullah ibn al Harith tells us about the Prophet (PBUH) saying that he had never seen someone smile at the other's face as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to do"(Jami Tirmidhi).

2. Be always the one who initiates greetings: This arrow is the one that lets you to be in the innermost depths of the others hearts. This arrow needs a skillful shooter. The needed skills are the hearty smile, the warm shaking of hands and the friendly welcoming to the other. Being successfully achieved, such kinds of skills are going to be rewarded, referring to the hadith: "Those who are nearest to Allah are they who are first to give a salutation " (Jami Tirmidhi). According to Hadith of Anas when people of Yemen came the Prophet (PBUH) said , " The people of Yemen are approaching and they have softer hearts than yours'. (Anas said) " They are the first who came with hand shaking". (Sunan Abu Dawud and Adb ul Mufarad)

3. The Presents: It has a strange charming affection that captivates all senses. Hence, exchanging presents and gifts in different occasions is a pleasant habit however gifts should be within one's tolerable expenses.Aa’ishah (RA) said: "The Messenger of Allaah used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them." (Sahih Bukhari)

4. Say something Good or remain silent: Loud voice and chattering are bad merits. You have to be sweet-worded, tender in expressing yourself. A good word has its own magic in winning the hearts of your enemies, how powerfully it would work then with your brothers' hearts!! "Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate " (Surah Fussilat 41:34) .The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or be silent" (Mawtta Imam Malik). Abu Abdullah Jadali reported that he askedSayyidah Aisha (RA) about the manners of Allah’s Messenger She said, He was never indecent of speech or of manners. He never spoke loudly in the markets. And, he never returned evil with evil, but he forgave and overlooked.’ (Jami Tirmidhi)

5. Be a good listener: Listen patiently and never interrupt the speaker, as the Prophet (PBUH) never interrupted a speaker till he ended his speech. And he who fights for this merit gains others love and admiration, whilst on the contrary is the one who chatters and interrupts the other.

6. Appearance and dressing well: You have to be careful with your appearance so as to be neat, well–dressed and sweet smelling as well. The Prophet (PBUH) says that "Allaah is beautiful and he love beauty" (Masnad Ahmed).

7. Being in others favor and helping them: Good treatment classifies you as an obedient, beloved slave of Allaah. Allaah says in the Qur'an: "And spend of your substance in the cause of Allaah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your own) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good"(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:195). Sayyidina Abu Dharr (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Your smile your brother is a sadaqah for you, and your enjoining piety and forbidding evil is a sadaqah. Your guiding one who is lost on the land is a sadaqah for you. Your leading the blind is a sadaqah for you. Your removing from the thoroughfare a stone, a thorn or a bone is for you a sadaqah. And, your filling with your bucket the bucket of your brother is asadaqah for you." (Jami Tirmidhi)

8. Being Generous: Offering money is the key for most of the closed doors that hinder you from reaching others hearts, especially in these days. Now I will tell you a story about the magic of the merit of generosity. In the conquest of Makkah, there was a man called "Safwan Ibn Umia". That man ran away after making all possible means in keeping the people of Islam and after making conspiracies to kill the Prophet (PBUH). Later on, the Prophet (PBUH) forgave him and he came back asking the Prophet (PBUH) to give him the time of two months to think about Islam and the Prophet (PBUH) said, "You can take four months, not just two". In spite of being an atheist, he accompanied the Prophet (PBUH) in the Hunain and Al Ta'if conquests. In Al Ta`if, while the Prophet (PBUH) was dividing the booties of the war, he noticed that man looking longingly to a vast land in which a large number of cattle were flocking. The Prophet (PBUH) asked him, "Do you like it?" The man eagerly answered "Yes." The Prophet (PBUH) said, "It is for you then." Safwan said, "Only a prophet could behave as generously as you have. I believe that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is His Prophet." Notice how the Prophet (PBUH) found the missing key and succeeded in moving his heart. Some people behave stingily as if they see the ghost of poverty waiting to attack them once they think about being generous in offering money.

9. To have a good opinion of others and to give them an excuse: Keeping an eye on others behavior is a bad merit that blocks your way to their hearts. On the contrary is to have a good opinion of them. So, try hard to give your brothers the excuse as much as you can. Concerning this merit, Ibn Al Mubarak says, "The believer is he who gives his brothers the excuse, and the hypocrite is he who seeks their slips." Quran says " O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs." (Surah Hujraat 49:12)

10. Express your feelings: If you love someone, or have good feelings about him, don't wait, just tell him at once. Regarding this Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “If one of you loves his brother, let him inform him about it.” (Sahih Bukhari) Prophet (PBUH) also said " A good dream is from Allah, so if anyone of you saw a dream which he liked, he should not tell it to anybody except to the one whom he loves."(Sahih Bukhari)

~Muhammmad Awais Tahir~