Eid Al Fitr 2008 Has Been Announced-Eid Mubarak!!

29 09 2008

Assalaamu Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

Saudia Arabia has announced that the new moon was sighted and that Eid Al Fitr  will begin there on Tuesday September 30, 2008. These countries have also made that announcement:

  1. Bahrain
  2. Jordan
  3. Kuwait
  4. Lebanon
  5. Libya
  6. Philippines
  7. Saudia Arabia
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Yemen

These countries have announced they will have Eid Al Fitr on Wednesday October 1st, 2008:

  1. Australia
  2. Indonesia
  3. Malaysia
  4. Norway
  5. South Africa

In the United States  has announced we will be celebrating eid on Tuesday, Sept 30, 2008 also several masjids in England have announced they will be celebrating eid on Tuesday, Sept 30, 2008.

So, to all my brothers and sisters around the world regardless of when you are celebrating eid I wish you all Eid Mubarak!

May Allah accept our fasts and good deeds and forgive us for any shortcomings. ameen

Insh’Allah for a presentation all about eid check out:

Eid 101 (click the link then scroll down to the bottom and click on: Eid 101: What Am I supposed to do?):

The link:

http://www.fiqhflash.com/ 

 

The Rulings and Sunah of Eid:

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/07/the-rulings-and-sunnah-of-eid-muslims-holidays/

How Muslims In Various Countries Celebrate Eid:

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/eid-ul-fitr-around-the-world/

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Ramadan Diary ’08: Week Four-Signing Off And Looking Forward!

29 09 2008

Alhamdullilah, this past week has been excellent! There is something about late night/early morning that is so peaceful. One of my goals that I have throughout the year is to stay up more at night. Usually, I just pray my witr and sleep but I hope this year to make a change and stay up a little longer making dua, dhikr, and reading Qur’an.

But, Subhan’Allah another Ramadan has almost passed us by. Did you strive hard during the last 10 days? Did you utliize this Ramadan to the best of your capabilities? Do as many good deeds as you could? I always go over these questions during the last week of Ramadan. I like to evaluate myself during Ramadan as well, but it is really during the last days that I begin to wonder if I really did my best. If my deeds will be accepted.  I always wonder if I have done something that will leave me giving away all my good deeds on the Day of Judgement leaving me with nothing or perhaps, they weren’t accepted. Only Allah knows. But Alhamdullilah, we have to have hope and know that Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate. May all of our good deeds be accepted. ameen

Keeping ourselves going after Ramadan is a challenge too. Hopefully, we can keep up our level of faith and good deeds throughout the year!

May Allah accept our fasts and help us to carry the lessons that we have learned during Ramadan with us throughout the rest of our lives. ameen!

I’ll sign off on this Ramadan diary and leave you all with this:

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].”

 

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

 

[al-Hijr, 99]





When The Night Equals A Thousand

23 09 2008

When the Night Equals a Thousand

By Muhammad Alshareef  courtesy of www.SuccessInIslam.com

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (Alahi salaam) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

 

 

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel whom had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told Musa (Alahi salaam). “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”Musa (Alahi salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.

The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”

Musa (Alahi salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed the Qur’an in the most blessed month; the month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was sent down.

On the most blessed night, the Grand night: Laylatul Qadr; “Verily, we revealed the Qur’an on the night of Qadr.”

Ibn Jareer narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid that there was a man from Bani Israel who used to spend the night in prayer. Then in the morning he would fight the enemy in the Way of Allah during the day, until the evening and he did this for a thousand months.

And so Allah revealed the Surah: “Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr” until the verse “The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” That is, standing in prayer on that night is better than the actions of that man.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree reports, on the authority of Mujaahid (also), that the night of Al-Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it, and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months’ good deeds, prayers and fasting. (Narrated by Ibn Jareer)

It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: “When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah said: ‘The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable.’” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i).

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it he hopes to be forgiven by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for past sins, knowing that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) promised that all who bear down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, the believer remembers the Prophet’s (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) advice in different sayings wherein he used words like “seek”, “pursue”, “search” and “look hard” for Laylatul Qadr.

Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. The Mu’min should search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, passing the nights in worship and obedience.

For those who catch the opportunity, their gift is that of past sins wiped away.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) illustrated for us some of the things we should be doing on this Grand Night. From his blessed Sunnah we find the following:

 

Praying Qiyaam (night prayer):It is recommended to make a long qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many ahadeeth, such as “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylatul Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition “and it is facilitated for him” is recorded by Ahmad from the report of ‘Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]

 

Making Supplications:It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. ‘A’ishah reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.” [An authentic Hadith recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi.]

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship:

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr is likely to fall. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).

‘A’ishah reported: “When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer) and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And she said: “Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights.” [Muslim]

Have we estimated Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) correctly?

The opportunity of Laylatul Qadr is coming in the next few days. Life is about people that take advantage of their opportunities to win the love of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), and this is indeed one of those chances. Abu Dah Daah was one of those who found an opportunity and won that which is greater than the heavens and the earth. An adult companion of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and thus belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim and off to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) went the orphan boy to complain. With his justness, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered the companion, “would you give him the palm tree and to you is a palm tree in Jannah?” However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) missed the opportunity and went away angry.

But someone else saw the opportunity, Abu Dah Daah – radi Allahu ‘anhu. He went to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, “Ya Rasul Allah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Yes.”

Abu Dah Daah chased after the companion and asked, “Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?” The companion answered, “Take it for there is no good in a tree that I was complained to the Prophet about.”

Immediately, Abu Dah Daah went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. “Leave the garden!” shouted Abu Dah Daah, “we’ve sold it to Allah! We’ve sold it to Allah!” Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snached the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. “We’ve sold it to Allah!”

When Abu Dah Daah was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, Rasul Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) stood over his slain body and remarked, “How many shady palm trees does Abu Dah Daah now have in paradise?”

What did Abu Dah Daah lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.

Abu Dah Daah did not miss his opportunity, and I pray to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) that we do not miss our opportunity of standing to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) on Laylatul Qadr.

Dear brothers and sisters, we do not obey, worship and revere Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) in a way befitting of His Majesty.

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed: “No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him” (Surat al-An’aam, Ayat 91).

Everything that we have belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). When someone dies we say, Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon, Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return. This is not a supplication just for when a soul is lost. It is a supplication for every calamity that befalls a believer, even if his sandal were to tear. Why? Because everything belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and everything shall come back to him. Sit and try to count the blessings Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has bestowed upon you. Have you ever tried to count stars?

“And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude” (Surat Ibrahim, Ayat 34).

We have not understood the weight of this Qur’an that we rest on our high shelves, this Noble book that was sent to give life to the dead. For even if our hearts were as solid as rock they would have crumbled to the ground in fear and hope of Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) punishment and Mercy. Could it be that our hearts are harder than that mountain?

“Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and split asunder in fear of Allah (Surat al-Hashr, Ayat 21).

Dear brothers and sisters, as you fill the Masajid for Qiyamul Layl in the last ten nights of Ramadan, remember what Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) wants you to know:

“Know ye that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

There shall be a night, some night in your life that you shall awaken in Jannah or Hell fire. Anas ibn Malik, on his deathbed, prayed to Allah, (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, protect from a night whose morning brings a journey to hell fire.” Think about that morning.

Peace shall descend on Laylatul Qadr until the dawn. It may be that you shall leave the Masjid after Fajr one day soon forgiven by Allah, Glorious and Most High.

 





Ramadan Diary ’08: Week Three Entering The Last 10 Days of Ramadan

20 09 2008

Alhamdullilah, we are now officially entering into the last ten days of Ramadan. One of these nights is Laylat al Qadr, a night better than a thousand months.  A night that we should all try to seek out and fill with Rememberance of Allah (SWT).  

The question is will the tv, telephone, computer, or blackberry monopolize your time during the last ten days of Ramadan?  Spending our time uselessly is discouraged any time of the year but especially during these last ten days of Ramadan with all the potential benefits they offer us if we will just make a little effort on our part to seek that benefit. But that is the key: effort. Can we skip the season premiere of our favorite show to instead spend the time with the Qur’an? That is a question unfortunatley many Muslims can’t answer.  That is a question that I used to have a hard time answering myself.

I remember my first Ramadan I was so enthusiastic that I began asking around to other Muslims what they will do during the last ten days of Ramadan. Most of the time I got a shrug as the answer. Looking back, that saddens me. To miss such an opportunity. 

Sometimes we have to just unplug the tv and shut down the computer around here to keep from falling into wasting our time. It also helps to have other Muslims around you who are as enthusiastic or more enthusiastic about earning the rewards of the last ten days as you are. When we use ourselves as a support system things go much more smoothly. It reminds me of the hadith when the Prophet (Saw) said that the most powerful weapon the believers have against Shaytan are each other.  Alhamdullilah

I’m also really excited about a webinar  being held next weekend (September 27 and 28) . Insh’Allah Sheikh Ahmed Kobeisy will be joining www.sunnahfollowers.net next weekend to give special webinars on “Introduction to the Sunnah” and “Fiqh of Worship.”  And the best part is that it’s FREE OF CHARGE! Insh’Allah I hope some of you will be able to attend. 😀 Insh’Allah I will give another announcement closer to the dates confirming the time.

Also, Insh’Allah check out these past posts on Laylat al Qadr and the Last Ten Days of Ramadan to give an explanation, motivation and instructions on how we should be spending this time.

Description of the Night of Power (Laylat Al Qadr) And The Last Ten Days of Ramadan, The Virtues and Explanation:

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/on-laylat-al-qadr-the-night-of-power/

Signs of Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power):

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/signs-of-laylat-al-qadr/

16 Things You Can Do On The Night Of Power (suggested actions that you can do):

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/16-things-you-can-do-on-the-night-of-power-laylat-al-qadr/

Video Lecture: Night of Forgiveness!

Brother Arshad Khan gives a khutbah and explains what is the Night of Qadr (The Night of Decree), how so you look for it, what do you do if you find it and what are the rulings regarding the date on which it appears and the rulings for women on the Laylat ul Qadr.

http://www.islamictube.net/watch/f0e982983be499e57ccd/Night-of-Forgiveness!

Ramadan-Are You Ready? Part 4/5-The Last Ten Days By Brother Masood Chowdhury

May we catch the Night of Power and May Allah accept from us and forgive us our sins! ameen





A Dream Of The Prophet (SAW) And Lessons From It

19 09 2008

Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 171 Narrated Samura bin Jundub:

Allah’s Apostle very often used to ask his companions, “Did anyone of you see a dream?” So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell.

One morning the Prophet said,
“Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’
I set out with them and we came across a man Lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man’s head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Proceed!’

So we proceeded and came to a man Lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’

So we proceeded and came across something like a Tannur (a kind of baking oven, a pit usually clay-lined for baking bread).” I think the Prophet said, “In that oven there was much noise and voices.” The Prophet added, “We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’

And so we proceeded and came across a river.” I think he said, “…. red like blood.” The Prophet added, “And behold, in the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had collected many stones. Behold. while the other man was swimming, he went near him. The former opened his mouth and the latter (on the bank) threw a stone into his mouth whereupon he went swimming again. He returned and every time the performance was repeated, I asked my two companions, ‘Who are these (two) persons?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

And we proceeded till we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance, you ever saw a man having! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and running around it. I asked my companions, ‘Who is this (man)?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

So we proceeded till we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colors. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my companions, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

So we proceeded till we came to a majestic huge garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two companions said to me, ‘Go up and I went up’ The Prophet added, “So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate, and it was opened and we entered the city and found in it, men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the handsomest person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. Behold, there was a river flowing across (the city), and its water was like milk in whiteness. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness (of their bodies) had disappeared and they became in the best shape.” The Prophet further added, “My two companions (angels) said to me, ‘This place is the Eden Paradise, and that is your place.’ I raised up my sight, and behold, there I saw a palace like a white cloud! My two companions said to me, ‘That (palace) is your place.’ I said to them, ‘May Allah bless you both! Let me enter it.’ They replied, ‘As for now, you will not enter it, but you shall enter it (one day)

I said to them, ‘I have seen many wonders tonight. What does all that mean which I have seen?’
They replied, ‘We will inform you:

As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he is the symbol of the one who studies the Quran and then neither recites it nor acts on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the enjoined prayers.

As for the man you came upon whose sides of mouth, nostrils and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. And

those naked men and women whom you saw in a construction resembling an oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses;,

and the man whom you saw swimming in the river and given a stone to swallow, is the eater of usury (Riba) and

the bad looking man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell and

the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Abraham and the children around him are those children who die with Al-Fitra (the Islamic Faith).”

The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, “O Allah’s Apostle! What about the children of pagans?” The Prophet replied, “And also the children of pagans.”

The Prophet added, “My two companions added,

‘The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.'”
Source:Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 171: [Interpretation of Dreams ]




The Unfortunate Ramadan Display

18 09 2008

I went to the local library and out of the corner of my eye noticed a banner over the top of a wooden table that read “Happy Ramadan!”. Mash’Allah, I thought. So, I took the kids over for further inspection and noticed a nice model of the Dome of the Rock in the center of the display with the Qur’an open in front of it. I noticed there were paper camels cut out and spread over the table. Then, I looked around at the other books displayed…..”books about Islam.” And my smile vanised immediately. All the books were speaking of Islamic extremism, terrorism, womens subjugation in Islamic law. Subhan’Allah. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Surely, there is one book here other than the Qur’an that speaks about Islam from an objective point of view…..but no. Every last book (save the Qur’an) was anti-Islam, anti-Muslim.

I mean this display is no different than putting up a Christmas display with books surrounding it about the Inquistion or children being molested by priests, the Crusades.

While I do appreciate the idea of trying to include the Muslim community and I commend the thought behind it. Subhan’Allah, the level of ignorance and intolerance still shocks me. Everytime that I think I have seen it all and have to be immune by now, I see something and it still effects me.  It makes me aggravated yes but more than that it just makes me tired and sad. Tired because I am tired of the blame being put on Muslims……”well why aren’t you speaking against it?” Honestly, we are! and we have been! Just listen…….to Muslims. Look around at the blogs, the articles, the books. Many have been written decrying terrorism and trying to explain the real essence of Islam. It is just a matter of what people choose to read and focus on.

I calmly explained that some of those books were offensive to Muslims being that it paints an unfair picture of Muslims and aren’t even written by Muslims. I am not one to get irate and emotional about things and I certainly hope that all Muslims react to such things with good manners, intelligent minds and calm hearts.

Insh’Allah I would like to take some positive Islamic books that I have accumulated to the library and donate them for the display specifically and also hand them a list of some suggested books to add to their list. Any book suggestions feel free to share them…





Ramadan Diary ’08: Week 2-Cooking For The Fasting People

17 09 2008
Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.”
[At-Tirmidhi].
Mash’Allah, I love that hadith! As women we are created differently than men. We have certain concessions that Allah (SWT) has given us that men have not been given. This doesn’t mean that women are  inferior to men but Allah (SWT) knows us, knows our capabilities, our strengths and weaknesses.  That’s why most women get a break from fasting every month. A break that many women complain about. I, however, don’t resent the fact that I can’t fast the whole month because who am I to feel unsatisfied with a special consession that Allah (SWT) has provided me with?  After all, he is My Creator and who knows a thing (or person in this case) better than the one who designed and created it? 
As the hadith I quoted before mentions…..even though we are not fasting that doesn’t mean we don’t have the opportunity to get benefit and rewards.  We can cook and feed a fasting person (husbands and parents count too 😉 ) thus earning the same rewards they have. Or we can give charity, make dhikr, listen to lectures, read the Qur’an on the computer (even though women can’t touch the mushaf when they are on their menses they can read it on the computer according to the most widely accepted opinion).
So, insh’Allah let’s not let that time of the month make us waste our time and distract us away from other acts of worship and chances to earn good deeds. We only have 2 weeks left before this Ramadan passes us by and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow much less next year. So, let’s tighten up as the Prophet (saw) used to do during Ramadan and work hard these last two weeks!Let’s keep our momentum going strong, insh’Allah!
Need something to keep you motivated and give you ideas? Insh’Allah make a calendar as my friend Um Umar did and add goals and mark them off or check out www.ramadanreminders.com
Speaking of the Qur’an. This is a nice video lecture describing how Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an so we need to strive to read it and ponder it! Enjoy : )