July 26, 2012 § 7 Comments
The morning prayer (offered between Fajr and Dhuhr) is called Salat al-Duhaa and it begins moments after the sun rises till a few moments before noon. It is a sunnah of Allah’s Messenger SAW, and it is counted among the most virtuous salah (prayers) through which a person seeks to get closer to his Lord. It is the salah of those who are categorized as Awwabeen (ever oft-returning in all manners and in repentance towards Allah) and Mukhbiteen (those who humble themselves in repentance and obedience).
A lot of people, except those whom Allah SWT, bestows with His mercy, have abandoned it. Therefore, here is a reminder to all of us Muslims, that we may re-establish this forgotten Sunnah in our lives. “No one maintains the Duhaa salah except an Awwab (i.e. a person who is oft-returning to Allah in repentance).” (Ibn-Majah)
Salat al-Duhaa is a Sunnah Mu’akkad which means that it is an emphasized or recommended sunnah. Abu Hurairah said, “The Prophet SAW advised me to observe three things, not to abandon them till I die; to fast three days a month, to perform two raka’ahs of Duhaa salah and to do Witr salah before sleeping.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“If anyone sits in his place of prayer when he finishes the dawn prayer till he prays the two Raka’ahs of the Duhaa, saying nothing but what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they are more than the foam of the sea”. Recorded by Al-Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud
Performing Duhaa prayer is included in the acts of piety and righteousness. Allah Says: “… And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” [Qur’an 65:2-3].
Also, performing the Duhaa prayer is considered as being grateful and thankful to Allah. Allah Says: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshiping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings)” [Qur’an 14:7].
And the rewards are stated in the following hadith (At-Tabaraanee. Hadeeth Hasan (Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, vol. 1, p.279):
- Two raka’ahs: Not of the heedless. Prophet SAW said, “Whoever prays two raka’ahs of Duhaa, will not be recorded (to be) among the heedless.”
- Four raka’ahs: Among the worshipers. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays four raka’ahs (of duhaa), will be recorded among the worshipers.”
- Six raka’ahs: Sufficient (prayer). Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays six, it will be a sufficient (prayer) for the whole day.”
- Eight raka’ahs: From the devoutly obedient. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays eight will be written among the Qaaniteen (devoutly obedient).”
- Twelve raka’ahs: House in Jannah. Prophet SAW said, “And whoever prays twelve raka’ahs, Allah will build a house for him in Jannah.”
So, which group are we in now and which group do we want to be in? Perhaps, in this holy month of Ramadhan, where the Grace of Allah SWT is in abundance, we could increase our Duhaa Salah and be among those that will have houses in Jannah, InsyaAllah.
July 25, 2012 § 5 Comments
The holy month Ramadhan is here, and everyone is trying to maximize his good deeds to reap the benefits the month brings. The gates of heavens are all open to fulfill our du’as (supplications). Everyone has their own plan on how to go through the month in the best way possible and the key word is to have a “plan“.
1. Plan your daily activities around the Salah (prayers) times
Your lives should revolve around the Salah times, not the other way round. Map your routines so as to accommodate the Salah times and you shall reap the Barakah (Blessings) it brings. Additionally, ensure that you perform your Salah in the mosque. Essentially, you should be able to drop everything when the times for Salah is near.
2. Plan along your energy levels
Throughout each day of Ramadhan, everyone has their own unique energy ups and downs. You feel fresh at certain times and so very tired at other times. And these times are quite individualistic and understanding your energy levels throughout the day may help you maximize your performance. Schedule your hard/difficult task during your peak moments and arrange your simplest of tasks when your energy levels are very low
3. Increase your spiritual/faith (imaan)
As Ramadhan is a month of submission, where worshiping Allah SWT is the most singular important thing, ensure nothing else distracts you from it. Avoid unnecessary activities that will not increase your spiritual development. Do remember that rewards are multi-fold (up to 70 times) and as such, spend most of your time reading the Qur’an, perform the Salah, learning and doing as many Sunnah as possible. And the best of times to engage in all these activities is during the night, even staying awake until Fajr. Effectively, do your Tahajjud (night prayers)! And while at that, make lots of du’a as this is the month where du’as are easily granted.
4. Delay (or even Delete) Tasks
Evaluate each task and decide if you could delay it for months outside Ramadhan or even remove it altogether. This is the month to change, start anew. Changes are much easier to make during this month of huge blessings. Take this opportunity to do that.
5. Enjoy this Ramadhan
After engaging the above steps, do enjoy your Ramadhan. Yes, it could be better where you could do certain things in a much better way but do not put too much concern into it. Do not ever feel that you have wasted your Ramadhan, ever. Put it in your minds that you did the best you could have and will try to improve in the next Ramadhan. InsyaAllah, it will happen.
May Allah SWT continually choose all of us for His Mercy, Grace and Blessings. Ramadhan Al-Mubarak.
July 25, 2012 § 4 Comments
One of the most effective ways to get yourself into a productive mindset is to take your productivity day by day. Don’t worry about tomorrow and how productive you’ll be tomorrow, just think of today and what you can do today. It’s all about today.
Many Ramadhans ago, I had always wanted to finish reciting the Qur’an at least once during Ramadan (that’s the whole 30 Juzuk). I had it all sorted out (or so I believed). I had this plan of finishing 1 Juzuk per day and come 30 days later, I should have finished the whole Qur’an. But as most of us had experienced, procrastinations set in, maybe I’d do it later or even tomorrow. Some of the days I did manage to complete the 1 Juzuk goal but there would be days when I couldn’t. In the end, I never did manage to finish it.Shoulda, coulda, didn’ta!
Sweet talking to myself, maybe I’ll get it done in the next Ramadhan. And many Ramadhans came through, and I still could not get it done i.e. finish reciting the whole of the Qur’an during the month of Ramadhan.
A few Ramadhans ago, I took a very different approach, a “doing-my-best-for-the-day” approach. Instead of taking a monthly approach, I took a daily approach. Small baby steps, if you’d like. So each day, I sat down and finish as much recitations of the Qur’an as I could. As if, it was the last day of Ramadhan. And guess what? I did manage to finish it, and then some. Just last year, I actually did manage reciting the Qur’an twice! That surely felt good, a lot better than the many Ramadhans that I could not even complete it, Alhamdulillah!
Doing a daily approach eliminates a lot of the pressure to complete 1 Juzuk a day. In fact, it frees you up to do a lot more, without having any bearings on the monthly outcome. It definitely worked for me!
So, how about yourself? Perhaps you do have a better plan? You are indeed most welcome to share it with us here.
July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
They perceived the truth, The righteous ones
They triumphed, Whilst my heart is blind
The night conceals their splendid beauty
Yet, their light exceeds that of the stars
The melody of remembrance made their living pure
Hearts emptied for remembrance
Tears are like pearls arranged
Their daybreak shines radiant upon them
Honored robes of clemency are the best allotment
Woe unto you my soul
Will you not awaken?
And benefit before my feet slip?
In trivial matters and whims has time elapsed
So grasp what remains of it and profit.
July 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
There is always a story for everyone, that moment frozen in time, where a sudden realization came about. A realization about something that needed to be done, then and there. We call it “turning a new leaf” or that “defining moment”. It is when the heart and mind connected to form a steely and most determined resolve that will forever change one’s life.
Such moments are full of happiness, sadness, fulfillment and joy, tragedy and the sweet smell of success. Without us realizing, these moments were aplenty though at most times, we failed to capture or even recognize it. Yet for every Muslim, this particular moment comes about every year during this holy month of Ramadhan.
It is a month full of blessings, where each good intention can easily be achieved. For during this holy month, the doors to the sky (heavens) are opened up and when all prayers (du’a) are answered. Allah the Exalted said, “Has not the time come for the hearts of the believers to submit and humble themselves?” Clearly, it is in this month, Allah’s Mercy, Grace and Blessings are in abundance, readily available for those who wants it.
Put it in our hearts and minds, that this month, in this year, we want to be closer to Allah and His Mercy, Grace and Blessings. Regardless of how far we have strayed, how we have forgotten Him, now could be that defining moment. By us being able to live through this Ramadhan in itself is a sign of His Grace, to allow us to make that step towards being a better Muslim.
Yes, indeed we have committed way too many sins, lead of life of total neglect to His ways, too bad were all of us in desperation. Yet His Mercy, Compassion and Grace to His servants are far greater. Ours is not a caravan of despair, or of giving up; ours is a caravan of loving mercy and continuously turning back to Him.
This is the month where we take that huge step of defining our own moments. And in total faith that Allah SWT will readily accept us, in full forgiveness. For which then, we will become better servants, better person, and most importantly, better Muslims.