August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
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 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
The Prophet SAW said, “The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they Oh Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ills, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral).” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, reported by Muslim]
The First Right: “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace.”
The greeting of peace is a great inducement of love and it will lead us to an increase in faith/belief. And only a Believer will enter Jannah (Paradise).
The Prophet SAW said, “By the one in Whose Hand is my soul, you all will not enter into the Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I not direct you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greeting of peace amongst yourselves.”
Just imagine that when every Muslim meets another Muslim, he would cheerfully greet with a message of peace. And this is extended to every walks of life, resulting in everyone wishing the best for each other. Surely, that would be a wonderful world to live in, yes? And of course, the one who initiates the greetings is the best.
The Second Right: “When he invites you, respond to his invitation.”
A Muslim is obliged to accept an invitation as it is truly an honor to be invited. Only a valid excuse of greater things may be of exemption from accepting the invitation. And once it is accepted, it is mandatory to fulfil the invitation by attending it. This is a fine way Islam teaching us of forging solidarity.
The Third Right: “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.”
Often enough, a person being asked is revered as having more knowledge. Honor that reverence by properly dispensing advise as if you are the solicitor. If its is worthy of a good cause, advise him to go ahead and do it. If it might bring any harm, advise him against it. Treat the advise with respect, sincerity, compassion and confidentiality. For verily whoever deceives the Muslims, then he is not of them, and indeed he has left off the obligation of being sincere and advising.
The Fourth Right: “And when he sneezes and praises Allah, then pray for mercy upon him.”
The act of sneezing is a blessing and a favor from Allah SWT, in the expelling of congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Thus, making it easy for this air to have a passage out where it can exit, and thus providing relief.
As such, the Prophet SAW warranted that Allah SWT be praised for this favor, and for his (Muslim) brother to say to him,“May Allah have mercy upon you.” He also commanded the person who sneezed to answer his (Muslim) brother by saying to him, “May Allah guide you and set right your affairs.”
Therefore, whoever does not praise Allah, does not deserve for others to pray for mercy upon him. For he is the one who has caused himself to lose the two blessings: the blessing of praising Allah, and the blessing of his brother’s supplication for him that is a result of the praising.
The Fifth Right: “And when he becomes ill, visit him.”
Visiting the sick is from the best of the righteous deeds. And whoever visits his Muslim brother, he remains engulfed in the mercy (of Allah), and when he sits with him the mercy (of Allah) covers him. And whoever visits the sick Muslim at the beginning of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until evening comes, and whoever visits him at the end of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until morning comes.
There are certain ‘adab (protocols) when visiting the sick i.e. supplicate for him to be cured, giving him glad tidings of well-being and recovery). Most important is to advise him of repentance and turning to Allah for help to be cured. make the visit short and sweet, long enough to be welcome.
The Sixth Right: “And if he dies, follow him (his funeral).”
For verily whoever follows the funeral until the deceased’s body is prayed over, then he will receive a Qeeraat of reward. And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive two Qeeraats of reward. And following the funeral procession contains (fulfillment of) a right for Allah, a right for the deceased, and a right for the living relatives of the deceased.(Translator’s note: A Qeeraat is an amount equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah.)
June 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
It was told of Rabi`a that she was seen one day carrying a brand of fire in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, and that she was running very fast. When they asked her what she was doing and where she was going, she said, “I am going to light a fire in the Garden and pour water onto it so that both these veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose may be sure, and that the slaves of Allah may see Him, without any object of hope or motive of fear. What if the Hope for the Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship without any immediate motive or need.”
And she said: “ I love You with two loves: A Selfish love and a Love that You are worthy of. As for the selfish love, it is that I think of You, To the exclusion of everything else. And as for the Love that You are worthy of, Ah! That I no longer see any creature, but I see only You! There is no praise for me in either of these loves, But the praise in both is for You.” It was said that Rabi`a was the first person to teach about the necessity for truthfulness and sincerity in the lover’s bondsman-ship to the Beloved Who is Allah. She was one of those referred to as the spies of the heart for she often spoke out clearly against all who claimed to be lovers of Allah, but whose hearts were not always pure in intention and devotion.
This was the case of those who could not unquestioningly surrender to the Will of the Beloved in everything. She said to them, “You rebel against Allah, yet you appear to love Him. I swear by my faith that this is most strange. For if your love were truthful you would have obeyed Him, since the lover obeys the one whom he loves.” So that whenever someone said to her, “Alas, for my sorrow (my sins),” she replied, “Do not lie, but say rather, ‘Alas for my lack of sorrow,’ for if you were truly sorrowful, life would have no delight for you.”
One of her companions, Sufyan al-Thawri, asked her, “What is the best thing for the servant to do who desires proximity to his Lord?” She said, “That the servant should possess nothing in this world for the Next, save Him.” Rabi`a, may Allah preserve her secret, never had any doubts about her Beloved being present or absent, because she was not concerned only to have His good pleasure and bounties. She lived for a Love which does not seek for any answer, reward or reciprocity.
“O God, if I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, And if I worship You in hope of Paradise, Exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, Grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”
It was related how one day one of her followers said in her presence, “Oh Allah, may You be satisfied with us!” Whereupon Rabi`a said, “Are you not ashamed before Him to ask Him to be satisfied with you, when you are not satisfied with Him?” By this she meant that first we must be truly satisfied with Allah, Most High, before we can ask Him to be satisfied with us. Then this was followed by the question to her, “When then is the servant satisfied with Allah Most High?” She replied, “When his pleasure in misfortune is equal to his pleasure in prosperity.”
Someone asked Rabi`a, “What is Love?” She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Love has come from Eternity and passes into eternity, and none has been found in seventy thousand worlds who drinks one drop of it until at last he is absorbed in Allah, and from that comes His words: “He loves them, and they love Him.” (5:59).
Once when she was sick a number of people went to visit her. They asked her, “How are you?” She replied, “By Allah! I know of no reason for my illness except that Paradise was displayed to me and I yearned after it in my heart; and I thank that my Lord was jealous for me and so He reproached me; and only He can make me happy again.” She said: “O God, whatsoever You have apportioned to me of worldly things, Give that to Your enemies, And what You have apportioned to me in the Hereafter, Give that to Your Friends, For You suffice me.”
When Rabi`a was urged to speak, her words perfectly manifested her love, her belief and her faith, for she was so totally immersed in her Lord that she became a shining Light which attracted many people to her presence to drink from the same Spring from which she drank. She said, “If I will a thing and my Lord does not will it, I shall be guilty of unbelief.” So that her faith came from her total surrender to her Beloved God, as she said, “I have fled from the world and all that is in it. My prayer is for Union with You; that is the goal of my desire.” Then, since she always attributed her illnesses and misfortunes to the Will of her Beloved God, how could she oppose Him in trying to rid herself of them? Once she was heard to say, “If You had not set me apart by affliction, I would not have increased Your lovers.”
June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Creating a habit of offering forgiveness before going to sleep to anyone who has done us wrong is just the ticket for us to enter Jannah (Heaven). Admittedly, it could also free us from all those anger and hatred bottled up inside so that we could wake up to a brand new, lovely morning.
The Messenger of Allah SAW was sitting with a group of the Sahabah (ra) in the mosque and he said “A man will now enter [who is] from the people of Paradise.” and a sahabi (companion) walked in. Later it happened again, and then a third time. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘aas (ra) wanted to find out what was so special about this man, so he asked the man if he could stay over his house for 3 days. The man allowed him to stay. ‘Abdullah noticed that the man didn’t do anything out of the ordinary: He didn’t fast all the time, he slept some of the night and prayed some of the night, and so on. So after the 3 days, ‘Abdullah told him the real reason why he requested to stay with him, and he asked him what it was that could be the reason why he was from the people of Jannah.
The man (ra) couldn’t think of anything, but after a bit he said “Every night, before I go to sleep, I forgive whoever has wronged me. I remove any bad feelings towards anyone from my heart.”
(Kitab al-Zuhd by Ibn al-Mubarak – Number 694)
Now, this is something that all of us could do, should do, or rather MUST do. It helps us in getting a sound and peaceful sleep while at the same time, getting us a ticket to Jannah. Sounds like a good deal, yes?