O Traveller to the Haram! Part II

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

madeenah.jpg

Continued…

Hajj

For those going first time, there are a lot of hotels and sometime they all look the same to you and you might be quite a distance from the Haram First few days go with someone to the Haram, and remember the walk back and picture a big hotel or shop nearby, e.g my hotel is near Hilton or behind Movenpick. Keep the hotel card, especially if you have elderly parents with you.

Remember, those going for Hajj there will be approximately 3 million people in Hajj. Thinking of that should give you the ability to be more patient. Hajj is nothing but an expression of love. During the journey towards Allah, the haji bears all difficulties with great patience. Also, bear in mind there will be delays. If you arrive late at Arafat or Muzdalifah you will still be rewarded for your intention so do not fret or frown. Arafat day try and spend most time in Dua from Dhuhr to Maghrib in a standing position (as long as possible). Arafat to Muzdalifah is usually a difficult one as most if not all of the people take the buses as it is dark after Maghrib. It is ideal to walk the rest of Hajj, saves you from the headache of buses. If your bus is late, spend the time in dhikr and qur’an not talking or gossiping or on WhatsApp and social media. Don’t let Shaytan take advantage.

Miscellaneous

Items to take to the Haram: Draw string bag for slippers, musalla, water bottle, Qur’an, dua books/tasbih, mobile phone and money

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Whoever attends the funeral procession and offers the Janazah Salah, will get a reward equal to one ‘qirat’, and whoever accompanies it till burial, will get a reward equal to two ‘qirats’. It was asked, “What are two qirats?” He answered, “Like two huge mountains.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1325 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 945)

For those travelling for the first time, there will be Janazah Salah after ever Fardh Salah almost. We should seize the opportunity as it takes only a few minutes to pray. As a lot of people tend to forget the method and women may never have prayed Janazah Salah, the method is here:

Method of Janazah Salah:

The manner of performing Salatul Janazah is as follows:

The body of the deceased must be placed in front of the Imam who leads the Salah.

The Imam stands on line with the chest of the deceased.

Everyone in the congregation must have the intention of performing Salaah Al Janazah for the sake of Allah and in prayer for the deceased.

Make the intention of praying behind Imam.

One must then say Allahu Akbar while raising both hands as in Takbeer At Tahreema (the same manner in which one raises his hands to begin the daily Salah).

Then fold your hands as one does in his daily Salah.

At this time, one must recite the 1) Thana. The Thana is:-

“Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika wa Tabarakasmuka wa Ta’aala Jadduka wa laa ilaha Ghairuka.”

2) After this, a person must say Allahu Akbar again, but must not raise his hands.

At this time, one will recite the Durood, (preferably the same as recited in the daily Salah).

3) Then say Allahu Akbar once again without raising the hands. After this takbeer, one will make the dua for the deceased.

Based on who the deceased is, one will recite the relevant dua. That is, there is a special dua for adults, and one for a minor boy and another for a minor girl.

The dua for an adult is:

Allaahurnmaghfir li hayyinaa wa mayyitinaa wa shahidi­naa wa gha-ibinaa wasaghiri­naa wa kabirinaa wa dhakari­naa wa unthanaa,

Allaahumma man ahyaitahu minnaa fa’ahyihi ‘alal islam wa man tawaffaitahu minnaa fatawaffahu ‘alal imaan.

Oh Allah! Forgive those of us that are alive and those of us who are dead, those of us that are present, those of us who are absent, those of us that are young and those of us that are adults; our males and our females. Oh Allah! Whomsoever of us you keep alive lit him live as a follower of Islam and whomsoever you cause to die, let him die as a believer.

The dua for a girl child is :

Allaahum maj ‘alhaa lanaa fa-ra—tanw waj ‘alhaa lana aj-ranw wa zukhranw waj ‘alhaa lana shaafi’atan wa mushaf-fa;ah

O Allah, make her our fore runner, a source of reward and treasure and make her a pleader for us and one whose plea has been accepted.

The dua for a boy child is:

Allaahum maj ‘alhu lnaa fa-ra—tanw waj ‘alhu lana aj-ranw wa zukhranw waj ‘alhu lana shaafi’an wa mushaf-fa’aa

O Allah, make him our fore runner, a source of reward and treasure and make him a pleader for us and one whose plea has been accepted.

NOTE: If you don’t know any of the above Duas then pray Rabbana Aatina Fid Dunya hasanah wa fil Aakhirati Hasanah wa qina azaaban naar.

When the Salatul Janazah is finished the body should be taken to the cemetery for burial.

And Allah knows best.Madinah 71Madinahh 76

Witr in Ramadhan

Those who go for Umrah in Ramadhan, usually have a dilemma whether or not to pray Witr with the imam. As the imam will pray 2 rak’ah then 1 separate. It is allowed for Hanafis (people who follow Hanafi fiqh) to follow the imam in Witr. Please see fatwa below:

https://nawadir.org/2016/04/02/witr-salah-in-makkah-and-madinah/

The preferred view of Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb (hafidhahullah) is pray 2 rak’ah nafl with the imam and then don’t pray the 1 rak’ah separate, just make dua in the qunoot/dua after rukoo.

Also, after Taraweeh Salah there is no announcement for Witr like the Masajid in England. So many people stand up for Witr thinking it is still Taraweeh and their intention will still be for Taraweeh, which will invalidate the Salah. It would be nice if they could announce Witr Salah in the Haram, otherwise we must keep a track of Rak’ahs.

Thieves

Keep your belongings with you at ALL times. In the hotel keep your suitcase and luggage locked, do not trust anyone, not even the workers. Take minimum money to the Haram, 40-50 Riyal. You should not need more than that, maximum 100 Riyal. The day you decide to go shopping, take extra money. But on a daily basis, you might need money for a drink/ice cream or something to eat. There are thieves everywhere! As blessed as Haramayn Shareefayn are, unfortunately the thieves are NOT. They will cut your pockets and run. Men should try and sew pockets into their trousers for safety. Keep your mobile and money in there. Women keep small handbags and keep close to you, not dangling off your shoulder. Then there are other thieves or beggars who make stories up! They lost their passports or documents. Or even say they lost their wife and children. I personally do not give a Riyal to any of these guys, not because I am stingy but I want my money to go to the right place. If you don’t believe me, read this:

https://babarahmad.com/2016/08/29/pilgrims-guide-to-predators-on-hajj/

If you want to give Sadaqah or Zakah give it to the cleaners in Haram. With Zakah, you have to let them know it is Zakah.

If your belongings do get stolen or lost, there is a lost and found office called “daftarul mafqoodaat” in Arabic. It is near Safa and Marwa but far, far behind it. You have to go outside and it is a long walk, I’ll be honest.

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ

In it are clear signs (among which is) the Maqam-e-Ibrahim.

maqam-ibrahim-masjidil.jpgMaqam-e-Ibrahim refers to the stone on which Nabi Ibrahimﷺ would stand when he was building the Ka‘bah. As the height of the building rose, the stone would automatically rise, lifting Nabi Ibrahimﷺ so that he could continue to build the Ka’bah, and when it was time for Nabi Ibrahim ﷺ to return to the ground, the stone would automatically descend.

The impression of the blessed footprints of Nabi Ibrahim ﷺ can be seen in the stone until today. It is obviously a miracle for a stone to automatically rise and descend, based on the need of the person standing on it, and for a hard stone to soften sufficiently so that it could be imprinted with his footsteps. It is for this reason that Allah Ta‘ala says that the Maqam-e-Ibrahim contains clear signs (that will guide one to recognize Allah Ta‘ala).

The Maqam-e-Ibrahim is housed in a round structure made from glass and metal, located on the mataf, close to the door of the Ka‘bah.

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said, “The Hajr-e-Aswad and Maqam-e-Ibrahim are two precious stones from the precious stones of Jannah. Allah Ta‘ala has extinguished their radiance. Had Allah not extinguished their radiance, they would have illuminated everything between the east and the west.” (Sunan Tirmidhi #878)

Take it easy

If you are going for Umrah in Ramadhan, take it easy as you are fasting as well as doing Tawaf and other acts of Ibadah. Sometimes just going to and from the Masjid can be tiring. Be sure to look after the elderly and those in your group too. If you are going for Hajj, do not tire yourself before Hajj. Some people do excessive Tawaf and Umrah before the days of Hajj then feel weak before Hajj. Remember you are “there for Hajj” make the most of it and be prepared for the 5 main days in sha Allah.

Waqf

Ibn Majah (757) narrated a hadeeth, “Whoever removes anything harmful from the mosque, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.”

Anything found in the masjid is Waqf, please us it carefully, including the cups for Zamzam. Many people waste the cups and do not dispose of them correctly. A masjid MUST be kept clean; whether it is your local Masjid or Masjid Haram. Just because it is an extremely large Masjid does not mean it can be littered. Also on a side note, I would just like to mention here, many mothers make their children wear socks or t-shirts with picture or cartoons. This is completely Haraam! Please avoid this.

Purpose

Keep on remembering the purpose you are here for. When the heat overburdens you, remember the heat of hell fire. If you are stood in long queues or waiting amongst crowds of people, think of Qiyamah and the multitudes of people. I believe Haram Shareef is the only place you can depict Qiyamah, truly. When listening to the Qur’an in Salah, imagine the time when Jibreel AS descended upon the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).

Halal Food

Beware. Not all food is reliable in Saudi Arabia, especially chicken as we all know a LOT of the chicken is imported. Try and ask a reliable mufti saheb in the UK for an up to date list of reliable restaurants/takeaways. Please don’t be naive and think it is a Muslim country, so everything is Halal. Ask the workers if the chicken is “Watani” which means local/slaughtered in Saudi Arabia. When I went for Umrah in Ramadhan 2018, I asked Mufti Ibrahim Saheb Raja of Blackburn as Mufti saheb visits Haramayn ever year. He enumerated the following: in Makkah alTazaj in Bin Dawood and also the McDonald’s, he said near Ibrahim Khaleel road there are many Pakistani restaurants that serve Watani chicken, you just need to ask and confirm. In Madinah, there are much more. To name a few, Rawi, At-Tabakh, Nirala, Miraj and Dawoodiya.

Niqab

Ma Sha Allah! I will always praise and support women who wear niqab, it is one of the greatest Jihads of the time – whether home or away. But, sadly, many women go to the holy lands and stop wearing their niqab or it becomes part time. My dear sisters, simple advice is that you wear niqab for many years. Some of you since you were teenagers. Not a single non-mahram has seen your face! Then you go for Hajj/Umrah and uncover your face because it’s too hot or at lunch time for ease or in the hotel because you feel suffocated. Remember, there will be many men travelling with you from your locality and relatives who have never seen your face. Is it worth it for a few weeks to lose this modesty? Stay strong in sha Allah, Allah’s jannah awaits you. You will queens of Jannah.

Maidnah 765

Madinah Munawwarah

Shaykh Haji Faruq Saheb (Allah have mercy on him) would say, on the road to Madinah try and pray Surah Kawthar 1000 times. Once you enter Madinah start continous durood, so before you reach Masjid Nabwi ﷺ your salutations reach the beloved Prophet ﷺ.

“There are angels of Allah SWT who convey to me the salutations of the Ummah.” (an-Nisai)

Take a booklet of forty duroods and pray daily along with a fixed amount of other duroods, 100, 200 etc.

Read Seerah books beforehand or take one with you to inculcate the love of the Prophet ﷺ

The rule is not to harm anyone, anywhere. But in particular, make extra effort in Madinah shareef not to argue or cause inconvenience to anyone. Even the animals, birds, plants etc. This is the City of the Prophet ﷺ, the City of Mercy.

DO NOT COMPLAIN! If you do not like something, stay quiet. Women in particular have a habit of commenting and criticising negatively. Such silly mistakes can deprive someone of visiting the holy lands again. There is a famous story of a man who visited Madinah and had some yoghurt. He found the yoghurt sour and complained! The same night the Prophetﷺ came in his dream and said, “If you don’t like the yoghurt of my city, then don’t come again.”

Salat wa Salam upon our beloved Prophet ﷺ be done from anywhere in Masjid Nabwi but better in front of the Rawdhah Mubarak.

Try and pray at least two Rak’ah in Riyadhul Jannah, without pushing or causing inconvenience.

Shaykhul hadith Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya (Allah have mercy upon him) would say, “When shopping in Madinah, make intention to benefit the people of Madinah.” And I would like to add, do not haggle too much with the residents of Madinah.

Try and visit the place of Badr about 2 hours from Madinah Shareef. And there is a well on the way Bi’r Shifa. The water is known for shifa/cure.

For those who do not know much about which dates to buy, I am no expert but the standard dates which people generally buy are:

Ajwa

Kalmi

Sukary

Safawi

Sugai

Ambar

Try and go to a date farm rather than the date market, the farms are not far from Masjid Nabwi ﷺ . And remember each type of date has its quality. E.g. You will get cheap Ajwa 40 or 50 Riyal per kilo but that will be low quality. Whereas the 60-70 Riyal per kilo will be higher quality, much larger and softer.

There are many suggestion boxes, usually near the doors/gates. Feel free to make positive suggestions. There are definitely many improvements to make in both places, we need to think of them and criticise constructively. We need to become a thinking Ummah, we need to produce deep thinkers in sha Allah. Also, take a notebook and pen and write down any thoughts you get. Sitting in the Haram you get some remarkable thoughts, don’t let them go! It could be changes to your life or something beneficial for the Ummah. Alhumdu Lillah, both parts of these blogs were a result of taking a notepad and jotting things down which I thought would benefit people. If you are a poet, writer, blogger, pen down your love and contemplations for these places to spread the respect and sanctity of these places. Here are two poems I wrote:

https://mylittlebreathingspace.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/centre-of-the-world-centre-of-islam/

https://mylittlebreathingspace.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/under-the-green-dome/

Lastly, use your time wisely and make it fruitful and productive. You never know when you will go again. Avoid arguments, this is not the place for arguments. Please don’t treat it like a holiday, you are not in Dubai or Morocco! They said in Arabic, “al-Istiqamah fawqa alf Karamah.” Steadfastness is better than 1,000 miracles! When you return back to the UK, keep up with your Salah, wearing Hijab or keeping a beard and practising every Sunnah. Especially those Sunnah connected with Hijab. Reflect on your age and life. How you can change and remove sin and vice from your life.

Allah accept your Hajj/Umrah and make it easy and bring you back safely. Fi Amanillah.

Please pray for me too.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

1 Dhul Qa’dah 1439

Madinah 888
Madinah 1907 C.E.
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Opening of Bukhari Shareef by Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah)

Masjid Hidayah, Old Trafford – 14/04/2018

Background

Allah has granted this book a miraculous, wonderful and astounding status in terms of acceptance.

Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) is buried in Uzbekistan, near Samarqand.

Ishaq ibn Rahwaye (Allah have mercy upon him) is the teacher of Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), he authored a book, “Musnad Rahwaye” which is actually being published now. Once in class, Imam Ishaq stated, “I wish all the Saheeh Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were gathered together in one compilation.

There were already books gathered with Haidth, but contained Saheeh, Hasan and Dhaeef Hadith.

The Dream and Glad Tidings

This comment of his teacher, ignited a burning fire in the heart of Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), and he had an ardent passion to fulfil this request. Immediately after, Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) had a dream of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). In the dream Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) had a fan in his hand, through which he was sending coolness to the blessed and illuminous face of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The interpretation of which was, ‘I will gather Saheeh Hadith together, distinguishing them from the other unauthentic Hadith.’ He was very fortunate to be blessed with this honour. He would scrutinise and examine each Hadith carefully, sifting and picking out the authentic Hadith.

Scrupulousness and Diligence

For every Hadith, he would do Ghusl, pray 2 rak’ah and perform Istikharah. Mufti Saheb mentioned there are different narrtions as to how many Hadith in total are compiled in Bukhari Shareef. Some Ulama say, 7,000+ and some 8,000+ if we go with the minimum number, 7,000 Hadith – this would mean Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) performed at least 14,000 rak’ah of Salah, performed Ghusl 7,000 times and then did Istikharah.

Thereafter he would show his Ustadhs; Abu Zur’ah (Allah have mercy upon him), Yahya ibn Mu’een (Allah have mercy upon him) and Ishaq Rahwaye (Allah have mercy upon him).

Islam and Arabs

The Arabs have pride and rightly so, they would have pride that Islam was established in Arabia. But Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him), was a resident of Bukhara. His Arabic wasn’t the most eloquent and articulate. He was accomplishing this task.

The weakest part of Bukhari Shareef in terms of linguistics is Kitabul Tafseer. This is evident, because Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) wasn’t an expert of the Arabic Language. Hence some of words weren’t translated the best. For example,

يزاد في هذا الباب “هَمّ” هذا الحديث  instead of the word ايضاً

The word “هَمّ” is Farsi, but instead of ايضاً he wrote that word.

Thus, the Ummah has a consensus the most authentic book after the book of Allah is al-Jami al-Bukhari. A person cannot become an Alim without studying Bukhari Shareef.

The Student’s Enthusiasm

Allah opens ‘Uloom for the teacher upon the eagerness and zeal of the student. Just like a baby cries and milk draws forth from the chest of the mother.

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Allah have mercy upon him) once stated to his students, “Whatever you have achieved is through me, but if you did not have the burning desire in your souls I would not have had such inspirations and stimulus as well.”

Remember, in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab were also present. But they had no zeal to learn and change.

Sanad/Chain

Our chain (sanad) is very important to us, this differentiates us from other religions. No other religions have such a system of “Sanad.” My Shaykh, Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy upon him) used to state a parable:

If there was a train that travelled from Karachi to Lahore, it was a fast train, very clean and travelled with speed. When it left the station at Karachi the station master attached a very old carriage at the end of this fast train, so that it can get “serviced.” When the train moved, the old carriage started squeaking! Somoene asked the old carriage, “Where are you going?” It replied, “You are lauhing at me, because my state is weak and poor. I may look deprived and pathetic, but the truth of the matter is when this new train reaches Lahore… so will I! Because my buffer and chain couplers are attached to this fast train.”

Likewise our connection to Ulama and pious people should be close and strong.

Imam Malik (Allah have mercy upon him) said: “If it were not for the Asnaad, people would say what they wanted.”

If we look at the Bible/Injeel and those people who sanctify this book, as Muslims we do as well to a certain extent. There is no chain to prove this book is still authentic. 300 years passed after Eesa (peace and blessings be upon him), there were many different variations of the Bible. In Nice, France, there was a conference in which all the priests decided we need to know which Bible is authentic. There was great dispute and disagreement. They decided to pray to God and fall in prostration and pray to Allah, at the same time they put all the Bibles on a table in a locked chamber. We pray that those Bibles which are fabricated, they fall on the floor. All night they did this, upon the crack of dawn they opened the door of the chamber. All the Bibles had fallen on the floor, except four. The historian who narrates this story further adds, they decided that four Bibles were authentic. But they had forgotten to write who had the keys to the chamber for that night!

Acquiring Knowledge Under a Teacher

It is important to study with a teacher, because of the student’s passion Allah blesses the teacher with noor and uloom and barakaat. This isn’t possible when the student studies alone. The system of studying under a teacher is finishing, it is very rare in the world such Hadith books are taught from start to finish. It only exists in India/Pakistan, due to the blessings of our Akabir. Many times I have experienced, I have done my motala for the a Hadith lesson, looked at the commentary as well. But in the lesson such things came into my heart that I had not known or researched. Quran and Hadith has been made by Allah in such a way in cannot be studied alone.

Never Miss a Hadith

In Karachi, we have 400-450 students in the final year – Dawrah. At least 60 -70 have never missed a Hadith, let alone missing a lesson. We call them ‘sahib e tarteeb’.

“All actions are dependent upon their intentions.”

“انما الاعمال بالنيات”

This Hadith is abused many times by people, they use it for wrongful purposes. People perform wrong actions and say, “my intentions are good. My heart is clean!” This is wrong, knowledge is important.

E.g. Someone is praying Salah incorrectly, you went ahead and showed him his mistakes which could break his Salah. He ignored you and said, “All actions are dependent upon their intentions… so my Salah is okay and correct!” This is wrong. You cannot use this Hadith to justify your wrong actions and lack of knowledge.

My late father, Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (Allah fill his grave with noor) went for Hajj. When he reached Mina he had some guests who were known to be religious and in the political field, they arrived to meet him. My father questioned them if they had performed Rami? One replied, “No! I have made a representative (wakeel) on my behalf to perform Rami (stoning).” My father reprimanded him saying, “This is not permissible when you have the capability. This is only for those people who are unable to perform Rami!” The man said, “انما الاعمال بالنيات” (all actions are dependent upon their intentions). To which my father laughed and said, “If that was the case, there is no need for a representative as well. Just make an ‘intention’ of Rami.”

A wrong action does not become correct because the intentions are good. E.g a person steals money to give in Sadaqah, this is wrong.

Niyyah (intentions) play a major role in our everyday life, a mubah action can be rewarded if the intentions are good. If a person eats food to gain strength for ‘Ibadah and to do shukr, he/she will be rewarded accordingly. It is the same for spending time with one’s wife, to please her and act upon the Sunnah – you will be rewarded. The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) raced with his wife, showed her the Ethiopian slaves playing for entertainment. All of this can gain reward if your intentions are correct.

My late father went for Hajj when I was a young boy 12 or 13 years old. Upon his return, he gifted me with a watch. I was so happy as I had never worn a watch before this. He remarked, “I bought this watch so you can tell the times for Salah. That should be your intention for wearing it.” Just look at the intention and reward behind this.

My late brother Muhammad Zaki (Allah have mercy upon him) who passed away many years ago, he would sing Naats and Nasheeds. He also had beautiful writing. When he learnt to write my father said, “Your first letter will be written to Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy upon him).” When Hadhrat Thanwi received the letter, he replied, “It is pleasing to see you can write in such a fashionable way. But make your intention to write in such a nice manner, that it makes it easy for people to read, I am making you into a Sufi.”

People have different definitions of ‘Sufis’, a true Sufi is he who does everything for Allah. Not the one who flies in the skies!

It is vital we correct our intentions on every action we carry out. Mufti Saheb then mentioned the Hadith of the first group of people being thrown into Hell; one of which will be Ulama, those who learnt Ilm and taught for other than Allah.

Allah save us. Ameen.

 

Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb (Hafidhahullah) is one of the leading Islamic scholars living today. He is an expert in the fields of Islamic Jurisprudence, Economics, Hadith and Tasawwuf.

Born in Deoband in 1362H(1943 CE), he graduated par excellence form Dars e Nizami at Darul Uloom, Karachi, Pakistan. Then he specialized in Islamic Jurisprudence under the guidance of his eminent father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi RH, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan. Since then, he has been teaching hadith and Fiqh at the Darul-Uloom, Karachi.

Translation

My Lord, I come to Your door as a beggar complete indigence, bringing only my humility and shame. A beggar who has neither a joli nor a begging-bowl.A beggar slain by his desires and cravings. Having squandered the treasure of Deen and intellect at the hands of the ego; Having sacrificed contentment of heart at the altar of lust and pleasure.

Losing my wealth in the quick-sand of heedlessness and sin. I have come to seek refuge under the covering of your Kaabah. Through the stains of sin the heart’s world is suffering. Aspirations are weak, the will broken and hope is dead. From whence should I find the strength to express the heart truly?

For in this snare have I passed every moment of my life. In short, having been burnt at the stake of my own ill-deeds. In abject poverty due to the evil of my state. To you have I brought my ill-stricken fate. Empty-handed of any deed befitting your House.

This House of yours, which is your court of Love and Grace, O Lord Tis wholly Light and the repository of all Lights O Lord Being completely ignorant of the manners of your Doorstep. A beggar knowing not how to beg. My tongue fails to convey my heart’s feeling. O Lord, have mercy on this wordless speech! These eyes are dry, O Lord, knowing not how to weep Festering spots in the heart that can’t be cleansed out. O my Lord I have come to your door as a beggar wholly indigent, in abject humility and full of shame.

To Debate or not to Debate?

argue

Narrated by Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) : The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person.” (Bukhari)

 

There’s an amazing Hadith found in Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and others… It says, “No people have gone astray after having been upon guidance, except that they were given argumentation.”
ما ضل قوم بعد هدى كانوا عليه إلا أوتوا الجدل
If you’ve been around Muslim life long enough, you can sense when a time-wasting black-hole is developing. It’s very tempting to go in swinging. Most youth do simply out of lack of experience. But for those who’ve been around the block, what is the point of experience, if you simply keep falling for the allure of the black hole.
Whenever an issue comes up, our stance is that we just state the position—insist on it no matter what—and move on. One of the signs of misguided groups is that they’re always arguing. In contrast, the path our Ulama have put us upon — Allah guard them and protect them — is one in which we’re really just too busy for nonsense. We have Quran to review, and still more to memorize. We have to brush up on our Arabic regularly. Fiqh needs to be delved into. Sound Aqidah needs to be taught. Hours of dhikr need to be logged. And on top of that, there is charity to be given, youth-work to be done, Janazahs to attend. Before all of that we have families to take care of. And then suddenly, it’s Ramadhan and all of that goes on hold and we put our souls through the car-wash.
Through Masajid, retreats, trips abroad, etc, life as a Muslim makes you meet so many different types of people, that it broadens your experience and polishes your Akhlaq. People are always changing. One year they’re into something knee deep and another year, they’ve balanced out. One becomes more forgiving, calm and over-looking. With every year that passes, and every drama that comes around, reaches its high point and then and rolls away like a receding wave, you come to realize what really matters in life and in deen. And that causes a person to side-step jidaal, argumentation. State your point—you may have to state it often—then move on and leave off arguing.
Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) was approached by a man who asked him for a debate. Malik said, “What happens if I win?” The man said I will follow you. Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) said, “And if you win?” The man said, then you follow me. Then Imam Malik (Allah have mercy nn him) said, “What if a third person comes and defeats both of us?” The man said, then we both follow him. Malik concluded: “Constantly changing your beliefs is not a sign of steadfastness. I know what I am upon and I have no doubt. You however, are upon doubt. So leave me alone and go debate someone else filled with doubt.”
(Tartib al-Madarik)
One of his students said, “Shall I not try to argue with them to prove to them the truth?” Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) replied, “Just state the position and leave it at that. If he wants to follow it, he will.”

(Tartib al-Madarik)

It was narrated that Hudhaifah (Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) say:‘Do not acquire knowledge in order to show off before the scholars, or to argue with the foolish, or to attract people’s attention, for whoever does that will be in Hell.'” (Ibn Majah as weak)
Those who will last the test of time are those who have something to offer. Something objective, meaty, beneficial, balanced and diverse.
Allah make us from those people, both as students and transmitters.
And Allah keep us away from argumentation, the sign of misguided people and groups.

Ameen.

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ): “Do not argue with your brother, do not joke with him, and do not make a promise, only to not fulfill it.” (Tirmidhi as weak)
Dr Shady Elmasray (Hafidhahullah)

Convert or Revert?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Is every child born a Muslim?636227225989015538-1172236555_islam-5

 

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said, ‘Every child is born in a state of fitrah, and then his parents make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian.’ (Bukhari & Muslim).

 

The Hadith does NOT say every child is born a “Muslim.” The word fitrah can be translated as ‘natural disposition’ or ‘natural instinct’; upon this understanding one can take fitrah to be in some sense a kind of innate characteristic. This Hadith is commonly misunderstood, it does not mean every child is born a Muslim. What it actually means is, every child is born upon nature. And the natural state of every human being is one of clarity, purity, of being in a pristine form, of being unpolluted and unadulterated by external factors. That natural state is conducive to a person accepting Islam and inclines one towards the beauty of Islam. But not exactly makes him a Muslim. As that child grows up those external factors influence him. If the external factor is corrosive and corrupting, they will becomes disinclined towards Islam. But they will not made apostates in childhood. The full Hadith narrated by Imam Bukahri, Imam Malik, Imam Muslim and Imam Ibn Hibban continues… The Prophet asked the Sahabah, “Do you see any animal mutilated when it is born?” Then the Sahabah asked, “What if that child died in his infancy?” The Prophet replied, “When Allah created them Allah knew best what they were going to do.” *End of the Hadith.*

If every child was born a Muslim, there would have been no need for the Sahabah to ask that question: “What if that child died in his infancy?” As all babies are born Muslim – but this is incorrect. We abstain from commenting on the children of the Christians, Jews, and polytheists who die in infancy.

If every child WAS born a Muslim, we could use the term “revert” when they revert back to Islam. But every child is born upon Fitrah, which means they are ‘inclined’ towards Islam, BUT NOT BORN MUSLIM as many assume. Had they all been born Muslim, this would mean they left Islam i.e. became Murtad (apostate) and then returned back to Islam. My question is when did they become Murtad? The answer is never. Hence it is wrong to use the term “revert.”

So every child is not born a Muslim, please see video for further misunderstood verses by Shaykh Riyadh Haq:

Please click here

Also, https://www.islam21c.com/theology/am-i-a-convert-or-a-revert/

حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ كَمَا تَنَاتَجُ الإِبِلُ مِنْ بَهِيمَةٍ جَمْعَاءَ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنْ يَمُوتُ وَهُوَ صَغِيرٌ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُوا عَامِلِينَ ‏”

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) as saying :

Every child is born on Islam, but his parents make him a Jew and a Christian, just as a beast is born whole. Do you find some among them (born) maimed? The people asked : Messenger of Allah! What do you think about the one who died while he was young? He replied : Allah knows best what he was going to do. (Abu Dawood)

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

8 Rajab 1439

 

Honey

Why Does Raw Honey Crystallise, Set Or Become Solid

Why does raw honey crystallise set or become solid?

Why does my honey have sugar in it? Has it gone bad? Why has my honey separated into solid and liquid layers?

These are some of the questions that we are commonly asked by customers trying raw honey for the first time.

You can’t blame them. Think of the last time you went to the “honey” aisle in a supermarket. Didn’t the “honey” look like a clear, thick, runny liquid? Not a single crystal in sight?

We say “honey” because supermarkets do not sell honey, they sell a processed sugary syrup that looks and tastes like honey… but it is not honey.

Why does raw honey crystallise?

Why does raw honey crystallise set or become solid?

Raw honey, which is honey that has not been heat-treated or filtered, is basically a solution high in natural sugars. The two main natural sugars in raw honey are fructose and glucose.

The ratio of fructose to glucose varies from honey to honey. Since honey is a natural product, honey from the same hive might have more fructose and less glucose one year and then the next year it might have less fructose and more glucose.

The balance of fructose and glucose in raw honey determines the speed and type of crystallisation of honey.

Glucose, which occurs naturally in raw honey, is what crystallises because it is less soluble than fructose. Fructose is more soluble than glucose so it remains fluid.

Honeys with a higher fructose content crystallise slower than honeys with a low fructose content.

Why do some raw honeys separate into two layers?

Why does raw honey crystallise set or become solid?

Some honeys form fine crystals that swim around in the liquid honey. Other honeys form heavier, denser crystals which sink to the bottom separating the honey into two layers.

Honey with a high pollen content crystallises quicker, forming dense crystals. This is because as the natural glucose in the honey begins to crystallise it latches onto the pollen and begins to clump around it.

These honeys tend to be set or solid at room temperature.

So speedy crystallisation is sometimes proof that the honey is raw and unprocessed.

Why does supermarket “honey” stay runny for a long time?

Supermarket “honey” is not honey. It is a solution that was once honey but has been heat-treated and filtered to extract the glucose out of the honey. The fructose remains, which is highly soluble, and thus more likely to remain liquid.

Sometimes supermarket “honey” crystallises because remnants of glucose in the “honey” begin to crystallise.

Does crystallisation mean the honey has gone bad?

Why does raw honey crystallise set or become solid?

Crystallisation does not affect raw honey one bit except changing its colour and texture. All the beneficial nutrients and enzymes in the raw honey remain after crystallisation.

In fact, crystallisation actually preserves the taste of the honey and makes it easier to use. The crystals release different flavours as they melt in the mouth and it is easier to spread on toast or to eat straight from the spoon.

Does crystallisation mean that sugar has been added to the honey?

This is a question we are frequently asked. As explained above, honey is a solution of natural sugars. Quite why someone would want to add more sugar to something that is already sweet is something we have yet to understand!

Why does raw honey crystallise set or become solid?

How can I transform crystallised honey into runny honey?

Simply put the jar of raw honey into a container of hot water for a few minutes until the honey warms up and the crystals dissolve.

However, take care to ensure that the temperature of the honey does not exceed 37C (body temperature) otherwise you will start to kill off the beneficial living nutrients in the honey.

So next time you see a jar of raw honey that has begun to crystallise, or separate into two layers, treat it as a gift and take it as proof that it is in fact raw, unprocessed honey.

And if you are still not convinced that crystallised raw honey tastes better than the completely runny version, try our Raw Organic Rainforest Honey from Brazil. It has delicious crystals that release different flavours as they melt in your mouth!

latinhoneyshop.com: single origin gourmet honey from the exotic parts of Latin America

Seven Reasons Why Raw Honey Is Good For You

Seven Reasons Why Raw Honey Is Good For You

Most people know that raw honey is good for you in some way but they don’t really know how or why.

Here are seven quick reasons why raw honey is good for you.

Remember that raw honey is different to supermarket “honey”. Supermarket “honey” is not really honey because it has been heat-treated and filtered, leaving it with hardly any goodness.

1. Raw honey has a low glycaemic index (GI)

The glycaemic index is a ranking of carbohydrate foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.

Glycaemic index and raw honey

High GI foods spike the blood glucose level quickly in a process that triggers the body into storing more fat. Examples of high GI foods are potatoes, white rice, white bread, processed (white) sugar, white pasta.

Low GI foods provide a steady stream of glucose into the bloodstream, which allows the body to use this energy efficiently without storing it as fat. Low GI foods include porridge, lentils, beans, wholegrain foods and honey.

2. Raw honey contains enzymes that help to digest food

Raw honey contains enzymes, natural substances that break down food so it can be better absorbed by the body.

Enzymes in raw honey

Some of the enzymes naturally occuring in raw honey include diastate, invertase, glucose oxidase, peptidase and others.

3. Raw honey destroys harmful bacteria in the body

Raw honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which destroys harmful bacteria upon contact.

4. Raw honey contains probiotics that enhance digestion

Raw honey probiotics

Raw honey contains probiotics, living bacteria that are beneficial to the body. When raw honey enters the body it floods the digestive system with probiotics that enhance digestion and reduce flatulence and constipation.

5. Raw honey contains vitamins and minerals

Raw honey contains an impressive array of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function efficiently. Unlike vitamin supplements, these occur naturally in raw honey.

6. Raw honey contains antioxidants

The body contains toxins known as free radicals that go around the body attacking cells and living tissue, causing damage and aging. Antioxidants are substances that destroy free radicals so they can no longer harm the body.

Antioxidants in raw honey

Raw honey contains a very high number of antioxidants that get to work immediately upon entering the body. Other high antioxidant containing foods include blueberries, pomegranates and broccoli.

7. Raw honey does not spoil

Bad bacteria that causes food to spoil cannot survive in raw honey. The acidity, lack of water and hydrogen peroxide naturally present in raw honey does not allow bad bacteria to go off, even after thousands of years.

In 2015, Egyptian archaeologists excavating the pyramids found sealed pots of wine, olive oil and honey. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, these items were placed there over 3000 years ago to nourish the souls of the dead in the after-life.

The wine had gone off, the olive oil had gone but… the honey was as good as if it were harvested yesterday!

Raw honey in ancient Egyptian tombs

Latin Honey Shop – single origin raw gourmet honey from the exotic parts of Latin America

Changing Perspective

Bismillah,

We often believe that being tested and going through problems in our life is due to our sins.Makkah Rihaal

Sayyidah Aminah (Allah have mercy on her) lost ‘Abdulllah (Allah have mercy on him) when she was just 18. Our master Muhammad, ﷺ the sinless and pure lost his father, mother and grandfather by 8. Hasan (Allah have mercy on him) and Husayn (Allah have mercy on him) lost Lady Fatima (Allah have mercy on her) when they were 7 and 8; Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (Allah have mercy on him) buried 2 of his wives. Sayyida Khadijah (Allah have mercy on him) lost 3 infant sons her in lifetime. Lady ‘A’isha (Allah have mercy on her) lived off dates and water because there was nothing in the house. Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr (Allah have mercy on him) was disowned by his parents as a youth. Abu Hurayra (Allah have mercy on him) didn’t owe a single thing, would tie stones to his stomach, and couldn’t sleep at night due to severe hunger. Bilal (Allah have mercy on him) was beaten and abused because of his faith. Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام was wrongly accused by a woman and he was locked up. Prophet Musa عليه السلام was separated from his mother as a baby. Prophet Nuh’s عليه السلام son rejected him. Prophet Lut’s عليه السلام wife denied him. Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام didn’t have kids until old age. Prophet Ayyub was tested with illness. 

Trust me, your test is just a living proof of how much Allah loves you.

madeenah
You’re not married and people think something is wrong with you. You’re raising a child alone and people totally overlook you. You’ve been divorced and people look down upon you. You’re over 25 and people think you’re too old. You’re a widow and no one ever thinks your good enough. 
Rabi’a al-Adawiyya (Allah have mercy on her) never married and she is considered one of the greatest saints of this Ummah. Lady Maryam (Allah have mercy on her) never got married and she is from the 4 greatest women Allah ever created. Sayyiduna ‘Isa عليه السلام ascended to heaven and he was unmarried, yet he is a Prophet.
Lady Hajar (Allah have mercy upon her) nurtured Prophet Isma’il عليه السلام in Makkah alone whilst it was a barren desert, due to the command of Allāh. Sayyidah Aminah (Allah be pleased with her) lost her husband before our master Muhammad ﷺ was born. The Prophet’s ﷺ wife, Lady Safiyyah (Allah be pleased with her) had been divorced and then widowed before he married her. Lady Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her) had 2 children from previous marriages and was 40 years old when he married her. Lady A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) had no children. Lady Asiya (Allah be pleased with her) was married to the greatest tyrant, Fir’awn. Our communities looks down upon people and judge, yet it is strange that some of the greatest men and women Allāh ever created and made role models for us had come from such circumstances and situations. Never feel inferior or unimportant. Don’t listen to their opinions and meaningless words. Be content with the Decree of Allāh Azza wa Jallah. Raise your head and be proud.
Shaykh Muhammad Aslam,
Graduate of Fath al-Islami (Damascus) 
Founder of City of Knowledge & Prophet of Change, Isyllabus Tutor & International Speaker.

Enquiries For Lectures: Info@CityofKnowledge.co.uk
Questions For FB Live:Questions@ProphetOfChange.com

“I Want My Child To Become a Hafidh of the Qur’an.”

“I Want My Child To Become a Hafidh of the Qur’an.”

“Verily, we revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and we are its guardian.” (15:9)

Narrated ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him): that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever recites the Qur’an and memorises it, making lawful what it makes lawful, and unlawful what it makes unlawful, Allah will admit him to Paradise due to it, and grant him intercession for ten of his family members who were to be consigned to the Fire.” (Tirmidhi as weak)

Alhumdu Lillah, it is through the sheer grace and mercy of Allah, al-Kareem, we find so many people memorising the Qur’an in the UK. In a small country like England there must be thousands of Huffadh, Ma Sha Allah – Tabarak Allah – Fa Lillahil Hamd. Where I live, in Blackburn, there must be approximately 1,000+ Huffadh (male and female) in the whole town – Alhumdu Lillah. We should not take this lightly, rather, we must thank Allah profusely for this blessing of the Qur’an and secondly the blessing of memorising/hifdh. There are countries in the world that don’t have 100 Huffadh in the whole country, let alone 1,000! Most of these efforts have been in the last ¼ century. If we rewind back 25 years ago, there were very few places that offered Hifdh classes and the class sizes were very small (less than a dozen boys). Back in the 70s and 80s places like Bradford and Dewsbury only had one Hifdh class in the whole town, and there were a handful in Lancashire, as well as one in Bolton.

This is all down to the miracle of the Qur’an and this proves the Qur’an is a miraculous book.

How?

If we were to give these boys and girls who are memorising the Qur’an a book in English, any book of any genre and they were told to memorise it, would they be able to? Just like they learn a page a day from the Qur’an, surely they should be able to learn a page each day from another book. And this should be easier, as it is in their own language! But, we seldom find such children! This in itself is an indication memorising the Quran is not based entirely on the child’s memory. It is upon merit of the Qur’an being a miraculous book. This is a special favour bestowed upon this Ummah as previous nations were not able to memorise their holy scriptures en masse, thus we will not find a person who has memorised the Bible in its entirety, nor the Torah.

“And We have indeed made the Qur’ân easy to understand and remember.” (al-Najm 54:17)

So whoever strives to memorise it and recite it regularly, it will be made easy for him, and whoever turns away from it, will lose it.  “According to reports from the Banu Israil themselves, the ruler of Rome, Anitos Apifonis got every single copy of the Tawrah and burnt it until not a single copy was left. The same happened to the Bible so the original transcriptions became extinct as a result of the attacks of Titus of Rome…” (An approach to the Qur’anic sciences).

 

Nowadays, we have a wholesale of Huffadh and a greater bulk on the production line wanting to become a Hafidh. This all seems good and well on the surface. But, we must remember a Hafidh is a soul chosen by Allah SWT to protect his book, like the verse mentions:

“Verily, we revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and we are its guardian.” (15:9)

Let us bear in mind, becoming a Hafidh is not Fardh Ayn (obligatory on everyone). The Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) were not all Hafidh, some only knew a few verses or a Surah. Great Imams like the Master of Hadith, Imam Bukhari (Allah have mercy upon him) was not a Hafidh, some of the greatest scholars in later times like the esteemed Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Allah have mercy upon him), the honourable Shaykh Yunus Saheb (Allah have mercy upon him) were not Hafidh of the Qur’an. If these scholars who had ‘photographic’ memory were not Hafidh of the Qur’an, why do some parents force their children to memorise the Qur’an. Parents need to have a balance with their approach towards Hifdh, otherwise this can have negative consequences later on in life. Becoming a Hafidh has great rewards, no doubt. But if your child is not cut out for it, please do not force them and ‘suffocate’ them to do Hifdh. Consequently, such children may end up completing their Hifdh, but rarely keep up with their revision thereafter and this has severe punishments attached to it. Becoming a Hafidh is part 1, retaining your Qur’an is part 2 – the harder part. Memorising and retention are both as important as each other. It is better your child learns the last ten Surahs voluntarily and remembers them, rather than forcing him/her to memorise the full Qur’an and he/she later forgets it. They will then be committing a major sin.

“The one who turns away from My message, he shall have a straitened life, and We shall raise him blind on the Day of Judgement.” (Surah Tahaa)

The purpose of this article is not to be negative and put parents off making their children a Hafidh. It is just an eye opener and a gentle reminder. We frequently hear the virtues of a Hafidh, but rarely get to hear the other side which are the warnings of forgetting the Qur’an. For now, let us remember:

  • not every child HAS to become a Hafidh
  • the virtues of a Hafidh are great, but the warning for those who forget the Qur’an are also severe
  • becoming a Hafidh does not guarantee you Jannah, you must act upon the Qur’an and carry out other obligations such as Salah, Fasting, keeping a beard, Akhlaq etc
  • memorising the Qur’an isn’t a medal, which you complete and wear around your neck. It has implications. We must repeat and revise the Qur’an until our death
  • a Hafidh isn’t like someone who has obtained a degree or achieved a certificate and has no further obligations. The Hafidh has a duty thereafter to i) behave like a Hafidh according to the Sunnah ii) try and understand the Qur’an, especially what is Halal and Haram

Narrated Samurah bin Jundab (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (ﷺ) said in his narration of a dream that he saw, “He whose head was being crushed with a stone was one who learnt the Qur’an but never acted on it, and slept ignoring the compulsory prayers.” (Bukhari)

My aim is to create a balance, that alongside all the virtues of Tahfeedh/Hifdh, there are also the punishments for forgetting the Qur’an. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘whole’ Qur’an, it can be a Surah or even just a verse. Many people learn Surah Yaseen or the whole Amma para in childhood, then later in life tend to forget it.

From Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him): that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The rewards for my Ummah were displayed before me, even (the reward for) the dust that a man comes out of the Masjid with. The sins of my Ummah were displayed before me, and I have not seen a sin worse than a Surah or Ayah of the Qur’an which a man learned and then forgot.”  (Tirmidhi)

 

“And We have indeed made the Qur’ân easy to understand and remember.” (al-Najm 54:17)

So whoever strives to memorise it and recite it regularly, it will be made easy for him, and whoever turns away from it, will lose it.

Imam Ibn ul-Munadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Mutashabih al-Qur’an (p. 52): “The Salaf were always afraid of forgetting Qur’an after they had memorised it, because this was a shortcoming.”

Imam Suyooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Itqaan (1/106): Forgetting it is a major sin.” As was stated by Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) in al-Rawdah and others, because of the Hadith “I was shown the sins of my Ummah…”

For the family (who have a child/ren memorising Qur’an), a Hifdh family needs to prioritise and they need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They need to realise that memorising the Qur’an isn’t an honour bestowed on just anyone. When one commits to this, they need to put their heart and soul and mind into it, and everything else is secondary! Yes, you’re the type of parents, if the Oxford Dictionary had a definition for you, it would read thus,

Hifdh parent
/hɪfdh parent/

noun.
“a mum or dad whose social, emotional, physical and psychological decisions are governed by what Para their children are memorising”

Every Muslim parent wants success for their child- in this world and the next and to keep them focused on the Straight Path. One of the surest ways to raise one’s child firmly on the Deen, is to create a connection with the Qur’an – the book of Allah – which has been explicitly sent down as a guidance for mankind. For this connection to take place, one needs to create an affinity for this book to inspire feelings of attachment. Understanding the Qur’an, and exploring its depth will all come later, but as long as parents are able to create an association between the child and the Qur’an, the most important job of all is done.IMG_1355

Some tips for parents In Sha Allah:

  1. First and foremost see if your child has the ability to memorise the Qur’an by testing his current Surahs and Duas etc. And your intention should be correct for making him/her Hafidh; to please Allah SWT and inculcate love for the Qur’an in the child. We hear parents talking about ‘free tickets to Jannah because my son is a Hafidh.’ It’s like the poor child is burdening the sins of the whole family… and if he doesn’t complete Hifdh we are doomed for Hell. La Hawla Wa La Quwata Illa Billah.
  2. Inculcate the love of the Qur’an into your children by giving them Qur’an CDs or buying them a Qur’an cube, play short Surahs as they are easier to memorise. Play these daily in the morning or at night, whilst in the car or even on YouTube at home.
  3. Start early –“learning when young is like engraving on stone.” From the time your children are small (or even when your baby is in the womb), recite the Qur’an to them in a beautiful voice. Let the sound of your Qira’ah be one that creates an instant memory of the love that they have for him. What would be even better is to recite the Quran after Fajr, so that when your child opens his/her eyes in the morning, the very first sound he/she hears is that of the Words of Allah.
  4. Set goals and rewards. Treat him/her with positive reinforcements like a snack bar or chocolate or playtime outside, when they complete a Surah/Para. Constantly remind them of the reward and that their efforts are not being wasted. As your child becomes better at reciting the Quran, encourage him to memorise portions of the text such as the short Surahs, and some importance ones like Surah Yaseen, Surah Al-Mulk and so on. Tell them the importance of these various Surahs as well so that the child adds to his bond with the Quran.
  5. Set a timetable at home, working with school time and school work. As well as Madrasah time and Madrasah lessons. Keep two small sessions rather than one long one. E.g. after Fajr and after school.
  6. If you like, you can create a healthy competition between your children. Do not “compare” your children though, because each child is unique. What is best is to set different goals for each depending on their capabilities and see who reaches their goal first.
  7. Model What You Want Your Children to Emulate: Children learn most from their parents actions than their commands. Engage yourself with the Qur’an, try to memorise parts of it yourself and you will notice that your children will take more interest in picking up the Quran themselves. Actions speak louder than word.
  8. Provide the right environment. It is hard for the Qur’an to exist in the heart when the mind is occupied with music, televisions, cartoons etc. It is the job of the parent to create an environment conducive to learning the Qur’an by keeping their children away from negative influences, and providing them the opportunity to go regularly to the Masjid, meeting good Muslims and pious people and attending gatherings where they can learn about the Deen. A hifdh family is different than a normal family!They should have a secluded place to go to and memorise that is quiet. You just can’t memorise properly with distractions, so turn off all your devices (like mobile phones)
  9. To pace is better than to race. Some children can learn three pages every day. Others struggle with three lines. Every child is different. Pace your child according to his level. Do not put a timeline on when the hifdh needs to finish. Even if it is a lifelong task, remember quality is better than quantity. Let your children learn with love in their hearts rather than stress.
  10. Last but not least, be patient and do not get angry when your children make mistakes. Every child is different, and you must not create despondency in them by becoming exasperated. Try and sit with them to help them learn, encourage and give a mother and father’s support. Make Dua to Allah SWT to help you children and to keep them on the path of learning throughout their lives. Pray Tahajjud and give Sadaqah on behalf of them. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Three supplications are answered, there being no doubt about them; that of a father (for his children), that of a traveller and that of one who has been wronged.” (Abu Dawud)

NB: One addition, particularly for mothers is to feed your child some memory boosting food, such as raw honey, Zamzam water, olive oil, dates and almonds. More of these can be found here . Please avoid unhealthy food or anything that has a lack of vitamins and minerals, contains high cholesterol, white sugar, carbonated beverages, processed carbohydrates and over eating in general. Children should get sufficient sleep and a good amount of exercise. Exercise causes more oxygen to transfer to your brain. A lack of exercise leads to laziness, weight gain, and internal health issues, and will thus affect memorisation and other mental faculties.

The second issue is that of a teacher, finding a “good teacher”. The Qur’an cannot be learnt without a teacher. Even the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) learnt from angel Jibreel AS. Similarly, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) taught the Qur’an and listened to it from his Companions (Allah be pleased with them). A good teacher will not only correct one’s recitation but also teach the correct Tajweed and pronunciation.

From my own experience of teaching children who have left other Madrasahs or Maktabs that run from home, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on sabaq i.e. the new lesson. Little or no emphasis is being put on their revision i.e. dawr. Alongside that issue of some classes being full to the brim. I strongly believe that having 15-20 students in a Hifdh class is far too much, especially when the allocated time is typically two to two and a half hours per day. Having this high number of children in one class in that amount of time is extremely unfair on them as they do not receive the full desired and needed attention.  This then leads me on to the extortionate fees at such places.  So, we have this short amount of time for the high number of children receiving minimum attention at £10 to £15 per week. Anyone can do the maths and see that Madrasahs unfortunately, are turning into a business. Teachers are too focused on ‘quantity’, rather than ‘quality’, there is ample proof of this.

“The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Tips for teachers In Sha Allah:

  1. Having a pure intention: Whether it is memorising the Qur’an or doing anything else for the sake of Allah SWT, the single most important thing needed for the success of that goal is to have the right intention. One must secure one’s intention purely for the sake of Allah SWT, for even if the person does not achieve success in this world, his success is guaranteed in the hereafter. Do not make your Madrasah/Class a money making business. Remind your students as well to have a firm intention for Allah SWT.
  2. “And recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.”(73:4)

Ali (Allah be pleased with him) commented on this verse saying, “Tarteel is Tajweed of the letters and recognising the places of Waqf (stopping). Before teaching the children Hifdh, please ensure their Tajweed is rectified and their pronunciation is correct.

3. Don’t have an age limit for your class, as there is no real age when to start Hifdh and it is never too late – In Sha Allah. Some teachers do recommend age 7, others recommend 11. My personal opinion, some children are seen to mature before others. Sometimes children of the same age are worlds apart in their understanding and receptiveness. Sometimes a child who is brilliant in school might have a harder time with the Qur’an. Judge your student for who is he is before embarking him on the journey to learn the Qur’an.

4. Ensure your students have a specific copy of the Qur’an from which he/she reads all the time. A visual image of the page leaves an imprint in the mind, making it easier to recall later.

5. Encourage students to read melodiously and beautify their recitation as much as they can. It is pleasing to one’s ears, provides an incentive to continue with the memorisation.  It helps make one’s memorisation firm and strong because any mistake will ‘sound’ incorrect as it will distort the harmony of the rhythm one is used to. A Miswak is instrumental in this, it cleans the teeth but also clears the throat. Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Verily, your mouths are the pathways of the Qur’an, therefore cleanse your mouth with the Miswak thoroughly.” (Ibn Majah)

6. Keep rewards charts/stickers for the children, praise them regularly for their good efforts. Gently correcting them when they falter. Avoid negativity. Never use a loud voice, harsh words or insults when it comes to instructing or motivating your students.

7. “And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.” [ 7: 200] Shaytan will always try and stop this meritorious deed. Remind your students of the virtues of the Qur’an which can be found here

8. The Ustadh should always remain in a state of Wudhu, reminding the children to keep their Wudhu too as long as possible. Encourage them with these Hadith. “Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.).” [2: 222] The Prophet (ﷺ) used to remain in a state of cleanliness and Wudhu. This is one of the best ways to keep Shaytan from influencing us and whispering evil thoughts. Allah SWT loves those who keep themselves clean and it is only His love and protection that can help us defeat our greatest enemy.

9. I was reading online that a particular Ustadh in another country whose Hifdh class students were known to be the best in the town. Why? Every month he would gather the students one night and make them lead in Tahajjud, they would read their Qur’an what they had memorised that month. This might be hard, but not impossible! If not for Tahajjud, maybe one weekend in the daytime make them lead in Nafl Salah. This will boost their confidence and also train them for Taraweeh, which is the litmus test for every Hafidh.

10. And finally, the last point but probably the most important, there is absolutely no excuse or justification for physical beating or abuse when it comes to teaching. Give them ‘sweets’not ‘beats’. This was never seen in the life of the Prophet (ﷺ) nor the illustrious companions (Allah be pleased with them). I know of many adults who either left Islam or abandoned the Qur’an at an older age because of the harshness that was associated with it at a younger age, due to culture and not religion. Treat the children as you would like someone to treat your own and remember, what goes around comes around!

NB: Teach the students Adab/etiquettes. How to hold the Qur’an with respect, not to make drawings in their Qur’an and always carry the Qur’an in their right hand. It is very sad to see, more often than not, children walking home with their Qur’ans in their left hands, which is such a basic etiquette generally forgotten by Ustadhs to teach them.

I will conclude with some advice for those who are either fully Hafidh or have memorised a portion of the Qur’an but are struggling to revise and refresh it.

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “It is not right for any one of you to say, ‘I have forgotten such and such.’ On the contrary, he has been made to forget. Try to review the Qur’an, for it is more likely to escape from men’s hearts than camels (let loose).” (Bukhari, 5032).

I read these lines of poetry written by Imam Shafi’ee (Allah be pleased with him) when he complained to his teacher about a weak memory and they have stayed with me since:

I complained to Wakee‘ RH about my poor memory:
Give up your sins, was his advice to me;
For knowledge is a light from divinity,
And the Light of God is veiled by iniquity.

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Try and read what little you can every day, if this is difficult listen to a Para/Juz every day in the car, before bed or whilst you are relaxing/resting.

If one strives hard to review the Qur’an regularly, there will be no sin on him even if he does forget some of it, for Allah sees the effort. The blame is on those who neglect the Qur’an and fail to review it and read it regularly.

Let’s put it this way: the blessings of memorising the words of Allah and the barakah it brings to the life of a Muslim cannot be beaten! My advice would be to memorise as much as you can even if it is an Ayah and review it every day, for the Qur’an will be a great companion to have in the grave and on the Day of Judgement.

Allah knows best.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).

1 Muharram 1439