Happy Mother’s Day…NOT!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
mom
بسم الله الرحمن 
الرحيم
Each month yet I hold out hope,
Although as time goes on it gets harder to cope.
I’m more than conscious of my biological clock ticking away,
Without receiving a message from yet another friend to say.
They’re expecting and will be joining the exclusive motherhood club soon,
Don’t get me wrong for them I am over the moon.
My tears are for myself, struggling to deal with the idiots who pry,
Asking if it’s my fault or his and why!
Followed by unhelpful comments like ‘you can have one of mine’,
Or ‘just relax it’ll happen’ or to ‘God’s will just resign’.
I’m well aware thanks – that it will happen if it’s meant to be,
And no it’s not as simple as IVF or adoption just to get a mini-me.
The journey to motherhood for some like me is a roller coaster ride,
And days like Mother’s Day… all I want to do is hide.
And yes of all the things that I have- I should be grateful for I know,
But that doesn’t always help to ease the pain that’s for sure.
So this Mother’s Day when you are celebrating,
Spare a thought for those of us who are still waiting.
To one day be a part of the exclusive “motherhood club,”
And in the meantime with the ‘you don’t have kids so you wouldn’t understand’ line do not snub!
Muslim Sister (Allah grant her mercy and forgiveness)

Honey

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

Dear Mother: Why the double standards?

Written by Nadira Chhipa
dhikr-4
Dear mother, when you shout for Safiyyah to help you cook and set the dinner table please remember to call Ridhwan to assist you aswel. How is he going to learn to serve himself if you have been serving him for two decades?
Dear mother,  when you scream at Fatima for not making her bed or for throwing her wet towel on her bedroom floor please remember that 5 minutes ago you were waiting for Suhail to wake up so you could clean his room which looked like a tornado hit it. How is he going to learn to tidy up his personal space if you keep doing it for him?
Dear mother, when you check Halimahs phone as you have become suspicious of her spending too much time texting please remember to also ask Idrees to hand his phone over for you to examine. Why is he allowed to be on his phone 24/7 without you becoming suspicious?
Dear mother, when Amina hands over her report card to you and your face saddens with disappointment as she scored two Bs please  look closely at Ahmeds report card as he did not even achieve a single A, yet he was congratulated for passing. How would he improve if you do not encourage him to do better?
Dear mother, when you angrily question  Habiba for arriving at home five minutes late from campus please give Hameeed a call and ask him why is he two hours late. How would he learn to respect and value boundaries if you do not set any for him?
Dear mother, when you yell at Aliya for not attending family functions with you please ask Ali to accompany you to the next family gathering as well. How would he recognise and socialise with your family if he is allowed to stay at home alone all the time?
Dear mother, when you advise Faheema about her duties at home after marriage, her responsibilities as well her loyalties after Nikah,  towards her husband and his family please give Faraz the same advice.  How will he know how to assist his wife, respect his in laws, be a responsible husband, father and son in law if you do not advise him?
Dear mother, when you reprimand Hannah for raising her voice or back chatting when she is angry please do not ignore Hamzah’s disrespectful behaviour and anger control issues. How would he learn to control his anger, be gentle, kind and caring if you do not acknowledge his faults?
Dear mother, when you speak to Naeema about Zina, sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, relationships, drugs, bad influences as well as indulgences please do have that talk with Khalid. How would he learn to respect a woman’s body, mind and soul if you do not teach him. How would he learn to protect himself from evil if you do not teach him?
Dear mother, when you remind Raeesa to read her salah, fast in Ramadhan, cover her body, recite the Quran and Hadith please remind Muhammad to do the same. How would he become an asset to you as well as the Ummah if you do not inculcate the love for Islam in his heart?
Dear mother, remember the boy have been blessed with from Allah is your son today, a student of life tomorrow, a wonderful husband to a beautiful lady and an amazing father to your grandchildren in the future. Insha-Allah. Raise your sons to be independent and efficient, do not make your sons so dependent on you that they find themselves unable to cook, clean or take care of their daily chores without assistance. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), mercy upon mankind yet he did his own chores. Why are we following a tradition and culture that cripples men by not allowing them to serve themselves. Today there are some men who will not even eat if their food is not cooked, served and dished out to them  into their plates. This is a sad reality of generation of boys who feel entitled to everything being done for them by the females of their household. This is a sad reason for the breakdown of many marriages as the husband  expects to be served by his wife just as he  was served all his life by his mother and sisters.
Dear mother, let us change this mindset, let us raise respectful, responsible , successful, understanding, caring, loyal, humble and kind men who will be a means of comfort, peace, happiness. Ameen.
Dear mother, do not set double standards as this will cause chaos and destruction in your home.
Dear mother, we have the best example, let us raise our sons in accordance with the beautiful Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
Dear mother, let us raise good men.
May Allah bless us mothers with strength, love, wisdom, patience and understanding always -Ameen.
Nadira Chhipa
1 Rabiul Awwal 1439

Qurbani – ‘Sacrifice’ or comparing the price?

Qurbani – ‘Sacrifice’ or comparing the price?
Unfortunately, Qurbani has become rather like car insurance, where one searches for the lowest “quote” and the cheapest price… this should not be the case.
We shouldn’t think of Qurbani or any obligation in Islam as a BURDEN, brothers and sisters. Rather we should fulfil it for solely the pleasure of Allah SWT.
Give to the “needy” countries.
Give to the “poorest” country.
Don’t go for the LOWEST quote!
Did you know, there are many Muslims who don’t eat meat all year round, only on Eid! Remember that, next time you’re licking your chicken legs and eating that Kobeda.
I feel sooner or later, we will have websites or apps (like ‘gocompare’… ‘goqurbani’) that will compare charities and countries then show which are the cheapest. Astaghfirullah…
My gripe is we earn thousands of pounds and when it comes to spending for Allah SWT, we are tight fisted – La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illa Billa!

gosht

The saddest part of all of this is, how deep our selfishness goes. The word ‘Udhiyyah’ (Arabic), ‘Qurbani’ (urdu), actually means ‘sacrifice’. It really shows whether we love Allah or just love our pockets, our purses and our bank accounts.
Lastly, many of you reading this will be from Bangladesh/India/Pakistan. Let’s not just focus on these countries, we have many of our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world who are living in extreme poverty. I understand that some of these other countries have extortionate rates for an animal. But, if we all go for a £15 share in a cow from India and just want to absolve ourselves from this obligation, who will feed the Muslims in Iraq and Palestine where a large animal costs almost £2,000 (approx £300 per share). It is advised that family and friends get together and offer a ‘Nafl’ Qurbani in these countries, i.e. split the cost between them, if they can’t afford a full share. A great way of doing this is with the intention of Esale Thawab. This Eid, let’s not deprive anyone In Sha Allah.
Please bear in mind, Qurbani comes once a year and we eat meat on a regular basis in the UK.
ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU SACRIFICING OR JUST COMPARING THE PRICES?!

 

(Mawlana) Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).
1st Dhul Qa’dah 1438
meat

Goodbye 2016 – You’ve Taught Me Well!

Umm Abdullah  (In need of your Duaas)
1 Rabiul Akhar 1438

My Suicide Letter…

And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (4:29)

suicide.jpg

Recently, I came across an article which made my hair stand and gave me goosebumps, as I live just next door: http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2016/02/preston-has-highest-suicide-rate-in-the-uk/

A horrifying statistic about Preston has emerged in new figures about suicide. Preston has the highest suicide rate in the UK compared to other towns and cities. There are nearly 19 suicides each year in the city per 100,000 people. The figures, which come from the Office of National Statistics, are based on the period from 2012-2014. It also shows the suicide rate in Preston has been rising sharply in the last few years.

The highest level of suicide in UK towns and cities
Preston – 18.6
Middlesborough – 17.6
Hastings – 17.4
Blackpool – 17
Warwick – 16.6

A few points we all need to consider, as we all go through hardship, pain and suffering:

“Allah burdens not a soul more than its scope.” (2:286)

Allah only gives you what you can handle, in simple terms. If you cannot deal with it Allah will not give it to you. Because as Muslims we believe Allah is al-Hakeem (The Wise), al-Aleem (All-Knowing). Allah knows the past and the future.

So why do we feel we can’t cope anymore?

There are numerous reasons to this, first being our sins weigh us down. Excessive sinning leads one to become despondent. Secondly, we have become ungrateful. Instead of counting our blessings, we as humans tend to count our problems more.

“And He giveth you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (14:34)

Suicide is increasing in Britain and in Muslims, but it is a major sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.

Why do people commit suicide?

They have had enough of life or they have no hope left that they can carry on. Sometimes Muslims lose hope in Allah SWT and in their religion. They pray, they fast, give charity but Allah’s help doesn’t seem to come or is delayed. This happens to every single one of us in life, some more than others. But is suicide the solution? More importantly, is it permissible to end our own life?

At some point or another we all think about suicide, we all have bad days and ‘very’ bad days. Problems and difficulties are temporary but remember suicide is not temporary. Do you want to commit suicide to end your life or end the problems you have?

Suicide is not the solution AT ALL. A person must remain positive at all times, life is not perfect. Allah did not promise us a perfect life, otherwise this world would be Jannah.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)

Life is short and temporary, so are the problems and trials and calamities we face in life. Whether you are currently in a state of bliss or depression, “this time will pass.” Nothing lasts forever, not your happiness nor your sadness. This world does not even last forever, it will surely end.

If you think that nobody cares, or is there for you, then you have a loving Lord. Allah SWT loves you.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’”  (Agreed upon)

So do not despair in the mercy of Allah, rather turn to him and remember Him. Obey Him and His help will come. If we knew the wisdom behind Allah’s orders and decisions for us, our hearts would burst out of love for Him SWT. We have to understand and accept Allah always does what is best for us.

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein forever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, forever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109.

It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110.

From these Hadith it is apparent that suicide is not permissible in Islam – it is Haram.

Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. So do not neglect to make du’aa for them and be sincere in doing so; perhaps that may be the means of Allah forgiving them.

It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3276; Muslim, 113.

be-kindest

A FEW MORE FACTS:

Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.

Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.

Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it. 

Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what their experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.

Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.

Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.

Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.

Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer from their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.

Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.

Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.

“The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”

suicid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

 

Key facts (2017)

  • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
  • In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however, rates are not necessarily directly comparable.

Key trends (2017)

  • In the UK, there has been a significant decrease in male suicide. The male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
  • In Scotland, the overall suicide rate decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
  • In Scotland, suicide in young men increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
  • In Northern Ireland, the suicide rate has remained relatively stable between 2016 and 2017. There was an increase in the male suicide rate and a decrease in the female rate.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, suicide has continued to fall in both men and women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, rates have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but they are currently at their lowest since 1989.

Free Hajj Package?!

Bismillah,

hajj

If you did not have the ability to perform Hajj this year, worry not. Below are deeds equal to performing Hajj:

1 – Performing the obligatory prayers in congregation:

Abu Dharr (RA) narrated that a group of the Companions came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money, which they give in charity.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), replied: “Has Allah not rendered for you the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to ‘Umrah?”

[Muslim]

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), said: “Whoever walks to [perform] an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj [in terms of rewards], and whoever walks to [perform] a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary ‘Umrah [in terms of rewards].”

[Hasan]

2 – Reciting Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) after the five daily prayers:

Abu Hurayrah (Ra) narrated that a group of destitute people came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment in high levels in Paradise. They pray like us and fast as we do, but they have more money by which they perform the Hajj, ‘Umrah, participate in Jihaad and give in charity.”

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), replied: “Shall I not tell you something upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would surpass you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say ‘Subhan Allah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.’” [Al-Bukhari]

3 – Praying Fajr with congregation & remaining seated in worship until after Sunrise:

The Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: ‘He who performs Fajr Salat with Jamaat (congregation) and remains seated in the same place while engaging in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) until after sunrise and thereafter performs 2 Rakats Nawafil Salat, (Ishraq), he will obtain the Thawab (reward) of one Hajj and one Umrah.’ [Tirmidhi]

From `Abdullah bin `Aamir (RA) that Abu Umamah and `Utbah Bin `Abd (RA) related that Allah’s Messenger, (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever prays as-Subh. (i.e. Fajr prayer) in congregation then sits until he prays for Allah the prayer of Dhuha has the reward like that of a haajj (pilgrim performing Hajj) and a mu`tamir (pilgrim peforming `Umrah), complete reward of his Hajj and his `Umrah”

[Tabarani]

4 – Going to the Masjid to teach and learn carries the reward of Hajj

Abu Umamah al-Bahili (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

 من غدا إلى المسجد لا يريد إلا أن يتعلم خيرا أو يعلمه كان له كأجر حاج تاما حجته

“Whoever goes to the masjid, wanting nothing except to teach what is good or to learn, will have the reward of a completed Hajj.”

[Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 7348 and others]

5 – To recite “SubhanAllah” 100 times in the morning and evening.

عن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله علي وسلم:

من سبح الله مائة بالغداة ومائة بالعشي كان كمن حج مائة مرة…الخ

 رواه الترمذي (3471) وقال: حسن غريب.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (Ra) reported That Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who recites SubhanAllah 100 times in the morning and another 100 times in the evening is like one who performed Haj 100 times!”

[Sunan Tirmidhi, hadith: 3471 with a sound chain]IMG_9153

6 – Performing the Friday Prayer

Sa`id bin al-Musayyib (RA) said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory (voluntary) Hajj.”

[Hafidh Ibn ‘Asakir (RA) has quoted a similar virtue via Imam Al-Awza’i (Ra). Hafidh Ibn Rajab (RA) also supported this content with two Ahadith]

7 – Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister

Hasan Al-Basri (RA) said: “Your proceeding to fulfil the need a fellow Muslim is better for you than one Hajj after another!”

[Also quoted By Zabeedi (Ra) in Sharhul Ihyaa, vol.6 pg.292]

8 – Being good to your parents

Anas (RA) reports that a man came to  Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and said: “I wish to participate in Jihaad, but I cannot afford it” Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) enquired if any of his parents were alive, to which he said: “Yes! My mother is alive” Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Show Allah how you serve her. If you do so (duly) you will be like a: Haaji, a Mu’tamir (one doing ‘Umrah) and a Mujaahid (One striving in Allah’s way).”

[Abu Ya’la, hadith:2760, and Tabarani with good chains.-Targheeb, vol.3, pg. 315 & Mukhtasar Ithaaf, hadith:5721]

9 – Observing the 10 days of I’tikaf:

Ali Ibn Hussain (RA) narrates from his father that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.”

(Bayhaqi)

10 – Performing Umrah in Ramadan

Ibn `Abbas (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to a woman from among the Ansaar — Ibn `Abbas mentioned her name but I forgot it — “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only have two camels,” and the father of her son and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other camel so that they could carry water on it. He said, “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in (Ramadhan) is equivalent to Hajj.”

[Al-Bukhari (1782) and Muslim (1256)]

1st Dhul Hijah 1437

Fireproof!

fire

Ibnul Jawzi (Rahimahullah) narrates that a pious person once mentioned:

I once entered Egypt where I found a blacksmith who would extract iron from his furnace using nothing but his bare hands! He would then place the iron on his anvil and turn it with his hands without apparently experiencing any pain whatsoever.

On witnessing this extraordinary spectacle, I thought to myself, “This must most definitely be a very pious man if the fire does not harm him!” With this in mind, I drew close to him and greeted him with salaam to which he replied. I thereafter addressed him in the following words, “O my master! I beseech you in the name of that Being who favoured you with this miracle to please make du‘aa for me!” On hearing my request, the blacksmith began to cry and exclaimed, “My brother! By Allah! I am not the pious person that you think me to be!” To this exclamation, I replied, “O my brother! This miracle which I witnessed from you is something which only the pious people are able to carry out.” The blacksmith answered, “There is a strange incident behind the miracle you speak of.” At my request, the blacksmith thereafter recounted the following incident:

I was once sitting in this business of mine, in a state of intense preoccupation, when I suddenly realized that there was a woman before me. On glancing at her, I beheld a face which possessed beauty the like of which I had never seen before. The woman addressed me and pleaded saying, “O my brother! Do you have anything to give us for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala?” I was, by this point, captivated by her sight and infatuated by her beauty. I therefore replied, “Why don’t you accompany me to my home where I will give you something that will see to your needs?” On hearing my suggestion, she looked at me in silence for some time and eventually turned and departed from my business. After some time had passed, however, she returned and submitted, “Dire necessity has forced me to accept your offer.” I therefore locked my business and proceeded home with her.

When we reached my residence, she begged me saying, “I have children whom I have left in extreme starvation. Please give me something that I can take to them! I will return to you thereafter.” After making her promise and vow that she would return, I gave her some dirhams and watched as she left to see to her children. When she returned, I ushered her into my home and turned to lock the door. “Why are you locking the door?” she asked. “I fear the people.” I replied. “And why do you not fear the Lord of all the people?” she enquired. “He is Forgiving and Merciful.” I retorted. I then advanced towards her and found that tears were streaming down her cheeks in torrents and she was trembling, just as palm leaves tremble beneath the force of a gale. “Why are you trembling and crying?” I asked. “Out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” she answered.

The woman then turned to me and pleaded saying, “If you leave me for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, I will stand guarantee that Allah Ta‘ala will neither punish you with fire in this world nor in the next.” When I heard her say this, I was shaken and instantly stood and gave her all that I owned saying, “I have left you out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala!”

A while after she had left, I fell asleep and had a dream in which I saw a woman wearing a crown of red rubies who had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. She said to me, “May Allah Ta‘ala reward you well on our behalf.” Who are you?” I asked. “I am the mother of the girl whom you left out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. May Alah Ta‘ala never punish you with fire, neither in this world nor the next.” I next said to her, “Please tell me who she is and which family she is from.” To this the woman replied, “She is from the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” It was then that I remembered the verse of the Qur’aan in which Allah Ta‘ala mentions: “Allah only intends to keep (all sorts of) filth away from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to make you pure through a perfect purification.”

When I awoke from my sleep, I found that the fire of this world could not harm me. I have hope that the fire of the Hereafter will not harm me as well. (Al-Mawaa‘iz wal Majaalis libnil Jawzi RH pg. 219)

blacksmith

Lessons:

1. The way to extinguish the fire of Jahannum is for us to extinguish the fire of our nafs and desires.

2. If we introduce a person to an evil habit or sin, we will have a share of the burden to bear every time he commits it. On the other hand, if we are instrumental in assisting someone to abstain from sin or change their lives for the better, we will continue to receive reward so long as that person is benefiting from our advice and encouragement.

3. We do not know which action or which person’s du‘aa will be the means of drawing the special mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. As such, we should never consider any good action to be insignificant or risk losing the du‘aa of any person. 

4. A person who wishes to commit a sin should fear the punishment of Allah Ta‘ala as His forgiveness is for those who sincerely repent and wish to change their lives.

5. A believer should meditate, for a few minutes daily, over the reality that Allah Ta‘ala is watching him at all times.

6. The family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the greatest of all Royal Families. Hence they should be shown the absolute greatest level of respect and honour that should be shown to people.

13 Dhul Qa’dah 1437

Advice for school leavers