Family, family, family. The family is one of the greatest blessings given to humanity, if Allah didn’t want to give this gift He wouldn’t have. When Allah told the angels that humans will be created, he used the word Khalifa which is often mistaken for meaning vice-regent, but its technical definition means a generation that will keep on replicating, the regeneration of families, because the angels don’t have to have these, the angels don’t have families they don’t marry other angels and have children. The same angel that was created millions of years ago is the same angel that will exist till the end of times. But humans recreate a generation that regrows and looks after each other we are created differently from the angels. We are a nation of families, we are species that Allah has created in a different manner to angels, that why Allah mentions the word Khalifah. The talk today is short and significant about raising children in the west, I’m going to share some benefits that I have myself learnt and acquired from the experience I have. I have 4 kids and three are teenagers so I want to share with you 7 rules from my own reading and research. Anything good I share is from Allah(SWT) and anything else is from Shaytaan and me.
I came across the post below on Buruj Lan-dan’s page on why we as Muslim women don’t pray when we’re on our monthly periods, and it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for a while so I wanted to share it with you adding my own reflections at the end.
Why don’t we pray when we are on our monthly cycles?
A dear friend of mine explained it to me and it blew me away. May Allah protect her always.
There is not a deed as great as the prayer. And no one is excused from it under any circumstances. Even men in battles are commanded to pray in whatever way they can.
But the only time a servant of Allah is entirely excused from praying and from even making up the missed prayers is when as a woman you suffer from all the difficulties that come with menstruation.
I love how my friend worded the wisdom behind it.
“Allah has mercy on you because He knows no one around you will”
Your boss doesn’t care if you come late to work because you were suffering from cramps in the morning. Your children don’t demand any less on those days of weakness and tiredness. Your husband doesn’t have any more patience with your mood swings when sadness or anger overwhelms you for no reason. When you step out, nobody knows how much your body either aches or how much your mind is distracted by incessant thoughts. You are on your own.
So, Allah the Most Merciful, Ar-Raheem, Ar Rahman, removes His obligation on you because no one else will.
We could’ve been commanded to make them up – if the reason was purely Taharah (purity) but we weren’t. He gives us a break when no one will.
The other time a woman is excused is when she has given birth. Her body, her mind labours to bring another life into the world and becomes occupied with taking care of it – and again Allah excuses her.
This is what makes me fall in love with Allah and Islam even more. For only Allah could know the intricate details of our struggle and give us what we need the most – mercy. – From Buruj Lan-Dan’s Facebook Page
It’s common for us to jokingly refer to our periods as holidays because we’re absolved from the responsibility of praying. After a few days however the effect quickly wanes and we find ourselves craving the doses of serenity that we get through prayer. One of the focal benefits of Salah is that it forces us to remember Allah SWT hence being away from it can sometimes make us feel like we’re no longer in that state.
Whenever I’m on my period, I’m reminded of the ayah below:
“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth” [Fussilat 41:53]
On the earth are Signs for those of assured Faith; as also in your own selves: will yet not then see?” [Al-Dhariyat 51:20 – 21]
In fact, my periods are a time when I am heavily conscious of Allah. Marvelling at the creation of my body and how perfectly it functions. Especially on months when I go through heavy periods, and I’m continually amazed at the way my body self-regulates. (No kidding, some days I feel like I’m gonna bleed out!) There are different ways in our lives that Allah reminds us that is Al-Khaliq, The Creator, and for me, my menstrual cycles are a special reminder of the one who has created me and created me in the best of forms.
I mean think about it, having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that the body is functioning normally, so remember to thank Allah for your health and the numerous blessings that he has given you through your body.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It was narrated that Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him) said:“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his child, his father and all the people.'” (Ibn Majah)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This poem was written to inspire and increase our love for the Haramayn Shareefayn, to instil its beauty and dignity in our hearts. Allah accept my efforts and reignite our love for the holy lands.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Zakāh is one of the five fundamentals of Islām. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamsaid:
“Islam is founded on five pillars: bearing witness that there is no deity except Allāh, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger; establishment of salāh; paying zakāh; performance of hajj; and fasting the month of Ramadān.” (Al-Bukhārī)
After Īmān, salāh is the most important act of worship which is to be performed physically, and zakāh is the main act of worship which is to be performed monetarily.Salāh and zakāh have been mentioned together on many instances in the Glorious Qur’ān, to cite just some examples, Allāh ta‘ālā says:
“And establish regular salāh and pay regular zakāh, and bow down with those who bow down.” (2:43)
“In fact, the mosques of Allāh are built only by those who believe in Allāh and the Last Day, and those who establish salāh and pay zakāh and who fear none but Allāh. So, it is hoped that they are to be among those on the right path.” (9:18)
Such verses of the Qur’ān substantiate that zakāh is the most important fundamental after salāh. Those who fulfil this duty have been promised abundant reward in this world and the Hereafter; and those who evade zakāh have been sternly warned in the Qur’ān and ahādīth of the consequences.
Benefits of Giving Zakāh
The following are some of the many benefits mentioned in the Qur’ān and ahādīth for the one who gives zakāh:
1. Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā.
2. Increase in wealth.
3. Protection from losses.
4. Forgiveness and blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā.
5. Safety from calamities.
6. Protection from the Wrath of Allāh ta‘ālā and from a bad death.
7. Shelter on the Day of Judgement.
8. Security from seventy misfortunes.
9. Safety from the fire of Jahannam.
10. Safety from grief.
Consequences of Not Paying Zakāh in this World
When Allāh ta‘ālā sends a calamity to punish people for their sins, no power on earth can prevent the onslaught. Men may form thousands of plans, but something decreed by the Lord of the universe must come to pass. Nowadays, the calamities of famine, flood, etc. have become a great problem for the whole world. If we wish to seek relief from such sufferings and cure the malady, we shall have to follow the remedy revealed to us by Allāh ta‘ālā. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned us over fourteen hundred years ago, against all those evil practices which bring calamities and afflictions in this world.
These warnings were given long ago and now the world has witnessed their truth through experience. Today, the predictions are coming true. If only people had acted according to the rulings prescribed by Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, who was undoubtedly the wisest of all wise men. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss how specific evils cause specific afflictions, but I will bring to the attention of the readers the ahādīth related to the subject matter – non payment of zakāh.
Non Payment of Zakāh – A Cause of Famine
Buraydah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu relates that Rasūlullāh said, “The nation that withholds zakāh (i.e. does not pay it), Allāh afflicts famine on them.” (At-Tabrānī)
Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu relates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam once said, “O Muhājirūn! There are five (dreadful) sins; if you fall into these – and I take refuge in Allāh from the evil of these sins lest you fall into them – (you will face horrible disasters)…” The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam thereafter enlisted a number of sins and their punishments, amongst which he said, “Thirdly, if people stop paying zakāh, rain will be withheld from them, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.” (Ibn Mājah, Al-Bazzār, Al-Bayhaqī) A similar hadīth is also reported by Ibn ‘Abbās radhiyallāhu ‘anhu.
Non Payment of Zakāh – A Cause of Windstorms, Earthquakes, etc.
‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu and Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu report that Rasūlullāhsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam prophesied fifteen actions which his Ummah will perpetrate, and from amongst these he mentioned, “When zakāh is looked upon as a penalty (i.e. people will pay zakāh with a heavy heart, as though it is a penalty), then look for violent windstorms, earthquakes, men being swallowed by the earth, metamorphosis, stones raining down from the skies, and calamities following one another in rapid succession, like beads of rosary falling one after the other when its string is cut.” (At-Tirmidhī)
Destruction of Property
‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,“Wealth is generally lost on the land and the sea because zakāh is not paid on it.” (At-Targhīb)
‘Ā’ishah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,“Zakāh will destroy wealth in which it is.” (Al-Bazzār, Al-Bayhaqī)
The destruction of wealth upon which zakāh is obligatory will be by way of Allāh ta‘ālādestroying the wealth in which the amount due for zakāh lies, or by removing the barakah from it.
Consequences in the Hereafter
“As for those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allāh, give them news of a painful punishment. On the day it (i.e. the wealth) will be heated up in the fire of Jahannam, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it and (it will be said to them), ‘This is what you had accumulated for yourselves. So, taste what you have been accumulating.’” (9:34-35)
The majority of the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum and ‘Ulamā are agreed that the severe punishment mentioned in the verse is for those who do not pay zakāh. May Allāh ta‘ālā protect us from such severe punishments. Āmīn.
“And let not those who hoard wealth, which Allāh has bestowed them with from His grace, think that it is better for them. No, it is worse for them. That which they hoard will be made into a collar (in the form of a snake and put around their necks) on the Day of Qiyāmah. To Allāh belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth. Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (3:180)
Imām Ar-Rāzī rahimahullāh writes in his tafsīr, “This verse does not apply to the cases of nafl (optional) spending. It applies to cases of failure in obligatory spending.” This is substantiated by a hadīth in Al-Bukhārī that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,“The person on whom Allāh bestowed wealth, and he does not give zakāh on it, then on the Day of Judgement, his wealth will be transformed for him into a large bald snake with two black spots over its eyes; it will wind round his neck on the Day of Judgement, then grab (him) with both his jaws and say, ‘I am your treasure.’” Then Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam recited the above verse.
Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu reports that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamsaid, “If anyone possessing gold and silver does not pay what is due, then on the Day of Judgement his gold and silver will be made into sheets and will be heated in the fire of Jahannam. His side, forehead and back will then be branded with (the heated sheets), again and again, on that day, the duration of which will be fifty thousand years.” (Muslim)
Once, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam saw gold bangles on the hands of two women. He inquired if they had given zakāh for the bangles. They replied, “No.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Do you wish that on the Day of Judgement you be made to put on bangles of fire?” They replied, “No.” He said, “Give zakāh on them.” (Ahmad)
The following facts are clear from the aforementioned discussion:
• Zakāh is fard.
• The significance of zakāh is very great.
• Failure to pay zakāh will bring calamity and misfortune in this world and the Hereafter.
Allāh, the All-Merciful has bestowed upon us many favours: He has given us health and wealth, luxury and comfort, friends and children, life and wife. Every penny that we earn is from the Grace of Allāh. He has given us everything and asks for only 2.5% to be spent in His way upon those who are not capable of providing for themselves. Remember, 2.5% at the end of the each Islamic year from the excess wealth (i.e. which remains after spending) is basically nothing. If we pay zakāh in full and abstain from greed, extravagance, etc. there will not remain a single destitute among the Muslims. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’s ḥadīth is clear evidence for this claim. He said, “In the wealth of rich Muslims, the amount which is sufficient for the poor among the Muslims has been made obligatory. The hardships of the poor among the Muslims regarding food and clothing are because of the deeds of the wealthy (i.e. their refusal to pay zakāh). Beware! Allāh will demand a stern reckoning from them and mete out a painful punishment.” (At-Tabrānī)
Bear in mind that anything we leave behind is not ours. If we want to protect our hard-earned money and save it for use at a time when we shall need it badly, let us spend it in the way of Allāh ta‘ālā and deposit it in the bank of the Hereafter.
© Islāmic Da’wah Academy
Stress is often, not always, the result of overburdening a system so that it cannot function normally. In extreme cases a person under stress is unable to rest or sleep, even when they know that rest and sleep are what they urgently need. In such cases, the system cracks; the person breaks down, the body collapses, unable to obey the commands of the person’s will. The person becomes like a car with no fuel – it just cannot be made to go.
The modern economy which dominates our lives promises to deliver– through gadgets, machines and advanced techniques of management of human labour– lots of surplus wealth and surplus time, so that people can enrich, relax and enjoy themselves. The reality, as we all know in our everyday lives, is far removed from that. The vast majority of people struggle to pay their bills, which are large and many; many carry huge, permanent debts; they are stressed going to and from work, and stressed in work. They hardly find time and energy to build proper relationships with other persons, even in their own family. The modern economy also produces massive quantities of information and amusements so that, in the evenings and at weekends, exhausted individuals collapse, sometimes literally, in front of a television or other such gadget. In this way, they have the illusion of resting and relaxing. In fact, they are just switched off from themselves – they are suffering the consequences of extreme stress to their system but are just not aware of the fact.
The deep cause and effect of stress in modern times is not the amount of work we have to do or the amount of money we have to earn. Rather, it is the fact that the economic system distances us from ourselves and others. We are out of touch with ourselves and with each other. We live on the surface of ourselves, ignorant of our own possibilities. One of the symptoms of this is that the generations within families do not resemble each other in their habits and tastes, because they spend more time with images of people and things on the television than they do with each other. That is the reality of modern urban life, and it is so in all parts of the modern world, the rich part and the poor part. It is true that the poor can afford fewer gadgets and fewer distractions so they spend more time with themselves and with each other. It is also true that this is rarely from conscious choice – the poor are simply waiting their turn, hoping for a chance to live as people do in the rich parts of the world.
God says He created human beings and that He honoured them above all other of His creatures. He willed for us to live contemplatively as well as actively; to reflect on who we are and how we are, on what we do and how we do it. He willed for us to strive for understanding of the purpose of our being alive, and to be aware of Him and to respect His gift of life and freedom of will by serving one another and serving Him. Very little of that is possible in the modern economic system because it rejects the habits of contemplation that are only nurtured through religious consciousness and religious exercise. As I will explain to you in some detail, from the teaching and practice of the Prophet (pbuh), and the good counsel and good example of our pious ancestors, the cure for stress lies in stepping back from the demands and pressures of worldly routines into the relief and quiet of prayer, both salah and du`a. This relief allows our system to recuperate, to refresh and reset itself. If we do the prayer properly – by careful attention to personal cleanliness, gentleness in gesture and movement, by measured speech, by a gracious and respectful attitude to the place of prayer, and to others who may be present – if we do the prayer properly, it settles beauty and grace in our bodies and our behaviour, and in our hearts it settles a deep silence. That silence is the echo of God’s mercy, His rahmah. All together, that beauty and grace and silence, give us the strength we need to cope with the stresses of worldly life.
Stress is not in and of itself a bad thing. Our bodies and minds are adapted to cope with unusual and extraordinary demands being placed on our system. We can survive crises; we are even strengthened by them, in the same way as intense exercise strengthens muscles. But we cannot live permanently in a state of crisis. Unfortunately, the modern economic system requires just that– a permanent state of alternating between extreme stress and collapse into mind-numbing, passive distractions. That is all the more reason to resort to the discipline and cure of prayer and the religious life. This is a cure God has prescribed for us, explicitly and repeatedly in the Qur’an. Salah is paired in the Qur’an with zakah and sadaqah. Just as wudu’ frees our bodies of the dust and dirt of our worldly routines, so zakah and sadaqah rid our hearts and minds of the stickiness of wealth, the greasiness of money and being obsessed by the need for it. This too is way of stepping back from the routines and priorities of modern life, and, in terms of relieving stress, it is profoundly beneficial. By recognising and relieving the need of others we triumph over our own.
Even more than stress, anger can be a good thing. Indeed, not to feel anger when faced with the injustices suffered by others is most probably a sin. We do and we should feel anger when we see wrongdoing – it is a necessary part of being averse to wrongdoing. But that anger itself becomes a wrongdoing if it is indulged instead of disciplined. The issue then is how to achieve that discipline.
Generally, the immediate cause of anger is frustration of our will. We want something, or we want someone to do something, we do not get what we want, someone does not do what we want, and we get angry. If the source of what we say or do next is that anger, the likelihood is that what we say or do will be wrong and lead to further wrong. The sudden access of emotion that constitutes such anger must be calmed. I will go through some of things that the Prophet recommended to achieve that calming – if you are standing, sit down, if sitting, stand up; move away from the scene; do wudu’; and so on. The common element in this advice is to distract yourself so that you do not speak or act from inside your anger. Once you have separated yourself from the sudden access of emotion, you can begin to examine the reasons for it. You can begin to assess your need for that thing you wanted which you did not get: is the need real, is the desire real, and if the need or desire are not satisfied straightaway does it really matter? do you have any right to demand or expect that someone should do what you want; do you have some responsibility for them; are you sure they really knew or understood what you wanted; is what you wanted good for them or only for you? This effort to question the emotion of anger disciplines it, converts a self-centred frustration into a concern to say and do the right thing.
Sometimes we are angry if we are not valued by someone – if they abuse us instead of giving us respect, or if they insult someone or something that we treasure. If we can question the emotion of anger we feel in such situations, we may be able to practise the behaviour commended in the Qur’an – to say ‘Salam!’ and part from the abusers, without returning their abuse. In this way, we respond to wrongdoing with good-doing – we keep our self-respect; we affirm the value of the persons or things we treasure; at the same time, we make it quite clear that we disapprove their speech or deeds because we take no part in them. This is a comprehensive victory over anger; it has in it some slight fragrance of the majesty of God Himself, who gives wrongdoers respite in this world, the possibility to reflect and amend; He does not punish them there and then because He has no need for that.
That is a high ideal, not easily attained unless we have dedicated ourselves to a life of duty, not a life of desire. Again, unfortunately, the modern economic system is oriented to individual and personal desire, not public duty. We are encouraged to do the right thing insofar as that serves as the means of satisfying our desires; if we could achieve that end by doing the wrong thing, there is no social inhibition to prevent that. So, for example, we find people happily doing their jobs badly, so long as they get paid; or they do only what the terms of their contract of employment require, they “follow procedure”– they take no responsibility for any of the consequences for others of what they do, or for what those “procedures” lead to in the long term. The habit of taking moral responsibility for oneself, one’s actions and one’s life-style, and the willingness to face and suffer hardship in discharging that responsibility, still exist in this society, but mainly as a rhetorical legacy from the past. In practice for the most part, the dominant economic system counters those values and expels them from the public sphere. Since God has not created human beings to live without responsibility, without commitment to the importance of their lives, this leads to a frustration, disappointment and anger of a kind different from what I have been describing. This is anger without an object; this is anger because our human lives are deprived of their point, their meaningfulness. It is a near-constant emotion in the background of our consciousness and a major contributor to stress. It is like working in an unhealthy environment – a workplace polluted with loud noise or foul smells: we are hardly aware of it, except when we come out of it, and then we realise we are suffering severe headache or other symptoms of sickness.
From this shapeless, objectless anger also, the only relief is in following the Prophet’s advice – to change your position, to move away. In this case, however, for most of us most of the time, the only hijrah available to us is prayer and religious reflection, and reliance on the mercy of God to enable us to do the right things for the right reasons, to do our jobs well, even if there is no payment for that: doing the right thing for the reason that it is right is an essential part of the dignity of being human; we have a profound and permanent need for this dignity.
If our prayer is ennobled by the grace of ihsan, if we strive though our speech and actions to make the moment beautiful, if our reliance on God’s mercy is true and actual, we will be provided with hope. Hope is the fuel that enables us to keep our system going, and not to collapse from stress and anger into a wasteful passivity, or some worse sin.
Mohammad Akram Nadwi
Director | Al-Salam Institute
25 Rabi al-Awaal 1437 AH/ 05 January 2016
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
- ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas RA provided answers to the king of Persia, Khosrau when he posed the following complex queries by way of letter which he had sent to Mu’awiyah RA:
- What are the most beloved phrases to Allah?
- What are the 4 living bodies which were not formed in the womb of a mother?
- Who is that person who has entered paradise, yet prophet Mohammed SAW was forbidden from following him in his actions?
- Who was that messenger sent by Allah which was neither human, angel or Jinn?
- What is that thing that will speak on the Day of Jugement which is neither made of flesh nor blood?
- What is that thing that that breaths yet it is not of blood and flesh?
- What is that living thing that came back to life when it was struck with an organ of another living thing?
- What was that object that strode and swallowed which was neither made of flesh nor blood?
- What is that thing which can be forbidden (haram) even if you carry out its performance or even if you don’t carry out its performance?
- What is that place which does not have a Qiblah?
- Which gravesite journeyed with its occupant?
- What is meant by “Majrah” and “Qaws Quzah”? ( تاريخ دمشق لابن عساكر Vol 12 pg. 315-319)
- The most beloved phrases in the court of Allah are:
- لا إله إلا الله ، سبحان الله ، الحمد ، الله أكبر ، لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله.
- The 4 living bodies which were not formed in the womb of a mother were:
- Adam AS
- Hawa RA
- The camel of Prophet Saleh AS which was created from the rock of a mountain
- The ram of Prophet Ibrahim AS which was sent as a ransom from heaven for Prophet Ismail AS.
- There is a person who has entered paradise however prophet Mohammed SAW was forbidden from following him in his actions. It was prophet Yunus AS. Allah says:
- “And be not like the Man of the Fish, he cried out while he was in anguish.” وَلا تَكُنْ كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَى وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ
- The grave site of Prophet Yunus Ibn Mattaa AS while he was in the stomach of the fish was the only grave that journeyed with its occupant.
- “Majrah” is the door of the skies and “Qaws Quzah” is that portion of earth which did not get submerged underwater in the time of Pophet Nuh AS. The inhabitatns of that region did not drown also.
- The only messenger that Allah sent which was neither a human, angel nor Jinn was the crow that scratched the earth to show the son of Adam AS how he should conceal the corpse of his dead brother.
- The only thing that will speak on the Day of Jugement which is neither made of flesh nor blood is Jahannam (Hell). Allah says: (Remind them of) the Day when We will say to Jahannam (Hell), “Are you filled up?” and it will say, “Are there some more?”
- The only thing that breaths yet it is not of blood and flesh is the morning as Allah says in the Qur’an: “and the morning when it starts breathing”
- The only living thing that came back to life when it was striked with an organ of another living thing (the cow) was the man who was murdered in the time of Musa AS. As Allah states in the Qur’an: “And when you killed a man, and started putting the blame for it on one another, while Allah was to bring forth what you were holding back. So, We said, “Strike him with a part of it.” This is how Allah revives the dead; and He shows you His signs, so that you may understand.”
- The only thing that walked and swallowed which was neither made of flesh nor blood was the staff of Musa AS. As Allah states: We revealed to Mūsā, “Throw your staff.” Then of a sudden, it began to swallow all that they had concocted. [7:117]
- The only thing which can be forbidden (haram) even if you carry out its performance or don’t carry out its performance is prayer (Salah). If you do not offer salah this is forbidden. And if you perform prayer (Salah) while intoxicated, this is also forbidden.
- The only place that does not have a Qiblah is the Ka’bah itself. ( تاريخ دمشق لابن عساكر Vol 12 pg. 315-319)