Posts Tagged Islam

Tranquility in Salah

Al-Ḥātim b. ‘Āṣim (raḥimahullāh) was one of the tabi‘īn. He was asked, “How do you attain tranquility in your prayer? We see you so engulfed. How do you reach that level?” He said, “Before I start, I imagine the ṣirāṭ (bridge over Hellfire) in front of me. I imagine Jannah is on my right and Hellfire is on my left. I remember that the one who does not pray his ṣalawāt in this world will be grabbed by a hook on the ṣirāṭ and have to make them up in Jahannam. Then I imagine the angel of death is standing behind me, and I don’t know when he is going to attack. Then I imagine that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is standing in front of me to monitor the correctness of my ṣalāh. Then I remember that Allāh, Who created all of that, is monitoring me. Then I start.”
From the class: Behind the Scenes by Sh. Omar Soleiman
Qabeelat Madinatayn PPN, page 135

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You have no new messages

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Always, in the spirit of saving time, any posts that I write on the topic of time-saving will be short and to the point.

This is about the obsession that most of us have with seeing ” 0 Inbox” or “0 Messages.” You know what I’m talking about right? Like seeing the Message Icon on your phone will drive you insane until you just get rid of it. And if you have even one unanswered email sitting in your inbox, you won’t rest until it’s responded to and done away with.

This leads to wasting a lot of time and you no longer trust yourself to be around your phone or sign onto your email, especially when you have a deadline to catch.

Here’s a solution for you, bi’ithnillah:

(The words emails, texts, messages, and posts are all synonymous from hereon.)

1. Set out an hour (“hour” here is any unit of time, not necessarily 60 minutes) every day, where you sign onto your email, social networks, blogs, and what have you. In this hour, respond to everything urgent first. Then relax and respond to the less urgent messages. DON’T SIGN ON THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY, EXCEPT DURING THIS HOUR, otherwise there is no point!

And if, throughout your day, it occurs to you that you have to send an email to so-and-so about such-and-such, set a reminder about that, and make sure the reminder is set to go off during this designated hour. Then relax because when the hour comes, you will take care of it, and you won’t be itching to sign on during random points in the day.

2. Keep your emails short and to the point. The longer your emails are, the longer the responses to them will be.

3. Certain messages do not need to be responded to. Learn to recognize those.

4. Some emails will require a long response from you. And there will be some emails which you will have no choice but to put off to a later time, thus forcing you to keep seeing the “(1) Inbox” sign. Train yourself to recognize which emails these are (they are very few, that’s why you need to train yourself to recognize them), and if you can’t knock them out during your designated hour, set another time aside for them. And don’t let it drive you insane that it’s still sitting there. You have more important things to tend to.

5. This will not work well if you over-socialize (see an older post – search “over-socialize”). This will work well for those people who use their emails, social networks, and blogs as a tool to get essential work done (studies, da’wah, light socializing). If you have 15 new messages a day on facebook, then I’m sorry, this probably won’t work for you. But good news, I will write another post on facebook inshaaAllah.

Try this out and let me know how it goes. Also, if you have any other advice, feel free to comment below inshaaAllah.

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Elaika by Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee

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18 Ways to Achieve Greatness through Gratefulness

Whether you consider yourself a positive, easy-going person or a demanding, hard to please person, these tips can help you become a more grateful, caring, and content individual.

There is much more to gratitude and Shukr (thankfulness) in Islam than a mere “Thank You” that our ears have… become so used to ignoring. Discover how you can be more thankful to Allah and His creation.

1.Stop Complaining and be positive! This is the first step towards being thankful to Allah and people around you. We have become a community of complainers and whiners, which has lead to a collective psychology of negativity and unproductively.Stop complaining about the economy, weather, politicians, traffic, or ‘the system’. Refrain from blaming your Masjid, Imams, parents, spouse, in-laws, children, or boss. If you think with an open mind, you may find more positives in your circumstances and the people around you than negatives.

2.Say “Al-hamdulillah” (All thanks and praise belongs to Allah) often: A constant utterance of this phrase reminds you of the source of all blessings and happiness in this life. This practice of attributing all good actions to Allah keeps you humble and content and has a positive affect on your relations with people.Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has instructed us to say “Al-hamdulillah” on daily basis: “Allah is pleased with His servant if, when he eats something he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something he thanks Allah for it” (Muslim).

3.Respect others’ time and schedule: Part of ungratefulness is wastage of time. As a scholar once said, “Time is not just money. It is more expensive than gold, diamonds and pearls. Time is life itself!”Arriving late at a meeting or a class, cancelling appointments last minute, or starting off a program late, are not only a big waste of time and disrespectful to others, but also a lack of appreciation of others’ time on your part.

4.Seize the opportunity while you can. Procrastination in offering your prayers, delaying a donation to a humanitarian cause, or filling your leisure time with unproductive or unlawful activities is ingratitude to Allah for the limited time and opportunity He has given you to do good and to achieve Paradise.Prophet Muhammad warned us, “Good health and spare time are two of the blessings of Allah with respect to which many people are deceived.” (Bukhari)Even if you live till tomorrow, what guarantee do you have that there won’t be any obstacles in carrying out a good action. The Prophet used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any problems arise.

5.Spend 15 minutes daily to think about things that you should be thankful for: Recall people in your life, whom you may have taken for granted like your parents, spouse, children, co-worker, or teacher, who were caring and loving.List some of Allah’s gifts that are not tangible or were not obvious to you before. Sulayman, a follower of the Prophet’s Companions, once said: “Remembering His blessings makes one love Allah.”This simple mental exercise not only makes you a grateful person, but also a healthy one. According to a 2001 research bythe Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL), based in Ohio, just 15 minutes a day focusing on the things you are grateful for will significantly increase your body’s natural antibodies, will make you less vulnerable to clinical depression, and will keep your blood pressure and heart rate stable.

6.Be patient and grateful when disasters strike: The depth and strength of your gratitude is tested in difficult times. Allah wants to see how thankful you truly are when you loose your job or a loved one, or when you feel ill and or get injured.It helps to know that in times of calamity and distress, there will be some good for you, provided you respond appropriately. The Prophet said, “How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him -and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing.” (Muslim)Sufyan al-Thawri, a famous early scholar of Islam, said, “He does not understand religion properly who does not count affliction as a blessing and ease as a trial.”

7.Donate your time, talent, money, and advice to social work and non-profit efforts: In our profit-driven culture, it is burdensome to squeeze out time and wealth for others. Your selfless service and generosity towards people in need and non-profit organizations is a sure way of showing gratitude to Allah and to your community.The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, “People are dependants of Allah; the closest to Him are those who are most useful to His dependants” (Muslim).”As the blessings from Allah to a servant increase, so will the people’s needs of that blessed servant’s services. If the servant ignores their needs, it will cause those blessings to be removed” (lbn Hibban).

8.Visit the sick, the terminally ill, and the disabled: Frequenting patients and families of the deceased, not only brings comfort to them and brings multiple rewards from Allah to you, it also helps you appreciate your own good health and opportunities you have in life to serve others.

9.Share the message of Islam: If you appreciate the guidance of Islam as your most precious treasure, don’t hesitate to share it with others. If Islam has changed your life for the better, what’s holding you back from inviting your friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers to explore this message of hope and positive transformation?

10.Recite and memorize the Duas of Prophet Muhammad: The most natural and beautiful way to thank Allah is the words of the Prophet himself.The Prophet told Muadh, “By Allah, I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every prayer, ‘O Allah, help me to remember You and to give thanks to You and to worship You well’” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhî).

11.Fall in Prostration (Sajda) when you receive a blessing from Allah:Prophet Muhammad used to prostrate (Sajda) to Allah whenever he received something pleasant or was told good news to thank Allah for the grace he had received.

12.Don’t consider any blessing too small: Treat all gifts of Allah with equal respect and gratitude, lest you lose it one day for good. Aishah said that the Prophet entered upon her one day and saw a small piece of bread on the floor, so he picked it up and wiped it, then told her: “O Aishah, treat the blessings of Allah with respect, for when it departs from a household it may never come back to them” (Abud Dunya).

13.Use and display Allah’s blessings moderately. Part of being grateful to Allah is to look presentable and clean, and spend money on yourself with moderation.Abul-Akhwas nar­rated that his father said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah looking dishevelled and scruffy. He asked me, ‘Do you have any possessions?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He asked me what sort, and I told him, ‘I have all sorts. Allah has given me camels, horses, slaves and sheep.’ The Prophet said: ‘If Allah has given you all of that, then let Him see His blessing on you.’”

14.Don’t be too picky and accommodate others! Some people express their discomfort (perhaps unintentionally) with anything that they are not used to. They may be too picky about their taste of food, clothing and furniture; they may get irritated easily in new environments; they may like meeting only a certain type of people; they may not like working with others.This insensitivity to other people’s preferences and inability to accommodate others is a sign of selfishness, arrogance, and ungratefulness. Be content in every situation and you will become grateful.

15.Admire those below you and keep your expectations low: A lot of times the reason for our ungrateful behaviour is that we are constantly comparing our material success with the wealthier, healthier, and more accomplished. In our race to ‘keep-up-with-the-Ahmad-family’ next door, we forget so many obvious blessings that others may not enjoy and we should be thankful for.The Prophet admonished us, “Look at those people who have less than you and never look at those who have more grants than you, this will ensure that you will not depreciate Allah’s favours” (Muslim).

16.Thank people for littlest things: People like to be appreciated for little favours they do for us, which often get ignored in our busy routines. When was the last time you thanked your little son for taking care of simple chore for you? Has your husband heard a compliment from you lately?Take the time to thank them for their thoughtfulness. As the Prophet stated, “The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing, and the one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allah” (Abud Dunya).

17.Compliments & recognition and motivate team members: Whether you are an employer or a manager at work, or lead a volunteer based project, or simply a team player, a personal recognition significantly boosts the employee or volunteer morale.As Stephen Robbins in his book “The Truth about Managing People” explains, several organizational behaviour studies have indicated employees and volunteers rate personal thanks and recognition from a superior for a job well-done as the most motivating of a variety of incentives; yet not many team leaders use this simple, cost-effective technique that works like magic! What kinds of personal recognition and group success incentives does your organization have in place?

18.When you thank someone, make sure you mean it: When you say “Jazakallahu Khayran” (May Allah reward you the best) to your wife, does it come from your heart? Or is it received as another cold cliché? Be a little creative when you really want to express your gratitude to someone. Say it with a personal thank you card. Show it with flowers. Accompany it with a genuine smile. Charge it with emotions. Enhance it with a meal or a meaningful gift


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Advice to Those Who Want to Soften Their Hearts

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Stinginess of the soul

So fear Allāh as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allāh]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
(At-Taghaabun: 16)
An Exclusive Translation for Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah
And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
Ibn Jareer reports in his Tafseer (22/530) upon the authority of Abul Hayyaaj Al-Asadee who said:
“I was making Tawaaf around the Kabah and I saw a man and he was saying, ‘O Allah, protect me from the stinginess of my soul.’ and He would not add to that. So I mentioned this to him and he said, ‘If I am protected from the stinginess of my soul I will not steal, I will not fornicate and I would not do anything else (that is forbidden).’ And the man was ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Awf!”
This is from his precise understanding (May Allah be pleased with him) as verily it is authentically reported that stinginess is amongst the worst character flaws.
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Who is your leader, O Banu Salamah?” Jabir said, ‘We replied, ‘Judd ibn Qays, although we think that he is a miser.’’ He said, “What illness is worse than miserliness? Your master is ‘Amr ibn al-Jamuh.”
‘Amr used to be in charge of their idols during Jaahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era) and he would [i.e. after embracing Islam] conduct a wedding feast for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) if he got married.’ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (296) and authenticated by Albaanee in Saheeh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (227).
This was the generoisy of ‘Amr in Islam. For he would spend his wealth for the wedding feasts of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) after he once used to spend it upon the idols in Jahiliyyah.
Taken from the book Min Kulli Surah Faa’idah (p. 323)
Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah

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Interaction Between Men And Women On The Internet

by Umm Abdulazeez


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There are many interactive forums on the Internet, including chat sites and online communities. We need to address the critical question of how Muslim men and women should conduct themselves when they come into contact with one another while participating in these forums.

The following guidelines should be observed by Muslim men and women when interacting with one another on the Internet:

1. Never display photographs under any circumstances.

To start with, photographs are simply not necessary. The written word is more than sufficient. We must also appreciate how photographs can become a great opportunity for Satan to tempt people and make their foul deeds seem fair to them.

Some people might consider such caution misplaced. However, those who understand how people are seduced and tempted and who have experience in dealing with these problems, know that nothing is far-fetched. Moreover, some people who have a sickness in their hearts manage to deceive themselves and others that something which is completely wrong is instead something that is good and that is motivated by the sincerest and noblest intentions.

2. Use typing and avoid audible means of communication.

If, for some reason, using audible media becomes necessary, then we must adhere to Allah’s command: {Be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire; but speak a speech that is just.} [ Sûrah al-Ahzâb : 32]

This verse was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If this was the case for them, we can appreciate how much more it must apply to us. Moreover, that was during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) while we are living in the age of promiscuity.

3. Maintain a serious tone and focus in conversation.

We must not get involved in talking at length about things that are unnecessary and unjustified. In truth, many people get a thrill out of merely speaking with the opposite sex, regardless of what the subject might be. Some men just like to hear a pretty voice. Likewise, since women are indeed the full sisters of men, they also find pleasure in speaking with men. Our tone should be serious. We should avoid all that is superfluous and frivolous.

4. Remain vigilant at all times.

Those who we meet on the Internet are, for the most part, apparitions. Men come online posturing as women and women often misrepresent themselves as men. Then, there are so many things we do not know about the other person. What is his ideology? What is his background? What country is he from? What is his line of work? What are his real intentions? All of these things are unknown. I wish to call the attention of our honoured sisters to the dangers that experience has shown us to be ever present in these situations. Many young women are quick to believe what others tell them and are very susceptible to sweet words. Such people are easy victims for the predator who lays out his trap. One moment, he is a sincere advisor, another the victim crying out for someone to save him, then he is the lonely man looking for someone with whom to share the rest of his life, the next moment he is the sick man looking for a cure…

5. Muslim women who work with the Internet should keep in close contact with one another.

They need to develop strong channels of communication so they can lend a degree of support to each other in this important and possibly dangerous field of endeavour. They need to cooperate closely and share their experiences and expertise. A person standing alone is weak, but standing with others she is strong.

Allah says: {By time! Surely the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.} [Sûrah al-`Asr ]

Abû Mulaykah al-Dârimî narrates: “It was the practice among the Prophet’s Companions, that if two of them met, they would not depart from one another without one of them reading Sûrah al-`Asr to the other. Then one of them would greet the other with peace.” [Al-Mu`jam al-Awsat (5120) and Shu`ab al-Îmân (9057)]

I also advise our Muslim sisters to focus most of their attention and their efforts on calling other women to Islam and enjoining them to righteousness. They should use this valuable medium to assist and serve their sisters and to reform them. This should be done indirectly, subtly, and with wisdom. Too direct an approach, when giving advice, often causes the other party to become angry, confrontational, and obstinate. This is because the person giving advice comes off as seeming high-handed and arrogant, while the one being advised feels shamed and belittled.

Therefore, be gentle in your choice of words, good-natured, attentive, and forbearing. This makes the receiving party more conductive to receiving your advice and less likely to spurn it.

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