by Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi

Before I got married, I was given unsolicited advice on how to change in order to make myself “more appealing” to brothers. Sisters would voluntarily tell me I should be more outgoing when with men, dress more attractively to get their attention and stop being as involved with Islamic activism so I would not scare them away.

Since when is our purpose in life marriage? Where in the Qur’an does Allah ask us to change our personalities, dress style and tone down our activism in hopes of getting hitched? Nevertheless, with marriage being such a huge concern in our community, many face the temptation to change their values to find a spouse.

Here’s an idea: Instead of working to please a potential suitor, perhaps we should first seek to please Allah, the One who sows the seed of love in our hearts and can bless us with our dream husband or dream wife.

Instead of looking for marriage at every event, let’s look for marriage in our relationship with al-Wahhab, the Giver of All. Let’s be honest. We are talking about al-Mujeeb, the Responder to Prayer. Those are amongst the Names of Allah! Allah gives and He answers!

If you are an individual who struggles to lower your gaze and protect your eyes, heart, tongue and body from falling into the haram, don’t you know that Allah will indeed reward you?

Every time you glance up and see someone you wish you could be with, turn away and in that moment ask Allah to bless you with a spouse who will be the sweetness of your eyes. Would not Allah listen to and accept your supplication to Him? How could Allah possibly not accept the supplication of His adamant worshipper who is painfully struggling to maintain his or her modesty and guard his or her chastity? The Prophet ﷺ has encouraged us to “Ask and you will be given…” (at-Tirmithi) Allah will give you! How could He not when you are striving only for His Sake?

In those moments in the last third of the night, in those two rakahs which you make out of pure frustration of your situation, weeping, asking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala – exalted is He) to answer you –  do you not think Allah the Rabb al-`alameen (Lord of the Worlds) will not respond to you? Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), this is Allah! Without doubt Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is going to answer you!

The Prophet ﷺ relates from Allah in a hadith Qudsi:

“Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: ‘Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari)

What is hooking up with a brother or sister on gchat or facebook worth in comparison to hooking up with the One who can hook you up?

As Shaykh Muhammad Faqih once said, “Hook up with Allah, Allah will hook you up!”

Let’s hook up with salah! Hook up with the Qur’an! Hook up with community work for Allah’s Sake! And have certainty that when we struggle to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), Ash-Shakoor is the Most Appreciative of our work and will undoubtedly reward us.

Will that reward be in the form of an amazing spouse and an amazing marriage? Allah knows best. But the best part is that Allah knows what is BEST for us and that His bounties are limitless.

The Prophet ﷺ has told us, “Any Muslim who supplicates to Allah in a du`a’ which contains no sin [of] breaking of kinship, Allah will give him one of three things: either hisdu`a’ will be immediately answered, it will be saved for him in the hereafter, or it will turn away an equivalent amount of evil (from him)…” (Ahmad).

Thus, we must know that if we connect with Allah, we can trust that Allah will grant us whatever is best, whether it be an answer to exactly what we are asking for or something better. Allah has got our backs! Who better to trust our future with than the One who already knows it?

Easier said than done? Maybe. But what have you got to lose? If at the end of the day you are only increasing in closeness to Allah, increasing in reading the Qur’an, tasting the sweetness of your salah, and making more sincere du`a’ then insha’Allah (if Allah wills) you will have gained more than simply “a spouse” if you get married and you would have gained much more than facebook “cruising for a spouse” time while you’re attempting to find your better half…Insha’Allah you will gain more in this life and the next, and an unwavering relationship with Allah!

Here are some short, quick and amazing ways we can increase our relationship with Allah through good deeds massively rewarded inshaAllah:

–> Get what you really want: “Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next” (Ibn As Sunni, Abu Dawood – both reports are directly linked to the Prophet ﷺ):

HasbiaAllahu la ilaha ila huwa `alayhi tawakaltu wa huwa Rabbu’l`arshi’l`atheem.

“Allah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshipped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne.”

To be recited seven times in the morning (after Fajr) and seven times in the evening (between `Asr and Maghrib).

–> Say “Subhan’Allah” (glory be to Allah) 100 times. For a person who does this, “a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away.” [Muslim]

–> Ask Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters: “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

–> Work to protect yourself from the Hellfire: “Allah will spare whoever says this four times in the morning or evening from the fire of Hell” (Abu Dawood, was also reported in Bukhari).

Allahumma inni asbahtu ush-hiduka, wa ushidu hamalata `arshika, wa mala’ikataka, wa jamee`a khalqik, annaka Ant Allah, la ilaha illa Ant, wahdaka la shareeka lak, wa anna Muhammadan `abduka wa rasuluka (when saying this in the evening, say “Allahuma inniamsaytu” instead of “asbahtu.

“O Allah, verily I have reached the morning and call on You, the bearers of Your throne, Your angels, and all of Your creation to witness that You are Allah, none has the right to be worshipped except You, alone, without partner and that Muhammad is Your Servant and Messenger.”

To be recited four times in the morning (after Fajr) and evening (between `Asr and Maghrib).

The Lord of the Worlds speaks to us and tells us, “And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright” (Quran, 2:186).

You are coming to Allah with rajaa (hope), with a powerful combination of seeking Allah’s pleasure, striving to leave anything which may gain His displeasure and making a consistent effort to ask Him to open the best of ways for you and then putting your trust in Him that He will give you whatever is best. Of course Allah is going to answer you.

As was once stated, “A person has never held certainty in Allah only for Allah to disappoint him/her.’ Never will Allah disappoint those with yaqeen (certainty), tawakkul(reliance) and husn al-dhann (good opinion) of Him.” Hook up with Allah and know that without a doubt, Allah ‘azza wa Jall will hook you up in the best of ways.

Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com

It is reported that Ibrâhîm b. Adham (d162H) – Allâh have mercy on him – once passed through the market of Basrah. People gathered around him and asked: O Abû Ishâq, Allâh the Exalted says in his Book. ‘Call on me, I will answer your prayers’, but we have been calling on Him for a long time and He does not answer our prayers. [Ibrâhîm] replied, “O people of Basrah, your hearts have died in respect to ten things:

  • First, you know Allâh but you do not give Him His rights;
  • Second, you have read Allâh’s Book but you do not act by it;
  • Third, you claim to love Allâh’s Messenger – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – yet you abandon his Sunnah;
  • Fourth, you claim to be enemies to Shaytân but you conform to [his ways];
  • Fifth, you say you love Paradise yet you do not work for it;
  • Sixth, you say you fear The Fire yet you put yourselves closer to it [by sinning];
  • Seventh, you say death is true but you do not prepare for it;
  • Eighth, you busy yourselves with the faults of others and disregard your own;
  • Ninth, you consume the favors of your Lord but are not grateful for them; and
  • Tenth, you bury your dead but take no lesson from them.”

Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ’ 8: 15, 16.
Taken from http://www.sayingsofthesalaf.net/

Always say Bismillah

June 26, 2009

From the jinn there is produced a qareen for every human.  A qareen tries to seduce his subject by giving one evil thoughts or bad dreams.  Even Rasoolullah (SAW) had a qareen as he told Aisha (ra) in Sahih Muslim.  However, Rasoolullah (SAW) was protected from his qareen as his qareen helped him in doing good.  The Holy Quran says, “If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (Allah) the Most Merciful, We appoint for him a Shaytan, to be an intimate companion to him” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 43:36).  With that being said we all have a qareen/jinn that follows us around everywhere we go.  How do we get rid of these shayateen?

It is narrated from the salaf that two qareen met up and one was weak, sick, and hungry while the other qareen was strong, healthy, and well-fed.  The strong one asked the weak one, “What has happened to you?”

The weak one replied, “My person always says bismillah (in the name of Allah).  He says bismillah before he eats and drinks so that I cannot eat and drink with him.  He says bismillah before he enters his home so that I cannot go inside his home with him either.”

The strong qareen responded, “My person never says bismillah.  I eat and drink with him and I enter his home all the time.”

Therefore, o Muslim, always say bismillah before you do anything.  And if you forget to say bismillah before you eat and remember midway through your meal, say, “bismillahi fee owaleehee wa ahkireehee” (in the name of Allah in it’s beginning and end) causing your qareen to throw-up what he’s eaten with you thus far.

A Delayed Response

June 10, 2009

While talking to himself Ibn Al-Jawzi was blaming his soul in a gentle way. He said:

I found myself in trouble, and so I made Du’aa consistently, all the while requesting relief and comfort. The response to my Du’aa seemed to be delayed, and so my soul became disturbed and worried. However, I rebuked it saying, “Woe unto you; look attentively at yourself, are you the one possessed or are you the possessor? Are you the one that is controlled or are you the controller? Are you not aware that this world is the abode of tests for you? If you desire that your goals be fulfilled and become impatient when they are not, then, where is your test? Is it not the ultimate test when you get the opposite of whatever you desired?

So, (dear restless soul) try to understand the meaning of the word ‘Abd, and whatever is dear to you will become worthless, and whatever is difficult will become easy.” After it deliberated over what I said, it became a little appeased. I informed it that I had a second argument for it, and so I said, “Allah (azza wajal) is a necessary requirement in order for any of your aims to be fulfilled; yet you do not exhort yourself to work for His (azza wajal) pleasure. This is ignorance, as the matter should have been opposite to what you desire, primarily because you are the one possessed. (You should note) that the mindful ‘Abd should make sure that he fulfills the rights due to the Master, and that it is not necessary that He (azza wajal) gives to Al-’Abd whatever he desires or loves.”

It made it quieter yet I then mentioned that I had a third argument for it, and so I said, “You are under the impression that the response to your Du’aa has been slow; yet you were responsible for this because you closed the door of response (to your Du’aa) because of your constant sinning. If, however, you open the door [by developing Taqwa for Allah (azza wajal)], then the response (to your Du’aa) would arrive quicker, because having Taqwa for Allah (azza wajal) is the cause of all comfort.” Allah (azza wajal) said:”…And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him (Taqwa), He will make a way for him, to get out (from every difficulty), and will provide for him from sources that he never could imagine”[At-Talaaq:2-3]

Therefore, understand that if you do not develop this Taqwa for Him (subhana wa ta’ala), the result will be different from what you expect. Woe is me from the drunkenness of mindlessness which became stronger than any other drunkenness in confronting the soul’s aims to prevent them ftom reaching its hopes. It (the soul) knew that this was the truth, and so it became more tranquil still. I said to it, “I have a fourth argument for you, and it is that you seek a particular answer (to your Du’aa); yet you are not aware of the consequences that would result (if you were granted what you desire) because what you seek might be to your detriment. In this state you are like a feverish child asking for candy.

“(O soul) be conscious that your Master is more aware about your well-being than you are.” As He (azza wajal) said:”… And maybe you will dislike something that is good for You” [Al- Baqarah:216]

When this became clear to the soul, it became more tranquil still. I then said to it, “I have a fifth argument for you, and it is that your demands would lessen your rewards and would reduce your status (with Allah). However, if you would request that which is good for your eternal abode (Al-Aakhirah), it would be better for you. (O soul) it is crucial that you understand what I have explained.”It said, “I meandered in the garden of your explanation, and as such I wandered when I understood.”

Pitying the Kuffar?

March 22, 2009

Ibn Abbas held the opinion that touching the kafir breaks your wudhu.  I believe I read the above statement in the work of an orientalist and it had no evidence to support it so I am not sure if this truly is the opinion of Ibn Abbas.  However, the statement got me thinking about the issue of the kuffar and the Muslims approach to them.  Indeed, al wala wal bara is a part of the Muslim aqeeda and it is something that Muslims must adhere to very strictly.  The topic seems to be the current hot-topic amongst many Muslim bloggers after the article posted by Shaykh Tawfique Chawdhury on MuslimMatters and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s response to it on his own blog about working with the kuffar. 

However, one thing I wanted to point out and emphasize while all this debating is going on is the blessing, we, as Muslims, truly have been blessed with.  I mean, subhan’Allah, can you imagine life without Islam?  We have been blessed with guidance from the Lord of the Worlds.  In addition to al wala’ wal bara’, I feel great remorse towards the non-Muslim and I feel great pity towards them.  I was at a restaurant less than a week ago and they were playing a music-video of some MTV rapper.  The MTV rapper had women and money and the dunya in his music video, yet you could tell he wasn’t happy.  If you look at people in the Western society today, you notice that they go through ups and downs like it’s nobody’s business.  Depression is extremely common in the USA and UK nowadays.  When I look at the non-Muslim, I realize they have been deprived of so many things.  Just think about the following, the non-Muslim:

  1. Does not realize who is His Lord nor does he have a relationship with His Lord
  2. Does not understand the purpose of life
  3. Is in a continuous state of najis (impurity), hence why the first thing someone does after converting to Islam is take a bath (ghusl)
  4. Has never tasted the sweetness and khushoo of the prayer
  5. Has no comprehension of tawakkul and relying on God, therefore causing stress and depression
  6. Will never be truly happy for we know happiness is not with wealth but in the heart
  7. Has never experienced true brotherhood (not the one where you pay money to have friends in a fraternity)
  8. Does not have a proper relationship with society (where it’s with the parents, the masjid, or the community)
  9. Does not have the beauty of the greeting of the salam
  10. Does not experience the sweetness of faith (emaan)
  11. Solves problems with alcohol instead of with dua or the Quran
  12. Does not know what true fun/pleasure is (compare going to the club with brotherhood)
  13. Has nothing to look forward to it (everyday is a blessing for us and we look forward to meeting our Lord, insh’Allah)
  14. Money is their Lord and the lack of it depresses them and they will never have their fill (b/c of greed)
  15. Their women are completely degraded and slaves to a sexual society

Number ten really hits the nail on the head.  We need to be thankful everyday for the Islam that has bestowed upon us.  We need to make dua to Allah (SWT) that He allows us to die in a state of emaan.

Therefore, O Muslim, be thankful for the blessing that is Islam and feel extreme gratitude to have been excluded from those that have been deprived of it.

Related Article

The title is a statement of Umar ibn al-Khattab.  The situation in Gaza is devastating, not just for Gazaians or Palestinians or Arabs, but for Muslims.  We need to feel the pain of our oppressed brothers and sisters.  The Prophet (SAW) stated that, “The believers are like one person; if his head aches, the whole body aches, because of fever and sleeplessness” (Muslim).  We need to feel the suffering and agony felt by our brethern and sisteren.  Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second khalifah, wrote the follow letter to the commander of the Muslim army.  Give it some deep thought:

“…Then after, I order you and all troops that are along with you to be obedient to Allah, in all circumstances, as this is better than the weapons against the enemy and a strong stratagem in the war. I order you and the soldiers who are with you to be more cautious and afraid of your own crimes and sins than your enemy, as the crimes and sins of the soldiers are more dangerous to them than the enemy.

The Muslims are victorious only because their enemies are disobedient to Allah and had it not been so, we have no power over them, because neither our number is equal to their number, nor are our weapons like theirs. If we commit crimes and sins as they do, then they (our enemies) will have superiority over us in power and we will not gain victory over them. WE DO NOT OVERPOWER THEM WITH OUR STRENGTH.

And you should also know that in this marching of yours, there are guards upon you from Allah and they all know what you do. So be shy from them and do not commit Allah’s disobedience while you are going in Allah’s Cause and do not say: ‘ Our enemy is worse than us, so they will not overpower us.’ Perhaps some people who are worse than the others may overpower the others as the (disbelievers) Magians overpowered the Children of Israel when they (the latter) involved themselves with disobedience to Allah. So they (disbelievers) entered the very innermost parts of their homes and it was a promise fulfilled.

And ask Allah the assistance over your own selves, just as you ask Allah for the victory over your enemies. I ask Allah for that, both for you and for us.”

Keep our brothers and sisters (not just those in Gaza, but world-wide) in your duas, insh’Allah.  To find out what we can do to help in Gaza, check out: Action-Gaza

The best three daily hours in the month of Ramadan and any other months. Don’t you want to take advantage of them?

  1. The first hour of the day, after Fajr prayer.
    Anas [may Allah be pleased with him], narrated that the Prophet [sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam] said, “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits down and remembers Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’ahs, his reward is like the reward of Hajj and Umrah; complete, complete, complete.”
  2. The last hour of the day, before Maghrib.
    This hour is often missed by the faster because of being involved in preparing of the Iftaar, but this should not be the case for a Muslim who is eager to attain the greatest amount of rewards; as these brief moments before Maghrib are most precious and valuable. They are of the very best times for supplicating to Allah and asking Him, as mentioned in the hadeeth about the three people whose supplication Allah will always answer: the supplication of the person who is fasting, the oppressed person, and the person who is travelling. (At-Tirmidhi)
  3. The time of Suhoor [just before the dawn breaks].
    Suhoor is the time before Fajr; Allah says, “And those who seek forgiveness at the time of Suhoor” (Translations of the Meaning of Aale Imraan, 3:17 and Az-Zaari’yaat, 51:18)

So be vigilant about this valuable time, and fill it with Du’aas and seek forgiveness until the Adhaan of Fajr. Since we are in the month of Ramadan we should especially strive to take advantage of these spiritual moments and strengthen our connection with Allah [subhaa nahu wa ta’ala].

Source: unknown