How to make this your Best Ramadan

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Ramadan Goals & Suggestions

1. Finish the whole Quran during the month of Ramadan.

2. Review the parts of the Quran that you memorized. This is one goal that is especially important for those who have memorized the Quran.

3. Wake up before Suhoor earlier to do extra worship and to attain the barakah of eating before fajr.

4. Hang out at the masjid more. Thats not a bad suggestion! Why not! Attend some Taraweeh prayers!

5. Organize a day to invite your friends and family to break their fast with you. Imagine the amazing blessing!

6. If you want to take a vacation, why not take it during the last 10 days of Ramadan!!! ITIKAF!!! Stay in the masjid for 10 days, its an amazing experience, one that you will cherish and wish to do every year. You would be amongst brothers who stay up late at night, reading Quran and standing up for night prayer. Also you would be seeking the greatest day of the whole year, which is Laylatul-Qadr!!! A day that is better than a 1000 months!

7. Commit less sins!

8. Make yourself more humble! The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam was generally a humble man, but in the month of Ramadan he would be extra!

9. Make all the du’as in the world! Make them especially in the last 1/3 of the night, and in your sujood! When you’re in your sujood, you’re the closest to Allah!

10. FAST FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH! Do not fast because your parents told you to, or because it is the “in thing”. Fasting is worship! IT IS FULFILLING A PILLAR OF THE DEEN! WOW” So make all your worships for Allah, to please Him Alone!!!

By: Al Maghrib Brother

Ramadan Highway Code

Towards an Outstanding Ramadan

Purification Seminar!

Hashim Amla: A Lesson for us

Hashim Amla does not wear a Castle (beer) logo on his cricket shirt, said that he did not pocket a cent from his match fee. Promoting beer & liquor is against the teaching of Islam and as such Amla became the first player to be the exception. who was granted permission by South African Breweries and Cricket South Africa not to wear the Castle logos on his clothing.

He scored 250 runs (not out) in the recent test match against India

“Since Hashim understands his religion well, his beliefs are staunch and knows what is right and wrong. At the outset he made the decision not to wear the Castle logo on his clothing, which went public, and at the same time he also took the decision that the money earned from the Tests, sponsored by Castle, were forbidden for his use


INTERVIEW WITH HASHIM AMLA

You religion is clearly important to you but just how much?
The importance of my religion has increased as I have got older. I couldn’t put a timeframe on it but I have found that following the Islamic way of life has a lot of beauty to it. Although I was born into a Muslim family I wasn’t always practicing. The more I have understood the differences in the various faiths I have adopted as much of Islam as possible. I’m certainly no saint but the discipline of the Islamic way of life has helped my cricket without a doubt. I don’t drink and I pray five times a day, which gives stability to my daily routine.


Can you tell us about your background?
I come from a small town 40 kilometres north of Durban . I played a lot of sport at primary school like cricket, soccer, tennis, table tennis. I was brought up in a predominantly Asian community but I later went to Durban High School , which had a good sporting heritage and my Dad encouraged me to go there and paid the fees for me to go. Fortunately after the first year I got a bursary as I was good at sport and got looked after.

Be Careful during the Sacred Month of Muharram

By Asma bint Shameem

Soon, insha Allaah, the month of Muharram is coming upon us and we will begin another Hijri year (1431).

Just as the devout Muslim eagerly awaits any chance to earn good deeds and gain Allaahs Good Pleasure, and is careful not to transgress any boundaries, we should prepare ourselves for the coming of the month of Muharram.

This is because Muharram is one of the four months that are SACRED in the eyes of Allah.

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve (in a year): It was so ordained, by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]

These four months, according to the Prophet (pbuh) are
Dhul-Qadah,
Dhul-Hijjah,
Muharram
and Rajab.
(Bukhaari)

Be EXTRA CAREFUL about SINS this Month

Due to its sacredness, any bad deeds done during the sacred months are WORSE than in other months.

Qutaadah said concerning the ayah (so wrong not yourselves therein…) that “Wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wants….”
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Do EXTRA GOOD DEEDS this Month

Similarly, good deeds during this month bring a greater reward than in other months.
Ibn Abbaas said in the tafseer for the above Ayah, that good deeds done during the four sacred months bring a greater reward. (Ibn Katheer)

Pay special attention to FASTING

Fasting during the month of Muharram has special meaning and the Prophet (pbuh) has highly encouraged it.

Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaahs month of Muharram.’” (Muslim).

Fast on the Day of Aashooraa (10th Muharram)

Ibn Abbaas said: “The Prophet (pbuh) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Aashooraa. He said, What is this ? They said, This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day. He (pbuh) said, “We have more right to Moosa than you ” so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” (Bukhaari)

If one fasts on the 10th of Muharram, Allaah will forgive the sins of the previous year.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “For fasting the day of Aashooraa, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Muslim)

Ibn Abbaas said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of Aashooraa.” (Bukhaari).

It is Mustahabb to fast the 9th or 11th of Muharram as well i.e 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th

It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (pbuh) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.

Ibn Abbaas said: “When the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) fasted on Aashooraa and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said – O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.

The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said, “If I live to see the next year, insha Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.” But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) passed away before the next year came.” (Muslim).

Some Misconceptions and Baseless Traditions

There are many wrong traditions associated with the Day of Aashooraa and Muharram, which have nothing to do with the Shariah. We have to guard ourselves from falling into these wrong traditions and bidah because this is also sin.

1) Some other people attribute the sanctity of Aashooraa to the martyrdom of  Husain, RA. No doubt, the story of Husain, RA is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of Ashura cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of Ashura was established during the days of the Prophet (pbuh) , much earlier than the birth of  his grandson Husain.

2) Some people consider Muharram an evil or unlucky month, for Husain, RA was killed in it. So they dont hold weddings, and other celebrations during this month. This is again a baseless concept, which is contrary to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah.

Having superstitions, such as this, is committing a kind of shirk since one associates a particular event or person with having power to harm or do good and only Allaah is the One Who has power over all things.

3)Some people think it is Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal on the 10th, and they hold big gatherings for this purpose. This, again has no basis in the Shareeah.

4) Some people mourn and lament over the death of Hussain RA and hold special ceremonies for this very purpose.

However, the Prophet (pbuh) has forbidden us from holding mourning ceremonies on the death of any person, which was the practice of the people of jahiliyyah (ignorance).

“He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Bukhaari)

And if you really think about it, it is the greatest merit and reward that Hussain RA received, when he attained martyrdom for the sake of Allaah.

5) Some people go to the other extreme and dress up and cook special dishes, etc. as a kind of celebration for this Day and that is ALSO against the Quraan and Sunnah.

6) Others hold special prayers or offer sacrifice or visit the graves, specifically on the 10th of Muharram, thinking that there is special reward or meaning for doing so in the Shareeah and this is also a kind of bidah that one should stay away from.

In Conclusion

Our behavior during this month should be like the behavior of the Sahabah, not one of mourning, neither one of celebration.

Rather, we should value Muharram as one of Allaahs sacred months in which we should strive to do good deeds and be extra careful of sinning.

We should try and fast as much as we can in this month, especially the 9th and 10th. We should not be superstitious about it (or for anything else, for that matter) and if someone wants to get married during it, they may.

We should not cook special meals on the 10th and if someone invites us for such a meal, we should not go.

10 Virtuous Days!!

You are probably familiar with the last ten nights of Ramadan, and how virtuous good deeds are in those nights? Yes.

Well, let me introduce you to 10 days that are MORE virtuous, yet many people are not aware of it. It’s the first ten days of the Islamic calendar month of Dhul-Hijjah

According to the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said, “There is no day more honorable in Allah’s sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah)”

In these first 10 days of the Month of DhulHijjah we find:
…the 9th day is the day of Arafah,
…and the 10th day is Eid.

Even if you are not traveling for Hajj, you can still put in extra effort to do more good deeds.

1071509_quran

What sort of extra good deeds can you do?

1. Fasting these 9 days
2. Giving more charity during these 10 days
3. Say the “Eid” Takbeers loudly wherever you go. (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illa Allah. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Walillaahil hamd.)
4. Try to pray more prayers in the Masjid
5. Increase ties of kinship (visit family, say kind words to them, etc.)
6. Perform more voluntary prayers at home
7. Read more Quran, contemplating the meanings
8. Do more Dhikr
9. Ask for forgiveness more frequentlyWith best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level!
– Muhammad Alshareef

The Hajj – The Journey

The Hajj – The Journey

by: Ibn al Qayyim

By Him whose House the loving pilgrims visit,
Responding with ihram at the appointed limit,
Uncovering their heads in total humility
Before One to Whom faces bow in servility.
They exclaim in the valleys, “We have responded to You –
All Praise is Yours, and Kingdom too!”
He invited and they answered, with love and pleasure;
When they called upon Him, nearer came the Divine treasure.
You see them on their mounts, hair dusty and dishevelled,
Yet never more content, never happier have they felt;
Leaving homelands and families due to holy yearning,
Unmoved are they by temptations of returning.
Through plains and valleys, from near and far,
Walking and riding, in submission to Allah.

Hajj

At the Ka’bah
When they see His House – that magnificent sight
For which the hearts of all creatures are set alight –
It seems they’ve never felt tired before,
For their discomfort and hardship is no more.
Now the eye of the Lover drowns in its streams,
It sees through its tears the goal of its dreams;
Now for Allah, how many tears are issued,
Each one being followed by a multitude?
When the eye perceives the House, its darkness clears,
And from the sorrowful heart, pain disappears;
Vision cannot encompass this beautiful sight:
Each glance returns with greater delight!
No wonder at this, for when the Merciful preferred
The House for Himself, it became most honoured.
He clothed it in Majesty, a magnificent garment;
Embroidered it with Beauty, a wonderful ornament!
The hearts all love the House therefore,
Awed and humbled, in respect and honour.

‘Arafat

Now to ‘Arafat, hoping for Mercy and Forgiveness

From the One overflowing with Generosity and Kindness;
Now for Allah is that Magnificent Standing
Like, though lesser than, the Day of Reckoning.
The Irresistible draws near, His Majesty manifest,
Boasting to His angels, for He is the Mightiest,
“My slaves have come to Me so lovingly,
I’ll be Generous and Merciful, willingly.
I have forgiven their sins, – to this you are witness –
Fulfilled their hopes, and showered them with goodness.”
So joyous news! O people of that standing,
When sins are forgiven and Mercy is spreading;
How many slaves are set completely free?
Whilst others seek a cure, and heal will He.
Now Satan is never known to lose such face:
He’s blameworthy, rejected, in utter disgrace.
For he sees a matter that enrage him must:
He flees, slaps his face and covers it in dust!
Such Forgiveness he never did see
As granted by the Lord, and such Mercy!
He built his edifice from every temptation available
Till he thought it was complete, unassailable;
Then Allah struck his building at its very foundation,
So it fell upon him, tumbling in devastation;
What worth has his structure, this evil ploy,
That he does build, and the Lord does destroy?

Muzdalifah & Mina

Now to Muzdalifah, to spend the night

In the Sacred Area, then Prayer at first light;
Now on to the Great Pillar, which they need
To stone at the time of the Prayer of ‘Id;
Now to their tents for the sacrifice prepared,
Reviving the tradition of a Father revered.
If sacrificing themselves were Allah’s demand,
They would respond, submitting to the command;
Just as they’d expose their necks in Jihad
To Allah’s enemies, till these stream with blood;
They discipline themselves, presenting the head for a shave:
Bringing humility and happiness to the obedient slave.

The Tawaf of Ifadah/Ziyarah

So when they’ve removed those natural growths,

Completed their rites, and fulfilled their oaths,
He invites them again to visit His House:
What honour and welcome this visit allows!
By Allah, they visit it in so much splendour,
Receiving their rewards and plenty of honour;
There Allah bestows Grace, Favour and Kindness,
Showing Generosity, Mercy and Forgiveness.

Mina

Then they return to Mina, each to his tent,

Every minute wish is granted, and they are content;
They stay there a day, then another, then a third,
They’re allowed to depart early, but to stay is preferred;
They stone the pillars daily after the sun’s decline,
With a slogan of Takbir in the presence of the Divine!
If only you could see their standing there:
Palms outstretched, hoping for Mercy’s share!
“O Lord! O Lord! Knowing as You do
That we hope for no-one, only You!
Then grant our wish, O You All-Knowing,
We pray for Your Mercy overflowing.”

The Farewell Tawaf

When they’ve achieved at Mina all their gains,

Once more they fill the valleys and plains:
To the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, by the end of the day,
To circle it seven times, and then to Pray.
When departure nears and they are certain
That the bond of proximity is about to loosen,
There’s only a last stand for a final farewell:
Now for Allah are the eyes that swell,
And for Allah are the heavy hearts that turn
Into cauldrons of desire where fire does burn;
And the passionate sighs whose heat so vigorous
Nearly melts the Lover, ecstatic, rapturous!
Now you see those bewildered, perplexed in the throng,
Whilst others chant their sorrowful song:
“I depart, but there remains for You my yearning,
My fire of grief is raging and burning;
I bid farewell, but longing pulls my reins –
My heart is encamped in Your eternal plains!”
No blame today for saying what you feel:
No blame for expressing what you used to conceal!

Ten Best Days!

“There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul-Hijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul Tahajud (late night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on (Lilatulqadr) the night of power” [Tirmidhi]

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