Monthly Archives: September 2014

Come To The Prayer II

Why Do we Pray - The Greatest Gift

Salam Alaykum!
Yesterday’s post covered our most important reason to pray, that He (swt) in His Majesty and Mercy commanded it to us. To turn to Him, to take just a minimum of 5 times a day out of our busy lives for Him. Today, we will try to cover another reason. Our direct link to Him.

Have you ever wondered, whether Allah (swt.) listens, whether He listens to our prayers and our dua’s?
What we have to realise is that this prayer is more like a conversation with our Lord. As He (swt.) said in a hadith Qudsi related to us by Muslim:

“Allah said: ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My slave into two halves, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.’When the slave says: ‘Al-hamdulillah i rabbil Alameen (All the praise is to Allah, the Lord of all that exists),’ Allah says:’My slave has praised Me, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.’ And when he says: ‘Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful),’ Allah says: ‘My slave has extolled Me, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.’ And when he says: ‘Maliki yawmiddin [The Only Owner (and he Ruling Judge] if the Day of Recompense],’ Allah’s says: ‘My slave has Glorified Me. This is for Me, and this Verse is between me and My slave in two halves.’ And when he says: ‘ Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nastain [You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help],’ He says: ‘This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.’ And the end of the Surah is for My slave.’ And when he says: ‘Ihdinas-siratal-mustaqeema, siratal-alldhina an’amta alayhim a lad-dallin [Guide us to the Straight Way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not(the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray],’ He says: ‘This is for My slave, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.” [Hadith Qudsi | Muslim]

Subhanallah, glory be to Allah. This is the Surah that we recite at least 17 times every single day. Imagine this conversation between you and Allah (swt.) every single time you recite it in prayer. We have direct access to Him, we do not go through a priest or any other person, living being or inanimate Object.

In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah (swt.) said: “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [2:186]

He is close, closer than our jugular vein [50:16] so how do we gain nearness to Him? The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The closest that a person can be to his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, is when he is prostrating, so increase in supplication then.” [Sahih | An-Nasai]
So increase your prostration, pray and ask Allah (swt.)

Today Maghrib is at 19:35 in the UK, increase the length of your prostration, of your sajdah and just ask Allah (swt.) find Him near to you.
#ComeToThePrayer


Original Post from The Spiritual Memo

Being Patient with People

Salam Alaykum,

today’s post is about having forbearance (Hilm). Forbearance, according to Merriam-Webster is “the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.” It is difficult to have patience generally, but it is more agonizing quite often when dealing with people who can’t get a move on, are rude, obnoxious and/or infuriating to swallow that anger and frustration that one feels and be patient. It is another step up to that challenge, to not just ignore such people but deal with them in a way that does not end in hating and killing each other.

It is however important to show patience in face of a difficult person or situation that raise ire, but also in situations where you are disappointed. It is of essence to deal with such a situation masterfully to not put yourself or another down. For you to not get depressed and sunk into a hole and for you to not unintentionally emotionally scar the other. This goes for every single situation that you find yourself in, you have to find ways to deal with people.

In the Muslim Community we have a problem with giving Advice. (Nasiha) It is important to give it, I would go as far as saying it is an obligation. As Allah (swt.) said in Surah Al-Asr:

“By time, Indeed mankind is in loss, Except for those who believe and do good deeds and urge one another to truth and urge one another to patience.“

[Surah Al-‘Asr]

However giving advise is constrained to time and etiquette (Adab). When giving Nasiha we have to find a time that is suitable to the one we are wanting to give advice to. We have to do it on their schedule not on ours, otherwise they won’t listen. Advice is also given with proper etiquette, it isn’t given in anger or self-righteousness. It is given because we care and not to satisfy our ego. We have an example in Luqman who gave advice to his son, pre-emptively addressing him with words of love.

We have to show patience when urging one another to the truth. Again realising that everyone is on a journey one may seem to be further ahead but be careful not to let another crash and burn with your harshness.  We should be helping each other along and that can only be done when we care, with Adab and with patience. On the other hand we have to be patient with those that deal in being rude and harsh.

As the Prophet (saw.) said in a hadith related by Ibn Umar (ra.):

“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.”

[Sahih | Sunan Ibn Majah]

This doesn’t mean that one should get steam-rolled by people, if there is abuse in a relationship for example the authorities need to be called. That in itself is patience, patience does not mean to suffer in silence as the origin of the word from latin infers. Abuse is abuse, is abuse. At the very least an independent arbiter should be involved.

I’m iterating, Patience is not to suffer in silence, firstly realise that God is always with you and He is the most excellent Partner to have. Secondly, “there is strength in numbers”. We are an Ummah (a community) you are not alone. If it is the case that your local community left you alone then get authorities involved. Go to the “Kafir” and get help, no matter what your family says.

Finally, learn to forgive people, to let things slide it will help you and the people around you. Don’t be serious all the time, there is a place and time to be so. We realise the End is coming, but if the Prophet (saw.) still laughed and smiled, raced and joked, so can and should you. Islam came to make things easier, not for us to breathe down everyone’s neck to make sure they do everything, as we think they should. Yes Islam came with clear rules and guidelines but showing forbearance and Patience in advising can  go a long way in helping to guide someone.

In the end Allah (swt.) is the One who guides and forgives may He forgive us abundantly on account of every discomfort, every illness, anxiety and grief, worry, prick of a thorn and any other pain that we may have experienced. May He make us people of patience. Amin

“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman

Virtues of Salah I

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Salam Alaykum everyone!
I hope you are all well and ready for the start of this new Challenge. #ComeToThePrayer on the virtues of Salah.
Here’s a question, “Why do we pray?”
I’m sure everyone has their own reasons why we pray, but The Reason we pray above all, is that Allah (swt.) commanded us to do so. In Surah An-Nisa Allah (swt.) says: Verily the Prayer is enjoined upon the believers at appointed times.

The Arabic word for prayer is [صلاة], which linguistically means supplication or dua’. Legally however it is a set of well-known actions and statements that begins with the Takbeer and ends with the Tasleem.
Allah (swt.) the One who created us. He is the One who gave us everything we had, we have and will have, He doesn’t ask much of us in return. He asks us to believe in Him and worship only Him, to do good deeds, to urge one another to the truth and to urge one another to steadfastness. Prayer is a part of that, just 25 minutes minimum a day, for the One who has given us everything.

Let’s thank Him, let’s worship Him as He has asked us to. No matter whether we have never prayed before or have prayed all our lives. Let’s give new strength to our prayer, knowing why we pray.
In the UK Maghrib is fast approaching at 19:38, let’s pray it as if it was our last prayer.

#ComeToThePrayer


Original Post on The Spiritual Memo 

Being patient with ourselves

Salam Alaykum,

It is in our nature to want, do and act in haste, to be impatient as Allah (swt.) said in the Qur’an:

“Man is ever hasty” [Surah Al-Israa’ : 11]

Our creator created us like this, with this haste and still He (swt.) expects us to fight it. To act with intelligence and not act on emotion alone. Didn’t the Prophet (saw.) say:

“The strong man is not the good wrestler; but the strong man is he who controls himself when he is angry.” [Agreed upon.]

To be patient in a moment of extreme emotion, be it anger or sadness is often to act against our first instinct to lash out. We are asked to struggle, to make Jihad in such situations, to be the strong man or woman.

Wasn’t there a time where we sought to be grown up as fast as possible? Then pine away at those trouble-free days as we reached our adult days. Do we not seek time to pass faster when there is nothing to do, but miss times of lazing about when we are busy. We always want time to go by as fast as possible, not realising that with every second we come closer to death. We forget to live in the moment, thanking God for the good times and the bad times. The times of joy and happiness and those of pain and sadness which we want to have passed quickly, but everything takes time.

“Rome ne fut pas faite toute en un jour”

Rome wasn’t built in a day as the adage says, encouraging us, that there is a need of time for great things to be created. Everyone is on a journey and at different stages of it, it takes time for us to reach the majour stations in our life as Allah (swt.) wills it and how much effort we put into reaching them. If a majour problem of yours is your anger, then work on it, it may take a long time to control it but you’ll get there. We will get there, inshaAllah (if God wills). On our journey to reach our goals, we need to be persistent. There may be many set backs on the way, it is going to be hard but persist in it and Allah will give. As Allah (swt.) tells us in many instances:

“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]” [Surah Baqarah : 153]

 But they never lost assurance due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah , nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast.

[Surah Ali Imran : 146]

It is always difficult to be patient especially with ourselves, we can be very hard on ourselves, with our regrets and guilt. To a point regret and feeling guilt is okay and a good thing, it can drive us making that train reach its station faster. Past a certain point however it harms us, we either fall to our regrets, wallowing in them or we begin to feel indifferent which is the other extreme. The goal is to harness this feeling to become better, to come closer to God.

In a Hadith Qudsi related by Abu Huraira (ra.) the Messenger of Allah (saw.) said:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious said: ‘A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’ He then again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’ He again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sin or takes (him) to account for sin. I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This Hadith shows, the Mercy of Allah (swt.) that He forgives and forgives if we repent with sincerity. This of course does not give us the license to sin, but if we fall into sin and then repent from it sincerely, resolving to not do it again, and we happen to fall into it again then we are to repent from it again and to not give up repenting for our weakness.

It was said to al-Hasan al Basri (rah.):

“Shouldn’t one of us feel too shy to ask his Lord to forgive his sin, then do it again, then ask for forgiveness, then do it again? He said: The Shaytaan wishes that you would have this attitude, so do not tire of asking for forgiveness.”

We have to have the patience that when we do something we regret repeatedly, to ask for forgiveness and to not get tired of repenting thinking that, “I am just going to do it again anyway”. 

We ask Allah (swt.), as the army of Saul (as.) and David (as.) asked:

Our Lord, pour upon us patience…

[Surah Al-Baqarah : 250]

Oh Allah help us make us worthy of having you with us, as you have promised the people who are patient.

Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

Make us people of patience and forbearance, of good character and good actions. Amin.

Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman

Patience is to ballast

Salam Alaykum,

“Ah, Ah, hot, hot, hot, you…”

The Prophet (saw.), in a hadith narrated by Anas (ra.) said:

“The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.” [Sahih Bukhari]
 Patience is important in all facets of our lives, often however it is the missing ingredient that would make our life just that much sweeter. We’re not very patient are we? But we are, always then I find, when we realise that we can gain something out of being patient. Patience is something that is learnt, as kids it’s hard to stay still for very long.
“Patience is a virtue”, as the saying goes. Attaining those qualities as they are in the 7 heavenly virtues isn’t easy, they require work. We live in a fast-paced world, don’t we? With apps such as Telegram and Whatsapp, Skype and Viber contacting someone is possible in seconds. We are pretty much available round the clock. It’s fast-food and Coffee to go, Couch to 5k, everything is laid out to spending every second as efficient as possible, on the go. We forget to take time out, until we burn out.
 In today’s post I’d like to take some time to try and define patience a little. The Arabic word for patience is Sabr (صبر). It carries the meanings of shackling, fettering, patience, forbearance, composure, steadfastness, firmness, self-control, perseverance and endurance.
The word Patience in the English language is derived from the Middle English Pacience which was taken from the Old French and stems from the Latin patientia. Pati, means to suffer.
According to Merriam-Webster Patience is:
1  bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
not hasty or impetuous
4 steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
The word صَبَّرَ (Sabbara) a close relative of the Word Sabr means to ballast. In nautical terms to stabilise a ship with something heavy. I like the imagery this provides, imagine life as a journey through the seven seas. There will be days, of sun-shine and strong wind but there will also be days filled with storms. There will be days where you need all the ballast you can have and days where you have to throw it all over board. Constancy, balance bearing pain or a situation and dealing with it in a way that balances things out.
While being patient is often brought up when something bad has happened or one is suffering, it does not need to be so. Sabr also means to hold yourself back from something, to refrain to do something that you may regret, from fulfilling your temptations and from saying the curse word that lies on your tongue when almost burning your finger.
It is to prevent us from acting Jahil, this word doesn’t just have to do with not using ones mind or being ignorant, but also acting impulsive or acting on pure emotions clouding one’s head whether that is anger or love.
As the Prophet (saw.) said: “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” [Al-Bukhari]
Sabr therefore is needed in all facets of life, whether it’s in dealing with kids or the elderly. The colleague or waiter, the neighbour and really all of creation and all the situations we may find ourselves in.
And God knows best,
Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman