Tag Archives: prayer

Be more courageous

Peace be with you!

Malcolm X once famously said, “If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Finding the courage however to do that is hard. It is hard to stand up for that something you believe in, to put yourself behind an idea. An idea that may cost you your livelihood, your job, your financial security, your family, friends and indeed your life.

Exactly that however is what Allah (swt.) asks of us, as  He (swt.) records the advice that our Prophet Luqman (as.) gave to his son in the Qur’an.

“O my son establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed all that is of the matter requiring determination (courage)”

[Quran 31:17]

Remember that trepidation you felt, when you established the prayer in a public place? That fear-excitement cocktail of adrenaline rushing through your body, the creeping thoughts of what the passerby might think?

As you stand up for the prayer wherever you are, you stand up for Allah, for your right to exercise your Belief. This fundamental act, will give you the courage to stand up for what is right, for truth and justice and against what is wrong.

Courage according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Courage comes from the heart, quite literally, the word coeur in French meaning heart from the Latin Cor.

Our heart is in constant flux, it continuously pumps blood in and out and on a spiritual, metaphysical level it also keeps changing. Khushoo, Taqwa, Iman, our intentions all of these according to our tradition are within our heart and increase and decrease constantly with the situations that we are faced with daily.

As in the story of Moses (as.) when his mother was about to see him again for the first time, since letting go of him to save him from the infanticide of Pharaoh’s oppressive regime. She was about to call out to him and thereby put him and herself in danger of being killed, Allah (swt.) describes her heart in that moment as Fuad. Fuad is a heart, that if taken literally is on fire, overwhelmed with emotions ( of love, anger, fear, grief, stress, excitement etc.). In that moment only God was able to stop her calling out to him, by strengthening her heart to its normal state, Qalb.

However, in our daily lives we will also be confronted with situations where our hearts turn into Fuad and we will have to choose whether we act on what our Fuad tells us, or what would be the right thing to do in that situation, because Allah (swt.) will asks us about our choices in that moment.

“Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart (Fuad)- about all those [one] will be questioned.”

[Quran 17:36]

Courage, is acting righteously despite the emotions that grip our heart. It inspires us as Ibn Al-Qayyim (rah.) said,“ to have a sense of self-esteem, to emphasize high and noble manners and to make it a part of our natural disposition. It also encourages us to exert ourselves to be generous, which is in essence, true courage and it leads to strong will and self-determination. It encourages us to distance ourselves from our ardent lowly desires, to control our anger, and to be forbearing, because by such, we can control our temper, take it by its reins and curb our violent and destructive behaviour, just as the Prophet (saw.) said: “The strong believer is not the one who can wrestle his opponent to the ground, but rather the strong one is the one who can control himself when he gets angry.”

This is genuine courage and it is the sole trait that the slave utilizes to conquer his opponent.

Courage, is standing up to an oppressive system, a tyrant, husband, parents, family member, friends, strangers and the hardest of all yourself, despite the fear, despite the quite possible repercussions, and being patient with those repercussions, that befall you.

Plucking up the courage needed is hard, I know. How often have I stayed silent when I should have said something or tried to ignore those less fortunate than me. It is however something that can be trained by testing and expanding our boundaries.

Where and what are your boundaries? Is a lack of knowledge the reason you did not speak up? Then educate yourself on how to intervene, take part in Bystander education programs, such as the Intervention Initiative. Is it your physical ability? Then start your journey in getting more active. Put yourself in situations that require a certain degree of courage often, such as prayer in public or standing up for your siblings and it will get easier to be courageous and to be confident doing so.

Finally remember that Allah (swt.) is in control of our hearts, He is the changer of our hearts, and so as the Prophet (saw.) prayed “O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion”, pray for Him to grant us courage in all of our affairs.

Be more courageous, because in a time where hijabs are being ripped off of our sisters, where women are being sexually harassed left, right and center,  where racism and xenophobia is normalised in our society, we can not stay silent in the face of injustice anymore.

Peace.

#bemore

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 

We mentioned the prayer of the Prophet

It is related from Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Ata’ that he was sitting with a group of the Companions of the Prophet. “We mentioned the prayer of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Abu Humayd as-Sa’idi said, ‘I remember the prayer of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, better than any of you. I saw that when he said the takbir he lifted his hands level with his shoulders. When he did ruku’, he placed his hands on his knees and then bent his back straight. When he raised his head, he stood up straight until each vertebra had returned to its place. When he went into sajda, he placed his arms so that they were neither stretched out nor held close. The toes of his feet pointed towards the qibla. When he sat after the first two rak’ats, he sat on his left foot and kept his right foot upright. When he sat after the last rak’at, he extended his left foot across, keeping the other upright and sat on his buttocks.”

[Sahih al-Bukhairi # 794]

5 tips on how to be more sincere

1. Rajab 1435

Salam Alaykum,

the past month had the theme of being more sincere. Due to me being a bit busier than I anticipated and less organised most of the posts in this series were written and posted over the last week, instead of being spread over the month.

In the post Sincerity, I went through the importance of being sincere and its definition, while in the post Aufrichtigkeit gegenüber Allah swt. I went over what it meant to be sincere to God and why we should be. He swt. is the light of the heaven and the earth, there is no other source of light except Him, so why waste this life trying to fill the void, the yearning in our life, when nothing can fill it except Him?  In Sincerity towards people,  I tried to explain that we as Muslims should feel a sincere care for our fellow human beings, I would even go further and say, that we have a duty towards the mental and physical well-being of all people. Allah swt. honoured the children of Adam, so why don’t we?

In this last post of this month, I’d like to go into some practical tips on how  one may become more sincere in ones actions.

1. Be conscious of Allah swt.

This is the goal, having Taqwa of Allah swt. in every action that we do, it is the way to ensure that we are sincere in our actions. Having in the back of our minds, that Allah swt. is there that we will meet Him and will be asked about how we spent every single breath in this life, even though He swt. already knows, He the most Just of Judges. Every single Prayer, every single supplication, every single act of Dhikr that we perform should remind us. The more we increase the acts of worship in our lives the more connected we become to the light.

2. Sincere Supplication

Supplication, Dua’ is the weapon of a believer in every situation. Allah swt. is the controller of our hearts. The Prophet saw. used to supplicate “Oh turner of hearts, keep our hearts firm on your religion” [Muslim] So why do we not turn and ask the One who controls our hearts to make us sincere in our actions. Umar ibn Al-Khattab ra. used to say: “Oh Allah! Make all of my actions for your sake only!”

3. Doing Actions privately

We as humans seek to be appreciated, to be praised for our actions, it makes us feel good, feel needed, of use etc. Praise is however poison to our intentions, we begin to do our actions because we want to be praised. Our intentions become corrupted, and we fall to the danger of our deeds not being accepted.

In a hadith, which is one of the ones that many people will know, regarding sincerity and one of the scariest. In this narration on the authority of Abu Hurairah ra. the Prophet saw. said, “Three categories of people will be the first to be thrown into Hell-Fire: a scholar who taught people merely to be praised as a scholar; a generous person who gave charity just to be called generous; and a person who participates in Jihad to be recognized as brave.”

Deeds that are done in private are more likely to be sincere, so let’s do more in private, when no one sees our long Sujuds, our tears as we make dua’ or our charity. As narrated in the Hadith of Abu Hurairah ra. among those 7 groups of people that are granted the Shade of Allah swt. on the Day of Judgement are “…a person who gives a charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand might not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up.” [ Bukhari and Muslim]

4. Check your intentions

Check your intentions regularly, when beginning a task ask yourself who you are doing this for, for Allah or for the people. If there is doubt, then renew your intention right there and go ahead with the task with full confidence, knowing it is solely for Allah. If you are doing a task and you hear the whispers of Shaytan as people watch you, and you unconsciously make your prayer just a tiny bit longer. Renew your intention, and make it longer, as it was attributed to Imam An-Nakhai rah.“When Shaytan comes to you while you are in prayer and says: ‘You are showing off,’ make it longer.” It is his will that we abandon the task. When you have completed the task, ask Allah swt. for the acceptance of the task.

5. Make it  (the task) regular

Regularity is a sign that we are committed to an action, that we indeed value it, finding pleasure in obedience to Allah swt. in serving Him, as every action that is done for His sake is an ibadah, a worship. In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah ra. the Prophet saw. said”The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire).” They said, “Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” [Bukhari] In another Hadith Aisha ra. was asked, “What deed was the most beloved to the Prophet?” She said, “The regular constant one.” [Buhkari]

Final “Word” and Tips

These are my tips to become more sincere. These posts are first and foremost for me, to remind myself, to learn and improve myself and I hope that they are of some benefit to you too, inshaAllah.

Some final tips from me, firstly don’t act different around people, whether they approve or not, whether it is to act more piously or less. Be moderate, that is what the religion teaches us, do things as you can and improve steadily, don’t overburden yourself. Take it easy, don’t be too hard on yourself, we all are work in progress.  Have resolve and be resolute in what you are doing and try to constantly ground yourself.

Abu Bakr ra., and with this I end this long post, used to supplicate: “Oh Allah, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for what they do not know about me, and do not take me to account for what they say about me.”

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

#Be more Sincere

Sources and further read:

OnIslam | MuslimMatters | IOU | Sunnipath | Muslimlinkpaper

In the name of God

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy.

O’ Lord of Mercy shower mercy upon your subjects, your slaves.

O’ Giver of Mercy, all the Praise and all Thankfulness are due to You.

O’ You who are the Most Forgiving, forgive us for our hearts have blackened. Our hearts have hardened and we’ve forgotten how to cry.

O’ You who are the Most Wise the All-knowing you know our situation better than we do ourselves. Know our innermost, our deepest secrets, our stench that we try to hide from people. You are with us, You witness what we do, You see what we do.

You know of the injustices that we’ve inflicted on those weaker than us, whether that is to the children from around the corner or the children in Syria, in CAR, in Palestine, the list is endless my Lord. I stand in front of You knowing that you have witnessed my inactivity, my drowsiness, my sleep in comfort, my feeding myself while I’ve forgotten about my neighbour, my brother and my sister.

You are the One who created us, gave shape to us, provides for us. Indeed I have failed in the words You commanded those before us and us to say „My Prayers and my devotion, my living and my dying are all for God, Lord of All the Worlds“ You witnessed how I have forgotten countless times over and over again.

I had forgotten…

O’ King of All Kings, King of All the Worlds, grant Jannat ul Firdaws to those who die in your path, to my brothers and sisters all over the world. Grant those who have distanced themselves from You the Ability, the Guidance, the Will, the Determination to come back to You and strengthen them. Grant patience to those in difficulty, those who have lost someone, those who are dealing with the great tests You have given to them. You do not burden a soul more than it can take.

You O’ Allah are the Most Just, the Most High.

Amin, Ya rabbil A’lameen.