Category Archives: Advice to the Youth

Ramadan – A Time for Devotion


Ramadan – A Time for Devotion

The following is the transcript of a talk that I was asked to give at the Weavers Community Forum Iftar gathering on Sunday 12 July 2015. Although the talk did not happen due to time restrictions and late coming of guests, I am sharing it here for all to benefit insha Allah. Continue reading Ramadan – A Time for Devotion

Advice to the Seekers – New Years Resolutions


Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray’s advice to the students at SeekersHub Toronto (Ayah and Hadith additions in italic below are mine and not of Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray):

  1. Be people of the Night Prayer (Tahajjud)

‘And during the night, wake up for Salāh of Tahajjud , an additional prayer for you. It is very likely that your Lord will place you at Praised Station.’ [Qur’an 17:79]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

  1. Devote at least one hour per week to Seeking Knowledge (‘ilm)

‘So High above all is Allah, the True King! And do not hasten with (reciting) the Qur’ān before its revelation to you is concluded, and say, “My Lord, improve me in knowledge.”’ [Qur’an 20:114]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “He for whom Allâh desires great good, He grants him (superlative) understanding in the Religion.” [Part of a longer Hadith from Bukhari and Muslim]

  1. Spend at least one hour per week giving to the community (Khidmah)

‘The believers, male and female, are friends to each other. They bid virtue and forbid vice and establish Salāh and pay Zakāh and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those are the ones whom Allah will bless with mercy. Surely, Allah is Powerful, Wise.’ [Qur’an 9:71]

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Allah will relieve anyone who relieves a believer of one of the afflictions of this world, of one of the afflictions of the Day of Rising. Allah will give ease in this world and the Next to anyone who eases the hardship of another. Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim in this world and the Next. Allah will help His slave as long as His slave is helping his brother.” [Muslim]

What better way to start the New Year than to pledge to commit to each of the above. Imagine if we all made the small steps mentioned above, what difference it could make to our lives and the lives of those around us.

May Allah give us Tawfiq – Ameen

Abu Zaynah

Source: https://www.facebook.com/iffat.syed.10/posts/10101218911309487

Becoming Better Muslims – Advice for the Youth


In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

I wrote the following as some pre-Ramadan advice but didn’t get the chance to publish it until now. It is a list primarily aimed at those not fully practising their deen and trying to find their way. I have tried to keep the points as brief and concise as possible for ease of reading as I know people are busy.

I hope that this will be of benefit to the general reader.


1. Find your own connection with Allah and make it a personal connection

‘I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me.’ [Qur’an 51:56]

Worship here does not just mean the ritualistic five daily prayers, fasting etc, but it means having that personal connection with Allah (SWT) and worshipping Him all throughout our lives by obeying His commands and staying away from His prohibitions.

People can lecture you day in day out about praying, fasting etc, but it will not go in until you find that personal connection and personal touch with Allah (SWT). This is a very personal endeavour and is between you and your Lord. Allah (SWT) waits for you to make that connection with Him and therefore my first and foremost advice to you is to look deep within yourself and within your heart and re-connect the heart to the Heavens above and to Allah (SWT).

If you are successful in doing this you will find a peace in your heart that you never felt before and you will be able to bear any hardship that comes your way knowing that hardships in this worldly domain only leads to bliss in the other worldly domain, where our Souls reside.

This is deep, this is personal, and this is between you and Allah (SWT). Make that connection today.

2. Know that the life in this world is temporary

‘O my people, this life of the world is only a (momentary) benefit, while the Hereafter is, indeed, the place of permanent living.’ [Qur’an 40:39]

We have begun to live our lives as if we will live in this world forever. We won’t. Put life into it’s proper perspective and know that the only thing that will live forever is our Soul and the home of the Soul is in the next world. Will we build it a palace over there just like we want to build the body a palace in this world?

Death is real, and with every day that goes by we are getting ever closer to our meeting with our Lord. How will we want to be on the day we are raised before Him and asked what have we taken forth into the next world?

Let us put life into it’s proper context and change our thinking before it’s too late and we have no time left to make up for the years that we have wasted in heedlessness and play.

3. Find yourself a role model from amongst our scholars and teachers

‘And We did not send before you messengers except men whom We inspired with revelation. So, ask the people (having the knowledge) of the Message, if you do not know.’ [Qur’an 21:7]

We all need teachers and role models. Even the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a teacher who taught him. That teacher was Gibril (AS) who was taught in turn by Allah (SWT).

There is no shortage of English speaking Imams and Scholars today that you can learn your Deen from and therefore ignorance is no longer an excuse. The following is a non-exhaustive list of Imams that have inspired me over the years. Pick the ones that inspires you the most and learn from them.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj , Imam Suhaib Webb , Shaykh Hamza Yusuf , Imam Zaid Shakir , Shaykh Abdullah Adhami , Shaykh Faraz Rabbani . In the UK you have Shaykh Ahmed Ali , Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad , Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa , Shaykh Haitham Tamim, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, Shaykh Akram Nadwi.

Make use of the resources available to us online via the laptop, smart phones etc. Youtube hosts a whole array of lectures and talks. The only thing to caution is that learn from people that you know and trust, as you can get confused easily and led astray if you start listening to anything and everything that appears online as ‘Islamic’.  

4. Read!

‘Read with the name of your Lord who created (every thing)’ [Qur’an 96:1]

I can’t impress upon you the importance of reading. Reading expands your understanding and broadens your horizons unlike any other medium of learning. Get the Amazon App on your iphone/ipad. Join the library. Read a variety of literature including non-fiction, fiction, spiritual, religious, career related and so on. As a child we ‘learn to read’ but now as adults it’s time that we ‘read to learn’.

5. Follow the Sunna

‘There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah – for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely.’ [Qur’an 33:21]

Try to follow the Sunna in everything that you do. Ask yourself in any situation what would the Prophet (peace be upon him) do or would command us to do. To understand his Sunna begin by reading his Life Story or listen to it online along with pondering on the Hadith and Seerah literature that is available online and in books.  

6. Learn the Basics of the Deen

‘Say, “Can those who know and those who do not know become equal?” It is only the people of understanding who are receptive of the advice.’ [Qur’an 39:9]

There are certain aspects of Islam that is compulsory for everyone to know. This includes a basic understanding of the five pillars of Islam, the six pillars of Iman and the science of Ihsan. It is paramount that you learn these and act upon them as without them there is no salvation for us.


The list can go on and the advice is the same for me as it is for you. There is more along the same lines on my blog about being a productive human being and making the most of our lives and it will be worth having a read of that also.

And with Allah lies all Tawfiq

Always in need of your Duas. 

Jashim

Ten tips for getting the best out of Ramadan


Ten tips for getting the best out of Ramadan

by Abu Zaynah

1. Purify your Intention – Fast for the sake of Allah (SWT) only and not just because your family, your community and all the Muslims are fasting. Purify your intention and make sure it is sincere and it is solely for the sake of the One who has commanded us to fast.

“Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

2. Recite the Qur’an Often – This is the month of the Qur’an and therefore recite plenty of Qur’an. Try to complete a Khatm in the month. Try and recite a small portion before or after every prayer to make it easier and break up the recitation into doable parts.

“Recite the Qur’an. It will appear on the Day of Rising as an intercessor for its people.”

 [Muslim]

3. Apply the Sunna – Apply as many aspects of the Sunna as you can in this month, both the outward Sunna like dress, appearance etc but more importantly the inward Sunna like his character (peace and blessings be upon him). A good thing to initiate is  to at least do the additional Sunna prayers before and after the Fard prayers.

“I counsel you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah, and to listen and obey [your leader], even if a slave were to become your ameer. Verily he among you who lives long will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly [literally: with your molar teeth]. Beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for verily every bidah (innovation) is misguidance.”

[Abu Dawud]

4. Give a lot of Sadaqa (Charity) – Remember the poor  and give as much Sadaqa as possible. There are many good causes out there, select the ones that you feel are worthy and donate, donate, donate!

“The best charity is one given during Ramadan.”

 [Related by Al-Tirmidhi]

5. Remain in a state of Wudu – Try your best to remain in a state of Wudu (ritual purity) throughout the day for added blessings. Make the Wudu every time you have to visit the bathroom or anytime when it breaks.

“On the Day of Rising my community will be called ‘those with white blazes on their foreheads and limbs’ from the effects of wudu’. So whoever of you can increase the extent of the whiteness, should do so.’”

[Riyadh As Salihin]

6. Attend a Gathering of Sacred Knowledge – Find a local gathering/circle/class/halaqa and make a commitment to attend on a regular basis.

“There are no people who remember Allah without the angels surrounding them, mercy covering them, tranquillity descending on them, and Allah mentioning them to those who are with Him.”

 [Muslim, at-Tirmidhi]

7. Give up Bad Habits – Make a list of all the bad habits that you may have acquired over the years e.g. backbiting, laziness, too much telly, smoking  etc and make a concerted effort to give up as many of these as possible in the month of Ramadan.

“Whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allah, then Allah the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it.”

 [Musnad Ahmad]

8. Share Iftar & Gifts with Family, Friends and Relatives – Share food and gifts with family, friends, relatives, neighbours as this will bring us closer together and instil love between us. If possible donate food to the local Masjid for Iftar to serve the local worshippers.

“Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward equal to that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.”

[Related by Ahmad and Al-Nasai]

 9. Be in the Service of Others – Volunteer some of your time and help out in the home, in the community and in the Masajids. Seek out those in need (can be people, can be an institution) and see if you can help in anyway. Traditional societies always emphasised serving others as a high moral virtue which is quickly being lost in the hussle and bustle of the modern world.

“Allah will relieve anyone who relieves a believer of one of the afflictions of this world, of one of the afflictions of the Day of Rising. Allah will give ease in this world and the Next to anyone who eases the hardship of another. Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim in this world and the Next. Allah will help His slave as long as His slave is helping his brother.”

[Muslim]

10. Make lots of Dua – If there is a time in the whole year when Dua is sure to be answered than it is in the month of Ramadan. The more Duas that go upwards to Heaven the more Mercy that will descend down upon the Earth. Remember our brothers and sisters in less fortunate circumstances, the poor, the oppressed, the ones enduring civil wars and so on and make special Dua for them in addition to the Dua that you make for yourself and your families.

“Three persons whose Du’a is never rejected (by Allah) are: the fasting person until he breaks his fast (in another narration, when he breaks fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.”

[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi]

Please keep the Islamopedia Family in your Duas

Benefit Dependancy and Work Ethics amongst Muslims


‘And We made the night and the day two signs. Then We effaced the sign of the night and made the sign of the day sight-giving; that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of years and the reckoning, and everything We have detailed very distinctly.’ [Qur’an 17:12]

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “It is better for one of you to take a rope and bring a faggot of firewood on his back and sell it so that Allah gives him what he needs than for him to ask people who then give to him or refuse.” [Bukhari] Continue reading Benefit Dependancy and Work Ethics amongst Muslims

Advice to the Youth Series – Call others to Good


The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever guides to good has the like of the reward of the person who actually does it.” [Bukhari – Adab Al-Mufrad]

Call others to Good – Call each other to do good and to good and beneficial events and activities. Know that ‘Good’ does not need to be boring. Sports is good, getting together and playing games is good, enjoying yourself is good and all things fun can be good.

I remember when were growing up,  when it used to be time for Salah we would knock on each other’s door on the way to the Mosque and go as a group. In the summer days we would play football from after Asr until Maghrib and our meet up point would be the Mosque. Sometime after Maghrib the lot of us would sit in the Mosque and recite Qur’an together until Esha time.It was easier to do because we did it in a group.

Try it – next time on your way to the Mosque, call your neighbours and friends to join you. As you are walking to the Mosque, call on any youths that you see and just tell them that it’s Salah time and that you are going to the Mosque and it would be nice to see them there. They may not respond on day one or respond at all, but imagine if they were constantly told by passers by on their way to the Mosque that it’s Salah time, it is bound to take affect one day. 

If we can create an environment where doing wrong is looked down upon and uncool then insha Allah it will be easier for our youth to return to the straight path.

May Allah guide us and our youth.

Advice to the Youth Series – Get Involved


‘You are the best community brought forth to men, enjoining decency, and forbidding indecency, and believing in God.’ [Qur’an 3:110]

Get involved – establish local circles of learning, get involved with theyouth in your area, help provide facilities for young people to come to for both learning and play. We should establish Muslim Youth Centre all across the country and these should be run by young people who know what the youth want, although the premises itself maybe overseen and managed by elders.

Don’t be put off by groups and labels. If there is an organisation doing good in your area and they are the only ones doing it, get involved and try to help out. Muslims need to start accepting our differences and complementing one another in the work that we do instead of re-inventing the wheel and creating rival mosques, madrasas, organisation who all work in the same area but don’t talk to each other or complement each other’s work.

Get involved at the local level and make a positive contribution to the area in which you live. Volunteer a little of your time for the community. Give them advice, support them with ideas and help them build a community where everyone would want to live.

Get involved!

Advice to the Youth Series – Ten things that I want to tell young people


[Parental Advisory – The contents of external links and websites may not be suitable for minors, please read first before allowing a young person to read it to ensure that you are happy with the text and it’s appropriateness for young people]

Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you),

This post was inspired by Kate Elizabeth Conner’s post on her Lily Pads blog titled ten things I want to tell teenage girls . I thought it was a great way of getting a positive message across to young people and I also read her husbands post titled dear boys and her friends post ten things I want to tell teenage boys / young men .

Continue reading Advice to the Youth Series – Ten things that I want to tell young people