Category Archives: Articles

30 Days, 30 Deeds – Ramadan Challenge


islamopedia_41.pngThis Ramadan we at Islamopedia and the Wednesday Circle challenge you to complete 30 different good deeds for each day of the holy month. The idea being to encourage and instil new deeds in our lives that we can carry forward even after Ramadan is finished. And to make it even easier, we have done the hard work for you and made a list of 30 deeds that you can complete in this month.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

wednesday_circle_whiteThe task is simple. Each day in Ramadan, take one deed from the list below and complete it. Once complete make a note of it so you don’t forget which deed you have done. The next day take another deed and so on until the end of the month. By the end of the month you should have a list of 30 deeds that you have completed in the month that you may not have otherwise done. Keep the list to hand and carry on doing those same deeds in the months after Ramadan as well insha Allah.

Simple as that.

Feel free to share with us how you get on to encourage the goodness and also encourage others to take part by sharing this challenge with friends and family.

Feel free to add to the list of good deeds or suggest your own deeds as well. Continue reading 30 Days, 30 Deeds – Ramadan Challenge

#25 Times and Situations when Du’a is Accepted


We are all in need of Du’a and for our Du’as to be answered. Allah (SWT) loves it most when we call on Him and ask Him for His assistance. This is why He (SWT) places us in difficult situations where we have no choice but to seek assistance from Him. These situations are an opportunity for us to build our relationship with Allah (SWT) and to get close to Him.

Allah (SWT) tells us in the Qur’an ‘And your Lord has said, ‘Call on Me and I will respond to you.’’  [Qur’an 40:60].

The Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “When one of you makes a supplication, he should not say, ‘If you wish.’ He should be firm in asking and he should have great hope. Allah does not think that anything that He gives is too great.‘”  [Bukhari – Adab Al-Mufrad]

In order for Him to grant us our prayers, Allah (SWT) has given us specific times and situations in which Du’a is more likely to be accepted. We should all make note of these specific times and situations and endeavour to make much supplication when we find ourselves in these times.

In order to help us all, I have listed below some of these times and situations so that we can all benefit. Please make a special Du’a for those who have made the information below freely available on the internet for our benefit. Continue reading #25 Times and Situations when Du’a is Accepted

What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School


 

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Dear non-home schooling parents,

What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School

Despite the evidence to suggest that later schooling is better for children than starting school early and the evidence to show that home educated children do better in their studies compared to their school attending counterparts, as a home schooling parent we still encounter the odd remark from fellow parents asking “is your child not missing out on [fill in your own blanks] by not going to school?”

To those non-home schooling parents: Thank you for taking an interest in my child’s education. Please find below a list of things that my child is not missing out on by not being in school.

  • My child is not missing out on the widespread bullying that is currently plaguing inner city schools, to the point that it is beginning to cost young people their lives.
  • My child is not missing out on the immense pressure placed on young children to learn complex spelling and arithmetic at such a young age, when they’re little brains are still developing.
  • My child is not missing out on the factory style teaching that is focused solely on test results and league tables that it takes away the human element of teaching good character, a moral outlook and the passing down of knowledge as opposed to just teaching information
  • My child is not subjected to the immense peer pressure in schools to look and dress a certain way, to take up smoking / drugs, to have the latest gadgets and games, and to be part of a clique or a gang, to name just a few.
  • My child is not missing out on the extraordinary amount of homework that young children are given even after having spent a full day of learning in school.
  • My child is not missing out on having to learn at a set pace set by the curriculum and the teachers. My child is able to learn and develop at their own pace, which is much better for their over all development.
  • My child is not missing out on socialisation. Socialisation happens everywhere, not just in schools.
  • My child is not missing out on not being able to see their Mum and Dad for long hours of the day, sometimes ranging from 8:30am – 6:30pm for households where both parents have full time jobs.
  • My child is not missing out on having to take holidays in peak holiday seasons when holiday prices are rocket high, only because their school will not allow them discretionary leave for family holidays during term time.
  • Most of important of all, my child is not missing out on being just that … a child. Children are meant to be children. These days children are not given the chance to be themselves. Let them be their own little person. Let them enjoy their childhood before they enter the high pressured environment of schools.

homeschooling-will-my-kids-miss-outThere are many good reasons why some parents choose not to send their children to school ranging from medical reasons to religious / cultural reasons. Please try to understand those reasons before you decide to judge us.

There are well over 36,000 children in the UK that are home educated and this number is steadily rising as people realise the benefits of home education verses conventional schooling.

Just as it is you prerogative to send your child to a mainstream school or a private school, it is our prerogative to home educate our child.

Wishing you all the best.

Yours Truly,

 

Umm and Abu Zaynah

Home Schooling Parents

‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)


‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)

“We all want to enter Jannah but are we sincerely striving for it? There are multiple ways to attain the pleasure of Allah SWT and enter His Jannah. Allah SWT has made it easy for us to enter His Jannah but some of us forget this due to an ‘attachment’ to this temporary worldly life!

Following are some hadiths which will show us 25 ways or good deeds to enter the Jannah. Remember, these are not the ‘only’ 25 ways and there should be ‘sincerity’ and ‘consistency’ in these acts to get Jannat-ul-Firdause InshaAllah :)

Read more at:

‎25 Ways to Enter Jannah (Paradise)

We at the Wednesday Circle have been discussing the 25 Ways to Jannah based on the article above.

We hope that you enjoy the video that we’ve made on the same topic, especially the bloopers at the end 🙂

Was Salam

Abu Zaynah

Dhikr – Easy on the Tongue, Heavy on the Scale


Dhikr – Your Easy Path to Paradise

O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. [Qur’an 33:41]

The People of Paradise will not regret except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by and in which they made no remembrance of Allah. [Al-Bayhaqi]

Dhikr, or the Remembrance of Allah, is a very important aspect of our Deen. It encapsulates the essence of worship and should form a key part of all of our actions. But not only this, the rewards for Dhikr are so immense and lofty that it provides us with an easy way to multiply our rewards in our ‘bank accounts’ in Heaven.

Dhikr provides for us a means with which our path to paradise can be simpler and easier, provided that we are fulfilling our obligations (Fara-id). A few examples of Adhkar that are simple on the tongue but heavy on the scales are noted below.

Continue reading Dhikr – Easy on the Tongue, Heavy on the Scale

Updated: The First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah


The First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are of the most blessed days in the entire Muslim Calendar and are on par with the last 10 nights of Ramadan in their importance and virtue. We should all treat these 10 days with the same level of motivation and vigour that we show to the last 10 nights of Ramadan. The following is brief exposition of some of the virtues of these days.

Allah (SWT) refers to these days when He says in His Book:

‘By the Dawn, And ten nights …’ [Qur’an 89, 1-2]

He also mention these as the ‘appointed’ days in the following verse:

‘Remember Allah through the appointed days…’ [Qur’an 2:203]

The Mufassirin (Commentators of the Qur’an) generally state that the above verses relate to the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Continue reading Updated: The First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

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

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

It’s Halal but is it Tayyib?


‘O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.’ [Qur’an 2:168]

Assalamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakutuhu,

It’s Halal but is it Tayyib? – something to ponder.

This post will probably pose more questions than provide answers. However, I have decided to write it as it’s something that has begun to bug me recently and is something that’s on my mind at the moment.

Most of us that come from the Asian sub-continent, or even Muslims of other countries, will be used to eating meat on a regular basis. I believe that in most Bangladeshi homes a chicken/lamb curry is a standard dish on most if not all meal times. Given this fact it is surprising to see how few of us actually care about where our meat actually comes from and whether it is truly ‘Halal’. Continue reading It’s Halal but is it Tayyib?

The Virtues of the month of Rajab: Articles and Links


Assalamu Alaikum,

Alhamdu Lillah we have just started the month of Rajab, which is one of the sacred months in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would begin his preparations for Ramadhan from this month with the following Dua:

“Allahuma Barik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa ballighna Ramadhan”

Translated as follows:

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan.” (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).

[Mentioned by Abu’ Nu’aim in the ‘Hilya’ from Anas Ibn Malik] Continue reading The Virtues of the month of Rajab: Articles and Links