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[Guest Post] Dying and Death are Painful and Hard


Golam RobbaniInnalillahi Wainnailairajun – From Allah we come and to Him we return.

By: Eden Care Volunteer

I am 48 years old and started as a volunteer with Eden Care UK a few years ago. I took part in over 136 burials with the Muslim Burial Fund and supported 42 Grenfell burials. Today was the first time I witnessed a brother die in front of me. The experience left me feeling numb and emotional, that is the best way I can describe my feelings. The experience upset me so much that I seriously considered leaving Eden Care.

I’ve done lots of challenging things in my life e.g. having guns pointed at me, knife attack, gang mediation, sexual exploitation, sexual assaults on children in my capacity as a Social Worker and other roles.

But death and dying work is on another level. I am usually a people’s person, and am able to make friends quickly. I like to work with those reaching the end life of their lives , I like to add value to their time while they are alive. But when my friends die, I find it difficult to handle. Continue reading [Guest Post] Dying and Death are Painful and Hard

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[Guest Post] 15th Night of Sha’ban


© By Sheikh Kazi Luthfur Rahhman – Imam and Kahteeb at London Central Mosque (Regent’s Park)  

From the great wisdoms of Allah the Almighty, he made some places more sacred than others and some moments more virtuous and meritorious than others. Human beings are created for nothing but to worship their creator. They have been created from weaknesses; yet they can achieve much in this world by the aid of their Lord. Allah the Almighty brings some moments throughout the year when he forgives the sins of his servants more generously and multiplies their rewards unaccountably.

Lailatun Nisf Min Sh’aban (15th Night of Sha’ban) which is known as Shab-E-Barat to many people is a virtuous moment of Allah which one should feel fortunate to be a part of. A number of Ahadeeth (prophetic statements) suggest the speciality and excellence of this great night. Even though most of the Ahadeeth that are related to the 15th Night of Sha’ban are considered as weak according to some Experts of Hadeeth; we still find a few Ahaadeeth which are considered authentic by early and contemporary specialists such as; Imam Ibnu Hibban, Imam Al-Baihaqi, Allamah Zafar Ahmed Uthmani and Sheikh Al-Albani Rahimahumullah (May Allah Shower his Mercy Upon Them).

Weak Hadeeth is a term used in the science of Hadeeth which comes in different categories. The criteria of Hadeeth specialists was extremely strict, to the extent that they would easily classify a Hadeeth as weak if they saw one of the narrators merely consuming food while walking. The reason for this may be that eating and drinking while walking is disliked in Islam unless it is a necessity. Hence it is not the weakness that one may think. Rather it is a term in the Science of Hadeeth which must be understood correctly.

Also, the scholars of Hadeeth have different opinions with regards to the application of a weak Hadeeth. According a big number of experts, the weak Hadeeth can be practiced and applied as long as it is there to support an already-established virtuous deed. However, it cannot be relied upon individually to derive any Fiqhi Ruling (Islamic Law) such as Halal or Haram.

Imam An-Nawai, a Great Shafi’e Scholar mentioned in his famous book Al-Majmoo’:

 قدمنا اتفاق العلماء على العمل بالحديث الضعيف في فضائل الأعمال دون الحلال والحرام.

Which means: we have presented the anonymous agreement of the scholars on the permissibility to act upon a weak Hadeeth related to virtuous deeds only without the issues of Halal or Haram.

Imam Ibnu Muflih, a famous Hanbali Scholar mentioned in his book Al-Adaab Al-Sharyi’ah:

والذي قطع به غير واحد ممن صنف في علوم الحديث حكاية عن العلماء أنه يعمل بالحديث الضعيف في ما ليس فيه تحليل ولا تحريم كالفضائل، وعن الإمام أحمد ما يوافق هذا.

Which means: what has been affirmed by more than one authored books in the Science of Hadeeth is that, it is permissible to act upon a weak Hadeeth related to virtuous deeds only and not the issues of Halal or Haram. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has also agreed to this.

Imam Muhammad Al-Hattab, a Genius Maliki Scholar wrote in his significant book Mawahib Al-Jalil Fi Sharhi Mukhtasar Al-Khaleel:

    اتفق العلماء على جواز العمل بالحديث الضعيف في فضائل الأعمال.

Which means: The scholars have agreed upon the permissibility of acting upon a weak Hadeeth that are related to Fadail Al-A’mal (Virtious Deeds).

There are a small number of scholars who preferred not to act upon a weak Hadeeth such as Imam Yahya Ibnu Ma’een, Imam Abu-Bakr Ibnul Arabi and Imam Ibnu Hazm Az-Zahiri. Interestingly, Scholars such Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal and Imam Abu-Dawud As-Sajistani consider the absolute permissibility of benefiting from weak Hadeeth wether in virtuous deeds or in deriving the Fiqhi Rulings.

Part of the honesty of a preacher is to mention the difference of opinions of the reliable scholars, especially in sensitive matters, while spreading the knowledge in order to minimise the confusion and division of the Muslims which is a primary cause of their sufferings today.

It is worth mentioning a term in the Science of Hadeeth known as “Hasan Li Ghairihi” which means when a weak Hadeeth that is narrated through many different chains of narrations can give it the strength of an authentic Hadeeth.

Virtues of 15th Night of Sh’aban which are mentioned in Prophetic Statements:

ما رواه البيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن أبي ثعلبة الخشني رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” إذا كان ليلة النصف من شعبان اطلع الله إلى خلقه، فيغفر للمؤمنين، ويملي للكافرين، ويدع أهل الحقد بحقدهم حتى يدعوه” ورواه الطبراني، وحسنه الألباني- رحمه الله- في صحيح الجامع برقم 771

On the authority of Abu-Tha’labah Al-Khashani Radiallahu Anhu that, the Messenger of Allah PBUH said:

“Allah looks over at his creation and forgives all the believers on the 15th Night of Sha’ban except for the one who begrudges and hates. He leaves them in their enmity.”

[Narrated by Al-Baihaqi and authenticated by Sheikh Al-Albani Rahimahullah]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ فَقَدْتُ النَّبِيَّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ فَخَرَجْتُ أَطْلُبُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ بِالْبَقِيعِ رَافِعٌ رَأْسَهُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ يَا عَائِشَةُ أَكُنْتِ تَخَافِينَ أَنْ يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكِ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ قَدْ قُلْتُ وَمَا بِي ذَلِكَ وَلَكِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّكَ أَتَيْتَ بَعْضَ نِسَائِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى يَنْزِلُ لَيْلَةَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَيَغْفِرُ لأَكْثَرَ مِنْ عَدَدِ شَعَرِ غَنَمِ كَلْبٍ.

Sayeedah Aishah Radiallahu Anha said:

“I lost the Holy Prophet during one night and found him in Al-Baqee cemetery.” He said: “Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you?” I said: “Allah’s Messenger, I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives.” He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world on the 15th Night of Sha’ban and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb.”

[Narrated by Tirmidhi, Ibnu Majah]

عن عائشة قالت: قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من الليل يصلي، فأطال السجود حتى ظننت أنه قد قبض، فلما رأيت ذلك، قمت حتى حركت إبهامه، فتحرك، فرجعت، فلما رفع رأسه من السجود وفرغ من صلاته، فقال: ” يا عائشة، أو يا حميراء ظننت أن النبي قد خاس بك ” قلت: لا والله يا نبي الله ولكني ظننت أنك قبضت لطول سجودك فقال: ” أتدرين أي ليلة هذه؟ ” قلت: الله ورسوله أعلم، قال: ” هذه ليلة النصف من شعبان، فيغفر للمستغفرين ويرحم المسترحمين ويؤخر أهل الحقد كما هم.

Aishah (Radiallahu Anha) said:

“The holy Prophet Mohammed (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood up in prayer during part of the night and made his prostration so lengthy that I thought his soul had been taken back. When I saw this I got up and went to move his big toe, whereupon he moved, so I drew back. When he raised his head from prostration and finished praying, He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “O A’isha, O fair little one (Humayrah)! Did you think that the Prophet had broken his agreement with you?” She replied: “No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah, but I thought that your soul had been taken back because you stayed in prostration for so long.” He said: “Do you know what night this is?” She said: “Allah and His Prophet know best.” He said: “This is the 15th Night of Sha’ban! Verily Allah the Glorious and Majestic look at His servants on the Middle Night of Sh’aban, and He forgives those who ask forgiveness, and He bestows mercy on those who ask mercy, and He gives a delay to the people of envy and spite in their state.”

[Narrated By Imam Al-Baihaqi]

Allamah Mufti Taqi Al-Usmani, a Great Contemporary Scholar of Hadeeth and Fiqh wrote the following statement in his famous article ” Sha’ban: Merits, Do’s, and Dont’s” after mentioning some of the Ahadeeth related to 15th Night of Sh’aban:

‘Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night.’

Imam Ibnu Taimiyah Rahimahullah , another giant of Islam has mentioned in his famous book “Rasail Wa Fatawa Ibn Taimiya Fil Fiqh”:

‘As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the sahabahs) regarding its virtues. It has been reported of the Salaf (pious predecessors) that they prayed on this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the Salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind cannot be denied.’

One should observe the 15th Night of Sha’ban individually by offering extra Nafl Prayers, Recitation of the holy Quran, Adhkaar (Rememberence of Allah) and Duaas (Supplication). Also, It is extremely important for a Muslim to refrain from any innovative and excessive activities such as offering a special prayer for that night, extra decoration and lighting, considering it as a night of celebration and spending the whole night in congregation in the mosque etc.

NB: If you follow the Wifaqul Ulama calendar then the night of the 15th of Sha’ban this year falls on Tuesday 1st of May 2018.  

If you would like to write a guest article for Islamopedia, you can contact us on mail@islamopedia.co.uk

[Guest Post] Helping Those in Need


Helping Those in Need

by Lorna Havell

How Islam Helps Those in Need 1Helping others is a positive trait and something that we should all aim towards. Endeavouring to achieve a state of equilibrium with our friends and neighbours is something to be honoured and respected – only when we work together will we truly be able to create a better society and a brighter future for our children. By following the teachings of Islam and committing to work towards shaping ourselves into better people, we are able to do our bit to help those who are less fortunate than us.

As good Muslims, we must all follow our faith and endeavour to help the people around us as Allah (SWT) has helped us. Luckily, there are many different ways in which you can begin the process of helping the people around you, both in your local community and much further afield. After all, just because we may not be able to personally see the effects of poverty and other situations across the world, it doesn’t mean that these people don’t need our help and assistance. As we are in a position to be able to help, it is our duty to support our vulnerable or less fortunate brothers and sisters.

To help make sure that you are on the right track and to get started on helping others, here are some suggestions for ways that you can get involved and do your bit.

Charity Donations

Donating to charity is an excellent way to make sure that your generosity reaches the people who need it most. Whether you choose an Islamic charity or a local charity, being generous is a great way to share your good fortune with others. In addition, donations can range from monetary funding to donating your time through volunteering or similar schemes. This is great for those who want to do their bit but are limited by a lack of funding.

Even if it is just an hour a fortnight, for example, volunteering and donating a portion of your time can provide a real boost to vulnerable people in need. For instance, taking the time to organise a fundraising event or helping out at a local charity shop can help many people, whereas spending an hour simply chatting to a lonely elderly person can provide a significant benefit to one person in need.

Sharing your Good Fortune

How Islam Helps Those in Need 2In addition to donating your time or money, there are other ways in which you can share your own good fortune with others. Sharing wealth and food are great places to start – whether it is through donating your Zakat or Qurbani at the right time of year or simply helping to feed the hungry, there are always plenty of opportunities to commit to helping out the vulnerable both close to home and across the world.

For instance, even just helping to raise awareness by breaking a world record can provide a real positive impact, not to mention the added boost it can bring to vulnerable people. After all, breaking a world record such as making the largest samosa in the world may seem like a fun way to get involved with charity, but once the record has been broken, this samosa can then help to feed hungry people and the homeless – the people who are most in need of our help and support.

However you choose to help out, the most important thing is that you continue to support the people around you in any way that you can. Islam teaches us to be kind, caring and compassionate, and so, therefore, it is our duty to ensure that we uphold these values as best we can.

If you would like to write a guest article for Islamopedia, you can contact us on mail@islamopedia.co.uk

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 The First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

The Sermon of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on the last Jumu’ah of Sha’ban


The Sermon of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on the last Jumu’ah of Sha’ban

On the authority of Salman al Farsi (May Allah be pleased with him) it is narrated that during the last Jumu’ah of the month of Sha’ban the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) delivered a Khutba (sermon) in which he said:

‘O people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day, and has made Sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such a person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a Fardh (Obligatory act) in any other time. And whoever performs a Fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy Faraa-idh in any other time.

This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (Paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq (sustenance) is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and freedom from the fire of Jahannum (hellfire), and for such a feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.”

Thereupon we said, “O Messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” (They were at the time under the impression that Rasullulah (peace and blessings be upon him) referred to a full meal). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied: “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk (for Iftar).”

“This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy (i.e. the first 10 days), the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings freedom from the fire of Hell.”

“Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (or those under his authority) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Hell.”

“And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa ilaha illallah) and make much Istighfaar (repentance, beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astagfirullah). And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into Paradise and ask refuge in Him from the Hellfire.”

“And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that a person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.”

[Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh]

Source: Adapted from the article on https://dailyreminders.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/the-sermon-of-rasullulahsaw-on-the-last-jumuah-of-shaban/

 

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