Category Archives: Articles

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

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

Prophet Jesus (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) The Qur’anic Account


Excerpts from the Qur’an based on the Stories of the Prophets by Imam Ibn Kathir. Translation of the Qur’an based on Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation.

 

Introduction

I am reposting this from a post that I published back in 2007 as I believe that the Qur’anic account of the life of Jesus (peace be upon him) needs to be told and re-told to clarify some of the mysteries surrounding Jesus (peace be upon him) and to reclaim him as a Prophet of the Muslims.

Jesus is one of the revered Messengers of Go. Allah has mentioned the story of Mary and Jesus in many parts of the holy Qur’an. Below are some excerpts taken from the Qur’an to illustrate the Qur’anic narrative on the story of Jesus.

As this is the season of remembering Jesus I hope the following will be useful for both Christians and Muslims to reflect upon the story of this great Prophet of God.

Please refer to the ‘Stories of the Prophets’ by Ibn Kathir for a full account of the Muslim version of the tale.

You may also be interested in the notes from a talk a did a while back titled The Return of the Sun – The Truth About Jesus (PBUH)

Also of interest will be this documentary titled The Muslim Jesus  that was aired on ITV in 2007 and features our very own Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad

Keep us in your Duas

Was Salaam

Jashim

Facebook|Blog|Twitter|Shop

  Continue reading Prophet Jesus (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) The Qur’anic Account

Time for Action – What Can We Do?


Question: What is a person who is fed up with America’s murder of innocent Muslims all over the world supposed to do?

Answer: This is a valid and important question. I will make a few recommendations here.

1. Realize that you did not create the confusion, weakness and political incompetence that prevails in the Muslim world and that you are not responsible for or capable of fixing it. Oftentimes, we become stressed out over things beyond our control. Our Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, informed us, “From a person’s Islam being good is his leaving what does not concern him.” What we cannot control is not our concern. On the other hand there is much we are capable of doing here yet we oftentimes neglect those things. We will even run from what we can effectively influence to become caught up in events that we have no ability to influence at all. This is a formula for frustration and ineffective action.

2. Take advantage of the educational opportunities you have and train yourself to do something meaningful for the Muslims and humanity at large. Most people in the average Muslim society have no opportunity for higher education. Here in western societies we do have such opportunities. Instead of brooding about the situation of Muslims in various parts of the world, we should be educating ourselves to able to do something meaningful with our lives that can make a difference in theirs. It has been proven that knowledge indeed translates into power. We should be about the business of empowering ourselves.
3. Contribute in a meaningful way to the discourse that is shaping how Americans will view Islam. We should not assume that everyone in this country is inherently anti-Muslim. However, if we do not begin educating our fellow citizens about our religion, our community and the struggles of our people, an ever greater percentage of Americans will be prejudiced against Islam and we will have an extremely difficult time changing their attitudes. You can research to help provide refutations of the slanderous and defamatory ideas that are being passed off as Muslim principles and beliefs. You can write or blog. You can teach people about Islam in both formal and informal settings. You can arrange for classes and seminars in public places such as libraries, community centres and similarly places. You can give private presentations in the homes of friends, neighbours and relatives. You can organize book clubs to read and discuss books that portray Islam accurately.

4. Learn a skill that is needed in the Muslim world and spend part of your time serving people in other countries. Such skills may include medicine, nursing, computer science, sanitation engineering, environmental science, psychology (as the basis for therapeutic counselling), auto mechanics, etc. By serving in these areas you can contribute to the stability of Muslim societies that are being rendered damaged and dysfunctional by decades of unrelenting violence.

5. Help to serve the incarcerated, recent immigrants, poor, elderly and other populations whose lives are being ravaged by the corporate state. Building bridges with these populations will be a key to creating the kinds of coalitions that can push back in an effective way against the hegemonic socio-political machine that is attempting to actualize its control over all aspects of our lives. As the fiscal crisis of the capitalist state deepens there will be more and more people in need of various services. Muslims must step up to do our part in meeting those needs. This is one of the greatest things we can do to counter the vociferous anti-Muslim propaganda.
6. Join the work of those organizations whose political vision aims to bring people together and to overcome the divisions and rifts that have separated them. Such work can take place within the context of the electoral political system and in the context of grassroots political education and organization. There are also many Muslim advocacy groups that are springing up. Get involved with those groups and help to strengthen them both financially and in terms of their human resources.

7. Join the movement to humanize Muslims to the mainstream society with Muslim art and culture. This movement is powerful and is gaining momentum. The realms of effective communications in this regard include film, art, acceptable genres of music, poetry and many other vistas.

8. Get involved in the antiwar movement. Grassroots antiwar activism was instrumental in ending the Viet Nam war and it is the only thing that will end the so-called war on terror. There are many organizations and online initiatives that need help to enhance their efficacy. Muslims should be involved with such groups in great numbers if we are sincere in our desire to end a so-called war, which is leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent Muslims and the destruction of many Muslim societies.

These are just a few suggestions. There are many others. No young Muslim has an excuse to sitting around suffering from boredom waiting to be lured into a reactionary scheme that will only be used to set back Muslims both in this country and abroad.

From Imam Zaid Shakir’s Answers to “Would-be Mujahids”

Letter to a Would be Mujahid


Assalamu ‘Alaikum,

Please find below excerpt from Imam Zaid Shakir’s ‘Letter to a Would be Mujahid’.

“Along those lines, please allow me to remind you of something else. Your misguided attempts to kill and maim innocent Americans only make it easier for the American military to kill more Muslims with greater impunity. Your actions help to create a political climate that removes any moral restraint from the actions of the American military, the IDF and soon the forces of India’s increasingly Hindu nationalist armed forces. You see, fear is a very potent emotion and when it is carefully manipulated it can lead to very irrational politics. That most extreme form of those politics is called genocide.”

[Imam Zaid Shakir – Letter to a Would be Mujahid]

( http://www.newislamicdirections.com/nid/notes/letter_to_a_would-be_mujahid )

I found it to be an eye opener, especially the parts about how the FBI and CIA are encouraging/creating these Mujahideen in order to be able to justify their presence in the Muslim Lands and to vilify Islam and the Muslims.

Please have a read and forward to others.

Was Salam

Jashim

Islamopedia Shop|Facebook|Blog