Ramadan: Reflecting on the Great Opportunity – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin highlights the great opportunity to draw closer to Allah in Ramadan and gain salvation. He urges us to increase our aspirations for the good.

One of the things that scholars often say about Ramadan is that Ramadan is a school. It’s like an intensive course. And it’s really important whenever we engage in something of benefit or something that has long-term repercussions that we come prepared.

That we come in having that intention and having that drive to make the most of this Ramadan. And one of the ways that we make the most of Ramadan is through learning about the blessings and benefits that Allah bestows in Ramadan, because Ramadan is very unique. What we get from Allah and the opportunities that we have in Ramadan are something that we will not get outside of it.

Although there are other opportunities, obviously, it’s not quite the same. Another thing is having some sort of plan. Having some sort of schedule. Having goals that you implement or that you plan within yourself so that you come out on the other side in a better state.

And lastly, preparing for it in a way that’s pleasing to Allah: making sure that we properly fulfill this important pillar of Islam.

The Look of Forgiveness

Allah Most High looks upon His servants in the month of Ramadan. That means that on the first night of Ramadan and throughout the month of Ramadan that Allah looks at certain servants and whoever Allah looks at it is a look of mercy. It is a look of forgiveness, meaning that Allah will not punish them after that.

Human beings are funny creatures when we have these opportunities. People buy lotto tickets every day. That’s obviously haram, but people do it all the time because it’s just like that one chance that I might hit it big. I’m gonna keep buying this, you know? As Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad says: “It’s a tax on stupidity.”

I don’t want to be mean to people who buy a lot of tickets but human beings are like that. We want to pay one dollar and to get a million dollars. We want these kinds of like get-rich-quick things. But the amazing thing is that Allah, time and time and time again, gives us opportunities for great rewards and we sleep on it because we don’t see the immediate benefits.

Greater Than a Thousand Months

But Allah Most High has has made Ramadan so special that within it there is a night that we’re all aware of that is greater than a thousand months. It’s not greater than a thousand nights, it’s greater than a thousand months. That’s 83 years.

You pray one nafila. It’s as if you prayed that nafila for 83 years. You give one dollar in charity. It’s as if you’ve given that charity for 83 years. You read Qur’an on that day. It’s as if you’ve been rewarded for that recitation for 83 years.

So look at the the blessing that Allah has bestowed upon the Umma of His beloved Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. That’s one of the secrets as to why the lifespan of the Umma is so short. Whereas previous people’s lifespans were much longer.

The Best of All Ummas

How can we be the best Umma when we don’t live long enough and achieve the accomplishments that people who worshiped Allah for hundreds of years achieved? Because we have things like Layla al Qadr. We have things like the day of Arafa. Days like the days of Ashura.

Allah has given us so many opportunities. It’s a sign of Allah’s generosity and mercy. But one of the dangers is that when Allah is generous, if we don’t honor that generosity, we put ourselves in a very precarious position. It’s as if someone says: Here I’m giving you something. You say: Oh, thanks. And you throw it to the side. The person says: I just gave you that. Why do you throw it aside like that?

That’s not the way you should value it. When Allah gives us this opportunity, we have to value it. We have to take advantage of it. Maybe our salvation depends on it. Maybe Allah has decreed for us that this Ramadan will be that Ramadan our names are recorded in the record books of those who will be freed from the Fire. Maybe. Insha Allah. So we have to expose ourselves.

True Hope in Allah

The scholars say: What does it mean to have hope in Allah? Nowadays people have a lot of false hope. – Allah is merciful. He’ll forgive me. — That’s not hope. That is not what is meant by having hope in Allah.

True hope in Allah is that you exert yourself to the utmost hoping that Allah will reward you generously. That you seek Allah’s forgiveness hoping that you will be of those that He forgives. That’s what hope is. You hope for the greatest of what Allah gives and you strive for it.

It’s like someone wants to make money. “I have all these hopes and dreams. I want to make money. I want to get a job. I want to get married.” But they sit at home all day playing video games. How do you expect to achieve that?

Well, you work at it and see what doors Allah opens and strive to implement those hopes. And make those hopes into a reality through having a plan, through working hard. That’s how it’s done. That’s how we enter into the month of Ramadan.

 


Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/


Ramadan With a Focus – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains that everything we do in Ramadan, and in our lives, should express love for Allah, in the ways beloved to Allah.

The believer rejoices every time they recognize a blessing of the blessings of Allah. The attitude by which we approach a blessing from Allah is by rejoicing. And rejoicing is a command from Allah. “Say! In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice. It is far better than all that they amass.” (Sura Yunus 10:58)

Consider how we rejoice in the things that we amass, e.g. a new car, a new house, the person you always wanted to marry and they finally said, yes. We rejoice when things like this happen, but Allah tells us that the believer truly rejoices in the bounty of Allah and His mercy.

Rejoicing in the bounty of Allah should be a constant state with the believer. Allah’s bounty and His mercy is there and manifest at every moment. This is why our beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was ever rejoicing.

Cheerfulness and Sorrow

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, gathered two amazing and seemingly contradictory qualities at the same time. It is transmitted that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, “was constantly cheerful yet always in sorrow.” How can that be?

The reason is that his cheerfulness, Allah bless him and give him peace, was not a worldly cheer, just as his sorrow was not a worldly sorrow, Allah bless him and give him peace. His cheerfulness and his joy, Allah bless him and give him peace, was with Allah. They were with his recognition, Allah bless him and give him peace, of Allah’s bounty and mercy that is manifest at every moment.

At the same time if you consider the greatness, the magnificence, the tremendous nature of your Lord, you would feel the burden of responsibility. That is what is expressed in the sorrow of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. You would be humbled by the greatness of your Lord. But the human being forgets.

Forgetful Being

They say the human being is called insan because it is given to nisyan (forgetfulness). We forget our Lord. We forget our Creator. We forget the One who has bestowed us with all these blessings. So Allah sends us opportunities to reconnect, to reawaken, to renew that bond that we have with Him.

And of the greatest of the opportunities is this Ramadan that is around the corner. If we pause and ponder why we fast, why we come to the masjid for tarawih, and why we go out of our way to do all the things we do in Ramadan, we should never forget that our actions are forms that are given life by the intention behind them.

The Reality of an Act

The reality of what you do is not the act. The reality is the why. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Actions are by their intentions. And each person shall only have what they intended.” That is an amazing opportunity. What will you get for your fast? Whatever you intended.

It is a blank check from Allah Most High. You can write whatever you want in it. This is an amazing gift of mercy. So, grab this opportunity and consider your intention. Consider what it is you wish to get out of your fast. Your Lord tells you, you can have whatever you want.

But remember, there is also a warning. Allah says that each person shall only have what they intended. It is very possible that you get very little out of it.

Be careful of what you intend and be sure to make the most of it.


Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/


How To Make Your Fast Last – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the fundamentals of fasting and recommends that we make a habit of reviewing them before Ramadan.

The central verses on fasting in the Qur’an are four. They are found in Sura al Baqara 2:183-185 and 187:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

O believers, prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those that were before you – haply you will be godfearing –

for days numbered; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; and for those who are able to fast, a redemption by feeding a poor man. Yet better it is for him who volunteers good, and that you should fast is better for you, if you but know;

the month of Ramadan, wherein the Koran was sent down to be a guidance to the people, and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Salvation. So let those of you, who are present at the month, fast it; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you; and that you fulfil the number, and magnify God that He has guided you, and haply you will be thankful.

Permitted to you, upon the night of the Fast, is to go in to your wives; – they are a vestment for you, and you are a vestment for them. God knows that you have been betraying yourselves, and has turned to you and pardoned you. So now lie with them, and seek what God has prescribed for you. And eat and drink, until the white thread shows clearly to you from the black thread at the dawn; then complete the Fast unto the night, and do not lie with them while you cleave to the mosques. Those are God’s bounds; keep well within them. So God makes clear His signs to men; haply they will be godfearing. (Arberry)

The spiritual aims of fasting, or the key lessons of Ramadan, can be gleaned from these verses and they are three:

    1. 1. Mindfulness [of Allah] (taqwa)

 

    1. 2. Thankfulness [toward Allah] (shukr)

 

    3. Magnification [of Allah] (takbir)

The Salient Point

It is important to note that in the midst of all these verses concerning the fast, Allah says in Sura al Baqara verse 186:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My servants question thee concerning Me – I am near to answer the call of the caller, when he calls to Me; so let them respond to Me, and let them believe in Me; haply so they will go aright.

Here, Allah emphasizes the fact that the aims and acts of fasting as described in the surrounding verses culminate in the realization of faith.

It means that the three aims mentioned above spring from this realization of the servant in answering the call of their Lord and Creator. This act of realization on the part of the servant is what brings them near to Allah.

There is no movement on the part of Allah, only a movement toward Allah on the part of the servant. Allah is close to the servant. It is the servant who is distant from Allah.

Fasting Is the Unveiling of the Real

As Ibn Ata’illah says: “The Most Real is not veiled from you. It is you who are veiled from Him.”

We are veiled from Allah by our heedlessness, our lack of concern, our lack of turning to Him. Nothing veils Allah Most High, because if anything veiled Him it would limit Him – would have sway of Him. And He is the One who has sway over all things.

We wrong ourselves when we are distant from Allah Most High. This “unveiling” on our part is what fasting is meant to nurture – even by the very reality of the hunger we experience. It makes clear to us our neediness.

Our ultimate need in every single moment of existence is for Allah.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersHub in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Support SeekersHub Global in our effort to bring the light of Prophetic Guidance to Muslims everywhere completely free of charge.


Remembering the Sunna to Find Love – Habib Kadhim al Saqqaf

Habib Kadhim states that it is an obligation for a Muslim to reach a high level of love for Allah and His Messenger. This can be achieved by following the Sunna of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds. And peace and mercy be upon the most noble of prophets and messengers: our master and beloved, our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his good and pure family and elected companions—and upon all those who follow them with excellence until the Day we meet You, O Lord of the worlds. And may we be included among them and with them, through His mercy. Truly, He is the Most Merciful and the Most Generous.

Among the greatest of Allah’s favors on His Muslim slave, and from the greatest blessings of this glorious religion is when a Muslim actualizes their love for Allah and for His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, his family, and companions.

This refined sense of love for the Generous Lord and for His great Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, is the spirit of this religion, and the spirit of acts of worship, and it is a individual obligation upon every male and female Muslim.

Love of Allah and His Messenger

It is an obligation for a Muslim to reach the levels of love for Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. And our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, prescribed words, actions, and traits that allow a Muslim who follows his Sunna to reach to the reality of this lofty degree of faith and high sanctified state of loving Allah the Glorious and Majestic. And what is greater than that Allah will love him?

Many Qur’anic verses and Prophetic narrations indicate this trait of belief in the hearts of the Muslims from the Umma of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace. The greatest and easiest path that allows the Muslim man and Muslim woman to reach love of Allah and His Messenger is by following the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. As our Lord informed us in His Wise Book by His saying:

Say [O Prophet], ‘If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is most forgiving, most merciful.

When we reflect on this great Qur’anic description which is full of mercy and compassion for Allah’s servants, our Lord informs us that if we want His love, Majestic and Exalted is He, then we must follow the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, according to our ability, for each and every Muslim man and woman in their environment or in their home.

The Door to Allah’s Love

The door to attaining Allah’s love and a way to increase one’s love for the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, is following the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and to remove any obstacles that block Muslims from higher and more sacred and refined levels of faith.

When we ponder the Qur’an, our Lord, Glorious and Exalted, informs us that the relationships that exist between the Muslim and those around him or the way a Muslim interacts with others in general, that these relationships could prevent or delay one from attaining the love of Allah.

Positive relationships rooted in one’s faith that a Muslim has with his father, relatives, spouse, with the environment he lives within — these help one reach this exalted and refined love of Allah. As Allah the Glorious and Exalted says:

Say [Prophet], ‘If your fathers, sons, brothers, wives, tribes, the wealth you have acquired, the trade which you fear will decline, and the dwellings you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger…then wait…

So we see these as obstacles that could delay one from attaining love of Allah the Exalted and His Messenger (peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, his family, and companions).

On the other hand, these relationships can be rooted in faith, radiant, and positive thereby assist one in attaining Allah’s love. For a Muslim to have a good relationship with his or her parents is a way to attaining Allah’s love and the love of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his Companions.

A Great and Lofty Goal

In this brief lesson, we exhibit this great attribute of faith and lofty goal that every Muslim should strive to actualize in their lives and seek from their Lord the Exalted, as we’ve been taught by the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

Every Muslim should make it a goal in their lives to reach this refined level of love for Allah and His Messenger, so that the moment of death does not come to him and he is lowered into his grave except that he has is a lover of Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace.

The first means that helps one attain this love is following the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and Companions, in blessed days, such as Ramadan and other sacred months, and throughout the year.

For in these seasons acts of righteousness have greater blessing, reward, and affect on the heart of the Muslim.

The Blessed Month of Ramadan

This occurs in Ramadan, the sacred months, and the month in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and Companions, was born.

Therefore, firstly, a Muslim must have the lofty goal in this life, through the affects of righteous actions, to attain the love of Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. And not leave this world or enter his grave without being a lover of Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace.

When a Muslim actualizes this attribute, death comes to him and he yearns and loves to meet Allah, and Allah loves to meet him.

How does one attain this? There are a number of means and actions that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, prescribed for us to do and taught us, that if we perform we will attain love of Allah the Glorious and Exalted.

Which means that we will love Allah the Exalted—and greater than that is Allah the Exalted will love us.

Attaining the Love of Allah

From among what the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, prescribed are qualities we need to actualize. If we actualize these qualities then Allah the Exalted will love us.

From among what he prescribed are actions that we need to perform, and if we perform them then we attain the love of Allah. Another means prescribed are statements we must say and repeat abundantly so that their lights and blessings reach our hearts, which then help us reach the love of Allah the Glorious and Majestic and we become beloved to Allah.

Also, pay attention how a Muslim cannot truly love Allah until Allah the Glorious and Exalted loves him. Our Lord the Exalted says:

You who believe, if any of you go back on your faith, Allah will soon replace you with people He loves and who love Him.

Look, O Muslim, how Allah mentioned His love for His servants before mentioning the servants’ love for Allah because a person cannot truly love Allah until Allah the Glorious and Exalted loves them.

Allah Reminds You to Rememeber

A person cannot remember Allah until Allah reminds them. A person cannot turn to Allah until Allah turns towards them. Or to put it another way, they cannot turn to Allah until Allah manifests Himself with His Name, Al Tawwab, so then the lights of repentance and regret take place in the person’s heart so they turn back to Allah and they take the means of turning to Him through saying: Astaghfirullah.

Our Lord says at the beginning of Sura Hūd:

Ask your Lord for forgiveness, then turn back to Him. He will grant you wholesome enjoyment.

So by having a foothold in seeking Allah’s forgiveness, one reaches the station of turning to Allah. And in the station of turning to Allah, through actualization, one attains the fruits of love.

As our Lord has told us, Glorious and Exalted:

Allah loves those who turn to Him, and He loves those who keep themselves clean.

So we can summarize this great and important subject within the religion, love of Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, by taking the means to it.

What is the most important means to it? Following the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, as indicated by the Qur’anic text.

Words Beloved to Allah

Another aspect of this love is that Allah will love you and if Allah loves you, you will know some of the meanings of your shared love for Him as well, O Muslim. Another means are certain statements that we can utter.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, tells us in authenticated Hadiths some of the statements that are beloved to Allah.

What does it mean that these statements are beloved to Allah? That whoever abundantly says these statements becomes beloved to Allah and helps one reach the love of Allah.

The explanation of love of Allah is a broad and lengthy subject; it is an immense ocean, of which Imam al Ghazali has dedicated an entire book within his great work Ihya Ulum al-Deen, called the “Book of Love, Intimacy, Longing, and Contentment” due to the subtleties of this love and the its difficulty for some people to understand.

Is Love More Than Obedience?

Some scholars even denied this kind love and said that “Love is obedience. By obeying Allah, fulfilling the obligations and voluntary act of worship—this is love!”

They denied that there are any other refined feelings that a believer would feel towards Allah the Exalted. It is more refined than the feelings a man has for his wife, and greater than the feelings a parents has for his children, and greater than other any feelings of love one may have for people.

It is a refined love that is rooted in transmission and in the intellect, rooted in the Qur’an and the Sunna, and rooted in the lives of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad , Allah bless him and give him peace.

Love of the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, was clear and simple, and during the lives of the noble Companions, all their hearts, both men and women, were overflowing with love.

What might be difficult for some to understand is the love of Allah the Glorious and Exalted, but when we read the Qur’an with deep reflection we find that this love is a rooted matter in the Book of Allah the Exalted. We see this in the verse from Sura al Ma’ida in which Allah the Exalted says,

You who believe, if any of you go back on your faith, Allah will soon replace you with people He loves and who love Him.

This verse confirms that there are people who love of Allah, and whom Allah the Exalted loves.

The Qur’an on Love

So the way to reach this love is through reflection upon the verses of the Qur’an and through following the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, in all times and periods, especially during the seasons of goodness when righteous acts bear more fruit, bring greater reward, and have a more immediate affect on the heart of the believer, such as the sacred months, as we mentioned, and during the great month of Ramadan.

Firstly, we should ponder the qualities mentioned:

Allah loves those who turn to Him, and He loves those who keep themselves clean.” “Allah loves those who act with excellence.

We find that there are qualities, if a member of the Umma actualizes them, Allah will love them, Muslim man or Muslim woman. Whoever actualizes the quality of excellence (ihsan): perfecting worship, perfecting obedience, and perfecting everything that is beloved to Allah the Exalted. Repentance: whoever continuously turns towards Allah becomes beloved to Allah.

Purity: whoever remains in a state of purity, whether inward or outward purity. Purifying the heart from dishonesty, hatred, pride, vanity—which corrupt a person’s relationships with those around him and nullify righteous deeds with Allah. We cannot have pride, because it belongs to Allah the Glorious and Majestic.

The Way of the Servant is Humility

The way of the servant and of humanity is humility, and we are all servants of Allah, or slaves. Those who are upon the Way of Prophecy are called servants, and those who strayed from the Way of Prophecy are called slaves in the Quran.

As your Lord the Glorious and Exalted says:

Your Lord is never unjust to His slaves.

So we must actualize the qualities mentioned. Then we must abundantly say the words that are beloved to Allah: Subhan Allah, and Al-hamdu lillah, and la ilaha illa Allah, and Allahu Akbar

“The most beloved statements to Allah are four,” the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Subhan Allah, Al hamdu lillah, la ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar. There is no harm in starting with whichever you choose.”

He also said: “Two statements that are beloved to the Most Merciful, easy on the tongue, weighty on the scales: Subhan Allah wa bi hamdihi, Subhan Allah al adheem.”

These are two great statements whose affect on the heart of the believer is immense in illuminating the heart and in actualizing the love of Allah and Allah’s love for him.

The Secrets of Ikhlas

Additionally, abundantly reciting Sura al Ikhlas. It has come in narration that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said about a man who would recite Sura al Ikhlas abundantly, “Tell him that Allah the Exalted loves him.” Therefore, we should recite it in abundance.

We should send invocations of Allah’s peace and mercy upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

We should not allow our following the Sunna and worship only to be limited to the in the great month of Ramadan. We should follow even the detailed aspects of the Sunna in Ramadan, for there are Sunnas that are specific to Ramadan, such as breaking our fast by eating dates or praying Tarawih.

If a person follows even these specific Sunnas — like eating an odd number of dates when breaking one’s fast in Ramadan, or praying the Witr prayer, then this person will attain the secrets of this religion like Laylat al-Qadr because his heart will then be prepared to attain the blessings of Laylat al-Qadr.

He breaks his fast on an odd number of dates and prays the Witr prayer, and Laylat al-Qadr comes on one of the odd nights.

Following the Sunna

So following the Sunna of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, in all seasons, and especially during the sacred months and Ramadan, has the fastest effect on the heart of the individual, until his heart experiences the love of Allah and the greatness of these acts of worship, and he will experience Allah’s love for him and Allah’s being with this person.

We ask Allah that He actualizes us and this Muslim Umma in love of Allah the Glorious and Exalted, and that He makes us of those beloved to Allah and followers of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

And that we worship Allah in all states and not, like some people who worship Allah in Ramadan and follow the Sunna in Ramadan, but when Ramadan is over he forgets the Sunna of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

The statement applies to this kind of person: “Whoever worships Ramadan, Ramadan has ended. And whoever worships the Lord of Ramadan, He is Everlasting and never fades.”

Our Lord is One

So the Lord we worship in Ramadan, He is the same outside of Ramadan. And our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, whose Sunna we give life to in Ramadan, we should give life to outside of Ramadan.

We ask Allah that He prepares our hearts for this exalted love and that He gives us felicity through it in this life, and in the hereafter after death, and in Paradise with our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the elect of Allah’s righteous servants, and all praise belongs to Allah.


Habib Kadhim currently teaches at the prestigious Islamic institute, Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim as well as sitting on the Council for Legal Verdicts at the same establishment.

Find out more about SeekersHub Global at http://seekershub.org/

Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses, through Knowledge Without Barriers. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/


Blessings of Allah: Khutba – Shaykh Faid Mohammad Said

Shaykh Said Mohammad Said gave this Khutba on 4 May 2018 at the Finsbury Park Masjid, London, UK.

The khutba centers on the blessings of Allah and how they are innumerable.

How if someone were to busy themselves with counting the innumerable blessings of Allah they would be happy.

They would be blessed in doing so because

1) they would be busying themselves with remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, and
2) their task would go on forever without end.

So, listen to this khutba. Remember Allah. Count His innumerable blessings and thank Him, and thank Him for thanking Him. For that too is but one more of His blessings.


With gratitude to The Nur Official.


Finding Allah Through Fasting – Dr Umar Faruq Abd Allah

Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah reminds us of the ultimate purpose of fasting Ramadan: to find Allah Most High.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

I did not create jinn and mankind except to worship Me. (Sura al Dhariya 51:56)

So we were created to do this. We were created to fast. We were created to pray. We were created to pay zakat. We were created to make Ramadan and Hajj and to do other types of worship like dhikr and like vows that bring us close to Allah, and so forth.

Ramadan: The Great Guest

The month of Ramadan is a great month. It is the great guest that we all welcome every year with fervor. And it’s an amazing thing that although this is the time of the year which physically is the most demanding on the Muslims as an Umma, it is the time of the year that we all welcome with great joy and great fervor. And may you find that joy in your heart every single day and every single night of this month.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace said, that patience (sabr) or endurance is half of faith. People who do not have sabr, they cannot believe in Allah. We have got to be able to do the things that the belief requires, and we have to be able to avoid the things the belief requires us to avoid. And that is an act of sabr, of patience and perseverance.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace said, said that fasting is half of sabr, so therefore that also makes fasting one-quarter of Iman.

The Gate of Worship

And the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace said, said that fasting is the gate of worship (bab al ‘ibada). And he urged his blessed wife Aisha, Allah be pleased with her, to always keep knocking at the door of God. So she asked what is that door. And the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace said, said it is hunger. That is, it is fasting.

So we ask that we utilize this month properly. This is a great month. This is a unique opportunity. And this is what our lives are all about. The month of Ramadhan is of course conspicuously the month of fasting, because that is the main thing that we do during the daylight hours. Of course also it is the month of prayer because during this month standing up in prayer doing tarawih is one of its important elements.

We want to join these two together with the same intensity and never forget that the same wisdom that is there in the divine legislation for fasting is also there in the divine imperative that we pray special prayers in Ramadan.

Making Up for Lost Prayers

Of course we need to remind ourselves that some of us may have had lapses in our lives and there may have been days and years when we didn’t pray. And if that’s the case, then in Ramadan and also at other times of the year, you should have a very diligent program to be making up all the prayers that you missed.

Because this is a debt that you owe to Allah. And in the month of Ramadan, if you have prayers that you haven’t made that’s what you should be doing. You should be making them up and not praying tarawih when others are praying tatarawih. You should be making up your prayers.

This is very, very important: until the obligatory prayers are made up there is no room for voluntary or for supererogatory prayers. You have to focus just on the obligatory prayers and then making up those prayers that have been missed.

You need to sit down you need to make a list. You need to determine reasonably how many prayers did you miss and then begin to work at that. Keep a record of what you’re doing in any case. This is a great month. The act of worship, of prayer, is one that is in its entirety and act of heedfulness.

Practice Heedfulness with Each Breath

In prayer we go into the prayer with Allahu Akbar. We invoke Allah to envelop us in the Hadra, in the presence of His absolute greatness that makes all creation fade in His glory and greatness.

And when we pray we aspire to attain that kind of prayer that the great Sahaba and the great Salaf had in which they would not even be aware of who was on their right hand or their left hand as they prayed and they wouldn’t be thinking about anything but Allah until they came out of it. That’s the nature of prayer.

One of the amazing things about fasting is that fasting doesn’t require that kind of total
heedfulness. The more heedful that you are in fasting then the greater the fast is, the more lofty it becomes, the more fulfilling. So we should be heedful of every breath we take in the days of Ramadan. Every moment that we spend.

The mere fact of giving up our passions for food and drink and marital relations and the other things that are not allowed during the time of fasting, this in itself is sufficient to plant the seed of heedfulness, so that it grows into a great tree that bears fruit.


Help seekersguidance spread the light of guidance to millions around the world by supporting us through monthly donation by going to http://www.seekershub.org/donate – your donations are tax deductible in the US and Canada.


Turning Back to Allah – Ustadh Abdullah Misra

Ustadh Abdullah mentions that throughout the year we can get distracted by the Dunya and that we should use Ramadan as an opportunity turn back to Allah.

Throughout the year, because of our busy lives and schedules, we tend to lose sight of our purpose here on earth. It becomes a struggle each day sometimes just to get the basics in on what we have to do. Our prayers, avoiding the haram, these types of things.

The sins and regrets pile up. The things one wishes one could have done. At times the times for reflection become few and fast. We don’t really have time to sit back and reflect on our relationship with Allah.

Allah’s Immense Generosity

Then out of His immense generosity and mercy Allah gives us a time to start over, once a year: the month of Ramadan. To turn over a new page in our relationship with Him. To ask Him for His mercy and for things that we never thought we could do or experience outside of the Month of Ramadan.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

The one who fasts Ramadan out of faith and out of hope for reward, all his prior sins will be forgiven. The one who stands in prayer out of faith and in hope for reward, all his prior sins will be for given. The one who stands in prayer on Layla al Qadr out of faith and hope for reward, all his prior sins will be forgiven.”

There are so many things that we do, major and minor sins – things we might not even think of or know to be sins. All of it is forgiven if only one fasts, prays, and stands in prayer on Laylat al Qadr with faith and hope for reward. This is a noble intention.

Higher Intention

But there is a higher intention then doing these things hoping for reward. Imam Ali, Allah ennoble his face, said:

There was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of desire [for reward]. This is the worship of people who do business with Allah. Then there was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of fear [of punishment]. This is the worship of people who are enslaved [to the idea of avoiding harm]. Then there was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of gratitude. This is the worship of the people who are truly free.

They never lose sight of Allah and become free of creation. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

Every single action a human being can do is for himself. Every good deed is from ten times its like in reward up to seven hundred times. Allah says: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me. And I reward it directly. Indeed my servant left his desires, his food, his drink, for My sake. Every fasting person has two joys. One immense joy when he breaks fast. And one immense joy when he meets his Lord.’”

This means that the blessing of being able to fast in Ramadan is a secret between Allah and you. Allah in His infinite mercy and generosity has set aside this month of Ramadan for you to turn to Him in private and intimate secret. So turn toward Him.

 


Ustadh Abdullah Misra.

SeekersHub Global strives to bring authentic Islamic education to our homes and communities to the Ends of the Earth – through the radiant light of Prophetic Example.

Support now: https://seekersguidance.org/donate – and please share with friends and family, and encourage them, likewise.


Love Makes You Deaf and Blind – Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al Azhari

Ramadan holds the gifts of mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. Shaykh Ahmed Saad advises us to increase our love for Allah and receive these divine gifts.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

حُبُّكَ الشَّيْءَ يُعْمِي وَيُصِمُّ

Your love makes you blind and deaf. (Abu Dawud)

The Arabic word for deafness is samma. Ramadan is the month of siyam (fasting, and this word is relevant to the word samma (deafness).

If love can make us deaf so that we listen to none who criticizes our beloved. We listen to nothing but the voice of our beloved. If love can make us blind so that we so no faults or problems with our beloved. We see none but those we love. When we are in the presence of the ones we love it is as if we forget the world and everything in it.

No Road Is Long That Leads to Love

When people go on Hajj and see the Kaaba it is as if they forget all the troubles, problems, and pains they had on their journey. They say: “Short is the path that delivers you to a friend.”

Ramadan is a month the beginning of which is mercy, the middle of which is forgiveness, and the end of which is deliverance from Hellfire.

If we love the month of Ramadan, we should be so blind that we see nothing but Ramadan. We should be so deaf that we hear nothing but Ramadan.

Fall in Love With Ramadan

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, has been described in the Hadith by our lady Aisha, Allah be pleased with her, in which she was asked: “How did the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, behave when he was with his family?” She said: “He was with his family, but when the time for prayer came, it was as if he did not know us, and we did not know him.”

The love of prayer so occupied his heart, Allah bless him and give him peace, that he did not know anything or anyone, nor did he listen to anything or anyone except for the call to prayer and the words therein. I hope that we can apply this meaning to this month of Ramadan.

Try to love Ramadan like a person who is in real love. Who is blind and sees nothing but Ramadan. Who hears nothing but the sound of Ramadan. The sound of Allah Most High calling and inviting us to repair and strengthen our relation to Him.



Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Saad Ash-Shafi’i Al-Azhari Al-Hasani was born into a family of scholars whose lineage goes back to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) through his grandson Al-Hasan ibn Ali (رضي الله عنه) in the northern Egyptian governorate of Monofiyyah, in the Nile Delta

SeekersHub Global strives – through the radiant light of Prophetic Example – to bring authentic Islamic education to our homes and communities to the Ends of the Earth.

Support now: https://seekersguidance.org/donate. Please share with friends and family, and encourage them to do the same.


Ramadan in the Qur’an and Sunna – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains key aspects of the Qur’an and Prophetic Guidance (sunna) on fasting and making the most of the month of Ramadan.

Based on the work of Shaykh Hasan al-Mashshat, Is‘af Ahl al-Iman, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersHub Global begins with explanation of the key Qur’anic verses on fasting and Ramadan, from Sura al Baqara:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –

[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous. (Qur’an 2:183-187)

These verses outline three things.

    1. 1. The obligation of fasting.

 

    1. 2. The spiritual goals of fasting. Namely, inculcating mindfulness (taqwa), God-consciousness (takbir), and thankfulness (shukr).

 

    3. The ultimate purpose of fasting: realizing the closeness of Allah and thereby perfecting one’s faith (iman), and the means of doing so.

Then, Shaykh Faraz goes through key hadiths of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, on the virtues of fasting, the month of Ramadan, and key sunnas.

Some of these hadiths are often neglected or simply observed as routines rather than means of true turning to Allah Most High.


SeekersHub is a unique learning foundation that connects transformative knowledge and spirituality with actionable community service and social engagement.

It is open and welcoming to individuals of all ages, religious beliefs and walks of life, with equally diverse programs and activities offered at no cost.

Help us continue to provide Knowledge Without Barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation: http://seekershub.org/donate/