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.

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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.


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Becoming Beloved to Allah – Habib Kadhim al Saqqaf

Habib Kadhim al Saqqaf counsels us on how we can become beloved to Allah through the means given to us by Allah and His Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. We praise Allah for what He has given, inspired, and bestowed to human beings. He granted this creation the ability to love, and to attain elevated stations of love. And Allah informed us of this reality in the the most truthful speech.

He revealed it to the foremost among humans, in what is in the Qur’an: “O you who believe, whoever among you turns away from His religion, Allah will bring forth a people who loves He loves and who love Him.” (Sura al Maida 5:54)

In this Divine statement is a clear message that among Allah’s servants there are those He particularly love and who particularly love Him. And we, in these blessed nights [of Ramadan] seek out this love for Allah.

We try to become established in those matters that lead to the love of Allah. And we seek that love from Allah, Mighty and Majestic.

The Doors to Allah’s Love

Our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, opened that door of seeking love from Allah. Had our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, not opened these doors through his teachings we might have considered ourselves to puny and too insignificant to seek the love of the exalted Lord.

However, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, opened for us the door of this seeking and being avid for Allah’s love, and attaining this tremendous good. And he taught us to seek Allah’s love through the dua:

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ مِنْ دُعَاءِ دَاوُدَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ وَالْعَمَلَ الَّذِي يُبَلِّغُنِي حُبَّكَ اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ حُبَّكَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ نَفْسِي وَأَهْلِي وَمِنْ الْمَاءِ الْبَارِدِ

O Allah, I ask you for your love and the love of those who love you and the deeds that will bring me your love. O Allah, make your love more beloved to me than myself and my family and even cold water. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 3490)

Look at how the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, opened for us the door of seeking and being avid and being keen in asking for Allah’s love. So that we truly love and we are truly beloved to Allah.

To Be Beloved to Allah

Rabia al Adawiyya used to say in her entreaties to Allah: “I am not amazed that I love Allah, but I am mazed that Allah loves me.” Just consider how you, an insignificant, originated creation can be beloved to the Great Creator, the Merciful Creator, the Noble Creator.

So there are means for attaining this love and then Allah gifts to the person its blessings and traces. How do we earn this love?

Through the speech beloved to Allah. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said there are four statements: “Subhan Allah, alhamduliLlah, La ilaha illa Allah, Allah akbar.” These are statements beloved to Allah, the Tremendous.

As much as we repeat the mention of these, they are the means to be beloved to Allah, O you perishing, puny creation, who will depart from this life. It is possible for you to be beloved to the Creator of all creation.

Consider, O puny creation within creation, it is possible for the Creator of all creation to love you, for He is Merciful.

Allah Loves Excellence

Then, by repeating certain auras of the Qur’an, such as Al Ikhlas. When we repeat Sura al Ikhlas, this is a means for Allah to love us. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said of a Companion who loved Sura al Ikhlas and therefore repeated it often: “Inform him that Allah loves him.” What a tremendous Sura. It is a means to attain Allah’s love.

Had it been a means for us to love Allah, that would be sufficient joy and honor. So, how about if it is a means for Allah to love us, Mighty and Exalted? We should recite it a lot to become beloved to the Tremendous Creator.

There are qualities beloved to Allah in His servants. Allah loves those of excellence. We should therefore strive to excel in all that we do, so that we can be beloved to Allah through this.

Turn to Him in Repentance

Then, we should always renew our repentance. “Truly, Allah loves those who are oft-repentant and who purify themselves.” (Sura al Baqara 2:222)

Then, outward and inward purity. Inward means the purity of soundness of the heart. So that we have nothing against anyone in this Umma, or in creation, or humanity – Muslims and believers especially. Through such qualities you will be beloved to Allah. This is through acquiring qualities that in reality are qualities of Allah.

If we characterize ourselves with excellence, this is a quality that Allah possesses. Caring is a quality of Allah. Mercy is a quality of Allah. We acquire the character trait. We resemble the name only, not the reality. For where is Allah’s Mercy for it to be comparable to our mercy? How can out mercy for our children and family compare to Allah’s Mercy for us?

Mercy Takes You to the Merciful

However, when we’re merciful to our children, families, neighbors, and all mankind, and likewise to ourselves – by raising ourselves to the grounds of closeness to the Most Real – or rather, we rise up to the fields of love of Allah, we are merciful to ourselves before we are merciful to others. By being merciful to other we are merciful to ourselves.

When we give ourselves our rights, by busying ourselves with remembrance and good; our due of sleep and of food; even our share of permissible things, these become a means of attaining Allah’s love. So we should be merciful to ourselves, to our relative and our children, in seeking our Lord’s Mercy on us. This will make us beloved to Allah.

Characterizing ourselves with such a trait that Allah loves is a means for attaining to Divine Love.

Consistency Even in Small Things

The actions most beloved to Allah are those that are consistent, even if they are small. So if we for instance perform one rakat of Witr every night or send twenty blessings upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, before sleep, but do so consistently, they are a means to attain Allah‘s love, even if they are small.

These are the four means:

  • Speech beloved to Allah.
  • Qualities beloved to Allah.
  • Renewal of repentance.
  • Outward and inward purity.

We ask Allah by His Favour and Generosity that He makes us of His servants who love Him and who are beloved to Him. That He make us stand in the niche of worship out of love for Him. That we worship Allah out of yearning for Him. That we worship Allah out of gratitude for what He has granted us of Islam and Faith. And that He make us members of the Umma of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. And all praise is to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.


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.

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Adab of Dua 29: Times and Places When Dua Is Disliked

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).” Yet, many of us wonder: Are my du’as being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by the great Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

In the closing session, Shaykh Faraz explains the times and places when dua is disliked, and gives advice on how to bring duas into one’s life.

He divided this work into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

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Taqwa Increases During Ramadan – Imam Zaid Shakir

Ramadan is a time of incredible opportunity for Muslims to draw closer to Allah and gain ever heightened levels of taqwa, says Imam Zaid Shakir.

Allah says in Sura al Baqara 2:183:

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

Taqwa is not just God-consciousness. It manifests itself in a willingness to obey Allah Most High and to implement His orders. Taqwa translates into obedience. We pray that everyone is increases in obedience.

As a scholar has said: “If a person can avoid those things which are lawful during the days of Ramadan only for the sake of Allah, how much easier will it be for him or her to avoid what is unlawful for an entire month or year.”

Forgiveness Is of the Fruits of Ramadan

Forgiveness is another great fruit of Ramadan. We pray that everyone is on the path of forgiveness. As the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, has said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with sincere faith anticipating a reward, all their prior sins will be forgiven.”

He also said, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Whoever stands for prayer during the nights of Ramadan with sincere faith anticipating a reward, their prior sins will be forgiven.” Most scholars say their lesser sins also. But whatever the case this is a great burden that is lifted.

Remembrance Is Heightened and Lasting in Benefit

He also said, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Whoever remembers Allah abundantly in Ramadan will be forgiven.” Not only that, they will have a tremendous store of good as a result of their remembrance.

One of the early Muslims mentioned that to say “Subhan Allah” one time during Ramadan is like saying it a thousand times in any other month.

Laylat al Qadr Is a Night to Remember

This Ramadan you should seek out the Night of Power (Laylat al Qadr). For this reason our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and other great Muslims spent the last ten days in vigilance from the twentieth night onward.

Ramadan is a blessed time. If you can read the Qur’an once everyday or night try to do so. The reward for each letter is immense. If you have the opportunity, take a vacation during this time and spend time for and with Allah, for your Here and for your Hereafter.

Those who believe are more intense in their love for Allah. Grab this opportunity to spend time in nearness to your Beloved and intensify your love, insha Allah.


Imam Zaid Shakir is a chairman of the board, co-founder, and senior faculty member at Zaytuna College. He studied in Damascus, Syria and in 2009, he co-founded Zaytuna College, where he now teaches Islamic law and history.

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Adab of Dua 28: When Praying Is Haram

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).” Yet, many of us wonder: Are my du’as being answered? Is there a certain du’a I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my du’as have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of du’a (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by the great Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

He divided this work into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

In this video, he explains when making du’a is legally impermissible.

1. The reality of du’a
2. Our being called on to make du’a
3. The great virtue of du’a
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of du’a and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of du’a
9. Explaining the religious ruling of du’a
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

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Method of Seeing the Prophet ﷺ – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al Haddad

Sayyid Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad Mashhur al Haddad narrates that his grandfather, Habib Ahmad Mashhur al Haddad, may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him, gave permission for the following to be recited in order to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.


Recite this verse of the Burda of Imam al Busiri followed by any prayer upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. Repeat this ten times:

نَعَمْ سَرَى طَيْفُ مَنْ أَهْوَى فَأَرَّقَني
وَ الْحُبُّ يَعْتَرِضُ اللَّذَّاتِ باِلأَلَمِ

Na‘am sara tayfu man ahwa fa arraqani

Wa’l-hubbu ya‘taridu’l-ladhdhati bi’l-alami

Yes, a vision of the one I love came to me by night, and I could not sleep,

Oh, how love hinders the tasting of delight with its suffering

A second method Habib Ahmad mentioned was to go to bed on Thursday night in a state of complete purity and to recite the same verse of the Burda once followed by this prayer upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, seven times:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ حَبِيبِ الرَّحْمَن وسَيِّدِ الأكْوَان الحاضِر مَعَ مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيْهِ في كُلِّ زَمَان ومَكان

Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin habibirrahman wa sayyidi’l-akwan al-hadir ma‘ man salla ‘alayhi fī kulli zaman wa makan

O Allah, bestow Your blessings upon our Master Muhammad, the Beloved of the All Merciful, the master of all creation, the one who is present with whoever bestows prayers upon him in every time and place.


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Adab of Dua 27: Impermissible Duas

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).” Yet, many of us wonder: Are my duas being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by the great Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video looks at the five different legal rulings that a dua can take, including when it is haram.

He divided this work into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

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SeekersHub Global, a non-profit Islamic educational portal, makes sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, at any time, through online courses, on-the-ground seminars, engaging and inspiring Islamic media and direct access to scholars through our Answers service — all for FREE.

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Adab of Dua 26: Why Is My Dua Not Answered

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).”
Yet, many of us wonder: Are my duas being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by the great Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

In this video, Shaykh Faraz explains some of the reasons why one’s dua appears to not have been answered.

This work is divided into 11 concise, apt sections described below.dua not answered

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

Take a SeekersHub online course. All courses are completely free, and are taught by reliable, qualified scholars.

SeekersHub Global, a non-profit Islamic educational portal, makes sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, at any time, through online courses, on-the-ground seminars, engaging and inspiring Islamic media and direct access to scholars through our Answers service — all for FREE.

Help us continue to provide Knowledge Without Barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation.


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Forgotten Sunnas: Visiting Graves

In this month’s article, Shaykh Jamir Meah discusses the sunna of visiting graves. He covers the benefits and blessings of visiting graves, reflecting on our own state, remembering those who have gone ahead, and ends with a practical challenge for anyone who wants to fully revive the spirit of this sunna.

Man passes through five stages of existence. The first stage of man begins in the passing through the loins of his male and female ancestors. The second phase of life sees his birth into this earthly life and continues until his death. The third phase is spent in his grave and the Intermediate Realm (al barzakh) until the Day of Resurrection. The fourth stage is spent entirely on that momentous Day and continues until his final judgements is passed. The fifth and final phase is his life in the Eternal Abode, be it the Garden or the Fire.

A succinct summary of these stages is mentioned in the Qur’an, when Allah Most High puts to us, “How can you deny Allah? You were lifeless and He gave you life, then He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, and then to Him you will be returned.” (2:228)

Stages on Life’s Way

As the writer of this article, and you as the reader of this article, we can both safely assert that we have passed through phase 1 of our existence fairly successfully, and are now of course, somewhere in phase 2 (perhaps not passing through so successfully!).

We spend years unwittingly being passed down from loin to loin, then having appeared on earth, we spend a good amount of our formal years learning everything we need to survive. We struggle and toil to maintain survival, establish security, while fulfilling our hopes and aspirations for the rest of our lives, and then, ready or not, we’re evicted from Earth’s surface and buried in it. Enter phase 3.

Phase 3 introduces us to the grave and the intermediate realm, both unfamiliar territory to us; we will find ourselves alone and separated from everything we spent attaching ourselves to in those 60 + years of terrestrial existence.

When you or I die, our “judgement” effectively starts then, for a person “will be shown [in his grave] his [final] abode in the morning and in the evening.” (al Bukhari) We remain in this third intermediate phase until the Day of Judgement, much longer a period than the mere 60-90 years we spent laboring on earth.

Phase four is the beginning of eternity, and the rest is, as they say, history (well, not really, for us it is our “future,” while in reality, the earthly concept of time will cease to exist).

Every Soul Shall Taste Death

On reflection then, in the grand scale of the five phases of man’s existence, this earthly stage seems pretty minuscule. It is for this reason we find so many reminders in religious texts concerned with our ultimate ending on earth. Meek or mighty, we all affirm with unequivocal certainty that “Every soul will taste death.” (3:185)

Infinitesimal as earthly life may be; it is not of course without colossal consequence. In this blink-of-an-eye span of earthly life, we either make or break our eternal future. What we do on earth determines where we are post-earth. The user-manual for “what to do and be successful on earth” is of course the Qur’an and Sunna.

The Prophet ﷺ advised us, “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures” (Ibn Maja), meaning death. This is not being morbid or pessimistic. It is dealing with an inevitable reality.

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity. – Hamlet, Act I, scene 2

In the same way that one would not remain idle nor waste precious time if told by the doctor that they have a terminal illness and only a short time to live, any sensible person who reflects with an open and sincere heart will come to realize that “this worldly life is no more than play, amusement, luxury, mutual boasting, and competition in wealth and children … And in the Hereafter there will be either severe punishment or forgiveness and pleasure of Allah, whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment.” (57:20)

There are many ways to remember this unrelenting destroyer of pleasures. One way of remembering our inevitable ending is remembering those who have preceded us and already arrived at phase 3 of man’s existence, namely the Intermediate Realm. We can do this by frequenting the graves, which is the subject of this article.

Recommendation and benefits of visiting the grave

Visiting the graves was recommended by the Prophet ﷺ as a means to remind oneself of the passing on from this world and onto the hereafter.

Anas narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “I forbade you to visit the graves then it appeared to me that they soften the heart, bring tears to the eyes, and remind one of the hereafter.” (Ahmad)

Abu Huraira, relates the Prophet’s words, “Visit graves, for it reminds one of his death.” (Sahih Muslim).

The recommendation applies to both men and women, as is evident when a Companion saw ‘A’isha visiting the grave of her brother, he said to her, “Did not the Prophet ﷺ forbid this visitation of graves?” She replied, “Yes, he had forbidden it. Then he ordered to visit them.” (Al Hakim, al Bayhaqi)

The benefits of visiting the grave extend beyond the visitor only. It is reported that the Prophet ﷺ said. “There is not a person who passes by the grave of his fellow believer whom he used to know in this life, and sends greetings upon him, except that he recognises him and returns his greetings.” (al Istidhkar) Other narrations describe the solace and happiness the deceased find when a person visits their grave.

Intention When Visiting the Graves

One makes high intentions when visiting the grave. Among these intentions are:

1. To follow the recommendation and actions of the beloved Prophet ﷺ
2. To remind oneself of the fleeting nature of this world, the moment of death, the immediate life, and the Hereafter.
3. To pray for one’s brothers and sisters and others
4. To fulfill some of the rights of the dead and bring comfort to the deceased
5. To encourage others to visit the grave and remember death
6. To hope that in turn, one will have many visitors to their own grave when the time comes
7. To soften one’s heart by remembering one’s lowly return to the earth and review one’s path and relationships with God and others.

The Hard heart which has become rough is softened only by the tokens of decay.” – The “old woman” of Abd al Qays, Ihya ‘Ulum al Din

When to Visit the Grave?

The grave may be visited at any time, but the scholars have generally recommended visiting the cemetery on Thursday night, Friday and Friday night until sunrise. It has been narrated and observed that the spirits of the dead return to their graves at these times.

Etiquettes when visiting the grave

When a visitor enters the cemetery one should say a general salam to all the believers and make dua, by saying:

السَّلاَمُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ وَيَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ الْمُسْتَقْدِمِينَ مِنَّا وَالْمُسْتَأْخِرِينَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لَلاَحِقُونَ

Peace be upon the inhabitants of this abode from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you. – Sahih Muslim

Some scholars stated it is etiquette to stand facing the top of the buried person’s head. Others have said one should face the chest of the deceased, who would be facing the qibla.

One should place fresh green branches on the grave if available. It is said that the green branches of living leaves bring relief to deceased.

One should enter and sit at the grave with serenity and no hurry, particularly if visiting anyone who had rights over them, such as parents, relatives, teachers.

One should reflect and ponder on the state of the deceased and on one’s own state. Imam al Ghazali says: “The visitor should not neglect to pray for himself and for the one deceased, or to derive a lesson. This latter may only come about through picturing the deceased in one’s heart, and the way in which his members have been scattered abroad, and how he shall be raised from his grave, and that one shall be joining him before long.” (Ihya Ulum al Din:40)

One should recite whatever of the Qur’an they are able to, with the intention of the reward going to the deceased.

One should make abundant supplication for their forgiveness, and through this the dead will rejoice. Imam Abdullah al Haddad relates that “A dead man was once seen in a dream and, upon being questioned about his state, said that he had been greeted by an angel who attempted to burn his face with a flame held in his hand. But one of the living said, ‘God have mercy on so-and-so!’ and the flame went out!” (The Lives of Man)

Unlawful practices

Visiting the graves is solemn act. As such, one should maintain the proper dignity at all times by keeping within the boundaries of the Shariah. One should avoid excessive crying and wailing, which the Prophet ﷺ forbade.

Practical challenge

This month’s practical challenge is for all of us to try to visit a nearby cemetery once. It does not matter whether the deceased is someone known to you or not. Let’s take the time to pray for them, to reflect on our own state and journey, and re-assess our lives and relationships with each other, and our relationship with Allah.

Although we may not see or even know the deceased, on the Day of Judgement we will know them, and it may just be that the person intercedes for us because of what we did for them, and through it, we enter Paradise.

Warmest salams,
Jamir.