Dying Upon Love of Allah — the Beautiful Counsel of al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib to His Son

Imam Bayhaqi relates in his Shu’ab al-Iman that when al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib—the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him and his folk)—was on the verge of death, he said to his son:


“O Abd Allah! I counsel you to:

(1) love Allah (Mighty and Majestic),
(2) and to love His obedience;
(3) to have fear of Allah,
(4) and fear of His disobedience.

“If you are this way, then you will not dislike dying when death comes to you

“I counsel you to regarding Allah, my dear child.”

“Then al-Abbas turned towards the Qibla, said, “La ilaha illa’l Llah (‘There is no god but God’),” raised his gaze, and died.”

[Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman, 2.15]


Translated By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani





Celebrate the Gift of Ramadan – Shaykh Qutaiba Albluwi

Shaykh Qutaiba Albluwi gives advice on how to enter Ramadan and how to make the most of it through the idea of celebrating this blessed month.

Praise be to Allah who granted us the health and the well-being so that we can come today and attend one of the circles of knowledge and remembrance. Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds, for every bounty that He has embraced us with, whether we are aware of it or not. Once a person reflects on the bounties and gifts that Allah Most High bestows upon each one of us every day, they see that every day there is a flood of a new gifts that Allah bestows upon us.

We just need to open our hearts such that we can witness them. One of the gifts today that He has given all of us is that He allows us to establish a means towards fulfilling one of His obligations, which is fasting the month of Ramadan.

They say that someone who establishes the means hopefully they will also establish the ends. If somebody is enlightened at the beginning, most likely they will also be enlightened towards the end. So if Allah gives you the tawfiq that you make good wudu, you come early to the Masjid, you walk and do not drive – these are means towards the end – then most likely your prayer is going to be good. That is how what we think of Allah Most High.

Be Grateful for Reminders

One of the beautiful aspects of our Shari‘a, our tradition, is the concept of a reminder. Many of you have attended many sessions about how to prepare for Ramadan. And if you did not attend one of them you wish you had. The imam might have given you some advice about how to prepare for Ramadan. So it’s a challenge for each one of us when we come to such topics which we are well acquainted with, or that we think, we perceive, we are well acquainted with – not to gain benefit, but to be interested. It’s a bit difficult to be interested in these topics become like a routine.

Now looking at the concept of a reminder and our Shari‘a can help us survive a reminder.Allah Most High ordered his Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to always give reminders. A reminder is not teaching you something, but for you be reminded of it. You know it already. It is not like learning from scratch, but yet Allah ordered the prophets to continually give people reminders, because that’s our nature.

We are humans. We forget. Actually we forget much much quicker than we even think. In the morning, your parents tell you to do something. Your spouse tells you to do something or get something. And at the end of the day you forgot to bring that thing. We get lost in routine.

How to Receive Gifts from Allah

It is from Allah’s mercy that we need continuous reminders. Now people receive it in two ways. One might say, “Well, you told me the first time. Are you being pushy?” Another person might say, “I am bored.” That is one way to look at the reminders, but the interesting part is that the Qur’an says:

يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding. (Sura al Baqara 2:269)

Those who have the core of intelligence. Those who are really, really smart. These are the ones who look at the reminders and say: “I need the reminder. Without the reminder I probably cannot survive.” These reminders are from Allah. These are His words:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا

And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind. (Sura al Furqan 25:73)

This is how Allah describes the believers. Every time they are reminded of one of the gifts, one of the signs, one of the verses of Allah Most High, they don’t receive it with deaf ears and blind eyes. So we ask Allah to let us benefit from His reminders.

Celebrating the Gift of Ramadan

We should celebrate Ramadan. I started hearing this term celebrating Ramadan – Muslims celebrating Ramadan – honestly, I started hearing this more when I came to the West. In the East we don’t hear that term. The most commonly used term is a Qur‘anic term, which is “shuhud al shahr,” to witness the month. Allah says in the Qur’an:

فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ

Whoever witnesses the month, let him fast it. (Sura al Baqara 2:185)

Normally, whether it’s in the media or it’s in the writings, they use the term witness. Now, here, we started hearing the term celebrate. The term is not actually chain overriding that term witness, but it has an extra element. It’s actually a very beautiful element, which is the element of joy. There is some joy and happiness.

It’s not like month of Ramadan is coming by, I’m just passing that passage of time. Rather I am now in a ceremony. I am in a celebration. I am celebrating this month and the celebration of the month can be with the outward ceremonies. Our master Umar ibn al Khattab, Allahe be pleased with him, was passing by the masjid and he saw that it was full of people at night praying tarawih. He rejoiced. That’s a ceremony, a ritual that we have.

I’ve seen Muslims and non-Muslims look amazed by these long lines of iftar. Of people sitting and everybody’s holding their dates waiting for that signal, and when that event comes in and everybody eats, and you could see the smile and the happiness fill the room. It’s part of the ceremony. But celebration is more about something in the heart.

To prepare for the month and to go through the month, the concept that I am celebrating this month adds a great dimension to how we live that through the month of Ramadan. So, why should we celebrate?

The Universe Rejoices

First the skies, the universe, is celebrating and the question then is: Why am I not joining? That is the right question, because everything is celebrating. the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to tell the good tidings at the beginning of the month to his Companions. He would say: “A great month has arrived. The doors of paradise will be open.”

I can imagine how beautiful it would be, for the skies, the doors of paradise to be open. Imagine the breeze, the beauty, the fragrance of Paradise that opens to the skies and to the worlds.

And imagine the heat and the doors of hellfire, which is roaring. It is always roaring and whistling and breathing. There are angels watching over it who have never smiled since Allah created the Hellfire.

But in this month Allah orders them all to be closed. Moreover all of these demons that impact us and other creatures in ways that we don’t know much about, Allah orders the most evil of these demons to be chained. There are a lot of events that we don’t see, but they are happening.

It’s a big celebration. And generally if there is something magnificent happening in the skies then the believers should connect. A believer should connect. That is why we celebrate Laylat al Qadr. The skies celebrate it. The angels come down. And who else is coming? Jibril himself, the Ruh himself, comes down in person. Allah orders everybody to come down. They descend. It’s a big celebration, so the question is am I joining or not? Because everybody is celebrating.

The Two Friends in Paradise

There is another story. Our master Talha ibn Ubayd Allah, one of the ten Companions whom the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, promised would enter paradise. He says: I had two friends. They were from the same tribe. They were probably relatives since they were always competing for the good.

In one of the battles one of them was killed as a martyr. A year later his friend passed away, but not as a martyr. He just passed away. So Talha said, I saw in a dream that the door of Paradise was closed. Then there was some knocking and it was opened, and I saw the second friend inside. He looked around and then he found his companion and then he ordered him to come in.

In other words, the second one was in Paradise and he was inviting the person who was a martyr to come in. And then, he says, the door was closed. So the first friend, the martyr, knocked again just to make sure. And then offered his hand saying, Can you pull me in? They said, No, your time is not now.

So Talha says: “I woke up and I went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and I told him this is what I saw. Everybody was surprised that the second man who was not a martyr got into paradise before the first one. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Why are you surprised?” Did he not live to fast another Ramadan? And he prayed six thousand raka‘t. (Musnad Ahmad)

Increase in Rank and Station

Now, regardless of the theological questions that will come to your mind about why and how, we trust Allah’s wisdom and we trust Allah’s Justice. But there is a message here that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, is teaching us. And that is to attend Ramadan. It is such a great bounty, such a great gift, that the more you attend Ramadan, the more likely it is that you will gain higher station in Paradise.

Every Ramadan that we pass through is a cause for joy. Rejoice in the fact that Allah has allowed us to come through it. We know friends who did not come through. All of us probably have loved ones who passed away. They are not about to witness Ramadan with us. So praise Allah for allowing us to witness Ramadan once more.

Ramadan is truly a cause for celebration.

The Most Hopeful Verse and Prophetic Forgiveness

Shaykh Walead Mosaad talks about prophetic forgiveness, relating it to the most hopeful verse in the Qur’an, and what it means to let grievances go.

If we were to kind of summarize this idea of forgiveness, especially prophetic forgiveness, it has to be predicated number one on the idea that you shouldn’t expect it to begin with. Many of the scholars of the heart say that, whenever you affirm for yourself something; a particular State or maqam, then you’re not that thing.

If you say, I think I’m very humble, you’re not humble. I think I’m very generous, then you’re not generous. I think I am a salik, I am a seeker on the path to God, then you’re definitely not a seeker on the path to God, because your own awareness, and not just awareness but your own assertion, that you are this thing, it’s a veil. It’s actually an obstacle to being a seeker on the path to God – to being humble.

Most people who are on this particular path they just are. Without asserting or attributing to themselves those things or trying to be. True humility is seeing yourself as nothing. Not seeing yourself as humble, because if you see yourself as humble, that means you see yourself as something.

The Important Other

It’s to be unconcerned with the self and to be completely concerned with the other. The most important other that you have is Allah Most High. If all of your concern, if you’re completely consumed in that, who has time to worry about if this person should come and ask my pardon and ask my forgiveness. Or they walk in and they didn’t give me salami the same way they give to the other person. Who has time for that nonsense? right

You have this type of grudge that kind of grows in your heart and you’re expecting some type of acknowledgement of a mistake made and you want people to seek your forgiveness. You should want people not to seek your forgiveness. You should walk into rooms and say I forgive everybody in this room for everything they’ve ever done to me. You should go to sleep at night with salamat al-sadr, with a heart that’s free, that’s liberated.

All the grudges that you hold against people, they’re like nooses around your neck. They’re like handcuffs. They hold you hostage and prisoner and you are held prisoner to them until you liberate yourself. One of the ways to liberate yourself is to let all of that go.

1) to seek forgiveness from Allah Most High, and
2) don’t expect forgiveness from other people.

Don’t expect them to ask for that. Just let it all go and walk into rooms and say, I forgive all of these people.

Wanting Good for Others

This is what some of the Salaf used to do, as reported by Imam Sha‘rani. Just say, I’m going to read Sura al-Fatiha, and I’m going to have the ajr (reward) for all of these people. Walk into the marketplace where people are engaged in swearing and maybe lying and doing all sorts of devilish things, but nevertheless you say, I want good for these people.

I’m going to walk in there and say al-Fatiha and I make the intention that the reward is for all of them. And if that’s your intention, they’ll get it. That’s as simple as that. It’s the least you can do.

There’s this powerful type of da’wa we’re not availing ourselves up. We’re so into the very outward forms. This feeling of agency that we like to attribute to ourselves. I was doing this. I invited these people. I got him to become Muslim. When in reality that’s not how it works. All you’re doing is inviting.

Powerful Da’wa

And perhaps the silent but yet perhaps more powerful form is that which takes place within you; you wanting them surely and only for Allah Most High. That was the secret or one of the secrets of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, and the early generations. They truly wanted the best for their people.

Remember he’s inviting his cousins, his uncles, his aunts, his tribesmen, his clansmen. These are all people the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, grew up with. These are people the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, who would call him al-Amin. They knew him and he knew them. He loved them, blessings and peace be upon him. He didn’t want punishment for them.

One time he had an incident that was so severe, blessings and peace be upon him. He, blessings and peace be upon him, was just praying in Mecca. And Abu Jahl came and he took some entrails of a camel and maybe even some fecal matter and stuff like this and he threw it next to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him – perhaps on him.

Then Fatima, his young daughter ,who was maybe eight, nine, ten years of age at the time, she heard about it. And she ran to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. While he was in sujud, blessings and peace be upon him, she was the one who was wiping it off.

The Most Hopeful Verse

Later on they mentioned that the angel of power and of the mountains, via Gibril, peace be upon him, comes to him and he says, “If you so desire, I can make the two mountains come and fall and destroy all of Quraysh for what they have done, for their transgression against you.”

If someone did that to me, I might be very tempted actually to go through with that. But the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “I am hopeful that from among their progeny, from those that will come after them, there will be those who will follow this way.” There will be those who believe in Allah Most High. And it was as he said, blessings and peace be upon him.

He said, “I am hopeful.” When the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, hopes for something Allah doesn’t disappoint him. Some of them were asked, “What is the most hopeful verse in the Qur’an?” Some of them said, “And have fear of the fire that has been prepared for the disbelievers.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:24) They said this is a very hopeful verse because it hasn’t been prepared for the believers and if I’m a believer then that’s not for me.

The Extent of His Love and Forgiveness

But some of them said, “That’s not the most hopeful verse. The most hopeful verse is “Surely, Allah will give you and you will be pleased.” (Sura al-Duha 93:5) And the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, would be displeased with any one of us finding our way to kufr and Hellfire. So, this is the most hopeful verse because his mercy and his forgiveness and his love didn’t extend only to the people around him, but to the people who will be coming after him, blessings and peace be upon him.

He said, blessings and peace be upon him: “I long and desire for my when my brothers and sisters.” And they said: “Are we not your brothers and sisters?” He said, “No, you are my companions. My brothers and sisters they will come after you. They will have difficulties. They will not have what you have.” They will not have the the aid and the help that you have. And he said, blessings and peace be upon him: “The amal of one of them is like 50 of you.” And the Sahaba were confused. They said, “50 of us or 50 of them?” He said, “No, 50 of you.”

In other words, the one person, despite their circumstances, will have an award equivalent to maybe fifty of the Companions. Why? Because there’s no one to help. I have to be honest we’re living this Islam, right now, despite ourselves. Despite all of the things that are happening. It’s actually somewhat miraculous.

Letting Things Go through Forgiveness

Allah is the one who is protecting this din. What if it was left up to us? There would be no din left. But we still have the prayer, we still have the Qur’an, we still know basically what Islam is. It’s well defined. We know how to practice it. But despite all of the difficulties and our inability or lack of resolve in practicing it in the way that it was meant to be, we still have the din. We still have Islam. That’s a beautiful thing.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, would be disappointed to find that any one of us would be disappointed. So when we think about forgiveness, let’s have prophetic forgiveness. Let’s not expect forgiveness. Let’s forgive people before they ask. Let’s let slights and things that some people will take the heart – just let it go.

Go to sleep at night and say, I forgive this person, that person, and it’s over with. and wake up the next morning like it’s not there. You may say, “Well, that’s really hard. That’s really difficult, because some people just will get on your nerves and and so forth. But if you really desire it and you really want it and you want to do it for Allah Most High, you will do it.

The Believer Is the Mirror of the Believer

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani presents five lessons we can take from the hadith, “The believer is the mirror of the believer,” and how to realize this in our lives.

It is a great blessing of Allah Most High that He has granted us the means of turning to Him on a daily basis with our obligatory prayers. On a weekly basis through the Friday prayer. To serve for us as reminders of our purpose and duty in life to turn to Allah, to submit to Him, to worship Him, and to express our gratitude and thankfulness to Him.

The worship that we engage in, what is the prophetic impulse – the impulse of our beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, in our worship? The impulse is thankfulness. It is gratitude. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “ Should I not be a thankful servant?

So we serve, Allah Most High, we submit, we worship out of gratitude and thankfulness, recognizing all the blessings that we have from Allah. And from the great blessings of Allah upon us is that He has sent to us a Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, who granted us clear guidance that is easy to bring into one’s life. That transforms one’s life from the merely mundane, from the merely worldly into something that enables us to turn to Allah, to seek Allah, to take the steps to attain closeness to Allah Most High and contentment.

The Speech of the Prophet

Allah describes the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, as a mercy for all creation. “We have not sent you except as mercy to all creation.” And from that gift of mercy that the Prophet is, blessings and peace be upon him, is the way he gave us guidance. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said in the hadith related in the sahih: “I was granted encompassing speech.”

The words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, are few. You will hardly ever find a hadith in which the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke for paragraphs. He spoke in phrases and sentences and he said very little. What he said, blessings and peace be upon him, was full of impact. It was full of meaning. One of the countless marvelous hadith of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is a hadith that we’re going to touch upon, which are the words of the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”

One of the reasons the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, spoke in words that are statements of wisdom, that he didn’t spell out everything, is to empower us as believers, so that we reflect on his example. And so that we can derive from it meanings that are not just specific to a particular context, but that are generalizable to any circumstance. It will speak to you wherever you may be. Whatever you may be facing.

The Reflection and What Reflects

“The believer is the mirror of the believer.” This is very intriguing because there’s two believers mentioned, and there’s a mirror. Which one are you? Are you the reflect the one who’s reflecting or the one who is reflected? Both are possible. I’m just going to touch on five lessons that one can derive from this hadith.

The first lesson has to do with the company that one keeps. A believer is a mirror of the believer. If you want to know your standing as a believer, your state as a believer, what do you need to do? You need to become someone who keeps good company. The company that you keep will transform who you are.

They say that when it comes to learning you’re affected as much by socialization, even at a high level of academic achievement, as you are by simply your intelligence and what you study. If someone wants to go into a field of research, for example, you’re affected as much by the company that you keep in terms of your achievement, as you are by your own levels of intelligence and your own study. There are many reasons for this, but it is very true in your state as a believer.

The Company You Keep

The company that you truly keep is not just the physical company that you keep, but what do you do on your on your time on, says, Facebook, because that’s virtual company. And what extent of that real and virtual company that you keep is a company of believers that you want to become like? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, told us in another hadith that: “A person will be with those they love. A person is on the way of their close companions. So let each of you look carefully as to whose close company you keep.” Because that’s where you’re at in your din.

That’s both a warning to consider what company that you keep, both real and virtual, and also, what do you keep the company of people for? So you might become keeping company with the best of believers, with people that are really impressive, but you can just hang out with them because they’re cool or they’re fun to be with. In those kinds of situations it can just be hanging out and that’s good. But there’s a higher aspiration that you want to benefit from them as a believer, as one who believes in Allah and turns to Allah Most High.

You want to see the reflection of good qualities. Someone is generous. So don’t just freeload of them. Learn generosity from them. You have another friend you like being around her, because she’s always smiling. Try to take that as a mirror from which you benefit in your own standing with Allah Most High. Having a cheerful, positive countenance is beloved to Allah Most High. It’s from the wing of the beloved Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him.

The Sunna Is Balance

The second lesson has to do with being a mirror for others. What is a mirror? It shows you things as they are. Why do you look in the mirror in the morning? When you do look in the mirror intend to follow the Sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to look at the mirror in the morning before he’d go out in public.

When he’d be out for an extended period of time, the beloved Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, used to have certain things that he’d keep with him. Amongst them was a small mirror, because Allah is beautiful and He loves Beauty. And Allah means the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, beautiful, but he took care of his appearance for the sake of Allah. And also because how you dress and how you look affects relationships.

The sunna is balance. You take the benefit now you can derive from a mirror, but it is against us to not to look excessively. So you keep a mirror with you and you look and you fix yourself up without looking excessively. That’s what a mirror does. It reflects. It shows you what you need to correct. So you should be a mirror for others.

The Good Companion

Firstly, you should be reflecting virtue, so that you are the good companion. When people keep company with you, they benefit from the way you are. They benefit from your attitude. They benefit from your company. And it’s not a question of saying religious things. It’s not about talking din. It’s about living din. That you smile. That you have concern for others. That you’re caring. That you’re respectful. They’ll benefit from that company even if you don’t say a thing about religion.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, used to be silent most of the time in his gatherings with the Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them. They learned more from his silence than we learn from his speech, blessings and peace be upon him. Because the way he was in his relationship with Allah, taught them as much as his words, blessings and peace be upon him.

Be a mirror for others: 1) in the way you conduct yourself, 2) that you’re true to them. The mirror, if it is as it should be, shows you things as they are. They come to you looking for advice and you’re honest with them. You have sincere concern for them.

Sincere Concern for Others

If someone comes and says for instance: “You know I want to marry Zubayr. What do you think?” And you know that Zubayr is just a bag of problems, but he’s your first cousin. If they find out that you said that Zubayda shouldn’t really marry Zubayr, it’s going to cause problems. So you say: “Oh, you know, he’s a good guy.” And he’s not. That is not being a true mirror for Zubayda.

It entails being true in your relationships. Of course, with wisdom, with the intention of sincere concern and benefit. Not just out of harshness. The mirror doesn’t hit you. The mirror shows things as they are so that you’re able to improve. Reflect on that. Being a mirror for others is to inspire them to the good.

The third is to instill in them thankfulness. One of the sunnas of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, when you look in the mirror is that, if you find anything good you praise Allah Most High. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, had a dua that he recited. “O Allah, just as you have made my form beautiful, make my character beautiful.” It’s an expression of thankfulness, not an expression of conceit.

You spend a lot of money getting that haircut. You look at in the mirror, you don’t go into self-praise. You go into praise of Allah. It’s a blessing from Allah. Or you always wanted you know some effect of your martial arts, and finally you have a swollen nose. Finally you bloodied. Instead of feeling all that, you thank Allah Most High.

You try to reflect good for others by being true to them, by inspiring them by your own example, and thirdly by instilling in them a positive perspective. A lot of people are down. A lot of people feel sadness and sorrow. By reflecting in them, the good; by reminding them of Allah, about His blessings, you inspire them to be thankful, which is one of the purposes of a mirror.

Who Is the Believer?

The fourth lesson that we can learn from from the words of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is to consider the believer here not to refer to an individual, but the believers at the whole. That in relation to the things that happen around us, what is the first response that we have as a believer? The MSA lost it lost its mind, let’s say, and they started protesting the film and the cartoons and this and that. What do you do?

Are you responsible for what’s going on in Islamabad or Cairo or Tunisia? No, you’re not. – If you are, go and fix what you did. – But you’re not responsible. The first thing that you do is to see what goes on around you as a mirror for yourself. When you see others exhibiting rage, anger, and ugly conduct, you’re responsible, first, for yourself. Are you out of control?

Maybe not all the time, but sometimes when provoked, when your dad starts talking Pakistani politics or putting down Punjabis or you know dissing Sudanese or Lubnanis or whoever they put down. How do you respond? It’s very easy to say those people over there, how come they do this? But very often we are, ourselves, the Firaun, on occasions. Then when you see things happening around you, you take a lesson. That’s true in the Qur’an as well.

Look to Yourself

When you read the stories in the Qur’an, you don’t say: “O, what a bunch of losers, Firaun and his people. It’s an address to you. You’ve see in it a mirror for yourself. “Do I have Firaunic tendencies?” If you do, then rectify yourself. You take what’s happening around you as a mirror.

Then you look at what public response you should have. If nothing else, you pray that Allah changes things for the good. You see what you can do about it, but the first thing begins with an inward response. Then what is going on.

The believer is a mirror of the believer: al mu’min. The al prefix in Arabic has very different usages. One of them is we say: “Hadha huwa al-rajul.” It can also refer to the one who had the complete qualities of rujula. Like the saying: “He’s the man.” Or they used to say. I don’t know if you guys say it anymore.

You say, “He’s the man,” meaning, he’s all that. He has what we respect in terms of manliness. So, the believer it is a mirror of the believer. Who is the believer? He is the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him. Your relationship with the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, it is not just: “O, that’s so beautiful. He was such a kind person, masha Allah.” That’s supposed to be a mirror for you. That you see in that what the good is and you consider what you need to be changing.

Truly Reflect Prophetic Virtue

The true believer is the one who most truly reflects prophetic virtue. You always turn to the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can learn what virtue is. What good is. With what intention? One, to be inspired and that itself increases you in faith, but more importantly to look at what you need to be improving on. The mirror teaches you. That mirror is the act of reflecting on that image that is implanted.

It also tells you that you should have such clear knowledge of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, you should be able to see that image of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, so that you can reflect on it and be transformed by it, which entails learning about his example, his conduct, his character, his worship, his way in life. The way he was with others. The way he was with his Lord. These are some of the lessons that we can take of the many many lessons of the hadith.

The fifth lesson, and it’s subtle but many of the great scholars have mentioned it in their commentaries on the hadith. It’s metaphorical as mentioned by Shaykh And al-Qadir Jilani and by by others as well of the hadith commentators. The believer is the mirror as it were of the Believer, al-Mu’min, and that is Allah Most High.

Polishing the Heart

The believers’ heart is meant to be a mirror for the light of divine guidance. We know from the hadith of the Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, that the heart is what Allah Most High looks at. Allah does not look at your bodies and forms, rather He looks at your hearts. The heart trusts so that it can no longer shine light. The heart darkens through one’s sins. The polish of the heart is seeking forgiveness and remembrance of Allah.

It’s not that you can see Allah in your heart in some physical way. No, your heart should be reflecting the light of divine guidance, the light of faith. And if you don’t find that, if you find that faith is a distant glimmer, it’s a flicker that you recognize once in a while, then know that you have a heart that requires polishing.

How do we polish that heart? The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said: “The polishing of the heart is the remembrance of Allah.” He said, “The polishing of the heart is seeking forgiveness. The polishing of the heart is to say, ‘la ilaha illa Allah,’ and keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” So that the light of faith is shining in your heart. So that you find contentment and clarity and you can see things as they truly are.

May Allah Most High make us of those who recognize and reflect on and are realized in the meanings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, saying: “The believer is the mirror of the believer.”


Don’t Forget to Mention Allah’s Name! – Shaykh Amin Buxton

Every year in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, we should come to know our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, a little better. In this series, we try to do this by looking at the things that brought a smile to his blessed face and at times made him laugh.

Remembering Allah

Ummayah bin Makhshi narrates that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace was sitting with a man who was eating. The man did not mention Allah’s name and he kept eating until there was only one mouthful left. When he raised the food to his mouth he said: “In the name of Allah at the beginning and the end.”

The Prophet laughed and said: “The devil was eating with him until he mentioned Allah’s name, at which point the devil vomited up everything that was in his stomach!” (Narrated by Abu Daud)
This hadith reminds us of the importance of mentioning Allah’s name before even the smallest and most mundane actions such as dressing, entering and leaving our homes, going to sleep and waking up and, of course, eating and drinking.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, taught us the precise etiquette in all of these situations and revealed to us the consequences of neglecting it.When we mention Allah’s name, it acts as a barrier which prevents darkness and evil from entering into our lives. Beyond this, it reminds us that only Allah sustains the existence of all things. When we eat, sleep and walk in Allah’s name, those actions take on a new meaning. This is because they are connected to the Divine and are blessed with Allah’s support and care.

If, however, we are not conscious of this reality (as is often the case) it is never too late. The key is to return to Allah as soon as we remember. If we forget to mention Allah’s name before we eat, we can say the following supplication when we remember:

بِسْمِ اللهِ أَوَّلَهُ وآخِرَهُ

Bismillāhi awwalahu wa ākhirahu

In the name of Allah at the beginning and the end.

This incident also shows us that the Prophet was actually witnessing the unseen. The angelic and demonic realms were unveiled to him. Although they are veiled to us (with very rare exceptions), it is part of our faith to believe that they exist just as the Prophet informed us of them.
Just as the devil is happy to see our actions come to nothing, the Messenger laughed and was happy to see the devil’s actions come to nothing. His happiness was always for the victory of light over darkness. In this case a member of his nation was neglectful even though he was in the presence of the Prophet. But what pleased the Prophet was that he made amends. We can take comfort from the fact that however heedless or forgetful we are, we can always make amends. In doing so, we make our guide and teacher happy. May Allah shower him with blessings and peace.

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London and became Muslim in 1999. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London, and then enrolled at Dar al Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen. There he studied the sacred sciences under the supervision of Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

He has edited and translated a number of books which explain the Prophetic way such as Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and provides content for Muwasala. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in a number of educational initiatives around the UK, including the iSyllabus, and has taught at the SeekersHub Retreat.

Sura al Waqi‘a Explained, Part 1 – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this first part of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s explanation, we learn about the effect of Sura al Waqi‘a on the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, and his Companions.

Sura al Waqi‘a is one of the most beloved suras of the Qur’an. It has a comprehensive summary of key themes. It is also one of the most dramatic suras in its message that conveys a great sense of urgency from beginning till end.

This is why the scholars and the righteous from the earliest times till our times have placed great emphasis and found tremendous benefit in this sura. So much so that some of the scholars of the spiritual path would tell students to recite it daily, sometimes even twice a day, because of what it it contains of meanings that remind us of the urgency of this life.

Some of those who are reductionist in their religious outlook say nothing has been related about the virtues of Sura al Waqi‘a. That is a type of religious blindness, because much has been related about Sura al Waqi‘a, both from the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, as well as from the Companions and the early generations.

It Makes the Hair Gray

One of the great early Muslims, Imam Masruq, said that whoever seeks to have all knowledge possessed by all peoples of the first communities and the last, and the knowledge of this life and the next, should recite Sura al Waqi‘a, because it contains all the knowledge that truly matters.

This is not a light saying. If we look at the Sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, we see that the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, did not develop gray hair till very late in his life. But then suddenly his hair started going gray.

The Companions noticed that some of his hair started growing gray so they asked him about it. The Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, explained that it was there was a number of suras that made his hair grow gray. He said, blessings and peace upon him, that his hair was made gray by Sura Hud 11, al Waqi‘a, al Mursalat, al Naba’a, and al Takwir.

These are from the mid-sized suras whose central theme is the reality and urgency of the hereafter. Of course it is not the sura that made the hair go gray, but its message. This message was so profound that it it had a physical effect on the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him.

It Shields Against Poverty

It is related from Uthman ibn Affan that he entered upon Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud in his final illness. Uthman asked, “What ails you?” He said, “My sins.” Uthman asked, “What do you long for?” He said, “The mercy of my Lord.” Uthman asked, “Should we not call the doctor?” He said, “The doctor made me sick.”

Uthman asked, “So should we arrange your stipend?” He said, “I don’t need it.” Uthman asked, “Should we not apportion it for your daughters?” He said, “My daughters have no need for the state stipend.” Uthman was surprised because everyone is concerned about their children.

Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, noting his wonderment, then said, “My daughter’s don’t have any need for that stipend. I have ordered them to recite Sura al Waqi‘a for I have heard the Messenger of Allah, Blessings and peace be upon him, say, “Whoever recites Sura al Waqi‘a every day will not be affected by poverty or neediness.”

The Narrations and Its Acceptance

The hadith as ascribed to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, has weakness in it. But this hadith has been related from many of the Companions, with many different narrations. Some of them ascribing it to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. Some of them from their own words.

Many of the Imams both early and late generally held that there is a sunna basis to affirming

    1. 1) a special virtue for Sura al Waqi‘a and


    2) that Sura al Waqi‘a is a protection from neediness.

From that is what is related by Imam al Bayhaqi and also from Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Whoever recites Sura al Waqi‘a every night will not be affected by neediness, ever.” It is similarly related from Ibn Abbas and others.

Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Sura al Waqi‘a is the enriching [the one that frees of need] so recite it, and teach it to your children.”

This too has some weakness in it: in its ascription to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. But you see that it is widespread amongst the early Muslims, particularly the Companions and the Followers (Tabi‘in).

If you look in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba and other such compendiums which have a lot of the narrations from the early Muslims, you see many, many narrations on the virtue and importance of Sura al Waqi‘a and it being a freeing of need.

The wisdom of these virtues that were narrated and accepted goes back to the themes of Sura al Waqi‘a.

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It’s Not Too Late for (Unburdensome) Eid Visits! – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

It’s not too late to visit family and friends for Eid, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani notes in this timely reminder. He advises to connect these crucial ties with our ultimate motivation in mind – seeking the pleasure of Allah Most High.

Eid occurred about a week ago, with people celebrating on one of two different days, and our religion is one of difference of opinion.  Shaykh Faraz reminds us that our tests don’t just come practically. Sometimes, the greater test is how we react emotionally and intellectually when people differ with us. We need to promote acceptance for others opinions, because the reward is in doing good, not in just being smart.

One of the neglected Sunnas is to visit others in Eid. Even of the days of Eid have passed, we can still do a “make-up visit.” particularity to invite those who might be alone, or the elderly.

Sometimes we may feel shy about our house not being perfectly neat, or not having a full meal ready. Shaykh Faraz reminds us not to have takalluf, or put on airs. He recounts a story where guests came to his house a day early, and were hastily served tea and coffee. The fact that the kitchen was messy did not bother them at all. The Prophet would cross the city to visit his Companions’ houses, who could only afford to serve him dates, or dried bread and vinegar.

May Allah help us simplify and unburden our lives, through the practice of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

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The Human Condition and the Sira – Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf

This is the first part of a talk by Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf on approaches to depression and anxiety in Classical Islam. Here he speaks on the holistic view of Islamic psychology.

I am going to be talking about the issue of depression and anxiety in classical Islam. My focus is on some of the ways in which depression and anxiety were tackled in the classical Muslim civilization. Primarily I will talk about two theorists who approached this issue in rather different ways. Both of them were actual polymaths. One of them lived in the ninth century, which is around the time of Charlemagne from a perspective of European history. The other one lived in the 11th century. He was born in 1066, which is the only year in history that any of us know anything about.

I want you to bear this in mind. We are talking about people who lived nearly a thousand years ago. Both of them have things to say about depression, about anxiety, and more broadly about the human condition. Because cultures vary and they vary vastly, lots of things are relative, but the human condition isn’t. The human condition is the same no matter who you are and where you go.

A Lovely Tale

There is a lovely tale about Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, the great Sufi spiritual master. It is said that some merchants came to see him for advice. They sat around waiting for their turn quite patiently, but he was busy with this, busy with that. Days go by and they’re not getting a chance to come and ask their questions.

Eventually they say, “Oh, you know the the shaykh is obviously very busy. We’ll go.” They get up to leave and the shaykh says: “Oh, where are you going? Come here.” One of them said, Shaykh, you’re obviously really busy. We’ll come back some other time.” The shaykh said, “No. The answer to your question is this. The answer to your question is this. The answer to your question is this. The answer your question is this.”

And they of course are flabbergasted as always happens in these stories. They are flabbergasted and amazed and astounded. And they said, “How did you know? Did you read our minds?” He said, “No. Every human is created from Adam. Adam was created from dust. We all come from the same source. We’ve all got the same issues, the same problems, and the same ways of dealing with them.” And there is a universality that underlies the issue of mental health, mental illness, and mental well-being, notwithstanding the many ways in which they manifest in different cultures.

A Wise Physician

I remember an old doctor, a teacher of mine. The old Indian ladies loved him and we didn’t know why. We all used to sometimes have clinics in South Africa in the middle of nowhere. You’d have 100 patients in the clinic and they’d all come out smiling. They’d love this guy. We asked him, “What do you do?” And he says, “Well, these ladies they all come to me and you know some of them have pains in their bones, and some of them have a heart problem, some of them have this, that, or the other. I give them all the same thing.”

I said “What?” He said, “I give them an antidepressant.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because that’s what the problem is.” And that’s when I learned what somatizing is. In that particular community you deal with emotional distress by converting it into physical distress, because that’s acceptable. It’s acceptable to have a pain in the elbow and a pain in the back and a headache. It isn’t acceptable to say, I am sad and I don‘t know why.

The Tradition and Its Sources

Both scholars come from the Islamic tradition. The Islamic tradition is a very rich intellectual, spiritual, and cultural tradition, with many many fluorescences and many manifestations over the centuries. All of it however derives its root from one source and that source is the scripture. and I want to talk very briefly at the beginning about scripture, because the Islamic Scripture, the Qur’an is actually quite a difficult book to read. It’s difficult because it doesn’t read like you expect a book to read. It reads like what it is, which is a series of messages.

Now there is a thematic unity to it, but you don’t get an “In the beginning” at the beginning of the book and “Here’s how it will all end” at the end of the book. It is written in a circular structure. The other version of Scripture which is the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, that consists of his ways, his dealings, his guidance, his acts, and so forth.

These are also difficult to navigate if you’re not used to it, because they are so scattershot in the sense that you have snapshots and photographs from the life of the Prophet Muhammad. And his guidance is often denuded of their context. So you have lots of sayings, but you don’t know what it was about unless you actually study it. What you get is quite a fragmentary approach. This is if you navigate this without having the benefit of a teacher.

These two things, however, come together, and where they do and you start to see coherence and a theme is actually in the life of the Prophet Muhammad. In the sea of what is called the Sira. This is where all this guidance and the scripture comes into context. It is in the life history of the Prophet Muhammad, about which we know a great deal, that you really start to see the human condition manifesting.

Not only in his own case. Not only in the case of his Companions. But in the case of those who opposed him also. In the case of those who just happened to be there. There are descriptions. Vivid descriptions like you would find in the Old Testament actually.

Conceptions and Misconceptions

I was in a retreat for faith leaders. It was about models of leadership. And one of the things we did is read the scriptures. The passage from the Old Testament was fascinating because it was Moses complaining to God about the Israelites, and it was all: “God why have you troubled me with these people? Am I their mother that I have to suckle them to my breast? When are they going to grow up?” It was exactly that tone. And I kind of sat there thinking, I know that Moses. That’s the Muslim Moses.

Then you got the Christian version of Jesus. It was the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus is very calm and full of wisdom. And you just think, I know that Jesus, too. Then I came to the one about the Prophet Mohammed, and I said to the people that I was talking to that I know the Moses, I recognized that Moses from my own scriptures. I recognized that Jesus. The great tragedy is that you don’t recognize the Prophet Mohammed. You don’t have any sort of conception of who he was. You don’t have an image in your head about who he was.

What that has led to in the world is the projection of Muslims onto the Prophet Mohammed. I remember when there was the whole stuff about the cartoons. I think this is an important point because of what I was saying about universality. I remember when there was this the big fuss about the drawings the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and I saw some of those cartoons. I said, Well, they’re basically drawing mawlanas like you might do when I was in madrasah. You know, after school, I might doodle a picture of the mawlana in the book and it would look exactly the same.

Projections of Empty Forms

All that’s happening is a projection. And I think for us to understand one another we have to get beneath some of the rhetoric and also some of the formalisms to the real characters underneath. It is really the human that we connect to. That’s the same sort of thing I see when I deal with patients with mental health difficulties. What I see is a temptation for staff, for clinicians, for family members, for carers, to see the person as their diagnosis as opposed to seeing them for who they are. Once you see the person as themselves it changes your entire outcome.

What we see in Scripture are very vivid descriptions of grief, of anxiety or fear, of bereavement, of joy. Many of them from the Prophet Muhammad himself. I will mention one thing that he said and he said this at the age of 62, one year before he himself passed away. 18 months beforehand he became a new father. His baby who was called Ibrahim Abraham was about 18 months old when he was struck down by a sudden illness and died. The whole city goes into mourning.

Now, this is a prophet who whose whole mission, whose whole temperament, whose whole outlook is about focusing people on what comes after death. Don’t just think about this world, think about the next world. It’s not a neglect of this world. It is a focus on what matters to your soul. What is his reaction? There are two narrations.

The Prophet on Grief and Loss

The first is that his daughter sends a message to him saying, “Please come. Your grandson is dying.” And he says to her, “Be patient. Be patient.” Be patient. Trust in Allah. Again she comes to him. She says, “Your grandchild, the child is very sick. Please come.” And he says, “Be patient.” And then the third time she comes, he gets up and he goes with his Companions. And it is these Companions who narrate this.

He goes to the house. He sits down with his daughter. He takes his baby grandchild, days old, in his arms. The child looks at him, and he looks at the child. Then the child expires in his arms. And the Companions who are with him, report that his the tears streamed down his face to such an extent that his thick beard became wet with with tears. They said, “O Prophet, what is this? You were the one saying be patient.” And he said, This is not impatience. This is compassion. And God puts it into the heart of whomever He wishes.”

When his own son passed away. When he buried his son. This is a 62 year old man burying his child. The sixth out of seven of his children that he has buried. He was left with one surviving child and that child – he knew because he told her – would pass away six months after him. This is the beloved of Allah. A prophet of Allah. He buries his child and again his Companions see that he is weeping. They say to him, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this? And he said, “The heart grieves, the eyes weep. But we don’t say anything that will not be pleasing to our Lord.”

The Human Condition and Its Expression

What we take from this is the following. In terms of bereavement, in terms of sadness and depression, there are three components to it. There is a physical component: a physical manifestation of it. There is an emotional component to it. And then there is a cognitive component to it. There’s a way that you think about what has happened to you.

The way you manifest your thoughts is with your tongue. What the Prophet is actually saying here, that he corroborated elsewhere in a less dramatic way shall we say, is that it is beneficial to physically manifest sadness. It is part of being human that you feel those emotions. However, how you think about what is happening to you is critical in how you process the grief. The cognitive approach that you take to de-stress is critical.


This talk by Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf was given at the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University, entitled “Approaches to Depression and Anxiety in Classical Islam.” This is not a transcript but an edited post based on the first part of the talk.

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari on Women of the Qur’an: The One Who Complained

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 6-part series about women who are documented in the Quran.

Khowla, the Woman who Complained

One of the interesting stories that come to us in the Qur’an, is of the Woman Who Complained. It is the name of the 58th chapter of the Qur’an. It refers to the story of Khowla bint Tha’labah, a strong and brave woman who was a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace.
Khowla was married to a man with a hot temper. One day, her husband came home and they got into an argument. Her husband lapsed into a pre-Islamic practice, and said a particularly insulting phrase, referred to as Dhihar. Dhihar was done when a man told his wife that his relationship with her was the same as his relationship with his mother. Although this practice may seem strange in today’s world, it was a very extreme thing to say during that time. Moreover, it was not a phrase that could be forgotten. In that society, it was actually a type of divorce.

Her Dialogue

Khowla resented her husband’s action, as she did not want to be stuck in a bad situation because of his behaviour. After he had calmed down, he returned and wanted to be intimate with her. Khowla told him, “You won’t touch me until Allah and His Messenger decide the matter for us.” She left her house and went to the Prophet, explaining her situation and asking that something be done. However, nothing had been revealed pertaining to the pronouncement of Dhihar, so initially there was nothing that could be done. However, Khowla was determined to find a solution.

Before long, the Prophet received the following revelation.

“Allah has certainly heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. Those who pronounce Dhihar among you [to separate] from their wives – they are not their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood.” Al-Mujadilah

Setting a Precedent

The verses condemned the practice of Dhihar as an odious practice. Allah also set a heavy penalty on the men who pronounced Dhihar on their wives.

Because of Khowla’s persistence and initiative, she not only fixed her own situation, but also helped the other women who had been affected by the practice of Dhihar. She was so respected that other male companions spoke very highly of her. However, what makes her so amazing, is the fact that her struggle was documented in the Qur’an.

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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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