Allah forgives all sins

Dear questioner,
I pray this finds you in good health and faith.
Concerning your good question, this has to do with repentance.
Allah forgives all sins.
Allah Most High says, “Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful” (Quran 24:31).
If they have truly repented [ I am sure it is the case], then you should accept that she has moved on from those ugly sins. Unfortunately, many people reveal more than they should. If one has truly repented, they should move on with their lives unless it relates to others’ rights.
It is important to note that she should be advised not to disclose those sins to anyone again.
Concerning what you should do, it depends on you and your feelings of hurt. How attached are you? If you continue, will you forgive her actions and not let that cause future oppression or fights? Your feelings of hurt may grow. However, if you are willing to forgive and move on, then promise yourself not to bring that up to her.
Pray Istikhara
I recommend you perform the prayer of istikhara.
Link for how to pray istikhara:
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Forgiveness

Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullah

Dear questioner,

May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Forgiveness
First of all, you should be happy that Allah has blessed you to be of those who forgive others. This is not easy. There is a great reward for doing so.
The Prophet ( peace be upon him) also said, He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.” [Bukhari]
As far as the memories are concerned, this is natural. Sometimes we all remember the hurt that we experienced from others. Make dua at those moments and ask Allah to make you forget it and to move on gracefully. Also, make dua for that person, and you will be rewarded for this.
Every hurt removes sins.
 
The Prophet ( peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”
You can see that you will receive a reward for this Insha Allah. However, do not dwell upon the hurt, or your feelings of pain may come back, and you may start to despise the person again. Again this is not easy, but that’s why the reward is so great. It is not from weak faith.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Forgiving others

Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullah

Dear questioner,

May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Forgiveness
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ( peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.”
The Prophet ( peace be upon him) also said, He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.” [Bukhari]
Hence we see that if you forgive, you will be forgiven. This is the way of the believers. Just forgive for the sake of Allah, and you will receive mercy yourself. How many people have we wronged that we may not even be aware of ourselves? You do not have to forgive, but if they ask you for forgiveness, you should forgive them.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Reminding others of Allah

Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Actions are based upon intention.
A mundane action can become spiritual and otherworldly by the secret behind the person’s heart. This is based upon the famous hadith narrated by sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Verily actions are by their intentions, and one shall only have that which one intended.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
Also worth mentioning the words of Imam Ibn Ata’illah (Allah have mercy upon him) said, “Actions are lifeless forms whose souls are the secret of sincerity in them.”
Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak said, “How often it is that a small action is made great by its intention, and a great action is made small by its intention.”
So if your friend intends to remind others of Allah through the hijab, then Insha Allah she will be rewarded for that.
Allah knows best.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How to acquire a sound heart

Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
I pray this finds you in the best of health.
Gaining a pure heart is something that requires work and effort as well as learning. However, it is one of the most important of matters in both abodes. Allah, Most High, says, “The Day when neither wealth nor children will help Except for him who comes to God with a sound heart.” ( Quran 26: 88-89)
Seek knowledge before everything
The scholars mention that the first obligation upon every Muslim is to know Allah. Knowing Allah means learning the science of Aqida or creed. Followed after that would be learning Tahara and Salah and so forth. Next, one should learn the rulings of interaction with others [mu’amalat]. For example, a person who is getting married needs to know the commands related to marriage. A person who is doing business needs to learn the rules as it relates to business. We could summarize it as follows;
(a) Learning Aqida
(b) Learning the rules [ fiqh] of worship
(c) Learning the rules of interaction [ mu’ammalat]
Comprehensive treatment of the heart
A recommended book on this subject would be ” Purification of the heart.” It has been translated into English by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. The cure to treating all the diseases of the heart are essentially in five things:
” Deny the self of its desires, enjoin hunger, keep worship vigilance in the night, silence and meditation in private; also keeping company with good people who possess sincerity, those who are emulated in their states and statements; and, finally, taking refuge in the One unto whom all affairs
return [ Allah Most High]”
Good company
Muhammad Mawlud also mentions elsewhere that the cure and diseases of the heart are in the same source-companionship. Make sure you choose good friends whom you keep company with because you are on the same level as them in the religion. The Prophet Muhammad ( peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A person is on the religion of his close friend, so let him carefully examine whom he befriends. ” [ Abu Dawud ]
It is a life-long blessed journey for us all to take on this tremendous path of acquiring a sound heart. If we are sincere and work hard, with Allah’s help, we will get there.
Allah knows best.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Repentance and taking the means to right wrongs

Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Yes, the repentance will count. However, you are obliged to make up all missed fasts you mentioned. Your repentance is sound.
Conditions of repentance
(1) Sincere remorse for the sin
(2) Immediately leaving the sin
(3) Firm resolve never to repeat the sin
[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]
It is recommended to make them up as soon as one can. However, It is not an obligation to make them all up immediately. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]
Suggestion for a schedule to make up fasts
I would suggest you use shorter days in the winters to make them up quickly without a lot of difficulty depending on your situation. Another suggestion is to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, and you can make them up in just two years roughly. Insha`Allah, you will be able to make them up soon.
May Allah grant you success.
[Imam] Yama Niazi

Smiling at the opposite gender

 

Dear questioner,

May Allah bless you and increase you in good.

Smiling is a good deed and a charity indeed. However, it depends on the situation. In your case, it is best to be avoided because of the possibility that the opposite gender may be attracted to that.

One can act upon the sunna and receive the reward of smiling at others by doing so with the same gender. Where it happens on accident or forgetfully out of habit, then this hoped to be forgiven. Intend in all of our actions only to please Allah. By doing that, then you will receive all the rewards you could ever hope for.

Allah says in the Quran,  “Tell the believing men to restrain their looks and guard their privates. That is purer for them. God is cognizant of what they do.” [ Quran 24: 30]

Jarir b. ‘Abdullah reported: I asked Allah’s Messenger ( peace and blessings be upon him ) about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes.  [Muslim]

We can see from the aforementioned that it is best to be avoided.

Allah knows best.

[Imam] Yama Niazi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If I Stop Praying Am I Still Considered To Be Muslim?

Question:
If I stop praying am I still considered to be Muslim?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in beneficial knowledge.
Prayer Is a Pillar of Our Faith
It is required for a Muslim to consider prayer as one of the most critical aspects of our faith. It is an entire pillar.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer (salah), zakat, hajj to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Abandoning the Prayer
If a person does not pray but believes that prayer is a pillar of the faith, then they are still considered Muslim, even if they are lazy or weak in faith.
Abandoning the prayer is a major sin and is warned about both in the Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily between man and between associating partners with Allah and unbelief is the negligence (or abandoning) of prayer.” [Muslim]
 There are no “three strikes” rules or “three days to make up all your prayers,” or anything like that.
Making Up Prayers
One is required to make up the prayers that were missed. Furthermore, they should repent to Allah Most High for failure to pray them. Make a firm resolve not to commit the same sin again. Repentance is a great gift for us.
Do Not Lose Hope in the Mercy of Allah
When repenting, have a good opinion that Allah will forgive you. Do not despair.
Allah Most High states, “Say: ‘O My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: indeed He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'” (Qur’an 39:53)
Finally, do not become too dependent upon His mercy at the expense of abandoning the prayer. Act, and do good; after you do that, then trust in Him.
I hope this helps, dear brother.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Do I Need to Say “Ashhadu” When Converting to Islam?

Question:
Do I need to say “ashhadu” when converting to Islam?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
A person who believes in Islam as the true religion from God is a Muslim.
A Muslim is anyone who believes in One God (Allah), believes in the Prophet Muhammad as the Messenger of God, and accepts the guidance that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came with as true.
The Utterance of the Shahada
The utterance of the actual shahada is good and should be performed for practical purposes and public benefit [i.e., marriage, inheritance, hajj, etc.]
There is a slight difference of opinion among the scholars concerning the actual words of ” ashhadu” or I bear witness. It is more cautious to say “Ashhadu,” or I bear witness, for both testimonies [La ilaha ill Allah and Muhammad Rasulullah] to avoid the difference of opinion. However, it is also acceptable if it is uttered without the words of “ashhadu.”
Please also refer to this answer about this topic:
Also, see this article about converting to Islam:
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Make Dhikr While Doing Some Other Task?

Question:
Can I make dhikr while doing some other task?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
In short, you are allowed to do dhikr of Allah all the time.
Remembrance of Allah
There are many virtues about remembering Allah that is worth mentioning here. Among them are the following;
Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) narrated that, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to remember Allah in all of his affairs.” [Tirmidhi]
Allah says in the Quran, “O you who believe, remember God with frequent remembrance.”
[Qur’an 33:41]
“Remember Me, and I will remember you” [Qur’an 2: 152]
Adab While Performing Dhikr
You must have respect and adab (etiquette) while you are remembering Allah.
Among them are
(1.) Magnifying the greatness of Allah in your heart.
(2.) Not joking or laughing while doing dhikr.
(3.) Having tranquility and being serene
(4.) Intending to draw near to Allah and pleasing Him, and much more.
In general, try to perform dhikr as much as you can. This is also done by pondering and reflecting and while walking or standing.
This ayah perfectly explains that “Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth, saying ‘Our Lord! You have not created (all) this in vain! Glory be to you! Save us then from the torment of the Fire.'” [Qur’an; 3:191]
May Allah bless you and raise your status among those who remember Him often.
Allah knows best
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani