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Appreciating The Blessings of Allah – Shaykh Faid Said

* Courtesy of The Nur 

Shaykh Faid reminds us that guidance is the greatest achievement. Allah teaches us through the Quran what to ask him, how to ask him and when to ask him. Focusing on what to ask him, Allah teaches us to ask him for guidance.

Ramadan Guide For Menstruating Women

Although we all know that it’s really the inward that matters, sometimes the outward helps us get there. But when we lose certain acts of worship in Ramadan, it doesn’t mean we have to lose out. Here is a handy resource list for menstruating women to get the best out of Ramadan.

 

Menstruation Is Not A Punishment

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said about menstruation, “Verily this is a matter Allah has written upon the girls of Prophet Adam [peace be upon him].” (Bukhari)
Those who claim that menstruation is like a punishment because one cannot perform acts of worship are severely mistaken. On the contrary, there are many forms of worship that a woman can do while menstruating aside from what is legally prohibited.
Allah says in the Quran, “He who obeys Allah and His messenger, and fears Allah, and keeps duty [unto Him]: such indeed are the victorious.” (Sura al Nur 52)
Allah Most High has commanded menstruating women and women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding) to refrain from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting.

Thus, if a menstruating woman fulfills this command with the intention to submit to Allah’s order, she is actually worshiping Allah the entire time that she refrains from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting.

It has been said, “Her praying while pure is worship (ibada) and her refraining from prayer while menstruating is worship. All of it is worship.”
Therefore, there’s nothing dreadful or awful about menstruation or lochia (post-natal bleeding), rather it is a person’s attitude towards it that matters.

Suggested Acts of Worship

  1. Listen to the Quran
  2. Make remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah (see: Selected Supplications)
  3. Send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) (see: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long)
  4. Give generously in charity (see: How Much Should I Give In Charity?)
  5. Be kind to others, including spouses & family members (see: Prophetic Guidance: On Forbearance, Patience and Kindness)
  6. Make Dua for the Ummah (see: Remembering the Ummah in Prayers)
  7. Make much repentance (see: Chapter on Repentance-Imam Nawawi)
  8. Feed fasting people (see: Feed the People – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said)
  9.  Carry out any righteous deed (see: Easy Good Deeds by Mufti Taqi Usmani)
  10. Gain Islamic knowledge (see: 10 On-Demand Courses for Ramadan)
  11. Babysit to help mothers worship (see: Making the Prophet Real for Children)

 

 

 

Are There Prohibited Duas?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if there are prohibited duas, or a limit to what Allah gives.

There are a lot of sites saying that Allah answers all your duas. But are there not certain duas that are prohibited e.g. a dua asking Allah to beautify oneself. Can you please enlist all the duas Allah prohibited?

And is there a limit to which Allah grants one’s duas? I mean you cannot really ask for a unicorn and expect Allah to give it to you, right?

It is not permissible to supplicate Allah (dua) for:

  1. harm to someone else,
  2. something truly miraculous (a unicorn),
  3. something logically impossible (making two be three),
  4. or something religiously impossible (being reincarnated).

Besides that, we should ask for whatever we wish for of this life or the next, even if it seems far-fetched.

As for any limitations to what Allah gives, it is without limits: “Indeed Allah provides whosoever He wills without stint.” (Sura Aal Imran 3:37)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Prayers That Are Never Answered

Shaykh Farid Dingle is asked why it is that our prayers sometimes seem to not be answered and our lives are full of struggle when compared to others.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Why is it that I keep praying to Allah and my prayers (dua) are never answered? Even my non-Muslim friends’ lives are better than mine. Please advise.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

We must realize that sincere praying to Allah (dua) is a very great honour from Allah. Allah only allows us to pray to Him because He wants to give us something tremendous indeed.

Allah Most High says, “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication [dua]?” (Sura al-Furqan 25:77) and, “I respond to the call of the caller when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:186)

How Allah answers our prayers

So our supplication (dua) is something great indeed, and Allah does answer us. However, this happens in one of three ways:

1. He gives us exactly what we asked for. This is the lowest of the levels.

2. He saves us from some affliction that would have befallen us.

3. And this is the highest level, He saves the reward of the supplication for the Afterlife.

The Prophet, Allah grant him blessings and peace, said, “Not a single Muslim prays for anything that is not a sin or a severance of family ties save that Allah gives him one of three things: He either gives him what he asked for immediately, or saves it for him for the Afterlife, of averts from him a calamity the likes thereof.”

“In that case,” replied the Prophet Companions, “we’ll make a lot of supplication.”

“Allah,” he replied, “is yet greater [in generosity].” (Ahmad)

Perseverance in Prayer (Dua)

The Messenger of Allah, Allah grant him blessings and peace, said, “The slave will be answered as long as he does not ask for anything that is a sin or a severance of family ties, and as long as he isn’t impatient.”

He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what does it mean to be impatient?”

He replied, “He says, ‘I have prayed and prayed, and I don’t see how I have been answered!’ And so the slave gives up hope at that and stops praying [for what he was praying for].” (Muslim)

So we have to keep praying, even if we imagine that Allah is not answering our prayers.

How to Make Dua

Besides being consistent in one’s prayers, one should also make a prayer for whatever one needs at blessed times, like after praying the obligatory prayer or breaking the fast; one should face the qibla and be on ritual purity (wudu). One should also give charity before making the supplication.

And one should be careful about one’s income. If one’s income is not halal, one’s prayers will not be answered.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah the Almighty is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers saying, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the pure and good, and perform righteous deeds.’ (Sura al-Muminun 23:51) Saying, ‘O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.’” (Sura al-Baqara 2:172)

“Then he mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, was dishevelled and dusty, and who spread out his hands to the sky saying ‘O Lord! O Lord!,’ while his food was haram, his drink was haram, his clothing was haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how on earth should he be answered?” (Muslim)

Conclusion

So keep praying for whatever it is you need because Allah is answering your prayers, and He is with you when you call upon Him.

Allah Most High has said in a Hadith Qudsi, “I am as My slave thinks of Me and I am with Him when he remembers Me.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

If we think carefully, being with Allah is probably greater than whatever it is that we are asking Him for anyway. We should cherish the moments of genuine need and sincere prayer because one of the signs that Allah loves one is that one loves to call on Him in supplication (dua) in difficulties and ease.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Reciting Ten Verses from Sura al Kahf as Protection from Dajjal

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question of which ten verse of Sura al Kahf one should recite as protection from the fitna of Dajjal.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

In these uncertain days for the Muslims we must prepare ourselves for the fitna of the Dajjal. I have heard that you are to memorize the last ten ayat of Sura al Kahf, but some websites have said that it is the first ten.

Can you please clarify whether it is the last or the first ten that should be memorized?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The recommendation of reciting both the beginning and ending ten verses of Sura al Kahf, the 18th sura of the Qur’an, has been transmitted from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. It is also recommended to recite the entire sura on Fridays.

Imam Mundhiri, Allah have mercy on him, devoted a chapter of his Al Targhib wa al Tarhib (Encouragement and Warning) to this:

Encouraging reciting Surat Kahf, or Ten Verses from its Beginning, or Ten from its End.

Abu al Darda, Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever commits ten verses from the beginning Sura al Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, and others; the wording is Muslim’s).

In a narration in Muslim and Abu Dawud it states, “From the end of Sura al Kahf.” Tirmidhi related this with the words, “Whoever recites three verses from the beginning of Al Kahf will be protected from the tribulations of the Dajjal.” (Mundhiri, Al Targhib wa al Tarhib, 2172-2173)

Imam Shafi‘i, Allah have mercy on him) said:

It has reached us that whoever recites Sura al Kahf on Fridays will be protected from the Dajjal.) Shafi‘i, Al Umm, 1.239]

It is recommended to recite Sura al Kahf in its entirety the night before Friday It is also recommended to do so on Friday itself, before Maghrib. Ibn Abidin said, “And it is best to do so early on Friday, in order to rush to the good and to avoid forgetting.” (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar, Bab al Jumu‘a)

The Evidence and The Wisdom

The evidence for it being recommended includes the hadith related by Hakim and Bayhaqi, from Abu Sa‘id, Allah be pleased with him, “Whoever recites Sura al Kahf on Friday, light shall shine forth for him between the two Fridays.” (Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al Habir)

The wisdom behind it, as mentioned by hadith commentators such as Nawawi, Qurtubi, Qari, and others, is that:

    1. a) There are tremendous signs and portents mentioned in these verses. However reads these regularly and ponders on their meanings with not be led astray by the Dajjal;

b) The surah as a whole has stories of the struggle between true belief in Allah and the realities of faith, and materialism. Reflecting on any of these

c) It is a secret whose knowledge Allah alone posses, and we have follow it because of the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) guidance, with full certainty.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani


Reciting Ya Sin so Parents Accept My Choice for Marriage

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked whether reciting Sura Ya Sin in a certain way may help turn the hearts of parents and fulfill one’s needs.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I find myself in a dilemma these days. I like a younger Muslim man. He proposed but my parents aren’t letting us get married due to age and not being established yet.

Someone told me recently that reciting Sura Ya Sin in a special way (a certain number of days, stopping and starting at the word mubin, etc.) can help to make our parents meet to talk about us.

Is there a basis for reciting in this way to fulfill a need? I know someone who it helped a lot, but I’m not familiar with this method of reciting the Qur’an.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha Allah.

The best supplications are those made from a focused heart out of sincerity, love, and contentment.

Supplications are answered in one of three ways:

    1. 1) by getting the thing you asked for,
    1. 2) by the averting of a calamity that would have befallen you, or
    1. 3) by being saved up for the Hereafter as a gift or reward.

And remember that getting a response is a Divine promise.

Parents can be convinced. But you should make absolutely sure that he is a suitable spouse – such that he knows what it means to be a husband, he is compatible with you, and shares the same outlook as you.

I’d highly recommend taking this class. Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

See: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam


The Lord of Forgiveness 03 – Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba Dhib

This is part of the series presented in Ramadan 2018: “The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness: Sayyid al Istighfar Explained, by Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib.

In this segment, translated by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shayk Ba-Dhib continues looking at some of the many points of knowledge found in this formula, and what makes it the best way to seek forgiveness.

He starts by looking at thankfulness and what it entails, and having gratitude for everything, even for the gift of being grateful. He examines the relationship between Islam (submission to God), Iman (faith), and Ihsan (spiritual excellence), and how faith strengthens to become certainty, the foundation of the inward virtues of this religion.

Shaykh Ba-Dhib moves on to see just what makes this dua the foremost way of seeking forgiveness, and the significance of its various segments in understanding the best way to call on Allah Most High. He concludes by explaining the purpose of this treatise and its guidance on how to reflect, and how we can apply this in our lives, particularly in our Ramadan Quran recitation.

About the Series

This is part of the series presented in Ramadan 2018: “The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness: Sayyid al-Istighfar Explained”. In this five-part series, Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib covers a short treatise on explaining the foremost way of seeking forgiveness as has come to us from Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The work, “Tiryaq al-Qulub w al-Absar fi Bayan al-Ulum allati Tadamanha Sayyid al-Istighfar” (The Healing of Hearts and Eyesight in Exposition of the Knowledges Contained in The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness) is by Imam Ahmed bin Zain al-Habshi (d. 1145 AH). Text, transliteration and translation of sayyid al-istighfar can be found below. اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana ‘ala ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, A’udhu bika min Sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u Laka bini’matika ‘alaiya, wa Abu’u Laka bidhanbi faghfirli fainnahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta O Allah, you are my Lord. There is no god but you. You have created me, and I am your servant—and I am upon Your covenant and promise as best I can. I seek refuge in You from the worst of what I have done. I fully admit to You Your blessings upon me, and I fully admit to You all my sins. So forgive me, for there is none to forgive sins but You.

Resources for Seekers

Ramadan Intentions – Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin

In this video, Ustadh Abdul Muhaymin encourages us to have a list of intentions for our fasts, as well as a list of duas we recite frequently.

He mentions that Ramadan is a time in which we should step up our game. We should try to make this month a transformative one. A good way to do this, is to have some intentions and duas that we review every day.

In addition, we should do our best to bring in good habits and get rid of bad ones. One way to could accomplish this, is to look at our goals from last Ramadan. If we were not able to accomplish these, we could make an effort to strengthen them this Ramadan. If we did have goals that we were able to successfully implement, then this Ramadan we could add to that goal and try something new.


With gratitude to Tayba Foundation.


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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Resources for Seekers

How Do I Calm My Worries?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Are there any specific duas or Surahs I can recite to help me with my constant state of anxiousness, depression and paranoia that I have been feeling due to a multitude of heavy things and it’s been weighing me down.I just need a way of easing my difficulties.

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for writing into us.

If life gets overwhelming and we find ourselves always worried, then it’s a good time to take stock of what is happening in our lives, looking to see whether things could be done better, and most importantly, assessing where our relationship with Allah is.

Reading the Signs

Everything in life has a language and it takes patient observation and reflection to understand the language of each thing or event. When the physical body starts to become run down and needs a break, it shows signs of fatigue in order that the person may stop and take a break so the body can recover. If it is ignored, the body keeps throwing up other signs, such as ailments, in order to be heard.

Similarly, the mind and the soul throw up symptoms of distress when something is amiss and needs fulfilling. When one has constant stress, anxiety, anguish, or a feeling of emptiness, it is because the mind/soul is yearning for something that it needs. Sometimes the need is to simplify or prioritise one’s lifestyle choices, or one needs fulfilling intellectually, or one needs to connect spiritually, or perhaps all of these. It is because of these feelings that we so often turn to temporary ‘worldly’ solutions, such as food, wealth, entertainment etc. to fill the void.

Relationship with Allah

Of course, there is nothing more important than assessing one’s relationship with Allah Most High, as He is the One who has control of our affairs and the only One to change them.

Ensure the following:

1. That you are fulfilling your duties to Allah, particularly your daily prayers.

2. That you are avoiding sins in private and in public.

3. You have a daily reading of Quran each day, ideally with a translation if it is needed.

If possible, try to:

1. Wake up for Tahajjud, even for 10 minutes, pray two cycles of prayer and supplicate to Allah to lighten your burdens and ease your heart.

2. Depending on the causes of your conditions, seek out beginner courses on Islamic studies such as ‘aqidah, fiqh, seerah, and tafsir. It important to learn the religion properly, as knowledge shapes one thoughts and make one’s heart firm in one’s belief in Allah and the knowledge that he is the sole Doer of everything that happens to us.

Supplications

Recite the following supplications after each prayer and at Tahajjud time:


اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـوفَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye. Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.
[Abu Dawud]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. [al Bukhari]

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy
[Ibn Hibban]

It is reported that Asma’ bint ‘Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed?
اللهُ اللهُ رَبِّ لا أُشْـرِكُ بِهِ شَيْـئاً
Allah, Allah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him
[Abu Dawud]

Action

There are many ways to go about relieving anxiety and stress. I will try to mention the most useful:

Expressing your thoughts:
First, it would be helpful to sit down and get all the thoughts and anxieties expressed outwardly. This is the first step in clarifying what is wrong. Expressing the concerns outwardly distances one from their own thoughts so it is possible to get some perspective on the issues. It also allows one to trace more clearly what is going wrong and what can be done, and to make positive and constructive changes.

One can do this by first writing down all the things that is on one’s mind, in no particular order. Then categorise them into groups e.g. family, work, relationships, personal etc. Then go through each one and try to identify what it is that causes the worry about that particular thing.

Next to it, write down all the possible solutions within your control, including what could be done to simplify the issue. For things out of your control make a separate list and next to these, write down any ideas of people who you can consult regarding the issue for advice, such as parents, close friend, local scholar, or even a therapist.

Once you have done this with all the issues, try to put each in action one by one. Of course it may not be possible to resolve all issues so simply, and the anxieties and paranoia won’t disappear just like that. but it’s a good start and having it all written out means you can refer to it when you feel overwhelmed and remind yourself of the solutions.

Therapies: If the above does not work, it may be useful to seek treatment for a while, as this will again be way to express your thoughts outwardly, and perhaps gain some perspective. Constitutional homeopathy or other holistic therapies should also be very useful, particularly if you suffer from depression and paranoia and natural, valium medication is needed.

Included in therapy is ensuring you are getting adequate exercise and nutrition. You may want to try simple meditation or relaxation techniques (see below for book reference).

Please also seek out the company of good friends, and not spend too much time alone. Joining hobby clubs and other team activity groups may be a good idea, if possible.

Book References

I highly recommend the following books which should help with both understanding anxiety and depression as well as give many practical advice:

1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie
2. The Complete System of Self-Healing – Internal Exercises, by Dr. Stephen T, Chang

Insha’Allah these two resources will provide ample use to you. May Allah grant you the very best of states and tranquillity of mind and heart.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.