Echoes of the Heart
/

Continue to send Durood/ Salawaat upon the Nabī throughout this entire month and thereafter.  In fact, you should also increase in your invoking Allāh’s peace and blessings upon him .

Allāh Ta’ala Himself has said in the Holy Qur’an:

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace. [Surah Al-Ahzab | 33:56]

This is clear-cut evidence to show that we as believers are required to ask for Allāh’s blessings upon Muhammad . And there are so many rewards and virtues attached to doing this form of dhikr, such as the intercession of Nabī on the Day of Judgement. Now which among us is not in need of his intercession? SubhanAllah!

Some of the best times to send blessings upon him as mentioned in the Ahaadith are:

10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening. In a hādith reported in Tirmidhi it is mentioned that Nabī said “Whoever sends blessings on me ten times in morning and ten times in evening, he will receive my intercession on the Day of Judgment.”

After the Mu’adhdhin calls the Adhaan.

At the beginning and ending of our meetings, dars (lessons), etc. It is said that any such gathering wherein blessings are not sent upon Nabī will be void of blessings, or the participants will be remorseful.

During the final sitting (Tashahud) in our salaah.

During the night or day of Friday (SubhanAllah – TODAY IS FRIDAY!)

Now is the time to bring out your calculators, people! Think of how many times each good deed and the rewards for each dhikr that leaves our lips will be multiplied during the month of Ramadhān. Which of us cannot devote 10 minutes (or even less!) to invoke Allāh’s peace and blessings upon our and His beloved, Muhammad ?

Now there are long Durood/Salawaat and there are short ones! The best one is that one which we recite in salaah:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

 ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIW WA ALA AALI MUHAMMADIN KAMAA SALLAITA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMIDUM MAJID. ALLAHUMMA BAARIK ALA MUHAMMADIW WA ALA AALI MUHAMMADIN KAMAA BAARAKTA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMIDUM MAJID.

"O Allah, let Your Blessings come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious".

Ka’ab ibn Ujrah (radiAllahu anhu) narrates that once after someone asked Nabī how to send blessings upon him, and he responded by mentioning the one mentioned above.

There are shorter ones such as:

ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADININ NABI YIL UMMI YI WA AALIHI WABAARIK WA SALLIM.

"O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad, our chief the unlettered Apostle and his Family Thy favours and thy Salutations".

SALL-ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM

“Peace and blessings upon him.”

Let’s not make dhikr with only our mouths, but with our hearts. One way, which I personally tested and proved, is to remember all the sacrifices that he has made for this Deen, all the trials and tests and abuse he endured for the sake of Allāh, and all the life lessons he taught his Sahaba in terms of right and wrong, the purpose of life, how to get closer to Allāh and protect ourselves from Shaytaan and our nafs. SubhanAllah! The list is endless! Let’s open our books of Seerah (history) and remind ourselves of the great man Allāh sent as a mercy for us and a source of guidance.

Now before you scroll down and away, ponder on this:

It has been recorded in ‘Mawaahib Ladunniya’ from ‘Tafseer Qushairy’ that on the day of Judgement a believer shall appear for reckoning with a small measure of righteous deeds. Rasulullah shall appear and place on the side of the righteous deeds a small piece of paper that will be the size of the tip of one’s finger. The result will be that the scale of good deeds will far outweigh the evil deeds. Seeing this, the believer will exclaim, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for your sake, who are you? How beautiful is your physical appearance, and how sublime is your conduct.”

Rasulullah shall answer: “Verily I am your Nabi . This which I have placed on your scale is the salaat and salaam that you used to recite upon me during your lifetime. Now I have come to your aid and assistance at your time of need.” (Fazaail Durood)

يَا رَبِّ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ دَائِمًا أَبَدًا عَلَى حَبِيبِكَ خَيرِ الخَلْقِ كُلِّهِمِ

 

~ Umm Daania

The purpose of fasting is not only to abstain from food, drink and intercourse for a prescribed time, but also to curb our nafs and desires. This period of fasting is to strengthen our abilities to exercise self-control, and take control of our desires.

Now, our nafs loves food – especially tasty and delicious foods! So by fasting, we are teaching our nafs to refrain from the natural desire and urge to satisfy our appetites and it is hoped that we can then apply it even after the month of Ramadhān has come to an end, in sha Allāh.

The Messenger of Allah () said: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’ [Ibn Majah]

But how to we expect to teach our nafs this form of discipline when we over-eat at Iftaar? Some of us have our plates with food towering, struggling to balance it on the plate! And some of us eat with such a vengeance! – thinking that we have to make up for all the missed meals throughout the day! SubhanAllah! Where is our self-control?   

Now, here is where things might get a little gross – but it must be said!

After eating that unreasonably large amount of food, some people can barely go down into ruk’u and sujood comfortably. They are so stuffed, wallahi! And others stand next to us in salaah and burp/ belch constantly! I mean come on! – Really? Gross! Is this what our Nabī has taught us: that Iftaar is a time to make up for breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon snack, pre-dinner dinner, etc? No way!

And let’s not forget to mention how so much eating can make us miss out from our salaah! After we have eaten and drunk so much, it is only likely that we would have to frequent the bathroom, and repeat wudhu. And even if we choose not to relieve ourselves, the urge will only distract us from our salaah. How can one expect to concentrate and focus during his meeting with his Lord when his mind is on something else?! This is why Nabī said When any of you feels the need of relieving himself while the congregational prayer is ready, he should go to relieve himself. [Abu Dawud]

So my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, let us all keep the real objectives in sight when we fast. Let us take all the good that is available to us during this month, and in sha Allāh acquire self-control and piety.

If I offended anyone, I do apologize; it was not my intention, and I hope that you can forgive me.

May Allāh make it easy for us do those things that are pleasing to Him and that will bring us closer to Him. Amīn!

~ Umm Daania

theechoingheart:

Some of us are starting to realize that evil tendencies, promptings, and thoughts are creeping back into our lives. This is quite normal, and it’s actually a good thing that we can recognize this in ourselves. There are some people who are deep in ghaflah (negligence) that they are unable to perceive that what they are doing is wrong! May Allāh Azza wa Jall protect us from this.

And so this quote comes to mind:

“It is the duty of man to pause at every intent that is suggested to him so he may know whether it is from the call of the angel or demon.” – Imam Al-Ghazali

While the Shayaateen are chained, some of us may be wondering why we are still plagued with this evil and darkness of the heart…

Know well that it is our nafs, our passions. And it is said that the greatest enemy of the nafs is obedience to Allāh.

Shaytaan has had his way with us for 11 months. After giving in to his every whim and fancy for such a period of time, the soul becomes accustomed to committing sin, speaking evil, etc. And sin becomes the order of the day, Shaytaan no longer needs to continue prompting us, because we then commit the sin on our own – out of habit! Ma’aadhullah!

But now is not the time to give up! In fact, there is never a good time to give up and lose hope. Let us simply bear patience and seek the help of Allāh Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala as we strive hard to discipline our nafs and take control of our lives. Let’s strive against our nafs to do what is right and what is pleasing to Allāh.

Allāh says in the Holy Qur’an:

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire?” [Surah Al-Furqān | 25:43] and but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. [Surah Al-A’rāf | 7:176].

And He also said about the person who controlled his/her nafs, But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. [Surah An-Nāzi’āt, 79:40-41]. SubhanAllah!

So let’s continue to read Qur’an – when our nafs wants us to ‘stop’ and ‘take a break’, let’s not give in, rather, let’s read another 2 pages, and another 2 pages after that!… Let’s continue to do dhikr, give charity, make du’a – and let’s make our du’as lengthy and comprehensive, remembering the One whom we are addressing: Allāh Azza wa Jall.

Remember to read Al-Mu’awwidhatayn as often as possible both in and out of Ramadhān. Shaykh ‘Izzuddīn Ibn ‘Abdus-Salām stated that the “whisperer from mankind”(Allathee yuwaswisu fee sudoori annas) refers to the whisperings of one’s own nafs (base faculties of man himself). Just as Shaytaan casts evil thoughts into man’s mind, likewise the base self of man urges him to do evil work. (Ma’āriful Qur’ān)

May Allāh make it easy for us. Ameen!

~ Umm Daania

Some of us are starting to realize that evil tendencies, promptings, and thoughts are creeping back into our lives. This is quite normal, and it’s actually a good thing that we can recognize this in ourselves. There are some people who are deep in ghaflah (negligence) that they are unable to perceive that what they are doing is wrong! May Allāh Azza wa Jall protect us from this.

And so this quote comes to mind:

“It is the duty of man to pause at every intent that is suggested to him so he may know whether it is from the call of the angel or demon.” – Imam Al-Ghazali

While the Shayaateen are chained, some of us may be wondering why we are still plagued with this evil and darkness of the heart…

Know well that it is our nafs, our passions. And it is said that the greatest enemy of the nafs is obedience to Allāh.

Shaytaan has had his way with us for 11 months. After giving in to his every whim and fancy for such a period of time, the soul becomes accustomed to committing sin, speaking evil, etc. And sin becomes the order of the day, Shaytaan no longer needs to continue prompting us, because we then commit the sin on our own – out of habit! Ma’aadhullah!

But now is not the time to give up! In fact, there is never a good time to give up and lose hope. Let us simply bear patience and seek the help of Allāh Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala as we strive hard to discipline our nafs and take control of our lives. Let’s strive against our nafs to do what is right and what is pleasing to Allāh.

Allāh says in the Holy Qur’an:

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire?” [Surah Al-Furqān | 25:43] and but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. [Surah Al-A’rāf | 7:176].

And He also said about the person who controlled his/her nafs, But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. [Surah An-Nāzi’āt, 79:40-41]. SubhanAllah!

So let’s continue to read Qur’an – when our nafs wants us to ‘stop’ and ‘take a break’, let’s not give in, rather, let’s read another 2 pages, and another 2 pages after that!… Let’s continue to do dhikr, give charity, make du’a – and let’s make our du’as lengthy and comprehensive, remembering the One whom we are addressing: Allāh Azza wa Jall.

Remember to read Al-Mu’awwidhatayn as often as possible both in and out of Ramadhān. Shaykh ‘Izzuddīn Ibn ‘Abdus-Salām stated that the “whisperer from mankind”(Allathee yuwaswisu fee sudoori annas) refers to the whisperings of one’s own nafs (base faculties of man himself). Just as Shaytaan casts evil thoughts into man’s mind, likewise the base self of man urges him to do evil work. (Ma’āriful Qur’ān)

May Allāh make it easy for us. Ameen!

~ Umm Daania

Ramadhān Reflections: (3/30)

Another beautiful night has passed, Alhamdulillah…

Now is not the time to slack off from your ibaadah. In fact, one great way to step up your game and maximize rewards is to give charity!

Contribute something for Iftaar at the Masjid, and if you don’t break fast at the Masjid, then donate a few dollars to help with supplying water and dates for those who come to the Masjid to break fast. Wallahi, the rewards for this will be so great, in sha Allah.

Nabī declared, If a person gives iftar to a fasting person in this month, his sins will be forgiven. And he will be given as many rewards as has that fasting person,” some of the Blessed Companions (RadiAllahu ‘anhum ‘ajma’īn) said that they were not so rich as to give iftar (meal) to a fasting person. He declared as a reply, The rewards will be given even to a person who gives a date as the iftaror who provides water to break the fast or who offers a little milk" [Bayhaqi].

SubhanAllah! Make it your business tomorrow to find out who is responsible for providing the Iftaar, and find out how you can contribute – even if it’s $10. Of course, this is for those who can afford to do so. Whatever amount you choose to give, do remember that your contributions do matter and will be greatly appreciated.

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,” [Surah Az-Zilzal, 99:7]

Also, you don’t have to do it for each day in the month, but the more you do, the more rewards for you.

And you don’t have to stop at food! Look around in your Masjid and ask your Imam or the Masjid’s admin personnel for other ways to contribute. Help out by purchasing bulbs, tissue, soap, Islamic posters, distribution of du’a booklets, etc. – anything that is needed to create ease for those coming to the Masjid.

This is one of my personal goals for this Ramadhān, and something I just wanted to encourage everyone else to do.

May Allāh Azza wa Jall accept all our deeds and enable us to continue to do more good deeds thereafter. Amīn!

~ Umm Daania

Ramadhān Reflections: (2/30)

Alhamdulillah, another evening has passed…

I’m sure many of us have performed the Tarawih salaah in the Masjid again this evening. And I’m equally sure that we are seeing many new faces in the Masjid, or perhaps we ourselves are the new faces in the Masjid. Whichever way it goes, Alhamdulillah!

This is what Ramadhān is supposed to do for us. Allāh has placed the seed of love and unity in our hearts, and so we become united for His sake, and we gather in the place that is most beloved to Him.

This is why it is so important that we treat each other equally. Our levels of compassion, empathy and concern for each other should increase, and we should look out for other fellow sisters – or brothers (for brothers)! Make them feel welcome and loved.

Never mind the fact that they are performing salaah incorrectly, checking their watches or mobiles in the middle of salaah, or are not dressed in the sunnah manner. Alhamdulillah, they are here with us the Masjid. Just be gentle with them and perhaps Allāh Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will soften their hearts and place the zeal and desire in them to become even better Muslims through your love and encouragement.

Whether you perform 8 rak’ah or 20, or more, it’s all good! So don’t look down on the one doing less, and don’t think the one does more is proud and pious – it is all worship for Allāh Azza wa Jall, so the more you do, the more rewards for you!

In fact, we see people of Masjid who we can look up to. Lately, I’ve seen many elderly sisters who are so determined and enthusiastic to complete 20 rak’ah Tarawih, in addition to the Faraaidh and Witr salaah! Yes, elderly women! Those are able stand, and those who aren’t, sit, but their devotion is certainly heartwarming. Similarly, I’ve seen people who are physically ‘less athletic’ stand and perform all their salaah! - Wallah! May Allāh grant them goodness, and may we also take example from them, especially during those times when we may feel lethargic and lazy.

This Ramadhān is so special because we are here to take advantage of it, let not the heart remain darkened due to our sins. Remove all the malice and prejudice from the heart so that the light of Iman and unity can prevail, in sha Allāh.

~ Umm Daania

Ramadhān Reflections: The First Night (1/30)

I meant to do this last night, but I was not feeling well, so here I am now…. Alhamdulillah….

The first night of Tarawih was just as beautiful as I imagined it to be. With the setting of the sun and the commencement of the first night of this blessed month of Ramadhān, I could literally feel the sakina of Allāh descending upon us. The whole atmosphere changed! Everyone was smiling and sharing sincere well-wishes for the blessings of Allāh in this month.

You know that feeling you get in your throat… like when you want to cry but you don’t want to cry! It feels a bit like a tennis ball is stuck in your trachea – I know you know what I’m talking about. Well that is exactly how I felt when I lifted my hands in du’a after Maghrib. The feeling of immense joy and gratitude towards Allāh was overwhelming. Especially when you stop to think of all those people who were with us for last Ramadhān and who are not present with us today; and also those who were just a few days, hours and moments away from this Mubarak Month, but Allāh took their souls before they were able to make it.

Alhamdulillah, we are so fortunate to be here. We are so favored to be given another day, another moment to supplicate to Allāh and to reap the blessings and rewards of this month. This is an opportunity that even those who have passed away long to return and take advantage of.

With this being said, let us not waste a moment during this month. Take a break if you have to but during each moment of the day be in the remembrance and worship of Allāh.

If you think you have too much on your plate, simply ask Allāh to make it easy for you. Throughout this entire month, your du’as will be accepted, so take advantage!

- Umm Daania

Inform your non-Muslim family, colleagues, friends, etc. about this blessed month. Let them know what to expect and not expect from you. Explain to them the spiritual and even health benefits of fasting!

Ramadhan is not just about fasting and staying away from food, drink and relations between spouses, but it’s also about staying from anything that is haram: seeing the haram, hearing the haram, speaking the haram… So now is a good time to let them know why you may distance yourself a little more than usual. Don’t shut them out! But use hikmah (wisdom) and love when dealing with them In shaa Allah.

And yes, you can certainly encourage them to try and fasting for a day! It is form of da’wah and it can help in clearing up any misconceptions they may have.

May Allah Azza wa Jall keep us on the straight path and guide them towards it as well. Amin!

- Umm Daania

Don’t leave the kids out! Incorporate their daily Ramadhan plan into yours.

Encourage them to fast this Ramadhan for half the day and reward them for doing (- for those who are a little older!).

They love doing what we do! And In shaa Allah it will also prepare and make it easy for them when the fast becomes wajib for them.

I will leave you with a link to a Ramadhan nasheed you can enjoy with your little Muslims:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNnSyrCjXbw

May Allah Azza wa Jall bless our tiny humans and guide them towards the path of righteousness. Amin!

- Umm Daania