islam sunnah

Amazing advice from Ibn Al-Qayyim رحمه الله

“A friend will not (literally) share your struggles, and a loved one cannot physically take away your pain, and a close one will not stay up the night on your behalf. So look after yourself, protect it, nurture it. Don’t give life’s events more than what they are really worth. 

Be certain that when you break, no one will heal you except you; and when you are defeated, no one will give you victory except your own determination. Your ability to stand up again and carry on is your responsibility.

Do not look for your self-worth in the eyes of people; look for your worth from within your conscious. If your conscious is at peace then you will ascend high, and if you truly know yourself then what is said about you won’t harm you.

Do not carry the worries of this life, because this is for Allah. And do not carry the worries of sustenance because it is from Allah. And do not carry the anxiety for the future because it is in the Hands of Allah.

Carry one thing:

How to Please Allah. Because if you please Him, He Pleases you, fulfils you and enriches you. Do not weep from a life that made your heart weep, just say “Oh Allah compensate me with good in this life and the hereafter”.

Sadness departs with a sajdah. Happiness comes with a sincere du'a. Allah does not forget the good you do, nor does He forget the good you did to others and the pain you relieved them from. Nor will He forget the eye which was about to cry but you made it laugh.

Live your life with this principle: Be good even if you don’t receive good, not because of other’s sake but because Allah loves the good doers".

عَنْ أَبِي مَسْعُودٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ :“‏ مَنْ قَرَأَ بِالآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ فِي لَيْلَةٍ كَفَتَاهُ‏ "‏‏.‏ صحيح البخاري حديث ٥٠٠٩

Narrated Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ”If one recites the last two Verses of Surat-al-Baqara at night, it is sufficient for him (for that night).” Sahih al-Bukhari 5040
In-book reference : Book 66, Hadith 64
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 6, Book 61, Hadith 560

سلسلة الأذكار والأدعية // Athkar & Invocations Series | 13

Day 9 - How to avoid Jahannam

The purpose of this dunya is a test. “Whoever manages to save himself from the fire of hell, and is caused to enter Jannah. That is the one that has truly achieved success.”

Ten methods from the Quran and Sunnah, that can be used to save yourself from the hellfire.

  1. Tawbah (Repentence): Tawbah is an action of the heart, literally meaning “to return yourself to Allah (swt),” because a sin distances you from Him. No sin can withstand Tawbah, Tawbah forgives everything and Allah can forgive all sins, but only if you submit to him. The Prophet  said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never sinned.” [Ibn Maja (3240)]  When Allah (swt) created humans, the angels asked him, “Why would you create an inferior species that sins? We are perfect and sinless.” Allah (swt) wanted to reveal his merciful side, that he will forgive even those who sin
    Conditions for repentance:
    - Leaving the sin
    - Remorse over having committed the sin
    - Resolve never to return to the sin
  2. Istigfar (Verbal Repentance): The verbal act of tawbah. Tawbah is a state of mind and heart, while istigfar is manifesting tawbah on your tongue. The most common way is to say “Astagfirullah,” meaning “I seek forgiveness from Allah (swt). Make it a habit to say Astagfirullah100 times throughout your day.
  3. Good deeds: Your good deeds will cancel out your bad deeds. Pray, help others, and give charity as much as you can.
  4. The Dua of others: You can be saved from Jahannam when others make dua for you, especially by your name, but even generically as well. It is a command of Allah to seek forgiveness for all of your fellow believers. We pray for others, so that inshAllah, Allah (swt) will cause them to pray for us.
  5. Hardships: Every physical and emotional pain you suffer will dissolve your sins. Allah (swt) is so merciful and understanding of our pain in this dunya. That is why we must say Alhamdulillah for any suffering, because it is to rid us of our sins. Allah is testing you, so that your sins will be forgiven.
  6. Punishment of the Grave: For major sinners and those who deserve Jahannam, Allah (swt) will punish you in the grave, so that you do not go to Jahannam. Those are punished in the grave, will not know that it is their punishment. They will think that after the grave, they will go to Jahnnam. However, Allah (swt) is the most merciful and sends you to the gates of Jannah on judgement day.
  7. Punishment of Judgement Day: The day of Judgement will not be easy except for those who Allah made it easy for. Allah (swt) will use the suffering of Qiyamah to forgive the major sinners of the suffering in Jahannam.
  8. Good deeds gifted by others: The good deeds gifted by the living to the deceased. A son/daughter, relative, or friend, giving charity in your name, making dua for you, reading the Quran and asking Allah to pass all of the rewards to you. This is why it is important to help and benefit others as much as you can when your alive, because in return those people will remember you and think of you even more when your dead. Your friend will remember, “He gave me a loan last month, may Allah forgive him.” That one sentence will help you when you most need it. Narrated from Abu Hurairah that, “A man said to the Prophet ﷺ, “My father died leaving wealth but no will. Would he be pardoned if we gave charity on his behalf?” The Prophet ﷺ said: “Yes.” Let people remember you only for good and inshAllah they will ask Allah to forgive you. 
  9. Intercession of the Prophet : Make dua and say, “O Allah make me amongst those whom the Prophet makes Shafa’a (intercession) for.” Whoever gets it, will go to Jannah. The Prophet said whoever makes this dua sincerely, he will be the Shafa’a for on the day of judgement.
  10. Mercy of Allah: The pure, undeserved mercy that Allah (swt) gives to whom ever he chooses. There will be millions who deserve Jahannam, however for some he will still have the utmost of mercy. Allah has stored 99 to use on Yaumul Qiyamah. The purest Rahma of Allah.
Welcoming Ramadan

Sunnahs of the Prophet (saw) during Ramadan

I attended a welcoming Ramadan workshop a couple of days ago. Sharing some notes on the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) during the month of Ramadan that were discussed during the workshop. 

a. Having suhoor

Having suhoor is the sunnah of Prophet (saw). Many of us skip this sunnah by eating before sleeping and waking up later to pray fajr. 

Irbadh (RA) narrates that Prophet (saw) said while calling a person to suhoor: “Come towards the meal of Barakah” (Abu Daud). 

Do not skip suhoor this Ramadan for it’s a sunnah and there is barakah in it. Having something sweet in suhoor is also a sunnah. 

Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that Prophet saw said that the best suhoor is khajoor.

b. Increase in worship

We strive to get more and more taqwa in the month of Ramadan – attaining taqwa is to stop everything that is disliked by Allah. Prophet (saw) used to increase the amount of all kinds of worship in Ramadan: dhikr, salah, nawafil, recitation of the holy Quran, staying up the night to worship. Make it a goal to increase in worship to maximize the ajar this Ramadan.

c. Decrease sleep in Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan, Prophet (saw) used to decrease the number of hours he slept and used to spend that time in worship. Decreasing the sleep is also a way to train our nafs. 

Aisha (RA) narrated that Prophet (saw) slept less during the earlier days of Ramadan (as compared to non-ramadan), and in the last ten days of Ramadan he’d almost stop sleeping (Subul al Hadi)

d. Decrease in food consumption

There is a relationship between our outside actions and inward feelings. If we eat more in Ramadan than we do everyday then the entire purpose of training our nafs and fasting is defeated. Eating too much food makes us feel lethargic and diverts our focus from other activities. Going into a food coma after iftar and not wanting to do anything after is not the purpose of iftar. During Ramadan, Prophet saw used to be so busy in worship that he wouldn’t get time for food.  

Aisha (RA) narrated that Prophet (saw) would eat his night meal at the time of suhoor during the last ten days of Ramadan. (Subul al Hadi)

e. Waking up family for worship during nights of Ramadan

Do Qiyam-al-Layl during ramadan and encourage your family members and loved ones to stay up the night in worship as well.

 Aisha (RA) narrates that when the last ten days of Ramadan started Prophet (saw) would get busy in worship for complete nights and would also wake his family up for worship and would separate himself from his wives. (Muslim)

f. Complete recitation of the Holy Quran

Finish at least one Quran in Ramadan and recite it properly – recite it the way Prophet saw did. Reciting the Arabic has its own reward and blessings and learning the translation and tafseer has its own.

 Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that every year (in Ramadan) Sayyidna Jibrael would read out Quran to Prophet (saw) once, and the year when the Prophet (saw) passed away, Jibrael (AS) read it out to Prophet twice. (Bukhari) 

There is a special connection between Quran and Ramadan so read as much Quran as you can.

g. Taking shower

Even taking a shower can become ibadah if you make the intention of following the sunnah of our Prophet (saw). 

A companion narrated that I saw Prophet (saw) pouring water on himself due to intense heat. (Abu Daud)

h. Using Miswak.

Using miswak while fasting is a sunah and should be practiced. Miswak doesn’t break the fast.

Rabeea (rA) narrates that I saw Prophet (saw) do miswak while fasting many times. 

i. Encouraging children to fast

Muawwaz (RA) narrates that we used to make children fast; when we would go to the mosque we’d arrange a toy fro them made of wool and even if they cried, we’d give them food at iftar time. (Muslim).

The goal behnd this practice was to introduce children close to maturity to the concept of fasting so that when the time comes, they are mentally prepared. At the age of 7, start encouraging them and when the fast is obligated upon them they are acquainted with the practice and have less difficulty fasting.

j. Sunnah of Iftar

It’s a sunnah not to delay the iftaar: 

Qutba bin Qatadah narrates that Prophet (saw) would break his fast as soon as the sunset. (Ahmad)

It’s a sunnah to conclude fast with fresh dates, dry dates or water: 

Anas (RA) narrates that if there were no fresh dates then the Prophet (saw) would break his fast with dry dates and if there were no dry dates then he’d break his fast with few sips of water. (Tirmidhi)

k. Searching for the night of Qadr

Make special arrangements and schedule changes to permit yourself to search for the night of Qadr in the last ashore. 

Aisha (RA) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said: Search for the night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of ramadan. (Bukhari)

Dua for the night of Qadr:

l. Practice Itikaaf

Prophet (saw) use to practice itikaf (spiritual retreat) to search for the night of Qadr. Itikaf is when you seclude yourself form others in order to focus on worshiping Allah (swt). Prophet saw did Itikaaf persistently throughout his life.

Aisha (RA) narrates that Prophet (saw) performed itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he passed away, and after that, his wives used to do itikaaf. (Bukhari)

Nowadays, people take it lightly and do not understand its significance. If a person is able to do itikaaf, then it’s highly recommended that he does so in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Let’s strive to follow as many sunnahs as we can this Ramadan inshallah!

عن أبي موسى الأشعري رضي الله عنه: عن النبيِّ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم : أنه كان يدعو بهذا الدعاءِ : “ربِّ اغفِرْ لي خطيئتي وجهلي، وإسرافي في أمري كلِّه، وما أنت أعلَمُ به مني . اللهم اغفِرْ لي خطاياي، وعمدي وجهلي وهَزلي، وكلُّ ذلك عِندي . اللهم اغفِرْ لي ما قدَّمْتُ وما أخَّرْتُ، وما أسرَرْتُ وما أعلَنْتُ، أنت المقدِّمُ وأنت المؤخِّرُ، وأنت على كلِّ شيءٍ قديرٌ” . صحيح البخاري حديث ٦٣٩٨

Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to invoke Allah with the following invocation: ‘Rabbi-ghfir-li Khati ‘ati wa jahli wa israfi fi `Amri kullihi, wa ma anta a'lamu bihi minni. Allahumma ighfirli khatayaya wa 'amdi, wa jahli wa jiddi, wa kullu dhalika'indi. Allahumma ighrifli ma qaddamtu wa ma akhartu wa ma asrartu wa ma a'lantu. Anta-l-muqaddimu wa anta-l-mu'akh-khiru, wa anta 'ala kulli shai'in qadir.’ Sahih al-Bukhari 6398
In-book reference : Book 80, Hadith 93
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 8, Book 75, Hadith 407

سلسلة الأذكار والأدعية // Athkar & Invocations Series | 12