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Showing posts from November, 2018

Why Do We Pray Salah? The Wisdom Behind Allah’s Obligations

People often ask questions like ‘Why do I have to pray?’ or ‘Why do I have to wear hijab, can’t I just dress modestly?’ Even those who do obey the obligations of being a Muslim don’t always do them by heart, because we have the attitude of taking obligations as burdens upon us, something that we have to do in order to avoid the Hellfire. But in fact, the things which Allah the Exalted has made mandatory upon us are special gifts, and once we realize that, obeying them becomes so much easier. Why does Allah ask us to pray, to fast, to avoid backbiting, to avoid alcohol, to wear hijab? What does Allah gain by these things which He has imposed on us? Some of you might be scandalized by such questions, and yet there are those among us who have these questions and doubts deep inside their minds, which they refuse to admit even to themselves. But it’s not healthy to avoid such questions, rather we should confront them and silence them with answers. Allah says in the Quran: Whoever d

How to Avoid Falling Into Shaytaan's Strategy on Social Media

We are deeply grateful to Allah (swt) that Facebook and other social networks have for us been very effective means of getting the message of the Quran to the entire world, expanding the ummah, and deepening the knowledge of each brother and sister as well as those outside Islam (who we are hoping will join us soon, Insha Allah). We are also personally grateful that social media helps us to stay connected with our dear ones. The following article addresses the pitfalls of using social media for strong purposes and does not mean to suggest that social media is something bad in itself How fabulous is Facebook for you? How tempting is Twitter? How indulgent is Instagram? How wary are you on Whatsapp? Social media are part of our lives and they are both blessings and tests from Allah. You might be able to control yourself and use technology to do good deeds, like sharing Islamic knowledge and keeping ties with family, or you might find yourself drifting away from your good intenti

How to Understand Fate and Free Will in Islam

Knowing limits and balances and honoring them is key to following Islam. There are many demands in life that sometimes appear to be in conflict with each other. Nevertheless, one has to negotiate carefully with different needs and tread a middle path. One such balance to be maintained is acting on free will while having faith in fate. Some people out of arrogance say that they make their own fate, as if God has no role. And some go to the other extreme of saying that free will is an illusion, suggesting that our lives have no point. SEEING FATE IN A POSITIVE LIGHT We experience the consequences of our actions as well as situations that we did not create ourselves. Sometimes we pay for some of our mistakes. At times, we feel like we’re paying more than our due. We feel that we couldn’t have done much to avert this situation; we’ve just run into this. At those times we look to God for guidance and mercy. The best approach in such situations is to maintain patience and pray for

4 Ways to Get Allah’s Help

In this modern world of technology, getting things we want has become very easy— too easy. We can get almost anything we want from Amazon or Ebay. We can order whatever food we want and it’s on our doorstep in twenty minutes. We can have unlimited free entertainment and a huge social network just sitting at home. The negative side of all this is that we have become too used to instant gratification in everything. This has reduced our attention span (a problem discussed widely in education systems), and we have become impatient. We carry this impatience forward to making dua– we want instant results, otherwise we lose hope. But eliciting Allah’s help is not like ordering pizza online. We can’t demand from Allah if He doesn’t answer; everything in the universe belongs to Him. He is our Rabb— even we ourselves belong to Him. If our prayers are not getting answers, we should think maybe there is something wrong with our attitude and our way of seeking help. Let us see how Allah the

How to Fall in Love With the Quran

WHAT CAN WE DO TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE QURAN? 1) THINK. Carve out some time in your schedule and relax. Think of your life and the hereafter. Think of the attachment you have for the Quran and think about what can you do in order to fall in love with it. Make a list. 2) IMPLEMENT. Take this list and put it in practice. Read at least a page from the Quran each day. If this is too difficult for now, start out by reading a few verses after each prayer. Don’t worry if you can’t read, for Rasoolullah said: Verily the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” [Bukhari & Muslim] 3) UNDERSTAND. Just reciting isn’t enough. You need to know the meaning of what you are reciting. If you aren’t good at Arabic, pick a translation in your language and have it at your side

6 Easy but Powerful Good Deeds

We observe in the lives of many of the pious predecessors that whenever they found an opportunity to do some good they would make the most of it. In the hadiths of our beloved Prophet we find examples of deeds that take very little time and effort to accomplish. In our busy lives, there are nooks and corners of free time– a few minutes of waiting in the bus queue, half a minute on the lift, etc. These could be used efficiently if we only took the time to learn a few of these easy-to-do deeds mentioned in the sunnah. Let us look at some of these now. 1) HELP OTHERS The Prophet said, Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens on the Day of Judgement. And whoever helps ease a difficulty in the world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter. And whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) for him in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah

What Qualifies You for Jannah?

The bounties that we receive are means by which Allah (swt) refines us and prepares us to enter Jannah. When we’re blessed with many bounties it’s common to think we’re better than others. We tend to feel superior if we’re blessed with family, friends, beauty, health, wealth, children, or knowledge etc. We often forget why we’ve been blessed with something that’s been denied to others. There is a wisdom behind each of Allah’s decree on us. PROUD OF WHAT WE ARE It’s a natural human weakness to forget to value the bounties we’ve been granted. We want to think that good things have come to us because of our own goodness, and we forget that the more we’re blessed, the more we’re tested. Some of us go beyond this and assume that we’re even qualified to go to Jannah with what we have in this world. Some of us assume that being born to Muslim parents gives us a free ticket to Jannah. Still others among us think that having a proud lineage, connected to great personalities in histor

Top 9 Tips to Be Your Best at Work

Success at work as a professional requires continued effort and dedication. If you’re a Muslim who works in a non-Muslim environment, you may find some situations more challenging, especially when your work requirements conflict with your values and religious obligations. Below are 9 quick tips that can set you on the right track to success in the workplace, In sha Allah. 1. Know Yourself Honestly complete your own SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis vis-à-vis your job and organization. Find strengths to exploit, weaknesses to work on, weaknesses to hide, opportunities to go after and threats to manage. Understand how each of these may impact your career. For example, if public speaking is your weakness, you can either decide that it is an important skill to have and choose to work on it by taking public speaking classes, or you can find a way to avoid ever having to do public speaking. 2. Focus on Your Own Success Find role models a level o

6 Tips to Help Lower Your Gaze

The eyes have desires that have a great tendency to want to be fulfilled, as if there is a gravity-like force that pulls the sight to the things we should not be looking at. Like gravity, those who resist will feel the force acting on them, while those who just go with the flow will feel little or nothing at all. Like gravity, it takes a lot of strength to escape it. One of the desires of the eyes is the sexual desire. Some follow this desire willingly, some struggle to keep the gaze down, and others are somewhere in between. If this desire is not kept in check, it can affect our productivity. Looking at what we should not distracts us, and when we are distracted, we stray away from our focus and lose much of our precious time on useless things. “Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard thei

Empathy in Marriage - How to Connect Emotionally With Your Spouse

We are all aware that the marital relationship is regarded as extremely important in Islam. In addition to fulfilling half our deen, marriage is a safeguard, a place to find peace, and also a strongly recommended sunnah. Our Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me.” [Ibn Majah] But why is it that so many Muslims are dissatisfied with this huge part of their lives and religion? Is it because our marriages lack empathy, or in other words, emotional understanding? Empathy is simply the act of feeling your spouse’s emotions; joining emotionally with him or her, as if “walking in his or her shoes.” Emotions within marriage in the Qur’an The Holy Qur’an reminds us about the importance of emotions in marriage: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a p

How 10 Minutes a Day Can Transform Your Life

I really wish I could be a better mother but I just don’t know how… I want to talk to my kids differently, but I just keep defaulting back to being a yeller.. I feel like someone pushed the fast forward button in my life and I don’t know how to slow it down… I feel dead inside, like I have zero emaan left.. There are so many things I wish I was doing, I wish I could change, but I just don’t have the time or the energy right now. Sound familiar? In this article, we will see how we can change – how we can begin living our best so that we can be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister and most importantly, slave of Allah. We will see some practical advice on how women, especially mothers, can become more effective in their roles, through one easy step. Why Do I Need Mindful Me Minutes? Me time. We all need it, and yet, there never seems to be enough of it. Thus is the life of mothers! We live our lives knowing and wanting more time for ourselves, and yet this action item inevit

5 HACKS TO BE A BETTER DAUGHTER!

Firstly, we should acknowledge that as a Muslimah, our first and foremost role is to worship Allah but then immediately after fulfilling these obligations, serving our parents is the best honour we can have. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do” [Qur’an Chapter 29: Verse 8]. Allah has endowed upon women so many challenging yet rewarding roles, but we often overlook that being a good daughter is one of the best ways in which we can worship Allah – whether you are a married woman with demands from your in-laws or a single Muslimah who is looking to get married remember that you can live your life’s true purpose by looking after your parents. 1. Prioritise your parents over other tasks Despite the demands on our time from work, personal goals and other aspiration

10 Tips to Earn Allah’s Tawfeeq

We can make intentions, we can make plans, we can make duas, but we also need to have Allah’s “tawfeeq”: the key ingredient without which we cannot achieve anything in this life. As Prophet Shu’aib [alyhis] told his people: “And my [tawfeeq] success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return” [Qur’an: Chapter 11, Verse 88]. What is tawfeeq? Tawfeeq is the special acceptance and blessing of Allah with which He enables us to achieve our aims. It is His special help for the true believers who truly want to do something only for His pleasure. Contrary to the traditional way of thinking, Allah’s tawfeeq is not something which will hit you by chance; rather, it is something you “acquire” by making conscious efforts towards it. In this article, we will discuss some steps we can take to help us attain Allah’s tawfeeq, the key blessing which will open the doors of goodness and success for us, In sha Allah. 1. Realize that you need Him The first and