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24 Apr 2016 Leave a comment
03 May 2016 Leave a comment
Every Muslim knows that Salah (congregational prayer) is obligatory to perform five times a day. Despite knowing its great importance being the most important task to do after one`s faith in Allah SWT and His Messenger (PBUH), most of us do not carry out this auspicious duty with required level of submissiveness and loyalty to the Almighty, Who himself calls His servants to seek for His Assistance through requests and persistence on their faith.
The above stated Ayah shows that Salah is indeed one of the best ways to achieve Allah`s decisive guidance But, many Muslims also complain about lack of serenity in their lives, when actually they fail to attract the attention of the Exalted One by lacking dedication in their acts of veneration of the Almighty Lord. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to pray the Gracious God the following supplication:
“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a heart that has no khushoo’…” (Tirmidhi)
Khushoo is an Arabic word, which means “having humility and dedication” in everything one does. It is the main constituent of prayers, without which one cannot attain the necessary level of Taqwa in daily worships.
Now let us discuss some of the many possible ways to achieve Khushoo in Salah:
1) Developing a Habit of Praying on Time
Punctuality and time management are the keys to success in every walk of life. Let us take an example of a college student, who needs to be present in its class before it is started in to listen to and absorb the whole lecture better. A little delay in entering classroom could lead to missing out on some crucial information which could be the baseline for understanding the whole session.
Similarly, a Muslim also needs to take out adequate amount of time for congregational Salah and make a routine to performing it on its set occasion. As, the main purpose of prayers is to gain Allah`s Help and tranquility of mind, therefore, one does not know at which instance the Almighty likes one`s manner of praying and accepts its plea.
It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ood (R.A), who said:
“I asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) which deed was the best.” He (the Holy Prophet) replied: ‘The Prayer at its appointed hour……” (Muslim)
By acting upon the advice of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), one should pray as early as possible as it is considered as the best deed. Delaying matters, especially Salah would only result in laziness and rustiness of heart and soul, which are complementary to devotion.
2) Preparing for Prayers Properly
It is highly advisable to having performed wudu (ablution) from home, and walking towards the mosque in a state of complete cleanliness. One should also repeat the words of the Adhan (Call to prayer) as it is considered as the right of the Muazzin (Caller towards Salah) to replicate its words. This would ensure one`s preparedness for Salah before it has actually started, and resultantly leading to developing attachment to prayers.
3) Eliminating all Distractions
As, Namaz is the act of standing in front of Allah SWT in gratitude, and asking for His Mercy, so one should be free from all kinds of inner and outer interruptions. Most of our prayers do not count because of our negligence and thinking about worldly matters. Therefore, in order to get the best out of Salah, one needs to enter masjid with nothing running at the back of its mind.
4) Having Clear Conscious and Seeking Allah`s Refuge from Shaitaan
It is narrated on the authority of Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Believers), Umar bin al-Khattab (R.A) that he heard the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah saying as:
“Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, and then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
The above mentioned Hadith clearly indicates that purpose behind performing any task decides the nature of its outcome. So, in order to benefit from Salah, one needs to be mindful of its consciousness of praying. If it seeks Allah`s forgiveness and mercy, then it should made up its mind accordingly before starting praying.
Also, many of our prayers go off track because of satanic thoughts while standing in Salah. So, one should recite “Audhu Billahi mina-Shaitan-nir-Rajeem” which means “I seek refuge in Allah SWT from the accursed Shaitaan”.This would lead to proper concentration while praying.
5) Reciting Verses Slowly
Namaz needs to be carried out with steady pace, as hastiness in any matter is considered to be the act of Satan by the holy Prophet (PBUH).
“Deliberation is from Allah, and haste is from Satan.” (Tirmidhi)
So, while praying, one needs to recite the Quranic lines gradually, and stop at each interval to be able to adopt the quality of Allah, i.e. Thoughtfulness. Indeed, when one takes on way of God, it would only increase the inner peace of mind at every step of Salah.
Note – If you do not know how to read and recite the verses of Quran, you can join Quran Tutorfor online Quran learning classes.
6) Giving each Position its Due Right
As, prayer is the direct method of interacting with Allah SWT, so one is required to remain in a complete state of gratefulness and gratitude towards Him so that it could fulfill the due rights of Salah. For this, one should give proper time to each and every position in Rakats, like in Rukoo and Sujood, one could ask the Almighty for His forgiveness and blessings especially in the latter case, when a Muslim is closest ever to Allah SWT.
7) Focusing on Whom one is Speaking In Front of
Salah is different from other religious duties in a sense that it is the way of direct contact with the Gracious Lord. So, great care should be taken in its execution and one should maintain a constant state of submissiveness to God.
8) Remembering one`s death
To get the best out of Salah, one needs to suppose that it might well be its last ever prayers, as death is inevitable and can occur at any time. This would increase the level of meekness in one`s worship and will eventually become the cause of getting Khushoo from it.
9) Knowing the meaning what is being said
Prayers are only accepted when one knows what it is being asked for. As, Salah is the best form of supplication, so one should know the actual meaning of every line that is being said in Namaz in order to benefit from the true spirit of Salah.
10) Reciting Allah`s Greatness after prayers
Immediately after finishing obligatory Namaz, it is the time for asking and gaining from the countless bounties of Allah SWT, and His Clemency, so one should use this instance in the best way by adoring the Lord through His Dhikr (Remembrance). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said:
“Glorify Allah (by saying Subhaan Allah), praise Him (by saying al-hamdu Lillah), and magnify Him (by saying Allahu akbar) thirty-three times after each prayer.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
So, through venerating, admiring and amplifying the Great Status of the Almighty, one realizes and admits its humbleness in front of God, which leads to grabbing His attention and eventually results in increased devotion in worship.
In short, Salah is a very special kind of prayer in front of Allah SWT, which requires a great degree of seriousness from a Muslim. Khushoo (dedication) in Namaz is down to one`s own intention, and giving due right to every single task involved in this holy job. May Allah Almighty give us all the aspiration to develop right kind of attitude in carrying out Salah in the best prescribed way! Aameen!
02 May 2016 Leave a comment
01 May 2016 Leave a comment
How to Prepare for the Day of Judgment
One of the core tenants of the Islamic belief is the fact that Muslims believe in the world hereafter. One cannot be a Muslim until and unless he or she believes in the world hereafter from a true heart. Moreover, in addition to the life in the hereafter, a Muslim has to believe in the judgment day as well, the occurrence of which decides the place a person is to live dwell in the life hereafter – either heaven or hell.
Pertaining to the judgment day, a Muslim must truly believe in the day, as it is as inevitable as the occurrence of death in this mortal life. The lines below discuss the emphasis put by Islam on the imperativeness and inevitability of the Day of Judgment, in addition to giving some tips on how a Muslim should prepare for it.
In Quran, Allah Almighty says:
“Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.” (62:08)
This ayah of Quran makes it clear that death is inevitable. Moreover, the other thing that the ayah makes clear is the fact that after death we all are to go to Allah Almighty, Who has witnessed all that we had done in our lives and when we go to Him, He will lay it all open in front of us. Therefore, there is no escaping the fact that one day we all will be in front of Him and He will judge us on the bases of what we have done in our lives.
At another place, Allah Almighty says in Quran:
“……Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him shall we return.” (2:156)
This ayah again stresses on the fact that a Muslim is supposed to have a firm belief on the fact that all of us have come from Allah as He is our creator, and once we die, all of us will return to Him as He is the Lord and the Supreme.
Pertaining to the belief in the Judgment day being one of the core Islamic beliefs, Allah Almighty says in Quran:
“O you who believe! Enter whole-heartedly into Islam, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan for he is to you and avowed enemy.” (2:208)
Therefore, a Muslim must understand that the belief in the world hereafter is one of the core beliefs and like all the other Islamic beliefs a Muslim must believe in it with full heart and have it incorporated in heart and mind to the core.
Pertaining to judgment day, the one thing that every Muslim must have in mind is the fact that the judgment day comprises of what a Muslim has done in this world. Therefore, there wont be any injustice or anything that a person has not done in the life of this world. In Quran, Allah Almighty says:
“And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah. For Allah sees Well all that ye do.” (2:110)
In this ayah it is clear that whatever a person does, either good or bad in this life, it automatically gets sent to the world hereafter and it is that on the bases of which a person should be held accountable. Therefore, it is more than imperative that a Muslim sends as much good as possible in the world hereafter, so that he or she could receive a good reward.
As far as the ways and methods of preparing for the world hereafter in general and the Day of Judgment in particular is concerned, a Muslim must do all that is virtuous and righteous. The lines below give a few of the ways by following which a Muslim can ensure that on the Day of Judgment, he or she receives heavens as a reward.
Five Pillars – The first thing that a Muslim needs to do in order to prepare for the judgment day is to fulfill the obligations that are instructed by Allah Almighty. In this regard, a Muslim must observe five pillars of Islam and believe in them. Firstly, a Muslim must believe in the Oneness of Allah Almighty throughout life and ascribe no partners with Him. Secondly, a Muslim must make sure that the daily Salahs are offered on regular bases. Thirdly, the fasting in the month of Ramadan also needs to be observed and every Muslim must keep fast for the whole month of Ramadan. The fourth thing that needs to be observed, is giving of Zakat. The giving of Zakat ensures that a Muslim helps other Muslims out and make their lives better. Lastly, it is the pilgrimage to the home of Allah Almighty that every able Muslim must do and send good deeds to the world hereafter. To know the in depth info of these pillars, we recommend you to download Five Pillars of Islam in your mobile and start exploring each pillar.
Fulfill Sunnahs – In addition to the obligations, if a Muslim wishes to have a good day on the Judgment day, then he or she also needs to fulfill the Sunnahs of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The fulfilling of Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) also carries great reward, hence a Muslim must try fulfilling any Sunnah he or she has available to perform.
Read Quran – There is reward against each and every word of Quran. Therefore, a Muslim must recite Quran for reward. However, one must also opt for understanding of Quran, as the real message of it is in the understanding and once a Muslim develops an understanding of it, he or she can easily apply it to the daily life and ensure staying on the path of righteousness. Moreover, if you are some Muslim who does not know how to correctly read Quran, you are advised to join the QuranReading.com to learn it online. This will also help you develop good understanding with Quran and also, in the world hereafter, Quran will witness your efforts.
Be Good to People – Although on the judgment day it will be Allah Almighty and He has every right to be praised and worshiped, however, Islam has also put great stress on the human relations as well. A Muslim ought to be good with people. We must love others, be patient and tolerant with them, forgive them, ask their forgiveness and help each other out so that on the Day of Judgment none of the people has any complaints against you.
Seek Allah’s Forgiveness – Above all, the one thing that every Muslim must do in the worldly life to have a better Day of Judgment is to seek forgiveness of Allah Almighty. If one keeps on asking forgiveness for the sins, then the sins keep on washing away, which ultimately leads to fewer sins on the judgment day, hence a better life hereafter. Moreover, besides forgiveness, a Muslim must also ask of protection of Allah Almighty against the fire of Hell as well.
In short, the Day of Judgment is inevitable and every Muslim must have firm belief in rising after death and standing in the court of Allah Almighty. Therefore, in this life a Muslim must try living it on the rules and instructions of Islam so that on that very day, a Muslim is found righteous and rewarded paradise instead of being otherwise.
30 Apr 2016 1 Comment
30 Apr 2016 Leave a comment
7 Habits That Muslims Must Fit In Their Character to Be Successful
The definition of success is relative. For some success means achieving wealth beyond measures, for other it means helping and saving humanity with whatever means are available at disposal. People set their goals of success and then put all their efforts in pursuing those goals and try to go to every extent possible in achieving those goals.
For a Muslim the definition of success revolves around doing anything that results in pleasing Allah Almighty. A Muslim has to stick to the path of righteousness in order to develop a strong relationship with Allah. Once the relation is developed, the ultimate result is a Muslim achieving success both in this world and in the world Hereafter.
The lines below discuss 7 habits that a Muslim should adopt in order to be a successful Muslim.
Being true is one of the core habits that every civilized society appreciates in its members. When people adopt truthfulness, it actually means that they have laid the most important foundation stone upon which they are going to construct a building of great character.
In Islam truthfulness is one of the best virtues that a Muslim can have. It is the key component in one’s character that shows the righteousness of the person. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said about being truthfulness in the following way:
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fujur (wickedness, evil doing), and al-fujur leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Bukhari)
This hadith speaks of the benefits and rewards of being truthful and the vices of being a liar. Those who consider paradise as their objective of success can get great information about achieving their goal from this hadith. In order to successfully achieve their goal, all they have to be is truthful while following Islamic way of life. When they are truthful, they set the course of events in such a way that ultimately leads to paradise. Therefore, a Muslim must incorporate the habit of being truthful in his or her life in order to grow closer to Allah successfully.
Being trustworthy is also an integral component that is to be appreciated in the personality of a person. Not everyone in this world is trustworthy and people do not trust other with anything, this lack of trust on someone shows that one lacks the characteristic attributes of goodness because of which people do not show trust on anyone. When there is someone on whom people trust, it shows that people believe in his or her character and it is the goodness in the character of that person that has made them trust him or her with either their secret or possession. In Quran, Allah Almighty mentions one of the proclamations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), where He said:
“I convey to you the messages of my Lord, and I am to you a trustworthy adviser.” (7:68)
From the ayah it is clear that being trustworthy is one of the Sunnahs of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and every Muslim knows that following His Sunnah always leads to success in both the lives. Therefore, for a Muslim it is imperative to adopt and grow qualities that make him or her trustworthy in life.
We as humans are bound to commit error, however, this fatal flaw in our nature does not mean that we don’t need to control ourselves, rather we need to practice self constraint as much as possible. It is this practicing of self-restraint that keeps us on the right track and prevents us from going stray on a path that leads to total darkness. Those who learn Quran and try to understand it, are aware of the fact that all the instructions in Quran are to help a Muslim in practicing self-constraint. In Quran, Allah says:
“But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].” (41:35)
From this ayah it can be deduced that the practicing patience and self-restraint results in a person receiving goodness and great fortune as a reward. Therefore, the success in the form of goodness comes to all those who are patient and practice self-restraint. Therefore, a Muslim must also learn from Quran the things that need to be avoided and whenever the temptation rises, he or she must resist it by practicing self-restraint.
The reason why we as humans are not able to stick with the right path or do anything good in our life is that we do not pursue it with thoroughness. The term ‘thoroughness’ here means aiming for perfection. When one sets perfection as an ideal, then the least he or she could achieve would be better than setting something ordinary as an ideal. It was one of the Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) that He was perfect in character. Therefore, every Muslim must try pursuing perfection, as the pursuit of it leads to a person becoming good in character and achieving small milestones in the way successfully.
No matter whether it is a worldly objective or something that is in Islamic preaching, the achievement of it all depends upon focus. When a Muslim is focus, he or she sees thing clearly and when the destination is clear in the eyes, the ultimate result is a person arriving at the destination successfully. A simple example of it can be seen with respect to prayers, about which Quran says:
“The Believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers.” (23:1-2)
From the ayah it is clear that those who humble themselves in prayer will eventually win. If this ayah is seen from the perspective of focus, then humbleness in prayer is something which one only achieves when one is focused. The more focused one is during prayer, the more he or she realizes what prayer is and the more he or she grows humble. Therefore, if a Muslim is to win, then he or she must undertake every task in life with complete clarity and focus. You canread this article discussing about improving concentration while offering prayers.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked:
“Which deed is the dearest to Allah?”
“To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” (Bukhari)
In addition to pointing the importance of prayers, this hadith also highlights the importance of offering Namaz on the given time, in other words it highlights punctuality. In order to be successful in worldly as well as religious life, a Muslim has to be punctual in every aspect of life and value time. Therefore, a Muslim must be conscious of the commitments with regards to time and adhere to them strictly.
Consistency is another key attribute that results in a person achieving success. When one is consistent, then he or she sticks with things and takes them to completion. This consistency gives birth to steadfastness which then finds its roots in trust in Allah Almighty. Therefore, in every undertaking a Muslim must be as consistent as possible. Hazrat Ayesha (RA) narrates:
“The most beloved action to Allah’s Apostle was that which is done continuously and regularly.” (Bukhari)
In a nutshell, every Muslim must try making the aforementioned attributes as habits. Once a Muslim makes these attributes as habits, the ultimate result is he or she achieving success with balance in this life and in the life hereafter as well.
30 Apr 2016 Leave a comment
Islamic View On Criticizing Repenting Sinners
Allah SWT has created humans in the most desirable manner which is why they are known as the Supreme Creations. A man is given enough conscious to make its own decisions as the brain of a human being is the most highly developed. But that does not guarantee that they are perfect in every sense. Over the course of history of mankind, it has regularly fallen in wrongdoings and transgression from the Almighty Lord`s commandments. That is the reason why the Most Gracious has sent His Prophets to guide their respective nations mainly to make them realize about Oneness of God.
The above mentioned Ayah shows that man has always been associating false gods with the Most Merciful, Who has clearly declared that this one offense is not tolerable in His court on the Day of Judgment. It means that Polytheism is the biggest of the misdeeds as it is directly opposing the Greatness of the Almighty Lord. And also that other sins apart from that could be pardoned by the Most Compassionate. It is also commonly observed that people tend to publicly ridicule the wrongdoings of others when they come to know about it which is not a likeable action according to Islamic teachings as Allah SWT is the most Rightful Judge of all.
Now let us elaborate this delicate topic of criticizing others` sins in the light of Quran and Sunnah in order to become aware of our responsibility in this regard:
Committing Sins is Part of Life
We humans are always under a constant threat of transgression one way or the other. Sometimes, it is down to our own will and we can control things but still due to forceful satanic influence, sins are committed by most of us. It may also be because of lack of compactness of one`s religious faith, but then there is not a single person ever lived on the surface of the earth apart from the Sacred Prophets who has never sinned. The Apostle ﷺ of God has said:
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace you by those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” (Muslim)
It means that it is in human nature that a man has to carry out crime at some point in life because Allah SWT has given Shaitaan enough power to maneuver thoughts and actions. But that is not all; He has always awarded us with sufficient degree of awareness of the right and wrong and has made it clear that He listens to our requests for clemency over sins all the time as discussed in the previously stated Hadith.
Repentance Leading to Forgiveness
Since no one is free from the evil of misconduct, it should not be treated as a non curable state. In the Holy Quran, Allah SWT has repeatedly informed us of His Kindness and Mercy and that He is open to listen to every kind of entreaty of His servants. It can be observed in the following Quranic lines:
It shows that the Most Compassionate does not leave the true believers in state of despair for their crimes in this world; rather He is ever ready to excuse their misbehavior and grant them with His Clemency. Rasulullah ﷺ, when used to visit the graves, he would always cry to till the moment the soil would become wet with His tears. If a Prophet who is the most consecrated among humans weeps for Allah`s Mercy, then why we should not do so. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said regarding the matter of being remorseful over wrongdoings:
“The one who repents from sin is like one who has never sinned.” (Ibn Majah)
The above mentioned Hadith clearly suggests that feeling sorrow when one has committed a wrongdoing and asking for Allah`s Clemency is almost equal to a state of purity. It means that the Almighty Lord readily forgives all the sins of a person that one asks His Mercy for.
Keeping Away from Criticizing Others` Sins
It is commonly seen in our society that majority of us are looking for shortcomings in others` lives. It may be because of hatred toward a particular person or any other personal reason that some of us take it their responsibility to expose people for their crimes in public and feel proud about it. Some may also count themselves as superior to the wrongdoers with a view of being more pious than them which is actually an act which destroys one`s good deeds as self-importance is not allowed in Islam. The Messenger ﷺ of Allah said:
“Muslims are brothers. They do not treat each other cruelly and do not give in each other to the enemy. Whoever meets a need of his Muslim brother Allah will meet a need of his own. Whoever saves a Muslim from a trouble, Allah will save him from one of his troubles on the Day of Judgment. Whoever conceals a Muslim’s fault, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Judgment.” (Bukhari)
This Hadith plainly describes the great importance of hiding the wrongdoings of fellow believer, which is an act that leads to covering up of one`s own errors in the hereafter. Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran:
If a mere suspicion over others` conduct is a crime, then one can imagine how much a bigger sin publicizing others` transgressions will be. It is because there is only One God who knows what is present in the hearts of His servants. It may well be possible that we hate on a certain individual for his offenses, but the Most Merciful has already pardoned him because of his repenting over sins.
In short, every one of us should avoid from taking pleasure in discussing personal matters of others and leave them in the hands of the Creator of the universe, knowing that He is the Only One worthy of judging His servants.
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