by Asma bint Shameem
You're sitting comfortably in your room when all of a sudden, the electricity goes off. It becomes completely dark. You can't see a thing. Although it is your own house, life comes to an inconvenient, complete halt.
That's because you can't see a thing! You dare not move, in the fear that you may knock something over or worse still, you may stumble and hurt yourself. Uncomfortable and unnerving, isn't it?
 
Now fast forward to an unknown time in the future......when it will be dark like this and even worse.....
when you.... and I...... and all of mankind.....will be gathered in the dark, in front of a bridge.....
a bridge that is sharper than a sword and thinner than a hair.....
a bridge called as-Siraat.......the bridge over Hellfire.
 
When the companions asked about the bridge, he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: 'It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (hooks like) thorns which are wide at one side and narrow at the other and have bent ends... Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, or fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hellfire. The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge)." Bukhaari
 
And then, it will be ordered that we all pass over this bridge. And we will have no choice but to comply to the order of the Lord of the Worlds. But it will be dark, darker than any darkness one can ever imagine.....
and on this horrific Day, mankind will be desperate... desperate to do anything, anything, to have some kind of light that will help them see the way and guide them to cross over the Siraat.
And then..... there will be light.
 
But, you know what? This light will only be according to the light of Imaan that you had in your heart during this Dunya.
If your Imaan was strong, so will be this light....strong and bright and illuminating. And if your Imaan was weak, this light will be weak too, dim and faltering and feeble. 
 
Ibn Kathir reported in his Tafseer: "They will pass over the Siraat according to their deeds. Some of them will have a light as large as a mountain, some as a date tree, some as big as a man in the standing position. The least among them has a light as big as his index finger, it is lit at times and extinguished at other times.'' (Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir).
 
Ibn al-Qayyim says: "For one person, it (the light) will be like the sun, for another like the moon, the stars or a lamp. For yet another, this light will be only at the tips of his toes; it will shine, then go out [then shine, then go out]. For just as his light had been in this world, so he shall be given when crossing the Bridge. In fact, it is the same light that had appeared to him before. However, just as the hypocrite has no real light in this world, or has only an outward light but none within, so shall he be given [on that Day] an outward light which will vanish in the darkness and be lost."
 
If you lived a life of righteousness and Taqwa, a life according to Islaam, submitting to Allaah and repenting to Him, obeying His commandments, hoping for His Mercy yet fearing His Wrath, taking care not to disobey Him to the best of your ability, then good news for you, O Muslim. Allaah will illuminate your path over the Siraat just like He illuminated your heart in this Dunya with guidance and righteousness.
 
"The Day (will surely come) when you shall see believing men and women with their light running before them and on their right hands, (it will be said to them): 'Glad tidings for you this Day. You shall live for ever in Gardens underneath which rivers flow! That is indeed the mighty triumph." (Surah Hadeed: 12)
 
BUT,
If you dared to disobey the Lord of the Worlds, following your whims and desires, earning haraam, lying, cheating and backbiting,involved in all sorts of sins and forgetting the Aakhirah, then dim and feeble will be your light in accordance with the deeds that YOU chose to commit.
 
Imagine the desperation, despair and hopelessness of a person in such a situation!
Complete darkness..... and a bridge, that he has to cross....a bridge so sharp and so slippery and so thin, with hooks....stretching over Hellfire....and he can't see a thing! May Allaah save us.  
Wouldn't he give anything, anything to have a light that is strong and bright.....
A light that can illuminate his way across the Siraat....
A light that can take him to Jannah??!!
Alas...for him, it will be too late.....
 
BUT, it's not too late for YOU. You still have time. You still have a chance to make your light big and strong. All you have to do is to submit to Allaah and repent sincerely. Obey whatever He commands you to and stay away from whatever He forbids you from. Have Taqwa of Allaah in all that you say and do and Wallaahi, He will brighten your heart with Imaan, lighten your life in this Dunya and illuminate your way over the Siraat on to Jannah.
 
"O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow. The Day that Allaah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who believe with him, their Light will run forward before them and with (their Records Books of deeds) in their right hands they will say: "Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Siraat safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things ." (Surah Tahreem: 8)
by Asma bint Shameem


When my daughter was 2 years old, she loved to play with the water in the commode. Yes, that's right....the commode. Yuck!! That's nasty! You would say. But to her, that was the delight of the day! Splish...splash! To her there was nothing like it! And so when I would prevent her from it, she would scream and cry and wouldn't want to stop. She didn't understand how harmful that was for her. In her little mind, I took away something that she really enjoyed.
And when I would take her to the doctor to have her immunization shots, she didn't understand either. She would howl at the top of her lungs at the first sight of the needle and would run the other way. It would take two of us just to hold her down! To her, frankly, it was plain torture! Her innocent little mind simply could not even begin to understand how, on earth, could being tortured by a needle, be good for you?!! She didn't realize that this 'needle' will Insha Allaah protect her from certain illnesses and harm that is much more severe than the prick of this little needle.

So what's the point here?
The point I am trying to make is that we, as parents sometimes do things for our kids, out of our great love and concern for them, which they may not understand. They do not see the wisdom behind it, although we do, and so we carry out those things because we know it will be better for them.

And for Allah is the Highest example. (Surah Nahl:60)       وَلِلّهِ الْمَثَلُ الْأَعْلَىَ  
                                               
 So when Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala , in His Infinite Wisdom, tests us with a situation that we think is  difficult or takes away something that in our mind was good for us, we need to remember that perhaps it may not be so. Perhaps if we had continued in our way, it might have been harmful for us and whatever 
Allaah decreed for us is actually better for us, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing. 
Allaah says:

"...and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know." (Surah Baqarah: 216)

Al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom." 
Remember that we are dealing with the One who is Arham ar-Raahimeen, the Most Merciful of all that show mercy. All the mercy that we have in this world from Adam (Alaiyhi Salaam) to the Day of Judgment is only one hundredth of the Mercy of the Most Merciful. And He is Most Wise. He knows and we don't know.
So have faith in Him and trust in Him and although, sometimes we may not understand the reason behind certain things, know that as long as you obey Him, whatever He will do for you is, in fact for your betterment.

So if Allaah didn't give you that big house, or that nice car you wanted or that big raise you were hoping for, know in your mind and believe in your heart that it is actually better for you. Who knows.....maybe that big house, that car or that money would have become a source of 'fitnah' for you....Perhaps you would have become arrogant and conceited because of it, and Allaah saved you from it. Because, you know that the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
"Any one in whose heart is even a mustard seed's worth of pride will not enter Paradise." (Muslim)

And if you have been sick and suffering, sure it is not easy. But again, know in your mind and believe in your heart that it is indeed better for you. For, if you bear patiently, it will be a means of expiation for your sins and a source of great reward. The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
"There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah will record one good deed for him and will remove one bad deed from him." (Muslim)

And: "On the Day of Resurrection, when people who had suffered affliction are given their reward, those who were healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world (when they see the immense rewards for the afflictions they suffered)." (Tirmidhi-Saheeh by al-Albaani)

If Allaah took away a dear, loved one, believe, from the bottom of your heart, that surely this was better. For, you never know, had the one who passed away lived longer, may be his life would have been one of sins and disobedience and Allaah, out of His Mercy, took him before that....in a state of Imaan.

And if life has been difficult, worries surround you and calamities after calamities befall you, hear the good news from the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam): "Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allaah with no sin on them." (Tirmidhi-- saheeh by al-Albaani)

Subhaan Allaah! No sin?! And what is it from this world that you wouldn't give up, just to meet Allaah with no sin??!!

Remember that the One Who is testing you is the Most Wise, the Most Merciful and the Most Loving.....and that He did not send this calamity in order to destroy you....or cause you pain or finish you off. Rather, He is checking on you, testing your patience, acceptance and faith; it is so that He may hear your du'a and supplication, so that He may see you standing before Him....seeking His protection....filled with humility and complaining to Him, alone. The difficulties you face is a reminder for you to return to Allaah and ask for forgiveness from Him. Who knows... if He didn't give you the difficulty, maybe you would have strayed from Him far, far away....
Ibn Taymiyah said: "A calamity that makes you turn to Allaah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allaah." 
Thus in our times of trouble, when we go through pain and suffering and in our times of loss, we need to trust Allaah. We need to keep in mind that as long as we fear Him and try our best to obey Him, He will never do us wrong. He will protect us and guide us and do the best for us, no matter what the situation apparently looks like. Allaah says in a hadeeth Qudsi:

"I am as my slave thinks of me and I am with him whenever he remembers me." (Agreed Upon).

It is actually a sign of our weakness and shortsightedness, that we tend to focus on the calamities themselves, without paying much attention to the benefits that they may bring. We also forget to look at all other innumerable blessings that we enjoy and see around us.
Our minds, our logic and our senses cannot even begin to fathom the Wisdom, the Knowledge and the Hikmah behind Allaah's decisions and verdicts. It is He who is the Wise....it is He who is the Just and it is He who is the Knower of the unseen. If we trust in Allaah, He will suffice and it is He who will grant us goodness in any situation and under any circumstances.

"And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him." (Surah at-Talaaq:3)

The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
"If you put your trust completely in Allah, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their stomachs empty and return filled in the evening." (Tirmidhi-saheeh).

So trust Him....for, there is much reward in trusting Him.....it is Jannah. And there is sin in distrusting Him. Calamities and disasters are a test, and they are a sign of Allaah's love for a person. They are like medicine: even though it is bitter, yet, in spite of its bitterness you still give it to the one whom you love....

"The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath." (Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)

By Asma bint Shameem

Yeah, sure we say this statement when someone dies. Also some of us may say this sentence when they lose something, suffer a setback or harm.
But………..do you know what it means?
Sure, everyone know that it obviously means 'To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.'But that's not what I am talking about.


I mean ….do you REALLY, TRULY understand these words and their implications in a Muslim's life?


It means …whatever we have is not really ours. It belongs to Allah.


Take a look around you; everything you see, all that you have and all that there is….in you, on you, around you….belongs to Allah, alone.
It is Allah Who has given you all the property and goods you possess, and that He is the true Owner of them all.
So the cars that you own, the houses that you live in, the businesses you possess all truly belong to Allah
The kids that He blessed you with, the health that He gave you, the time that He has allowed you are all Allah's property.
Even the bodies we live in and the life that we have belongs to Allah alone.


"And to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth…." (Surah Al-Imraan:180)

"The kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in them belongs to Allah. He has power over all things." (
Surat al-Ma'ida: 120)

"Say: 'To Allah belongs the East and the West…" (Surah al-Baqarah:142)

Now, since everything belongs to Allah, then we have to include even our souls in that list. The very souls that we think of as our "self"; our "nafs"; our "being" -- whatever you want to call it -- that very thing that distinguishes you from the rest of the world, belongs to Allah. It's not YOURS.
In fact, YOU are not YOURS.
You belong to Allah.
And this is the essence of the concept of slavery to Allah in Islam.


And since He is the true Possessor of everything, and everything is His property, He allots what He wills to whomever He wills…….and then He takes it away. After all, it was Allah's to begin with.

So He may give you some thing and then take it back after a while.
He will bless you with a precious child that you love dearly…and then He may take it away.
He will grant you money, honor and status….and then He may take it away.
He will give you youth, vitality and health and then surely He will take it away.
In fact everything you have will only be with you for a very short while.
And then the Owner will claim His Right.


So when Allah does reclaim what was rightfully His, WHY MOURN OUR LOSSES?


Just like a friend who lends you his book. And then after a few days, he wants it back and you give it back to him…no regrets…..no sorrow….no questions asked.

Similarly, if Allah takes back some of His blessings upon you for some reason….so be it.
Say Alhamdulillaah.
Don't grieve. Be patient. Submit to the will of Allah, being pleased with His decision for you. For surely He will only do what is best for you.
Just think…..The Owner came and took it back.
Remember….that you're not the real owner…..you were NEVER the real owner to begin with. You only had everything because it was Allah who gave it to you in the first place. If He didn't give it to you, you wouldn't have had it in any way…in fact, you couldn't  have had it.
Remember….man enters into this world empty handed…and leaves it empty handed.
Remember….that everything we have, all the blessings we enjoy, are gifts from Almighty Allah...gifts that we enjoy for a limited period until He takes them away whenever He deems fit.
They are a trust from Allah…a loan to you…to see how you respond to these gifts from Allah and how you use them….in the obedience of the Almighty, thanking Him and worshiping Him……OR……..to the disobedience to the One Who gave then to you in the first place.


Take note of the words of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) on the occasion of the death of his son, Ibrahim:
'Our eyes are filled with tears, our hearts with grief, but we say nothing with our lips except that which pleases Allah.... Verily, to Allah we belong, and to Him we return.' (Bukhaari)


And we all know the famous incidence about the companion Abu Talha and his wife when one of the sons died and Abu Talha was not at home. She washed and shrouded him and when Abu Talha came home and asked about his son, she said, "The child is quiet and I hope he is in peace…." (Bukhaari)
Subhaan Allaah….such patience!
And such Imaan in the statement "Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji'oon"!


She truly understood its meaning and the affect it should have on her life as a Muslimah,
submitting to him and being pleased with whatever He has decreed for her.
She knew that whatever she has, is not truly hers. Rather, it is Allah's….and He took back whatever He owns at its appointed time.
And it is because of this Imaan so strong, this understanding, that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) made dua for them and Allaah blessed them immensely.
"'They (i.e. Abu Talha and his wife) had nine sons and all of them became reciters of the Quran (by heart)."  (Bukhaari)



"Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allah we belong and to him is our return.' They are those on who (descend) blessings from Allah and mercy and they are the once that receive guidance."  (al-Baqarah:155)


1.Read Quraan

The blessed month of Ramadaan is the month in which the Quraan was revealed. Thus, this blessed month of Ramadaan is even more special in relation to the Quraan, because Allaah distinguished it by revealing the Quraan during it. Aside from recitation of the Quraan, learning the translation of the meaning, pondering over its Verses are also recommended and encouraged acts.[2]

Narrated Ibn Masood (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever reads a single letter from Allaahs book will receive a blessing and each blessing is worth ten times its value.”[3]

And he (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever reads one letter from the Book of Allaah, will receive one Hasanah (reward for a good deed), and one Hasanah comes with ten like it. I do not say that Alif – Lam - Mim is a letter. Indeed Alif is a letter, and Lam is a letter, and Mim is a letter."[4]

Although the Quraan has been made easy to read and remember, it is also easy to forget, hence it is recommended to read it everyday. Narrated Aboo Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Keep on reciting the Quraan, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Quran runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes."[5]

One should have realistic goals for himself, and read as much as he can, even if just a few lines per day. If a person wants the Prophets intercession on the Day of Judgment, then he needs to read and act according to the Quran.[6] Aboo Umamah said he heard Allaahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) say: “Recite the Quraan, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite It…”[7]

As the mentioned above, we should be realistic and not go in extremes. Moderation and consistency is also very important. Try to make a plan for your self. Perhaps you should read a page of the Quraan, followed by its translation, and then followed by its Tafsir. This way, the verses will have a greater impact on you. The Quraan was sent as a guided, and its imperative we read it with understanding.
Reading 4 sides of the Mushaf after every salah will help you complete 1 juz in a day!

If we look at the practice of the Salaf: Umar ibn al – Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), is reported to have said, “Learn the Quraan five verses at a time, for verily, Jibreel used to descend with the Quraan for the Prophet (peace be upon him) five at a time.”[8]

For a good translation of the Quraan, I would recommend the one by Dr. Muhsin Khan. http://www.thenoblequran.com

For a good Tafseer (commentary and explanation), Imam Ibn Katheers is considered one of the best. http://www.darussalam.com/product_info.php?cPath=71_54&products_id=435



2.Dua

One should make as much Dua for himself, family and the Muslim Ummah as much as he can during Ramadaan. Narrated Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself."[9]

Umm Darda reported: My husband reported that he heard Allaahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “He who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence), the Angel commissioned (for carrying supplication to his Lord) says: Ameen, and it is for you also.”[10]



3.Family ties

Ramadaan is a time where a person who may have problems or disagreements between his family members should clear them. There is great reward for one who upholds kinship.

Allaah, the Most High, said: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allâh has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.”[11]

Narrated Jubair bin Mutim (may Allaah be pleased with him): That he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, "The person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise."[12]

Narrated Anas bin Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him): Allaahs Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin."[13]

Narrated Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The word Ar-Rahm (womb) derives its name from Ar-Rahman (i.e. Allaah). So whosoever keeps good relations with it (womb i.e. Kith and kin), Allaah will keep good relations with him, and whosoever will sever it (i.e. severs his bonds of Kith and kin) Allaah too will sever His relations with him.”[14]

Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported Allaahs Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: “The earth will vomit long pieces of its liver like columns of gold and silver, and the murderer will come and say: It was for this that I committed murder. The breaker of family ties will come and say: It was for this that I broke the family ties; and the thief will come and say: It is for this that my hands were cut off. They will then leave it and will not take anything out of it.”[15]



4.Praying Qiyaam / Taraweeh/ Tahajjud (the Night Prayer)

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): I heard Allaahs Apostle (peace be upon him) saying regarding Ramadan, "Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allaah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."[16]

Please note: Theres a trend (especially with the youth), of not praying the whole day, except Taraweeh. This is very odd and it would be like someone working over time, but not working during the normal time!! i.e. how can you have any benefit from voluntary actions, if you are not doing the obligatory?



5. Making Dawah

Ramadaan is a perfect time for Muslims to make Dawaah to those that are not practicing, as well as non-Muslims. One can do this by being a kind person and showing the right example of the good Muslim, or even reminding his fellow Muslims what the obligations of Islam are.



6. Nawafil / Voluntary Prayers

At-tatawwu, or nawafil or supererogatory prayers, have been legislated to make up for any deficiencies left in the performance of fardh Salah (obligatory prayers). In Salah, there are virtues that are not found in any other form of worship.

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The first of his deeds for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is sound then he will have succeeded but if it is not sound then he will be lost and doomed. If anything is lacking from his obligatory prayers, the Lord will say: Look and see whether My slave has any voluntary (prayers), and the shortfall from his obligatory prayers will be made up from that. Then all his deeds will be dealt with in like manner.”[17]

->FAJR = 2 Rakahs Sunnah + 2 Rakahs Fardh
-> DHUHR = 4 Rakahs Sunnah+ 4 Rakahs Fardh + 4 Rakahs Sunnah
-> ASR = 4 Rakahs Sunnah+ 4 Rakahs Fardh
->MAGHRIB = 2 Rakahs Sunnah + 3 Rakahs Fardh + 2 Rakahs Sunnah
->ISHA = 2 Rakahs Sunnah + 4 Rakahs Fardh + 2 Rakahs Sunnah + 3 OR 1 Rakah Witr



7.Duha Prayer

The Duha Prayer is a voluntary Salah prayer between the time after Fajr (i.e. Dawn) and the time before the Dhuhr prayer (i.e. forenoon). Ishraq, Salat ul Awwabin (prayer of the penitent) and Duha are different names for the same prayer. The minimum Rakahs for Duha prayer are two and the maximum are twelve. The preferable amount among them is four, which is supported and approved by the ahadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It may also be remembered that this Salah was a tradition of the previous Messengers and they used to perform it during their times. Hence this prayer is Sunnah and Mustahab (desirable).[18]



8. Sitting in the Mosque Until Sunrise

Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: "That I sit with people remembering Almighty Allaah from the morning (Fajr) prayer until sunrise is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from among the Children of Ismail. That I sit with people remembering Allaah from the afternoon (Asr) prayer until the sun sets is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from among the Children of Ismail."[19]

Anas (may Allaah pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that, “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits and remembers Allaah (makes dhikr) until the sun rises, then prays two rakahs, will have a reward like that for Hajj and Umrah, complete, complete, complete.”[20]



9.Make Dhikr Of Allaah

Allaah, the Most High, said in the Quraan, “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.”[21]

And He, the Most High, also said: “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful.”[22]

Narrated Aboo Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The example of the one who celebrates the Praises of his Lord (Allaah) in comparison to the one who does not celebrate the Praises of his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one."[23]



10.Fasting

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allaah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allaah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."[24]

Narrated Aboo Saeed (may Allaah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, "Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allaah's Pleasure, Allaah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years."[25]

Narrated Sahl (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it."[26]



11.Itikaaf

Narrated Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to practice Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice Itikaf after him.[27]



12.Not Missing the Witr Salah

“Witr” literally means odd number. Witr has two different meanings in the Sunnah: The last one or three Rakahs of the night prayer, or it means all of the night prayers (because in essence they are odd – numbered). This discussion refers to the former meaning. We learn from the following hadith that Witr is not obligatory but desirable. But it would not be correct to show any slackness in performing it because every Muslim should do his best to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[28]



13.Giving Charity

Allah, the Most High, says in His Noble Book: “O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Wrongdoers.”[29]

Aboo Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported Allaahs Apostle (peace be upon him) as saying: In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allaahs glorification (SubhanAllaah) is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him (Alhamdulilah) is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness (La ilaha illa Allaah) is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness (Allaahu Akbar) is an act of charity, enjoining Maruf (good) is an act of charity, forbidding what is Munkar (evil) is an act of charity, and two rakahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice.”[30]



14.Providing for one to open the fast

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person.”[31]

The rich reward of helping others break their fast can be achieved to one’s best ability, and is not required for a people to over burden themselves in this regard.[32]



15.Be Consistent and Moderate

Its very easy to have a sudden burst of energy and do a lot in one day and then not do anything during the rest of the month (due to tiredness). It’s Sunnah to be moderate and consistent. Dont over burden yourself, and dont look at what others are doing. You should do what you can to your ability (and properly) and be constant with those deeds.

Narrated Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): Allaahs Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allaah's is the most regular and constant even though it were little."[33]

Narrated Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked, "What deeds are loved most by Allaah?" He said, "The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few." He added, 'Dont take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability."[34]

Narrated Alqama: I asked Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), mother of the believers, "O mother of the believers! How were the deeds of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? Did he use to do extra deeds of worship on special days?" She (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, "No, but his (peace be upon him) deeds were regular and constant, and who among you is able to do what the Prophet was able to do (i.e. in worshipping Allaah)?"[35]



Oh Allaah allow us to make the most of Ramadaan. Oh Allaah, let us meet you with a clean heart, with all our sins erased. Oh Allaah grant us mercy, and make us from those that you have freed from hell fire. Oh Allaah allow us to be from those that you enter in heaven.

And It is Only Allaah Who grants success. May Allaah Exalt the mention of His slave and Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), and render him, his household and companion safe from Evil, Aameen!



--------------------------
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[1] ‘Ramadaan: Excellent Merits and Virtues Deeds’, p. 6

[2] ‘Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 12 – 13

[3] Sunan at – Tirmithee; Classes Saheeh by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at – Tirmithee, Vol. 3, Number 2327

[4] Sunan at – Tirmidhi, 5/175; authenticated by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at – Tirmithee, 3/9; and Saheeh - ul - Jami' As-Saghir 5/340

[5] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 552; Saheeh Muslim, Book 0004, Number 1727

[6] http://ahmadjibril.com/articles/ramadan.html

[7] Saheeh Muslim, Book 004, Number 1757

[8] Collected by al – Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al – Eemaan and quoted by as – Suyooti in al – Itqaan, Vol. 1, p. 124 – 5. As – Suyooti notes, however, that it is authentically reported that some passages were revealed ten passages as a time, and on some occasions only part of a verse would be revealed

[9] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12; Saheeh Muslim, Book 001, Number 0072

[10] Saheeh Muslim, Book 035, Number 6589

[11] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Muhammad 47:22 – 23

[12] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 13

[13] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 15

[14] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 18

[15] Saheeh Muslim, Book 005, Number 2210

[16] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 226; Saheeh Muslim, Book 4, Number 1662

[17] Narrated in Sunan at-Tirmithee, Number 413; Sunan Aboo Daawood, Number 864; Classed as Saheeh (authentic) by Sheikh al-Albaanee in Saheeh Aboo Daawood

[18] Commentary Bulugh – Al – Maram (Englsih), published by Darussalam, Hadith: 310

[19] Sunan Aboo Daawood, Number 3667; Classed authentic Hasan by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood, 2/698

[20] Sunan at – Tirmidhi; authenticated in Saheeh al-Jaami’, Number 6222

[21] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-Ahzab 33:41

[22] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah Al-A'raf 7:205

[23] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 416; Saheeh Muslim, Book 4, Number 1706

[24] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 125

[25] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 93; Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2570

[26] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 120; Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2569

[27] (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 33, Number 243; Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2640

[28] Prayer According to the Sunnah, compiled by Prof. Muhammad Zulfiqar, Darussalam publishers

[29] The Noble Qur’aan, Soorah al-Baqarah 2:254

[30] Saheeh Muslim, Book 004, Number 1557; Sunan Abu Dawud; and Musnad Ahmad

[31] Sunan at – Tirmithee, Number 804; Ahmad, 5/192; Sunan Ibn Maajah, Number 1746; ibn Hibbaan, Number 895; Imam Tirmithee declared it Saheeh and it is as he said; as quoted ‘Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 62.

[32] ‘Ramadaan: Rules and Related Issues’, p. 15

[33] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 471

[34] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 472

[35] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 473
British-born, award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley is well known in the Muslim world for her outspoken views and defence of Islam. She endeared herself to the Muslim community in Britain when she reverted to Islam 30 months after making international headlines when she was captured by the Taleban on an undercover assignment in Afghanistan. She was a senior reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several prestige titles including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday

POLITICIANS AND JOURNALISTS just love to write about the oppression of women in Islam ... without even talking to the females beneath the veil.

They simply have no idea how Muslim women are protected and respected within the Islamic framework which was built more than 1400 years ago.

Yet, by writing about cultural issues like child brides, female circumcision, honor killings and forced marriages they wrongly believe they are coming from a point of knowledge.

And I am sick of Saudi Arabia being cited as an example of how women are subjigated in a country where they are banned from driving.

The issues above have simply nothing to do with Islam yet they still write and talk about them with an arrogant air of authority while wrongly blaming Islam. Please do not confuse cultural behavior with Islam.

I was asked to write about how Islam allows men to beat their wives. Sorry, not true. Yes, I'm sure critics of Islam will quote random Qur'anic verses or ahadith but all are usually taken out of context. If a man does raise a finger to his wife, he is not allowed to leave a mark on her body ... this is another way of the Qur'an saying; "Don't beat your wife, stupid".


Now let's take a glance at some really interesting statistics, hmm. I can almost hear the words pot, kettle, black. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, four million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period.


On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands and boyfriends every day . . . that is nearly 5,500 women battered to death since 9/11.

Some might say that is a shocking indictment on such a civilized society, but before I sound too smug, I would say that violence against women is a global issue. Violent men do not come in any particular religious or cultural category. The reality is that one out of three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Violence against women transcends religion, wealth, class, skin color and culture.

However, until Islam came on the scene women were treated as inferior beings. In fact we women still have a problem in the West where men think they are superior. This is reflected in our promotion and wages structure right across the spectrum from cleaners to career women who make it into the boardroom.

Western women are still treated as commodities, where sexual slavery is on the rise, disguised under marketing euphemisms, where womens’ bodies are traded throughout the advertising world. As mentioned before, this is a society where rape, sexual assault, and violence on women is commonplace, a society where the equality between men and women is an illusion, a society where a womens’ power or influence is usually only related to the size of her breasts.


I used to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures and now I look at them as multi-skilled, multi-talented, resilient women whose brand of sisterhood makes Western feminism pale into insignificance. My views changed after the truly terrifying experience of being arrested by the Taleban for sneaking into Afghanistan in September 2001 wearing the bhurka.


During my 10-day captivity I struck a deal that if they let me go I would read the Quran and study Islam. Against all the odds, it worked and I was released. In return I kept my word but as a journalist covering the Middle East I realized I needed to expand my knowledge of a religion which was clearly a way of life.


And no. I'm not a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. To be a victim you have to bond with your captors. During my imprisonment I spat, swore, cursed and abused my jailers as well as refusing their food and going on hunger strike. I don't know who was happier when I was released - them or me!

Reading the Quran was, I thought, going to be a very simple academic exercise. I was stunned to discover that ut clearly stated women are equal in spirituality, education and worth. A woman’s gift for child birth and child-rearing is very much recognised as a quality and attribute. Muslim women say with pride they are homemakers and housewives.

Furthermore The Prophet (pbuh) said that the most important person in the home was The Mother, The Mother, The Mother. In fact he also said that heaven lies at the feet of the mother. How many women make it into the top 100 power lists for simply being a "great mother"?

With Islam choosing to remain at home and raise children takes on a new dignity and respect in my eyes, similar to those sisters among us who choose to go out to work and have careers and professions.

I then began looking at inheritance, tax, property and divorce laws. This is where Hollywood divorce lawyers probably get their inspiration from. For instance the woman gets to keep what she earns and owns while the man has to stump up half his worth.

Isn’t it funny the way the tabloid media gets very excited over the prospect of some pop or film stars pre-nuptial wedding agreement? Muslim women have had wedding contracts from day one. They can choose if they want to work or not and anything they earn is theirs to spend while the husband has to pay for all the household bills and the upkeep of his family.


Just about everything that feminists strived for in the 70s was already available to Muslim women 1400 years ago.


As I said, Islam dignifies and brings respect to motherhood and being a wife. If you want to stay at home, stay at home. It is a great honor to be a home maker and the first educater of your children.

But equally, the Quran states if you want to work, then work. Be a career woman, learn a profession become a politician. Be what you want to be and excel in what you do as a Muslim because everything you do is in praise of Allah (swt).

There is an excessive, almost irritating concentration or focus on the issue of Muslim womens’ dress particularly by men (both Muslim and non-Muslim).

Yes, it is an obligation for Muslim women to dress modestly but, in addition, there are many other important issues which concern Muslim women today.


And yet everyone obsesses over the hijab. Look, it is part of my business suit. This tells you I am a Muslim and therefore I expect to be treated with respect.


Can you imagine if someone told a Wall Street executive or Washington banker to put on a t-shirt and jeans? He would tell you his business suit defines him during work hours, marks him out to be treated seriously.

And yet in Britain we have had the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw describing the nikab - the face veil revealing only the eyes - as an unwelcome barrier. When, oh when, will men learn to keep their mouths shut over a woman's wardrobe?

We also had Government Ministers Gordon Brown and John Reid express disparaging remarks about the nikab - both these men come from over the Scottish Borders where men wear skirts!!

Then we had a series of other parliamentarians enter the fray describing the nikab as a barrier for communication. What a load of nonsense. If this was the case can anyone explain to me why cell phones, landlines, emails, text messaging and fax machines are in daily use? Who listens to the radio? No one switches off the wireless because they can not see the face of the presenter.


The majority of sisters I know who choose to wear the nikab are actually white, Western reverts who no longer want the unwelcome attention of those few leering men who will try and confront females and launch into inappropriate behavior.
Mind you, there are a couple of London sisters I know who say they wear the nikab at anti-war marches because they can't stand the smell of spliffs.

I am afraid Islamophobia has become the last refuge of the racist scoundrel. But the cowardly, chauvinistic attacks launched - largely by men - is unacceptable to Muslimahs as well as their secular, female sisters from the left.

I was a feminist for many years and now, as an Islamic feminist, I still promote womens' rights. The only difference is Muslim feminists are more radical than their secular counterparts. We all hate those ghastly beauty pageants, and tried to stop laughing when the emergence of Miss Afghanistan in bikini was hailed as a giant leap for women's liberation in Afghanistan.

I've been back to Afghanistan many times and I can tell you there are no career women emerging from the rubble in Kabul. My Afghan sisters say they wish the West would drop its obsession with the bhurka. "Don't try turning me into a career woman, get my husband a job first. Show me how I can send my children to school without fear of them being kidnapped. Give me security and bread on the table," one sister told me.

Young feminist Muslimahs see the hijab and the nikab as political symbols as well as a religious requirement. Some say it is their way of showing the world they reject the excesses of Western lifestyles such as binge drinking, casual sex, drug-taking etc.

Superiority in Islam is accomplished through piety, not beauty, wealth, power, position or sex.

Now you tell me what is more liberating. Being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your cosmetically enhanced breasts, or being judged on your character, mind and intelligence?

Glossy magazines tell us as women that unless we are tall, slim and beautiful we will be unloved and unwanted. The pressure on teenage magazine readers to have a boyfriend is almost obscene.

Islam tells me that I have a right to an education and it is my duty to go out and seek knowledge whether I am single or married.

No where in the framework of Islam are we told as women that we must do washing, cleaning or cooking for men - but it is not just Muslim men who need to re-evaluate women in their home. Check out this 1992 exert from a Pat Robertson speech revealing his views on empowered women. And then you tell me who is civilized and who is not.

He said: "FEMINISM ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO LEAVE THEIR HUSBANDS, KILL THEIR CHILDREN, PRACTICE WITCHCRAFT, DESTROY CAPITALISM AND BECOME LESBIANS".

Here is an American man living in a pre-Islamic age who needs to modernize and civilize. People like him are wearing a veil and we need to tear that veil of bigotry away so people can see Islam for what it is.
video
Prayer occupies a great status in Islam that is not shared by any other act of worship. This is indicated by the following:

1 – It is the pillar of the religion, which cannot stand without it.

According to a hadeeth narrated by Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «Shall I not tell you of the head of the whole matter and its pillar and top?» I [Mu’aadh] said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said, «The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is prayer and its top is jihad» [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2616; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2110].

2 – It is second in status to the Shahaadatayn (twin testimony of faith) as further proof of the soundness of a person’s belief and as visible evidence of the beliefs that reside in the heart.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «Islam is built on five [pillars]: the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, establishing prayer, paying zakaah, performing pilgrimage to the House, and fasting Ramadaan» [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16].

Establishing prayer means performing prayer in full with all its words and actions, at the appointed times, as it says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours” [al-Nisa’ 4:103].
{إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَاباً مَّوْقُوتاً}
Transliteration: 'Inna Aş-Şalāata Kānat `Alá Al-Mu'uminīna Kitābāan Mawqūtāan

i.e., at defined times.

3 – Prayer occupies a special position among other acts of worship because of the way in which it was enjoined.

It was not brought down to earth by an angel, rather Allaah wanted to bless His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by taking him up to heaven and addressing him directly concerning the obligation of prayer. This is something that is unique to prayer among all the rituals of Islam.

Prayer was enjoined on the night of the Mi’raaj [Prophet’s ascent to heaven], approximately three years before the Hijrah.

Fifty prayers (per day) were enjoined at first, then the number was reduced to five, but the reward of fifty remains. This is indicative of Allaah’s love of prayer and its great status.

4 – Allaah erases sins by means of prayer

Al-Bukhaari (528) and Muslim (667) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said – and in the hadeeth of Bakr it is narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say – «What do you think if there was a river by the door of any one of you and he bathed in it five times a day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?» They said, “No trace of dirt would be left on him'' He said, «That is like the five daily prayers, by means of which Allaah erases sin».

5 – Prayer is the last part of religion to be lost, and if it is lost the whole religion is lost.

It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «Between a man and shirk [associating others with Allaah] and kufr [disbelief] there stands his giving up prayer» [Narrated by Muslim, 82].

Hence the Muslim should be keen to perform the prayers on time, and not be lazy or take the matter lightly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites),
Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times)” [al-Maa’oon 107:4-5].
{فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ (4) الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ}
Transliteration: Fawaylun Lilmuşallīna, Al-Ladhīna Hum `An Şalātihim Sāhūna

And Allaah warns those who cause their prayers to be lost by saying (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salaat (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell” [Maryam 19:59].
{فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيّاً}
Transliteration: Fakhalafa Min Ba`dihim Khalfun 'Ađā`ū Aş-Şalāata Wa Attaba`ū Ash-Shahawāti Fasawfa Yalqawna Ghayyāan

6 – Prayer is the first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection:

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: «The first deed for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is good then he will have prospered and succeeded, but if it is bad then he will be doomed and have lost. If anything is lacking from his obligatory prayers, the Lord will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary prayers, and make up the shortfall in his obligatory prayers from that.’ Then all his deeds will be dealt with likewise» [Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 465; al-Tirmidhi, 413. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2573].

We ask Allaah to help us to remember Him, give thanks to Him and to worship Him properly.

Reference: al-Salaah by Dr. al-Tayyaar, p. 16; Tawdeeh al-Ahkaam by al-Bassaam, 1/371; Taareekh Mashroo’iyyat al-Salaah by al-Balooshi, p. 31.


Islam Q&A

A Hope for Desperate Souls: Julaybib, the Prophet's companion

by Amatullah Abdullah

Amatullah Abdullah is a freelance writer who resides in Chennai, India. Her essays have been published in India, the UK, and the US. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and is currently working on her master's.AmatullahAbdullah is is the managing editor of Iqra! Newspaper, and an active member of the Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA)

There are many outstanding Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who come to mind throughout Islamic history. Some are huge in stature, and others are humble, yet highly respectable or brilliant in some way. Julaybib was a beloved companion of Prophet Muhammad however, not a likely figure to make it in the ranks of celebrated heroes of Islam.



His life and deeds were not sung nor recounted with reverence as they should be but with the meager facts available one sees hope for humble souls through his life.


Julaybib was not tall, or handsome, he was not known to be a gallant warrior on the battlefield before the advent of Islam. His personal attributes appeared so contrary to the normal heroes of old.



Julaybib was an orphan, deformed and extremely short. He was brutally rejected by society because the people were more concerned with his physical appearance and status than integrity.



His story is significant and many lessons can be learnt from it. It shows us a lot about how a human being can be devalued based on superficial things. His life is an example and hope for souls filled with despondency because they do not measure up to the norms set by society. His story touches the hearts of many even today.



Julaybib was an orphan from Madinah and acquired his name before embracing Islam. His name means "small grown" in Arabic which denoted his physical appearance. He was extremely short and could be compared to a dwarf when considering today's definition. It is also noted that he was even described as "damim" in Arabic which means deformed, unattractive or of repulsive appearance.

In addition to his physical appearance, another important factor in his mistreatment had to do with his lineage. Lineage was an essential part in the Arab society he lived in, just as it is still important today in many cases. One's lineage determined his or her status in the society. His physical appearance, and unknown lineage, made people shun and spurn him. He was an outcast which caused him much public humiliation and disgrace.



Facing such disdainful treatment, Julaybib was apparently a lonely soul yearning for love and compassion. As he was carrying the burden of prejudice on his shoulder from the time he was born, companionship, love and compassion became alien to him.



There were often times, a question as to whether this man would even taste any compassion or respect in his life. The question cleared with his acceptance of the Prophet Muhammad's message of Islam.



He became a devoted servant of Almighty God and beloved companion of Prophet Muhammad. He gained respect and affection from Prophet Muhammad, for his sincerity, integrity and strong Islamic belief. Julaybib earned the honor he yearned and became one of the most valued companions of the Prophet.

Prophet Muhammad cared deeply for this soul. He was sensitive of Julaybib's needs, and this is evident from the hadith where the Prophet approached a man from the Ansar (Madinah Muslims who helped the Makkans when they emigrated to Madinah), seeking the hand of his beautiful daughter in marriage on behalf of Julaybib. The Islamic scholar, Imam Ahmad, has recorded this incidents in Julaybib life as follows:



The Prophet went to a man of the Ansar and said:

"Give me your daughter for marriage."

The man answered excitedly, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah , it would be an honor and a blessing."

For which the Prophet said, "I do not want her for myself."

The Ansari man asked, "Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah?"

And the Prophet answered, "For Julaybib."

When the Ansari man heard this, he was shocked and said, "O Messenger of Allah, let me consult her mother." So he went to the girl's mother (his wife) and told her, "The Messenger of Allah is proposing marriage for your daughter."

The wife of the Ansari seemed overjoyed and said, "Yes, it would be a pleasure."

The Ansari explained to his wife that the Prophet was not proposing to marry their daughter for himself but he is proposing on behalf of Julaybib.

His wife was almost shaken and immediately responded, "What! Julaybib? No, by Allah, we will not marry her to him."



When the Ansari prepared to leave to meet the Messenger of Allah and mentioned to him his mother's disapproval, his daughter, a pious Muslim, asked her father, "Who is asking for my hand?"



Her mother told her that the Prophet was asking her hand on behalf Julaybib.



Their daughter instantly asked them, "Are you refusing to follow the command of the Messenger of Allah? Follow his command, for I will not come to any harm."

The following is illustrated in the book Companions of the Prophet by Abdul Wahid Hamid:

Hearing her daughters word, the Mother's heart being filled with remorse said: "Stop my daughter, don't say another word indeed I have erred I repent and I repent a thousand times over for as of this moment their is no one who I would prefer for you than Julaybib."


The following day the marriage was in place, Uthman and Ali, two of the Prophet's Companions, presented Julaybib a gift of money to help arrange the wedding reception, and to purchase necessary accommodation.

So the Prophet married the beautiful daughter of the Ansari to Julaybib who was once rejected by the whole society. The attitude of the daughter of the Ansari was that of a true believer.



The daughter's attitude shows her confidence of a Muslim woman who could not be influenced by the whims of the society. Unlike the parent's of today's world who are more concerned about status and money, her parents' reaction to her approval explains how Islam does not pressure a woman nor does it disregard her right to choose her husband.

Islam gave the happiness Julaybib deserved and he lived happily together with his beautiful wife until he was martyred.

The follow hadith is another proof that Julaybib was indeed dearly loved and valued by Prophet Muhammad:

After a battle, the Prophet asked his Companions:



"Is anyone missing amongst you?"



They said: "So and so and so."



He asked them again: "Is there anyone missing amongst you?"



They answered: "So and so and so."



He asked them for the third time: "Is there anyone missing amongst you?"



They said: "No."



Thereupon the Prophet said:



"But I see that Julaybib is missing."



The Companions searched for him amongst those who had been killed and found him by the side of seven enemies whom he had killed. He had been killed. The Prophet came there and stood by his body and said:



"He killed seven people. Then his opponents killed him. He is mine and I am his."



He then placed him upon his hands and there was none else to lift him but the Prophet Muhammad. Then the grave was dug for him and he was placed in it. (Muslim)

The man whose life was filled with despair and struggles won the hearts and admiration of many through his pure intentions, traits, and love for Islam and the Prophet. It is really amazing to note how this man of small stature managed to hold a sword and kill his opponent. He was able to accomplish much chivalry through the Prophet's encouragement.

There are so many lessons to be learnt from Julaybib's life. His story is a reflection of Islam. Islam ended his desolate world of disparagement.

His life is an example and hope for human souls which are filled with desolation.
1. Hell is so deep that if a stone were to be thrown into, it would travel for 70 years to reaching at the bottom.

2. The breadth of each of the four walls around Hell is equivalent to a distance covered by a walking journey of 40 years.

3 . Hell has 7 gates.

4. Hell had been lit for one thousand years until its flames became red. Again it was heated for another thousand years till its colour became white. Still again it was burnt for further thousand years and its white color flames turned pitch black.

5. Even the most fierce fire of this world is 70 fold cooler than the fire of Hell.

6. The lightest punishment in Hell would be the wearing of " Fiery shoes" which would cause one's brain to boil

7. Hell in infested with venomous donkeys and if they were to bite a person then he or she will suffer pain for 40 years.

8. For food, the dweller of Hell would be given Zaqqum which is a prickly tree, so bitter, that even if a single molecule of it were to spill onto this earth it would make all the foodstuff of the world bitter and unpalatable.

9. For drinking, the denizen of Hell would be provided with hot, boiling pus mixed with blood, matter, urine and tears etc. of the dwellers of Hell. If a bucket of this foul liquid were to be splashed over this earth, the entire world would be upset and disrupted by its most foul stink.

10. Boiling water would be poured over Jahannami's head and this will cause their internal organs to melt and leak out through their feet.

11.The inmates of Hell would be lashed with heavy clubs of iron. If one such club was to be placed upon this earth, the combined strength of all the human beings, as well as all the Jinns, would fail to lift it; and if a mountain is struck with one of these clubs it would cause the
whole mountain to disintegrate.

12. The dwellers of Hell would be burnt daily for 70 thousand times. Every time, after the skin and flesh is burnt, they would be restored to life so that they can continuously taste this punishment.


13. A drunkard will be given blood, pus, sweat, filth, etc. to drink in hell.

14. All the haughty people will be gathered in the Hereafter and driven towards Hell but their bodies would be reduced to the size of ants and they will be given to consume the excretions of the dwellers of Hell.

15. Some sinners would be made to climb " SAUD " which is a mountain of fire in Hell, and then dropped from its peak and this process would continue forever and ever.

16. The dwellers of Hell would be bound in chains which would be greater in length than the distance between the sky and the earth.

17. The clothes of sinners in Hell would be highly inflammable.

18. Beside physical torture, the dwellers of Hell would also be subjected to mental harassment through the taunting by the guardian of Hell who will remind them of their misdeed on earth and remarks "Now taste the fire" etc.

19. The sinners and disbelievers would be humiliated to such an extent that besides their revolting ugliness and pitch black faces, their upper lips would be touching their foreheads and the lower lip dangling around the navel.

20. The dwellers of Hell would weep so much and shed so much of tears and blood that furrows would be formed on their cheeks.

21. The tongues of Hell-inmates would be so long and protruding from there mouths that others would trample and step on them.

22. Shayateen will also rebuke the denizens of Hell.

23. The dwellers of Hell would display their rage and fury on those who led them astray.

24. The inhabitants of Hell would appeal to the guardians of Jahannam to intercede on their behalf in the court of Allah but their pleas would reject. They would make direct supplication to Allah but their prayers would not be granted.

25. They will then abide forever in Hell, continuously lamenting and braying like asses (jungle animals).


O ALLAH ! SAVE US, OUR PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS AND RELATIVES AS WELL AS THE READERS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND DECEASED RELATIVES FROM THE PUNISHMENT OF JAHANNAM, AND GRANT US ALLTHE HIGH STATIONS OF JANNAH WITHOUT RECKONING. AMEEN !

As salaam u 'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu

Whoever recites the Qur'an well and clearly is equal in rank to the Angels who record creation's deeds. These Angels are gracious, honorable and of lofty rank. He who finds difficulty in reciting the Qur'an will obtain a double reward.
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim]


It is narrated that ibn Mas'ud said," Whoever completes the recitation has a du'a which is answered"

"A person whose breast is devoid of the Qur'an (i.e. has not learnt anything of the Qur'an Majeed) is like a desolate house."
[at-Tirmidhi]

"A person who recites one letter of the Qur'an, obtains one virtue; each virtue multiplies to ten virtues. I am not saying that (ALM) is one letter. But, Alif is one letter; Laam is one letter and Meem is one letter."
[at-Tirmidhi, Darimi]

"On the day of Resurrection a crown of such brilliance will be placed on the heads of the parents of one who learnt the Qur'an and practiced on its laws, that its glitter will outshine the brilliance of the sun which penetrates your houses. What then do you think will be the position of the one who himself learnt the Qur'an and acted in accordance with it?"
[Ahmad, Abu Dawud]

"Whoever recites the Qur'an, memorizes it, accepts its halal (lawful things) as halal and haram (forbidden things) as haram (i.e. his beliefs in these matters are correct), Allah, the Exalted, will enter him to Paradise and accept his intercession on behalf of ten such persons of his family upon whom entry into Hell has become incumbent (i.e. Allah will forgive them because of his intercession)."
[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Darimi]

"Continue reciting the Qur'an because on the Day of Qiyaamah it will appear as an intercessor for the reciter."
[Muslim]

"Whoever listens to even a single ayat (being recited by another person) obtains such a virtue which perpetually multiplies (it increases in merit continuously). The one who recited the ayat will on the Day of Resurrection find the recited ayat in the form of a Noor" (which will be of greater value and significance than the virtue which accrued to the one who had listened to the recitation).
[Ahmad]

"The best among you are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it."
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

"On the Day of Resurrection the Qur'an will petition Allah to cloak the one who had recited it with garments of honor and respect. A crown of honor will then be placed on the head of the reciter. The Qur'an will then petition Allah to shower His pleasure on the reciter. Allah will then become pleased with him. The reciter will then be asked to recite the Qur'an, thereby attaining higher ranks of elevation. In reward for each ayat a virtue will accrue to him."
[at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaimah]

"Continue climbing (higher and higher in rank) with your recitation in the same way as you recited with care and concern on earth. Your abode (of residing) is located (at that rank attained) with the last ayat recited."
[at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Habban]
As-salam-alaikum-warahmatullahi-wabarakatuhu



tis is a nice article on how the ruh will b pulled out from a person's body(believer n disbeliever ) and what will happen wen the ruh will reach the heaven...a must read article!!




Ya IbaadAllah, take heed of what Allah says in the Quran


"Everyone is going to taste death,
and We shall make a trial of you with evil and good,
and to Us you will be returned"
(21:35)



Indeed, Allah's promise will be fulfilled. The Death is something so inevitable, yet so very often forgotten.


Each day that passes, each day we breathe, each day we go about our lives, sinning or doing good, is but a day closer to our end, closer to our return to our Creator -Allah the All-Mighty. Many of us, have at some point in our lives, lost a close relative or a close friend. True, we shed tears, we show remorse and we show sadness - but I ask you ya IbaadAllah, what did you learn?, how did you reflect it upon you own self ???.


Allah says in the Quran


"Then why do you not [intervene] when [the soul of a dying person] reaches the throat?" (56:83)


"And you at the moment are looking on" (56:84)



"But We [i.e. Our Angels that take the soul] are nearer to him than you, but you see not" (56:85)


Perhaps you think that death is yet a distance from you and you will not taste it until at a later age, or perhaps when you think that you are better prepared for it's coming....and indeed this way of thinking arises only from falsehood!.




Many a times are we told off about the death in the light of the Quran and Sunnah.


"It is Allah who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and [the souls] of those that do not die during their sleep. He retains those souls for which He has ordained death, whereas He releases the rest for an appointed term. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply
" (39:42)


See you not then, that Allah has already decreed the time of your death, be you going about your daily business or be you asleep - your time has been written and your soul will be taken out accordingly to your deeds.


Look to what the Messenger of Allah (saw) said about those who disbelieved in Allah..


"The Angel of death says...'O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord'. The soul inside the disbeliever's body is overcome by terrible fear [and does not want to deliver itself up], whereupon the Angel of death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves."
(hadith sahih)


But for those who believed in Allah, then ..


"The angel of death comes to the dying believer, sits at his head and says 'O you good soul, come out and receive your Lords forgiveness and pleasure'. Then the soul slows out effortlessly, just as water flows from the mouth of a water skin". (hadith sahih)


Ya IbaadAllah, these are but only a few reminders from the Quran and sunnah. Indeed our time of leaving the dunya is but closer than we think. But are we prepared for it's coming?, have we truly been dutiful to Allah's commands in this life?, have our hearts become so hard that we shed no tears out of fear of meeting with out Lord?. What will you do?, What will you say? After death has come unto you? - Indeed those who did wrong in this life, will surely wish they could come back to this life and to have another chance to do good, and by this time, it will be too late..


And Allah gives us a clear warning in the Quran..


"And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds
until death faces one of them and he says: 'Now I repent'
Nor of those who die while they are disbeliever's.
For them we have prepared a painful torment"
. (4:18)



It is reported that al-Bara ' bin 'Azib said: "We went out with the Prophet (S) in order to participate in the funeral rites of a man from the Ansar. we arrived at the grave, but the inner chamber had not been prepared yet; so Allah's Messenger (S) sat down facing the direction of the qiblah, and we sat around him so attentively that it was as if birds were sitting upon our heads. He had a stick in his hand with which he sketched upon the ground. Then he began looking alternately to the heavens and to the earth, raising his gaze and then lowering it. Finally, he said two or three times, 'Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave ' Then he said, 'O Allah, verily I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave.' He repeated it three times, then he elaborated,


'Verily, when the believing servant is leaving this world and entering the next, angels from the heavens descend to him - their faces white with brightness like the sun and carrying with them burial sheets and scents from Paradise. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death (upon whom be peace) comes to the person, sits at his head and says, "O good soul [and in another narration "O confident soul '], come out to your Lord's forgiveness and pleasure. " ' [The Prophet (S) continued],


'There upon the soul flows out of the body like water flowing from the mouth of a water skin, and all of the angels between the skies and the earth supplicate for Allays blessing upon him. The doors of the heavens are opened for him, and the keepers of these doors [i.e., the angels all plead with Allah that this soul might pass in front of them as it is being carried upward. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels take it from him and wrap it with fragrant winding sheets. This is what is meant by Allah's saying,


"Our messengers [i.e., angels] seize his soul, and they do not fall short of their duty."'


Then the Prophet (S) said,
'
There exudes from the soul a scent like the most beautiful fragrance of musk that one could find on the face of the earth. The angels ascend with the soul never passing a host of angels without hearing them ask, "Who is this wonderful soul?" They reply, "So and so, the son of so and so", addressing him with the best names he was known by during his earthly life.


Upon reaching the first heaven, the angels request that it be opened for the soul - which is granted The soul is then accompanied by the angels of each heaven until it reaches the one above it and finally arrives at the seventh heaven. Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says [to the angels], "Place the record of My servant in 'illiyyun."'


"And what will explain to you what 'illiyyun' is? [it is] a written record, witnessed by those brought near to their Lord" (83:19-21)

The person's record is then placed in 'illiyyun, whereupon a command is heard: "Return him to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth, I will return them to it. And l will make them come out of it, yet another time. " Then the soul is returned to the earth back into its body. Verily, the deceased hears the shuffling feet of his companions who attended his burial as they turn away and leave his grave.


Thereupon, two angels, severe in interrogation come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to ask him questions. They say, "Who is your Lord?" He replies, 'Allah is my Lord. " They continue, "What is your religion?" He answers, 'Islam is my religion " They proceed with the questioning, saying, "Who is this man that has been sent to you?" He responds, 'He is the Messenger of Allah (S)." Finally, they ask him about his deeds, to which he replies, 'I read Allah's Book and believed in it."' (In another narration the Prophet (S) indicated that the angels ask, "Who is your Lord, what is your religion and who is your prophet?"
[Allah's Messenger (S) explained that] this was the believer's last test, and it is what is meant when Allah says,


"Allah strengthens those who believe with a firm testimony in this worldly life and in the Hereafter."



The deceased answers, "Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and my prophet is Muhammad. ')

[The Prophet (S) then indicated,
'Upon the believer's answer to these questions], a voice is heard in the heavens, saying, "My servant has told the truth, so clothe him in the clothing of Paradise, spread for him the furnishings of Paradise, and open for him a window with a view of Paradise. " Thereupon, he is engulfed by a breeze of fresh air and fragrance, while the expanse of his grave is extended before him as far as the eye can see.


There appears before him a man with a wonderful face and beautiful clothing, emitting a splendid fragrance. He says to the soul, "Rejoice at the news which will gladden you! Rejoice at Allah's pleasure and His Paradise, whose joys and delights never end. This is the day which you were promised."


The deceased says to him, "And who are you, for your face bears glad tidings.?! " The figure answers, "I represent your good deeds; by Allah, I 've always known you to be quick in obedience to Allah and slow to His disobedience. So may Allah award you with good. "


Then a door to Paradise is opened, and a door to the Fire is opened, whereupon his said to him [regarding the Hell fire], "This would have been your final abode had you disobeyed Allah; however, it has been exchanged for this other abode [i.e., Paradise]. " When the soul sees what is in Paradise, he cries, "My Lord, hasten the arrival of the Hour [i.e., the Resurrection] so that I may be joined with my family and wealth." There upon it is said to him, "Rest in tranquillity. " '


But how many of us can call ourselves true believers?, such that we would be good enough to receive such a reward?


Allah's Messenger (S) continued, 'When the disbelieving servant [and in another narration "sinful servant"] is about to leave this world and enter the next, angels, powerful and severe, descend to him from the heavens - their faces black and carrying with them coarse strips of cloth from Hell. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see.


Then the Angel of Death arrives, and sitting at the head of the disbeliever, he says, "O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord. " The soul inside the disbeliever's body is overcome by tenable fear [and does not want to deliver itself up], whereupon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves.


Upon this, the soul is cursed by every angel between the earth and the heavens and by those inside the heavens. Then the doors of the heavens are closed to him, and every single guard at these doors begs Allah that this soul not be carried up in front of him.


'The Prophet (S) continued,
'The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels grasp it from him and wrap it up in coarse cloth. There emits from it the foulest odour that could be found on the face of the earth. They ascend with it, never passing a host of angels without being asked, "Who is this ugly soul?" They reply, "So and so, the son of so and so, " using the worst names by which he was known in this world.

When they arrive at the lowest heaven, they request that it be opened for this soul, but the request is denied. '
At this point Allah 's Messenger (S) recited the verse:

The gates of the heavens will not be opened for them, nor will they enter the Garden of Paradise until a camel goes through the eye of a needle.'


After that, he continued,
'Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says [to the angels], "Place his record in sijjeen [a book which contains all of the deeds of the devils and the disbeliever's]- in the lowest earth Return My servant to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth, I will return them to it. And I will make them come out of it, yet another time."

Upon this command, the deceased [disbeliever's] soul is thrown down from the sky until it lands in its body. ' The Prophet (S) then recited the verse:

'And whoever ascribes partners with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from the sky, such that birds snatch him up or the wind throws him to a remote place.


'Then he commented,
'Verily [when the soul is returned to its body], the deceased hears the sound of his companions' footsteps as they tam away from his grave.' [The Prophet (S) resumed his explanation, saying 'Then two angels, severe in interrogation come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to question him, who is your Lord? He replies, 'Hah! Hah! (an expression describing a state of surprise, shock and pain) I don't know. " They continue by asking him, "What is your religion?" He answers, 'Hah! Hah! I don t know. ' so they ask, "Then what do you say about this man who was sent to you?" [The disbeliever does not appear to understand who they are referring to, so it is said] 'Muhammad. " Again he states, 'Hah! Hah! I don t know. I only heard people talking about him. " Then it is said, "You did not know! And you did not read!"


There upon a voice from the heavens is heard, 'He has lied! So spread out for him a place from the Fire and open for him a window to the Fire."


The searing hot winds of Hell engulf him while his grave closes in upon him, crushing him until his ribcage is broken by the force - causing the ribs of one side to intertwine with the ribs of the other Then there appears to him a person with an ugly face and ugly clothing and exuding a foul odour, who says, "Tidings of evil to you, for this is the day which you were promised!" The deceased says to him, 'And you, too; may Allah give you evil tidings! Who are you, for yours is a face which portends evil."


The person rejoins, 'I represent your wicked deeds. By Allah, I have always known you to be slow in obedience to Allah and quick in disobedience to Him. May Allah reward you with evil! "


Then one who is deaf, dumb and blind and is carrying an iron rod is sent to the deceased. If he were to strike a mountain with it, the mountain would disintegrate into rubble. He strikes the deceased with a blow, which turns him into dust. Allah returns the deceased to his original form, whereupon he is struck a second time. This causes him to shriek with such violence that it is heard by all of creation except mankind and jinn.


Then a door to the Fire is opened, and beddings of the Fire are spread for him, whereupon he cries, "Lord, do not establish the Hour! "