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Ghareeba Fi-Dunya(stranger in this world)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Muslimah and Ramadhan

**The Muslimah and Ramadhan**

Ramadhan, the month of mercy, turning to Allah, and perseverance in worship. It is the month in which the Noble Qur'an was first revealed to mankind as a guide for those who seek guidance. It is the month of immense ibadah by which the servant engages in to get closer to his or her Lord.

Ramadhan is not just the month of worship for the Muslim man but also the same if not more for the Muslimah,  Unfortunately it has become the norm in many muslim homes that the Muslim women cook and waste much of their time during the days of fasting in Ramadhan.  Ramadhan has become a month in which the individual avoids eating and drinking for a few hours, sleeps in during the day, eat a load of food during the night, and go for taraweeh some nights of Ramadhan if not the entire month. Ramadhan has become a culture of the Muslim and less of a serious opportunity to get to know one's creator.  We have been informed that  before Ramadhan would approach, our righteous Salaf would ask Allah to allow them to reach it and when it had arrived they would ask Allah to assist them in performing righteous acts of worship, and when it had left they would ask Allah to accept their good deeds from them for that beautiful month.

My dear sister, know and realize that you are no different than any other servant of Allah in this month. It is upon you to realize that Ramadhan is not just taking a break from eating, drinking, marital relations, backbiting, lying and sinning. Ramadhan is also a great time to turn to Allah and raise your ranks among the righteous women. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala chose Maryam the daughter of Emraan as the the best woman on the face of the Earth. Why? Did she sit around and just earn this status or did she just earn this status due to her noble prophetic lineage? Far from it! Maryam (May Allah be pleased with her ) was a great worshipper of Allah. Her acts of worship and sincere faith definitely played a major role in earning her this mighty rank which every woman and human should envy.

My sisters, do not be among the losers of Ramadan. They are those who gain nothing from this blessed time except hunger and thirst. They are those who waste their hours in sleep, music, and video games during the day and movies and wasting their blessed time during the nights. How can someone spend this blessed month this way when Allah (SWT) promised to forgive our past sins if we fast and pray with sincere belief and hoping for His reward? How can someone not read the Quran during this month when the Messenger of Allah read the most Quran during this month?

This Ramadan my dear sisters, make sure to strive in perfecting your belief and creed. Knowledge of tawheed (the oneness of Allah) is extremely important.  If we do not know our Creator, what He requires from us, and what we should avoid then what good is our prayer and fasting? It is better to meet Allah with a mountain full of sins than to meet Him with a corrupt aqeedah (belief).  There are many beneficial books of belief the Muslimah can benefit from and go back to gain knowledge of Her Sustainer (Ar-Razzaaq) and Creator (Al Khaaliq):

- Kitaab at-Tawheed by Shaykh al Islaam Muhammad ibn AbdulWahhab (rahimahullah)
- Thalatha Usool (The 3 Fundamentals) by the same author
- Al Waajibat al Mutahatimaat also by Ibn AbdulWahhab
- Khud Aqeedatak (meaning "Take Your Aqeedah") by Muhammad ibn Jameel Zeno (rahimahullah)

and many other books.

After Aqeedah, it is important and necessary that you my sister gain knowledge of the basic fiqh of taharah and worship. The Messenger of Allah (sws) said that Allah does not accept the prayer without purity (taharah). (Sunan Ibn Majah and others). The Muslimah is in dire need of obtaining knowledge of these important and obligatory matters. Many sisters take the issue of learning the fiqh of taharah very lightly and end up in bad situations. Fiqh of Taharah entails knowledge of ghusl. The Muslimah should know what requires ghusl (bath) and what difference between the state of the junub and haa'idh is. The sister should know the differences between the different bloods of nifaas, haydh, and istihaadhah.  Alhamdulilah, the scholars have written tons of books on these issues and the Muslimah should benefit from these books because as mentioned before, this is obligatory/required knowledge.

Some basic books on some important knowledge of the fiqh of worship:

-Fiqh Made Easy by Shaykh Saalih Sadlan


-Fiqh as-Sunnah by Sayyid Saabiq


Learning these things are all a form of worship and one of the means of getting closer to Allah swt with. Ramadhan is a month of worshipping Allah swt extra more and being involved in more good deeds than usual. So my sister, make this blessed month a means of getting closer to Allah whether its through extra prayers,  recitation of the Quran, seeking knowledge of the important matters mentioned previously, and in general, getting to know your Creator. Allah swt stated that the main objective of fasting during Ramadhan is to gain one main thing: Taqwaa (Being conscious and aware of Allah swt). If we can not gain taqwaa in this blessed month then something is seriously wrong and we are incomplete.  If are engaging in sins during Ramadhan and yet fasting, then there is a really great need to go back to Islaam and we should ask ourselves, "Are we true submitting to Allah?"

May Allah accept our fasting and other worship from us and make us from the successors!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Paradise on Earth

The great imaam and fountain of knowledge, Ibn Qayyim(May Allah be pleased with him) relates in his book Al Waabilu Sayyib that he heard his respected teacher, Shaykh al Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah be pleased with him) say,

"In this world is a paradise, whoever does not enter it will not enter the paradise of the Hereafter. " [page 67]

Subhan Allah, the wisdom and beauty in these small words should be written in gold. What is this paradise on Earth? Can there be a paradise in this temporary setting for the believer? If there is, how can we truly enter this paradise?

The believer in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala always seeks and yearns for His pleasure. For the believer, it is never a matter of just gaining rewards for a good deed. The Mu'min constantly performs  good deeds and remains patient on the truth and obedience of the Creator solely to seek His pleasure! It is an easy thing to start a good deed, but to continue that good deed and having patience on it is where the test of faith comes in for many.

Ibraahim (AS) was thrown in the fire for what reason? He decided to confront his own father and the very people he grew up with for one concept. TAWHEED. What kind of faith would make a young man be thrown in the midst of a blazing fire and not weaken or quiver in fear of the least bit except the love and pleasure of Allah!

When a person reaches a level of faith where they forget about their own pleasure and are constantly encouraged and motivated to please the Creator then this person is living in a paradise on Earth that others are not really aware of. Nowadays people dress and express themselves to please others but who is better than the one whose heart and mind is always set on pleasing the Most High? The answer is simple and clear. No one is better than such an individual.

The magicians who served Firawn (Pharoah) for years and years and were part of the political influence for Firawn's satanic and tyrannical government were absolutely taken aback by Musa's performance when he threw his staff on the ground and it turned into a living, breathing serpent. They knew this was not magic as they were taught to control the people's minds with and that Musa was indeed on the truth.

It was then that they turned to Allah the Most High and fell in sujood before Musa and Haaroon affirming their oneness and negation of disbelief and shirk, the same disbelief and shirk they had been promoting a few moments before.

Firawn gaped at them in shock and threatened to punish them, accusing them of betrayal by plotting with Musa prior to the showdown. They bravely replied,

قالوا لن نؤثرك على ما جاءنا من البينات والذي فطرنا فاقض ما أنت قاض انما تقضي هذه الحياة الدنيا. انا آمنا بربنا ليغفرلنا خطايانا وما أكرهتنا عليه من السحر والله خير وأبقى

Meaning, They said: "We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world. [Surah Taha ayah 72]

In other words, "Do and please as you wish O tyrant! The truth is dearer to us than anything!" At the moment, after realizing the truth Musa was upon, that truth became dearer to these former sorcerers more than anything  even if it meant giving up their own lives  and they generously gave away so willingly.  For what? In order to please Allah swt. They turned to Allah full heartedly and did not back down in the least. They saw their paradise before them before they even enter it! May Allah be pleased with them. 

What else did they reply to the greatest tyrant and arrogant disbeliever of the world at the time?  They said with full yaqeen (certainty) and tawakul (trust, reliance) in Allah,

 انا آمنا بربنا ليغفرلنا خطايانا وما أكرهتنا عليه من السحر والله خير وأبقى

Meaning, "Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your [Fir'aun's (Pharaoh)] reward, and more lasting." [Taha ayah 73]

That is what pure faith and certainty does to a believer in this world. That is the paradise of the dunyaa one experiences and lives in and the paradise of the next life is even greater, if they but knew. This kind of believer has the greatest feeling of happiness and tranquility that others would fight for to obtain.

It is with contentment and being pleased with the will and decree of Allah that one experiences and lives this Paradise on Earth. With all the current problems in the world today where people complain of depression, anxiety and stress, the believer who is content with the qadar of Allah and makes it his or her aim to seek His pleasure day and night is free of all these mental problems. They sell and manufacture pills to relieve suffering individuals of these illnesses but they do not realize that the solution and cure is in true emaan and submission to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. As Allah swt said, 

ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب 

Meaning, "Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest(tranquility, peace)!" [Surah ar-Ra'ad ayah 28]

They've failed to realize that the real illness is in the heart. The disbelief and deviation that has corrupted and taken over their souls is what causes them to feel anxious, depressed and empty. After all, The Lord of the Worlds did say,

فانها لا تعمى الأبصار ولكن تعمى القلوب التي في الصدور 

Meaning, "Verily, it is not the eyes that have become blind, but it is in the hearts that are in the breasts (that have become blind)." [Surah al Hajj ayah 46]

The heart is a piece of flesh, if it not used for the worship of Allah and His pleasure, it can be used for all kinds of corruption. The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) spoke the truth when he said,

"Verily, there lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; an if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily, this piece (of flesh) is the heart!" [Al Bukhari and Muslim from the hadeeth of Nu'man ibn Basheer]

So know o believer, if they take away your wealth, resources, and even your body then you still have your paradise as long as you have kept your certain faith and trust in Allah. You will be the winner and it is they who will remain the hopeless losers.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

**Five Categories of Fear**

Shaykh Muhammad ibn AbdulWahhab ibn Ali al Yamani al Wasaabi  in his book, Al Qawl al Mufeed fee Adillati Tawheed, explains that there are five categories of fear:

1) The first kind of fear is considered worship (ibaadah):

And it is fear from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and this kind of worship is a worship of the heart with which we worship Allah.

Allah (swt) says:  ((But for him who fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens.)) [Ar-Rahman: 46]

And Our Creator also says, ((But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts.Verily, Paradise will be his abode.)) [Al Naazi’aat: 40,41]

Allah(swt) also says describing the worship of the angels: ((They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.)) [Al-Nahl: 50]

Allah the Most High also says, ((Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.)) [Al Ahzaab:39]

And, ((so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.)) [Aal Emraan: 175]

And, ((... to invoke their Lord in fear and hope..)) [AlSajdah: 16]

And there are more similar ayaat.

The prophet (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) also addressed this kind of khawf in many ahadeeth.
In the hadeeth of the seven kinds of people who will be under the shade of Allah, the prophet (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned, “And a man who was called on by a woman of noble status and beauty but instead says, “ Truly, I fear Allah. [Agreed upon, from the narration of Abu Hurayra-ra-]

Shaddaad ibn Aws (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sala Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Allah says, "By my honor and glory, I will not combine two fears upon my slave nor will I combine two securities. If he feels safe from Me in this life,I will make him fear on the Day of Judgment. And if he fears Me in this life, I will give Him safety on the Day of Judgment." [Recorded by Abu Nu'aym, also in Al Saheehah Hadeeth no. 742]

2) The second type of fear is considered SHIRK (associating partners with Allah)

And it is for the servant to fear other than Allah such as fearing the jinn or the dead or other than them by fearing these similar to his fear of Allah,  or worse.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, (( Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-Salat, and give Zakat, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more.)) [An-Nisaa’: 77]

And, ((It is only Shaitan (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya' [supporters and friends] so fear them not, but fear Me..)) [Aal Emraan: 175]

((Therefore fear not men but fear Me...)) [Al Maedah:44]

3) The third kind of fear (khawf) is a sinful act and disobedience to Allah the Most High.
This is when the servant fears a human being or people and as a result of fearing them leaves a waajib (obligatory act, like shaving the beard, removing the hijaab, not praying at work for fear of being fired) or does a forbidden act due to fear of them while not even reaching the level of being coerced to do the act. This is form of khawf is a sin.

Allah ta’ala says, ((It is only Shaitan (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya' [supporters and friends] so fear them not, but fear Me if you are indeed believers.)) [Aal Emraan:175]

And, ((..so fear them not, but fear Me! - And so that I may complete My Blessings on you and that you may be guided.)) [Al Baqarah:150]

And, ((..so fear them not, but fear Me…)) [Al Maedah: 3]

4) The fourth kind of khawf is the natural fear like for the person to fear from the enemy or predatory beasts and snakes, and etc. And this form is permissible as long as the person does not transgress or go beyonds in his/her natural fear.

Allah azza wa jall says concerning His servant and messenger,  Musa (alayhis-salaam):

((So he became afraid, looking about in the city..)) [Al Qassas:18]

((So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: "My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)!")) [Al Qassas:21]

And Musa(as) said, (("My Lord! Verily, I fear that they will belie me..”)) [Al Shu’ara: 12, Al Qassas: 34]

And Musa also said, (("My Lord! I have killed a man among them, and I fear that they will kill me..)) [Al Qassas:33]

And Musa and Haarun (peace be upon them both) said, (( "Our Lord! Verily! We fear lest he should hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress (all bounds against us)."
He (Allah the Most High) said: "Fear not, verily! I am with you both, hearing and seeing.”)) [Taha:45,46]

And the Most Exalted said, ((So Musa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself.We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand.”)) [Taha: 67,68]

5) The fifth and final form is the imaginary fear which has no basis or has a weak cause.  This is unpraiseworthy and the person who has this fear falls into the characteristic of the cowardly and indeed, the messenger of Allah (sws) sought refuge in Allah from cowardice for it is the manners of the despicable. And for this reason, complete faith, reliance and trust upon Allah and bravery protect from this kind of fear.

-Also see, Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Naasir As-Sa’dee’s Al Qawl alSadeed fe Maqasid at-Tawheed, pg.116

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Umm Muslimah

~Umm Muslimah~

The woman I knew and loved most
Our age differences did not keep us from being true friends
You were like the older sister I dreamt of
You were a true companion and proved yourself honest 
You were beautiful to me in every way
Your smile put a smile to my face
Your sadness wiped away the laughs and smiles
When you were sad you had a right to be sad
And you had every right to
For who could stand to smile and see the sufferings of the oppressed?
But when you smiled, it was the best thing
You were very considerate and were there for others
But we failed and were not there for you
You had Allah on your side
Your love for tawheed and its people was true
Your hatred for falsehood was also imminent
Your smile of faith and trust wiped away the smirks and frowns of the doubtful
Your emaan and firmness put the cowards to shame
My love, my dear sister, patience is not something I should advice you
Patience is now your best friend
You live in patience and steadfastness
You are the light in the darkness of the prisons
You are the ship of faith amidst the tides of kufr and ilhaad
You are the proud daughter of the righteous milla
You are the sister of the most trustworthy handhold
You were true to your covenant once, so remain firm on it like others before you

You are my sister, my beloved, umm muslimah

I affirm

I affirm the Oneness
Of the One and Only
The One who hears and sees all
The One in whose hands I've placed my life
The One who provides for me and takes care of me.
The One who blew the soul into the flesh,
The One who made man a successor on His earth,
The One who is denied and ridiculed.
The One whom despite man's ungratefulness and disbelief,
 provides for Him and takes care of Him.
The One I am more than willing to live and die for.
The One I rub my head on the dust for five times a day.
The One who never oppresses and is the best of judges.
The One whose mercy I've felt and in whose worship I find tranquility and peace.
The One who was worshipped and believed in from the start
Without Him we I am nothing
Without Him I am lost and misguided.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And I Hastened to You, O My Lord!


We are all familiar with Musa (alayhis-salaam), one of the five greatest messengers and the most frequently mentioned in the Quraan. Musa, who was known as KaleemuLlaah which means, "The one who spoke to Allaah."

After the Children of Israail(The Jews) fled Egypt and witnessed the miracle of Allah when Musa split the sea with his staff, and the Israilites saw Firawn, their oppressor drown and perish before their very eyes, Allah promised Musa and his people the Holy Land-Jerusalem. Musa was then called on by the Most High, so he left the Children of Israail under the leadership of his brother, the prophet of Allah, Haaroon.

Allah azza wa jall says to Musa after his arrival,

وما أعجلك عن قومك يا موسى

"And what made you hasten from your people, O Moses?" [Surah Taha ayah 83]

Musa (alayhis-salaam) replied beautifully as is recorded in the noble book,

قال هم أولاء على أثري وعجلت إليك رب لترضى

He said, "They are close upon my tracks, and I hastened to You, my Lord, that You be pleased." [Surah Taha ayah 84]

Just look at the amazing reply of the beloved servant to His lord! In other words, "I come rushing to You my Lord." Leaving his only brother with Bani Israail, whom we know would annoy their prophets, was a tough decision to make especially due to the fact that they saw Haaroon as weak. Keeping in mind the situation of his people, Musa still did not hesitate in anyway to answer the call of Allah, showing us the natural response of the mu'mineen. This also shows us that the prophets and messengers were the best of believers and no one could beat them in righteousness and good.

As Muslims, it is always important that we do our best toseek the pleasure of Allah Almighty before anyone else. Realizing the value of the Creator, the One and Only (الواحد) and the Self-Sufficient (الصمد) is an important quality of the true believers. When one realizes the greatness of Allah, they will not hesitate in matters which guide to His obedience and worship.

How many times do we enter our salat feeling happy to meet Allah? Are we happy to be in front of Allah in this great meeting or do we see it as just another daily routine?
When we seek to perform any act of worship we should have a response similar to Musa's and make it our sole goal to answer the call of Allah.

Allah the Most High says,

يا أيها الذين آمنوا استجيبوا لله وللرسول إذا دعاكم لما يحييكم

O you who have believed! Respond to Allah and the Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life. [Al Anfaal ayah 24]

Hastening to obey Allah and His Messenger even if it be at the expense of the people is never a loss for the believer. What is actually a great loss is to make it a priority to please others at the expense of the one who created you.

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "whoever seeks Allah's pleasure at the expense of men's displeasure, will win Allah's pleasure and Allah will cause men to be pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please men at the expense of Allah's displeasure, will win the displeasure of Allah and Allah will cause men to be displeased with him." [Sahih, Ibn Hibbaan from Aaishah -ra-]

The people will never be pleased with you no matter how much you seek to please and obey them even if they are one's closest relative and friends. They will always find fault with you. Some will accept you and some will reject you. Others will talk behind your back while they smile at your face in your presence. As for answering the call of Allah, it is always a win-win situation. Allah azza wa jall rewards the one who seeks to please Him abundantly so how can it be a loss of any kind? Reaping fruits for the Hereafter can never be a loss.

Just look at the Companions of the Ditch.They were told to jump into a burning, raging fire or revert back to disbelief. Going back to idol-worship would please the kaafir king but would that please Allah? They did not give it a second thought and jumped into what appeared as torment and death, but they did that and woke up in luscious, eternal gardens of bliss.  Allah says about them,

إن الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات لهم جنات تجري من تحتها الانهار ذالك الفوز الكبير

Indeed, those who have believed and performed righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment (success). [Al Buruj ayah 11]

Allah azza wa jall is witnessing to their success. They may have lost in the sense and definition of the worldly term but they have eternally succeeded. All because they chose to respond to the call of Allah and by so doing attained His acceptance and pleasure.

We ask Allah to make us those who seek His pleasure at any cost. Aameen ya Rahmaan.