Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
This is going to be a short one.
I am sometimes guilty of this myself so this is a reminder first and foremost to myself.
After believing in Allah and His Messenger, what is our first priority? SALAH! I have mentioned this before, but seriously – it will be the first thing we are going to be judged about. If it isn’t in order, then the rest of our deeds will not be looked at.
Nothing should come before it – NOTHING! Not our husbands, not our parents, not our children – NOTHING! We need to stop making excuses – I’ll serve my husband his food first. I’ll feed my kids first. We’re out and we say, ‘I’ll pray when I get home’ – when we know that by the time we get home it will be time for the next salah.
When its time to pray, its time to pray and we need to make this our priority before anything else. Just as we’re quick to drop everything and answer the phone or respond to a text message, when the time for salah comes in – we should literally stop everything and just pray. There are no excuses. As I said, it is a reminder to myself first.
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan

 

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
Its freezing cold and we’re at that time of the year again in the UK where everything kinda comes to a standstill because of the snow!
 
Although it is very cold, I do love the snow. It makes everything look so pretty mashaAllah. And for me, it really reminds me of the Magnificence of our Creator.
 
A sister sent me this message this morning and subhanAllah, it just seemed to fit in very nicely with the weather conditions at the moment! A good reminder. MashAllah.
 
“The season of winter is the bounty of the believer, as it has shorter days (so that they could fast) and longer nights (so that they could pray all night in Qiyaam).” [Imam Malik]
 
SubhanAllah, how very true! Lets make the most of the season of winter and rush to earn the pleasure of Allah.
 
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
How many times have we felt as though Allah (Swt) has closed the doors of his Mercy to us. That we feel that he will never forgive us.
 
Anyone that feels like this truly doesn’t understand Allah’s attribute of Mercy. We know that He is more Merciful than a mother is to her child. We know that His Mercy is 99 parts in contrast to the one part of mercy that He sent down to the earth; seen in the mercy between animals and humankind.
 
But subhanAllah, there is one hadith that springs to mind that for me makes me think SUBHANA’ALLAH!
 
The Prophet (saw) said:
 
“The angel on the left hand raises his pen (i.e. delays writing) for six hours before he records the sinful deed of a Muslim. If he (the Muslim) regrets it (the sin) and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, the deed it not recorded, otherwise it is recorded as one bad deed.”
 
Al Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahadeeth as-SAheehah, 1209
 
SubhanaAllah, just think about that for a minute! By the permission of Allah, the angels withold recording a bad deed that we commit in order to provide us time to repent from it and if we do repent then nothing is written! Allahu Akbar!
 
So, we must never despair of the Mercy of Allah (Swt).
 
And remember the famous hadith qudsi “I am as My servant thinks I am.” So, if we have positive thoughts of Allah in that He is Merciful and Compassionate than He will be just that in our lives. And if we despair and are always thinking that He will never forgive us, then is it any wonder why the Mercy and Barakah from Allah does not arrive.
 
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
The reminder for this week is in the form of these beautiful pictures. May Allah take us there next year. Ameen.
Enough said!
 
www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/hajj_2010.html?ref=nf
 
If anyone would like to be removed from this mailing list, please feel free to send me an email and I will remove you.
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
Eid Ul Adha is next week and we still have a few more days left of the most blessed days in the year: the first ten days of dhul hijjah.
I’ve really been enjoying the following videos on dhul hijjah by Sheikh Haitham Al- Haddad. Check them out inshaAllah:

For me, just like during the last ten nights of Ramadan, in these blessed days I find myself curious as to how other Muslims are utilising these moments for multiple reward. If I see that a sister is paying more attention to her character, I feel compelled to also work on my own. If I find a sister reading more Quran, I feel guilty at the amount I am reading and try to race to catch or even surpass her own amount. It is this type of competition that is halal and recommended amongst the Muslims. And I don’t know about you, but I find that when I compare myself to sisters who are better than me and do more good deeds than I do, then it pushes me to do more.

In contrast, there is a type of competition that I see amongst the Muslims which can destroy any good works and destroys the heart.
Let me tell you something I heard in a lecture once. The Sheikh was talking about sincerity. He asked how do we know if someone is sincere? And he gave the example of two sheikhs. One sheikh, Sheikh A has been giving a circle to his students regularly for some time. The students have benefited immensely. Another sheikh, Sheikh B starts another circle not far from the location of the previous talk. Some of Sheikh A’s students leave his circle and instead start attending the dars of Sheikh B.

Now, if Sheikh A would start to feel angry/upset that his students have gone to another Sheikh for knowledge this is a clear indication that there was a problem in his sincerity to begin with. But if Sheikh A feels happy that his students are also learning and benefiting from someone else, then this is a clear sign of his sincerity.

I give the above example, because we should compete to do as many good deeds as possible. But if we start to feel sadness and envy in our hearts because a sister has gone to another sister for advice. Or sisters leave one circle to go to another then there was a problem in our sincerity.
I think it is a shame if all the ajr (reward) that could have been accumulated has been lost because our sincerity was absent.

If we remind ourselves that something is for the sake of Allah, then it wouldn’t matter if so-and-so sister sets up a circle in the same location as ourselves. We wouldn’t feel jealousy in our hearts if sisters gravitate towards one particular sister and not us. We would be over joyous if another group of brothers and sisters set up a project similar to our own. Its all about intention.

So, here is the litmus test: next time one of the above situations occurs, see how you feel and that should give you some indication as to whether you are sincere. And truly Allah knows what our hearts conceal. If you find that there are negative feelings when there should be positive ones – happy for the sake of Allah, then perhaps its time to take a break and focus on your intention and sincerity.

Wasalamuu alaikum

Umm Raiyaan
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
 
When I became a Muslim eleven years ago, I had a very positive view of Muslims. At that time I just LOVED all Muslims. Naively, I thought that they were all good, all caring, all respectful, and were united.
Naturally, that view has somewhat changed. Over the years, I have met some lovely sisters mashaAllah and I have met some not-so-nice ones. But one thing that still bothers me to this day, is the lack of respect Muslims have when they differ on opinions or follow different figures of knowledge. Eleven years ago it was so bad that I questioned whether I should remain in a religion where everything is haram and Muslims constantly warn one another against this sheikh and that sheikh. It was a very negative time for many.
In 2010, things have changed somewhat but there still seems to be a ‘which-sheikh-do-you-follow’ mentality. Or if you mention a brother’s talk you listened to, or someone that you take knowledge from, then it creates a bad air as the sister believes that you are taking knowledge from someone deviant. I have seen this type of scenario cause Muslim sisters to separate who once had a wonderful friendship.
To me (and this is my personal opinion), as long as the Sheikh is upon the Quran and sunnah and his aqeedah is that of Ahlus Sunnah wa jamaah – then we take the good and leave the bad. But it should not cause us to separate from our sisters or to view them negatively. Of course, there are some paths in Islam which are clearly ‘dodgy’ and some that actually are borderline kufr. And here, we should display hikmah (wisdom) and gentleness in correcting.
Also, what gives us (Muslims who have a tiny bit of knowledge to criticize and criticize and criticize others?!) Sisters claim, that when ‘warning’ against certain brothers that this comes from their Shuyookh. But perhaps not every sister values the opinion of that sheikh. And also, I’m sure certain shuyookh would ‘warn’ in a very different manner than many Muslims do.
I want to share a beautiful story of the people of the past who clearly understood how to deal with others who have different opinions to them:
Imam Malik one day entered the Masjid after Asr. Towards the front of Masjid An-Nabawee he drew closer and sat down. Rasul Allah had commanded that anyone who enters the Masjid should not sit until he first prays 2 rakas as a salutation of the Masjid. Imam Malik was of the opinion however that Rasul Allah’s forbiddance of praying after Asr took precedence and so he would teach his students to not pray the tahiyyatul Masjid if they entered between the Asr and Maghrib time.
At that moment that Imam Malik sat down, a young boy had seen him sit without first praying the 2 raka’s of Tahiyyatul Masjid. The young boy scorned him, “Get up and pray 2 rakas!”
Imam Malik dutifully stood up once again and began praying the 2 rakas. The students sat stunned: What was going on? Had Imam Malik’s opinion changed?
After he had completed the salah, the students swarmed around and questioned his actions. Imam Malik said, “My opinion has not changed, nor have I gone back on what I taught you earlier. I merely feared that had I not prayed the 2 rakas as the young boy commanded, Allah may include me in the Ayah…
“And when it is said to them, ‘Bow (in prayer)’, they do not bow.” – al mursalat 77/48.
Imam Ahmad held the opinion that eating camel meat nullifies ones Wudhu, an opinion that the majority of scholars differed from. Some students asked him, “If you find an Imam eating camel meat in front of you and – without first making Wudu – then leads the Salah, would you pray behind him?” Imam Ahmad replied, “Do you think I would not pray behind the likes of Imam Malik and Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab?”
So, as people who do not have knowledge with the likes of the above mentioned, let us not start labelling, start bickering, judging and hold negative feelings in our hearts with those who differ with us.
With the time that we are living in, it is time for us to unite upon the fact that we are all Muslims who try to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah.
And Allah knows best.
 
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan xx
 
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com
http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/

Bismillah
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Life is busy isn’t it?! SubhanAllah, if we’re working – it’s a rush in the morning – have to get a certain bus or train. If we have kids, then the list is endless and generally whatever our situation is, it just seems like we are running from one thing to another with an endless list of To Dos. Headless chickens sometimes right?!

I’ve been contemplating about a particular hadeeth recently. In the last few reminders, I have discussed the importance of small deeds done regularly but all of the optional good deeds are pointless if the following hadeeth is not understood fully and acted upon. This particular hadeeth scares me a lot actually.

Allah’s Messenger (saw) said:
“The first thing that the servant will be held accountable for, is the prayer. If it is good, then the rest of his deeds will be good. And if it is defective, then the rest of his deeds will be defective.”
At-Tabaraanee reported this hadeeth in Al-Awsat and there are not problems with it’s chain, by the Will of Allah. This is what Al-Mundhiree said in At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb: Vol. 1, pg. 246***

What terrifies me is that we may be dutiful to our parents, be involved in dawah work, give regular sadaqa and try to uphold good characters but subhanAllah all of that would be in vain if our salah is not in order.

Often, salah is slotted in around our ‘busy’ schedules. The 12 sunnah prayers are neglected. We might pray the salah when the next salah time is just about to approach, we remember all sorts of things as we recite Quran during our salah and we jump up ready to carry on with our busy schedules without even pausing to utter the sunnat after the salah.

Sometimes we are fooled by Shaytaan into thinking that a certain good deed will earn us lots of reward and thus we rush our salah so that we can continue with that good deed. But subhanAllah, just imagine you are standing and sweating on the Day of Judgment, hoping that all those optional good deeds will earn you the pleasure of Allah and multiple rewards. But when your book is scrutinized, your salah has not been accepted as it wasn’t prayed with khushoo, it wasn’t prayed at the right time as you were just too busy.

So, the question is: What is the state of your salah? If you were to die today – would you be blessed to have all of those other optional deeds accepted or would none of them be considered because your salah was not in order. Such a person would surely be biting…actually eating his/her fingers in regret.

So, I’ve been thinking. What can we do to constantly try and improve the condition of our salah?

1. Choose one thing that you can strive to implement this week that will improve the condition of your salah. It could be making wudu before each salah even if you haven’t broken it. It could be saying the sunnat after each salah without fail. It could be trying to pray the 12 sunnah prayers without fail for the whole week. It could be focussing on what you are reciting. Whatever it is, try to implement one thing until it becomes a habit and then move on to the next.

Not only will this inshaAllah lead us to be those whose good deeds will be looked at because our lives revolved around the salah and not the other way around, but when our salah is performed properly there is a sweetness that I believe we can’t taste anywhere else.

Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan

Bismillah
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
How are you? Pray all is well.

Okay, so mashaAllah, we are into week 6 of the reminders.

One quick question: Were you one of those who lost a battle to Shaytaan? Did he make you forget to do any of the good deeds that were discussed over the last 5 weeks?? Were you really excited to gain the pleasure of Allah (Swt) but he made you busy with the pursuits of this life?! By Allah, he is so crafty and the thing about Shaytaan is, that he NEVER NEVER forgets to make us forget!
So, this week, I’m going to remind you about what was discussed over the last five weeks so that you can take ACTION, work on it now and smile for the rest of the day because you managed to defeat the enemy whose sole goal is to take you to the burning fire with him. Plus, at the end of this email I need your help with something.

WEEK 1: What steps have you taken over the last six weeks to develop your level of steadfastness. Have you asked Allah to make you steadfast?! Have you identified the things that make you lazy?? What can you do to work on those things? Remember its not the quantity it’s the quality done regularly!

WEEK 2: It’s all about the small things in life?! Choose a few small good deeds that you strive your utmost to perform regularly. It could be reading surah kahf on a Friday without fail. It could be reading half a page of a Quran without fail, it could be kissing your husband, or children purely for the sake of Allah once a day. Whatever it is, pause before you do it, make it an act for the sake of Allah (Swt) and then enjoy the sweetness of doing a good deed regularly for His Sake.

WEEK 3: Ponder the mercy of Allah (Swt). When you recite surah Fatiha, remember that Allah is Al Malik Al Yawmiddeen because He is the Owner of the Courtroom and can forgive even though a person may be deserving of severe punishment!

WEEK 4: Regardless of whether a Muslim person is young, poor, rich, or old we are believers in Allah and thus we should behave towards our fellow muslims with respect and good character. The sister put it better than I can, so if you need to be reminded again: read here:
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/reminder-4-shouting/

WEEK 5: And finally week 5! Did you forward the email? Did you gather your friends and family for that all important cup o’ tea? DEADLINE FOR THIS IS 30TH OCTOBER 2010! I was speaking with a sister and she said that the more letters Mps receive the better. But particularly, sisters and brothers with English names as from past experiences letters from English names seem to get quicker responses! Quite sad but such is the situation here in the UK. Visit here for the lobby pack and how to fight for the justice for Babar Ahmad:
https://stepstohislove.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/reminder-5-a-drink-and-some-reward/
Please please forward to all your contacts and REMEMBER after 30th OCTOBER 2010, that particular way of earning reward will be long gone! So don’t miss out!

And finally, please help me personally by filling out the form if you haven’t already done so and PLEASE FORWARD TO BROTHERS AND SISTERS to also do the same. I need more responses from brothers. You don’t have to be a revert to fill in the form. I would be so grateful if you can help me with this:

See here for details of the project and the forms that need to be filled in:
http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/can-you-please-help-or-forward/
May Allah reward you! And lets strive to implement the above before next week as we don’t know if this will be our final week!
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan

Bismillah
Assalamu Alaikum,


Do you like tea or coffee? Or maybe a nice smoothie or fruit juice does the trick. Whatever is your preference, there is nothing like a refreshing drink to help you relax. What is even better is having great company and sharing a good coffee or lovely tea with biscuits of course!

Well, here is an opportunity for you to:
a. Get your favourite sisters around (or brothers if brothers are reading this)
b. Enjoy your favourite beverage
c. And gain some reward and help out a brother who unfortunately cannot have a simple get together with his brothers and family.

I really want you to read this email placing yourself in this brother’s shoes. Imagine if it was your brother, your son, or your husband who has been locked up for over 5 years. You can’t share special times with him or even things we take for granted such as eating dinner together. I know this brother’s sister personally and the sabr that this family has had since this brother’s tests began is extraordinary. What is even more amazing is that they are so active in the community trying to help others even though the community is actually supposed to be helping them. May Allah (Swt) reward them with firdous al ala. Ameen.
Many of you have probably heard of Babar Ahmad. Over 5 years ago, he was arrested by the police who ruthlessly beat him up after which he sustained 73 injuries!

He was then released and rearrested again over claims that he was a supporter of terrorism. An allegation that he strongly denies. Since then the US wants him to be extradited to the US to face charges. But for what???! He is the longest detained-without-charge British detainee held as part of the global ‘war on terror’.

Babar’s father, Ashfaq Ahmad posted on his Facebook:
“Please uk friends,help us on this one and share it out to your facebook friends. We need to urge the British Government to put my son Babar on Trial in UK where he stands a better chance of any fairness. Aafia Siddiqui got 86 years in USA, Allah only know how much US will give Babar, God forbid if he has to go to America”

Awareness needs to be raised for this case. Please keep this hadith in mind as you continue to read this email:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said,
“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”
[Sahih Muslim]

So this is how you can help by changing the evil that has been inflicted by this brother literally with your hand!:
This is what you need:
* Tea, coffee, milk, sugar, polystyrene cups, kitchen towels, biscuits/cakes
* Copies of the following lobby pack which can be downloaded at www.freebabarahmad.com. Go to ‘support’ and then to ‘how to help’ and click on download. Unfortunately, the following URL is not working.

http://www.freebabarahmad.com/downloads/MP%20Lobbying%20Instructions%2020%20Sept%202010%20final.pdf
* White board or chalk board with key points the letters must include which can be extracted from the sample letter found in the lobby pack. This is so your friends and family can make sure they include relevant points.
* A list of local Mp’s but also internet access to look up any Mp’s if sisters aren’t sure of who their MP is or their address
* Envelopes and 2nd class stamps
* Printer paper and pens
* A pot to collect about 50 pence per letter towards the cost of stamps and envelopes (optional donation)

What to do:
Set everything up as per the list above.
Invite your friends over. Ask your husbands to do the same with brothers. Serve delicious cake and maybe homemade biscuits and of course the all-important beverages!
And everyone writes to their MP. (All details are in the lobby pack link above)

I really really urge everyone who reads this email to do this with a few sisters from their local area. It could really help this brother’s case. The fact that Aafia Siddiqui got 86 years really makes one wonder how many years Babar Ahmad would get were he to be extradited to the US. He needs to be tried here in the UK.

As always, we’ll think it is a great idea and then Shaytaan will make us forget about it and then we’ve lost out on the reward.
So before closing this email, grab a piece of paper and write down a date that you want to organise to do this and stick it up somewhere so that you won’t forget to start planning for it. Or even better yet, start ringing your friends and family straight away inviting them to this in a few days time.

Please please please forward this email on to your contacts.
May Allah reward you all.
Wasalamu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan

Bismillah


 
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
 
As many of you know, I home educate my children and keep a blog to document our homeschool journey. On my blog, I documented an honest day from the time I woke up from fajr to the time I went to bed. I included everything to see how I spent my time in a day. It was useful and one thing that I noticed was that I shout too much at my 2.5 year old son! We all have our weak points and one of mine is that I shout too much at him.
 
Well, a very sweet sister sent me a lovely email after reading my blog post. You don’t have to have kids or be shouting at your kids to read and benefit from her short message. But, if like me you do shout at your husband, or your sister/brother, or indeed your kids then her points really are going to leave you thinking. By Allah, by the time I finished reading her email I was fighting back the tears…
 
Hope you will benefit inshaAllah.

Here is a part of her email:

Sister, I read about you shouting at your children, as I do and everyone I know do. You said you need to work on your anger management.

I want to share something with you. Last month I was reading about abusive men. I read a few books written by non-muslims just to understand what pushes a man to be so angry all the time. And then I looked to Islam to see how to cure this problem. What I found opened my eyes as to the reasons why I shout too. So this is what I want to share with you. InshaAllah.
In short, they say abusive men are angry not because they have anger issues but because they look down on their wives and kids. The books said, in the minds of these men, women and children are of lesser status than them so they don’t feel obliged to treat them well. Another issue is that men feel entitled to certain treatment and rights, such as the food to be always cooked, a clean house, their clothes always clean and ironed and the wife always smiling and understanding. But they don’t feel obliged to offer almost anything in return because they believe since their wives are of lesser status they don’t need to put any effort into the relationship. Obviously not all men hold these beliefs but a big amount of Muslim men do. I have been discussing the issue with my husband from an Islamic point of view and talked to him how beliefs are passed from a father to a son. Sometimes Muslim men don’t realise that they hold such beliefs at all and that they contradict Islam. This is a very short explanation. Now, what concerns me is that from Islam we women should take care of the house, the kids and when we add home education we end up with a long list of demands which can put a lot of pressure on us. So we may say that this is the only reason why we shout at the kids. We are under stress and we lash out on them from time to time because of this. But I asked myself, do I shout at sisters if they annoy me? I don’t. Do I shout at my mum if I am stressed? I don’t. So why can I restrain myself with other people but I end up shouting at my kids. The answer to this is very disturbing to me. I realised I give myself permission to shout at my kids because there will be no consequences, or at least no immediate consequences. If I shout at other people there will be immediate consequences. When I realised this I realised that my anger isn’t out of control. That I give myself permission to shout and I give myself permission who I should shout at. It was a scary discovery. Then I delved deeper and asked myself if I feel I can shout at my kids because they are of a lesser status. Or do I feel they are? I was thinking, if I remember that they are muslims and as such have the same status as me, (even if they are small) and I don’t see immediate bad consequences for my actions, Allah will certainly hold me to account for how I treated them. Shouting stresses them, sometimes scares them, it teaches them nothing but that if you want to impose your will you shout it out, it teaches them to shout and be out of control, it teaches them to act immature. It teaches them that it is okay to overpower those weaker than us. Hmmm. This is when I realised I need to stop and that I will stop only if I recognise the fact that they have equal status to me in Islam and that they have been given to me as amaanah (a trust): to take care of them and make them worshippers of Allah.

This is a very very short part of what I realised. But I wanted to share it with you. Maybe you will disagree. Maybe your reasons are different. I am not saying you have the same issues like me. I just thought that maybe sharing my thoughts can be beneficial inshaAllah.