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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

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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.

Bismillah


Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu
We recite it a minimum of seventeen times every day and yet surah Fatiha is such a gem that one can discover new wonders and benefits all the time. I discovered a beautiful gem last Sunday at a sister’s house. We were discussing the meaning of Surah Fatiha and what this surah means to us on an individual level. For me, Surah Fatiha has always encompassed the beautiful analogy of the believer being like a bird, as written by the Heart Doctor, Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (RH). He writes, ‘The heart is like a bird: love as its head and its two wings are hope and fear.’ (Madarij al-Salikin)

When contemplating about this surah, we find in the first ayah the believer hoping in Allah’s mercy before we begin this beautiful dua that is surah Fatiha.
Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥim – In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

In the second ayah, we acknowledge that all thanks is to Allah who fashioned us, sustains and nurtures us. And that everything belongs to Him. Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-‘ālamīn – Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds

In the third ayah, we ask of Allah, imploring Him by His attributes of Mercy. Here, the believer has hope in Allah. Ar raḥmāni r-raḥim – The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Then the believer has the balance of hope and fear by proclaiming that he/she will face Allah on the Last Day and panics at the thought of all the sins that he/she has committed and has not made repentance for. Māliki yawmi d-dīn – Master of the Day of Judgement

Now that we are like the beautiful bird that flies graciously (having the balance of hope and fear of Allah – the two wings of the bird with love for Allah at the centre of our hearts), can we worship Allah to the best of our capabilities because we now inshaAllah have that exquisite balance. Iyyāka na’budu wa iyyāka nasta’īn – To you we worship and to you we turn to in help.
But because Shaytaan will always be our enemy until our souls depart from our bodies, we are still very much in need of Allah’s guidance. Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm – Show us the straight path,

And we end the ayah by asking Allah to keep us on the straight path of those whom He loves, not those who have earned His anger. Ṣirāṭ al-laḏina an’amta ‘alayhim gayril magḍubi ‘alayhim walāḍ ḍallīn – The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray 

What I found extremely beautiful and what I learned last week was connected to the following ayah. Māliki yawmi d-dīn – Master of the Day of Judgement

There is a reason why Allah uses the word Al Malik of the day of judgment and not Al Hadi, the Judge of the Day of Judgment. This is because a judge follows the rules and laws of the court. So, when someone is found guilty of a crime than the judge has to rule by the law and the person is punished. And in the same way, Allah will judge and will punish accordingly. But here is the gem: Allah uses Al Malik in this dua that we make seventeen times a day. Allah is Al Malik – the Master and Owner of the Day of Judgment. So, He owns and controls the ‘court’ (the Day of Judgment) and thus can exercise discretion. He can in effect ‘break the rules’ and bestow His Mercy on those who are even deserving of severe punishment. He can forgive us and thus He calls Himself Maliki yawmiddin.

So, the next time you pray, remember one thing: we can never ever ever comprehend the mercy of our Lord.
Take care
Wsm
Umm Raiyaan x

Assalamu Alaikum All,


 
Last week, I mentioned living our lives this year so that we won’t be labelled as a Ramadan Muslim. This week did you do a good deed that you strove to do with zeal in Ramadan? It’s all about the small things done consistently. Sometimes we become over ambitious and want to read the entire Quran every month. Or we want to fast the fast of Dawud (AS) or we want to go to every lecture taking place in our local area. And then what happens? Thats right! We burn out and find that weeks and months have passed and we have hardly read Quran, have not fasted a single sunnah fast and have not even attended a single lecture.
 
Shaytaan knows that with some of Allah’s servants, he cannot attack them by making them do haram actions. So instead, he whispers to them to over exert themselves making them believe that they can become these wonderful Muslims in a matter of days if they do these great deeds!
 
So, it is about doing what you are capable of doing – but the key is in doing it regularly!! Everyone’s situation is different. Look at your life situation and set yourself realistic good deeds that you can do consistently. It could be reading a page of Quran a day, it could be fasting Mondays and Thursdays, it could be taking your mother or father out for the day once a month. Whatever it is – try and stick to it all year around.
 
A very dear sister has set up an intiative that is an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy way of doing a good deed that will earn you reward regularly. Please do read her email which is in bold below.
 
So, what good deed can you do regularly that you can stick to? Only you can answer that question.
Allah (Swt) says in surah Al Imran, ayah 92: “By no means shall you attain righteouness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah knows it well.”
 
Take care
Wasalaam
Umm Raiyaan
 
 

 Assalaamualaikum,
May this reach you all in the best of health and Eeman.
Would just like to pass this on to everyone so that maybe as an Ummah we can do something for those less fortunate than ourselves InshaAllah.
Around December I went to a beautiful Masjid in Ladbroke Grove named Al-Manaar. Well worth the visit if your in the area, as MashaAllah they have so much going on and it’s a beautiful and clean Masjid.
On my way out I picked up a card which was asking for £1 a day.
On the reverse was an article about the plight of the street children in Morocco.
SubhanAllah it touched my heart so much as I have seen for myself how they live as my Husband is from there.
But unfortunately when the holidays over it’s so easy to forget.
Alhamdulillah because of that one card it inspired me to set up a sadaqa collection of just £1 a week from the sisters in my area.
We choose who at the time is in need and send it off, usually it goes directly to a person instead of a charity as at least they get 100% of the money.
The first month did go to Morocco and Alhamdulillah since starting we have helped a disabled sister who had a stroke who cannot walk or talk,  and amoungst others we gave to a build the Masjid project in Uganda so this was given as Sadaqa Jariyah,I have attached the photos below. The first bunch was the start of the build and the last bunch was sent to me yesterday with the progress they have made MashaAllah.  a local sister was helped to clear her debt, the Muslim Youth Helpline, an orphanage ion Gambia, and various other projects. The last month was sent to Uganda to a small village where we fed 10 families on Eid day and bought prayer mats for their Masjid.
As you know this sadaqa will benefit us even after we die InshaAllah.
MashaAllah with Allah’s blessing the project is gradually expanding.
Please sisters consider joining us as the more that are involved then the more money we can collect and help others.
The first £50 each month goes to Interpal as we have sponsored two beautiful orphans from Gaza, and I know that 100% goes to them there is no admin charges.
There is also another new project in the pipeline which a friend of mine is in the process of setting up that will need the funds also on a regular basis so that will need to be covered also InshaAllah.
Each month when we donate I always ask for feedback from the person on the receiving end so that we can all see for ourselves how beneficial and rewarding this can be.
All it will cost you is £1 a week which is paid either monthly, quarterly or annually, whichever suits you.
A small price to pay for such a beautiful reward.
I will either text you or email you each month with updates of where the money was allocated InshaAllah.
Please do salatul  Ihstikhara make your intention and then see what you think. If Allah has willed for you to join then Alhamdulillah that’s great.
I know we cant save the world but at least when we face Allah we can say that we tried to help in some way.
Who knows, that £4 you give could be your key to Paradise InshaAllah.
I ask Allah to accept it from us and I ask Allah to expand our cause to help our Brothers and Sisters who are suffering.
Please at least make dua for all the Ummah. That is why I called it Al-Huriyah Project which means The Freedom. Freedom from debt and oppression.
Anything good from this project is from Allah, any mistakes are from me.

Fi Amanillah.
Somayya.
mekkaouis@yahoo.com

P.S. Please feel free to email or phone me with any questions and or suggestions you may have.
And also if each person could encourage at least one of their contacts as well to donate that would be wonderful InshaAllah

Bismillah
 
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
SubhanAllah! Didn’t Ramadan fly by (as usual!). I truly cannot believe that eid was a week ago today. It was only roughly 10 days ago that we were all busy invoking Allah, crying out to Him (Swt), imploring Him, making sujood to Him and engaging in various acts of worship in the hope of seeking nearness to Him.
 
One question: are we carrying that flame of zeal with us one week on from eid? Only you can answer that question. If yes, then mashaAllah perhaps it is a sign that your Ramadan was accepted. And ameen to that!!!  If not, then why not? We often talk about those Muslims who only put on the hijab, only enter the masajid during the month of Ramadan. We label them as ‘Ramadan Muslims’. You know who I’m talking about: those Muslims who don’t see their boyfriend/girlfriend during Ramadan, who stop smoking, clubbing etc. But I ask you this: if we have answered no to the above question, then tell me, how are we any different???
 
If our dua, our qiyam, our siyam, our sadaqa, our kindness and generosity have stopped since the Muslims crashed the network with their 1000s of ‘Eid Mubarak’ messages – how are we any different? We too are only Ramadan Muslims. How sad.
 
So, how can we try and prove to Allah that we love Him and worship Him to the best of our abilities all-year-around? By developing istiqaamah (steadfastness).
Here are a few things that can help us develop istiqaamah:
 
1. DUA – Really begging Allah to keep us constant in our worship to Him.
2. QURAN – Reading, pondering and contemplating the Quran. Try to make a goal to finish the Quran at least once before next Ramadan! Doesn’t seem like much but how many of us actually recite the entire book of Allah in a year (aside for the month of Ramadan of course)?
3. VISION THE AKHIRAH – We’re all going there. So why not day dream about it. What would you like in jannah? Who will be there with you? What will you wear? How will you party??! lol
And of course, what would the opposite – hellfire be like?
4. COMPANIONSHIP – Team up with a fellow sister (and brothers with brothers) and push each other to remain steadfast. Set halal challenges between you. Race with one another. You could even compete in acts of ibadah with your spouse or children.
 
There are many other ways in which we can develop istiqaamah. But the most important thing for us to realise is that we don’t know when we will face the angel of death. If we’re privileged enough to be chosen to die in Ramadan then we’re kinda safe because we were a Ramadan Muslim. But if we don’t die in Ramadan (and we’re still Ramadan Muslims) then well…I’ll leave you to think about the rest…
 
So, lets start up the qiyam, quran, the sadaqa, the smiling at your fellow Muslim and the hundreds of other good deeds again, because I don’t know about you but I sure want Allah to be pleased with me 365 days of the year and not just thirty!
 
Take care
Wsm
Umm Raiyaan

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