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Some lovely Ramadan Reminders II
« on: September 14, 2007, 12:12:29 AM »



Since these were popular last year, I'd like to share this year's short reminders of our Imam during this blessed month iA Smiley Please excuse any mistakes in conveyance and keep me in ur duas!!



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Ramadan Reminder Day 1
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007, 12:20:21 AM »

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

This is the first day of Ramadan. I pray you all have desire for Ramadan more than ever before and increase in your desire to do what is beloved to Him.

This is month of Quran, I advise you to read a lot of the Quran and ponder on the meanings. Many of the righteous completed the Quran in 3 days and in some reports in 1 day! We invoke Allah to focus our hearts on Him and not on ourselves, our ego, our desires or superfluous attractions of this Dunya.

I advise you and myself as we break our fast of Iftar to eat very moderately. If we want to benefit in our Ibadah, Tarweeh and Dhikr, we should not eat more than before Ramadan! This is not a month to celebrate eating like it is in our Muslim countries and in some places where we are. It is to teach us that there is happiness besides eating, joy outside the usual pleasures of Dunya and that there is pleasure in Quran and connecting spiritually with Allah.

As we have Iftar the Sunnah of our Rasul [saw], the Imum and the Salihoon is that they eat very, very little, moderately and then maybe after Salah they have a sort of dinner or Suhoor, still moderately. The point is to remember that Ramadan is not about eating more, not about more Dunya. It’s about less of that so we discover the joy of the qalb. So I advise us to keep mindful of that. May Allah reward those that feed the needy and poor but the way we eat must be in such a way that we don’t come bored, lazy, without presence of our quloob in our salah and are in a hurry to leave.

In Taraweeh there is nothing deterministic in exactly how it is done, but our ancestor models (and we are far from them), when they finish Taraweeh after Isha they just barely had time to have Suhoor. These are authentic reports. Sometimes they read Baqarah. They didn’t have to read one Juzz. We don’t have to read a Juzz, whatever we read is Khair. The way they read it is not fast. The Ruku, Sujood is not fast. It is later that many of the Ulema, because we have not been as spiritually committed and energetic, said we are going to have more Rakaat and more Quran and later on less Quran and more Rakat. And we complain when it’s more than 20 minutes or half an hour, we feel that it is too long! SubhanaAllah.

May Allah inject in our Quloob the Mahabba of his Ibadah. Salah is the M’eraj of the Mumin. It is a means of transport of the believer, spiritual ascension. When we are in Salah we don’t want to leave Salah, but if our Quloob aren’t there we want to leave as soon as possible. May Allah impress Hubb and delight for Salah in our Quloobs.

Let’s do our best to remember the beautiful virtues and Akhlaq Allah loves us to be characterized with. Let’s watch our internal moods and internal Khuluq, our internal image. Let’s this month exert more struggle against our Nufoos and through Dua, Dhikr, Salah and Tilawatul Quran. Let’s work on improving our inner beings and not forget a lot of Dua, a lot of Dua, supplication and invocation to Allah [swt] to help us do that.

***

In this first surah, Baqarah is the story of Adam [as]. This is reminding us that our home is in Jannah and that we are all trying to get back home. The rest of the Quran then is the manual or story on how to come back home. We need to read it at night so that we know how to get back home. Let’s carefully listen throughout this month, keep on this path and not deviate until we arrive home.
 


 [sbh] [alhamd] [allahuakbar] [sbh] [alhamd] [allahuakbar] [sbh] [alhamd] [allahuakbar]
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Ramadan Reminder Day 2
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2007, 01:17:47 AM »

Bismillah….

There are multitudes of pearls in the Quran, especially in Surah Baqarah that we are reciting. It would certainly take a long while to share these meaningful pearls. As we are confined with time, we will only mention a few to give a glimpse of those pearls.

Allah tells us in Surah Baqara (in the context of traveling and journeying to Hajj) to take what we need of provisions and sustenance with us as people who travel. Allah says ‘…Have provision, and the best of provision in the journey is Taqwa’.  This is in the context of life, inside the concept of a journey to Hajj. In our journey in this Dunya for Akhirah we need Taqwa! We shouldn’t be obsessed by provisions for Dunya. Most of us human beings seem to be so obsessed with this provision -- saving as though when we die we’ll take it with us, or that we won’t leave enough for our families. We’re so obsessed with that. We are jailed by that concept instead of taking care of our provision for Akhirah, meaning being mindful of Allah, doing our best in our lives, minute by minute, second by second, living in a state of mindfulness, awareness and consciousness of Allah, changing the way we feel inside and consequently the way we behave outside, being aware of how we look, how we walk, how we use our tongue, our legs, our intelligence, our individuality. Being aware of Allah, this mindfulness in a state of Taqwa is the provision we should take with us through Dunya.

Allah later on says, ‘It was made attractive, beautiful and alluring to the non-believers: Dunya (wealth and power). It was ornamented, made alluring, so you find those human beings so enamored and in love with Dunya and so attached to it. They would do anything and everything to keep it, even if lives have to be lost or taken in pursuit of that, even lives of entire populations, peoples, and nations. This all starts at the individual level.

We also find some of us Muslims enamored by the external shell of this Dunya, and yet this is a Siffah (characteristic) of those who do not have Imaan! Those who are like that ridicule and look down upon those who have Imaan and live simple lives of Kanaa (contentment) instead of lives obsessed with the elements of Dunya. They are belittled like they’re nothing and others act with Kibr (arrogance) and Ghuroor (delusion) towards them. Many of us who are rich and powerful look down upon those that don’t have this shallow possession. Suddenly we feel very special. Not even knowledge is respected let alone faith which used to be looked up at.

For those who are enriched with Imaan, those who ridicule us should not hurt us. If we have Imaan we don’t mind, we know they don’t know. We know we have a lot more than they do. If we don’t have Imaan we can be lured by them and be like those who saw Qaroon. The believers among Musa [as] saw powerful rich Qaroon. They said, ‘Oh this is great I wish we had what he had. That man is lucky, successful’ . And Allah said, ‘Woe on you, what are you talking about, what Allah has in store, the reward of Allah, is much greater!’

Those who have, ridicule those that don’t have, the powerful ridicule the weak, and yet it is Allah who provides for all! It’s Allah who gives to the rich and to the poor, the good person, believer, and non-believer, whatever they have. No matter how prosperous it’s Allah who gave them. One is not better than the other for having. Allah gives who he pleases, but one is deprived from internal awareness of Allah. What a difference that is!

We should be simple travelers in this world. We’re not going to be here forever. It’s a very short time. All of us have some experience that this life is so very short. It was just yesterday some of us came to this country and it’s 30 years ago! Like yesterday you were a child, it’s so fast. 60 years, 70 years what are they now. The time when death approaches us this life will seem so short. Some of us already see it. Those that Allah graced with the awareness of Akhirah he makes them, young or old, aware of this fact very early on. They live their life as travelers and travelers need provision and that provision is Taqwa, more Sawm, Salah, Dhikr, Sadaqah, Ibadah, Sabr, forgiveness, kindness, magnanimity, and more of the Qalb being with Allah, daily minute by minute being conscious of Allah

May Allah grant us that consciousness and the provision of Taqwa. May He not leave us to our obsession for the elements of this Dunya. Ameen

***
Side note: Taraweeh is called that from “Raha” meaning to rest, because after every 2 Rakats the Sahabah would rest for Dua and Dhikr. Take the time when you pray for Tahlil and Dhikr for a little while.


 [alhamd] [allahuakbar] [sbh] [alhamd] [allahuakbar]
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Ramadan Reminder Day 3
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 12:58:34 AM »

Bismillah...

Every ayah in the Quran is a miracle if our hearts are clean, and the cleaner our hearts are the more we can see the beauty of these pearls.

Allah says in the Quran 'O you who have attained faith, spend of that which is pure that you own'. In the Ayah before that Allah says, 'O you who have attained faith, spend from that which we have bestowed upon you'. Pure is left out of the second one because what comes from Allah is always pure and beautiful, but what we earn as a result of our work and effort, some of that could be Khabeeth (vile, evil, impure and haram). For we, some of us, earn our livelihoods in ways that are not pure, so Allah says when we spend, spend from what is pure of it. Pure of what you own and earn means the best of that you earn, not just which is Halal and you want to discard. Don’t go and give that which is impure and you yourselves wouldn’t take it if it was given to you! You wouldn’t even want to see it, you’d close your eyes. And you give this to God, to Allah!

It’s a metaphor so when we give to the needy and the poor, we are "giving to God", not that Allah needs that, but Allah associates giving to Him as Sadaqah, so it must be among the best, not the things we don’t want when it comes to food, vegetables, fruits, clothing, furniture, etc.

Your wife says, 'I don’t want this, let’s give this to someone who needs it'. That should not be the attitude, you should pick the one you like and want to keep. The Salihoon used to look at their things and the things they wanted to keep forever, the best things, they gave it so it’s kept with Allah as reward FOREVER.

You shall not attain a state of Birr (be a truly good person) until you spend and give of that which you love. You love to keep it and don’t want to give it. Allah also enjoins us to eat that which is Tayyib and we should give that which is Tayyib.

Ya Allah, cleanse us and purify us from the miserliness and greed of our own selves so that we truly see you with our hearts and give in your behalf that which is most beloved to us.

*************************

Side NOTE:
We say Astaghfirullah 3xs after our Rakats. Saying Astaghfirullah is an act of Ibadah, not just the tip of the tongue. We shouldn't say AstaghfAllahAAllahAstaAllah...so fast! We should say it for the things we know of, and those that we don’t know of. Say Astaghfirullah from your heart.



 [alhamd] [sbh] [allahuakbar] [alhamd] [sbh] [allahuakbar]
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Ramadan Reminder Day 4
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 12:01:48 AM »

Bismillah…

Of the many gems, Ayahs of the Quran of light. I pick one of them:

“O you who have gained faith, do not consume Ribaa (usury), be Allah–conscious so that you may be happy and succeed in this life in the right way. And guard yourselves against the fire of Hell prepared for those who reject faith [and reject Allah and Rasulullah]. Consuming Ribaa is doing like those who rejected Allah and Rasulullah [saw].

“And therefore obey Allah and obey the messenger that you may be granted loving mercy from Allah.” And those who consume Ribaa are not obeying Allah and Rasulullah and therefore are depriving themselves of the Rahmaa (loving mercy) of Allah, the special kind of it, for Allah gives Rahmaa to all His creatures. Special Rahmaa He gives to those who obey Him and the Rasul [saw].

“Therefore race, compete for forgiveness from your Lord and for Jannah the width of which is the heavens and the earth.”
This is something beyond understanding and comprehension. The width of 15 billion light years is the width of this universe. It takes light to travel from one part to the other 15 billion years. What about the full dimensions of Jannah, all the Samaawat, heavens, space-time, dimensions! 15 billion light years is just this universe, this physical 4 dimensional universe of ours.

“Prepared for those who are Allah-conscious, who guard [their hearts, senses, minds, and limbs from disobeying Allah]”. (For example in consuming Ribaa).

“Those who spend that which is Tayyib whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger” As we mentioned before, they spend in charitable causes, in humane causes, whether they are prosperous or whether they are in adversity, in need or well-to-do, wealthy or in poverty, whether they are sick or healthy, strong or weak. And those who restrain anger, they are not vindictive, If they become angry on account of something that happened in their personal life, they restrain anger and don’t allow it to be expressed outside. A wife towards her husband, vice versa, towards children, towards friends. We restrain our anger.

“And those who forgive the wrong that is done to them.”
And truly Allah loves those are Muhsinoon and generous in the way they behave to others.


****
The most beloved Ibadah to Allah is Salah. Let us try to focus our minds and hearts inside of Salah. Let’s be aware Allah is watching every movement of our hearts, every second, every moment. If we continue to do that and there is a desire for that, then Allah will give us the fruits. Salah will become the most delightful of things and we will not want to leave it. Keep focusing in Salah. And be aware Allah is listening inside of us, aware of what’s inside of us and not allow distractions and emotions that are not consistent with the very spirit of Salah to take over. Aktharu bi Dua in Sujood. Make much Dua in Sujood for the Dua, inshaAllah, is Mustajaab (accepted)!



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Ramadan Reminder Day 5
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 01:10:17 AM »

Bismillah...

From Surah Nisa, some pearls from the many many pearls that are scattered throughout the Quran:

“Verily God commands you to deliver the trust to their owners.”


The first thing that comes to peoples minds is a possession someone has entrusted with us. We have to deliver that back according to the agreement between us. We do not deny we have it or steal it, we do not neglect it, misuse it, or abuse it. We should protect that trust and deliver that trust in the way it was given to us. Also the concept of trust in this Ayah is much more comprehensive than this. Allah [swt] has entrusted us with so much . WE are a trust and we belong to Him. The way we shall use our minds, our eyes, our ears, our stomachs, our sexual organs. Each one and more are a trust with us that we have to deliver ultimately to their owner. Who’s their owner? Allah [swt]

So while we’re living in this world they are a trust. I must keep the trust and give it back. That’s why the Salihoon when they describe someone dying they say ‘and they delivered their trust to their Owner'.  When I called my paternal uncle who just recently died, his son described it. My uncle ma'shaAllah lived over 100 years of age and lived a life of Quran and teaching others. He woke in the middle of the night and asked his son to help him perform Wudu and pray, then layed down. After a while when the son came, my uncle told him 'Im dying'.  And then the son continued the description and said .. "and Allah took his Amanah". It’s a beautiful realization. Hopefully when we say this we are aware of it. We are given a trust by Allah.

******

A reminder to myself and to all of us. Ibadah, devotion to God, worship in its reality and Haqiqah is a devotion of the Qalb and thus let us never forget to make efforts to feel our hearts aware of what we say.. Allahu akbar, SamiAllah liman hamidah, Subhana rabbial ala.. Astaghfirullah, Allahumma antas salam... Let us try to feel what those words mean to us and make efforts when we say those words. We intend what they mean and also in our external appearance, the way we sit and so on, is in a state where we show reverence to Allah [swt]. We show respect and reverence to this moment that Allah has graced us to be in front of Him in Salah.

Remember to rectify and re-orient our Niyyah and ask Allah to focus in Salah and let our Quloobs be focused and not allow ourselves to be distracted and entertain other thoughts other than thought of being watched by Allah [swt].

After Salah we say, "Allahumma anta Salaam..." This is because he or she experiences something really beautiful in Salah and then outside of Salah. He or she exepriences divine nearness and peace and then when finished exclaims 'O Allah you ARE peace. I have experienced it and felt it.'

May Allah make us of those who experience divine nearness in Salah so peace inside of us and outside of us.


 [allahuakbar] [alhamd] [sbh] [alhamd] [allahuakbar] [sbh]
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Ramadan Reminder Day 6
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 03:21:18 AM »

Bismillah…

A reminder to myself and all of us. ‘Reminders do benefit those who have Faith’. May Allah help us be of those who do benefit.

Allah towards the end of Surah Nisa again reminds us by telling us we have to uphold fairness, equity and justice under all circumstances, even against our own selves, our own parents or our own relatives and to be witnesses to Allah in the same way.

In the beginning of Surah Ma’ida, Allah says to us, ‘O you have attained faith, fulfill your words, contracts and agreements’. It is Haram to agree with another party on doing or delivering something (as long as it’s not evil or prohibited) and then we don’t fulfill it.

The believers are always upholders of their word. Surely many people don’t and that’s a sign or characteristic of Nifaq or Kufr.

In the same Surah a few lines after in the same context it says don’t let the fact of all what those who are tyrannical, oppressors, killers, amongst the pagan Qurayshites did to you, make you do wrong. Even though they did all of that to you and prevented you from entering Masjid al Haram peacefully, that is not reason for you to do wrong to them or anything unjust to them. Instead, help each other and participate in all that is mutual, good and righteous. Anything that is virtuous and righteous that is done by other parties, do take part in it, and help in it. But don’t take part in aggression, wrong, immorality. Do not take part in any activity, agreement, work or actions that are transgression, injustice and that are harm and wrong. Fear Allah; be conscious of Allah, verily Allah is severe in punishment.

In other words if you don’t apply this and ignore this in our personal, family, community, societal, national, international lives, Allah is severe in punishment. Allah punishes in so many ways. Ways that we some of us don’t even relate to Allah’s Anger. Later Allah emphasizes that in a different way. ‘Be steadfast for Allah and witnesses for justice and do not let the injustices to you, cause you to do injustices to them’. Do justice, justice is evidence to piety and it will bring us clearer and nearer to Allah [swt].

We ask Allah to be of those who hear His words and understand His words and internalize, actualize and practice them in our lives. And we ask Allah to forgive us in that which we don’t know or forgot and to give us the energy and strength to act upon that which we know is right. And give us strength inside of us in moments of weakness when we need it most. Ameen.

********

We hear the Quran, we hear the words, we repeat them, we share them, we teach them and then when there are conflicts, misunderstandings, disagreements in communities, you have people that turn against one another and each other in ways that are ugly, not even compassionate, not just, each side is pulled to their side. There is no forgiveness, ‘Adl, ihsan, patience! It happens all the time in communities and also at individual and family levels. Let’s ask Allah to internalize this principle and actualize it when we need it the most. It’s easy to say it, but each one defends their own wrongfulness when the moment comes. If the arbitrator doesn’t do what one likes, “I don’t accept it” etc…

May Allah [swt] help us internalize this. Reading, teaching etc is not enough if we don’t work to internalize it. We just take it for granted and then it’s not in the Qalb and when we are faced with a real situation we act in ways that are not Khair. May Allah guide us and help us all.

 [sbh] [sbh] [sbh] [alhamd] [alhamd] [alhamd] [allahuakbar] [allahuakbar] [allahuakbar]
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Ramadan Reminder Day 7
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 01:29:01 AM »

Bismillah...


Ya Allah we implore you to collect our hearts on Your love and on Your obedience.

Suratul Anam we have begun tonight and we will finish tomorrow, is one of the many gems, diamonds and pearls of the Quran. Suratul Anam all of it is said (3 ahzab almost 1 juzz and ½ ) was revealed in totality to Rasulullah (s) . So that so many Mala’ikah (angels) were celebrating the revelation of this Surah to the lower world.

Suratul Anam is truly THE Surah of Tawheed.
Tawheed from the beginning to the end, Taweed Ar-Rububiya, Tawheed Al-Uluhiya and Tawheed Al-Asma was Safaat.

Thus the importance of the Tawheed of Allah is that is that we LIVE in Tawheed of Allah.
Most importantly my dear brothers and sisters the concept of Tawheed is not something mental or intellectual, something just in our heads. I would like us to know Tawheed as a state of the Qalb, as the Qalb is emotional and becomes involved and attached to Allah. The Qalb becomes involved in knowing that Allah is Unique in the way He is. The Qalb becomes involved with the fact that Allah is the RABB.

Then, that through His Names and Attributes, He (swt) is in control of all that is outside of Him in the creation, physical things, emotions, social things, personal things, collective things, mental things, feelings nothing in this universe escapes the knowledge, control and will of Allah (swt). Therefore what happens to me as an individual, each one of us should see every second is under the control of Allah (swt). What is inside of me of cells and atoms and particles all of which is under the control of Allah, also my emotions, thoughts, feelings all of that is in the knowledge of Allah. Allah knows it and is in control of it.

Thus when I am in that state of Rububiyah the next thing comes, Tawheed Uluhiyah. The more I become aware of that the more I surrender lovingly to Allah. I surrender in every aspect of life to Allah. The more I know of that the more my surrender, and the less I know, the less surrender. Therefore ignorance is not bliss. The more I know of Allah in His Tawheed the more I shall surrender lovingly to Allah (swt). In consequence my character Khuluq shall change.

See how Surah al- Anam is THE Surah of Tawheed, so BEAUTIFUL! Yet those of us memorizing Quran, would say was it easy to memorize? In the beginning one of the most difficult Surahs to memorize. Because our awareness, our spiritual awareness was not there, or enough. Once that somehow comes in the Qalb it’s the easiest Surah to memorize and remember.

Tawheed of Allah [az]. How beautiful and profound it is when Allah says:
   “To him belong the keys of the unseen …and none belong except to him, whatever is on the earth and all the seas. And not a leaf falls that is not in His knowledge.”

SubhanAllah ya Allah how beautiful! How powerful especially if you read it in that Quranic language. To be truly be infused by that divine meaning you have got to read it in those own words and meanings of Allah [swt].

A leaf!! A leaf ya Rabb. How many leaves fall in the world, how they fall, where they fall, their trajectory, their shape. He created them all, He knows of that.

“There is nothing inside the darkness in the earth, a seed nothing that He does not know about, nor anything moist or dry.” Even the moisture, the tears in your eyes. Think of things moist, all of which are in His knowledge now and “it has always been in a clear record”. He knows of things like that, what about ME how much does He know about me. It is clear He knows the innermost depths of me, each one of us. He made Himself known to us the more we delve into these meanings of Asma was-Saffat. The more we know that, the more we shall love Him. The more we shall have no choice but to accept Allah. 

Allah says don’t be like those who keep away from this and they’re deluded by Dunya. They give away everything Allah has and go to Dunya. Keep away from those who take their religion not seriously, as game, jest, and entertainment. They were deluded and deceived by the glamour of this world. KEEP away and be with those who are with Allah [az]. And who remember Him and keep Him.

May Allah help us be of those who always seek to know Him and attach our Quloob to Him.

At-Taweed, At-Taweed , At-Tawheed.

One equation, Scientists are looking for ONE EQUATION. What is this theory called? It’s called the UNIFICATION theory. The unification of Tawheed~! They were not thinking of this but look at this Allah led them to this!

Tawheed is the gatherer of everything. From Tawheed comes everything that is Khair. Let us seek Tawheed and beg Allah sincerely to give us hearts that heed Him.

******

Reminders are helpful to those who have Imaan and I remind myself first. Again, let us get used to struggle and make efforts to rectify our Niyyah, our intention so our Qalb is focused the right way and we should ignore and reject all other thoughts and distractions. Allah [swt] is watching us and also ponder the meanings of what is recited InshaAllah.



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Ramadan Reminder Day 8
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 01:00:57 AM »

Bismillah…

Ya Allah collect and bring our hearts together upon You. And keep away from us any such things that distract our hearts away from You. And keep us and our hearts away from such things.

Allah tells us of the essentials of the story of the human being in the early genesis creation of the human being. This includes the story of Adam and Hawwa and the concept of the existence of Shaitan as a creation of Allah endowed, as far as we’re concerned, with sometimes mysterious abilities and powers as a means to challenge and test us. This is a means by which Allah knows who amongst us truly wants Him and seeks Him and who amongst us is not truthful in that.

Then He tells us what Shaitan did and when he lured and deceived our father and more, if you will ‘us’, and thus had to leave Jannah and the deception he used in Surah Aa’raf. The logic with which he approached them is a logic of Dunya, a logic of wealth and power. He said to them, ‘You know if you eat from this tree, you will have sovereignty and power. If you don’t eat from this you won’t be the two sovereign, angelic ones. And if you eat from this you will be living forever with this power.’

SubhanAllah. What a powerful wonderful story! And then Allah says to us in the end, ‘O children of Adam, don’t allow Shaitan to lure you and deceive you as he did to your parents and caused them to leave Jannah’. Shaitan caused them to be away from the divine nearness and presence. Don’t let him do that to you also. That in this Dunya you have all the Halal of this Dunya; don’t approach the tree of Haram. It’s the same story. Some of us say, ‘Oh if I was in Jannah I would not have succumbed to Shaitan and if God told me this, I wouldn’t do that and disobey God!’ But look we are not in Jannah, but in Dunya, and in Dunya Allah says ALL is Halal for you, except don’t approach one tree… the tree of Haram. And if you eat from the tree of Haram you would have fallen like your father and mother.

Therefore what is the result? You will leave. I will keep you away from Me. The Haram of eating, Haram of drinking, the Haram of social behavior, the Haram of our words, what we harbor inside of us, thoughts and feelings we entertain in secrecy, privacy and in public… that’s the tree that Allah tells us not to approach! Ya bani adam… when I read this it’s so compassionate. I feel sorry to read this so fast in recitation. Many people have to work and many people feel it’s late and sometimes I have to read fast I don’t know if you think that I do, but I feel that. Some verses overwhelm you; you fall in tears, such a loving compassionate call from Allah… O bani adam…

May Allah help us be aware of that, help us to read the words, His words, that He shared with Adam and Hawwa. May He give us strength and not to fall like those who have fallen and never return. May He, if we fumble, give us the strength to walk towards Him in the path, and begin to inside of us disengage from the attachments that you and I have built:  the, luring, dangerous, attractions, liaisons of this Dunya.

How long will we live?

How long will we live?

How long… do most of us have left to live? How old are you… 40. 50 , 60, for most of us, we have less than what we have lived! Are we thinking of the ultimate encounter with Allah (swt). Are we trying and struggling to live in this Dunya as true travelers or are we completely forgetting that, denying that and wanting to forget that. Deluded by the external appearance and shallow attraction of this Dunya.

We have to go.

We have to go.

May Allah put in our Quloob this awareness. May we live in this Dunya so productively that we never forget this is only transitional. This is not our real home. Home is where we started and home is where we want to go back home.

And we want to go back home

Let us not be like those deluded by Shaitan and want to stay here as for ever and will not.

This is the story of one of the powerful beautiful lessons in Surah Aa'raf.



By the way, sometimes we stay here late, we might have an idea of what Rasulullah (s) used to feel during Qiyam. Do some of us feel tired? The Rakah we pray is just basically 2 ½ pages each Rakat. The last 4 rakat is just 1 page. We read total 1 juzz. Now imagine the standing of Rasulullah, reading in one Rakah, reading Surah Baqarah…. and Surah Nisa… and Anam with his type of Rukou and Sujood… I mean just imagine that. So when we feel tired, let us remember him let us be disciples of Rasulullah, in his footsteps. I want to be the like, the like, the like of Rasulullah. And that gives us energy. And that gives us strength. InshaAllah.


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Ramadan Reminder Day 9
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2007, 02:17:52 AM »

Bismillah…

A brief reminder and a reflection on some of the wonderful gifts of Allah (swt) from the Quran to share with you:

At the very end of Surah A’araf Allah [swt] [az] tells us:
“When the Quran is recited, listen to it and hear it.” Not only listen… in other words, pay attention and hear. Istamau’ not only hear, but exert an effort and focus to listen. So if we are in Salah and we hear the Quran and maybe our Nafs and Shaitan make us lose it, we have to come back. Say, ‘I shall make an effort, I shall struggle and listen with care and hear what is said carefully’. If you do that the result of that inshaAllah is some special Rahmaa (compassionate, merciful love) to you from Allah (swt). Allah only knows the very many gifts and ways in which He expresses His Rahmaa.

Just listen and what do we do many times. We don’t do that. Many of us have gotten to the point where we have (sorry to say) commercialized the Quran, cd this, cd that, tape that. Just to listen to it for entertainment. Not for paying heed. Not for the words of God Himself. Sometimes we might have it on, the Quran is on and if you have television at home you’re watching television at the same time! You’re being distracted with other things that are not God. What else can be like Allah that keeps us distracted?!

Like when we are in Salah and we turn our gaze away, or we turn away with our hearts from the focus on Allah, it is said in one Hadith when we do that, Allah says ‘ila ayn? To where? Something better than me?’ And most of us are indeed heedless may Allah forgive us.

And if we do our part, the Rahmaa is that Allah will bring the meaning of those words of the Quran, which we memorize perhaps, into our heart. We might have something in our head but it’s not in our heart or we might have something on our tongue but it is not in our head. If it's in our Qalb truly in our Qalb it shall remain. The fruits of it will ripen and we will taste of it.

“Be in Dhikr of your Lord inside of you”
. Not only by the tongue. Inside of you should be the awareness of Allah. In other words, inside of me I’m focused on Allah, oriented towards Allah, aware of Allah. It shouldn’t be loud Dhikr but should be done in a way where we beg Allah and show our need, our Haajah our Maskanah, our destitution. We show that to Allah. We shouldn’t be in Dhikr arrogantly and our minds are somewhere else. That’s not right. And then when we are in Dhikr, we should be in that state of awe, reverence and fear. It’s not just an external act. If we aren’t, then we should make an effort to be that way. And not be in the habit of being in Dhikr as though we’re playing basketball! We shouldn’t. We should try to make sure that that which comes on our tongue is first in our Qalb, our heart. And not be like a person who is mad and says that which he doesn’t know or mean or want.

And this is another Adab, some Ulema say it is Wajib and the opposite is Makruh some say Bidah, and some say its fine. But the Quran says it’s not fine, the Adab of Dhikr is without being loud and to do that morning and afternoons, and the more the better.

And then He tells us, if you can, you should be in Dhikr more, every second of your life, because He tells us there are creatures with Me, who are they? The angels. Who are always in Dhkir and they never stop.

Says Allah that they are in Dhikr, Tasbeeh of Allah always and they NEVER stop and never feel tired, for their very nourishment, joy and food is the Dhikr of Allah [swt].

There are some Ibaad in this Dunya whose food is Dhikr of Allah. Rasulullah (s) tells us that when the Dajjal comes, before that there will be many, many years, I think 7 or 40 years in which there will be destitution on earth, lack of provisions, food, people won’t find anything to eat. Then the Sahabah asked what will they eat then? He said their food will be Dhikr of Allah (s). Wallahi innahu al haqq. Sometimes Allah gives glimpses into the hearts of the servants of Allah. And when we are in Dhikr with our Quloob, we don’t get as hungry, we don’t need as much food or drink and we will not be dehydrated. That’s Dunya, materialism stuff. Yes if our Quloob is not there we might get dehydrated but if our Quloob are there we will not for as long as that Qalb is with Allah.

One thing Rasulullah tells us is that the people in Jannah will miss one thing on earth. One thing, they wished they did more of it, they wish they could go back and do more of it. What is it? Dhikr of Allah. This is related as authentic.

May Allah make us of the Dhakireen and not of those who are given the knowledge and way of Allah and do not follow it.

********
“Rehearse to them the parable of the one we gave our signs, Ayats…” And what in time did that person do, he pulled himself out of it (ignored them) like a snake that pulls itself out of its body. And when we skin an animal like a sheep, when we remove the skin imagine that when we pull the skin like that what happens, we are subjected to the elements. When we pull ourselves, we expose our hearts and our lives to the harsh elements of creation, to Shaitan to Nafs to pain.

Consequently Shaitain will follow us. Some Ulema say not only will some follow us, but Shaitan will run behind him and become a follower of that human being! Shaitan learns from that human being. A’uthubillah!

“Had We willed with those Ayats, signs, knowledge, we would have lifted, raised him/her up and set them in loftier stations”, but instead of being lifted this person chose to eternally stick to earthly things. SubhanAllah.

Would you like Manna wa Salwa or would you like onions and garlic? And sometimes that’s what we do. Allah gives us Manna and Salwa and no we want onions and garlic, because Manna wa Salwa requires some commitment and work, so no, no we want to be earthlings forever and want things on earth and never ascend to loftier stations.


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Ramadan Reminder Day 10
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2007, 01:10:25 AM »

Bismillah…

Another from the treasures of Allah [swt]. We invoke Him to benefit us from what we read. We finished Surah Anfal and we started Surah Tawbah and there are so many treasures everywhere and let us just pick from them and see.

In one of those treasures Allah says,“O you who have attained faith, respond positively to Allah and to His messenger when He (through Rasulullah) invites you”. Imagine someone not used to water and they are brought water. They are told this is necessary for life. What would the reaction be? It would be something new and strange unless he takes it and drinks it etc. So Allah is telling us this is the same thing between those that know and those that don’t know. So can we refuse and say no? SubhanAllah. This is the Haqeeqah of what Allah is offering. If we refuse, it’s like the one that refuses life, the Source of life itself.

Sometimes we feel inside ourselves, our inclinations, our priorities, our feelings, all of those may become that which makes me see the water necessary for life. And know that Allah comes between you and your heart. What does this mean. If I don’t have a heart, then there’s no life. Allah comes before your heart, between your heart and life. Without Allah you shall live a life that is not truly human. Thus allow Allah to be in your heart before your heart. That is your inclinations, likes, dislikes, hate and so on.

Verily, you shall all be gathered to Him”. In other words, whatever choice you make, you shall be brought to account. If you made a choice for life or a choice for life-lessness. If you made a choice for life-lessness you shall have life-lessness in Akhirah, for living in Jahannam in Akhirah is not life and not death.

****

The next Surah, Surah Tawbah has many names, one of which is repentance. These are some reflections about it. Somewhere in the beginning Allah tells us about His love, Hubb. The ultimate Hubb shall be the Hubb for Allah [swt]

‘Tell them O Muhammad, if your parents and your children and your brothers (or sisters), your spouses (wives and husbands), your family close to you, or business or trade of which you are concerned of (and therefore give your self and all your energies to)…if all of that is more beloved to you than your love, claim and attachment to Allah or for Jihad fi Sabeelillah (the Jihad within ourselves to obey Allah and his Rasul, to struggle against our own egoistic desires) then wait for the decree of Allah. Allah didn’t say he’d those things from you but He said … wait and see what is going to happen to you, until such time when Allah will bring His decree'.

Because Allah already knows what we are going to do and He is the appointer of time. Sometimes when we are not immediately punished for something, we don’t feel anything. We’re intoxicated with our ignorance. Allah may give us respite and time and if no negative things happen to us we think everything is fine.

They will not find clear guidance in their life. They’ll feel despair. They won’t know what to do in many instances. They’ll always feel uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean the Mu’min doesn’t have problems. The Mu’min who has problems does not feel in his/her heart the pain and misery and shattering state that the one that does not have Imaan feels when challenged with the same problems

In this meaning the Mumin is protected. We have problems, the Mu’min, but he/she doesn’t fall into a state internal that makes him/her implode. Allah tells us for example, if you were to spend voluntarily and willingly Allah will not accept from you. The person gives but Allah says it is not accepted. That’s why a true Mu’min is in a state of awe and fear. Did Allah accept from me? It’s always there in me? But for the Munafiq it’s not there.

Truly there are people who don’t have Imaan inside. What are some of their characteristics. “And when they come to Salah they come lazy”. Shouldn’t the Mu’min be afraid of this? How do we come to our Salah? "When they come, they come with laziness and when they spend in ways supposed to be Fee Sabeel Lillah, they do it with internal dislike."

And Allah tells us more characteristics: Some of the last ones include ‘And there are those that promised to Allah and the Messenger: Ya Allah if you give us this and that, if you make us better, we shall give, and we shall take a path in life of righteousness’, but then Allah says, ‘and Allah knows what He does’. He gives some of them, power, wealth. And with time they break every promise. With more power and more wealth they keep even more distant from Allah, from Zakat, Salah, the Masjid, virtuousity, goodness and continue to indulge their Nufoos

May Allah protect us, help us, save us. May Allah cleanse our Quloob and may He be in our Quloob before anything else. And when we are not at that level we need to be, let us beseech and implore Allah to be in our Quloob as nothing and no one else. Ameen.


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Ramadan Reminder Day 11
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2007, 01:18:25 AM »

Bismillah

Allahmumma taqabal minna salatana rukuana wa sajuduna….


We also finish tonight Surah Tawbah and Surah Yunus, and again collecting gladly from those gems and pearls scattered everywhere in all those wonderful Ayat.

As I was in Salah, something came upon my Qalb of the meaning of Suroor – happiness in Salah. That when we are in Sujood we ought to be happy! And truly Allah makes us feel truly happy when we are in Sujood. After all remember one thing, Subhanallah, that Shaitan was asked to be in Sujood and he disobeyed. And we as believers come to be in Sujood deliberately, voluntarily especially in Salah that is not obligatory such as this one, Nawafil, Sunan, Taraweeh. We prostrate ourselves voluntarily. We should be happy. Alhamdulillah that I am in Sujood!

And what is read in this Surah, “Tell them ya Muhammad (s) about the grace and bounty of Allah and His Rahmaa (merciful love) and by that they should be happy”. That should be the lament that makes us happy. To be with Allah, to be in obedience of Allah, to be in the grace and bounty of Allah, to be following Rasulullah. For he (s) is His grace and Rahmaa. “We have sent you verily as a Rahmaa to the worlds”. Rasulullah (s) said “I am THE GIFT of Rahmaa”. And Allah says here that you should become happy.

So when we are in Sujood and in Ibadah in general, in obedience of Allah we should learn to focus, to feel in that moment that we are happy. And if that comes into our Quloob we don’t want to be elsewhere. There is nothing inside of us that we want to do elsewhere. We are happy. And human beings, it is said, are in pursuit of happiness. And that happiness, Farah, is this, says Allah.

Now what else can attract us to make us ‘happy’? We want to leave Salah, Dhikr of Allah something that Allah loves, whatever it is that binds us to Him? To what? What do we want to do besides this? That which you work hard to collect and gather? Says Allah in this Ayah and others, Allah’s Fadl and Rahmaa is better for them, more beneficial, more successful than what they work so hard to gather and collect.

‘Come for Salah’.  ‘Oh I don’t have time...’  ‘I’m busy I have to finish…’ ‘I’m busy…’ Subhanallah that’s what Allah is telling us! Come to Allah in Salah, Dhikr, internal reflection that’s better than what you and we work so hard for together.
 
****

Rasulullah (s) in Ghazwat Hunain gave respite to the people of Hunain, after he besieged them and before distributing the spoils. If we computed them now, they would be equivalent to hundreds of millions of dollars. He was waiting so that maybe they come peaceful to Allah and then he would give them back all of that. Imagine people conquering a country and waiting for them to be good and then giving everything back! So he was waiting.

Then he began distributing the booty after awhile. And he gave those who were very new in Islam, like Abu Sufyan and his children, people who came into Islam after Fath Makkah and people who were enemies of Islam all their lives and he gave them, many people tens of millions of dollars worth of property, animals, gold and silver. And he gave the Ansar that came with him and lent support to him basically nothing! compared to what he gave to the Makkans. So they felt something in their heart. What was that? In my view I think something else, but in some interpretations they felt something because he didn’t give them.

He told Saad ibn Muadh to go bring all the Ansar and collect them and Rasulullah said to them one of the most powerful, beautiful orations, so touching yet so powerful yet so simple. And of what he told them (s) at the end of that, he told them “Wouldn’t it please you that people go back home to their lands and to their towns with gold and silver and cattle and Dunya, and you go back to your homes with Rasulullah?”

Dunya or Rasulullah (s). Which one would you like? When they heard that they CRIED, WEPT out of joy and happiness and also feeling sorry that they said what they said and they realized the treasure Allah has given to them. That is what should make them happy, that’s what always made them happy and now he’s going back with them to Madinah.

When Allah gives to the Qalb of the Mu’min the gift of Hub for Allah and Rasulullah, that’s the source of their happiness. That is much more virtuous and much more valuable than all the treasures of the world! And Allah reminds us of that in this wonderful ayah in which He also tells us that Dunya is like “water from the sky.” That it was mixed with the plantations and vegetation of earth and used by humans and animals until earth became beautiful and attractive and the inhabitants of earth, on account of that beauty, thought that now they have power over it. They have everything, dominion, power, control over it. When they reached a certain level of power and ease, assurance, then the matter of Allah comes by day, or by night, suddenly. Then it becomes like a harvested dry land. That's all it is. In the beginning it looks attractive, and then in the end... it’s a desert.

This is Dunya. Allah (swt) sent his messengers to live in this Dunya to live the FULLEST life, life in awareness of Allah, life in happiness of Allah. Life in which we realize that this life in which we are is transitory. We should live this life in the fullest sense. In the meaning of the most noble meaning of “fullest”, to go home to the Hereafter to be there forever with Allah. So no matter what we do in this Dunya of Halal matters we must always struggle to be aware of our journey and never forget that. And our happiness in this Dunya should be a sort of glimpse of our happiness in Akhirah. Our happiness of Akhirah is with whom? Being in the company of Allah.

If we never had happiness in this Dunya, happiness with Allah, that is a sign we will never have it in Akhirah!
Even a glimpse of happiness with Allah in this Dunya, if Allah gave us that in Dunya, that is perhaps a harbinger, a sign that we should have all of it in the fullest extent in Akhirah.

May Allah give us happiness in this Dunya min Fadlihi wa Rahmatihi.  Ameen.




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Ramadan Reminder Day 12
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 12:27:35 AM »

Bismillah…

Today, we finished Surah Hud and we started Surah Yusuf. Subhanallah every Ayah, every word is filled with beauty .Where to pick? Subhanallah. Something from the beginning and something from the end if you permit me.

Most of Surah Hud is about the events in the lives of some prophets:  Hud, Nuh, Musa, Salih and lessons to Rasulullah and all of us. Allah (swt) introduces that with Tawheed and with words and Ayats about His attributes. Then He tells us about the nature of many human beings, then He tells us about the stories, and then He concludes with admonitions to us about what we should do.

In that introduction Allah tells the human being, ‘Verily the human being, (on average most of us) if We make them taste something good of Our grace, bounty, compassion and love and then later we withhold it from him/her, the response of most human beings is “Yuoos Kafoor”, a person who shows despair excessively and acts in denial of gratitude!’ Then he complains and therefore acts in accordance to that. How would a person who is in despair and angry respond? Anger. Violence. Greed. Doubt about God Himself. He begins to become more self-centered.

Imagine whatever Rahmaa Allah gives us, the first thing many people think of is wealth and power, but there are many different things i.e. knowledge, health, experiences, some Ulema say spiritual experiences even. And then He says, ‘If we were to make the human being taste delight after we befell him with adversity, then the person is Farih happy, filled with joy, and Fakhoor ,an air of loftiness and arrogance.  He forgets. Just think of us and our own experience we’ve had of this nature.

But Allah says, there is an exception. This exception is the person that doesn’t change whether in the first case or in the second case. Their hearts are at peace with their Lord in prosperity or in adversity, whether given or withheld, night or day. It doesn’t change. Allah says, “Except those who show Sabr and act, struggle and make efforts to do that which is good and righteous.” These people will be different. Internal patience Sabr is often bitter and difficult. Upon those indeed Allah bestows His goodness and great reward. It is also interesting to note that this is the only Ayah where Allah didn’t say Innalatheena aamanoo as part of the exception.

******
Allah  tells us the stories of many Anbiya and time doesn’t permit us to talk of all of them, but briefly one glimpse of the story of Nuh. One moment of it that I like to remind myself of is when Allah is sending His punishment against them and the waters are rising and there are still people that are stubborn, arrogant and deluded in their ignorance. They think they know and they still reject. And one of them was the very son of Nuh (as). The waters are rising becoming like mountains in their heights. And Nuh is in the ship that is running by divine mercy and the waves are becoming more turbulent and the skies are dark and the rain is torrential. And the son is running, running amongst others on top of a mountain. And the voice of Nuh reaches him, perhaps a Karamah of a Nabi in such weather and time. And the voice of the father reaches the son, a last chance, the father, the Nabi doesn’t give up. “Come and be with us. Don’t be with those that reject the truth, Allah and the Rasul. Come with us.” And the son arrogant and deluded by his entourage, his friends, and the lifestyle he had. “No, no I’m well enough here. I’m gonna be safe on top of a mountain.” Imagine the meaning that is in that text. Those of us that are deluded by our lifestyle, approach to life, and our friends say ‘No no, I have it all. I don’t need You. I don’t need You’.

“I’m gonna rise to a mountain that will protect me and fortify me against the waters”. Imagine that. How many ways can we respond to those who call us? Our spiritual mothers and fathers call to us. And we respond to them in our youthful arrogance. ‘No I’m safe I don’t need you. And the father still answers. “My son you don’t know.” Sometimes we think we know, but the human being doesn’t know. “You were wrong before and especially today you’re wrong. Nothing shall protect anyone from God’s decree today and except the one Allah graces with his merciful love”.

And he waited for him, but then the wave separated them and took him.

Our spiritual father, if you will, through the divine words of Allah constantly calls us to safety. But many of us human beings have a built in flimsy shield of arrogance because of our reasons, lifestyle, and resources. And we keep away from that in these waves, ocean of life. However, the only safety is in the very ship of Nuh, the ship of Rasulullah which is the ship of Nuh and all the messengers of Allah (swt). There is safety only there, not in us, not in our arrogance.

Allah concludes the Surah by telling us, “To Allah belong the unseen events of  His creation in the heavens and in the earth.” That which we know, that which we don’t know, that which we see and that we don’t see, details of past and future, not only physical, but knowledge and feelings, it belongs to him. Not only does He know it, but it belongs to Him. “And all matters shall be brought back to Him” [swt]

And thus says Allah, “Therefore, worship Him in love and in full submission, and put your full trust in Him and rely on Him.” In this life, we should not be like the son of Nuh  and rely on our ways, our resources, what we see and feel. For all of those are the means. We don’t rely on the means. We use the means and rely on Allah.

And know that your Lord is never unaware of  what you do, in secret or in public.” Know that Allah is with you wherever you are. This is how this Surah concludes and summarizes the stories of the Anbiya.

May Allah clear our hearts, forgive us and grant us the energy by His love so that we sincerely journey to Him. Ameen



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Any comments, thoughts, reflections, questions?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 12:29:19 AM »

Salam,

You guys can post in here. I haven't heard any feedback this year. It seems like people are reading according to the viewcount but I dunno?? Should I continue to lug my laptop around?? Embarrassed

K wsalaam
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Re: Some lovely Ramadan Reminders II
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 12:54:12 AM »

 [slm]
This Ramadan reminder series makes my Ramadan every year! May Allah reward you for posting these and all the effort put in to it!
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