Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A month of fasting, not feasting.



“A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much).” (Bukhaari)

As the blessed month of Ramadan rapidly approaches us, we begin to prepare for it in many ways. Some have already written out a "game plan" for the 30 days of fasting and their intense worship they want to do, others have decided to start increasing in good deeds, and some, well, they have only started to prepare for nothing but a schedule for iftar gatherings with recipes of savory and sweet meals. Yes, breaking your fast is very important and a must, but we should remember that Ramadan is something more than just fasting the entire day and then meeting with friends and family to do nothing but feasting. Since I reverted to Islam, I have met a fair share of born Muslims who are very cultural. Surely there is nothing wrong with incorporating your culture into your daily life but it should never supersede your religion and it should never be the driving force for your actions. Islam is a complete religion and it is a way of life. The Qur'an guides us and the Sunnah helps us understand how to live our daily lives. We all know that Islam is a religion of moderation and that Allah does not like extravagance and those who waste.


The Prophet (pbuh) said:


“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.” (al-Tirmidhi –saheeh by al-Albaani)

The month of Ramadan is no exception. In fact, during this blessed month, we must remember that it is a month to purify ourselves and our intentions and to strengthen our relationship with Allah the Almighty. Our priority should not be counting down the minutes until Maghrib and then rushing over to our friend's or family's home to stuff our faces at iftar to the extent that we are so full that we can not even stand and pray taraweeh. Ramadan is about fasting, not feasting. In Ramadan, we should be loosing weight (not intentionally) and we should not be gaining weight. We should be gaining spiritual guidance and purity. 

During Ramadan we should focus on taking selfies of our character instead of taking selfies with our food. We should be thinking of ways to help the needy and poor during and after Ramadan. We should reflect on how blessed we are to be given another chance for Allah's Mercy and Forgiveness to be showered upon us. We should remember that there are many starving people all around the world and we should not overeat and waste food. I never realised how many Muslims waste food until I met some who eat and eat and eat and then waste and waste and waste! Can you imagine how many poor people all the wasted food could feed? If you can't finish something, pack it home and eat it the next day, even if you aren't a "I don't eat leftovers" kind of person, at least think about the blessings Allah has blessed you with and do it for His Sake. Also, remember that because you wasted so much food, Allah could easily test you with hunger and poverty somewhere in the near future. 
“And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)”
[al-A‘raaf 7:31]  
The blessed month of Ramadan is a month where we recharge our emaan battery and to pick up on certain obligatory acts and worships that we were not able to during the year. Fasting is something that is done solely for the sake of Allah and it should be done sincerely. If we really want to earn reward and please Allah, we will remember that once we break our fast, we should not overindulge and stuff our faces until nothing but belches come from our mouths. 
Abu Juhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“A man burped in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and he said: “Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats his fill the most in this world will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.” (al-Tabaraani–Saheeh)

Let us remember what the purpose of Ramadan is and let us work hard and strive to not waste food and to overindulge in extravagance. As we want to take that extra bite of food, let us remember that extra bite may hinder us from making a long sujood which could earn us the Forgiveness of Allah, the Almighty. Let us remember, before throwing away that plate of food, those who are fasting all year around because they are too poor to eat a warm meal every day. 

Remember that Ramadan is a month of giving and not taking. Ramadan is a month for us to change what is within ourselves and to turn back to Allah and seek His Mercy and Forgiveness. Ramadan is a month where we learn to give up bad habits and try our best to come out fuller and stronger, not with food but with emaan, wisdom, and taqwa.

Ramadan is a month of fasting, not feasting.  

Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "He who observes the fast during Ramadhan out of sincerity of faith and in hope of earning merit will have his past sins forgiven him" (Bukhari and Muslim)


May Allah bless us with many opportunities to fast during Ramadan and may He give us success and a chance to change for His Sake and to come out of this Holy month, better, kinder, wiser, and adhering to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Ameen!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Take a selfie of our characters! What would we see?



 Abu Darda (RadiAllahu Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) said, “Nothing is weightier on the Scale of Deeds than one’s good manners.”(Al-Bukhari)

As we spend countless hours standing in front of the mirror, combing our beards, making sure our pants are above the ankles, fixing our niqab's and making sure our abaya's are clean and ironed, we tend to forget about fixing what is inside of us. Surely, trying to follow the Qur'an and Sunnah to the best of our abilities is important and highly encouraged, but sometimes we focus too much on our outer appearance and we neglect our inner appearance. Though nobody can see the colour of our hearts or can read our thoughts, Allah Knows everything that lies within ourselves. 

Many of us worry too often about our physical, outer Islam yet neglect the inner, intangible Islam. Surely, the physical aspect of Islam is important and our physical worship is extremely valuable and does help us become better Muslims, but until the inner part of us is clean and pure, then only will our outer Islam be sincerely for the sake of Allah. Allah, the Almighty looks more to the hearts and our sincere actions more than anything else and it seems these days, many of us forget this. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather He looks at your hearts and actions.” ( Sahih Muslim 2564)
Since I reverted to Islam, I have met many wonderful sisters online and offline who have shown me countless times of the beauty of Islam through their manners and good character. They always greet me with a smile and send me a random message and to let me know that they were thinking of me and wanted to say Salam. They genuinely want to talk to me and they never message me just because they need something. They try to follow the manners and etiquette of the Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) and it just makes me feel so special and that there are some sisters who truly do love me for the sake of Allah. Unfortunately, I can only count a handful of these lovely sisters on one hand, may Allah reward them and continue to beautify their character. It seems these days many sisters place more concern with their exterior appearance and neglect the inner. Many of us may look like a Muslim but the way some of us act online, in public, and in secret are unacceptable. Islam is about good manners and there is a lot of reward for those who show beautiful manners and etiquette (while of course implementing the Qur'an and Sunnah). 

Abu Hurairah (RadiAllahu Anhu) said, “I heard Abu al Qasim (Rasulullah (Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam)), say, ‘The best among you in Islam are those with the best manners, so long as they develop a sense of understanding.” (Al-Bukhari)

Of course this is a reminder to myself first and foremost, as I truly feel this is something that I struggle with on a day to day basis. As I delve deeper into the true teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah and learn more about our beloved prophet Muhammad (sallalhu aleyhi wasselam) and how he had the most beautiful character and dealt with people with the finest of manners, I can't help but feel compelled to follow his footsteps. Coming from a background where good manners and etiquette were never really practised in my culture, it really is a challenge. Some people were born into good manners and others, not so much. I consider myself the latter and I have learnt just how important it is to practise what we preach. We should all be working hard on beautifying our character and walking on this earth with the best of manners. We should be showing the non-Muslims the beauty of Islam through the way we carry ourselves and as well to those Muslims who are far from the deen. Just because our exterior is beautiful and it physically portrays Islam, it does not mean that we have the right to be rude to people, not send Salams, curse and backbite, and other acts that are disrespectful and not part of the deen. 

Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr said, “Rasulullah (Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) was never obscene or coarse. Rather, he used to tell us that the best among us were those with the best manners.” (Al-Bukhari)

What is more beautiful than a Muslim sister who knows the importance of beautifying her heart so that her deeds would be sincere and purely for the sake of Allah? When I see a sister with beautiful character, I can't help but want to emulate her actions and it really motivates me to want to focus more on my inner character so that it will shine through on the outside. Having the most expensive abaya or dressing in all black does not mean anything if you will continue to treat others without respect while looking down on them. Just because you wear the niqab and cover your face, it does not mean that you have the right to judge others who do not dress the same as you. How do we call others to Islam if we can not even show to them the kind manners and good character of a believer? We must always remember, 

 Rasulullah (Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) said: “The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.” (At-Tabarâni and Albani authenticated it in Silsilatul-AHaadeethis-Saheehah
 How easy it is to attain the status of one who prays the night prayer, and how easy it is to be granted al-Jannah just by exercising good manners towards one another (and of course fulfilling the obligatory before anything)!

 Abu Hurairah (
RadiAllahu Anhu) said that Rasulullah (Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) said, “If one has good manners, one may attain the same level of merit as those who spend their nights in prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)

 Let us all reflect upon the beautiful manners that our beloved prophet (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) had and let us follow in his footsteps and those after him.  We should take care of our outer appearance but we should also remember never to neglect what is in our hearts because that is truly what Allah cares about the most! Remember to always keep your intentions clean and to remember not to put your outer appearance before your inner. With a clean heart and the right intentions, our manners should cloak our outer appearance with beauty. May Allah bless us all with good character and manners and keep our intentions purely for His Sake and may Allah give me and all of us the tawfeeq to practise what we preach ameen!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Who do you love?

Almighty Allah said (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): “if you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran and Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [3:31]. 

Often when we love someone, we are constantly thinking about them. We try our best to do everything to please them and we will sacrifice our time, effort and possessions in order to make them happy and to make them love us in return. When people fall in love, they can change completely for the better of for the worse. Some people lose sleep because all they can think about is their lover, others lose their identity and become who their lover wants them to become, and some even disobey and cut off family ties in order to be with their lover. Love makes one experience intense attachment, deep devotion and a sense of longing. When we love someone, we do not want to share them with anyone. We want to keep them to ourselves and we want to show the world how much we love them. Although love is a beautiful thing, we need to be really careful who we put all that time, effort, and dedication towards. 

"And from among mankind there are some who take for themselves (objects of worship as) rivals to Allah, loving them as they should (only) love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah."
(Qur'an, Al-Baqarah 2:165)

We must beware of loving someone so much that we begin to idolize them resulting in worshiping them. The creation was not created to be worshiped rather the Creator who created the creation is the One to be worshiped alone, with no partners. We must realize that the love we have for the creation will always be temporary and that the one we love, may not love us back. The one we love may be the one who breaks our heart and makes us lose hope in all of mankind. The one we love so much may be the one we end up hating. The one who we love so much may be the one who brings us to our demise. 

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “the more the servant loves his Master, the less will he love other objects and they will decrease in number. The less the servant loves his Master, the more will he love other objects and they will increase in number (Majmu Fatawa [1/94])


True love is when you love someone and He loves you back unconditionally. He constantly forgives you no matter how many times you have wronged Him. He Provides for you everything you need and want. He Knows what is good for you and He always knows what is in your best interest. He protects you from harm and evil. He makes sure that you are constantly learning and changing into the best person you can be. He always gives and never ask for anything in return except for your loyalty and gratitude. His Love for you is more than that of a mother's love for her child. He never Foresakes you and He never abandons you whenever you need Him the most. He is Always there. His Mercy is greater than His Wrath and He never burdens anyone with more than they can bear. He is Kind, Patient, Peaceful and Loving. He is Allah, the One who Created you. 


Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 5653; Muslim, 6912.)


Should we then not direct all our love and focus towards the One created us? The One who promises ever lasting eternal bliss with palaces made of gold and silver! No creation could ever promise another creation the true Paradise that which Allah, the Almighty has promised : 

"And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes. And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger, etc.), A spring there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink."  (Quran Al-Insan 76: 12-21)  


The only way we can attain such eternal bliss is by loving Allah more than loving the creation and worshiping Him alone while following the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu aleyhi wasellam.) True love is not real love unless it is for Allah. When you truly love Him, nothing else in the world matters because you will feel tranquility, serenity, peace in your heart, soul, and mind. True love for Allah is when you exist knowing that your sole purpose in life is to please Him and Him alone. We live our lives every day falling in love with the wrong person and as a result of that, we fall into depression, suicide and no longer knowing what our purpose in life is anymore. Loving the Creator more than the creation will lead to an eternal life of happiness and joy that we will never find anywhere else except with our Lord, Allah.

(my monthly blog post from : http://aateam.org/blog/beautifying-our-hearts/)



Monday, March 30, 2015

NOT EVERYONE WHO FALLS INTO BID'AH IS AN INNOVATOR



What an important reminder! I know many "salafees" who follow this particular shaykh love to fall into declaring x,y,z, a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v as an innovator! Please read this and learn something! Seeking knowledge should humble us and it should not make us fall into dividing the ummah and causing enmity and hatred amongst one another! May Allah keep us on the middle path and increase our understanding for the deen! Ameen! See my other post (SO AND SO IS AN INNOVATOR!)

Shaykh Rabee ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) stated:
Not everyone who falls into bid’ah is declared an innovator, because if we were to adopt this principle, we would make Tabdee of the majority of the Imaams of Islam.
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
‘Indeed many of the Salaf and the Khalaf fell into innovation without being aware of (it); either (due to) acting on a weak hadeeth or understanding the text (in a manner) other than what Allah and His Messenger intended, or (due to) Ijtihaad.’

At present we have Imaams of Ijtihaad; and his/their Ijtihaad (can) lead him/them to mistakes or innovation. So, if we know (him) to be of a sound Manhaj and sound intent, being far removed from desires and being eager for the truth – if we know this about him and he falls into innovation, he is not declared an innovator. But if we know him to be upon desires and evil intent, and we know of affairs about him showing that he desires innovation, he is declared an innovator.
You find them (Salaf) passing the judgement of Tabdee on many people due to this. And many people fell into bid’ah but were not called innovators; because they (Salaf) were acquainted with their sound and good intents, their eagerness for the truth and the soundness of the Manhaj they traversed.

Quoted by Shaykh Ahmad Baazmool in ‘Siyaanatus Salafi Min Waswasati Wa Talbeesaat Ali Al-Halabi’ (p.165) (https://dawatussalafiyyah.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/not-everyone-who-falls-into-bidah-is-declared-an-innovator/)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

One Chinese Muslimah Facebook page!


Good Day my dear sissies!! I decided to get back on Facebook (this time fitnah free insha'Allah!) and I just wanted to share my Facebook page with you all! It is a SISTERS ONLY page and I will be monitoring it closely and will block any men who try to add themselves (FEAR ALLAH!) and just wanted to make it a page where we can get together to share beautiful reminders and share our blogs and just our love for sisterhood and Islam insha'allah ! Love to meet new sisters from all around the globe! Here is the link below! 

xo
Khadijah! 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Chinese-Muslimah/832401643480968