O you who believe, be thankful to your Lord …

Being Thankful to Allah

Sumayyah Bint Joan

Produced by the Alharamain Foundation

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[Very slight change has been made to the wordings]

The other day while watching a network news program, I saw a Muslim woman in Kosova with her six-month-old infant, who was covered in sores and suffered from a malady of illnesses, all because it had not had a bath since its birth.

The mother explained that because of the heavy fighting, she and her family had been on the move constantly, and that luxurious such as decent food and clean water were not available to them. As the mother of a six-month-old infant myself, this struck to the very hart of me. Bath time for my son and I, is a very special time filled with play and laughter. It’s a ritual we share everyday, and the fact that I would have clean water with which to bathe him, was something, until then, every time I bath my son, I try to remember to thank Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala (How far from imperfection is He and He is the Most High), for His Mercy to me. It also reminds me to be thankful for all the other “little things,” that I take for granted everyday.

From the very beginning of Man’s creation, the issue of gratefulness and thankfulness to Allah has been debated. After refusing to bow to Aadam (Adam), Iblees (Satan) said,

“Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and Thou (Allah) shall not find most of them thankful.” [Qur’an 7:17]

This statement from the worst of liars has proven to be true, … to read more, click here

Why go to the mosque … ???

A mosque goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to mosque every Friday. ‘I’ve gone for 30 years now,’ he wrote, ‘and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the Imaams are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.’

This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
‘I’ve been married for 37 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals, But I do know this… They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to mosque for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!’

Thank Allah for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

Prayer

In the name of Allaah, the Most Gracious & the most Merciful

Ponder! Oh you who have forgotten it, how could you forget it?

Ponder! Oh you who have wasted it, how could you waste it?

Ponder! Oh you who have skipped it, How could you skip that?

Even on snowy mountains, they don’t skip it.

 

Even on un easy Rocks, they don’t skip it.

 

Even at the Playgrounds, they don’t skip it.

 

Even they are busy in search of the sustenance, they don’t skip it.

 

Even the teenagers don’t skip it.

 

Even the Daughters & the Mothers don’t skip it.

 

Even the Kids….!.

 

Even on the streets, they don’t skip it.

 

Even at the shelling time, they don’t skip it.

 

Even it is raining, they don’t skip it.

 

Even on the journey, they don’t skip it.

 

Even at the Railway Stations, they don’t skip it.

 

Even at the Sea Bottom, they don’t skip it.

 

 

Even they were detained, they didn’t skip it.

 

Even the Handicaps, couldn’t afford to skip it.

 

Then why did you skip it?

Why?

Do not you know that this is the most beloved act?

And the Best way to get closer to Allaah…

And the Greatest Obedience…

So if you fail to be dutiful to your Prayers which are the Order from your Lord…

Then a Day will surely come when People will pray your Final Salaah.

And at that time you will not be able to compensate for the Prayers you have wasted.

And you will not find anything with you except your Deeds.

So if you were a guard upon you Prayers then you Lord will be Generous to you at your Death

And you will enter the Grave Alone.

 

And if you were the Lazier in your Prayers then you will die among the Losers.

So let not your Prayers be Missed.

And Allaah Says: Verily, Salaah (The Prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.

[Al Qur-aan Ch. 04, V. 103] 

Oh Allaah, Keep us among those who offer their Salaah (Prayers) with all Solemnity & Submissiveness.

And among those who are always at their prayers,

And among those who strictly guard their Congregational Prayers at their fixed stated hours.

Prayer

In Posted Mails category, I will (In shaa’ Allah) be posting that which I recieve as e-mails.

“Say: Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds” (Quran 6:162)

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

During the night, Abu Lu’lu’ Al Majoosi hid in the shadows in preparation for the Fajr Salah where he would execute his satanic mission: to Murder the Ameer of the Believers: Umar ibn Al-Khattab – Radi Allahu Anhu. Umar would lead the Fajr with a long surah, giving time for the community to join the congregation. As he led that Salah, Abu Lu’lu advanced from a dim pillar, a poisoned dagger hidden in his sleeve. He jumped in front of Umar Radi Allahu Anhu and tore open his stomach with the dagger. Abu Lu’lu’ then attempted an escape through the congregation, slashing left and right, murdering in his path many others. One Companion threw a cloth over and – realizing that he was caught – Abu Lu’lu’ killed himself. Umar completed the Fajr Salah and passed away later in his bed Radi Allahu Anhu.

The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated. It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples. Allah declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances. For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said,
“And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance.” [Taha 13-14]

Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven. Furthermore, when Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers. [Successful are the believers, those that offer their Salah with all earnestness and full obedience] – Al Mu’minoon 23/1-2

The importance of prayer is demonstrated in many of the Prophet’s statements. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.

In reality, when the prayer is performed properly – with true remembrance of Allah and turning to Him for forgiveness – it will have a lasting effect on the person. After he finishes the prayer, his heart will be filled with the remembrance of Allah. He will be fearful as well as hopeful of Allah. After that experience, he will not want to move from that lofty position to one wherein he disobeys Allah. Allah mentioned this aspect of the prayer,
“Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” (al-Ankaboot 45).

However amongst our community of Musalleen (those who perform Salah) we find some hazy actions that need to be brought back into focus.

· Some do not concentrate on what they are saying.
· Some speed when they pray
· Some wander with their gaze during Salah,
· The number of raka’aat performed is constantly forgotten.
· For some, the Dunya hugs their hearts during Salah and clouds their minds.
· Sometimes, before the Imam says Allahu Akbar, some in the congregation are already in the next prostration.

Compare this to those that came before us: People used to think that ar-Rabee’ bin Khaitham, due to his constant lowering of his gaze and keeping his head low (in Salah), was blind. He used to live behind the house of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood for twenty years and when his servant girl used to see him she would say: Your blind friend is coming, and Abdullaah used to laugh at her speech.

In Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah – Radi Allahu Anhu, a man entered the Masjid and the Messenger of Allah – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – was sitting. The man prayed (2 raka’) and then came to the Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – and said salam. The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” So the man went back, prayed (2 raka’) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the salam. The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” So the man went back, prayed (2 raka’) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the salam. The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” He said it three times until – on the third time the man said, “By He who sent you with the truth O Messenger of Allah, I do not know any better than this. Teach me.” The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – then said, “If you stand up for Salah say ‘Allahu Akbar.’ Then read what comes easy for you from the Quran. Then bow until you are comfortable in your ruku’. Then stand up until you are standing up straight. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. Then sit until you are comfortable in your Juloos. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. And do this in your entire Salah.”

Let’s go back and do our Salah again. This is our topic for today.
· Why do we come to the Masjid, why do we perform Salah? We do it in application of the command of our Creater Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala. Why should we then lose the blessing and reward because of a wandering heart and an itchy hand? Concentration is the soul of our Salah. Concentration is the fruit of our Eeman. Yet regardless of this understanding, people still leave their Salah and only a small protion of it is written for them because of their imperfection of it.

The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “Verily, a man will leave from (his Salah) and only a tenth of his Salah is written for him, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a forth, a third, half.” – Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi.

Uthman ibn Abi Dahshah said, “I have never prayed a Salah that I have not asked Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala to forgive for my shortcomings in that Salah.”

· Someone who short changes his Salah is a thief. The Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “The evilest thief is he who steals from his Salah.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, how does he steal from his Salah?” He – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – said, “He does not perfect it’s ruku’ and Sujood.” – authentic

· Because of the speed some apply to their Salah, it is as if they are pecking up and down like a bird. Narrated Ahmad, Abu Dawood and others, the Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – forbade that someone should peck (in Salah) like a crow…”

Umar – Radi Allahu Anhu – once stood on the pulpit and addressed the community with a loud powerful voice, “A man may grow old in Islam and never have completed to Allah a single Salah!” They said, “How is this?” He said, “He does not perfect his concentration, nor his humbleness, nor his focus on Allah – Azza wa Jall.”

Once, Ma’roof Al-Karkhee – Rahimahu AllahimahUllah – stood amongst some of his students and one said to the other, “Please lead the Isha Salah.” The first student accepted but said, “I shall lead the Isha’ Salah on condition that you lead the Fajr Salah and not me.” Ma’roof Al-Karkhe was shocked at what he said and commented, “By Allah, if you think that you’ll be alive at Fajr then – by Allah – you have not yet perfected your Salah.”

Part II How to Concentrate in Salah Al Qaasim ibn

Muhammad – Rahimahu Allah – said, “I went out one day, and whenever I would go out I would always pass by Aisha – Radi Allahu Anha – and give her my Salam. That day I went out and when I found Aisha she was praying Salat al-Duha, reciting over and over the verse of Allah
[Saying: ‘Aforetime we were afraid with our families (from the Punishment of Allah). But Allah was gracious on us and saved us from the torment of the Fire.”]
– At Toor 52/26-27

She was crying and invoking Allah – Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala – and repeating the verse. I stood there waiting until I got tired, she remained as I found her. When I saw this I said to myself, ‘let me go to the market, do what I have to do and come back.’ So, after I had finished what I needed to do at the market, I returned to Aisha – Radi Allahu Anha. She was as I left her, repeating the verse, invoking Allah, and crying.

How do we concentrate in Salah? From the Sunnah, the Prophet – Sal Allahu Alayhi wa sallam – taught the following:
1. Come early for Salah and prepare yourself to concentrate. Repeat what the Adhan after the Mu’adhdhin, and after the adhan say the prescribed supplication. Between the Adhan and Iqamah make dua’. Do Wudu properly, cleanse your mouth, and wear your finest clothes.
2. Aim to get the entire reward of your Salah.
Abu Bakr ibn ‘Iyaash said, “I saw Habeeb ibn Thabit in Sujood. If you saw him you would think he was dead (by how long he held his Sujood).”

3. Contemplate the aayaat and adhkaar being recited during the prayer.
Think about the meanings of the verses that you are reciting. Isn’t is disheartening that someone may perform Salah for decades, day after day, and he/she still does not know what they are saying?
The Qur’aan was revealed to be pondered over! Allaah revealed: “(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Saad 38:29].
4. Pray in congregation. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala commands [And perform Salah, give Zakah, and bow with those that bow.] 2/43
5. Never miss your Nafl Salah, especially those that the Prophet – Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam – used to pray constantly, especially Witr and the sunnah of Fajr
6. Do not speed up your Salah. Take your time and do not allow your Salah to become the most invaluable action of your day.
Ibn Wahb said, “I saw Ath-Thowree at the Ka’bah. After Maghrib, he got up to pray and then prostrated. He did not come out of that prostration until the Adhan for Isha’ was given.”
7. Know that Allaah responds to your prayer
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted has said: ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My slave, into two halves, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.” When the slave says ‘Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has praised Me.’ When the slave says, ‘The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has extolled me.’ When the slave says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgement,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has glorified me.’ When the slave says, ‘It is You alone we worship and it is You alone we ask for help,’ Allaah says, ‘This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’ When the slave says, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path, the path of those whom You have favoured, not the path of those who receive Your anger, nor of those who go astray,’ Allaah says, ‘All these are for My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’” (Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Salaah, Baab wujoob qiraa’at al-Faatihah fi kulli rak’ah).

8. Pray with a barrier (sutrah) in front of you and pray close to it
Another thing that will help one to have khushoo’ is paying attention to the matter of having a sutrah and praying close to it, because this will restrict your field of vision, protect you from the Shaytaan and keep people from passing in front of you, which causes a distraction and reduces the reward of the prayer.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him pray facing a sutrah, and let him get close to it.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 695, 1/446; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 651).
9. Seeking Refuge in Allah from the Shaytaan.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us the following methods of combatting the whispers of Shaytaan.
Abu’l-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allaah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu’l-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2203)
10. Pray as if you were told that after Salah you would be going back to Allah.
Abu Bakr Al-Muzanee said, “If you want your Salah to benefit you, then say, ‘I shall die after this Salah!’”

Dua – it’s excellence and benefits

Allah stated in the Quran in Surah Ghafir, verse 6:
“And your Lord has stated: Make dua to Me and I will respond to you”

Dua is the most noble of all acts of worship in the Sight of Allah .i.e. it’s the best act of worship– The Prophet said: ‘The best form of worship is dua’
– Also, he said: ‘There is nothing more noble in the Sight of Allah than dua’
It is considered as the noblest act of worship also because it shows the Power of Allah and the incapability of the one making dua

To make dua is to obey Allah
Allah said in Surah al-A’araaf, verse 29
“And call upon Him, making the religion sincerely to Him”
And in Surah al-Ghafir, verse 60
“And your Lord has said: Make dua to Me, I will respond to you”
Therefore, by making dua, we are actually obeying what Allah commanded us to do

Allah is close to the one making dua
Allah says in Surah Baqarah, verse 186
“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near to them”

Dua is the Sign of one’s Iman
When a person makes dua, it is a clear indication of one’s iman; for one wouldn’t make dua to one in whom he does not trust/believe.

Dua is the only Cause of Allah’s Concern for us
Allah says in Surah Furqan, verse 77
“Say (O Muhammad): My Lord only pays attention to you because of your dua to Him. But now you have indeed rejected (Him), so the (torment) will be yours permanently”
Allah has informed us that He neither cares nor concerns Himself except with people (the believers) and that were it not for your duas to Him, then He would not care about you nor love you.

Dua is an indication of Allah’s Generosity
There is One of Allah’s Attribute ‘al-Karim’ which means ‘the Ever-Generous’
The concept of dua proves the extreme and infinite Generosity of Allah; as every single created being asks Allah, day and night, morning and evening, for all their needs, and Allah gives and gives and gives.
Allah says in Surah Rehman, verse 29
“All that is in the heaves and the earth begs Him (its needs). Everyday He has a matter to bring forth.”
– The Prophet said ‘When one of you asks something (from Allah), then let him increase (his wishes) or let him be plentiful (in what he asks), for indeed he is asking His Lord, the Most Exalted’
– He also said: ‘There is no person who asks Allah for anything except that Allah gives it to him or averts from him a similar evil; as long as he does not ask for something evil or for breaking the ties of kinship’ At this a person said to the Prophet (pbuh) ‘In that case, we’ll ask for plenty’. The Prophet responded: ‘Allah is even more plentiful’

NOTE: Umm Salamah, a Companion at the time of the Prophet, said that Abu Salamah (her husband) had made a dua to Allah to provide for her, after his death, someone better than him. After Abu Salamah’s death, she wondered who could be better than him. After her waiting period, the Last Prophet of Allah proposed marriage to her and they were married. How Generous is Allah, that He provided her with His Friend and Beloved, the Last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (pbuh).

NOTE: If one knows that so-and-so person is a miser, one would try his level best not to ask him for anything. But if one knows that so-and-so person is very generous, one would not only ask for his needs from that person, but will also ask for more than that. Allah is the Most Generous, the Ever Generous, then why are we hesitant in asking Him, Whom we know can grant us anything and everything that we need or desire.

Dua is a sign of humility / humbleness towards Allah.
When a person asks Allah, he demonstrates his humility and meekness to his Creator. He informs his Creator that he is incapable of achieving that need without the Lord’s help, thus he frees himself from arrogance.
Allah says in Surah Ghafir, verse 59
“And your Lord has said: Make dua to Me, I will respond to you. For verily, whoever is too haughty (and arrogant) to worship Me, will enter the Fire of Hell, in a state of humiliation”
From this verse we derive that dua is worship, and to leave making dua is arrogance and the most disgusting type of arrogance. How is it possible that a slave can feel arrogant in asking the One who Created him and the entire creation, the One who gave him life, gave him sustenance, and will cause him to die, and will resurrect him and question him regarding his deeds and then reward or punish him. In fact, there is no doubt that such arrogance is an indication of sheer ungratefulness. And Beware of such arrogance, for it was this arrogance that made Satan to be deemed as the enemy of man and to be cursed by Allah and all those who curse.

Dua repels Allah’s anger– The Prophet said: ‘Verily, the person who does not ask Allah, Allah gets angry at him’
– He also said: ‘There is no person who asks Allah for anything except that Allah gives it to him or averts from him a similar evil; as long as he does not ask for something evil or for breaking the ties of kinship’
Regarding these hadith, a poet said:
‘Allah gets angry if you stop asking him
And the son of Adam, when he is asked, gets angry’
The hadith tells us that if we leave dua, we make Allah angry. It is obligatory on a person to avoid Allah’s anger. Thus, it is obligatory on a Muslim to make dua.

Leaving dua is a sign o laziness– The Prophet said: ‘The most incapable/lazy person is he who does not make dua and the most miserly person is he who does not give salam’
How true are these Prophetic words of Wisdom! For what energy does it take a person to make dua to Allah? And what greater sign of laziness and incapability is there than the one who learns this act that does not take up any of his time or effort and yet does not do it?

Dua repels / changes predestination– The Prophet said: ‘Nothing repels predestination except dua’
– He also said: ‘Caution will not be of any benefit against predestination but dua benefits (matters) that have occurred and that which are (yet) to occur. And indeed, dua meets with the calamity and fights it until the Day of Judgment’
So no person should give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. No matter what misfortune has befallen him, he just has to raise his hands to Allah and sincerely pray that his misfortune be lifted and removed.

Dua is the weapon of the weak and the wronged-The Prophet said: ‘Beware of the dua of the unjustly treated, because there is no veil between the dua and Allah’
– The Prophet said: ‘There are 3 duas which are surely answered: the dua of the oppressed, the dua of the traveler and the dua of the parent (upon the child)’

Dua is a cure for all diseases
There are 2 types of diseases: physical and spiritual
We find, in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet, duas to cure both spiritual diseases and physical diseases.

Dua makes a person more optimistic
When one shares their problems and troubles with someone, they feel light hearted and more optimistic, for they feel that they will be able to help him/her in his/her times of troubles. But if one shares their troubles and problems with Allah, the Creator and Owner of the whole universe, he/she knows for sure that his/her problems and troubles will be solved and thus feel more optimistic.

Dua is one of the easiest acts of worship
After knowing about all these benefits and rewards of dua, one may think it’s the most difficult acts of worship. But instead, it is the easiest of all acts for it takes neither time nor effort.

Dua is not confined to a certain place or time or routine or mode. Rather, all persons, whether male or female, young or old, rich or poor, literate or illiterate can make dua at all times and in all places.
All that is needed is an attentive heart and a humble soul.