Why We Fast: Episode 2- The Quran by Sh Abu Bakr Zoud

In this Episode we speak about the importance of the Quran. Allah SWT says:

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
Quran (2:185)

Allah defines the month of Ramadan as the month in which the Quran was revealed, before associating it with the act of fasting. Sheikh Abu Bakr Zoud explains how the month of Ramadan was honoured because Quran was revealed during the Holy Month.

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“Why We Fast” – Episode 1

In episode 1, we discuss the real reason of “Why we fast” this Ramadan. Enjoyed this episode more short films coming soon.

Most often when Muslims are asked the question “So, why do you guys fast in Ramadan?” the most common answer is “to empathize with the poor” or “to know what it’s like to go hungry”.

Now although, these answers may be partly true. There’s a lot more to fasting than this.

If we were to look into the Quran, when Allah speaks about the act of fasting, it in fact reveals something a lot deeper.

Allah says “Oh you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you, so that you may obtain Taqwa”.

Meaning, that the purpose of fasting is to gain Taqwa.

But what exactly is Taqwa?

Well to answer this, let’s take a look at an amazing story, whereby Umar Bin Khattab asks Ubay Ibn Ka’ab this very same question; “What is Taqwa?”

To which Ubay replies with an incredible example. He says to Umar:

“Have you ever taken a thorny path?”

Umar says, Yes.

He then goes on to ask him “So, how did you travel along this thorny path?”

To which Umar replies “I rolled up my garment and was cautious as to where I would tread to avoid being pricked by the thorns”.

Ubay, says  “… This is Taqwa”.

It’s an amazing example that illustrates the meaning of Taqwa. A concept of being cautious and careful as to where you would tread, not out of fear of stepping into thorns, but rather fear of stepping into that which Allah has prohibited.

And by fasting, we can gain this virtue of Taqwa. By abstaining from food and drink, and constantly being cautious to not eat or drink during the day, we develop a heightened sense of awareness and god consciousness.

And surely if we can learn to be cautious in avoiding the consumption of food and drink, which are generally permissible in other months, we would similarly be able to train ourselves to be much stronger and cautious from falling into that which is otherwise impermissible, such as backbiting, gossip, the unlawful gaze or disobeying our parents.

And the best thing of all, is that Allah has guaranteed those who attain this status of Taqwa with many blessings as mentioned in the Quran.

For instance Allah promises to be near to and love those with Taqwa:

“Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa(2:194);

“Allah is the close friend of the muttaqin(45:19);

“Truly Allah loves the muttaqin(3:76″);

Allah also promises to ease the affairs of those who have Taqwa and provide for them from where they least expect.

“Whoever has Taqwa of Allah He will provide for him a way out and provide for him from where he least expects” ( 65:2-3)

So if anyone asks you why do Muslims fast, tell them this. It’s to gain Taqwa, a heightened sense of awareness and consciousness of Allah.

May Allah, the Almighty grant us all Taqwa this Ramadan.

Hollywood has a new competitor known as Halalywood

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Can Hollywood really be Halal?

You have heard about Hollywood , but have you heard about Halalywood, a new industry created to entertain Muslims and provide dawah to non Muslims.

Halalywood is the first of its kind with a mission to fund, create and produce films for both Muslims and non-Muslims.

The creator of Halalywood is Omar Regan, who starred in Rush Hour 2 and other films in Hollywood, but now has a new film by the name of American Sharia.

Halalywood aimes at providing, the right representation of Muslims, and a halal movie option for you and your family to watch.

Mr Regan said, “In every film Muslims are associated with terrorism and we are not, we nothing about terrorism.”

American Sharia, is an action/comedy and is based on a police officer in America trying to take down rogue government officials using Islamophobia to maintain power and control the mass.  

Mr Regan tries to portray a balanced view of what a Muslim is in today’s society and the many challenges we face.

After the wrongful killing of his father, by the government Mr Regan used his platform to change the perception of Muslims and Islam.

“… I have to do something within myself to change that (portrayal of Muslims)…”

However, a film like this has been met with criticism, stating that the movie promotes haram, e.g. flirting with the opposite gender and music.

Even though these are scenes shown from the trailer, and have further scenes in the movie which are not shown in the trailer, explaining that these sorts of things are against the religion of Islam., and are some challenges we as Muslims face, as we are humans who commit sin.

“I have been called kafir,” Omar Regan says in his interview with Malaz Majanni on Spotlight.  

Through this film Omar Regan hopes to challenge the idea of what a Muslim is in today’s society and how we can encourage and assist the youth.

“If we live in a bubble there is a poor representation of a Muslim, and there is no room for the youth to look up and say we need to grow up, we need to be better.”

Unity in Islam

Unity in Islam

According to scholars of Islam, unity in Islam is an obligation upon all Muslims. To be part of one body worshiping one God following one book it is in our deen and has been engraved into our teachings from the Prophet of Allah ﷺ.

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that:

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother” or he said “for his neighbor, what he loves for himself.”

Sunan Ibn Majah

Unity in Islam
Unity in Islam

Unity is part of nature as it is a response to the call of existence. Without unity the Muslim community faces many problems and challenges as we see today. We are all single individuals working to a single goal, however, if we act a whole community helping and assisting each other to reach the ultimate goal, Jannah, we all become successful.

Having differences in opinions in certain areas of the deen should not be a reason that we do not unite. But that is the problem, when we someone following a different madhab or not agreeing with our points we are quick to judge and make claims upon our fellow Muslim. We see this a lot of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.

Quran 3:103

Having differences is a normality and it’s one of the universal nature’s, differences bring ideas, opinions and are a benefits to the Ummah. Differences allow us to grow and learn various things about the beautiful deen.  

It is important to be different, that’s what makes a successful community, if Allah wanted to, he could have made us all the same.  

Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz said, “It would not please me that the scholars have unanimous agreement if they agreed with one another, it will be such a narrow situation. For that it is said: scholar’s differences is a great mercy (for Muslims) and their agreement is an undisputed evidence.”

Without unity in general, there is too much ego and pride which causes many problems amongst the Ummah.

Non-Muslims look at our dealing with one another and we need to show them that Islam is one of unity and togetherness no matter our differences.

Sincerity in Islam

Sincerity in Islam

With any good action that we do sincerity is important, especially in Islam, any form of worship that we do, we need sincerity. Sincerity cannot be shown when we worship Allah, but through our intentions we can create a sense of sincerity.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Religion is sincerity, religion is sincerity (Al-Nasihah), religion is sincerity.” They said; “To whom, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “To Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, to the imams of the Muslims and to their common folk.”

Al-Nisa’i

Sincerity in Islam
Sincerity in Islam

Sincerity just like intention is important in Islam, with every action and form of worship, it is key that you are sincere. There are three types of sincerity faith and belief, acts of obedience, morals and manners. Being sincere involves attaining faith the way that Allah wants us to, which entails sincerity in faith, intention and fear of the punishment of Allah.  

Allah said, “This is the Day the sincere ones will profit by their sincerity (Literally: their sincerity will benefit the sincere “ones”). For them are Gardens from beneath which Rivers run, eternally (abiding) therein forever. Allah is satisfied with them, and they are satisfied with Him. That is the magnificent triumph.”

Quran 5:119

Sincerity is not something that you show off or convince yourself of, sincerity is when a good deed is available by the will of Allah, and you attain this reward with an action that is supported by sincere intentions. A simple action could be that you notice some rubbish on the train and you pick it up and dispose of it in the bin. These simple but great deeds are rewarded by Allah.

Your happiness in life lies in your sincerity in actions and your desire to fulfill a rewarding action, If a person is sincere towards Allah in all his affairs, Allah will give him more than He gives to others, and this sincerity results from true love of Allah and true trust in Him. So the most sincere of people is the one who is loves Allah most and puts most trust in Him.

“And he who has come with the sincere (faith) and has sincere faith in it, those are they who are pious.”

Quran 39:33

A Muslim who is trying to improve their sincerity in faith, actions and belief may find it difficult, however, by seeking knowledge, constantly doing good deeds, worshiping Allah and calling people to the religion of Islam can be beneficial. A book that is valuable and can assist you in enhancing your sincerity is The Beginning of Guidance, written by Imam Al-Ghazali and translated by Mashhad Al-Allaf, as it assists you in organising your day from fajr to isha.

Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”

Al-Bukhari