Don’t forget to fast the 6 days of Shawwal

The many virtues of fasting the six days of Shawwal

The month of Shawwal is here and you really don’t want to miss out on fasting six days this month.

Here’s why.

You will be rewarded for an entire year of fasting.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Fasting Ramadan and following it with six days from Shawwal is like continual fasting”.

(Sahih Muslim)

The wisdom behind this reward is due to the basis of good deeds being rewarded ten-fold by Allah. So if someone were to fast the 30 days of Ramadan along with the 6 days of Shawwal, he would be rewarded for 360 days of fasting (i.e. approximately one year).

It is a sign of an accepted Ramadan

Many scholars have stated that being able to continue a good deed is a sign of its acceptance from Allah. Therefore, continuing to fast after Ramadan is a sign that your fasting was accepted.

Consistent deeds are beloved deeds

These six fasts are also an example of consistent deeds. The most beloved deeds to Allah and His Messenger Muhammad ﷺ are those that are consistent, even if they are small.[1]

Allah loves those who rush in good

In the Quran, Allah speaks highly of those who rush to perform good actions.

“And hasten towards good deeds”.

(Quran 2:148)

Prophet Musa also states in Surah Taha:

“And I hastened to you my Lord, so that you may be pleased”.

(Quran 20:84)

Although scholars have differed over whether or not the six days of fasting should be carried out in succession directly after Eid, all have cautioned Muslims to avoid delaying the fasts to the extent that they may miss out on completing the six days.

If you cannot fast the days and you are excused, we pray Allah gives you the full reward as per your intention.

As the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught us:

“Actions are but by intentions, and every person will have what he/she intended”.

(Bukhari and Muslim).

[1] Bukhari and Muslim

Was your Ramadan accepted?

As the month of Ramadan slowly comes to an end, the most important question most of us are probably thinking right now is “How do I know if my Ramadan was accepted by Allah?”.

 

Now there isn’t a 100% guaranteed way to tell exactly how much of our worship was accepted, but there is a pretty good indicator that can help you find out.

 

And that is steadfastness.

 

In other words, if we’re able to continue the good actions we picked up in Ramadan well after this month – that would be a major sign that our deeds were accepted.

 

For instance, the most obvious deed we performed this month was fasting. So a key indicator that our fasting was accepted will be to see how well we are able to continue our fasting throughout the year, even if it’s only a couple of days a month.

 

The Prophet Muhammad in fact encouraged us to fast 6 days in Shawal, the month directly after Ramadan, so that we will gain the reward of fasting an entire year.

 

Prayer is another example. If in the month of Ramadan, you were praying Taraweeh every night and visiting the mosque every day, a key indicator that your prayers were accepted would be to how much of these prayers would you continue after Ramadan, even it’s only two extra Rakaat a night.

 

And of course with Ramadan being the month of the Quran, a key indicator of your Quran being accepted, is found in your ability to maintain a close relationship with the Quran well after the month of Ramadan.

 

Ramadan is definitely not the finish line, and the Lord of the month of Ramadan, is the same Lord for the entirety of time. The deeds we picked up today should not end tomorrow.

 

In an amazing hadith, the Prophet Muhammad taught us that if the hour was to come, meaning the final day, and in our hands was a plant, and we had the ability to plant it, we should plant it. This Hadith is a clear sign that the work of a Muslim should never end until the very end of time.

 

Our deeds should not come to a close with the closing of Ramadan. We must continue and through this steadfastness is our true success.

 

As the Prophet Muhammad advised one of his companions with short but extremely powerful advice, “قل أمنت بالله ثم استقم”. “Say I believe in Allah and then remain steadfast”. Hold well onto your actions after this month and let not the end of Ramadan signal the end of your worship, but rather a new beginning.

Recitation to welcome Laylat-Al Qadr

Quran reciter from Egypt, Sheikh Muhammad Fath-Allah Pipers, welcomes the night of Power with an amazing recitation of both Surah Al-Dukhan and Surah Al-Qadr.

 
Translation:
 

Part One: Quran, Surah Al-Dukhan Chapter 44

1. Ha-Mim.

[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].

2. By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) that makes things clear,

3. We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Qadr, Surah No: 97) in the month of Ramadan,, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].

4. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments .

5. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers),

6. (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

7. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you (but) have a faith with certainty.

8. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). It is He Who gives life and causes death, your Lord and the Lord of your fore-fathers.

 

Part Two: Quran, Surah Al-Qadr Chapter 97

1. Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)

2. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

3. The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

4. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,

5. Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.

7 Deeds that grant you protection from the Hell Fire.

Seven deeds that will save you from Hell Fire.

As Muslims, it is part of our faith to believe in the Fire of Hell otherwise known as Jahannam; An abode that God has created as a means of severe punishment for the wrongdoers of Earth, aside from those who were forgiven and admitted into His immense mercy.

“…Fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.”

Quran 2:24

 

“…Indeed, We have prepared Hell for the disbelievers as a lodging.”
Quran 18:102

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was always intensely afraid of the Fire and would consistently warn people to ward themselves away from it. The Prophet ﷺ would also in fact mention certain deeds that would assist the doer to distance themselves from the Fire tremendously.
We have compiled a list of such actions that anyone of us can undertake to save themselves from the Fire.
May Allah protect us all.

1. Believing in Allah and His Messenger.

Ubada Ibn Samit narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Whoever witnesses that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, Allah forbids the Fire from touching him.”

2. Being merciful to others.

Abdullah Ibn Masood Narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Shall I not inform you of whom the Fire is unlawful and he is unlawful for the Fire? Every person who is near (to people), friendly, and easy (to deal with).”

3. Praying regularly.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“The Fire will consume all of the son of Adam except the mark of prostration. Allah has forbidden the Fire to consume the mark of prostration.”

Umm Habiba Narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Whoever prays four Rak’ah before the Zuhr and four afterwards, Allah will forbid him to the Fire.”

4. Weeping out of fear of Allah.

Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“One who weeps out of fear of Allah, will not enter the Fire until the milk returns back in the udder (i.e. never)”

5. Voluntary Fasting

Abu Said Al Khudri narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“No servant will fast a day in the cause of Allah, except that Allah distances his face from the Fire (a distance of) seventy years”.

6. Giving in Charity.

Adiyy Ibn Hatim narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Protect yourselves from the Fire, even with half a date.”

7. Seeking Protection from the Fire.

Anas Bin Malik narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Whoever seeks refuge from the Fire three times, the Fire says: ‘O Allah, save him from the Fire.”

Meet Garry Bradford

Garry Bradford from Gold Coast, Australia, was sick of hearing about Islam and Muslims on TV so decided to do something different.

He put a post on Facebook saying he was interested to meet up with some Muslims and see what Islam was really all about. Within moments his request was answered and he was on his way to Sydney to meet with the Muslim Community.

His trip was organised by popular Social Media icon, Steve Dabliz, who helped put together a range of activities for Garry’s trip. He was able to meet with Islamic organisations, visit Mosques, be interviewed on Islamic radio and even visit our very own OnePath Network. He also enjoyed the company of various Muslims in the community who hosted him for dinner and showed him great hospitality.

Garry was deeply taken back by the way he was treated and has since remained a prominent and outspoken Australian who frequently defends Muslims and Islam on his social media account.

Allah is Light Upon Light.

An epic recitation of verses 35-40 of Surah Nur, Chapter 24 of the Quran, for you to enjoy.

35. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.

36. In houses (mosques), which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings,

37. Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection).

38. That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.

39. As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing, but he finds Allah with him, Who will pay him his due (Hell). And Allah is Swift in taking account.

40. Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with a great wave topped by a great wave, topped by dark clouds, darkness, one above another, if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light.

Advice to Muslims in the West

In this short segment, Sheikh Dr. Khaled Al-Ghamidi, the Imam of the Holy Mosque in Makkah, briefly explains to Muslims the mannerisms required to display and teach Islam to non-Muslims, particularly in Western Countries.

His translated answer is scripted below:

Islam is a religion that Allah sent down, so that it may be a religion of mercy for the people; and a religion of love, harmony, brotherhood, forgiveness and ease. This is the religion of Allah.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said,

“I was sent with pure monotheism and ease”.

And he also said,

“Make things easy and not difficult. Give glad tidings and do not turn people away”.

Our religion Islam is founded upon moderation, justice, forgiveness, love, creating harmony and unifying the Muslims. It is incumbent on every Muslim, male and female, to feel that they are sending a great message; and to feel that they are an example to be followed; and that they are Ambassadors of Islam sent to all places.

So a Muslim, in reality is an Ambassador everywhere he or she goes.
He or she is an Ambassador for this religion, the religion of Muhammad ﷺ.
This religion is founded on moderation, justice, love, brotherhood and harmony.

This religion encompasses all people and includes all. All people enter its shade, its mercy and its justice. This religion neither has extremism nor terrorism; Nor unjust bloodshed and fighting; Nor oppression towards Muslims and non-Muslims.

It is impermissible in Islam for someone to be killed unjustly. It is impermissible to kill innocents, Muslim or not. As long as they are innocent, it is impermissible.

It is impermissible to harm other souls. Or unjustly take their possessions, wealth and honor. This is the religion of Allah.

So it is incumbent that we portray a good image and present this great religion, that God sent down, in an image that is luminous.

As the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to do so along with his noble companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

Five Major Lessons From The Battle of Badr

About the Battle of Badr

On the 17th of Ramadan in the second year of Hijrah, the Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ partook in their first ever skirmish, known as the Battle of Badr.

The Battle which took place on the Arabian Peninsula was instigated by years of persecution suffered by the Muslims at the hands of the Quraish, the ruling tribe of Makkah. The battle took place in Western Arabia, present-day Saudi Arabia in the Valley of Badr. Notable sahaba and future caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib fought at Badr, with the exception Uthman Ibn Affan being as he had to take care of his sick wife, who was the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ daughter, Ruqayyah.

The Battle of Badr was a turning point in Muhammad’s ﷺ mission during the early days of Islam. The conflict which occurred in Western Arabia was a key battle between the Muslims and polytheists. Operation Badr has become a landmark example for Islamic history and the Muslim Ummah of the power of divine intervention in times of hardship.

 

How did the Battle of Badr Start?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Muslims aimed to intercept a Meccan caravan along a Syrian trade route carrying weapons to be used against the Muslims. Meccan spies learned of the Muslims plans’ and informed caravan leader Abu Sufyan who then altered his course to Mecca to protect the caravan. Subsequently, Abu Sufyan contacted Quraishi tribe leader, Abu Jahl who gave the order to gather troops from Mecca.

 

Map of Badr

There are five facts from the Battle of Badr which we believe have significance.

 

Some Facts

We have extracted a few lessons from the famous incident of Badr for all to benefit.


1. How Many People Fought at Badr?

In this key battle, an army of only 313 humble Muslims defeated an army of 1000 well-equipped soldiers.
“And already had Allah given you victory at Badr while you were few in number. Then fear Allah ; perhaps you will be grateful.”
Quran 3:123
“How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient.”
Quran 2:249

2. Victory is only from Allah.

After winning the Battle, Allah reminded the believers that it was only through His will, they were victorious.

“And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”
Quran 8:17

“And Allah made it not except as [a sign of] good tidings for you and to reassure your hearts thereby. And victory is not except from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise”
Quran 3:126.

3. Never undermine your prayers.

Prior to the Battle, the Prophet prayed immensely for Allah’s support. He would say “Oh Lord, if we are defeated, You will not be worshiped at all on Earth”.

[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, rank after rank.”
Quran 8:9

This prayer was not only answered, but the Battle proved pivotal in the survival of Islam until our current day.

4. The Power of Allah is Endless

By Allah’s decree, Angels descending from Heaven came to assist the Muslims in this battle. A handful of dust in the Prophet’s hand was also transformed into a gigantic whirlwind that dispersed the enemy.

“Yes, if you remain patient and conscious of Allah and the enemy come upon you [attacking] in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks [of distinction]”

Quran 3:125

Rabee’ ibn Anas says: “Allah aided the Muslims on the day of Badr with 1000 [angels], then He increased them in help, so they were 3000, then He increased them in help, so they were 5000.”

Ali Ibn Talha narrates from Abdullah Ibn Abbas, that the Messenger of Allah raised his hands on the Day of Badr, saying “Oh Lord, if this group is destroyed, you will not be worshipped on this world at all”.

Angel Gabriel then instructed him to take a handful of dust and throw it in their faces. So the Prophet took a single handful of dust and threw it in the direction of their faces. There wasn’t a single disbeliever (from the enemy) left except that this single handful of dust entered his eyes, nose, and mouth. They were all then left on their backs dispersed.

5. How did the Muslims win?

The Prophet Muhammad’s struggle alongside his Ummah proved victorious in this battle due to their ability to stand firm, steadfast and united. While the Quraish proved frail and hence easily dispersed after being misled by Satan.

And [remember] when Satan made their deeds pleasing to them and said, “No one can overcome you today from among the people, and indeed, I am your protector.” But when the two armies sighted each other, he turned on his heels and said, “Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I see what you do not see; indeed I fear Allah. And Allah is severe in penalty.”
Quran 8:48

Five Reasons Not To Quit Taraweeh Prayer Just Yet

As you’re all beginning to feel the load of the Taraweeh prayers and your legs, arms and back are all begging for a rest. Many of you are probably asking, is it really worth it?

Well, here’s some motivation to keep you going.

  1. All your sins are forgiven

For starters, the Prophet ﷺ explicitly informed us of the virtues of standing in prayer, particularly in this month, when he said “Whosoever stands in the nights of Ramadan, with faith and in hope of receiving Allah’s reward, his past sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari).

2. You are rewarded for an entire night of prayer

Secondly, by praying Taraweeh you gain the reward of standing the whole night in prayer. The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said “Whoever stands praying with the Imam until he is finished, it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night.” (Tirmidhi Sahih)

3. Voluntary prayers make up for defects in obligatory prayers

Another point to note is that your extra voluntary prayers will make up for all the shortcomings in your obligatory Salah. The Prophet informed us that when a man stands before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, and his obligatory prayers are found to be defective, Allah will say: “See if my servant has any voluntary prayers that can complete what is lacking in his obligatory prayers.” (Tirmidhī Sahih)

4. You’re the one who benefits, not Allah.

We should never look at the salah as a burden or a chore, the reality is that Allah gains no benefit from our prayers, we only benefit. For the Prophet Muhammad, prayer was considered a comfort and a form of relaxation, an escape from the daily grind. He used to tell Bilal, the Mua’thin, “Call for the prayer, so we can pray and feel at ease.”

5. Your prayers are important

Lastly, the fact of the matter is, our prayers are the most important aspect of our lives. And this is exactly how the Prophet and the companions understood it.

In fact, one of the final statements of our beloved Prophet before he passed away was “The prayer, the prayer” advising the Muslims not to neglect their prayer, this pillar of our religion.


Likewise, with the great companion Umar Ibn Khattab, after being stabbed in the Fajr prayer and as he lay upon the pangs of death coming in and out of consciousness; his major concern was not the fact that he was only moments away from death, but rather whether or not the people had completed the prayer! He would say “Have the people completed their prayer?!”

My dear brothers and sisters, I hope these quick examples will illustrate the importance of our prayers not only in this month, but throughout our entire lives. May Allah grant us perfection in our prayer and grant us the strength to perform our prayers in a manner pleasing to Him.

An Islamic School Is Teaching Australians About Ramadan

An Islamic School teaches Australians about Ramadan

Westfield Hurstville shopping centre has not only created a place of convenience to purchase necessities, but has also worked hard to create a sense of community. This year, it invited the children from a local Islamic school, Arkana College, to share some traditions and experiences throughout Ramadan.

By designing a colourful and fun pop up stand to celebrate Ramadan, shoppers were able to ask questions about the Islamic month of fasting and communicate with the children, creating a safe space of connection and conversation. This event also created the opportunity to share some facts about fasting in Ramadan and the history of Muslims in Australia which was presented through flyers.The school designed an interactive daily countdown of each day of fasting, giving the students an opportunity to present their creative skills and develop confidence.

An Islamic School teaches Australians about Ramadan
An Islamic School teaches Australians about Ramadan

“We welcome and celebrate cultural diversity at Westfield Hurstville and was very grateful to have been able to work with a local community school to share and educate the wider community on what Ramadan means to them. From shoppers’ positive response, we intend to grow this initiative and continue to build Westfield Hurstville as a place where people can come to explore and immerse themselves in social engagement with different cultural celebration.” Michele Lok, Brand Experience Manager, Westfield Hurstville

This campaign received local press coverage and was broadcasted through social media platforms, reaching a wide variety of an audience.