5 Rewards for Raising an Orphan

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5 Rewards for Raising an Orphan

The care and fostering of orphans is an established sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ and his companions. Though there are many benefits and rewards associated with this act, here are 5 of the most powerful guarantees made by Allah and His messenger ﷺ.

  1. Guarantee of Paradise

  2. The Prophet ﷺ said,

    “ Whoever takes in an orphan among the Muslims to raise, to feed him and give him drink, Allah admits him into Paradise without a doubt, unless he has done a sin for which he is not forgiven.”

    (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi)

 

The commentators say that the goal of these actions is securing a just society, connecting with Allah, and learning empathy, all of which are achieved through raising orphans.

  1. A Soft Heart

The Prophet said,

“If you want to soften your heart, then feed the poor and pat the head of the orphan.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet would often play and joke with orphans, as well as feed them from his own food.

  1. The companionship of the Prophet ﷺ

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“I and the guardian of an orphan will be in the Garden like these two,” and he held up two fingers close to each other.

(Al-Adab al-Mufrad)

4. The reward of Jihad, Night prayer and Fasting

  1. The Prophet ﷺ said,

    “The person who strives on behalf of the widows and the needy is like those who strive in the way of Allah and like those who fast in the day and pray at night.”

    (Al-Adab al-Mufrad)

 

  1. The Best Household

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“The best house among the Muslims is the house in which orphans are well treated, and the worst is the house in which orphans are ill treated.”

(Al-Adab al-Mufrad)

Does US Law Discriminate Against Muslims?

Why are Muslims treated differently to non-Muslims in the United States?

Equal treatment by law is one of the most fundamental rights we hold today, and its effects go beyond simply criminals and their punishments. A recent study by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding has shown how this right is not being given to Muslim criminals in the United States, and the effects this has on the broader Muslim community.

Police, courts and the US Department of Justice all have clear differential treatment when it comes to Muslim and non-Muslim criminals. From sentencing being four times longer for Muslims in comparable cases to 770% more media coverage, there is an unambiguous trend.

 

This practice also affects the ways in which our broader society views the Muslim community. When the US Department of Justice releases a national press statement on an ideological plot, it gets far more coverage and has a greater effect on the public’s awareness of the issue.

That means that despite the fact that very similar plots with comparable targets and scale are attempted by both Muslim and non-Muslim criminals, the public hears far more about the former, heightening their fear of the perpetrators and stigmatising entire communities.

Who was Imam Al Shafii

Who was Imam Al Shafii?

Imam Shafii was born in the Gazza in the year 150 AH, the same year that Imam Abu Hanifa died. He was an offspring of the House of the Prophet ﷺ.

He laid down the foundations of fiqh in his Risala, which he said he revised and re-read eighty times, then said:

“Only the book of Allah ﷻ is perfect and free from error.”

At the age of two, his mother took him to the Hijaz, where he grew up among her Azdi Yemeni relatives. She then moved him to Makkah later on. He was skillful in archery early on in his life, then he took to learning language and poetry until he devoted himself to fiqh, beginning with hadith. His mother could not afford paper so he would write his lessons on any scrap that could find. The Imam memorised the Quran at the age of 7, and Imam Malik’s Muwatta at the age of ten. He received permission to give fatwa at the age of 15.

Imam Shafii went to see Imam Malik in Medina at the age of 13. Imam Shafii said that Imam Malik was his teacher and he also learnt from Muhammad ibn-Hassan (the student of Imam Abu Hanifa). Imam Shafii died in the year 204 AH at the age of 54 in Cairo, Egypt.

People want Justice for the death of Asifa Bano

“We had not seen anything as gruesome”

Yet another sickening story has emerged of sexual violence against women in India, with an 8-year old Muslim girl being kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered by 9 men earlier this year.

Asifa Bano was born into a nomadic Muslim community called Bakarwal, who traveled around the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir. In recent years, the community had begun to graze their goats and herds in public pastures close to the forests of Jammu, where ultra-nationalist Hindu groups hold territory.

In a bid to scare the Muslims into leaving, a retired government official Sanji Ram decided to target a little girl that he knew often came to graze her horses in the forest. He laid out his plan in detail and recruited his son, nephew and close friend to take part. They then kidnapped the girl, took her to a Hindu temple, performed ‘rituals’ on her, raped, tortured and murdered her over a series of days.

When police were notified about the missing girl, they entered the temple and were informed about what had taken place. A special police officer then decided to take part in the sickening crime, before she was eventually murdered.

Whilst the attack was clearly motivated by the Hindu community’s hatred of the nomadic Muslims, the reality is that Indian politics has defined this issue far more than religion. Ultra-nationalist Hindu communities are becoming increasingly emboldened by the presidency of Narendra Modi, who despite speaking out against this and other tragedies, only did so after a long silence and increasing awareness and pressure.

Two members of his own party actually attended rallies in support of the 9 people accused of participating in the crime, and a group of Hindu lawyers attempted to block the trials from proceeding earlier this month.

This political hesitation to deal with sexual violence based on the creed of its perpetrators is an increasingly dangerous reality in India.

 

Too busy for my Dad

Before you think you’re too busy for your parents

This short reminder takes a look at how often we assume that we are ‘too busy’ for our parents and loved ones.

We should also never overlook our transgressions towards our parents thinking that Allah will leave them unpunished. In fact, the transgressions we commit against our parents today are more than likely to have repercussions in this life before the hereafter, if we do not repent.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

بابان معجلان عقوبتهما في الدنيا: البغي والعقوق

“Two doors will hasten their punishment in the worldly life, oppression and disobedience to parents”.

Many scholars have deemed that one of the punishments for disobedience to parents in this worldly life, is that Allah will make your children treat you in the same disrespectful way.

Allah states in the Quran:

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”

Quran 17:23

May Allah make us of those who uphold the rights of our parents and attain the pleasure of our parents in this life and the next.

He just died in Madinah

He just died in Madinah

Brother Mohamed Hoblos gives tribute to the life of Khodre Kanj after he passed away in Madinah last Wednesday.

Kanj had just completed his Umrah pilgrimage the day before, having his sins forgiven, and then departed to Madinah the following day. He prayed the Thuhr prayer in the front row of the Rawdah and spent a further two hours in the worship of Allah.

However, as Maghrib approached, his health took a turn and he began to feel strong pains in his chest and back. He called for an ambulance as his family sat beside him supplicating for his safety. He began to recite the Shahadah, (the testimony of faith, i.e. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger) until Allah ordained for his soul to be lifted. He passed away as the Athaan of Maghrib was being called.

No doubt, this was an amazing death, that many of us will pray to Allah for on a regular basis. In fact to be buried in Madinah, (the Baqee) is one of the greatest honours, whereby the Prophet ﷺ guaranteed his intercession for those buried there.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever is able to die in Al-Madinah, then let him die there, for I will intercede for those who die there.”

(Tirmidhi)

However when we look into the life of Khodre, we realise that earning such an honourable death did not come easy – and he worked tirelessly to achieve such an honour.

Khodre Kanj was a regular at the Masjid in Sydney, Australia and would often be seen reading the Quran from Fajr to 9 am almost every morning, striving to memorise the Quran. This was despite the fact, memorising the Quran was never easy for him and at times he would spend an entire week struggling to complete a page.

Those that knew him also commented on how he was always striving in his free time to memorise the Quran. It wasn’t until last year however that he gave it his all, by packing up with his family and leaving to South Africa to complete his memorisation in a full-time Hifz school.

If it wasn’t his dedication for the Quran that helped raise his ranks, it was his dutifulness to his parents. Last year when his mother was sick in the hospital, he returned to Sydney from South Africa to stay at the side of his mother until she passed away.

The story of Khodre Kanj is a clear indication of the famous saying “You will die the way you lived”. It’s an inspirational example for all of us to take heed from and start preparing for the day we die, so we too will have an honorable death by the permission of Allah.

We ask Allah to raise Khodre Kanj with the people of the Quran on the Day of Ressurection and grant him the Highest station of Paradise. Please remember his family and loved ones in your Duaa.

Who is Mohamad Salah

Who is Mohamad Salah and why does the world love him

Mohamad Salah has taken the world by storm and it’s not just the Muslims who are in love with him.

Born in Egypt, Salah is only 25 years old and plays for Liverpool FC and the Egyptian National team. Despite his young age, he currently sits as the highest point scorer in the Premier League for this season. He also sits at the second place just behind Christiano Ronaldo as the second highest point scorer in the Champions League.

He is unapologetically Muslim and is often seen prostrating in Sujood Al-Shukr (the prostration of thanks) after scoring his goals. He is also often seen off the field reading the Quran.

In an age of heightened fear of Muslims and Islam, many have also considered him the solution to Islamophobia. Playing for Liverpool FC, he has an extremely large following of British Non-Muslims and many now look up to him as a role model.

It’s commonplace to see weekly tweets of his fans even saying they’re willing to convert to Islam as well.

Salah also recently featured in anti-drug campaign commercial aired in Egypt. His appearance in the commercial proved so successful that calls to the Anti-Drug Hotline increased by 400%.

May Allah accept all the efforts of Mohamad Salah and make him a role model for all around the world. May Allah also allow the beauty of Islam to flourish through his actions for the world to see the truth of this religion.

3 Problems Facing Muslims in Europe

The Problem That Isn’t Going Away

A report published last week by the Turkish institute SETA has highlighted the increasingly worrying state of Islamophobia across the European continent.

The “European Islamophobia Report”, which featured 43 editors and contributors, put 33 European countries under the spotlight for their varying discriminatory and racist groups and policies, identifying three key issues of concern.

The first is the rising levels of hate-crimes and violence against Muslims across the country, with the UK, France, and Germany seeing skyrocketing numbers of attacks.

The second issue is the wave of far-right groups entering mainstream politics across the continent. The Golden Dawn movement shocked the world during the 2009 Greek Debt-Crisis, but their precedent has spawned similar movements, from Pegida to Britain First.

Finally, the role of academics and journalists is coming under further scrutiny for their role in spreading conspiracy theories and inaccurate information regarding Muslims in Europe. A worrying trend of politicians sponsoring discriminatory reports, such as the current Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, was identified in the report.

You can read the rest of the report here.

5 Reasons why your Zakat should be local

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National Zakat Foundation are making a Local Difference!

Australia: https://payment.nzf.org.au

United Kingdom: https://go.nzf.org.uk/payzakat

Canada: https://nzfcanada.com/donate/

5 Reasons why your Zakat should be local

Ramadan is just around the corner and as such, the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم will be paying their Zakat in droves to get closer to Allah ﷻ.

It is preferred to give Zakat locally for as long as the social phenomenon of Islam and Muslims exist in a particular area. Scripture points to it, intuition points to it – likewise our normative tradition demonstrates this over the 1,400 years.

The purpose of Zakat is for Islam to flourish as a commitment to Allah that inspires believers to strive for prosperity, harmony, and justice. The result will be a faithful, successful community of Muslims, contributing to society for the benefit of all.

Our responsibility is locally. Local distribution strengthens the sense of belonging to a community. Those within a society know best and most effective ways to cultivate the necessary socio-economic environment for Islam and Muslims to flourish.

Here are five compelling reasons why local Zakat distribution should be the default practice in our communities:

  1. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم advised his companions to do so.

When Islam was spreading, the Prophet ﷺ sent a number of companions around Arabia to invite the people to Islam.  He instructed these companions to teach the primary obligations of Islam upon conversion.

Abdullah Ibn`Abbas رضي الله عنه‎  narrates (as part of a longer Hadith):

“The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم sent Muadh رضي الله عنه‎ to Yemen and said,

“Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah ﷻ and I am Allah’s Messenger, and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah ﷻ has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah ﷻ has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.”

(Bukhari)

  1. The Companions understood Zakat to be local.

The experience of the early companions proved that when Zakat was collected and distributed to its worthy recipients, it led to the material uplifting of society.

Umar b. al-Khattab رضي الله عنه‎ admonished his governor in Yemen, Muadh b. Jabal رضي الله عنه after he had sent him one-third of the Zakat of Yemen:

 “I have not sent you as a tax-collector, but to take from the rich and give to the poor.”

Muadh رضي الله عنه‎ answered him:

“I would not send you anything had I found somebody to take it from me.”

In the second year, Muadh رضي الله عنه‎  sent half the Zakat of Yemen and on the third year, he sent all the Zakat of Yemen to Umar رضي الله عنه‎  in Madinah telling him that he did not find any person to accept the collected Zakat.

(Narration 1912 (p. 710), Kitab al-Amwal of Imam Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Sallam)

  1. It is a means if uniting different members of the community locally

Zakat fulfills the material needs of those around us.  Since wealth is from Allah ﷻ and not due to our own intellect or skills, Allah ﷻ has ordered the wealthy to help those not given as much wealth.

The establishment and maintenance of social solidarity is maximised when the gap between social classes is kept at a minimum. Undoubtedly, one of the most important functions that uphold these crucial relations between members of the local community is Zakat.

  1. All 4 Madhabs agreed on local distribution.

The Hanbali school stipulates:

“It is preferred to disburse all of the Zakat to the poor in his area unless there are no valid recipients in the land, in which he distributes it in the land closest to him.”

(Al-Hajjawi, Zad al-Mustaqni’, p.78)

The Shafi’i school stipulates:

“If the categories of Zakat distribution are found in the place where Zakat is collected, it is prohibited and invalid to transfer the Zakat elsewhere.”

(Reliance of the Traveller, p.272)

The Maliki school stipulates:

“Transferring Zakat (outside the locality) is impermissible, expect if there is a pressing need to do so.”  

(Tawdih al-Ahkam min Bulugh Al-Maram 3:27)

The Hanafi school stipulates:

“It is disapproved to transfer the Zakat of one land to another; unless he transfers it to his poor relatives, or to a people needier than his own.”

(Al-Zayla’i, Nasab al-Rayah 2:423)

  1. By giving locally, we can focus our Zakat to have the greatest benefit to Islam and Muslims.

The famous commentator of the Quran, Imam al-Tabari (d.310AH) commented on the only verse of Zakat expenditure found in Noble Quran (9:60):

“Allah ﷻ has instituted in this context Zakat for two functions, firstly to fulfill the needs of the Muslims and secondly to assist and strengthen Islam.”

Quran (9:60)

We hope these points help you understand Zakat better and motivate you to pay it locally in the country you reside!

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About our friends at the National Zakat Foundation:

Founded in 2011, National Zakat Foundation (NZF) operates as the only Zakat focused institution in their respective countries. They distribute Zakat comprehensively across the 8 categories in the following territories:

Australia: https://payment.nzf.org.au

United Kingdom: https://go.nzf.org.uk/payzakat

Canada: https://nzfcanada.com/donate/

Their vision is for Islam to flourish in society as a source of prosperity and harmony for all. Read about the excellent work that National Zakat Foundation is doing around the world and support them in your local community.

 

8 Ways to Improve your Prayer

8 Ways to Improve your Prayer

Muslims are required to establish ritual prayers 5 times a day at specified times. Praying is a way to communicate, thank and remember Allah. However, many struggles with maintaining their prayers, completing them on time, or staying focused throughout. The following are some tips that will help, insha’Allah.

Purity through Wudu

Ablution is required before prayer and it is a form of physical cleansing. However, you can also use it as a form of cleansing yourself; mentally and spiritually. When one is doing Wudu, they must make the intention that they are doing it to purify themselves, so that they can stand before Allah ﷻ and pray to Him. When we wash our face, including our mouth and eyes, we can think of it as a way of cleaning yourself from any sinful acts, that you may have said or seen. This concept can be similarly implemented when washing our hands and feet. Wiping our head can be a way of purifying yourself from immoral thoughts. This should be done with true intentions of improvements to our religion

Pray on Time

When one prays on time, this means that they have left all worldly affairs and dedicated this time to Allah ﷻ, as we all should. This also falls under purifying our souls and working on improving yourself. Never let your daily affairs interrupt your prayer.

Further, by praying on time, Allah ﷻ will provide you with blessings in everything you do thereafter. You will also feel at ease, as Allah ﷻ states in the Quran:

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.

(Quran, 13:28)

Contemplate what you’re Reciting

By making an effort to understand the verses that you are reciting, you will be able to form a deep connection with Allah ﷻ and His words in the Quran. Moreover, contemplating the words you say and the actions that you complete throughout your prayer allows you to maintain focus and remember your purpose in this life.

Pray in congregation

Praying in the congregation not only creates a sense of unity with those you pray with but also increases your rewards!

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  said:

The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.”

Sahih Muslim

In congregational prayer, Muslims stand in rows and all distinctions are set aside. Race, social status, culture, and languages do not matter when you stand in front of Allah ﷻ, as nobility is only in terms of righteousness. Congregational prayer creates discipline, time-consciousness and a sense of direction. Further, meeting others sows seeds of friendship and engenders hope and courage for the Muslim Ummah.

Eliminate distractions

Try to pray in a quiet place, where you know there will be no distractions. Distractions are not only on your phone or your business but can also be from your family and children!

Allah ﷻ warns us of this in the Quran, and speaks directly to the believers:

“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that – then those are the losers.”

(Quran, 63:9)

This is crucial, as far too often parents, especially mothers, will choose to attend to their children (in circumstances where the child can wait) before their prayers. This can lead them to either missing the prayer or praying it very late, which is not recommended.

Take your time

When you pray, take your time! Remember that Allah ﷻ is in control of the situation you might be rushing to. More importantly, remember that you are standing in front of the lord of the worlds! Relieve yourself of the stresses of your life and take comfort in your prayer.

Allah ﷻ warns us against those who pray without giving salah the attention and time it deserves:

So woe to those who pray [But] who are heedless of their prayer -”

(Quran, 107:5-6)

Follow the Sunnah

Frequently, we may neglect the teachings of our prophet and only complete the required, compulsory prayer. However, we must follow the Sunnah. This can be done by praying the voluntary prayers which will directly increase our rewards and further our connection with Allah ﷻ.

The following are some of the optional prayers we can complete before/after the compulsory ones:

  1. Two rakahs before the obligatory Fajr prayer
  2. Four rakahs before the obligatory Dhuhr prayer.
  3. Two rakahs after the obligatory Dhuhr prayer.
  4. Two rakahs after the obligatory Maghrib prayer.
  5. Two rakahs after the obligatory Isha prayer.
  6. The tahajjud or late night prayers ending with the Witr prayer.
  7. The Ishraaq prayers after the sun has risen completely.
  8. The forenoon, duha prayer.

Moreover, after our prayer is completed, we can engage in thikr, the remembrance of Allah ﷻ .

Muhammad ﷺ  said:

“If anyone extols Allah after every prayer thirty-three times (says subhanAllah), and praises Allah thirty-three times (says Alhamdulillah), and declares His Greatness thirty-three times (says Allahu Akbar), ninety-nine times in all, and says to complete a hundred:” There is no god but Allah, having no partner with Him, to Him belongs sovereignty and to Him is praise due, and He is Potent over everything (says Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer),” his sins will be forgiven even If these are as abundant as the foam of the sea.

Sahih Muslim

Dua– Supplication to Allah ﷻ

Finally and most importantly, we must constantly make dua, supplications to God. We should continually ask Allah ﷻ to help us maintain our prayers on time, and stay focused throughout. This is a very powerful tool, that provides you direct access to converse with Allah ﷻ. If you need help, call upon Him. If you are facing hardships, call upon Him. If you are feeling blessed and content with your life, call upon Him and thank Him. No matter what your situation may be, big or small, always call upon Allah ﷻ and ask Him for help. Start by thanking Him for your blessings by saying alhamdulillah, then invoke blessings upon Muhammad ﷺ, then begin with your dua!

Allah ﷻ states in the Quran:

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.”

(Quran, 2:152)

May Allah ﷻ make it easy for us to maintain our prayers on time & stay focused throughout.

Ameen!