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Is it possible for Allah to love His servant? If so, how do we obtain this and what are the signs of His Love? An insightful answer delivered by Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim.[scrolling_box display=”category” category=”121″]
Why Is My Du’a not Accepted?
When we make du’a (supplication) sometimes they are accepted and at other times they are not. Why could that be?
“Invoke your Lord in supplication and covertly… ”
Supplication is a sacred conversation between you and Allah, it is you asking Allah to grant, or take away or help, etc. you in a certain situation/s and things in your life. Du’a is a request for Allah’s assistance in order to achieve your request. Example of this Prophet Ayyub he was unable to move, laying in bed and could not stand on his own weight, he made du’a to Allah, “My Lord harm has touched me, you are the Most Merciful, oh Allah cure me.” Allah answered him immediately and responded by saying “touch the ground with your foot a well of water will come up that you can bathe and cleanse yourself in, it will heal you.” Here we can learn that Prophet Ayyub had to perform an action, he could not just rely on Allah to do whatever he wanted.
Supplication is about changing the condition that you are in, so that Allah can help you. You can’t just say, “O Allah grant me Jannah”, without praying, reading Quran and making dhikr, it doesn’t work like that. It is also important to praise Allah before you ask Allah, ensure that you please Him.
Also there are certain times during the day, months, periods, that du’a is accepted and answered. For example at night whilst everyone is asleep, Allah descends near to the Earth in the last third of the night ,
Abu Hurairah narrates, The Prophet () said, “Our Lord who is blessed and exalted descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last one-third of the night remains, and says: Who supplicated Me so that I may answer him? Who asks My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?”
In prayer while making sujood, at this time you are closest to Allah so ask him, make dua for He is listening.
Allah says, “… But prostrate and draw near (to Allah).”
Connect With the Quran
Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim discusses how we can connect with the Quran, especially for the people who don’t understand Arabic.
A common unknown truth, is that even those with Arabic as their first language, don’t always understand it completely. Quran is not always meant to be self-evident and the intricacies within it require research to develop a deep understanding.
If you approach the Quran with sincerity, read it and learn it, then it will be beneficial. It is reserved in its benefit for those who approach it with a pious sincerity.
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah – Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]. Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.”
Allah says that Quran is a thikr, a reminder, for the following types of people:
- The one who approaches it with an open heart
- Those who gives it their full attention & study it
- Those who witness its truth whilst learning it
By combining these 3, you will be able to connect with the Quran, be guided to the right path and be successful
Next, you must implement a system when memorising the Quran and make it a daily ritual for you to open and read it. A day should never go by without you reading at least one verse from the Quran.
Finally, do not forget the reward of reading Quran, especially for those who struggle and stumble when reading.
It was narrated from Aisha that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The one who is proficient with the Qur’an will be with the noble and righteous scribes (the angels), and the one who reads it and stumbles over it, finding it difficult, will have a double reward.”
May Allah make us from the companions of the Quran and make our hearts connect with the Quran and bless us with the light of it, in this life and the next.
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Why do Muslims Fast?
Sheikh Hassan Setohy and Sheikh Yahya Adel Ibrahim, discuss Ramadan and its importance upon a Muslim.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is one of the twelve months in the Islamic calendar and is one of the most rewarding months.
“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 oit and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend 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 guided.”
The arabic term al-saum means to refrain from something, in terms of the religion of Islam, it refers to refraining with the intention of worship, from food, drink, sexual intercourse and other acts that break the fast from dawn until sunset.
During this month Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened.”
Why do Muslims Fast?
Ramadan also increases a Muslims taqwa (piety), to do this a Muslim must refrain from and carry out religious duties.
Many Muslims and non-Muslims have the basic understanding that fasting during the month of Ramadan is to understand the struggles that the less fortunate go through on a daily basis. Even though this is correct Ramadan is about more than that, it is a month of spiritual reconnection, breaking old habits and starting new ones that are beneficial and rewarding to a Muslim. Furthermore fasting during the month of Ramadan expiates the sins committed since the previous Ramadan, as long as they are not major sins.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The five daily prayers, from Jumuáh to the next and from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sin.”
Fasting is a means that allows Muslims to appreciate all that Allah has provided for us, and give thanks for all that he has given us. It also enables us to control our desires that can at times control us.
Thus the Prophet ﷺ said, “O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a restraint for him.”
Sunan an Nisa’i.
It also entails training themselves to give up on things that a Muslim desires even though they are able to take them.
Who should fast and who cannot?
Scholars have agreed that fasting is obligatory upon every sane adult (a man or woman who has reached the age of maturity) healthy and a non-travelling Muslim. A woman who has not received her menses is able to enjoin in Ramadan.
Prophet ﷺ said, “The pen (recording the deeds) has been raised (and is not recording) for three: the one who is sleeping until he awakens, the child until he reaches the age of puberty and the insane one until he becomes sane.”
A traveler and ill person are exempt from fasting, however do need to make up the days.
The Quran states, “… But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days…”
Others that are excused from partaking in Ramadan are those that are breastfeeding and pregnant women, on the condition that they believe there is a risk that they or their children may become ill, harmed or may die.
Anas ibn Malik al-Ka’bi reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ “Allah has relieved the traveler of fasting and half of prayer, and He has relieved the pregnant and breastfeeding woman of fasting.”
In addition, if a menstruating or postpartum woman does fast, her fast is not valid as she is releasing impurities. The days the women misses have to be made up. A’ishah said, “We used to menstruate during the time of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and we were ordered to make up the fasts and we were not ordered to make up the prayers.”
Virtues of Fasting during Ramadan.
Abu Hurairah narrates the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and hoping for its reward shall have all of his previous sins forgiven for him.”
Fasting during Ramadan has many benefits some are spiritual, societal and health. The spiritual benefits include the practicing and strengthening of one’s patience, controlling oneself can assist in improving their taqwa (piety). The societal benefits encourages compassion, empathy, mercy, equity and loving for your fellow human what you love for yourself. The health benefits include purifying the intestines, improving the health of the stomach, cleansing the body of impurities, decreasing the level of fat in the body and decreasing the heaviness of the stomach due to fat.
Sahl ibn S’ad narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “In Paradise there is a gate called ar-Rayyan. Those who fast will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none other than them shall enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will stand and none other than them shall enter it. When they all enter it, it will be closed and no one will enter through it.”
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 ﷺ 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 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.
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
The Pillar Of Zakat
There are five pillars of Islam and they are, the Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj, all of these are compulsory upon every able Muslim to complete. Each one is important and necessary for every Muslim to do, and each one has a benefit for all Muslims which Allah has discussed in the Quran.
Each pillar is important and assists a Muslim in their life in its own respect, zakat is prescribed to every Muslim who is able, as it not only teaches humans to be empathetic, but shows the importance of helping a fellow human.
Zakat is comes from the Arabic term ‘to purify’ as is evident in,
“Take from their wealth so that you might purify and sanctify them”
When we give zakat is grants us a sense of humbleness, in which we understand that our wealth is from Allah and by giving a percentage of our money for the sake of Allah purifies our heart and soul from greed and miserliness. Zakat also assists the the Islamic economy, creating stability and prosperity.
It was narrated by Yahya bin Said, who was governor at the time of the Caliphate of Umar bin Abdul Aziz. He said: “I was sent by Umar bin Abdul Aziz to collect zakat from Africa. After collecting it, I intended to give it to the poor people. However, I did not find one. Umar bin Abdul Aziz has made all the people rich during that time. Finally, I decided to use the zakat fund to buy and emancipate slaves.”
Al-Khalifat al-Adil Umar Ibn AbdulAziz, 1994
Every Muslim must pay a specific amount of Zakat that consists of their wealth and savings, which is referred to as Nisab, the amount is 2.5% of Nisab. Your Nisab more precisely is, cash in hand, bank or money that has been loaned to someone, shares that you own, gold and silver. However, personal items that, your home, furniture, cars, food, clothing are not considered Nisab. Zakat can be measured through gold and silver.
The Zakat that must be paid before Salat Al-Eid, must be given to eight types of people that are specified in the Quran
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.”
- The Fuqara’ (the poor)
- Al-Maskin (the needy)
- Aamileen (Zakat collector)
- Muallafatul Quloob (poor and needy who recently converted to Islam)
- Ar-Riqaab (slaves; Zakat can be used to purchase their freedom)
- Ibnus-Sabeel: A stranded traveller in need of financial assistance.
- Al Ghaarimeen: A debtor
- Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah
There have been many hadiths and verses in the Quran that have been reported by the Prophet ﷺ and Allah that warn the people of their punishment in the Hereafter and in this life if they do not pay their Zakat.
‘Abdullah bin Masud narrated that:
the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is no one who does not pay Zakat on his wealth but a bald headed snake will be made to appear to him on the Day of Resurrection, until it encircles his neck.” Then the messenger of Allah recited the following Verse from the Book of Allah the Most High: “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah had bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that is good for them.”
Sunan Ibn Majah
If Zakat was implemented correctly by every Muslim it could be a method of eradication of poverty. If you do not know how to calculate your Zakat you can go to:
May Allah we all be rewarded for the Zakat we pay.
The Virtue of Giving
Zakat is not the only form of charity in Islam, sadaqah is another and is referred to as voluntary charity for the sake of Allah.
Sadaqah can be given at anytime during the year but just like any form of worship, the reward for sadaqah during Ramadan is increased. Sadaqah is not limited to any amount of money, it can a one dollar coin or a $10,000 donation to help build a mosque. There are many forms of sadaqah, and they are all rewardable by Allah.
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “There are 360 joints and each of them owes sadaqa every single day. Every good word is sadaqah. A man’s helping his brother is sadaqa. A drink of water which he gives is sadaqa. Removing something harmful from the road is sadaqah.”
When giving charity always have the right intention, and continuously renew it before, during and after you have given for the sake of Allah.
At times when we are told at Jummah that there is a fundraiser or new mosque being built or new Islamic school, we see it as burden for us that we have to give money that we worked hard for away. However, by looking at the glass half empty we are missing out some easy rewards. Look at the glass half full, giving a little bit of money to please Allah and help excel the Muslim community is important.
Surely those men who give Sadaqah (alms) and those women who give Sadaqah and have advanced a good loan to Allah, for them it will be multiplied, and for them there is a noble reward.
We are not constantly provided with government funding on certain Islamic project to improve our community, and we need to be able to rely on each other as this Ummah is one, and by giving we are granted with many rewards that will help us on the Day of Recompense.
As Muslims we should always have positive take on situation whether good or bad, there have been many times when the Prophet of Allah ﷺ or the companions have faced difficult situations but have had a positive look on life.
It is better to be consistent when giving than to give one full amount once every month or year, Allah likes those forms of worship which are small but done consistently over those good deeds that are done in a huge amount but only once. It is better for you to give as little as five dollars are day for the rest of your life on a consistent basis. Allah has made this religion easy upon us do not it hard on yourself.
The Prophet ﷺ said: A man giving a dirham as sadaqah (charity) during his life is better than giving one hundred dirhams as sadaqah (charity) at the moment of his death.
Al-Albani (weak hadith).
May we be consistent in all our good deeds, and constantly give for the sake of Allah.
The Virtue of Patience
According to the Oxford dictionary the English definition of patience refers to accepting and tolerating problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. However, the term patience translated to Arabic is ‘Sabr’ meaning to control or constrain oneself.
During the month of Ramadan, we control our desires whether it be food, drinking, sexual relations, etc. We also constrain ourselves from committing things that have already been made haram to us and that at time can be more of a struggle.
He cried, “No! Your souls must have tempted you to do something ˹evil˺. So ˹I am left with nothing but˺ beautiful patience! I trust Allah will return them all to me. Surely He ˹alone˺ is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
Furthermore, Ramadan allows us to work on our patience especially when Allah tests us with calamities. It is important to always be patient as Allah is with those who are patient, there are time when it may be hard and we think why is Allah doing this to me. But that is the wrong mentality to have, Allah loves those He tests, Allah is testing your faith in Him and wants you make du’a and rely on him.
“Surely, Allah is with those who are As‑Saabiroon (the patient)”
There is so much virtue in patience, that it is both rewarded in this life and the Hereafter, The Messenger of Allah ﷺ says,
“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”.
Allah also says,
Verily! I have rewarded them this Day for their patience, they are indeed the ones that are successful.
Patience is the foundation of the believer’s faith which has no other foundation. The one who has no patience has no faith, and if he has any, then it is only a little faith and it is very weak, and such a person worships Allah not to the full capacity.
May Allah make us from the patient ones and those that rely on Him.