A TICKET TO HEAVEN

white roses hadith islam
A ticket to heaven
All about voluntary fasts

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

It’s fun being invited. My expectations run high as I almost starve myself for the feast that I would relish at my friend’s home. I wonder who else will I be meeting there?  Do you like being invited? What are your expectations from your host? More than anything else it’s the warm welcome which makes the difference.  With that everything else seems perfect.

And then there are gatherings where only those with invitation card are allowed to enter. Oh dear! I wonder where I kept the invitation from my son’s school event.  Even in such a gathering, there is a very special reception for the guest of honor. As we stand in a queue waiting for our turn to enter, we see few well deserved honored members of the society walk right past us. It’s their work and position that has earned them this honorable reception. Nothing special comes cheap!

There is an open invitation for Jannah (Paradise) from our the Almighty for all of us. So, what do we need to enter it? Monotheism (There is no god but Allah and Muhammed () is his messenger).  An easy way to enter (and obtain high levels in) Jannah is not going to be for free. Are you willing to earn a special place in Jannah? Which special deed are you willing to take to get close to Him?

hadith islam bluebell leaves
A means of getting close to Allah

We have just experienced the sweetness of fasting in the month of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah. How we wish that we could experience this serenity throughout the year. Don’t let this feeling fade away. Make fasting as a means to get close to Allah. Insha Allah, we will enter Jannah from the gate ‘Al Rayyan’.

white roses hadith islam
Al Rayyan is a gate in heaven for those who fast

Ah! There is more to fasting than just a red-carpet welcome. The Most Gracious Allah rewards those who fast without limits. Indeed, there could hardly be a better way to please Him.

Every deed counts
Unlimited reward

Ramadan has shown us, that fasting is easy. Alhamdulillah. Are you missing Ramadan? If only we could do more. Allah SWT has given us a chance to earn the reward of fasting!!

Hadith fasting Shawal shaval islam blue flowers bluebell wild flowers
Fasting six days of Shawwal

Having fasted complete month of Ramadan, would you let such an opportunity slip away? Hurry up, just a few days of this blessed month are left. Remember, to reap this reward you should have completed the missed fasts of Ramadan too.

Do not lose heart, if you are incapable of doing this. Most Merciful has provided us more ways to achieve a huge reward. Soon blessed days of Dhul Hijjah would be here. Not all of us will be able to perform Haj this year. Those of us who stay back could still get our (minor) sins forgiven by fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul hijjah). Besides, nothing is holding us back from making most of first nine days of Dhul hijjah by fasting.

Alhamdulillah. We can’t thank Allah enough for providing us with such an opportunity to cleanse ourselves. Yet again, A month later The Most Beneficent again gives us an opportunity to expiate the sins of a year by fasting on the Day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). You can read about this in the post, A Scheme for Success. Indeed, Allah SWT is most forgiving and He loves to forgive. Subahan Allah.

Hadith Islam tulip flower
Voluntary fasts

We all claim that we love our prophet (). So, how do we express our love? We are to follow his sunnah (way of life). Unfortunately, we celebrate our prophet’s birth in a way which is far from Sunnah. Let us see, what our prophet () in recognition of being blessed with life. Far from the current view of celebration, he () fasted on the day (of the week) he was born. Could we do the same to claim our love for him? He also preferred fasting on Thursdays. Why? When presenting a gift to our loved ones we care to perfume it and wrap it well. Our beloved prophet () cared more about presenting his deeds well to The One, who had blessed us with everything. He () preferred to fast on the day the deeds are presented before Allah. SubhanAllah. This makes me wonder, on what basis do I and you claim that we love Allah and His Messenger? I hope to practice these fasts. Are you interested too?

flowers brick wall hadith islam
Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays

Some of us find it very difficult to fast every week. There is another lovely option for those who love to fast! We are encouraged to fast on any three days of every month. Remember every good act has a minimum reward of ten hasanat (good deeds). Fasting like this will be equivalent to fasting for the entire month (and for an entire year if it is done every month).

Red roses hadith islam
Fasting three days a month

Fasting has spiritual and worldly benefits too. In the current era, where we are being bombarded with lewd adds and shows/programs, fasting acts as a shield improving our self-control. Insha Allah, this would help teens and youth lead a modest life. Would you encourage those around you to fast?

wild flowers field Hadith islam self control lust sex drive
Fasting acts as a shield

It is worth noting that other than Ramadan it is not obligatory for us to fast on any other day. We people are wise enough to make smart choices when it comes to purchasing and selling things. We wait for a sale and make most of it. Likewise, are we wise enough to make most of these days? Invitation to heaven is open. Couldn’t we learn to refrain a little for eternal pleasure in Jannah?  Would you like this ticket for Jannah? It’s your choice.

May Allah make us among those who can choose to enter from any of the eight doors of Jannah. Ameen.

Published in Muslimahbloggers.

Just Another Ramadan

dates

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ramadan is back here. Has a year flown away so soon? We haven’t really retrieved from the excitement of last Eid and Ramadan has knocked our doors again. We have ensured we have done our best to welcome this month. Our Homes are shining; Our freezers are full of frozen snacks to fry; We have even purchased our Eid clothes. Insha Allah, our time will be well spent in Ibada. Our Dua(invocation) books are out and we are determined to spend most of our time with Quran; we will try our best to read Quran at least once. After all, this has been our standard procedure all our life. Great! We are at bliss. Are we? Now let us see our Ramadan routine in a new light.

ARE OUR HOMES WELCOMING?

Are our homes welcoming enough for the angels? Of course, the house has been dusted and arranged. Check again, is there anything in the house which would keep angels away? Why wouldn’t angels of mercy enter our home, when we have ensured that our home even smells great?!! WELL, ARE OUR WALLS FREE OF FAMILY PHOTOS?

angels do not enter a home with pictures

Is a photo in your living room meant to honor a predecessor? Or, do you proudly display the photo of your child receiving a trophy? Indeed, the elders need to be honored and the youngster’s achievement is worth being applauded. But, we don’t need a framed photo to prove our love for them. Our love for Allah is much stronger and with all the devils locked it should be much easier to obey Him. Let us remove the photos and ensure that our home is welcoming enough for the angels.

SERVE IT RIGHT

It’s the first day of Ramadan, and kids are already speaking of goodies they would get to eat in iftar. Most of us have loaded our freezer with partly cooked snacks. Moms are wondering whether to defrost kabab, samosas or spring rolls. We have taken all this pain to ensure that our family gets to eat tasty food while we don’t waste our valuable time in a kitchen. Well, have we also ensured that our deeds are being presented before Allah?! Are we in good terms with our extended family and friends? If you are in doubt, without delay connect to your loved ones. Please click here to read more about this.

Gates of paradise opened on Monday and Thursday
Hadith Wait until they reconcile

LET US MAKE THIS RAMADAN THE BEST RAMADAN!

We all love the month of Ramadan. We love the fasting, reciting Quran and standing in tarawih salah. How we wish that we can feel this closeness to Allah all our life. Yet, after Ramadan, we slowly slip back being our usual self. Months of Ramadan come and go, with hardly any impact on our life. Why aren’t we able to hold on to something from our experience in Ramadan? How did you feel, when you first fasted for an entire month? Alhamdulillah. How did you feel on completing the recitation of the Quran for the first time? Are there any more memories which would make a Ramadan stand out? 

fasting for a year

LIVING THROUGH THE MONTH OF RAMADAN IS A HUGE BLESSING. Every Ramadan in our life counts. Perhaps, it’s time we push ourselves to do a little more. Look at Ramadan as an opportunity to change our life for better. It’s time to elevate our Rank in heaven.

To read the entire article please visit MUSLIMAHBLOGGERS

Are we slaves to the gadgets?

Assalamu alikum.

Alhamdhulillah, one of my articles has been republished in Aboutislam

image

.

http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/are-we-slaves-to-our-gadgets-instead-of-allah/

Do check to see, the changes. 🙂

Why We Need A Hobby

Crochet needle hobby

Assalammu Alikum,

Do you miss your childhood? Apart from pure state of innocence and overwhelming love from elders, what makes childhood special? It’s the desire to explore. I love seeing a child’s face gleaming with joy on learning simple things. When was the last time you felt like that? Can we still experience such uncontainable excitement on accomplishing simple stuff? Yes! We could.

Within each of us is a child, eager to learn and explore. I never knew a needle could bring out a child in me. I am not speaking about my visit to a Doctor. This needle works on a thread, but it is not sharp! Instead it has a hook at its end. Have you guessed, what is it? CROCHET. This had a huge positive impact on me. Let me share with you how it helped me.

Why Crochet?

When I am free, I feel an urge to hold a gadget and explore. I had written all about it in my last post. I didn’t want to turn into a game/media addict. I had to do something.

As I was wondering how to refine my life, I learnt that my grandma wanted to gift me her crochet needles. Ah! Long back I had enjoyed making a crochet cap. (Well I had attempted to make a flat circle with chain and split knots. It accidentally turned into cap. shhh! Let it be our secret. 😉 ) I decided to give it a try. I took out my crochet needle and explored a couple of basic tutorials on the net.  The yarn and the needle kept me away from fiddling with the keyboard. Initially, I couldn’t hold the yarn right. Instead of online puzzles, a bundle of yarn was now challenging me! Do you think I would give up easily? No way, I had to tame my fingers to bend the yarn. This indeed was an answer for my addiction.

Learning to empathize

I found it difficult to use a needle. But to the tutor (in the video), this needle was like an extension of her fingers. This reminded me of teaching my son how to hold a pencil. I used to wonder why was it so difficult for the little ones. Now it was clear. ☺ Often, we forget the struggles we underwent as a beginner. Learning a new art reminds us our limits and the need for experience. Now, I could empathize better with my sons.

Hadith crochet disgrace adorn
Be compassionate

Finally, I was able to make a chain (knots). As I progressed I learnt ABC of crochet – single, half double, double, triple and double triple crochet. Unlike puzzles or games, the result of my practice was in my hands. Honestly, it looked no better than a scribbling. It looked more polished on the tutor’s hands. Well, I wasn’t working on the right bead (the knots). With attention to margins my work turned neater. Now I had a renewed appreciation for handiwork. I recollected how often I had argued with poor vendors while buying an art work. I could appreciate handiwork better.

Hadith crochet coasters beginner yarn empathy
Be lenient

Valuing Time

I tried making some coasters. It is pure magic to see plain long yarn turn into beautiful clusters and floral patterns. A crochet comes to life with repeated action of yarning over and pulling. To crochet, it’s equivalent to inhaling and exhaling in order to breathe. Yep, this is all that we need to learn. Yet, there was so much we can do with different combinations and colors!

Let’s consider our life as a yarn. All of us are gifted with the same 24 hours. Our life is filled with several simple repetitive actions like – climbing stairs, eating food, sleeping, waking up, etc. Generally, we don’t give much thought about them. With these actions, we could be yarning for here after. How?

Our prophet has taught us dua (invocation) for every occasion in our life. Do you remember to say bismillah (In the name of Allah) in the beginning and Alhamdhulillah (All praise belong to Allah) in the end of an action?  If so, we have ensured to knot it in for here after. Do you say Allahuakbar (Allah is great) while climbing and SubahanAllah (Glory be to Allah) while descending. If so we have added one more bead to the knot. Would you like to add more? Add in other duas. Recite dua while entering or leaving masjid, before sleeping and after waking up and so on. With these simple invocations intricated into our life, we can turn our 24 hours into moments worth living.

Hadith sweater simple design crochet "Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah."
Remember Allah

Strengthening Bonds

Do you remember how it felt to do a craft work at school? I was reliving the excitement. Before I could think of what to do next, I got a request for a sweater from my hubby. I decided to make sweaters for my sons first. I saw a few tutorial on you tube and settled for one I was comfortable with. The little one (3 years) was very pleased with the attention he was getting. The sweater involved an easy stitch- Half double crochet. As I practiced the stitch I would think about my granny. As  a child, I had seen her work on the border of a shawl.   Later, she had gifted this priceless shawl to me along with numerous lace works she had done. Honestly, could there be better way to express love than with a useful handmade gift? The shawl would keep me warm and always remind me of my generous loving grandma.  May Allah reward her in abundance for every bead she has worked on. May I be blessed with a heart like hers, which finds joy in giving things. And, may I be blessed with love of my grandparents for many more years to come. Aameen.

Hadith crochet shawl priceless grandma
Gifts increase love

Within three days, I completed the sweater! Alhamdhulillah, I had managed to design a multicolor sleeve less sweater for my little one. I didn’t know how to add buttons to it. So, I used lace to close the front opening (zig zag pattern). The rugged look really matched his personality. No sweater in the market could replace this. I hoped this sweater would last for several generations and keep several kids warm. Maybe someone in the future will appreciate my simple work too. ☺

Rewind

Now my elder son was upset. He wanted a sweater too. I was not going to follow the same design or pattern. Something more challenging would be fun. I decided to try basket weave. For this I had to learn front and back post crochet – to make the work stand out or hide. This was tougher than I had expected. It required more yarn and time. I made several mistakes. So, did I waste good amount of yarn on this? No. Well, with crochet we can rewind with ease! We just need to pull the yarn to unwind. Alhamdhulillah, I was able to rectify my mistakes. How I wish I could do the same with my life – go back to some point and start afresh.

Are there any regrets in your life? I have a long list. We cannot go back into the past but still we can have a clean record! Does it sound too good to be true? Well, Allah is The Most Merciful and He loves to pardon. With sincere repentance, we could shed our sins away. After all, pleasing Him should be our prime concern. Still, how often do we repent?

Crochet basket stitch Hadith: Allah forgives repeatedly as long as we seek forgiveness
Seek forgiveness repetedly

It took me more than two weeks to complete the sweater. I was surprised at the outcome. May our book of deeds look better with our sins forgiven. All praise be to Allah who is always eager to forgive. ☺

Appreciation

Finally, it was my hubby’s turn to get a sweater. It was really nice to see my relatively silent hubby involved in something I was doing. I picked a real hard design with cable patterns which cross over (should be piece of cake for professional). I planned to combine designs from two different tutorials. Every day, having returned from work, my hubby would rush to see how much I had completed. I would place the incomplete work on him and see how much more work needs to be done. 😉 I loved seeing his face gleam as I did this. In spite, of knowing absolutely nothing about crochet he would be generous with his suggestion and I would oblige. I had always had an overwhelming desire to wrap my entire family in my love. Well, with crochet, I have indeed managed to do it. ☺ One can’t make out, how pleased am I to see my entire family wear what I made. Alhamdhulillah.

Crochet crochet cable stitch complicated sweater Quran dua for loving family crochet
Comfort of our eyes

A useful hobby, could strengthen bonds of love.

Bonus

Handmade crochet work is of great value. Alhamdhulillah, this could help anyone make a decent living from the comfort of one’s home.  With time, simple projects could be worked even with our eyes closed. This made me easier to catch up few missed lectures. In fact, it helped me concentrate better.

On the down side, when unfinished work is left unprotected, children could easily unwind the work. My little one used every opportunity to unwind as much yarn as possible. I could do nothing. Initially, I was angry. Then I realized, there is no point blaming a kid while as a grownup, I had failed to preserve it. I was turning more patient and vigilant.

My grandma was very impressed with my work. How can one become an expert? Here is her advice –

“YOU CAN DO ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU ARE PERSEVERANT AND WILLINGLY TO UNWIND AND RECTIFY YOUR ERROR.”

This should be mantra for successful life! This hobby, was not just keeping me away from gaming but was also teaching me perseverance, patience and importance of Tawba (Repentence).  Indeed crochet helped me improve.

Dua crochet flower cap
Bless our deeds/action

If you think you are wasting your time, or, if you are bored with the usual routine, would you consider learning something new? What would you like to do? Do let us know, how your hobby helps you.

Preprinted in Muslimahbloggers.

The thieves in my life

Time loss

Dear friends, do you wake up with a zeal to achieve? Does a new day come as a promise for a fresh start to gear up your ambitious plans? Do you have a list of things you wish to accomplish in a day? I guess, you do. Do you always stick to your plan? By the end of the day, are you happy with what you have achieved? Sadly, I have to admit, by the end of the day I’m disappointed.

Well, our days start with fajr Salah (morning prayers) followed by usual routine of sending children to school, house hold chores and so on. In between, we get precious free time to pursue things which add a spark to life. These moments are valuable. That’s when I generally plan to do things I most love. I would love to write about what had been occupying my thoughts. Or, I try to listen to a lecture or explore about something which would interest me or my family. Most of the activities I wish to do involves my faithful laptop – a slave who obeys my command and takes me to sites with a press of a button key.

And then there is something else which interests me too. Before you start thinking of something awful, let me make it clear, I am speaking about NUMERICAL PUZZLES. Yep, complicated numerical puzzles which would result in wonderful loops and patterns once they are solved. As soon as I switch on the laptop, I feel the familiar urge to check the list of free Japanese puzzles. I spot an expert level puzzle and tell myself, “I could do it”. It almost smiles back as though challenging me! I have to solve it. I try it out. After several minutes/ hours of failed attempts, I succeed. Shouldn’t I be pleased that I won? Nah! I try to solve it faster! These puzzles might be improving my mathematical/logical skills. So, where am I using them? Can’t think of anything. Is such a knowledge necessary?

Working on a smart phone should be a better option. Alas, I have loaded several socializing apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram in it. I just can’t keep away from them. I decide to stay alone for a while. Then, I hear a familiar ring. I have to attend it. It could be important message (from a princess in distress ; -P)! I pick it up and plunge again into the world of internet. I see what are others concerned with. I wonder, why am I doing this? Yet, I am there scrolling through the pages. To escape this, I jump back to laptop and face the old temptation. This cycle is no better than a whirlpool sucking productive hours of my life.

Dear reader, how long can you stay away from gadgets? Do you see smart phones as an extension of yourself? Like me are you tempted to hold and fiddle with it? Is your hobby browsing? Do you too start somewhere and end in some other world of internet?  What kind of knowledge are we acquiring from countless hours of mindless browsing? Likewise, is there any benefit in merely hearing two different opinions on the same news subject, over and over again. I wonder, how people can allot several minutes/ hours every day for their favorite soap operas. Even if one watches a single episode weeks later, the plot can be guessed. These things which seem basically harmless, are robbing moments from our life. HAVE YOU TOO WILLINGLY BEFRIENDED SUCH A THIEF?

Pink flowers, Dua- seeking refuge from, useless knowledge, Heart fearless of Allah, unjustifiable soul and unanswered prayer.
Dua (invocation) for beneficial knowledge

There are better days, when I dedicate myself completely to work. I am interrupted by a familiar cry. It’s from my child demanding attention. To complete my task, the child should be distracted. Guess, what do I hand him? Yes, my laptop. I play some age appropriate video in it. Few minutes later, I see him watching something else. He is not supposed to watch that! What should I do? Ah! Educational Interactive games, that should keep him absorbed.

My job is done. But, now the little one prefers computer over me! I patiently wait for him to complete his game. But when I ask back for the laptop, He refuses. He wants to play more! Next day should be better? No, he demands for the computer every now and then. On refusing, my sweet child throws a tantrum. Does this happen in every home? Are our children’s holidays spent on play station? Are we able to restrict their screen time? With such astounding games, will the children pay attention to books? Will they find pleasure from a normal stroll? Are we in a way turning our children into game addicts? How do you think will such a child spend his/her free time in the future? Are we training them to have a purposeful life?

Dear readers, what is the ultimate purpose of life? Why have we been created?

QURAN 51:56 Surat Adh-Dhariyat [verse 56]
The purpose of Life
The world has always played a role from deluding us from the real purpose. The current era has a lot in store to keep us distracted. Now, we are literally wasting our life on games and entertainment.

Dice, Quran (6:32) Suah Al Anam verse 32 ;QURAN 29:64 Surat Al-'Ankabut [verse 64]
Life as a amusement
I am not against technology. We should be against technology enslaving us. Do we stick to our schedule and use technology for our necessity? Or, are we spending our nights past bedtime entertaining ourselves? Do we end up waking up halfhearted to offer fajr salah? Do we rush our prayers without concentration so that we can go back to gaming? Aren’t we intoxicated by games? Just like an addict we can’t recollect what we uttered in salah. Auzbillah. Will such a prayer be accepted? What will happen of us in the hereafter?

Dry flowers; QURAN (4:43), Suart An Nisa, verse 43
Pray with concentration

It’s time to acknowledge our weakness and get over it. WE NEED TO STOP TECHNOLOGY FROM STEALING TIME. We can do so much more when we are in control of our life. How can we take control?

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESS:

What kind of games/ programmes are you interested in? Why do you like it? I love puzzles. They gives me a sense of achievement.

2. FAITH:

Put your trust in Allah. Request sincerely to Allah to help you overcome the addiction.

3. REPLACE:

Other than computer/TV programmes, what else interests you? If you love news, read it from a newspaper. I love working on something challenging. Some intricate crafts work should help.

4. LEARN SOMETHING NEW:

We humans are born with an appetite to explore and learn. We feel more fulfilled on learning new things. We could learn a new language or craft. I decided to learn Crochet. (Do read my next post -It’s all about crochet.)

Apple, books, knowledge
Dua (invocation) for knowledge.

5. BELIEVE YOURSELF:

Maybe we were tempted back into browsing/gaming. Still, weren’t we able to keep ourselves away for a considerable amount of time? We can try again. Make a stronger resolution.

6. MOTIVATE:

Involve your family and friends. Ask them to participate with you in this TECHNO CLEANSING program. 

7. PLAN:

What do you plan to do between two salah (Prayers)? Stick to it.

Do something rewarding. I told my children, that I would crochet a jumper for them. Every time I was on computer, they would ask me to continue with their sweater! Seeing them wear what I made is rewarding.

You may also add a punishment. Well, if you go back to gaming, once the charge runs out, don’t charge the gadgets for next 10 hours!

8. REMEMBER: WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TIME WE SPEND HERE.

There would be more attractive games and sites. The era we live in is as ordained by Allah. We cannot afford to blame time and lead a heedless life.

Clock, Time
Do not abuse TIME

Insha Allah, with this we can prevent gadgets from stealing our time.

Dear readers, share with us your tips to prevent internet overtaking your life. Are there any other such thieves you have befriended? Let us know. Perhaps, we can discuss about them too.

Pre-published in Muslimahbloggers.

Click here for the list of other articles.

PRIME PROPERTY

Have you ever longed to visit some place? Do you crave to spend time relaxing in a peaceful resort? Where and how would you like your home to be? Let me share with you, what I desire. My college was in the outskirts of the city and I used to start early to avoid traffic. While most of the passengers used this trip to catch up on sleep, I used to struggle to remain awake to catch a glimpse of a 5-star hotel on the way! This hotel sat majestically along the highway. The cream color building had glossy blue-green windows which reflected the sun’s rays. In contrast to its walls, it was crowned with a red roof, studded with green flowing creepers. I hoped that someday, I would enter this building as a professional to present a seminar. I never did.

Instead, after my nikkah (marriage), I shifted to a city where every building had similar glowing windows. I myself ended up living in one such building! Most of the tall buildings here were entirely covered in flawless glass. The tall buildings besides corniche reflected a shimmering sea. The raised coastal bank had beautiful lawns and well-maintained colorful flowers surrounding date trees, laden with fruit. The walls of adjacent buildings were entirely made of glass. I wondered how nice it would be to see the garden from these fine buildings with see-through walls. I expressed my desire to shift there in the future and left my hubby worried. J With time, I saw more beautiful buildings and gardens…

Now, I aim for something much higher. The buildings I have seen are no match for what I desire. I have to work hard and save for it. Insha’Allah, I aim to attain it. Trust me, the deal is in my best interest and there couldn’t be a better place to reside. I am working towards that which is best for me. Are you interested in living in a place far better than anything you have seen or heard or dreamt of? Would you care to invest in it? Have you guessed where it is? I am speaking about a house in Jannah (paradise).

We are travelers sent here to earn for a place in heaven. This trip of life sure seems long and there is plenty to keep us distracted. Yet, the trip will surely come to an end. I just hope we are not of those who ended up wasting their lives in worldly pleasures with nothing left to save us from the Fire, a wretched place with people there requesting for one more chance to do good! Indeed I need to be greedy for my own sake. Let’s accumulate good before it’s too late. And let’s aim high for the One who provides us with everything, the One who is the Most Generous and the Most Merciful. Insha’Allah, we will be pampered in heaven in a way far better than the services of worldly hotels. Indeed, there are gardens flowing with rivers of milk and honey! Most of us struggle to build a home in this world. It’s more befitting that we do something to ensure that Allah (SWT) blesses us with a home in heaven too. Here are some lucrative offers to build a home which is far better than our heart’s desire!!

Contribute towards Building a Masjid

Umar bin Khattab said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah () say: “Whoever builds a mosque in which the Name of Allah is mentioned, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Money spent on this does not qualify as zakat as per the majority opinion of scholars (however, it must be noted that there is an opinion allowing this). Yet, it is an easy way to ensure a home in Jannah for us! Not everyone has enough to finance an entire masjid! Even limited contribution would prove to be a wise investment. The following hadith also shows that nothing is belittled by Allah (SWT). Alhamdulillah.

The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever builds a mosque for the sake of Allah, like a sparrow’s nest for Allah or even smaller, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Praying Nawaafil (Additional) Salah

Umm Habibah narrated that the Prophet () said: “If anyone prays in a day and a night twelve rak’ahs voluntarily (supererogatory prayer), a house will be built from him in Paradise on account of these (rak’ahs).” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

We work hard to earn extra in dunya. We are ready to sacrifice our free hours to save enough to purchase a better home here. Even our cars and clothes are custom designed. But, when it comes to salah we are satisfied with the bare minimum. Just 12 extra rakahs a day can serve as our savings for house in Jannah! A few extra nawaafil prayers at times of obligatory prayers could get us a custom designed home in Jannah. Allahu’akbar.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah () said: “Whoever persists in performing twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the ‘Isha’ and two Rak’ah before Fajr.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

 

Reciting Surat ul Ikhlaas

This is probably the easiest way to grab an abode in paradise. Reciting a surah which is equivalent to one-third of Quran has additional benefits.

The Prophet () said: “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allaahu ahad ten times, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer).

Insha’Allah incorporating this into our lives should be easy.  How about reciting this surah in addition to other surahs in every rakat?

 

Adopt Good Manners

 

Where would you like to reside? While booking a flat in a gated community, we would prefer higher floors of a building located in the center of the community (close to the park/pool). With a little self-control and better manners, we can acquire a home in the best regions of Jannah too!

 

Abu Umamah Al-Bahili (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said: “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.” (Abu Dawud)

This requires fighting our ego and pride, even when we think we are right. But even then, it’s a small prize when compared to the reward we get in return!

 

Additional Tip: Dhikr!

Would you like to fill your Jannah with plants and treasures? Who wouldn’t? Well, Dhikr serves this purpose:

Ibn Mas’ud (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said: “I met Ibrahim (ES) on the Night of Ascension (Al-Isra), and he said to me: ‘O Muhammad, convey my greetings to your Ummah, and tell them that Jannah has a vast plain of pure soil and sweet water. It is a plain levelled land. The plants grow there by uttering: Subhan-Allah, Al-hamdu lillah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar (Allah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allah; there is no true god except Allah; and Allah is Greatest).’” (At- Tirmidhi)

Jabir (RA) reported that The Prophet () said: “For him who says: ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bi hamdihi (Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him, and to Him),’ a palm-tree will be planted in Jannah.” (At- Tirmidhi)

Abu Musa (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said to me: “Shall I not guide you to a treasure from the treasures of Jannah?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” Thereupon he () said, “(Recite) ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah’ (There is no change of a condition nor power except by Allah).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Through dhikr after salah, we can be assured that our Jannah is being covered with lush gardens and marvelous treasures! If we can train our tongue to praise Allah more often, we can have exotic gardens laden with treasures waiting for us to explore! Ahhhh! I can’t think of a better holiday! And, this will last for eternity!

 

Indeed, my sins are many and my Rabb’s favors on me are countless and they surpass what little I do to please Him. There is no way I could earn Jannah because of what I do,  He is the Most Merciful and I plead to Him to save me from torment of Hellfire and enter me into Jannat-ul-Firdous. Do not lose hope of Allah’s mercy. Allah is generous even towards one who would enter heaven last!

Abdullah bin Mas’ud (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah () said, “I know of the last of the inhabitants of the Hell to be taken out from there and the last one to enter Jannah. He is a man who will come out of the Fire, crawling on all fours. Allah, the Rabb of glory and honour will say to him: ‘Go and enter Jannah.’ He will go to it and think that it is filled up. He will then come back and say: ‘O my Rabb, it is filled up.’ Allah will say to him: ‘Go and enter Jannah.’ He will again go to it and think that it is filled up. So he will turn back. Allah will again say: ‘Go and enter Jannah. For you have what is equal to ten times the world.’ He will say: ‘Are You making fun of me while You are the King?” At this I (i.e., the narrator) saw the Messenger of Allah () laugh till his premolars were visible and he said, “Such man will be the last dweller of Jannah in its lowest rank.”  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Subahan’Allah, Allah (SWT) will most certainly bless us with bounty beyond our wildest imagination in Jannah. So why should I long for trivial things on earth. Indeed, we should aim and work for that which is everlasting and most profitable. I hope you too are greedy to acquire a notable property in Jannah. Let us be patient here; let us open our heart to Allah – There is no speck of doubt that Allah is happy to hear our plea, and He is the only One who can satisfy our desires! But, don’t forget to get the right entry pass to Jannah. With wrong aqeedah, our dream of Jannah is nothing more than an illusion.  So stick to Tawheed!

Mu`âdh bin Jabal (RA) relates that the Prophet () said to him: “O Mu`âdh! Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Insha’Allah soon (if we remain righteous) in Heaven, we will enjoy the company of the righteous and praise Allah who took us into His mercy. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salâmun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” And they will say: “All the praises and thanks are to Allâh Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!”  

(Al Qur’an; Chapter 39: Verse 73-74)

I hope you are convinced that no sacrifice is too great when it comes to fetching an everlasting home in Jannah, where even a twig is better than the entire world! Still, the things I mentioned are nothing in comparision to the best blessing of Jannah. Yes, there is more! Insha Allah, we will get to see Allah (SWT) without any barrier. Subahan Allah. Let us work and pray for the best:

رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ

“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise.”

(Al Quran; Chapter 66: Verse 11)

Aameen.

Pre published in  Hidayahmagazine

A Scheme for Success

Significance of Ashura

Nothing is more pleasing to a farmer than his field at the time of the harvest. Now, he can enjoy fruits of his labor. But, he has to pay his debt first. He had incurred it for petty things. Now it sums up to a huge amount! Unwillingly, he has to pay the price for those little things with his hard earned rich harvest. No matter how hard he tries, he falls into the tarps of debt due to his weaknesses, haste and ignorance. Sometimes his harvest is poor. Yet, no mercy is shown to him when the debt is collected. Well, the creditors have their right too. Repayment is the right thing to do. Poor farmer could do nothing to save his harvest.

He learns of a scheme to save himself from a year’s debt. All he had to do is abstain himself from things which get him into debt for a couple of specified days! By doing this his debt will be forgiven. He has nothing to lose. It is not compulsory for him to participate in this scheme. If you are the farmer, would you participate in such a scheme? Who wouldn’t? This scheme is just too good to ignore. Only a fool would ignore it.

Interestingly, Success is called ‘Falah’ in Arabic. Falah also means Farmer! Aren’t we farmers cultivating Righteous deeds for Hereafter? In spite of our best efforts unknowingly and unintentionally we commit sins. These are our debts and we have to pay back with our good deeds. We have no idea how much debt we have incurred. Nor do we know, how much good we have accumulated. We could only get this answer on day judgement. Then it’s too late to save our deeds. What can we do?

Alhumdhlillah. Our Most Merciful creator also gives us chance to save our self from such debts! Well here is one appealing scheme-

Fasting on Arafat day
Fast on Ashura

Alhamdhulillah, we can save ourselves from minor sins by fasting this Ashoora (10th of Muharam). Yes, it is not compulsory to fast. I trust you are wise enough to make most of this opportunity. Our Merciful Creator is most Beneficent. Let’s not just stop there. Let’s follow sunnah (way of the prophet) and fast a day more! What could be a better way ensure our reward than to follow Sunnah?

Be different from Jews and Christians
Fasting on 9th of Muharram

Just two days of fasting is all it would take to save ourselves from minor sins of past year! Alhamdhulillah. Some of us might not be able to fast on these days. Do not be dishearten. Muharram is also the best month to accumulate good deeds by fasting. The entire month of Muharaam is most preferred month to fast voluntary fasts.

Signinficance of Muharram
Muharram- Best Month for voluntary fasts

Let us ensure that we fast our missed fard (compulsory fasts) in this month. Then, maybe we can fast some more. Let us make most of Allah’s generosity in this month. Let’s expiate our sins and increase our yield! May we be successful. Aameen.

Published in Muslimahbloggers

Please click here for the list of other articles.

BIDDING FAREWELL TO RAMADAN

Tackling nafs (our desires)

This Ramadan, I had a special challenge. It was helping my son who is nearly 7 years old fast! He attempted to fast on 21st of Ramadan. Keeping him distracted during hunger was my biggest task. Phew. I had decided if he wouldn’t get distracted, he could break his fast. He enjoyed listening to stories, painting and playing with his younger brother. Then he had a good nap. But last few minutes were the toughest part of the fast for him. Seeing the food arranged on the table, he didn’t want to wait for his meal. Thankfully, he understood he didn’t have to wait for long. He kept looking at his pancakes. You should have seen his smile on hearing the Azan.  Alhamdhulillah.  Do you think I should have just let him eat five minutes before Magrib athan? No way.

We grownups, unconsciously, behave just like kids. Well, even before Ramadan ends we start planning for Eid. Eid is the times for the family get together. So, we start worrying about home decorations and accessories for the clothes.  Don’t we have to look perfect on the day of celebration? Hence, we fix appointment at the parlor and pamper ourselves from head to toe. (Even if it includes acts of disobeying Allah!) Are these our main concerns these days? Are the last days of this month meant to be spent away from Quran in markets and spas? Having disciplined ourselves this month, is this how we would like to end this month?!

How will we spend our Eid?
self check:

By now, most of us could have completed the recitation of Quran. Some of us could have completed listening to brief explanation of Quran. Few others could have managed to memorize a chapter of considerable length from Quran. Alhamdhulillah.  Now that we have achieved our goal, we don’t know what we should do? Throughout this month we had raised early to pray. We had also kept away from our favorite TV channels. Now that we are ‘free’, we are tempted to know, what has happened in our favorite soap operas? We wonder, to which Eid Movie release we should book our ticket! Though shayateen are still locked we are incited by evil of our NAFS (desires within us). And, these last days is when we feel it most. At this rate, we are more likely to WELCOME SHAITAN BACK WITH A BANG ON THE DAY OF EID. Remember,

Fight temptations of nafs(soul/self) and continue ibadah(worship)
last actions!

How we bid Farewell to Ramadan could make difference between deeds being accepted or on not! How could we tackle our Nafs? What could we do now? Here are some of the tips:

RECHECK YOUR RAMADAN PLAN

The problem with us is, we had set our goals wrong. We could have completed reciting, pondering over tafser and/or memorizing a portion of Quran. But, don’t forget, why are we doing this? Our ultimate aim is – TO PLEASE ALLAH; TO ADOPT TAQWA; TO BE FORGIVEN.

Did we recite Quran just to boast that, “we completed reciting Quran so soon!” Hasn’t it touched us spiritually? After having toiled so hard to spend time with Quran, should we take a ‘U’ turn now?

We can start reciting Quran afresh. We don’t have to complete it in Ramadan. Enjoy the recitation and ponder upon the verses. Give special attention when verse addresses believers (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا). Ponder upon the beauty of the dua and the humble state of the prophet.

REMEMBER DEATH

Remember believing relatives and friends, who didn’t live to see this Ramadan. Can we be sure that we would live to see another Ramadan? If we still can’t overcome our temptations, how could we expect ourselves to utter “لا إله إلا الله ’ while facing whispers of Shaiteen at time of our death? Let us make most of this month while it lasts. Tonight, is 29thof Ramadan. That’s an odd night. May be, this is Lailatul Qadr. Probably this is the last night of this month. Don’t back up now, and give your best.  Make heart felt duas. Think of time of death and what follows it.

Study the state of soul after the death.
Seek refuge from being amidst wretched and hopeless.
And ask for every blessing that a believer’s soul is blessed with.

RECOLLECT YOUR PAST

Think about major incidents in your life.

Blessings: Praise and thank Allah for every blessing you could recollect. Pray for those who have been good to you.
Regrets: Ask forgiveness for every incident you errored. Pray that those whom we took for granted overlook our mistakes. Think of ways to win their heart and ask help from Him.
Afflictions: Request Allah to bless you with a heart which could forgive people who wronged you in ignorance. Don’t forget to say “إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ” when you remember a loss.

Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنها) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, "When a person suffers from a calamity and utters: إن لله وإنا إليه راجعون‏:‏ اللهم آجرني في مصيبتي، واخلف لي خيرا منها (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. O Allah! Compensate me in my affliction, recompense my loss and give me something better in exchange for it), then Allah surely compensates him with reward and better substitute."
Invocation at the time of distress/loss

REASSESS YOUR FUTURE

Unquestionably, what we would most miss about Ramadan is the closeness we feel to Allah. We should hold on to it. What deeds would you love to do even after Ramadan ends? Did helping needy please you? Our zakath is all paid but there are still many who need our help. There is no limit to Sadaqa. May be we can give a fixed amount every month in charity. We could recite small portion of quran every day. Is there anything you enjoyed doing in Ramadan? You can do it in rest of the year too!

With this renewed focus, we are most likely regret about the shortcomings in our fast. Yes, we could have done much more. Thankfully, Allah has blessed us with a solution – “ZAQATUL FITR”

Importance of Zakatul Fitr
Hadith about Zakatil Fitr

Ramadan would soon come to its end. But Our Allah’s mercy is still open; He loves to pardon. He would continue to descend to lowest heaven every night. Would we be there to answer His call?

Blue flowers
Seek Allah’s bounty with night prayers!

Are we indeed His blessed slaves (ABD- Allah)? Or, Are we just temporary slaves of Ramadan? Let us hold on to Taqwa by adopting few Ibada style changes. May Allah grant a good end to our affairs.

Aameen.

أَللّٰهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِىْ الْاُ مُوْرِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْىِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْاٰخِرَةِ
Good End!

Published in Muslimahbloggers.

Please click here for the list of other articles.

SERVING ‘AMAL’

Serving deeds. Good! go Ahead- Reconcile

Have you ever forgotten to serve the dish you cooked to your guests? Once, my host forgot to serve the soup they had cooked. They had used best ingredients and cooked it with lots of love. Yet, in the hustle, they had left the hot soup on a simmering pot! They remembered it only after we had eaten our dinner. No one wanted to taste the soup after a hefty dinner which included a rich dessert. We complimented the food and dinning arrangement. Yet, they were very disappointed for having not served the soup. The host kept repeating, “How could I have forgotten to serve the soup?” It was just one missed dish in a perfect dinner table! How will it be, that we learn in here after that our deeds won’t benefit us! How much would we regret?

Aren’t we excited to make the most of Ramadan? Have we done enough to meet Ramadan? Our houses are sparkling. Most of us would have stuffed our freezer and done Eid purchases to save time for Ibadah (Prayer). We have our zakath calculated. We also listened to motivating Islamic lectures. Oh! Our dua list is well preserved. Well, is this enough? Have you also sorted out children’s activities for Ramadan? Do you also have a Ramadan resolution? Barak Allahumma fih. :D. We might have missed a few things. Overall, we have PREPARED WELL. But, I am not speaking about this! Have you ensured that you would SERVE what you have PREPARED? Are we sure our good deeds would be presented before Allah? Are we too forgetting something important? What could keep our deeds left unchecked?

Gates of paradise opened on Monday and Thursday
Hadith -Wait until they reconcile

This hadith scares me. Is there any person whom you have been avoiding?  As per us, maybe such a person does not deserve our friendship/relationship. May be that person took us for granted. He or she could have abandoned us. So, why should we take the first step? I am afraid this hadith advices differently –

Continue reading SERVING ‘AMAL’

KILL THE ZOMBIE

backbiting is contagious

The aroma of biryani Abida had cooked overpowered the smell of room freshener. She inspects her flat one last time before she dresses up in one of her fine clothes. It was a special day. Her college friend was going to meet her for the first time since Abida had got married. Well, she hardly had any visitors she knew.  She wanted to impress her friend. “I hope Sadaf is not taken a back by the building’s location”, she thought.

As she waited she heard the phone ring. “Sadaf should be close by. May be she forgot the flat number.” Much to her disappointment, it wasn’t Sadaf. She hears nagging Rashma crying aloud, “Hallo Abida. You won’t believe what happened?” Abida knew now Rashma would treat her like a dump yard of emotions and there is nothing much she could do to console her. She replies politely, “Hi Rashma. Oh dear, no matter what it is don’t take it to your heart. I am sure things would turn around for better.” Amidst sob’s Rashma utters, “As usual my husband forgot all about me. He had…” Just then she heard a bell. Delighted to find a reason to escape Abida quickly interrupts, “I was expecting my friend. I have to attend her. I feel sad to leave you in your distress. I am sure your hubby will cheer you up. Bye” She cuts the call and rushes to the door.

The friends were glad to meet one another. Abida felt as though she was meeting her long lost sister! Abida did her best to make her friend feel like a queen! Sadaf and Abida spoke for hours about their days together on college. It was time for lunch. Sadaf was impressed by Abida’s culinary skills. “Abida, you could be a chef at a five star hotel. I just can’t have enough of the biriyani you cooked. You should share this recipe with me.” Abida gladly agrees. Sadaf wonders, “Abida I knew you couldn’t make tea and was happy to dress in casualwear. Now you have changed a lot. You look prettier in our silk robes and jewels. And the food you cook is divine. Your husband is a lucky man. Tell me the secret behind this transformation. Is it love?” Abida blushes and then replies honestly, “OH dear! Love is just a small part. Almost every weekend I have guests visiting us. We can’t afford to dine them out every week end. Inevitably I learnt to be a better host. So far I was only catering my hubby’s friends and family. You are the first person whom I had been acquainted with to come to my home. So, I was really eager to make this day special.”

The conversation seemed to change gloomy. Sadaf was too concerned about Abia’s tiring life. “It should have been tough catering to so many guests. A young couple needs to go out and have fun more often. You were pampered like no other girl at your parents’ home. I am sure your hubby should be helping you with the chores.” Abida opens her heart out, “The only help he does is to invite.” Sadaf gasps, “Oh my God! You should hate being treated as a servant.” Abida argues, “It’s not all that bad. You know I enjoy having company. I love having guests around. Well, until…” Abida wishes she hadn’t uttered more. It was too late. She recollected a heart breaking incident which occurred about a month ago. Sadaf urged her to continue, “Until what? Tell me. You would feel better.” Abida could not hold herself back, “well, one of hubby’s cousins had stayed over during holidays. We planned to go on a picnic next day. I had worked hard and took best care of the guest. Then I also cooked and packed for the picnic. I was last to sleep and first to wake up. I was very tired and fell asleep in the car. I could partly hear everything they spoke. My hubby called me lazy. He said I sleep all day. I hoped his cousin would defend me. Instead, he was feeling pity for my hubby. Would he do the same if his BIL said this about his sis. I came back and confronted my hubby? He was unapologetic.” With this Abida broke into tears. Sadaf handed her a tissue. She said, “That should have hurt a bit.” Abida snaps, “A bit? It felt as though he was tearing my clothes and was exposing me. Aren’t husband and wife meant to be like clothes to one another? Shouldn’t they protect, complement and save one another from evil. Now, I wonder what else had he been telling about me to his relatives. I strain so much to please him and what to do I get in return?”

They are your garments and Ye are their garments
Quran 2:187 Surah Al baqra 187

Sadaf starts a new chapter, “You had earlier told your hubby is very loving. Someone should have pushed him to turn like this. Is she your MIL?” “Oh no, she is such a darling. There are few differences in way we see things. That’s normal. Let’s speak about something else.” Sadaf agreed. She focused on Abida’s home. “Your house is well kept but it is not in prime location. What kind of neighbours do you have? The smell of fish on the way to your flat was hard to bear.”  Abida’s turns defensive again, “Well my hubby is saving to buy a better car. Once, he saves enough we will shift to a better location. Hey! That same neighbor also taught me to make biriyani. It’s not her fault that our kitchens face corridor.” Sadaf pities her, “It’s sad to see you adjust so much. How selfish of your hubby to leave you here so that he may enjoy luxuries. You should have been stern. If he doesn’t care for his newly wed wife, do you think he’ll care for you few years from now? Your parent always kept your preferences above theirs. It should be tough for you to live like this.” One thing led to other Abida was spilling beans out. When Sadaf left, she felt depressed and somehow oppressed. Lively home seemed devastated. Nothing seems right. She wonders why she ever married. The couple fought by evening and her young hubby went alone to meet his friends! She thought, “Now he’ll go and blabber everything to his friends.”

Things looked better again. Her hubby and she missed each other’s pleasant company. In no time, the conflict was pushed aside. She wonders why she ever fought with such a loving husband. A week later she receives call from her mom. Her mom was very upset. On questioning she reveals, “Does Ahmed take good care of you dear?” “He is very good to me.” “I know everything dear. You stay in a crappy place to save money. You work hard to please his guests and end up being called lazy. Your MIL and you have differences. And …” Abida is stunned to hear all this. She had only spoken to her friend about these things and they were not exactly said like this. She quickly comforts her mom, Continue reading KILL THE ZOMBIE