2013 in review

Another year has come to pass. Quick like always… though in a way seems like a long year when I look at all the things that happened round this year SubhanAllah! Though I have blogged way too less this year but alhumdulillah I feel glad and blessed to see people still visiting and benefiting mashaAllah from the previous posts that I have written or shared !

May Allah accept the good that has come out of this blog and forgive me if I have ever erred. Ameen.

Here is the WordPress.com stats prepared 2013 annual report for this blog:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

JazakaAllahu Khair to all my readers! <3

Objectives of Ramadan

Source: SuhaibWebb.com

Discussing the objectives of our actions is an important thing because to do so is to discuss the actions in a true and deep way. It is possible that if we do not know why we are doing certain things, we could miss the entire point behind the action itself. The Prophet ﷺ said about this concept, “Maybe a fasting person gains nothing from his fast except hunger and thirst. And maybe a person who prays in the night gains nothing from their prayer except staying up late.”1 So this is a person who does an action but gets no result from it.

This is because if someone does an action without knowing why they are doing it or what the objective behind it is, then it is possible that the action will be useless. This is because, as Imam al-Shāṭibī said, “Actions without objectives are like bodies without souls.” So in this article we will discuss some of the general objectives of fasting and Ramadan.

1. Attaining Taqwa

This is the major objective of fasting in Ramadan as clarified by the Qur’an. God said, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [muttaqūn].”2 Fasting also teaches a person how to have taqwā because while one is fasting they are careful about all kinds of things. They watch what comes out of their mouth, what they look at, and all that they do. As a result, the person learns how to have a certain level of restraint regarding their actions. This helps them build their taqwā by making them watchful over everything that they do. As to the definition of taqwā, the clearest way to understand it is through the definition that was provided by Abū Hurayra (ra). Someone came to him and asked, “What is taqwā?” He responded by asking the man if he has ever walked through a thorny road. He said, “Yes.” He asked, “What did you do?” He replied, “Whenever I saw thorns I would avoid them or adjust my clothes to keep them safe.” Abū Hurayra told him, “That’s taqwā.

2. Fasting is a Shield

The Prophet ﷺ said in an authentic hadith (narration) that “fasting is a shield.”3 Even the word shield in Arabic has the connotation of protection and this is one of the meanings of the word taqwā. The Prophet ﷺ also said, “O youth! Whosoever amongst you can afford to get married, let them get married. And whoever cannot afford to do so then they should fast because it will help him control his desires.”4 This protection that fasting gives cannot be accomplished by just reducing one’s food intake because it is the material and immaterial elements of fasting that aide one in controlling themselves. For this reason Imam al-Ṣanʿānī said about this, “It is for a secret that God put in fasting, so just reducing how much food you eat will not be enough.”

3. Fasting and Patience

Another thing that we should learn in Ramadan is to be patient with what we face in our daily lives. The Prophet ﷺ said in a hadith, “Fasting the month of patience, and three days of every month is equivalent to fasting the entire year.”5 In this hadith, the Prophet ﷺ refers to the month of Ramadan as the month of patience, emphasizing the importance of patience in this month.

It is also said that fasting is half of patience. This is because patience basically consists of staying away from bad deeds and persisting in good deeds. In the month of Ramadan, one of the major things that we seek to do is stay away from as many bad deeds as possible so that our fasting is half of patience.

4. Ramadan is the Month of Qur’an

In the month of Ramadan, we spend more time with the Qur’an than in any other part of the year. We spend time reading it by ourselves, we spend time studying it, we spend time listening to it during tarāwīḥ prayers, and so on. In this month, the revelation of the Qur’an began and a civilization of learning and knowledge was born.

5. A Month of Generosity

It is narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was the most generous of people and his most generous time was Ramadan. In doing this, the Prophet ﷺ was combining between a personal act of worship, like reading the Qur’an, and a social act of worship, charity. Thereby, he showed what it means to live a comprehensive existence as someone who worships God. In doing so, he shows that our responsibilities are not only limited to ourselves but also include those around us.

6. The Importance of Time

We also learn in Ramadan that time is one of the most important blessings that we have in our lives. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Two blessings, many people are at a loss regarding them: health and free time.”6 The major acts of worship in Islam are all related to specific times. We pay our zakāt at a particular time. We pray at specific times. We start fasting at a particular time, in a particular month, and we break our fast at a particular time. We go on ḥajj at a particular time. All of these specifications are meant to teach us, among other things, the importance of time. For this reason al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said, “O son of Adam! You are nothing but a compilation of breaths, so every time you inhale and exhale, a piece of you is lost.” The believer is strict with their time and the more a person’s faith increases, the more their observance of their time increases. The responsibilities we have are more than the time we have to carry them out, so we should try to be as strict with our time as possible.

These are just some of the objectives of fasting and Ramadan that we should seek to actualize. We can use these as a measuring stick for our month and see how we add up. If we look throughout and see that we are improving in these aspects then we should thank God for His bounties upon us, and if we find that we are not, then we should seek His forgiveness and grace and work harder.

May Allah accept from us all our good deeds in this month and forgive us for our shortcomings. Ameen.

Note: Most of the this article is taken from an article on the topic that was written by Shaykh al-Raysuni.

Source: SuhaibWebb.com

Fiqh of Ramadan [Sawm, Zakah & Eid]

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

The blessed month of Ramadan has arrived again, alhumdulillah. May Allah help us make this Ramadan the most beneficial one.

I have posted the Fiqh of Ramadan notes from “Learn Islam(Short Courses)“, short courses helping us gain Islamic knowledge run as a facebook page.

The Fiqh of Ramadan course consisted of Fiqh of Sawm(fasting), Fiqh of Zakah and Fiqh of eid, each of which I have published as a seperate page on the blog. You can find it on the top left hand corner under the ‘Fiqh’ title, inshaAllah or just use the following links to be re-directed to the page.

Fiqh Of Fasting
Fiqh of Zakah
Fiqh of Eid [ COMING SOON!!! - scheduled to be published on Aug 1, 2013 inshaAllah]

Have a blessed Ramadan, make the most of your time . May Allah make this Ramadan a means for us to grow spiritually and closer to Him. Ameen!

Ramadan Mubarak! :)

Ramadan_mubarak9

And you thought you were strong…

There are times Allah puts you into situations that make you feel in a way that you never thought you would. These are the times you realise how weak, how human and how helpless you are… You have no control over certain things… especially your Qalb – Your heart! You realise then that Allah is Al-Muqallib – Controller of Hearts and it is only through him that you find any strength that you do, everything you feel, everything you experience comes from Him. He put it there for some reason. It’s the contemplation in moments like these that you understand again the necessity of your heart to be with Him, to depend on Him alone and ask of Him alone. Because alone you are nothing, and through Him you gain everything.

You thought you were strong,
You thought you’d now act grown up
You thought you had unshaken faith
You thought you would never feel anxious again
You thought you’d never wait!

You were wrong
You were wrong
You were wrong!

You still wait
You still get anxious Continue reading

Thank You very much, but I so dont wish to know!

The Prophet (pbuh) defined backbiting when he said:  “Do you know what is meant by backbiting?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To say something about your brother which he dislikes.” One asked, “Even if what I say is true about my brother?” He replied, “If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn’t have what you say, then you have committed slander against him.”
(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)

“…Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?
You would hate it [so hate backbiting]” (Surah Hujurat, 49:12)

In life, the lessons learnt in one phase can be a big help when facing other trials of dunya. Sometimes I tell myself that may be Allah subhanahu wa ‘taala taught me all those lessons in order to help me through some future events of my life. You never know, right?

A friend had once advised me that when you know being in a certain place, seeing a certain someone, or talking to certain people is going to effect you in a negative manner then DON’T do it! No matter how much you want to be a part of that particular get-together, DO NOT go! No matter how much you want to Continue reading

Holiday Time – Six Types of Halal Fun You Can Have with your Family

Originally published on http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2013/01/holiday-time-six-types-of-halal-fun-you.html

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

holiday time

It is holiday time!!! Be it Christmas vacation, summer break or as small as the weekends off, we all love holidays, do we not?! It is those precious few days we get to relax and get away from the everyday hustle-bustle as a student, an employee or a head of a company. The best part about holidays is the time we get to spend with our families. But with the advent of technology and gadgets, we are losing out on those golden hours that should be spent with our family! Holiday time has now become a boon for surfing the net for long hours, watching soccer matches or playing the new PS3 game; in other words, more time to be a couch potato.

Today, holiday time is when kids get crankier because they are “SO bored” at home, so they keep cribbing for what seems like forever asking their parents to take them out, everyday! So what can be done about this: “I have no time for family time.”? What can we do to have some fun, yet utilize our time productively and rekindle the “family-time” spirit again? The cherry on the cake would definitely be learning something new about Islam every day, would it not?

Here are six ways to help you do exactly that –

1. Develop hobbies together
Be it parents with their kids or spouses with one another,  explore new hobbies or an area of interest that both of you would love to do together. It could be gardening, hosting a charity or playing your favourite sport. The possibilities are vast! Find that one hobby which suits you best. This will help you spend time together while having some fun too, inshaAllah.

2. Family Story Time
I know teens dread when their parents start with “You know when I was young this, this and this happened.” But believe me the moment you stop thinking of it as a rant and more as a story, it is bliss! Plus, it really is interesting to know about your parents’ childhood, the things they did… how the culture was back then, what they filled their days doing, their parents, their relatives, their siblings and there is also the story of how they got married! :D Moreover, I also realize that much of why my parents do certain things the way they do was linked to some incident in their life that taught them a lesson which they do not want me to repeat! Realizations like these in turn help us to understand them much better, Alhumdulillah!

3. Islamic Story Time
If you have little kids or even otherwise, there could be no story better than the stories from the Quran and those from Islamic history that you could tell them. Buy books, browse them on the net and either discuss them together or read it once and narrate it to them in a story telling fashion.

4. Learning the Fun Way
You are relaxed, no work, no studies to do! But let us not forget that now is the best time to learn more about Islam too. One way to make learning fun is by twisting fun family games in a way that by the end, you have learned something too! For example, ever played Jenga? It is that game in which you build a tower using small rectangular cubes. Next, each person carefully removes one cube at a time making sure that the tower does not collapse. The Islamic learning twist here could be that whoever makes the tower fall needs to answer either a quiz question (you could have quiz cards made in advance) or he or she narrates a hadith that they have learned and share their reflections about it.

5. Read Quran Together
Block out a time of the day to sit and read the Quran. One person could read one verse each with its meaning, or in any way you would like to do it. But whichever way you decide, make sure everyone is involved and listening attentively. One website to consider using for reading the translation of the Quran in a way that is appealing to kids is the blog – “Teaching Kids the Holy Quran”. The brother who runs this website uploads visuals for each verse which makes it fascinating and intriguing at the same time.

6. Outdoor Fun
Go out together on short trips or on one day picnics. Choose places that are more nature oriented, that way you not only enjoy fresh air that is soothing to your lungs but also get the opportunity to reflect on the Creation of Allah subhaanahuwa ta’aala.

Holidays are the only time you get complete 24 hours to bond with your family; do not waste these days by sleeping all day long or indulging in technology ignoring the people around you. Make the best of every moment by spending quality time with people you care about and those who care about you!