Friday Khutbah (02 May 2008): Hasten To Do Good

Friday Khutbah (02 May 2008): Hasten To Do Good
– by Imam Al-Madinah Al-Munawarrah Sheikh ?Alee al Hudaify
from the Prophet?s Mosque in Madinah, on Rabee ath Thaani 26, 1429

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah. We praise Allah, and seek His help and guidance. We turn to Him in repentance and we put all our affairs in His hands. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the evil of our bad deeds. Indeed, whoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whomever Allah allows to fall astray, there is none who can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the one true God who has no partner. I also testify that Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is Allah?s servant and messenger. Oh Allah, send your abundant peace and blessing upon your servant and prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam), his family, his companions, and whoever follows his guidance until the last day.

Oh servants of Allah, fear Allah so that you please Him. It is the fear of Allah that purifies hearts and souls and causes you to succeed in the hereafter. Allah says

“…And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine… whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him… and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him his sins, and will enlarge his reward.”
— [Surah Talaaq : Ayaah 2-5]

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30 Common Mistakes During Ramadaan

Common Mistakes During Ramadan
Common Mistakes During Ramadan

By Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril (May Allah hasten his release)

Bismillah Wasalatu wasalam A’la Rasulillah. Ama Ba’ad

Common Mistakes During Ramadan:

  1. Focusing on food; to the extent that people begin to worry about eating more then actually fasting. This also goes along with spending tons of money on Iftars even though a person does not need to eat that much food.
  2. Making Suhr way before Fajr. Some people eat Suhr a few hours after Tarawih or Isha Salah, this is wrong. It should be eaten closer to the time of Fajr.
  3. People don’t make Niyyah [intentions] to fast for Ramadhan. This is something in the heart and does not need to be verbal. Also it only needs to be done once, at the beginning of Ramadhan and not every single day.
  4. If you find out late that Ramadhan started, you should stop eating and fast for that day, making that day up after Ramadhan/Eid ends.
  5. Many people don’t think you pray Tarawih on the first night of Ramadhan. They believe you pray it after the first day you actually fast. They forget that the Islamic calendar runs on the moon, maghrib is the start of the new day.
  6. Many people believe if you eat or drink on accident this breaks your fast. This is false, if you do this on accident then you continue fasting and do not need to make up the day.
  7. Some people take the opinion that if they see someone eating or drinking they should not remind the person that he/she is fasting. According to Shaykh Bin Baz [ra], this is incorrect and it is an order from Allah for us to ordain the good and forbid the evil. Thus we tell the person, because we are forbidding the evil this way.
  8. Many sisters believe they cannot use Hennah while fasting. This is incorrect, they are allowed to use it during Ramadhan.
  9. Some people believe when you are cooking you cannot taste the food to see if it has the right spices/flavors. This is false, and allowed in Islam as long as the person cooking is not eating the food. Rather they can taste it to see if it needs salt, or more spices.
  10. Many people think you cannot use a Miswak or toothbrush during Ramadhan. This is false, for the Prophet [saw] used to use a miswak during Ramadhan. Also you CAN use toothpaste; the reasoning by the scholars is that the Miswak has flavor, thus toothpaste is okay to use [if you are not eating it].
  11. Some people make the Fajr Adhan early. They do this so people will stop eating before Fajr and not invalidate their fast. This is wrong and something we should not do.
  12. Some people make the Maghrib Adhan late. They do this so people will start eating late, just incase Maghrib has not come in yet. This too is wrong and we should not do this.
  13. Many many people believe you cannot have intercourse with your spouse during the whole month of Ramadhan. This is false, you cannot do this only during the times when you are fasting. Between Maghrib and Fajr it is permissible to do.
  14. Many women believe that if their period has just ended and they did not make Ghusl, they cannot fast that day [considering their period ended at night, and they went to bed without Ghusl, waking up without having a chance to make it]. This is incorrect, if a women has not made Ghusl she can still fast.
  15. Many men believe that if he has had intercourse with his wife and did not make Ghusl [similar to the above] then he cannot fast the next morning. This is also incorrect, for he can fast even if he has not made Ghusl.
  16. Some people pray Dhur and Asr prayers together during Ramadhan. (mainly in Arab countries) This is incorrect and should be avoided.
  17. Some people believe you cannot eat until the Muadhthin is done calling the Maghrib Adthan. This is incorrect, as soon as he starts a person can break their fast.
  18. Many people don’t take advantage of making D?ua before they break their fast. This is one of the three times when Allah accepts a person D?ua.
  19. Many people make the mistake of spending the later part of Ramadhan preparing for ?Id, neglecting Ramadhan. This is incorrect and these people lose the concept of what Ramadhan is about.
  20. Many parents do not let their children fast during Ramadhan [young children]. This is something counter productive to a child. By allowing him to fast he will grow up to know he must do this act.
  21. Many people think Ramadhan is just about not eating and forget about controlling their tempers and watching what they say. In actuality we are supposed to control our tempers and mouths even more during Ramadhan.
  22. People often waste their time during Ramadhan. They go to sleep during the day and get nothing done. We should be taking advantage of this blessed month by doing extra Ibadat.
  23. Some people don’t go on trips or travel during Ramadhan. They think they have to break their fast when traveling. This is actually optional, if you want to break your fast while traveling you can [with making it up later], and if you don’t you can continue fasting.
  24. Many people who are able don’t make I?tikaf at the masjid. We should take advantage of our good health and spend lots of time at the Masjid, especially the last 10 days of Ramadhan.
  25. Some people believe they cannot cut their hair or nails during Ramadhan. This is also false.
  26. Some people say you cannot swallow your spit during Ramadhan. This too is false. However you cannot swallow mucus that has entered your mouth.
  27. Some people say you cannot use scented oils or perfumes during Ramadhan. This too is false.
  28. Some people believe bleeding breaks the fast. This is not true.
  29. Some people believe if you throw up on accident it breaks your fast. This is not true, however if you do it intentionally it does.
  30. Some people think you cannot put water in your nose and mouth during wudhu in Ramadhan. This too is incorrect.
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Five ways to make this Ramadan extraordinary

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

My dear friends and students,

Welcome to our long-lost friend: Ramadan. How we have missed the days of self-restraint and the nights of mercy and delight! After eleven months of sinning, we now have the opportunity to avail ourselves of a month of mercy and forgiveness. For those whose duas have not been answered, the month of answered duas has arrived. For those who have drifted away from the soothing night prayer, or who have never achieved it, the month of the blessed taraweeh has arrived. Welcome to our Lord?s mercy: the month of Ramadan. No doubt each and every one of us approaches Ramadan with a special excitement. Alas for many of us, however: the excitement is met with fear and dread instead.

Will this Ramadan be like the previous ones where I failed to truly take full advantage and mend my ways?

Will this Ramadan only demonstrate to me how far away from Allah I truly am?

Will it be yet another month that passes by without my taking full advantage of it?

If you are feeling this way, know that you are not alone. Many of us feel this way and do not know how to tackle it. As a result, the fear and dread are enough for us to avoid setting new goals and higher aspirations for this month. As a result, we find ourselves at the end of the month in the situation of having failed to benefit from this opportunity and languishing in sorrow at the thought that we will never improve.

I too used to get these whispers and thoughts in my mind. However, I overcame these thoughts with the help of Allah. Here are five things that I have done to tackle these “Ramadan blues”. Let me share them with you; perhaps the suggestions may benefit you, and help you to overlook the past and focus on the future.

1) Good thoughts about Allah: I remind myself that my Lord is most Generous and Kind. He loves me sincerely. The proof is that even when I disobey Him He still provides for me. That is why He is giving me yet another Ramadan: yet another opportunity to get closer to Him again. He loves to forgive, and His best friends are those who seek His forgiveness the most. He has brought me to another Ramadan so that I can have yet another chance at Laylatul Qadr, and yet another chance to make my duas accepted at the time of iftar, and yet another chance to do Hajj with Rasul-Allah (sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam) by doing umrah in this month. He has brought me to Ramadan to sooth the sorrows in my heart with His remembrance, and for me to be reminded of the nights in my grave by the solitude of i?tikaaf: by seeing how it feels to be alone with Him in the mosque. He wants me to lighten the load on my mind, so that is why He has given me the month of the Qur?an: so that I can relive the amazing Word of my Rabb (Lord and Master). The salaf (pious predecessors) would beg Allah for another opportunity for Ramadan, so how fortunate I am that He has given me this chance once again. How fortunate I am that He has given me the chance to know when this month is, so that I can take advantage of it. How fortunate I am that He has given me the yearning in my heart to meet my Lord in this month – and I know that the one who loves to meet His Lord, Allah subhaanahu wa ta?ala also loves to meet him.

2) Forget the past and focus on the future: I remind myself that past deeds are just that: a matter of the past. I live for the future, not the past. The past will be forgiven insha?Allah if I can mend the future. My concern should be the next deed that I do, because Allah loves to forgive; so I can have every confidence that He will forgive the past because I have nothing but regret for my past sins. The most important consideration for me is what sort of amends I make now. I remind myself of what Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahu-Allah) said in his Nooniyyah:

By Allah I am not afraid of my past sins,
For indeed they are upon the path of repentance and forgiveness;
Rather my real concern is that [in the next deed] this heart
Might cease to act upon revelation and upon the noble Qur?an.

3) Evaluate previous attempts in order to plan a strategy to make it work this time: I remember that it is illogical to think that my future chances of success are a reflection of my failures in the past. My past inabilities only show me what to do better this time so that I can increase my chances this time around. So if I tried to pray taraweeh every night but failed, I should look back at what happened in order to learn lessons from those failures. Was it that the Imam?s recitation was not good? If so, then let me try to find a mosque to go to whose Imam recites better. If I failed to complete reciting the whole Qur?an last year, let me look at why that was the case and how I can change it. Can I put up reminders to read the Qur?an, or shall I buy a few more copies of the Qur?an and put them in more convenient places, such as one in my car, another in my briefcase and another on my table, so that I have a mushaf always on hand? If I missed getting up for fajr last Ramadan, why did it happen and how can I change it? Perhaps I should buy more alarm clocks, so let me go to the store right now. Perhaps I should SMS my friends to start a fajr prayer-calling group so that each day one of us is responsible for waking the others up. Perhaps I should make my suhur my heaviest meal so that my body feels hungry at suhur-time and so I get up more easily.

4) Reward, challenge and penalise myself: I can plan and prepare to reward myself if I finish this Ramadan satisfactorily. So I tell myself that if I can make myself pray all my prayers at the earliest time this Ramadan and recite the Qur?an five times this month, then I will buy myself a new laptop; if I can recite it ten times then I will go away with my family for a holiday, or some other significant reward that I know I would definitely like to treat myself with. I warn myself that if I fail to at least recite the Qur?an five times in this month, then I will donate a thousand dollars to charity. I remind myself that even Allah?s Messenger sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam used to give worldly rewards to those who excelled in battle: e.g. half the war-booty from the raids to the Muslim knights who had taken part in the raid; he (saw) would consider it a great sin upon the one who fails to join the obligatory battle. In the same spirit of reward, challenge and penalty, I would do this for my children and my wife as well by helping them with a reward if they do something extraordinary this month, and a penalty if they did not even do the minimum extra level. In this way I can give them an added incentive to do good in this limited time of Ramadan. I remind myself that ultimately we must do it for Allah and never for a physical prize, but associating an emotional desire with an action and fear of a punishment at the non-performance of it will cause that action to be foremost in the subconscious part of my mind. I remind myself that the worst thing about not making this Ramadan special is going to be something worse than the penalty I have stipulated. It will be the disappointment of a Ramadan wasted, and the risk of Allah?s wrath.

5) Create peer-pressure and responsibility: I remind myself that if I make my friends and family aware of some of my goals, then they might help me. So I share some of my goals with them, ensuring that I am doing it to engage their help in performing it, not in a spirit of boasting. I hope that this will give me added support and encouragement to ensure that they help me in achieving the good things I have set out to do. If they do not help, at the very least they should not mind when I excuse myself from their service or company in order to spend some time on working towards my goal.

I hope that some or all of these things will help you to look upon this Ramadan with a fresh outlook. Make lots of dua to Allah that this Ramadan will be special for you, for your family, and for the Ummah of our beloved sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam. I am interested in hearing from you if you have other things that you do to focus positively at the advent of another Ramadan.

Jazaakumullahulkhair and my duas for you and your family for a fantastic and blessed Ramadan, insha?Allah;

wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Tawfique Chowdhury
Director General
AlKauthar Institute and Mercy Mission World

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Friday Khutbah (31 July 2009): Ways of obtaining baraqa – blessings in our lives

Friday Khutbah (31 July 2009/8th Shaban 1430) Makkah Friday Khutbah, Saudi Arabia, English translation

Ways of obtaining baraqa – blessings in our lives

Sermon given by Sheikh Shuraim

All praise is due to Allah the great, the might. We praise him for the blessings and we also praise him whilst in trial and tribulations. And I bear witness that no one has the right to be worshipped except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the leader of the pious and the master of those who came before us and those who come towards the end. May the peace and blessings be upon the prophet salAllahu alaihi wa sallam. And may the peace and blessing be also on the companions and those who followed them until the day of resurrection.

Indeed, to proceed, the advice that I would like to give to everybody including myself is to fear Allah Subhanau wa ta?ala. As Allah says, fear Allah and indeed He will teach you, and He is aware of all affairs. Indeed, we live in a time in which our civilisation has attained and developed in different spheres of life. These types of developments are unprecedented, which we haven?t seen in previous nations and previous civilisations. We find that we have a higher degree of worship whether it be related to life or technology. We see this advancement.

So we live in this contemporary life which really surprises and astonishes us. Despite all of these advancements, we see in society, we find that these advancements in our society, they do not guarantee happiness in the way we have seen people attain happiness in the past. And this is all due to the absence of a matter which is extremely important. And without this particular thing, there is no meaning to life. And we ask ourselves, what is this important thing , without which you can not attain happiness in life. It is indeed, Oh Servants of Allah, it is attaining baraqa ? benefit ? blessings in our life. There is no person who has a steadfast life and he does not receive blessings. And what is the benefit of time if it has no blessing in it? What is the benefit of knowledge if it has no blessing in it? And what is the benefit of having food that has no blessings in it?

So blessings is not just about attaining great amounts of wealth, rather it is a value which Allah Subhanau wa ta?ala has given to particular deeds. Rather it is a blessing which leads to tranquility in the soul and also to be content ed. These are the signs of baraqa. And likewise for a person to continue and remain good health, these are the effects of Allah?s baraqa in a person?s life. And so if you were to assume life to be like a tree, then the water that goes to the tree, this is the baraqa. The baraqa is the water which gives life to the tree and this baraqa is that which gives life to the soul itself. and by this baraqa, a person is able to live in a small hut, to him, it will be like a palace.

If a person does not understand baraqa and does not receive baraqa, if he was to live in a palace, then to him it would be like living in a prison. And this is the result of even attaining this blessing in life or being prevented from attaining it. So baraqa essentially is that which gives an increase in good, so for example a person wants to have blessings in his life then that would tell a person has long blood. this blessing could also occur in a persons wealth, that would mean that a person attains a sufficient amount of wealth until he dies and Allah makes his wealth go a long way. A person could be blessed in his food as well and the blessing in this food is that it fills a persons stomach even though it might be a small amount and likewise, a blessing in knowledge, the blessing in knowledge is that it leads to beneficial deeds. These are the effects of baraqa.

However, we live in a time where we suffer from lack of baraqa, and we live in a time where people really suffer in all aspects of life from the lack of baraqa from Allah Subhanau wa ta?ala. So people think that in reality, blessings is all about attaining great amounts o wealth and many children but you will find that there are many people with great amounts of wealth yet you find they have no blessings in their wealth. You find they earn hundreds of thousands of pounds yet you find that it does not benefit them and they lose their money quickly. People have many children yet you find there is no baraqa in their children.

We find, for example, in the developed world, they give loans to these developing and poorer countries. And they impose these loans on them, which incur interest. And in fact you find that these loans that these people take on, they do not benefit them. Rather it creates more hardship on the people. and so these countries and these poor nations that take these debts upon themselves, they sell their own products to the creditor. And they end up losing out on the benefit. It is as if the creditor is strangling the debtor. So what baraqa ? blessing is this? This is a result of involving yourself in these transactions. It is just like a person who keeps drinking salty water, ever time he gets thirsty, he tries to drink it more but in reality, he becomes more thirsty.

However, if you were to compare the era that we live in today to the era of the Prophet salAllahu alahi wa sallam and his companions, you will find a stark difference in baraqa. So for example, you will find that the Prophet sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam, he would find a great deal of blessings in just a small peice of bread that would suffice for him and all of his companions.

For example we see the companion, Uthman ibn A?afaan, Allah blessed his wealth and by his wealth, he was able to provide and sustain a whole army. And likewise we have the axample of zubair ibn Awaam, when he was on his death bed, he advised his son to pay back his debt. His debt reached one million and two thousand dinar, so he was in a great amount of debt. So in paying back the debt, he said that if you are unable to pay back the debt then seek help in my freed slave and he will help you. There was a peice of land he had which grew date palm trees and so his son was able to use this land and cultivate it and therefore the value of this land reached great amounts. In fact it reached millions of dinars and he was able to pay back his debt and he also left behind four wives and he was also able to give each wife a million dinar. So look at how baraqa occurs.

And likewise, it was reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, that the time of bani kudaiba, in the time of Imam Ahmad, that they found a piece of wheat and it was so large that it was written on it that this was grown in the time of blessings ? baraqa. So when we have this baraqa, it has an effect on our food and the way that it grows. And we find other examples of earlier generations where they would find for example camel loads of grapes and this was something very rare to find in Arabia . So these are examples of the previous generations and how much they attained great amounts of baraqa.

And this is SubhanaAllah, despite the advanced technologically in other areas of life. The Prophet Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wa sallam mentioned in Sahih Muslim that the Day of Judgement will not return until the land of the Arabian Peninsular will become green and lush again as it was before. And it is reported that a time will come when just a small fruit will be enough for a few people and a small piece of flesh of a camel will be enough to feed groups of people and this is a sign that we will have this baraqa. Though we have to ask ourselves two important questions: How do you attain this baraqa? and you need to think; Are we doing these things that will entail the securing of these blessings. And at the same time we have to ask ourselves; What are the things that prevent the baraqa from befalling upon us. And as Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says, indicating this, that if the people of the town had truly believed, then we would have sent rain in multitude gushing forth upon them.

2ND KHUTBA

All praise is due to Allah and may the peace and blessings be upon the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wa sallam. The person who wishes to attain the blessings in his life, then he must observe and be aware of those things which bring about these blessings. It is, if a person contemplates, he will find that he will be able to find the blessings in life by completing the following things. Firstly, by believing in Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala, and believing in his messenger and adhering to the law of Allah and his messenger. As Allah says and indeed if the people of the past had believed, then indeed we would have sent down the blessings from the skies. Secondly, a person has to be grateful towards Allah, for his blessings. As Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says, then indeed, if you were to be grateful to Allah, he will increase your blessings, but if you deny my favours then indeed my punishment is severe. And as the Messenger salAllhu alaihi wa sallam said, whatever blessings Allah sends down from the skies you will find a group of people denying this blessing.

The third cause of attaining benefit is having a halal source of income. As Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says he obliterates usury but he makes charity grow. And the fourth cause of obtaining benefit is by staying away from israaf ? extravagance in spending lavishly. As Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says, indeed those who spend lavishly and extravagantly, they are the brothers of the devils. And thus they will not be able to attain any baraqa. And that is why the prophet salAllahu alaihi wa sallam said, the best of women for marriage are those who are the easiest in terms of expenditure.

And likewise, another cause is by being truthful and straight as well. As the Messenger salAllahu alahi wa sallam said two people who are involved in a transaction they will have a choice to go back on their deal as long as they do not separate, if they are truthful then indeed they will be blessed in their trade.

And also from the other causes of attaining baraqa is a person, he engages in supplicating the Lord and invoking the Lord, making du?ah to Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala as we saw in the case of Zubair ibn Awaam before as well. And likewise another important reason for obtaining baraqa is by having contentment and being satisfied with what Allah has given us. And as Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says indeed he will give you a happy life. A happy life as many scholars say, is to be satisfied and have contentment with what Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala has given you. And these are the means by which we can obtain baraqa in our lives.

Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala says, oh you who believe, send your salat and salam upon the messenger salAllahu alaihi wa sallam. The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wa sallam said, who ever sends one greeting upon me, Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala sends ten greetings upon him. And may Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala also send greetings upon the four rightly guided khulafa, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali and upon the rest of his companions. And likewise the successors and those who followed them until the day of resurrection. Oh Allah, give victory to Islam and to the Muslims, Oh Allah give victory to your book and to your Sunnah. Oh Allah, relieve the distresses of the believers and cure the ill. Oh Allah, give us peace and security in our lands, and rectify the affairs of our rulers and make the rulers those who fear Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala. Oh Allah, give the ability to fear you to our rulers. Oh Allah what ever there is of good then please grant it to us, even that which we are unaware of in terms of good then give it to us as well. Oh Allah, give us the good of this world and the good of the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the fire. And all praise id due to Allah Subhanahu wa ta?ala.

Written by UmmYumyum www.quidsin.wordpress.com from the translation (name unknown) ? Islam Channel. If you know the name of the brother who translated this Khutbah, please let me know.

All that is true and correct is from Allah, anything of error is from me and shaytaan.

source: http://quidsin.wordpress.com/

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Friday Khutbah (07 August 2009): Transcript: Ramadan: The month of Quran by Imam Al-Haramain Sa?ud ash-Shuraim

Friday Khutbah (07 August 2009): Transcript: Ramadan: The month of Quran by Imam Al-Haramain Sa?ud ash-Shuraim

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! I implore myself and you all to fear Allah; this honours the soul and brings it close to its Lord. No God-fearing person will ever fail and anyone who disregards the importance of piety will never be successful.

Dear Muslims! Whoever observes the condition of people in light of the current trials, tribulations and calamities that are occurring all over the world will see that the Muslims are in dire need of a generous guest that brings with it relief and progress. They are in need of this grand guest with whom they hope to be strengthened after a series of indescribable calamities and weakening incidents; hence their need for this great month of tranquility and spiritual development. It is the month of self-examination, conscience reawakening and freedom from selfishness and lustful desires. Allah says that which translates as:

?O you who have believed! Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous.?
—  (Surah Al Baqarah 2:183)

Fellow Muslims! The month of Ramadan is the month of the Quran; a Book whose light will never fade and which is a path that never leads one astray. The Glorious Quran is to man as the soul is to the body; it is a light for guidance. Whoever does not read the Quran or put its injunctions into practice is dead, despite the fact that they may speak and move. Whoever does not put it into practice has gone far astray even if they are apparently successful in all areas of life. Allah says that which translates as:

?Is one who is dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom??
— (Surah Al An?am 6:122)

A human being without the guidance of the Quran is like any living being without air or water; all their endeavors will end up in bankruptcy. Allah says that which translates as:

?Say: ?It is for those who believe, a guidance and a cure? And those who do not believe ? in their ears is deafness, and it (i.e. the Quran) is upon them blindness. Those are being called from a distant place.?
— (Surah Fussilat 41:44)

Fellow Muslims! There is no doubt that the relationship of many Muslims with the Quran is one of abandonment of either its recitation or implementation of its injunctions. It is no exaggeration to say that the diseases of past nations have affected the Muslims, while they are unaware of this. Allah says that which translates as:

?And there are among them unlettered people who do not know not the Scripture except (indulgement in) wishful thinking, but they are only assuming.?
— (Surah Al Baqarah 2:78)

The scholars of Tafsir say about this verse: ?It means: they know nothing about the Book except for its recitation, for it never passed their lungs and throats. This is because of the fact that there was a spiritual absence in their recitation and therefore, they were unable to ponder over its meanings?.

Among the causes of the absence of reflection on the meanings of the Quran is the failure to explore and understand the laws of Allah in relation to human-beings and natural phenomena. Also to blame is the sanctification of erroneous concepts and wrong interpretations of life that have become widespread among people and which are caused by unrestrained love for this world and the hatred of death. Ziyad Ibn Labid Al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam mentioned something and then said:

?? and that is when there will be no more knowledge.? We said, ?O Messenger of Allah! How will knowledge disappear while we have the Quran with us and we teach it to our children and while they will also teach it to theirs?? The Prophet sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam retorted: ?I thought you were one of the most knowledgeable of the people of Madinah! Are there not Jews and Christians who have their scriptures with them and yet they take no benefit from what is inside them??
— (At-Tirmidhi and others)

One is stricken with grief and shock when they see the stance that many Muslims have adopted with regard to the Book of their Lord. They have been covered by darkness and wander aimlessly; the foreign systems and ideologies that they have embraced have done nothing for them. How can it be that we have the light and yet follow the paths of other nations?

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam lived for sixty-three years; we are used to believing that old age and the vicissitudes of life cause hair to turn grey. What then will you think of a man who attributed grey hair to some verses of the glorious Quran that he used to recite? Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam about what caused some of his beard to become grey, he sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam replied: ?It was caused by Surah Hud, Surah Al-Waqi?ah, Surah An-Naba? and Surah At-Takwir.?
— (At-Tirmidhi)

Brothers in faith! The blessed month of Ramadan should be regarded as a wonderful opportunity for every Muslim to save himself from destruction and to purify their soul in preparation for the Quranic guidance that is inherent in night prayer. Allah says that which translates as:

?Indeed, the hours of the night (i.e. the rising for Tahajjud prayer) are more effective for concurrence (of heart and tongue) and more suitable for words (i.e. for recitation of the Quran and for hearing and understanding it).?
— (Surah Al Muzzammil 73:6)

Brothers in faith! The blessed month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for the Muslims to wake up for night prayers, seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him for their needs, for none has the power to answer their call except Allah alone. The Lord descends to the nearest heaven, in a way that befits his majesty, in the last third of the night and asks: ?Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness so that I can forgive him?? Do any of us ever reflect upon and appreciate this great period which is one of those in which supplications are answered? Tell me, what are the people doing in this last part of the night? Many a miserable soul missed this blessed period! Many people are in deep slumber at this time. It is saddening that some of those who are negligent of this great period are however, ready to go anywhere where they can lodge their complaints and seek solutions to their problems ? from their fellow human beings, forgetting that it is only Allah who is capable of removing sorrow and distress. He says that which translates as:

?What is (the matter) with you that you do not attribute to Allah (due) grandeur while He has created you in stages??
— (Surah Nuh 71:13-14)

Imam Tirmidhi reported that the Prophet of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam said:

?There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allah will say, ?By My Glory! I shall assist you even if it is after a while.??

Brothers in faith! There are however, some people who raise their hands in prayer and are impatient for a rapid answer; they may even feel despair if their supplications are not speedily answered. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam said:

?Allah will answer the supplication of any one of you as long as he is not hasty and says: ?I called my Lord and He did not answer.??

The delay may also be caused by sins such as the failure to uphold the rights of kinship, or perhaps it may be due to the fact that the prayer emanated only from the tongue and was not rooted in the heart. The Prophet sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam said: ?Allah does not accept the supplications from an inattentive heart.? The heart is not free from turning to the desires of this life and we all know that one who always looks back does not reach his goal in time.

Therefore, I implore you O Muslims, to make plentiful supplications to Allah, for supplication is the essence of worship. Let nobody slight their requirements however great or small they may be. Allah says that which translates as:

?And your Lord says: ?Call upon Me; I will respond to you.? Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell (rendered) contemptible.?
— (Surah Ghafir 40:60)

Here is an example for those in sorrow and distress: The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam entered the mosque one day and saw an Ansari (a resident of Madinah) man there by the name of Abu Umamah. The Prophet sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam asked him,

?O Abu Umamah, why are you sitting in the mosque at a time that is not a prayer time?? He replied: ?I was forced to do so by sorrow and debt.? The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam then asked: ?Shall I teach you a supplication by which Allah will remove your sorrow and pay for you your debts?? He answered: ?O yes, Messenger of Allah!? The Prophet sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam then said: ?Say every morning and evening: Allahumma inni a?udhu bikka minal-hammi wal hazan, wa a?udhu bika minal-?ajzi wal-kasal wa a?udhu bika minal-jubni wal-bukhul wa a?udhu bika min ghalabatid-dayn wa qahrir-rijal.? (Meaning: O Allah, I seek refuge with You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.) Abu Umamah said: ?I did that and Allah removed my distress and paid for me my debt.?
— (Abu Dawud)

Fellow Muslims! The month of Ramadan is a month of generosity and spending in ways that are virtuous. Let every Muslim take part in the generosity of this month and not hesitate to wipe the tears off the faces of orphans, widows and the destitute. Let everyone keep away from stinginess and covetousness for these are two of the bad qualities from which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam sought refuge with his Lord from. The Prophet sallallahu ?alaihi wa sallam was the most generous of mankind and his generosity multiplied during the month of Ramadan. He would never say ?no? when he was asked of anything.

Further, the benefits of charity are not restricted to the beneficiary; the donor also has a share. An example of this is when a generous person gives in charity, their heart becomes gladdened and they become pleased with that. Therefore, this person will be encouraged to give more and gain extra rewards. As for the miser, whenever he thinks of giving in charity his heart feels constrained; he feels as if he is giving away a chunk of his life!, this in turn leads to his whole life feeling constrained. However, nothing destroys the tricks and insinuations of Satan more than giving sincerely in charity. Allah says that which translates as:

?Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.?
— (Surah Al Baqarah 2:268)

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