Ramadan Message from Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute

Last week I have received this email from Tawfique Chowdhury (director of the Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute).

Dear student and friend,

Assalamualiakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

It is truly by Allah‘s immense blessings that we are alive for yet another Ramadan. Words cannot describe our gratitude to Allah and the joy in our hearts as we ease into this Month of Mercy. What an amazing time this month will be! A month of forgiveness and safety from the fire; a month in which there is a special dua that He accepts every day at the time of breaking our fast; a month in which we remember our poor and our brothers languishing in the depths of the prisons away from their families; where the wretched devils are chained; and the beautiful angels descend; where evil is destroyed and goodness prevails; a month of great victory for the ummah at the battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, the tremendous victory of the valiant Tariq bin Ziyad over the lands of Andalusia, the victory of brave Salahuddeen over the Crusaders, the victory of the gallant Salahudden Qutz and his Muslims knights in the plains of Ain Jalut in that epic battle over the Mongols – all of this in the month of divine help and glory: Ramadan; a month of devotion to Allah and prayers upon His noble Prophet; a month of friendship and love with our beloved ummah; a month of charity and Zakat and cleansing; a month of the Quran and wondering in its wisdoms; a month of journey every night into the gardens of prayer to a Lord that is delighted to see His slaves begging and asking for His bounty; a month with days of seclusion with Allah in the corners of His mosques to remember and remind us of the imminent seclusion in the belly of the grave; a month of the most powerful night of all when the angels descend with mighty Jibraeel alaihis salam to spread peace and tranquillity until the morn. What a shame that our non-Muslim colleagues fail to realise our sheer joy at the coming of this month. Truly, it is just as the pious predecessors used to say: The people of worship in their worship are more joyous than the people of frivolities in their playfulness.

I would like to take this opportunity to greet you, to congratulate you on the advent of Ramadan, to make my sincere dua for you, to express my deepest friendship and love for you and my sincere care and support for you and your families with the sincere hope that Allah makes this month a means to ease your worries, to replace it with goodness and transform your world into a Jannah in this life. May Allah give you what your heart desires and amaze you with His bounty and grace. Today, with the Ummah in the grips of wars and military aggression, earthquakes and natural disasters and a constant intellectual war on our way of life and our Islamic ethics and values – at a time like this, we are in need of a divine intervention. In times like this, Allah the most high has equipped us with a weapon more powerful than anything known to man. A weapon that we can use any time, where ever we may be, having unlimited ammunition and unlimited strength – it is the weapon of every believer: Dua. I urge you to use that divine weapon in this month; to fortify yourself from every evil and trial and use it to replace the honour and glory that is rightly for this Ummah. I ask Allah that He makes this a month of unity and strength and honour and glory and forgiveness and hope for you, me and all Muslims. Ameen.

My friends, the key to success in this Ramadan, will not be the performance of major deeds in some of the nights rather than others. It is and always will be the performance of those little things, but with precise regularity. Such will be the path to our spiritual revival, the means to have every gate of Jannah to bear our names and the way to making Allah amazed and content with us. It is in with this in mind that I have designed a list of activities and deeds that a Muslim should endeavour to do in Ramadan. If you stick to it and do as much of it as possible, then I have no doubt that you will qualify for being a true and exemplary believer. http://www.alkauthar.org/downloads/Ramadanchecklist.pdf

Also, in the last few months, Islam Channel in the UK was kind enough to film a series of heart warming lectures by myself in Europe’s first Muslim only graveyard – the Gardens of peace. The series will have started to show already on Islam Channel daily. I encourage you to make some time to see every episode in that series since I myself have been profoundly touched ever since I did that series in that amazing graveyard. I hope that it will help you to put your life in perspective and to realize that in the grand scale of our Journey to the Hereafter, we are only here for a fleeting time.

Lastly my friends, if there is anything at all that I can do to help you or to make Ramadan more enjoyable for you and more successful for you, then please do not deny me the honour of aiding you in it. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you wish, or use the forums for any non-personal issues and questions that you may have: http://forums.alkauthar.org I hope to see you again sometime soon inshaAllah.

Wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Tawfique Chowdhury
DirectorMercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute
alkauthar.org

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The Aadaab of Jumu’ah

The Aadaab of Jumuah

  1. Every Muslim should make preparations for jumuah from Thursday. After the asr salaat of Thursday, he should make a lot of istighfaar. He should clean his clothes and keep them ready. If he does not have any perfume in his house, then if it is possible he should try and obtain some and keep it ready so that he will not get distracted with these things on jumuah. The pious people of the past have stated that the person to receive the most benefit on Friday will be that person who waits for it and who makes preparations for it from Thursday. The most unfortunate person will be he who does not even know as to when Friday will fall, so much so that he will ask the people in the morning as to which day this is. Some pious people used to go and stay in the jaame musjid from the night of jumuah in order to make full preparations for the following day. (Ihyaa ul-Uloom, vol. 1, page 161)

  2. On the day of jumuah, ghusl should be made and the hair of the head and the rest of the body should be thoroughly washed. It is also very virtuous to use the miswaak on this day.

  3. After making ghusl, a person should wear the best clothing that he possesses, and if possible he should also apply some perfume. He should also clip his nails.

  4. He should try and go very early to the jaame musjid. The earlier a person goes, the more reward he will receive. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

    “On the day of jumuah, the angels stand at the entrance of that musjid in which jumuah salaat is to be offered. They write down the name of the person who enters the musjid first, and thereafter the name of the person who follows, and they continue doing this. The person who entered first will receive the reward of sacrificing a camel in the path of Allah, the one who followed him will get the reward of sacrificing a cow, thereafter a chicken, thereafter the reward of giving an egg as charity in the path of Allah. Once the khutbah commences, the angels close the register and begin listening to the khutbah.”
    — (Bukhari and Muslim)

    In olden times, the roads and alleys used to be extremely busy in the mornings and at fajr time. All the people used to go so early to the jaame musjid and there used to be such a large crowd that it used to look like the days of eid. Later, when this habit was given up, people began saying that this is the first innovation in Islam. After writing this, Imam Ghazali rahmatullahi alayh says:

    “Aren’t the Muslims ashamed of themselves that the Jews and Christians go so early in the morning to their synagogues and churches on Saturdays and Sundays. Those who are businessmen go so early to the bazaars in order to do their buying and selling. Why dont the Muslims do the same?”

    The reality of the situation is that the Muslims have totally reduced the value of this blessed day. They do not even know what day this is, and what a high status it has. How sad it is that the day which was more valuable than eid in the eyes of Muslims of the past, which Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was proud of and the day which was not granted to the previous nations has become so dishonoured at the hands of Muslims today and it is such a great ingratitude to the favour of Allah Taala that the consequence of all this can be seen with our very eyes.

  5. By going walking for the jumuah salaat, one gets the reward of fasting for one year for every step that he takes. (Tirmidhi)

  6. On Fridays, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to recite Surah Alif Laam Meem Sajdah and Surah Hal Ataa, in the fajr salaat. These Surahs should therefore be occassionally recited in the fajr salaat on Fridays. Occassionally they should be left out so that people do not regard their recitation as wajib.

  7. For the jumuah salaat, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to recite the following Surahs : al-Jumuah and al-Munaafiqun, or al-Ala and al-Ghaashiyah.

  8. There is a lot of reward in reciting Surah Kahf either before the jumuah salaat or after it. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

    “The person who recites Surah Kahf on Fridays, a nur will appear for him from below the arsh as high as the skies. This light will help him in the darkness of the day of resurrection. And all the sins which he may have committed from the last Friday till this Friday will be forgiven.”
    –(Sharh Sifrus-Saaadah)

    The ulama have written that this Hadith refers to minor sins because major sins are not forgiven without making taubah.

  9. There is more reward in reciting durood on Fridays than on other days. It has been mentioned in the Hadith that durood should be recited abundantly on Fridays.

Source: The Truth : The Aadaab of Jumuah

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): We must not loose sight of our identity as muslims and muslimahs

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): We must not loose sight of our identity as muslims and muslimahs

Salaam alaykum wa rahma tuâ??ala wa barakatu.

Brothers and sisters we must not loose sight of our identity as muslims and muslimahs. Where do we draw this identity? Do we draw it from the culture we are in? Living in the western culture we are constantly bombarded by Shaitan urging us to all kinds of sin. We are constantly prodded to live for materialistic things and things that take our heart and mind from Allah (SWT). And most sad of all, constantly, everyday I see people treat each other badly. I see rudeness and impatience and anger and enmity. What kind of society are we following? I heard yesterday that a study was done where it was estimated that we are exposed to 90 thousand advertisements every day. Violence is prevalent, and not just wars and things far away, but in our own lives. People bicker and mistrust one another, and people do cheat and steal and lie. But we are human and we do make mistakes and where do we turn? How do we realize our identity and be the kind and compassionate people we are supposed to be as muslims.

We have an ever present guide and ideal to live up to. And it is that ideal and example of Rasool Allah (SAW) that we should be drawing our identity as muslims from.

Rasool Allah (SAW) is described in hadith as
“Al-Mutawakkil” (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh Nor a noisemaker in the markets And you do not do evil to those Who do evil to you, but you deal With them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” With which will be opened blind eyes And deaf ears and enveloped hearts.’ ”

And about how to behave when on a journey.

Malik related to me from Abu Ubayd, the mawla of Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik from Khalid ibn Madan who attributed it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Allah, the Blessed and Exalted is kind and loves kindness. He is pleased with it and helps you with it as long as it is not misplaced. When you ride dumb beasts, stop them in their stopping places, and quicken their pace when the land is barren. Travel by night, because the land is traveled faster at night than it is during the day. Beware of pitching tents on the road, for it is the path of animals and the abode of snakes.”

My friends we are all on a journey on this life. Should we not then behave just as well to those around us in our every day life as we would towards beasts?

Towards Each other especially and especially in these hard conditions.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “One Muslim should do six acts of kindness to another: he should salute him when he meets him, accept his invitation when he gives one, say ‘Allah have mercy on you’ when he sneezes, visit him when he is ill, follow his bier when he dies, and like for him what he likes for himself.”

And in another hadith

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Every act of kindness is “sadaqah, and kindness includes meeting your brother with a cheerful face and pouring water from your bucket into your brother’s vessel.”

We must stop doing things to each other that nullifies our identity as muslims. We must treat each other with kindness and with the charity that Rasool Allah (SAW) has shown us and has described to us.

Allah (SWT) has shown us just one tiny part of the divine kindness that awaits us in the afterlife.

Rasul Allah (SAW) said: There are one hundred (parts of) mercy of Allah and He has sent down out of these one part of mercy upon the jinn and human beings and the insects and it is because of this (one part) that they love one another, show kindness to one another and even the beast treats its young one with affection, and Allah has reserved ninety-nine parts of mercy with which He would treat His servants on the Day of Resurrection.
And this kindness, this path of virtue is not necessarily easy. Especially with all the examples around us and the people encouraging us to the â??easy pathâ? the path of rejection and doubt in Allah (SWT)

Allah (SWT) talks about this in the Holy Quran, he tells us that many times we choose not to take this righteous road al aqaba, the road that is correct but sometimes harder but listen, there is good news in taking that road! (90:12-17)

Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?ا Ø£Ù?دÙ?رÙ?اÙ?Ù? Ù?Ù?ا اÙ?Ù?عÙ?Ù?Ù?بÙ?ةُ 090:012

Wama adraka ma alAAaqaba
And what will explain to thee the path that is steep?

فÙ?Ù?ُÙ? رÙ?Ù?Ù?بÙ?ةٍ 090:013

Fakku raqaba(tin)

(It is:) freeing the bondman;

090.014 Ø£Ù?Ù?Ù? إِطÙ?عÙ?اÙ?Ù? فِÙ? Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?ٍ ذِÙ? Ù?Ù?سÙ?غÙ?بÙ?ةٍ

Aw it’a-amun fee yawmin thee masghabat

Or the giving of food in a day of privation

090.015 Ù?Ù?تِÙ?Ù?Ù?ا Ø°Ù?ا Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?رÙ?بÙ?ةٍ

Yateeman tha maqraba

To the orphan with claims of relationship,

090.016 Ø£Ù?Ù?Ù? Ù?ِسÙ?Ù?ِÙ?Ù?Ù?ا Ø°Ù?ا Ù?Ù?تÙ?رÙ?بÙ?ةٍ

Aw miskeenan tha matraba

Or to the indigent (down) in the dust.

090.017 ثُÙ?Ù?Ù? Ù?Ù?اÙ?Ù? Ù?ِÙ?Ù? اÙ?Ù?Ù?ذِÙ?Ù?Ù? Ø¢Ù?Ù?Ù?ُÙ?ا Ù?Ù?تÙ?Ù?Ù?اصÙ?Ù?Ù?ا بِاÙ?صÙ?Ù?بÙ?رِ Ù?Ù?تÙ?Ù?Ù?اصÙ?Ù?Ù?ا بِاÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù?رÙ?Ø­Ù?Ù?Ù?ةِ

Thumma kana mina allatheena ‘amanoo watawasaw bialssabri watawasaw bialmarhama

Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion.

‘A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.’ The Prophet (SAW) was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.’

Part 2

The Prophet Muhammad (peace by upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam on every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet Replied: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf (until you understand them), leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms — all of these are charity prescribed for you.”

Brothers and sisters, we should leave here today and pledge ourselves to be among those that choose that difficult path. That in spite of what we see around us we should hold on to our Muslim identity. Teach our children to do that as well. That we should follow the example that Allah (SWT) has given us in the Quran and the acts of Rasul Allah (SAW) which are an exemplar of this behavior. Treat each other and other people with kindness and patience and sincerity in these things. After all, we do not know when we die or why we die but we can choose to die as Muslims, secure in our aman and our iman and our tqwa allah.

Wa allahu alim.

Source: http://salimchishti.blogspot.com

Validity Of Two Rakaats During Khutbah of Jum’ah

Validity Of Two Rakaats During Khutbah of Jum’ah

As Salaamu Alaikum

Quran & Sunnah Panacea For All Muslim Disputes:
Every Friday, the scenario is the same in most masjids of United Kingdom: Latecomers offer two Rakaats while the Imam delivers the Khuthbah. In some Masjids, this action is frowned upon, in others, it is discouraged; yet in other Masjids, it… What is the correct hukm on offering two rakaats during the Khutbah of Jum’ah?The golden rule when we fall into disputes among ourselves in matters of Deen is to return to Qur’an and the Sunnah for a resolution. The Qur’an says: “O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most suitable for final determination.” (Q.4:59).

Ahaadith Narrated On The Issue.
  1. Abu Sa’eed (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man entered the masjid on the day of Jum’ah3 while the Prophet (S) was delivering the khutbah on the minbar, and he ordered him to pray two rakaats. (Reported. by Ibn Majah and others).
  2. That a man came on the day of Jum’ah looking shabbily while the Prophet (s) was delivering the khutbah, and he ordered him to pray two rakaaats ( Reported by AtTirmidhi).
  3. Jaabir (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man came on the day of Jum’ah while the Messenger of Allah (s) was delivering the khutbah. He said. “Did you pray?” The man answered: “No.” He then commanded him : “Pray two rakaats.” (Reported by the Jamaa’ah, lbn Majah, Tirmidhi, and several others.)
  4. In one narration, it is mentioned “If one of you comes on the day of Jum’ah while the Imaam is delivering the khutbah, let him pray two rakaats lightly and quickly.” Reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawood).
  5. In another narration:”If one of you enters a masjid, let him not sit until he prays two rakaats.” (Reported by the Jamaa’ah). These ahaadith clearly indicate the shar’ee4 validity of praying two rakaats during the khutbah of Jum’ah.
Legal opinions On The Issue
  1. The first group of scholars, Imaams Shaafi’ee, Ahmad, Maalik in one ruling of his, and others held that two rakaats prayed during the khutbah of Jum’ah is permissible, citing the above-mentioned ahaadith as their proof
  2. The second group of scholars, AthThawree and the learned of Koofah5 held that no one should pray while the Khutbah is being delivered. This view was also held by Abu Haneefah, Maalik in another ruling of his, and most of the salaf (righteous predecessors) from among the Sahaabah6 and Taabi’een7 including Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Umar, Ali, Qataadah, and ‘Ataa’.
Reason For Difference Of Opinions
The opinion of the second group of scholars is based on the reasoning that the Prophetic command to pry two rakaats during the khutbah on Jum’ah was addressed specifically to Sulaayk, the name of the man mentioned in the above-cited ahaadith, due to his impoverished condition (see hadith b above) and therefore does not apply to others unlike him. He was ordered by the Prophet (s) to pray so that people would see his poor condition and respond to his needs by charity and so forth.
Refutation of Those Who Prohibit Prayer During Khutbah
Scholars rebut that the origin of the hukm has nothing to do with specificity, that is, specific reference to one individual. Also, the Prophetic command to Sulayk to pray during the khutbah for the sake of charity does not necessarily prohibit the permissibility of prayer offered during the khutbah. This statement is supported by ahaadith (d, e,). in the words of the Prophet (s): “If one of you comes… ” is a general address to anyone who finds himself in that situation on Jum’ah. Argument: The ayah8 (“When the Qur’an is read, listen to it,” Q.7:204) supports the view of the second group of scholars Reply: Khutbah and Quran are two different things. The issue concerns praying during the Khutbah -not reading of the Quran or listening to it:Argument: The hadith (“If you say to your companion `keep quiet.” while the Imaam is giving the khutbah, you have indulged in idleness.” Agreed Upon) is proof for the second group.

Reply: The prohibition in the hadith is against cross-talk during the delivery of the khutbah not Salaah. The two of them cannot be equated so that the prohibition of one is necessarily a prohibition of the other.

Argument The following hadith is proof for the second group (A man [entered the masjid] making a pathway dough the necks of the people on Jum’ah while the Prophet (s) was delivering his khutbah. He said to him: “Sit! You have caused disturbance.” Reported Abu Dawood). The proof lies in the fact that the Prophet (s) ordered him to sit and not pray.

Reply: A possible interpretation of the hadith is that the Prophetic order to sit and not pray the two rakaats was a specific command to that particular individual who made himself a nuisance by annoying people who were already seated in the masjid. There are other interpretations of the hadith, but the fact remains is that it is not a clear proof to support the second group of scholars in their prohibition of pray during the khutbah.

Argument: The following hadith is also used as proof by the second group of scholars (“If one of you enters the masjid while the Imaam is on the minbar there is no salah nor speech until the Imam finishes.” (Reported by At -Tabaraani).

Reply: The hadith reported by At Tabaraani is da’eef (weak). The hadith scholar Abu Haatim describes it as “rejected” (munkar).

Argument: The following hadith is also cited as proof (A man came while the Messenger of Allah was delivering the khutbah and the Prophet (s) said to him: “Stand and pray two rakaats!” Then he stopped his delivery of the khutbah until the man had finished his prayer. (Reported by Ad Daaraqutni)

Reply: This hadith is inauthentic. As a matter of fact, Daaraqutni himself weakened the hadith, saying that it is either mu’dil9 or mursal10

Argument: When the Prophet (S) preoccupied himself by speaking with Sulayk, it nullified the obligation of listening to the khutbah at that point in time. Ibn Al-Arabi said: “This is the strongest argument of theirs.”

Reply: According to Ibn Hajar, “This is actually their weakest argument, since when the Prophet spoke to Sulayk he returned to delivering the khutbah while Sulayk occupied himself with the Prophetic command of performing the two rakaats. And it is authenticated that he did so during the khutbah of the Prophet (s).

Argument: Scholars are in agreement that the Salaah upon entering the masjid (At_ Tahiyyah) is not a right upon the Imaam. If that is the case with the Imam, that is, leaving out that prayer upon entering the masjid, then it must be even more so upon the follower to leave out that prayer if he enters the masjid while the Imam is giving the khutbah.

Reply: This qiyaas11 is invalid since it contradicts unambiguous ahaadith of the Prophet (S) on the matter of offering two rakaats during khutbah of Jum’ah as we have mentioned above (see hadith c, d, e)

Argument: The early scholars of Al-Madinah during the period of the salaf and the view of Umar, Uthman, and others among the Salmbah is sufficient proof to establish the hukm of prohibition of pray during khutbah.

Reply: This view of the majority of the salaf does not tantamount to ijmaa (consensus) so that it can be considered as shar’i proof. There are many among them who hold the view of permissibiltiy on prayer during the khutbah, such as Abu Sa’eed, Al-Hasan, Makhool, Abu Thawr, and so forth. Further more the majority view contradicts authentic ahaadith and they cannot be considered shar’i proof .

CONCLUSION
Preferred View: The opinion of the first group of scholars who held that it is Sunnah to perform two rakaats during the khutbah of Jum’ah based an authenticated ahaadith of the Prophet(S) narrated on the issue. No one has the right under Shari’ah to prohibit someone from offering this prayer if he enters the masjid while the khutbah is been given. It should be noted, however, that there is a certain adaab or etiquette in performing this two rakaats:
  1. That it should be performed lightly and quickly.
  2. It should not be offered at the expense of causing disturbance to others. This adaab is gleaned frorn the following hadiths:
    1. The Prophet (s) said: “If one of you comes[to the masjid] and the Imaam is delivering the khutbah, let him pray two short, light rakaats.” (Reported by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Davwod).
    2. A man came [to the masjid and proceeded to] walk trough the necks of the people on the day of Jum’ah. The Prophet (s) said to him: ” Sit! You have disturbed {others)”. (Reported by Abu Dawood and An-Nasaa’i.)

Footnotes to Article

  1. Hukm – Islamic legal ruling on an issue
  2. Deen – Religion; more appropriately the way of life of Islam.
  3. Jum’ah-The day of Friday, the last day of the Islamic calendar week
  4. Shar’ee – Pertaining to the legality of Islaamic laws
  5. Koofah – An ancient city of leaming in Iraq.
  6. Sahaabah – Companions of the Prophet (s)
  7. Taabi’een -Followers, or the generation after the Sahaabah.
  8. Ayah -Verse of the Qur’an
  9. Mu’dil – “Problematic”, a type of weak hadith
  10. Mursal “Incompletely transmitted”, a type of weak hadith

Qiyaas Juristic analogy, a legal proof of Islamic law agreed upon by most scholars.

source: Minhaj al-Muslim

Friday Khutbah (02 Feb 2007): Be conscious of the Creator of the Universe

Be conscious of the Creator of the Universe

My brothers in Islam,

I call upon myself and each and every one of you to be conscious of God. Be conscious of the Creator of the Universe. Worship Him before death comes to you. For death is something all of us cannot run away from. Whether we are rich or poor, old or young, healthy or sick, all of us will have a taste of death. So, be devoted to Allah. Devote yourself to Him by doing whatever He commands and leave behind all He forbids.

Maasyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,

Each day someone will die. Each day someone will be buried in the grave. And each day a new baby is born. This is the way of life in this world. What leaves us will be replaced by the new. The living will surely die. All of us in this world are like travellers who stop to rest for a while in a town. And very soon we shall continue on our journey to the life after death in the grave. Let us ask ourselves â??what preparations have we made to face life in the graveâ?? Have we made preparations to continue our journey to the Hereafter?

My fellow Muslimin, Allah s.w.t has told us in surah Ali-Imran, ayat 185:

Meaning: Every soul shall have a taste of death. And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be repaid for all your actions. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded. For wealth and possessions of this world that offer comfort are only deceptions.

This is Allahâ??s promise. Each of us will taste death. Each second, each minute, each hour, each day, we move closer and closer to the life in the grave. But do we know the exact moment we will die? Is is a short while from now? Is it tomorrow? Is it the day after tomorrow? Will our death be sudden and immediate? Or will we die only after we have suffered pain? We do not know. And there is no way we can find out. There is no way we can do anything about it. For death is the business of Allah s.w.t.

The only thing we can do is make preparations for our death. If we were told our water supply in our homes would be cut off at any time, what would we do? Would we just leave things as they are until the water supply is cut off? Or would we immediately store water in as many pails as we can find? We make preparations because we know the water supply would be cut off any time.

My Muslim brothers, such is life in this world. Death can come for us at any moment. We do not know when. Do we do nothing until it comes? Or do we immediately make preparations to face death?

And do we know what the state of the grave or alam barzakh will be like?

Know my brothers that the grave is a place that is dark and narrow. Disbelievers and those who committed many sins will receive graves that are dark and unlit. But the pious who have done many good deeds will receive a grave that is brightly lit. Their graves will be expanded as far as they can see. Even so, their graves will not be as bright as day, but as as bright as night lighted by the full moon.

And know my brothers that every man who enters the grave will be squeezed by the grave. Rasulullah s.a.w used to explain how the grave would contract against the dead body and squeeze it until the bones are crushed. Rasulullah s.a.w was reported to have prayed that Allah lessen the torment of the grave on his daughter Zainab. My dear brothers, if the daughter of Rasulullah, Zainab, could not escape from being crushed by the contracting grave, what about the rest of us who are guilty of sins? Do we think we are able to escape from the torment of the grave? Let us repent this instance. Leave behind all that is sinful. Do acts of charity to rid ourselves of our sins. Let us do this before our death comes all of a sudden. Let us do this before we find ourselves crushed by our graves in the darkness. When this has happened, all our regrets are totally useless.

My brothers in Islam,

The grave can be a garden of paradise for those who are pious. But the grave can also be a hole of Hell for the sinful. Those who committed many sins and little good deeds will find their graves narrowed, their bones crushed and be surrounded by pure darkness. Their only company will be worms, scorpions and insects that sting. The angel of the grave will come with his iron rod and strike their dead bodies until the cries of pain and sorrow are heard by all living things except for humans and jinn. This torment will continue until the Day of Resurrection when all souls will be brought to life for judgement.

My Muslim brothers, life in this world is short. We rarely hear of those who live to be a hundred. But life in the grave is very long – much too long. Imagine – those who died 1000 years ago are still being tormented in the grave because the Day of Resurrection has not yet come.

Do not be fooled by the temporary pleasure of sin that can cause us to suffer in our graves for a thousand years or more. This is not even close to what we will face on the Day of Judgment. So when we feel tired in doing worship, when we find it difficult to pray and fast, remember that the tiredness lasts only a short while. Remember that the acts of worship that we do now will allow us rest peacefully in our graves for a thousand years, or even more. And remember too the rewards of Paradise that we will receive on Judgment Day.

So, do not be lazy or restless when performing acts of worship. And do not be distracted by temporary sinful pleasures. Remember, we are only travellers passing by in this world.

Allah s.w.t says again in surah Al-Anâ??am, ayat 94:
Meaning: â??And behold! You come to us bare and alone as We created you for the first time. And you have left behind you (in the world) all that We have given to you. We see not with you those who speak on your behalf whom you thought to be partners in your affairs. So now all relations between you have been cut off and your pet fancies have left you in sudden difficulty.

Source: smspp7377