Eid mubarak & how to know if your Ramadan has been accepted

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Eid Mubarak! May Allah the great accept from us and you! You have fasted and prayed and wept and begged Allah the Great and now is your time to rejoice as His mercy and forgiveness envelopes the Universe. May Allah shower you and your family with His choicest rewards and please you on the Day you meet Him just as you are pleased today.

A lot of people ask the question: How do I know if Allah has accepted my Ramadan? How do I know that my deeds were not rejected, but accepted and written in my scale of good deeds? And you too must ask this question, since Ali radiallahu anhu said:

â??Do not be so concerned about the number of deeds as the acceptance of it. Do you not remember what Allah the great said? (Verily Allah only accepts from the pious) [AlMaâ??idah: 27]â?

The answer to that, is simply: That your relationship with Allah after Ramadan is better than your relationship with Him before Ramadan. That you feel and act closer to Allah in Shawwal than you did in Shabaan. This strengthening of your relationship with Allah, is a feeling of the heart as well as from the action of the limbs.

The feeling of the heart, is that you see Allahâ??s signs in creation, and feel His authority and mercy and blessings in your life and thus draw nearer to Him by constant remembrance of Him. Ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah said:

â??The more that you witness the magnificence of His Lordship and the meagerness of our servitude to Him, and the more you learn about Allah and His greatness and about your soul and its meagerness, it will become manifestly clear to you that that which you have put forward from your offerings is not the least bit suitable for the Lord of Truth, even if you were to offer the deeds of all of Mankind and Jinn together. As a result, you would be full of fear how your measly offerings would ever be acceptable to Him. However, it is out of His honour and nobleness and graciousness that He accepts it. On top of that, He even rewards you for it, by His grace, nobleness and honour!â? [Madarij As-Salikeen (2/439)]

Glory be to Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful!

And that you draw closer to Him through your actions. That you feel the need to turn to prayer so you resolve to pray at the earliest time, that your heart wants to come back to the mosque so you make every attempt to pray in congregration, to open the Quran even on the day of Eid or start memorizing â?? so you make every effort to read it frequently, that you desire and miss the taraweeh and so make the resolve to continue to pray tahajjud and that you miss the fasts, so you resolve to do the 6 days of Shawwal. Then you remember the hadeeth of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam:

â??If the Prophet used to do any action, then he used to stick to it (i.e. make it a habit).â? [Reported by Muslim]

Based on this, you resolve to make good habits out of the bootcamp that Ramadan provided so that good deeds become second nature to you.

Remember, if you want to get that special Ramadan feeling in your heart again, then take a path to gaining knowledge.

â??Whoever Allah wants good for, then He gives him the fiqh of this religion.â? [Reported by AlBukhari]

This is the surest sign that Allah accepted your Ramadan, that after it, you are more knowledgeable about Islam than you were before it. Islamic knowledge is now more accessible to you than ever before. So, make every effort to attend courses, read books and listen to lectures so that you draw closer to Allah every day. There is an AlKauthar course in your city, just around the corner, so make sure you attend it. Once you have gained that knowledge, then act upon it by calling to Allah through all those projects that are working on helping Allah deen. Mercy Mission has a project that you can get involved in or help you to launch your own.

Lastly, I hope to see you all soon in an event near you. Glory be to Allah that He has given us life until the end of this Ramadan, may Allah give us all the opportunity to see the next Ramadan and protect you and your families and all Muslims till then. Ameen.

Yours sincerely,

Tawfique Chowdhury
Director


AlKauthar Institute and Mercy Mission
www.alkauthar.org | www.mercymission.org.au | www.mercymission.org.uk

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Alhamdulillah. Thanks to the Almighty for everything that He provides. Nothing in this world can replace the feelings of holding on tight to Him. Found an article from islamonline. Very inspirational and motivating. Enjoy~

By Arshad Gamiet

Individuals committed to serving Islam, are like building bricks fused together to form a solid wall. Each individual, like a brick, must be strong and capable of withstanding the loads and stresses that he or she is called upon to bear. Just as each brick must be fully burnt and purified in a kiln and pass certain minimum standards, an individual also has to go through a process of training and development in order to be an effective ambassador of Islam. But what is involved in this construction of the individual? What has the individual got to do in order to prepare for this God-given role? These are fundamental questions because a prerequisite to the revival of Muslim society is a revival of the individual or the self.

The starting point in this process is what the Qur’an calls the human heart. Look at yourself and you will find inside you a whole universe â?? emotions, desires, urges, and instincts â?? which motivates you from within. The heart does not mean the pump which pushes blood around the body; it means the center of the personality that pumps motivations, desires, and urges and which makes us do what we want to do. The Qur’an goes on to explain that this is the key to ourselves. Our success depends not on what we are physically nor on what we do, but on what lies at the center of our personality.

On the Day of Judgment, successful only is (the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart ) (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:89)

A hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says:

Beware,there is a piece of flesh in the human body. If it is right, then the whole body is right and sound; and if it is corrupted then the whole body is corrupted. Look, this is the ‘heart’.(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

According to the Qur’an, the basis of corruption stems from within ourselves. The social institutions may be corrupt, there may be exploitation and abuse in the economic and politics spheres, but the basis of all these diseases lies inside our hearts.

What is it that stops mankind from seeing right and doing what’s right and turns them blind? The Qur’an explains, (It is not the eyes which go blind but it is the hearts within breasts which go blind) (Al-Hajj 22:46)

Then, the heart is the basic starting point for any positive change or any effort to improve our current situations. We have to purify the heart and then summon it to the service of Allah, through service to mankind, whether it be in a professional career, in government, in political institutions, or in economic ventures. Our whole attention must be focused on this continuous refinement of heart. All the rites that have been prescribed by the Qur’an reach out to purify the deepest regions of our self.

The Qur’an says,

(It is not their meat nor their blood (the sacrificial animals), that reaches Allah: it is your taqwa (piety) that reaches Him) (Al-Hajj 22: 37)
If the individual is the primary building block of society, then the heart is its foundation within each person. The important question therefore is how should we set about preparing this most basic element. First we must understand that the heart must submit totally and exclusively to its Creator. It cannot be compartmentalized â?? we cannot dedicate one piece of it to Allah and another to some other “god,” like our wealth, our status, our career, our families, and so on.

Allah is One, indivisible, and wants our service to be undivided to Him. So long as we remain divided within ourselves, so long as our hearts lie in a 100 places, so long as our eyes are set to 100 directions, so long as our destination is not one but many, we shall never be able to achieve that first condition for building a strong and pure Islamic personality.

We should remember that nothing of this world is going to be of use to us when we die however hard we may have striven for it and however valuable it might seem to us. We must recognize that the prizes we should want are not the worldly possessions received from human beings like ourselves. It is only our Creator who can put a real value on our striving and bestow the real reward.

In the Qur’an, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is told to ask [Shall I tell you of a business which will save you of painful torment?] (As-Saff 61:10).

This “business” amounts to people person committing their whole undivided being to Allah alone and selling themselves in order to seek His pleasure. This is the first step towards the building of the individual. The second step is to love Allah.

The Qur’an says (And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah, and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah) (Al-Baqarah 2:165).

It does not say that one must love only Allah and no one else. Love is a blessing given to us by Allah, which is manifested in so many aspects of life. In Islam, however, love must be foremost for Allah and the Prophet.

What is love? Perhaps it cannot be defined in terms that adequately reflect its nature and importance in people’s lives. It is not possible to define it by a formula as we define a scientific fact, nor can we define it by a mathematical equation. But still each one of us knows what love is and can tell, from personal experience, the powerful force it is once it comes to reside in the heart. It becomes the overpowering force in life. It captivates you, it grips you, it moves you and it makes you prepared to do anything for the sake of it. Once love is there, what you do is not something that has to be imposed upon you, because you need imposition only for the things you do not love.

Iman is something that must penetrate deep in our heart and generate love for Allah and His Prophet more than for anything else. Unless that happens inside you, you cannot get the real taste of iman. According to a famous hadith, nobody can taste iman unless Allah and His Prophet are more beloved to him than everything else. But we must remember that this love for Allah and His Prophet is not of a kind to take us into the seclusion of a monastery. It is a love that makes us do our duty to Allah while we are in the street, at home, or at work â?? everywhere we live as servants of Allah, willingly making every sacrifice required of us. Whether or not we have that love is something for each one of us to closely examine. One of the criteria is that if you love something, one of your most intense desires is to get nearer to it. Now we have a way in which we can come nearer to Allah and talk to Him, and that way is the prayer. When someone performs prayer, they actually comes nearer to Allah and talks to Him.

If you look at how you pray five times a day, you will have a barometer in your hand to find how much you love Allah. Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are talking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude, you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The soul has to surrender itself exclusively to Allah and love Him. This love is like a seed that, as it grows, envelops the entire personality. This will make us the sort of person Islam needs today.

The next question is how to nurse and cultivate this seed of faith. The most important nourishment for it is the Qur’an. We know that the first workers for Islam got their training from the Qur’an. It was their guide, their light, their leader. It is a treasure house of soul-stirring inspiration and wisdom. We should spend much effort in trying to understand the Qur’an. But we must know that the real test of benefiting from the Qur’an lies in translating those divine words and ideas into action in our own daily life.

The Qur’an says that when people really listen to it, their faith will increase. The eyes of those who truly listen to the Qur’an, allowing their hearts to be affected, will well up with tears that trickle down their cheeks. Sadly, many of us listen to the Qur’an or read it, but our hearts are not moved, nor do our lives change. It is as if water is falling on a rock and flowing away. Our task is to replace this hard rock with soft absorbent soil so that the Qur’an may nourish the seed that has been planted. We should always study the Qur’an as if it were being revealed today. One of the greatest injustices we do to the Qur’an is to read it as if it were something of the past and of no relevance to the present.

The next method of sustaining the seed of iman is to develop a strong bond of brotherhood. Brotherhood reinforces people’s lives like nothing else. The Qur’an says (Withhold yourself with those who call upon Allah in the early morning and nightfall) (Al-Kahf 18: 28). As soon as you have planted the seed of iman in your own heart, you will recognize it in others. You find that there is some sort of harmony between you and them.

The final method to nourish the seed of iman is da`wah â?? to strive and invite others to the path of Allah, the same path as you are following yourself. Again, if the faith is there inside you, this is a necessary outcome of it. As iman increases you get aroused and you want to go out and tell everybody what you think is right, or call upon them to join your mission and your group. Moreover, as your group grows, your iman grows as well, each reinforcing the other, and that is how the whole of life becomes integrated and turns into a path to what pleases Allah. To sum up, you, the individual, are the key to the Ummah, and your heart is the key to you.

* Based on a Friday sermon delivered at the Royal Holloway,University of London, UK, on April 30, 1999. Courtesy of http://www.khutbahbank.org.uk. Arshad Gamiet is a South African writer living in the United Kingdom. He is a co-founder of the Khutbah Bank.

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