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

What Every Muslim Should Know About Christmas?

INTRODUCTION

Quite a number of Muslims today, especially those living in Christian dominated countries or those influenced to a large degree by western culture, have been led to consider that taking part in the Christmas celebrations of friends and relatives is, at very least, a harmless pastime if not a legitimate source of pleasure for children and adults alike. In many instances, pressure to conform with the practices of society is too great for those of weak resolve to withstand. Parents are often tempted to give in to the pleading of children who have been invited to parties. They don’t know a lot about why this happens because the parents don’t tell their kids.

What Every Muslim Should Know About Christmas ?

Al-Hamdulillah, All praise be to Allah alone, for making us Muslims and bestowing us the Deen of Islam to distinguish right and wrong. The holiday season is upon us again, and the ugly head of Satan is rising again to inspire people to indulge in innovation and shirk.

What proceeds is an analytical view of Christmas and appropriate Muslim conduct during the Christmas season.

Any belief system or ritual (Christmas or otherwise) in any religion should satisfy each of the following criteria to be labeled as authentic:

  1. It should have its evidence from the scriptures or from the authentic sayings of the Messenger.
  2. The Messenger himself and his companions should practice and propagate it.
  3. The Scripture or the Messenger’s sayings in which this belief system is present should be preserved from alterations or perishment.

WAS JESUS BORN ON DEC.25?

Neither the date 25th Dec. nor any other date on Jesus’ birth is mentioned in the Bible. Not until the year 530 C.E., that a monk, Dionysus Exigus, fixed the date of the birth of Jesus on Dec. 25th. “He wrongly dated the birth of Christ according to the Roman system (i.e., 754 years after the founding of Rome) as Dec. 25, 753”. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 ed.) This date was chosen perhaps in keeping with the holidays already indoctrinated into pagans.

Roman pagans celebrated Dec. 25th as the birth of their ‘god’ of light, Mithra. “In the 2nd century A..D., it (Mithraism) was more general in the Roman Empire than Christianity, to which it bore many similarities” (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 ed). “The reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains uncertain, but most probably the reason is that early Christians wished the date to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the “birthday of the unconquered sun” (natalis solis invicti); this festival celebrated the winter solstice, when the days again begin to lengthen and the sun begins to climb higher in the sky”. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 Ed.) Other pagan ‘gods’ born on Dec. 25th are: Hercules, the son of Zeus (Greeks) Bacchus, god of wind, (Romans),Adenis god of Greeks Freyr the Greek-Roman god.

What about Santa Claus?

The “Santa” Character was further developed in 1809 when an amusing but inaccurate history of Dutch traditions was written. Washington Irving, influenced by north European Christmas customs, pictured St. Nicholas riding in a wagon merrily over rooftops, dropping presents down chimneys, the first time this had been sighted, the word ‘Santa Claus’ appears no where in the bible. However Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a real person, bishop, who was born 300 years after Jesus (pbuh). According to legend he was extremely kind and went out at night to distribute presents to the needy.

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.[4:48]

Christian belief states that the one God reveals himself in the three persons of Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three persons are nevertheless regarded as a unity, sharing one ‘substance’. Prophet Jesus is elevated to divinity, sits on the right hand of God and judges the world. The Holy Spirit, who in the Hebrew Bible is the means by which God exercises his creative power, in Christian thought becomes a part of the God-head. Paul made the Holy Spirit the alter ego of Christ, the guide and help of Christians, first manifesting itself on the day of Pentecost. Consequently, Shirk in Ruboobeeyah occurs in the Christian belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God’s partners in all of His dominion, in their belief that Jesus alone pronounces judgment on the world and in their belief that Christians are helped and guided by the Holy Spirit. This form of Shirk occurs when any act of worship is directed to other than Allah.

Indeed they do blaspheme those who say that Allah is Jesus, the son of Mary, but Jesus said “O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord”. Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him heaven and the fire will be his abode. (5:72)

‘Abdullâh ibn Mas’ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Anyone who dies worshipping others along with Allâh will definitely enter the Fire.” I said, “Anyone who dies worshipping none along with Allâh will definitely enter Paradise.” (Bukhâri and Muslim )

MUSLIM’S REACTION TOWARD CHIRSTMAS

Being the custodians of Truth and the ‘Best Ummah created for mankind” and “witnesses unto Mankind”, we Muslims just can’t stay still as the society around us is entrapped by Satan. Enjoining good and forbidding evil should be our theme. The foremost thing to realize is that Christmas is a big innovation which is leading a big part of humanity to shirk (associating partners with God). Christianity has transgressed the limits set by Allah; therefore showing happiness and joy on Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Good Friday is like shaking hands with Satan and telling him to carry on the good work. Remember Allah commandment to us in the Quran: “Help you one another in virtue and righteousness, but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah, verily Allah is severe in punishment”. (Quran, 5:2) It is highly recommended for all Muslims to carry brochures on Islam with them to pass on classmates, co-workers, neighbors etc. after discussing Islam. Thus the hearts and minds of non-Muslims should be exposed to the beautiful message of Islam.

Say: “He is Allah, the One and only, Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute, He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.”

Friday Khutbah (13-Apr-2007): Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people

Because Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).

[audio:friday-khutbah-13-apr-2007.mp3]

Ø°Ù?Ù?ِÙ?Ù? بِأÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù? اÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù? Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù? Ù?Ù?Ù?ُ Ù?ُغÙ?Ù?Ù?ِرÙ?ا Ù?ِعÙ?Ù?Ù?Ø©Ù? Ø£Ù?Ù?Ù?عÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?ا عÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù? Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?ٍ Ø­Ù?تÙ?Ù?Ù? Ù?ُغÙ?Ù?Ù?ِرُÙ?ا Ù?Ù?ا بِأÙ?Ù?Ù?فُسِÙ?ِÙ?Ù? Ù?Ù?Ø£Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù? اÙ?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù? سÙ?Ù?ِÙ?عÙ? عÙ?Ù?ِÙ?Ù?Ù?

Thalika bi-anna Allaha lam yaku mughayyiran niAAmatan anAAamaha AAala qawmin hatta yughayyiroo ma bi-anfusihim waanna Allaha sameeAAun AAaleemun

“Because Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).”

Al-Qur’an, 008.053 (Al-Anfal [Spoils of War, Booty])

Friday Khutbah (26 Jan 2007): The Day of Asyura and Its Lessons

The Day of Asyura and Its Lessons

image003.jpg
Brothers,
I would like to call upon myself and my dear brothers, to instill in us taqwa to Allah s.w.t, by abiding all the He has commanded, by following Islam truthfully, and avoiding all that Allah has forbidden. And by doing all that, we pray to Allah that our taqwa will increase and be strengthened further, amen.

May brothers,
This Monday, the Day of Asyura will dawn upon us. Do we know what is the Day of Asyura? It is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

The Day of Asyura is a day of historical significance. Many important events occurred on this day.

It was reported that Prophet Noahâ??s ark came ashore on Mount Judiy on the the Day of Asyura. It was reported also that Prophet Musa a.s was saved by Allah from Pharaoh on this day. And to remind them of this significant event and to glorify the Day of Asyura, the Jews fast on that day.

This tradition of glorifying the Day of Asyura was not limited among the Jews themselves. The Arabs before our Prophetâ??s time also glorified the Day of Asyura.

The Arabs used to change the Kaabahâ??s curtain on this day. They also fasted on the Day of Asyura. In a hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, Rasulullah s.a.w wife, â??Aisyah r.a said:
image005.jpg
Which means: The Arabs used to fast on the Day of Asyura before the command to fast during Ramadan was revealed. They also will clothed the Kaabah on this day.

Brothers,
Is it proper for us to celebrate and glorify the Day of Asyura? To answer it, we must refer to Al-Quran and Sunnah.

Allah s.w.t says in surah At-Taubah, verse 36:
image007.jpg
Which means: Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the idolaters collectively , as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are pious.
It is forbidden to go to war on these four sacred months. It is also encouraged for us to fast many days on these months. The Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith narrated by Ibn Majah:
image009.jpg
Which means: Fast in those sacred months.

The four sacred months are Rejab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah dan Muharram. And the Day of Asyura occurs on the 10th day of Muharram.

With regards to the virtues of fasting on Day of Asyura, the Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith sahih narrated by Imam Muslim:

image011.jpg
Which means: I hope that by fasting on the Day of Asyura, Allah will forgive last yearâ??s sins.

This is reward that awaits those who fast with sincerity on the Day of Asyura. And it was reported in a hadith that before the fast in Ramadan was made obligatory, Rasulullah s.a.w told Muslims to fast on the Day of Asyura.

But fasting is encouraged not just on the Day of Asyura per se. In fact, it is also encouraged to fast on the first 10 days of Muharram, and on the 13, 14 dan 15 days Muharram. Allah s.w.t says in surah Al-Fajr, ayat 2:
image013.jpg
Which means: And by the ten nights.

Some scholars of tafsir said that those 10 days belong to the first 10 days of Muharram.

Let us grasp this golden opportunity. We star the new year by showing servitude to Allah. And we hope by doing that, the rest of this year will see us getting closer to Allah.

Brothers,
The command to fast in the month of Ramadan was revealed by Allah on the second year of Hijrah. In the first year, the Prophet s.a.w command Muslims to fast on the Day of Asyura. This is supported be the following hadith narrated Bukhari and Muslim from Ibnu â??Abbas r.a:
image015.jpg
image017.jpg
Which means: When the Prophet s.a.w reached Medina, he found that the Jews were fasted on the Day of Asyura. He asked them: What is the significance of this day that you all fast in it? They answered: â??This is the day which Allah s.w.t saved Prophet Musa a.s and his people, and the day Allah drowned the Pharaoh and his army. So Prophet Musa a.s fasted on this day as a sign of gratefulness to Allah.â? The Prophet s.a.w said again: â??We have more rights on Prophet Musa a.s then you allâ?. So he fasted on the day of Asyura, and he commanded Muslims to do likewise.

In the hadith that I recited just now, it is clear that Rasulullah s.a.w did not feel shy to ask from other people about certain matter, event from the Jews. And the Prophet s.a.w did not shy from incorporating what is good in other community to Islam. There are two lessons that can be learned from.

First: We must push aside any feelings of embarrassment and shyness when we are studying and gleaning knowledge from other communities, regardless of race and religion.

Allah s.w.t gives knowledge to whomever He wishes, regardless of race and religion. So one community cannot look down on others. Each community has its own strength and weaknesses. WE learn from strength of other communities to lessen the weaknesses in our community. And if we do this, the racial gap can be minimized.

The second lesson is that we cannot be stingy from sharing knowledge to others, even though they are not of the same race or religion. The Jews themselves did not withhold information from our Prophet s.a.w on their reason for fasting on the Day of Asyura.

Thus, we are required to share with others, especially the non-Muslims, the beauty, purity and simplicity of Islam. This exchange of information will give rise to a worthwhile conclusion. The person either embraces Islam, or they will understand our religion, like we with theirs.

In the end, the community will live together harmoniously because the understanding between the different religions already existed.

These are the two lessons that can be learnt from the story on the Day of Asyura. We cannot shy away from asking for knowledge, and we must not refrain from sharing with others about Islam.

May Allah s.w.t accept our fast on the Day of Asyura, amen.

image019.jpg

Friday Khutbah (12-Jan-2007): Light & Darkness

“The person who takes a bath then comes to the group prayer (Friday Jummah/Khutbah), then offers the prayer that was destined for him, and then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more” (Reported in Sahih Muslim, with similar hadiths in Abu Dawood,Ibn Majah, and Ahmad bin Hanbal).

â??When it is a Friday, the Angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jummah prayer) the Angels fold their papers and listen to the Khutba. (Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim)

â??Whosoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday will have a light illuminated for him between the two Fridaysâ? (Narrated by Nasaâ??i Bayhaqi & others)

Anyway….Subhan Allah the Khutbah today, as always was very good..very informative. The Imam talked about the concept of light and darkness (in the Qur’an), and how it applies to our lives as Muslims, both in this dunya, and in the Hereafter. In Surat An-Nur it’s described:

“…Light upon Light! Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of Everything (24:35).”

“Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with waves topped by waves, topped by dark clouds, (layers of) darkness upon darkness: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light (24:40).”

This concept of light and darkness can be viewed as Heaven and Hell, it can be viewed as guidance and misguidance, or Success with Allah verses ‘success’ with shaytan. There are many ways to look at it, but the bottom line for us as Muslims, is to strive in Allah’s Cause, and reach for the light. How unlucky we’d be if we were (or are) among those who are in the darkness. SO, what can we do to stay away from this darkness? the Imam said foremost: let not shaytan influence you. You can choose to be amongst those who Iblis influences, or you can be amongst those who follow the Word of Allah [swt]:

“(Iblis) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism) (38:82-83)”

“(Iblis) said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few! (17:62)”

“(Iblis) said: “Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. not be dutiful to Allah Ta’aala) (7:16-17).”

Allah has a plan for us all, and if we are amongst those chosen to stay in the Path of Allah, then that’s what will happen. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work for it though, because shaytan still has the power to influence those who forget about Allah. Anything associated with Shaytan is definitely NOT good for us as Muslims. If we associate ourselves with Haraam things or situations, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan…if we associate ourselves with the disbelievers, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan. The Qur’an clearly tells us to stay away from these things and these types of people, yet we still (not excluding myself) continue on in this manner. I find this ayat to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!::

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers) they are but Auliya of each other. And if any amongst you take them (as Auliya), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those pople who are the Zalimun (5:51).”

It is stated SO clearly, that I find it impossible to disregard the message. I know how hard it is to understand or apply it to our lives (especially since many of us live in a place dominated by non-Muslims). I feel it personally, especially since my own blood family is Christian. My mother, who converted from Christianity, has a relgious Christian family. My own half brother and half sister are Christians (my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, neices, etc.) I love them very much, and it’s hard to know that I cannot change their beliefs. Also, my friends….the majority of them are non-Muslims, so what am I to do in that situation? I don’t think I can completely disregard all of them, but I can just try my best to keep these relationships very basic. What is most important to me, is what Allah Commands, and He knows what is best for all of us. I guess the message is not to let this life get the best of you. Ask Allah to always make you remember Him, and to remind you of what your purpose in this life is (that is to worship Him Alone, and to spread the Word of Islam in a manner that pleases Allah). Once again, easier said than done, but as Muslims, I think it’s so important that we stay close together–this way we’re not influenced by the Mushrikun, and that we become more knowledgeable, and worship Allah in a more perfect manner. If our Ummah was united, I think it would be easier to apply the teachings of Islam to our lives, because we would only be surrounded by other Muslims who would be trying to do the same thing. It’s hard…but of course, Allah did not intend that we lead an easy life, and enter Paradise just like that. This is our calling..our Jihad: to live life in accordance to the teachings of Islam, no matter how many obstacles stand in our way, and no matter how impossible it may seem. Also, we can’t just pick and choose the parts that we feel apply to our lives. If we submit ourselves as Muslims, we have to submit completely and whole heartedly–submit our entire self: mind, body and soul, and live our lives exactly how Allah has prescribed for us. It may take time to do that, but we should all be on that road, attempting to change our lives–tweak out the bad and find goodness in Islam and Allah’s Straight Path Insha Allah.

Ameen Ya Raab

source: halabissa‘s journal