Qur’an

Never Lose Hope

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah said “Let none of you think that his Du’aa will go unanswered because of the sins that he knows of himself.

Indeed, Allah responded to the Du’aa of the worst amongst His creation; Iblees (Shaitan, the cursed one), when he said; ‘O My Lord! Give me respite until the Day of Judgement!’ He (Allah SWT) replied, ‘Then you are of those who have been reprieved.‘ (Surah al-Hijr 36-37).

So if the Du’aa of Iblees’ can be accepted, then surely the Du’aa of a sinner has more right than the devil himself!” And surely your Lord is never unjust…

May Allah accept our Du’aas and grant us the ability to continuously seek His forgiveness (through sincere repentance)… Ameen.

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Do not despair of the infinite mercy of Allah

Say: My servants who have acted extravagantly against themselves still do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Allah forgives all offences; He is the Forgiving, the Merciful (Az-Zumar 39/53).*

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Ibrâhîm ibn Adham (d.160H) – rahimahullâh – said, when he was asked about the verse: “Call upon Me and I will respond to you.” [Sûrah Ghâfir 40:60] They said: We call upon Allâh, but He does not respond to us. So he said:

“You know Allâh; yet you do not obey Him.
You recite the Qur’ân; yet you do not act according to it.
You know Shaytân; yet you continue agreeing with him.
You claim to love Allâh’s Messenger ‘alayhis-salâm; yet you abandon his Sunnah (guidance and way).
You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it.
You claim to fear the Fire; yet you do not stop sinning.
You say, Indeed death is true; yet you have not prepared for it.
You busy yourselves with the faults of others; yet you do not look at your own faults.
You eat the sustenance that Allâh provides for you; yet you are not grateful to Him.
And you bury your dead; yet you have not heeded its lesson.” [3]

[3] Al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab related it in al-Khushû’ fis-Salâh (p.62).

(Source)

Caring for ourselves

Okay, so this is going to read a little messy perhaps but please bear with me.

Caring for ourselves is not as simple as we might think. We try, right? We take our vitamins, watch our nutrition, drink plenty of water, get good sleep, laugh a little, read a lot, volunteer our time and money to help others, raise our children, care for our pets, maintain our homes and cars, keep steady jobs, endure years of education, plan for our future, squirrel away money for retirement, plan how many children we want and where we want them to go, what we want them to become and how we want them to look… we do it, right? I don’t know about you but I slip up and as nice and neat as this list may seem, there are many heartaches, sicknesses, disasters, unplanned events etc. that just happen… but we get through it, right? We can only try, try and keep trying. No matter how much we try, we can never know what is to come, nor are we even fully able to appreciate what has come before. Every time we slip, we get back up and carry on. By now, we must recognize how difficult it is to even carry out the task of  caring for and maintaining ourselves – and I’m not talking about our infancy when it is practically impossible for us to do – I’m talking about now, the self we know sitting here reading these words. It is not an easy task to maintain ourselves, let alone others.

Okay, so with that in mind take a look around you the next time you find yourself in a park or out in nature – outside the four walls that keep a portion of His Signs out of sight. Think about that tiny fragile bird traveling immense distances, the trees that are hundreds of years old, the tortoise that was around before you, the caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, the creatures of the seas, and much, much more. How immense and impossible for us to care for, provide and sustain. Impossible. Nor is it possible for any one of us to do – regardless of wealth, family lineage and so forth – neither alone nor collectively, we are not capable of maintaining ourselves properly, and then everything else on this tiny planet and beyond.

Now read and think about this verse from Surah Al-Baqarah of the Holy Qur’an (Sahih International translation):

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. (2:255)

And please, listen to the Arabic too:

Just something to ponder… peace.

Iqraa (Read)

These are the first 5 verses of the glorious Qur’an that were revealed to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) while he was in the cave Hira.

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(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

1. Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created–

2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:

3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,–

4. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen,__

5. Taught man that which he knew not.

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You can read Surah Iqraa in its entirety here.

For a detailed commentary on these verses and indeed the entire surah or any other surah of the Qur’an, I recommend Ma’ariful Qur’an.

What Exactly Is Going On?

No doubt you’ve seen Muslims in prayer before (even if only on TV), right? Ever wonder: “what exactly are they doing, what’s going on, what are they saying?”

Well, here’s a translation of some of what a Muslim recites while performing prayers (5 times/day everyday x the # of prostrations each time. There are 17 obligatory prostrations and about 23 highly recommended ones… so a Muslim performs the following at least 17 times but many do so at least 40 times (and then some, there is no limit). Bear in mind that prayers are offered in the Arabic language and there are specific actions and other details that I am not giving here… this is just to give you an idea of the meaning of some of the words behind the actions:

  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto you, and blessed is your name and high is your majesty and none is worthy of worship but you.
  • I seek Allah’s protection from Satan who is accursed. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  • Praise is only for Allah, Lord of the Universe. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Master of the Day of Judgement. You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help. Show us the straight way, the way of those whom you have blessed. Who have not deserved your anger, nor gone astray. Ameen.
  • In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Glory to my Lord the Exalted. Glory to my Lord the Exalted. Glory to my Lord the Exalted.
  • Verily Allah listens to one who praises Him. Oh our Lord, all praises be to you.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High. Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High. Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • All compliments, all physical prayer, and all monitary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, oh Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
  • Oh Allah, send grace and honour on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad, just as you sent Grace and Honour on Ibrahim and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim. Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great. Oh Allah, send your blessing on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad, just as you sent blessings on Ibrahim and his true followers. Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great.
  • Oh Allah, Give us goodness here in this world and in the next. Protect us from the fire of Hell. Oh Allah, forgive us when the day of judgment has come. And also excuse my father and mother and the believers as well.
  • [to angel on right] Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah
  • [to angel on left] Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah

Peace.

The Favours

Now, if you’ve taken a moment to consider the previous posts, then:

Please, as we recline on this carpet –  woven with fibers from the earth, harvested, cleaned and prepared, dyed and woven, transported and marketed, with hardship and cooperation at every level –   with one beautiful example of a favour (the cat), let’s take a moment to listen to Surah Rahman from the Qur’an and imagine yourself reclining on a Carpet of immense beauty; a pure Carpet, clean and comfortable. And as we listen, let’s consider the favours and what it might take for us to get from this carpet to that One?

First, let’s listen to it with our eyes open, reading the translation, keeping our heart as open as we can to the recitation of the words in Arabic. Then, we can listen to it one more time, this time with our eyes closed, absorbing the words fully with our hearts.