Would You Like All of Your Sins from Last Year to be Forgiven By Allah (SWT)? Then fast this Monday, the Day of Ashura

This MONDAY, THE TENTH OF MUHARRAM, NOVEMBER 3, IS THE BLESSED DAY OF ASHURA. This day COMMEMORATES the day when Allah (swt) saved Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers from pharoah, drowning pharoah and his army.  

The Prophet (pbuh) said the following about fasting on this blessed day: 

“For fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” [Reported by Muslim, 1976]

Let us fast on this blessed day, all together, and let us also make a lot of duaas for ourselves and for our ummah. The blessed Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Three supplications will not be rejected by Allah (SWT), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.” [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi - Sahih]

For more information about fasting in Muharram and the Day of Ashura, you can visit: http://sunnahonline.com/library/hajj-umrah-and-the-islamic-calendar/324-virtues-of-muharram-and-fasting-on-ashura-the 

In case you were wondering about the best times to make duaa to Allah (swt), here is a listing, courtesy of IslamAwareness.net (http://www.islamawareness.net/Dua/best.html):

Best Times to make Dua (Supplication)

There are certain times dua (supplication) is more likely to be accepted by Allah (SWT) as mentioned by Prophet (SAW). These times are as follows:

  1.  The Last Third Of The Night 
    Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘In the last third of every night our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) (Allah (SWT)) descends to the lowermost heaven and says; “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?.”‘ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi]

    Amr ibn Absah narrated that the Prophet said: ‘The closest any worshipper can be to His Lord is during the last part of the night, so if you can be amongst those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.’[at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, al-Hakim - Sahih]

    2. Late at night
    When people are sleeping and busy with worldly pleasures Allah (SWT) gives the believers an opportunity, or an answer hour if they can fight sleep and invoke Allah (SWT) for whatever they need. The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs) every night.’
    [Muslim #757]

    3. Between Adhan and Iqamah
    Anas (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘A supplication made between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.’
    [Ahmad, abu Dawud #521, at-Tirmidhi #212, Sahih al-Jami #3408, an-Nasai and Ibn Hibban graded it sahih (sound)]

    4. An Hour On Friday 
    Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Allah’s Messenger (SAW) talked about Friday and said: ‘There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will definitely meet his demand.’ And he (the Prophet (SAW) pointed out the shortness of that particular time with his hands.[Sahih al-Bukhari]

    Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam (prayer’s leader) enters the mosque on Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over (ie between the two khutbahs), whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (ie after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer).

    5. While Drinking Zamzam Water
    Jaber (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘Zamzam water is for what it is drunk for.’ [Ahmad 3: 357 and Ibn Majah #3062]. This means that when you drink Zamzam water you may ask Allah (SWT) for anything you like to gain or benefit from this water such as healing from illness…. etc.

    6. While Prostrating
    Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW), said: ‘The nearest a slave can be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so invoke (supplicate) Allah (SWT) much in it. [Muslim, abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and others, Sahih al-Jami #1175]

    When a Muslim is in his Salat (prayer) he is facing Allah (SWT) and when he prostrates he is the nearest he can be to Allah (SWT) so it is best to invoke Allah (SWT) at this time. It is said that while in prostration, one should not ask for worldy needs (ie a nice car, a new job, etc), but for the Hereafter.

    7. When Waking Up at Night
    Narrated Ubada Bin As-Samit that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘Whomever wakes up at night and says La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shrika lahu lahulmulku, wa lahul hamdu, wa huwa ala kulli shai’in qadir. Alhamdu lillahi, wa subhanallahi wa la ilaha illallahu, wallah akbir, wa la hawla wala quwata illa billah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (SWT) He is the only one who has no partners. His is the kingdom and all the praises are for Allah (SWT) All the glories are for Allah (SWT) And none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) is the most Great and there is neither might nor power except with Allah (SWT) and then says, Allahumma ighfir li (O Allah! Forgive me) or invokes Allah (SWT), he will be responded to and if he makes ablution and performs Salat (prayer), his Salat (prayer) will be accepted. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

    8. At The End Of The Obligatory Salat:
    Narrated Abu Omamah (RA): that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was asked, O Messenger of Allah, which supplication is heard (by Allah (SWT), he said the end of the night and at the end of the obligatory Salat (prayer) [at-Tirmidhi]. This time is after saying ‘At-tahyat’ , and before making Tasleem (finishing prayer)

    9. The Night Of ‘Qadr’ (Decree)
    This night is the greatest night of the year. This is the night which the almighty Allah (SWT) said about it, “The night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months.” [Surah al-Qadr, 97: 3]

    The Night of Decree is one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of the blessed month of Ramadan. The angels descend down to the earth, and the earth is overwhelmed with peace and serenity until the break of dawn and when he doors of Paradise are opened, the worshipper is encouraged to turn to Allah to ask for his needs for this world and the Hereafter.

    10. During The Rain
    Narrated Sahel Ibn Sa’ad (RA): that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Two will not be rejected, Supplication when the Adhan (call of prayer) is being called, and at the time of the rain’. [Al-Hakim 2: 114, and Abu Dawud #2540, ibn Majah]

    ‘Seek the response to your du’as when the armies meet, and the prayer is called, and when rain falls’ [reported by Imam al-Shafi' in al-Umm, al-Sahihah #1469]. The time of the rain is a time of mercy from Allah (SWT) so, one should take advantage of this time when Allah (SWT) is having mercy on His slaves.

    11. At the Adhan
    ‘Seek the response to your du’as when the armies meet, and the prayer is called, and when rain falls’ [reported by Imam al-Shafi' in al-Umm, al-Sahihah #1469]

    In another hadith; ‘When the prayer is called, the doors of the skies are opened, and the du’a is answered’ [al-Tayalisi in his Musnad #2106, al-Sahihah #1413]

    12. The One Who Is Suffering Injustice and Opression
    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to Mua’ad Ibn Jabal (RA), ‘Beware of the supplication of the unjustly treated, because there is no shelter or veil between it (the supplication of the one who is suffering injustice) and Allah (SWT)’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

    The prophet (SAW) declared, ‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: the fasting person until he breaks his fast (in another narration, when he breaks fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.’[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi - Hasan]

    In another hadith; The Prophet (SAW) declared: ‘Three du’as are surely answered: The du’a of the oppressed, the du’a of the traveler, and the du’a of the father/mother (upon their child)’. The One who is suffering injustice is heard by Allah (SWT) when he invokes Allah (SWT) to retain his rights from the unjust one or oppressor. Allah (SWT) has sworn to help the one who is suffering from injustice sooner or later as the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said.

    13. The Traveler
    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi - Sahih]

    During travel supplication is heard by Allah (SWT) if the trip is for a good reason, but if the trip is for a bad intention or to perform illegal things (making sins) this will not apply to it.

    14. The Parent’s Supplication for their Child
    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi - Sahih]

    15. Dua after praising Allah and giving salat on the Prophet (SAW) in the tashahhud at the end of salat.
    Narrated Faddalah ibn Ubayd (RA): that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘When anyone of you makes du’a, let him start by glorifying his Lord and praising Him, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (SAW), then let him pray for whatever he wants’
    [abu Dawud #1481, at-Tirmidhi #3477]

    In another hadith; Baqiy ibn Mukhallid (RA) narrated that that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Every du’a is not responded to until one sends blessings upon the Prophet (SAW)’ [al-Bayhaqi]

    In another hadith; Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Du’a is detained between the heavens and the earth and no part of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet (SAW)’ [at-Tirmidhi #486]

    After a person has finished his tashahhud and before saying the ‘salam’, supplication at this time is one likely to be responded to.
    Ibn Mas’ud narrates: I was once praying, and the Prophet (SAW), Abu Bakr and Umar (were all present). When I sat down (in the final tashahhud), I praised Allah, then sent salams on the Prophet, then started praying for myself. At this, the Prophet (SAW) said:
    ‘Ask, and you shall be given it! Ask, and you shall be given it!’ [at-Tirmidhi #593 - hasan, Mishkat al-Misbah #931]

    16. The dua of a Muslim for his absent brother or sister Muslim stemming from the heart.
    The prophet (SAW) said: ‘There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother in his absence where the angels do not say, ‘the same be for you” [Muslim]

    17. Dua on the Day of Arafat
    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘The best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafat’.  [at-Tirmidhi and Malik]

    The day of Arafat is the essence and pinnacle of Hajj. On this great and momentous day, millions of worshippers gather together on one plain, from every corner of the world, with only one purpose in mind – to respone to the call of their Creator. During this auspicious day, Allah does not refuse the requests of His worshippers.

    18. Dua during the month of Ramadan

    Ramadan is month full of many blessings, thus the du’a of Ramadan is a blessed one. This can be inferred from the Prophet (SAW) saying: ‘When Ramadan comes, the Doors of Mercy (another narration says Paradise) are opened, and the doors of Hell are closed, and the Shaitans are locked up’ Thus, it is clear that du’a during Ramadan has a greater chance of being accepted, as the Gates of Paradise and Mercy are opened. [Sahih al-Bukhari #1899, Muslim #1079 and others]

    19. Dua when the Armies meet
    When the Muslim is facing the enemy in battle, at this critical period, the du’a of a worshipper is accepted.

    Sahl ibn Sa’d (RA) narrtaed the the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Two duas are never rejected, or rarely rejected: the du’a during the call for prayer, and the du’a during the clamity when the two armies attack each other’ [Abu Dawud #2540, ibn Majah, al-Hakim]

    20. When Muslims gather for the purpose of invoking and remembering Allah (Dhikrullah).

    The Prophet (SAW) said: If a group of people sit together remembering Allah, the angels will circle them, mercy will shroud them, peace will descend onto them and Allah will remember them among those with Him.  [Muslim]

    21. First Ten days of Dhul-Hijjah
    The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than during these ten days’
    [Sahih al-Bukhai #969 and others]

    22. Dua when the heart reaches out to Allah and is ready to be totally sincere

    23. At Midnight

    Abu Umamah (RA) said, the Prophet (SAW) was questioned; ‘Which du’a is heard (by Allah)?’ He answered, ‘At midnight and at the end of every obligatory prayer.’ [at-Tirmidhi - Hasan]

    25. Dua of people after the death of a person

    In a long hadith, Umm Salamah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said, when Abu Salamah had just passed away, and had closed his eyes, ‘Do not ask for yourselves anything but good, for the angels will say ‘Ameen’ to all that you ask for. O Allah, forgive Abu Salamah, and raise his ranks among those who are guided.’ [Muslim, abu Dawud, Ahmad]

    26. Dua of the one fasting until he breaks his fast. 

    The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi - Sahih]

    27. Dua of the one fasting at the time of breaking fast

The prophet (SAW) declared, ‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: when a fasting person breaks fast (in another narration, the fasting person until he breaks his fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.’[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi - Hasan]

29. Dua of a just Ruler

The prophet (SAW) declared, ‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: the fasting person until he breaks his fast (in another narration, when he breaks fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.’[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi - Hasan]

30. Dua of a son or daughter obedient to his or her parents 

It is well known in the story narrated in hadith os three men who were trapped by a huge stone in a cave. One of them who was kind to kis parents asked Allah to remove the stone, and his du’a was answered. [Sahih al-Bukhari 3:36 #472]

31. Dua immediately after wudu

Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘There is not one of you that makes wudu, and does it perfectly, then says: I testify that there is no diety worthy of worship except Allah. he is Alone, having no partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger’, except that the eight gates of Paradise are opened for him, and he can enter into it through whichever one he pleases’ [Muslim #234, abu Dawud #162, Ahmad, an-Nasa'i] Saying what has been mentioned in the hadith that is directly related to it (ablution)

32. Dua after stoning the Jamarat at Hajj

The stoning of the small Shaitan (jamrat sugra), or the middle Shaitan (jamrat wusta) pillars during Hajj. It is narrated that the Prophet (SAW) would stone the small Jamarah (one of the three pillars that is stoned in the last days of Hajj), then face the qiblah, raise his hands, and make du’a for a long time. He would then stone the middle Jamarah and do the same. When he stoned the large Jamarah, he would depart without making any du’a. [Sahih al-Bukhari #1753 and others]

33. At the Crowing of a Rooster

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘When you hear a rooster crowing, then ask Allah for His bounties, for it has seen an angel, and when you hear a donkey braying, then seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan, for it has seen a Shaitan’ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Sahih al-Jami #611]

34. Du’a made inside the Ka’bah
The Ka’bah is a sanctuary that has no comparison in the entire world. The du’a of one who prays inside the hijr is considered as being made inside the ka’bah, as it is part of the house (Baitullah). [This is the semicircle to the right of the Ka'bah if you face the door, opposite to the Yemeni corner and the Black stone wall.]

Usamah ibn Zayd narrated, ‘When the Prophet (SAW) entered the House (Ka’bah), he made du’a in all of its corners [Muslim 2: 968 and others]

35. Du’a on the mount of Safa or Marwah during Umrah or Hajj

It is narrated that the Prophet (SAW) would make long du’as at Safa and Marwah. [Muslim #1218 and others]

36. Dua at any of the holy sites.

37. While reciting Surah al-Fatihah

The Prophet (SAW) said that Allah the Exalted had said: ‘ I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for. When the servant says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, Allah the Most High says: My servant has praised Me. And when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the Merciful, Allah the Most High says: My servant has lauded Me. When he (the servant) says: Master of the Day of Judgment, He remarks: My servant has glorified Me, and sometimes He will say: My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me. When he (the worshipper) says: Thee do we worship and of Thee do we ask help, He (Allah) says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for. Then, when he (the worshipper) says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious — not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray, He (Allah) says: This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for. [Muslim 4: 395]

38. Saying ‘Ameen’ during prayer

After finishing the recitation of al-Fatihah, the saying of’Ameen’ in congregation. The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘When the Imam says ‘Ameen’, then recite it behind him (as well), because whoever’s Ameen coincides with the Ameen of the angels will have all of his sins forgiven.’ [Sahih al-Bukhari #780, Muslim #410 and others]

39. While visiting the sick, and dua made by the sick

Umm Salamah narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘When you visit the sick, or the dead then say good, because the angels say ‘Ameen’ to whatever you say [Muslim #2126]

Ali (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘When a Muslim visits his sick Muslim brother in the morning, seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till the evening. And when he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till the morning, and he will be granted a garden for it in Jannah.’
[at-Tirmidhi, abu Dawud]

 

 

 

How To Deal With Sadness and Trauma

Yesterday I spoke to my mom on the phone and she informed me of some news that brought down my mood. She told me about some recent convert Muslims who committed violent crimes in America. This caused me to feel sadness and emotional pain because it seems that Muslims today are bombarded with negative news stories about people of our faith.

So, yes, I felt sad and experienced negative thoughts such as, “Why does this keep happening to us?” and “Why is it so hard to try to represent my faith as the kind and good religion that it is?”

This brought back memories of 9/11. At that time I was in college and was very active in the Muslim Students Association. I would stand at booths in front of the cafeteria and pass out pamphlets about Islam and try to clear up misconceptions about Islam (such as that Islam supports terrorism or oppresses women). When 9/11 happened, I felt so sad, as an American and as a Muslim.

I feel that this current time is traumatic for Muslims in so many ways.

So yesterday’s news from my mom was a real downer, and I had to pull out my toolbox of “coping skills”. So here are some tools to use when you are feeling down and dealing with something traumatic:

  1. As always, be aware of yourself. Be aware when your emotions are taking a downturn. If you are not aware of your inner world, then you will not even know when to start using coping skills in the first place, and you may do something that you regret.
  2. Turn to Allah (swt) and make duaa/talk to Him. Some Muslims are not aware that you can talk to Allah in your own words. Some Muslims think that you need to recite Arabic to talk to Allah. Please understand that a duaa can be a personal conversation with Allah. Here is an example of a duaa I made last night:

“Oh Allah, please help me in this time of sadness. Please help me to be a better Muslim to You and to have the right manners before You. Please help our ummah in this difficult time.”

  1. Give yourself time. It takes time to return to inner peace when you are feeling really down. Don’t rush the process. Give yourself time to grieve and heal.
  2. Talk to others. Seek support. Don’t isolate yourself.
  3. Remember that everything that happens is by Allah’s permission and will. As Muslims, we must accept Allah’s will, i.e. His Divine Decree. Consider this verse:

“No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” (Holy Quran 64:11)

  1. Remember that Islam teaches us to be patient. Consider this verse: “Do you think that you will enter paradise without such trials as came to those who passed away before you? They experienced suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Prophet and the faithful who were with him cried, ‘When will Allah’s help come?’ Ah, verily the help of Allah is near.” (The Holy Quran 2:214). Understand that it is normal to be “shaken in spirit” sometimes. Even Prophets were “shaken in spirit” at times. Just be patient.
  2. Work through your thoughts by understanding the thoughts that are causing your feelings. Learn to replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Example: I was thinking that many people will look at Muslims in even more negative ways. After some time, I replaced this thought with: “I think that people will now be more interested in meeting Muslims who are trying to make this world a better place and who are good people.”
  3. Tap into your inner wisdom. Islam encourages us to use our reason and to learn from life. You have had many life experiences, and each one is a teacher. Connect with your inner wisdom and reasoning to find the best way to deal with your sadness.

What are some of your coping skills for dealing with sadness?

How To Have Your Own Personal Victory Moment

Bismillahirrahmanirraheem

Yesterday I was able to have a personal victory moment and it felt so good!

My husband said something to me that hurt my feelings, but I totally understand his view. It’s just the WAY that he said it that bothered me. I had had a busy day (meetings and tutoring) and the house was kind of messy. My husband, who is the cleaner and more organized spouse (I know—that is strange—usually it’s the other way around!) became upset by the mess and expressed this to me.

I was upset because I felt that I had spent my day in very positive ways, contributing to my community. Anyway, in the past such a “spat” with my husband would bring me really down. Yesterday, I chose to remain calm and build my inner strength. I did not respond “in kind” to my husband’s upset tone of voice.

I tried to find solutions, such as respecting his feelings and trying to clean up. I excused myself from his presence when I was feeling hurt by his attitude.

Later, when I was calmer, I explained to him why the house was messier than usual.

I consider this a personal victory moment because the story could have been totally different. I could have responded back to my husband in an equally bothered tone. I could have “flipped out” as many people unfortunately do. But, Alhamdulillah, I chose to BE CALM and follow chapter 10 of my book: “Make calmness and inner peace your base feeling.”

So how can you have your own victory moment? Learn to bring yourself back to inner peace and calmness the next time you feel like “flipping out.” Train yourself to be calm as your base feeling. You will feel proud of yourself, I promise!

Here is a great quote from “Happy for No Reason” by Marci Shimoff:

“Every single time you make a choice to respond in a way that expands you and creates more peace and well-being, you’re strengthening your ability to make that same positive choice in the future. This is empowerment; it moves you from being a victim to being a victor.”

P.S. My husband is a wonderful human being and I do not mean in any way to discredit his good qualities!

How to Cope With Colds

downloadColds can be a real drain on our happiness reserves. I currently am suffering from one, and I think it is close to being the flu!

I’d like to share some tips about coping with colds. Using “coping skills” is a repeated theme of my book and blog.

As always, be self-aware. Be aware of your negative thoughts and feelings. Then remind yourself that Islam teaches us to be patient during difficult times.

“…..Surely Allah is with the patient.” (Holy Quran 8:46)

And another truth to hold on to is that you never really know if something is “good” or “bad” for you. We tend to think of getting sick as a “bad” thing–but even our illnesses can be good for us in some way! Perhaps they will purify us of our sins and bring us closer to our Lord!

“No fatigue, nor disease, nor anxiety, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”

–The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as recorded in Bukhari and Muslim

Of course, try to remember Allah (swt) as much as you can. And catch yourself if you start to have negative thoughts like, “Allah doesn’t like me” or “Why is this happening to me?” Remember that the Prophets of Allah suffered the most of all human beings!

“Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity.” (a hadith recorded in Bukhari and others)

“The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets…” (hadith recorded in Ahmad, Tirmidthi)

Along with being patient is the importance of being grateful. Try to find something to be grateful for when you are feeling sick or down. Perhaps be thankful that you are not as ill as you could be.

Another important tip is to try to improve your condition (i.e. look for solutions). When I am sick, I take a lot of Vitamin D3, a proven germ fighter. I also avoid gluten. I have observed that gluten (found in bread, flour and pasta) seems to weaken my immune system. Do what works for you. When you work on ways to improve your condition, you feel more empowered and hopeful.

Being sick gives you an opportunity to learn compassion and humility–extremely important traits of a believer.

When you are sick, don’t be afraid to seek help from others and to admit your vulnerability. You will help them to get blessings for helping you!

Remember that becoming sick is a sign that you need to take time off for yourself. Take care of yourself!

A great article about being patient during adversities can be read at: http://www.islamtomorrow.com/everything/tests.htm

 

 

 

Muslims Stay Strong

Muslims stay strong,

When evil groups like ISIS

represent Islam

so wrong.

 

Muslims don’t lose heart,

When people who claim they are Muslims

Tear our world apart.

 

A true Muslim does not fight others

Unless they are fighting him,

A true Muslim respects all people

And knows that you can’t force religion. (Holy Quran 2:256)

 

True Muslims work for the poor,

the widows and the weak,

True Muslims are full of mercy,

It is not power they seek.

 

True Muslims bring honor

To the name of our beloved Prophet,

He taught us to do good deeds

To live for God, not for profit.

 

Muslims stay strong.

Islam teaches peace.

The Quran says that if the enemy stops fighting,

Then our fighting must also cease. (Holy Quran 8:61)

 

Muslims don’t lose heart.

Murder is not part of our faith.

To kill one innocent person

Is like killing the entire human race. (Holy Quran 5:32)

 

Islam gave rights to women

That they did not have before.

It ended the murder of baby girls

And marriages done by force.

 

Muslims we have to stay strong,

Our religion is being attacked,

By people who call themselves “Muslims”

But whose hearts are blacker than black.

 

Islam was not spread by the sword,

It was spread by kindness and love,

It says do good to all people (Quran 4:36)

And seek the pleasure of God above. (Quran 2:207).

Today is the Blessed day of ‘Arafah and Is Also the Anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s Final Sermon

imagesKR2M3H6RI would like to post the Last Sermon of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Today is the anniversary of this famous speech. Let us pray that we Muslims follow his words.

The Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon (pbuh) (courtesy of Islamicity.com)

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H.
in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat’ (in Mecca).

After praising, and thanking Allah he said:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people”.

Happy “Best 10 Days for Doing Good Deeds”!

images“There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.”
–The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as recorded in Bukhari

Happy first 10 days of the month of Dhul Hijjah! September 25 (today) to October 4, 2014 mark the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.

Maximize your blessings and your eternal happiness by taking advantage of these blessed days!

Here are the recommended actions:

*Fasting, especially on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah (The Day of Arafah, Friday Oct. 3 of this year)

“Fasting on the Day of Arafah brings forgiveness for the sins of this year and the year before” (Hadith of our Prophet pbuh recorded in Muslim)

*Reciting SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Laa ilaaha illAllah, Allahuakbar as much as possible, whenever and wherever (they mean: Glory be to God, Praise be to God, There is no god except for God, God is the Greatest)

*Do more good deeds than usual (giving charity, reading the Holy Quran, etc.)

*Make many duaas (asking of God Almighty) and perform more optional prayers/acts of worship

For more details please visit the website www.ProductiveMuslim.com

One Lesson From the Movie, “A Beautiful Mind”

download“A Beautiful Mind” is an award-winning movie starring Russell Crowe about the Nobel-Prize winning economist John Nash.

This movie illustrates a fabulous lesson for the average person, even though its main character suffers from hallucinations of seeing non-existent people.

The lesson that this movie inspired in me is that of developing your own personalized coping skills for problems in your life.

Nash decides to handle his hallucinations by totally ignoring them, even though they never actually go away. Even though the problem of seeing imaginary people is not solved, Nash finds a way to cope, and his life is transformed for the better.

This is a lesson for all of us in that sometimes, we cannot erase certain problems in our lives. Sometimes we don’t know what to do, but at least we can explore ideas to cope with those problems.

For example, I am not a huge fan of washing dishes and spending time in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning. However, I don’t have a personal cook and my family needs to eat. Eating out is not a daily option. Therefore, I have developed the coping skill of listening to something interesting on Youtube while working in the kitchen. This has helped me immensely in coping with the boredom I had felt when working in the kitchen.

Thanks be to God, most of us do not have to deal with hallucinations like Professor Nash did, but we all face personal challenges in life. Rather than only focusing on erasing those challenges, try finding ways to cope with those challenges. And sometimes, life becomes more enjoyable than it was before.

7 REASONS WHY I AM HAPPY LIVING IN NORTHERN IRAQ

imagesThanks be to God, the part of Iraq I live in is very safe and peaceful. It is the Northern part in a city called Sulaimaniah. Here are some reasons why I am happy here:

1. I hear the call to prayer multiple times per day, which is beautiful and makes me feel good.

2. My kids play outside everyday because it’s very safe and there are other kids in the same building.

3. I walk more here–we don’t have a car and we don’t need one! We can walk to stores!

4. We live in an apartment building where all of my friends are just an elevator’s ride away.

5. A peaceful view of mountains is just outside my window.

6. The pace of life is slower here and I have more time to think and reflect and do activities that feed my soul.

7. I cook my own food more, partly because I have to and partly because I have the time to do so. Consequently, I am eating more healthier, non-processed foods.

You don’t need to move to Northern Iraq to experience “happiness boosters”. Try to find ways to build more happiness into your life, such as planning for more quiet time for yourself.

Dealing with the Stress of Negative Media Coverage about Muslims

imagesNegative media coverage about Islam and Muslims is an unfortunate reality of our current era. Such news stories can cause emotional stress on Muslims, especially Muslims who are active in combating stereotypes about Islam and more obviously Muslim people, such as women who wear the headscarf.

Many Muslims may feel intimidated, discouraged and frightened by the continuous negative portrayals of Islam and Muslims. The media is certainly not always to blame, but for many Muslims it seems that the media does not give a care if what or how they portray a story will create a harmful backlash against tolerant, moderate Muslims who are trying to be positive members of their communities.

Here are some ways that I have found useful in dealing with the stress of negative news stories about Muslims:

1. Acknowledge your stress and negative feelings, such as hopelessness, sadness, confusion, fear, etc. Denying that these feelings exist will prevent you from actually overcoming them. Be honest with yourself, and then work through those feelings in order to replace them with more helpful feelings (such as a determination to do something constructive/helpful).

2. Along that line, look for helpful and constructive actions to take, such as posting a facebook article about Islam or about Muslims who are working for positive causes. (Example: when a certain terrorist attack takes place, post a condemnation of this attack by a prominent Muslim group, such as the Council for American Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America).

3. Discover coping skills that work for you. Talk to someone about your feelings, go for a walk, write in a journal, and of course, the number one action to take is to talk to Allah (swt) and pray that He helps you and the ummah in this stressful time.

4. Remember that Allah (swt) is Wise and All-Knowing and that He will reward you for your patience and hardships. Allah is also the Most Kind and Most Merciful; He hears all of your duaas/prayers and He is the source of all help. Whatever happens will happen by His Divine Decree, and we must remember to accept His decree and be patient, while at the same time do our best to improve our situations.

5. Remember that it is normal to feel down sometimes and to feel disheartened by the negative portrayals of Muslims in the media. Just try to find ways to feel better and give yourself hope.

6. Use these stressful times as an opportunity to train yourself to be calm during stressful situations (Chapter 10 of my book).

7. A useful statement I once heard a Shaykh say was something like, “We cannot stop the media from reporting the way they choose to report stories about Muslims, but we can try to be the best examples of Islam that we can be to whoever we meet and interact with.”

May Allah (swt) help us to represent our faith in the best way possible and to please Him, Ameen.