Archive for July, 2012

On Charity

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

“CHARITY DOES NOT IN ANY WAY DECREASE THE WEALTH AND THE SERVANT WHO
FORGIVES, ALLAH ADDS TO HIS RESPECT; AND THE ONE WHO SHOWS HUMILITY,
ALLAH ELEVATES HIM IN THE ESTIMATION (OF THE PEOPLE).”

Muslim Vol. 4, Hadith 6264

May Allah bless us all.

Ameen

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Alhamdulillah

O Allah,
I ask You to strengthen my iman and those around me.
I ask You to soften my heart
And to soften the hearts of the believers.
O Allah,
Forgive me for my shortcomings, for only You are perfect.
O Allah,
Please forgive me if I ever got too wrapped in a matter
That I didn’t have time to utter Your name.
O Allah,
Please forgive me for all the salat I missed
Because of ignorance or laziness,
Please forgive me for all the fasts I didn’t make up,
Thinking it was alright, since I fasted most of the days anyway.
O Allah,
Please forgive me for the sins I committed in the past
And those I will commit in the future.
O Allah,
Have mercy on all the Muslimeen,
And guide them.
Guide me O Allah,

Ya Allah,

I am thankful for giving me another day!

Ameen

Insight

The Prophet pbuh said, “When anyone of you is engaged in the Prayer, he is holding an intimate conversation with his Lord.” [Muslim]

Islamic Entertainment for our Children

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you shall be asked about his flock”

Bukhari and Muslim

 I am always worried about what my child watches on television. I do not stop him from watching television completely as I feel that could have  negative results.  However, I try and  provide a controlled environment in which he can only watch DVDs and programs which I have approved.  This summer I have been on the look out for quality Islamic shows for him to watch and enjoy.

As a Muslim convert I have realized over the years that as a mother watching her child grow would also mean being able to hand down the importance of knowledge through books and interactions with other children his age group. Alhamdulillah, as society continues to change with the times so has the importance of Islamic media. Thus, in the past few years many products for children have been produced.

I have compiled a list of my favorite Islamic entertainment products for children to share with other parents who have similar concerns. People may differ over the permissibility of these products (music, animation, etc) but this is not the forum for that.

Stories of the Prophets – Yusuf Estes

PEACE TV has produced some of the best Islamic shows for children. The first one to make this list is Stories of the Prophets. Yusuf Estes is perfect as an Islamic teacher for children, looking like a jolly grandfather and with a very good sense of humor, he keeps the children entertained while teaching them the stories of the prophets (peace be upon them) and many valuable lessons from each story. This is a very important show to let your children watch and one of many reasons why I recommend PEACE TV for every Muslim home.

 Whiz Kids & Wonder Kids

Other entertaining shows on PEACE TV are Whiz Kids and Wonder Kids, both feature performances by the children of the IIS (International Islamic School) in which the children deliver lectures, sing nasheeds, act out plays and overall provide good entertainment and lessons for children. I really like these shows because they provide positive role models for Muslim children, as your children can grow up watching practicing Muslim children on television.

Hooray for Baba Ali

Young people and teenagers are entertained and learn a lot through Baba Ali’s Reminder series, but for the little ones, there is Hooray for Baba Ali. A series of short videos in which Baba Ali entertains the kids by behaving like a child (more like a Muslim version of Mr. Bean) while teaching them many important lessons including obedience to parents, cleanliness, kindness to animals and so much more.

The Zaky Series

Islam Productions child division One4Kids have hired quality animators to put together a series of DVDs with an Islamic ethos about a purple bear named Zaky. There is so much to praise about this series. The animation is of the highest quality, the knowledge passed on is approved by scholars and authentic, there are no musical instruments and it is very well scripted. The best DVD in this series thus far is Time to Pray with Zaky which teaches children how to perform Wudhu, Tayyamum and Salah as well as many other lessons along the way. This DVD taught my children how to pray before they were two years old and at the moment they are learning their duas and surahs from this movie. If you don’t have this DVD in your collection, get it now. At the moment, we are eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the next Zaky movie in which he deals with protecting the environment

Muhammad (pbuh): The Final Prophet

It is hard to choose between the Message, the Final Legacy (series on Islam Channel) or the animated movie Muhammad: The Final Prophet. All three tell the Seerah beautifully, but since this is a list for children, I will go with the animated movie as the best way to teach your children the basic Seerah. The movie is well-animated, has good voice acting, an excellent script and tells all the major events of the Seerah with many moral lessons in just one and a half hours. I find this movie perfect as an introduction to the Seerah for children, Non-Muslims and new converts.

Insha’Allah, if you have something to add to this list of resources, please feel free to share your media experiences with your children. I would love to got to know more of your favorite places to visit with your children.

Jazakallahukhair!

Benefits: Reading Quran


Salaam Walaikum

Reading Quran has many benefits. Here are some surahs that the prophet Mohammed (pbuh) recommended for us to recite…

Surah al Fatiha (1)Once the Prophet was traveling when he disembarked and began walking alongside a companion. He asked him, ‘Shouldn’t I tell you the best part of the Qur’an?’ then he recited ‘Alhamdu lillahi rabil alameen’ (Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds). (First verse in Surrah Al Fatiha (1:1)Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”Whoever mastered the first seven (chapters or verses) from the Qur’an is a pontiff.”Also Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”In the Fatiha of the Qur’an, there is a cure for all maladies (illnesses)”Surah al Baqara (2) Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”The Qur’an and those who committed themselves to it will be presented on the Day of judgment, preceded by Surrah Al Baqara and Surrah Al Imran.”Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also said:”Learn how to recite Surah Al Baqara for there is a blessing in it, and there is sorrow for abandoning it, and it is unbearable for the idle’ and that Al Baqara and Al Imran are like two flowers which will shade their learner on the day of Judgment, as if there were two large clouds or two flocks of birds.”Also Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”Recite Surrah Al Baqara in your dwellings and do not keep them as tombs. He also said that whoever recited Surrah Al Baqara at night would be crowned with a crown of paradise.”Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”Do not make your house as tombs, for Satan averts a dwelling wherein Surrah Al Baqara is recited”Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was asked, ‘Which part of the Qur’an is the best?’. He replied, ‘The Surrah in which the cow is mentioned’. He was then asked ‘Which part of that Surrah?’. He replied, ‘The verse of the Throne and the last part of Surrah Al Baqara came down from under the Throne’Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Whoever recites 4 verses from the first part of Surrah Al Baqara, the verse of the Throne, two verses after the verse of the Throne and three verses from the last part of Surrah Al Baqara, Satan would never come near him or the members of his family on that day, and nothing he despises would come near him or the members of his family, and never are these verses recited over a madman without him regaining his consciousness’Abdullah ibn Masud (may Allah be please with him) said, ‘Whoever recited ten verses from Al-Baqara in the night, Satan shall not have access to that house, during the night till he wakes in the morning. These are: Four from the first part of the Surrah, followed by the verse of the Throne, two verses after the verse of the Throne and three from the last part of the Surrah’.

Surah al Imran (3)

Abdullah ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘What an excellent treasure Surrah Al Imran is to the pauper when he recites it in prayer during the last part of the night’Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Allah’s most magnificent name, which when used to implore Him, He responds, is found in three Surrahs. Al Baqara, Al Imran and Taha’

Surah al An’am (6)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’This Surah was seen off by as many angels as could block the horizon’Surah Yusuf (12) Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Teach your relative the recitation of Surrah Yusuf, for, any Muslim who recites it or teaches it to his family, Allah shall ease for him the agony of death, and give him the strength that will prevent him from envying a fellow Muslim’

Surah al Kahf (18)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:’Whoever recited Surrah Al Kahf on a Friday, Allah will kindle for him abundant light to illuminate the period between the two Fridays (the Friday on which he recited the Surrah and the next Friday)’

Surah al Mu’minun (23)

Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him recited (Surrah Al Mu’minun from verse 115 to 118) in the ear of an afflicted person and the man was cured.Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’What did you recite in his ear?’ Ibn Masud told him, and the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘By He in Whose hand lies my soul, Were a believing man to recite it over a mountain, it would have melted’.

Surah as Sajda (32)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) would not sleep until he recited Surrah Al Sajda.Khalid ibn Ma’dan (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Recite the Deliverer, which is Alif Laam Tanzeel, for I have heard that a man who had committed many sins used to recite it and nothing else. It spread its wing over him and said, ‘O’ My Lord, forgive him, for he often used to recite me.’ So the Lord Most High made it an intercessor for him and said, ‘Record for him a good deed and raise him a degree in place of every sin.”

Surah Yassin (36)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Whoever recited Surrah Yassin at night seeking Allah’s pleasure, Allah would forgive him’Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:”Whoever recited Surrah Yassin would seem (in terms of reward) as if he had recited the Qur’an ten times.”

Surah ad Dukhan (44)

Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘The ‘ha-meems’ are the embellishment of the Qur’anThe ‘ha-meems’ refer to the seven Surrahs which have ha-meem at the start.

Surah al Fath (48)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’A Surrah of the Qur’an was revealed to me tonight, indeed it is the dearest Surrah to my heart, than anything under the sun’. Then the Prophet recited Surrah al Fath verses 1-5

Surah Al Rahman (55)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Everything has a bride, and the bride of the Qur’an is Surrah Al Rahman’

Surah al Waqiah (56)

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Whoever recites Surrah al Waqiah at night would never encounter poverty’ Also Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:’Surah al Waqiah is the Surrah of Wealth, so recite it and teach it to your children’

Embracing Ramadan

Take a moment to think about something that you love a lot. What
would happen if you lost it? Now thank Allah you have it and be happy.
This amazing exercise can be applied to everything from your phone, to
your family, to your faith! Now that you are happy you have these things
spend a moment thanking Allah and savoring what you have.
Research shows that savoring has very powerful affects on well-being
and this Ramadan why not take some extra time to be grateful
for the gifts that Allah has given you.

Other quick things you can do to improve well-being are:

1. Take a nap. If you are exhausted your brain won’t process
happy thoughts as effectively.

2. Smile. Not only is it a sunnah, but it can also improve
your well-being as your brain thinks you are feeling good.

3. Give someone a hug. A halal one of course! Research
shows that hugs are powerful for improving well-being and
building connectedness.

***Brought to you by: Journey Planner. A tool developed to help
you maximize your reward this month and improve your well being.
http://www.IWantJannah.com

Insha’Allah I hope you have benefited from this information as I have and would like to invite you to visit this sister’s webpage as she has developed this outstanding ebook that is available for your view.  It is a Ramadan Planner. Can not be compared to a diary or journal but one unique way of digesting a day of knowledge through remembrances of Allah.

Hope you enjoy reading it and please pass it along to others to benefit their vessel of knowledge.

Ramadan Kareem brothers and sisters!!!

Supporting our Single Muslim Mothers

The holy month of Ramadan is  a time in which we try and increase our ibaadah, constantly remembering Allah as well as  to attain better levels of taqwa. This is our opportunity to repent for sins committed. Others embrace Ramadan as a chance to reflect on how they feel stronger and at peace. However, for others this month brings hardships as a real test of faith.

During this holy month no one would ever overlook the poor and struggles of those that are ill. However, has anyone considered that some single mothers struggle as well. Physically tired and taking care of their children alone during the long summer heat while fasting can present challenges.

On July 20th as I welcomed the  first morning of Ramadan and prepared for the day ahead, there was a feeling of nostalgia that overtook me as I sat alone at a table. The sense of being alone where  there was no husband or family by my side waking up for suhoor together. There was no one to talk to about how great this month would be and no one to motivate me. Especially no one to make a lovely breakfast for and no one to pray my salah with. This was the first time during Ramadan that  I had been alone at suhoor, and I wasn’t ready for the pain I felt acknowledging that this would be the moments I was faced in living.

Subhanallah, the positive side is that my son and I started praying together as a family and after explaining to my son with tears in my eyes that we had no man present to lead the Salah, I have tried to teach him how to lead it and from then on he has led us as best as he can. I have had so far bonded with my son a lot during these days. Subhanallah it brought us closer together due to the mercy of Allah swt.

In saying this, I felt a need to seek other single Muslim mothers during this time to open iftar and to share the happiness and spiritual meaning of the day. I found that supporting one another as single mothers of children from ages 2-13 was really an important step to take as we felt the pressures in a way many others may not. For example, there is no one there to alleviate the stress of doing a 2 man job alone, no one to come home from work and take over and play with the children for a while as a father used to do. This was a relief as  I would escape to grab a power nap. Eventually as the day disappears into the night so do our children find their places in  bed.It is then that we can manage sometime to think or enjoy a cup of tea. However, feeling the pangs of loneliness would creep up again. I try to overcome negativity by reading Islamic books, listening to recitations or lectures and my all time favorite is just to simply let my thoughts flow into writing.

I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to allow this entire month to go in this direction of feeling isolated or lonely. As women we have pride too and will not broadcast to the world what we are suffering.  From experience I have known people to say they need help and are brushed off by people telling them to have more sabr and to think of those less fortunate. However,  this same group of people who brush us off  have forgotten that it is their duty too to help the weak and needy. It’s called humanity and you cannot be a good Muslim without it. How well do we really know our neighbor and not just the people living next door to us, but the ones down the road as well?  Maybe one of them is a single Muslim mother, barely coping, on the edge, struggling and alone in need of help and love and support.

There are many ways we can help our fellow sisters. For example, we can offer to baby sit their children for even an hour a day. Sisters within a local community can team up and form a babysitting routine where they take it in turns to help struggling sisters. They can also make food where they take it in turn to deliver food to people for iftar, or they can offer to host iftar at their homes or bring round food to the sister’s home. This will give the sister a sense of both purpose as she is hosting the iftar, and will give her some much needed companionship. Sisters can do their bit to promote awareness too by talking to family and friends and the masjid about this issue.  Organizing regular talks within a sister’s circle with a a sister Muslimah leader (Aalima) can help  boost our eeman (faith).  This is important because our eeman(faith) is the first thing that drops when we are stressed or facing hardship and it’s crucial that we bring our eeman (faith) levels back up so Shaiytaan is not able to influence us. This all counts as a form of sadqa which helps to strengthen our Ummah and the mothers of our future generation and gives them the hope and support that they desperately need.

Ramadan is a busy time for everyone and Insha’Allah I pray that our single Muslim mothers gather around a  social network by meeting sisters from their local masjid.  Take friends up on their offer to babysit even you use this time to relax and read or take a power nap. I know from personal experience that I am so used to doing it alone that I literally feel bad if I  accept help as they may think or say I  can’t manage my child. I learned later that this is not true. As I have known sisters who would like the chance to help others especially in Ramadan and there is no shame in admitting if you are struggling.

Think about it next time you open your fast and ask yourself have you done all you can to help those around you?

Narrated Abu Sa’id (al-Khudri):

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If any Muslim clothes a Muslim when he is naked, Allah will clothe him with some green garments of Paradise; if any Muslim feeds a Muslim when he is hungry, Allah will feed him with some of the fruits of Paradise; and if any Muslim gives a Muslim drink when he is thirsty, Allah will give him some of the pure wine which is sealed to drink.”

Afterall, we are an Ummah, to protect the people and unify them.