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Lessons from prophets

When u are hurt by the people who
share blood relations with u , recall
Yousuf عليه الصلاة والسلام who was also
betrayed by his brothers.

When u find ur parents opposing u
(in deen) recall
Ibraheem عليه الصلاة والسلام who was opposed by his own
father.

When u are mocked and abused by
ur own relatives just because u adopted
deen over dunya recall Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alaihe Wa Sallam who faced the same.

When u are stuck in some problem and find no way out recall
Yunus عليه الصلاة والسلام who was stuck in the fish’s stomach.

When u fall ill and ur whole body
cries with pain recall
Ayoob عليه الصلاة والسلام who was more ill than u can ever be.

When u see some physical fault in
urself recall Moosa عليه الصلاة والسلام who
couldn’t speak properly.

When u feel lonely recall how
Adam عليه الصلاة والسلام would have felt when he was sent to this earth alone.

When u can’t see any logic in whats going on and ur heart asks why is this
happening recall Nooh عليه الصلاة والسلام
who made the biggest ship without questioning.

Subhan allah

Allah put all those great personalities in trials so that we may take an example and some day someone like You and Me ,if faced by any calamity, wouldn’t question “WHY ME?”

May Allah Bless all the Muslims with the correct understanding of His Deen and make us steadfast upon it. Aameen.

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12 Things That Are Stopping You From Being Happy

12 Things That Are Stopping You From Being Happy

blog12thingsstoppinghappiness

Are we rewarded for our good deeds in the hereafter only, or also in this life? The answer is in the Quran.

In this week’s central ayah Allah ‘azza wa jal says: Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall make them live a good life (in this world), and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do. [Quran, 16: 97]

There’s a reward in this world and it’s called the “good life.” But what is this “good life?” The good life includes feeling tranquility in all aspects of life: Ali ibn Abi Talib radiyallahu ‘anhu interpreted as contentment. This was also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah and Wahb bin Munabbih. Ali bin Abi Talhah recorded from Ibn Abbas that it meant happiness. [Tafseer ibn Katheer]

Do you feel unhappiness more often than you feel joy? More important, do you know why you feel like this? Let’s take a look at the 12 things you need to release from your life if you want to feel happy.

12 Things To Let Go If You Want To Be Happy!

1.      Let go of wanting to be in control. Do you try to always bend things or people to your way, trying to control the situation and getting upset if it doesn’t seem to work? Truly trusting your affairs to Allah Al-Wakeel means you do your bit and trust He will give you the best result. By letting it go it all gets done, said Lao Tzu.  This will give you the most amazing serenity inside and it is an act of worship!
Motivation: (He is) Lord of the East and the West. There is no god but He. Take Him therefore as Disposer of your Affairs. [Quran, 73: 9]

2.      Let go of complaining. The shopping was too expensive. The weather too hot. The children too tiring. When did complaining ever help? Does complaining to others— or to yourself— make you feel honourable? A situation can only make you sad if you allow it to. Positive thinking is extremely powerful! You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. (Ziggy)
Motivation: Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favours (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes). [Saheeh Muslim]

3.      Let go of always wanting to be right. Do you always want to be right, even if it ends up in an argument? This is your nafs (ego) speaking. What is more important, being right, or being kind?
Motivation: The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right . . . (part of the hadith)”[Sunan Abu Dawud]

4.      Let go of criticizing others. What is your true intention when you criticize someone? Is it for the sake of Allah or is it for your own image or reputation?
Motivation: The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repel them (i.e. make them hate good deeds and run away from Islam).[Saheeh Bukharee]

5.      Let go of low self-esteem. A low self-image can really stand in the way of you taking action and better the world and yourself with the skills Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave you. Belief and good deeds make you the best of creatures. So get rid of the self-defeating mindset, you really are better than that. Why? Because Allah says so!
Motivation:
 Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures. [Quran, 98:7]

6.      Let go of blaming others. “His fault. Her fault. Not me.” Do you notice that you are always blaming others for what you don’t like in your life? Stop putting your moods and happiness in the hands of others and take responsibility yourself!
MotivationWhosoever does righteous good deed it is for (the benefit of) his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves. [Quran, Surah Fussilat, ayah 46]

7.      Let go of impressing others. Don’t be someone you are not. Impressing others brings stress, impressing Allah ‘azza wa jal makes you happy and safe in the next life!
Motivation: The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, or to debate with the foolish, or to draw people’s attention, Allah will put him into the Fire. [Narrated from At-Tirmidhi as taken from Mishkat]

8.      Let go of attachment. Attachment often comes from a place of fear. Love and attachment are two different things.  You can love a person or even an object but you should not attach yourself to it, being left completely empty when you lose it. Without realizing it we attach our self to this world too much, to its people, to its belongings and to its places.
Motivation: O Men, if you have been worshipping Muhammad, then know that Muhammad is dead. But if you have been worshipping Allah, then know that Allah is living and never dies. [Abu Bakr radiyallahu ‘anhu]

9.Let go of your excuses. Most people who fail are the one who have a habit of making excuses. “I’m too old to learn Quran!” “I’m too young to practise Islam.” Your excuses are standing in the way of your own happiness!
Motivation:  The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Mankind will not perish till they make excuses for their conduct to themselves. [Mishkat]

10.  Let go of the past. Tell yourself that the time to be happy is now. Everything happened for a reason. Live in the present.
Motivation: No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s Decree. [Umar ibn al-Khattab radiyallahu ‘anhu]

11.  Let go of your fears. “What if I become poor, what if I become ill, what if my spouse leaves me?” Fear is just an illusion. When you let go of your fears and only fear Allah, you will feel much more happy!
Motivation: It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers. [Quran, 3: 175]

12.  Let go of living up to others’ expectations. Fearing other people’s opinions is something that truly stands in the way of our happiness. Do you constantly worry about what people might think of you? Pleasing Allah is easy, pleasing people is hard,subhanAllah!
Motivation:  The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: If anyone seeks Allah’s satisfaction at the expense of people’s anger, Allah will be pleased with him and will cause people to be pleased with him. However, if anyone seeks people’s satisfaction at the expense of Allah’s anger, Allah will be angry with him and will cause people to be angry with him. [Ibn Hibban]

Praying you will benefit,

Khawlah bint Yahya~ United Kingdom

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Break Your Soul as You Break Your Fast

Break Your Soul as You Break Your Fast

Ramadan is all about reversing this dangerous momentum. It is a time when we voluntary restrain ourselves from basic needs such as food and drink, and we restrain ourselves from our desires and anything which may lead to sin or even idle deeds of no benefit. When you starve the soul of its fuel, it begins to weaken. It then descends from the high authoritative ground it once basked in and it begins to return once again as a slave, under your authority. 

 “Allah is Subtle with His Slaves…” [al-Shura: 19]

One of the deeper intents and aims of fasting is for us to learn the art of self-restraint. When Allah `azza wa jall revealed the verse of fasting (2:183), He concluded that it has been prescribed so that we may gain piety. Now piety comes in many different forms, but a lot of these forms share a common characteristic and that is they all entail the practise of self-restraint.

In a powerful statement made by Dhul-Nun al-Misri, he said “Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul; rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” In our current time and era, the message we often hear and learn to adopt in our lives is a message in complete contrast to this. We are often encouraged to be bold and confident, to always seek and go after what our nafs (self) desires and sadly, numerous are the justifications we grant ourselves when doing this. Often this leads to frightening levels of deeply-rooted arrogance, lack of humility and a complete inability to go against ourselves. This easily grants authority and power to our nafs and naturally it weakens our resolve, will and inner strength. When this happens, it is our nafs that then takes the lead and governs us at every point of life. Allah has said,“Have you seen him who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge …” [al-Jathiyah: 23] – we may read this verse and immediately think of others, but turning the tables a little, how often have we allowed our unrestrained nafs to make decisions for us which we then followed? How often have we submitted to it and allowed it to take the position of a god over us? Indeed, something to think about.

Ramadan is all about reversing this dangerous momentum. It is a time when we voluntary restrain ourselves from basic needs such as food and drink, and we restrain ourselves from our desires and anything which may lead to sin or even idle deeds of no benefit. When you starve the soul of its fuel, it begins to weaken. It then descends from the high authoritative ground it once basked in and it begins to return once again as a slave, under your authority. This will then allow you to steer it towards piety, and so at every stage of your life when you come across testing moments where you battle with your soul, this power you now have over it will allow you to always make the right decisions; decisions that are purely for Allah and the goodness of our soul and not based merely on desire and the call of the nafs.

As we train in this month, it’s highly crucial that we learn the art of self-restraint. It is not just food, drink and intimate relations that we abstain from; rather these are just primers to help us go forth because ahead of us are numerous other things which we are to abstain from in order to reach our goal: the breaking and humbling of the nafs and the subsequent gain of piety. It’s a training ground for us to restrain ourselves from anger, arguments, and fighting. From selfishness, greed and bad desire. From lying, dishonesty, gossiping and sins of the tongue. From impatience, rudeness, harshness and bad opinion of others. In a nutshell, it’s a time to restrain ourselves from all that is bad news for our Hereafter, and the intelligent person will realise that this is not just for Ramadan, but it is what Allah generally wants from his believing slaves.

Finally, just as we practise self-restraint, it’s equally important that we give our soul something else to fill the void with. As the famous Arabic saying goes, “Your soul, if you do not busy it with the khayr (good), it shall busy you with evil.” So just as you remove, make sure you are also adding and bringing a better replacement into your life by way of virtuous actions.

Let’s strive in whatever concerns the affairs of our souls so that we can develop these souls of ours and return them to our Creator in a state which pleases Him…

“O reassured soul Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him] And enter among My [righteous] servants And enter My Paradise.” [al-Fajr: 27-30]

Tips:

–       Ask Allah for piety. Ask Him to help you over your nafs and make you a better slave to Him.

–       Watch out for those testing moments in life where you have to make a choice, then always choose the way of piety and choose that which is better and will bring you relief and joy on the Day when souls are gathered.

–       Utilise your fasting days and seize every opportunity weaken the soul from evil and instead strengthen it upon the good.

–       Replace the evil with good. As we break away from idle chatter, gossip and backbiting, let’s instead engage the tongue in Qur’anic recitation, dhikr (remembrance) and good words. Likewise, as we remove bad habits from our life, let’s replace them with habits of virtue so that we are not simply starving our souls but rather we starve them from the unhealthy and feed them with the nutritious.

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The coherence of Al-Baqarah

The coherence of Al-Baqarah

Surah Al-Baqarah is considered one of the richest chapters of the Quran. This is not necessarily due to its length or the fact that it is at the beginning of the Quran[1], but due to its content. In fact, it has been said that it contains a thousand incidents, a thousand commands and a thousand prohibitions.[2] It is such an important section of the Quran that it has even been argued that the entire Quran revolves around it.[3] Due to the sheer number of topics mentioned therein[4] commentators have disagreed as to the main aims (maqaasid) of the Surah. These have ranged from succession (istikhlaaf),[5] to faith in the resurrection,[6] to calling people to Islam (dawah), all of which shape how the coherence of the chapter is understood. This article attempts to highlight the relationship between each of the topics based on what literary circles term ‘ring composition’.[7] The easiest way to describe a ring composition is to put a mirror in the middle of a chapter – what is mentioned in the first half of the Surah will be reflected in the second half in terms of topics. Some attention has been made in tafseer literature regarding the link between the beginning and the ending of a chapter[8] but little has been written regarding the relationship of topics within a surah comprehensively.[9]

Background
With the loss of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) two main aides, his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah, the position of the Muslims became increasingly untenable. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was seeking an alternative home for the believers by his visit to Taif.[10] A major breakthrough ensued in the form of an invitation from the people of Medina in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers settled. Surah Al-Baqarah being the first chapter to be revealed after the Prophet’s migration (hijrah) therefore encapsulates a dawn of a new era. It encompassed almost everything that could be branded new. A new beginning, a new community, a new identity, new rulings, interaction with new cultures which brought about new challenges. On one hand, it dealt with the Jewish community awaiting the coming of the Prophet as well as the newly formed[11] hypocrite community in Medina.[12] And on the other hand, a confrontation that appeared in the early Medinan phase in the form of the battle of Badr against the Makkan idolaters. With Medina being a new stronghold for the believers, it had inevitably become a place that was exposed to other cultures different to Makkah such as the Christian community which is discussed in the next Surah.[13]

Coherence   
Surah Al-Baqarah consists of 286 verses and can be divided into nine main sections. The coherence in the form of a ring composition is best illustrated in the diagram below.

It can be noted from the diagram above that with the exception of A, E and I (which are the introduction, middle and conclusion), the sections begin with specific addresses: O mankind, O children of Israel and O you who believe. It is quite fascinating that when all mankind are addressed, the story that follows is of Adam[14] – the one who all of us relate to. Naturally, the story of Musa follows on from the address ‘O children of Israel’ and the Muslims with ‘O you who believe’. Section A and I have a clear link between belief in the unseen and messengers. In the beginning the characteristics of the disbelievers are highlighted (6, 7) and the end mentions a supplication (286) for help against them; this demonstrates that taqwa (2) is a means to nasr (286).

Section B and H focuses on Allah’s encompassing knowledge. Although, this is a broad title, a number of similarities can be drawn between the two sections. In H, Allah mentions: The heavens and earth belong to Him (Ayatul-Kursi 255), there is no compulsion in the religion (256), He protects those who believe (257), Ibrahim challenges a King (Nimrod) (258), matters related to life and death (in the story of Uzair 259-260), a similitude of a garden (264), a threat from satan and Allah’s promise of forgiveness (268), charity (263), usury (riba) (275) amongst other things. Some of these very same themes occur in B, such as: A challenge to the disbelievers to produce a surah like the Quran (23) (as Ibrahim challenged the King), matters related to life and death (28), Allah created the heavens and earth (29) and in the story of Adam, satan makes him and his wife slip from the garden which results in their forgiveness.

The concept of intrigue is at the heart of the stories mentioned in both sections of B. On one hand, the angels question Allah about the wisdom of creating Adam (30) and a few verses earlier Allah responds with a parable of a mosquito to the hypocrites questioning Him (26). In contrast, Uzair and Ibrahim asked Allah matters pertaining to life and death (259-260). A parallel that can also be found is that in the earlier passage, life is discussed in contrast to the latter in which death is mentioned. Compare: “Who created you and those who were before you” (21); the sending of rain for crops (22), “you were dead and He gave you life then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life” (28) and the creating of Adam which follows on from this. With the later passage in which Ibrahim says to the king “”My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.’” (258), Uzair says: “”How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death”” (259) Ibrahim says: “”My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.”” (260)[15]

A matter that requires further research is whether the very same laws that Musa came to deliver to the Bani Israel (some of which are in section C), are the very same laws the Prophet (peace be upon him) delivered to the believers (in section G).[16] In at least some of the matters mentioned, there are parallels and the way in which they are described are quite exquisite. Allah says in verse 53 that Musa was given the book (kitab) and yet we find that Allah uses this very same word to prescribe various laws for the Muslims: kutiba alaykum al-qisas, siyam etc (178, 180 and 183).

Of the laws which are similar or at least indicated are: The fasting of Ashurah (which is not mentioned) as a result of Pharaoh drowning (50) in contrast to the fasting of Ramadhan (183) mentioned in the latter passages.[17] Jihad being commanded to the Bani Israel and the believers, in the former case it was in Jerusalem (58) and in the latter – Masjidul Haram (Makkah) (191).[18] The transgressing of the Sabbath (65) and the warning of fighting in the sacred months (194). The slaughter of the cow (67) and the hady (sacrifice) of Hajj which can include a cow (196). The excessive questioning of the Bani Israel (67-74) and in at least seven instances: ‘They ask you’ is mentioned in section G, which is of a different nature. Whilst the Bani Israel asked their question to avoid performing actions, that resulted in the end ruling being more difficult than the original. The questions of the believers were genuine and were considered to be beneficial knowledge. In the tafseer of the story of the cow, it is stated that a man killed his uncle to gain the inheritance quickly, whilst later the concept of the will (180) is mentioned as well as qisaas (retaliation for the murder, 178). Part of the covenant of the Bani Israel was to be good to the family and orphans, which also appears later. Allah asks in verse 210, the number of favours that the Bani Israel were given which are mentioned in the earlier passages.

Allah mentions in section C, seeking help in patience through the salah and the end of G, divorcees are instructed to guard the middle prayer (238). The mention of drinking appears in both passages; water from the twelve springs and the river. In both cases, there was a warning attached; for the case of the twelve spring, “do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth” (60) and the river was a form of a test (249). Another connection is that that river and the two angels were a test for the people (102). In both situations, the result was of separation, one between a husband and wife and the other from fighting against the army of Jalut. In C, the Bani Israel complained about manna and salwa (two types of heavenly food) (57) and in the G, another generation of them complained about Talut (247) who was appointed a King over them. Both sections allude to angels that are seen, in the earlier instance it was Haurt and Marut (99-103) and in the latter, it was the angels carrying the Tabut (249). A final example is that Dawud (peace be upon him) was mentioned in section G, whilst his son Sulayman (peace be upon him) mentioned in section C.

In section D, Allah mentions that wherever you turn, is the Face of Allah (115), whilst in the later passage, Allah states that it is not from Al-Birr (righteousness) that you turn your face to east or the west (177). Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is mentioned as one who will be tried and he was made an Imam (124) in contrast to, Allah stating that He will test the believers with fear, hunger, loss of wealth and their lives (155). The Kabah being built by Ibrahim and his son (peace be upon them both) (125) and Safa and Marwa being signs of Allah are mentioned later (158). Ibrahim (peace be upon him) makes a dua to make Makkah a place in which fruits and sustenance are provided (128). There is so much of this food as a result of this dua that in the later passage, certain types of food is prohibited (168-169). In verse 170, the people say they will follow the footsteps of their forefathers – Allah mentions them earlier; Ibrahim, Ismael, Ishaq, Yaqub, Al Asbaat (twelve sons of Yusuf), Musa and Isa (peace be upon them all) (136).[19] But the emphasis remains on Ibrahim (peace be upon him) as the Makkan idolaters are being addressed.[20]

In the middle of the Surah, Allah states: “Thus We have made you a Wasat nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.” The word wasat carries the meaning of just, best and middle. The Kabah being the central location for Muslim community fits in well with its placement in the Surah.

Conclusion
As can be seen from this brief article, the Quran is not an incoherent book. It is true that many of the scholars of the past did not discuss this matter in detail. Perhaps it was the aspersions the Orientalists purported that the words of Allah were incoherent, brought about an effort from the scholars of our time to respond to them. For every doubt they bring, this gives us time to reflect upon a matter that we had perhaps not thought of previously. Rather than being a source of doubt and confusion, it becomes a reason to increase our faith and appreciate the words of Allah even more. [21]

This Surah represents the highest levels of eloquence and it contains such deep meanings that it is said that it took Ibn Umar 8 years to memorise and act upon it. [22] In addition, Umar asked the famous poet, Lubaid to recite some of his famous poetry. He recited Surah Al-Baqarah instead and said: I cannot recite poetry after Allah has taught me Surah Al-Baqarah. And whilst we are moved and taken aback from the sheer miraculous nature of the Quran, we must also remember that Waleed Ibn Mugheerah (an enemy of the Muslims during the time of the Prophet) was also mesmerised by the Quran. Appreciation of a text can be claimed by anyone, even a non-Muslim. But real appreciation is thanking Allah that he has given us this message and that we can thereby act upon it.

___________________________________________________________

Notes: ** Get one step closer to understanding your tarawih with the latest MRDF publication ‘Juz by Juz’ download it free here **
Source: www.islam21c.com

[1] It is worth noting that it is fascinating that that longest chapter of the Quran is at the beginning of it. Moreover, the fact it is a Madani chapter.
[2] Ibn Kathir, Tafserul Adheem
[3] Saeed Hawaa writes his Assasu-Tafaaseer attempting to prove that all of the chapters in the Quran revolve around Surah Al-Baqarah.
[4] To take one example, there are at least sixteen different chapters related to rulings alone such as fasting, marriage, divorce etc.
[5] Rashid Rida in Al-Mannar and Syed Qutb in Fee Thilal.
[6] Buqai, Maqaasid As-Suwar. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that five stories are mentioned about life after death.
[7] Thus, this article relies on the structure of the chapter presented by Farrin, R. K. Surat al-Baqara: A Structural Analysis. The Muslim World, Volume 100, Issue 1, p17–32. January 2010
[8] At least two books have been written on this. One by Suyuti named Tanasuq Ad-Durar Fee Tanasub As-Suwar. Samaraai has added also the relationship between the end of a Surah and the beginning of the next one in At-Tanaasub bayna Suwar fil maftatih wal khawateem. Although, those who have given some attention to this in their tafseers are Razi, Alusi, Ibn Ashur amongst others.
[9] Amongst those who have written on this is Mustansir Mir on Surah Al-Fatiha and Surah Yusuf. The author is in the process of writing on something similar with respect to Surah Al-Maoon and Al-Kauthar. Islahi’s tadabbur-e-Quran is written with the purpose of highlighting this. He divides the Quran into seven groups, each of which revolve around one main subject. However, more research is needed in understanding the chapter from a bird-eye view.
[10] Qutb argues that that Prophet did this prior to Taif, by sending his companions to Abysinnia. Refer to the Introduction to Surah Al-Baqarah in Fee Dhilalil Quran.
[11] The advent of the hypocrite community spearheaded by Abdullah ibn Salool arose when the Muslims were victorious at the battle of Badr.
[12] The commonalties of these two groups are very interesting. They represent the internal corruption of those who know the truth, but do not accept it either by way of their actions (Jews) or by way of their heart (hypocrites). This is why the Surah is replete with terms to ‘Iman’ which represents an internal form of the religion in contrast to the term Islam which represent an outward form of the religion which is commonly used in the next Surah, Aali Imran.
[13] Half of the Surah Aali Imran discusses the delegation of Najran – a Christian community coming to meet the Prophet in Medina. How beautiful is the structure of the Quran in which Allah ends Surah Al-Fatiha by alluding to the Jews (those who have incurred anger) and the Christians (those who have gone astray), which is discussed in more detail in Surah Al-Baqarah (the Jews) and Surah Aal-Imran (the Christians)! In fact, Suyuti argues that a surah expands on topics that were mentioned in the previous Surah which occurs throughout the entire Quran.
[14] There is also a subtle connection between Adam and the Bani Israel (who come after these verses). This was to show the evil of refusing the knowledge in spite of knowing the truth, which was done by Iblis. It was not simply a case of simply refusing to prostrate to him, but it became a source of leading everyone astray and to block the means of the people to him. So they will be a cause of others not entering Paradise just as Iblis was a cause for our parents Adam and Hawa to exit Jannah.
[15] There is a link between riba (275-79) along with charity and the provision that Allah has given us (22).
[16] Some of the reasons of revelation regarding some rulings in the Quran were as a result of differing from the Jews in Medina. One example of this is the manner to treat a wife who is in her menstrual cycle. Islam prohibits intercourse during this period, whilst the Jews in Medina during the time of the Prophet would have them stay in a separate room.
[17] It is worth noting that the stages of fasting culminating to the obligatory fasting in Ramadhan began with the fasting of Ashurah.
[18] This was only if the mushirkeen would fight them first as stated in the ayah.
[19] While the main addresses of Surah Al-Baqarah are the earlier Ahlul Kitab (Jews), the Prophets mentioned are from that generation. In contrast to Surah Aali ‘Imran which addresses the later Ahlul Kitab (Christians) mentioning the later Prophets Zakariyah, Yahya, Isa and the righteous amongst them like Maryam and her mother.
[20] When the Bani Israel is mentioned, Allah turns to the Jews at the time of the Prophet. And when Ibrahim is mentioned, Allah turns to the Makkan idolaters during the time of the Prophet.
[21] In fact, Raymond goes as far as finding a ring composition within a ring composition. Cuypers is said to have done the same with Surah Al-Maidah. It is a shame that non-Muslims are amongst those finding these miracles. It therefore requires more effort from the Muslims to build a closer relationship in regards to this.
[22] Muwatta

Source : http://www.islam21c.com/spirituality/6203-the-coherence-of-al-baqarah

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How to wash your Heart ??

How to wash your Heart??

Imagine arriving at the end of Ramadan with a CLEAN heart. Here are 5 straightforward ways:

1. RECITE QURAN – the Best of Speech
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” [Surat Al-Anfal: 2]

2. MAKE TAWBAH
The Prophet (sal Allah alayhi wa salam) said:
“When a slave commits a sin a black dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person gives up that evil deed, begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleared; but if he repeats the evil deed, then that covering is increased untill his heart is completely covered with it. [Tirmidhi]

3. ENGAGE IN DHIKR
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [Surat Al-Ra’d: 28]

4. GIVE IN CHARITY
The Prophet (sal Allah alayhi wa salam) said:
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

5. FAST THE MONTH
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 183]

Ramadan Mubarak!
– With best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level
Muhammad Alshareef

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Why is the Heart So Important in Islam?

heart Why is the Heart So Important in Islam?

What will save us on the Day of Judgement? Are we favored based on our race or color? No. Then what is it? It is the place in our body which Allaah subhanahu wa ta’alaamade the location of the most valuable possession of a human being: emaan (faith). It is your heart.

What favours you in the sight of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’alaa  is the state of your heart. What will save you on the Day of Judgement is qalbun saleem— a sound heart.

Let’s get started and find out about the amazing position of the heart in Islam and learn the secrets of a productive heart.

This is the week’s central ayah: So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. [Quran, 22: 46]

The Significance of the Heart

In order to start moving in life you first need to have knowledge; with that knowledge you can define if something is important or not. Then it is up to you to make the move. The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about your heart: Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart. [al-Bukhaaree, Muslim]

Allaah ‘azza wajal informed us in the Quran about the “heart” (generally qalb inArabic). For example, the word naas (people, mankind) is used 241 times, but the word “heart” is used no less than 137 times.

What is the State of Your Heart?

The state of your heart will decide what you do with your knowledge. Will you benefit from it by practicing it or not?  For example, if you hear an ayah of the Quran or a hadith, does it make you feel you want to practice it straight away or does it not have much impact on you? Whatever the answer is, it will tell you about the state of your heart.

Sins have an effect on your heart; they can cause your heart to be sealed so that the light of knowledge doesn’t reach it anymore and the ayaat of Allaah don’t affect you anymore. May Allaah ‘azza wajal protect us from this.

There are many diseases we find in our hearts, like jealousy, envy, greed, lust, and showing off. Our aim should be to strive to purify our hearts and turn back to Allaah with a sound heart. Once a wise man  made this dua: ‘ O Allah purify my heart from anything but You.’

The Heart and the Mind

When you say the word ‘Think!” most of us point to our heads, right? How many of us point to our hearts when we say “Think?” The Messenger of Allaah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Taqwa is here,” and he pointed to his chest. [Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Ahmad]

Subhanallah, one of the functions of the heart is ta’aqqul (understanding). Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa gave us a heart to comprehend, to reflect, and to reason. That brings us back to the central ayah: and have hearts by which to reason . . .

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah said that many doctors and philosophers have said that the mind is in the brain, so we think and understand with our brains and not with our hearts. He then said that the centre is actually the heart. Ibn Katheer said: The arrogant philosophers say that the mind is in the brain. [Tafsir ibn Kathir vol 4 p.508]

To believe, to disbelieve, to understand, to comprehend,  to have tranquility,  to feel confusion, to have tawakkul and to have khushoo’ are all functions of your heart.

Different Names for “Heart” in the Quran

In the Quran, Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa uses different words to describe the heart;qalb, fu’aad and sadr.
Qalb is the general word for heart and the root word means something that turns around, something that changes easily. When Allah (swt) refers to emaan and the diseases of the heart, He uses the word qalb.

Fu’aad comes from a root that means “burning” or a flame and is used when the heart is inflamed with emotion. A beautiful example is when Allah describes the state of the heart of the mother of Musa alayhi salam: But there came to be a void in the heart (fu’aad) of the mother of Musa. [Quran, 28:10] Imagine how her heart was inflamed with emotions while she put her newborn, suckling son in a river!

Sadr
 means “chest.” When Allaah ‘azza wajal refers to secrets or motives, He uses the word sadr, like in Suratun NaasThe one who whispers in the hearts of Mankind.[Quran, 114: 5]

See how understanding the words of the Quran open a door to a whole new world of meanings for you?

What Do You Do With YOUR Heart?

Now the question is, what is your heart attached to? Is it attached to your house, your money, your favorite tv show, or to those special moments you spend with the Quranand reading about the Prophet?

Allah ‘azza wajal says:  . . . when the only one who will be saved is the one who comes before Allah with a heart devoted to Him. [Quran, 26:89]

How can you train your heart to become devoted and sound? I came across this beautiful list of the signs of a devoted and sound heart and I pray you will be as inspired as I was!

But before examining your own heart, take this extremely important step: ask Allaah ‘azza wajal by His beautiful names to purify your heart. He is Al-Wahhaab (The Giver), so ask Him to give you a pure heart. He is Al-Qareeb (The Close One), so ask Him to make your heart close to Him. He is Al-Wadood (The Ever-Loving), so ask Him to fill your heart with love for Him. It’s as simple as that.

Now it’s time to test yourself on the signs of a pure and devoted heart!

  • It continues to push its companion until he turns to Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa and repents.
  • It doesn’t grow tired of the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa or His worship.
  • If it misses out on an act of obedience it feels a pain that is more severe than the pain felt when losing money.
  • It finds sweetness and delight in worship greater than any delight from food and drink.
  • If it enters salah, its worries and troubles from this worldly life leave it.
  • It is stingier with its time being wasted than a miser’s stinginess with his money.
  • It is more concerned with a good deed being performed correctly and accepted than the actual deed itself.

Homework:

Memorize and use this beautiful Qur’anic dua in your daily life:

3 8 Why is the Heart So Important in Islam?

Who say, Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran, 3:8]

Praying you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya ~ United Kingdom

source : understandquran.com

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Tick-Tock: The Value of Time

Tick-Tock: The Value of Time

It’s the recipe of our success. It’s the road-map to Paradise. It shows you how to be a winner.

Allah ‘azza wajal tells us: By Time, Mankind is at loss. [Surah al Asr, ayah 1-2] We’re on the clock from the minute we’re born until the day we leave this planet.  But Allah ar-Rahmaan doesn’t just leave us with this— you are at loss— He subhanahu wa ta’alaa gives us an exception, a recipe, a blueprint. There are four simple steps to win in life:except for those who have believed, done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [Asr:3]

What is Your Expiry Date?

You have an expiry date— the day your soul leaves your body. Imagine walking down the street and seeing all these expiry dates stamped on people’s foreheads. “Hey, he only has five days left!” It’s from the wisdom of Allaah ‘azza wajal that we don’t know the day we die. One thing we do know is that we have to succeed in the limited time we have. Instead of sleeping and dreaming about Paradise, we need to wake up and strive to achieve Paradise.

Let’s get ready for some great time-management tips insha’Allah!

The Oath of the Greatest

We learn from the Quran and the Sunnah that beginning with an oath is a way to draw attention to a tremendous matter. Allaah ‘azza wajal swears by time (wa’l asr). That’s how we know time is extremely important for a Muslim— for you!  Time is your capital and Allaah tells us in this Surah that if you waste your capital (time) just on the dunya you will be a loser.

Time on the Day of Judgement: A Great Motivator!

The feet of each slave of Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa will not move on the day of judgement until four questions are asked:

1. How did you spend your life?

2. How did you spend your youth?

3. What did you do with your knowledge?

4. How did you make your wealth and how did you spend it?

Let’s learn now how we can answer these questions on that dreadful day before it’s too late!

Do You Consume or Invest?

Time passes quickly, it can never return nor can it be compensated for, and it’s one of the most precious things you’ve ever been given. You can either consume or invest your time.

Consuming your time means doing things that don’t benefit you or others (for example watching movies full of bad language, half-naked people, etc, spending hours on Facebook talking about nothing, or sleeping late for no reason).

Investing your time means gaining new knowledge and doing deeds that benefit yourself and others.Consuming = losing. Investing = winning. Look  at your life— do you consume more of your time than you invest?

Time-management Tips:

1. Barakah– booster
The Prophet salallaaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is our best example of being productive. The sahaaba were extremely productive. There was barakah in their time. To bring barakah back (blessings) into your time start any significant deed with saying the basmalah, bismillaah!

2. Salah comes first
Do you recognize this? You’ve finished all your daily tasks, but prayed all your prayers late, and didn’t even start on your supplications in the morning and evening, nor opened the Quran. That’s not effective time-management. As a Muslim our priority is what Allaah ‘azza wajal likes most.  Focus. What’s the first thing you’ll be asked about on the Day of Judgement? It’s your salah. Try it for one week: pray all your five prayers on time and do your adkhaar (morning & evening supplications) after fajr and ‘asr. See how amazing you feel.

3. Quality Time

The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was super busy with a lot of roles to play but he always seemed to give full attention to each person or activity. When he prayed, he concentrated. When he was with family or someone asked him something, he gave them his full attention. You also should only focus on what’s at hand. If you’re going to have a conversation, really listen, really be present. Don’t check your phone while talking to someone. Really pour yourself into it. If you’re going to make dhikr, do it with complete focus, complete dedication.

4. Aim Higher Every Day

Start your day with the intention to make it better than the day before. If you tell yourself you can’t do what the sahaabah did, you’ve already given up. Have full belief that you can do better each day. Every day you have a new chance to either free your soul or destroy it! Make sure you have a long-term goal. Dream of leaving a legacy.

5. Write Things Down!

Only leave room in your brain for the best knowledge. Write down others things and get them off your mind right away so your mind is free for the most important things to think about, like memorizing ayaat of the Quran!

6. Choose Wisely

Don’t just start doing something; give it some thought first. Do you really want to turn on the TV? Do you really want to do that email right now? Is this the most important work task you can be doing?

7. Make Dua to MASTER Time

According to at-Tabaraani, whenever any two Companions of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam met, they would not part, until one of them had recited to the other Surah Al-`Asr and then delivered Salaams upon him. Ash-Shaafi`i said: If the people were to ponder on this Surah, it would be sufficient for them. (Ibn Katheer)

Homework
Now, I can’t help but saying that one of the best things I ever did with my time was to invest nine hours of it in understanding the greatest book ever— the Quran.  So from the bottom of my heart and because of my love for you as my brothers and sisters my greatest tip is: join us in one of the smartest courses ever. And invest your time in the ultimate way. Bismillaah!

I pray you will benefit,

~Khawlah bint Yahya, United Kingdom

Source : http://www.understandquran.com

 

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