Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reading Quran and Contemplation

Excerpt from Everyday Islam: An Easy and Peaceful Way of Life

Reading Quran and Contemplation:
We spend most of our time earning our livelihood. Little do we realize that all that is with us is from Allah and all that we enjoy is nothing but Allah’s blessing. We must take some time out to read the book that Allah (SWT) sent to our last Prophet (peace by upon him) and try to comprehend what Allah has ordered us to do in His Book. We must try to acquire more and more knowledge of our religion and not remain ignorant and unmindful of Allah’s (SWT) commands.
The book of Allah (SWT) is a guide for those who fear Allah and want to take the straight path. This book has some rights on us as Muslims. We must read it with attention, listen to it when it is being recited in prayers or otherwise, try to know it’s meaning and understand it and most importantly apply its teachings in our daily life.
When our love for Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW) surpasses all the other things then we are able to give the due importance to the Words of Allah and the teachings of His Prophet. We must learn to recite the Book of Allah with correct recitation method which is referred to as Tajweed. We must read and understand Quran on a daily basis.
After we have built a good connection with this living miracle and an amazing manual from Allah sent for our guidance, it is our duty to pass it on to others as well. Here too we start with our family first. Teaching our spouse and children the Book of Allah and its manners and etiquettes and its rights upon us, will earn us huge rewards for this world as well as the next. Quran should be a part of our daily life routine. Reciting it in prayers is something we already do but reciting directly from the Book is also very important.
Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet (SAW) said, "Keep on reciting the Qur'an, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Qur'an runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes."
Sahih Bukhari 5033
At this point we must know that at the same time we also believe in the earlier scriptures sent by Allah to the other Prophets and their people. We believe in all those books because Allah (SWT) sent the Quran as a proof for those books and as a final commandment to be followed by all.
Surah Al Baqarah 4 declares:
And who believe in (the Quran and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad Peace be upon him ) and in [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).
Get your copy today or buy a copy to donate to your local masjid

Monday, January 25, 2016

O reassured soul!

After some gap, I am back with something profound. Something on which all of us must ponder every now and then. It is none other than death. Just recently a relative of mine has passed away. I was attached to her and felt very deeply about her. She was a beautiful person and a patient soul. 
When those whom we are really close to, leave us and go away for ever, we tend to feel about the loss, the void and the reality of life even more deeply. 
The matters of unseen are always a mystery. They take our imagination to destinations unknown. The time we mostly think about the roads untravelled is the time of someone's death. When a person living among us healthy and active suddenly leaves behind an eerie void that initially becomes uneasy to accept, we come to think of the place where he or she has gone to. Our imagination becomes quite foggy as well as limited. We can only feel that he or she is missing and can not actually make out his/her actual state at the moment. This is because we always saw that person in a condition full of life and activity. We find it hard to imagine the person lying still, under loads of mud inside a closed pit.
But, as I always claim that Islam is beautiful and full of wisdom; it does not leave its followers wandering aimlessly in the dark without direction or purpose.
We have numerous signs in the Quran and various narrations of our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that actually inform us about the life after death and many things that a believer should be informed of so that he could make his present life a provision for his life after death.
In Chapter 3 The Family of Imran sign 185 Allah the Exalted says:
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.
In the above verse it is clearly stated that this life is just a pastime and delusion. The reality is what awaits us. It depends on what we earn in this world. If we desire the everlasting pleasures of Paradise we are required to believe and do righteous deeds. 
 Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Let not one of you wish for death because of a misfortune which befalls him. If he cannot help doing so, he should say: 'O Allah, keep me alive as long as You know that life is better for me, and make me die when death is better for me".
[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].
This life is so precious that we must not deliberately waste any portion of it in frivolous things and harmful habits. Once it is gone, it is gone for ever. No amount of guilt and remorse can get any one back. No amount of ransom can save us from the punishment if we had been doing things wrong. Human beings are not machines or people devoid of understanding. We must think and ponder on our own selves; our bodies and souls. Why are we created and what is required of us?
The relative of mine, about whom I mentioned earlier, was a childless woman. She was patient in most difficult times in her life. Although sometimes she got overwhelmed with all the hardships she had to face in life and got on the verge of giving up but most of the times she utilized her understanding and Faith in Allah and turned back to Him for seeking peace and tranquility. She recited the Quran and tried to read it with meaning and offered the prayers. She was good natured and friendly to everyone she met. Now as she is no more we remember only the good qualities that defined her all her life. We pray that Allah accepts all her good deeds and forgive her.
In Chapter: The Prophets sign 35 it is stated-
 Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.
 Therefore, this should be reminded to self and others that this life is nothing but a matter of striving toward the Creator, to gain His Pleasure. It can be achieved through ways taught by Allah Himself in His Book the Quran through His Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him. 
The need is to seek knowledge and to act according to it. 
The need is to do good deeds ourselves and to encourage others toward it. There is a need to call others to the Oneness of God and tell them the dangers of polytheism or associating partners with Allah because Allah may forgive all the other sins but He does not forgive the sin of Shirk or polytheism when in Truth He is the Only Creator and Sustainer of everything that exists.
It is very important to remain mindful of the reality of life because it is going to be taken away from us any moment. What we normally focus on is the immediately visible thing and completely forget the reality behind it. It comes to our attention when we get some shock like the demise of someone or when some great calamity strikes.
Life is a matter of moments and we must make these moments worth dying for.
The reality of the life of this world is so precisely stated in the beautiful narration below: 
 Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "When carried to his grave, a dead person is followed by three, two of which return (after his burial) and one remains with him: his relative, his property, and his deeds follow him; relatives and his property go back while his deeds remain with him."
By no means are we capable of taking anything from this world. Everything we possess will be left behind, only our good deeds will accompany us and only our good words will linger! 
In the pursuit of life I got intrigued by death. 

The Return Journey

Yesterday I was invited at a friend’s place to a dars (a talk that involves remembering Allah and giving good advice to the audience). H...