Brief Explanation of Allah’s Name: Al-Wadud

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Memorizing the Quran in Two Months

“As-salaamu `alaykum

I recently heard an incredibly amazing account told by Shaykh Yasir Salamah, one of the leading Imams and recitors of Egypt. In his audio tape ‘When will I see you as a Haafidh?’ he speaks of the true account of Muhammad, a brother who after attending a workshop on memorising Qur’aan and utilising all the available mediums, went on to memorise the entire Qur’aan within just 50 days (i.e 2 months)

Within 2 months?!

Yes. Within 2 months. This is his account and he says:

“I declared a state of Jihad upon my soul and put death before my eyes. I made an intention to memorise the Noble Qur’aan. So I abandoned telephone calls and unnecessary visits, and I changed all the negative thoughts associated with hifdh (memorisation) to positive and practical ones e.g. When a thought came to me saying ‘I can’t do it!’ I’d say, ‘I can do it.’ If it said, ‘My memory is weak!’ I’d say ‘I take pleasure in having a great memory.’

I chose the masjid as the place of my hifdh as it preserves three:

1. The eyes

2. The ears

3. The tongue

I followed a specific dietary program consisting of eating dates, fruits and honey – and fasting helped me a great deal in that. I used to wake up before salaat al-Fajr by 2 and a half hours and I slept 2 hours after ‘Isha. I used to wake up for Tahajjud (the night prayer), prolonging my sujood wherein I would call upon Allaah ta’alaa to ease for me my affair. I would also seek forgiveness 100 times.

I began to memorise 5 pages and would recite them in the Sunnah prayers of Fajr. After salaat al-Fajr, I would begin the memorisation of 5 new pages and at the end, I would recite them in the 2 raka’ahs of salaat al-Duhaa, all the time thanking Allaah for easing the memorisation.

I would perfect the recitation of what I had memorised by listening to tapes of one of the recitors. I would read about the qiraa’ah in books or via the Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah (poem on the ahkam of tajweed).

After salaat al-Dhuhr, I would repeat everything that I had memorised previously beginning from the 1st Juz, until salaat al-’Asr. After the ‘Asr prayer, I would repeat the new portion of hifdh and the juz before. After the Maghrib prayer, I would prepare the recitation of 10 new pages and it was only after salaat al-’Isha that I’d review the Qur’aan with my teacher, may Allaah reward him well.

Before retiring to bed, I would listen to all that I memorised in the day from cassettes and I would be sitting for 6 continuous hours, without any boredom or feeling tired. In the 1st week, I would sit for 6 hours, memorising and revising. In the 2nd week, I would sit for 8 hours. In the 3rd week, it was 10 hours and in the 4th week, it was 12 hours. In the last 10 days, I was sitting for 14 hours memorising and revising.

The hardest times for me were when it came to sleeping and eating. I ardently wished that the period of sleep would end quickly so that I could start my hifdh of the Noble of Qur’aan. Everytime I began to read the Qur’aan and memorise, I felt such delight and enjoyment that I had never felt before. Du’a was an important factor for me before and after hifdh. I would memorise a page whilst sitting down and then repeat it whilst walking. My teacher played an important role in encouraging me, in revision, in correcting me and benefiting me in terms of Tajweed.

In the last week, on the night of 20th Ramadan, only 4 and a half juz remained until completion of hifdh. So I turned to Allaah to open up my way and ease it for me. I went on to memorise it in 6 days with the Help of Allaah.

Laylatul-Qadr came, the night of delight and happiness – it was like a wedding night to me. My completion of hifdh took place between Maghrib and ‘Isha in the masjid with the Imam and those in I’tikaaf. We began the khatma (reciting from beginning till end of the Book). In the end, during the du’aa, my heart opened up greatly and I began to weep like never before. It was the most beautiful hour of my life. Allaah had honoured me with the memorisation of His Book.

During the du’aa, I remembered a dream I had more than 10 years ago… I was a Mu’adhin of a mosque and after Fajr salaah, I sat remembering Allaah in the mosque. I felt sleepy so I took a nap in the middle of the mosque, and behold! I found myself amidst a gathering. A powerful ray of light descended from the sky down to the middle of the masjid. From that light came many angels and between them were 2 big Angels. One of them turned towards me and took me to the light. I entered along with the 2 angels. I then found myself on top of a large green tree – I began to climb it in the companionship of the 2 angels. We found angels standing by the door of the 1st heaven. They said to me ‘Where are you going?’ They opened up a book and said, ‘We don’t have your name with us, so climb onwards to the top.’ And likewise, all the time (through each heaven), they said the same thing to me.

Upon arriving at the 7th heaven, we reached the end of the tree. I found angels standing at the door and they said, ‘Are you Muhammad?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘Enter, for the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) wants you.’ I said to the 2 angels that were with me ‘Come in with me.’ They said, ‘We can’t enter. But we will wait for you.’ So I entered Jannah and behold, I saw therein what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and had never entered in the heart of Man. Angels were surrounding me and there was a door, on top of it was written لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله. جنة الفردوس (There is no God but Allaah and Muhammad is His Messenger. Al-Firdaws Paradise).

The Angels opened the door and I entered. Before me was the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) sitting at the top end and beside him were men, some that I recognised and some that I didn’t. In front of him were a very large group of men, women and children. They wore white clothes, and they were so many that they had a beginning but no end. All of them were reciting Qur’aan.

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) called me and I went up to him. He got up and made some space for me. I kissed him and he sat me down besides him. I asked him ‘Who are these people O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘These are the people who have memorised the Book of Allaah `azza wa jall.’

Inshaa’Allaah ta’ala, the dream ended in truth. I never spoke to anyone about it until the night that I completed the memorisation of the Qur’aan.”

Allahu Akbar, if this is not tawfeeq from Allaah and determination… I don’t know what is!”

Source: http://salaf-stories.blogspot.com/2011/04/memorizing-entire-quran-in-2-months.html

Virtues of Seeking Knowledge

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BismillahirRahmaanirRaheem

Donny Wiler once said, “In an age of information, ignorance is a choice.” The fact that we literally have everything at our fingertips today, being ignorant in the matters of our religion is truly a grave matter. We have so much access to so many resources Alhamdulillah (praise and thanks belong to Allah) and yet most of us are so ignorant in the matters of our religion. I decided to compile a list of why we should seek Islamic knowledge, in hopes of encouraging myself and you to always keep learning and never stopping inshaAllah.

  1. It is an obligation. The Messenger of Allah stated, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” So when you are learning the Quran, reading the books of ahadith, and learning the aspects of your religion that you are required to know, know that you are doing an action that is obligatory upon you.
  2. Make sure your intentions are in check! Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said, “He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection.”  [Abu Dawud]. We all know that our actions will be judged according to our intentions so make sure you are seeking knowledge for the pleasure of Allah only. You want to have the correct knowledge so you can remove yourself from ignorance and know the proper way to worship Allah and earn His pleasure. You want to learn about saving yourself from the Hellfire and what leads to it; you want to learn about what leads to paradise and Allah’s love.
  3. With knowledge comes goodness from Allah. Mu’awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Imagine that, subhanaAllah, now that you are seeking knowledge, it is BECAUSE Allah loves you, He chose you, and He wants good for you. What an honor!
  4. The path to Jannah is made easy for you. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.” [Muslim]. When someone is ignorant, they can fall into the traps of the shaytan and his friends and be misguided. But if you have correct knowledge with the correct intention, then Allah will protect you and He will guide you to His paradise.
  5. Everything in this dunya is cursed EXCEPT for WHAT/WHOM?? Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The world, with all that it contains, is accursed except for the remembrance of Allah that which pleases Allah; and the religious scholars and seekers of knowledge.” [At- Tirmidhi]. SubhanaAllah, everything is devoid of any good/blessings except for the remembrance of Allah and the ulama and those who seek knowledge. Don’t you want to be of them?
  6. You are on a noble path. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.” [At- Tirmidhi]. If you are out, in search of knowledge, then you are a mujaahid/mujaahidah.
  7. Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi]. This has got to be one of my favorites! SubhanaAllah, what status the seeker of knowledge holds in our deen!                                                                                                                                                    The people of knowledge hold a great status with Allah. Allah loves them and holds them to a higher level. I’ll leave you to ponder over this ayah from Surah Az Zumar: Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?”

Lofty Dwellings

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The above picture does not depict Jannah. Not even close to it. (This picture does not belong to me)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

I hope the following ayaat from Surah Al Ankabut give you sakeenah inshaAllah.

“And those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, to them We shall surely give lofty dwellings in Paradise, underneath which rivers flow, to live therein forever. Excellent is the reward of the workers. Those who are patient, and put their trust (only) in their Lord (Allah). And so many a moving (living) creature there is, that carries not its own provision! Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” 58-60

If Sins Had a Smell

Bimillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Muhammad ibn Waasi’ said:

If sins had a smell, no-one would [ever] sit with me.

Imagine that. How cautious would we be in committing a sin had we known that it leaves a stench! But what about what lies in this dunya and especially the next for the sinner? Isn’t that worse than just a smell? The problem is that if Allah, the Most Just, were to punish us immediately after we commit a sin, we would all perish. Immediately. Allah says in Surah Al-Fatir:

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And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves.

Had Allah wanted, He could have commanded our optical nerves to stop working when we purposefully watched something prohibited. Had He wanted He could have ordered our fingers to stop working when we wrote that which displeased Him. He could have stopped feeding us for every time we turned the other way from a needy person. He could have ordered our heart to stop pumping blood for every sin that we committed. But He did not, because He is al-Kareem, the Most Generous. He is Al-Haleem, the Forbearing. He is Al-Afuw, the Pardoner. At the end of the day, this dunya means nothing to Allah swt. How much you have does not necessarily define Allah’s love for you. Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:

“If the world to Allah was equal to a mosquito’s wing, then He would not allow the disbeliever to have a sip of water from it.”

This is a reminder to myself first and foremost to always be aware of the fact that Allah is perfectly capable of grabbing ahold of me as I’m transgressing, as I’m sinning, as I’m doing that which displeases Him. But it is out of His mercy for His slaves that He delays it, He gives us a chance to turn back to Him and to fix that which we messed up. And we have to pay special attention to when we are alone. When you are in the view of the public, you can be as pious as you want, but the real test is what you do in private. When no one is watching you, what you do then defines who you are in reality.

Ya As-Sattar, the One who covers for His slaves, continue to cover for us as You have always done. Even though we don’t deserve it, we beg of you to cover for us as you have always done. Aameen

 

A Sound Heart

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

My brother injured his elbow so he asked me to perform Ruqya on him. So I made wudu and asked him to lay down. Then I began reciting. I was looking for any signs of movement. He lay completely still but he moved his index finger of his right hand once or twice towards the end. After I was finished, I asked him if he had known that his finger moved; he said yes, he moved it himself. Curious, I asked why. He responded, “Whatever parts from the Quran that I understood, like Surah al Ikhlaas, I moved my finger.” He raised his shahadah finger, signifying Allah’s Oneness, which is the crux of surah al Ikhlass. He joked, “What? You thought that the jinn was moving my finger?” I smiled and said, “Yeah.”

I came downstairs and I couldn’t help but wonder about my brother. Who was he really? I always knew of his kindness, generosity, and ihsaan to our parents. I also knew he prayed five times a day. But he wasn’t actively seeking knowledge, memorizing Quran (he just recites it after fajr), praying tahajjud regularly, and doing other acts of worship that we would normally deem what makes a Muslim “religious”. And yet, there he was, raising his finger at a moment when normal people would just be focusing on their pain.

We give so much importance to the outward acts of worship but forget about a very important element: purifying our hearts from shirk, pride, arrogance, greed, jealousy, hatred, malice, stinginess, etc. The Prophet sallahu’alayhi wasalam said, “Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.”

Allah knows best what is the state of our hearts, but the way I know my brother, he is very generous, forgiving, and humble. He  has not memorized the Quran nor is he actively seeking knowledge (he’s busy working). But he is the best to his parents, he feeds his family, he gives sadaqah, he has sound aqeedah and his akhlaaq (manners) are excellent mashaAllah. That’s what matters to Allah; a beautiful relationship with Him AND His creation. You can be so “holy” in your acts of worship but if you have a nasty tongue and are unfair with the people, then what good are your acts of worship? You can appear to be religious but if you carry so much hatred in your heart, then what good is your religiosity? When it was said to him: “Oh Messenger of Allah, a woman performs voluntary prayers at night and fasts during the day, but she offends her neighbors with her tongue.” He (pbuh) said, “There is no good in her: she is in Hell.”

How many people are unknown to us but famous in the heavens? And how many are known to us but not famous in the heavens?  I ask Allah swt that when it comes down to the pangs of death, to make my brother be of those who can say the shahadah before they pass away. Aameen. And I ask Him to purify our hearts and make us of His servants who have good akhlaaq. Aameen.

Feeling Overwhelmed.

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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Sometimes your heart may feel like it is carrying a heavy burden. You have so many responsibilities towards many. Allah has rights over you, your parents, your family, your brothers/sisters in the Ummah, your own body, etc. You know you have so much to do. If not careful, you can be easily overwhelmed. The following are some tips that I pray are beneficial inshaAllah for whoever is feeing overwhelmed.

  1. Stop. Breathe. When you are burdened with so many tasks and goals, sit down. Clear your head and realize that being depressed/overwhelmed and panicking is not going to help you in any way at all.
  2. Prioritize. Put the ones that you owe the most of yourself to first. Allah, the Most High, comes first, no doubt about that. Which means that the obligatory acts of worship come first on your list.
  3. Your time is the most valuable asset you have. If you don’t make use of it, you will regret it. Keep yourself preoccupied with good deeds or else your sins will keep you busy. Scholars of the past would be stingy with their time like how we are stingy with money Today. Also, don’t you see how fast time is passing by? SubhanaAllah, before you know it, the evening has already come and it’s time for bed already. And scarily, that is exactly how it will feel when the Day of Judgment; it will feel like we stayed on the dunya for a very short while.
  4. Make a lot of istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) and duaa (supplicating to Allah). Ask Allah swt to forgive you for all the times/opportunities you missed and to grant you more opportunities to do good and to bless your time. Allah says in Surah Al Baqarah, “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”
  5. Have Husn ad-dhan of Allah. Think well of Him. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah says, ‘I am as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him when he mentions Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws to Me a hand-span length, I draw near to him a forearm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him in a hurry.” Allah, the Most High, knows who tries hard to please Him and who doesn’t. Keep striving and trust that Allah will help you and won’t abandon you.
  6. Always have sincere intentions for accomplishing your goals. Because even if you don’t get to fulfill them, you will still be rewarded for your noble intentions. The Prophet (ﷺ) narrating about his Lord and said, “Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write). If somebody intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account with Him); and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him (in his account) with Him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times: and if somebody intended to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intended to do it (a bad deed) and actually did it, then Allah will write one bad deed (in his account) .” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
  7. Quality over quantity. Your acts of worship should be of substance (sincerity). Rather than you doing so many deeds in a day without your heart being sincere, doing a few that are sincerely done seeking the pleasure of Allah are of more weight. So why not do as many good deeds as you can but that are done solely for the sake of Allah?

At the end of the day, the only thing that will give you comfort and ease is the remembrance of Allah swt, as He beautifully stated in ayah 28 of Surah arRa’d.

Let me know inshaAllah if you have any more tips that we could all benefit from! As for now, that’s it from me, inshaAllah. JazakumuAllah khayran for reading! 🙂