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Aug 31, 2012

Are your friends taking you to heaven or hell?

By Amina Edota
 Bismillah

Friends can bring great joy and happiness to one’s life and good friendship can last a lifetime. But just as such relationships can be a source of goodness, so could they bring about harm in many ways. In a common narration, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

"The parable of a good friend and a bad friend is like that of a carrier of musk and a blacksmith. The carrier of musk will give you some, or you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell; but as for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell." (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 6692)

Such is the beautiful similitude given to us to show how friendship can impact either positively or negatively on our lives. It gives a pointer as to what direction one’s live can take by having certain friends, either the fragrant garden or the hot burning abode.

But it is an important choice to make, showing awareness and critical judgment, such as when making a decision to buy a dream asset or make a big investment. And yes, that’s what a friend could be – a priceless investment for the future or a source of regret, just as a saying goes: Company makes a man; company marks a man – so choose your friends wisely!

Show me your friends 
Who are your friends? Are they the 500+ people on your facebook or blackberry profile; or your good ol’clique from school; or the ever present neighbourhood bunch; or the reliable childhood buddies?


In today’s world of global networking and social media, friendship has taken on a new meaning, evolving to different dimensions daily. But our shining example should remain that of our beloved Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, who advised us (as narrated by Abu Hurayrah) that,

‘A person follows the religion of his friend; therefore let each of you look carefully at whom he chooses for friends’. [Tirmidhi]

But are you taking heed and watching out? Take a moment to ponder. When you look at your friend(s), do you like what you see, of faith, worship, character, obedience & submission? They will be a huge reflection of yourself and the likely path you will take sooner or later. Remember the saying of a famous poet, "Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are"!

Making a decision

It is inevitable with time, that people begin to pick up some of the language and mannerisms of their friends; habits, dress sense and even jokes. But is it equally easy to escape the temptations of a bad friend? If the heart is clean, then one will leave all that is disliked but if its rusty, then one may sink even further into the bad ways.

On this journey of life, it is good to stop and reflect. Think about all the things we own of material possessions and know that a time will come when it will cease to exist. The end will surely come and the countless blessings - flowers, fun, and friends will no longer be around.

Even relationships will be cut off on the day of resurrection. And then will come the questioning. Indeed we will be questioned about our friends and the good ol’ times spent together. So be prepared! Question yourself before you get questioned.

Best of friend

Here are a few questions to begin pondering?

Can you make it through life without your friend(s)? Is your character getting better or worse from your friendships? What value do you place on such friendships?

People make friends easily with people they have something in common with, whether it’s a hobby, being on the same course or committee, living in the same locality or age group; and find it easy spending time together, sharing and caring. But in addition to this, and most importantly should be the commonality of abiding by the divine laws.

Allah is our first guardian and friend, followed by the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and then the pious believers. The most rewarding friendship will come from holding firmly onto the divine book (Qur’an) – containing the speech of Allah, subhaana wa ta'aala and also the sunnah of our beloved Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Allah is Able to do all things – He alone guides and can turn the hearts of His slaves, so hold on firmly to that friendship manual.

Great Reward

Umar ibn al-Khattab reported the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as saying:


There are people from the servants of Allah who are neither prophets nor martyrs; the prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of Resurrection for their rank from Allah, the Most High. 

They (the people) asked: Tell us, Apostle of Allah, who are they? He replied: They are people who love one another for the spirit of Allah (i.e. the Qur'an), without having any mutual kinship and giving property to one. I swear by Allah, their faces will glow and they will be (sitting) in (pulpits of) light. They will have no fear (on the Day) when the people will have fear, and they will not grieve when the people will grieve.


He then recited the following Qur'anic verse:

"Behold! Verily for the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Dawud: Hadith 3520)

Soul searching 
Is it difficult to see where success lies? Which qualities do you seek in a friend? Which of the following which do you think is more benefiting in a friendship and why?

Ø Good or Bad character

Ø Humility or Arrogance

Ø Enjoining the right & forbidding the wrong or Bad advice

Ø Permissible (Halaal) fun or Forbidden activities

Ø Sincere concern or Heedlessness

Ø Obedience to Allah or Not being concerned with worship

Ø Aiding to do good or Causing conflicts in other relationships (eg with spouse, parents)

Ø Calling to remembrance of Allah or Calling to bad (foul language, movies)

Ø Attending blessed gatherings or Spending too much time doing unbeneficial things

Ø Love for the sake of Allah or Love based on worldly matters (looks, wealth, reputation)

Win - Win

Our lives are filled with trials, one of which is being in relationships. Friends can be very important yet it is quite easy to form and remain in friendships for all the wrong reasons. We must remember that our first duty is to be obedient to Allah subhaana wa ta'aala.

Friends are valuable when they aid each other to stay on the right path – the path of obedience to Allah subhaana wa ta'aala. It is equally important to think about the role you play in a friendship. Remember when the Prophet (SAW) was escaping from Makkah and said to his friend "Don’t be scared, Allah is with us". What better source of comfort and remembrance of Allah in a time of trial!

Be that friend you seek and be moderate in the love of your friend. And remember, it is up to each person to decide, where they are heading with their friendships – Paradise or Hell! There is no third destination.

‘’O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter - that is the home of [permanent] settlement.’’ Q40:39

Which is your choice, Dear seeker of friendships?


I'd love to hear your views on this topic.  Please post in the comments section below! :)

Aug 29, 2012

Regulations related to Menses

By Arty

Bismillah


“And they ask you about menstruation. Say, "It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves." (Surah Baqarah 2:222)

Sister Amina Elahi, in her tafseer of this ayah, explained that this ayah was a sign of Allah’s mercy towards women. Indeed, women during their menses often experience painful cramps, emotional outbursts, sluggishness, irritation, sadness, and many other symptoms. Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) is asking the men to leave women alone in these difficult times. Women do not have to satisfy their husband’s sexual needs during this time (1). In addition, women in Islam do not establish the prayer nor do they fast during their menses. The topic of menstruation is one that scholars have paid a great deal of attention to, and devoted separate chapters and books on. It’s a complex topic that has resulted in scholars having differing opinions about it. Yet, at the same time, it is a topic which no Muslim woman should be ignorant of, because it is directly linked to how she worships Her Creator. Below are just a few basic points that all Muslim women must know regarding their menses:

1. How do I know if I’m experiencing menstrual blood or not?

This is a complex issue for many sisters, who sometimes experience spotting or non menstrual bleeding, and wonder if they can still fast or make their prayers. Menstrual blood, according to the Sunnah, has certain characteristics by which it is known.

a. It is dark, intensely red blood, and is known to come at regular intervals, which each woman knows.

“When it is menstrual blood, which is dark blood that is recognizable, then stop praying.” (2)

b. It has an unpleasant odour.

A woman asked the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salaam) about the bath which is taken after finishing from the menses. The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, told her what to do and said: ‘Purify yourself with a piece of cloth, scented with musk’. (3)

Thus, a sister can tell, either by previous normal periods or by the look and smell of the blood, if it is from menses or not. If it is her menses, she should not pray nor fast until her period ends. If, however, she’s experiencing spotting or bleeding that is not part of her menses, she should keep herself clean from the blood with a pad or liner and make ablution for each prayer. Indeed, spotting did not prevent the women at the time of the prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, from praying as per the following hadith:

“One of the wives of Allah’s Messenger, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, joined him in I’tikaf and she noticed blood and yellowish discharge (from her private parts) and put a dish under her when she prayed.” (4)

2. What is allowed during my menses?

a. I can still connect with Allah (Subhannahu wa ta’ala)

Not establishing the prayer does not mean that Muslim women are disconnected from their creator. It just means that they pray differently during that time. Indeed, women can still supplicate and make dua to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) during their menses. Al Bukhaari, Ibn Jareer, Ibn al-Mundhir, and Dawood al Zaahiri took the following hadeeth as evidence that it is permissible for one who is junub (under major impurity) to remember Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and to recite the Qur’aan:

“Aisha Radiallahu anha said: The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, used to remember Allah in all situations.” (5)

b. I can still be affectionate towards my spouse without engaging in intercourse as per the hadith in which the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, said:

“Do everything except intercourse” (6)

We also see the affection a husband and wife can have with each other during her menses in another hadith narrated by Aisha (radiallahu anha):

‘The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, used to lean on my lap and recite Qur’an while I was on my menses’ (7).

This is such a beautiful hadith in which we see that a spouse ought to remain close and affectionate towards his wife even if there is no intercourse. It shows that the man doesn’t just see his wife as a sexual object, and values her company and closeness at all times.

c. It is recommended that I keep certain clothes just for menstruation

The Mothers of the Believers and the female believers at the time of the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, used to have separate garments for use during their menses. It is not obligatory, but a good example to follow. It also helps your spouse know indirectly that you have started your menses.

Umm Salamah, radiallahu anha, narrates:

“While I was lying with the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, under a woolen sheet, I got my menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, said, “Have you got your menses?” I replied, ‘Yes’. He called me and I slept with him under the woolen sheet.” (8)

3. What is not allowed during my menses?

a. Salah and Fasting

In part of a long narration, the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, said:

Is it not true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ (9)

Also, in another hadith narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallahu anha):

“The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salaam said to me: ‘Give up your prayer when your menses begin and when it has finished wash the blood off your body (take a bath) and start praying.” (10)

b. Performing Tawaf around the Ka’bah

If a sister gets her menses during Hajj or Umrah, she may assume Ihram as usual and perform all the ritual acts, except the Tawaf around the Ka’bah and the two rakahs of prayer afterwards. She can wait until her menses ends to complete the Tawaf.

‘Aisha narrated:

We set out with the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salaam) for Hajj and when we reached Sarif I got my menses. When the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, came to me, I was weeping. He asked, ‘Why are you weeping?’. I said, ‘I wish if I had not performed Hajj this year.’ He asked, ‘May be that you got your menses?’ I replied, ‘Yes’. He then said, ‘This is a thing which Allah has ordained for all daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do except that you do not perform the Tawaf round the Ka’bah till you are clean.’ (11)

c. Touching Qur’an

"Do not touch the Qur'an unless you are in a state of purity." (12)

d. Sitting or staying in the musallah (praying area) of the masjid.

..but the menstruating women should keep away from the musallah” (13)

A sister may, however, pass through or collect something from it as per the following hadith narrated by Aisha radiallahu anha:

‘The Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wa salaam said to me: ‘Get the mat from the mosque.’ I said: ‘I am menstruating!’ Upon this he remarked: ‘Your menstruation is not in your hand.’ (14)

e. Intercourse

“...so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you.” (Surah Baqarah 2:222)

f. Divorce

It is prohibited to divorce ones wife while she is on her menses. When Ibn ‘Umar (radiallahu anhu) divorced his wife while she was on her period, his father, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, radiallahu anhu, went to the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, to inform him to check on the permissibility of this. The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, said to him:

‘Order him to take her back and keep her until she is clean...’ (15)

4. What should I look for to confirm the end of my menses?

First, a sister should not be in a hurry for her menses to end by looking too much for the yellowish discharge.

‘The women used to send to Aisha containers in which were pieces of cloth with yellowish discharge and she would say ‘Do not be hasty, until you see the white discharge.’ (16)

Rather, she should wait for the usual number of days of her period and not be in a hurry. She should not consider herself purified as soon as she observes dryness; rather she should wait for the yellowish or white discharge confirming the end of her menses.

5. What to do when the end of the menses is confirmed?

Once the end of her menses is confirmed, the Muslim woman can now perform the complete bath, also called Ghusl, and she should also clean her private parts with a scented cloth as per the hadith referred earlier (3). She can then resume praying, fasting, and the other activities that were forbidden to her during her menses.

One can’t help but see Allah’s mercy towards women. Imagine having to perform salah or fast when cramping and feeling uncomfortable. Imagine having to satisfy your husband’s sexual needs when all you want to do is curl up and go to sleep. Imagine having to make up all the salah you missed during your menses? Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the most Merciful. Can you feel His compassion for us women? Alhamdulillah!

I urge myself first and all my sisters in Islam to learn more about the regulations pertaining to her life during her menses. This is not an option for us, but a must, since knowing what to do, and what not to do, during our menses greatly impacts our worship.

References
Saleem, Amr Abdul-Mun’im. “Important Lessons for Muslim Women”. Dar-us-Salam, 2005.
Ismail, Yasmin. “A hand through the door for my new sister.” Dar Al-Khair, 2001.
(1) amina elahi fahm-ul-quran
(2) Abu Dawood #286
(3) Bukhari #311
(4) Bukhari #307
(5) Bukhaari#1/213
(6) Muslim #592
(7) Bukhari #296
(8) Bukhari#297
(9) Bukhari#301
(10) Bukhari #554
(11) Bukhari#302
(12) Related by Imam Malik in his Muwatta, and deemed sound by early and late hadith authorities, such as Imam Nawawi in his Majmu`
(13) Bukhari #132
(14) Muslim#587
(15) Bukhari #178
(16) Bukhari (1/213)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please post in the comments sections below! :)

Aug 27, 2012

How to Stay Consistent with Dhikr and Duas After Ramadan

By Sabeen Mansoori
Bismillah



I climbed a mountain, 
In Ramadan.
My spirit light, soaring while fasting,
My feet firmly rooted in the remembrance of Allah,
I thought I reached, the peak of Taqwa,
So I threw a party.
During the festivities, 
I slipped. 
Somewhere, Somehow…
Now I stare again,
At the base of the mountain,
Hoping that Allah gives me the strength,
To climb again. 

I feel as if I am still circling the base of that mountain waiting for the boost that comes from Ramadan to propel me to the top again. Many times I have tried to scramble up towards a higher level of taqwa and had only temporary success. Reaching the clouds when reflecting on some verses of the Quran, or in moments of intense loneliness and betrayal or when the tide of events turned miraculously in my favor. But the fall was always inevitable. The fall into the dark abyss of ingratitude, of laziness and procrastination, gossiping and anger was always imminent.

My fingers hesitate to type instructions that I have failed to fully implement in my life. I write this humbly, because I dream of having a productive spiritual routine and I struggle with it sometimes on a daily basis. Maybe you will pray for me when you pray for yourself and Allah will put barakah in your time and my time and make this dream a reality. Maybe this is the Ramadan that both of us have been waiting for.

"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (attain taqwa)–" (Al Baqarah 2:183)

If only it were possible to capture the spirit of Ramadan in a bottle so that you could sip from it throughout the year and keep your eman fresh till the next Ramadan. If only you could squeeze and store the essence of Ramadan so that your level of Taqwa (consciousness of Allah) does not decline drastically. What would this miraculous elixir contain? What are the consistent acts of dhikr and dua that can be incorporated successfully into your daily routine?

There are ingredients that Allah grants us only in Ramadan and are not available at any other time of the year: the fact that the Shayateen are chained and the doors of Paradise have been opened, and that every good deed receives ten times its normal reward. There are other ingredients that can be attained out of Ramadan with some effort as well.
  • Establish a regular habit of reciting, listening and reflecting upon the Quran. Ramadan is the month of the Quran but do not let a single day out of Ramadan pass without the Quran in it. Listen to it in your car; carry your mp3 player, iPod etc. with you when you go for a walk or go shopping. Make it such an intrinsic part of your day that you feel incomplete without it. Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala asks in the Quran itself:

    Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” (Muhammad 47:24)
  • Make Tahujjud a part of your daily routine after Ramadan. It is a practice of the Muttaqeen (the righteous).

    Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs, Accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness...” (Ad-Dhariyat 51:15-18)

    Many of us pray it diligently in Ramadan because we wake up before our families to prepare suhoor, but we abandon on the morning of Eid because we are so exhausted from Eid preparations. Find a partner to develop your habit of praying Tahujjud. This could be your life partner, your friend, a child or a parent. A gentle daily reminder (a text, an email, a brief call) will inshallah gradually lead to the inculcation of a regular habit. 

  • In Ramadan, time itself is blessed and even the most sinful of us is able to attain a level of ibadah (worship) that is unimaginable outside of Ramadan. There is a slice of the day that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam has informed us is a source of barakah (blessing) for us:

    Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah made the early hours blessed for my Ummah”.(Ahmed)

    There are specific supplications that are authentically narrated from the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam for the morning and the evening. These are like a spiritual breakfast for the soul that will sustain you through the day. Place a copy of these supplications near your prayer mat so that you automatically reach for them every morning and night. Have these supplications downloaded on your phone. Do not procrastinate. Do it now. 
  • In Ramadan we strive to attain forgiveness for our sins by reciting Quran, standing in Taraweeh and trying to mend relations that have gone sour. It is very challenging to be a productive believer if you live life on an emotional roller coaster and carry the burden of useless grudges. Stay in touch with family and friends, even the disgruntled ones, after Ramadan. One excellent tip from Dr. Farhat was to post the phone numbers of close relatives on the fridge so that as you glance at the names you are automatically reminded to call.
  • Keep relationships that elevate your eeman and avoid prolonged conversations with people that will infect you with their ingratitude. 
  • Remember those that did not make it to this Ramadan and realize that even if you are not able to achieve everything that you aim for, if you were to die before next Ramadan, you will have died trying to attain a higher level of Taqwa. There really is no time to procrastinate. 
  • Give charity in the form of time, talent or wealth throughout the year. One sister regularly contributes her talent to the community. She sews and crochets hats and other items throughout the year and donates them to the hospital. When asked about her goal for Ramadan she replied, “To make sixty hats for the cancer patients at the children’s hospital.” Find a pet project and devote yourself to it throughout the year. The two actions are interdependent: helping others with sincerity will fill you with gratitude and help you increase in the remembrance of Allah and increasing your zikr (remembrance) will motivate you to help others. 
As Ramadan approaches I walked around asking people what their goals were for Ramadan and I received various answers: 
  • “Read more Quran with the meaning"
  • “Make it through.” 
  • “Pray five times a day.” 
I realized that my question was incorrect. I should have asked what are your goals for Shawwal? What will be the state of your worship after the blessed month of Ramadan is over and all the spiritual perks that it brings are gone? When your time is assaulted by useless distractions and your conniving soul says, “Ramadan is over. You did so much worship mashaAllah. Now you can relax.”

One friend had all the right answers. She said, “I want to make the habit of praying Tahujjud, reading Quran with understanding, controlling my anger and being a better person starting from this Ramadan and taking it to the next, inshaAllah.”

Be aware,as you step into Ramadan, that the role of devout believer that you play in Ramadan is a dress rehearsal for the remaining eleven months of the year. Strive and strengthen your resolve to keep working towards a higher level of Taqwa till your last breath and use your time in Ramadan wisely as an investment, inshaAllah, for a productive life in this world and a blessed eternity in the Hereafter.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to stay consistent in worship and good deeds after Ramadan?

References:
18 Sources of Barakah http://www.productivemuslim.com/18-sources-of-barakah/
Corpus Quran http://quran.com/

Aug 26, 2012

Story: A MIDNIGHT PRAYER CHAPTER 5

By Alawiya Abdallah

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter


Bismillah

Asha
No!
It can't be him, no way!

Let me squint my eyes so I can see properly.....Yep that's him no doubt!

Maybe if I stand behind Suad, he won't notice me. And if Suad finds my standing behind her weird, maybe I could like give her a shoulder massage or something!

We have been standing here, under the blazing sun for about......I check my watch and.....Yeah, we have been standing here for about 5 minutes and we totally deserve a shoulder massage.

Not that I ever had a shoulder massage in my life, and Suad would probably find it totally inappropriate. You know, since I've just met her and everything.

Add to this the fact that I've never been a fan of massages myself, because let's face it the whole thing is just wrong.

I only give my mum a shoulder massage, because she totally deserves it. She works so hard, and my inability to cook prompts me to give my mum a shoulder massage you see.

My plan is totally in tatters right now.

Him glaring at me isn't helping matters either. I mean come on, I haven't killed anybody here! Plus, I have applied for this job first!!

"Asha and Suad, this is Hamid. Your fellow colleague InshaAllah" Says Nahla, in a chirpy voice.

Oh, so he DOES have a name after all. He is not just "The neighbour who cries"

"He will be guarding the entrance of the Masjid from that booth over there" She points to a booth, situated between the entrance of the Masjid and the directors' building.

I can't help but gloat in my mind

HA HA! He will get to stay in a box all day......all by himself.....Probably glaring at everyone who comes in and out of the Masjid, thus leading to his FIRING.

I don't need to do anything. He will sort this problem out all by himself.

I smile, because this plan is simply brilliant.

"Asha, did you hear me? You look lost in your thoughts" Says Nahla, interrupting my oh so lovely thoughts.

"Oh yes I'm listening" I answer, before glancing at Hamid with a look that says "Someone's gonna get fired, na na na na na"

I can finally relax now....

"And Asha, you will be working in the reception booth" Nahla informs me in a chirpy voice.

MashaAllah, it is indeed marvelous to be working with such a chirpy manager.

I am truly blessed.

Now, where is this marvelous reception booth?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Not THAT booth!!!

That booth is right next to the men's prayer room entrance!! You know, where I did the slide backwards thing because of all the men that were outside!!

All of a sudden, Nahla's chirpy voice sounds like a cheese grater to me......

Yep, my ears hurt.....

Why don't YOU work there and let me take YOUR job!

Just a suggestion really.

"You will love it there InshaAllah" Oh I will, will I?

WILL I?????

Oh great, now I wish I could swap places with Mr. glary.

"Do you think it is a good idea to allow a female to stay in that booth?" Says Mr. Glary__I mean Hamid "The place is right next to the men's entrance" Before he states the obvious.

"And your point is?" Asks Nahla in her chirpy voice.

"Yes, and your point is?" I ask in a not so chirpy voice. Irritated voice to be specific.

"Nothing. Just wanted to point out the difficulty of your task" He seems to be surprised that I'm offended.

"I can handle anything thank you very much" I say it defensively. Wasn't my brain wishing it would swap places with this guy just a minute ago?

I blame my brothers......

They always try to make me feel incompetent, just because I'm a girl.

"Oh Asha can't lift that because she's a girrrl" Ibrahim used to tease me with that phrase all the time, when we were little.

"Maskeen leave her alone, she's a girl" That used to be Mohamed's attempts at reassuring me, but it made me feel even more angry somehow.

Like being a girl is such a big and heavy obstacle.....

I was always left out of games because I'm a "girl" and they were probably right, but the fact that I wasn't given an option made me even more determined to prove to them that I'm not weak.

Ahmed never used to participate in their dangerous-boyish games, because he had the responsibility of raising us from a very young age.

And now with Hamid insinuating that I might not be able to look after myself, all those insecurities about myself came crashing down on me.

Even though he is right.

And I really want to swap places with him.

Right now, I'm about to have a word vomit.....

I can feel it coming....

"I'd LOVE to stay in that booth Nahla" Emphasizing the word love does seem to have agitated the Monsieur.

"How? by SPYING on them?" Na_ah, he didn't just say that!!!!

"Well, I don't know. When one sees a man cry, one does wonder why one is_You know_You know?" Why am I speaking Shakespearean??

That was a LOUSY retort! Oh man, hold on. I must think of an AWESOME comeback.

"Do you two know each other?" Asks Nahla. Must you ask a question right now??

Suad and Nahla look back and forth at us.

"I don't know him!! No way. Who are you? I don't know you. See? I have no clue who this human being is" I answer panicked, fueling their suspicions even more.

"Oh yeah. I have no idea who she is too. I'm sorry, have we met before? Didn't think so either" I'm thinking dude, you leave this to me capish.

"Riiight? Anyway. Whether you know each other or not, I need you ALL to work together" Nahla orders us, looking at me and Hamid in particular.

"Well, I am perfectly civil Alhamdulilah" I reply, looking smugly towards Hamid's direction.

"Me too Alhamdulilah" Replies Hamid confidently.

"Good. Because we have conferences, Imams, Bazaars and major events happening all year round in this Masjid and working together is crucial" Says Nahla, in a serious tone.

We both fall silent as Nahla explains what Suad's duty will be.

Her duty is the best. She will be working and monitoring the women's area.

The question is threatening to burst out of my lips.....

Threatening.....

Just threatening....

TOO LATE....

"Why do I have to stay in the booth next to the men's praying area?"

"Because you are attractive Asha MashaAllah. Sometimes we have non muslims coming, and Asha looks like a person who can represent this Masjid properly. That's what me and the director decided" Nahla informs me that the only reason they accepted me was my "looks" apparently.

I don't know how I feel about this.

Actually I do know. I feel quite angry all of a sudden.

But I am not going to dwell on it. I am going to prove to everyone that I am not

a) Weak

b) Just a face

c) Read answer a and b because I ran out of words to be perfectly honest with you.

I will show them what I'm made of InshaAllah.

Hamid
When I first spotted my nosey next door neighbour standing with Nahla, I felt enraged.

What is she doing here? And why is she standing with Nahla who conducted the interview with Burhan?

I couldn't even hide my anger when she spotted me.

I do not want her here, ruining my peace and harmony.

This job was supposed to be "stress free" but it doesn't look like it's ever going to be stress free.

When I found out that she will be working with me, I wanted to quit there and then.

Then I remembered my bills and rent, and decided to put up with this unbearable situation.

I was really mad at her, and wanted to make her life a living nightmare until she quit. I do not know why, but I think the fact that she saw me crying contributed to my anger towards her.

No man likes to be seen crying. That's just a sign of weakness!

However, when Nahla explained that she would be working in the reception booth right next to the men's prayer room I felt appalled.

Why would they put a single girl (I am assuming she's single because of all the spying business) at the center of the Masjid like that?

She will be hassled by unwanted attention all day, and I'll have to intervene.

I was actually beginning to feel sorry her, until she ruined it by acting all macho.

Typical females. Acting like they can take care of themselves in situations where they need a man!

FINE. Let's see how you handle yourself miss tough boots.

I will just sit there looking at you suffer, and I won't even bat an eyelid if you call for help.

I soooo won't.....

Good for you.

ARRRGHHH, we all know that I will intervene because I am not a complete jerk. Only jerks turn a blind eye to a woman in distress.

I am not happy at this moment to be perfectly honest.

Nahla's reply to Asha's question about the reason she is given that position really made me unsettled as well.

It is just not right.

What is that about?

GREAT___Now I have no choice but to keep an eye on her.

I was really excited when Nahla said that I will be working in the outside booth. No one was going to disturb me, and I would not be forced to make small talks with anyone.

It was going to be perfect.

Not anymore.

I glance one evil look towards her, just so she knows that she is ruining my solitude.

I had a chat with Burhan, who informed me about my position before Nahla did.

I was ecstatic and happy that I wasn't going to be disturbed. I will have to find Burhan and murder him!

Not only would I keep an eye on this Asha person, I will also have to keep a look out for Suad.

I know it is not my job, but a muslim brother never walks past when he spots his fellow sisters in distress.

Never.

Even if one of the sisters is a complete and utter pain.....

Great.....Just great.

___________________
I'd love to hear your views on my short story. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Aug 24, 2012

Lessons of time management learnt from Ramadan

By Danielle Garvey

Bismillah 

As Muslim women we occupy numerous roles including but not limited to the spheres of family, work/study, community and of course religion. For many sisters Ramadan sees their workloads double with additional religious duties as well as family and/or social obligations. As a result, our awareness of time, its value and management heightens as we struggle to find time to do everything.

With the Qur’an and sunnah as our guide, many of us manage to adapt to these new demands on our time and energy by establishing new schedules and habits. Yet once Ramadan ends, we once more find ourselves complaining that we ‘just don’t have time!’

The end of Ramadan should not mean an end to productivity just as it should not mean an end to ibada. A simple solution to this common problem is for us to simply evaluate some of the common productive practices we partake in during Ramadan and how we can apply them to our everyday lives.

Time block Have you ever noticed that the busier you are the more you get done? This is because having a full schedule naturally forces you to organise yourself by using simple time management techniques such as time blocking. This involves organising your tasks by urgency/importance and designating certain periods of time to work on each of them.

As believers we are blessed with ready-made time blocks, the foundation of which is our obligatory five daily prayers. During Ramadan our timetables absorb additional tasks such as waking for suhoor and praying taraweeh, resulting in a full and strict timetable. This scheduling of regular blocks of time for both religious and worldly tasks organise us to the extent that our opportunities for time wasting are severely limited. This is the first and most basic step to managing our time well throughout our lives and one which Allah has made easy for those who choose to take advantage of the gift of time.

However, it is important here to state the obvious – there should be no compromising on time designated for the obligatory ibada. It is not a time wasting activity to be cut back on. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was one of the most productive people to have ever lived and he always did his duty to Allah and it was of no disadvantage to him. Only good can come from worshipping your Lord in the way He deserves to be worshipped. After all, it is the sole purpose of our creation.

I’tikaf Common barriers to getting things done are interruptions and distractions-anything from a needy child to seemingly endless streams of phone calls, emails and text messages. For this reason, success coaches often spend a lot of time on how to deal with these occurrences however they need not look any further than the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

I’tikaf is a sunnah practice which takes place in the last ten days of Ramadan. It can be described as a spiritual retreat which involves isolating oneself in the mosque and denouncing wordly preoccupations. The purpose of this practice is to focus on ibada in an effort to search for and inshaAllah benefit from laylat ul qadr. 

Although it is highly commendable to dedicate time strictly for ibada, a ‘faux i’tikaf’ can be used at any time to tackle any necessary projects whether worldly or religious and can be adapted to suit your schedule and circumstances. For instance, ten days for you may be one day spent focussing on your project in your home, library or indeed the women’s section of your local mosque, only going out for reasons which cannot be avoided e.g. to eat or use the bathroom. The most important thing is that the rules remain the same in the sense that all possible, unnecessary interruptions are eliminated. Warn in advance everyone who may wish to contact you in that time. If you are a mother, organise your husband, parents or any other willing babysitter to care for your children on that day. InshaAllah, adopting ‘faux i’tikaf’ as a regular practice will allow you to maintain control of your ‘to do’ list but also help in creating a healthier life balance by giving you sufficient time to yourself so that you may recharge your batteries and re-emerge as a better version of yourself in all your roles.

Waking early Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we make post-Ramadan is abandoning the habit of waking early. It is widely recognised amongst all sectors of society that starting our day early leads to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. Evidence for this can be found in the fact that our beloved Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was a habitual early riser and encouraged this habit in others. Indeed it was in response to a du’a made by him, that Allah made these early hours a blessing for his ummah. The enormity of this blessing can only be fathomed if we observe the great extent to which the kafiroon benefit from these hours – and that’s without the baraka! Just imagine the benefit we can gain from it inshaAllah if we made the effort to form this habit.

Alhamdulilah, there are countless ways to benefit from these hours as it can be used for virtually anything whether it be catching up on work, exercising, preparing for the day ahead or if your spouse is also an early riser, enjoying some quality time together before the day begins. It can be an excellent means of maintaining balance in our lives. However, as we can see in the following hadith, the best way to truly benefit from these hours is to make istighfar and du’a to Allah:

"Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring:

'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? 
Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? 
Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?" 
[Al Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 246:] 

As specified in the above hadith, this takes place in the last third of the night known as as-haar, the last three hours before fajr and it is these hours which are blessed. Therefore, in order to gain maximum benefit from this amazing opportunity, we should strive to wake up for tahajjud and work until fajr then continue to work until sunrise. However, for those unable to do so they may still taste some of the benefit of these hours by waking up for fajr, and returning to sleep at sunrise. It is important that we form this habit of staying awake after fajr because it is in fact makrooh to sleep between fajr and sunrise.

Sleeping Early Naturally, to wake early one must also sleep early. This is especially important when we are striving to pray tahajjud. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam maintained his own routine by taking a short nap between dhuhr and asr (known as qaylula) but most importantly, by sleeping immediately after isha prayer. In this way he was able to consistently perform tahajjud throughout his life whilst still fulfilling the rights of his body by providing it with sufficient sleep.

Some people may choose to work on some tasks in the evenings and there is nothing wrong with this however we must be mindful not to sleep later than half the night. If we stay up beyond this, we risk sleeping through not only tahajjud but also fajr, Allah forbid. In addition we would also be missing out on the many benefits found in the early hours which have been discussed above and there is no one on earth who is not in dire need of such blessings. This is without mentioning the potentially devastating effects consistently staying up late can have on one’s productivity levels and health including the development of potentially fatal illnesses.

These are just some of the time management lessons which can be learnt from the beneficial practices we engage in during Ramadan. Islam itself encourages the believers to value time and use it wisely, filling it with good deeds which may benefit us not just in this life but the hereafter inshaAllah. This is because our time here is short, as is illustrated by the hadith in which the Prophet saws says:

"(The significance of) this world (in comparison) to the hereafter is similar to one of you dipping his finger in the ocean and then seeing (the amount of water that) has stuck to it" 
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1330) 

This was well understood among the earlier generations to the extent that we even find scholars who chose their foods based on how long they took to eat. In the Qur’an and sunnah Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has provided us with all the tools required to lead a productive life. Whether we choose to use and benefit from this however, is a choice each of us must make.


References 
The Value of Time by Sheikh Abdul Fattah Guddah,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/71768363/The-Value-of-Time-by-Shaykh-Abdul-Fattah-Abu-Ghuddah-Hanafi#download

Sleeping habits of the Prophet (pbuh) lecture by Muhammad Al Shareef, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6514cZM-7M )
(http://islamqa.info/en/ref/96589)

18 Sources of Barakah by Abu Productive
http://www.productivemuslim.com/18-sources-of-barakah

In the early hours by Suhaib Webb
http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/in-the-early-hours/


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Aug 22, 2012

Maintaining the bonds of Unity and Sisterhood after Ramadan

By Abeer S


Bismillah

They say food brings people together. But year in, year out, on the 9th month of the blessed lunar calendar, we witness that lack of it also brings people together.

The Islamic month of Ramadan has seen many miracles – the first and greatest of which: The revelation of the Quran. But in our times, we continue to witness miracle after miracle: families that were once torn apart (likely by a trivial shortcoming on everyone’s part) come together to mend what was never meant to be broken, friends that had sworn each other off decide to forgive and forgo the past in hopes of being forgiven and their sins erased by Al-Ghafoor, Al-Afuww and best of all, travellers who had strayed too far, find their way back to Him and they do what only a few have managed to do; they sever their ties with anything that would take them away from Him again.

This month sees bonds formed upon a Oneness better known as Tawheed – relationships are formed for the sake of The Almighty. And these bonds that are formed upon Tawheed cannot break. The strength of these bonds is directly proportional to the strength of our faith – such is the beauty of Islam.

I can list activities off the top of my head that will see you, my beloved reader, and your sisters coming together in the blessed month of Ramadan and even after Ramadan – and in effect ‘maintaining’ your sisterhood. But what is the worth of empty actions?

In order to maintain any relationship (and in our context that within a sisterhood), we must base it upon something that does not erode – that will never erode; the love of Allah subhanahu wa taala. And that is our key to maintaining the bonds of unity within our sisterhood.

But how do we nurture this love and unity? Especially when undertones of feistiness are much prevalent within sisterhoods that claim to have the one goal of serving Allah subhanahu wa taala. Point me to any sisterhood and I will point out the power struggle and frenemity within the sisterhood.

From my short experience, I have noticed there are several things lacking from within these sisterhoods, and these are the things that can help establish the much needed unity:

Dua “Oh yes I make Dua”, you quickly dismiss this point and are about to move to the next one.

But no, I don’t necessarily mean dua to Allah for unity, love and strengthening of bonds of our sisterhoods, though it is of great importance and you should be making this Dua.

What I mean is this: think of a sister who makes it next to impossible to like her, let alone love her. Everyone has that one friend that does everything she can to make your life miserable, even if she does it ‘unintentionally’. You know, that one sister whom you claim to ‘love for the sake of Allah’, yet if she were to move to the other side of the world, you will find yourself saying, “Good riddance!” Remember her? Now sitting where you are sitting, make the best dua that you can think of, for her.

Ask Allah to give her the best in this life and name what these best things are, ask Allah to give her the ultimate happiness and comfort in her family in this dunya, ask Allah to give her the highest jannah in the next life, and ask Allah to guide her to Him always. And ask Allah for all of this and more sincerely. Believe me, we can trick ourselves, but He knows exactly how badly we want something for ourselves or for others. So you can say this, without meaning it and He will know. But say it because you mean it. Make it often, and just watch dislike and hatred melt away.

And if it makes it easier, I’ll remind you of this:
Our Prophet ﷺ said: “None of you have truly believed until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” [Sahih Bukhari[1]

Your faith is not complete until you love for her, what you love for yourself. It is as if the health of our relationship with Allah is dependent on us fixing our relationship with our sisters. And my advice above is the action, perhaps one of many, that can help us achieve a fuller Eeman and a stronger relationship with Allah.

And our beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother in his absence except an Angel says: The same be for you too” [Sahih Muslim[2]

The sincere dua that you make for your sister, in her absence, is answered for you as well; whatever good you ask for her, Allah gives you an equal of what you have asked for her. More motivation for us to make an even better dua for others.

Building the Love The first step towards maintaining a sisterhood, and increasing love and unity is by decreasing all forms of hatred, dislike and the aforementioned frenemity. And the second step is building love within that relationship.

This is easier said than done. You can end your text messages with “Love x”, or the many different versions of “Love you for the sake of Allah”, but again a question arises: are these words meaningfully said? Or are they simply parroted?

This entire deen of Islam is manifestation of words being backed by actions and more importantly by sincere intentions.

And in most sisterhoods, the words are present, but there is no action to back them, and Allah is All-Aware of all our intentions.

Especially in Ramadan, when this bond between Muslims is supposed to be at its peak, sisters turn hostile towards each other (taraweeh anyone?!). No wonder relationships are even worse after Ramadan.

Thus as a starter, try fixing your actions towards your sisters in Ramadan, whether she is complete stranger or your best friend. It is the smallest and simplest acts of kindness that matter.

This time, when the great month of Ramadan comes around inshaAllah, if we try and be better Muslims by being better human beings that would be an amazing achievement. And it is these small scale achievements that will enable us to strengthen the bonds of unity within this Ummah in the long run.

I came across an athar[3] recently which really touched me at how beautiful it was, despite it being a very simply incident.

“Mohammed bin Munadhir said: I was walking with Al Khalil bin Ahmed and my sandal broke. So he took off his sandals, I asked him, 'What are you doing?' He replied, 'I'm keeping you company'.”

I ache for such a company. And I think, even the harshest of hearts ache for such beautiful company, even if slightly. Just reflect with me, this small, sincere incident touched Mohammed bin Munadhir so much so that he talked about this incident. And look at what a small, sincere act of kindness has attained: it has been shared from one person to another until it became immortalised in books.

And this incident teaches us not just good conduct, but it teaches us something greater: love for the sake of Allah. If it were not sincere love for the sake of Allah, would someone go to the great length of walking on the hot, burning sand, just to keep someone company? This incident resonates a friendship that cannot be expressed in words but the hearts and actions speak louder, and clearer.

I ache for such company. But I cannot expect someone to take off their sandals and walk on the hot desert sand for me but you know what? I can strive to be that friend. Because relationships don’t just happen, it takes great people to make them happen and work at them to ensure their success. And we cannot sit back and expect others to be those great people, we must become them ourselves. And in return Allah subhanahu wa taala will give us friends and companions that surpass our own attempts at being that loving companion.

And this is what I want to end with, even if every other person has been mean to you, try and be a loving friend, a friend like Al Khalil bin Ahmed. A friend like Abu Bakr and Omar and a friend like Mohammed ﷺ, notice how even in their death, these three friends are together, their graves next to each other.

Remember because of our limited amount of time (here, in this dunya), we cannot afford to cut ties, or even be mean to each other. (I am using the word mean, even though the word malicious might paint a better picture). And whatever you do, always remember that at the end of the day you are trying to please someone Who is Greater. Someone Who is constantly aware of what strikes your mind and your heart.

So try and erase all negativity from your hearts and minds, so that when He subhanahu wa taala looks, He is pleased with what He sees.

And perhaps one day your unity and unflinching bonds of sisterhood might become the means of victory for this ummah.

[1] English reference: Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 13
[2] English reference: Sahih Muslim Book 35, Hadith 6588
[3] Athar (أثر) is the term used for what has been passed down from the companions and from the noble predecessors of the second and third generation. (As opposed to a Hadith, which is what has passed down from our Prophet)


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Aug 20, 2012

Keeping The Ramadan Spirit Alive

By Zainab Cheentavida


Bismillah 


“And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).”[Al-Hijr: 99] 

It is a sad, yet common state of affairs that many Muslims forget their religion after the passing of Ramadan. This month should be a chance for self-improvement and transformation that should continue on through the rest of your life. You should not carry the intention that the goodness you participate in is only for a limited number of days and the evil you refrained from is only for a temporary while. This intention is not sincere - one of the requirements of a deed to be accepted. Keep in mind, an action committed is not necessarily an action accepted. We should be more concerned towards the acceptance of our deeds than the quantity of how much we offer, although it is also very important. By continuing the limits and goals we set in Ramadan and extending it to our daily lives we will be able to keep the Ramadan spirit alive.

Refrain from evil 
One sin eventually leads to the other, until it consumes us whole and our hearts are soaked with love for it. It is common in Ramadan that many of us choose to refrain from various haram or wasteful activities such as listening to music, or watching television. It is also common, unfortunately, that many people return to these activities after Ramadan. The heart cannot have equal love between haram and halal, it is Allah’s right that your heart is only filled with love of him. You had a whole month where you successfully abstained from these acts, speech or thoughts - now continue to abstain from them, lest you fall back into them again. Even better, if you can remove sources of these distractions from your home permanently (such as the T.V) try and do so during this Holy month so that it will become more difficult to return to it afterwards. Islam is not a religion where one can pick and choose so from freely, it must be taken as a whole. Don’t take evil habits lightly and remove them as best as you can before they take root.

O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. [Al-Baqarah: 208] 

Read And Study the Qur’an
No doubt that the recitation of the Qur’an on a daily basis and the understanding and applications of its wisdom and lessons are one of the backbones of leading an Islamic life. Ramadan is known as the month of the Qur’an. The Qur’an though, was not just sent to be read only in Ramadan. The preservation of the Qur’an and the (inheritance of knowledge) that comes with it is a huge blessing bestowed upon us. The fact that it has been given to you is no mere coincidence. As with material things, take advantage of this blessing to constantly guide and remind yourself of the truth of this life. We need guidance in our day to day lives, and the Qur’an serves as a guidance for us.

It is He who sends down upon His Servant [Muhammad] verses of clear evidence that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful.
[Al-Hadid: 9] 

This is a mercy that has been sent to us and it is our duty to understand its contents. Add it in your schedule to study and read the Qur’an. There are many online resources (such as bayyinah.com and farathasmi.com) that have online podcasts on the tafseer of the Qur’an. The Qur’an should be your best friend and you’ll need it on your journey through life.

Pursue Good Deeds
Remember those extra sunnahs you prayed before and after fard prayers, or when you got up early each morning to pray witr. You must’ve have gotten used to doing them over such a period. Then why not continue the habit?

Narrated 'Aisha (r): The Prophet was asked, "What deeds are loved most by Allah?" He said, "The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few." He added, 'Don't take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability." [Bukahri] 

By pursuing righteous deeds and filling our hearts with goodness not only will it wipe out previous sins but it serves as a protection from committing great evils. A Muslim should grab every chance of good they are presented with. Whatever you can do – do it. Or else you’ll regret them on a very heavy day. Every ounce of sincere effort you put out counts, and every bit brings you closer to Allah. And every time you come closer to Allah, Allah comes even closer to you.

Abu Dharr (Radhi-Allah-hu 'anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Do not disdain a good deed, (no matter how small it may seem) even if it is your meeting with your (Muslim) brother with a cheerful face.'' [Muslim]

Surround yourself with Good Company
A packed masjid is surely one of the signs of Ramadan. Everyone gathers at these places of worship so that inshAllah they are rewarded for their efforts. In the same manner, find yourself decent friends who strive in the way of Allah so that you may benefit from them.

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” [Abu Dawud and At Tirmidhi] 

Limit your ties with those who threaten your iman and encourage sin. Your relationships should not get in the way of your duty towards Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala. There are shaitan among jinn and men so treat those people as your enemy. You would not try and imitate your enemy so that you could please them would you? You can’t be friends with your Lord and shaitan both. It has to be one over the other.

"Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter." [Al-Furqan: 28-29] 

For many of us our lack of iman roots from our desire to fit in with society, to be accepted and acknowledged as one of them in compromise for our religion. Our values, behaviours and customs are inherited from those around us. So become aware and cautious. It is better to be alone then become close with the one who crosses the limits of Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala.

Duaa and Dhikr
And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful - We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion.

"And indeed, the devils avert them from the way [of guidance] while they think that they are [rightly] guided.” [Al-Zukhruf: 36-37] 

Seeking help from Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala for every problem or challenge you encounter and glorifying and praising with every moment we have shouldn’t be looked up on lightly. In fact, one aspect of tawheed is ooloohyahaah, meaning to thank Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala alone as only He is deserving of it. Once we turn away from the remembrance of Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala we invite the shaitain in.

Du'a reveals our dependency on Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala. The Prophets and Messengers themselves used to constantly seek their Lord, so we are no exception. Once you rely on Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala, you will find strength within yourself. Your perception on life will not be the same. Recognize and trust your Lord through du'a and Dhikr. Just as a robber takes what is light in weight and heavy in value, you must apply the same concept. It is not easy for all of us to get up early in the morning to pray tahajjud and witr, but Dhikr should be no exception.

By making Islam your source of life and the pleasure of your Lord your utmost goal, the spirit that many only manifest in Ramadan shall continue with for the rest of your life.


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Aug 17, 2012

Istimewa Ramadhan: Laylatul Qadr dalam 10 Malam Terakhir Ramadhan

By Rubina Siddiqi
Translated By Farah Chaulad
Read the original Article HERE


Bismillah

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala telah berfirman dalam Quran:

1. Sesungguhnya Kami telah menurunkan (Al-Quran) ini pada Malam Lailatul-Qadar,
2. Dan apa jalannya engkau dapat mengetahui apa dia kebesaran Malam Lailatul-Qadar itu?
3. Malam Lailatul-Qadar lebih baik daripada seribu bulan.
4. Pada Malam itu, turun malaikat dan Jibril dengan izin Tuhan mereka, kerana membawa segala perkara (yang ditakdirkan berlakunya pada tahun yang berikut);
5. Sejahteralah Malam (yang berkat) itu hingga terbit fajar!
Surah 97:1-5 Al-Qadr (Malam Lailatul-Qadar)

Abu Hurairah (RA) melaporkan bahawa Rasulullah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam bersabda: “Sesungguhnya telah datang kepadamu bulan Ramadhan, bulan yang diberkati, Allah memerintahkan berpuasa di dalamnya. Pada bulan itu, dibukakan segala pintu syurga, dikunci segala pintu neraka dan dibelenggu syaitan-syaitan. Di dalamnya ada satu malam yang lebih baik dari 1000 bulan. Barangsiapa yang tidak diberikan kebajikan malam itu, bererti telah diharamkan baginya segala rupa kebajikan.” (Ahmad, an-Nasa’i-dan al-Baihaqi)

Pada malam ini satu keajaiban telah berlaku dalam sejarah manusia apabila ayat pertama Al-Quran telah diturunkan kepada Rasul tercinta Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Ini adalah malam penghormatan dan prestij dimana hambaNya yang setia diberi ganjaran. Segala pahala akan digandakan dengan rahmat Allah. Kerana keberkatan yang agung pada malam ini, para malaikat turun dari Syurga. Mereka turun dalam jumlah yang besar dengan rahmat Allah. Mereka melawat orang-orang yang beriman dan ikhlas menyembah Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

Sama ada mereka membaca Al-Quran, berzikir (mengingati Allah) atau solat. Kita harus beribadah dengan keikhlasan dan kesungguhan yang tinggi untuk mencari keredhaan Allah, dan mempunyai keyakinan yang kuat bahawa segala kebaikan akan diberi ganjaran.

Abu Hurairah (ra) melaporkan bahawa Nabi Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam bersabda, “Sesiapa yang berdiri di dalam solat dan ibadah pada malam Qadar, dengan niat yang ikhlas dan dengan harapan mendapat ganjaran, dosanya yang telah lalu diampunkan.” (Bukhari dan Muslim )

Tarikh yang tepat Laylatul Qadr tidak diketahui umum. Mungkin hikmahnya adalah Yang Maha Kuasa mahu kita untuk terus bekerja keras sepanjang bulan Ramadhan untuk mendapat rahmat, keampunan dan keredhaan-Nya. Rasulullah salallahualayhiwasallam berusaha dengan gigih untuk mencari Laylatul Qadr dalam sepuluh malam terakhir Ramadan.

Ibn Abbas seperti katanya: Rasulullah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam berkata, “Carilah Malam Lailatul-Qadar pada sepuluh malam terakhir di bulan Ramadan, pada malam apabila sembilan atau tujuh atau lima malam kekal daripada sepuluh malam terakhir di bulan Ramadan (iaitu 21, 23 dan 25).” (Bukhari)

Apa yang boleh kita lakukan untuk mendapatkan keampunan Allah di 10 malam terakhir?


Amalan beriktikaf:
Diriwayatkan daripada Saidatina Aisyah ra (isteri Nabi) Rasulullah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam mengamalkan Itikaf pada sepuluh hari terakhir Ramadan sehingga dia meninggal dunia dan kemudian isteri-isterinya turut mengamalkan itikaf. (Bukhari)

Mereka yang tidak boleh menghabiskan banyak masa beritikaf kerana sibuk dengan anak-anak atau aktiviti-aktiviti lain, boleh berniat Itikaf untuk jangka masa yang pendek pada bila-bila masa yang mengizinkan.

Memperhebatkan du’a - Kita perlu berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk berdo'a sebanyak mingkin untuk semua perkara dan semua orang. Berdo'alah untuk umat Islam dan juga semua manusia yang sedang menderita dengan niat yang ikhlas bahawa Tuhan kita mendengar do'a kita dan mengurniakan kepada kita apa sahaja yang halal yang kita inginkan dan apa yang baik untuk kita, Ameen. Selain daripada mendirikan sembahyang, do’a adalah hubungan terkuat antara kita dan Allah yang sentiasa ada untuk kita, mendengar keperluan kita dan bersedia untuk mengurniakan rahmat-Nya kepada kita.

Aisyah, (ra) melaporkan bahawa dia bertanya Rasulullah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, “Wahai Rasul Allah! Jika aku mengetahui malam Laylatul-Qadar, apakah yang perlu aku baca? ” Dan Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallah menyuruh beliau berkata: “Ya Allah! Engkau adalah Maha Pengampun, dan Engkau mencintai keampunan. Oleh itu ampunkanlah aku." (Riwayat oleh Ahmad, Ibn Majah dan At-Tirmithi)

Bertaubat dengan ikhlas - Kita perlu bersungguh-sungguh meminta Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala untuk mengampuni dosa-dosa yang kita yang telah lakukan secara sengaja atau tidak sengaja. Menangislah dan mintalah keampunan-Nya. Betaubatlah atas segala perbuatan terhadap orang lain yang menyakiti mereka dan yang paling penting, bertaubat untuk dosa-dosa kita yang telah membuat Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala murka. Berdo'alah untuk saudara se-Islam yang sudah kembali ke Rahmatullah dan mintalah keampunan bagi pihak mereka.

Diriwayatkan Shaddad bin Aus (Radhi-Allahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) berkata:

Cara yang paling mulia untuk meminta ampun dari Allah: Wahai Allah, Engkau adalah Tuhanku, tidak  ada yang berhak disembah melainkan Engkau, Engkau ciptakan aku dan aku adalah hamba-Mu, aku penuhi perjanjian dengan Mu, dan ikrarku kepada Mu seboleh-bolehnya. Aku berlindung kepada-Mu dari segala kejahatan yang telah aku lakukan. Aku akui akan rahmat-Mu dan aku akui segala kesalahanku. Ampunilah aku, kerana tidak ada sesiapapun yang boleh mengampunkan dosa melainkan Engkau.


Nabi (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) menambah: “Jika seseorang membaca do’a ini pada siang hari dengan iman yang teguh di dalam hatinya, dan meninggal dunia sebelum petang pada hari tersebut, dia akan menjadi dari penduduk Syurga; dan jika seseorang membaca pada waktu malam dengan iman yang teguh di dalamnya, dan meninggal dunia sebelum pagi, dia akan menjadi dari orang-orang Syurga.”[Sahih Bukhari - Book 75: Hadith 318].

Zikir - Meningkatkan jumlah Zikir (melebihkan solat sunat, membaca quran, Tasbeeh dan sebagainya). Semasa membaca al-Quran cuba untuk memikirkan makna ayat-ayat yang anda baca dan dalami ayat-ayat tersebut. Semasa solat cuba untuk membuat solat anda lebih lama, lebih mendalam dan bermakna. Jika anda biasa dengan surah yang lebih panjang, hafaz terjemahan dan kemudian baca surah ini dalam solat (qayam-ul-lail atau solat malam), dalami makna ayat tersebut tatkala solat.

Diriwayatkan Aishah: Pada permulaan sepuluh hari terakhir Ramadan, Nabi telah bekerja keras untuk berdoa dan beribadah sepanjang malam, dan juga mengejutkan keluarganya untuk solat. (3:241 Bukhari)

Bulan ini adalah bulan yang sangat berharga dan bermanfaat untuk jiwa kita dan akhira dan kita  bertanggungjawab ke atas keuntungan dan kerugian kita. Alhamdulillah, kita masih bernyawa untuk hari ini, diberkati dengan peluang untuk mengalami satu lagi bulan Ramadan dan bertaubat daripada semua salah laku kita.

Kita harus mengambil kesempatan ini untuk berusaha meningkatkan amalan baik kita dan mengambil kesempatan sepenuhnya atas peluang keemasan ini ini. Sebahagian daripada saudara kita yang hidup dan aktif pada Ramadhan yang lalu, telah tiada pada tahun ini, semoga Allah menganugerahkan mereka Syurga, ameen. Ramadhan ini mungkin peluang terakhir untuk kita, jadi kita harus lakukan yang terbaik untuk mendapat keredhaanNya. Semoga Allah membimbing kita ke jalan yang lurus dan kurniakanlah kepada kami rahmat-Nya, keampunan dan pembebasan dari api neraka, Ameen.


Saya suka untuk mendengar pandangan anda tentang penulisan ini. Sila kongsikan dengan saya dalam ruangan komen di bawah :)


Istimewa Ramadan: Ibubapa – Mencintai Dia adalah Mencintai Mereka

Oleh Umm Sulaym
Translated by: Siti Manisah Ngalim
Read original article here.
Bismillah

Dalam satu bahagian diriku yang paling dalam, daripada teras dalam diriku yang paling dalam, terpancur Pancaran Cinta Mu

Pada waktu-waktu yang paling suram dalam hidupku, dari ruang-ruang masa yang paling muram, aku sentiasa bangkit dalam Cinta Mu

Bagaimana mungkin aku tidak mencintai mereka yang telah Engkau ciptakan untukku dan hanya untuk aku cintai?

Bagaimana mungkin tidak aku berusaha untuk mengukuhkan hubunganku dengan-Mu dengan menceriakan mereka yang memupukku dengan kasih saying?

Kerana mencintai-Mu adalah dengan mencintai mereka …
Dan menyembah-Mu adalah dengan mentaati mereka …

Asalamu`alaikom wa rahmatullah Saudara-saudara Perempuanku Yang Dikasihi,

Ramadan datang mengetuk. Kita teragak-agak membuka pintu, untuk menyambut mesra kedatangan Tetamu Baru. Untuk membuka pintu itu, kita bebaskan tangan-tangan dengan melepaskan apa sahaja yang ada di dalamnya. Kita merasa bangga dengan diri sendiri apabila kita berjaya khatam seluruh Al-Qur’an tetapi kita tidak menyedari bahawa kata-kata Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala menyumpah kita kerana tidak peduli untuk mengikut Arahan-Nya. Kita berpuasa, tetapi kita hilang kesabaran. Kita bersedekah untuk mereka di luar tanpa meminta balasan tetapi kita susuli dengan menyakitkan hati apabila bersedekah kepada mereka yang berada di bawah bumbung rumah kita. Kita sudi untuk bersegera melaksanakan arahan ketua kumpulan kita di tempat kerja atau apabila kita menjadi sukarelawan tetapi apabila ibubapa kita meminta bantuan ketika kita di hadapan komputer, kitalah makhluk yang paling lembab di atas muka bumi. Dan jika antara kita tidak suka akan suruhannnya, kita dengan senangnya menolak tanggungjawab tersebut dengan berkata:

“Alah, ibuku tidak membantu di saat aku amat memerlukannya. Mengapa perlu aku peduli?

“Ayah tidak mengizinkan kami berkahwin walaupun dia seorang lelaki yang bertaqwa. Dia tidak mengindahkan perasaan ku. Bagaimana mungkin aku memaafkannya?”

“Ibubapaku mendera perasaanku dan tidak membina keyakinan dalam diriku ketika aku membesar. Aku tidak rasa seperti ingin menghormati mereka.”

Kita mungkin tidak menyatakan semua ini tetapi kata-kata ini ujud dan menjalar dalam fikiran sesetengah dari kita yang menghalang daripada menjalankan tanggungjawab kita. Mengapa ianya satu beban dalam mencintai mereka yang Allah minta untuk kita cintai? Kerana kita tidak mencintai mereka hanya kerana Allah subhaanahu wa ta’alaa. Kerana kita hanya mengambil berat tentang apa yang kita dapatkan dan tidak kepada apa yang kita berikan. Kita terlupa bahawa kita akan dipertanggungjawabkan atas apa yang kita lakukan dan bukan bagaimana sikap orang lain terhadap kita.

Abu Bakr bin ‘Ayyash berkata:
Aku sering duduk bersama Mansur (seorang ulama) dalam rumahnya dan akan mendengar ibunya, seorang yang lantang dan biadab, menjerit kepadanya, ‘Wahai Mansur! Ibn Hubairah (seorang gabenor Iraq ketika itu) melantik kamu sebagai seorang hakim, tetapi engkau menolak.’ Mansur tidak akan sesekali memandangnya pada mata kerana menghormatinya.” [Al Birr was-Silah, Ibn al Jauzi, pp. 85]

Ramadan adalah bulan dimana kebanyakan kita berusaha untuk melakukan sebanyak ibadah yang mungkin untuk diselitkan dalam jadual seharian. Kita melayan saudara sesama Islam dengan lebih baik dan lembut. Sementara semua itu adalah terpuji, amat penting untuk kita ingat bahawa individu yang paling layak menerima keperihatinan dan kasih-sayang adalah kedua ibubapa kita. Saya tidak akan bermain dengan emosi untuk menggalakkan anda agar berlaku baik terhadap mereka. Saya hanya akan menyatakan beberapa fakta yang menggerunkan. Percayalah, anda tidak akan mahu untuk terlepas daripada apa yang akan dibentangkan seterusnya dalam artikel ini.

Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala berkata dalam al-Qur’an:
Dan Tuhanmu telah memerintahkan supaya kamu jangan menyembah selain Dia dan hendaklah kamu berbuat baik pada ibubapamu dengan sebaik-baiknya. Jika salah seorang antara keduanya atau kedua-duanya sampai berumur lanjut dalam pemeliharaanmu, maka sekali-kali janganlah kamu mengatakan kepada keduanya perkataan ‘ah’ dan janganlah kamu membentak mereka dan ucapkanlah kepada mereka perkataan yang mulia. Dan rendahkanlah dirimu terhadap mereka berdua dengan penuh kesayangan dan ucaokanlah: “Wahai Tuhanku, kasihilah mereka keduanya, sebagaimana mereka berdua telah mendidik aku waktu kecil” [Surah Al Isra’, 17 : 23-24]

Kita membaca sekian banyak artikel dan penyelidikan serta merancang untuk mendapatkan Ramadan yang terbaik tetapi adakah kita berfikir dua kali tentang hubungan kita dengan ibubapa kita? Ironinya, sesetengah wanita Islam kelihatan berangan-angan untuk membina rumahtangga Islam mereka sendiri (berkahwin, mendapat anak dsb.) sedang mereka tidak mampu untuk menangani dan berlaku Ihsan dalam hubungan yang dengannya, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala telah sedia merahmati mereka.

Mengapa saya mengaitkan antara Ramadan dan sikap tanggungjawab terhadap ibubapa kita?

Disebutkan dalam Tafseer Ibn Kathir berkaitan dengan ayat di atas bahawa:
Terdapat banyak hadis yang bercakap tentang memuliakan ibubapa, seperti hadis-hadis yang disampaikan melalui beberapa rangkaian sanad daripada Anas dan lain-lain, yang menyatakan bahawa Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallaam menaiki mimbar, dan kemudian berkata, ‘Amin, Amin, Amin.’ Telah dikatakan, “Wahai Rasulullah, mengapa engkau mengatakan Amin?” Baginda bersabda: “Jibrail telah datang kepada aku dan berkata, “Wahai Muhammad, celakalah kepada sesiapa yang mendengar namamu disebut dan tidak berselawat ke atasmu.” Dia berkata, “Katalah Amin,” lalu aku berkata Amin. Kemudian dia berkata, “Celakalah sesiapa yang melihat bulan Ramadan datang dan pergi, dan dia tidak diampunkan.” Dia berkata, “Katalah amin,” maka aku katakan Amin. Kemudia dia berkata, “Celakalah sesiapa yang membesar dan kedua ibubapanya atau salah seorang daripada mereka masih hidup, dan mereka tidak menjadi sebab dia memasuki Syurga.” Dia berkata, “Katalah Amin,” maka aku berkata Amin.”

Ingin tahu mengapa ianya penting untuk bersegera dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab terhadap ibubapa sebelum melakukan kerja-kerja sukarelawan? Kerana: jika dilakukan sebaliknya, perbuatan tersebut adalah SIA-SIA!

Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallaam telah bersabda: “Tiga perbuatan yang akan menyebabkan perbuatan baik seseorang itu sebagai sia-sia: (1) mensyirikkan Allah, (2) ‘Uquq terhadap kedua ibubapa dan (3) melarikan diri daripada medan perang.” [At-Tabarani]

Maksud ringkas ‘Uquq adalah bersikap tidak menghormati, tidak berlaku baik dan tidak bertanggungjawab. Beberapa jenis ‘Uquq termasuk: menyebabkan kesugulan dan kesedihan terhadap ibubapa dengan sebab perkataan atau perbuatan (membuat mereka menangis), berlaku jahat dihadapan mereka (perbuatan-perbuatan yang haram dan tidak bermoral), tidak mengakui atau mengabaikan ibubapa, menahan diri daripada mengekalkan hubungan yang kerap dengan mereka, mengharapkan kebebasan daripada kedua ibubapa yang tegas dalam mendisiplinkan kita dalam hal-hal yang membawa kepada ketaqwaan.

Dua kebaikan yang kita dambakan daripada Allah subhaanhu wa ta’aala dalam bulan Ramadan, yang mana dapat digandakan dengan memenuhi tanggungjawab terhadap kedua ibubapa:

  1. Kita semua mahukan do’a-do’a diterima terutama dalam bulan Ramadan ini. Ingin tahu tentang individu-individu yang mana Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallaam iktiraf sebagai mereka yang do’a-do’anya diterima?

    Asir ibn Jaabir radiallahu ‘anhu berkata: Setiap kali orang ramai datang dari Yemen, ‘Umar radhiallahu ‘anhu akan menanyakan kepada mereka, “Adakah Uwais b. Amir di kalangan kamu?” sehingga, dalam tahun tertentu, beliau bertemu Uwais. Beliau berkata, “Adakah kamu Uwais b. Amir?” Dia berkata, “Ya.” ‘Umar menyambung, “Daripada Muraad, kemudian Qaran?” Dia berkata, “Ya.” ‘Umar kemudian bertanya, “Adakah kamu pernah sekali menderita penyakit kusta dan kulitmu sembuh kecuali satu bahagian sebesar satu dirham?” Uways berkata, “Ya.” ‘Umar akhirnya bertanya, “Adakah kamu mempunyai seorang ibu (yang masih hidup)?” Dia berkata, “Ya.” ‘Umar kemudian berkata, “Aku mendengar Rasulullah sallallaau `alaihi wa salaam bersabda, ‘Uwais b. Amir akan datang kepada mu bersama delegasi daripada Yemen, dari Muraad, kemuduan dari Qaran. Dia pernah menderita penyakit kusta dan kulitnya telah sembuh kecuali satu bahagian sebesar satu dirham. Dia punyai seorang ibu, dan he melayani ibunya dengan baik. Jika dia bersumpah dengan nama Allah (untuk sesuatu) Allah akan penuhi sumpahnya. Jika dapat, kamu mohonlah agar dia meminta keampunan untuk mu.” ‘Umar kemudian memohon daripada ‘Uwais, “Mintalah keampunan untuk ku.” Dan dia (Uwais b. Amir) memenuhi permohonanya. [Sahih Muslim, Buku 31, Hadith No. 6172]

    Perhatikan bahawa Uwais b. Amir Al-Qarni mempunyai peluang untuk meninggalkan ibunya dan pergi menemui Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam tetapi beliau tidak berbuat demikian. Apakah yang lebih penting daripada pergi menemui Rasulullah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallaam? Begitupun, beliau tetap bersama ibunya! SubhanAllah! 

  2. Kita mencari Syurga dalam menghormati hak-hak manusia dengan memprotes dan berhimpun untuk keadilan. Bagaimana jika kita menghormati hak-hak mereka yang berada di dalam rumah kita?

    Rasulullah sallalaahu `alaihi wa sallaam menganggap perbuatan itu sebagai yang terbaik selepas solat, dan Rasulullah sallalaahu `alaihi wa sallaam mendengar bacaan Haarith ibn al-Nu’man dalam Syurga dan bersabda: “Dia telah mencapai tahap ini (dalam Syurga) kerana menghormati ibunya.” [Daripada Ibn Wahb dalam al-Jaami’ (22); dikelaskan sebagai sahih oleh al-Albaani dalam al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (913).] 

Beberapa perkara yang boleh dilakukan Ramadan ini untuk memperbaiki hubungan kita dengan ibubapa: 
Secara lalai: kita sepatutnya memenuhi semua keperluan dan permintaan mereka kecuali yang menyalahi agama kita. Mohonlah kemaafan daripada mereka terutamanya di dalam bulan Ramadan ini. Jika mereka marah atau berkecil hati, jangan tinggalkan mereka sehingga kita meminta maaf, bertaubat dan buat mereka tertawa (gembira) semula. Jangan lakukan perkara-perkara yang akan menyebabkan mereka merasa susah hati seperti berpergian sedangkan mereka tidak mahu kita berbuat demikian dan seterusnya. Lakukan kebaikan-kebaikan secara sembunyi bagi pihak mereka seperti mengagihkan bahan bacaan Islami. Terdapat beberapa hadis yang menyokong perbuatan ini maka marilah kita lakukan sedikit penyelidikan!

Jika kita tinggal bersama mereka:
  • Siapkan hidangan bersahur yang baik untuk mereka dan hidangkan dalam bilik mereka. 
  • Pakaikan wangian ke atas bapa kita apabila dia pergi bersolat Tarawih dan ibu kita apabila dia bersolat di rumah. 
  • Minta mereka untuk mengajar kita sesuatu tentang Islam walaupun kita seorang ulama. Ini akan membuatkan mereka merasa diri mereka penting. Atau tanyakan kepada mereka sesuatu yang kita rasa mereka tahu tentang Islam walaupun kita tahu jawapan kepada soalan itu, hanya sebagai penyebab. Dan dengarkan jawapan mereka seolah-olah kita tidak pernah mendengar jawapan itu sebelum ini. Mereka akan merasa dimuliakan kerana kita mendengar jawapan mereka dengan teliti dan merasa kita menghormati ilmu mereka walaupun kita bukan lagi anak kecil. 
  • Urut bahu dan kaki mereka terutama selepas Tarawih. Sapukan krim atau losyen pada kaki mereka untuk membuatkan mereka rasa yang kita sanggup merendahkan diri kita dalam menunjukkan keperihatinan kita. 
  • Gosok baju-baju mereka dan susun atur ruang kerja mereka tanpa pengetahuan mereka (sudah tentu tanpa melanggar batas hak peribadi) 
  • Peruntukkan masa di waktu siang untuk berbicara dengan mereka tentang perkara yang mereka ingin bualkan. Ini akan menunjukkan bahawa kita berminat dengan kehidupan mereka. 
  • Berikan mereka pelukan secara rawak dan tidak teragak-agak untuk berbicara dari hati-ke-hati dengan mereka (tentunya dengan berhemah). 

Jika kita tidak tinggal bersama mereka:
  • Hantarkan kad atau e-kad Ramadan yang dipenuhi dengan do’a untuk mereka dan ucapkan terima kasih kepada mereka untuk masa lalu yang telah mereka gunakan bagi membantu kita mendapatkan Ramadan yang baik di waktu kecil. Ingatkan mereka tentang perkara-perkara baik yang mereka telah lakukan untuk kita dan yakinkan mereka yang kita tidak pernah melupakan perkara-perkara kecil tersebut. 
  • Hantarkan bunga kepada mereka beserta ucapan Ramadan yang hebat untuk mereka atau lawat mereka secara mengejut dengan membawa bersama juadah berbuka. 
  • Telefon mereka sekerap mungkin dan pinjamkan telinga untuk mendengar luahan mereka. Jangan sakiti kemuliaan mereka dengan perasaan simpati. 
  • Muliakan rakan-rakan karib serta keluarga ibubapa dengan menalifon mereka. Ini akan meningkatkan rasa hormat terhadap ibubapa kita di mata mereka dan akan meningkatkan rasa cinta antara ibubapa kita dan mereka. 
  • Jika kita mempunyai anak-anak, ajarkan mereka untuk mengasihi datuk dan nenek mereka. Minta mereka untuk membuat kraftangan yang pelbagai dan hantarkan kepada datuk nenek mereka melalui pos. 
  • Jika kita mempunyai ibubapa bukan Islam, kita boleh berdakwah kepada mereka dengan bersikap lebih baik dan memberitahu mereka bahawa Islam menggalakkan berbuat kebaikan kepada ibubapa tanpa mengenal batas agama. 

Jika mereka telah meninggal dunia:
  • Panjatkan do’a untuk mereka (kita mesti berdo’a untuk mereka walaupun mereka masih hidup) 
  • Amir bin Abdullah bin Az-Zubair berkata: “Selama setahun selepas kematian ayahku, apa yang aku lakukan hanyalah memohon kepada Allah untuk mengampunkan dia. [Birr-ul-Walidain, Ibn al Jauzi, pp. 78] 
  • Penuhi janji dan sumpah mereka (wasiat mereka dan sebagainya) 
  • Lakukan haji bagi pihak mereka. 
  • Mulakan amal jariah bagi pihak mereka, seperti menggali perigi, membina Masjid, Pusat Islam, perpustakaan, hospital, rumah anak-anak yatim dan sebagainya. 
  • Bersikap pemurah kepada rakan-rakan mereka, memberi mereka hadiah dan menjemput mereka berbuka puasa bersama 
  • Ajarkan anak-anak kita dan anak-anak orang lain untuk menghormati ibubapa. 

PALING PENTING: Lakukan semua ini kerana Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala tanpa meminta timbal balas dan persiapkan mental kita bahawa jalan taqwa sentiasa hadir bersamanya ujian emosi yang mana dengan itu mereka yang benar (truthful) dan ikhlas akan dapat dibezakan (asingkan) daripada mereka yang menipu dan berpura-pura.

Adakah manusia itu mengira bahawa mereka dibiarkan (saja) mengatakan: “Kami telah beriman”, sedang mereka tidak diuji lagi? Dan sesungguhnya Kami telah menguji orang-orang yang sebelum mereka, maka sesungguhnya Allah mengetahui orang-orang yang benar dan sesungguhnya Dia mengetahui orang-orang yang dusta. [Surah Al Ankaboot, 29:2 – 3]

Rabbir-Ham-humaa Kamaa Rabba-yaani sag-heera [Surah Al Israa, 17:24]

Marilah perkukuhkan hubungan dengan ibubapa kita agar semua perbuatan baik kita diterima di bulan Ramadan inshaa’Allah!

Dan Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala Maha Mengetahui

Yang mengasihi,

-Umm Sulaym
P.S. Untuk membaca lanjut tentang berbuat baik kepada ibubapa, sila rujuk e-book yang baik ini.

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