Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam) and his wife were very old, and to their sorrow they did not have any children. They wanted very much to have a son, so Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam) prayed to Allah: Let my wife and I have a son before we die.
As Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam) was saying his prayer, an angel of Allah appeared. You have prayed to Allah and Allah has heard your prayer, the angel told him. Your wife will have a son and his name will be Yahya (Alaih Assalaam). He will be a good and honorable man and he will be Allah’s prophet.
Even though Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam) had prayed for this, he was surprised: But my wife and I are very old! he said. How can we have a son?
When Allah has willed a thing, it will happen, the angel assured him. As a sign that you are going to have a son, you must not speak to anyone for three days.
So it happened that even when Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam)wanted to speak to someone, he could not move his tongue. Only after three days was he able to speak again. He knew then that they were going to have a son. Both he and his wife were very happy. They prayed to Allah and thanked Him, and when the son was born, they named him Yahya(Alaih Assalaam).
Yahya (Alaih Assalaam) was a good and loving son. He prayed to Allah together with his father Zakariya (Alaih Assalaam) and his mother. The three of them always did good deeds. Yahya (Alaih Assalaam) was very kind and good to all people and all animals. He was never proud or bad-tempered, and Allah made him His prophet. Yahya (Alaih Assalaam) was a pious and humble servant of Allah and he always told people to pray to Allah because Allah had created mankind.
Allah’s blessing for Yahya (Alaih Assalaam)can be found in the Qur’an: “Peace was with him on the day he was born and on the day he died, and peace will be with him on the day when he will come to life again.”
Whoever is as good and pious as Prophet Yahya (Alaih Assalaam) will be blessed with everlasting peace by Allah.
Some Ways of Making your Kids Vacation more Rewarding
During the vacation there is a good opportunity to recharge our kids spiritual batteries and start afresh in daily activities. It is a joyous period and a unique break from our busy schedules. Most of us welcome vacations for its fun. It is good to have fun but this must always be done by not compromising the Islamic way of life!!!
By the same token, it is not a bad idea to take time out during these pressure-free holidays to reflect and possibly change our positions and life for the better.
There is an area that is largely ignored by parents when they go on holidays and that is how to guide their children and teenagers to a sin-free vacation. Very often, the newer generations of Muslims growing up in the West have little guidance and sometimes even less knowledge of the Islamic rules that govern our Islamic way of life and they often end up imitating the free unislamic western lifestyle that surrounds them.
No doubt, if we don’t take a proactive approach to maintaining our iman (faith), we might really lose it. The vacation represents an ideal opportunity to boost one’s deen (religion). However if it’s spent inappropriately, it can lead to disastrous consequences. If we truly value our faith, it is imperative that we use this opportunity to its fullest extent.
Parents have a great responsibility to guide their children to an Islamic lifestyle and to provide a vice-free environment. They should use all available strategies to carry out this responsibility effectively and successfully. This can be achieved by attempting to implement the following tips:
Parents should ensure that prayers are performed punctually and be keen to pray on time, especially when their children are with them. This will help the children learn the importance of prayer and the value of time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as said, “Refresh yourselves with Prayer…” (Hadith Al-Bukhari).Men should perform prayer at the Masjid.However if on vacation a Masjid is not close by then pray together as a family. Prayer in Jamaat is better than praying alone. Children love to call azan. Make the youngest one the salaat manager, taking care of prayer rugs, timing, and inviting everyone to salaat.
Always remain within an environment that is free from sin. Psychologist emphasize that environment has a great effect on the upbringing of kids. Plan visits to places that do not in any way encroach on our Islamic way of life. Parents should try to keep their children and teenagers away from the immoral scenes that people usually see in holiday resorts during vacations. The free intermingling of sexes is totally prohibited in Islam. Children are vulnerable and very easily succumb to peer pressure. Parents need to be diplomatically assertive in emphasizing Islamic values.
Regular interaction with your children is vital. Teach them through cool behavior. Trying to appear “cool” in front of their peers during adolescence brings tremendous pressure on children. “Children often don’t feel that their parents know what’s cool and what’s happening, so they turn to their peer group for the answers by trying to imitate them. By starting regular interaction while your children are young, parents can ensure that their kids will use them as their role models and not their peer groups. Time spent with children enhances the parent-child relationship, so that in their later life children will emulate their parents’ values and attitudes and that makes the gift of time the greatest gift of all.
The righteous people of the past would rejoice with the approach of winter. Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali mentions its virtues in his book Lata’if Al-Ma’arif (pg. 276)
Winter is the best season for the believer because Allah strengthens his practice by making worship easy for him. The believer can easily fast during the day without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he doesn’t feel the hardship of fasting.
As for praying at night, due to winter’s long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then wake up to pray. He can recite the Qur’an that he usually does in a day while having enough time to sleep. So, it becomes possible to fulfill the interests of both – his religion and the comfort of his body.
Abdullah Bin Mas’ud said: “Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it. Its nights are long to pray, and its days are short to fast.”
When it was winter, Ubayd Bin Umayr would say: “O people of the Qur’an! Your nights are now long for you to recite. So, recite! Your days are now short for you to fast. So, fast! Night prayer in the winter equals fasting during the day in the summer.” This is why Mu’adh wept on his deathbed. He said: “I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.”
Charity is amongst the most virtuous deeds in Islam. Some forms of charity are obligatory, others optional, yet, all forms of charity are highly meritorious. However, even when giving in charity, moderation has been prescribed so that the one who gives in charity may not harm himself in the process, nor does he cause harm to his dependents and inheritors after death. The following Hadeeth explains this matter perfectly.
Narrated Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (radhi allahu anhu), ‘I was stricken by an ailment that led me to the verge of death. The Prophet (s.a.w.s) came to pay me a visit. I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I have much property and no heir except my single daughter. Shall I give two-thirds of my property in charity?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Half of it?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘One-third of it?’ He said, ‘You may do so though, one-third is also too much, for, it is better for you to leave your off-spring wealthy than to leave them poor, asking others for help. And whatever you spend (for Allah’s sake) you will be rewarded for it, even for a morsel of food which you may put in the mouth of your wife.’?’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.8, no. 725]
Monastic religions often teach their followers, that the only way to God or the only way to inner enlightenment, is that one does away with all his worldly possessions leading a life of hermits and ultimately depending on begging and the charity of others for sustenance. Islam, on the other hand, teaches its followers to ?
(a) Earn an honest bread (1)*
(b) Spend on oneself and on the family
(c) Spend in charity and we have seen earlier the broad definition of charity in Islam
(d) To be the upper hand rather than the lower (2)
(e) The extreme undesirability of begging without a need (3)
1. Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said that when a man of the Ansar came to Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) and begged from him, he asked him whether he had nothing in his house. When he said that he had a piece of cloth, which he used for wearing as well as for spreading on the ground, and a wooden bowl from which he drank water, he told him to bring them to him, and when he did so he took them in his hand and asked, ‘Who will buy these?’ When a man offered a dirham he asked twice or thrice. ‘Who will offer more than a dirham?’ and he gave them to a man who offered two dirhams. He then took the two dirhams and giving them to the Ansari he said, ‘Buy food with one of them and hand it to your family, and buy an axe with the other and bring it to me.’ When he bought it, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said, ‘Go gather firewood and sell it, and don’t let me see you for a fortnight.’ The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten dirhams, he came to him (r) and bought a garment with some of them (i.e. dirhams) and food with the others. Then Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘This is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the Day of Resurrection. Begging is right for only three people; one who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, or one who is responsible for blood-wit that he finds difficult to pay.’ [Abu Dawood]
2. Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) reported, ‘While the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) was on his pulpit (in the mosque) delivering a Khutbah (religious talk) about Sadaqah (charity) and begging, he said, ‘the upper hand is better than the lower hand, the upper hand is the one which gives and the lower hand is the begging one.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
Thauban (radhi allahu anhu) reported, ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘He who guarantees me that he will not beg anything from anyone, I will guarantee him (to enter) Jannah.” I said, ‘I give you the guarantee.’ Then Thauban (radhi allahu anhu) never begged anything from anyone. [Abu Dawood]
3. Abdullah bin Umar (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger(s.a.w.s) said, ‘When a man is always begging from people, the result will be that he will come on the Day of Resurrection with no flesh on his face.’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
[Quran 2:201] “And among them are those who pray, “Our Lord, grant us in the world what is good, and in the Hereafter what is good, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
[Bukhari, Book #75, Hadith #398] Narrated Anas: The most frequent invocation of The Prophet was: “O Allah! Give to us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire.”
Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasullullah (The Messenger of Allah) has said that whosoever spends anything on his family members for reward, will enjoy the divine credit of charity. (Bukhari, Muslim)
It is described by Abu Huraira(radhiyallahu anhu) that Mohammed (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that, to spend on one’s wife, has great merit than giving charity to male and female slaves and beggars. (Muslim)
Abdullah bin Masood (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that the greatest preference is to spend on one’s wife and children which is necessary and then it should be spent on close relatives. (Tibrani)
It is narrated in the extract of Arbez bin Saarya(radhiyallahu anhu) that even to give water to one’s wife is charity.
Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that someone asked Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) that he had one gold coin with him, where should he spend it ? Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it on himself. The man said that he had one more and Mohammed(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it on his wife. The man again said that he had yet another and Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said ,that he should spend on his servants. The man said that he had a fourth and Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it, on whatever he preferred. (Ibn Habban)
Sa’ad bin Waqqas(radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Mohammed (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that whosoever spends his money to gain Allah’s pleasure and goodwill, gets the credit of charity so much that even a morsel which he puts in the mouth of his wife, has the credit of charity. ( Bukhari, Muslim)