We came here again to perform the Omrah, and I am reminded of the wonders of Zumzum. Well of Zumzum is the well that Allah caused to flow at Mekkah for Prophet Ibrahim’s wife Hajar and for his oldest son Ismael, (peace be upon them all). Let me go back to how it all started. In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European Press, a letter saying that Zumzum water was not fit for drinking purposes. I immediately thought that this was just a form of prejudice against the Muslims and that since his Statement was based on the assumption that since the Ka’aba was a shallow place (below sea level)and located in the center of the city of Makkah, the wastewater of the city collecting through the drains fell into well holding the water. Fortunately, the news came to King Faisal’s ears who got extremely angry and decided to disprove the Egyptian doctor’s provocative statement. He immediately ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zamzam water to European laboratories for testing the potability of the water. The ministry then instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plants to carry out this task. It was here that I was employed as a desalting engineer (chemical engineer to produce drinking water from seawater). I was chosen to carry out this assignment. At this stage, I remember that I had no idea what the well holding the water looked like. I went to Makkah and reported to
the authorities at the Ka’aba explaining my purpose for the visit. They deputed a man to give me whatever help was required. When we reached the well, it was hard for me to believe that a pool of water, more like a small pond, about 18 by 14 feet, was the well that supplied millions of gallons of water every year to hajis ever since it came into existence at the time of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S., many, many centuries ago. I started my investigations and took the dimensions of the well. I asked the man to show me the depth of the well. First, he took a shower and descended into the water. Then he straightened his body. I saw that the water level came up to just above his shoulders. His height was around five feet, eight inches. He then started moving from one corner to the other in the well (standing all the while since he was not allowed to dip his head into the water) in search of any inlet or pipeline inside the well to see from where the water came in. However, the man reported that he could not find any inlet or pipeline inside the well. I thought of another idea. The water could be withdrawn rapidly with the help of a big transfer pump which was installed at the well for the Zamzam
water storage tanks. In this way, the water level would drop enabling us to locate the point of entry of the water. Surprisingly, nothing was observed during the pumping period, but I knew that this was the only method by which you could find the entrance of the water to the well. So I decided to repeat the process. But this time I instructed the man to stand still at one place and carefully observe any unusual thing happening inside the well. After a while, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted, “Alhamdulillah! I have found it. The sand is dancing beneath my feet as the water oozes out of the bed of the well.” Then he moved around the well during the pumping period and noticed the same phenomenon everywhere in the well. Actually, the flow of water into the well through the bed was equal at every point, thus keeping the level of the water steady.
After I finished my observations I took the samples of the water for European laboratories to test. Before I left the Ka’aba, I asked the authorities about the other wells around Makkah. I was told that these wells were mostly dry. When I reached my office in Jeddah I reported my findings to my boss who listened with great interest but made a very irrational comment that the Zumzum well could be internally connected to the Red Sea. How was it possible when Makkah is about 75 kilometers away from the sea and the wells located before the city usually remain dry? The results of the water samples tested by the European laboratories and the one we analyzed in our own laboratory were found to be almost identical. The difference between Zamzam water and other water (city water) was in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts. The content of these was slightly higher in Zamzam water. This may be why this water refreshes tired hajis, but more significantly, the water contains fluorides that have effective germicidal action. Moreover, the remarks of the European laboratories showed that the water was fit for drinking. Hence the statement made by the Egyptian doctor was proved false. When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and ordered the contradiction of the report in the European Press. In a way, it was a blessing that this study was undertaken to show the chemical composition of the water. In fact, the more you explore, the more wonders surface and you find yourself believing implicitly in the miracles of this water that Allah bestowed as a gift on the faithful coming from far and wide to the desert land for pilgrimage. Let me sum up some of the features of Zamzam water. This well has never dried up. On the contrary, it has always fulfilled the demand for water. It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence. Its potability has always been universally recognized as pilgrims from all over the world visit Ka’aba every year for Hajj and umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, they have always enjoyed the water that refreshes them. Water tastes different in different places.
Zamzam water’s appeal has always been universal. This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities. Biological growth and vegetation usually take place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odor problems. But in the case of the Zumzum water well, there wasn’t any sign of biological growth. Centuries ago, Bibi Hajra A.S. searched desperately for water in the hills of Sufwa and Marwa to give to her newly born son Hazrat Ismail A.S. As she ran from one place to another in search of water, her child rubbed his feet against the sand. A pool of water surfaced, and by the grace of Allah, shaped itself into a well that came to be called Zam Zam water.
Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha – may Allah be please with her) was the first wife of Nabi [the Prophet] (sallallahu alaihi wasallam – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and she was the mother of Faatima (radhiAllaahu anha) and she was the maternal grandmother of Hassan and Hussein (radhiAllaahu anhuma – may Allah be pleased with them both). Her father’s name was Khuwailid, her paternal grandfather’s name was Asad, her mother’s name was Fatima, and her maternal grandmother’s name was Zaahida. She was a Quraishi. She married Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), when she was 40 years of age. At that time Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was 25 years old.
Prior to her coming into Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s Nikah, she was married to two other persons, one after the after. She bore children for both of them. One of her previous husband’s name was Abu Haala, and the other was Ateeq bin Aa`id. There is a difference of opinion between the historians, regarding which husband was the first and which was the second. The author of “Isti`aab”, has preferred the opinion that Abu Haala was the first and Ateeq bin Aa`id was the second.
After Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s two husbands passed away, one after the other, many noble persons were hopeful of marrying her owing to her honour, respect and wealth. However, what had happened was the desire of the Greatest, Allaah. Allaah Ta`ala (the All-mighty) had decreed that Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) be honoured with marriage to the best of mankind (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). And that she be blessed with the title of “Ummul Mu`mineen” (Mother of the Believers).
When Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) reached the age of 25 years, his uncle Abu Talib, regretfully told him that he will not be able to financially assist him, and that times were tough. He suggested that Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) do as many other persons were doing, in that they were taking the merchandise of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), to Shaam (Syria), and selling it for a profit.
When Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) heard that Muhammed Bin Abdullah Al-Ameen (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s uncle had advised him to take her goods to sell, she took the opportunity to send a message to the trustworthy, honest and veracious Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and invited him to be an agent for her. She promised him twice the profit she usually paid her other agents. Rasulullah [the messenger of Allah] (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted her offer and he took her goods to Shaam. Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) sent her slave “Maisara” with him. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) sold the merchandise very wisely, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) reaped more profit that year , than she had in any of the previous years.
On the journey, Maisara, saw many unique things about Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that he had never seen before. Whilst they were stationed under a tree, a Raahib (priest) asked Maisara, regarding the identity of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Maisara replied that he is a resident of Mecca and a Quraishi. The Raahib, said that he (Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)) will become a Prophet. He said this because he saw in Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) two signs of the Seal of Prophethood, which were recorded in the scriptures of old.
As the caravan reached Mecca, it was in the afternoon, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was sitting on the upper storey of her house, she saw two Angels shading Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Besides this, she heard from her slave Maisara, other similar and very strange incidences which occurred during the journey. He also mentioned the incident regarding the Raahib, where he said Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was to be the final Prophet. Thereafter Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), sent a proposal of Marriage to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
The sister of Ya`la bin Umayya, Nafeesa, took the proposal. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted and his uncles, Hamza (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him), and Abu Taalib were pleased with this.
Hamza (radhiAllaahu anhu), Abu Taalib and other members of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came to Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s house for the occasion of the Nikah (marriage). By that time, the mother of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) had passed away, and her uncle, Amar bin Asad, participated in the occasion. Besides him, there were other members of Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha)’s family also present at the Nikah.
The Mahr (dowry) was set at 500 Dirhams, on the Mashwera of Amar bin Asad, and Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was honoured with the title of Ummul Mu`mineen.
Ibn Abbaas (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) reports that during the time of ignorance, the women of Mecca used to gather at joyous occasions. On one such occasionKhadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was also present. Suddenly a man appeared and said in loud voice: “Oh women of Mecca! There will be a Prophet from this city of yours, whose name will be Ahmed. If any of you get the opportunity to marry him then certainly do so.” The women, upon hearing this, set up a labyrinth (maze) – [in order to compete and see who the fortunate one will be]. Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) tied a knot (as a guide), and she succeeded over all the others.
Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) had the great honour of having been the first person to accept the message of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Prior to her acceptance, no man or woman, young or old, and no child had accepted the message.
“The first person to accept Imaan, from amongst the men and women was Khadija binti Khuwailid (radhiAllaahu anha)”.
Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi – may the mercy of Allah be upon him) writes in “Bidaya”, from Muhammed bin Ka`ab (radhiAllaahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him): “The first person to accept Imaan (faith) from this Ummah (nation)was Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha). The first man (to accept Islaam) was Abu Bakr and Ali (radhiAllaahu anhuma – may Allah be pleased with them both).
Once Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said the following in reply to a question of Aisha (radhiAllaahu anha – may Allah be pleased with her): “She (Khadija radhiAllaahu anha) was the first person to believe in me when others disbelieved. She attested to my message, when others falsified me. She assisted me financially when others deprived me. Allah Ta`ala blessed me with children from her, and not from any of my other wives.”
Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) has great claim to Islaam’s rise to glory. Prior to Nabuwwat (Prophethood), Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), used to seclude himself in the cave of Hira. Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) used to prepare provisions for Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), during these expeditions. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to spend many consecutive nights in the cave. He used to return when his provisions were depleted, and go back again. On one such occasion when Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was in the cave, occupied in Ibaadat (worship), an Angel appeared and ordered him to read (“Iqra!”). Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “I am illiterate”. The Angel took hold of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and squeezed him against himself and let him loose. The Angel again said: “Iqra!”. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) again gave the same reply. For the second time, the Angel squeezed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), let him go and said: “Iqra!”. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) again gave the same reply. The Angel squeezed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), for the third time and thereafter, the Angel began reciting. He read the first five Aayaat (verses) of Surah (chapter) Qalam. After hearing these Aayaat, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) memorised them and went home in fear. He told Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha): “Cover me with a blanket, cover me with a blanket!” She did as she was told and after a while, this fear gradually subsided in Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Thereafter, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) narrated the entire incident to Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), and he said: “I feared for my life.”
Women are usually more feeble natured , and when they see men in a state of fear, they usually get more frantic. However, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), was not in the least bit fazed. She gave Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) courage and consoled him, saying: “Never, I take an oath in Allaah, Allaah Ta`ala will never place you in difficulty or disgrace you. (You have such great qualities and traits, that) You strengthen family ties, you take the burden of others, help the poor, serve the guests, and you assist the truth at times of difficulty.”
Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), then took Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to her cousin, Waraqa bin Nawfil. She told him: “Oh brother, listen to what he (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has to say.” Waraqa, was an old man, whose eyesight was failing him. He was a devout and true Christian. He asked Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “What did you see?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) narrated the entire incident to him. Thereafter, Waraqa said: “This is Namoos (the great Angel, Jibraeel – Gabriel(alaihi salaam – peace be upon him), who was sent to Moosa – Moses (alaihi salaam – peace be upon him). I wish that I was young and that I am alive when your nation will expel you.”
Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi – may Allah have mercy upon him) quotes in “Bidaya”, from Baihaqi, that during the initial stages of Nabuwwat, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) said to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “When Jibraeel (alaihi salaam) comes to you can you inform me thereof?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. When Jibraeel (alaihi salaam) came, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) told her: “Oh Khadija, here is Jibraeel.” Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) asked Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): “Can you see him at this moment?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: “Yes!” Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) told Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to stand up and sit on her right hand side. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) accepted her request and did as she requested. Then, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. She then told him(sallallahu alaihi wasallam), to sit on her lap. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) did this and she again asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Again Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied in the affirmative. Thereafter, Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) removed her scarf and her hair was revealed. Then she asked: “Can you still see Jibraeel (alaihi salaam)?” Now, Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “No, I cannot see him.” Upon hearing this, Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) said; “Know, now for sure, that this is an Angel. You should remain steadfast, and accept the glad-tidings of Prophethood (because had it been shaitaan (the devil), that came to you, then when I revealed my hair, he would not have disappeared. (Angels are modest).” This incident displayed the intelligence and wisdom of Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha).
After Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) received Nabuwwat, he began preaching Islaam, and the Mushrikeen (idolaters) became his enemies, and they harassed Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in various ways. The entire nation became his enemies, including (some) his close friends. During these extremely trying times, the only helpers he had was his uncle Abu Taalib, and his beloved wife, Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha).
Haafiz Ibn Katheer (rahmatullahi alaihi) writes in “Bidaya”:
“Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was the first to bring faith in Allaah Ta`ala and His Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). She testified to the message that he brought. Allaah Ta`ala alleviated the burden and tribulations from Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), owing to her acceptance. When Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) began preaching and the people turned his speech upside down, and they falsified him, then Allaah Ta`ala used Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha), to alleviate and lighten his grief and sorrow. When he returned home, then she would encourage him and give him fortitude. She used to testify his message.”
The following is written in the “Seerat of Ibn Hishaam”, regarding Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha): “Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha) was Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s, veritable Wazir (minister / right-hand), in so far as Islaam (history) is concerned.” Whatever affliction and difficulty came upon Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), his grief and sorrow were shared by Hadhrat Khadija (radhiAllaahu anha). She also bore many of the difficulties, together with Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). She gave excellent support, encouragement and motivation to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
There are certain times dua (supplication) is more likely to be accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) as mentioned by Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).
These times are as follows:
1. The Last Third Of The Night
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘In the last third of every night our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) (Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)) descends to the lowermost heaven and says; “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?.”‘
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi]
Amr ibn Absah narrated that the Prophet said: ‘The closest any worshipper can be to His Lord is during the last part of the night, so if you can be amongst those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.’
[at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i, al-Hakim – Sahih]
2. Late at night
When people are sleeping and busy with worldly pleasures Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) gives the believers an opportunity, or an answer hour if they can fight sleep and invoke Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for whatever they need.
The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs) every night.’
3. Between Adhan and Iqamah
Anas (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘A supplication made between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.’
[Ahmad, abu Dawud #521, at-Tirmidhi #212, Sahih al-Jami #3408, an-Nasai, and Ibn Hibban graded it sahih (sound)]
4. An Hour On Friday
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) talked about Friday and said: ‘There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), then Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will definitely meet his demand.’ And he (the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) pointed out the shortness of that particular time with his hands.
Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam (prayer’s leader) enters the mosque on Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over (ie between the two khutbahs), whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (ie after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer).
(Note: when we say an hour here we do not mean the hour everyone knows (60 minutes) but an unspecified period of time because the time counters which we use today came after the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had died.
5. While Drinking Zamzam Water
Jaber (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘Zamzam water is for what it is drunk for.’
[Ahmad 3: 357 and Ibn Majah #3062]
This means that when you drink Zamzam water you may ask Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for anything you like to gain or benefit from this water such as healing from illness…… etc.
6. While Prostrating
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), said:
‘The nearest a slave can be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so invoke (supplicate) Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) much in it.
[Muslim, abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i and others, Sahih al-Jami #1175]
When a Muslim is in his Salat (prayer) he is facing Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and when he prostrates he is the nearest he can be to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) so it is best to invoke Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) at this time.
It is said that while in prostration, one should not ask for worldly needs (ie a nice car, a new job, etc), but for the Hereafter.
7. When Waking Up at Night
Narrated Ubada Bin As-Samit that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘Whoever wakes up at night and says
La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shrika lahu lahulmulku, wa lahul hamdu, wa huwa ala kulli shai’in qadir. Alhamdu lillahi, wa subhanallahi wa la ilaha illallahu, wallah akbir, wa la hawla wala quwata illa billah
(none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) He is the only one who has no partners. His is the kingdom and all the praises are for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) All the glories are for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) And none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is the greatest and there is neither might nor power except with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and then says, Allahumma ighfir li (O Allah! Forgive me) or invokes Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala),
he will be responded to and if he makes ablution and performs Salat (prayer), his Salat (prayer) will be accepted.
8. At The End Of The Obligatory Salat:
Narrated Abu Omamah (radiAllahu anhu): that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was asked, O Messenger of Allah, which supplication is heard (by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), he said the end of the night and at the end of the obligatory Salat (prayer)
This time is after saying ‘At-tahyat’, and before making Tasleem (finishing prayer)
9. The Night Of ‘Qadr’ (Decree)
This night is the greatest night of the year. This is the night which the almighty Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) said about it, “The night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months.”
[Surah al-Qadr, 97: 3]
The Night of Decree is one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of the blessed month of Ramadan. The angels descend down to the earth, and the earth is overwhelmed with peace and serenity until the break of dawn when the doors of Paradise are opened, the worshipper is encouraged to turn to Allah to ask for his needs for this world and the Hereafter.
Wow! Is it actually that time again? Mash’Allah! Please do make the time and effort for this auspicious night, as it may or may not come again.
It’s surely unbelieve how quickly Ramadan has almost come to an end this year once again. It feels like the month just began and we were all preparing ourselves for it. Rather now, we are preparing ourselves for Eid ul Fitr instead. Even though at the start of the month, it seems as if we have so many weeks ahead of us to fast and it will take quite a bit of time before we come to the end. I must honestly admit that I miss this beautiful month of blessings once it is all over and done with. And of course, how can I forget to mention all those sehri’s and iftar’s and looking forward to eating dates, fruit chaats, pakoras, dhai baras, paratha’s, etc., etc. on such a regular basis. Foods we hardly pay attention to during the rest of the year, yet they taste so good and we look forward to enjoying them during this blessed month 🙂 It’s kinda funny though, isn’t it?
So most of us are only a night or so away from that ever-powerful and blessed night. The greatest nights of all nights during this month of fasting before the ‘ actual ‘ end rolls around. I would just like to take a moment and convey the message to all, that it is one of the most precious nights of all nights, this night of Lailatul Qadr. Let’s all please pray together as much as we can and remember Allah SWT and his graciousness and mercy that he bestows upon us every day of our lives. Let’s all pray for forgiveness of our sins from the Al-Mighty and request that he accepts repentance for all our mistakes whether made intentionally or unintentionally. Let’s pray that ( as Muslims) we may try to unite and assist one another as much as we can in times of desperation and despair. I don’t feel that anyone should feel helpless and hesitant going to another fellow Muslim brother or sister ( in Islam ) in times of need or urgency. Let’s pray that may Allah SWT always gives us that rank and capability to help one another whenever possible instead of turning our backs and walking away. Whether it be financial, moral, spiritual, or emotional support, we should be there for one another, as that is what Islam and being Muslim is all about. It’s something we should learn from practice not only during this one-month time span but rather all year round.
I don’t think any practice is impossible or difficult if we are just willing to at least give it a chance and seek a reward from Allah SWT only for it at the end of the day. He is the Supreme being that will surely listen to our hearts and know what is on our minds.
Also please do pray for the well-being of Pakistan (as a whole) and our countrymen. Even if you do not directly have family, friends, or relatives living there, I am sure that there would be some sort of connection that your parents or grandparents would have with their roots being attached to Pakistan in one way or another.
Aside from that, I would request that you all remember those women in your special of special prayers that recently died during the dreadful mishap, whilst the distribution of flour (atta) was in progress. It was deeply saddening and disturbing to hear about and view on television the incident that happened with these women and some children of theirs, that was only struggling for the most needed commodity of commodities in order to keep their families fed and alive. After all, isn’t it extremely shameful and disgusting that something like this had to happen over such a commodity of flour? We are not even talking of an item of luxury here people. For the love of God, it was an item of necessity, and something as pathetic and tragic as this had to happen.
It really didn’t have to all happen the way it did and it is unfortunate. Just hearing about it all brought a few tears to my eyes only because of the thought of those children that these deceased women left behind that were needing to be fed. What will happen to them now and where will they go to receive that maternal love and care that they always had and lived for? Will there be a replacement for that unconditional love that they lost within minutes? Someone, please tell me, how fair was that to them and their families? Why did the poor and needy ( who have challenges and struggles in life of their own already) have to be punished for all of this nonsense? And of course, as I write about all this, I tend to get teary-eyed and emotional once again myself.
Last but not least, I would simply request from all of you ( not only during Ramadan) but rather all year round and in all seasons and times to come to try and lend a hand to one another. Even if that means sparing some of your precious time for someone that needs your advice or undivided attention. It doesn’t always have to be financial assistance, even providing moral support may mean a lot to someone. You would never know how they would be benefitting from all that you would be doing for them. Do keep in mind that we often ask others to remember us in their prayers and they expect the same from us, so then at any given time each of us is either praying for someone or someone is praying for us and our good health and happiness. That is how it should be. As the Holy Qur’an and our religion of Islam dictates brotherhood and generosity towards mankind, we should surely be on top of that first and foremost if indeed we are practicing Muslims.
May Allah (SWT) always allow us to be led on the path of goodness and justice. May he also allows us to live a life that safeguards our dignity and self-respect and keeps us away from all evils & sins…Insh’Allah. Beyond all that, Allah swt is well aware of what’s best for all of us.
Thank you all for your time and consideration.
by Iman Badawi
In the name of Allah, the source of Mercy, the Mercy-giving.
Reaping the opportunities in Ramadan:
The Prophet’s (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) companions used to say, “Let not the day that you fast and the day that you do not fast be equal.” It is important that one’s behavior, attitude, and outlook should not be the same on the day that one is fasting and when one is not fasting. There should be a change, as one is trying to worship Allah more, so one’s fasting should have an effect.
Gaining taqwa (fear of Allah)
Allah legislated fasting for gaining taqwa,
“O you who believe fasting has been prescribed upon you as it has been prescribed upon those before you, so that you may attain taqwa.” (meaning of Sooratul Baqarah (2):138)
Taqwa in this case means, to make a shield between oneself and Allah’s anger and hellfire. So we should ask ourselves when we break our fasts, ‘Has this fasting day made us fear Allah more? Has it resulted that we want to protect ourselves from the hellfire ?’
Drawing us closer to Allah
This is achieved by reciting and reflecting on Al-Qur’an during the night and the day, attending the Taraweeh prayers, remembering Allah, sitting in circles of knowledge, and for those who can, making umrah.
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “An umrah in the month of Ramadan is equal (in reward) to performing a hajj.” (Ahmad & Ibn Majah).
Also for those who can make i’tikaf (seclusion) in the last ten days of Ramadan, so to leave all worldly pursuits and seclude oneself in a masjid just thinking of Allah, brings us closer to Allah.
When one sins, one feels distant from Allah. That is why one might find it hard to read and reflect on the Qur’an and come to the masjid. However, the obedient worshipper feels closer to Allah and wants to worship Allah more, because Allah forgives and is merciful.
Acquiring patience and strong will
Allah has mentioned patience more than seventy times in the Qur’an and has commanded patience in more than sixteen ways in His Book. So when one fasts, and gives up one’s food and drink, and one’s marital sexual relations for those hours, one learns restraint and patience. This ummah needs men and women that are strong-willed, who can stand upon the Sunnah and the Book of Allah and not waver in front of the enemies of Allah. We do not need emotional people, who raise slogans and shout, but when the time comes to stand upon something firm, they cannot do so, they waver.
Striving for Ihsan (righteousness & sincerity)
and staying away from Riya (showing off
Ihsan means to worship Allah as if one sees Him, for if one does not see Him, He sees all. Hasan al-basri said, “By Allah in the last twenty years, I have not said a word or taken something with my hand or refrained to take something with my hand or stepped forward or stepped back, except that I have thought before I have done any action,’ Does Allah love this action? Is Allah pleased with this action ?’ ” So when one is fasting, one should gain this quality of watching oneself and also staying away from riyah (showing off).
That is why Allah said in a Qudsi hadith, “..Fasting is for Me and I will reward it..” (Bukhari) Allah singles out fasting from all other types of worship saying, “..Fasting is for Me..”, because no one knows whether you are fasting or not, except Allah. For example, when one is praying or giving charity, or making tawaf, one can be seen by the people, so one might do the action by seeking the praise of the people.
Sufian at-thawri used to spend the nights and the days crying and the people used to ask him, “Why do you cry, is it due to the fear of Allah ?”, he said,’ No.’, they said, “Is it due to the fear of the hell-fire ?”, he said, ‘No. It is not the fear of Allah that makes me cry, what makes me cry is that I have been worshiping Allah all these years and doing scholarly teaching, but I am not certain that my intentions are purely for Allah.’
Refinement of manners, especially those related to truthfulness and discharging trusts.
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said,”Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink.” (Bukhari)
And the Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “It may be that a fasting person attains nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast.” (Ibn Majah)
What we learn from this, is that we must pay attention to the purification of our manners. The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “I was sent to perfect good manners.” (Muwatta) So we must check ourselves, are following the behavior of the Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him). For example, Do we give salam to those we don’t know and those we do know? Do we follow the manners of Islam, by telling the truth and only telling the truth? Are we merciful to the creation?
Recognizing that one can change for the better
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of the sinners are those who repent.” (Ibn Majah) Allah provides many opportunities to repent to Him and seek His forgiveness. If one was disobedient they can become obedient.
Being more charitable
Ibn Abbas said, “The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) was the most charitable amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gibreel.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, without nothing being reduced from the fasting person’s reward.” (Tirmidhi )
Sensing the unity of the Muslims
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “…Those of you who will live after me, will see many differences. Then you must cling on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khalifah. Hold fast to it and stick to it..” (Abu Dawud)
It is possible for Muslims to be a single body, but this will only be achieved when obedience is only to Allah and His Messenger. One senses unity because the Muslims pray and fast together.
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “Bilal makes the adhan, while it is still night; therefore, eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum makes the adhan.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) made us adhere to this strictness. Similarly one cannot knowingly break the fast before the sunset, as this will not be accepted by Allah. Muslims should learn to be very strict in their lives because they are people of an important message, which they mold their lives around.
Teaching the young to worship Allah
It was the practice of the people of Madinah, that during the fast of Ashura (which is now a recommended fast of one day) to get their children to fast with them. When the children would cry from hunger and thirst, their parents would distract their attention by giving them some sort of toy to play with. The children would break their fast with their parents. (mentioned in Bukhari) So the young should be brought to the masjid and they should pray with their parents so that they are able to get into the habit of becoming worshippers of Allah.
If one does not encourage children to fast when they are young, they will find it very difficult to fast for thirty days at the age of puberty. This is why the Prophet (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) said, “Command your children to pray at the age of seven and beat them at the age of ten (if they do not pray)” (Hakim)
Caring for one’s health
Fasting teaches Muslims to take care of their health and to build strong bodies. The Prophet (may Allah send his blessing and peace upon him) said,”A strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and it is good in everyone.” (Muslim)
For us let this month of Ramadan be a period of peace,
faith safety and total submission to Thy will;
make us walk apace swiftly to that
which Thou likes and approves.
Pour out many blessings on us in this month, make available for us its generous good and assistance, and keep us safe from the harm, evil, misfortune, and mischief that may try to trap us in this month.
May Allah Subhanuhu Wa Ta’ala keep all of us guided on Siraat-al-Mustaqeem, and grant us the taufeeq to utilize this most blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah accept our fasts, sujood o qayam, and Tauba for indeed His mercy prevails over His wrath, and indeed we are sinners in dire need of Allah’s mercy.
(Aameen Ya Rabb-ul-Aalaameen)
Wassalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah!
(Most scientific conversation) sent by British Minister
Bob: Tell me why is it that a Muslim is very particular about the words Halaal and Haraam; what do they mean?
BM: That which is permissible is termed Halaal and that which is not permissible is termed Haraam and it is the Quran that draws the distinction between the two.
Bob: Can you give me an example?
BM: Yes, Islam has prohibited blood of any type. You will agree that a chemical analysis of blood shows that it contains an abundance of uric acid, a chemical substance that can be injurious to human health.
Bob: You’re right about the toxic nature of uric acid, in the human being it is excreted as a waste product and in fact, we are told that 98% of the body’s uric acid is extracted from the blood by the kidneys and removed through urination.
BM: Now I think that you’ll appreciate the specially prescribed method of animal slaughter in Islam.
Bob: What do you mean?
BM: You see, the wielder of the knife, whilst taking the name of the ‘Almighty’, makes an incision through the jugular veins, leaving all other veins and organs intact.
Bob: I see, this causes the death of the animal by a total loss of blood from the body, rather than an injury to any vital organ.
BM: Yes, where the organs, for example, the heart, the liver, or the brain crippled or damaged, the animal could die immediately and its blood would congeal in its veins and would eventually permeate the flesh. This implies that the animal flesh would be permeated and contaminated with uric acid and therefore very poisonous; only today did our dieticians realize such a thing.
Bob: Again, while on the topic of food; Why do Muslims condemn the eating of pork or ham or any foods related to pigs or swine
BM: Actually, apart from the Quran prohibiting the consumption of pork, and bacon (pig flesh); in fact the Bible too in Leviticus Chapter 11:
Verse 8, regarding swine says, ‘of their flesh (of the swine, another name for pig) shall you not eat, and of their carcass, you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.’ Further, did you know that a pig cannot be slaughtered at the neck for it does not have a neck; that is according to its natural anatomy? A Muslim reasons that if the pig was to be slaughtered and fit for human consumption the Creator would have provided it with a neck. Nonetheless, all that aside, I am sure you are well informed about the harmful effects of the consumption of pork, in any form, be it pork chops,
Bob: The medical science finds that there is a risk for various diseases the pig is found to be a host for many parasites and potential diseases.
BM: Yes, even apart from that, as we talked about uric acid content in the blood, it is important to note that the pig’s biochemistry excretes only 2% of its total uric acid content, the remaining 98% remains as an integral part of the body. Plus as everyone knows that swine (pig) eats its own excretion, which means that of all the uric acid and the other waste products excreted, most of it goes back inside again.
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are successful. (3:104)
O you who believe! Eat not Riba (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.(3:130)
And obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) that you may obtain mercy. (3:132)
And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun. (3:133)
Those who spend (in Allah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers). (3:134)
Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad PBUH) the Book (this Qur’an) in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you (i.e. has taught you through Divine Revelation), so be not a pleader for the treacherous. (4:105)
It should be known that there are three grades of Fasting: ordinary, special, and extra-special.
Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink, and sexual satisfaction.
Special Fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands, and feet — and all other organs — free from sin.
Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He.
This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.. Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from a lack of trust in the bounty of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and from a lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.
To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates of Allah. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists of utmost dedication to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words: ‘Say: “Allah (sent it down)”: then leave them to play in their vain discussions.’ [al-An’am,6:91]
As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one’s organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment:
1. SEE NOT WHAT DISPLEASES ALLAH
A Chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He.
Said the Prophet, on him be peace: ‘The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be Allah’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.’
Jabir relates from Anas that Allah’s Messenger, on him is peace, said: ‘Five things break a man’s Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.’
sisterhood in Islam is something very special that a sister who has come from a life as a non-Muslim and embraced this beautiful religion of Islam notices immediately. Her sisters in Islam treat her in a manner that no one has ever done before, not even her family.
So what makes this relationship so special?
She Loves Them as Sisters For the Sake of Allah
It doesn’t matter what your skin color is, the language you speak, or the status of your family, or whether you are rich or poor, in Islam we are all united like a single family. Our belief in Allah united us: “The Believers are but a single brotherhood…” [Noble Quran 49:10]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “There are three things that whoever attains them will find the sweetness of faith: if Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anyone or anything else; if he loves a person solely for the sake of Allah; and if he would hate to return to Kufr after Allah has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate to be thrown into the Fire.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The Status of Two Who Love One Another For the Sake of Allah
There is great reward in loving one another for the sake of Allah: “Where are those who loved one another for My glory? Today I will shade them in My shade on the Day when there is no shade but Mine.” [Muslim]
Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A man went to visit a brother of his in another village. Allah sent an angel to wait for him on the road. When the man came along, the angel asked him, ‘Where are you headed?’ He said, ‘I am going to visit a brother of mine who lives in this village.’ The angel asked, ‘Have you done him any favor (for which you are now seeking repayment)?’ He said, ‘No, I just love him for the sake of Allah.’ The angel told him, ‘I am a messenger to you from Allah, sent to tell you that He loves you as you love your brother for His sake.'” [Muslim]
And we are encouraged to tell one another, to promote a loving bond between each other: Anas said that a man was with the Prophet (peace be upon him) when another man passed by. The first man said, “O Messenger of Allah, indeed I truly love this man.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, “Have you let him know that?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Tell him.” He caught up with him and told him, “Truly I love you for the sake of Allah,” and the man said, “May Allah love you who loves me for His sake.” [Abu Dawud]
Effect of Love for the Sake of Allah on the Life of a Muslim Woman
It is important that we greet one another in the proper Islamic manner:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand in my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something that if you do it, you will love one another? Spread Salam amongst yourselves.” [Muslim]
And when one of us is hurting, oppressed or suffering in some way, we all feel it:
“The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy, and affection, are like one body: if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in pain.”