• The Spirit of Aʿmāl

    In a recent Jumuah lecture, a senior scholar mentioned, before Qiyamah, every injunction of Dīn, the outward form will be there and perfectly normal, but the rūḥ, the very essence of the aʿmāl will be completely lost. And when the rūḥ, the life of an ʿamal comes out, the benefits mentioned for that action also disappear.

    It kind of made me freeze when I hear it. Where is the essence of my Salah? Does my recitation of Qurʾān have any rūh? Is there a single good deed which I am doing correctly?

    اللهم صلى وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه اجمعين

  • When you are weak, He will be your strength

    When all turn their backs, His mercy will encompass you

    When you buckle at the knees, He will carry you

    When you break, he will mend your shattered fragments

    But still, as the lingering fragrance of the Ramaḍān past fades

    The blessed effulgence of spirituality begins to evade

    When it feels like all the good you’ve managed to inculcate

    is slipping through your fingers faster than quicksand

    Remember who can lift you when you’ve fallen

    and who can draw you back to your Mushaf when you’ve lost your way

    When your heart is heavy from losing the nūr of ʿIbādāt

    Raise your hands and ask of the one whose treasures are beyond limit

    Ask of the one who can give you all that your heart is craving and remember

    When you are weak, He will be your strength

    When all turn their backs, His mercy will encompass you

    When you buckle at the knees, He will carry you

    When you break, He will mend your shattered fragments

  • Tahajjud

    In Ibn Rajab ◌ؒ ‘s Laṭāʾif al-Maʿārif, he very beautifully details some of the benefits of the night prayer:

    Sirrī ◌ؒ said, ‘I saw benefits appear in the darkness of the night. What a loss has the one who missed the last portion of the night endured! The people of negligence and sleep have attained deprivation and affliction.’ 

    One of the predecessors would stand [in prayer] at night. One night, he slept. Someone came to him in a dream and said to him, ‘Stand and pray.’ Then he said to him, ‘Don’t you know that when the observer of Tahajjud stands to pray his Tahajjud, the angels say, the suitor has stood for his courtship.’ 

    One of them saw a wide-eyed damsel in his dream, so he said to her, ‘Marry me to yourself.’ She said, ‘Propose for me to my Lord, and pay my dowry.’ He said, ‘What is your dowry?’ She said, ‘Long vigils of night prayer.’ 

    Abū Sulaymān al-Darānī slept one night. A wide-eyed damsel woke him up and said, ‘O Abū Sulaymān! You sleep while I am being nurtured for you in the chambers for 500 years?!

    One of the salaf purchased a wide-eyed damsel from Allāh for the dowry of 30 completions of Qurʾān. One night he slept before completing the 30. He then saw her in a dream saying to him, 

    ‘Are you betrothed to the likes of me and then you slumber?

    Forbidden is the slumber of those who love me

    For we have been created for every lover 

    Who prays frequently and fasts constantly.’

    Nabi ﷺ would knock on the door of Fāṭimah and ʿAlī and say,  ‘Will the two of you not pray?’

    In one narration it states, ‘When a man awakens, and wakes up his wife, then they pray two units of prayer, they are written from the men who remember Allāh a lot and the women who remember Allāh a lot.’ 

    The wife of Ḥabīb al-ʿAjamī would wake him up at night and say, the night has departed and ahead of us is a far path. Our provisions are few. Our forerunners have already departed [in] the caravan of the righteous and we are left behind.’ 

  • Butterflies and roses
    Gloomy fog and rain
    Ambitiously daring
    To go against the grain

    Hollyhocks and diamonds
    Storms and seas
    She finds her strength
    Down on her knees

    Orchids and Dahlias
    Lost and found
    She heals her heart
    Forehead on the ground

    Where other sit
    She stands
    And where they break
    She raises her hands

    Emeralds and asters
    Mahogany and teak
    Where forth does stem
    Inspiration so unique

    Satin and glass
    Amaryllis and ruby
    Exquisitely simply as
    her Rabb chooses her to be

  • Jannah♡Home

    Jannah. Our ultimate Aim. Our goal. Our promised end.
    The but? If… if and only IF we fulfill our side of the deal.

    What we neglect to realise is that it’s an easy deal. Once we stop trying to make a Jannah out of this feeble, worthless Dunyā, our Jannah is already made.

    Because when our hearts realise that this is not its true home, it will yearn to return home just as a child with all the luxuries of the world at his feet, yearns only to return to the bosom of his mother.

    I contemplate sometimes, just as that mother will leave the child to play as long as he is distracted by the false allure of plastic toys, until he bores, until he turns his attention back to his mother and until he cries excruciatingly loudly with the single handed determination of returning back to her, then only will she go back to him, pick him up, and draw him close to her bosom, draw him back home.. Because what truer home can there be than the embrace of the beloved? So similar is the way we get distracted by this world. We forget our loving Creator, and out of His mercy, never does He smite us for it. Even greater of His mercy is that unlike that mother, He doesnt await screams to take us back.

    No. Just a single tear..  or a single glance back.. or that simple tugging, yearning of the heart.. that Oh my Allāh, I want you…
    Just like that, He draws us close, and fills our hearts that were so cold, so empty, so bereft of light.. with that missing spark that illuminates brighter than a full moon. Nur.. theres no other term for it.

    Nur.. that which our Nabi made dua for in every aspect of his life. Nur, which Qurʾān Karīm so beautifully describes.. نور على نور.. when the light of Qur’an enters the heart and unites with the light of Imān, what does the person become? Light! Not just light, but light upon light.

    And like that, we regain the plot. We remember what we need to do. We realise what the empty feeling in our life is caused by.

    The human heart is more intelligent than any scientist can ever give it credit for. It knows its home. It’s TRUE home, not the false glitter of this Dunya. It knows its home is in the embrace of the Love of Allāh, its home is in the cuccoon of Sunnah, its home ultimately, is Jannah.

    So if you’ve been struggling with that feeling of the missing spark, of tired unmotivatedness this Ramadaan, then know that your heart is yearning for home. For Jannah. For my Allāh.

    But competing with the heart is also a Nafs, a Nafs which we nurture so much more than this precious heart. So give you heart the tools it needs, give it the weapons it needs to gain the upper hand over the Nafs, give it Qurʾān, give it Sunnah, give it Dua, give it contemplation of Allāh, and give it remembrance of death.

    It may be a struggle initially, but then, as the spark of light grows brighter and begins to illuminate one’s whole being, as the ecstasy the heart receives from getting back on track to returning back home increases, the struggle will ease, and all you will have left us Jannah.

    A Jannah in this world before the Jannah of the hereafter. How?? A Jannah because when the greatest boon of Jannah is to have Allāh, one living with Him in her heart has already achieved the greatest aim. Jannah… before even leaving this world. And a greater Jannah…. awaiting you as soon as you close your eyes.

    اللهم اني اسالك الجنة وما قرب اليها من قول وعمل و اعوذ بك من النار وما قرب اليها من قول وعمل

    Oh Allāh, I ask you for Jannah, and for whatever speech and actions draw one close to it, and I seek refuge from you from Jahannam and what actions and speech draw one close to it.

  • The Prayer of the Lovers

    As we approach the blessed month in which Tahajjud comes effortlessly to so many people who struggle to pray it in ordinary circumstances, just a gentle reminder to anyone reading this to make the intention when you start praying your Tahajjud after sehri, to make this a habit for the entirety of your life, and not just this Ramaḍān. Make Dū ʿā that Allāh eases this habit and ʿIbādah for you. At the most, Allāh will accept your prayer completely and you will become a Tahajjudghuzār. At the least, Allāh will reward you for you intentions and sincerity in attempting it.

    One student had become the guest of Imām Ahmad ◌ؒ. Out of consideration for his guest, Imām Ahmad ◌ؒ had left some water near the guest room, so that when he wakes up for tahajjud (night prayer), he would find the water ready. The next morning the Imām was amazed to notice that the water was untouched. He exclaimed: “Subhānallāh! How can one seek knowledge and not have a routine of waking up for salāh at night? ”

  • Imām Shāfiʿī

  • ((شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ))
    The Month of Ramadan

    ((الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ))
    In which the Quran was revealed
    The gates of hell sealed
    In which we fast as a shield
    Broken, rusted hearts healed

    ((هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ))
    As a guidance for mankind
    To redirect those who are blind
    As a means to gently remind
    A blessing from The Most Kind

    ((وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ))
    A clear proof of the guidance
    Locked are the devils of defiance
    To ease for the Muslims compliance
    Strengthening their divine reliance

    And of the criterion
    Treasured by the people of distinction
    Increasing their Imaan and conviction
    Miraculous beyond description

    ((فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ))
    Whoever witnesses it should fast
    Unique to us, not the people of the past
    A promise of forgiveness on its Last
    Oh, which of you will remain steadfast

    ((وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ))
    Whoever is sick or jouneying
    A concession for the sake of easing
    To save from weakness and wearying
    A mercy from our Lord, Most Caring

    ((فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ))
    A number of other days
    If you miss this important phase
    So you still have a chance to praise
    And worship your Lord in the best of ways

    ((يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ))
    Allah intends ease for you
    So that good deeds you may accrue
    Compete mutually in worship to outdo
    For the sake of He who loves you

    ((وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ))
    He does not intend difficulty
    Testing our obedience minimally
    As much as you can manage physically
    Striving to gain a beautiful intimacy

    ((وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ))
    And to complete the period prescribed
    A month too beautiful to be described
    Don’t lose grasp of the blessing derived
    Hold fast to the good habits imbibed

    ((وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ))
    And glorify Allah for guiding you
    For every difficulty He gets you through
    Assisting you against your nafs to subdue
    And cleansing your heart anew

    ((وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ))
    Perhaps you will be grateful
    Don’t waste your time on the playful
    Strive hard to be from the faithful
    To attain Jannah, oh so delightful!

  • The Richness of our Legacy

    As a student, Fiqh is a subject I absolutely enjoy. It might seem tedious and boring to be constantly learning rulings, maxims, and masāʿil, but when you take just a single step into the realm of Fiqh, the richness and depth of the early scholars in this science is astounding.

    For example, I will share a very interesting story shared by one of my teachers. When it comes to childbirth by Caesarean, which is a new phenomenon, how did our Muftīs know that such a woman is still considered to be in the state of Nifās. Because it’s a tricky one, the baby never came out of the Farj, but the blood still comes out from there, so now what?

    Abu Layth Samarqandi says,

    Once a woman came to his class to ask him, a woman she knows had a wound on her stomach while pregnant, and suddenly, the womb opened up and her baby came out. Will the post pregnancy bleeding still be considered nifās?

    So that is how, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the ruling was passed, for one exceptional woman, which turned into such a blessing for thousands of woman today. Subḥānallāh!

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