Who is the Sacrifice?

Yesterday, Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam stood ready, with knife in hand, to sacrifice his only child to secure Allah’s pleasure. Today, we sacrifice every command of Allah for the happiness of our kids.
 
Affluenza! Affluenza is a term that describes a mental illness that develops in a child by a parent’s excessive molly coddling which translates into reckless behaviour and an inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions. This very condition was used in the recent defence of a 16 year old American youth who while drunk and stealing his father’s vehicle killed four people and injured twelve others in a horrific collision.
 
While the prosecution was pushing for a 20 year imprisonment, the defence mellowed the judgement down to ten years in a psychiatric facility. The defence argued that due to the pampered lifestyle afforded to him by his wealthy parents who gave him everything and never set any limits, the teenager never learned that he was responsible for his actions and that his actions have consequences. Hence, he was not fully responsible for his actions.
 
This type of mentality surely rings a bell when one considers many of the youth in our own community. Many are the parents who instead of parenting the child, dote on his/her every wish and encourage a lifestyle of indulgence. Flashy cell phones are given to kids still in primary school, expensive vehicles as soon as they can drive and plentiful cash to throw around. If the kids get into trouble, even if they are at fault,  the parents throw their power and influence around so that he/she gets away scot-free, instead of using such opportunities to teach the kids responsibility. One wonders if these parents realise that they are sowing the seeds of destruction for those they love the most.
 
The following Hadith imparts a most powerful lesson, “Whoever seeks Allah’s Pleasure at the expense of the people’s displeasure, will win Allah’s Pleasure and Allah will then cause the people to be pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please others at the expense of Allah’s Displeasure, will draw the Displeasure of Allah and Allah will then cause the people to be displeased with him.” (Ibn Hibban)
 
Is it then any surprise, that the very kids that were doted upon later become their parents’ greatest nightmares causing untold pain and grief? The time of Qurbani should be a moment of deep reflection in the upbringing of our kids. Yesterday, Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam stood ready, with knife in hand, to sacrifice his only child to secure Allah’s pleasure. Today, we sacrifice every command of Allah for the happiness of our kids.
 
The Hadith teaches us, “No father has given his child a gift better than good character.”(Tirmizi)
Unfortunately for many, the idea of gifts have been restricted to objects of material value, yet the Hadith, time and again, informs us that real wealth is the wealth of the soul. Have we not witnessed, with our very eyes, people whose monetary value is in the millions but who are valueless as human beings? It is hard to imagine that loving parents would wish the same internal bankruptcy for their kids. Reality is sometimes stranger than fantasy.
 
This year when we put the knife on the animal’s throat that we sacrifice to please Allah, reflect on the rest of your life. Are we sacrificing for Allah or are we sacrificing  Allah for others?
 
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

SUBMISSION

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh)

When Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was told to submit to Allah Ta’ala, he responded that he had submitted himself to the Rabb (Sustainer) of the Worlds. …Some Mufassireen (Commentators) say that there are approximately 18 000 worlds.

Allah Ta’ala mentions this incident as follows: “ And remember when his Rabb said to him :  ‘ Submit (thy will to Me).’ 

“He said : ‘ I submit (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe.” [ Surah Al - Baqarah : 131 ]

After Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) made this declaration of submission, there followed many trials and tests.

As a young man, he was faced with opposition from his father, who was an idol-worshipper. When he invited his father to the worship of Allah Ta’ala, his father opposed and threatened him :

He (the father) said : ‘Do you reject my gods, O Ibraheem? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.’ [Surah Maryam 19 :46]

Due to Hazrat Ibraheem’s (alayhis salaam) rejection of idol-worship, and his preaching the message of Allah Ta’ala, he was thrown into the fire by Namrud and his people:

“They said, ‘Build him a furnace and throw him into the blazing fire.’ [Surah Saffaat : 97]

They said, “burn him and protect your gods if you do (anything at all)!” [Surah Ambiyaa 21 : 68 ]

It is stated that for an entire month, the people of Namrud collected firewood, which they thereafter lit, fanning it until it became an intense, blazing fire.

Using a catapult, they threw Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) into the raging fire. However, The One who created fire and gave it the attribute to burn, now commanded the fire to become cool, as well as offer safety to Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam).

“We said, ‘O Fire ! Be you cool, and (a means of) safety for Ibraheem.” [Surah  Ambiyaa 21 : 68 / 69]

After being delivered from this test, saddened with his people, he left his country (Iraq) and made Hijrah to a place where he could worship Allah Ta’ala in peace, Syria.

Having no children, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) thus made dua for a child:

“ O My Lord, grant me a righteous son.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 100]

In his old age, at the age of 86, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was blessed with a son.

“So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 101]

When the child became of age, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was commanded to slaughter his son. What a great test!

“Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) work with him, He said: ‘O my son! I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now see what is your view?…”  [Surah Saffaat 37 : 102]

What must have gone through his heart? And likewise the heart of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam)?

But when Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam) was informed, he told his father to do whatever he had been commanded to do.

“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 102]

Their entire lives were lives of Obedience and Submission. They were prepared to accept death but not prepared to abandon or reject the Hukm (Order) of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala mentions the reply of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam). He said :  “…Insha-Allah, you will find me of the patient ones.”

Look at his humility. He did not say: “I will be patient”; rather: “Insha-Allah … if  Allah wills.”

His words clearly indicate the beautiful qualities of humility, etiquette, trust in Allah Ta’ala, patience and endurance. There was no claim whatsoever of pride, or boastfulness or superiority or conceit.

Despite having to face so many trials and tribulations, none of the Ambiya (alayhis salaam) made a claim of being perfect. They did not rely on their own ability and capacity; rather they focused on Allah Ta’ala. They made the effort and trusted in Allah Ta’ala.

“So when they had both submitted their wills (To Allah)…”  [Surah Saffaat 37 : 103]

The word “ Aslamaa ” alludes to the brave submission of father and son, without question. The claim of Divine Love was made manifest in this immediate surrender and compliance to Allah Ta’ala’s Command. …And as is known, despite the repeated efforts made, the knife would not cut the throat of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam)…This being by the Will of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala then ransomed Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam) with a ram from heaven.

Allah Ta’ala states : “Thus indeed do We reward those who do right” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 110]

Allah Ta’ala’s rewards encompass bounties of this world and bounties of the next for that person who surrenders himself to the commands of Allah Ta’ala and sacrifices his desires solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

We learn the lessons of SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, SACRIFICE  – attributes which are sorely lacking in our own lives.

We are commanded to submit ourselves to the Hukm (Command) of Allah Ta’ala; whichever one is directed to us.

There are different Ahkaam: sometimes it is the order of Salaah, sometimes it is the order not to perform Salaah; but at EVERY given moment the Command of Taqwa is directed to us, and that is we restrain ourselves from that which is Haraam.

Where is the truthfulness of our claim of Love and Imaan, if we cannot comply to obedience?

We have not been commanded to sacrifice our sons. We are only called to give up sins. Just don’t do the sin. Don’t cast lustful gazes, don’t commit zina, don’t gamble, don’t backbite, don’t do sins. …Don’t do and get rewards. Don’t do (sins) and become the Friend of Allah Ta’ala.

Nisbat (connection) with Allah Ta’ala is secured only on Taqwa and obedience to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Once we have established friendship with Allah Ta’ala, then no difficulty, no hardship, no adversity or suffering becomes insurmountable, as is seen in the life of Khalilullah (Friend of Allah), Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam).

We also learn that when we say we believe, then we will be tested on our claim.

Allah Ta’ala states : “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We Believe’ and that they will not be tested?”

“We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.” [Surah Ankaboot 29 : 2]

“Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (Trials) as came to those who passed away before you…” [Surah Baqarah 2 : 214]

These tests in life are to see who still remains sincere and faithful to Allah Ta’ala – and who gives up and turns away from Allah Ta’ala. Of course, we should not be asking for tests and trials. We are weak. However, this world is a world of test.

From our side, we should always seek safety and aa’fiyat (well-being), as has been taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

An Aalim has beautifully described the understanding and approach of a Believer in dealing with the tests of this worldly life :

“In whichever condition He keeps me,
It is the best condition for me;
Through whichever route He takes me,
It is the easiest route for me.”

In this journey of life, we are to establish and maintain our relationship with Allah Ta’ala, no matter what the circumstance and conditions we face…

For those who persevere and work hard to pass the examination of this worldly life, there will be innumerable rewards :

‘ …Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” [Surah Zumar 39 : 10]

And we ask Allah Ta’ala to make us ever-submissive to Him, and that He grant us ease in the matter of life and death, grant us well-being and the ability to maintain steadfastness in all conditions of life.

Qurbani

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh)

Allah Ta’ala states regarding the lofty act of Qurbani:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]

Sadly, despite the knowledge disseminated of the merits and virtues of Qurbani and its obligatory nature, there are many who have the ability and means, yet they still present excuses of not having the money to undertake Qurbani. I am not talking about the poor and needy who are exempt from Qurbani. I am talking about those who are sitting with so many luxuries and they still ask if Qurbani is Waajib (obligatory) or not.

…Let us not take this act of Ibaadah so lightly. It is a great and very important Sunnah that has to be upheld, and it is compulsory for those who have the means to do so. Every adult Muslim, male and female, who owns 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is in excess of the person’s basic personal needs, is obligated to offer Qurbani.

It is also incorrect that we only promote Qurbani as a charitable undertaking – as something to assist the poor and needy – in different parts of the world. This is what is being highlighted in our advertisements and notices: That Qurbani be undertaken to distribute to the suffering Ummah, throughout the world.

Indeed, distributing to the poor is a great benefit of Qurbani. And similarly in all Ibaadaat, we will find that there are great benefits. However, the benefit is not the objective. This is something that should be understood.

The objective of Hajj is not just to meet everyone on Arafat, even though it is a congregation of millions of Muslims from around the world. Theobjective of fasting is not to lose weight, even though we are eating far less than usual. Similarly, the objective of Qurbani is not just to feed the poor. This is not the purpose.

If a person slaughters his animal or many animals, before the Eid Salaah, and then distributes all of that meat to the poor and needy, then even though that kind of generosity is very noble, every Mufti will say that the Qurbani is not valid, and for the Qurbani to be valid, it has to be done after the Eid Salaah. …In a town, if the Eid Salaah is performed at different venues, then after the first Eid Salaah, Qurbani will be valid.

Added to this, there are other rules, regulations and conditions to be fulfilled and met for Qurbani to be valid. …This shows that the Qurbani animal is different. Therefore Allah Ta’ala says:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. ”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]

So Qurbani is not charity. If Qurbani is only charity, then how can we eat of it? Can we utilize our Zakaat – or a portion of it – for ourselves? No.

Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) ate from his own Qurbani – but he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would not eat of Sadaqah.

So Qurbani should be done seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

Sadly, most people opt to give their money to different organisations, so that their Qurbani is discharged without any labour. To give money is very easy but this is not the spirit of Qurbani.

If we just send our money to the neighbouring countries or overseas, then we are depriving ourselves and our children of the spirit of sacrifice.

Yes, send the Nafl Qurbanis to other places – if you wish to – and where the people will benefit. However, at least make one or two at home. Let the children see and take lesson. We ourselves need to see and take lesson.

In enlivening this Sunnah, we take so many beautiful lessons. The heart and the soul are stirred to move in the direction of submission to Allah Ta’ala.

We see how the sheep or goat or other Qurbani animal is made to lie down, and how its gives its life in the name of Allah Ta’ala. And we take lesson that just as that sheep sacrificed its life on the Hukm of Allah Ta’ala, so we, who are the servants of Allah Ta’ala, should be sacrificing our evil desires. In fact, our whole lives should be sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.

Our respected Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) presented a wonderful analogy. Hazrat asked: “When does the sun rise?”

As we all know, it rises when the horizon turns red.

Hazrat then explained: “Just as the sun rises when the horizon turns red, similarly, the suns of Allah Ta’ala’s Muhabbat and Ma’rifat will rise when the horizons of the heart turn red with the blood of one’s evil desires, which have been sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.”

Qurbani is the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) and we must remember that Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was not slaughtering a ram or sheep. The knife was placed on his beloved son. That was the test and what a test! After making Dua for a son and being granted a son, the Command is then to slaughter that very beloved son.

Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was Khaleelullah – the Friend of Allah Ta’ala, and he proved his love for Allah Ta’ala. It was not just a claim. It was supported by his entire life – which was clear proof of Ishq. And Ishq is something, that when it comes into the heart, it cannot be hidden. It is something which is evident in speech, in action – in everything and in every way.

We find that there was no questioning any of Allah Ta’ala’s Commands. There was immediate submission to every Command. …We should ask ourselves: What have we done to validate our claim of loving Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?

Hazrat Isma’eel (Alaihis Salaam) was Zabeehullah. We find that there was no objection on hearing the Command of Allah Ta’aala; only immediate submission.

Imagine that scene: The son willingly and unhesitatingly tells his father to go ahead in fulfilling the Command of Allah Ta’ala.

“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 102]

Both father and son passed their tests with flying colours. And these were very great and difficult tests. … We are not being tested like that. Allah Ta’ala made it easy for us.

Despite the ease, we cannot even put the knife on our Haraam desires … yet, if we sacrifice our Haraam desires, we will benefit. We, ourselves, will be the beneficiaries.

I often say that in the word “Haraam”, there is the word “harm”. The outcome of Haraam will always be harm. And considering the double ‘a’ in the transliteration, we will experience double Harm : Harm in this world and Harm in the next. There is just no goodness. Sins bring restless, anxiety and a host of problems.

What is required is for us to place the knife over the throat of the animal within us. What is required is to place the knife over our anger – our unjustified anger; and place the knife over our greed, evil passions, jealousy and other evils.

Allah Ta’ala commands us to wake up for Fajr, to read our five Salaah, daily, in the Masjid, to fulfil the other rights of Allah Ta’ala and the rights of Creation. And we are commanded to stay clear, to stay far away, from whatever Allah Ta’ala has declared as Haraam. And in this easy way, gain the Muhabbat of Allah Ta’ala and enjoy the best of both worlds.

…There is so much to discuss about the Hajj that will be taking place and everything relating to this Mubarak month: The Farewell Hajj, the unforgettable sermon given by Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the Qurbani, and the great virtues of these Mubarak days and nights. We must not depend on only the Jumu`ah talk to learn Deen. We should seek to know and understand all these important events in our beautiful history as well as learn the related Masaa`il of the different Ibaadaat we are commanded to do.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us a good, proper understanding and the Taufeeq of striving to earn His Pleasure.

Repentance before Death

By Sheikh Salah Al-Budair – 03 Thul Qadah 1435

His Eminence Sheikh Salah Al-Budair, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday khutbah entitled, “Repentance before Death”, in which he talked about the importance of hastening to repent of sins before it is too late.

Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Whose blessings cannot in the least be counted, and Who says about those who desist from their crimes and repent of what they have committed:

“… if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven …” (Al-Anfal: 38)

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners – a testimony of one who has seen the light guidance and realized the truth; and I bear witness that our prophet and master, Muhammad, is His servant and messenger, the quintessence of virtue, goodness, generosity, and honour. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his family, his Companions, and all those who follow their example and draw from the fount of their knowledge.

Now then, O Muslims!

Fear Allah, for fear of Allah brings about happiness, keeps harm at bay, and removes ignominy. 
You ought to fear Allah in every moment,
And you will find its positive consequences on the Day of Long Reckoning.
Verily, fear of Allah is the best outcome,
And it is the best provision for the departing traveller.
There is no good whatsoever in a long life,
If you depart it without piety.

O Muslims! 
Death awaits all people, disasters befall them all, and the vicissitudes of life leave no one unharmed.

O you who perceive lessons with your own eyes and listen to admonitions with your own ears! O you who have been reached by the warner and have heard his words! Advance towards your Lord in all humility, seek refuge in His door of bounty repentantly, raise your hands in prayer, showing your great need for Him, and pray humbly to Him, saying:

O Allah! I am Your disobedient servant and I have come to You
Admitting my sins and calling upon You.
If You forgive me, You are Most Worthy to forgive,
And if You turn me away, who else will have mercy on me?

O you who are overburdened with sins! O you who have given free rein to your pleasures in all kinds of vanity! O you who have been deafened and blinded by evil desires and have thus been sickened, grieved, expelled, and kept away from the right path! O you who fight against your Lord by doing what He abhors! O you who disobey His commands, feeling secure against His Plan! Repent of your sins and ask your Lord for forgiveness.

Repent of your sins and weep out of fear
Of what has been recorded against you in your scrolls of deeds. 
What misery a servant will be in 
When he stands before his Lord without repentance!

Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah extends His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and extends His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises in the west [which is one of the signs of the Day of Resurrection]” (Reported by Muslim). Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone repents before the sun rises in the west, Allah will accept his repentance” (Reported by Muslim). Abdullah ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah, Might and Majesty be to Him, will accept the repentance of His servant as long as the death rattle does not reach his throat” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).

Therefore, repent before you go through the affliction of the death rattle, the pain of the final gurgling, and the moment of sudden death. Make amends before death strikes, for then it will be too late to repent. Allah, Glorified be He, says:

“Say: “O (you) ‘Ibadi (my slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar: 53)

O Allah! Help us awaken from heedlessness and grant us sincere repentance before death, O All-Hearing, O Ever Near, O Responsive to prayers! – Radio Islam

Virtues of the Qur’aan

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”
(Muslim).
 
‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”
(Al-Bukhari).
 
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
 
Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Envy is justified in regard to two types of persons only: a man whom Allah has given knowledge of the Qur’an, and so he recites it during the night and during the day; and a man whom Allah has given wealth and so he spends from it during the night and during the day.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
 
Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
(At- Tirmidhi). – Islaaminfo

10 Guidelines for the Day of Jumu‘ah

by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Of the many blessings and gifts of Allāh ta‘ālā is the bounty of special seasons and places, during which and where the rewards of good deeds are multiplied to such extents known only to Allāh ta‘ālā. One such moment is the day of Friday, a day greater in virtue than the ‘Īdayn (two days of ‘Īd). It has been narrated that this day is the leader of all days.

Similarly, it is common knowledge that the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is the leader of all mankind, hence these two leaders have a great bond, thus on the day of Friday we should pay much attention to the sunnah of the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Keeping this in mind, highlighted below are 10 guidelines that this humble one desires all of his associates to practice, in order to gain maximum benefit from this day:

1)    Send salāt and salām upon the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in abundance. On the day of Friday, aim to do so at least 500 times. Thereafter slowly increase this number as you gain steadfastness. Initially, one may recite a short formula of salāt and salām, e.g.

and after becoming steadfast on this, one should gradually begin reciting longer narrations which can be found in the books of salāt and salām.

2)   On the night preceding the day of Friday (Thursday night), recite Sūrah ad-Dhukhān (Sūrah 44, Juz 25). The virtue of its recitation is that a palace is built in Jannah for the reciter.

3)    On the day of Friday, recite Sūrah al-Kahf (Sūrah 18, Juz 15). The virtue being that such a person will be saved from the trials of Dajjāl.  The trial of Dajjāl is the greatest of trials, and if by reciting this Sūrah one is saved from it, then it is hoped that he will most definitely be saved from all other trials which are relatively smaller in comparison to the trial of Dajjāl.

4)    Proceed to the masjid early for the Jumu‘ah salāh. The earlier one reaches the masjid, the more reward has been promised in the ahādīth.

5)    Offer Salah-at-Tasbīh. Its method can be learnt from here.

6)    Before getting up from your place after the ‘Asr salāh, recite 80 times:

7)    Spend the time between ‘Asr and Maghrib salāhs in the masjid, with the intention of Nafl I‘tikāf. It is preferable to spend this time reciting salāt and salām, however there is no harm in engaging in other good deeds, such as reciting the Qur’ān and Dhikr (remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā).

8)    10-15 minutes before the Maghrib Adhān, engage yourself in du‘ā. It has been narrated that there is a moment every Friday, during which the du‘ā of a believer is certainly accepted. Of the many opinions with regards the specification of this moment, the weightiest opinions are:

a.    It is the period between the Imām sitting on the pulpit and the completion of salāh.

b.    It is the last few moments before sunset.

It has also been the experience of many ‘Ulamā and Mashā’ikh that this moment comes shortly before Maghrib.

9)   On the day of Friday, try to carry out as many good deeds as possible, be they sunnah, nafl or mustahabb.

10)  Totally abstain from all sinful and futile acts. Anything which is neither beneficial in this world nor in the hereafter should be totally abstained from, not only on the day of Friday but rather every day.

Acting upon these ten guidelines, together with acting upon every sunnah, nafl and mustahabb act related to this special day will inshā Allāh help in making our Jumu‘ah a means of great blessings and gaining the love and pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the ability to act upon all the sunnah acts of the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. – At-Tazkiyah

A UNIQUE MOMENT FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF DUA  

Sayyiduna Ubadah bin Samit (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever’s sleep is broken in the night and he recites the following Dua and thereafter asks Allah to forgive him or he makes Dua, Allah will forgive him and accept his Dua. And if he makes Wudhu and performs Salaah, Allah will accept his Salaah.
 
The Dua is:
 
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ
 
Transliteration: Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu Wahdahu La Shareeka Lahu Lahul Mulku Wa Lahul Hamdu Wa Huwa Alaa Kulli Shay’in Qadeer, Alhamdulillah, Wa Subhanallah, Wa Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu Wallaahu Akbar, Wa Laa Hawla Wa Laa Quwwata Illaa Billah
 
Translation: There is no god besides Allah, the One, He has no partner and to Him alone belongs all kingdom and praise and He is able over everything. All praise is due to Allah, glory be to Allah and there is no god besides Allah and Allah is the greatest, and there is no might and power except by Allah.
 
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 1154)
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

16 Qualities That Allah Loves

1) Patience:
“And Allah loves as-Sâbirun (the patient).” (Surah Imran 3:146)
 
2) Justice and Dealing with Equity:
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is informed of what ye do.” (Surah Maeda 5:8)
 “For Allah loves those who are fair (and just).”
[Surah Al Hujurat 49:9]
 
3) Putting Trust in Allah:
“Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Surah Imran 3:159)
 
4) Kindness:
Ayesha (رضي الله عنها) narrated: The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “Allah loves kindness in all matters.” (Bukhari)
 
5) Repentance:
“Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto him in repentance.” (Surah Baqarah 2:222)
 
6) Piety:
“Verily, then Allah loves those who are al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (Surah Imran 3:76)

“For Allah loves the righteous (the pious).” [Surah Al Tawbah 9:4]
Reported by Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (رضي الله عنه :): Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said, “Allah loves a slave who is pious, free of all wants and the unnoticed.”
 
7) Good-doing:
“Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (Surah Baqarah 2:195)
 
8) Purification:
“And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.” (Surah Tawbah 9:108)
 
9) Humility of the Rich:
Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (رضي الله عنه ) said: Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said: “Allah loves the believer who is pious and rich, but does not show off.” (Muslim)
 
10) Magnanimity:
Al-Hakim narrated: The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said: “ Allah is All-Generous and He loves generosity in sale, purchase and judgment.”
 
11) Virtuosity:
The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ)said: “Allah loves the believer who is poor but virtuous enough to refrain from begging though he has many children.” (Muslim and Ahmed)
 
12) Love for the Sake of Allah:
Al-Tabarâni, Ibn Ya’lâ, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim narrated: Allah’s Messenger
( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “If two individuals love each other for the sake of Allah, the stronger in love to his brother will be more loved by Allah.”

13) Continuous Performance of Righteous Deeds:
Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “The best loved deeds to Allah are the ones that are continuous even if they are not very many.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
 
14) Sabr (Patience):
“And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast (As-Sabirin (the patient)).” [Surah Ali 'Imran 3:146]
 
15)  Praying Salaah on time:
“The thing that Allah loves most is when his people pray salaah on time.” (Hadith- Bukhari)
 
16) Good Manners and Conduct:
Al-Tirmidhi narrated: Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant.”

Love of Allah is the basis of worship that should be directed to Him alone. Any other love should be for his sake too. The real love of Allah is to do whatever He ordained and to abandon whatever He forbade, in addition to Following Rasulullah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ)’s Sunnah. Whoever obeys someone or something other than Allah and His Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ), or follows any saying other than theirs, or fears other than Allah or seeks the pleasure of other than Allah, or puts his trust in other than Him, does not love Allah, nor does he love His Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ). Muslims should also love one another and wish the best for one another. Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “One will not be a true believer unless he loves for his brother what be loves for himself.” (Bukhari) – Islaaminfo

11 T’s to a Successful Marriage

As Narrated by Moulana Muhammad Saleem Nawab

1. Taqwa (Marry someone with taqwa)
2. Tahajjud (Praying Tahajjud will bring blessing to your marriage)
3. Talk (Comminicate)
4. Temper (Control your temper)
5. Technology (Do not make technology the 3rd member of your relationship)
6. Tea (Eat/Drink Together)
7. Tolerance (Be tolerant of one another)
8. Tongue (Control your tongue)
9. Time (Make time for one another)
10. Trust (Trust one another and do not betray that trust)
11. Troublemakers (Stay away from troublemakers, within the family/community)

Qiyamul Layl – The Ultimate Pleasure of a Believer in this World

There are many things that one can do to help oneself pray qiyaam al-layl (the night prayer), among which are the following:

1 – Being sincere towards Allah, as He has commanded us to be sincere towards Him and none other in our deeds. He tells us (interpretation of the meaning): “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone…”“

The more sincere a person is towards Allah, the more he will be guided and helped to obey Allah and draw closer to Him. Ubayy ibn Ka’b (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The goodness of a deed is related to the goodness of the heart, and the goodness of the heart is related to the goodness of the intention.”

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The degree to which a person is helped and aided by Allaah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. Help from Allah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes and fears, and failure comes to them in like manner.”

Therefore the salaf were very keen to conceal their acts of worship such as qiyaam al-layl. A man asked Tameem ibn Aws al-Daari (may Allaah be pleased with him), ‘How do you pray at night?’ He got very angry and said,

‘By Allah, one rak’ah that I pray in secret in the small hours of the night is more beloved to me than praying the whole night long and then telling people about it.’

Ayyoob al-Sakhtiyaani used to spend the entire night in prayer, then when dawn approached, he would go back to bed and lie down, and when dawn came, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.

2 – The person who wants to pray qiyaam al-layl should realize that Allah is calling him to qiyaam. When the slave realizes that his Master, Who has no need of people’s worship, is calling him to do this, he will respond. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you wrapped in your garments (i.e., Prophet Muhammad)! Stand (to pray) all night, except a little. Half of it, or a little less than that, or a little more; and recite the Qur’aan (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” [al-Muzzammil 73:1-4].

Sa’d ibn Hishaam ibn ‘Aamir said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): “Tell me about how the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed qiyaam.” She said: “Have you not read “Yaa ayyuha’l-muzzammil (O you wrapped in your garments!)?” He said, “Of course.” She said:

“Allaah, may He be exalted and glorified, made qiyaam obligatory at the beginning of this soorah, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions prayed qiyaam for a year, and Allaah withheld the end of this soorah for twelve months, until He revealed something at the end of this soorah to make things easier, so qiyaam al-layl became voluntary after it had been obligatory.” (Reported by Muslim).

3 – Knowing the virtues of qiyaam al-layl. Whoever knows the virtues of this act of worship will be keen to talk to Allaah, may He be exalted, and to stand before Him at that time. Among the reports that describe the virtues of this act of worship is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of prayers after the prescribed prayers is prayer in the depths of the night, and the best of fasting after the month of Ramadaan is fasting the month of Allaah, Muharram.” (reported by Muslim).

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most beloved of prayer to Allaah is the prayer of Dawood, and the most beloved of fasts to Allaah is the fast of Dawood. He used to sleep for half of the night, then get up and pray for a third of the night, then sleep for a sixth of the night, and he used to fast every other day.” (Agreed upon).

‘Amr ibn ‘Absah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The closest that the Lord is to His slave is in the later part of the night, so if you can be one of those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisaa’i).

Yahyaa ibn Mu’aadh said:

“The medicine of the heart is five things: reading Qur’aan and pondering the meaning, having an empty stomach, praying at night (qiyaam al-layl), beseeching Allaah at the time of suhoor, and keeping company with righteous people.”

4 – Studying how the salaf and righteous people practised qiyaam al-layl and adhered to it. The salaf used to enjoy qiyaam al-layl and rejoice greatly in doing it. It was said:

“Every type of pleasure is enjoyed only once, except for acts of worship, which are enjoyed three times: when you do it, when you remember it, and when you are given the reward for it.”

Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said:

“There is nothing left of the joys of this life except three: qiyaam al-layl, meeting one’s brothers in faith, and praying in congregation.”

Thaabit al-Banaani said:

“There is nothing I enjoy more than qiyaam al-layl.”

Yazeed al-Riqaashi said:

“A lot of tahajjud brings delight to the worshippers, and a lot of thirst (i.e., fasting), brings joy when they meet Allaah.”

Mukhallad ibn Husayn said:

“I never woke up at night except I saw Ibraaheem ibn Adham remembering Allaah and praying, and this made me depressed, so I consoled myself with this aayah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘…That is the Grace of Allaahm which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty’ [al-Hadeed 54:21].”

Abu ‘Aasim al-Nabeel said:

“Abu Haneefah used to be called al-Watad (pole or pillar) because he prayed so much.”

Al-Qaasim ibn Ma’een said:

“Abu Haneefah spent an entire night in qiyaam reciting this verse (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time (for their full recompense), and the Hour will be more grievous and more bitter’ [al-Qamar 54:46], repeating it and weeping, beseeching Allaah until morning came.”

Ibraaheem ibn Shammaas said:

“I used to see Ahmad ibn Hanbal staying up at night to pray when he was a young man.”

Abu Bakr al-Marwadhi said:

“I was with Imaam Ahmad for nearly four months in the army, and he never stopped praying qiyaam at night or reading Qur’aan during the day, and I never knew when he completed the Qur’aan, because he kept that secret.”

Imaam al-Bukhaari used to pray qiyaam and tahajjud at night until the time of suhoor, and he would read between a half and a third of the Qur’aan, and complete it at suhoor every third night.

Al-‘Allaamah Ibn ‘Abd al-Haadi said, describing the qiyaam of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah:

“At night he would keep away from people, and spend that time only with his Lord, beseeching Him continually and reciting Qur’aan, repeating different kinds of acts of worship by night and by day. When he began to pray, his body would start to tremble, leaning to the left and right.”

Ibn Rajab said concerning his shaykh Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim:

“He was a man of worship, tahajjud and lengthy prayers. I have never seen his equal in worship and knowledge of the Qur’aan, hadeeth and principles of faith.”

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said, describing his shaykh al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi:

“I stayed with him, and I never saw him forsake qiyaam al-layl: it was like a habit for him.”

5 – Sleeping on one’s right side. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught his ummah to sleep on their right sides, as is reported in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side, then let him say,

‘Bismika Rabbi wada’tu janbi wa bika arfa’uhu. In amsakta nafsi farhamhaa wa in arsaltahaa fahfazhaa bimaa tahfazu bihi ‘ibaadaka al-saaliheen

(In Your Name, my Lord, I lay myself down and I get up again. If You take my soul, then have mercy on it, and if You send it back to me, then protect it with that with which You protect Your righteous slaves).’” (Agreed upon).

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you want to go to bed, do wudhoo’ as for prayer, then lie down on your right side.” (Agreed upon)

Hafsah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:

“When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed, he would put his right hand under his right cheek.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani, Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4523).

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“There is a reason for his lying on his right side, which is that the heart is located on the left, so if a person lays on his left side, he will sleep too deeply, because the heart’s position will be too comfortable, but if he sleeps on his right side, he will not be too settled, so he won’t sleep deeply.”

6 – Sleeping in a state of tahaarah (purity). We have already quoted the hadeeth of al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him), in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “When you go to bed, do wudhoo’ as if for prayer.” (Agreed upon).

Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who goes to sleep remembering Allaah and in a state of purity, and when he turns over he asks Allaah for good in this world and the next, but it will be given to him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood and Ahmad. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5754).

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Purify these bodies and Allaah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the angel] says, ‘O Allaah, forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.’” (Reported by al-Tabaraani. Al-Mundhiri said, its isnaad is jaayid. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3831).

7 – Going to sleep early. Sleeping straight after ‘Ishaa’ is the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and a good and healthy habit. One of the ahaadeeth that describe its virtues was narrated by Abu Barzah al-Aslami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to prefer to delay ‘Ishaa’, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it. (Reported by al-Bukhaari).

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar reported that al-Qaadi ‘Ayaad said, concerning the phrase “He did not like to sleep before it”:

“Because that could lead to one praying it too late, or delaying it until after the preferred time, and talking after it could lead to one sleeping before Fajr and missing it, or missing qiyaam al-layl.”

Ibn Raafi’ said: “ ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to wave his stick at the people when darkness fell, and would say,

‘Get up and go, may Allaah help you to pray qiyaam at night!’”

Another matter that has to do with sleep is choosing a suitable bed, not one that is excessively luxurious or soft, because that makes a person sleep too much and become negligent, and causes laziness and carelessness. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:

“The pillow of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on which he slept at night was made of leather stuffed with palm fibres.” (Reported by Abu Dawood and Ahmad. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4714).

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was lying on a mat of palm fibres that had left marks on his side. ‘Umar said, “O Messenger of Allaah, why do you not get something more comfortable than this?” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “What do I have to do with this world? My relationship with this world is like that of a traveller on a hot summer’s day, who seeks shade under a tree for an hour, then moves on.” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5545).

‘Ali ibn Bakkaar (may Allaah have mercy on him) used to have a slave-woman who would spread out his bed for him, and he would touch it with his hand and say:

“By Allaah, you are good, and by Allaah you are cool, but by Allaah I will not rest on you tonight.”

Then he would get up and pray qiyaam until Fajr.

Also, one should not sleep too much or too deeply. Ibraaheem ibn Adham said: “

If you are sleeping at night, and running about during the day, and always committing sin, how can you earn the pleasure of the One Who is directing your affairs?”

8 – Having the habit of reciting adhkaar prescribed by shari’ah before going to sleep, because these adhkaar are like a fortress which protects a person from the Shaytaan, by the permission of Allaah, and helps him to get up for qiyaam. Among these adhkaar is that mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side, then let him say, ‘Bismika Rabbi wada’tu janbi wa bika arfa’uhu. In amsakta nafsi farhamhaa wa in arsaltahaa fahfazhaa bimaa tahfazu bihi ‘ibaadaka al-saaliheen (In Your Name, my Lord, I lay myself down and I get up again. If You take my soul, then have mercy on it, and if You send it back to me, then protect it with that with which You protect Your righteous slaves).’” (Agreed upon).

‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed each night, he would put his palms together, blow in them, and recite Qul huwa Allaahu ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Naas, then he would wipe as much of his body as he could with his hands, starting with his head and face, and the front of his body, doing this three times. (Agreed upon).

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah, this will take care of him.” (Agreed upon).

Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed, he would say:

“Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi at’amanaa wa saqaanaa, wa kafaanaa fa kam mimman laa kaafeeya lahu wa laa mu’weeya lahu

(Praise be to Allaah Who has fed us and given us to drink, and Who has given us enough, for how many are there who have no-one to suffice them or give them refuge).” (Reported by Muslim).

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you go to bed, do wudhoo’ as if for prayer, then lie down on your right side, then say: ‘

Allaahummah aslamtu nafsi ilayk, wa wajahtu wajhi ilayk, wa fawwadtu amri ilayk, wa alja’tu zahri ilayk, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilayk, laa malja’a wa laa manjaa minka illa ilayk. Aamantu bi kitaabik alladhi anzalt, wa bi nabiyyik alladhi arsalt

(O Allaah, I submit myself to You, I turn my face to You, I delegate my affairs to You and I rely totally on You, out of fear and hope of You. There is no refuge or sanctuary from You except in You. I believe in Your Book which You have revealed and in Your Prophet whom You have sent).’ Then if you die, you will have died on the fitrah, so make these the last words you speak.” (Agreed upon).

Similarly, the Muslim should have the habit of reciting adhkaar prescribed by sharee’ah when waking up, such as that reported by Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you wakes up, he should say:

‘Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi radda ‘alayya roohi, wa ‘aafaani fi jasadi wa adhina li bi dhikrihi (Praise be to Allaah Who has restored my soul, given health to my body, and allowed me to remember Him).” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisaa’i, Saheeh al-Jaami’, 326).

‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever turns over at night and says ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘a’l kulli shay’in qadeer. Al-hamdulillahi, subhaan Allaah wa laa illaaha ill-Allaah wa Allaahu akbar wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (There is no god but Allaah Alone, with no partner or associate. His is the Dominion and the Praise, and He is Able to do all things. Praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah. There is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great and there is no strength and no power except in Allaah),’ then says, ‘Allaahumma ‘ghfir li (O Allaah, forgive me),’ or some other du’aa’, it will be answered, and if he does wudhoo’ and then prays, his prayer will be accepted.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari)

Imaam Ibn Battaal said:

“Allaah has promised through His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that whoever wakes up from his sleep pronouncing words of Tawheed, submitting to His sovereignty, recognizing His blessings by praising Him, exalting Him above that which does not befit Him by glorifying Him (saying ‘Subhaan Allaah’), submitting to Him by magnifying Him (saying ‘Allaahu akbar’) and admitting one’s utter dependence upon His help, then if he makes du’aa’ it will be answered, and if he prays his prayer will be accepted. Everyone who hears this hadeeth should apply it and make the most of it, and make his intention sincerely for his Lord, may He be glorified and exalted.”

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) woke up, he would say:

‘Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi ahyaanaa ba’da maa amaatanaa wa ilayhi al-nushoor

(Praise be to Allaah Who has brought us back to life after having caused us to die, and unto Him is the resurrection).’” (Reported by Muslim).

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) woke up he would wipe the sleep from his face with his hand, then look at the sky and recite the final ten aayaatof Soorat Aal ‘Imran: “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth…” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:190 – interpretation of the meaning].” (Reported by Muslim)

Imaam al-Nawawi said:

This indicates that it is mustahabb to wipe away the traces of sleep from one’s face, and to recite these aayaat when getting up from sleep.”

9 – Being keen to take a nap or siesta during the day, whether before Dhuhr or after. Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Take a nap, for the shayaateen do not take naps.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani. Al-Saheehah, 2647).

Ishaaq ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said:

“Taking a nap is one of the deeds of good people. It revitalizes the heart and helps one to pray qiyaam al-layl.”

Al-Hasan al-Basri passed by a group of people in the marketplace in the middle of the day, and heard the racket they were making. He said, “Do these people take a nap?” It was said to him, “No.” He said, “I think their nights must be bad.”

10 – Avoiding eating or drinking too much. Eating and drinking too much are two of the main obstacles that prevent people from praying qiyaam al-layl. Al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’d Yakrib (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to have a few mouthfuls to give him the strength he needs. If he has to fill his stomach, then let him leave one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5674).

Abu Juhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a man who burped in his presence: “Stop your burping, for the people who eat the most in this life will be the most hungry hungry on the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1190).

Sufyaan al-Thawri said:

“You should eat little, so that you will be able to pray qiyaam al-layl.”

Ma’qal ibn Habeeb saw some people eating a lot, and said,

‘I do not think that our companions want to pray qiyaam al-layl.”

Wahb ibn Munbih said:

“There is no son of Adam dearer to his shaytaan than the one who eats and sleeps a lot.”

 

11 – Striving against oneself to pray qiyaam al-layl. This is one of the best means of helping oneself to pray qiyaam, because human nature is inclined towards wrongdoing, so the one who follows his own inclinations will be led to doom and destruction.

“And as for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allaah is with the muhsinoon (good-doers).” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:69]

“Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allaah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them” [al-Sajdah 32:16]

Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said:

“I struggled against my own self for forty years until it became right.”

Thaabit al-Banaani said:

“I struggled for twenty years to make myself pray qiyaam al-layl, and I enjoyed it (qiyaam al-layl) for twenty years.”

Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said:

“The best of deeds are those which we force ourselves to do.”

‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak said:

“The souls of righteous people in the past used to push them to do good deeds, but our souls do not do what we want them to do except by force, so we have to force them.”

Qataadah said:

“O son of Adam, if you do not want to do any good except when you have the energy for it, then your nature is more inclined towards boredom and laziness. The true believer is the one who pushes himself.”

12 – Avoiding sin. If the Muslim wants to be one of those who earn the honour of speaking to Allaah in the depths of the night, let him beware of sin, for the one who is contaminated with the stain of sin will not be helped to pray qiyaam al-layl. A man said to Ibraaheem ibn Adham,“I cannot pray qiyaam al-layl, so tell me the cure for this.” He said,

“Do not commit sin during the day, and He will help you to stand before Him at night, for your standing before Him at night is one of the greatest honours, and the sinner does not deserve that honour.”

A man said to al-Hasan al-Basri: “”O Abu Sa’eed, I sleep in good health, and I love to pray qiyaam al-layl, and I prepare water with which to purify myself, so why can I not get up?” Al-Hasan said: “Your sins are restricting you.” He said, may Allaah have mercy on him,

“The slave who commits a sin will be denied the opportunity to pray qiyaam at night and to fast during the day.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said:

“If you cannot pray qiyaam al-layl, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins.”

13 – Checking oneself and rebuking oneself for not praying qiyaam al-layl. Checking oneself is one of the signs of the righteous and truthful. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Fear Allaah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.” [al-Hashr 59:18].

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“If the slave is responsible and accountable for everything, even his hearing, sight and innermost thoughts, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), ‘…Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of you will be questioned by Allaah’ [al-Isra’ 17:36], then he should check on himself before he is brought to account.”

Qiyaam al-layl is an act of worship that connects the heart to Allaah, may He be exalted, and enables it to overcome the temptations of life and to strive against one’s own self, at the time when voices are stilled, eyes are closed in sleep, and sleepers are tossing and turning in their beds. Therefore qiyaam al-layl is one of the measures of sincere determination and one of the qualities of those who have great ambitions. Allaah has praised them and distinguished them from others in the Qur’aan, where He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Is one who is obedient to Allaah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not?’ It is only men of understanding who will remember.” [al-Zumar 39:9]

Qiyaam al-layl is “sunnah mu’akkadah” (confirmed Sunnah), which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to do when he said, “You should pray qiyaam al-layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, expiate for bad deeds, prevent sin, and expel disease from the body.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad).

According to a hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of prayers after the prescribed prayers is qiyaam al-layl.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always had the habit of praying qiyaam al-layl, and never gave it up, whether he was travelling or staying at home. Even though he, among all the sons of Adam, would be the one to have all his past and future sins forgiven, he prayed qiyaam al-layl until his feet became swollen, and when he was asked about that, he said, “Should I not be a grateful slave?” (Agreed upon).

This is how the noble salaf were, may Allaah have mercy upon them. Abu ad-Darda’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“Pray two rak’ahs in the darkness of the night for the darkness of the grave.”

 

Ahmad ibn Harb said:

“I am astonished at people who know that the delights of Paradise lie above them and the horrors of Hell lie beneath them. How can they sleep in between them?”

When ‘Umar ibn Dharr saw that night had come, he would say:

“Night has come, and night has dignity, and Allaah is most deserving of reverence.”

For this reason, al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said:

“I met some people who feel ashamed before Allaah to sleep for too long in the depths of the night. Such a person may be resting on his side, and when he moves, he says to himself, ‘This is not your right. Get up and take your share of the Hereafter.’”

Al-Hasan said:

“We do not know of any deed more difficult than the struggle to stay up at night or to spend money.”

It was said to him,

“Why do the mutahajjadeen (those who pray Tahajjud at night) have the most beautiful faces?”

He said,

“Because they spend time alone with the Most Merciful, so He adorns them with some of His light.”

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