Monday, February 8, 2016

Hajj Package '16 with Ust Mahmud Kurkcu


28 Day Premium Hajj Package 2016

[Aus - Makkah - Hajj - Madinah - Aus] 05 Sept 2016 to 02 Oct 2016 / 1437

What is included?

Fully escorted experienced English speaking staff.
Return economy class airfares including all taxes from Australia to Hajj flying Emirates/Qatar Airlines. Meet and assist at Melb/UAE/Jedda/Madina airports
All Hajj Visa arrangements.
All Muassasah (Saudi Government) fees.
Qurbān / Had’yi / Sacrifice fee.
Five Star Hotels in Makkah and Madinah directly in front of Haram. Triple Share or Double Share in Makkah Hilton/Hyatt and Triple Share or Double Share in Oberoi Hotel in Madina.
Comfortable Azīziyah Apartments walking distance to Jamarāt and Mina,
6-8 share in a room accommodation.
Guided Ziyārah (visits) to historical Holy sites both in Makkah and Madinah.
Full Board, open buffet Malaysian cuisine during Aziziyah. International cuisine in Mina and ‘Arafāt. Only Packed food and snacks in Muzdalifah.
Full Board, open buffet international cuisine during Aziziyyah and Mina. Packed food and snacks in Arafat.
Whilst in Makkah daily assistance with transfer for Hujjāj wishing to perform additional ‘Umrah.
All transfers and transportation in air-conditioned upgraded coaches outside the Manāsik days. Muassasah buses or designated train rides during the Manāsik.
Specially upgraded accommodation and extra services in Mina. Standard services in Arafat.
Continuous educational programs held on the rites of Hajj and Ziyārah prior to and throughout the sacred journey of Hajj by Ust. Mahmud Kurkcu.
5 litres of Zam Zam Water in standard official containers.
24 hour religious guidance or personal assistance available from staff during stay in Saudi Arabia.
Day stay in UAE Hotel on the way to Hajj to put on Ihram or special charter flight to Jeddah if instructed by the airline.
Complimentary Hajj Souvenirs:

1 Ihrām set or 1 prayer clothing set
1 travelling bag
1 Hajj Instructional DVD with
Kitābu’l-Hajj Book
1 Virtues of Hajj Book and
Hajj Du‘ās Book
1 Hajj Memories Photo DVD (after Hajj)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Celebrate Rabiul Aw'wal

Every year, when the month of Rabi al-Awwal comes around once again, bringing in its train the night of the twelfth, it seems to us as if the whole world is perfumed by the memory of the birth of the Final Messenger, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him. Countless millions of Muslims in every corner of the earth fix their thoughts on his birth, by re-reading his biography and learning from his unique values and qualities. For he was the Unlettered Prophet, in whose human essence were combined and perfected every noble and generous trait of character: the best of all role-models, of whom Allah Himself has said: "Truly, yours is a tremendous character."

Without the slightest doubt, the best way of commemorating this most noble of all birthdays is in reciting the story of his life, to adults and to children, in order to accustom them to the love of Allah's great Messenger.

My own mother, may Allah show her soul mercy, used to put us in the habit of sitting down and reading the sira books. Even though she herself could neither read nor write, she knew much of the sira by heart, and would constantly encourage her family and neighbours to become intimately familiar with the beautiful life-story of the Prophet.

"No-one could deny that gathering to listen to the career of the Master of the Messengers is one of the most desirable of all activities. It can yield a whole range of blessings and benefits, as long as it takes place in a proper Islamic atmosphere without any reprehensible innovations or distortions."

Needless to say, the life of the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, can and should be commemorated at any time of the year. Nonetheless, when he is remembered in Rabi al-Awwal, people's attachment to him grows even stronger, for the simple reason that it was in this month that he was born. At this special time, when the impulse to gather for this purpose is at its strongest, one feels an overwhelming sense of connection between our time and his, as the present reminds us of the past, and helps us to bring to mind and relate to events which took place many centuries ago.

The love of the Prophet, and the joy which his birth and career have brought to us, bring every imaginable kind of good thing to a true Muslim. Even an unbeliever can benefit from his birth. The idolator Abu Lahab, one of the greatest enemies of Islam, was pleased when one Monday he heard the news that Muhammad had been born: and he freed his slave-girl Thuwaiba who had brought him the news. We are told that because of this deed his punishment in the grave is reduced every Monday. This hadith, which is narrated by Imam Bukhari, inspired Imam Shams al-Din al-Dimashqi to write:

If an unbeliever, condemned by the Quran to eternal pain,
Can be relieved every Monday through his joy at Ahmad,
Then what must a true servant of God hope to gain,
When with the truth of Tawhid he felt joy at Ahmad?
The Prophet himself, may Allah bless him, used to commemorate his birthday, thanking his Lord for His great kindness to him. He would express this commemoration by fasting, as we are told in a hadith narrated by Imam Muslim. The methods by which his birthday may be celebrated vary widely, but the objective is the same: whether in fasting, giving food to the poor, gathering for the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah or calling down blessings upon His Messenger, and listening to the story of his virtues and mighty achievements.

Allah has commanded us Muslims to rejoice at the things by which His grace and mercy comes to us. In the Holy Quran we read: 'Say, by Allah's grace and mercy; and let them be made joyful by this!' (Yunus, 58.) And we have never received any mercy greater than the Prophet himself: 'We sent you only as a mercy to the worlds.' (Anbiya, 107.)

The Blessed Prophet was keenly aware of the connection of the flow of time with the great religious events of the past. Whenever the time of year recalled such an event, he would seize the opportunity to commemorate it, and call to mind its significance.

There are many examples of this. For instance, when he first arrived at Madina, he found the Jews fasting on the Day of Ashoura. When he enquired about this practice, he was told, 'They fast on this day because Allah rescued their prophet on this day, and drowned their enemy, so that they fast it in gratitude to Allah for this blessing.' And the Prophet remarked: 'We have even more right to Moses than have they!', and ordered that the Muslims should fast on that day as well.

For all these reasons, every year during the month of the Mawlid I devote my time to the great books of the Sira, spending some time enjoying their shade and cool breezes. I recall to my mind the episodes and events of his unique career from the time when the light of Muhammad first shone upon the world: the Arbitration at the Ka'ba, the Beginning of Revelation, the trials and sufferings endured while calling men to Allah, the Hijra, the great and heroic battles against paganism and misguidance, the creation of the Islamic State, the Farewell Pilgrimage, and finally, the moment when revelation to earth came to its conclusive end with the demise of the Blessed Prophet and his passing-on to the Highest Companion in Heaven.

During this month, I spend as much time as I can in this blessed company. This is despite the fact that these astonishing and moving events remain in my thoughts and reflections during the entire year, forming a constant guide, reference and inspiration, as I remember the actions and deeds of him whose every action and deed had the purpose of educating the human race.

Yesterday, my wife came to me while I was engrossed in my reading. She looked at the book before me, and saw that it was about the Mawlid, open at the page where the greatest of all sira writers Ibn Ishaq says: 'Allah's Messenger, may He bless and keep him, was born on Monday, during the twelfth night of Rabi al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant.'

She asked me this interesting question: 'Why was he born during that month, rather than during Ramadan, the month when the Quran was revealed, or in one of the Sacred Months, which Allah rendered sacred on the day He created the heavens and the earth? Or even in Sha'ban, the month which contains the blessed Night of Mid-Sha'ban?'

She stopped, and looked at me for an answer. I looked again at the book, and searched for a clue, but without success. So I asked her to give me a little time to allow me to read and do some thinking.

I fell silent and began asking myself: Why did the Almighty Creator decree that this noble Prophet should come into the world on Monday the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal? Why this date in particular? There must be some exquisite wisdom in this choice: but where and what?

I pulled out the great works of Sira, and turned their pages. I read the words of the scholars and historians of Islam, trying to unearth the secret of this divine decision. After hours of reading and contemplation, the books gave me four subtle indications which together point to the answer.

Firstly, in a hadith we read that Allah created the tree on Monday. This can be taken to mean that the creation of sustenance, fruits and all the good things of the earth upon which the children of Adam depend for their life, and which give them medicines to heal them, and whose very sight brings them rest and joy: all this was decreed to come into existence on this day.

The Prophet, upon him be peace, also came into the world on this day, as a cause of rapture and joy. He is associated with it in other ways also: according to Ibn Abbas, 'Allah's Messenger was born on a Monday, became a Prophet on a Monday, and raised up the Black Stone on a Monday.'

Secondly, we should recall that the Arabic name of the month of his birth signifies the season of spring: the time of rebirth and renewal. Shaykh Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Siqilli writes: 'Every human being is associated in some way with his name and circumstances in time. When we look at the season of spring, we see that it is the time when the Blessed Lord splits open the earth to reveal His bounty within, without which His servants could not subsist. Seeds split open and produce countless kinds of plant, which make all who see them rejoice. Though silent, they mutely proclaim the news of the imminent and delightful ripening of their fruit. Now, the Birthday of the Prophet, may Allah bless him, resembles this closely. His birth in the month of this name gives good tidings of the greatest forms of sustenance and protection for the believers. It proclaims Allah's mercy, the greatest of which is His granting guidance, through His messenger, to the Straight Path.'

Thirdly, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Salihi writes: 'Can you not see that the season of spring is both the most beautiful and moderate of seasons, free of both bitter cold or stifling heat, or exaggerated length in its days or nights? It is the time of year when people feel most refreshed and whole, so that they can enjoy the pleasure of prayer at night, and of fasting during the day. All of this symbolises and resembles the moderation and healthfulness of the Sunna and the Law which the Prophet brought.'

Fourthly, it would seem to be the case that the Wise God sometimes wishes to ennoble times through events, not events through times. A time otherwise left vacant can thereby be filled with a special quality from which people can derive benefit.

Obviously, if the Blessed Prophet had been born in Ramadan, or one of the Sacred Months, or in the holy month of Sha'ban, some people might think that it was he himself who was being ennobled by these times because of their great merit. But it was Allah's wise decree that he be born in Rabi al-Awwal in order to ennoble that month, and to display Allah's care and good providence for His Prophet. As an Arab poet has written:

Allah gave good news of you to the heavens, and they were adorned,
The soil of the earth turned to musk when it heard of you.
A day whose dawn is part of history,
And whose evening is made luminous by Muhammad!

To sum up what I have been trying to say: celebrations of the Mawlid are nothing other than a revival of the memory of the Chosen One. When this is done in the context of an Islamically-learned circle of knowledge and remembrance, in which the manners of our Islamic religion are observed, it is something which the great scholars approve of strongly. It provides a superb opportunity to link us to the Sira, to his miracles and beautiful character, and to the magnification of the Prophet whom Allah has commanded us to follow and emulate in all things.
Only by knowing his virtues and good qualities can we have perfect faith in him.
Only by listening to his life-story will we acquire a true and deep love for him.
As Allah Himself has stated: 'We tell you the stories of the Messengers, in order to make firm your heart.'

O Allah, make firm our hearts in Islam! Make our faith true and deep, and bestow upon us real love for Your Prophet sallahu alayhi wassalam!


Intentions of the Pious

Intentions of the Pious
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

At gatherings of remembrance; before reading about the Prophet and his life (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the scholars traditionally make a number of intentions, followed by a recitation of Surat al-Fatihah; donating its reward to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the hope that their remembrance and their intentions are accepted.

Here are some of the intentions that Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiẓ (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) makes at these blessed gatherings. The original Arabic is also provided below.

We recite the Fatihah..

with the intention that Allah—by us remembering Him and remembering His Messenger, our Master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) and his birth and awesome attributes—opens the doors to attaining His support and assistance and guidance and to attaining uprightness and the speedy relief of the suffering of the Islamic Ummah..

with the intention that Allah deflects calamities from us and from all of the people of la ilaha ill’Allah in the East and the West..

with the intention that He grants us His guidance in all our movements and our stillness and that He makes us firm upon the truth in what we say, we do and we believe..

with the intention that He enables us to perfect our following of this Prophet, the Chosen One, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) in our words and deeds and intentions and aims and desires and our movements and our stillness and in every state, inward and outward, and that He allows us to beautify our emulation of him and allows us to walk along his path and drink from the waters he has drunk from..

with the intention that by him (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) He looks upon us, our families, our children, those dear to us and our descendants and upon those who are attached to us..

with the intention that He fills our hearts with the light of faith and certainty and knowledge of Him.. that He makes us among those He has chosen to bring close to Him and among those He has blessed with the realities of sincere and pure slavehood to Him..

with the intention that He protects us from all harm and that He rectifies the inward and the outward, and that He allows us to attain the realities of taqwa..

with the intention that He makes the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pleased with his Ummah and that He makes us, our families, our children and our friends a joy to his eye..

and that He grants us the greatest portion of His remembrance and the remembrance of this Prophet, the Chosen One..

and that He grants us the greatest portion of His closeness and the closeness of this Prophet, the Chosen One..

and that He grants us the greatest portion of His love and the love of this Prophet, the Chosen One..

and that He grants us the greatest portion of His care and the care of this Prophet, the Chosen One..

and that He grants us the greatest portion of His pleasure and the pleasure of this Prophet, the Chosen One..inwardly and outwardly in every state and in every affair in this life, the Barzakh, the next life and that He gathers us together in the highest level of Firdaws while He is pleased with us.

with the intention that He gives us the greatest portion of being with him in the Barzakh and in the shade of the Throne and at the Pool and when he passes over the Bridge, and when he enters Paradise (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace).

with the intention that He rectifies our hearts and our bodies, our inward and our outward and all our affairs, that He deflects all evil from us..

with the intention that He raises the ranks of the pious people of this Ummah and all the pious people and that we receive the blessings of the Prophets and Messengers and their families and those that follow them with excellence and that He gives them the greatest of rewards on our behalf and that He unites us with them in the Abode of Mercy while He is pleased with us, without any prior punishment or reprimand or trial or account..

with the intention of removing the tribulations that have befallen us and all the Muslims inwardly and outwardly..

with the intention that Allah blesses us with the most noble of attributes and unites us with the best of groups and that He rectifies every affair inwardly and outwardly in this life and the next..

with the intention that he gives us the best of endings in goodness, gentleness and wellbeing..

with the intentions that the pious people have made and will make and all pious intentions that the knowledge of our Lord, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, encompasses for us and the whole Ummah..

We donate the reward of the Fatihah to the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) – al-Fatihah.

Please include the translator, Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah preserve him and his teachers, and benefit us by them), in your prayers. #Dont forget to put your hands up and say Ameen :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Can We Do To Help Gaza/Syria & Other Oppressed Muslims?

(An email Ive received in Dec 2009 from a dear brother of mine in regards to the situation in Gaza.).

Assalamu alaikum,

Insha Allah, my dear brothers and sisters you are all well. Not a day passes during which I don't think of you all. May Allah (swt) grant us all firmness in iman, during these times.

Subhan Allah, with all that is happening to our brothers and sisters in Gaza, some of us may be asking "what can I do to help?". Is it by way of protests, sending aid, making dua etc?

I have been fortunate to be in the company of the 'ulama and saliheen and so I will attempt, in my broken English, to summarise their advice to the Muslim ummah. I have selected some quotes of Habib Omar, said during an address while we were with him in the valley of the Prophet Hud (as), a couple of weeks back, and also a quote or two from Habib Hussein, taken from a class he gave recently.

Habib Omar, may Allah preserve him, no doubt acknowledged that the Jews just continue doing what they do, as they have been for centuries - nothing new and we shouldnt be surprised. The surprise is not in how the non-Muslims treat us. The surprise is how the Muslims have changed over time and how they have become distant from their Creator. He goes on to say, the Allah of today is the same Allah that has saved and destroyed many nations of old. He is the same Allah who destroyed Fir'awn, 'Ad and Thamud, and the nation of Nuh (as) etc. He is the same Allah who saved Musa (as) and his people from Fir'awn, He is the same Allah who gave victory to the Prophet Hud (as), He is the same Allah who gave victory to the Prophet Nuh (as) after he raised his hands to Allah (swt) as per Surat al-Qamar, Ayat 9 to 11:

كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ فَكَذَّبُوا عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا مَجْنُونٌ وَازْدُجِرَ
Before them the People of Nuh rejected (their messenger): they rejected Our servant, and said, "Here is one possessed!", and he was driven out.

فَدَعَا رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَغْلُوبٌ فَانتَصِرْ
Then he (Nuh) called on his Lord: "I am surely defeated: send your Victory"

فَفَتَحْنَا أَبْوَابَ السَّمَاء بِمَاء مُّنْهَمِرٍ
So We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring forth.

Habib Omar explained to us, in the most eloquent manner, with force and conviction, in the three dimensional, eternal language of Arabic, that the fault lies with the Muslim ummah. He questioned, who of us is sincere in their dua to Allah (swt)? He questioned who of us gets up in the middle of the night and calls upon his Creator as was the regular practice of the sahabah, of the tabieen, and many of the glorious empires of Islam where even the common man got up in the middle of the night to weep before his Lord.

Habib Hussein put it another way. If the thousands of protestors around the world, screaming and shouting at the unsympathetic governments were to redirect their efforts towards calling upon Allah (swt) this would be far more effective and beneficial. Why? Allah (swt) teaches us in Surat Al-Muminun, Ayah 76:

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْعَذَابِ فَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَمَا يَتَضَرَّعُونَ

We inflicted Punishment on them, but they humbled not themselves to their Lord, nor do they submissively entreat (Him)!

Habib Hussein explains the tafsir behind this ayah. Any time a people have had some form of punishment inflicted on them, two things are required:

Tamaskan in the ayah, the word اسْتَكَانُو is used. The root word is miskeen. Allah requires that we be in the state of a broken human being, brought to his knees in humility before Him. This is the first condition.
Tadaraan in the ayah, the word يَتَضَرَّعُونَ is used. This is a form of dua. There are two types of dua. Firstly, there is the dua that we normally make everyday, possibly in a low voice, or in public such as at the end of a prayer etc. The second form of dua is that which Allah (swt) refers to in this Ayah. This dua is literally crying out loud, screaming out to Allah (swt), begging Him for help. Many of the ummah perform the first type of dua. Few perform the second dua. Perhaps none of us in the West have seen the second form of dua.

The scary part is that if we are not in these two states ie, being in a humble, sorry state before Allah and then calling upon Him in a sorrowful state, He will bring us to our knees through His creation. For far too long as an ummah in the modern times, we have been too arrogant to bring our selves to our knees before Allah (swt) in a sincerely humble state. So we are being forced to right now. How many of us have received text messages from someone who doesnt normally pray or make dua, requesting you to make dua, read surat Yasin for our Palestinian brethren or stay up in the middle of the night praying.

If the half a million protestors were to just get up in the middle of the night, pray two rakat and then throw themselves before Allah (swt) tadaraan this would be better for the Muslim ummah and more effective as we will be addressing our issues to the One who is the Most Merciful and sympathetic to our situation.

Do not misunderstand this advice. The Jews and other kuffar complicit in the murders of innocent men, women and children will be brought to justice by Allah (swt). The focal point here is what is our duty as Muslims now, in these unforgiving times, where the fitan increase by the minute. The archetypes of the eras of old are all lessons for us on how to deal with these situations. Remember, its the same Allah then as is now.

Habib Hussein also mentioned how some Muslims have chosen to boycott Israeli products. If it is known that certain businesses openly and actively support the war on the Muslims then this is ok. However to boycott Jewish products altogether is not a tool to victory. It was known that Rasul Allah (saws) openly made trade with the Jews, and even those Jews who were his enemies. Even at the time of his passing he had some of his goods with them and they with him (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and companions).

Rather than boycott the products we should be boycotting the thoughts and ideologies that are invading our homes, through the television, the internet and other media. Why isnt anyone declaring war on the intellectual warfare that is being waged against our Muslim women, children, youths and men. That is the deadliest war.

As for what is happening in Gaza, Rasul Allah (saws) made dua that the majority of his ummah be shuhadah (martyrs). Remember : our dead are in Jannah, their dead are in Jahannam. He also opened our eyes to another scenario. What if both sides were Muslims attacking each other? The outcome would be that the killer and the killed would both be sent to Jahannam.

So lets not despair from the mercy of Allah. We need to look at the situation through the eyes of the arifin (the knowers of Allah). These are all events unfolding in the greater plan of Allah (swt). Sure, what is happening is gruesome and makes us all cry for our dead, due to the injustice that is occurring. Rasul Allah (saws) says whoever sleeps at night, and does not care about the affairs of the Muslims, is not from us.

We grieve over the injustice. Yet, let our actions and reactions be directed by the nur al ilahi (Divine Light) and the nur khayr khalqillah (The Light of the Best of Creation). This can only be done by taking advice from the heirs of the Prophets, the true ulama.

The real tools for victory are the following:

Turning back to the One who can give victory in an instant. As Allah (swt) uses the phrase in the Quran : just like the blinking of an eye.

Make a sincere tawbah to Allah (swt) and make a promise from this day on to reject all actions against the rida (acceptance) of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saws) and promise to try to be a better Muslim each day by advancing yourself in your akhlaq and knowledge;

Being pure and sincere in your dua, by acknowledging in your heart to Allah that you are in need of Him and that you are nothing;

Being sincere and focussed in our salat;

Being in regular company of the true ulama and taking on their advice

Increasing our ibadat. The time has come to move on from being minimalists. Those of us just performing Faraid need to step up a notch and start performing Nawafil.
Start getting up in the middle of the night and call upon the Most Merciful.

Try to minimise our interaction with those who dont carry La ilaha ila Allah in their heart. Limit it to what is necessary for dawah and daily business interaction. Start putting up barriers around your heart and only let in that which is loved by Allah and His Prophet (saws). Do the same in your homes. Protect your children and spouses from thoughts not originating from the Divine source. If your children go to public schools and spouses work in environments where Muslims are the minority then the following points become crucial;

Daily, read a portion of the Quran and ponder its meaning
Daily, create a circle of knowledge in the home where the seerah, shamail, ahadith and personality of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) are studied;
Fill your homes with the practice of the sunnah of the beloved Prophet (saws);

Increase your dhikr by reciting regularly and daily : lailaha ila Allah, salawat on the Prophet Muhammad (saws),
Daily make a sincere tawbah to Allah.
Daily give a form of sadaqah to advance the Deen of Allah (swt).

Once a month, or once a year or once in your life do something that benefits the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). This is what really makes Rasul Allah (saws) happy. He (saws) says the deeds of my ummah and shown to me. Right now both the good and bad deeds of the ummah are shown to our beloved Nabi(saws).

Be an ambassador to Rasul Allah (saws) by living his character.

Seek knowledge from the traditional mashayikh and avoid fringe groups who end up withering away just like todays fad.

Be a teacher of Quran, Seerah, Sunnah or other Islamic sciences and help spread the truth.

Be a forgiving servant of your fellow Muslim brethren and assume they are better than you.

I hope this puts things in perspective and allows us to be a little more focussed in our direction. By performing the above, insha Allah we will be working toward being an ummah, loved by Allah so that once we raise our hands and ask for the victory, He sends down angels from the Heavens to stand by our side.

Your faqir brother........

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Should We Do on The First 10 Days of DhulHijjah

"It befits each of us, having reached - by the grace of Allah - the first 10 days of Dhu 'l-Hijjah, that we praise Allah for that which He has bestowed upon us. . . Now that you have reached them, be avid in making excellent one's interaction with the One who gazes into hearts, until He graces you with clothes of His beneficence in such a way that befits Him... for He is the Most Generous: He gives without considering what He gives and who He gives to." ~ al-Habib 'Umar
via Sidi Suleiman AlMuslim

Zulhijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally, it means “of hajj.” Obviously, this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of “hajj” is performed in this month, which gives it special significance. Some specific merits and rules relevant to this month are mentioned below:

First Ten Days
The first ten days of Zulhijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, “One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the “Lailatul-Qadr”.
Every Muslim should avail of this wonderful opportunity by performing during this period as much Iba’dah (acts of worship) to Allah as he or she can.

The 9th day of Zulhijjah
The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called ‘Youmul – “Arafah’ (The Day of ‘Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haajj) assemble on the plain of ‘Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, the ‘Wuqoof of’Arafat (the stay in ‘Arafat).

The Fast of Youmul ‘Arafah
For those not performing hajj, it is mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that 9th Zuihijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe ‘Youmul ‘Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.

For example, if ‘Youmul ‘Arafah’ is being observed in Saudi Arabia on Friday, and in Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani Muslims should treat Saturday as ‘Youmul ‘Arafah’ and should fast on that day if they desire to benefit from the fast of ‘Youmul’Arafah’.
The fast of ‘Youmul ‘Arafah’ has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as amustahabb (desirable) act. According to a hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause, hopefully so, of forgiveness for sins committed in one year.

Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zulhijjah up to the ‘Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after every fard prayer in the following words:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.

(Translation: There is no god but Allah and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.)
According to authentic Islamic sources, it is obligatory on each Muslim, to recite this Takbir after every fard salah. For women also, it is commendable though not obligatory. Whether you are performing salah withJama’ah (collectively) or on your own (individually) makes no difference. You must recite the Takbir. However, male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice.

MV Editor’s Note: In addition to the above our scholars also recommend the following during this noble time:

1. Performing Hajj. One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah. The one whom Allah helps to go on Hajj to His House and to perform all the rituals properly is included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”

2. Doing more good deeds in general, because good deeds are beloved by Allah and will bring a great reward from Him. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself at this blessed time by worshiping Allah, praying (salaat), reading Qur’an, remembering Allah, making supplication (du’a), giving charity, honoring his parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other good deeds and acts of worship.

3. Sacrifice. One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allah during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money for the sake of Allah.

4. Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin. Repentance means coming back to Allah and foregoing all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allah loves.

We ask Allah, Most High, for success.via

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bitterness is a Killer!...Don't Poison yourself with it.!!

By Sister S Bemath
We tend to think that circumstances causes us to become bitter, but this is not always the case. Bitterness is something that happens to us, it is a characteristic we develop. To swallow a daily dose of poison would be unthinkable. Yet this is what you do if you awaken each morning with bitter thoughts that belong to the past. You are poisoning your system. Bitterness is a killer. But who does it hurt? Only you - for who else suffers that gnawing pain which twists and turns deep in your being? Certainly not the one who has wronged you!. He or she probably is not even aware of it. Bitterness depresses the spirits, stifles creativity, weakens the immune system, obstructs happiness and ruins health. As a carrier you are the only one who reaps its adverse consequences so why submit to it? A bitter person always seems to find a good reason to be bitter: “After all I did, he or she left me...” “My parents all favour my brother - nothing I do will please them...” “That false rumour ruined my chances of promotion...” and the list goes on…Valid reasons, maybe. Painful, certainly! even worthy of some human emotion. But it takes only a little –yes just a little time and effort to work through the pain, hurt, disappointment, sadness or anger. You must process your emotions, regain your balance, change your attitude or seek counsel. “Wonderful in theory,” a bitter person might say. “But I can't forget.” You can forget; but whether you choose to is another matter. It takes time and effort to re-pattern negative thoughts into the conscious habit of replacing them with positive ones. When we harbour negative emotions towards others or towards ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness. “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” ALLAH TA’ALA knows what's hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts. Those feelings of pain, anguish, resentment, hatred, bitterness, etc., that we so successfully hide from everyone else, including our closest family members and friends. So why not let it all out. Why not let ALLAH TA’ALA be your "therapist". Let your prayer mat be your "couch" while you reveal and ask the One who is in control, Who knows you better than you know yourself. From the very depth of ALLAH TA’ALA'S fountain of Mercy, bitterness will be cleansed and you shall blossom amongst the flowers of enjoyment. Subhaan-ALLAH ! Beloved Reader! It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife. I've known people to go through a lot of trials and hardships and maintain a grateful and gracious spirit throughout. I've seen others face similar trials only to become angry and embittered souls. In both the cases the hardship revealed the heart more than it formed the heart. If we are filled with sweetness and something jostles us, then sweetness spills out. If we are filled with bitterness and we get jostled then battery acid goes everywhere. Overcome the obstacles in your path, be determined, courageous and hard-working. Never be faint-hearted. Be resolute, but never bitter... be beautiful inside and thus you shall become an embodiment of love, joy and happiness. HOW TO DEAL WITH BITTERNESS: · Most important is to Turn to Allah by means of Dua (Prayer). Raise your hands in supplication, for, Du'a is a weapon of a Believer. · Every time you think of a past negative situation, replace it instantly with a picture of a positive, happy life. · When you feel resentful, bless and forgive the person who wronged you and do not stop praying for the best for those you love. · Busy yourself with things you enjoy so that you have no time to brood. Plan something to look forward to. Give to someone who is worse off than yourself. In other words place every negative thought with a positive one until it becomes a habit. Never allow bitterness to take root or you'll become a twisted, sour human being people will shun. Bitter thoughts are like weeds. Pluck them out of your heart relentlessly…and in their place will sprout the seeds of joyful new life. O ALLAH TA’ALA! Reform our character and bless us with cleanliness of the heart. ..Aameen