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10 common mistakes in Prayer (Salah) — December 31, 2011

10 common mistakes in Prayer (Salah)

Salat (Salah, Namaz) or Prayer is the most important pillar of Islam which will be questioned on the day of Resurrection. Performing Prayers is obligatory for every adult Muslim. Salah is a ritual prayer having prescribed conditions and one must perform Salaah while fulfilling those conditions. Many times we perform Prayers or Salah as a practice or a part of habit only but tend to forget the basic essence of Salah and make many mistakes during Prayers. 10 common mistakes and errors in Prayers or Salah are discussed:

1. Delaying the Salah intentionally:

 While being busy in worldly affairs we often delay the Salah from its preferred time. This is the most common mistake in Prayer made by most of us. We think that Praying is last thing to do and we must attend to other matters first. Many workers delay Zuhr and Asr Prayer till night-time. Qur’an speaks strictly on guarding our Salat:

“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. Asr Prayers)” [2:238]

Here to safeguard the Salat means to perform it at its prescribed time and to be steadfast upon it.

Narrated Ibn Umar (R.A): Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) said: “Whoever misses the Asr prayers (intentionally), then it is as if he lost his family and property.” [Al-Bukhari]

Another Hadith explains the importance of praying on time:

Narrated Abu Al-Malih (R.A): “We were with Buraidah in a battle on a cloudy day and he said, “Offer the Asr prayer early as the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, “Whoever omits the Asr prayer, all his (good) deeds will be lost.” [Al-Bukhari]

2. Reciting Holy Quran fast in the Prayers: 

We must pause and take breaks while reciting Holy Quran during Salat. We should not recite the Surah’s so fast that that the verse get intermingled. One of the Hadith emphasizes this issue:

“The Prophet (P.B.U.H) used to pause after each verse of Surah al-Fatiha. [Abu Dawood]

3. Moving before the Imam in congregational prayers: 

One should not race with the imam i.e. try to move before the Imam or with the Imam because the correct ruling is when Imam says Allahu Akbar, then the person who’s following the Imam in Prayers should say Allahu Akbar. Not before Imam or with Imam. Like this Hadith of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) states:

“Surely the imam is there to be followed” [Muslim]

Another Hadith states:

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Does not the one who raises his head before the Imam does fear that Allah would transform his head into a donkey’s head” [Muslim]

4. Performing the Salah hastily: 

Salat should be performed slowly and calmly. Rukoo or Sujood must be performed unhurriedly. In order to complete the Rukoo one must stay in Rukoo posture long enough to recite “Subhan Rabbi yal Adtheem” at least three times. In the same manner, for the Sujood the person should say “Subhan-na Rabbi yal-ala” three times slowly. This Hadith commands to complete the Rukoo and Sujood in proper manner:

The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said: “The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer.” People asked: ‘Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?’ He said: “By not completing its rukoo and sujood” [at-Tabarani]

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “He who does not complete his rukoo and sujood, his prayer is void” [Abu Dawood]

perform sujood in Salah, Salat or prayer

5. Gazing right, left or upward during Salat: 

While performing Salah, one should concentrate on looking to the point where the head is placed during Sujood rather than looking upwards. Because this may lose concentration. In the Hadith recorded by Sahih Muslim the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

“Let those who raise their gaze up during prayer stop doing so, or else their sights would not return to them” (i.e. they will lose their eyesight) [Muslim]

6. Performing Sujood improperly:

Most common mistake observed in Prayers is to perform Sujood by resting only the tip of head on floor.

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “I am commanded to prostrate on seven bones the forehead and the nose, the two hands [palms], the two knees, and the two feet” [Muslim]

7. Not performing Prayers during illness or while traveling: 

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) always used to perform Prayers even during His last days before death. He (P.B.U.H) never neglected it even during combats. Prayer is obligatory and must be performed in any condition. If a person cannot perform ablution due to his illness then he may perform tayammum (dry ablution). If he cannot stand in prayer, he may perform Salah while sitting or even laying down. Same is the case while traveling. The person can combine 2 Salah while traveling i.e. Zuhr Prayer and Asr Prayer. or Maghrib Prayer and Isha Prayer.

8. Crossing in front of a person who is performing Salah:

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Were the one who crosses in front of a praying person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have waited for forty better than to cross in front of him” [Bukhari]

9. Going to Mosque for performing Salah with rapid walk: 

When the time of Prayer has approached and some person has fear that he might miss his Salah; for the fear of that most of us try to walk quickly or run for the fear of missing some part of the prayer. This is not allowed according to Hadith:

The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said: “When prayer has already started, do not walk quickly to join in. Proceed calmly and reposefully; then join in whichever part you catch up, and complete whichever part you missed” [Bukhari and Muslim]

10. Eating food of bad smell before performing Prayers: 

Consuming foods that have bad smell like the garlic or onion etc. should not be taken before the Salah because the bad smell may irritate the angels and the praying people.

The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “He who eats from the smelly plant [garlic or onion], let him come not near our mosque; the angels are bothered by that which bothers men” [Muslim]

May Allah guide us to perform our Salah perfectly and help us to guard our Salat so when on the Day of Judgment we are questioned about our prayers, we may succeed. Ameen.

The Qualities Of A True Muslim. — December 28, 2011

The Qualities Of A True Muslim.

In a hadith, it was once asked from Rasulullah (SAW): “How will I know that I have become a Mumin?” Rasulullah (SAW) answered: “When your heart feels satisfied because of any of your good act and mourns about any of your wrong doing, then know, you have become a true Muslim, i.e., Mumin.”

To us both of the terms look alike, but keep in mind they aren’t, for you shall also see the difference from the Quran. A Muslim is a person who embraces Islam by saying the Kalima Tayyiba and with a keen belief that Allah is one; no God except Him and Muhammad (S.A.W) is His last Apostle. Whereas a person becomes Mumin when this knowledge penetrates deep into his mind, heart and soul. Allah Almighty has described 13 main qualities of such dignified persons in Surah Al- Furqan they are as under:

  • Believer of Allah: Such persons believe in Allah Almighty and declare no assistant with Him whatsoever. We have seen many people saying and believing in Allah fully yet whenever they are in trouble they seek help from others. This is in fact Shirk that has been entailed in the last sermon of Rasulullah (SAW). A Mumin turns only to Allah for help and demands only from Him. I shall quote here words of Hadith Qudsi, “There is no such thing that any person can give you unless Allah imputes and no such thing any person can take away from you unless Allah wills. No greatness of any person, whatsoever, is greater than that of Allah and none can save you from evil doings except His might”.
  • Humble: Another quality of such persons is that they are humble, i.e., free from any sort of pride and arrogance. They walk very humbly, talk humbly hence humbleness is a part of their life. Pride is something that Allah has forbidden upon humanity, it’s in a Hadith Qudsi, “Pride is my cloak, and whosoever tries to steal it from me, I shall be at war with him”.
  • Saying Salaam: Here salaam not only represents saying salaam to each other in normal course of life but whenever such persons face a situation where an ignorant is trying to have a dispute with them over any matter, they just say salaam and move forward. Therefore, it clearly shows that such persons don’t indulge themselves in futile discussions.
  • Praying after mid night: though this is not compulsory for every person but whosoever does it with beat intentions may have reward for it, Insha’Allah. The Mu’mineen has the quality that they perform prayers after midnight, i.e., Tahajjad. Allah says in Surah al Furqan: “The pious followers of Allah are those who get up in the middle of the night and pray, when all the world is sound asleep.”
  • Chary towards expenses: Such persons are not extravagant rather chary. For an extravagant person, it is said, “An extravagant is brother of Shaytaan”. Some people believe that Allah gives money to spend hence they keep on spending it uselessly. Yes that is true that Allah gives money to a person to spend on himself and his family but not extravagantly, rather a person should be cautious in doing so, he should take care of the money given to him, he should neither be a closefisted person nor an extravagant but a careful person.
  • Avoid shirk: Followers of Allah Almighty abstain from Shirk. That is the subject matter of Islam and if one can’t follow that, he shall not be called a Muslim. Now normally there are two major kinds of Shirk, Shirk-e- jali and Shirk-e-khafi. Shirk-e-jali means directly associate a partner with Allah and Shirk-e-khafi means to involve oneself in such acts so as to please other persons. Note that a wife can do anything to please her husband but for other persons doing something to get their attention also comes in the category of Shirk-e-khafi.
  • Don’t kill anyone unjustly: Muslims are worldwide seen as terrorist and Islam a terrorist religion, well here is an answer for that. Allah Almighty says in Al-Quran that the followers of Allah don’t kill anyone unjustly because they know that whosoever does that (i.e., kills another person unjustly or a Mumin unjustly), he abodes in hell where he shall dwell forever.
  • Avoid adultery: Allah explains another unique quality of His followers that they avoid adultery and save themselves from it because they know that it is such a ribald sin that has no chances of apologies only and only punishment. For an apology it is necessary that the loss be fulfilled and in adultery loss can never be fulfilled.
  • Avoid lying and Fraud: Followers of Allah avoid lying and fraud and don’t go near the evil or places where evil dwells. Once a person came to Rasulullah (SAW) and asked Him some questions:  Person: “Is it possible for a Muslim to drink?”

Rasulullah (SAW): “Yes, it is possible.”

Person: “Is it possible for a Muslim to steal?”

Rasulullah (SAW): “Yes, it is.”

Person: “Is it possible for a Muslim to lie?”

Rasulullah (SAW): “Never, a Muslim may be weak of Imaan and may indulge himself in other such acts but he can never lie to anyone.”

  • Noble and generous: Followers of Allah are very noble and generous that if they ever pass by evil gatherings, they just seek their Lord’s refuge and move on. But they never feel hatred for the ones who are in such gatherings nor do they degrade such persons in fact they pray for them to be shown guidance by Allah.
  • Use their senses: Followers of Allah have the quality that whenever they are told orders of Allah, they listen to it keenly and then follow it. They don’t indulge themselves in vague questioning neither do they ask for proof that world is going such like why should we be different. Because they know that Muslims are given just a small portion of knowledge and that can be compared to give answers for everything.
  • Worry about family: The followers of Allah always worry about their families. They not only themselves follow the straight path but also make their children follow the straight path and often pray for them to be pious as well.
  • Fear Allah and worry about Hereafter: The followers of Allah fear from Allah every time and keep worrying about hereafter. They keep themselves indulge in such acts that are helpful for their hereafter. They often pray from their Lord, “Oh Allah, bless us in this worldly life as well as save us from the hell fire in Hereafter.” Aameen

These are some of the basic qualities that Quran has listed in Surah Al Furqan.

“May Allah Almighty make us all follow such straight path and make each of us have these qualities Aameen. “

Wisdom For Everyday —

Wisdom For Everyday

  • If you are right, then there is no need to get angry.  And if you are wrong then you don’t have any right to get angry.
  • Patience with family is love, Patience with others is respect.  Patience with self is confidence.
  • Never think hard about past, it brings tears.  Don’t think more about future, it brings fears. Live this moment with a smile, it brings cheers.
  • Every test in our life makes us bitter or better.  Every problem comes to make us or break us. Choice is ours, whether we become victim or victorious.
  • Search a beautiful heart, not a beautiful face.  Beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.a
Hadith of the Day —
Dire need of the Revival of Muslim Women —

Dire need of the Revival of Muslim Women

Salaf women are the best role models for our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives. From the Salaf women, the best of women are those granted the glad tidings of entering theJannah like Umm Khadeejah, Faatimah, Maryam and ‘Aasiyah (may Allaah be pleased with them all).

The point that will be focused is in the form of an individual question, ‘are our women aware of their rightly guided role models’ ? Not just limited to the hijaab which is becoming obsolete as well, but in their over all character ? How do our women react to the incidents when a beloved person of our family dies ? When our women meet each other, what is the topic of their chit chat about ? how do our women behave when they are walking in the market, educational institutions and in their families ?

Once they were women and once we were men!

There is a world of difference between the Arabic words Nisaa’ (woman) and Unthaa (female) – and Rajul (man) and Dakar (male). Not every male who grows his beard becomes a man, and not every female who delivers a baby becomes a woman, but manhood and womanhood can only be achieved when your relationship with your Creator is extremely powerful and your relationship with His creation is extremely merciful with justice.

To have a more view over it, Watch this, Manhood and Womanhood in Islaam (2011) by Yassir Fazaga

Most of the Muslim men don’t want women to get education because then they will be exposed to their rights. But women need to return to the behaviour of the Salaf women who had this thirst of acquiring the knowledge of Islaam as it is an obligation upon them. They need to organize halaqas and let women teach women and let them work in a group with peace. Women today are going away from Islaam and it is due to the lack of the knowledge of their rights in Islaam. They search their rights in fashion, they think freedom lies in becomes a beauty queen and free women is the one who can strip her clothes whenever and wherever she wants. Men are to be blamed for this because they are the one who never allowed women to enter into Islaam in the way Salaf women were in it. They were happy even in poverty and tough times. They glorified Allaah when good and bad things happened. Next generation is in the hands of women, if they are ignorant about Islaam and the knowledge of this world, then what will happen to the next generation? Media is brainwashing the daughters of Ummah, if we remain as we are, there will be extreme imbalance and it will be too late for us to turn back. The flow of our intellect is towards media, media in their hands, flow of media is towards hell.

We need to remind ourselves this sign of Allaah, “Allaah does not change the condition of people until they change what is in themselves.”

11 Rules In Islam On Joking —

11 Rules In Islam On Joking

Islam is a perfect religion it has set guidelines for everything, in every walk of life. Following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW) is the key to everything and it shows us that Rasulullah (SAW)) used to smile and joke with his companions:

A man came to Rasulullah (SAW) and said: “Give me an animal to ride on” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “I will give you the son of a female camel”. The man said with astonishment: “What could I do with the son of a female camel?” (Thinking that he would be given a camel too small to ride). Thereupon Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “What do female camels deliver except camels?” (i.e., that every camel, even if it is fully grown, is the product of a female camel!). (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi).

Remember that there are guidelines to follow, according to the Sunnah, when it comes to joking, laughing and having fun

1) MAKE SURE you don’t make fun of any aspect of Islam:

Jokes should not involve verses from the Qur’aan, hadith, or any of fundamentals of Islam. Unfortunately, some people tell jokes about the verses of the Qur’aan, Prophets, angels, or they make fun of the Hijaab, the beard, etc. This is the most dangerous as it can make a person a Kaafir, EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY JOKING.

Sheikh Al-‘Uthaymeen said: “One who mocks Allah, His verses, His signs or His Messengers is a disbeliever because this action nullifies belief.”

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “A slave (of Allah) would utter a word, without paying attention to it, which would result in him going down into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and the west.” (Muslim)

So the sister in the Niqaab is NOT A NINJAA and the brother who shortens his pants or lengthens his beard is NOT A NERD!

Allah says:

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ

“If you ask them, they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking? ’Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed” (Surah al-Tawbah 9:65-66)

2) NEVER joke about something that is HARAAM:

Some people, especially the youth living in the western society tend to take the things that are Haraam too lightly and something to joke about. For example, they make jokes about a person being GAY or being ‘high’, having committed zinaa, etc.

Subhaan Allah! We forget that these are things among the worst in the sight of Allah and bring on Allah’s wrath and curse and are certainly NOT things to joke about.

3) Say ONLY that which is true:

Rasulullah (SAW) used to joke but he would only speak the truth.

Someone asked Rasulullah (SAW)): “Do you joke with us?” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “I do, but I only say that which is true” (Al-Bukhari, Tirmidhi)

If it involves lying and making up stories, then it is not allowed.

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Woe to the one who speaks and tells a lie in order to make the people laugh at it. Woe to him. Then again, woe to him.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

4) Don’t make jokes to make ‘FUN’ of people:

Be careful that your joking does not hurt anybody’s feelings or harms them in any way. So don’t make those snide remarks or wink behind their backs. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِنْ نِسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ ۖ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“O you who believe! Let not a group ridicule another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one’s brother after having Faith” (Surah Hujuraat 49:11)

5) Don’t laugh if someone slips or falls or is afflicted with something:

Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Do not express malicious joy towards your brother’s misfortune, for Allah may have mercy on him and you may be stricken by the thing you made fun of.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

6) Never scare anybody while joking or otherwise:

Rasulullah (SAW) said: ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.’” (Abu Dawud).

7) Joking should not involve backbiting:

Don’t ever joke about others when they are not there, even if you ‘think’ they wouldn’t mind, as it would involve backbiting.

“(Backbiting is) your mentioning about your brother something that he dislikes.” (Muslim)

8) Beware of excessive laughing and joking:

Don’t be like the one who jokes ALL the time. The amount of joking should be like the amount of salt in one’s food, as too much laughing and joking makes the heart hard, distracts one from the remembrance of Allah and makes you lose respect.

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Do not laugh too much, for laughing too much deadens the heart.” (Sahih al-Jaami)

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RA) said: “Whoever laughs too much or jokes too much loses respect, and whoever persists in doing something will be known for it.”

9) Choose appropriate time and place for your jokes:

Some people don’t appreciate the time or place for joking and do so indiscriminately. There is a time and place for everything. For example, what might be amusing at a picnic or at the dinner table might not be so amusing in the middle of a Halaqah.  Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah said, “….. It (joking) is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to do it and do it at the appropriate time.”

10) Use appropriate language:

Some people resort to immoral or obscene language when joking around, even though under ‘normal’ circumstances they would not even think of using such words.  Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak obscenely or speak rudely.” (Al-Tirmidhi

11) Acknowledge people’s status:

Some people may joke with everyone indiscriminately, but scholars and the elderly have special positions and rights, so you have to be aware of the character of the person with whom you are dealing. You should also not joke with people whom you do not know or who won’t understand, or it may lead to unpleasantness.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: “Fear joking, for it is folly and generates grudges.”

Thus we see that Islam is not against jokes. Good humour is part of Islam and Islam does not go against this because it is typically a part of human nature. A Muslim should develop a positive and optimistic personality, and not a gloomy and pessimistic one that is negative towards life.  However, moderation is the key, and it is what distinguishes Muslims from others. We should not  go overboard in our jokes and humour, (or in anything else, for that matter) and if we follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW) , and his guidance, we will certainly not get lost.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O you who believe! Be patient, and excel in patience, and remain steadfast and fear Allah, that you may be successful.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:200)

What makes ‘Happy Birthday’ Happy? — December 27, 2011
Plum Cake + Rum / Brandy = Haram — December 26, 2011

Plum Cake + Rum / Brandy = Haram

Rich fruit Cake or Plum Cake is commonly known as Christmas Cake. In India,Christmas is not believed to  be complete without Plum Cake. Its one of the commonly found in the Indian bakeries. It is a moist,dark brown cake with plenty of nuts and dried fruits in it. Fruits and nuts are soaked in rum or brandy several days ahead for the plum-cake.

So believers please be cautious when you are offered a Plum cake. You might as well just ask the person offering you the Plum cake if there is any brandy or rum added to it. Or if you’re somebody who likes Plum cakes ask your baker to make it without the intoxicants. If you would like to make it at home, here’s a recipe :

Few tips for fruit cake:  
  • Always mix your fruit with the flour so the fruis will be scattered all over instead of sinking in the bottom of the cake. 
  •  Try to preserve the fruits with apple or orange juice for about a week prior to making the cake, as the flavour will be more amalgamated and makes the cake tastes better.
  • Ensure caramel is brown but not burnt (!) as this distinctly determines the flavour of the cake
Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs-separated
½ cup mixed peel
½ cup glace cherries
¾ cup raisins 
¼ cup dates
½ cup almonds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
(A pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)
For the caramel

½ cup sugar
1 cup water
( Melt the sugar and water on medium heat until it turns golden brown and concentrates into a 1/2 cup caramel)
Method:
1. Mix all the fruits and almond with the orange juice into an airtight container, and keep this in the fridge for a week prior to baking the cake.
2. Using electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until almost white in colour. Add in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla extract. Put this batter aside.
3. Mix the flour with baking powder and cinnamon. By a week’s time, the fruits would have absorbed all the orange juice but should there be remaining juice, drain the juice off and coat the fruits with flour mix.
4. Pour in the flour-fruit mix alternating with the caramel into the batter until well blended.
5. Beat the egg whites until it forms stiff peak meringue, this will take about 8 minutes with stand electric mixer, or slightly longer with handheld mixer. Add the meringue into the batter using fold in technique.
6. Pour mix into a 23 cm cake pan and bake for 1 hour at 170C or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake on wire rack and decorate it if you like with royal icing, or marzipan and fondant icing. This can be kept for a month in an airtight container.
Do We need To Modernise Islam – Dr. Bilal Philips —
— December 25, 2011