Mentioning regards to Allah
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “when a man mention Allah while entering his house and when he eats, the devil says to his mates (there is no food or shelter for this night for you) ” [Muslim, The Book of Drinks, Hadith 2018]
The supererogatory acts of prayer are many. Some of them are as follows:
- The opening dua of the prayer (Istiftaah).
- Placing the right hand over the left with both over the chest while I the standing position before and after the Ruku’.
- Raising the hands up to the level of the sholders or near the ears with the fingers being close together (not separated) when saying Allahu Akbar at the beginning of the prayer, when performing the Ruku’, when resuming the standing position after Ruku’ and when standing to begin the third unit (rak’ah) of the prayer after the first Tashahhud.
- Saying “Subhaana Rabbi Al-Atheem and Subhaana Rabbi Al-A’la more than once in Ruku’ and Sujud, respectively.
- Whatever additional dhikr or dua (supplication) one makes after saying (Rabbanaa Wa Lakal-Hamd) upon rising from the Ruku’ and any repetition of the duas said between the two prostrations like saying: “Rabbighfir li warhamni wahdini warzuqni Wa ‘Aafini, waburni” meaning (O’ Allah, grant me forgiveness, have mercy on me, guide me, provide me with your blessings and console me).
- Bowing down making the head and back on one level during the Ruku’ position.
- While prostrating (sujud), the arms should not be close to the sides nor the abdomen to the thighs or the thighs to the legs.
- Raising the arms above the ground during prostration.
- Sitting between prostrations on the outer side of the left foot (i, e laying it flat) keeping the right foot erected with the internal pars of the toes touching the ground. The same position is to be taken while sitting in the first part of Tashahhud.
- Taking the position of “Tawarruk” during the recitation of the last Tashahhud of the three units and four units prayers: the person sits on his left foot laid down with his right foot erected.
- Pointing the index finger during the first and second Tashahhud right from when he sits till the end of the Tashahhud and moving it while making du’a.
- Praying for the Prophet and the family of Muhammad, Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim (as in Tashahhud) (Peace be upon them).
- Making du’a following the recitation of the last Tashahhud.
- Performing the early morning Prayer (Fajr) and the first two units of sunset (Maghrib) and the evening prayer (Ishaa) with an audible voice.
- Whispering the recitation in the noon (Thuhr), late afternoon (Asr), the third raka’ of the sunset (Masghrib) prayer and the last two raka’ahs of the evening prayers.
- Reciting another passage from the Qur’an after the opening Surah Al-Fatihah.
- Placing the hands on the two knees with the fingers being separated during Ruku’ position.
- Any additional dhikr or du’a one makes after saying ‘Rabbanaa Wa Lakal-Hamd’ upon rising from the Ruku’ with respect to the Imam, the one praying behind him and the individual (one praying alone).
The Tashahhud is in two parts:
Part one: to say “Attahiyyaatu lallaahi wassalawaatu wattayyibaat, As-salaamu ‘Alan-nabee wa rahmatu-llahi wa barakatuh, Assalamu alayna wa a’la ibad illahis-saalihin, Ash-hadu al- laa ilaaha illallaah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Abuhu wa Rasulah.”
Part Two: to pray and seek for blessings from Allah on behalf of the holy prophet (p) by saying:
“Allaaumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammad Wa ‘alaa a’ali Muhammad kama Sallaita ‘ala Ibraheema Wa ‘ala a’ali Ibraheem Innaka Hameedun Majeed. Wa Baarik ‘alaa Muhammad Wa ‘alaa a’ali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘alaa Ibraheema wa ‘ala a’al Ibraheem Innaka Hameedun Majeed.”
Till sometime back the very excellent schools in Tamil Nadu – India were Christian institutes. They are recognized for their high standards in education. Buts its different now, a lot of other institutes have occurred. One of the best schools here now is Dr.Zakir Naik’s Islamic international school in Chennai – Tamil Nadu, Alhumduleallah.
No matter how high an institutes ranks, nothing gives it the right to keep students from practicing their religion. The case being Christian institutes; why are they exploiting their own rules?
The Bible reads:
|Genesis 38:14 And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.|
|Genesis 24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.|
|1 Corinthians 11:6-7 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.|
On what footing do these institutes ask the Muslim girls to unveil them selves in the institutional premises when their own nuns try to veil themselves? When the students or parents try talking to them about the Islamic dress code, they are given a transfer certificate and kicked out of the institute. Most of their uniforms are a skirt around knee-length and a blouse usually with sleeves higher than the elbow. This very clearly breaches the modesty of a lady according to Islam.
The Qur’an clearly states:
|Quran (33:59) – “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…”|
|Quran (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.” The woman is not only supposed to cover herself, except with relatives, but to look down, so as to avoid making eye-contact with men.|
|Qur’an (33:55) – “It shall be no crime in them as to their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their woman, or the slaves which their right hands possess, if they speak to them unveiled” A woman is only allowed to present herself unveiled to family and slaves.|
The Hadith says:
|Bukhari (6:321) – Muhammad (p) is asked whether it is right for a young woman to leave her house without a veil. He replies, “She should cover herself with the veil of her companion.”|
|Bukhari (60:282) – After Muhammad (p) issued the command (Qur’an 24:31) for women to cover themselves, the women responded by tearing up sheets to cover their faces.|
|Abu Dawud (32:4092) – The Apostle of Allah… said: “O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands” This was according to Aisha.|
|Abu Dawud (2:641) – The Prophet (p) said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil.|
Education is no reason for a being to bargain on Religion. In fact there is nothing that can battle God. Education is important, it trains the brain to reason.
|This is why Islam attaches great importance to knowledge and education. When the Quran began to be revealed, the first word of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ that is, read. Allaah says, (what means): “Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not” [Quran, 96: 1-5]A knowledgeable person is accorded great respect in many prophetic narrations.Because of the importance of knowledge, Allaah commanded His Messenger to seek more of it. Allaah says (what means): “and say: `My Lord! Increase me in knowledge” [Quran, 20:114]
The Prophet made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention did not leave behind any money, rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. Furthermore, the Prophet said that seeking knowledge is a way leading to Paradise. He said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Al-Bukhaari)
Regarding this I had a few telling me, ‘You should always try to blend with the people around you’ and ‘There are much more things in the world’. The Hereafter is going to be extremely fierce in a manner that is out of human imagination. This is an ephemeral life. Do we wish to forfeit an eternity of Heavenly glee and enchantment for a few worldly decades?
- Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith tells the excellence of reciting the Qur’an and acting upon its injunctions. Intercession (in this Hadath) means that the Qur’an will be endowed with the power of speech by Allah and it will request Allah to forgive the sins of its reciters who acted upon its teachings. Allah will accept the request of the Qur’an, as signified in other Ahadith.
- An-Nawwas bin Sam`an (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “The Qur’an and its people who applied it, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection preceded with Surat Al-Baqarah and Surat Al-`Imran arguing on behalf of those who applied them.” [Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith means that on the Day of Requital, the Qur’an, with Surat Al-Baqarah and Al-`Imran in the forefront, will intercede before Allah for those who used to recite and act upon them in the life of the world.
- `Uthman bin `Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) 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 (PBUH) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honorable 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].
Commentary: Proficient here means one who reads the Qur’an in accordance with the rules of “Ilm At-Tajwid” (the science of the recitation of the Qur’an) as is evidenced from the words of Imam Bukhari’s narration and the title given to the chapter.
This Hadith also highlights the merit of the reader of the Qur’an who does not know `Ilm At-Tajwid, and for that reason cannot read it fluently. But in spite of this, he reads it with great effort. He will be given double reward, one for the difficulty encountered in reciting it, and another for reading it. Safratun translated in the Hadith as scribes (angels) mean the angels that convey the Wahy (Revelation) to the Messenger of Allah. Imam Bukhari has taken it to mean “one who makes reconciliation”. The angels who bring Wahy and chastisement from Allah.
- Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is delicious. A believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a date-fruit which has no fragrance but has a sweet taste. The hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is like a colocynth whose fragrance is so sweet, but its taste is bitter. The hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like basil which has no fragrance and its taste is bitter.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith tells us that a believer who recites the Qur’an and acts upon it, Allah will grant him a high rank. He is loved by Allah and also enjoys public esteem. The believer who does not recite it but acts upon its teachings is also loved by Allah and people. The hypocrite who recites the Qur’an to have a good show has an evil and dark mind. Last of all comes that hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an and has a dark mind and appearance.
- `Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Qur’an and abases others.” [Muslim].
Commentary: Only such people will be elevated who act upon the teachings of the Qur’an and abstain from what is forbidden by Allah. The Muslims of the early centuries of Islam were blessed with great honour by Allah because they loved and applied the Qur’an. Because of this meaningful attachment with the Qur’an, they made great achievements in religious and worldly spheres. Those who neglected the teachings of Islam will be disgraced and humiliated. May Allah guide and enable us to re-establish our contact with the Qur’an so that we can regain our past glory. Exaltation and humiliation mentioned in the Hadith is bound to happen in both this life and the Hereafter.
- Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) 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].
Commentary: This Hadith has been quoted before at two places (see Hadith No. 572). It has been repeated here to bring into prominence the merit of reciting the Qur’an. Refer to the Commentary on Hadith No. 544.
- Al-Bara’ bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man was reciting Surat Al-Kahf, and a horse was tied with two ropes beside him. As he was reciting, a cloud overshadowed him, and as it began to come nearer and nearer, the horse began to trample voilently. The man came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in the morning and mentioned the incident to him. He (PBUH) said, “That was tranquillity which descended as a result of the recitation of the Qur’an.”
Commentary: This Hadith brings out two points. Firstly, the excellence of Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave, No. 18). Secondly, the descending of tranquillity from Allah on the pious persons. The appearance of a cloud for the tranquillity of heart on the recitation of the Qur’an is a supernatural event (miracle) to which a pious man does not make any contribution. It entirely depends on the Will of Allah.
- Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) 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].
Commentary: This Hadith urges us to recite the Qur’an and also mentions the great reward for reciting it.
- Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who does not memorize any part from the Qur’an he is like the ruined house.” [At-Tirmidhi].
Commentary: This Hadith means that the heart of that Muslim is devoid of grace of spiritualism and Grace of Allah who does not remember by heart any portion of the Qur’an, in the same way as a deserted house is deprived of inhabitants and Blessings of Allah. What we learn from this is that every Muslim must remember some portion of the Qur’an so that he is safe from the admonition mentioned in this Hadith.
- `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The one who was devoted to the the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: `Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.”’ [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
Commentary: This Hadith mentions the merit of those who commit the Qur’an (whole or part thereof) to memory (Huffaz). The word `ascend’ here means to rise in ranks in the Jannah. The more one remembers the Qur’an, the more clear and distinct is his recitation of it, the higher would be the status that he will go on attaining through its blessings. Thus, this Hadith provides inducement for the remembrance of the Qur’an and tells us that its frequent recitation is a means to attain higher ranks in Jannah.
- Fill your Mp3 player/flash drive with audios of Surahs, Supplications, etc. Listen to them when you’re going out and you have nothing much to do. You can also listen to it while driving. This is of course better than using your ipod and time to listen to music.
- Write down or print out the little Surahs on decorative paper and stick them where ever you’d like. For example behind your room’s door. You could create a collage behind your door of things you like without any human or animal figures and Surahs and Supplications. I’ve done that.
- You could write your Supplications on ‘post its’ and stick them in a place where you would be saying the Supplication. For example, stick the supplication for before entering the washroom on your washroom’s door.
- Mark Mondays and Thursdays on your calendar (phone as well) for Fasting. Collect a group of friend and relatives to fast on these days. Remind each other the previous day by a simple text message. Maximize your group :-).
Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation.” [Muslim].
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Deeds of people are presented (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays. So I like that my actions be presented while I am fasting.” [At-Tirmidhi].
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to observe fast on Mondays and Thursdays. [At-Tirmidhi].
- Have a goal set for reading the Qur’an. For example, finish one juz in so many days or one day, or so many pages for a day. This will make sure that you read the Qur’an every day. Don’t forget to reflect on it.
The Qur’an will be a Proof for or against Us on the Day of Judgement. This is due to the statement of the Messenger: “And the Qur’an is a proof for you or against you.” [Muslim]
Any more ideas anyone?
Mention of Dhikr in the Qur’an
Dhikr is mentioned in many places in the Qur’an, and in most verses, what was meant by the word dhikr is tasbih, glorifying; takbir, exalting; tahmid, praising; and praising and praying upon the Prophet (p).
Allah said in Surat al-Baqara, 152: “Remember Me and I will remember you.” [2:152]
He said in Surat ali cImran, 41, “…and remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and in the early morning.” And again, 191, “Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides…” [3:41, 191]
He said in Surat al-Racd, 28, “Those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of Allah–for, verily, in the remembrance of Allah hearts do find their rest.” [13:28]
And He said in Surat al-Ah zab, 35, “…and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him…” And again, 41,42, “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance; and glorify Him morning and evening.” [33: 35, 41-42]
There are many, many other verses of Qur’an mentioning dhikr. Imam Nawawi said in his book, “Futahat ar-Rabbani cala-l- Adhkar an-Nawawiyya,” vol. 1, p. 106-109, “All scholars of Islam have agreed on the acceptance and permissibility of Dhikr by heart and by tongue, for the adult men and women, for children, for the one who has ablution, and for the one without ablution; even for the woman during her menses. Moreover, dhikr is allowed by all scholars in the form of tasbih, tahmid, takbir and praising and praying for the Prophet (p).”
Dhikr polishes the heart and is the source of the Divine breath that revives the dead spirits by filling them with the Blessings of Allah, decorating them with His Attributess, and bringing them from a state of heedlessness to the state of complete wakefulness. If we keep busy with Dhikrullah, happiness and peace will be granted to us. Dhikr is the key to happiness, the key to joy, and the key to Divine Love.
Mention of Dhikr in the Sunnah
According to Bukhari, Abu Musa al-Ashcari related that the Prophet (p) said, “The difference between the one who makes dhikr and the one who doesn’t make dhikr is like the difference between the living and the dead.”
Tirmidhi narrated from Anas (r) that the Prophet (p) said, “If you pass by the Paradises of Heavens stay there.” They asked, “Ya Rasul-Allah, what are the Paradises of Heavens?” He said, “The associations of Dhikr!”
Bukhari narrated in his book from Abu Huraira that the Prophet (p) said, “Allah, Almighty and Exalted, has angels who seek the people of Dhikr. If they find the people of Dhikr they encompass them until they reach the first heaven. And Allah asks his angels, ‘What are my servants doing?’ The angels say, ‘O Allah, they are praising You and glorifying You and they are making Dhikr.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels answer, ‘No, they didn’t see You.’ Then Allah asks, ‘How would it be if they were to see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘O Allah, if they were to see You, they would be making more praise of You and more glorification of You and more Dhikr of You.’ And Allah asks ‘What are they asking for?’ The angels say, ‘They are asking for Your Paradise.’ Allah asks, ‘Did they see My Paradise?’ The angels answer, ‘No, Our Lord.’ Allah continues, ‘How would it be if they saw My Paradise?’ The angels reply, ‘They would be more attracted and more eager to reach it.’ Then Allah asks them, ‘Of what are they afraid?’ And the angels say, ‘They are afraid of hellfire.’ and Allah asks, ‘How would it be if they saw my Hellfire?’ and they reply, ‘They would be running more and more away from it and asking more and more protection from it.’ Then Allah said,’ I am making you all My witnesses: that I am forgiving them of all their sins.’ Then one angel asked, ‘O our Lord, there is among these people one who is not from them, he came only to ask for something from one of them.’ Allah said, ‘Those are my beloved ones who are making My Dhikr. Anyone who comes into their circle will be forgiven, and I am forgiving him.'”
In Bukhari and Muslim it is narrated from Abu Huraira that the Prophet (p) said, “As my servant thinks about Me so will I be for him. I am with him if he will remember Me. If he calls on Me in himself I will call him in Myself, and if he calls on Me in a group of people, I mention him in a better group in My presence. If he approaches Me one handspan, I will approach him one arm’s length; if he approaches Me one arm’s length, I will approach him by a cubit; if he comes to Me walking, I will come to him running.”
Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrated on the authority of Abi Darda that the Prophet (p) said, “Do you want me to tell you of your best deeds, and the most honored and praised and sanctified to Your Lord, and the highest in its reward; better than spending gold and better than meeting your enemy and cutting their necks in the jihad?” They said, “Yes, Ya Rasulallah.” He said, “Dhikrullah.”
The Prophet (p) said, “Everything has its polish and the polish of hearts is dhikrullah.”
Mu’adh bin Jabal (r) said, “Nothing saves you from Allah’s punishment except Dhikrullah.”
There are many, many other hadith about the benefits and blessings of Dhikr.