Love Thy Neighbor

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“Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself” – (The Bible)

In the midst of chaos a little bit of Mercy goes a long way. It is month 4 of my father’s battle with cancer and he has been through 4 hospitals, 3 rehab centers and too many sad days away from his home. Our family has experienced, pain, love, fatigue, immense hope, sadness, tranquility, fear and Grace all in these last few months. Sometimes God really shows you His Mercy and reminds you that you are okay and that people love you for who you are. A reassurance that I recently felt and noticed which gave me hope in humanity all over again.

It is one thing to be the recipient of kindness from someone who shares your faith but to be honored and recognized by someone who is not, holds a lot of weight. My mother is a typical desi aunty,(of Indo-Pakistani decent)  who immigrated to America in the early seventies with her Urdu accent and national dress called the shalwar kameez. She has been a pioneer in her own way for Muslim Americans who had to learn how to live in non-Muslim lands within the guidelines and teaching of Islam. A task that was not easy in her youth as many did not know what Islam was in those days. She came here with my father and no other relative of hers to give her guidance, but was able to preserve her own identity and be able to maintain her dignity and individuality as a naturalized American Muslim.

As a teenager I used to feel embarrassed at the fact that my mother always looked and appeared more Pakistani than American. I used to feel that my mother did not do enough to integrate into the American society or improve her English or make any effort to make non-muslim friends. Today I was proven wrong. My parents moved to Southern California about 27 years ago and they have lived in the same house in the same neighborhood since then. They are still surrounded by the same neighbors that they had back in the eighties. Though my mother may not be very worldly, one thing she is for sure is true to herself, her faith, her people and her God. She is who she is and that is all that matters. It is so great to get to know my Mom through the lens of our old neighbors of 27 years. Today this Thanksgiving weekend I was shown how much my mom was loved for who she is and what she stands for.

Our neighbors who live right across from us are wonderful Christians who invited my mom and gave her the honor of inviting us to their home and having her light their Christmas tree to kick-start the mark of the Christmas season in their household. They picked my hijabi (one who covers her hair) mom, who barely speaks English and never has been inside a Church; to honor her and to also remind her that she is not alone and that there is always hope. I cannot tell you how special we all felt as her children and how proud we were of her and how she always maintained her dignity, her honor, her culture, her religion. I came to realize that not only did she maintain her culture and religion but she also was successful in maintaining relations with her neighbors despite her differences with them. All along I was wrong in my belief that my mom was not integrating into her society. In fact, I was completely wrong about my mom, she is the sole person who has always been a true “Samaritan” and always had maintained ties with all of her loved ones, her relatives, her community members and her neighbors. Every Christmas holiday, Eid Holiday, birthday, my mom was the first in sharing gifts and baking goodies and distributing food to the neighbors for the last 27 years consistently. She not only did that but also anytime there was a reason to morn or to visit someone in time of need my mom was the first one there and the first to offer her help to others. She never looked at their ethnicity or religion but just cared for others because her Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) always emphasized the importance to be good to one’s neighbors as they have rights over us. Today I realize that Mom has done a lot for Islam and today our neighbors will always remember that Mom is just as precious as any other member in our street and that being a Muslim is as special as being a Christian, Hindu or a Jew. We are all people of the same God, if only everyone would get it!!

Sayings of our Prophet (pbuh) about relations with our neighbors:

  • Look how the Prophet (pbuh), exhorted Muslims to be good to their neighbors and to honor them when he said: “… and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his neighbor generously.”
  • The Prophet (pbuh) said: “By the One in whose Hands [1] my soul is, no slave of Allah has true faith unless he likes for his neighbor what he likes for himself.” A person who is good to his neighbor is the best of people in the sight of Allah The Almighty, as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best companion in the sight of Allah is the one who is best to his companion, and the best neighbor in the sight of Allah is the one who is the best to his neighbor.”
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CelebrateMercy Presents “To Know Him is to Love Him” in Southern California! this October 26th 2013

If you are in Southern California and love our Beloved Messenger, you don’t want to miss this event. Buy tickets now and/or donate towards this amazing organization.
Dinner, talks, amazing scholars and nasheeds.

http://www.celebratemercy.com/love; http://www.celebratemercy.com/donate

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Beautiful Poem about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Here is a beautiful poem about our beloved Prophet and the Prophet of all of mankind. (pbuh)

Until I see you inshaAllah…… oh “Mercy of mankind”!!

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Muhammad in Mecca: Transformation through Tribulations

Watch this new trailer created by Adam Shamash and http://www.celebratemercy.com. Learn about the ‘Year of Sadness” in the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s life and how he transformed and was elevated in ranks by Allah Almighty.

If you have not registered yet you can still watch the webcast at http://www.celebratemercy.com/register Few more shows before Ramadan ends. Don’t miss out!

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Rihla- A Journey of a lifetime!

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I have just returned back from one of the most deeply profound and memorable trips I have ever taken. It truly was a journey of a lifetime, one that touches the core of your soul and takes you into the depths of your heart that even you can never reach yourself. They say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, well, ‘I am’ that child and ‘Rihla’ was my village and I am so very grateful to all of the organizers, scholars, volunteers, fellow students and friends that I had encountered on this trip. You all are responsible for the beautiful life lessons that I have learned in these 3 wonderful weeks. I will never be the same again.

The most difficult thing about this whole journey is to now keep it all alive in my heart just like the first time I immersed myself in this course. I am grateful as I know that I am not alone on this journey and that all of us who took this Rihla together will forever be bonded and will be there for each other in need.

Konya, Turkey is truly one of the most beautiful and peaceful cities I have ever visited. One truly gets that same feel as if one is in Madinah (the city of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.) Konya exudes tremendous peace and you can feel and see the love of Mawlana Rumi throughout the entire town. Rumi epitomized love and the meaning of what it is to “be in love”. That love reached our souls in a way where we will never go back not knowing who this special person was. He was known for his love of Shams of Tabrez who was his spiritual Master who helped him to reach that high place (maqaam) of love for the One and only One (Allah). If there is one lesson that Rumi taught me, that is in order to love Allah Almightly (God) one must kill one’s ‘Nafs’(egoistic self) and allow Allah’s love to fill your heart.` If there is any ego left in us then Love can never pour in. We must spend the rest of our lives killing our egos and allowing Allah SWT to grant us His Blessed Love ameen.

May we all be able to find our ‘Shams’ who can teach us how to love Muhammad (pbuh) and the love of Allah Almighty inshaAllah and may we all be like Rumi filling ourselves with His Love ameen.

Peace and blessings be upon the lovers of Allah the best amongst the lovers is Rasool Allah salalahu alaihi wassalam.

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CelebrateMercy Ramadan Webcast

For the month of Ramadan, register to watch 20 of the best scholars talking about the life and Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If you haven’t done so yet then go to http://www.celebratemercy.com/register now. Show times are based on New York time so hurry soon and check the time according to your city on their website. You don’t want to miss it. This Ramadan donate generously and support such causes and become a monthly donor. http://www.celebratemercy.com/donate . Invite others to learn about Muhammad (pbuh) and be there to witness an Imaan (spiritual rush!) amongst a global community.

Dont miss out!

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I will be travelling for the next few

I will be travelling for the next few weeks and my blog post may not be very active but I will resume in July during Ramadan. Until then…May peace be with you all and stay tuned for more insha’Allah (God willing)

 

Peace and blessings be upon Muhammad.

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Look out for the Night of Barah

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The Month of Sha’ban is known as the Month of Muhammad (pbuh), and in the middle of Sha’ban is a special night which is known as ‘Laylat-Al Barah’. After Laylat Al Qadr, in Ramadan, the 15th of Sha’ban (Laylat Al Barah)is the next most significant night of worship.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to spend this the night standing in worship to Allah and the day in fasting. According to Ali (pbuh) the Prophet (pbuh) said, “If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand [in prayer] during its night and fast its day.  For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him?  Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision?  Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction?  Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks.”

 

According to his wife Aisha (RA) the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said of this night, “On the night of Mid-Sha’ban, God the Exalted descends to the heavens of the earth and forgives a number of people greater than the hairs of the sheep of the Tribe of Talb (known for their many sheep).” Aisha further related that the Prophet (pbuh) asked her, He said: “Do you know what night this is?’ she said: “God and His Messenger know best.” He said: “This is the Night of Mid-Shaʿban. God looks at his servants on the Night of Mid-Shaʿban and he forgives those seeking forgiveness, has mercy on those seeking mercy, and leaves the bearers of grudges as they are.”

In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) made the following supplication during his prostration in Mid-Shaʿban.

 “I seek refuge in Your good-pleasure from Your anger. And I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. And I seek refuge in You from You. I am incapable of Your praise. You are as You have praised Yourself.”

In another hadith he (pbuh) made supplication to Allah, “My shadow and body have prostrated to You. And my heart has believed in You. This is my hand. I have not committed any wrong-doing with it except that it is against myself. O Great-One from Whom everything great is sought, forgive the sin that is great.”

Al-Subki wrote in his Tafsir, the Night of Mid-Sha’ban atones for the sins of a year, the night of Friday atones for the sins of the week, and the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) atones for the sins of a lifetime.” So in other words, observing this night is a cause of the atonement of a year’s sins. For this reason, the 15th of Sha’ban is also known as the “Night of Atonement.”

The night of Mid-Sha’ban is also known as the ‘the night of Determination’ (Taqdir). In another relation it is said, “During the Night of Mid-Shaʿban, the angel of death records all those who will die from Shaʿban to Shaʿban. The servant plants seeds, gets married, and builds buildings all the while his name is recorded amongst the dead. The angel of death but awaits for the order to seize his soul.”

This being the Month of Muhammad (pbuh) and the month of Laylat al Barah, I pray that we observe and remember our Lord and seek Him and ask Him to forgive all of our sins and to guide humanity to the straight path. Ameen.I pray that we all are well prepared for the blessed month of Ramadan which is right around the corner.

Allah humma sale ala Muhammad.

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Sha’baan: The Month of Muhammad (pbuh)

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Why is Sha’baan known as the month of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? This is the month that precedes Ramadan and comes after Rajab. Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) said “Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha’baan is my month and Ramadan is the month of my community.”

Muhammad (pbuh) was known to spend most of the days of Sha’baan in fasting as a preparation for Ramadan. When asked for the reason why he was fasting so much in Sha`baan. He replied: “It is a month that people neglect, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which actions are raised to the Lord of the Worlds and I love for my actions to be raised while I am fasting.” (Sunnah- Nasa’i)

In another Narration, he said (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), in response once again to a question about his fasting in Sha`baan, he said: “In this month those who are destined to die are recorded for the Angel of Death. I love for my name to be recorded when I am fasting.”  His wife Aisha (RA) also narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) was seen fasting most of Sha’baan less a few days. The scholars also mention that fasting in Sha`ban before Ramadan resembles praying the supererogatory (sunnah) prayers before the obligatory prayer, while fasting in Shawwal after Ramadan resembles praying the supererogatory (sunnah) prayers after the obligatory prayer. Performing supererogatory actions makes up for any deficiencies in the obligatory actions that we have performed.

Other than fasting, it is recommended to send abundant blessings and peace upon the Beloved of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was in this month that Allah revealed the verse in the Quran (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:56  )

“Allah and His angels send their blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe send blessings and peace upon him in abundance”. Sending abundant blessings upon the beloved of Allah connects us with him and increases our love for him and also our rank with God. With every act of blessing we send to our Prophet, 10 sins are erased from our account of wrong deeds. What a blessing to be connected to Muhammad (pbuh).

Anytime a believer has followed the steps of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh); they have experienced immense blessings and rewards, a special place with Allah and a loving bond with the Messenger himself.

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Dr. Umar Abdullah talks about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the early Meccan days.

Dr. Umar Farooq Abdullah talks about Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) from the early Meccan days. A Video from http://www.celebratemercy.com ‘s past webcast “The Dawn of Mercy”

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