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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Why reflect on Isra wal Miraj?

Every event in the Prophet’s (pbuh) life has been an important lesson for us to learn from. Yet many of us take for granted the magnificent life and legacy of the one whose sole mission was to teach mankind the purpose of his life.

The journey of Isra wal Miraj was a miraculous journey in his life that not only brought enormous amounts of blessings to him but also to us. This journey was God Almighty’s wonderful response to the Prophet’s (pbuh) sad state in the year which is commonly known as “The year of great sadness”. This was a particularly sad time for Muhammad (pbuh) as his beloved wife Khadija (RA), who was his strongest supporter had passed away. Soon after, his Uncle Abu Talib passed on and left him completely alone, with no protection against the fierce Tribe of Quraish in Mecca.

With no one by his side, his situation looked bleak as the small Muslim community was suffering persecution and were being exiled from their own city in Mecca.  With no hope in sight, Muhammad (pbuh) decided to go on his own to the City of Taif to see if he would be able to get some support from the leaders there. To his dismay, it became the lowest point in his life. Upon making his request and inviting the people to Islam, not only was he rejected but he was disgraced and humiliated by their leaders and children who had brutally stoned him and left to bleed alone.

Imagine the state he (pbuh) would have been in, with absolutely no well-wisher by his side, extremely humiliated, he had made the most beautiful plea to Allah(God).

“O Allah! Unto You do I complain of my weakness, of my helplessness and of my lowliness before men.  O most Merciful of the merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. Into whose hands have you entrusted me?  Unto some far off stranger who receives me with hostility? Or unto a foe whom you have empowered against me? I care not, so long as You are not angry with me.  But Your favouring help, that were for me the broader way and the wider scope.  I take refuge in the light of Your countenance whereby all darknesses are illuminated and all things of this world and the next are rightly ordered, lest You make descend Your anger upon me or lest Your wrath beset me. Yet it is Yours to reproach until You are well pleased. There is no power and no might except through Thee.”

 

This famous dua’a of our Prophet (pbuh) is an example of how a servant of God is ever so grateful to his Lord despite the difficulty that he may be going through. He exhibited true Prophetic patience and humbled himself to the point where all he really cared for was whether Allah was pleased with him.  Soon after he made this duaa, Allah had sent his Angel Gabriel who was ready to destroy the people of Taif if the Prophet (pbuh) had wanted to take revenge. Our merciful Messenger instead decided not to take revenge and pleaded for their forgiveness as they may one day leave descendants who will become believers. That is how far sighted Muhammad (pbuh) was.

Despite the fact that everything that Muhammad (pbuh) treasured was taken away from him, his resolve was unchanged and he displayed true belief in the existence of his Lord and knew that Allah Almighty would be pleased with him.

I feel that this is a great lesson for our generation to learn from, that no matter what difficulty we may go through in this life, we must remember to always have true faith and not forget that Allah is always there for us.

Two wonderful gifts of blessings were granted to our Prophet (pbuh) after this difficult test. A group of jinn became believers and embraced Islam and Allah granted Muhammad  (pbuh) the Journey of Isra wal Miraj. After the most difficult time in his life had surpassed, the Prophet(pbuh) was rewarded with the Journey that no other human was ever granted or could ever imagine; and that was the journey to meet Allah Himself. Within that journey were miracles and blessings of meetings with past prophets of our time, being shown the seven heavens, having access to view the delights of Paradise and the perils of Hellfire.  Muhammad was granted a VIP ticket into Allah’s most privately concealed truths. The Muslim Ummah(Nation) was granted the 5 prescribed prayers; the gift that keeps on giving and our one-way to Allah and His Divine Knowledge. Muhammad (pbuh) was granted access that no other had ever been granted before. Allah blessed him with His Divine blessings and rewards and reminded his servant that none of his suffering has been in vain.

There is a huge lesson in this for humanity and I feel that we always miss the point. Too often we lose hope and faith and give up in life and we feel overwhelmed by the world and its delusions. We need to reacquaint ourselves with the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life and learn from the lessons within. We owe the man who gave up everything he had to bring Faith into our lives, we owe him our trust and our resolve. We are his ummati. (followers) May Allah forgive us for forgetting who we really are.

So this Isra wal Miraj, lets forget about our worries, our trials, difficulties and sacrifices and lets unite as one Nation under God and pray like Muhammad (pbuh) did in our most humble way. Ask Allah to bless Muhammad and his family and his ummah and to forgive us and guide humanity to the straight way. We too shall be rewarded inshallah(God willing) in this world and in the hereafter. Ameen.

Allah huma salli Ala Muhammad

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