Where Are You Going After Ramadan?

فَأَينَ تَذهَبونَ

إِن هُوَ إِلّا ذِكرٌ لِلعالَمينَ

لِمَن شاءَ مِنكُم أَن يَستَقيمَ

وَما تَشاءونَ إِلّا أَن يَشاءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ العالَمينَ

“Where are you going?”Qur’an, 81: 26-29

A person who only wants to lose weight because of a pending holiday or because it’s summer and they want to go to the beach is not truly caring about their health. You’re only concerned with something temporary and it is rooted in vanity.

Look to the Qur’an and ask yourself: what kind of terminology doesn’t use? It doesn’t speak of “nice people”. It speaks of specific deeds and of specific beliefs.

Nice and generous are not one and the same.

ثُمَّ الجَحيمَ صَلّوهُ

ثُمَّ في سِلسِلَةٍ ذَرعُها سَبعونَ ذِراعًا فَاسلُكوهُ

إِنَّهُ كانَ لا يُؤمِنُ بِاللَّهِ العَظيمِ

وَلا يَحُضُّ عَلىٰ طَعامِ المِسكينِ

فَلَيسَ لَهُ اليَومَ هاهُنا حَميمٌ

“Then roast him in the Blazing Fire. Then bind him in a chain which is seventy cubits long. He used not to believe in God the Magnificent, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore here today he has no friend.”Qur’an, 69: 31-35


Why We Need Allah – Why We Need One Another

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِنْ تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِنْ لَدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

‘Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but is there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward’.”Qur’an 4: 40

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏

إِذَا خَلَّصَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَأَمِنُوا

فَمَا مُجَادَلَةُ أَحَدِكُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ يَكُونُ لَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا أَشَدَّ مُجَادَلَةً مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِرَبِّهِمْ فِي إِخْوَانِهِمُ الَّذِينَ أُدْخِلُوا النَّارَ

قَالَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِخْوَانُنَا كَانُوا يُصَلُّونَ مَعَنَا وَيَصُومُونَ مَعَنَا وَيَحُجُّونَ مَعَنَا فَأَدْخَلْتَهُمُ النَّارَ

فَيَقُولُ اذْهَبُوا فَأَخْرِجُوا مَنْ عَرَفْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ

فَيَأْتُونَهُمْ فَيَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِصُوَرِهِمْ لاَ تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ صُوَرَهُمْ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَخَذَتْهُ النَّارُ إِلَى أَنْصَافِ سَاقَيْهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَخَذَتْهُ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ

فَيُخْرِجُونَهُمْ فَيَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرَجْنَا مَنْ قَدْ أَمَرْتَنَا

ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَخْرِجُوا مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَزْنُ دِينَارٍ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ

ثُمَّ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَزْنُ نِصْفِ دِينَارٍ

ثُمَّ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ

قَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يُصَدِّقْ هَذَا فَلْيَقْرَأْ

It was narrated that Abu Sa’īd al-Khudrī said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

When Allah has saved the believers from Hell and they are safe, none of you will dispute with his companion more vehemently for some right of his in this world than the believers will dispute with their Lord on behalf of their brothers in faith who have entered Hell. They will say: “Our Lord! They are our brothers, they used to pray with us, fast with us and perform Hajj with us, and you have admitted them to Hell.” He will say: “Go and bring forth those whom you recognize among them.” So they will come to them, and they will recognize them by their faces. The Fire will not consume their faces, although there will be some whom the Fire will seize halfway up their shins, and others whom it will seize up to their ankles. They will bring them forth, and will say, “Our Lord, we have brought forth those whom You commanded us to bring forth.” Then He will say: “Bring forth those who have a dinar’s (a small coin) weight of faith in their hearts, then those who have half a dinar’s weight in their hearts than those who have a mustard-seed’s weight.”

Abu Sa’īd said, “He who does not believe this, let him recite,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِنْ تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِنْ لَدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

‘Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but is there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward’.” — Qur’an 4: 40

Taken from Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 60


Ramadan – No Time To Sleep

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا
يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

“Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a source of guidance for all people, as clear evidence of the truth and as the standard of (right and wrong). So when you see the new moon (signaling the start of Ramadan), fast the entire month, though the very ill and those traveling should fast (later when it’s more convenient to do so), for God wishes ease and not hardship. Complete the fast, and praise God for His guidance, so you can learn to be thankful.”

“When My servants ask you about Me, I am near, and I listen to every suppliant the moment he calls upon Me. So, let them also listen to My call and believe in Me so they can follow the right way.”Qur’an 2: 184-185

The instructive beauty of nature.

Atrophy of the senses.

What is the Qur’an? What are its qualities and attributes? Al-Hakīm: wisdom, judgment.

وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“To God belongs the East and the West; wherever you turn is His presence. He’s all-pervading and full of knowledge.”Qur’an 2: 115


Understanding Islam – Attention Pt.1

Paying Attention: some reflections on Gay Watson’s book, “Attention”.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “pay attention” or more likely, had someone say to you, “pay attention!”

“Attending, that overlooked process, is at the very heart of who we are, and how we become that person we think we know.” — Gay Watson


Muslims In America – Choosing Our Own Destiny

Imitation vs. Innovation.

أَفَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُ سوءُ عَمَلِهِ فَرَآهُ حَسَنًا ۖ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشاءُ وَيَهدي مَن يَشاءُ ۖ فَلا تَذهَب نَفسُكَ عَلَيهِم حَسَراتٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ بِما يَصنَعونَ

“And what of him the evil of whose actions appears fine to him so that he sees them as good? Allah misguides whoever He wills and guides whoever He wills. So do not let yourself waste away out of regret for them. Allah knows what they do.”Qur’an 35: 8

If it holds true that Allah misguides the one who sees evil actions as good, what does that mean for those (us!) that see/envy their actions? Are we also not seeing something evil as good?

مَن كانَ يُريدُ العِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ العِزَّةُ جَميعًا ۚ إِلَيهِ يَصعَدُ الكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالعَمَلُ الصّالِحُ يَرفَعُهُ ۚ وَالَّذينَ يَمكُرونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ لَهُم عَذابٌ شَديدٌ ۖ وَمَكرُ أُولٰئِكَ هُوَ يَبورُ

“If anyone wants power, all power belongs to Allah. All good words rise to Him and virtuous deeds elevate them. But people who plot evil deeds will suffer a harsh punishment. The plotting of such people is profitless.”Qur’an 35: 10

Many of us do not fully own ourselves or the image of ourselves. This no more evident in our inability to see faith and deeds as one. Because of the culture we live in, and its assumptions about the nature of reality, many of us see faith and deeds as separate. A kind of Muslim Cartesian-dualism. The above verse demonstrates their wholeness and yet we think one is sufficient without the other.

وَلا تَزِرُ وازِرَةٌ وِزرَ أُخرىٰ ۚ وَإِن تَدعُ مُثقَلَةٌ إِلىٰ حِملِها لا يُحمَل مِنهُ شَيءٌ وَلَو كانَ ذا قُربىٰ ۗ إِنَّما تُنذِرُ الَّذينَ يَخشَونَ رَبَّهُم بِالغَيبِ وَأَقامُوا الصَّلاةَ ۚ وَمَن تَزَكّىٰ فَإِنَّما يَتَزَكّىٰ لِنَفسِهِ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ المَصيرُ

“No burden-bearer can bear another’s burden. If someone weighed down calls for help to bear his load, none of it will be borne for him, even by his next of kin. You can only warn those who fear their Lord in the Unseen and establish salat. Whoever is purified, is purified for himself alone. Allah is your final destination.”Qur’an 35: 18


Understanding Islam – Confirming The Truth (Musaddiq)

وَآمِنوا بِما أَنزَلتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِما مَعَكُم وَلا تَكونوا أَوَّلَ كافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلا تَشتَروا بِآياتي ثَمَنًا قَليلًا وَإِيّايَ فَاتَّقونِ

“Believe in what I have sent down, confirming (musaddiq) what is with you. Do not be the first to reject it and do not sell My Signs for a paltry price. Be concerned with protecting yourselves from Me alone”Qur’an, 2: 41