2012 Solar Eclipse…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

I was joking with my wife earlier tonight about waking up early tomorrow morning so we could witness the solar eclipse, we realised that we didn’t get any protective eyewear so we’d in fact be waking up early to not look at the solar eclipse which was kinda funny. Nevertheless, with the hype and media coverage this evening, we got talking and she reminded me of the eclipse prayer and asked if there was anyone offering in congregation. I haven’t heard of any mosques offering the prayer in congregation but I remember reading about it a little while back so I decided to do some research and put together a few notes on how to offer the prayer.

The prayer itself is described in the following Hadith:

Narrated `Aisha: In the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) the sun eclipsed, so he led the people in prayer, and stood up and performed a long Qiyam, then bowed for a long while. He stood up again and performed a long Qiyam but this time the period of standing was shorter than the first. He bowed again for a long time but shorter than the first one, then he prostrated and prolonged the prostration. He did the same in the second rak`a as he did in the first and then finished the prayer; by then the sun (eclipse) had cleared. He delivered the Khutba (sermon) and after praising and glorifying Allah he said, “The sun and the moon are two signs against the signs of Allah; they do not eclipse on the death or life of anyone. So when you see the eclipse, remember Allah and say Takbir, pray and give Sadaqa.” Bukhari, 2.154.

The Hadith explains the actual prayer which I have summarised below but it also clarifies the fact that solar and lunar eclipses have nothing to do with deaths, births or other events so we should avoid superstition and rather fear Allah at these times and invoke prayer. Allah’s signs are found throughout nature and though science may provide a logical explanation of these events, as believers, we acknowledge the Almighty and bear witness to His signs. While the sight itself is quite amazing, why not take advantage of the occasion by following a sunnah of our beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h) and performing Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.

Here is a summary of the prayer, also known as Salaat-ul-Kusoof:

  1. Stand up for prayer as normal
  2. Recite Qur’an as normal
  3. Perform a prolonged Ruku (Bow) with Dua/Supplication
  4. Stand up and recite Qur’an again
  5. Perform a 2nd prolonged Ruku (Bow) but not as long as the first one
  6. Stand up and then proceed into Sujood (prostration) and prolong the Sujood with Dua/Supplication
  7. Sit up straight as you normally would between prostrations
  8. Go back into sujood again and prolong it but not as long as the first prostration
  9. Repeat the above steps for the second rakaat or second unit of prayer

 

The Eclipse can be viewed over Queensland (QLD) tomorrow morning 14 November 2012 from approximately 5:44 AM to 7:44 AM. May Allah accept our prayers and guide us towards the straight path.

 

“Therefore remember Me. I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and never show Me ingratitude” – Al-Baqarah 2:152

 

 

 

Friday morning…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

As I took out the trash this morning I was reminded of a little story … The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was seen by one of his companions while taking out the trash.  His companion was alarmed and said to the Prophet: Oh Messenger of God, you are taking out the trash!  The Prophet replied: who should I have take out the trash, the mother of the believers?

Following the Sunnah is really not that difficult… Blessed Jumuah!

My sisters wedding…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

I had the privilege of speaking at my sister’s wedding a few weeks ago, this is an extract of my speech:

As we celebrate and commemorate tonight, I believe it is important to distinguish the marriage from the wedding and the events attached to it. The wedding will end tonight, the honeymoon will end in a few weeks, its the marriage, the Nikah that will live beyond the events we’ve come to enjoy over the past few days. Behind all the glitter and glamour… beyond the fancy clothes and the delicious food lies a simple tradition, a simple belief… the Sunnah of Nikah!

In order to fully appreciate the importance of Nikah and benefit from the merits attached to it, we must reflect on the tradition itself and the divine wisdom behind it. We witness everyday the blatant disregard for marriage so the very fact that we are here today to celebrate this Nikkah is a blessing in itself and worthy of our acknowledgement.

As a newly wed myself, I don’t believe I am in a position yet to be giving marital advice but if there’s one piece of advise I will give the couple tonight, it would be this, that there is not much that can go wrong in a marriage if both parties respect and acknowledge the institute of marriage itself. Understand that this Nikkah has been prescribed upon you and that your spouse has been predetermined for you, it is this understanding and acceptance of divine intervention that will allow you to succeed not just in marriage but in all aspects of life.

May Allah keep us all happily married!

Blessed Eid…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

As we reach the end of Ramadhan, I pray that our efforts and sacrifice is accepted. The month of Ramadhan inspires many each year, I sincerely hope we can all learn from our experiences over the last month and implement a change to our lifestyles throughout the year. Ramadhan may only last 30 days, but there’s no reason for our spirituality to end with the new crescent. Reflect on some of your achievements over the last few weeks, no doubt we may have made a few mistakes but Insha Allah our shortcomings will be overlooked. Don’t forget Ramadhan, don’t forget the mercy and blessings we all experienced and most of all, do not forget Allah. Let us all try to maintain the level of faith we attained in Ramadhan and may we all witness many more Blessed months Insha Allah.

Eid Mubarak!

Ramadhan Reminders: 5 simple tips to benefit from Laylat-ul-Qadr…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

“Lailat-ul-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3]

The last 10 nights of Ramadhan are upon us and whithin these nights is the night of Power. We are encouraged to seek out this night in the last 10 nights and benefit from the mercy and blessings attached to it. This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The most authentic account of the occurrence of the Night indicates that it can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29.

The night itself is of great magnitude but it doesn’t take much effort to benefit from this auspicious occassion. Here are 5 simple things to do to benefit from Laylat-ul-Qadr this Ramadhan:

  1. Recite Quran abundantly
  2. Seek Allah’s Mercy & Forgiveness –
    “Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee”. O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’
  3. Perform Nafl (optional) prayers
  4. Perform Dhikr (The Rememberence of Allah)
  5. Make Dua in abundance

5 simple things to do to benefit from Laylat-ul-Qadr. There’s no set procedure or rituals for this night. Allah has made it easy for us to benefit from these auspicious occassions, the key is to acknowledge them and learn from them. All it takes is a few minutes of your time. Be sincere in your actions and do the best you can. Allah is truely oft-forgiving and most Merciful.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Ramadhan Reminders: Do something different…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Do something different during Ramadhan, we often get stuck in our daily routines and each year Ramadhan will pass us by. Make it a point to do something in Ramadhan that you don’t usually do. Even the slightest change in routine may help you benefit more from this auspicious month.

Do not make the days that you are not fasting and the days you are fasting equal. -Jabir ibn Abdullah

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Ramadan Reminders: What Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

The best reminder yet, a Ramadhan sermon by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W):

“O People! Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of Allah. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which with Allah is the best of months. Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its hours, the best of hours. It is the month which invites you to be the guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath you take glorifies him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and your supplications are answered. So, ask Allah, your Lord; to give you a sound body and an enlightened heart so you may be able to fast and recite his book, for only he is unhappy who is devoid of Allah’s forgiveness during this great month.

Remember the hunger and thirst of the day of Qiyamah (Judgement) with your hunger and thirst; give alms to the needy and poor, honour your old, show kindness to the young ones, maintain relations with your blood relations; guard your tongues, close your eyes to that which is not permissible for your sight, close your ears to that which is forbidden to hear, show compassion to the orphans of people, so compassion may be shown to your orphans. Repent to Allah for your sins and raise your hands in dua during these times, for they are the best of times and Allah looks towards his creatures with kindness, replying to them during the hours and granting their needs if he is asked …

“O People! Indeed your souls are dependant on your deeds, free it with Istighfar (repentance) lighten its loads by long prostrations; and know that Allah swears by his might: That there is no punishment for the one who prays and prostrates and he shall have no fear of the fire on the day when man stands before the Lord of the worlds.

“O People! One who gives Iftaar to a fasting person during this month will be like one who has freed someone and his past sins will be forgiven. Some of the people who were there then asked the Prophet (s): “Not all of us are able to invite those who are fasting?”

The Prophet replied: “Allah gives this reward even if the Iftaar (meal) is a drink of water.” “One who has good morals (Akhlaq) during this month will be able to pass the ‘Siraat’ … on the day that feet will slip … “One who covers the faults of others will benefit in that Allah will curb His anger on the day of Judgement … “As for one who honour an orphan; Allah will honour him on the day of judgement, “And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah will spread His mercy over him on the day of Judgement. “As for the one who cuts the ties of relation; Allah will cut His mercy from him … “Who so ever performs a recommended prayer in this month Allah will keep the fire of Hell away from him … “Whoever performs an obligatory prayer Allah will reward him with seventy prayers [worth] in this month. “And who so ever prays a lot during this month will have his load lightened on the day of measure. “He who recites one verse of the Holy Quran will be given the rewards of reciting the whole Quran during other months.

“O People! Indeed during this month the doors of heaven are open, therefore ask Allah not to close them for you; The doors of hell are closed, so ask Allah to keep them closed for you. During this month Shaytan (Satan) is imprisoned so ask your Lord not to let him have power over you.”

May we All benefit from this month Insha Allah!

Ramadhaan Reminders: Dinner Parties & Iftaar…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Many people use the following Hadith to justify and encourage Dinner/Iftaar parties during the month of Ramadhaan:

“Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person” – Tirmidhi.

I think it’s important to see the wisdom behind such inspiration and not to abuse it. Dinner/Iftaar parties can often distract people from the real virtues of Ramadhaan and may even facilitate and encourage Back-biting, gossip, etc. The key is to avoid any situation that would distract you from attaining the pleasure of Allah.

Charity is very closely associated with the month of Ramadhaan and some scholars are of the opinion that the above Hadith relates to the food/Iftaar provided to the poor and needy. I’m not in any way implying that providing Iftaar to people who can afford it won’t earn you the reward but what I am saying is make sure the Dinner/Iftaar is done for the right reasons and in the right environment. Invite a different person over for dinner everyday instead of hosting a Dinner/Iftaar party for a huge group of people in one sitting.

May Allah allow us to benefit from this auspicious month…

Taking Care Of Your Children Through Good Deeds…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Many of you might be familiar with the story of Musa (A.S) and His encounter with Al-Khidr. For anyone who isn’t, watch this space and Insha Allah I will summarise the story at a later time. There were 3 events that took place on this journey, in summary, they were:

  1. Al-Khidr made a hole in the boat of the men that assisted them to cross the sea
  2. Al-Khidr killed a child
  3. Al-Khidr reinforced a broken wall in a town whose people were selfish and inhospitable
I’d like to focus on the 3rd event that took place as there is a great lesson to be learnt.  Beneath the wall lay a treasure that belonged to 2 orphans, so in order to protect the treasure from the people of the town, Al-Khidr fixed the wall. It was revealed that the reason he was ordered to fix the wall for the orphans was because their father was a righteous man.
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.” (Surah al-Kahf)
Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas: “They were taken care of because their father was a righteous man, although it is not stated that they themselves were righteous.”

In this is a great lesson for parents today. Uphold the commandments of Allah and Allah will take care of your children whether you are with them or not.

Jumuah Reminder: How close do you want to be to Allah?

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

In “Choosing your place in a gathering”, I mentioned the importance of sitting within a gathering and suggested finding a place closest to the Imam at Jumuah Prayers. This will put things into perspective…

According to Imam Abu-Haneefa in al-Fiqh al-’Akbar: “Allah is seen in the hereafter. The believers will see Him while they are in Paradise. (They will see Him) without any likeness, ascription, and quantity and there will not be any distance between Him and His creations.”

In a lecture I recently listened to by Imam Anwar-al Awlaki, he mentions that ”The people of Jannah, every Friday, will go down to a gathering place, and they will be seated according to how close they were to the Imam in Khutbatul Jumuah, this is when people will get to see Allah. That is the greatest pleasure. People in lowest Jannah will get to see Allah every Friday, but people in Jannatul Firdous will see Allah twice each day, once in the morning and once in the evening.” This is also mentioned by Ibn Al-Qayyim in Nooniyyah.

Remember this the next time you choosing your place at the Musjid. The ultimate incentive, the ultimate reward!

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”