Intermittent Fasting…

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

In 2012, Intermittent Fasting became mainstream and sparked substantial debate through-out the diet and fitness world. I first heard about it on Facebook and recall some chatter at the gym too but I didn’t give it too much thought. It sounded very boring and slow but I had heard only good things about it so when I decided to go on a shredding diet myself, Intermittent Fasting sounded like a good idea. To the Google…

What I found was more than a diet or fitness program… it was a new lifestyle. Something that promised a healthier diet, better nutrition, faster weight-loss, increased energy, decreased health risks and promote health & longevity. It sounded like another fad but before dismissing it I found a simple explanation about the foundation of Intermittent Fasting which turned my health and fitness goals into something much deeper… spiritual enlightenment.

You know that feeling when you attend an inspiring talk by an internationally renowned scholar who’s explanations and descriptions of religion, faith and spirituality make you tremble with inspiration… when you realise that you have something so amazing, so profound and you just needed someone to say it to you and remind you 1 more time… That’s how I felt, absolutely gob-smackingly enlightened.

In a new diet book titled, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting, Dr. Michael Mosley suggests that the best way to lose weight is to eat normally for 5 days a week, and fast for 2…

This is not new science, I’ve been hearing about this since I was a kid, I’ve done it myself in the past and I know so many people who’ve been doing it for years but I’m so glad I came across this, who would’ve thought that Googling a new diet program would lead me back to the Sunnah.

SubhanAllah is all I can say right now. Perhaps I will research more and look into the program further, there are a few different takes on it but as a Muslim, the principles are sound and if I’m going to implement a new diet regime, let it be from the Sunnah Insha Allah.

Anyone out there curious about Intermittent Fasting, remember… ‘A’isha (RA) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to take care to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Science is just a tool, revive a Sunnah for true enlightenment.

 

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My sister’s formal…

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

Sometimes it takes a special event or occasion to remind you of the special people in your life. I am so proud of my little sister and I can’t believe she’s all grown up and done with school. It’s been an interesting few months with so much happening, so many trials and challenges, you sometimes forget to notice the little things and before you know it, the year is over.

Life happens I guess, it’s been 7 years since my formal, 4 years since I got married, 10 months since my sisters wedding in India and my son is almost 2 years old now… WOW. So much has happened, it’s good to stop and look back sometimes and I find it almost instinctive to reflect on life when you experience certain emotions. Weddings, anniversaries, special events and sometimes sad occasions often force you to stop and reflect on your life. Without these reflections, we could possibly overlook some of the most precious moments of our lives.

Despite some of the trials and challenges over the last few months, we have so much to be grateful for. I pray that we always have happy occasions to remind us of the blessings bestowed upon us and as my parents accompanied my little sister to her formal, I pray that they take my baby sister to hers one day.

Azraa… you make us all proud and we love you!

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

 

 

 

Between Ramadhan’s

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

 

I just spent a few minutes reading my own Ramadhan Reminders from last year and I can’t believe how much has changed. Alhamdulillah I am grateful for everything that I have and I trust in the way things are meant to be, but when you actually take the time to look back and reflect… it’s quite amazing.

Last Ramadhan feels like yesterday, yet so much has changed, so much has happened since then. Really puts things into perspective. I feel humbled by the lack of control yet pleased with the outcome.

When I started writing a few years back I hoped that my writing would firstly serve as a reminder to myself and then to anyone who can benefit from it. Now I know what I meant! Looking back at last years posts has truly served as a reminder and I’m hoping to take some of my own advice.

 

Blessed Ramadhan!

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!

Ramadhan Reflections: The first few days…

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

With Eid celebrations well under way and the month of Shawwal now upon us, each day that passes by takes with it a small part of the legacy of Ramadhan. As time separates us from the Blessed month, we are presented with another opportunity to test our faith and enhance our spirituality. Many of us experienced a spiritual high during Ramadhan, no matter how much or how little we were able to achieve, we all experienced a sense of peace and spiritual enlightenment. No words can describe the feeling of satisfaction and contentment that Ramadhan brings with it.

During the past few weeks we were able to sacrifice food & drink all day, we controlled our desires and were still able to stand in prayer at night. We woke up earlier, slept later, at times didn’t sleep at all but we did it and I know most of us enjoyed it. It’s important to look back and reflect on what we were able to achieve during Ramadhan, if we could do it during Ramadhan, the only thing stopping us from continuing outside of Ramadhan is a lack of motivation.

Reflect on Ramadhan and realise your potential, the mercy and blessings that descended during this month may have boosted our faith but the real change came from within ourselves. We all made an effort, we all experienced the change and Insha Allah we will all be rewarded.

The month may have ended but our efforts and achievements shouldn’t end with it. Waking up for Fajr may not be as easy any more, and I’m speaking from experience here, it’s all good to do it for 30 days but the true test comes the day after Eid, when we’re all recovering from the celebrations and feasting. I believe it’s our actions during the first few days after Ramadhan that determine whether we are able to maintain our spirituality and carry on the legacy of Ramadhan throughout the year.

After a month of hard work and dedication, we need a little break to adjust our routine, perhaps make up for some lost sleep and enjoy the festivities of Eid. As we celebrate our achievements and return to our normal routine, remember the month of Ramadhan, remember what we achieved, remember the effort we made and remember the peace and contentment we experienced.

Our efforts shouldn’t end with the sighting (or calculation of the birth) of the new crescent. Maintaining our spirituality during the first few days after Ramadhan will allow us to benefit from Ramadhan throughout the year. May Allah accept our efforts, allow us to maintain our faith through the year and may we witness many more Blessed months Insha Allah.

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

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!