ASSIGNMENT 26- EXPLORING SURAH AL-FATIHA

Al-Fatihah is a prayer, a dialogue between the abd(slave) and his Rabb, the Creator of everything. The prayer remains incomplete if this Surah is not recited in the Salah.

Beginning Surah al-Fatihah

The Surah opens up with basmalah, the saying that must be recited before beginning any work. By reciting the words BismiAllahi rrahmani rraheem, a Muslim seeks the blessings of the Most Merciful— “Ar-Rahman”— and the Especially Merciful— “Ar-Raheem”, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Ayah 2: Learning the Etiquette of Du’a

After invoking the graciousness and mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we utter a few words in His praise.

In ayah two, we learn the etiquette of making du’a. We can put forward our request abruptly and selfishly with complete disregard to the Being we’re addressing or we can take time to think through our words and then present them beautifully.

We beautify our du’a by saying, Alhamdu lillahi rabbi lAAlameen which means: All praises and thanks (be) to Allah, (the) Lord (of all) the world.

Ayahs 3 and 4: Stating the Attributes

We then proceed to the next ayaat where we describe a few of His attributes. We say, ArRahmani ArRaheem meaning, The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and Maliki yawmi alddeen— (The) Master (of the) Day (of the) Judgment.

One may well wonder about the difference between being gracious and being merciful. This is an important aspect. He has not extended His graciousness to the mushrikeen and other disbelievers, yet He has not limited His mercy to the Muslims only. Subhan’Allah!

Ayah 4 and 5: Acknowledgment

In ayah 4, we’re acknowledging that there will be a day when we’ll return to our Creator and give account for every deed we’ve done. Acknowledging that our Hereafter depends on our life in dunya, we remind ourselves that we cannot spend our lives blinded by ignorance.

Immediately after, we recognize our weakness. We acknowledge that it’s Him we worship and from Whom we seek help. In this ayah, we’re admitting that we’re “slaves” and He is the “Master”.

Ayah 6: Prayer for the Righteous Path

After praising Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, identifying His attributes and acknowledging our slavery to Him, we make the du’a ih’dina l-sirata l-mustaqeema. Sirat in Arabic is used for path, whereas mustaqeem means straight. Hence, in this ayah we request guidance towards the straight path.

Ayah 7: Being Specific in Du’a: Setting Up Role Models

Continuing our du’a we say, sirat alladhina an’amta alayhim ghayri lmaghdubi alayhim wala l-dalina, which means, The path of those on whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

This part indicates that we must set up role models for ourselves. By making this du’a in a way we’re seeking refuge from emulating the behavior of these two groups of people.

Narrated by Adi bin Hatim radhiAllahu anhu: I asked Allah’s Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam about the statement of Allah ghayri lmaghdubi alayhim, he replied, ‘they are the Jews’. And wala l-dalina. He replied, ‘the Christians, and they are the ones who went astray’. [At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]

Concluding Surah al-Fatihah with Aameen

Aameen is like a full-stop at the end of the sentence. It seals our du’a. Many people utter aameen in a rush, not knowing the benefit of reciting it.

A hadith narrated by Abu Huraira radhiAllahu anhu tells us when the Imam says sirat alladhina an’amta alayhim ghayri lmaghdubi alayhim wala l-dalina then you must say aameen for if one’s utterance of aameen coincides with that of the angels then his past sins will be forgiven. [Bukhari]

If this article was beneficial to you , then today when you perform your salah try being conscious of every ayah that you recite. Take your time and recite it from your heart. Do you know that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala responds to each ayah that we utter? Wouldn’t you want to hold conversation with Him?

SOURCE: http://understandquran.com/understanding-surah-al-fatihah.html

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ASSIGNMENT 25- VIRTUES OF SACRED MONTHS IN ISLAM

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36]

It was narrated from Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “… The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha‘baan.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2958). 

These months are called sacred for two reasons: 

1-     Because fighting therein is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy

2-     Because transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times. 

Hence Allaah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “wrong not yourselves therein”[al-Tawbah 9:36]  

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said, concerning the words of Allah so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36]: (The command not to wrong yourself) applies in all months, then Allah singled out four months and made them sacred, and emphasised their sanctity, and He made sin during these months more grave, and He made righteous deeds and the reward thereof greater. 

Allah has chosen elites from His creation: from among the angels He chose Messengers, from among mankind He chose Messengers, from among speech He chose remembrance of Him (dhikr), from among spaces on earth He chose the mosques, from among the months He chose Ramadan and the sacred months, from among days He chose Friday (Jumu‘ah), and from among nights He chose Laylat al-Qadr. So venerate that which has been chosen by Allah, for people of understanding and wisdom respect that which has been chosen by Allah. End quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him), commentary on Soorat at-Tawbah verse 36 

The virtue of observing a great deal of naafil (supererogatory) fasts during the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The best fast after Ramadan is in the month of Allah Muharram.” Narrated by Muslim (1982). 

SOURCE: https://islamqa.info/en/75394

 

 

 

Assignment 24- The Etiquette of making du’a & having it accepted

1 – The one who is making du’aa’ should believe in Tawheed with regard to the divinity, Lordship, names and attributes of Allaah. In order for Allaah to respond to the du’aa’, it is essential that the person should be responding to his Lord by obeying Him and not disobeying Him.

2 – Sincerity towards Allaah alone in making du’aa’. Du’aa’ is worship, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, so sincerity (ikhlaas) is a condition of its being accepted. 

3 – We should ask of Allaah by His most beautiful names.

4 – We should praise Allaah as He deserves before we call upon Him. 

5 – Sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every du’aa’ is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” 

6 – Facing towards the qiblah. (it is mustahabb to face towards the qiblah when making du’aa’, and to raise the hands)

7 – Raising the hands. 

8 – Having certain faith that Allaah will respond, and focusing with proper presence of mind.

9 – Asking frequently. A person should ask his Lord for whatever he wants of the good things in this world and the Hereafter, and he should beseech Allaah in du’aa’, and not seek a hasty response.

10. He should be firm in his du’aa’.

11 – Beseeching, humility, hope and fear. 

12 – Saying du’aa’s three times. 

13 – Ensuring that one’s food and clothing are good (i.e., halaal). Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Ensuring that one’s food, drink and clothing are halaal, and that one is nourished with halaal, is a means of having one’s du’aa’ answered.  

14 – Saying du’aa’ silently and not out loud. 

Source: https://islamqa.info/en/36902

 

Assignment 22- The way to grow closer to Allah

Al-Bukhaari (6502) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah says: ‘Whoever takes a close friend of Mine as an enemy, I declare war on him. My slave does not draw closer to Me by anything more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave continues to draw closer to Me by doing naafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him, and if I love him I will be his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. If he were to ask of Me, I would surely give to him; if he were to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge. I do not hesitate about anything that I want to do as I hesitate to take the soul of a believer, for he hates death and I hate to hurt him.”

This hadith clearly and concisely highlights the way to become a close friend of Allah, may He be exalted, for the one who wants to be one of His close friends. All the believer has to do is reflect deeply upon this hadith and understand it properly, then follow that by acting upon what it says.

Explaining the content of this hadith, al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said elsewhere in his book Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam: His close friends who are near to Him may be divided into two categories, the first of which is those who draw near to Him by doing that which is enjoined, which includes doing obligatory duties and avoiding things which are prohibited, because all of that comes under the heading of what Allah has enjoined upon His slaves. The second category is those who draw nearer to Him, after doing obligatory duties, by doing naafil (supererogatory) deeds.

May Allah help us and you to do that which He loves and is pleased with.

source: https://islamqa.info/en/104771

 

ASSIGNMENT 21- Verses to read before sleep

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam reciting ten verses will not be recorded as one of the heedless. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one hundred verses will be recorded as one of the devout. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one thousand verses will be recorded as one of those who collected a great deal of reward.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood (1264).  It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood: What is meant here is qiyaam al-layl.

In the Sunnah it is recommended for the Muslim to recite certain verses when he goes to bed. Among the soorahs and verses which we are recommended to recite are the following:

1 – Aayat al-Kursiy (al-Baqarah 2:255) 

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (saw) appointed me to guard the zakaah of Ramadaan, then someone came and started rummaging in the foodstuff … and at the end of the hadeeth he said: “When you go to your bed, recite Aayat al-Kursiy, for there will remain with you a guardian from Allaah, and no devil will approach you, until morning comes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He told you the truth although he is a liar. That was a devil.” Saheeh al-Bukhaari (2311)

2 – The last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah

It was narrated from Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5009) and Muslim (2714). Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Waabil al-Sayyib (132): They will suffice him against any evil that may harm him.

3, 4 – Soorat al-Isra’ and Soorat al-Zumar

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (saw) would not go to sleep until he had recited Bani Israa’eel (Soorat al-Isra’) and al-Zumar.  Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3402)

5 – Soorat al-Kaafiroon

It was narrated that Nawfal al-Ashja’i (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Recite Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon then go to sleep at the end of it, for it is a disavowal of shirk.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (5055) and al-Tirmidhi (3400)

6, 7, 8 – al-Ikhlaas and al-Mi’wadhatayn [i.e., the last three soorahs of the Qur’aan]

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the Prophet (saw) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5017).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Adhkaar (221): It is better for a person to do all that has been narrated of this matter, but if he cannot do that he should do whatever he is able to do. End quote. 

Source: https://islamqa.info/en/72591

ASSIGNMENT 20- VIRTUES OF CHARITY

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)” [al-Baqarah 2:254] 

“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allaah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allaah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower. Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allaah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” [al-Baqarah 2:261-262]

O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” [al-Baqarah 2:267] 

“Believe in Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad (saw), and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” [al-Hadeed 57:7] 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives charity equal to a date from good (halal) earnings – for Allaah does not accept anything but that which is good – Allaah will take it in His right hand and tend it for the one who gave it as any one of you tends his foal, until it becomes like a mountain. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1344; Muslim, 1014. 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allaah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allaah, destroy the one who withholds.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010. 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5073; Muslim, 993.