[Revive A Sunnah] Recite Ayatul-Kursi After Each Fardh Prayer

Recite Ayatul-Kursi After Fardh Prayers

Rasulallah ﷺ said:
“Whoever recites Ayatul-Kursi after every prescribed prayer,
there will be nothing standing between him and his entering Paradise
except death.” [1]

After mentioning the above hadith, my teacher then asked: Then, is our entrance to Jannah assured simply by reciting Ayatul-Kursi after each fardh prayer?

No, he said; before we can be qualified for Jannah, there are important points in Ayatul-Kursi that we must have and do. In this writing, we will discuss only 6 of those points:

1. “Allah! La ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He).”

The most important, the very first one mentioned in Ayatul-Kursi, is Tawheed: there is no other deity that is worthy of worship except Allah SWT. Our aqidah and ‘ibadah must be truly pure from any kind of shirk. Tawheed must be solidified, preserved, and guarded well, for it is the key to Allah’s Pleasure. So look at our daily interactions, activities, hobbies – then leave whatever that can taint it, even if it may seem trivial (eg. those horoscopes, games / apps that we excuse them as ‘just for fun’). Why risk it for the price of Jannah?

2. “The Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists (Al-Hayyul-Qayyum). Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him.”

Scholars said that asking Allah SWT by these 2 Names, Al-Hayy (The Ever-Living) and Al-Qayyum (The Self-Subsisting, The Guardian), in one’s supplication is as though we’re calling upon Allah by all of His Names (i.e. Al-Asma Al-Husna). Because Al-Hayy includes all the perfect attributes of Allah’s Essence such as hearing, sight, and wisdom; while Al-Qayyum includes all the perfect attributes of His Actions such as creating, providing, and aiding.

Then Allah SWT further emphasizes that not only is He Ever-Living and Self-Subsisting, He SWT does not even sleep, nor does He even feel the slightest nudge of sleepiness or drowsiness.

Subhanallah. If one truly internalizes this part of the ayah, then he will develop Taqwa of Allah, in private and in public. He will have the utmost conviction that nothing escapes from the knowledge of Allah SWT; that our deeds and actions, even the whispers of the heart are not hidden from Him SWT. And when one fully internalizes this, then he will only do what is pleasing to Allah SWT, and shun anything that will earn His displeasure – all by following the guideline that has been taught by Rasulallah ﷺ.

3. “To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth.”

Allah SWT says that every single thing that is in the heavens and earth – all of them are His. Everything is under His sovereignty. When one truly internalizes this, then he will feel humbled for nothing is truly his – even his own self belongs to Allah; and he will have patience and gratitude when something is taken away – again because everything that he thinks he ‘owns’, truly only belongs to Allah. Know that whatever Allah SWT bestows upon us are simply amanah from Allah, they are never ours to begin with.

4. “Who is he that can intercede with Him, except with His Permission?”

Allah SWT says in another Surah:

“And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing, except
(1) after Allah has given leave for whom He wills,
(2) and is pleased with.
[An-Najm 53:26]

So there are 2 conditions of intercession (shafaa’ah):
i. The permission from Allah SWT to a person to give shafaa’ah.
ii. The pleasure of Allah SWT to the person receiving shafaa’ah.

What it means is that even if there is someone who WANTS to give shafaa’ah to Person A on the Day of Judgment, but Allah SWT Himself is not pleased with Person A, then Person A will be obstructed from receiving any shafaa’ah. All of us hope to receive shafaa’ah from Rasulallah ﷺ. But the only way to earn the shafaa’ah, is by first attaining the pleasure of Allah SWT. Thus how can one earn the pleasure of Allah in this lifetime? By doing what He SWT has commanded, and leaving what He SWT prohibits. This discussion ties back to Taqwa.

5. “He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter.”

Allah SWT reaffirms that His Knowledge encompasses absolutely everything. This again ties back with Taqwa, because a person who truly internalizes this will fear Allah SWT in private and public; and will only do deeds that are pleasing to Him SWT.

6. Then Allah SWT says in the rest of the ayah: And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.”

This speaks about the Greatness of Allah SWT. How Perfect and Powerful He SWT is. And in contrast, how small and weak we are as His slaves. How we are always in need of His guidance and aid.

Ayatul-Kursi teaches us the importance of (1) Tawheed, (2) attaining His Pleasure through Taqwa, and (3) having beautiful khuluq such as humility, patience, and gratitude to Allah SWT. When we embody all these qualities, only then can we be of those who are qualified for Jannah.

We ask Allah to give us all of the qualities that is beloved to Him, and be cleansed from everything that He does not love. Allahumma ameen.

__________________________________
Reference:
[1] Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir 7406 | Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

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[Revive a Sunnah] Dhikr To Recite After Witr Prayer

Did you know that it’s Sunnah to recite [Subhanal-Malikil-Quddus] 3 times after the witr prayer, while elongating the words in the third time?

It was reported that Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite in Witr:
(1) Surah Al-A’la (in the first raka’at)
(2) Surah Al-Kafirun (in the second raka’at),
(3) and Surah Al-Ikhlas (in the third raka’at)
And after the salam, he sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say [Subhanal-Malikil-Quddus] 3 times. [1]

In another narration, Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would elongate the words in the last time [2] (i.e. Subhanal-Malikil-Qudduuuuuuuus).

*Subhanal-Malikil-Quddus means ‘Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy’
___________
[1] Sunan An-Nasai
[2] Sunan An-Nasai

Allah Loves A Type of Trace

Ash-Shura 42.23

Rasulallah ﷺ said, “There is nothing more beloved to Allah than 2 drops and 2 traces (…) As for the 2 traces: A trace resulting in Allah’s cause, and a trace resulting from carrying out one of the duties that Allah made obligatory.” [1]

This part of the hadith talks about our fragility and brokenness. Our bodies show signs of wear and tear, and if it’s for something that is pleasing in the sight of Allah SWT, then they are loved by Him.

If any of us went for Hajj, we would see people looking exhausted and tired, not having slept for days, even having dusts on their faces at times. No one look their best in ‘Arafah. Yet Rasulallah ﷺ mentioned that Allah SWT praises them to His angels on that day:

“There is no day on which Allah frees more slaves from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafah. He draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and says: What do these people want?” [2]

Allah SWT looks upon the hujjaj who have come to Him from all over the world, their hair unkempt, their faces covered with dust, they are sleep deprived, and all they are asking for is His Mercy and His Forgiveness. Allah SWT sees that; He sees our struggles for Him. Even a hair that becomes grey while we are in a state of Islam – even that is significant to Allah SWT. Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Do not pluck out grey hair. If any believer grows a grey hair in Islam, he will have light on the Day of Resurrection.” And in another chain of narration, “Allah will record on his behalf a good deed for it, and will blot out a sin for it.” [3]

So think about all of the times you’re struggling with an ‘ibadah. Maybe you had an injury prior, so the ‘ibadah became harder to perform. Think about those elderly people who still struggle to perform ‘ibadah for the sake of Allah. Think about how our previous Ramadhan, then compared it with this year Ramadhan – where we are all have aged, get tired quickly, yet still continue to struggle in seeking for His forgiveness and rahmah.

Allah sees all that. Allah knows that you did that all for Him. And that should be enough for us to keep on going.

This lesson hits home personally. My grandmother, even when she was bedridden and could no longer move around on her own, would constantly ask whether it was time for prayer, because she wanted to pray. All of her good deeds, all of her struggles, all of her traces – I ask Allah SWT to accept them. She passed away this Ramadhan.

May Allah SWT heal our brokenness and weaknesses, and accept our struggles that we do for His sake. May Allah SWT allow us to be used and consumed in ways that are good and pleasing to Him, until the last of our breath. Allahumma ameen.
____________
[1] At-Tirmidhi
[2] Sahih Muslim
[3] Sunan Abi Dawud

[Ali Imran 3:17] Characteristics of Al-Muttaqun

“(Al-Muttaqun are) those who are patient,
those who are true,
those who are obedient in worshipping Allah,
those who spend (in the Way of Allah),
and those who seek forgiveness in the last hours of the night.”
[Ali ‘Imran 3:17]

Allah SWT gives us some characteristics of Al-Muttaqun (people who have taqwa):

1. [As-Sabirin] They are patient – there are 3 degrees of patient as mentioned previously. So they are patient in obeying Allah, patient in refraining from what He has prohibited, and patient when they are tested. It’s the FIRST characteristic that Allah SWT mentions, emphasizing its importance in relation to taqwa.

2. [As-Sadiqin] They are true, not only in speech, but in their iman and their actions. They do not lie, nor are they hypocrites.

3. [Al-Qanitin] They are obedient in worshipping Allah from the depths of their heart, they are khushoo’ in ‘ibadah.

4. [Al-Munfiqin] They spend in the way of Allah – they love to give in both obligatory (eg. zakah) and voluntary (eg. charity) deeds.

5. [Al-Mustaghfirina bil-ashar] They seek Allah’s forgiveness during sahoor. It’s common for us Malaysians to think sahoor as ‘makan sahur’, but sahoor does not mean to eat 🙂 Sahoor refers to the time, specifically the last third of the night. So Al-Muttaqun are those who do istighfar, sincerely from the heart, in the last third of the night.

Studying the tafseer, I can’t help but feel that this ayah is so relevant right now. All these qualities can be developed and nourished in this month, more than ever. We are exercising patient through fasting, performing qiyamulail in the last third of the night, increasing good deeds, and do more charity in Ramadhan more than any other month – overall, just trying to become a better person. It’s beautiful how this all connects together:

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (fasting) is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become Al-Muttaqun.” [Al-Baqarah 2:183]

This ayah gives us a checklist on what we can do to improve ourselves in order to attain taqwa.

Allahumma, make us all Al-Muttaqun!

[Qalbun Saleem] Introduction

[Al-Shuara 26:89] Qalbun Saleem

The Day (of Judgment) whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail.
Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [qalbun saleem].
[Al-Shuara 26 : 88-89]

Qalbun saleem is a heart that is free from spiritual diseases. These spiritual diseases refer to false beliefs and actions that are contradictory to the teachings of our Deen – such as doing shirk, bid’ah as well as having bad character.

Yes, having bad character nullifies one from attaining qalbun saleem! And this is really important to know in relation to the ayah above, because we often think that hey, as long as I pray, fast in Ramadhan, pay my zakat, I’m good! But then when we go about, either in real life, or on the social media, we start to cuss, ridicule, backbite, slander on whatever topic / person / flavor of the month is.

Ponder on this hadith:

Abu Huraira RA reported that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah, a woman prays, fasts, and gives charity often, but she harms her neighbor with her sharp tongue.”
Rasulallah ﷺ said: “She will be in the Hellfire.”
[Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Undeniably, solah, fasting and being charitable are always at the forefront when we speak about ibadah or doing a good deed. But Rasulallah ﷺ said that even though a person does these deeds abundantly, they will all still amount to nothing on the Day of Judgment if the person is sick in the heart.

This is why Rasulallah ﷺ warned us in another hadith:

“…Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body
if it becomes good (reformed), the whole body becomes good;
but if it gets spoilt, the whole body gets spoilt
– and that is the heart.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Being spiritual is not just about being consistent in our ‘ibadah, but it also includes the state of the heart, our dealings with others, our character. Similarly, having good character but willfully abandon other obligations set by Allah SWT is not the definition of a good person either. A good person in the sight of Allah is one who fulfills both.

May Allah SWT protect us from such diseases of the heart. May we learn to hold our tongues (and keyboards) out of fear of Allah, and out of respect to one another. And may we all return to Him SWT with a clean, sound heart. Allahumma ameen.

Remembering Death | Al-Hayat Ad-Dunya

Al-Hayat Ad-Dunya

“Know that the worldly life [al-hayat ad-dunya] is but
[la’ibun] and [lahwun], [zinatun] and [tafaakhurun] among you,
and [takaatsurun] in respect of wealth and children…”
[Al-Hadid 57:20]

Allah SWT gives us the definition of [al-hayat ad-dunya]. Look at the 5 key words mentioned in the ayah and the meaning of their root words:

[La’ibun] = engaging in idle activity without meaning or purpose
[Lahwun] = becoming diverted and neglectful
[Zinatun] = pomp / to beautify
[Tafaakhurun] = self-glorification
[Takaatsurun] = to surpass in quantity.

Notice that all of the keywords do not refer to something physical, but the characteristic / lifestyle to that effect:

A person’s lifestyle that constantly engages in unmeaningful activities is al-hayat ad-dunya.

A person’s lifestyle that neglects one’s obligations that are due upon him is al-hayat ad-dunya.

A person’s lifestyle that is all about vain and pomp is al-hayat ad-dunya.

A person’s lifestyle that boasts and self-glorifies oneself is al-hayat ad-dunya.

A person’s lifestyle that revolves around rivalry in terms of wealth and children is al-hayat ad-dunya.

Al-hayat ad-dunya is, in a nutshell:
a lifestyle that is purely oriented to the now, to the present.

You live a wealthy lifestyle in the present at the cost of being bankrupt in the Hereafter. You chase after people’s praises and admiration at the cost of being forgotten and tormented in the Hereafter. You want to be super successful in each and every aspect in your life, even if it means sacrificing everything in the Hereafter.
.
Al-hayat ad-dunya is not wealth, lots of cars and mansions, etc rather our behavior towards these things. The tools for la’ibun, lahwun, zinatun, tafaakhurun, takaatsurun are all neutral. Your wealth is not haram. Your status is not haram. Your beauty is not haram. In fact, our Deen advocates us to work hard, to be successful, to wear nice! What is important is our behaviour / lifestyle towards these things that will determine whether we’re sinning or not. And Allah SWT warns us at the end of the ayah:

“…And al-hayat ad-dunya is only a deceiving enjoyment.”
[Al-Hadid 57:20]

If that game preoccupies most of your time, leave it. If that friend / gathering constantly makes you neglect your obligations to the Deen and family, leave. It’s difficult, I know. But we need to look at our daily routine, interactions and the intentions behind them all.

Don’t chase the present at the cost of the Hereafter.

Remembering Death | Carry On Doing Good Deeds

Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Carry on doing (good) deeds,
for everybody will find easy to do deeds
that will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created.

So he who is destined to be among the happy (in the Hereafter),
will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people,

while he who is destined to be among the miserable ones,
will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of such people.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

It’s difficult to abandon a deed / habit that we like. Look at the Prophets. Look at the sahabah who were promised Jannah. They were constantly in love with doing good deeds – they were made easy, beloved, and light for them. Then look at their enemies, the likes of Abu Jahal and Abu Lahab, they loved opposing Rasulallah ﷺ in any way whatsoever – those things were made easy and paramount to them until they met their end.

Now we look at ourselves. What is it that occupies our time the most? It is good, evil, or something that does not bring any benefit at all? Do I have to abandon those deeds? If we truly understand the magnitude of the hadith above, then we know the answer.

To the ones who indulge in khayr – be constant. Be constant so much to a point that you feel a sense of overwhelming loss if the opportunity of doing that khayr was missed.

And when we fall into sins, HOLD ON TO THAT ABILITY TO FEEL GUILTY. Be grateful to Allah SWT when we still have a sense of remorse after sinning. Being desensitized to sins and laghw is a huge indicator of the state of one’s heart and iman.

May Allah SWT make it easy for us to abandon our bad habits. And may we all be written to be among the joyful ones in the Hereafter.