The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (7/10) – Refusal To Attend Immoral Gatherings

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who do not witness to falsehood [az-zur],
and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
[Al-Furqan 25:72]

🌸 Seventh Characteristic: They Do Not Associate Themselves With Immoral Gatherings and Activities

Today, we will look at the seventh characteristic of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, which Allah s.w.t. describes in this ayah as “those who do not bear witness to falsehood [az-zur].” [Az-zur] refers to a gathering of immoral activities. Ibn Kathir rahimahullah wrote in his tafseer with regard to this ayah: “they do not attend it, and they are not present when it happens.”

So what this ayah means is that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman never attend gatherings of lewdness, immorality, indecent, and disbelief. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will never associate themselves with these sort of gatherings as well as gatherings that consist foul speech and false words. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman also does not give false testimony, i.e. deliberately lying to someone. This is similar to the following authentic hadith:

Rasulallah (ﷺ) said thrice,
“Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the great sins?”
We said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).”
He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful to one’s parents.”
He (ﷺ) was lying down, then he sat up and added:
“And I warn you against giving forged statement and a false witness;
I warn you against giving a forged statement and a false witness.”
The Prophet (ﷺ) kept on saying that warning until we thought that he would not stop.
[Sahih Bukhari]

Immoral Gatherings and Activities: [Az-Zur]
According to Ibn Al-Jawzi rahimahullah, there are 8 scholarly opinions regarding [az-zur]:

  • It means idols belonging to the mushrikun. This is the opinion of Adh Dhohahk from Ibnu ‘Abbas.
  • It means music. This is the opinion of Muhammad ibn Al Hanafiyah and Makhul.
  • It means shirk. This is the opinion of Adh Dhohak and Abu Malik.
  • It means games in the times of jahiliyyah. This is the opinion of ‘Ikrimah.
  • It means lies / falsehood. This is the opinion of Qatadah and Ibnu Juraij.
  • It means false witness i.e. to lie deliberately. This is the opinion of ‘Ali ibn Abi Tholhah
  • It means the festivity and celebration of the mushrikun. This is the opinion of Ar Robi’ ibn Anas.
  • It means treacherous or treasonable assemblies. This is the opinion of ‘Amr ibn Qois.

All of these opinions support each other to mean that [az-zur] refers to a gathering of immoral activities. From these, we can conclude that:

  • The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will not attend any gathering that promotes shirk – this includes non-Islamic celebrations such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
  • The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will not attend gatherings that promote vice, lewdness, and falsehood such as music concerts and treacherous assemblies.

Are we of those who think it’s okay to celebrate Christmas and its ilks? Are we of those who love to go to concerts? Are we of those who attend treasonable rallies? There are sufficient evidences in the ahadith as well as consensus among majority of our righteous scholars that all of these are prohibited in Islam, and all of them are rightfully and beautifully summed up in this characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. Suffice to say that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are not those who blindly follow society’s philosophies, but they are those whose actions are defined by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Truly, they should be our aspirations!

How The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Responds To [Laghw]
The ayah continues:

…and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk [laghw],
they pass by it with dignity.
[Al-Furqan 25:72]

[Laghw] means
1. Shirk
2. Sin
3. Statements of indecency
4. Any word, talk, or conversation that is thoughtless (done without thinking), and of no benefit
5. Meaningless and useless actions or pastime

The ayah says that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not attend where [laghw] occurs, and if it so happens that they pass by it, they do not let it contaminate them in the slightest. If they pass by shirk, sinful and/or useless conversations and activities, they leave them in a dignified way.

My brothers and sisters in Islam, ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not hang out until 2 in the morning, or spend hours and hours on non-beneficial matters, or love gossiping. Indeed it is difficult to avoid gossip circles nowadays, because it has become a societal norm. But if we want to be one of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, we have to learn to remove ourselves from such situation and not let them contaminate us. Don’t let football matches, video games, movies or TV dramas make you waste hours and hours of precious time.

I want to share with you something that I heard in a khutbah: We usually would make a 5 or 10 years plan to accomplish certain goals in life – be it for career, wealth, etc and there is nothing wrong with that. But we always forget to plan the same for our last, yet greatest, destination ever – the Hereafter. How do we practically plan for it?

It all boils down to:
How will I spend my time today?
What am I going to do afterwards?
How am I going to spend tomorrow?
What am I doing with my free time?
When am I going to stop watching so much TV?
When am I going to erase those useless games?
When am I going to stop wasting time?
When am I going to hold myself to a higher standard – if not today?

We have very little time on this earth, half of our life is spent sleeping, another 8 hours at work, a few more hours spent in commuting, and so forth… so what little time do we have left? A day will come when a janazah announcement will be made – and it’s going to be mine and yours. It’s going to happen and it’s not like we’re getting further away from that day – we’re only heading closer.

O Muslims, make the best of this world in order to earn Jannah. Make serious commitment to live our days differently. Hold ourselves to a higher standard. Heed this advice by Ibn Al-Jawzi rahimahullah:

“This world is the harvest field of the Hereafter;
and in it there is business, the profit of which will be visible in the Hereafter.
So whoever utilizes his free time and good health in the obedience of Allah,
he is the blessed one.
And he who utilizes them in the disobedience of Allah,
he is the one who is unjust to himself,
because the leisure time is affected by busyness and health is affected by sickness.”
[Fath al-Bari 11/230]

May Allah s.w.t. give us the understanding on the value of time – Allahumma ameen.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

7th Characteristic
They do not give false testimony. They do not attend sinful and immoral gatherings, such as gathering that promotes shirk and foul speech, music concerts, or treacherous assemblies. They do not participate useless conversations and past time. If they come across such gathering, they will stay away and leave in an honorable manner

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

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[Al-Kahf 18:110] Al-Kahf Challenge (20/20)

“If anyone learns by heart the first 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf,
he will be protected from the Dajjal.”  [Sahih Muslim]
Al-Kahf Challenge is to make the memorization & understanding of the first 10 & the last 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf easy, insya Allah. To catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here📌

———- 🌺 ———-

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Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “I am only a man like you.
It has been revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (Allah).
So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Rabb,
let him work righteousness
and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Rabb.”
[Al-Kahf 18:110]

In this ayah, Rasulallah ﷺ was commanded by Allah s.w.t. to declare his humanity to the people – and this is a very important information. Even today, there are many sects that overpraise and elevate Rasulallah ﷺ above his humanity. In a sahih hadith, it was reported that Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Do not praise me excessively like the Christians praised Jesus, the son of Mary.
I am but a servant, so call me Allah’s servant and Messenger.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

It is very common, yet very far astray, for someone to say that it is okay to make du’a to Rasulallah ﷺ after his death. This is an example of overpraising him ﷺ and overstepping the boundaries that have been set by Allah s.w.t. This is truly shirk.

Rasulallah ﷺ said:
Supplication (du’a) is itself the worship (‘ibadah).
(He then recited:) “And your Rabb said: Call on Me, I will answer you (Ghafir 40:60).”
[Sunan Abi Dawud | Graded Sahih]

This is why it is beautiful, that after mentioning this, Allah s.w.t. highlights Tawheed in this ayah:

“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Rabb,
let him work righteousness

and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Rabb.”

Allah s.w.t. says whoever wishes to meet his Rabb with a true, genuine hope, they must fulfill two basic criteria:

(1) Righteous deeds – Deeds done according to the ways of Rasulallah ﷺ and are done sincerely for Allah, and
(2) Tawheed – Having correct belief.

Notice that these 2 criteria have been mentioned many times in the previous Ayat in Surah Al-Kahf alone, highlighting their importance. It is also important for us to safeguard our deeds from minor shirk, for Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Verily, what I fear most for you is the minor shirk.”
And he elaborated, “It is showing off (Ar-Riya’).
Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, when the people are rewarded or punished for their deeds: Go to the one for whom you were showing off in the world and see if you will find any reward with him.”
[Musnad Ahmad]

May Allah s.w.t. safeguard us from any element of shirk, and help us preserve our Iman until the Day we are brought to him.

Alhamdulillah, this is the end of the Al-Kahf Challenge. Praise be to Allah, the Rabb of all that exists. If you would like to read the previous Al-Kahf Challenge posts in chronological order, please click the links below. Jazakumullah khayran.

Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3 | Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.

[Al-Kahf 18:107] Al-Kahf Challenge (17/20)

“If anyone learns by heart the first 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf,
he will be protected from the Dajjal.”  [Sahih Muslim]
Al-Kahf Challenge is to make the memorization & understanding of the first 10 & the last 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf easy, insya Allah. To catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here📌

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3 | Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 | Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21
———- 🌺 ———-

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Verily! Those who believe and do righteous deeds
shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (the Paradise)
for their entertainment [nuzul].
[Al-Kahf 18:107]

After describing the true losers in this life, Allah s.w.t. then describes the characteristics of those who will truly be successful. This ayah teaches us the two conditions that must be fulfilled in order to be in the successful group:

Correct Belief
and Righteous Deeds. 

These two are the total opposite of the characteristics of the losers, because the losers are those who not only do not have correct belief, but also all of their works are in vain and not accepted.

What is Righteous Deeds?

We need to really understand that for a deed to be accepted by Allah s.w.t. must be (1) done only for the His sake and (2) in accordance to the Shari’ah i.e. as the teachings of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. This is what it meant by Righteous Deeds.

1. Must be done only for Allah’s Sake i.e. Sincerity – The intention of any deed that we do must be only to seek the pleasure of Allah, and not for any other purpose even if it might seem good in our eyes. For example, a person attends a knowledge circle with his friend because he knows it will make his friend happy. Attending a beneficial class and pleasing a friend do seem like good deeds. However, if these were his sole intentions, then he will not be rewarded.

One of the things that is so important, yet always forgotten by us, is to tie each of our good action with the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah.
So if we are going to a knowledge circle – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to seek knowledge.
If we are pleasing a friend – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to behave well with others.
If we are cooking, cleaning, doing “mundane” chores in the house – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, for He has commanded us to treat our parents with ihsan, and that He loves cleanliness.
Even if we’re eating or sleeping – make the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, to revitalize our bodies so that we may continue to worship Him in the best manner.

Every single, minute good deed that we do – tie them with the intention to please our Rabb.

2. According to the Shari’ah i.e. the Sunnah – Religious innovations (bid’ah) will not be accepted by Allah s.w.t. for they do not follow the Sunnah. This is why Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned us:

“He who innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Islam) that is not of it,
will have it rejected (by Allah).”
[Bukhari & Muslim]

Therefore, any deed that lacks sincerity and are not done according to the Sunnah, is not considered as a righteous deed. May Allah s.w.t. enable and facilitate us to constantly do righteous deeds for His sake.

What has been prepared for those who believe and do righteous deeds?

So what has been prepared for such believers? It is the Gardens of Al-Firdaus al-a’laa! Qatadah said that Al-Firdaus is a hill in Paradise, at its center, and the best of it!

One might feel how can I attain Jannatul Firdaus? Isn’t that only for the Messengers and Prophets? What did our beloved Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught us? He sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“When you ask Allah (for something),
ask for Al-Firdaus which is the best and highest part of Paradise.”
[Bukhari]

Always aim high! Remember that our goal is not just about getting in Jannah – It’s about getting in and at the HIGHEST place!

May Allah s.w.t. make us one of the inheritors of Jannatul Firdaus, Allahumma ameen!

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.

Aleppo: The Beginning, Not The End

I strongly encourage everyone to watch this video. Imam Karim AbuZaid, may Allah s.w.t. preserve him share with us a piece of hope in the midst of all the chaos and despair regarding Aleppo.

There is a plot against Syria by the world, to defeat Islam there, to destroy the correct teaching of Islam based on the understanding of the first 3 best and praised generations. It is an orchestrated plan to send a message to the Sunni Muslims so that they will be psychologically defeated. Why?

Because Syria will mark the ultimate victory of Islam in the future.

“Allah will send ‘Isa ibn Maryam (alayhi salaam), who will come down at the white minaret in the east of Damascus, wearing two Mahrud [garment dyed with Wars and then Saffron], resting his hands on the wings of two angels. When he lowers his head, beads of perspiration will fall from it. Every disbeliever who smells the fragrance of his breath will die, and his breath will reach as far as his eye can see. Then he will set out and catch up with him (the Dajjal) at the gate of Ludd, and will kill him.”
[Sunan Ibn Majah (Sahih)]

If Al-Sham is where the greatest fitnah ever to be faced on this earth (the Dajjal) ended, then insya Allah, Al-Sham will be able to withstand the current situation it is facing (Al-Sham refers to Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan).

This is our hope in the midst of our despair.
O Muslims, believe in the plans of Allah s.w.t.!
And do not forget the arrows of the night. For the sake of Allah, on the last third of the night, wake up for our brothers and sisters in Aleppo, and make du’a for them. May Allah s.w.t. relieve their suffering. May Allah s.w.t. unite the Muslims.

“And they plotted, and Allah plotted too.
And Allah is the Best of those who plot.”
[Ali Imran 3:54]

 

On Donald Trump’s Presidency: Victory Comes From Allah s.w.t. Alone

Ibn Abbas reported that Ibrahim a.s. said when he was thrown into the fire
“Allah is enough for us, and excellent is He as the Guardian.”
and it was likewise said by Muhammad sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, when they said:
“Verily, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.
But it only increased their faith and they said:
Allah is enough for us, and excellent is He as the Guardian.” [Ali Imran 3:173] [1]

Indeed, victory does not come from anyone except Allah. Alone. Not by Donald Trump. Not by Hillary Clinton. Not by anyone. Remember when Umar r.a. said:

“Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam,
so if we seek honor from other than Islam, then Allah will humiliate us.” [2]

So this victory and honor must be EARNED. But how could we expect victory, when we ourselves have forsaken our Sustainer? When we abandon salah? When we are stingy in paying zakah and charity? When we talk and fight against corruption and oppression, but we ourselves cheat and oppress others in our business dealings and daily affairs?

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saleh al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:

“Do you see any destruction more severe than the destruction of the Ummah nowadays? They are billion in numbers, they are nearly one-fourth of the world population, but they have no value in the global community in spite of having moral force, material power and manpower. But when they neglected the Deen of Allah, Allah s.w.t. forsook them, so that a person trusts the oppressors among the disbelievers more than he trusts his own brothers among the Muslims
– and this is an ordeal and a calamity.”

Sheikh Younus Kathrada once wrote:

“What I am saying is that we, as an ummah, carry much of the blame for what is happening to the ummah. We need to take stock of ourselves. I need to start with myself and you with yourself. Is it possible that what is happening to our fellow Muslims is a result of our wrongdoings? The reality is that it may very well be. I could be the problem, you could be the problem.
Thus, it is incumbent on us to correct ourselves.

Victory doesn’t come from holding hands and singing kumbaya. O Muslims, work hard. Fulfill our duties to Allah, and stop oppressing ourselves and others. Return to the Qur’an and Sunnah, and only then will Allah s.w.t. grant that victory that we desperately seek.
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[1] Sahih Bukhari
[2] Umar RA on Humility 

The Confidence of Umar RA!

After the death of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, Umar ibn al-Khattab r.a. conquered Jerusalem, or rather… he opened Jerusalem for there was no bloodshed, no battle involved. Jerusalem agreed to surrender, but only if the city keys were personally handed to Umar r.a., to which he agreed. So Jerusalem prepared a huge welcoming ceremony for Umar for they knew who he was – a man of justice.

Umar r.a. was a gigantic man, so much so that if he sat on a horse, his feet would touch the ground. Under his ruling in Madinah, there were distributions of clothes to all Muslims, and Umar r.a. had to take 2 garments instead of 1 and stitch them together, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to cover himself adequately. Even so, there were many stitches and patches on his garment. And for his travel to Jerusalem, Umar r.a. took with him a servant and his camel. Out of fairness, he – this powerful Muslim leader – made a deal with his servant that they would take turns riding the camel.

Abu Ubaida, a leading Muslim general in charge of the Greater Syria, met them on their way and they came upon a creek. Umar r.a. dismounted from his camel, took off his sandals and placed them over his shoulder, and then led the camel over the creek. Upon seeing this, Abu Ubaida said:

“O commander of the faithful, are you doing this?
You have taken off your sandals and placed them on your back and you led the camel through the creek yourself.
I do not think it will be easy for me to get the people of this country to honor you.”

[You will embarrass us, o leader of the Muslim Empire, with your stitched garments, your sandals on your back, and you leading your camel yourself!]

And here is the sheer confidence of Umar r.a. that ALL OF US should have. He replied:

“Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam,
so if we seek honor from other than Islam, then Allah will humiliate us.”

Umar r.a. said that they were the most humiliated, most disgraced beings in the face of this earth. But all of these high rankings of a khalifah or general that they were now enjoying, and all of these great status and power which allowed them to conquer Jerusalem – all of these and MORE – it is Allah s.w.t. that gives all of them by virtue of Islam, by this Deen. And whoever seeks honor and dignity in anything else other than Islam, then Allah will reduce this person with humiliation.

This is important: That you believe that all success and all the solutions to your problems are there IN THIS DEEN. We Muslims today are confused, we seek honor and success from everything else than Islam. We seek it on the fashion runways, we seek it in our bank account and investment brimmed with riba’, we think Western = Success and Islam = Outdated. We start doubting this very Deen that Umar r.a. talked about.

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, we don’t get glory from pompous display. We don’t get success by seeking admiration and acceptance from others. If we want to firmly believe like Umar believed, then we need to have the correct Aqidah just like Umar r.a. did. And when we fully understand our Deen, we will find our conviction and commitment easy. Having the correct aqidah IS our core foundation, yet sadly, the most neglected.

May Allah s.w.t. strengthen our Iman in these trying times.

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🖊 References:
The Right Belief Series by Imam Karim AbuZaid
The Story of Jerusalem by Sh. Omar Suleiman
Jerusalem under Umar ibn al-Khattab’s Rule by IqraSense.com
Umar on Humility by Daily Hadith Online

[Al-Kahf 18:105] Al-Kahf Challenge (15/20)

“If anyone learns by heart the first 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf,
he will be protected from the Dajjal.”  [Sahih Muslim]
Al-Kahf Challenge is to make the memorization & understanding of the first 10 & the last 10 Ayat of Surah Al-Kahf easy, insya Allah. To catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here📌

To read in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3 | Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21
———- 🌺 ———-

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“They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Rabb and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works [a’mal] are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign not weight for them.”
[Al-Kahf 18:105]

In the last ayah, we discussed about one of the characteristics of those who will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter: They lost or wasted their deeds.

In this Ayah, Allah s.w.t. gives us another characteristic:

The greatest losers deny the signs of their Rabb,
and they deny the truth of His Messengers,
and they deny the Hereafter.

Just like how the previous characteristic corresponds with the attribute mentioned in Surah Al-Asr (i.e. the people who are in loss are those whom have lost their righteous deeds), these denials also correspond with the two attributes mentioned in Surah Al-Asr:

(1) They do not have the correct belief (إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ) and
(2) They do not believe in the Truth (وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ )

Their denial of Allah’s Signs and the Day of Judgment constitute false belief, and are in fact untruthful, because Allah s.w.t. has clearly shown to us His Signs. If only these people reflect deeply!

Because of their denial, all of their [a’mal] / works are in vain. The word [a’mal] is typically used for good deeds, so these people may had done acts of goodness when they were alive – they may had started a charity project, they may had come out with an invention that has helped millions around the world, or they may even had worshiped their God to the best of their capability – however for these people, Allah s.w.t. says their deeds will have absolutely no worth whatsoever.  Why? Because they don’t believe in Allah, and they refuse to accept the Truth. Allah s.w.t. says:

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did,
and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.
[Al-Furqan 25:23]

We ask Allah s.w.t. to keep us steadfast on this Deen, and we ask Allah s.w.t. to soften the hearts of those who have yet to believe.

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.