Tips – Wuquf & Supplications at Arafah

supplication_is_ibadah

Here are some advice regarding wuquf and supplications at ‘Arafah as per sunnah, collected from Sheikh Omar Suleiman, Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, Ustadh Dr Abdullah Yasin, Ustadh Dr Abdul Basit Abdul Rahman, and Ustadh Hussein Yee:

💎 It is Sunnah to rest on the day before ‘Arafah. Try getting your rest as much as possible because THE MOST important day of your life is the next day, ‘Arafah, and the most important pillar of Hajj. It is Allah’s Mercy that ‘Arafah is the beginning of Hajj. If you have not yet planned all of your supplications for ‘Arafah, this is the time to do so.

💎 It’s best to pack up your items in advance before heading to ‘Arafah because we want to be there as early as possible.

💎 Wuquf at ‘Arafah technically begins at Zuhr. So upon reaching ‘Arafah, take the opportunity to rest / sleep before Zuhr. We want to feel refreshed and save our energy as much as possible for those 5 critical hours in ‘Arafah.

💎 It’s not recommended to go to Masjid Namira as you will waste a lot of time getting in and out of the crowd. Stay in your tent and rest, so that when the time of ‘Arafah comes, you’re set to go.

💎 Rasulallah ﷺ said “All Arafah is Arafah”, so don’t be fooled by anyone leading you to a “more barakah spot / mountain”. It’s a common mistake to join the crowd at Jabal Rahmah to perform nawafil prayers – there’s no dalil from Rasulallah ﷺ regarding this. Stay close to your tent so you don’t get lost.

💎 Listen carefully to the Khutbah of ‘Arafah and don’t talk during it. It’s not like Jumuah khutbah, but it is Sunnah, so make sure you take advantage of these moments.

💎 Pray Zuhr and Asr combined and shortened with 1x adhan and 2x qamat, without nawafil prayers in between – this is the Sunnah. Notice that this is the ONLY DAY of the year that Rasulallah ﷺ prioritized du’a to solat, i.e. pray Zuhr + Asr as soon as Zuhr comes in, combined and shortened, then spend the rest of the time making du’a until Maghrib.

💎 When the time of ‘Arafah begins, it’s sunnah to wuquf in the direction of the kiblah and raise your hands when making supplications. The hands of Rasulallah ﷺ did not come down EVEN ONCE until Maghrib (except when he was asked about whether to fast or not). Remember that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT block of hours in your entire life. Don’t waste a single moment of these hours by chit-chatting, sleeping etc! Do a lot of istighfar, tawbah, dhikr, supplications, as well as salutations and prayers to Rasulallah ﷺ.

💎 It is Sunnah to wuquf and make supplications outside the tent in the sitting position, because this was the way of Rasulallah ﷺ. So if it’s possible, especially in the last hour, make your supplications outside.

💎 Prioritize first supplications from the Qur’an and from the Sunnah. There are no better and concise supplications than these. Rasulallah ﷺ loved to repeat his supplications 3 times.

💎 Divide these critical 5 hours for specific supplications – for example, the first hour is reserved only for yourself to make tawbah and personal supplications. Prioritize tawbah before all other supplications.

💎 Then supplications for your spouse; make du’a to Allah that he/she is among the soliheen, who preserve their chastity and modesty, guard their solat, love to go to the masaajid and knowledge circles, love to read and ponder over the Qur’an and so forth.

💎 Then the next is for your parents; make du’a to Allah for their health in the physical and spiritual sense, for husnul khotimah; and if they have passed away, ask for their forgiveness, for Allah’s Mercy upon them, for sakinah in their graves, and so on.

💎 Then the next is for your children and do not generalize your du’a, rather make individual du’a for each child because every one of them has their own struggles.

💎 Then the next is for your siblings, then your other family members, friends, teachers, and the ummah at large. Never forget to include the ummah in our du’a.

💎 There is no basis for congregational / group du’a in ‘Arafah, so make your supplications individually. If you ran out of du’a, make dhikr as taught by Rasulallah ﷺ – “The best thing I and the prophets have said on the eve of ‘Arafah is Laa ilaaha ila-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay-in qadeer.” [refer Hisnul Muslim #119] So if you have time when walking towards the washroom / getting water, constantly recite this to keep your lips busy with dhikr throughout your time in ‘Arafah.

💎 In that last hour, return to those supplications you personally feel important, and increase the intensity of your supplications with khushoo’ and tawadhu’ until Maghrib – spend that last hour outside of your tent if possible.

May Allah s.w.t. help us to fully utilize these moments in ‘Arafah, forgive all of our sins and accept all of our supplications. Allahumma ameen.

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (10/10) – The Rewards for ‘Ibad-ur Rahman

ibadur-rahman-10

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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Those will be rewarded with the highest place because of their patience.
Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
Abiding therein; excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to dwell.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:75-76]

Alhamdulillah, in our previous articles, we have discussed all nine characteristics of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. To recap, those nine characteristics are:

  1. They have humility (tawadhu’)
  2. They are courteous, even when treated harshly
  3. They are diligent and consistent with their Tahajjud
  4. They always seek refuge from Jahannam
  5. They are not spendthrifts, nor are they stingy
  6. They do not commit shirk, murder, and zina
  7. They do not associate themselves with immoral gatherings and useless activities
  8. They respond to the Ayat of Allah s.w.t.
  9. They always make supplication to Allah to grant them spouses and lineage who will be the coolness of their eyes

In this final article, we will look in detail of the awesome rewards that Allah s.w.t. has promised them.

💎 First: Reward of Jannah
After mentioning the beautiful attributes of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman and their good words and deeds, Allah s.w.t. then says that believers who are described with these beautiful characteristics will be rewarded with Jannah. Jannah is described as “the highest place” in this ayah because of its elevation.

It is also important to note that Allah s.w.t. says:

Those will be rewarded with the highest place because of their patience
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:75]

Know that each of these nine beautiful qualities of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman require patience and consistency. It means that when we take these qualities, it must be for a lifetime. Our struggles to beautify our akhlaq, to follow the footsteps of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman, to become a better slave of Allah s.w.t. is a lifetime effort. And if we are able to make that as our lifestyle, then Allah s.w.t. will reward us with lofty palaces in Jannah.

💎 Second: Welcome and Honor From the Angels
The ayah continues:

Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:75]

Because of their patience and consistency in portraying and carrying out these beautiful qualities, the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will be greeted in peace from the angels. This means that they will be greeted first with words of welcome and honor in Jannah. Peace will be theirs and they will be wished peace. The angels will be so pleased with them, that they would enter from all gates just to greet such people of patience. This is as Allah s.w.t. says:

…And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying):
“Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you) for that you persevered in patience!
Excellent indeed is the final home!”
[Surah Ar-Rad 13: 23-24]

💎 Third: They Will Remain Forever in Jannah
The ayah continues:

Abiding therein…
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:76]

This portion of the ayah means that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman will settle in Jannah and will never leave, or move, or die. They will never exit, or even wish to move to somewhere else! This is like the Ayah,

And those who are blessed, they will be in Jannah,
abiding therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure
[Surah Hud 11:108]

Ibnu Jarir Ath Thobari rahimahullah said that when the Arabs want to describe something that lasts forever, they usually say:

هذا دائم دوام السموات والأرض
“It shall remain as long as the heavens and the earth exist.”
(I.e. it will remain forever)

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, internalize and sink this into our hearts: Jannah is forever. There is no end to this perfect gift from Allah s.w.t. You will no longer feel sad in Jannah. You will no longer have to worry about the future. You will no longer need to work, or pay those bills. You will no longer worry of losing anyone you love. Anything painful that you are enduring right now – any sadness, any heartbreak or heartache – all of them will come to end and forgotten the moment you step in Jannah. Remember when Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“The people of Jannah will enter Jannah, and the people of the Fire will enter the Fire;
then a call-maker will get up (and make an announcement) among them:
O the people of the Fire! No death anymore!
And O people of Paradise! No death (anymore) but Eternity.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

So for this, strive o Muslims! Be one of those whom Allah s.w.t. allow to step into Jannah, where exactly on that moment, you will forget and leave every single sadness and every single anguish behind, just as Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“One of the people of Jannah who had experienced extreme misery in the life of this world will be dipped in Jannah. Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam! Did you ever experience any misery? Did you ever encounter difficulty?’
He will say:
By Allah, no my Rabb,
I neither experienced misery nor passed through hardship.”
[Sahih Muslim]

💎 Fourth: They Will Attain The Best Abode
The ayah continues:

Abiding therein; excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to dwell.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:76]

The ‘Ibadur-Rahman will be granted with the BEST abode, the BEST home, the BEST real estate that they will ever attain! Its appearance will be so beautiful, that it’s impossible to imagine by the human mind.

Subhanallah! Such are the amazing rewards for ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

From now onwards, let’s aspire to become from the group of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. Let us do our best in doing good deeds that are pleasing to Allah, and steer away from all types of sins for the sake of Allah. May Allah s.w.t. make us all truly ‘Ibad-ur Rahman! Allahumma ameen!

Alhamdulillah, with that, our lessons on the Nine Characteristics of the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman has come to an end. I advise myself foremost, and then to others, to always come back to these lessons so that they remain in our hearts, and not forgotten by our limbs. Feel free to use these articles as teaching materials for your children and other loved ones. May this series be a motivation to work hard in beautifying our akhlaq for the pleasure of Allah s.w.t.

And with that, I end this article by a beautiful comprehensive du’a that sums up the gist of this series:

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that Rasulallah ﷺ taught her this supplication:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْتُ مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ أَعْلَمْ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْتُ مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ أَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لِي خَيْرًا

Allahumma inni as’aluka minal-khayri kullihi, ‘ajilihi wa ajilihi,
ma ‘alimtu minhu wa ma la a’lam
Allahumma, I ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter,
what I know and what I do not know

Wa a’udhu bika minash-sharri kullihi, ‘ajilihi wa ajilihi, ma ‘alimtu minhu wa ma la a’lam
And I seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter,
what I know and what I do not know

Allahumma inni as’aluka min khayri ma sa’alaka ‘abduka wa nabiyyuka
Allahumma, I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for

wa a’udhu bika min sharri ma ‘adha bihi ‘abduka wa nabiyyuka
And I seek refuge with You from the evil
from which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge

Allahumma inni as’alukal-jannatah wa ma qarrab ilayha min qawlin aw ‘amalin
Allahumma, I ask You for Jannah
and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed

Wa a’udhu bika minan-nari wa ma qarraba ilayha min qawlin aw ‘amalin
And I seek refuge in You from Hell
and from that which brings one closer to it, 
in word and deed

Wa as’aluka an taj’al kulla qada’in qadaytahuli khayran.
And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good.
[Sunan Ibn Majah | Grade: Sahih]

Allahumma ameen!

If you would like to read the previous 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman 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

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

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (9/10) – Asking From Allah for “Coolness of the Eyes”

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 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9 | Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-9

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who say: “Our Rabb!
Bestow on us from our spouses and our offspring the coolness of our eyes,
and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.”
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:74]

🌸 Ninth (Last) Characteristic: They Always Make Du’a That Their Spouse and Lineage Are The Coolness Of Their Eyes

Alhamdulillah, today we will be discussing the ninth and final characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

In this ayah, we learn that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who ask Allah s.w.t. to make their spouses and their offsprings the coolness of their eyes. This is an Arabic idiom, so let’s first understand how the phrase [the coolness of the eyes] is used in Arabic.

This phrase is used to depict:

1. Tears of immense joy – When someone says “the eyes becoming warm” or “may Allah warm his eyes”, then it means to say “may that person suffer so much sadness the he sheds tears out of sorrow.” But “the eyes becoming cool” or “cooling the eyes” is the opposite, it means to shed tears out of happiness and joy.

2. Refuge and relief – The Arabs, when travelling in the desert, would wrap their faces as a protection from sandstorms. However they can’t afford to cover their eyes without losing their vision, so they have to keep their eyes exposed. When they finally found refuge, interestingly they would say “My eyes have finally become cool.” So this expression equates to finding refuge from a storm.

These are some of the meanings of the idiom [coolness of the eyes] – to depict tears of immense joy and refuge or relief from storms. Yet sadly, for many of us, that storm is INSIDE the home. Many Muslims’ homes are broken – there are so much anger, sadness, depression, yelling and insults between the spouses, children and their siblings, so much so that people run away from what is supposed to be their refuge from the outside storm!

This is one of the most beautiful and eloquent du’as to ask from Allah s.w.t. for peace and tranquility in our homes, that when we return home to our spouses and children, our mood and morale are uplifted, and our worries disappear.

Before we continue with the next part of the ayah, I want to depict how powerful and super important this du’a is:

Know that there is absolutely no stronger bond between a mother and her baby child. So imagine the state of panic and desperation when Musa’s mother put him (when he ‘alayhi salaam was a baby) in the river to save him from Fir’aun. There must had been a thousand thoughts that came to her mind: Will he be ok? Will the water overturn him? Will he drown? Will he get dehydrated? Will he be picked up by Fir’aun’s soldiers? Will I see him again? So many desperate questions that she didn’t know the answer to any! So can you imagine her state of emotion when she was finally reunited with her beloved Musa ‘alayhi salaam? Look how Allah s.w.t. describes that emotion:

So We restored you to your mother,
that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve.
[Surah Ta-Ha 20:40]

Allah s.w.t. describes THE MOST amazing joy and relief, THE MOST indescribable feeling in the heart with “the coolness of eyes”. And this is precisely what we ask from Allah from this powerful and beautiful du’a.

But what exactly are the traits of our spouses and offsprings that will bring such coolness of the eyes? What exactly are we asking for our spouses and offsprings from Allah s.w.t. in this du’a?

They are the love of Tawhid and the love of ‘Ibadah.

Ibn Kathir rahimahullah wrote in his tafseer that in this du’a, we are actually asking from Allah s.w.t. to grant us spouses and offsprings who will strive to obey and worship Allah, absolutely without any form of shirk – because it is these traits that will bring the coolness of one’s eyes. Families that will bring one’s joy in this Dunya and the Hereafter are those whose family members, as well as its generations to come, that absolutely love Tawhid and are obedient to Allah s.w.t.

Subhanallah.

Look at the priority of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman! They are not asking Allah s.w.t. for a beautiful, wealthy, or powerful family and lineage, even though there is nothing wrong to ask that from Allah – but the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman want a family and lineage that absolutely uphold the purity of Tawhid, and love to perform ‘ibadah for the sake of Allah s.w.t. alone. They want a family and lineage that aspire to improve their acts of ‘ibadah, and do not desire to commit evil. They want a family and their future generations whom Allah s.w.t. bestows hidayah in Islam upon them.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah said:

“By Allah, there is nothing that brings the coolness of the eyes to a Muslim
than the obedience to Allah that he sees in his children, grandchildren,
relatives, and close friends.”

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Want To Be Leaders of the Muttaqun
The ayah continues:

And those who say: “Our Rabb!
Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the coolness of our eyes,
and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.”
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:74]

Muttaqun means believers who are pious, who have taqwa of Allah s.w.t.

Scholars said that this part of ayah means that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman love to supplicate to Allah s.w.t. that He makes them leaders who would be taken as examples in good, or as guides who would call others to goodness. They want to leave a legacy behind – a legacy of pious lineage whom Allah loves, whereby their examples and guidance will go beyond themselves and benefit others. They want a lineage that will bring khayr even after their death, for indeed, this is a much more rewarding and a better end. Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three:
(1) a continuous charity,
(2) knowledge by which people derive benefit,
(3) pious child who prays for him.”
[Sahih Muslim]

Parents who teach and guide their children and their descendants in goodness are whom Rasulallah ﷺ referred to in this hadith. May Allah s.w.t. facilitate us to do the same – Allahuma ameen!

Conclusion of this Ayah
In this du’a, we ask Allah s.w.t. to grant us spouses and children that will be the coolness of our eyes. We ask Allah for a place of refuge and tears of joy – that when we look at our spouse who loves you and advises you for the sake of Allah, or how he or she raises your children so that they grow up to love the Deen, or when you look at your children who love to pray, love the Qur’an – and all other things that indicate their obedience to Allah s.w.t. – make you so happy and grateful that they make you cry.

And just like any du’a, we need to exert efforts as well. We can’t supplicate this du’a and expect everything to magically change the next day. We have to spend quality time and have the patience to rectify, teach, and protect our family. Don’t forget to rectify ourselves as well – we need to aspire in becoming a better parent / husband / wife. With effort, consistency and patience, Allah s.w.t. will grant us that du’a – insya Allah!

Some short practical advice:

💎 Parenting was very different 20 or 40 years ago, and they might be the practical approach in those times, but we can’t use those same methods for our children in this age. We need to be both the authority AND a friend to our children. The biggest priority of a parent is the Islam of his/her children. And the best person who can instill the love of Islam to our children is ourselves, but we will not be able to instill it if we keep yelling at them, or have no time to talk and listen to them.

💎 For the spouses – Wives, there is enough fitnah outside your home. So smile to your husband. Dress up for your husband, not for the public. Your husband should find beauty in you and peace with you. Husbands, stop complaining about everything your wife does. Give compliments and say nice things to her. Help her with the chores. Both spouses should learn about the rights of each other and fulfill them. When we are good parents/husbands/wives, insya Allah so will our children. This is how we can become leaders of the muttaqun.

A short, beautiful du’a – yet it packs so much khayr! This is not only an important du’a for both married AND single Muslims (i.e. for their future spouse and family). May Allah s.w.t. grant us spouses and children who will be the coolness of our eyes, and that He makes us leader of the pious and righteous – Allahumma ameen.

Insya Allah, the next post will be the last article in this series, and we will be talking about the reward for those who have these beautiful traits of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristic Recap 🌸

Last Characteristic
They always make du’a for Allah to grant them spouses and lineage who will be the coolness of their eyes, meaning a family who loves and upholds the purity of Tawhid, and who are obedient to Allah s.w.t.
They also make du’a to become leaders of the righteous because they want to leave a legacy behind that will not only benefit the ummah, but a legacy that will bring khayr to them even after their death.

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

The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (4/10) – Seeking Refuge From Jahannam

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 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

———- 🌺 ———-

ibadur-rahman-4

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who say: Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25: 65-66]

🌸 Fourth Characteristic: They seek refuge from the Jahannam (Hellfire)

This ayah tells us the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are those who constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe and understand that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous, so heavy, they just can’t bear the thought of it. They know it is a terrible and horrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time. They understand that the torment of Jahannam is ever-present, and never ending. Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah said concerning this ayah:

“Everything that strikes the son of Adam, then disappears, does not constitute an inseparable, permanent punishment. The inseparable, permanent punishment is that which lasts as long as heaven and earth.”

Subhanallah! Yet there are a few Muslims who say: “Sure I do some bad stuff and will go to Hell because of my sins. But it’s only temporary because I’m a Muslim. I’ll go to Jannah eventually anyway. So what’s the big deal!” This is the exact mentality of Bani Israel of the past as stated in the Qur’an:

And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:80]

This is clearly not a characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman fear of being thrown into Jahannam either for a long time, or even a short time – not for a minute, not even for a second!

Is doing good deeds out of fear of Jahannam considered insincere acts of worship?

There are Muslims who think that doing acts of ‘ibadah out of fear of Jahannam and hoping for Jannah is insincere. They think that all acts of worship must only be done out of love for Allah s.w.t. and nothing else.

This belief is incorrect and contrary to the teachings of Islam. The proof is in this ayah that we are studying, where it clearly shows that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who seek refuge from Jahannam. There are several ayat showing that the worship of the Prophets, scholars and pious people is based on both fear and hope, and it is not devoid of love of Allah at all. Allah s.w.t. says, describing the Prophets:

Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds,
and they used to call on Us with hope and fear,
and used to humble themselves before Us.
[Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:90]

And in another ayat, Allah s.w.t. says:

Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides,
and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying):
“Our Rabb! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You!
Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.
Our Rabb! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him,
and never will the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) find any helpers.
[Surah Ali Imran 3:191-192]

Hoping for Jannah and fearing Jahannam are the results when one has the correct understanding of Tawhid. They are the results when one truly understands that it is Allah s.w.t. Himself Who has promised Jannah for those who are obedient, and Jahannam for those who are not.

And do you know what is the greatest punishment of the inhabitants of Jahannam? They are veiled, forever, from looking upon Allah s.w.t. Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote in his Madaarij as-Saalikeen:

“…one of the greatest joys of Jannah is that of gazing upon the Countenance of Allah and hearing His Words, and the delight of being close to Him and attaining His pleasure. There is no comparison between what it contains of delightful food, drink, clothing and images and this sublime joy. The least of His Good Pleasure is greater than Jannah and all that it contains of such things, as Allah s.w.t. says:

“Allah has promised the believers – men and women – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success. “[Surah At-Tawbah 9:72]

…Similarly, with regard to the Fire – we seek refuge with Allah from it – for those who enter it the pain of being veiled from Allah, and of being disgraced by Him, and feeling His anger and wrath, and being far away from Him, will be greater than the pain they suffer because of the flames burning their bodies and souls. In fact the flames of this fire start in their hearts, and this is what causes the flames to torment them physically.”

What we can learn from these evidences is that ‘Ibad-ur Rahman absolutely fear Jahannam, and seek refuge with Allah s.w.t. from His Anger and Punishment. We also learn that our acts of ‘ibadah should be done out of fear of Allah’s Punishment while hoping for His Mercy – both of which are themselves indicators that we love Allah s.w.t. because we want to look upon Allah s.w.t., and we hate and are afraid of being veiled from this greatest blessing ever!

Selected du’as to seek refuge from Jahannam

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman always make du’a to Allah for protection from Jahannam. If we want to be one of them, we need to make such supplications constantly in our everyday lives. There are many beautiful supplications in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, these are three selected du’as that are short and easy to memorize, insya Allah.

1. Surah Al-Furqan 25:65-66 (the du’a by the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman)

رَبَّنَا ٱصۡرِفۡ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
إِنَّهَا سَآءَتۡ مُسۡتَقَرًّ۬ا وَمُقَامً۬ا
Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.

2. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً۬ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً۬ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
Our Rabb! Give us in this world that which is good
and in the Hereafter that which is good,
and save us from the torment of the Fire!

A golden advice from my teacher: Keep this du’a close to our hearts, for it is a supplication that covers everything that we need – a good worldly life, and good Hereafter as well as protection from Jahannam. It is a short yet comprehensive du’a, so recite it often, and recite it from the depths of our hearts.

3. From the following hadith recorded in Sunan an-Nasa’i (graded sahih)

Rasulallah ﷺ used to say in his supplication:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell,
and I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave,
and I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal,
and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death.

Allahumma ameen!

Alhamdulillah we have covered the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. We will continue with the subsequent characteristics in the next posts, insya Allah.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

4th Characteristic
They constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous and heavy. They know it is a terrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time.

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #13: Fight That Laziness!

In life, we experience something amazing that makes us feel compelled to come closer to Allah, where we feel a sense of iman-rush. But after a while, dunya gets to us and our reality check makes us feel that we cannot be spiritual consistently. Here’s a tip on how to remain consistently on the path towards the pleasure of Allah. To catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here 📌

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Have you ever woke up one morning and just straight away feel lazy? Not only do you feel lazy, but you also get irritated easily over every single thing? In this tip, we’ll discuss how to avoid laziness (and bad mood!) – this fight starts from the moment we wake up! Rasulallah ﷺ said:

When any one of you goes to sleep, the shaitan ties 3 knots at the back of his neck, sealing every knot with: ‘You have a long night, so sleep.’
So if one awakes and mentions Allah, a knot will be loosened;
if he performs ablution, two knots are loosened;
and if he prays, (all) knots will be loosened,
and in the morning, he will be active and in good spirits;
otherwise we will be in bad spirits and sluggish in the morning.”
[Sahih Muslim]

Did you know that this is one of THE BEST tips for a Muslim to avoid laziness and become productive?

Rasulallah ﷺ said that when any of us goes to sleep, Shaitan will seal 3 knots at the back of our neck, lulling us to keep on sleeping “It’s okay… Just another 5, 10, 15 minutes…” until we wake up realizing that we have completely missed Fajr prayer.

But not only does Shaitan want us to abandon our obligatory duties, he wants us to waste our morning and the rest of the day as well. He wants us to become LAZY. There are so many obstacles that Iblis has set up for mankind to distract a person from accomplishing any act of obedience for Allah s.w.t.

Rasulallah ﷺ said in the aforementioned hadith:

“So if one awakes and mentions Allah, a knot will be loosened;
if he performs ablution, two knots are loosened;
and if he prays, (all) knots will be loosened,
and in the morning, he will be active and in good spirits;
otherwise we will be in bad spirits and sluggish in the morning.”

The hadith teaches us that if a person wakes up and remembers Allah, 1 knot will be undone. And when he performs wudhu’ properly, 2 knots will be undone. And if he prays, then all of the knots will be undone. And Allah s.w.t. will make this person feel energetic, in good spirit and mood, and be productive insya Allah! But if he does not untie all 3 knots, then he will wake up in a bad mood and feel lazy throughout the day.

This is a very crucial advice from the Sunnah of Rasulallah ﷺ. So let us go in detail on what we should be doing upon waking up, based on this and other authentic ahadith:

📌Step #1: When we wake up, immediately remember Allah to undo the first knot.
A personal litmus test: The first thing that comes to our mind when we wake up is the thing that occupies our life the most. Untie that first knot by remembering Allah and reciting:

الحمد لله الذي أحيانا بعدما أماتنا وإليه النشور
“Alhamdulillahil-ladhi ahyana ba’da ma amatana wa ilaihi an-nushur.”
All praises are for Allah, Who has made us alive after He made us die (sleep)
and unto Him is the Resurrection.
[Sahih Bukhari]

Sleep is a minor death – there are those who passed away in their sleep. So when you wake up, exclaim alhamdulillah! Then force ourselves to get up from our beds and step into the bathroom. For many of us, this may be the hardest part. So it’s good to have an alternative bathroom further from the bedroom because Shaitan can still tempt us to go back and sleep. Quickly go to step #2:

📌Step #2: Make Wudhu’ properly to undo the second knot.
In another hadith, Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“If anyone of you performs ablution he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

From this hadith, we learn:
(1) It is Sunnah to wash both of our hands after waking up and before making wudhu’ because we don’t know where our hands were when we were asleep. Alhamdulillah, this Religion truly teaches us the importance of purity and cleanliness.

(2) When making wudhu, one should put water in his nose and then blow it out. In another hadith, it is mentioned that it is Sunnah to do this 3 times:

“When any one of you wakes up from sleep and performs ablution,
he must clean his nose three times,
for the shaitan spends the night in the interior of his nose.”

[Sahih Muslim]

After making wudhu, end it with this du’a:

“Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah, wahdahu la sharika lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluhu.  Allahummaj-‘alni min at-tawwabin, waj-‘alni min al-mutatahhirin.”
I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone, Who has no partners and that Muhammad (ﷺ) is His slave and Messenger. Allahumma, make me among those who repent and purify themselves.
[Riyad As Salihin]

📌Step #3: Pray (preferably catch Qiyamul Lail) to undo the last knot.

After we remove all these 3 knots, we will begin our morning in a happy and refreshed mood, and our nafs will be able to handle any difficult or irritating situation in a good and peaceful manner – insya Allah. This is THE tip to enjoy your morning – and life! If we don’t, then not only will we feel lazy, but our nafs will also get agitated and irritated easily even over small things.

In essence, what we learn from the first hadith is that the fight against laziness starts from the moment we wake up. Fighting laziness is a process to undo these knots one by one, and Ibn Qayyim rahimahullah commented that if a person does step 1 properly and sincerely, then he will find step 2 easy, until all three knots are undone.

📌Extra Tips: What else can I do to stop being lazy?
Rasulallah ﷺ taught us this supplication as a daily adhkar that should be recited once every morning and once every evening:

“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief,
from incapacity and laziness,
from cowardice and miserliness,
from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

My last tip is: Do not abandon your voluntarily ibadahs whenever you feel lazy! I cannot emphasize how important our acts of voluntarily ibadah really is! A lot of Muslims say: Oh it’s just Sunnah, it’s not wajib. Subhanallah, belittling acts of Sunnah will gradually cost one’s iman.

“Guard your acts of Sunnah, for indeed it is a wall, and if it is destroyed,
Shaitan would enter your obligatory acts and make you lazy upon them.”
– Sheikh Rabee –
[Explanation of the book of Iman from Sahih Al-Bukhari]

“Whoever persists upon leaving Sunnah prayers,
then that is a proof of his weakness in religion.”
– Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) –
[مجموع الفتاوى]

I pray that these tips will be beneficial to the readers, and I pray that these writings benefit the writer foremost. Allahumma ameen.

[Yunus 10:26] Strive Hard To Be a Muhsin

Yunus10-26

For those who have done good [ahsanu] is the best and even more…
[Yunus 10:26]

From this short part of an ayah, comes a super important core message for all Muslims:

Don’t settle as you are right now, strive hard to be a Muhsin!

Allah s.w.t. says, “For those who have done good, is the best, and even more.” Scholars said that the ‘best’ refers to the best reward, i.e. Jannah and all the treasures that it contains; while the word ‘even more’ means that on top of all the immensely beautiful treasures that Allah will give the believers in Jannah – He will grant the honor of looking at His Noble Face – and this is the increase that is far greater than anything that had ever been given.

Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote in his Madaarij as-Saalikeen that one of the greatest joys of Jannah is that of gazing upon the Countenance of Allah, hearing His Words, the delight of being close to Him, and attaining His Pleasure. There is no comparison between what Jannah contains – the delightful food, drink, clothing and images – than this sublime joy. The least of His Good Pleasure is far greater than Jannah and all that it contains. This should be our aim – that we want to be granted the honor of looking at the Countenance of our Rabb.

We learn in several ahadith that the believers will be granted this honor, but the ayah above specifically highlights a special type of believer. Allah s.w.t. says:

“For those who have done good [ahsanu] is the best [al-husna] and even more…”

From the word [ahsanu], we learn that this specifically refers to the Muhsin. Allah s.w.t. is saying: For the Muhsin, is the BEST, and EVEN MORE! Allah s.w.t. honors the Muhsin in this ayah, granting them with the best of THE BEST rewards – because the Muhsin is THE BEST of all Muslims.

Jibril a.s. asked: “O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam.”
Rasulallah (ﷺ) replied: “Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger (ﷺ), that you should perform salah, pay the zakah, fast during Ramadhan, and perform Hajj to the House (the Ka’bah) if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey).”

He went on to ask: “Inform me about Iman.”
He (ﷺ) answered, “It is that you believe in Allah, and His angels, and His Books, and His Messengers, and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadr), both in its good and in its evil aspects.”

He went on to ask: “Inform me about Ihsan.”
He (ﷺ) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, although you cannot see Him, He can see you.
[Sahih Muslim]

From this hadith, scholars consider Islam, Iman, and Ihsan as the three stages in the path towards Allah s.w.t.:

The first level is Islam – becoming a Muslim, by pushing and bringing ourselves to do the actions that Allah s.w.t. has commanded us to do. When the word Islam is used in conjunction with the word Iman, as per this article, it refers to outward / physical actions and words – i.e. the physical actions conform to what Allah s.w.t. has commanded us to do.

The second level is Iman – becoming a Mu’min, where we are not only doing what has been commanded by Allah, but we’re beginning to taste the sweetness of faith. When the word Iman is used in conjunction with the word Islam, it refers to inward beliefs, and actions of the heart.

The third level is Ihsan becoming a Muhsin, which is to worship Allah as if we see Him, and even if we cannot see Him, then know that He sees us. [Al-Ihsan] means to perfect something and complete it. It is derived from al-husun which means al-jamaal (beauty). When it is used in conjunction with either the words Islam and/or Iman, Ihsan means perfecting one’s outward and inward deeds. Remember that a Muslim might not be a Muhsin; a Mu’min might also not be a Muhsin; but a Muhsin is definitely both a Muslim and a Mu’min – encompassing all three qualities. This is the highest degree of Islam.

Note: When the word Islam, Iman, or Ihsan is used alone, there is no difference between them, rather each of them, when used alone, refers to the entire religion.

The ayah says that the Muhsin will be granted to see the Noble Face of Allah s.w.t. in the akhirah, because they are those who truly strive to serve Allah as though they could see Him in this dunya.

“(Ihsan) is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him,
although you cannot see Him, He can see you.”

Rasulallah ﷺ taught us that Ihsan has two degrees:

The first and the highest degree of Ihsan is [mushahadah] – worshipping Allah as if you can see Him. Whoever worships Allah with awareness of His nearness, and acts as if he is before Allah, and looking at Him, is bound to fear Him and venerate Him. This is a very difficult station to reach but it is attainable.

The second position is [muraqabah] – having sincerity and awareness that Allah is always watching. This person acts with an awareness that Allah sees him. He truly understands that Allah knows all his deeds, hidden and visible, inward and outward, and that nothing is hidden from Him. And this is the minimum station we all should try to achieve, because Allah s.w.t. says:

“For the people of ihsan [Muhsin] – is the best
and even more
(the honor of looking at His Noble Face).”
[Yunus 10:26]

With this in mind, let us reflect our lifestyle.
How often do we remember Allah and that He is watching us? How many times do we hide in our room sinning, whilst forgetting that Allah is Al-Basir? How many times do we backbite, lie, and curse someone, whilst forgetting that Allah is As-Sami’?
How truly far are we from reaching this station?
This is something that we should try to rectify every single moment in our lives. This should be our everyday resolution.

So I remind myself and then to others: Do not think that this station is beyond our reach. Do not aim so low that we think:
“I’m happy if I can get a spot in the entrance of Jannah.”
“Kalau dapat belakang pintu syurga pun cukuplah.”

We need to realize that this is a completely wrong attitude of a believer. Rasulallah (ﷺ) himself said:

“Paradise has one-hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His Cause, and the distance between each of two grades is like the distance between the Heaven and the Earth. So, when you ask Allah, ask for Al-Firdaus which is the best and highest part of Paradise.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Believers always aim high! Because our goal is not just to sneak by the gates of Jannah – but it’s about getting in and at the highest place – for all eternity. And for the Muhsin, who are foremost in doing good, they will be the ones who will be closest to Allah, and in the highest degrees of Jannah. May Allah s.w.t. help us and our loved ones become a Muhsin, Allahumma ameen!

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References:
[1] IslamQA
[2] Abdurrahman.org

[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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al-kahf-110-r

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.