Sunday, July 29, 2012
Shaykh Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali
Excerpts from the commentary of Dua al-Iftitah from http://yearnforallah.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/understanding-al-iftitah-part-2-of-4.html
Dua al-Iftitah is a well-known supplication and is generally recited during each night of the month of Ramadan.
The second theme which is repeated in this du'a regards salutations being offered to the Noble Prophet (s) and His Household (a) and when such salutations are mentioned, then several qualities of the Noble Prophet (s) are described. Some of the qualities of the Prophet's Household in general are also briefly mentioned but when the 12th Imam (a) is described, several of his qualities are referred to. The du'a continues in this spirit of remembrance of the 12th Imam (a) with various requests being made to Allah (swt) regarding the last Imam right up until the end of the du'a where the emphasis then shifts to asking Allah (swt), because of the Imam (a), to grant us our requests concerning what we need for our community.
Regarding the Prophet (s), we read:
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِكَ وَرَسُولِكَ
وَامِينِكَ وَصَفِيِّكَ وَحَبِيبِكَ
وَخِيَرَتِكَ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ
It is interesting to see that the very first quality which has been mentioned here for the Noble Prophet (s) is that he is a servant of Allah (swt)...
...According to this part of the du'a, salutations can increase and expand. When we send salawat (salutations) or salaam (peace) to the Noble Prophet (s) and our Imams (a), we do not send our salutations or peace directly but instead we ask Allah (swt) Himself to send them these salutations and peace. Indeed salaam is a prayer and so we are asking Allah (swt) to send peace to that person.
Thus we say:
'O Allah! Send salutations to Muhammad (s) and his Household.'
And so when we ask Allah (swt) Himself to send salutations, such salutations are not limited to the time when we say them: rather, we can ask Allah (swt) to send salutations all the time. Therefore, we read in one of the Ziyaaraat for Imam Husayn (a):
عَلَيْكُمْ مِنِّي جَمِيعاً سَلاَمُ ٱللَّهِ ابَداً
مَا بَقيتُ وَبَقِيَ ٱللَّيْلُ وَٱلنَّهَارُ
'Be with you, from me, the peace of Allah (swt) as long as I live and (even if I am not alive) as long as there is day and night.'
[Tusi, Misbaah al-Mutahajjid, p. 776]
So this means that we request Allah (swt) to send His peace to Imam Husayn (a) until the end of time. So, again we have this beautiful concept that the salaam does not remain in the same state but grows and becomes better and better.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Shaykh Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali
Part 1 of 4 - Excerpts from the commentary of Dua al-Iftitah
Dua al-Iftitah is a well-known supplication and is generally recited during each night of the month of Ramadan. It is called 'Dua al-Iftitah' because it begins with:
اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي افْتَتِحُ ٱلثَّنَاءَ بِحَمْدِكَ
Thus we say that we begin or open praising Allah (swt) by remembering all the great qualities that He (swt) possesses and all the many favours that He (swt) has bestowed upon us.
There are several points that have been emphasized in this du'a, the first and foremost of which is praise of Allah (swt). Praising God the Almighty is perhaps the most important thing mentioned in this du'a. Obviously praising Allah (swt) is not the same as thanking Him (swt). There is a difference between hamd (praising) and shukr (thanksgiving). Praising Allah (swt) requires remembering and mentioning the good qualities that He (swt) possesses and all the good things that He (swt) has done for us, whether they relate to oneself personally or not. However, thanksgiving is about those things that in a way or another actually relate to oneself.
For example, an artist may produce a beautiful work of art and then someone who sees this work of art may praise the artist but would not thank the artist, unless the work had been produced specifically for this person or for someone who relates to this person. Therefore, in general, when Allah (swt) does something good for other people, or even other creatures such as animals, we can praise Him (swt) for this. Indeed the performance of an action by Him (swt) is not even necessary in order to praise Him (swt) as we can praise Him (swt) simply for the qualities He (swt) possesses.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Here is a one-month fitness plan that could easily be done in the month of Ramadan with great results. No equipment needed except perhaps shoes.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Contributed by sister Jennah J'amy McCracken
REMEMBER! Ramadhan is not primarily about abstaining from food and water nor is it about what you get to eat in the evenings. The root for the word siyam/sawm is “sama” - it means to restrain. You are teaching yourself restraint in the month of Ramadhan, that is delayed gratification and dilberately turning away from sin so that your TAWQA will improve and take you closer to Allah SWT.
“… that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:183]
If you cannot physically fast this does not mean that you lose the benefit of Ramadhan! there are many other things you can do.
1.) On the Eve of Ramadhan you can still make the niyyat to observe Ramadhan and perform the accompanying du’a/amal.
2.) First of all, eat and drink only what is required of you. That means smaller portions without harming your condition which is preventing you from fasting. Delay your food and water if it is safe for you.
3.) Do not eat pleasurable things during the fasting portion of the day - no teas, coffee, smoking, cookies, candies, etc. Eat a very small and very simple meal - only what your body requires.
All the other behaviours apply:
4.) Fasting of the tongue. Do not speak haraam: no lying, backbiting, cheating, obscenity conceal your anger or irritations. do not lose your emotions!
5.) Fasting of the ears - Do not listen to lying, backbiting, obscenity, or other forms of spiritual trash. Listen to Qur’an, Du’a, Dhikr, lectures, listen to your loved ones and the speech of other believers.
6.) Fasting of the eyes - do not look at haraam things (TV, people poorly dressed (summertime!), and fix your eyes on the most halaal (Qur’an, books, cooking, the faces of other believers)
7.) Fasting of the privates - refrain from sexual activities (and even thoughts as much as possible).
8.) Keep focused on the Dhikr of Allah by learning something to improve your Deen. Learn the Arabic alphabet, read the Qur’an daily, memorize a new surah, recite du’a.
9.) Breaking the fast of others by offering food at iftar is HIGHLY recommended and earns you a lot of reward.
10.) Give lots of Sadaqa. Clean out your clothes of what you are not using and donate it to the needy with the INTENTION to please Allah. You can do the same with your food pantry, and other areas of your life. Ask Allah to bestow His Mercy/Generosity on you for being merciful/generous with others.
11.) Feed the poor.
12.) Observe the nights of Qadr
13.) Pray the night prayers every night (Salaatul Layl)