“Strike the sea with your stick.”

Then We inspired Musa (Moses) (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain.

[25:63]

 

Have you ever wondered what significance repetition has in the Quran? Here’s something to think about.

 In the entire Quran, the name Muhammad is mentioned four times, while Adam is mentioned 25 times, Nuh is mentioned 43 times and Ibrahim is mentioned 69 times.

(عليهم السلام)

There is one Prophet of Allah whose mention by far exceeds and surpasses all of these, and that is Musa عليه السلام, mentioned in the Quran an astounding 136 times.

 His story is equally mind-blowing, dispersed in parts throughout the Quran. The famous journey of a small baby from Bani Israel that grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh is one we all know, and the splitting of the Red Sea continues to amaze us to this day. It still bewilders me that the same sea that allowed Musa عليه السلام and his people to walk through safely was the one that drowned the Pharaoh and his followers shortly afterwards.  

Verily! In this is indeed a sign (or a proof), yet most of them are not believers. And verily, your Lord! He is truly the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.

[26: 67-68]

 You might to be wondering: why am I talking to you about Musa عليه السلام? And that’s an excellent question.

 It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, he found them (the Jews) fasting on one day, i.e., ‘Aashoora’. They said: This is a great day; it is the day on which Allah saved Moosa and drowned the people of Pharaoh, so Moosa fasted in gratitude to Allah. He (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) said: “I am closer to Moosa than they are.” So he fasted on that day and issued instructions to fast on that day.

[al-Bukhaari, 3216]

 Fasting always brings incredible rewards, but fasting on the 10th of Muharram is even more rewarding.

 The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.”

[Muslim, 1162]

 

Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora and told the people to fast, they said, “O Messenger of Allaah, this is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Next year, if Allaah wills, we will fast on the ninth day.” But by the time the following year came, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had passed away.

[Muslim, 1916]

 

Therefore, try to fast during these two days, and if you cannot then encourage others to do the same.

Imagine being forgiven for hundreds of sins in return for a few hours of hunger. ✨ 

And while you’re at it, here’s a little fasting calendar/checklist I’ve made for you.

 


 

May Allah accept all of our fasts and allow us to enter through Ar-Rayyan, the gate of Jannah meant especially for those who fast. ✨

 (This post was inspired by my local khateeb’s unique introduction to Ashoora during last Friday’s khutbah.)

 – Raweeha Abdul Rab 

P. S.More on fasting here.

 

For Those Left Behind…

Hajj is a very emotional season for me. As I see pictures of thousands of people circulating the Kabah, and read messages from friends and family happily announcing that they’ve gone for Hajj, I can’t help a tear from rolling down my cheek. It may seem incredibly unfair, not just to me, but to everyone who hasn’t been on this once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. What can I do, as I continue my regular, everyday life?

 

There’s no need to despair. This beautiful Deen has left no stones unturned when it comes to earning rewards. As my heart mourned over not being able to perform Hajj, I promised myself to not leave myself deprived in these prized ten days. My Rab, the Most Merciful, the Best of Planners has left countless opportunities to make the best of this season. Why waste that being sad?

 

So, here are some unexpected ways of doing good for those of you not going for Hajj.

  1. Understand and accept the decree of Allah.

Know that whatever happens has been written by Allah, and know that nothing comes from Allah except good. If you’re not going for Hajj this year, have faith that the future holds something better for you.

“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”

(2:216)

  1. Make dua every chance you get.

Beg and plead Allah to call you to His house next year. Pray between the athan and iqamah, beseech Allah in sujood, stand in the last third of the night … leave no chance to ask Allah to bless you with an opportunity to do Hajj.

“And your Lord said: Invoke Me, I will respond your invocation.”

(40:60)

  1.  Make constant thikr.

One of the lesser known benefits of doing thikr is that it keeps your mind away from sad, harmful thoughts, because your tongue is so involved in remembering Allah! In these blessed days, spend your free moments praising and glorifying Allah, and if you still need some inspiration, here is the recommended thikr for this time of the year. I play this on my phone, and it really makes this amazing season feel so special and festive.

الله أكبر،الله أكبر، الله أكبر

لا أله إلا الله

الله أكبر، الله أكبر

ولله الحمد

  1. Educate yourself about these ten days.

Find books to read, watch lectures on YouTube, read blog posts about it … take the time and comfort you have and invest it in something valuable. May I recommend this as a starting point?

  1. Renew ties of friendship and kinship

As the Hijri year comes to an end, try your best to end it on a good note. Apologise to the people you’ve wronged throughout the year, be extra kind to your parents, send food to your neighbour, call a friend … Let this month be a way of turning to a fresh page, and a clean start to the new year.

  1. Recharge your Iman.

I don’t know about you, but since Ramadan I’ve slacked in terms of praying and reading Quran and all forms of worship. For me, and for you, this is a valuable ‘boost’ to help us get back on track again when it comes to our relationships with Allah.

  1. Observe and learn form the rituals of Hajj.

When else do you millions of people from every corner of the planet wearing the same clothes come together in the same place? It’s one of the most powerful yet humbling things you could possibly see. Allow this massive wave of people to remind you of how all of us will be gathered on the Day of Judgement, and allow the simple garments to teach you that it’s the intentions that count. In the well-known words of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم:

“Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].”

(Muslim)

  1. Thank Allah for allowing you to witness another year.

We’ve lived through an entire 12 months since the last Thul Hijjah, and it’s all thanks to nothing but the love and mercy of the Most Loving and the Most Merciful. So what if we weren’t able to perform Hajj? The Lord deserves praise through every moment of every day and through every second of every night. We have countless incredible blessings to be grateful for.

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.”

(14:34)

These are just some of my humble suggestions and observations, I sincerely pray that you find some hope and benefit in them, and I pray that Allah allows all of us to perform Hajj at least once in our lifetimes.

 

– Raweeha Abdul Rab

Eid Mubarak!

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What makes Islam so incredible is that fact that it isn’t simply a set of rules to follow or beliefs to adopt; it’s a compete way of life. Our Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلمtaught us everything, from how to mourn the loss of a loved one to what day to trim our nails on. So, it make perfect sense that we’ve also been taught the ettiquettes of celebration. And what better occasion to celebrate than Eid, a day which marks the end of a season of obedience, praise and glorification … all for Allah.

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One of the Most Sacred Days | Arafah 

From Allah’s countless creation He has given preference and significance to some creations over others. Good deeds done in certain months and days are more sacred and beloved in the sight of Allah than others. Out of these significant days we are coming near to one of the greatest days of the year, the day of Arafah, 9th Dul Hijjah. 

What makes it so significant?

On this day: 

* Our religion was completed. 

* It is the day Allah took oath from the children of Adam عليه السلام 

* It is the main day for those performing Hajj, a Hajj cannot be completed without observing the Day of Arafah. 

* Its a day of forgiveness and the day Allah frees His slaves from hellfire. 

* Its one of the days from the Sacred months and also from the first 10 days of Dul Hijjah, in which the deeds are most beloved to Allah. 

* Allah has taken oath by this day in the Quran. [Surah Fajr:2] 

How to observe the Day of Arafah? 

* Fast 
The Prophet PBUH has said about the fast on Arafat Day: “It will expiate the sins of the previous and upcoming year.”

* Dua 

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best supplication is that which is made on the day of ‘Arafāt. The best of it is what was said by myself and the prophets before me: There is no god but Allah alone without any partners, unto him belong the dominion and all praise and he has power over all things [ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ].”

* Increase in takbeer and tahleel. 

May Allah swt accept our good deeds and forgive all our sins. 
Abeer Nouman. 

Largest Gatherings and Hajj

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People gather together for many reasons, be it political or religious. Gatherings help show solidarity and power of a particular group of people or school of thought.

This reminds me of some large gatherings round the world like the Maha Kumbh Mela which takes place every 12 years. It is probably the world’s largest gathering ever. The 55-day gathering draws millions of people at the mythical rivers of Ganges and Saraswati to be cleansed of sins and seek salvation.

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Eid: Ennui or Euphoria

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The month of Ramadan is at its end. Everybody must be looking forward to Eid-ul-Fitr. It is a celebration for Muslims from all over the world who have fasted and obeyed Allah (SWT) and the time when the whole Muslim community comes together to share each other’s joy. However, no matter what the occasion, Muslims are required to help and lessen the burden of those suffering.

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