Ramadan Reflection – They are a Clothing for you

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Quran (2:187)

This ayah is so famous. Everyone knows it. We may not know where in the Quran it is but we have most likely heard it before.

But you know what I never realised that this is part of the ayah about being with your spouse in Ramadan. It actually is part of a long ayah but it never really hit me, the significance of it being in this particular place.

It comes in the section of ayah that speak about fasting during Ramadan. Before this ayah, Allah speaks about those who are exempt from fasting and then Allah tells us how He will answer us if we call Him. It speaks about dua and that He is near.

Straight after this Allah tells us He has made marital relations permissible in the night. Then says “they are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”

This made me realise that there has to be a connection between increasing our taqwa and having a good husband and wife relationship.

As we spend this month fasting and in dhikr, praying and reading Quran we should see that reflect in our marriage. Our God consciousness should make us more conscious of how we treat our spouse. These acts of worship should help us improve our character and this should be most prevalent in how we speak and behave with our spouse.

These acts of worship shouldn’t be just a ritual we do but we should put it into action in our daily lives. So as we read the Quran and it tells us the characteristics of the believers implement them. It tells us about diseases of the heart try and remove it from within yourself.

Reflecting on this ayah alone tells us so much about how to be with our spouse. We should look for the good in them. We should cover their faults from others so that means we shouldn’t go round telling others things that annoy you about your spouse. Beautify your spouse.

It is such a blessed time to work on your marriage. There are no shayateen to whisper in your ear to cause disunity between you. As we are more God conscious, we are more aware that Allah is watching us, we should behave in such a way that we will happy to know that Allah is watching.

So use this month to also work on your marriage. As you improve your relationship with Allah also improve your relationship with your spouse.

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An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 16

39) Al Lateef 
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 7 times. Most often it is mentioned with the Name Al-Khabeer which is similar to Al-Aleem. For example Allah says:
 
Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted. [al An’aam 6:103]
Allah also says:
[And Luqman said],
“O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. [Luqman 31:16]
And Allah says
Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted? [al Mulk 67:14]
 
Linguistic Meanings:
1) Kind, gentle. To be kind and affectionate without one knowing that you are being so.
2) Something so small and hidden that it cannot be seen
3) To cover/hide and make sure that it cannot be found.
4) Diminish, close, shut, dignify, be hospitable towards.
Linguistically, the concept of lutf refers to being so kind to someone that they don‘t notice it as well as something that‘s too tiny or too subtle to be seen or felt. It also means to know secrets and minute details of things and to be able to do what others can‘t do.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Ibn Qayyim says: when Allah subhana wa ta’alaa is Al Lateef, He shows companionship to the one He’s about to show lutf towards, so He takes the person as a companion, as a close friend and shows all the signs of being gentle, affectionate and kind in such a manner that this person doesn’t realise that this Lutf is coming. It is so subtle and so hidden.
Allah being Lateef is of 2 types.
1) First type of Lutf is to His slaves without them knowing it.
2) Allah is Lateef of His slaves. He sends gentleness and affection in such a subtle way we don’t even know its Him. This was Allah bringing to us ease in times of distress. He shows lutf towards His awliyaa, those whom He loves, He takes them out of hardship, widens for them path of ease and strengthens them in times of weakness without them even knowing.
How is Allah Al Lateef?
· Allah grants Lutf, but further goes beyond that and provides further assistance to His awliyaa.
· Allah is Al Lateef by closing for us the path of sin and opening for us paths of good.
· Allah sometimes decrees things and sometimes we don’t like it and we think it‘s the worst of things, and He closes the door to that which we want.But He knows and we do not know.
· He allows a person to obtain good in this dunya. Allah gives him eemaan, hidayah, the light of Islam, and He continues to bless him to do good and to be able to worship Him.
· Allah has prepared a specific type of help for those whom He loves. He is the One who grants pure help to the ones He wants to help. This is also found on the battlefield, in Jihad where Allah helps His awliyaa in many different and miraculous ways, because of Allah being Al Lateef towards His companions of the believers.
Have you ever heard someone say something you just needed to hear, for no apparent reason? Have you ever attended a talk and the topic specifically addresses your problem? Have you ever had a class recommended to you from out of nowhere that brings you closer to Allah? Has anyone ever said that one word that lifts you up, reminding you of Allah azza wa jall while they don‘t even know what you‘re going through? You might think it‘s your friends comforting you, but it‘s Allah, Al Lateef who sends you such occurrences.
Have you ever loved something that was displeasing to Allah and slowly just got off it to the point where you didn‘t even know why you ever liked it in the first place? These are the ways of Al Lateef, helping and guiding you in your life. As Al Lateef Himself says:
 
Allah is Subtle with His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might. [ash Shuraa 42:19]
 
Surah Lateef
Ibn Qayyim says: the greatest example of Allah being Lateef is in Surah Yusuf, which is known as Surah Lateef.
If we analyse this surah and all the trials Yusuf alayhis salam went through, we see how everything fell into the plans of Allah. It shows Allah being Lateef throughout Surah Yusuf.
· At the beginning when a caravan came and took Yusuf alayhi salaam out of the well, it was because of Al Lateef without him realising that it is Al Lateef helping him come out of this well.
· When Yusuf alayhis salaam was faced with the trial of zina, and then imprisoned – it was perceived to be a trial of difficulty but Al Lateef decreed him to be in prison, quietly concealing to save him from fitna of zina. Al Lateef knew Yusuf had a better time to be released, so He made the released companion of the prison forget to mention Yusuf alayhi salam to the king
· When there was a dire need from the king, that’s when Allah released Yusuf alayhis salaam, because Al Lateef knew that this was the right time. He is Al Khabeer so He was Al Lateef. And when Yusuf was released it wasn’t because of the companion of the prison or the king, but because of Al Lateef who used these people as excuses to conceal the fact that Allah released him.
· Now Yusuf has the highest authority in Egypt. Al Lateef still had a plan, through being Al Khabeer – to reunite him with his brothers and father. The incident with Binyameen took place so that Yusuf can meet his father. Al Lateef decreed Yaqoob to get His sight back again at this point, at smelling the fragrance of Yusuf from his shirt. The brothers of Yusuf took Yaqoob back with them to bring Binyameen, them not knowing Yusuf was also there and this is when Yusuf was reunited with His family. Yusuf alayhi salaam, after seeing and living through all this said;
 
And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they bowed to him in prostration. And he said, “O my father, this is the explanation of my vision of before. My Lord has made it reality. And He was certainly good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you [here] from bedouin life after Satan had induced [estrangement] between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Lord is Subtle in what He wills. Indeed, it is He who is the Knowing, the Wise. [Yusuf 12:100]
 
Al Lateef and other Names
Allah Mentioned Al Lateef with Al Khabeer – someone who knows about everything, a specialist in every field. Allah knows everything, and knows what will help you, which trial will strengthen you, He does this with lutf.
Why mention Al Qawiyy al Azeez after Al Lateef [42:19]? Allah reminds us that He is Lateef, but for us not to forget that this gentleness isn’t a naqs (deficiency) for Him but that it is perfection and for us not to forget that He is still Al Qawiyy and Al- Azeez, the strong, the victorious.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. If Allah praises Himself for being Al Lateef, by concealing this, then know that there is great reward in doing the same, in granting charity, being affectionate and kind kind. We should take upon us this characteristic of lutf. Let every single person have one action that He does, that no one knows except Him and Allah. And this is when we show true sincerity. Do these secret deeds which is between you and Allah.
2. Reflect on yourself and your surroundings. For example radio waves: they can‘t be seen, but they bring about much benefit for us. The subtle air, which is not heavy to breathe, the change of the seasons, ripening fruits, the day flowing over into the night, the body and mind of a child developing in perfect milestones, people coming onto your path, an uplifting word at the right time, and events occurring out of nothing but with perfect wisdom – the ways of Al Lateef can be found all around you. Take them all as opportunities to actively remember Him.
3. Grow your love and amazement for Al Lateef. Love Him and be grateful to Him, for He‘s been kind to you in ways you don‘t even realise. Al Lateef may put you through things that you dislike, but be patient, and when He gives you what you love, be thankful for it. Say a lot of alhamdulillah in your daily life, even for the things you don‘t notice but that benefit you greatly. Say subhanAllah at any spare moment for His perfect ways to guide you through life.
4. Have the right intention in all you do. Al-Lateef knows all you do, every minute detail, every thought, every desire, and every intention, so take account of yourself. Before you do anything, ask yourself: Am I really doing this for Allah or for something else?
5. Make dua for lutf. Make dua to Al Lateef, asking Him for His kindness and to aid you to be kind to others. Ask Al Lateef for His blessings for your loved ones.
40) Al Hameed
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an 10 times. For example Allah says:
 
And they had been guided [in worldly life] to good speech, and they were guided to the path of the Praiseworthy. [al Hajj 22:24]
Allah also says:
O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. [al Faatir 35:15]
 
Linguistic meaning:
Someone who is praised, a praise that is deserved and perfect, opposite of defamed. Hamd – ascribe praise to one who is perfect and deserves it, with mahabah (love) and ta’dheem (honour). It implies admiration and gratitude towards the one who is praised (mahmood).
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Allah is Perfect in every single regard, deserving of praise because He is perfect. He is always deserving of praise regardless if He is being praised or not. He is also the One who praises, as Allah Praises Himself. Hamd fills up the scale on Yawmal Qiyamah. If it is said having met the 2 conditions of having love and honour. We praise Allah when He gives something and even when He doesn’t give something which makes it different to shukur which is praising/thanking upon receiving something.
 
How is Allah Al Hameed?
He is Al Hameed. He is praised for His Rahma, for His anger, for His rizq for everything. Every Name and attribute of Allah is perfect in the most perfect sense. Ibn Kathir says Allah is Al Mahmood in all of His actions and statements, in His shari’ah in His ability to be able to do things, and there is nothing Like Him. The phrase alhamdulillah occurs 38 times in the Quran and it is the praise Allah  azza wa jal praised Himself with. Some suwar (chapters) of the Quran begin with hamd, which announces that all praise and thanks belong to Allah azza wa jall, instructs that when we begin something we should begin with praise (like in a sermon or when making dua‘) and shows us how to praise Allah by saying alhamdulillah. Allah begins the Qur’an with Al Hamd – the first word of the first surah of the Qu’ran and plus in many other suwar, He begins with Al Hamd. This goes against many of Sunnan of acst of Ibadah. The general pattern is to begin with Bismillah and close with Hamd. But the very first verse is Al Hamdulillah Why? When a person opens the kitab of Allah, Allah has given the person the blessing of going to the kitab, looking at it, reading it and this phrase fills scales on Yawmal Qiyamah. This phrase is said at all times and places. Everything in the heavens and earth is praising Allah, in every single place, every single form of creation, from the beginning of time till the end of time. He was praised before He created time, before Allah created creation and He will continue to be praised at the end of time when everything perishes, Allah will still be praised, by Himself.
 
The praise of Allah is of 2 types
1) Everything from the creation is praising Allah, with the statement Alhamdulillah.
2) Praise is due to Allah being perfect. Praising Allah in al Aakhirah will be forever and it will be as natural as breathing. Allah says in the Qur‘an that the people of Parradise will say:
And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [al ‗A‘raaf 7:43]
The One who deserves praise is the One who has guided us to Islam.
 
Virtues of praising Allah
1. A means to fill your scales on Yawmal Qiyamah.
The statement Alhamdulillah fills up your scales. [Muslim]
2. The most perfect manner of making du’a and an extremely powerful du’a is when a person starts with hamd of Allah and then sends peace and blessings on Prophet and then talks to Allah about what he wants and desires.
3. Rasooullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said:
Whoever says subhanaAllahi wa bihamdi, his sins will be forgiven even if they are like the foam of ocean. [Tirmidhi]. Here the hadith is pertaining to minor sins, except if you intend that you want it to be tawbah for major sins, allahu’alam. This shows what an intention can do, it can change a small deed into a big deed.
 
Al Hameed and other Names
· Allah mentioned Hameed with Hakeem. “Has been revealed to you by Hameed and Hakeem.” Everything Allah has prescribed there is a reason for it, wisdom. Every act of ibadah, there is a reason and wisdom behind it, even if we don’t know of it. Allah’s wisdom is so great and perfect and He deserves praise because of His wisdom.
· Allah also mentions Hameed with Majeed, Allah is praising His izzah. His strength will never die and Allah will forever be strong and powerful. He is Hameed in His strength, and His Hamd is powerful.
· Allah Mentions Hameed with Al Waliy – guardian, protector. Wa huwal waliyul hameed. There is no greater wali, protector, shield, friend other than Allah. When Allah decrees that Allah wants to protect someone, nothing can break that barrier, that protection. Al Hamd for this protection. When a person adorns his tongue with hamd, Allah will make him a wali of Allah. Allah will become a wali and friend to the one who praises Him constantly.
As mentioned in the Hadith Qudsi
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” [Al Bukhari]
Through praising Allah constantly our eyes will only see what Allah wants us to see, our ears will only see that which Allah wants, so ears will only hear good, and tongue will utter only that which is good. Allah will become our wali in dunya and aakhirah. To the extent we can only do good. Allah tests a person when He loves them and also tests as a punishment.
How to differentiate?
1) Both types of tests are signs that Allah loves you, because even the test that is a punishment, is a means for you to be forgiven. Punishment in dunya is better than punishment in aakhirah.
2) A test of love often comes directly after an act of worship. A bad test often comes after deed of disobedient.
3) Test of punishment will make naqs in ibaadah. A person won’t be able to do an ibaadah anymore. A Dunya test, e.g. Family member dying is a good test.
4) A person will be able to tell by themselves what a test is due to because of an action that he has done either of good or bad.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Knowing the virtues of the phrase Alhamdulillah. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Verily, your Lord likes Al-Hamd [An-Nasaa‘i] He salallahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned: The best dhikr (remembering Allah) is laa ilaaha illallah and the best supplication is alhamdulillah [At-Tirmidhi] And: The phrase alhamdulillah fills the scale. [Muslim]. Realise the virtues of alhamdulillah.
2. Increase in saying alhamdulillah and feel it. Increase in saying this beautiful praise in your daily life. And say it out of deep love, honour, and with humility and gratitude to your Lord. Remember Paradise when you say alhamdulillah, and ask Allah azza wa jall to make you of those who say:
Their call therein will be, Exalted are You, O Allah,‘ and their greeting therein will be, Peace.‘ And the last of their call will be, Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.‘ [Yunus 10:10]
3. Say it when you are blessed. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
No servant is blessed by Allah and says, alhamdulillah except that what he was given is better than that which he has himself acquired. [Ibn Maajah]
4. Know that everything happens for good. For the believers there is always a win-win situation. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
The affair of the believer is amazing. The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him. [Muslim]. Deeply reflect on this hadith and say: alhamdulillah alaa kulli haal alhamdulillah in every case or situation.
41) Al Majeed
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an twice. Allah says:
 
They said, “Are you amazed at the decree of Allah ? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honourable.” [Hud 11:73]
And Allah says:
Honourable owner of the Throne [al Burooj 85:15]
 
Linguistic meaning:
Honourable, dignified, glorified. Something that has so much sharf (honour). Majd refers to a complete authority (sultan) and sovereignty (adhamah). This root includes the meanings of being glorious, dignified, majestic and exceedingly generous.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
One who has vast blessings, glory, honour, dignity. Someone who possesses glory (majd) and dignity and honour. Allah specified Qur’an as majeed – something that allows person to achieve honour and glory.
Qaaf. By the Honoured Qur’an… [Qaaf 50:1] The number of ayat there are in Qur’an, will equate the number of levels that there will be in Jannah. The Qur’an gives us honour in both dunya and aakhirah.
The Name Al Majeed is related in meaning to the combination of three other Beautiful Names, Al Jaleel (the Majestic), Al Kareem (The Generous) and Al Wahhaab (The Bestower). Al Majeed is majestic and beautiful in both His qualities and actions. He treats His slaves most generously and gives them gifts beyond any expectations. This is a demonstration of His Greatness which deserves all praise.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Having Mahabbah – Allah is the most glorious. From His glory He sends us mercy, and He only does things that befit His majesty. Knowing this increases our love for Al Majeed.
2. Follow His book. Know that you are a slave of One Who is Perfect so follow His Book, submit to His commands and stay away from His prohibitions. Learn to recite, understand and live by the Qur’an to increase yourself in dignity and honour.
3. Praise Al Majeed continuously. Show Him you are grateful for His favours upon you and praise Him for His perfection. Abu Hamzah Al Baghdady said: It‘s impossible for you to claim you love Allah and not praise him continuously, and it‘s impossible that you praise Allah continuously and not see the sweetness of that in this life; and its impossible you see the sweetness of praising Allah and then be preoccupied with other than him. Not praising Al Majeed continuously is even a sign of a hypocrite. Allah azza wajal said:
Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little [an Nisaa 4:142]
There is no excuse to not be engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Al Majeed:
And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times. [an Nisaa 4:103]
4. Treat others with respect. Let the attribute of majd open your heart and treat others with forgiveness and patience. Speak kindly to others, smile to them and help others reconcile. Spend your blessings of wealth to help the less fortunate and apart from your spending, be humble and kind to them.
5. Reflect on the creation of Al Majeed. The signs of Allah‘s majd can be seen all around us, the whole universe and all it contains for our benefit is a demonstration of the vast Greatness and Generosity of Al Majeed. When you go through difficulties and trials, look around you and realise it is Al Majeed Who just says Be and it is.
 
And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah, who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do.[an Naml 27:88]
As He made everything around you and inside you, He can surely give you a way out of your problems.

An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 9

18) Al Hayy
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 5 times. For example Allah says:
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [al Baqarah, 2:255]
 
Linguistic Meaning:
opposite to death, furthest away from death.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Ever living. Alive and never ever dies. Not permissible for Him to die or feel the anguish of death. Always alive. A Lord, that is always there, One who isn’t far away. Ayatul kursi gives an example that He doesn’t sleep or rest this is mentioned because sleep is a type of death.
Allah says:
 
He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, [being] sincere to Him in religion. [All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds. [al Ghafir 40:65]
Allah also says:
 
Everything upon the earth will perish, And there will remain the face of your Lord Owner of Majesty and Honour. [ar Rahman, 55: 26-27]
Ibn Taymiyyah mentions, that the Name of Allah Al-Hayy is the Name that all other Names return back to, for Allah to be able to do everything He does, He has to be Al-Hayy – the One who is ever living and who will never die.
 
Benefits that we can learn from this Name
1. Allah possesses perfect form of being Al-Hayy. Knowing Allah is al Mu’min and Al-Hayy comforts the hearts of the believers because they know that the One who is going to help them, and support and protect them is always alive and will never die. He is always there. Allah is the only One who is Ever Living. No one else will be ever living. We are all going to die. Affirm the fact that we are all going to die and thus our eemaan in worshipping Allah will increase.
2. Rely upon the Ever-Living.
And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt with His praise and sufficient is He to be, with the sins of His slaves, Acquainted. [al Furqan, 25:58]
Each source of our problems and distress lies in this world, whether it is money, or family or other things, but these will all perish one day. This ayah gives us a beautiful reflection: while you put your trust in Allah, really realise how great the One is in who you trust. Use your imagination, go back in time for 100 years, 1000 years, a million or a billion years and Allah was alive. In the same way think about the future, so feel the glory that belongs to Him. Hearts become enveloped in pure tawakkul of Allah. Allah will always help the mu’minoon. Our Lord who has promised to help and protect us is always alive.
3. Recite Ayatul Kursi after each prayer and before going to sleep . In this greatest ayah of the Quran the Name Al-Hayy is mentioned and many virtues are narrated about ayatul Kursi. In each sentence one or two Attributes of Allah are mentioned: Every time you recite this ayah reflect on the Attributes of Allah and how they all emerge from His perfect Life: He is Al-Hayy. Ask Al-Hayy. When the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam was faced with a serious difficulty, he would say:O Ever-Living One, O Self-Existing One, By Your mercy I seek help
4. Be comforted by Al-Hayy and turn to Him only when you lose things around you and know that He will always be there. When you are treated unjustly and see injustice around you, do your best to help according to the laws of Al-Hayy but also know that the injustice of every single person will be a cause of failure in the Hereafter. So guard yourself from doing injustice as well.
And [all] faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. And he will have failed who carries injustice. [Ta Ha, 20:111]
5. Turn to Al-Hayy for daily-life guidance. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam once mentioned to Faatimah radiyallaahu ‗anha to recite the following supplication morning and evening:
O Ever-Living One, O Self-Existing One, I seek assistance through the means of your mercy, correct for me all my affairs and do not entrust me to my nafs (myself) for the moment of a blink of an eye [An-Nasaa‘i]
19) Al Qayyum
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 3 times and each time it is mentioned with the Name Al Hayy. Allah mentions it in Surah Baqarah 2: 255 (see al-Hayy above)
Allah also says:
 
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the ever living, the sustainer of all existence. [ale Imran 3: 2]
And Allah also says:
 
And [all] faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. And he will have failed who carries injustice.[Ta Ha, 20:111]
 
Linguistic Meanings
· Al azzam – means to resolve.
· Qiyaam – the provider, protector.
· Nuhafidha – protect thibat – grant security/provisions.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Al Qatadah says: Al-Qayyum means one who stands over His creation, looks after their actions, provides for them, takes care of them. One who is completely alive, who sustains Himself and doesn’t need anyone to look after Him and He sustains everyone else. Al-Hayy is the asl from which all the Names of Allah emanate/stem from. Al-Qayyum is the Name from which all of the Characteristics of Allah stem from.
The Perfect Life Al-Hayy is most often combined with the Name Al-Qayyum, the Sustainer. This is a beautiful combination of the perfection of Allah‘s Attributes and His Actions. Al-Hayy means the One who possesses the perfect living and so all His Attributes are perfect: His hearing, His sight, His Beauty etc. Man‘s life is imperfect from all sides: our hearing, sight, speech and actions are all imperfect. All the Attributes of Allah are perfect, because any deficiency in Attributes would come from weakness of life and His life is perfect.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
 
1. Establish salah. Aqeemoo as-salah. Al-Qayyum instructs you many times in the Quran to establish the prayer. But do you really establish your salah in your daily life, or do you fit your prayers around your daily routine?
One of the sahaabah asked: What is the thing that Allah loves most? The Prophet said:The thing that Allah loves most is when his people pray salah on time. [Al Bukhari] Fit your daily activities around your salah and not your salah around your daily activities. Focus on praying your salah on time for a week and see the difference in your emaan.
2. Recite surah Al-Ikhlaas often. This surah contains a beautiful description of Allah, His Oneness and His self-existing and sustaining Attributes.
The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam heard a man reciting Qul huwa Allaahu ahad, and said, It is his right. They asked, O Messenger of Allaah, what is his right? He said, Paradise is his right. [Ahmad] He salallahu alayhi wa sallam also said:Whoever recites Qul huwa Allaahu ahad ten times, Allaah will build for him a house in Paradise. [Saheeh al-Jaami al-Sagheer] So recite it whenever you can: whenever you have a spare moment, fill it with recitation of surah al-Ikhlaas.
3. Help sustain the needy. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: If you love the poor and bring them near you Allah will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection. [At-Tirmidhi]
4. Humble yourself. We have no reason to ever be arrogant, and this Name should humble us. When you were born your parents needed to do everything for you; you could not even sit by yourself. As you grow, developing your intellect and body, you become less dependent on your parents. Then your body and mind starts decreasing in strength, and you go back to the beginning where others need to take care of you again. Even when you feel strong, still remember you are completely dependant on Al-Qayyum.
5. Help in the cause of Islam. Even though Al-Qayyum does not need any of us, nor does He need food, drink or sleep, He made you a beautiful promise in the Qur’an:O you who believe! If you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet. [Muhammad, 47:7] This means you should do your best to help in the cause of Allah‘s Deen, for Al-Qayyum is the One Who is in full charge of all things. Ask Him to make you of those who help the Deen by spreading the message of the Quran, living out the sunnah, teaching and helping others.
6. Think about the Day of Standing. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said, You will surely stand before Allah, no screen between Him and you, no interpreter to translate for you. Then He will say, Did I not bring you wealth?‘ He will say, Yes.‘ Then He will say, Did I not send you a Messenger?‘ He will say, Yes.‘ Then he will look to his right and left and see nothing but Hell. So protect yourselves from it even with half a date (in charity), and if not then with a kind word. [Al-Bukhari] Daily, remind yourself about this moment and make sure you do a deed of charity each day, even if it‘s a kind word to someone.
7. Stand in the night. Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said;The best prayer after the obligatory ones is the night prayer. [Muslim]. Abu Sulaimaan Ad-Daaraanie said, Those who pray in the night enjoy when they are observing their night prayer more than what the people of pastime and fun enjoy from their pastime. If not because of the night, I would not have loved to remain in this world. When Umar was dying, he said I do not grieve on anything of this life except the night prayer. Some people think only those who have strong emaan can pray and they are not good enough, but in fact qiyaam ul layl is the opportunity for those who feel far away from Allah to become closer to Him, so go for it and motivate others to gain extra reward.
 
Benefits we can learn from these Names together
1. Greatest phrase is these mightiest Names put together after Allah. Al Hayy al Qayyum. Most perfect du’a mentioned in Hadith where a bedouin called upon Allah by most mightiest Name and phrase. Ya Allah, Ya Hayyul Qayyum. Reason is because the asl in Allah describing Himself comes from Al Hayy Al Qayyum this is where all sifat/actions stem from. So by calling upon Al Hayyul Qayyum, one is calling Allah by all His Names and Attributes in this phrase.
2. Deserves muhabba and praise and glorification and worship. Allah sustains Himself and He doesn’t need anything and He sustains the entire creation. We should make du’a with the Names of Allah. Abu Alaa Al Hadrami, may Allah be pleased with him, used to pray: “O All-Knower, All-Wise, the Most High, the Most Great!” His supplications were responded to. On an expedition one day, He and His army pursued the enemy till they got to the sea, which takes an entire day to cross. They didn’t have boats to do so. So he said lets make du’a to Allah and ask Allah to give us protection as we are mujahideen in His path. He said bismillah and they started to walk over the water. The water only got to the ankles of their horses. And the ones who were walking, only their feet got wet. They reached the enemy, defeated them, and they then came back and this all happened in one day. This is narrated by Ibn Kathir and At Tabari This is the power of du‘a, the weapon of the believer.

Home Sweet Home part 3

The art of choosing a spouse – Finding a Wife

So what should we look for when choosing a wife? Is it all about how she looks? Or what she cooks? Or is there something more important?

The prophet (saw) said: A woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her deen. So choose the one with (good practice of) deen, may your hands be rubbed in dust. (Bukhari)

From this Hadith we learn many things. We can see what is most important when looking for a wife but the other things mentioned should not be ignored completely. It was recommended by the prophet (saw) to first see her before marrying her. This is discouraged in some cultures however we need to distinguish between culture and Islam. Islam accepts cultures as long as they don’t contradict with its principles and teachings.

Men learn to love who they are attracted to, whereas women learn to be attracted to who they love.

Imam Ahmad recommend that a man should first enquirer about her beauty, if he is pleased with this then ask about her deen, if he is happy with her deen he should marry her. This is because if you say no, in this way you will be saying no based on her deen rather than her beauty.

It is important to ensure she a strong deen as deen is an obligation, the rest is a choice. It is based on our preferences of beauty, lineage, and wealth. On the day of judgement only your deen will help you not the other three aspects.

The prophet (saw) said: Have I not told you about the best treasure that a man possesses? The righteous woman; if he looks at her, she pleases him, if he asks her, she answers, and if he travels, she protects her chastity. (Abu Dawud)

There are other factors you can consider when looking for a wife, similar to what I already discussed in part 2.

Compatibility

The last thing that needs to done with prospective spouses is to see if they are compatible with you. Are they compatible intellectually, physically, financially, spiritually, morally, environmentally and psychologically? Compatibility is so important ass this will determine how well you can actually maintain your marriage after the honeymoon period.

4 point method

Once we find someone who we think we could marry what should we do? Just say yes straight away or take some time to think on our own?

The first thing we should do is Istisharah (consulting others). It is important to consult others as it is the most important decision of your life. However you should consult people of knowledge and wisdom and ask more than one person. You should ask people about the person you’re thinking of marrying and if you get recommendations then go onto istikharah.

Istikharah (seeking the knowledge of Allah) is important as nothing can be achieved without asking Allah for guidance. Praying 2 nafl and then reading the dua is the best way. Once it has been made clear act accordingly.

Determination in what has been made clear and do not go against istikharah. You should act according to a clear sign you get once you do istikharah. It is important however not to have a preconceived idea and also ensure that you have clearly gotten a sign. This sing could be one path being made easy for you and the other difficult. For example if you should marry this person then everything for the wedding will be made easy for you to do.

Trust, have tawakkul in Allah, once everything has fallen in place and you have committed yourself and do not hesitate.

For the sake of Allah 

If you’re willing to go against your culture and its acceptable in Islam then its not going to be easy. It never was but you embarked on this journey so be prepared to be strong. Don’t expect them to accept it right away with kindness, persistance and good character they may just come along but it will take time – that’s just the way it is. And when they do you have a responsibility to show them they did the right thing, failing is not an option as others are hoping you pass.
When we have a choice between doing something in our culture or following the commands of Allah, in theory it seems it will be an easy choice, however in reality it may not be so easy. Whether we accept it or not but the culture of the place we live in and of our family background has big influences on our life, from the way we view life to the way we dress and the type of food we eat. So when we reach a point where the culture clashes with our religion it may not be such an easy choice to make. We will have influences from our family, friends and the society around us and they can lead us towards either option. 
For example, in some cultures it is okay for a woman to not wear hijab in front of her non-mahrem male relatives but Islam says that she must cover in front of them. What do you do in these situations? If you insist on keeping your hijab on then your relatives may become upset that you are implying that they have bad intentions towards you. Or that they don’t consider it necessary as you are family and keep insisting you take it off to be more comfortable. You may also want to take off your scarf as it might be hot and stuffy in the room or that no one else is wearing there’s. On the other hand you know that in taking it off you are disobeying Allah. 
Another situation may be that you are invited to a party but it will be mixed and there will be music and dancing. It may be that all your family and friends are going and you will feel left out. It may be work related and you feel you must go as all your colleagues are going. You do not want to upset the person who invited you by not going to the party. You also want to go because you know everyone will have a good time. On the other hand you know that this type of environment is not acceptable be in. These situations can be very difficult to deal with especially if you are young. But when I am faced with a situation where I have to choose between my culture and Islam I always remember

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” Ahmed

I know for sure that if I choose to do what Allah has commanded over what my desires are telling me then Allah will surely reward me for it. As long as my intentions are to please Allah. This reward can come in the dunya or the aakhirah. People may cause problems for you initially but if you stay firm then they will eventually accept it. Be firm with people but never rude, speak kindly and have good manners and ensure you explain to them why you are doing what you are doing, and they are more likely to accept your decision. Everyone now knows that if there are male relatives I will have my hijab on, they even tell me in advance if someone is about to walk in the room giving me time to put my hijab on if necessary. Allah does makes things easier for you but you have to be strong and remain firm on your belief. There is always difficulties initially as people are always resistant to change, especially from culture that dates back to their parents and grandparents.
To help us make the right decision and stay firm on it we need to seek help from Allah, we need to make dua and ensure we have the correct intention. We also need to study our religion and learn what it actually teaches us, a big problem is that a lot of the time we are unable to distinguish between culture and religion. The more we actually know about our religion the easier it is to stay firm on its belief. We may from time to time give in to that culture pressure but don’t despair, we are human and we make mistakes. We should turn back to Allah and seek forgiveness and surely Allah will forgive us if it is sincere.
Whenever we do something that clashes against the norm always remind yourself that whatever you give up for the sake of Allah, Allah will most definitely replace it with something better than you could even imagine. InshaAllah

Al Mustafa – The Chosen One part8

The last thing I will share with you about what we learnt at the course is this:

1. Send consistent, daily prayers on the prophet (saw).

Be habitual in mentioning him.
Make it a part of your life.

2. Let the mention of the prophet (saw) show in your actions.

Those who love him most will be closest to him (saw) in Jannah.
Just because we are sinners it doesn’t mean we can’t love him completely.
Your sin doesn’t keep you away from the prophet (saw).
Don’t think that because you have erred we are not worthy of his love.
These were the last two things taught you to us on the course. Alhamdulillah this course helped me to begin to see just how amazing he (saw) was and increase my love for him ten fold.

The biggest calamity for this ummah was the death of the prophet (saw) and after spending these few days learning about him, I can now see why. But the prophet (saw) only left us after he had perfected the religion, as it was never about us or him, he commanded us to worship Allah, alone. He had completed his mission and now it is upto us to continue doing what he has commanded. For how can we gain his love if we do not do what he has told us to do?

Al Mustafa – The Chosen One part6

How do we know that we love the Prophet (saw)? It is not enough for us to just merely state this. So how can we truly know if we love the Prophet (saw)? There are many ways to show our love for the Prophet (saw). 
Your heart inclines to his deeds and decisions. 
Your heart accepts what he has told us to do.
The example of the prophet comes before the examples of others in your life.

  • Sometimes our culture, family etc are different from the sunnah and we have to learn the difference.
  • If culture leads dis too far from the prophetic model, this is a problem.

Your anger and emotions incline to what the prophet (saw) loved or hated.

  • We should express our emotions the way that the prophet (saw) would have.

Mention him (saw) abundantly.

  • It should be part of our life habit.

We should yearn to meet him.

We should show humility and deference to those who love the prophet (saw) and not rebel against those who love him (saw) more than us.

You love his household.

We seek to protect the prophet (saw) from those who don’t know him.

  • We are protective over him.

We use his guidance to guide others and seek to display his teachings.

You are merciful to his ummah.

You restrict yourself from things that may lead you away from his love.

  • There are things that the prophet (saw) hasn’t said that it is halal or haram but if we stay away from it then it can lead us closer to his love.

We should strive to do these to help us become closer to the prophet (saw). But we need to remember that we will be tested. Part of our love for him (saw) invites poverty. So we will be tested in different things; wealth, health, family etc. but the reward for our steadfastness and our love for him (saw) will be far greater than any test that is sent our way.