Ramadan Reflection

I was told by the doctor that due to my health condition I will not be able to fast the whole of Ramadan as I need to take my medication regularly and should not miss them. I was really upset by this and felt that I would be missing out on this month. So I insisted on fasting the first day, and yes it was a mistake. It took me several days to recover from it.

But over this week what I’ve realised is that I don’t need to miss out on this month even though I’m not fasting. I can still pray and do all the other acts of worship. And that this is a blessing from Allah that he has allowed those that are ill to not fast as it will be too difficult for them and worsen their condition.

That I had sincerely wanted to fast and that the Prophet (saw) has told us that those who sincerely want to do something good but a prevented will still get the reward of doing that good deed.

So I am not missing out at all. But that Allah has made it easier for me to fulfill other acts of worship in which I can still gain rewards from. Something that I definitely wouldn’t be able to do if i was fasting.

That Allah knows what is best for us even if we think we know better.

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Ramadan Readathon

During this Ramadan @muslimreadathon over on Twitter and Instagram has set up a photo challenge to help people become more aware of and read books written by Muslim authors. There is one prompt a week and there will be a giveaway too!

image

So I wanted to share a list of authors with you all to help you get started as I’m sure many of us don’t know many books written by Muslim authors. Some have written fiction, some non-fiction and some have written both.

These authors have written fiction books:

1) Na’ima B Robert – she has several books my favourite is She Wore Red Trainers.

2) G. Willow Wilson – also has several fiction books, among them one is called Alif the Unseen

3) Jamilah Kolocotronis – wrote the Echoes series, a 5 book series which is a favourite of mine.

4) Shelina Zafra Janmohammed – Love in a headscarf

5) Tahereh Mafi – Shatter me series, it’s also being made into a tv series and there will be 3 more books coming out

6) Sabaa Tahir – An Ember in the Ashes series, the first two are out at the moment

7) Khalid Hosseini – The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed

8) Hend Hegazi – Normal Calm

9) Aisha Saeed – Written in the Stars

10) Ayisha Malik – Sofia Khan is not Obliged

11) Karuna Riazi – The Gauntlet

12) S.K. Ali – Saints and Misfits

These are authors who have written non-fiction books

1) Yasmin Mogahed – Reclaim Your Heart

2) Mohammad Faris – The Productive Muslim

3) Hesham Al-Awadi – Muhammad: How he can make you Extraordinary

4) Saifur Rahman Mubarakpuri – When the Moon Split

5) Mohammad Akram Ghadanfar – Great Women of Islam

6) Mohammad Akram Nadwi – Al-Muhaddithaat: The Women Scholars in Islam

7) Nouman Ali Khan – Revive your Heart

8) Na’ima B Robert – From my sisters lips

Hope you find this helpful. Some of these are among my favourite books! Hope you enjoy reading them.

If you have any questions please message me or find me on Instagram @thetsundokuchronicles

Happy Reading!

Transformed by the Quran

This is a piece I wrote which I submitted to the Productive Muslim, Transformed by the Quran, competition, which ran during Ramadan. Alhamdulillah I was lucky enough to be chosen among the top entries! I thought I would share it here with all of you.

This is the link to all the top entries, I would definitely recommend reading them as they are all so inspiring!

The Best of #TransformedByTheQuran Competition Stories

I was reminded of this ayah when my husband left, what we call love notes, for me before he left for university.

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 monthfasting 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 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.

An Explanation of Allahs Names and Attributes part 24

80) As Samee’
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an 45 times.
For example Allah says:
Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah . And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. [al Mujaadilah 58:1]
Allah also says:
 
And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing [al Baqarah 2:127]
 
Linguistic meaning: 
1) comes from sama’a or sami’a Lisaan al arab defines sami’a as something whereby you use your ears to hear a sound. The attribute of sound to ears is for the majority of creation but not for all. The more correct definition is ability to hear.
2) To grant a request. Allah grants requests; He hears adiyah [plural of du’a] and grants them.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
The One, The Mighty, The great, who hears the entire creation, who hears all sounds and all voices, regardless how loud or how quiet they are or they are said all together or separately. He hears everything, even those things that don’t make an apparent sound, such as whispers of the heart, whispers of the mind. As-Samee‘ refers to the perfection and the totality of Allah‘s hearing, which cannot be compared with the hearing of any other created being. Al Khattabi says: He hears everything clearly, hears all sounds, noises, voices, whispers. It is not possible for a sound to be made except that Allah can hear it.
Ibn Qayyim says: the action of hearing carries 4 meanings;
1) Allah hears all voices and all sounds
2) Allah doesn’t just hear them, Allah understands all of it. Someone who is mute, Allah still understands/knows what He means, even though there’s no formation of words and sentences.
3) Allah responds to all sounds and all voices.
4) Acceptance and submission. Allah knows exactly what has been said and how it has been said, He knows the exact meaning and He knows the response that will be delivered and no one can change what has been said. Submit to the fact that Allah is all Hearing. As Samiee’.
Ibn Qayyim says after mentioning these 4 principles: As Samee’ is the One who rose over His creation with His hearing. Hears all sounds and all voices. He doesn’t get confused, and He hears them all clearly and responds to them all clearly. No one can understand the hearing of Allah and no one can be similar in the hearing of Allah. Allah doesn’t become busy or over busy by responding to different calls and providing different requests. He is samee’ in form of mubaalagah (exaggeration) and He is perfect in this. Allah hears all sounds, the apparent and the hidden, the loud and the quiet and He responds to the call of the one who calls. Allah listens to the one who praises Him
Benefits we can take from this Name:
1. We affirm the siffat of hearing of Allah. It is a matter of ‘aqeedah. Ahlus Sunnah believe Allah has the siffat of hearing, not like anything else.
[He is] Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates; He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [ash Shuraa 42:11]
2. Having khawf. Fear that Allah can hear everything we say, better than we can hear it ourself. His hearing and seeing encompasses everything. Allah sees the black ant on the black rock in the black night. Refrain from speaking bad, fearing the punishment of Allah.
3. We should be proud and have tawakkul and have comfort in knowing that we have a Lord that hears our cries. Not only hears, but a Lord that responds as well. Allah knows, sees everything in the Heavens and the Earth. Allah is with you wherever you go, in His ‘ilm, hearing and seeing all. Have tawakkul and hope because Allah hears our du’a and He responds to our trust and reliance upon Him. The Ambiya used to make du’a to Allah regularly as been mentioned throughout the Qur’an.
There is not a thing that is vague to Allah. We haven’t seen Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam but we heard about him and know about him. Allah has seen everything, He is the greatest shaheed [witness], He has seen everything, heard everything and knows about everything.
4. Study the etiquette of speech for a Muslim. How do you know if your speech is pleasing to As-Samee‘ if you do not study His book and the sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him? Learn about the prohibitions of the tongue, like backbiting, swearing, and lying and refrain from doing them. Study the types of speech As-Samee‘ loves to hear from you, like dhikr, good advice, kind words to others, and reciting the Quran and engage in doing these frequently.
5. Feel sami‘Allahu liman hamidah‘ . Next to the amazing Hearing of Allah, The beautiful Name As-Samee‘ also means He answers our prayers. After bowing in prayer we say: sami‘Allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears the one who praises Him). We know that Allah hears us; this means that Allah answers those who praise Him and seek Him in prayer. Now every time you say sami‘Allahu liman hamidah, feel that Allah is The All-Hearer and make the intention to strive that He only hears good from you.
6. Be comforted by As-Samee‘. When Allah azza wa jall sent Musa and Harun to confront the Pharaoh, He comforted them with the words:
[Allah] said; Fear not. Indeed, I am with you (both); I hear and I see. [Ta Ha 20:46] As-Samee‘ hears and answers your prayers, so invoke Him and supplicate to Him. Remember that dua‘ is the weapon of the believer and can make the mountains shake.
7. Ask As-Samee‘ to bless your hearing. Allah – As-Samee‘ loves those who use the abilities He gave them for His sake. Ask Him to help you to use your hearing and your tongue only for things pleasing to Him.
 
As Samee’ and other Names
As Samee’ is mentioned with Al Qareeb. Allah says:
 
Say, “If I should err, I would only err against myself. But if I am guided, it is by what my Lord reveals to me. Indeed, He is Hearing and near.” [Saba 34:50]
When a person asks Allah for something, Allah hears it and then Allah becomes close to Him. We get closer to Allah by requesting.
Allah says:
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. [al Baqarah 2:186]
81) Al Baseer
This Name of Allah Appears in the Qur’an 42 times. For example Allah says:
 
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [al Israa 17:1]
Allah also says:
 
And Allah judges with truth, while those they invoke besides Him judge not with anything. Indeed, Allah – He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [al Ghaafir 40:20]
 
Lingustic meaning:
mentioned in lisaan al ‘Arab: comes from the root word, basara, which means, the ability to see.
 
Share’ee meaning:
At Tabbari says: Allah is Baseer, He possesses the ability to see. He sees absolutely everything. The smallest, the greatest, the actions we do and those that we don’t do. His ‘ilm through His seeing encompasses the heavens and the earth. He memorises and He remembers what He sees, until there comes a day where He will inform everyone of what they done and punish and reward accordingly.
Al Khattabi says: Allah is Baseer of the smallest of thing. Allah sees the black ant walking on black stone, in depth of black water in the dark black night. His vision encompasses everything. No one can leave the vision of Allah. Allah is Baseer in mubaalagha form – nothing can go out of His vision. As Sa’di says: Allah sees everything, He sees the Heavens and earth and everything it contains, He sees the smallest of things, sees that which is inside a person body and the things that are covered, the apparent and the hidden, the strength of people, their bones, their limbs, the water inside trunks of trees, He sees the air that the trees breathe, He sees all things however small or large, for He is Al Baseer – complete and perfect in His vision, and in His ‘ilm.
Two types of seeing of Allah
1) Allah sees everything in the heavens and the earth, the hidden and the apparent.
2) Allah sees the needs, request and requirements of everyone.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name:
1. Increases our fear. The fact that Allah sees the whole of creation and everything we do and every breath we take, shows who Allah is. A man once came to Muhammad ibn Adam (from the salaf) and said give me some advice on how I can sin. Muhammad ibn Adam said; find a place where Allah cannot see you, in a place that doesn’t belong to Allah, and sin without using a blessing that He has given you.” It is not possible to do this, thus there is no place where a person can sin.
2. Watch your deeds. How many times have you watched your deeds when certain people were around? As a Muslim one of your tasks is to mind the acts of your limbs and your heart anytime, anywhere, and in any company. A practical tip is to imagine yourself being watched by a camera which follows you 24/7, whether you are with people or all alone. The sight of Al-Baseer cannot be topped by a hundred million cameras.
3. Truly being a mukhlis, someone who has ikhlaas, in all actions. Because Allah sees our actions and how we do them and who we really do them for. Allah sees the zhaahir and baatin, the things that can be seen and can’t be seen.
4. Worship Allah as if we can see Him, and if we can’t do this, then worship Allah knowing He can see us. If we remember this then our Khushoo’ in Salah will increase.
 
5. Strive for quality. Knowing that Allah sees everything you do encourages you to be more devoted in your worship, more righteous in your deeds, and kinder to others. This is why Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalm, said:
Excellence in faith is to worship your Lord as if you see Him, and though You do not see Him, know that He sees you. [Al-Bukhari, Muslim] Strive for ehsaan (excellence) in every act you do.
6. Trust in Al-Baseer at all times. He sees every obstacle and sorrow you face and everything others do to you, He is the Only One Who only gives you what is good for you at all times. Therefore submit and put all your trust in Him only. Al-Baseer says:
And rely upon the Exalted in Might, the Merciful, who sees you when you arise (to pray) and your movement among those who prostrate. Indeed He is the Hearing, the Knowing [ash Shu’araa 26: 217-219]
7. Presevere. Al-Baseer reassured the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wassalam and says:
And be patient [O Muhammad] for the decision of your Lord, for indeed you are in Our Eyes. And exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord when you arise [at Tur 52:48]
Isn‘t it the most comfortable and reassuring feeling for your heart knowing as a believer Your Lord is so close to you and sees and hears everything you go through? When others do injustice to you and no one seems to notice, take strength from the fact that Al-Baseer is seeing them and will recompense for it.
8. Believe in the decree of Al-Baseer. Whenever Allah creates something, grants something, gives life, causes death, guides someone, or allows someone to stray, it is in accordance with His wisdom, His perfect knowledge, and His complete vision that nothing can escape from.
Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows while you know. [al Baqarah 2:216] Al-Baseer observes how you respond to His ayaat. Believe that everything Al-Baseer does is a complete tailor-made test for you and only for your own good, even though you might not like it.
9. Seek refuge in Al-Baseer. Knowing that Allah is the All-Seeing protects the believer from committing sins. Since Allah azza wa jall is taking account of everything we do, there is no escape from Him except to seek refuge with Him. Use the isti‘aadhah (saying: a‘oodhu billaahi minash-shaytaanir rajeem) a lot in your daily life, in times of anger, fear, and despair.
10. Ask Al-Baseer to bless your sight. Allah Al-Baseer loves those who use the abilities He gave them for His sake. Ask Him to help you to use your sight and insight only for things pleasing to Him.
11. Make dua to Al-Baseer abundantly. Al-Baseer sees every hardship you face, so invoke Him and supplicate to Him. Remember at all times; the fact that you are able to make sujood and even say Yaa Allah is a blessing that surpasses all others.
 
Al Baseer and other Names
Allah mentiones Al Baseer in conjunction with Al kabeer -1) the specialist 2) the One with inner knowledge (Aleem is outer knowledge). The reason behind this pairing is that Allah is Al Baseer in mubaalagah – exaggerated form. He is a specialist in seeing, but along with that He sees the inner details of the actions of our hearts. So Him being Al Khabeer is also related to Him being Al Baseer. As Al Baseer, the One who see every single thing, He is also Al Khabeer, the One who knows of every detail of every single thing. Allah also mentions Al Baseer with As Samee’ – Just as Allah sees everything, He hears everything and there’s nothing He does not hear or see.
82) Ash Shaheed
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran 18 times. For example Allah says:
I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.
[al Maeda 5:117]
Allah also says:
 
But Allah bears witness to that which He has revealed to you. He has sent it down with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness [as well]. And sufficient is Allah as Witness.
[an Nisaa 4:166]
 
Linguistic meaning: 
1) One who testifies over the whole of creation, witnesses over them whilst knowing everything that they do, and one day this witness will inform and declare everything its seen and heard from its knowledge.
2) The one who testifies, offer testimony.
3) To have knowledge of something.
Shar’ee meaning:
At Tabbari says: Allah will testify because He was a witness over everything, both the apparent and the hidden. It is a follow up from the Names As Sami’ Al Baseer. Extreme form of being a witness, Ash Shaheed – a witness over entire creation, He has seen and heard everything, the knowledge from vision can never be changed or forgotten. Al Khattabi says: there is not a single thing that is hidden from Him, He is Ash Shaahid, and Ash Shaheed. Allah has seen everything and will declare it because of the fact that He has seen it. He has witnessed everything with vision and hearing all of the actions that took place, then being haafeedh, He protects/memorises them, and then He will inform us of them on that day.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Allah is overall the most powerful witness over entire creation because He has heard and seen everything. Everything is encompassed in His knowledge. The believer has a great warning and a great fear with this Name. On yawmal qiyyamah, Ash Shaheed will testify against him and a he would have great fear. What other argument will this person have, when Allah Ash-Shaheed is a witness against him. There is no greater witness and testimony but Allah’s. Ash-Shaheed is witnessing every step you take and will take you to account. Use this tip: when you are about to do something wrong, look up at the sky and imagine Ash-Shaheed watching you.
 
2. His Shahadah (testimony) is the greatest of Shahadah.
Say, “What thing is greatest in testimony?” Say, “Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur’an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?” Say, “I will not testify [with you].” Say, “Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him].” [al An’aam 6:19]
This grants and instils in us fear. Allah is the One who testifies that there is none worthy of worship but Him. And on yawmal qiyyamah He will have the greatest shahadah.
 
3. Say the sahahda, live the shahada. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Man shahida an la ilaha illallah dakhala al-jannah – Whoever witnesses that there is no god but Allah alone enters Paradise.[Muslim]. Your testimony of faith in Allah is something you not only utter, but that which you must live by. When you say ‘I bear witness there is no god but Allah’ it means that in your talk and actions, in your house or outside you, show that you love Allah more than anyone else, you accept Him as your Creator, Master and Ruler of the universe, that you worship Him alone in all matters and not your desires or others‘ directions. Next time when you say the shahada in your prayer, reflect upon the meaning. Increase in saying la ilaha illallah to renew your emaan.
4. Trust in Ash-Shaheed. Ash-Shaheed says in this beautiful soothing ayah:
And be patient, [O Muhammad], for the decision of your Lord, for Indeed, you are in Our eyes. And exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord when you arise [at Tur 52: 48] Rest assured that any unjust treatment by the hands of others you go through, slander, gossip or abuse, Ash-Shaheed is your Witness and you will get justice.
 
5. Don‘t make your limbs testify against you. Use your tongue for speech beloved by Ash-Shaheed, your eyes to read the Quran, your limbs to pray to Him as they will all testify as to what you used them for. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly‖ Allah will say, Yes. The man will say, I will not accept any witness against me except from myself. Allah will say, Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say, Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!‖ [Muslim and An-Nasa‘i]
Side note: Martyr in Arabic is called Shaheed – someone who declares/testifies. One reason given behind this title for them is because after they’re souls are taken, they see their places in Jannah, they witness their place. They see their sins being forgiven, from the 1st drop of blood that falls.
83) Ar Raqeeb
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran 3 times. For example Allah says:
 
said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. [al Maeda 5:117]
And Allah says:
 
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. [an Nisaa 4:1]
Allah also says:
Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer. [al Ahzaab 33:52]
 
Linguistic meaning: 
observer, the one who observes. Similar to Ash-Shaheed but has addition of haafidh – one who protects/memorises and Al Muntadhir one who waits patitently.
 
Shar’ee Meaning:
Al-Haafidh is the one who protects and memorises, to whom nothing can ever disappear from. Ar-Raqeeb is mubaalagha. The One who is waiting and observing the whole of creation. At Tabbari: says; meaning of Raqeeb is Haafidhan – memorises everything without the possibility of forgetting. He memorises and protects you, your actions, thoughts and statements. Ibn Qayyim says: Raqeeb of every action, every niyyah, outwardly, inwardly, every goal, objective and thought. As S’adi says: both Ar-Raqeeb and Ash-Shaheed are very similar.
 
A beautiful example of belief in Ar-Raqeeb
Narrated `Abdullah ibn Zayd ibn Aslam, from his father, from his grandfather, who said:
When I was accompanying `Umar ibn al-Khattab on his patrol of Madinah at night, he felt tired, so he leant against a wall. It was the middle of the night, and (we heard) a woman say to her daughter, O my daughter, get up and mix that milk with some water. The girl said, O Mother, did you not hear the decree of Amir al-Mu‘minin (chief of the believers) today? The mother said, What was that? The girl said, He ordered someone to announce in a loud voice that milk should not be mixed with water. The mother said, Get up and mix the milk with water; you are in a place where `Umar cannot see you. The girl told her mother, I cannot obey Him (Allah) in public and disobey him in private. [Sifat al-Safwah and Wafiyat al-A‘yan and cited by Ibn al-Jawzi in Ahkam al-Nisa‘]
This is an example of how we should understand and be aware of Ar-Raqeeb. This young woman was upright in her deeds, in public and private, because she believed that Allah was observing her at all times! The righteous leader Umar Ibn Abdul-Azeez descended from her.
 
Benefits we can take from this Name 
Same as As Samee’, Al baseer, Ash shaheed.
1. Allah is the supervisor of the whole creation. He is testifying and He is observing, what people are doing and how they are doing it. Ibn Qayyim says: Ar-Raqeeb goes with the Name Al-Haafidh, Al-Aleem, As Samee’ Al-Baseer. Allah is on the level of being the great supervisor, and observer. These 5 Names when put together complete each other. Ibn Qayyim says: whoever learns these Names, they know that Allah is the greatest one who sees, hears and preserves knowledge. Allah knows the whole of creation, He is observing the whole of creation, He is a witness over it, He is looking and seeing the whole of creation. With the Name Ar-Raqeeb, He memorises, stores, protects, looks after and then He will declare everything He seen, heard, observed, witnessed on yawmal qiyyamah. These Names builds fear in the heart of creation.
Know that you are never alone. A scholar in the past advised: Repeat the following statement whenever you go to bed, wake up or go out, Allah looks at me; Allah watches me; Allah witnesses me. Knowing that Ar-Raqeeb is watching over you is called muraqabah; remind yourself Allah is watching your every move, feel His presence and converse with Him, making dua to Him to keep your intentions pure and your deeds upright.
2. Mind your words. Some of us might stay away from the major sins, such as adultery and interest, but we commit thousands of sins daily with the way we speak and what we speak about. Be inspired by Ar-Raqeeb to mind every word you speak and ask yourself: does this speech please Allah or make Him angry? Allah says:
Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]. [Qaaf 50:18]
3. Remember Ar-Raqeeb when you are tempted.
One day Umar ibn al-Khattab radiyallahu anhu found a shepherd and asked if the boy would sell him a sheep. The boy replied that it was not his. `Umar ibn al-Khattab made him an offer to see how he would react, He said: If your master asks you, tell him that the sheep was eaten by a wolf. He looked at him and said, And what would I say to Him (i.e. Allah)? `Umar cried and said, By Allah, you are right. What would you say to Him? Whenever you feel tempted to do something haraam or not doing something Allah wants from you, then think about how Ar-Raqeeb is watching you.
4. Supplicate to Ar-Raqeeb. When the Prophet Yunus alayhi sallam was all alone in the whale, what did he say?
And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers. [al Anbiya 21:87] The Prophet Yunus was all alone and He sought forgiveness from the One Who was watching Him all along. When you are all alone, whether it be psychically because you are stuck somewhere, or mentally because you feel down, seek forgiveness from Ar-Raqeeb and He will give you a way out.
5. Khushoo’ in salah, everything is hidden in general. He knows better than you what is inside you, Imam as S’adi says He even knows the intentions and the inside depths of heart. Allah knows, sees, hears it.
The rest of the Names that follow were not covered in the course due to lack of time, therefore the notes for these Names are taken from the website understandquran.com however I changed around the format to match the format of the notes from the course and I added in the Arabic text of the ayat and ahadith and other extra information I could find to enhance the notes.
 
84) Al Mujeeb
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qu’ran Once. Allah says:
And Noah had certainly called us and [We are] the best of responders. [as Saffaat 37:75]
 
Lingusitic meaning:
to answer, reply, respond, and accept, to have a dialogue or conference.
 
Share’ee meaning:
He is the One who responds to needs, He answers prayers and He is the One who penetrates each obstacle in order to respond.
 
Responding to Each Request with Ease
The Name Al-Mujeeb is related in meaning to Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise), Al-Aleem (The All-Knowing), As-Samee‘ (The All-Hearing), Al-Baseer (The All-Seeing), Al-Wahhaab (The Giver of Gifts) and Al-Kareem. He responds to our requests in a way that displays His ultimate wisdom and knowledge. While we call out to Him He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing and He often gives us more than we deserve or even ask. He is the Most Generous, Al-Kareem. His amazing power and wisdom in responding to our requests is demonstrated in this part of a beautiful hadith qudsi: O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more that a needle decreases the sea if put into it.. [Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Respond to the call of Al-Mujeeb. Al-Mujeeb says:
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. [al Baqarah 2:186]. Your share in this Name is that you are responsive to the commandments of Al-Mujeeb.
2. Know the art of asking. Ask for His forgiveness before you ask for anything, as was the formula of the Prophet Yunus alayhi sallam when he desperately needed his supplication to be answered to be saved from the belly of the whale. Ask Al-Mujeeb for everything (halal) you wish in the Hereafter but also in this world. He loves it that you ask Him for everything you need in your deen and dunya (worldy matters). Ask him for clothing, a house to live in, food, drink, guidance, success etc.
3. Think good of Al-Mujeeb. Al-Mujeeb does not disappoint a believer who calls upon Him, however don‘t be hasty as His delay is not His denial. The answer to your dua‘ might come in a different form or time you wanted or expected. Made under the right circumstances – such as not earning haram income when asking Him or asking Him for something haram, like cutting of family ties – Al-Mujeeb responds to your dua, postpones it or prevents something bad from happening.
4. Respond to the servants of Al-Mujeeb . Be of those who don‘t just respond to the plight of those in need but of those who also actively themselves look for those who are in need of support. Have an active attitude in relation to the requests of the environment you live in and of the Ummah as a whole.
5. Practise four powerful Quranic supplications for four powerful responses. Al-Mujeeb relates to you the responses He gave after being supplicated to in different types of hardship. So whenever you are in a similar situation, apply the same dua‘ and have faith in the response of Al-Mujeeb.
1) When you feel sad, say:
And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” [al Anbiya 21:87]
The response:
 
So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers. [al anbiya 21:88]
2) When you feel scared say:
 
Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs. [ale Imran 3:173]
The response:
 
So they returned with favour from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them.
[ale Imran 3:174]
3) When you are ill say:
And [mention] Ayyub when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful” [al Anbiya 21:83]
The response:
 
So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah]. [al Anbiya 21:84]
4) When you feel hurt by other people say:
 
And you will remember what I [now] say to you and, I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah is Seeing of [His] servants [al Ghaafir 40:44]
The response:
 
So Allah protected him from the evils they plotted, and the people of Pharaoh were enveloped by the worst of punishment. [al Ghaafir 40:45]
Learn these and say them with yaqeen that Al Mujeeb will answer you when you call upon Him.

Children at the Masjid

I hear people (mainly men) complain about children playing in the masjid and that it is distracting. The kids are being loud and the mothers should just stay at home with them.
I’ve heard announcements on the speaker telling the women, in the other room, to stop the children from playing.
I’ve seen people tell children off for playing at the back of the masjid. They tell them to go home.
But why should they stay at home? They have the right to come to the masjid, just like you.
Maybe you should focus more on your salah and less on the kid whos playing in the other room.
Maybe if you made the masjid more accessible to women and children and provided facilities for the kids to play then they won’t “distract” you in the masjid.
Maybe you should follow the example of the Prophet (saw) who loved that children came to the masjid. His own grandchildren would jump on his back and he would prolong his sujood just to let them play. He would shorten the prayer if he heard a baby cry so that it would be easier for the mothers. He NEVER complained about children being in the masjid.
Maybe you should change how things work in the masjid instead of just preventing women and especially mothers, from coming to the masjid.
And remember that if you don’t build the love for coming to the masjid in your children when they’re young, they will refuse to come when they’re older. Then you will be the one crying that they don’t want to come and pray at the masjid.

Ramadan Reflection – Reflecting on the Quran

Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? Quran (4:82)

This are just one of the many times that Allah asks us if we have reflected on the Quran. Allah wants us to think about and reflect on what we are reading. He gives us so much to reflect on. He tells us so many signs. From the heavens and the earth to our children and spouses and so much more.
But how many of us take the time to reflect on the Quran. During this month we all want to finish reading the Quran. Yes there is much reward in reading the Quran in Arabic. But many of us don’t understand Arabic so we don’t know what Allah is telling us. So we don’t fully benefit from reading it.
We need to take the time to read the translation in a language we understand. They are easily available both as books and apps. This will help us understand the ayah we are reading. But don’t just read the translation like you read other books. Read and reflect on what you understood from these ayah. Make a note of ayah that stood out for you. Jot down what you think the ayah is speaking about. This way you can look back on what you reflected on.
Alongside this also read or listen to the tafsir of the Quran. There are many books that we can read, I like reading Tafsir ibn Kathir. If you’re not a reader there are many lecture series that are available that explain the Quran in an easy to understand way. I like listening to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khans tafsir series. By doing this we will gain a deeper understanding of what Allah is teaching us in the Quran.
As we learn more about what the Quran is teaching us, it will become easier for you to reflect and your reflections and critical thinking skills will improve over time. Your reflections will become deeper and you will be able to connect things you read in other parts of the Quran.
Another thing I find helps me to reflect is discussing an ayah with family or friends. Me and my husband sometimes discuss an ayah we read together and it’s really helpful to hear what someone else thinks about an ayah. You get different perspectives, things that you may not have thought about.
It’s so important for us to reflect on the Quran, by reflecting on the Quran we can truly benefit from reading the Quran. 

Ramadan Reflection – Allah never forgets

And never is your Lord forgetful. Quran (19:64)

Seriously this ayah is as pleasing as it is terrifying.

It simultaneously tells me that all the injustices done to me, Allah knows. But it also tells me that all injustices done by me, He also knows. It tells me that even if no one on this earth sees or remembers the good that I’ve done, Allah does. But it also tells me that even if no one sees or remembers the sins I’ve committed, Allah does.

This ayah is so powerful. Its such a strong reminder that we will never be left without our justice being given or rewarded for the good that we’ve done. But we will also be held accountable for the injustices we did and the sins we committed.

It reminds us to strive to be the best we can be and seek forgiveness daily. It reminds us that no matter how much we hurt, Allah will be there for us.

So we can seek solace in this knowledge that if we’ve been oppressed, slandered, beaten, or abused; Allah will never allow it to go unnoticed and He will give us our justice. Whether its in this life or the next.

But this ayah should also make us want to make amends and seek forgiveness from those we’ve oppressed, slandered or abused. We should not be too proud to say we’re sorry. We should turn to Allah and repent and then strive to become better people. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Know that even if your efforts aren’t appreciated by people it doesn’t go unnoticed by Allah.

And know that even if you think you have gotten away with it in this life, you won’t in the next.

Allah never forgets anything that we have done, the good and the bad.