To Love God

“You claim to love God, and yet you disobey God

This is a bizarre way of reasoning

Surely, the lover, if his love is true,

Is most obedient to the one he loves.”

Do our words go any deeper than our throats? Are they from the heart? Are they as empty and soulless as the wanderer who has no direction?

If we truly loved Allah and His Messenger (SAW), surely we would obey them? If we truly loved Allah, surey it would pain us when we go against His commands?

Our faith is as a circle. Our faith needs sincerity. Sincerity need intentions. Intentions need action. And to have action, we must have true faith.

A point of reflection: Did we do as much Ibaadah as we could have today? Or were we distracted by the meaningless treasures of this world?

May Allah may make our hearts sincere, remove from them their rust and let us act upon our Imaan! For there is no need for us to hide our faith, when it is the only perfect thing in this world.

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10 Tips For Concentration in Salaah

Salaah is our time to communicate directly with our Creator. But many of us pray Salaah as part of a routine without thinking of why we are praying. Without realising that Allah (swt) has given us this gift, not because it benefits Him, but because it benefits us!
Allah does not need our worship but we need to worship Allah in order to have healthy souls and be successful. Salaah is what we will first be questioned about on the Day of Judgement and so we need to make sure that when we read Salaah, we read with full concentration and taqwa. Here are a few tips to help us all long the way.

1. Think of what the action you are doing signifies.
What does your Salaah signify? Submission to your Creator? What else does it signify to you?
And you can also think of what the particular action you are doing signifies. E.g. When raising your hands for Takbeer, you are sayin ‘Oh Allah, everything belongs to you and I am putting away the dunya to worship you’. When in Ruku, you say ‘Oh Allah, I am lower than you’ and Sajdah ‘Oh Allah! Am am far lower than You and You are Greater than anything’. First Sajdah can also represent that Allah created you from earth and when going into your second Sajdah, He is going to bring about our death. And when you rise from your second Sajdah, think of how He will bring us back to life again for judgement.

2. Look at specific spots and don’t let your eyes wander.
Qiyaam – Look where you will place your head for Sajdah
Ruku – At your feet
Jalsa & Qaidah- At your lap
Sajdah – Your Nose
Simple but effective.

3. Allah is watching you.
We should be aware of this all the time but we forget. But He is here watching you. Seriously think about this. You wouldn’t rush Salaah in front of others, so why in front of Allah? He is All-Seeing.

4. SLOWWWWW DOWWWWWN.
When you rush, that is from Shaitaan. You give him power over you. Think clearly and focus and force yourself to slow down.

5. Stay in position until you are completely relaxed.
This ties in with number four. Slow down and don’t rush. We’re not in a race. Take your time and relax before moving on to your next position. It is waajib (compulsory) to remain in any posture in Salaah for the duration of one SubhanAllah.

6. What is your state before Salaah?
Your state before Salaah will effect your state in Salaah. So try and do some ibaadah like tasbeeh or read Qur’an before you start.

7. Remember the translation of what you are reading.
Learning the translation of the Arabic will help you reflect on whatever it is you are reading and help your concentration levels.

8. Don’t make your Salaah repetitive.
Learn new Surahs and remember their translation too.

9. Remember the Greatness of the one you are standing before.
If you were going to meet someone of high importance, like a king, you would be very  attentive. Well, Allah is the King of kings, give Him your utmost attention. This is also why you should dress properly during Salaah. If you wouldn’t go out in those clothes, why would you stand in front of Allah with them?

10. Don’t leave your Salaah till the last 10 minutes.
This is quite obvious. If you leave your Salaah till late, you’ll be more worried about finishing your Salaah then praying properly.

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) has said: “Perform your Salaah as if it is a ‘farewell’ Salaah (i.e. the last Salaah of your life). (Mishkaat)

May Allah affirm our hearts to Salaah and let us read it with the concentration it deserves. Ameen, Allahumma Ameen!

There are many other ways to improve your concentration. Please share in the comments if you think of any! JazakAllahu Khair.

 

To Have Faith

Imaan.

It encompasses your every action. Defines you as you are. Teaches you to return to Allah again and again and again.

It is to have faith. Not just your state of mind, but the actions you do, the words you say, the way you treat others.

It is freedom. Knowing that the actions you do are pleasing to Allah (swt), even if the people are not pleased.

It is inspiration. Knowing that Nabi (s.a.w) is the perfect example for all of mankind and not the faces that you see down the magazine aisles.

It is beauty.  Seeing that beauty in everything around you – in all of Allah (swt)’s creation and seeing the good in people and kneeling down in submission to Him alone and practicing the Sunnah and inviting others to Islam,  but knowing that there is no greater beauty and reward than that of seeing Allah (swt) in Jannah. Allahumma Ameen!

But most of all… Imaan is trust.

Trusting that in good times and bad, Allah (swt) knows what is best for you. Never losing your faith, trusting that even though you can’t see it, there is something of benefit to you in every situation.  He does not give us any burden more than we can bear. A reminder, because as humans, we forget.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” [Al-Bakarah, 2:286]

A Soulful Journey

Let me take you on a journey.

You wake up to the sound of the trumpet. You rise from your grave. The sun is burning. There is no shade. You are drowning your sweat. Your good deeds taken away. You chase those who harmed you, in the hope that something good will come when your deeds are weighed.
No excuses do you have, of not worshipping your Lord. You are terrified. Why did the dunya mean so much? Why did you not think of the aakhirah? Why did you waste all those moments you had to spare? A little rememberance of Allah here and there.

But then, something amazing happens.

You realise that the parts of your body you washed for wudhu are shining. That you have risen with the Ummah of Rasoolullah (SAW). You are given shaden under the Arsh of Allah, the only shade on that day. You are allowed to drink from the hands of Nabi (SAW). Your book of deeds given in your right hand, crossing the bridge over Jahunnum with ease. SubhanAllah. SubhanAllah. SubhanAllah.

The very thought makes tears flow. To look into Nabi (SAW)’s eyes. Ya Allah! To have Allah say: ‘Oh my slave! Enter My Jannah!’ Ya Allah! To know that your Ibaadah was sincere. Ya Allah!

Forgive me! Surely, Your Mercy outweighs my sins by far. Ya Allah! Forgive us!

But I get carried away. The thought makes my heart tremble. What have I done to guarantee this? I have none. Is my Ibaadah sincere? Or is it just repetition? We need to strive for our dream to come true. The best things in life don’t come free.  Jannah isn’t free. We need to obey Allah and His Rasool (SAW) first.

How to achieve this? Well make every action into an ibaadah. It is so easy. Islam is not a burden. Allah never gives a burden more than we can bear so how can we say Islam is difficult? To say Bismillah before every action and to make it into worship is not difficult. Sure, Shaitaan is going to try and distract you…But with patience, you can defeat him. He is an open enemy. And Islam has given us the tools to fight him.

And if you can’t say Bismillah before it? Well, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it anyway.

Grave Concerns

Imagine. Imagine 5 minutes from now, Allah (swt) gives the angel of death the command to remove your soul from your body. And your soul is taken. And those people you love place you into the earth. You are left alone. It’s dark and damp within the earth. And you are going to be questioned.
Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?

Truly, something to ponder. Will you answer with true faith? Will you answer what you need to answer?

And what of your grave? Will it be light and spacious, because you lived according to the commands of Allah? Or will it be a place of punishement for you?

A grave concern, indeed. For truly, living your life according to Allah’s commands will be your success. And neglecting Islam will be your downfall. And never forget that.
Oh Muslims! We need to wake up! What concerns will you have in your grave?! Will you regret in your grave?! Surely something to ponder! Will you long for those moments where you could have engaged in worship?! Will you wish that you could turn back time and change your ways?! Will you hope for a little longer to ask Allah for repentance?!

There is no doubt. We will regret. But our time will be up.

Ya Allah! Let us change our ways before it is too late! Ameen, Allahumma Ameen!

Do You Know Who You Are?

I need to ask you this: Do you know who you are? Do you really? Are you just a wondering, lost soul looking for your purpose? Have you forgotten your Creator? The One that shaped you and proportioned you into perfect form. The One that has given you life and will bring about your death. The One that has made the earth subservient to you, so that you may submit to Him. Do not forget. Do not forget. Do not forget. Look at the wonders of the world and see and understand the signs. Indeed, in this life, there is but one purpose: To worship the Creator.

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”
[al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]