Musings of a Muslimah

Ways to Make the Most of Dhul Hijjah

The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are the most blessed days like the last 10 nights of Ramadan are the most blessed nights. So we should make the most of these days.

These days of Dhul Hijjah are so blessed because Allah completed the religion in these 10 days. All of the 5 pillars are present in these 10 days. Shahadah, praying, fasting, charity, and hajj which cannot be done at any other time. So we can complete all 5 pillars in these days which cannot be done at any other time of the year.

So I just wanted to share some of the things which are encouraged to do on these 10 days

Make Takbeer

Tahleel – La ilaha  illallah

Takbeer – Allahu Akbar

Tasbeeh – Subhanallah

Tahmeed – Alhamdulillah

There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, that these 10 days so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer, and tahmeed during them. (Ahmad)

Fasting

It is encouraged to fast the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah and we are especially encouraged to fast on the 9th day which is the day of Arafah.

Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year. (Muslim)

Fulfil obligations

When we try to make the most of these days we need to remember that we have obligations to Allah and the people which we cannot neglect. So for example we need to make sure we perform our 5 daily prayers and fulfil our responsibilities to those who we are responsible for.

Increase in Good Deeds

We should try to increase in as many good deeds as we can during these days.

Some examples are; praying nafl prayers, increasing in how much Quran we read, giving in Sadaqah and making istigfar

There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days. (Bukhari)

Perform Hajj

This is something that not everyone can do but for those that have the means and ability it is obligatory for them to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime.

Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam so we should do our utmost best to perform hajj if we are able.

Give Qurbani

Even if we can’t perform Hajj we can still give Qurbani which is the sacrifice of an animal. Today there are many charities we can donate the money to so that the meat from the sacrificed animal will go to the poor and needy.

It is a way for us to connect to Ibrahim and reminding ourselves of the faith he had in Allah and that we should strive to build our faith and connection with Allah too.

For every hair of the Qurban you receive a reward from Allah.” (Tirmidhi)

Musings of a Muslimah

Quran Reflections – A Glimpse of Jannah

I have been meaning to share some of my quranic reflections on here as it is an important part of my life and I thought that as Ramadan is approaching, I would start sharing some now. Sometimes I read an ayah (verse) in the Quran and I am left amazed at how it is the one ayah I needed to read at the time. It really makes me reflect on what I was reading so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all.

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I love that in the Quran, Allah gives us a glimpse of what Jannah (heaven) will be like. He (swt) tells us about gardens, rivers, food; things that we can see on the earth. And because we can see these things, we can imagine, to our best ability, what Jannah will be like. And because we can see the beauty on the earth, it makes us long for Jannah. We know that no matter how beautiful earth is, Jannah will be so much better. The beauty of the earth is nothing compared to the beauty of Jannah and I just long to see it. If we could not understand what was being described about Jannah, we wouldn’t long for it like we do. This longing helps us to strive for Jannah.

When I’m struggling, when I’m going through something difficult and I am really stressed, Allah has put these beautiful descriptions of Jannah in the Quran to help us through. Not only describing what Jannah will be like but also telling us that we won’t experience any hardship or sadness or pain or fear in Jannah. That’s one of the most amazing things that Allah could have shared with us. That in Jannah there is no pain, no sadness, no suffering. At all. Ever. For eternity. This completely blows my mind. Please let me be able to experience that.

Sometimes there are things that I really want or something I am hoping will happen, but it doesn’t. We are disappointed and we can’t always have the things we want. But in Jannah we can have whatever we want. We just have to think it and we will get it, whether it’s food, books, clothes, anything! It will literally be a thought in our head, and it will be in front of us. I could spend days doing everything and anything I want. Just thinking about it makes me sob.

Knowing these things about Jannah helps us to keep going when we feel like we can’t continue. When we feel like the pain won’t ever go away, knowing that we can live pain free for an eternity can push us to keep going. Because my life on earth is temporary and nothing stays the same in our lives on earth. We have good times and bad times; it is always changing. But in Jannah it is only good things, only exactly what we want. I can’t begin to explain how much my heart longs for this.

I could literally spend my days in Jannah reading and chilling with Sherlock all day, every day if I wanted. That’s the dream! Thinking of Jannah honestly gives me such motivation to continue to strive because oh my gosh I really want to spend an eternity in Jannah.

Musings of a Muslimah

Allah Loves

Recently I attended an evening talk and iftar at my local masjid on the Day of Arafah and the Imam spoke about the different qualities that Allah (swt) shares with us that make us amongst those that He (swt) loves. He only spoke about 5 different qualities but there is lots of others too.

So I wanted to share them with you all to so that we can all benefit from them.

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But before I share the 5 qualities he spoke about, he spoke about how the first and foremost way to gain the love of Allah (swt) is to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” Quran (3:31)

This doesn’t just mean the way you dress, but also, in your character and how you treat others. The Prophet (saw) was someone who had great concern for humanity and always treated others with kindness and respect, no matter who they were.

His sunnah was broad and encompassed all aspects of life so it is important for us to learn about his life and implement the way he was in our lives.

So the 5 qualities that the Imam spoke about:

1 Sabiroon – The Patient Ones

The people who are patient in the different circumstances in life gain the love of Allah. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel upset or stressed but that you don’t despair and complain about your circumstance to everyone.

When we are going through something difficult we show patience by only complaining to Allah (swt). When we are doing good deeds like fasting or praying etc, we show patience when doing it. We persevere even though we may find it difficult. For example, getting up to pray fajr even though you’re tired and fasting when it’s hot.

2 Muhsineen – The People of Ihsan

These are the people who strive to perfection by being their best possible self and in all that they do.

The Prophet (saw) told us what ihsan is, he said: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.” (Bukhari)

There are some characteristics of the people of muhsineen:

• They are those who spend from their wealth in times of ease AND in times of difficulty.
• They restrain their anger.
• They pardon people, they forgive others and let things go.

3 Tawabeen – The People of Repentance

They are people who are constantly seeking forgiveness. We are human so we will commit sin, knowingly and unknowingly and these are the people who everyday think about what they did that day and seek forgiveness for their mistakes and transgressions. It is not just blindly and robotically seeking forgiveness. They realise and acknowledge that they committed a sin and then seek forgiveness for that.

4 Mutatahireen – The People of Taqwa

Taqwa is a state of consciousness of Allah (swt) so they are the people who are always aware that Allah (swt) is watching them

Ali (ra) who was one of the four rightly guided caliphs said taqwa is:

• The fear of Allah.
• Acting upon the Quran. This would mean acting upon the laws of the Quran and the hadith. So living life according to the sunnah and shariah.
• Being content with whatever Allah (swt) has given you, even though it may seem like it is not much.
• Preparing for death and the journey of the Hereafter. We should live life with the hereafter in mind.

So these people are conscious of things that will hurt or impact them and others and are conscious of doing the good deeds to the best of their ability.

5 Mutawakkaleen – The people who have tawakkal in Allah

These are people who have complete faith and trust in Allah (swt). This doesn’t mean that they don’t work for themselves and just say Allah (swt) will provide. These are people who do their best in what they do but they leave the outcome in the hands of Allah (swt). That we can plan things for ourselves and a future we envision for ourselves but the result is in the hands of Allah (swt).

The Prophet (saw) said: “Rely on Allah but tie your camel.” (Tirmidhi)

This was in response to someone asking the Prophet (saw) if he should leave his camel without tying it to the tree and just trust that Allah (swt) will keep it there. But what we learn is that even though we should trust in Allah (swt) we still need to do the work ourselves. So for example, we have to study and revise before taking an exam, not just do no work and expect Allah to give us a good grade.

When we truly rely on Allah (swt) then He will find a way out for you in any situation you find yourself in.

So these are the 5 qualities we were discussed in the class but he also mentioned a few others and that we should learn the others.

Some of the most beloved to Allah (swt) are those who bring benefit to other people.

Some of the best deeds:

• Bring joy and happiness to someone
• To help relieve a difficulty that someone is going through
• To forgive someone’s debt
• To feed a person who is hungry

For some further reading I highly recommend reading Muhammad: How He can make you Extraordinary by Hesham Al-Awadi.

And watching this short video series by Imam Omar Suleiman called Allah Loves here

Musings of a Muslimah

People Of The Cave (Surah Kahf) – Quranic Reflections

One of the things I do is to open the translation of the Quran on a random page and read the surah (chapter) that it ends up on and try to reflect and gain some insight into those verse I have read.

I often find that although I open the page randomly, I end up reading exactly what I needed to read at that moment in my life. Allah truly knows what we need to hear and it never fails to amaze me!

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The most recent one I opened up to chapter 18 of the Quran. Surah Kahf which is a surah that I read every Friday and is filled with so much wisdom. I started reading and one ayah struck me, it talks about the youth who slept for 300 years in the cave, which is where they sought refuge when they were being persecuted.

The ayah is:

“And We turned them to the right and to the left” Quran (18:18)

As both me and my husband are physiotherapists we deal with people with different levels of mobility, some who are even bed bound. And one thing that a bed bound patient needs on a regular basis is to be turned on their right and left, to ensure they don’t get pressure sores. Exactly the way the ayah describes that Allah turned them while they slept. And even though this is something that is part of modern medicine, it was written in the Quran over 1400 years ago.

Every time I read something like this in the Quran, things that we have only recently discovered, it blows my mind. That something as simple as that ayah can cause so much reflection and be so awe-inspiring. It reminds me of the magnificence of Allah, that only He knows all things and that the Quran is filled with so much wisdom and truly will teach us so much, if only we would pay attention.

I am hoping to write more of these as it’s something I do regularly and I wasn’t to share my reflections with you all. And please so share your reflections with me too!