Musings of a Muslimah, Muslim Shelf Space

Islamic Talks and Series I Recommend Listening To

It’s Ramadan and a time of self reflection and building our relationship with Allah and one way to do this is to learn more about Islam and what it teaches, to learn from the Muslims in the past and to learn more about Allah and the Prophet (pbuh).

I have already shared a post about book recommendations to read to help work on our spiritual relationship which you can read here but I know many of us like to watch talks and attend classes. I miss the weekly Ramadan iftars at my masjid where our imam would give a short talk on various topics before we opened our fast. So I thought that I would share some of the online talks I have listened to and benefited from and inshalAllah they will be of benefit to you all too.

Imam Omar Suleiman does a Ramadan series every year and this year is called Meeting Muhammad (pbuh). These are short 10 minute reminders to help us connect to him and our faith. I absolutely love them and me and my husband watch them together while we open our fast every evening.

I absolutely love Hesham al-Awadi’s series about Women around the Prophet (pbuh). He shares so many incredible women that lived at the time of the Prophet (pbuh). It’s been a while since I listened to it but I did love it a lot.

Yasmin Mogahed is one of my absolute favourite teachers and I recommend you listen to all of her talks that are available online. This one she discusses unhealthy attachments and true love.

Another series that I loved when I listened to was about the Mothers of the Believers by Suhaib Webb. Again, I haven’t heard it in a while but I did love it when I listened to it.

The Firsts series by Omar Suleiman is an incredible series and a unique take on learning about the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam through their lives. This is an ongoing series.

Maryam Amir is another great teacher who I love listening to. In this one she discusses sustaining a healthy marriage.

I also want to share last years Ramadan series by Omar Sulieman that was about Angels in Islam. A topic that is rarely discussed but so important for us to know more about.

There are so many more I could share but I don’t want to overwhelm you all. These are all of course things we can continue to listen to after Ramadan as we won’t be able to get through all of these in a few weeks.

Inspirational People

Muslim Women Throughout Islamic History – Zaynab bint Ali

This month I am going to share a little bit about Zaynab bint Ali. She was the daughter of Fatima and Ali (ra) and the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). She like her brothers was named by the Prophet (pbuh). We often hear about her incredible brothers, Hasan and Hussain but she was just as an incredible woman as them.

She was born in year 5 AH in Medina and was only 6 when her mother, Fatima, died. She took on a maternal role for her siblings and so the three siblings were really close. She was also really close to her father, Ali. So much so that when Ali moved the capital, she along with her husband moved with him. She was there when her father was assassinated and again at the battle of Karbala.

When Hussain marched to Karbala to claim leadership she went with him along with most of the household. This is where Hussain was betrayed and where her brother Ḥussain and 72 of her nephews and other brothers were killed. She, became the leader of the ahl al-bayt, and was integral in protecting and standing against those who wanted to kill the rest of her household. She protected her nephew, Ali ibn Ḥussain, from being executed by the caliph at Kufa. She threw herself over him and gave such a passionate speech that they decided to release all the prisoners at Karbala. This effectively saved the Prophet’s (pbuh) family line.

She returned to Medina and on her way back stopped at Karbala to mourn the deaths of all those who had died there. It is unknown when exactly she passed away but she passed away shortly after returning to Medina.

She is known for standing up against oppression and injustice and protecting the most vulnerable. She was eloquent in her speech and a passionate person. She protected and defended her family and was incredible leader who ensured the safe release of the survivors of the massacre at Karbala. She suffered greatly in her life but she upheld the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah and advocated for justice.

Musings of a Muslimah, Reflections

My Favourite Duas

Ramadan is only a few days away and I wanted to share some of my favourite duas to read in my prayers. These supplications have helped me in my most difficult times and I hope they are of benefit to you too.

Dua to read on laylatul qadr:

Allahumma innaka afuw-wun tuhibul afwa fa-fu-annee

O Allah you are the forgiving you love to forgive so forgive me

Ibn Majah

Dua for when something is difficult:

Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altu sahlan wa anta taj-alul hazna iza shi’ta sahlan

O Allah! There is nothing made easy except what you make easy and you make difficult easy if it be your will.

Ibn Hibban

Dua for beneficial knowledge:

Allahumma innee asaluka ilman naa-fi-an

O Allah! I ask you for knowledge that is of benefit

Ibn Majah

Dua for anxiety:

Allahumma inne a’uzu bika minal-hammi wal-hazani wal-ajzi wal-kasali wal-bukhli wal-jubni wa zala id’daini wa ghalabatir-rijaali

O Allah! I take refuge in you from anxiety and sorrow, from weakness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men

Al Bukhari

Dua for steadfastness in faith:

Ya muqallibal-qulub thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenak

O Controller of hearts make firm my heart in your religion

Tirmmidhi

Dua for when in difficulty:

La ilaha illah anta subhaanaka innee kuntu minazzalimeen

There is no deity except you, glory be to you, indeed I have been of the wrongdoers

Quran (21:87)

Dua for good in this world and the next:

Rabbana aatina fi’d-dunya hasana wa fil aakhirati hasana wa qia azaban-naar

Our lord grant us good in this world and in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of hell

Quran (2:201)

Dua to ask Allah to accept our worship:

Rabbana taqqabbal minnaa innaka antas-samee’ul aleem

Our Lord accept (this) from us indeed you are the hearing the knowing

Quran (2:127)

Dua for a house in paradise:

Rabbibnee lee a’indaka baytan fil jannati

My Lord build for me near you a house in paradise

Quran (66:11)

Dua for confidence:

Rabbish rahli sadri wa yassirli amri wahlul ‘uqdatum-mil-lisani yaf-qa-hu qawli

My Lord expand my breast for me and ease for me my task and untie the knot from my tongue that they may understand my speech

Quran (20:25-28)

Dua for repentance:

Rabbana zalamna anfusana wa il-lam taghfir lana wa tarhamna lana ku-nanna minal-khasireen

Our Lord we have wronged ourselves and if you don’t forgive us and have mercy upon us we will surely be among the losers

Quran (7:23)

Dua to be steadfast in prayer:

Rabbij’alni muqeemas-salaati wa min dhurriyaati rabbana wa taqabbal dua

My Lord make me an establisher of prayer and (many) from my descendants our Lord accept my supplication.

Quran (14:40)

There are so many more incredible duas and I recommend using the Fortress of a Muslim and also the app myduaa for more duas.

Musings of a Muslimah

Making the Most of Ramadan When You Can’t Fast

There are many reasons as to why someone may not be able to fast from being on your period to having a chronic illness that prevents you from fasting. Maybe you have to travel or you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It can seem isolating or frustrating that you can’t fast because it can feel like you are missing out. But Allah has given us this for a reason even if we don’t know what it is. Even if we can’t fast we can still make the most of Ramadan because this month is not just the month of fasting it is the month of the Quran. The month in which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) and so we can still build that taqwa to help us become closer to Allah.

And remember that if you had wanted to and intended to fast but couldn’t because circumstances prevented it, you will still get the reward for fasting. We know that we are rewarded for our intention for doing a righteous deed as if we did it, if we were prevented and the same is for fasting.

So here are some things you can still do even if you can’t fast:

1 Give money to charities that provide food to those who are fasting in places that they cannot afford to get food to open their fast.

2 Read and reflect on the Quran as much as you can and set a goal for yourself. What do you want to achieve in Ramadan when it comes to reading Quran. Read it daily, set aside time each day to read the Quran.

3 Pray your salah on time and also incorporate a nafl prayer into your routine eg. salah ad-duha (after fajr but before zuhr)

4 Incorporate Dhikr into your routine. Saying them after each salah, when you wake up, before you go to sleep etc

5 Dua is worship. Learn new duas that were taught to us from the Quran and sunnah. I recommend using Fortress of a Muslim and an app called MyDuaa. Write down your duas, all the things you want to ask for from Allah so that you don’t forget them.

6 Make istaghfar and incorporate it into your routine whether it’s before bed or after each salah

7 Give money to charity throughout the month. Even if it isn’t a lot even 50p is a lot in the sight of Allah. I also recommend spreading out what you want to give each day especially in the last 10 nights to make sure you catch Laylatul qadr

8 Stay up a portion of the night to pray. Even if you can’t pray because you are on your period you can read Quran, do dhikr and make dua.

9 Increase in Islamic knowledge. There is so many incredible Ramadan series running, my favourite is Omar Suleiman’s. Every year he has a different topic. This year is about the Prophet (pbuh). Read Islamic books and reflect on what you learnt and how you can incorporate it into your life.

10 Give up a bad habit or something you do that you know you shouldn’t as it’s haram. This is the perfect time to give up the haram. Replace it with something good. Eg replace listening to music with listening to vocals only nasheeds or play nature sounds instead.

I hope these are of benefit. If there’s anything else you think would be a great tip please do share in the comments!

Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space

Book Recommendations for Ramadan

Ramadan is fast approaching and it seems that we will be having a second Ramadan in lockdown. As we can’t go to the masjid and attend halaqahs or iftars, it can seem like we can’t benefit in the same ways as before.

Though we can still build our relationship with Allah on our own, through reading some great Islamic books. So here are some recommendations of books I have read and benefited from.

40 On Justice by Omar Suleiman

A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly

Lessons from Surah Yusuf by Yasir Qadhi

Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman

Show Up by Naima B Robert

Angels in Your Presence by Omar Suleiman

Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed

Al Muhaddithaat by Akram Nadwi

Lessons from Surah Kahf by Yasir Qadhi

Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman

Love and Happiness by Yasmin Mogahed

There are lots of amazing books that will be of benefit so please do share any recommendations!

Lots of these books are also available on scribd and you can use my link where you will get 2 months free and I will also get a month free.