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Ramadan, Rumi, and Love

By Zeshan Zafar

Sunset. Ramadan 2015.  Iphotography.

Sunset. Ramadan 2015.
Iphotography.

It is part of life to have a difference of opinion with various individuals or groups of people. Terry Tempest Williams, in one of her books, states, “Most of all, difference of opinions are opportunities of learning.”

However, generally speaking, on many occasions, when this occurs, if one doesn’t manage it well or lacks comportment, the result can turn into a feeling of animosity. Furthermore, when uncontrolled, it can turn into hatred, a spiritual disease that sits at the core of one’s heart, dictating and defining one’s behaviour unbeknown to oneself.

When such hatred sets into our way of life, individuals choose to deal with it in a variety of ways. Some try to mask the emotion or seek validation for that hatred; others seek revenge or violent harm with devastating consequences to those they may have loved unconditionally at one time. We also see the modern phenomenon of social media being used to spread this hatred, unfairly sowing the seeds of doubts that stick and label many unfortunate individuals with “justified” gossip becoming an accepted discussion on each of our tables.

Such behaviour has unfortunately broken down many marriages, families, friendships, communities, business partners, etc. as this trait continues to become rampant to the point that we no longer discern the goodness and sacrifices that many still work towards in our respective communities, regardless of our opinions. Instead, we tend to sideline them and bad mouth them, thinking we are safe to share statements against people in the confines of our close circles, yet at the same time we do not realise the terrible human beings we are all becoming through the mismanagement of this emotion.

One of my teachers once said in one of his lectures, “Do not have a crablike mentality whereby when crabs are put in a bucket together, each one tries to escape by pulling the other one down, just to escape themselves, leading to collective demise.” This is exactly what hatred is doing to the development and growth of our communities in times when our real challenges are elsewhere and which we should all really be focusing our energies on. Unfortunately, we cry out emotional slogans such as “Muslim Unity” without realising that little can be changed without changing oneself.

One of the most notable scholars and thinkers of Islam, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, recently shared a profound insight from the Qur’an that states, “Indeed, God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” He stated that our community is besot by changing the world whilst forgetting the simple hard rule of changing oneself, and that the role of changing the condition of people as a collective is the role of God. So if we all focused on changing ourselves first, ridding ourselves of our hatred for one another and purifying our own hearts, God will take care of the rest.

The question arises, how can we move beyond this hatred and begin to remove this infection so that goodness can be achieved in the short time we tread on this earth, with the invaluable gift we have been given of life?

Many have their own mechanisms of dealing with this. Recently, whilst on a journey to the States, a dear friend of mine gave me valuable and practical advice on a way to manage such tendencies, by making a conscientious and sincere effort to reach out to individuals you feel you have wronged, or who you feel wronged you, or who seem distant to you. He suggested making a prayer for them to rid your heart of antagonistic presumptions by reaching out to them on a weekly basis, until all that is contained or constricts your heart disappears until you only have mahabba (love) for that person.

The Muslim community as a whole is known to be a giving community, especially when it comes to charity and hospitality, and they continue to hold tight to the noble virtues that are fast disappearing in a globalised world. Yet charity as described by our Prophet (peace be upon him) is also through actions and good deeds: hence being altruistic through your generosity, kindness, compassion, and time are equally important. Letting go of the self is important to move away at an individual level, especially in a world where the “self” has become a dictator over our natural inclination of moderation. Many argue over the ownership of ideas and whether certain ideas are relevant and can work. The best advice I was given was to let people learn from their mistakes but to not cause further rift that our communities are regularly torn by. Instead, you must choose the incision point that you feel can best help and support individuals that you perhaps disagree with, as our commonalities are far greater than our differences.

For those who feel they do not need help from someone sincerely trying to offer their support or help, remember even if such advice is not appropriate or compatible with your aims, never ignore it. You will always find a time when such advice can be found to be valuable at a different stage of your life or applicable to a different situation.

This is what distinguishes people of wisdom, such as Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, who represents someone that keeps love at the centre of how he lives (may Allah grant him good health and a long life), through his acts of consistency. He epitomises renewal in his scholarship, but, more importantly, through his self-discipline and observance, he embodies renewal in his character. He is someone who knows not of hatred. He is someone who cannot but love and be objective to those who may be fierce critics or who oppose him or his approach. What struck me in my observances of the Shaykh is that despite any animosity shown to him, he always takes the time to listen and offer his help as he would to those who are amongst his family. This is evident in the Shaykh’s writings and rulings that speak with kindness, graciousness, and nobility of the other. I am sure everyone can relate to an individual out there who embodies such prophetic characteristics, and if you can, do not be ashamed to acknowledge your shortfalls before making that effort of change required by those who inspire you.

As Ramadan makes its yearly entrance into our homes, lives, and hearts, this is what I will be aiming to strive for, being mindful and realistic that things do not happen over night. I hope others can have mercy with me and forgive me for any wrongdoing. Imam Shafi’i famously said, “Be hard on yourself and easy on others,” noting that our God is a God that is all-merciful and all-forgiving; these are utterances that we grow up on and repeat daily.

So if your heart has flipped once, let it flip repeatedly until you have nothing but love for those who are around you. This can be achieved only by empathising. Ramadan Kareem. I will leave you with the words of Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Zeshan Zafar is the Director of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and is currently based in Abu Dhabi. 

  • Duas are very powerful; they are conversations between you and Allah.
  • Raise your hands and communicate to Him. We have many needs, we need to ask Allah.
  • Never mention anyone’s faults in front of them, by doing so you hurt their feelings and doing it behind their back is backbiting.
  • Don’t pry on other people and ask their affairs, they may be forced to lie because they didn’t want to tell you in the first place!
  • When someone tells you a secret, keep it that way,  it’s an amanah (trust)
  • Slander is haram (forbidden). Focus on the good that people have and not their faults. If you feel speaking evil of someone, then think that you have faults as well so focus on them. Higher level is not even allowing your heart to think bad/evil about someone.
  • As well as inheriting good, we can also inherit bad from them so be careful with the company you chose to keep.
  • Never say no to others when giving charity; even if it is a little bit, Allah never says NO to you when you ask!
  • Life is a journey; we go through different states. People have different spiritual states. We need to learn how to dislike the sin not the sinner. Never let them feel you are judgemental.
  • Allah gives you the tawfiq to repent; so when you repent, know that Allah is going to forgive you.
  • When someone comes and apologise to you, accept their apology!
  • Rights with Allah is easy; when you do something wrong, you ask for His forgiveness. When you wrong others, you need to ask them for their forgiveness.
  • Dress nicely for Allah when you pray, go to a masjid etc. You dress nicely so others notice you, but dress nicely for Allah. Dressing nicely but humbly at the same time. You should feel comfortable in good clothes in public
  • Little good manners is better then a lot of good actions
  • Retail therapy is not therapy, it is a disease!
  • Haya (modesty) is in the heart; our physical movement is what attracts us to the opposite gender.
  • When you are sincere in giving a gift to someone, the recipient will value and treasure it due to your sincerity, regardless of what the gift actually is.
  • If you are the youngest, remain silent in front of elders.
  • Never interrupt people when they are talking!
  • Do not sit amongst sinning people and do not sleep where people are talking.
  • A promise is a responsibility so fulfil promises you make.
  • Manners are based on common sense.
  • Be around good people and good people will teach you good things; be around bad people and you will pick up bad things.
  • When travelling, wherever you stop, pray 2 rakats so that place testifies for you on the day of Judgement, and it won’t be you reminding Allah but that place reminding Allah that you prayed here.
  • There are very few people in this world who want you to succeed more than themselves, and among them are your parents. Even if your parents are wrong, don’t argue with them. Allah is watching every argument. If you please your parents, you will succeed in life.
  • Pray for your departed loved ones; Prayers for the dead are on the same footing as gifts for the living.
  • Pray for your brothers and sisters. When you pray for your brother, an angel replies, ‘and for you the same.’ It’s like buy one, get one free deal!
  • When an elder member dies, it means one of your doors of duas is closed so when they are alive, build your relationship with them and seek their duas.

~ Imam Tahir Anwar– ‘Adab- Virtuous Character and Conduct’ Class, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Quotes above are paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos courtesy- Rihla Student Please keep them in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.

As-salamu’alaykum!

Alhumdulilah, I was able to attend part 2 of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah subhananhu wa’tala course over the weekend with Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi (May Allah elevate his rank and protect him). I thought I’d post some of the gems the Shaykh shared during the course. Please be aware that these are my notes, they are not comprehensive at all but I pray what I do share is of some benefit to the readers. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone and not the Shaykh, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings! You are welcome to share these notes but *please* do not just copy and paste anything without referencing where you got them from as I do not want my notes to be taken out of context or misinterpreted.

May Allah reward all those at Sacred Knowledge who assisted in organising and facilitating this blessed course. We look forward to Shaykh Muhammad coming back for part 3 of the course very soon inshaAllah!

Al- Lateef

  • The One who is subtle. He is subtle in handling our affairs.
  •  He is beyond the reach of people’s understanding when it comes to affairs. His decree is very subtle.
  • Our job is to surrender to the will of Allah, and when things happen to us, we say Allah knows best.
  • In order to get the right result, you need to hand yourself to Allah
  • Allah is al-Lateef. The outcome of His lutf will not appear immediately. For example Sayyidina Yusuf alayhi salam was imprisoned for many years. After being released finally, he was made treasurer of the store houses and then went on to become the leader. This story shows us that sometimes we do not see the sweetness of our struggle straight away and it can take years for us to understand why something happened to us; sometimes we may not even see the end fruits until the day of judgement, but it will all be sweet in the end inshaAllah!
  • If you have no clue as to why something is happening to you, then you need to surrender to the will of Allah.
  • The power of dhikr is beyond imagination!
  • Calamities are divine gifts, they are to test our surrender to Allah!
  • His power overwhelms every other power! No one can compare to Allah!
  • Allah doesn’t let down any believer!
  • The miskeen’s in this duniya are the kings in the next!
  • People in al-Jannah (paradise) are not arranged in ranks like they are in this world.
  • Reciting Ya-Lateef 129 times is the basic dhikr when afflicted with tribulation and hardship. Maintain this dhikr until Allah takes you out of that tribulation.
  • Allah is your Beloved! You love Allah and He loves you! Allah will not betray you! Allah gives you better than what you give, just be patient and wait.
  • Sometimes we may get hardship for 20 years but never understand why.
  • The awliya (friends of Allah, Saints) say that if a believer is punished in this world then it’s out of the love of Allah because He wants to purify you in this world so you do not enter the hell fire.
  • Within a blink of an eye, Allah can change peoples states to the opposite!
  • Allah suffices us!!
  • Be happy with Allah!
  • Ask Allah but don’t complain.
  • Never doubt the subtle care Allah is providing for you! His love is divine… His love is pure to us!
  • Imam Ibn AtaAllah Iskandari mentioned in his hikam that Allah doesn’t allow you to open your hands and call upon Him, but that he WANTS to answer you!

Al- Khabeer

  • The One who knows everything. Allah knows the news of everything.
  • When Allah wants to take revenge He takes it unexpectedly.
  • There is wisdom behind everything. You can give someone with bad adab knowledge, but that person may then pass that knowledge onto someone who has good adab so in effect the one with bad adab is just a means for the person who has good adab.
  • Hand all your affairs to Allah and don’t worry about the future- leave the unseen to Allah.
  • When you go out and help an old person cross the road, you know that when you are old, Allah WILL send someone to help you too!
  • If you are upset, everyone around you is upset. If you are happy, everyone around you is happy, so be happy!

Al- Haleem

  • Al-Haleem is the One who does not punish the people who do not obey Him straight away (in this world).
  • Hilm is not to rush to get angry. The prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam was al-Hilm.
  • The dua of the oppressed is answered, but sometimes, the dua of the oppressed is not answered because the one who has been oppressed has gone and bad mouthed the oppressor, so by doing that there remains no difference between them both- they are now equal. The wrath of Allah is much more than your wrath so do not take revenge when someone has hurt or wronged you. Leave that to Allah!
  • If you want Allah to forgive you, forgive others. Treat people how you want Allah to treat you!

 

Al- Azeem

  • Al-Azeem means the Great. Allah is the Great, His attributes are Great.Everything compared to Him is nothing. This is why He deserves the greatest respect and servitude.
  • The best state is the state you are in! This doesn’t mean you don’t struggle, you should.
  • If you can do your best in the duniya, then you can do your best for the aakhira.
  • If you believe Allah is the Great, then you shouldn’t fear anyone but Allah! 

Al-Ghafoor

  • Al-Ghafoor is the Oft-Forgiving.
  • Seeking the forgiveness of Allah is the major cause of prosperity
  • Impact of great sins affect us, our health, our business etc.
  • Remember you are knocking on the door of Allah whose forgiveness is given to all people in all time!
  • Never belittle the power of dhikr. Doubt your state and mind and heart but trust in Allah!

Ash-Shakoor

  • Ash-Shakoor is the One who is thanked.
  •  Allah gives a lot of reward for the smallest things we do.
  • Our share in this divine name is to thank Allah.
  • People are just means, don’t be veiled by them. See the Real Giver!
  • Learning to be thankful to Allah for not always being given what we want is to be truly thankful.

Al-Hafeez

  • Al-Hafeez is the One who Preserves and is taking care in the best way.
  • Al- Hafeez is the One who handles the affairs of the one who are created and protects them from all harm.
  • Al- Hafeez is the One who knows all stations and ranks.
  • You need protection, go to Allah!
  • Repetition is the key to memorisation.
  • Allah is sufficient for us, He is enough for us!

 

Al-Muqeet

  • Al- Muqeet is the Provider. Allah is the One who gives everything He creates substance.
  • Allah pre-destined the food for everything He created. Allah will not create an extra human being without creating extra          food for him.
  • Allah is taking care of every human being!
  • Ask everything you need from Allah!

 

Al-Haseeb

  • Al-Haseeb is the One who is Self-Sufficient. He is capable of providing for His servants. He suffices for everyone.
  • Al-Haseeb also means the One who does reckoning.
  • Our share in this name is to hold ourselves responsible for our actions. We blame ourselves. Take yourself into account for what you have done.
  • Sayyidina Umar radiAllahu anhu said that hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable!
  • If you do not get what you want from this world then Allah suffices for you. ‘HasbunAllahu wa ni’mal wakil.’ Allah is sufficient for us and He is the Best Guardian. (3:173)


Al- Jaleel

  • Al-Jaleel is the Majestic. The One Whose rank is the highest. The One who we can never reach and no one is similar in His essence and attributes.
  • Allah is the One who has all-Majesty. We need to see His signs. His signs are His miracles in what He created.

 

Al- Kareem

  • Al-Kareem is the Most Generous.
  • Allah is the most Generous. If you want Allah to give you, you need to give to people. If you want Allah to be Generous to you then you need to be generous to people. You give, Allah will give you more!
  • Imam Ibn AtaAllah al-Iskandari said that never aspire to the generosity of other than Allah!

Ar-Raqeeb

  • Ar-Raqeeb is the One who Observes, the Watchful One.
  • Allah watches over all of His servants. He is taking care and is watching. Allah is providing and listening to the calls when the calls are made!
  • The least of grains are not absent from His sight! He is watching over everything.
  • Our share in this name is to be observers of ourselves.
  • If you have lost something, recite surat Duha and you will find it.

 

Al- Mujeeb

  • Al-Mujeeb is the One who answers and Gives what He wants and more!
  • When giving, give what that person is asking for and extra so you do not make him feel like a beggar and also make yourself generous.
  • Every dua you say, every time you say Ya Allah, Allah answers it! Allah is al-Mujeeb, He answers you, do you answer Him? Do you answer His call to prayer?

 

Al- Hakeem

  • Al-Hakeem is the Wise One.
  • Allah is the Most wise and places everything in its place to balance it out.
  • Seeing the wisdom takes a bit of reflection.
  • You will never have enough money to distribute amongst people, but you can always have enough good character to distribute amongst everyone.
  • People involved in dawah need to have wisdom. Saying to unbelievers that they are going to hell, won’t make them turn towards Allah.
  • If you want to succeed in dawah, don’t present Islam by criticising other religions, start with the beauty of Islam

——————————————————————————————

Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu

Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.

“When my heart became constricted and my paths became narrow
I took my hope in Your pardon and forgiveness as an opening and an escape
My sins seemed very great to me but when I compared them to Your forgiveness
I found Your forgiveness to be greater”
– Imam Shafi’

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Since we are now in the days of forgiveness in this blessed month of Ramada:

Allahumma innaka ‘Afuwun Karimun tuhib ul ‘afwa fa ‘afu’ anni,

Allahumma inni as’aluka al-afu, wa al-afiyah wa al-mu’afat ad-daimah fi ad-dini wa ad-duniya wal-akhirah.

O Allah! You are Pardoning and Generous and You love to pardon, so pardon me. O Allah! I ask you for pardoning, good health (in body), and to be (spiritually) healthy always in my religion and in this life and the hereafter. Amin ya Rabb!

The 15th Night of Sha‘bān- compiled and translated by Sidi Amjad Tarsin (taken from Shaykh Abdulkarim Yahya’s blog)

On the relation of ‘Atā’ ibn Yasār, may Allah be well pleased with him, who said, “On the 15th night of Sha‘bān the Angel of Death, peace be upon him, copies down the names of all those who will die from that Sha‘bān to the next Sha‘bān…and there is no night after Laylat Al-Qadr better than the 15th night of Sha‘bān.”

Other hadiths also describe the 15th night as being the night in which Allah decrees everyone’s provisions, even after-worldly provisions (Paradise, Hell), therefore it is important to bring that night to life through Prayer, reading Qur’an, and repentance.

Related by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be well pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, said, “There are five nights on which du‘ā’ is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘bān, Laylat Al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two ‘Eids.”

It is also recommended to say the du‘ā’:

اللّهُمَ إنَّكَ عفوٌ كريمٌ تُحِبَّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَني، اللّهُمَّ إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفْوَ والعَافية والمُعَافَاةَ الدَّائِمة في الدِّين والدُّنيا والأخِرَة

Allahumma innaka ‘Afūwun Karīmun tuḥib ul ‘afwa fa‘afu ‘annī, Allahumma innī as’aluka al-‘afū, wa al-‘āfīyah wa al-mu‘āfāt ad-da’imah fī ad-dīni wa ad-dunyā wa al-ākhirah.

O Allah, You are Pardoning and Generous and You love to pardon, so pardon me. O Allah, I ask You for pardoning, good health [in body], and to be [spiritually] health always in my religion, and in this life, and in the hereafter.

It is also highly recommended to read Surah Yā-Sīn 3 times that night, each time with a specific intention:

1. The first time with the intention of Allah increasing the length of your life in worship and good deeds.

2. The second time with the intention of Allah protecting you from tribulations.

3. Lastly, with the intention of Allah not making you reliant on other people.

Clarification: “Giving life to the night” is said to be staying up most of the night in worship, although other scholars have said just one hour. Others have said just be determined to pray ‘Ishā in congregation and Fajr in congregation and that will fulfill “giving life to the night.”

May Allah bless us all and the whole Ummah throughout this month and bless us even more in Ramaḍān.

والحمد لله رب العالمين

Please keep my family and loved ones (and me) in your blessed du’as!

“O Soul! Despair not of a major fault! Great sins resemble little ones, in God’s forgiveness. It may be, when my Lord distributes His mercy, that it will come in proportion equal to our sins. My Lord! Let not my hope in You be overthrown, nor let my credit with You be void of worth. Deal kindly with Your slave in both worlds, for when terrors call to him, his patience is weak.

~ The Mantle Adorned (Imam Busari’s Burda), 155-158, translated by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

“Allah loveth the good; And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. (Qur’an 3:134-5)

We are in the second (middle) part of the blessed month of Ramadan which are the days of forgiveness. A reminder to myself first and foremost that we should try and seek the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in abundance. As a beautiful friend said the other day “Life is very short, who knows if another Ramadan has been destined for us…………”

Our beloved Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam said:
“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His salve than any one of you is pleased by finding his camel, lost in the desert”.

And in another hadith:

“The best of sinners are those who repent”

Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annaa – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive us!

THE RAJAB LETTER

by Sidi Amjad Tarsin

This is an excerpt from the book Kanz Al-Najah wa As-Suroor (“The Treasures of Success and Happiness”), a book highlighting the special qualities of each month. As the blessed and holy month of Rajab approaches, hopefully this information will be of use in allowing us all to appreciate it and benefit from it:

So, my dear friend, put forth a great effort in the month of Rajab, may Allah have mercy on you. It is the season of great profits, so take advantage of your time! Whoever is spiritually sick due to their sins – know that the medicine has come. Know that Rajab is a virtuous month in which worship is gloriously rewarded – especially fasting and seeking repentance (istighfar).

Also, making du’a during the eve of the first of Rajab is highly recommended. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “There are five nights in which du’a (supplication) is not rejected: the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha’aban, the eve of Friday, on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr, and on the eve of Eid Al-Adha.” [Al-Suyuti in his Al-Jami’].

On the 27th night of Rajab, the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, was taken on the Isra wa Mi’raj (The Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens). This was a great and glorious night, as is known to most Muslims, in which the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, met his Lord and was given the commandment to perform the 5 daily prayers.

Rajab is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran (the four months are : Rajab, Dhul Qi’da, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram):

{The number of months is twelve according to God, in the decree of God, on the day God created the heavens and the earth; and four of them are sacred} (9:36)

Rajab is Allah’s month in which He pours His Mercy upon the penitent and He accepts the actions that people have done for His sake. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “Rajab is the month of Allah, and Sha’aban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.” (Imam Al-Suyuti in Al-Jami).

Scholars say: Rajab is the month of repentance (istighfar), and Sha’aban is the month of sending peace and mercy (salawat/durood shareef) upon the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of Qur’an.

One highly recommended act to do is say 70 times after the Fajr and ‘Isha prayers every morning and night of Rajab:

Transliteration: “Allahuma ighfir li wa Arhamni wa tub ‘alayya.”

Translation: Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.

Sayyidna ‘Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to allocate extra amounts of time for worship on four nights – the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha’aban.

It is also highly recommended to say the following Prophetic prayer (known as Sayyid Al-Istighfar or the Master of Repentance) 3 times every morning and every evening in Rajab:

Transliteration: Allahuma anta rabi la ilaha illa ant, khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduk, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’adika ma astata’at, ‘authu bika min shar ma san’at, abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘allaya wa abu’u bi dhanbi, faqhfir li fa’innahu la yaghfir al-dhunub ila anta.

Translation: O Allah, you are my Lord, and there is no god but you. You created me and I am your servant, and I am upon the convenant to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil I have brought upon myself. I admit all the blessings you have given me and I admit my sins, so forgive me, for no one can forgive sins save You.

And success is from Allah

Jazaka’llahu khayran to Ustadah Shamira Chothia from Zaytuna Institute for sending me this beneficial reminder. May we all reap the benefits and blessings of this month, and may it provide us the means of getting closer to Him ta’ala. Amin ya Rabb!

Forgiving someone is not always easy, especially if they have hurt us quite deeply. Very often, it’s our egos which get in the way of forgiving someone.

I was listening to one of Ustadha Asra Adiba’s (may Allah subhanahu wa’ tala bless and preserve her) podcasts where she mentions the following quote, which I found incredibly profound:

“It may be infinitely worse to refuse to forgive than to murder, because the latter may be an impulse of a moment of heat, whereas the former is a cold and deliberate choice of the heart.” ~ George MacDonald

In other words, George MacDonald is saying that to refuse to forgive is worse than murder and a COLD and DELIBERATE choice of the heart!! The words Cold and Deliberate striked me, and really made me sit back, think and reflect. It made me think about the times I found it so difficult to forgive someone immediately.

Over time and through experience, we learn that in effect it’s better for us to actually forgive a person than to carry resentment in our hearts. I recall one of our beloved shayukh saying how our emotions are heavy baggage and prove to be obstacles in our journey to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala . The lighter our bags, the quicker we shall reach Allah subhanahu wa’ tala; the more emotion (anger, hatred, sadness, jealousy, envy etc) we have within us, the more it will slow down our journey to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala as we will waste a lot of time dealing with and overcoming such issues. Therefore we must quickly forgive, close that chapter and move on!

Let’s not forget, our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam was the most forgiving person, and regardless of how he was treated sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, he was always ready to forgive. So in essence, forgiving others is the prophetic way and being the followers of our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, it’s something that we should strive to embody within our characters. (Reminder to myself first and foremost)

May Allah soften our hearts and may we find it easy to follow the prophetic way of forgiving each other easily.

Ustadha Asra Adiba is a hidden gem, and her podcasts are absolutely brilliant as she covers a plethora of topics which affect our daily lives. I would highly recommend listening to them. May Allah bless and preserve her, and allow us to benefit from her. Allahumma Amin ya Rabb!

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