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My dear friend Taslim very recently wrote a piece on her excellent blog called: Four Words (which is well worth a read, in fact her whole blog is worth reading and bookmarking!). She ended the blog post with the following question:

“What four words would you choose?”

Although it was perhaps a rhetorical question, it did inspire me to think. What four words would I choose?

As Taslim mentioned in her blog post, words are powerful, and I fully agree with her in the sense that words do carry the power to affect us in a positive or negative way.

Towards the end of August, on a 5 hour train journey to a friend’s wedding in Glasgow, I reflected on words which impact me.  I came up with many words which resonate with me, inspire me or perhaps describe my outlook on life. But since I could only choose “four”, I narrowed my selection down and wrote the four words which hold deep meaning, and impact me the most:

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Prayer is a source of comfort. It strengthens belief.

Belief is a form of acceptance and submission, and it ignites hope.

Hope gives us courage and the strength to carry on moving forward. It encourages us to be positive and patient, and look forward to receiving that joy we pray, believe and hope for.

Joy is that feeling of pleasure, delight, triumph and gratitude, which leads us back to prayer, thanking our Creator for the blessing, because our belief and hope was in Him all along.

We pray to strengthen our belief, which then provides us with hope, and ultimately we are led to joy.

As you can see, the four words I chose are interconnected.

What four words would you choose?

Once, all the people in a certain village decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer, all the people gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella – that’s faith.

 I love the above anecdote as it illustrates an immense level of confidence, certainty and trust in Allah. The fact the boy walked out to the prayer gathering with an umbrella clearly shows that he had the utmost certainty and trust that after making du’a, Allah will send rain to the village! He went prepared for the rain with an umbrella!

Just like the boy had his umbrella ready to receive what was being prayed for, we should also be prepared to receive the gifts and blessings we are asking for from Allah after making du’a. Be confident and have that complete certainty that Allah will answer our du’a. Allah most High Himself states, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” [Bukhari]; therefore if we believe Allah will answer our du’a, He will!

The great Gnostic, Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari wrote in his Hikam:

“When Allah inspires your tongue to ask, know that He wants to give” 

Allah is the One who places a need in our hearts and wants us to seek that need out by asking Him. He loves it when we ask Him; our asking is His giving. Petition with Allah; place your need in front of Him and have complete certainty and trust that He will answer.

Sayyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab -radiaAllahu anh- said, “I do not worry about an answer to my supplication, rather I worry about making supplication! I know that if I am inspired [by Allah] to supplicate, then the answer will come with it.”

Keep the faith and keep making du’a fervently!

 

A kind soul (may Allah bless this person) shared something a noble Moroccan Shaykh (may Allah bless and preserve him) said:

‘Weeping is a prayer that will surely be answered.’

SubhanAllah! When I read this statement, I was really moved and thought to myself that this again shows the Mercy of our Lord and how He has created so many different ways for our supplications to be answered. Alhumdulilah.

I was further reminded of the famous story of the passing away of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam’s son Ibrahim, when the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam wept, and said to the Companions when they were surprised by this:

‘Not this do I forbid. These are the promptings of tenderness and mercy, and he that is not merciful; unto him shall no mercy be shown. O Ibrahim, if it were not that the promise of reunion is sure, and that this is a path which all must tread, and that the last of us shall overtake the first, verily we should grieve for you with a yet greater sorrow. Yet, we are stricken indeed with sorrow for you, O Ibrahim. The eye weeps, and the heart grieves, nor say we anything that would offend the Lord.’ (Martin Lings, Muhammad, p. 325)

So next time when we are overwhelmed by tears, we should remember that they are a form of prayer, and the All-Compassionate, All-Loving, All-Hearing is listening. He understands our tears, and the pain/distress/hurt/sadness/anguish they express. There really is no other comfort other than knowing He knows how we feel, and whether we express that through tears, words or deeds, He is aware.  Just like silence can sometimes be the most powerful expression of one’s feelings, so can crying- especially if it means one’s prayer is to be answered through that.

This is dedicated to all my brothers and sisters around the world who are facing tribulation and hardships. May the Most-Loving, Most-Merciful, Most Gentle be with you, ease your pain, remove your hardships and answer your prayers.  Amin ya Rabb!

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!

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