Tag Archives: Hadith

Desirable acts on the day of Eid

Source:  Bits and Pieces – Desirable acts on the day of Eid

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The Sunnahs that the Muslim should observe on the day of Eid are as follows:

1 – Doing ghusl before going out to the prayer.

It was narrated in a sahih hadeeth in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar used to do ghusl on the day of al-Fitr before going out to the prayer-place in the morning. Al-Muwatta’ 428.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that the Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb (recommended) to do ghusl for Eid prayer. The reason why it is mustahabb is the same reason as that for doing ghusl before Jumu’ah and other public gatherings. Rather on Eid the reason is even stronger.

2 – Eating before going out to pray on Eid al-Fitr and after the prayer on Eid al-Adha:

Part of the etiquette is not to go out to pray on Eid al-Fitr until one has eaten some dates, because of the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas ibn Maalik, who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used not to go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… of which he would eat an odd number. Al-Bukhaari, 953.

It is mustahabb to eat before going out to emphasize the fact that it is forbidden to fast on that day and to demonstrate that the fast has ended.

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) suggested that the reason for that was so as to ward off the possibility of adding to the fast, and to hasten to obey the command of Allaah. Al-Fath, 2/446

Whoever does not have any dates may break his fast with anything that is permissible.

3 – Takbeer on the day of Eid

This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of Eid because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

It was narrated that al-Waleed ibn Muslim said: I asked al-Awzaa’i and Maalik ibn Anas about saying Takbeer out loud on the two Eids. They said, Yes, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar used to say it out loud on the day of al-Fitr until the imam came out (to lead the prayers).

It was narrated in a sahih report that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sulami said, “They emphasized it more on the day of al-Fitr than the day of al-Adha.”. Wakee’ said, this refers to the takbeer. See Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/122/

Al-Daaraqutni and others narrated that on the morning of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Ibn ‘Umar would strive hard in reciting takbeer until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite takbeer until the imam came out.

Saying takbeer when coming out of one’s house to the prayer place and until the imam came out was something that was well known among the salaf (early generations). This has been narrated by a number of scholars such as Ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd a l-Razzaaq and al-Firyaabi in Ahkaam al-Eidayn from a group of the salaf. For example, Naafi’ ibn Jubayr used to recite takbeer and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite takbeer?”

Ibn Shihaab al-Zuhri (may Allaah have mercy on him) used to say, “The people used to recite takbeer from the time they came out of their houses until the imam came in.”

The time for takbeer on Eid al-Fitr starts from the night before Eid until the imam enters to lead the Eid prayer.

Description of the takbeer:

It was narrated in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he used to recite takbeer during the days of tashreeq:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is most Great, there is no god but Allaah, Allaah is Most great, Allaah is most great, and to Allaah be praise).

It was also narrated elsewhere by Ibn Abi Shaybah with the same isnad, but with the phrase “Allahu akbar” repeated three times.

4 – Offering congratulations

The etiquette of Eid also includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another Taqabbala Allaah minna wa minkum (May Allaah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” or “Eid mubaarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.

It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allaah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.”

Offering congratulations was something that was well known among the Sahaabah, and scholars such as Imam Ahmad and others allowed it. There is evidence which suggests that it is prescribed to offer congratulations and good wishes on special occasions, and that the Sahaabah congratulated one another when good things happened, such as when Allaah accepted the repentance of a man, they went and congratulated him for that, and so on.

Undoubtedly these congratulations are among the noble characteristics among the Muslims.

The least that may be said concerning the subject of congratulations is that you should return the greetings of those who congratulate you on Eid, and keep quiet if others keep quiet, as Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If anyone congratulates you, then respond, otherwise do not initiate it.

5 – Adorning oneself on the occasion of Eid.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that ‘Umar took a brocade cloak that was for sale in the market and brought it to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for Eid and for receiving the delegations.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, “Rather this is the dress of one who has no share (of piety or of reward in the Hereafter)…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 948.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) agreed with ‘Umar on the idea of adorning oneself for Eid, but he denounced him for choosing this cloak because it was made of silk.

It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays. Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1756,

Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a saheeh isnaad that Ibn ‘Umar used to wear his best clothes on Eid.

So a man should wear the best clothes that he has when going out for Eid.

With regard to women, they should avoid adorning themselves when they go out for Eid, because they are forbidden to show off their adornments to non-mahram men. It is also haraam for a woman who wants to go out to put on perfume or to expose men to temptation, because they are only going out for the purpose of worship.

6 – Going to the prayer by one route and returning by another.

It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to vary his route. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 986.

Do Your Part, No Matter How Small and Futile It May Appear

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There’s a Hadith I’ve been replaying in my head again and again over the past twenty-four hours. And every time I remember it, it takes my breath away.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said in an authentic narration: “If the Resurrection is upon you and there is a seed in your hand and you are able to, then plant it in the ground.”

Now that is an extraordinary expression of faith and hope.

Even in the face of the most intimidating moments humankind will ever know — the end of life and sealing of the universe — our Prophet encourages us to plant a seed.

Rationally, it appears to be the most futile action a human being could possibly take, but our religion encourages that sense of purpose and optimism even when the greatest and most powerful forces seem to be acting against us.

After all, what greater force is there than the coming of the Day of Judgment? The laws of physics will change, the order of the universe will shift, the heavens will fold, the mountains will crumble into air, the seas will surge wildly and fires will spread through the lands.

Despite that, do your part.

Plant it and leave the rest to Allah. Trust Him, He will account for it. He will do it justice. He will do you justice in ways you will not understand.

Just trust Him.

So, in an age of chronic Muslim hopelessness grounded in a century of failure and humiliation, this Hadith is very relevant. But considering what has happened in Aleppo in the past few days, this Hadith needs to be burnt into our collective memory.

Do your part, no matter how small and futile it may appear. Others may mock and reject it, it may appear silly and pointless, and you may not impact a thing for as long as you live — but do it with faith in Allah if you believe it to be the right thing.

That is the spirit of Islam: courage and action born out of certainty in the promise of Allah.

~ Abdul-Latif Halimi

Islam Q&A – Does a husband have to be patient with his wife all the time and not divorce her?

We know that the wife of Nuh (as), and the wife of Lut (as) went to jahannam, may Allah protect us from his displeasure, amin. Is this evidence that brothers should patient with their wives all the time, and not divorce them? I have heard that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), divorced women. What is the difference between keeping a woman with bad behavior and counseling her, and getting rid of a woman with bad behavior?

Published Date: 2000-10-03 – IslamQ&A – https://islamqa.info/en/10613

Praise be to Allaah.

Undoubtedly the wives of Nooh and Loot (peace be upon them) will enter Hell with those who will enter it, but they did not commit any obvious sin that would imply kufr, otherwise it would not have been permissible for these Prophets to have remained married to kaafir women, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives” [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]

Perhaps the wife of Nooh was concealing kufr, or perhaps, despite the fact that Nooh had been calling people to Allaah for so long, she was influenced by the call of her people when she saw that all of her people were following kufr, so she became doubtful and wondered how he alone could be a believer when all of these people were disbelievers, and they formed the majority of their nation. So her kufr may have been secret. The same applies to the wife of Loot, of whom they said that her only sin was that she told her people about his guests, i.e., she called them to come and commit obscene actions with them. This was her sin, but it is possible that she was also a kaafir in secret. Hence Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):

“… except his wife, she will be of those who remain behind” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:32]

This is a summary of the response given by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, may Allaah preserve him.

It is permissible for a husband to divorce his wife so long as there is a shar’i reason for doing so, such as a lack of religious commitment, a bad attitude, lack of chastity, negligence, etc., even if she is not a kaafir. But if she is a righteous believer, let him keep her, even if he dislikes some of her characteristics, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not a believing man hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her attributes, he will be pleased with another.” (Narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, 1469).

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to divorce Hafsah, Allaah revealed to him: Go back to Hafsah, for she fasts a lot and prays a lot at night, and she will be your wife in Paradise. Al-Mundhiri said: this was narrated by al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah. ‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood, hadeeth no. 2283.

The husband has to strive to reform his wife and pray to Allaah to reform her. Allaah will reform a wife in whom there is some crookedness, if He wills, as He said concerning His slave Zakariya (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and [We] cured his wife for him…” [al-Anbiya’ 21:90]

Some of the mufassireen (commentators) said that she used to have a sharp tongue, i.e., her speech towards her husband was offensive, so Allaah reformed her.

A man may put up with the difficulty of keeping his wife in order to ward off a greater difficulty, which is that of separating the children and dividing the family. But if the harm caused by staying with one’s wife is greater than the harm caused by separating from her, there is nothing wrong with him divorcing her. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

The Majority is Not a Proof that Something is Correct – Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah)

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From the characteristics of the people of the Days of Ignorance is that they would view the majority as proof that something was true and the minority as proof hat something was false. So according to them, whatever the majority of the people was upon, that was the truth. And whatever the minority was upon, that was not the truth. In their eyes, this was the balance used to determine truth from falsehood.

However, this is wrong, for Allah says: And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

And He says: But most of mankind doesn’t know. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 187]

And He says: And most of them We found to be not true to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed to be evil sinners. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 102]

So the balance is not the majority and the minority. Rather, the balance is the truth. So whoever is upon the truth – even if he is by himself – he is the one who is correct and deserves to be emulated. And if the majority of the people are upon falsehood, then it is obligatory to reject them and not be deceived by them. So consideration is given to the truth. This is why the scholars say: “Truth is not known by way of men, but rather men are known by way of the truth.” So whoever is upon the truth, then he is the one we must follow and emulate.

In Allaah’s stories about the prior nations, He informs us that it is always the minority that is upon the truth, as Allah says: And no one believed with him except for a few. [Surah Hood, ayah 40]

And in a hadeeth in which the nations were presented to the Prophet, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that he saw a prophet who had a small group of followers with him, and a Prophet who had a man or two men following him, and another Prophet who had no one with him. (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

So consideration is not given to which opinion or view has the most followers. Rather, consideration is given to its being either true or false. So whatever is true, even though a minority of the people or no one is upon it – so long as it is the truth – it must be adhered to, for indeed it is salvation. Falsehood is not aided by the fact that it has a majority of people following it – ever. This is a determining measure that the Muslim must always abide by.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Islam began strange and it will return back to being strange as it began.” (Saheeh Muslim)

This will occur at the time when evil, calamities and misguidance increase. So no one will remain upon the truth except for the strange ones amongst the people and those who extract themselves from their tribes (for the sake of their religion). They will become strangers in their society.

The Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent while the whole world was submersed in disbelief and misguidance. And when he called the people, only one or two answered his call. It was only until later on that they grew to be many. The tribe of Quraish, not to mention the whole of the Arabian Peninsula and the whole world, was upon misguidance. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the only one calling the people. So those who followed him were few with respect to the entire world.

So consideration is not given to the majority. Consideration is only given to what is correct and to achieving the truth. Yes, if the majority of the people are upon correctness, then that is good. However, the way of Allaah is that the majority of the people is always upon falsehood.

And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. [Surah Yoosuf, ayah 103]

And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

* [In his sharh (explanation) of Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s (rahimahullaah) statement: From the greatest of their principles was that they would be deluded by the majority, using that to determine the correctness of a matter. They would also determine the falsehood of something if it was strange and that its adherents were few. So Allaah brought them the opposite of that, clarifying this in many places of the Qur`an.]

Source: Sharh Masaa’il-ul-Jaahiliyyah (pg. 60-62) of Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab (rahimahullaah), via al-Ibaanah.

Post Courtesy: Maher ibn Ahmed

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Zainab bint Younis – 10 Things I Learned from my Ex

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Taken from aboutislam.net website – http://aboutislam.net/family-society/husbands-wives/10-things-learned-ex/

Whether it’s sprung on you suddenly, or it’s been creeping up on you for a while; whether it’s something you needed for yourself or something you never wanted… divorce is a difficult experience to go through. It is a painful process with a deep emotional toll, and for many, it can (understandably) be the source of a great deal of anger and bitterness towards one’s ex-spouse.

However, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that there’s always a silver lining to even the darkest of clouds in our lives.

“How amazing is the affair of the believer! Verily, all his affairs are good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good befalls him, he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him.” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

In the months after my divorce, both celebrating and mourning the end of a chapter of my life, I realized that my marriage and divorce alike were a learning experience. To that end, I offer the following ten things I learned from my ex-husband.

1) I am beautiful. When I first got married, I was both incredibly young and crippling insecure about myself. For the longest time, I had been a tomboy and a late bloomer; by the time I hit my mid-teens, I was already insecure about how I looked.

It took quite a bit of convincing from my then-husband for me to eventually believe that I was, in fact, pretty – and more than that, beautiful. Marriage gave me the freedom to explore aspects of beautification that I had avoided out of awkwardness, and to develop positive self-image. I will always appreciate and be grateful for the fact that my ex was the one who coaxed me out of my shell and made me comfortable with myself.

2) Being flawed doesn’t make you evil. By the time I recognized that my marriage was toxic, I had come to resent my then-husband. Often, I conflated his flaws and faults with him as a person, and had some very unpleasant things to say about him. It was a struggle to realize and remember that he wasn’t evil; he had his own inner demons and baggage that he was wrestling with, and while it didn’t excuse his behavior, it didn’t mean that he was all bad. It just made him painfully human… like me.

3) Just because it isn’t true love, doesn’t mean it isn’t love. I spent a great deal of time conflicted over the nature of my feelings for him. As his wife, wasn’t I supposed to be truly in love with him? How could I think that I loved him, when I knew that I wasn’t going to be spending the rest of my life with him?

While we grow up hearing about how we’ll meet our one true love, nobody really tells you that sometimes, you’ll find yourself loving someone who isn’t your one true love… and that’s okay. Allah has put you in that situation for a reason, and it is very often a blessing. There are many more types and shades of love than we are taught, and it is a blessing to experience them.

4) Unrequited love is painful even for the one who doesn’t love you back. Perhaps one of the worst feelings I ever experienced was knowing that he loved me more than I loved him in return. It was brutal, it was harsh, and it made me feel like the worst person on earth. It’s the unrequited lover who usually gains everyone’s sympathy – the story of Barirah and Mughith is quite apt – but to know that you aren’t the right person for the one who loves you with all his (or her) heart, is an incredibly painful feeling, especially when you do care about them deeply.

5) Remember the good, not just the bad. There’s an infamous hadith that mentions women who become so upset that they forget the good that has happened to them. Having been in a situation where it was tempting – and easy – to overlook the bright spots in favor of brooding on the dark times, I can say that gratefulness to Allah goes a long way in healing painful hurts.

Even in deeply unhappy situations, there can still be moments of small happiness, little joys and pleasant memories; things to think back to and smile about (even if that smile is a little sad). Don’t let the bitterness completely overcome the traces of sweetness left.

6) You don’t stop caring just because you’re divorced. My marriage ended slowly and agonizingly, and my divorce was painful… to be horribly honest, it was probably worse for him than it was for me. Yet although I was elated and relieved to be divorced, I wasn’t able to stop caring for him entirely.

After years of being together, of a relationship that was unique despite its turbulence, it’s impossible to just throw out the feelings of tenderness and compassion and to feel apathetic. Even though we are Islamically non-mahram to each other and will have minimal contact for the rest of our lives, there will always be a part of me that worries about him and hopes that he will be really, truly happy. The heart doesn’t have an on/off switch, so don’t expect it to.

7) Don’t be tempted. Some nights, when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and roll over in search of a warm, comforting body, you’ll realize with a lurch that they aren’t there anymore.

Some days, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about what if… what if you went back and things would change? What if you want to stay in touch with him/her and you’ll find that s/he’s not so bad, after all? Don’t go there. In many cases (I would venture to say most), the person you divorced is going to be the same person they were when you were married. Unless you both actively choose and commit to try again, with marriage counseling and a firm decision to resolve the issues that caused your marriage to end in the first place, don’t be tempted to fantasize about Happily Ever After, with the same person. Instead, trust in Allah that He will give you both what you actually need.

8) Toxic relationships are real. Unfortunately, few of us learn about – or how to identify – toxic relationships in the many lectures and books we’ll devour prior to marriage. However, it is something necessary to learn about, in order to be aware of unhealthy behavioral patterns that may emerge in your marriage, whether it’s coming from you or from your spouse. It doesn’t matter what cultural background you’re from, toxic relationships are real and can become worse – even abusive – if not recognized and dealt with as soon as possible.

Some people conflate sabr (patience) with enduring an unhealthy marriage without striving for resolution or positive change, but the Qur’an describes the marital bond as being one of love, mercy, and compassion. A marriage that lacks these qualities can be detrimental to one’s Imaan (faith), and should not be left to fester.

divorce-heart9) It won’t always end well. Sometimes, even if we really want to have the kind of amicable divorce where everyone conducts themselves with politeness and respect and maybe even friendly cooperation… it’s not so easy for the other party to share that vision – and sometimes, it’s just impossible.

Whether you’re the one who initiated the divorce or the one who received the news of it, the pain and inner torment of it all can be too much to shelve away neatly and go on as though none of it matters. Some of us are able to acknowledge our emotions and move on, and some of us aren’t. It can get nasty, it can get even more painful, but at the end of the day, we have to realize that as much as it would be much more convenient for things to go smoothly between you and your former spouse… it just might never reach the point of being an amicable divorce.

Once again, this is a time to turn to Allah and make du’a for the other person (even if we really, really don’t like them right now) that He ease their pain and yours.

10) Divorce can make you a better person. The struggles – and the good times – that you shared with your ex-spouse all took place for a reason. Allah tests those whom He loves, and divorce is just one of those trials and tribulations in life that we can emerge from as stronger Muslims and better people.

Not only are we given the opportunity to turn to Allah with a broken heart and find healing in the Words of al-Shaafi, the Healer, but we are now equipped with life skills that will help us recognize our own faults and shortcomings. We are also, inshaAllah, better able to understand and empathize with the ex-spouse, which is an excellent reminder of the importance of humbleness and forgiveness (and how hard they both are to truly embody).

Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult, unpleasant life experience and there’s no way to really put a positive spin on it… but there are ways to recognize the blessings that accompany every fitnah in life and to benefit from them, knowing them to be a part of the journey to Jannah, inshaAllah.

{Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you?} (Qur’an 2:214)

I STOPPED SHAPING MY EYEBROWS WHEN MY HUSBAND DIED

Originally posted by Ruyaya’s Bookshelf blog, http://www.ruqayasbookshelf.com/i-stopped-shaping-my-eyebrows-when-my-husband-died/#.V-eqNWJC-7Y.facebook

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This piece isn’t really about eyebrows.

When my husband was killed, so many things in my life immediately changed. I had no time to get used to the idea of him being gone. I had no time to really adjust to a new reality. I was thrown, headfirst, into this chaotic and painful hurricane of emotions and events.

At some point a few weeks later, I looked in the mirror and saw that my eyebrows were growing in. Almost instinctively I searched for my tweezers. As I was fumbling around searching for them, I stopped. I don’t know what made me stop, but I did. I looked at myself in the mirror for a second and thought, why am I doing this?

In a hadith that most of us have heard, the Prophet (saw) says, “Allah has cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, the woman who plucks eyebrows and the one who has it done, and the one who files her teeth for the purpose of beauty, altering the creation of Allah.”

I had heard this hadith so many times before, but I could never bring myself to stop shaping my eyebrows. I had thought I’d look too disheveled, too unruly and messy.What’s the big deal, I had always thought, it’s just a little hair.

But in the spur of that moment I decided to stop. That was three years ago. (For those wondering, I still have a moderately presentable face.)

This article isn’t really about eyebrows, though. It’s about submission. Submission to Allah and what He asks of us, and what He commands us to do.

For years I didn’t think it was a big deal to shape my eyebrows. Well, more accurately, I just didn’t think about it at all. Period.

Then this big thing happened to me. I lost someone I love very suddenly and very violently. I saw his face in the morgue, still cut and bloodied from when he fell to the ground. I saw how in the span of just mere moments, I went from being a wife to being a widow, from being happy to wanting to jump out of my own skin because of the pain, from being satisfied with my life to questioning everything, and from having my plans all laid out before me to feeling like I had nothing to look forward to.

And when he vanished from my life instantaneously, I came to understand just how fleeting this existence was. I came to understand how much of reality had gone over my head over the past few years when I cared about things. I came to understand that I could also die in one brief flick of time, before I was ever “ready,” before I had made the sacrifices necessary to be greeted with words of peace by good angels and ascend to a place where I would meet the Most High.

I came to understand that nothing, and I mean literally nothing in this world is worth risking my status in the sight of God.

All I wanted, all I prayed for, all I ever cared about in those months after my husband was taken from me was to attain paradise where no more tears would be shed, and no more heartache to cripple me. That’s all I wanted. Nothing else.

So when I looked at myself in the mirror and raised the tweezers to my face, I couldn’t do it. What possible reason could I have to risk gaining sins for something so trivial ashair? Was a little hair on my face really worth the prospect of Allah’s anger? Absolutely not.

You see, when you experience death, when you hold it in your hands and breathe its coppery blood scent, when you bury your loved ones in the ground, so many things worldly desires fall away.

I started to wonder how many other things I was doing while knowing full well that they were wrong. I started wondering how many other principles I was compromising because submission to God wasn’t my priority in life.

I said this article wasn’t about eyebrows, and it’s not. It’s about submission. It’s about obeying God when He commands us to do something or stay away from something – not because it’s easy, but because He is our Lord and Sustainer.

God knows I have many faults and bad habits and lapses in patience. He knows that I struggle to submit, as we all do, to certain obligations and commands. We’re human.

But are we even trying to submit? Do we even notice that He told us to do something, but we’re openly carrying on, doing the exact opposite? Or have we become so entrenched in our habits that we can’t even differentiate right from wrong anymore?

If we would only submit a true submission, we would fulfill the name that He named us: Muslimeen; those who submit. If we refuse to submit, on the big things and on the little things and on the medium things, are we really from those who submit? It’s an important question.

We could die this very instant. And if we did, would we care about whether our (probably too revealing) outfit was on point? Or would we worry whether or not our submission was on point?

I’m afraid for my daughter growing up in this era of social media where women are competing for likes and followers. They compromise their submission to God in order to maintain their numbers and grow their platform. They compromise everything that’s worth anything just to have a competitive edge.

It doesn’t have to be a popular thing to say, but I will say it anyway: we’ve lost sight of the fact that this world is a test, not a runway. We’ve lost sight of the fact that Allah does not look at our bodies, but He looks at our hearts. If we’d only sacrifice as much for Him as we do for our social media accounts, we’d be completely different.

It’s not just social media personalities, though. It’s all of us, every single one of us. We’ve all had moments where we’ve thought crossing a boundary would make us more successful in this world. Some of us have crossed that boundary over and over, some are standing on the precipice, admiring the grass that’s “greener” over there.

Just ask yourself: is this, whatever “this” is in your life, worth risking my spiritual well-being and status in the sight of God?

“Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you,

Until you visit the graveyards…”

(102: 1-2).

May Allah guide us to truly embody the word Muslim by entering a state of mind where we make the conscious choice to submit to Him in every way, no matter how difficult.

– Ruqaya’s Bookshelf 

THE 1-MONTH DESERT DIET

OlivesFed up with government guidelines of salt intake, doctors’ advice on calorie control and nutritionists’ warnings about additives, Rabia Barkatulla wanted to return to the simpler, more wholesome diet of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Equipped with ‘Shamaa’il Tirmidhi’ on the eating habits of the Prophet (SAW), she undertook a kitchen clearout and supermarket ban to get back in touch with real food.

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY TAKEN FROM SISTERS MAGAZINE – https://www.sisters-magazine.com/2016/01/01/the-1-month-desert-diet/

Week 1: Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays

Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: “Rasulullah (SAW) said: ‘Deeds are presented (before Allah SWT) on Mondays and Thursdays. I desire that my deeds be presented whilst I am fasting”(Hadith 288).

The first Monday of fasting is going well, just as the first day of Ramadhan, you relish the change. It’s funny how we have ritualistic habits with food: certain foods at certain times, certain drinks and certain combinations of flavour. Perhaps it is easier to break up the routine with fasting non-consecutively. I’m getting used to eating lighter in general and I’m not inspired to cook a big meal because it’s not an ‘occasion’ the way iftar usually is. Mostly, we’re filling up on pasta, fish and soups which are quick to prepare in all of half an hour from the shopping bag to the plate.

I can feel that fasting has made me more energetic and not being sluggishly waylaid with tea and lunch, the day seems liberated for other activities like swimming. Because it’s only a Monday and Thursday, mentally I can cope and I’ve found keeping my mind off food gets easier. We have a tendency in our age of neurotic vanity to be self-consciously losing weight rather than looking after our health and wellbeing. I’m trying to ignore that part of my irrationality and concentrate on health. I want to engage in more ‘ibadah during the day as I feel lighter – so for the days I’m not fasting I’ve taken up praying before I eat, finding that it’s easier to pray the sunnah as well and make it more of a mental rest during the day. The only down side I’ve found is that if I don’t have enough fluids before the fast, I really feel it.
Week 2: Fruit

‘A’ishah (RA) reports that “Rasulullah (SAW) ate watermelon with fresh dates” (Hadith 189).

Now that fasting is established in my weekly routine, it’s time to introduce something I’m really not fond of: fruit. I can go without fruit for months; the texture of its raw fleshiness spurs me to bury it under crumble until it no longer resembles its former self, or worse, fry it in pancake batter for breakfast.

Fruit smoothies are my lifesaver, as well as bio-pot fruit yoghurt. After physical exercise the body needs replenishing with minerals and hydration: once you come back in the house from running errands there is nothing better than a smoothie. I’ve actually finished a litre in two days, putting away 8 portions of fruit.

Yoghurt is a lovely, summery alternative to ice-cream or chocolate. Even fig rolls are high in fibre and are great with a cup of tea. I’ve also taken to stuffing dates with nuts and putting them in my handbag, brilliant on busy weekends when you’re out and about shopping or visiting people and you need something on the go for breakfast.

Chopping up dates and cranberries and sprinkling them over cereal has led me into the world of the dried fruit; a versatile and easy way to absorb vitamins without trying. Now they’re everywhere, in my muffins, on top of toast and even in my cookies.
Week 3: Bread, Vinegar and Olive Oil

Someone asked Sahl bin Sa’d (RA): “Did Rasulullah (SAW) ever eat bread made of white flour?” He replied: “White flour may not have come before Rasulullah (SAW) till his last days” (Hadith 138).

It’s time to bring out the rolling pin. Any culture that still makes wholemeal bread is worth adopting, so I’m rolling out the rotis to go with our Bombay potatoes. I’ve tried using brown flour to make quiche pastry and that was a disaster. The fridge alternative is a multi-seeded loaf, the best of the brownest – exceptionally worth the extra money.

Jaabir bin ‘Abdullah (RA) relates that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “What a wonderful grave vinegar is”(Hadith 145). Vinegars are complex and varied. There is red wine vinegar, best for kidney beans and salads, there is cider vinegar, light and good for pasta, malt vinegar that we use on chips and white wine vinegar, the most versatile in the kitchen. I’ve realised that they can all be used for pickling vegetables or fish in jars so I’m storing more than I bargained for this week.

It is related from ‘Umar (RA) that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Use olive oil in cooking and rubbing (on the body) because it is from a blessed tree” (Hadith 150).

I’m amazed at what a difference it makes having no other oils or butter at hand when cooking. It contains good fats, and so olive oil mayonnaise is also a happy alternative.

Lunch is now a single sandwich, but filled with enough nutrients to make me glow. Seeded bread spread with olive oil mayonnaise, goats’ cheese and tomatoes: this is gourmet food!

I’ve devised a cunning idea to make dinner not look as sparse as it seems; in one word: Tapas! The Spanish dinner you don’t have to cook: pots of marinated vegetables, olives, and cheeses with bread that you dip in and out of things. Pickled artichoke hearts in vinegar is not so bad with seeded bread. Throw in some sun-dried tomatoes and you have quick-fix pizza. Pickled fish is my new discovery; I never knew how much anchovies where used by the Italians until I tried pasta puttanesca, pasta with fat olives, anchovies, chopped tomatoes and olive oil, assembled in minutes and reminiscent of sitting in an Italian restaurant with steam rising from the plate.

Week 4: Gourds and Fowl

Jaabir bin Taariq (RA) said: “I attended the assembly of Rasulullah (SAW). I observed, they were busy cutting a gourd into pieces. I inquired: ‘What shall be made of this?’ He replied: ‘It will add to our food’“ (Hadith 152).

Gourds are the marrow-family vegetables including cucumber, pumpkin, courgette and squashes. In England, many of these are grown and available from October onwards and most we are quite familiar with; courgette is wonderful in ratatouille, cucumber in salad and pumpkin in pies and soups. The butternut squash is new to me, so I tried a vegetarian lasagne with red onions in the mix. Squash is exactly what you need in the autumn; roasted with some salt it can be added to risotto, used in place of potatoes in a curry or simply turned into mash.

Zahdam Al-Jarmi (RA) said, “we were present in the assembly of Abu Musa Ash’ari (RA). Fowl meat was served for food. A person from among those present, moved back. Abu Musa (RA) asked him the reason. He replied: ‘I had seen the fowl eat something (dirty) so I swore an oath that I will not eat it.’ Abu Musa (RA) said: ‘In that case, I had seen Rasulullah (SAW) eat the meat of a fowl’” (Hadith 146).

Fridays are special as my husband likes it if we don’t eat meat except for this day, it’s the only time in the week I have a family affair with roast chicken or cottage pie. I can now see that, left to my own devices, I was baffled with what to eat and how to be more healthy. I’ve lost half a stone in a month; without a rigid plan or even needing to try.

I can see from the ahadith that I’ve been looking at, that the Prophet’s (SAW) diet was not as meagre as I’d imagined. There is a great variety of colour, fibre and vitamins in different types of food that was the custom of the time. Meat was not everything, and nor was subsistence on dates and milk; the only pattern we can find is that the Prophet (SAW) didn’t eat the same for two days: he listened to his body.

I am buying vegetables according to the seasons, which is one step away from growing my own but a learning experience nevertheless. There are vegetables and fruits that grow in this country that the Prophet (SAW) enjoyed; herbs such as dill and parsley. I’m appreciative of each season as there are new ingredients to tinker with and dinner doesn’t have to come out of a jar or a tin anymore. Granted it is harder work preparing and testing foods, but it is the stuff of life; we have been entreated to eat what is halal and good for us; and this not only gives us fresher nutrients and simpler habits, but we assist and blend into the natural world around us.

Rabia’ Barkatulla is a freelance writer and Arabic language teacher who read Arabic and Arabic Cultural Studies at the School Of Oriental and African Studies and is currently studying English Literature at Oxford University. Rabia’ has taught for the Ibn Jabal Institute in London, and continues to teach at the Ribat Institute in Surrey.

THE PROPHET’S (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALAM) FAVOURITE DISH

Tharid 1

Article originally from SISTERS MAGAZINE – https://www.sisters-magazine.com/2016/02/13/the-prophet-saws-favourite-dish/

There may be nothing elegant about pouring hot meat and broth over a plateful of bread, yet around the world such humble fare is regarded as savoury, satisfying comfort food at its best. In Morocco, you’ll find chicken and lentils served this way; in Iraq, chicken and chickpeas and in the UAE, lamb and vegetables. In Italy, a number of soups are ladled over bread, while in America, roast beef and gravy ‘sandwiches’ might be presented in similar fashion.

Tharid – A One Dish Meal
Meat and bread dishes date back centuries, if not thousands of years. Not only can references for such stews be found in medieval cookbooks and texts, but tharid, a meat dish served communally on top of a platter of bread, was known to be the favourite meal of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). As Abdullah ibn Abbas said, “The food the Apostle of Allah (SAW) liked best was tharid made from bread and tharid made from Hays.” (Sunan Abudawud)

In fact, the Prophet (SAW) is famously quoted as saying, “The superiority of ‘Aisha to other ladies is like the superiority of tharid to other meals.” (Bukhari)

From another hadith, we learn that, on at least one occasion, the tharid served to the Prophet r included gourds along with the meat.

Likewise, modern day versions of tharid typically feature lamb, beef or poultry stewed with either beans or vegetables. Seasonings vary from one country to another. In some cuisines the consistency may be as thin as soup while, in others, it’s as thick as stew. In Morocco, the word trid(assumed to have derived from tharid) describes a traditional preparation of meat or poultry served atop shredded bread, while in Iraq, meat and bread dishes may be referred to as tharid, taghrib or tashreeb.

Talbina – A Soup, Condiment and Cure
In the time of the Prophet (SAW), tharid wasn’t always served plain – it might also be garnished with a healthy quantity of talbina, a barley flour-based soup with the consistency of yoghurt.Tharid prepared this way was a traditional meal offered to a bereaved family, while talbina itself was believed to be beneficial for the sick. The Prophet (SAW) said: “At-talbina gives rest to the heart of the patient and makes it active and relieves some of his sorrow and grief.” (Bukhari)

Modern science shows that barley is indeed good for our health. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, barley is also low in fat and significantly high in fibre. Not only does the soluble fibre in barley help reduce cholesterol and help slow sugar absorption, but the insoluble fibre in barley may help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, according to http://www.barleyfoods.org

Make Your Own Talbina
Talbina is easy to make. Simply cook one tablespoon of barley flour in one cup of milk or water for about 15 minutes or until thick, stirring several times while the mixture simmers over low heat. If desired, stir in a little honey to sweeten the mixture to taste. Serve plain or spooned over tharid.

Although we don’t know precisely how the tharid enjoyed by the Prophet (SAW) was prepared, you can replicate his favourite meal by serving any soup or stew of your choice over slices of day old bread, shredded pita or torn flatbread. Or, try the curry-style tharid recipe below.

 

Iraqi Tharid with Chicken – Tashreeb Djaj
(Serves 4 to 6)
Ingredients
• 1 whole chicken, cut into 4 to 8 pieces
• 4 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 or 2 onions, chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 or 3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
• small bunch of cilantro (coriander ), chopped
• 1 to 2 tbsp curry powder
• 1½ tsp salt, or to taste
• ½ tsp black pepper, or to taste
• ½ tsp turmeric
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
• 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 6 servings of pita, naan or other bread
Method
1. Wash and pat the chicken dry. If desired, remove and discard the skin.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven. In batches, brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the oil and set aside.
3. Add the onions and garlic to the oil and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, coriander and spices. Cook for several minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften.
4. Return the chicken to the pot and add the water and broth. Bring the liquids to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Add the chickpeas and potatoes (and a little more water to cover if necessary – you’ll want ample broth) and continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked and the chickpeas are heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
5. On a large serving platter or in individual bowls, make a bed of broken or torn bread. Arrange the chicken in the middle and spoon the sauce, chickpeas and potatoes over all. Serve immediately.

Christine (Amina) Benlafquih writes on varied topics including religion, food, health and culture. You can find more of her writing on the web at Moroccan Food at About.com (http://moroccanfood.about.com).