My Plan To Arabic Fluency

getfluentinarabic

Assalam alaikum everyone,

people ask me when they hear me speak Arabic after an intepreting session how I learned it.

It’s pretty simple. Just follow the process below.

Set a goal 

There’s a saying aim for nothing and you’ll hit it every time.

A lot of students want to learn Arabic but they don’t set a goal.

They rely too much on the teacher.

Before I started learning Arabic I set a goal to read write speak Arabic fluently. You can’t hit a target that you can’t see.

Make a plan

Once I set the goal on a plain piece of paper I wrote down how I’m gonna achieve it.

This was a plan of steps I need to take in order to achieve my goal.

Whilst abroad a lot of students don’t have these two vital components to their Arabic education. A goal and a plan. This is one of the…

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Is He not sufficient for His slave?

☆Qur’anic Gems☆
“Is not Allah sufficient for His slave?” (Q39:36)

This is a verse that is so special to me.
This was revealed in regards to the idolators of makkah who tried to scare the Messenger (saw) with the gods and idols that they called upon.

In our time, it is not other gods or idols that scare us. It is not them that scare us away from holding onto to the deen of Allah. It is mainy people. We fear been rejected, or denied what we really want, or been ridiculed, if we do what Allah (swt)  commands. While He (swt) Has said:
“Is not Allah sufficient for His slave?”

Allah will be enough for us, He will suffice us, and protect us, just as He (swt) did to his messenger (saw), so RELY on Him. Next time shaitan or our nafs tries to prevent us from doing what Allah loves, call to mind this verse, and in shaa Allah, you will receive instant motivation.

May Allah (swt) grant us more understanding of the Qur’an, ameen.

★The Purpose Of Life

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficial, The Most Merciful.

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

What is the purpose of this life? Why were we created? What is the reason for our existence?

Sadly these are questions that most people shy away from and instead prefer to do what everyone else is doing; ‘make money and maximise pleasure’. As muslims, it is of utmost importance we remind ourselves daily the purpose of our lives in order not to stray off the right path.

As we already know, we didn’t accidentally appear on planet earth; we were created by God, The Almighty. But it is the reason of being created that most people are not aware of. Though Our Creator never left us to find it out ourselves, it has always been there in the manual He gave us for this life.

The Quran says:
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone) (Q51:56)

“Who (Allah) has created death & life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed”. (Q67:2)

So it is that and nothing else. Our only purpose of been on this earth is to worship God i.e strive with everything we have & through every means to come closer to Him. And by His infinite mercy, He promised to reward us according to how we worship Him, in the next life.

“Allah has promised those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them there is forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise). And (as for) those who disbelieve and reject our communications, these are the companions of the hell-fire”. (Q5:9-10)

One may ask how then should we act accordingly? How do we spend our entire lives worshipping God? “By dedicating our whole life in servitude to Him”. This means we would not do except that which pleases Him, and we are quick to repent if perchance we do the opposite.

In these times, what we see of how muslims spend their lives is indeed very troubling. Many waste their lives in sins, all in the name of maximising pleasure; watching & listening to that which is displeasing to Allah for endless hours, chasing after women and wealth through all sort of bad means, copying the west in every haram thing they do, following every low evil desire their soul whispers to them…to mention but a few.
And God has said:

“Does man think that he will be left suda [neglected without being punished or rewarded for the obligatory duties enjoined by his Lord on Him]?” (Q75:36)

“Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that they make.”  (Q45:21)

What would they miss if they follow Gods commandment? Do they fear hardships? Then surely they are not conversant with their life manual because God has made it clear that this life will be filled with both good and bad “Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.”(Q31:35) And as believers, our hardships are only ladders that take us closer to God by reminding us of our need for Him. How regretful would they be if they end up being asked this question on the day of no pardoning?

“Did you think We  had created you in play (without any purpose) and that you will not be brought back to Us.?” (Q23:115)

So I ask myself first and the one reading this right now; “what will we lose if we spend a lifetime studying our glorious Quran? Our God sent message that tells us about all that is in this world and beyond. “What will we miss out on if we spend the rest of our lives seeking to come closer to God through every means in our homes & in our work places?”Aren’t we aware of that which awaits us?” Paradise; the land of everlasting pleasure!

Surely, there is an ardent need for reminding ourselves daily our purpose of life, for it is only by doing that, we would not fall prey to this deceiving world. And we ask Allah earnestly to keep us firm on the straight path for the rest of our lives, ameen.

“And this life of the world is only amusement and play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter, that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew”.(Q29:65)

1st February & The World Hijab day frenzy.

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficial.

February 1st of every year is now marked world hijab day. This was created to raise awareness about hijab and clear misconceptions regarding it. The question now is whether that aim is really being met? or is it just doing more harm than good?

Every deed in islam has to be done in accordance with the shari’ah and sunnah in order for it to be accepted, and the hijab is no exception. It also isn’t any coincidence that in both the two places the command of hijab was mentioned in the qur’an, they were coupled with its conditions. And the same goes for the many ahadiths about the hijab. Allah (swt) said:

-And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.)  And not to show off their adornments except only that which is apparent (outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful(Q24:31)

-O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful. (33:59)

We wear the hijab because its a command from Allah so therefore it has to be in accordance with how He (swt) said it should be it. In the first verse, it is said not to show off your adornments. We all know adornments are those things that beautify &decorate us. This includes  our beautiful clothes, jewelries, make-up e.t.c   The second condition which appeared in both verses was ‘to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks and bosoms, etc.)’ This refers to the outer covering, which is not adorned, to be drawn all over our bodies.

The hijab we see all over the net in the name of ‘creating awareness” and encouraging women to wear it” by world hijab day event has nothing to do with this.  I wonder where on earth they got their definition of hijab. Apparently what they consider to be  a hijab is a scarf over the head, and for some, a scarf plus some beautifully decorated body fitting long clothing which is considered the ‘covering’. Subhanallah!  How is it that a man-made definition of hijab is created just so we can suit our desires? Who are we wearing the hijab for in the first place?

If it isn’t obvious, just the action of wearing a covering with big bold and beautiful eye-catching patterns in different colours is in of itself ridiculous. The main purpose of the hijab is not to draw attention to ourselves as Allah (swt) said:  ‘That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed’ (annoyed by people staring and flirting with them, the reason why the verse was revealed). And likewise, a covering that is body clinging cannot cover our bosoms, thighs, figures e.tc but can only reveal them the more.

Now, not only does world hijab day advocates this wrong type of hijab to the world, it also promotes the the act of women displaying themselves.

Muslim women take pictures of themselves wearing the supposed hijab and show it to the world in order to prove to others they are not oppressed. As muslim women, displaying ourselves totally goes against the teachings of islam. How is it that we actually call people to look at us (i.e by displaying our pictures) and we say we wear the hijab to divert attention from us? How can we help men to lower their gazes by displaying ourselves to them? Allah (swt) referred to such people as those copying the women of the time of ‘jahiliyyah’!
and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance”  (Q33:33).

Futhermore, lets be true to ourselves when answering this question: does the hijab really need any more awareness? What more awareness does it need since it has been the subject of controversy all over the media and the world at large for many years? And for goodness sake, the hijab is a command of Allah not something we choose to do or not. The main event on that day is that women, both muslims and non-muslims try the hijab and experience how it feels for a day. Subhanallah! Duhh? its a command of Allah? How is it that we call muslim women to try wearing the hijab for a day? We should only consistently  remind them to fear Allah and judgement day and abide by its command. In another ayah, Allah (swt) says:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error ” (Q33:36)

The whole concept of world hijab day as we have now seen is of no signifance but rather doing“more harm than good”  as quoted earlier.  Lets call our sisters that have already fallen into this trap before its ill effects spread beyond our control.  The mere act of insisting to wear the hijab despite all the odds is enough to clear any misconception people have about it such as women been oppressed, no need of going about displaying ourselves.

We don’t need any special day to celebrate our hijab. Its a command of Allah, and that’s enough for it to be special.

Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam having said this, “Their are two groups of people destined for the fire of hell. First, those officials who would carry with them whips looking like the tails of cows and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite being apparently clothed. They themselves will be inclined towards men and lure them as well. Their heads will be tall like the humps of Bukhti camels, bent onto one side (their hair will be styled in a bun). They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of Paradise which can be detected from great distances.” (Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth # 2128)

Doing Without The Pleasures Of This World.

Living simply means that you should
restrain your desire for worldly things in the hope of receiving something better instead.
In order to achieve this more easily you should first realise that the things which people yearn for in this world are in fact worthless when compared with what we hope for in the next world.

If we know that what Allaah has will
remain and that the life to come is better and more lasting, then we realise that this world is really like a piece of ice left out in the sun – it soon melts and vanishes. The akhirah (after life), however, essentially never vanishes. The desire one has to exchange this life for the one to come is strengthened by the certainty that there is no comparison between this life and the next. As Allaah, the Exalted said; “And they are happy
with the life of this world,but the life of
this world is small comfort compared to the next world.” [Qur’an 13:26]

It has been related by Ibn Sahl ibn Sa’ad that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said: “Had the world been worth even the wing of a gnat to Allah, He would not have even given a drink of water from it to a Kafir (disbeliever)” [Sahih Gharib, at-Tirmidhi, Kitab Az Zuhd,
6/611]

Living simply means turning away from the things of this world because they are so worthless. You do not bother with them and remain detached for them. Yunus Ibn Maisarah said, “Being detached from this world does not mean that you should forbid what Allah has permitted, nor that you should squander money. Rather, it is a state in which you are more certain of what is in the hand of Allaah than you are of what is in your hands. Your state in misfortune is the same as your state at other times; your attitude towards those who quite rightly criticise you and those who quite rightly praise you is the same.

Abu Hazim Az Zahid was asked, “What is your wealth?” He said. “Two kinds of
wealth dispel all fear of poverty: trust in Allaah and not being attached to what people have.”
He was asked, “Don’t you fear poverty?” He said, “How am I to fear poverty when my Lord owns all that is in the heavens and on earth and all that is between them and all that is beneath the ground?” He also said, the one who is content is the one who lives simply, and it is he who is
rich. The one who has attained real faith, who trusts in Allaah, and is content with what He provides for him, and remains unattached to the creation, out of fear and hope-and by so doing finds that pursuing worldly gains is not worthwhile has attained the benefits of simplicity. He
is the richest of people, even though he may not possess a thing in the world.” As Ammar said, “Death is the teacher enough, true faith is wealth enough, and worship is action enough.”

Ibn Masud said, “True belief is not trying to pleasure people by doing things which would bring Allah’s displeasure on you:not envying anyone for what Allaah has given
him; and not blaming anyone for what
Allaah has not given you. For Allaah’s
provision is not attracted simply by a
man’s being careful, nor is it defected by another man’s malice.

Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Whoever
lives simply in this world find misfortunes easy to endure.”
Some of the predecessors used to say, “If it were not for the misfortunes of this world,we would arrive in the next world completely destitute.”
Ibn Masud said, “True faith is not trying to please other people by doing things which are displeasing to Allaah.” Allaah has praised those who fight in His way, without worrying the opinion of others.

A righteous man once told, “You do
without much more than I do.”
The man replied, “It is you who are more extreme in this, for I deny myself things in a life which will not last and whose rewards are uncertain, while you have denied yourself the Akhira. No one could be more extreme in their doing without this.”

Al-Hassan al Basri said, “I have known
people and kept company with groups who neither rejoiced when the things of this would came to them, nor grieved when they lost anything in this world. The life of this world was more insignificant to them than dust. One of them might live for a year or for sixty years without even having a garment that would extremely
cover him, and without ever having
anything that would come between him and the ground,and without even having any food that he could ask to be prepared for him in his home.
When night came, they would be in their feet, with their foreheads flat against the earth, tears rolling down their cheeks, secretly calling on Allaah to save them on the Day of Judgement. If they did something good, they never stopped
being grateful for it, and were always
asking Allaah to accept it. If they did
something bad, they would be saddened by it,and would keep asking Allaah to forgive them for it. By Allah, they were not safe from wrong actions, and were saved only by their constant turning in repentance. May Allaah be pleased with
them.”

Source: The Purification of the Soul,
compiled from the works of: Ibn Rajab
al-hanbali, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya,
and Abu Hamid al- Gazali, Collected and arranged by Ahmad Farid

Its christmas!

Its that festive time of the year again,  shops and streets are filled with trees, cards, paintings of santa, and christmas carols, depending on where we live, signifying the celebration of the kuffars. And once again, it remains a necessity to remind ourselves about the do’s and don’t’s surrounding this season, as muslims.
In shaa Allah I’ll touch all the areas that are commonly misunderstood about this festival of theirs.

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1. What does christmas mean to muslims: The christians believe that our prophet Isa (jesus, AS) is the son of Allah (swt), wa iyyazubillah. And Allah gives a number of stern warnings about such claims:
“And they say: “The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son.  Indeed you (jews, christians, pagans) have brought forth a TERRIBLE EVIL thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountain falls in ruins, because they ascribe a son to the Most Beneficent”. [19:88-91]
“And warn those (jews, christians, pagans) who say, “Allah has begotten a son. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouth…”[Q18:4-5]
This time of christmas is the time where in they celebrate this terrible claim of theirs, believing it is the day the son was given birth to. Rejoicing and exulting this evil which angers Allah and every sensible muslim. So is it a time for muslims to be delighted?Or muslims to be baking christmas cakes?

2. Greeting them or replying to their greeting of ‘merry christmas’: Of course, this is wrong. Firstly, we are not happy about what they are celebrating. Secondly why should we reply their greeting since it is not our festival and we are celebrating it. Instead of replying their greeting, we should use such a chance to politely tell them about islam. Say things like: ” I’m not wishing you merry christmas because I’m not happy you are a christian, I want you to be muslim” and then steer the conversation to islam and what it says about christianity.  Greeting them on this occasion is so wrong that it is considered haraam by scholarly concensus, as was stated by Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah, where he says:

 “Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals and fasts by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on. If the one who says this has been saved from kufr, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allaah.”

3. Accepting their invitation (because one is too shy to refuse): Already, we know by now that this haram because it is worse than greeting them as it implies celebrating ‘their evil belief’ with them.

Similarly, we are forbidden to imitate them by having parties, exchanging gifts or giving out food, taking time off work e.t.c because the prophet (saw) said: “whoever imitates a people is one of them” [Abu Dawood].

4. Eating christmas food (because they brought it to your home, and you were too shy to turn it down or were not at home): Sadly, our aalims differ regarding this matter. Some say its wrong because by eating it, its like you are celebrating with them. While others say, as long as you don’t eat their meat, which was slaughtered for other than Allah, then it is ok, since their food has been made halal for us (Q5:5) and you didn’t go begging for it.

But, like my teacher said, we should fear Allah regarding this matter. Its as though some people are celebrating your father having an illegitimate son. Would you even consider eating the food made for such a purpose? And Allah knows best.

And we ask The Almighty to draw us closer to all that pleases Him, and distance us from all that displeases Him, ameen.

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them…[Q5:51]

Riches, Wealth, Luxuries…

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficial, The Most Merciful.

O people of understanding, why have you gone astray?
O Ummah of Mohammad (saw), why the  heedlessness? O readers of the glorious book, why do you turn a deaf ear to its advice?

From the Qur’an & hadiths, we have been repeatedly warned about the dangers of loving wealth. As a muslim, one has to en-grave one thought into his mind: “wealth is beneficial, both for the dunya and the aakhirah, but it is just that and nothing more”. For the dunya, one will get to enjoy some of the bounties that Allah (swt) has endowed the earth with. While for the aakhirah, one can earn a great deal of good deeds through charity, and most importantly, maintain ones ‘taqwa’, as rasulullah (saw) said: ‘what a good helper is wealth in maintaining God-conciousness’ [kanz al-ummal].

But as said earlier, “it is just that & nothing more”. Not been rich doesn’t mean your life on this earth is worthless; Our prophets were neither rich nor are many of our respected scholars. And surely it is not the only way to paradise.

 “Verily, the most Honourable amongst you is that (believer) who has (the most) taqwa” [49:13]

Then why are we still heedless? We have raised wealth to such a high status. Now a persons value is only equivalent to his bank account. Not only that, we have even gone to the extreme to start worshipping wealth! we love dearly those who have

wealth, we can do ANYTHING to acquire this wealth, we flaunt our wealth as if its our most priceless possession, and we make excuses for the wrongdoings of the rich but never for the poor! worshipping it as if its some religion, subhanallah.

Remember, our bank accounts doesn’t guarantee us a spot in paradise and neither does living the most luxurious life on this earth mean it must continue after our death. 

It is indeed sufficient a reminder that our prophet (saw), the most beloved being to us and to Our Lord The Most High, was not a rich man and even used to make dua to Allah (swt) to make him love the poor. O ikhwaanee fid deen, our wealth cannot last forever. It will eventually perish or we will perish and leave it behind. But there is also that which will never perish.

Allah (swt) says:”Wealth and children are the adornments of this life, but the good righteous deeds (glorification of Allah, good & nice talk, nawafil salah, fast, obedience to Allah and one’s parents e.t.c ) THAT LAST, are better with your Lord for reward and better in terms of hope. [18:46]

Lastly, if you are one that has been granted wealth, strive to do good with it. It is from amongst the signs that one has blessing in his wealth when he does only good with it. When one only spends his money on the latest phones and fashion accessories, then that is not a good sign. 

Let’s try to remember this all the time so that we can change our mindset; ‘our ultimate goal in this world lies in acquiring good deeds not wealth, that will earn us jannah; ‘the land of everlasting luxury’. We pray to Allah (swt) to join us all together there, ameen.

“Allah (swt) expands wealth for whom He wills and restricts it (for whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of this world (because of the wealth they have), but what is the life of this world compared with the hereafter except a brief passing enjoyment.” [13:26]

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