All Posts By

admin

How the Muslim Finds Hope in 5 Types of Difficulty

By | Blog | No Comments

When hard times come along, hope is what will pull us out of the test. Here are 5 types of difficulties in which the Muslim can find hope.

1. Poverty

When you’re poor, life seems to constrict and close up. Your options are limited. Just because your money is low, does not mean God has abandoned you. It’s really important to remember that it’s all a test from God.

“God gives abundantly to whoever He will, and sparingly to whoever He will….”(13:26)

This truth is expressed in more than 10 times in the Quran, about God’s power over material goods in this life. You do not control your provision. What you have, and when you have it, is in the hands of God.

Others may have more than you, and others may have less. These things change. It’s all in the care of God, and God never does anyone any injustice.

 

2. Loneliness

Imagine that you’ve got a large home, a loving spouse and many beautiful children. Imagine also that you enjoy a healthy, strong body, and are blessed in every way.

Then imagine it all being taken away. What would you miss the most?

The Messenger Job missed his wife the most. God tested him by taking away his children, his wealth, and his strength and health, and he worshiped God even more. But when his wife left, too, he cried to God:

“…‘Suffering has truly afflicted me, but you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’” (21:83)

People need other people. It’s human nature. God knows that, and He will send someone for companionship exactly at the point when they are best for you. And what happened to Prophet Job?

“We answered him, removed his suffering, and restored his family to him, along with more like them, as an act of grace from Us and a reminder for all who serve Us.” (21:84)

 

3. Health

Nothing reminds us about the blessing of good health than when we are sick. Some illnesses we recover from, and others affect our daily lives.

When we are tested with a change in our health, we are weak, and unable to do things as we like. It is a great reminder about how God controls things.

“If God touches you with affliction, no one can remove it except Him, and if He touches you with good, He has power over all things.” (6:17)

We seek out cures for our sicknesses, and take remedies that will help us feel better, but we do not rely on these medicines to cure us on their own. When we are sick we are reminded that God is managing all of our affairs, even our own bodies.

If our illness is due to some neglect on our part, we should remember that our bodies are on a loan from God. We must try to be careful and look after ourselves better to avoid illness.

“There are two of God’s favours that are forgotten by many people; health and free time.” -Messenger Muhammad

God is in control, and will never give you more than your body can handle.

We pray to God alone for relief.

 

4. Fear

Fear has a lot to do with being alone. For some people, merely the thought of being all alone is frightening. For the rest of us, we at least like to have a team. You want to know someone has your back.

During a really tense moment in the life of Messenger Muhammad, he was hiding in a cave from tribesmen looking for him. His companion in the cave was Abu Bakr, who expressed concern when the tribesmen drew close.

The Messenger of God turned to him and asked him, “Oh Abu Bakr! What do you think about two, when God is their third?”

God would not abandon you. And He supports the believers. When you have the support of God, no one can knock you down.

When you are alone and afraid, you can find hope in your fear by remembering God has promised that in Paradise, there is no fear.

“Those who believe, do good deeds, keep up the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms will have their reward with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve.” (2:277)

 

 

5. No Time

Time slips past so quickly. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. When life is a blur, recall that God is in control of the passage of time.

Prophet Muhammad also told his followers, “Do not curse time, for God is the one who crafted time.”

When you lose track of time, it may be due to you wasting time on something instead of important stuff. When this happens, remember that we will be asked on the Day of Resurrection about how we spent our time.

“Humankind will remain standing on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about four things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it up, his property and how he acquired and managed it and his knowledge and how he utilized it.” -Messenger Muhammad

The tests of life are there to purify us and bring us closer to God. That is why we must look at every test as an opportunity to grow, and learn.

Do You Have It In You To Keep Going?

By | Blog | No Comments

Here Are 6 Reasons to Believe in Yourself

 

Sometimes it feels like the road ahead leads to a dead end.

Do you sometimes doubt that you can actually do this Islam thing?  That you can live up to the promise you made to yourself?

 

Do you wonder if you can move forward, when it feels like your wheels are spinning?

 

In the beginning you were really motivated. Excited.  But then maybe you hit a roadblock.

When life seems to slip by with nothing getting better, or easier, we often blame ourselves and doubt our potential.

 

The key to getting on your feet and marching forward has been inside you all along.

Here are just 6 of the reasons you should never stop believing in yourself.

 

1. You stepped into the light

Look at how far you’ve come. Often, we forget what we overcame by undervaluing our achievements.

But a simple exercise in self-reflection and gratitude tells a different story.

 

“What about the one whose heart God has opened in devotion to Him, so that he walks in light from his Lord?” (39:22)

You see, God did choose you! Out of the countless humans walking this Earth, it was you who was given the light of Islam.

 

So why wouldn’t you believe in yourself if God Himself believes in you?

 

2. You took the path of learning  

 

He’s in your corner and wants you to succeed. Why else would God give you the tools to pave your way to guidance.

“It is the Lord of Mercy who taught the Quran. He created man and taught him to communicate.” (55: 1-4)

 

What better a teacher to have than God Himself?  Not only did He teach us how to achieve success in this life and the next, He also gave us the step-by-step manual to get there.

 

3. You are admired by the Angels

 

Human beings all have such great potential.  That’s why God commanded the angels to prostrate to the first man, Adam.

 

“Your Lord said to the angels, ‘I will create a mortal out of dried clay, formed from dark mud.  When I have fashioned him and breathed my spirit into him, bow down before him,’ and the angels all did so.” (15:29-30)

 

This prostration is not the kind that we do to God, in order to worship Him: angels only worship God. They prostrated out of obedience to God, and out of honor and greeting to humankind.

 

4. That time God defended you in front of the angels

 

When God announced to the angels that He was creating mankind, the angels assumed we’d cause more damage than good on Earth.

But it was God who defended us… because He knew of our potential for good.

“[Prophet], when your Lord told the angels, ‘I am putting a successor on earth,’ they said, ‘How can You put someone there who will cause damage and bloodshed, when we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your holiness?’ but He said, ‘I know things you do not.’” (2:30)

 

It’s our propensity for good that far outweighs our weaknesses. We choose mercy, we are affectionate towards plants and animals, and we take care of one another.

You too should believe in your ability to accomplish even greater things.

 

5. You are being bragged about

Imagine someone you admire bragged about you to an elite crowd. How great would that be?  How special would you feel?

You’d probably wonder what you did to deserve that mention.

 

The Messenger of God said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of God, the angels surround them, God’s mercy envelops them, tranquillity descends upon them and God makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.”

 

Even if you are alone at home taking a course with others online… that still counts.

Just imagine a canopy of magnificent angel wings surrounding you… like a protective force field…. extending all the way to heaven.

And simply because you are present in a gathering remembering God, He praises you to His angels. Angels, who are always worshipping Him.  

 

Even if you don’t think you are amazing, the angels do.

 

6. You are stronger than you think

When you can’t bear it anymore and are just about to give up…. especially as someone who has just converted to Islam… remember this:

 

“God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear..” (2:286)

 

Whatever comes your way, know that you are strong enough to overcome it. You have it in you to knock it down and succeed.

 

God chose you, specially, to accept Islam, and gave you the tools that helped guide you.

You are mentioned to the angels, who honor you. Your role on the earth is noble, and with a single purpose: the worship of God alone.

Inside you is an untapped reserve of awesomeness. Find it, and use it.

And so, when you look back on this time in life, you will smile and feel proud at how far you’ve come.  You will one day be grateful for the tests that seemed to weigh you down but just made you stronger.

 

Have hope that you are headed for greatness.

 

7 of God’s Names That Will Give You Hope

By | Blog | No Comments

“The Most Excellent Names belong to God: use them to call on him…” (7:180)

 

The Lord of Mercy (Ar-Rahmaan)

One summer, I was at the park with my children and the weather was very hot – not even the lightest breeze. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, a subtle gust of wind blew through my clothes. What a relief. What a mercy.

Other people at the park that day may not have noticed the wind pick up, but I sure did. God sends His mercy in ways we often overlook.  His mercy is for everyone, but not everyone recognizes it and thanks Him for it.

 

Look for the blessings of the Lord of Mercy: they are all around you.

“If you tried to count God’s blessings, you could never take them all in: He is truly Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.” (16:18)

When you feel like things are going against you, call on the The Lord of Mercy to shower His mercy on you.

 

The Granter of Security (Al Mu’min)

Our little family planned a trip to America from a small town in Canada to see my father-in-law.  So, with a 3-year old and a toddler in tow, we boarded our train.

It was then that I took my first real look at our tickets. I discovered, to my horror, that we would be changing trains late Halloween night in one of the most violent cities in America.  

Me. From a tiny Canadian town, visibly Muslim covered from head to toe, filled with horror stories about this city. Yes, I was very afraid.

 

So I prayed to The Granter of Security to keep us safe. And just like that, God made sure that my fears were never realized. Our little family was diverted without ever setting foot on one of the most dangerous cities in America.

When you are afraid, ask for help from the Granter of Security.  He will bring you safety in ways you could never imagine.

 

Al Jabbar (The Mender)

I learned a lot about cooking from my mother.  She even gave me her ceramic mixing bowl.  Due to over-enthusiastic use, my dad had to repair it several times.

While he was very skilled and careful to put the pieces back, using the strongest glue, the cracks from the previous breaks are easy to see.  And after I had it, the whole bottom of the bowl cracked and broke away.

Even though I repaired it, I’m still very careful with it. I don’t even use it except to store onions and garlic. I’m afraid it will break again.

 

It is only God, the Perfect Mender, who can fully repair and heal back to perfection – like nothing ever happened.

Our hearts can be fragile too.  We have scars and open sores from past losses and hurt. Some of our damaged relationships can seem beyond hope for repair.  

Yet, God is the Perfect Mender.  When He heals your wounds, they don’t even leave a scar.  When He has repaired the harm, you can feel whole again, without a trace of pain.

When you feel broken, call on The Mender to heal your wounds and mend your relationships.

 

The Repeatedly-Forgiving (Al Ghaffar)

This name of God is just one of many that remind us that He forgives.  Take this story for example, narrated to us by Messenger Muhammad.

A man committed a sin, then regretfully asked God:

‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

His Lord replied: ‘Is My servant acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My servant.’

Time passed, and he returned to his sin. Regretful once again, he said,

‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

His Lord replied: ‘Is My servant acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them?  I have forgiven My servant.’

Time passed and he returned to his sin yet again. And for the third time, he repeated his plea:

‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

By the third time, you may expect the answer would be no. However, you’re dealing with The Repeatedly Forgiving God.  

His Lord replied for the third time: ‘Is My servant acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My servant.’

 

Committing sins makes us feel bad, for sure.  But we should never feel like we’ve ever sinned too much to ask God to forgive us. If we do that, we fall into a trap of Satan.  A great teacher of the past advised:

“Would not any one of us feel ashamed before his Lord to seek forgiveness from his sin then go back to it, then seek forgiveness then go back to it? He said: The Satan would like you to feel that way; never give up seeking forgiveness.”

So when you have sinned, beg God The Forgiver to forgive your mistakes.

 

The Opener (Al Fattah)

Sometimes the path ahead seems dark, while others seem closed. God brings light to those paths, and opens ways for us that we couldn’t possibly imagine.  

“Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should heed this: God will find a way out for those who are mindful of Him, and will provide for them from an unexpected source; God will be enough for those who put their trust in Him. God achieves His purpose; God has set a due measure for everything.(65:2-3)

A new divorced sister was trying different ways to make money for her and family.  She wanted to stay at home with her young children, but couldn’t find anything online.  She feared she would have to leave home to work.

She took expensive courses to learn how to make money online, but ended up spending more than she made…every month.

Then out of the blue, a friend messaged and asked her if she wanted to work for an Islamic organization. It would include free training and working online from home. She thanked God, supplicated to the Opener, and got the position.

 

God will find a way out for you. Proof of this is always happening around you: perhaps if you think about it, it already has happened to you in your life.

Who else but God can open a door that someone else closed?

If you don’t see a path forward, pray to The Opener to open it for you.

 

The One Who Elevates (Ar Raafi’)

Everybody wants to be elevated.  Nobody wants be stuck in one place: socially, financially, or personally. We want to know more, make more money, and live in a better place.  These are natural human desires.

Seeking a raise in status through those things will only get you so far.

God can raise your level in any aspect, in this life and the next.  Consider how God raised the status of Messenger Muhammad:

“Did We not relieve your heart for you [Prophet], and remove the burden that weighed so heavily on your back,  and raise your reputation high?” (94:1-4)

 

Messenger Muhammad was a poor orphan, and God gave him success and wealth.

He was concerned about the state of the people around him, and God gave him prophethood so that he could cure the society of its problems.

He was insulted and rejected by his own tribe, yet God made his name the most honored of all time afterwards.

If you feel stuck or low in any area of your life, pray to the One Who Elevates.

 

The All-Hearing (As-Samee’)

There was a lady that came to the Messenger of God with an urgent request.  Her husband had been behaving like the men did before Islam, and she did not know how to deal with it.

It is said that she was speaking so quietly about it, that even the Messenger’s wife who was in an adjacent room could not hear her.  Yet, God not only heard her, but responded and helped her, from above the seven heavens.

 

God, the All-Hearing, revealed parts of the Quran about her very case – the response immortalized in the Quran until the end of time.

God not only is able and willing to help you, but is always listening, always paying attention.

When you supplicate to Him, He hears you. When people insult you, He hears that, too.

“If my servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.” (2:186)

 

The Beautiful Names of God

The Messenger Muhammad taught us this beautiful supplication:

“O God, I am Your servant, son (daughter) of Your male servant, and son (daughter) of Your female servant. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your command for me prevails. Your judgement concerning me is just. I beseech You through every Name You have, by which You have called Yourself, or which You have sent down in Your Book, or which You have taught to any one of Your creations, or which You have preferred to keep to Yourself among Your guarded secrets, to make the Great Quran the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness, and the pacifier of my worries.”

 

Consider these Beautiful Names of God and His many others, reflect upon them and internalize them. You will find your heart at peace with the present and the future.

Your Questions on Jesus as Answered by God

By | Blog | 4 Comments

God. Son. Holy Ghost. Prophet. Average man. Even charlatan.

These are all claims to the nature of Jesus son of Mary.

The Muslim narrative is clear and firm on the matter. God in the Quran makes direct and explicit responses to the most common questions.

 

1. Is Jesus God?

Quran 5:72

They have certainly disbelieved who say, “God is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.”

 

2. Did Jesus Claim to Be God?

Quran 5:116

And [beware the Day] when God will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides God?'”

He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right.

If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself.

Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.”

 

3. Is Jesus the Son of God?

Quran 10:68

They have said, “God has taken a son.”

Exalted is He; He is the [one] Free of need.

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about God that which you do not know?

 

4. Is Jesus Part of a Trinity?

Quran 4:171

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about God except the truth.

The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of God and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him.

So believe in God and His messengers.

And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you.

Indeed, God is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son.

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is God as Disposer of affairs.

 

5. Was Jesus a Charlatan or a Sorcerer?


Quran 5:110

[The Day] when God will say,

“O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity;

and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel;

and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission;

and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission;

and when you brought forth the dead with My permission;

and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.”

 

6. What Does Jesus Say About Himself?

Quran 19:30-34

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.

And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving as long as I remain alive. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”

That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute.

 

7. How Do You Explain His Birth?

Quran 3:59

Indeed, the example of Jesus to God is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.

Quran 3:47

She [Mary] said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?”

[The angel] said, “Such is God; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be’ and it is.

 

8. How Do You Explain His Abilities?

Quran 3:49

And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say],

“Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of God.

And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of God.

And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses.

Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.”

 

9. How Do You Explain the Crucifixion?

Quran 4:157

And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them.

And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

 

10. What Was the Message of Jesus?

Quran 3:50-51

[Jesus said], “And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so be conscious of God and obey me.

Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.”

 

11. What Do We Say of His Followers?

Quran 3:52

But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] God?”

The disciples said,”We are supporters for God. We have believed in God and testify that we are Muslims (ones who submit to God).”

12. What Happened to the Religion of Jesus?

Quran 57:27

Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel.

And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy and monasticism, which they [then] innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of God.

But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient.

13. Did Jesus Speak of Muhammad?

Quran 61:6

And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of God to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.”

But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”

 

Note: “Ahmad” is one of the names of Messenger Muhammad (a variation of the same meaning).

5 Lessons from the First Converts to Islam

By | Blog | 2 Comments

5 Lessons from the First Converts to Islam

 

As a new Muslim, you may feel alien to a new way of life.

 

When you hear stories of the Messenger of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him), his life and times, and about his companions, it may feel foreign to you.

 

They lived in a different time and place – 6th century Arabia. How could you possibly relate to that?

 

As you journey into the story of Prophet Muhammad, you’ll see how real his experiences were. You’ll begin to see how your experience, as a convert to Islam, is closely tied to that of his companions.

 

They were after all…converts to Islam, just like you.

 

Here are 5 lessons you can learn from the first to ever convert to Islam.

 

1. Take it slow and easy

 

When the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation at the age of 40, he was given time to process this new information. Surely, being told he was the chosen Messenger of God was no easy pill to swallow.

 

The first converts to Islam were from his close family and friends. They, too, were given time (even years) to learn and develop before making their conversion public.

 

Overall, the Quran was revealed in 23 years! That’s how gradual these new Muslims internalized and implemented the religion.

 

2. Focus on the building blocks first

 

Since the time of your Shahadah, you may have been bombarded with a list of Do’s and Don’ts. That must’ve been overwhelming.

 

If you look at Quranic revelations in the first 13 years of prophethood, the themes focused on:

 

  • Knowing and worshiping One God

  • Knowing about the Hereafter

  • Knowing about previous prophets

  • Consoling loss and rejection

 

If you notice, verses on Do’s and Don’ts like meat, dress and social interactions came after.

 

Note: This is not to say you should spend 13 years as they did. Take the reasonable time you need to prioritize your learning.

 

The New Muslim Academy’s curriculum is developed with this in mind.

 

3. Respect your family despite their rejection

 

Each family is different. Some support and accept your conversion to Islam. Some may take time before they do so, while others may refuse the notion entirely, even disown.

 

The early converts went through it all, including physical torture, persecution and death.

 

The mother of one companion went on a hunger strike so he would recant his Islam. Although he refused, he remained by her side, caring for her and pleading her to eat. He loved her of course, and nothing changed that fact she was his mother.

 

God revealed in the Quran (31:14-15),

 

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

 

But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.”

 

4. You are still part of your culture and society

Embracing Islam may feel like shedding your past and embracing a “new you”.

 

This is true with regards to past sins. Every mistake, every indiscretion is forgiven – no questions asked. You now have a fresh start.

 

But you still come with memories, experience, and an entire identity. You are not expected to change that, so long as it does not contradict the teachings of Islam.

 

Your fashion sense, your job, your social life, and most importantly, your name – they are all yours to keep, within the guidelines of Islam.

 

The companions of the Prophet still engaged in commerce with non-Muslims, they still wore the same clothes, and they kept their names (with few exceptions).

 

5. Believe in yourself

 

Becoming a new Muslim comes with a lot of uncertainty. You may feel like a small fish in a big pond with a steep learning curve.

 

Believe in your ability to grow at your own pace.

 

The companions were few in number – 4 or 5 at first.

In 23 years, they numbered more than 100,000.

 

They started off as shepherds, some desert nomads, and many could not even read.

 

In a span of 23 years, they became scholars, teachers, leaders, generals, industry developers, nation builders, movers and shakers.

How Belief in the Day of Judgement is Critical for Real Success

By | Blog | No Comments

How belief in the Day of Judgement is Critical for Real Success

 

Accountability.

 

This is a big, long word that is usually thrown around when people start talking about governments, or big business. It’s a word that people like to use when they want to make sure that things are on the up-and-up.

 

But what about personally?

 

Personal accountability means that we are taking responsibility for our actions, we are owning them. We are considering the consequences and the aftereffects of what we say and do.

 

Not a lot of people think about accountability in the personal sense. Because that’s scary. And it leads to change, which is hard.


Scary and hard things are usually avoided.

 

Many of us live a life of ease. We can order food to our homes without even getting off the couch. We can make a comment online to a stranger and not worry if they are offended. We can do something quite bad in secret, because no one is watching. We think that no one will ever know.

 

The big thing that separates those who do consistent good, behave well and have a successful attitude and those who slide by doing what they want is accountability.

 

Who do we answer to?

 

God.

 

Belief in the Day of Judgement is critical for success because there are many things that go on, many injustices and harms, and many great and good things, that go unaddressed or unnoticed by people.

 

Who tallies those things up?

 

God.

 

For Muslims, this belief is part of what keeps us going! When we look around and not see the fruits of our efforts, we should know that angels are recording everything and the records they keep will be brought out. And weighed fairly and with justice.

 

The person who rejected faith will regret and say, “I wish I had done better!” 89:24

 

While the believer who did much good and is proud of the record presented will say, “Here is my Record, read it. I knew I would meet my reckoning,” and so he will have a pleasant life in a lofty Garden…69:19

How These 5 Messengers Excelled

By | Blog | No Comments

How These 5 Messengers Excelled

 

When God gave prophetic missions to men on earth, He chose the best of humanity.

There have been numerous messengers throughout history sent to every nation and community. 35:24

 

All of them had extraordinary lives, and character. God gave preference to some over the rest. 2:253

The greatest five are called “The Ones with Strong Resolve” 46:35

They are all mentioned in one verse in the Quran:

 

“In matters of faith, He has laid down for you people the same commandment that He gave Noah, which is also what We have revealed to you, Muhammad, and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus….” 42:13

 

Here are some reasons that these messengers are the greatest of God’s emissaries :

 

    1. Noah: Noah preached on the earth to the descendants of Adam. His people had corrupted the original teachings of their father Adam and started worshiping idols along with God. Noah tried to bring them back to the worship of the One True God alone for over nine hundred and fifty years. Despite the insults and teasing from his people he prevailed. God saved him and his few followers from the great flood. A whole chapter in the Quran is named after him which describes his method of preaching to his people #71, also check out 11:25-49 He is called the ‘Second Father of Humanity’ 37:77

    2. Abraham: Abraham, for most of his life, was the only believer and worshiper of the One True God on the face of the earth. He challenged the paganism of his people and traveled in the land trying to spread the message of the worship of God alone. God tested him in every way, and he passed each test. God rewarded him with the status of being the ‘Loyal and Devoted Friend of God’. He is also called The Father of Prophets as many of his descendants became messengers of God. A chapter of the Quran is named after him #14.

    3. Moses: The most mentioned messenger of God in the Quran. There is so much detail about his amazing life in the Quran. From the time he was born to the end of his life. Moses was tested again and again and challenged the biggest tyrant, Pharaoh, to deliver a persecuted people, Israel. His people were very stubborn and caused him a lot of grief. God spoke to Moses directly, first commissioning him with his mission, and later, giving him the Torah. He is called ‘The One Spoken to By God’

    4. Jesus: From his father-less birth to his many fascinating miracles, Jesus’ ministry was packed with miracles. When he was a child he spoke of his mission and defended the honor of his mother who was accused of immorality. When he was older, he cured lepers, and those who were blind, and even brought a bird of clay to life as a real bird. He will return again to complete his amazing life, but his time on earth shows he is one of the greatest. He is called ‘The Messiah: the Anointed and Chosen Righteous One’ 19:30-39 and

    5. Muhammad: The final Messenger of God and the greatest of all time. He is the only universal messenger with a mission to all mankind for all times and places. 34:28 He was prophesied by all messengers of the past, most recently by Jesus 3:81 and 61:6. He took a backwards people who were deep into paganism, idol-worship and all kinds of sin and immorality and liberated them to be excellent worshipers of God alone, and the example of excellent manners and kindness for all generations to come. He is called ‘God’s Devoted Servant and Messenger’

 

 

Become a Morning Muslim!

By | Blog | 2 Comments

 

People ask me:  What is the hardest change you had to make when you became Muslim?

 

Was it not eating pork?

Nope.

Was it fulfilling the dress guidelines and covering in public?

Not at all.

Was it praying?

Yes. And no.

 

I had no issue performing my ritual devotions during the day when I was awake….

But the hardest thing I had to change about myself after accepting Islam was:

Waking up for dawn as that’s the first daily ritual devotion time.

I used to LOVE to sleep. LOVE.

 

Now, I am awake before my children each day, getting things done, especially since I learned this wonderful report from the Messenger of God:

He would make a supplication like this: “Oh God, bless the mornings of my community and make them productive.”

 

Here are some things that were the habits of the early Muslims:

  • Waking up in the early morning hours before dawn to reflect, remember God and recite scripture in voluntary night time vigils

  • Staying up after dawn, and taking a power nap in the afternoon

  • Beginning business and work in the morning

Honestly, when you become a ‘morning person’, you are more productive. I don’t need to quote all the self-improvement specialists about that. It’s totally self-evident!

 

The answer to that supplication by the Messenger of God is that our mornings are blessed if we take advantage of them.

New Year, new beginnings

By | Blog | No Comments

New Year, new beginnings

New Year? Whaaa….

You’re thinking maybe I’m REALLY early or impossibly late with this, right?

While I try to be a punctual person, I’m not talking about January 1, I’m referring to the first of the Islamic (Hijri) Lunar calendar, the 1st of God’s Sacred Moth (Muharram) which falls around September 21 this year, depending on the moon sighting.


The Islamic Calendar is Decreed By God

The Islamic calendar is not like any man-made one. Although most calendars have twelve months, God has decided on how humans should calculate time and he taught His messengers throughout history about this. There is an amazing reason for this:

“God decrees that there are twelve months – ordained in God’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth…” 9:36

What I personally find fascinating about this is that God is teaching us to honor time and gives us the framework to structure our days, weeks, months and years. How cool is that?

The new year gives us an opportunity to renew ourselves spiritually as we are aware of the passage of time. It also helps us do some introspection on how we spent our last year and how we plan to improve for the coming year.

But that’s not all.


There are Four Sacred Months

God continues in this same verse by saying, “…four months of which are sacred, this is the Upright Religion and Way of God”

Not all months are created equal.

But what does a sacred month even mean to us?

You may remember not long ago, we talked about the virtue of the Month of Pilgrimage (Thul-Hijjah) – and the best day of the year (Arafah) which landed in the same sacred month.
There are several regulations in Islam related to these Sacred Months which should not be violated.

God tells us some of the regulations the same verse, “Do not wrong yourselves in these months.”

Now of course, that does not give us free rein to do as we please in the non-sacred months. It just means that there is extra value to the good we do in these sacred months and more offensive to violate the time by sinning and breaking the commands of God.

Introducing the Month of God

This begs the question! What are these four months and what comes next?

The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred. Three are in succession, the 11th, 12th and 1st named the Month of Putting Arms Down, the Month of the Pilgrimage and, the Sacred Month. The fourth one is the 7th month named Rajab.

If this sounds confusing (and I’m sure it does), don’t worry. The names of the 12 months and their order are not the focus of this post nor is it a priority to learn. Phew.

We’re nearing the end of Thul-Hijjah (one of the sacred months and the last month of the year). The next month, God’s Sacred Month, Muharram, is also sacred as its name suggests.

God has given us yet another chance to do more good, overcome our mistakes, and raise our standards.

Here’s what the Messenger of God said about the month of Muharram.

“The best fast after Ramadan is in the Sacred Month of God, Muharram.”

Woah did you notice that. While Thul-Hijjah is the Month of Pilgrimage, Muharram is dubbed the Month of God. Surely, there’s a special day within this month as there was in the last?

Absolutely.

The Messenger of God told us, about fasting the 9th day of the Month of Pilgrimage Arafah, “God will expiate as a reward for it the year before it and the year after it”. As for fasting the 10th day of God’s Sacred Month ‘Ashura’, he said, “God will expiate as a reward for it the year that came before it.”

‘Ashura’ is the 10th of Muharram (we will let you know when it falls exactly as we await the moon sighting).

Summary

Let’s sum this post up real quick in case it got a little overwhelming.

  • God tells us to honor time and decreed for us 12 months in a year.
  • Four of these months are sacred.
  • Sacred months are opportunities for us to do more good and pay extra attention to our habits.
  • We are nearing the end of Thul-Hijjah (the Month of Pilgrimage) – a sacred month and the last month of the year.
  • In a few days, the new month of the new year will begin – also a sacred month.
  • God’s Sacred Month, Muharram, is the best month of the year to fast voluntarily.
  • Specifically, fasting the 10th of Muharram- also named The Tenth Day, ‘Ashura’ – erases the sins and mistakes of the year that came before.

 

5 Ways to Make Time for your Prescribed Daily Ritual

By | Blog | No Comments

5 ways to make time for your prescribed daily ritual

 

The prescribed ritual was the very first thing the messenger Muhammad was taught after receiving initial passages from the Quran.  

 

They take up, in total, approximately 30 minutes of your day.

 

Even still….

 

Those five can seem like a lot, when you’ve never offered them before.

 

You’ll see.

 

Taking a little time out each day for this course leads to a balanced, successful life.

 

Here are five ways you can make time as a new Muslim to offer the prescribed ritual devotion:

 

  1. Beg God to help you make offering the ritual devotion easy for you. God answers prayers and will facilitate things for the sincere servant striving to give Him thanks on His terms.
  2. Take note of the times, write them down, or set a calendar reminder through your cellphone or computer. Maybe download a call to prayer (Athan) app! Make a habit of offering the devotions as soon as you can within the prescribed time period.
  3. Begin rearranging your day to accommodate. The early dawn ritual will always mean waking yourself up, but the midday one can be made at lunchtime. Depending on your location, the late afternoon ritual can be made at breaktime or supper. The two evening rituals at sunset and night can fit around common leisure activities easily as you the day comes to an end.
  4. Brief periods to stop and offer the prescribed ritual devotions take up a  total of approximately 30 minutes of each day. When you are struggling to make them a habit, it may help to remind yourself of this fact.
  5. When you make God first, everything else will fall into place. God will reward you for your intention and your striving to be punctual and consistent, even if life doesn’t let you. Know that while God has commanded His devoted servants to perform this course of daily Thanksgiving Rituals, He is Merciful, All-Knowing and fully Aware of your condition. God does not burden us beyond our means. He gives us concessions depending on what we can or can not physically offer, and He always rewards generously those who struggle for His sake.