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Blogs for New Muslims – Islamic Education Blogs

The Litany of Glorification of God

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The season of pilgrimage and the Eid of Sacrifice have specific practices associated with them. One of the main practices and rituals for the first 13 days of 12th lunar Islamic month is the litany of glorification of God “Takbir” that is said.  Good deeds during these days are beloved to Allah as the Messenger Muhammad said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to God than these ten days.” The litany of glorification, “Takbir,” is a type of prayer that has no petition or request, rather it is a statement of glorification of God. It is a form of mentioning God and often mistranslated as remembrance. Muslims say this prayer all the time, especially during the call to Salah, and during the prescribed ritual devotion when moving from one posture to the next. 

The wording used for this specific litany during the pilgrimage month and the Eid of Sacrifice is, “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha illa-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillah il-hamd (God is Most Great, God is Most Great, there is no deity worthy of worship but God. God is Most Great, God is Most Great, and to God be all praise.)” We glorify God to thank and praise Him for His many blessings which we can never enumerate. Examples of the many blessings we have are: the ability to worship Him, the food we have, the money we can spend and the family and friends that surround us. This litany is recommended for all to say throughout this special time period.

Etiquettes of Touching & Reading the Quran in Arabic Written Form

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The Quran, as the divine word of God, deserves utmost respect and reverence. Whether you can read Arabic at present or not, here are some essential etiquettes when engaging with the Quran in written form. The Quran in written form is called a ‘MusHaf.’ As you progress through the faith, God willing,  there may come a time when you can read the Quran in its Arabic written form from a ‘MusHaf.’ Until that time, you should read a translation in your language. You may also find translations that have the Arabic text along with the translation. All the rulings that apply to the Arabic written text of the Quran may not apply to the translations or the copies that have both the Arabic and the translations. We will note below those that are specific to the Arabic Quran in its written form, ‘MusHaf.’ Read More

The Social Aspects of Ramadan & Eid

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Ramadan is a month of worship in many different forms. For many of us, Islam is a virtual experience due to a variety of reasons. However, it does not need to be this way for everyone. For those of us who have access to a Muslim community, one major aspect of Ramadan is the social aspects it encourages. We see this in different ways: Read More

Understanding Fasting Times in Islam: Clearing Misconceptions

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Understanding Fasting Times in Islam: Clearing Misconceptions

As a new Muslim, understanding the correct timing of fasting is essential. Unfortunately there are some misconceptions due to false media coverage and lack of correct knowledge of Islamic practices. Let’s delve into the details to ensure clarity and adherence to this fundamental practice.

The Start of Fasting

  • Fajr (Dawn): The beginning time for the Fajr ritual devotion (Salah) is the start of the time for fasting. Fasting begins at Fajr, which is dawn time, at the break of dawn. It’s the moment when the first light appears on the horizon, signaling the start of a new day. At this point, Muslims must stop eating, drinking, and engaging in intimate sexual activity.

●     Sunrise vs. Fajr

  • Misconception: Some people confuse the start of fasting with sunrise. However, they are distinct moments over an hour apart.
  • Clarification: Fasting begins at Fajr, not sunrise. Fajr occurs before the sun rises, during the twilight phase. Fajr time window ends with sunrise.
  • Pre-Dawn Meal (Suhur): It’s recommended to have Suhur (the pre-dawn meal) in the last half-hour before Fajr. This should sustain you throughout the day.

3. The End of Fasting

  • Maghrib (Sunset): Fasting concludes at Maghrib, precisely after the sun sets. This is also the starting time for the Maghrib ritual devotion (Salah). As soon as the sun sets you can eat and drink to complete the fast for the day.

Conclusion

Understanding the correct timing for fasting is essential for practicing this pillar of Islam. Remember to set your intention, start the fast before Fajr time, and complete your fast promptly at Maghrib. May your fasting be accepted, blessed and spiritually enriching!

The Role of Perseverance and Gratitude in the Last 10 Nights

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As a new Muslim, embarking on your spiritual journey can be both exciting and challenging. The last 10 nights of Ramadan hold immense significance, and understanding their importance can deepen your connection with Allah. Let’s explore how perseverance and gratitude can help you during this period.

  1. The Significance of the Last 10 Nights

The last 10 nights of Ramadan are a time of heightened spirituality and divine blessings. Among these nights lies the Night of Special Status, which is a night that is better and higher in rank than 1,000 months. (Quran 97:3). Imagine the magnitude of blessings and forgiveness available during this time!

2. Perseverance: A Steadfast Journey

What Is It?

Perseverance (Sabr in Arabic) is not merely enduring difficulties; it’s about maintaining steadfastness and trust in Allah even when faced with challenges. For New Muslims, this resilience is essential as you navigate the intricacies of Islamic practices which may at times seem daunting.

How Can New Muslims Practice Perseverance?

  • Learn Gradually: Don’t overwhelm yourself. Take small steps in learning the basics of prayer, fasting, and other acts of worship. Seek guidance from well- grounded, knowledgeable individuals and reliable resources familiar with your situation.
  • Embrace Imperfection: Understand that perfection isn’t the goal. Allah appreciates sincere efforts. If you stumble during prayer or forget something, know that Allah knows your genuine intention.
  • Seek Support: NMA is here to support you in this journey. Reach out to us if you need help
  • Build your perseverance: Use the last 10 nights of Ramadan to build up your resilience. Seeking the Night of Special Status in these last 10 nights requires a lot of dedication. If possible, set aside time each night to spend in devotional acts. Try to put in as much time as you can without exhausting yourself.
  • Scale up: You could start with a lesser amount of time in the first of the 10 nights and gradually keep increasing. Perseverance will play an important role in this gradual building up of your capacity.

3. Gratitude: A Heartfelt Expression

What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude (Shukr in Arabic) is acknowledging Allah’s blessings and expressing heartfelt thanks. It’s recognizing that every breath, every moment, is a gift from Him.

How Can New Muslims Practice Gratitude?

  • Start with Basics: Use these 10 nights to thank Allah for all the good things you have in life – food, shelter, and health. Thank Him for bringing you to Islam, allowing you to reach this Ramadan, and enabling you to worship Him in it.
  • Reflect on Blessings: Each night, take a moment to ponder the blessings you’ve received since embracing Islam. Your faith, supportive people online or offline, and your newfound purpose in life are all gifts.
  • Thank Allah for achievements: Gratitude softens the heart and strengthens faith. These last 10 nights are a good time to thank Allah for all that you have achieved in life, whether it’s on the work front, personal life, or even the worship that you have been able to do this Ramadan.

 

Conclusion

Dear new Muslim, embrace perseverance/resilience, and gratitude. Allah knows your struggles, and He appreciates your sincere efforts. The last 10 nights are a golden opportunity to draw closer to Him. May your journey be filled with blessings, understanding, and love.

Remember: You are not alone. Allah is with you every step of the way.

 

Social Teachings of the Quran

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The Quran contains guidance for humankind. It covers everything that people need to find true happiness and success in this life and the next. A major part of that is the social teachings of the Quran. The foremost duty of people is to know the One True God properly and to worship Him alone according to His terms and conditions. A part of that is obedience to God and living in a way pleasing to Him. A major part of pleasing God is our social interactions. The Messenger Muhammad said that the best of people are those most beneficial to others. Read More

The Role of Obligatory Alms (Zakah) in Social Justice

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Zakah, or obligatory alms, is the third pillar of Islam. It is a financial act of worship, whereby Muslims give a monetary devotion for God’s sake to those who are eligible to receive it. Through obligatory alms, a Muslim purifies themselves from selfishness and greed, as well as purifying their wealth by giving some of it away. It also purifies the recipient’s heart by fostering goodwill and gratefulness between them and those who give them obligatory alms. Read More

Islam – The Only Valid Monotheistic Faith

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Islam is the only valid monotheistic faith. Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. Many religions claim to be monotheistic.. Islam is exceptional. Islam’s monotheism is radical because it does not only teach that there is only one God. There is only One True God in Islam. All other gods are considered false gods. Belief in the One True God is not sufficient for salvation. Islam is the exclusive devotion to the One True God. It is not simply an abstract belief. In Islam, God does not have any equal or partners, no children or spouse. No messenger or angel is similar to or equal to God. Islam is to submit to the commands of God and  to hold onto and follow God’s laws, as revealed to His Messengers and in His divine scriptures. Read More

Brotherhood in Islam

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God states in the Quran, “The believers are brothers.” [49:10] This passage is the foundation of the concept of brotherhood in Islam. God reminds the disciples of the Messenger Muhammad of his favour upon them and how He united their hearts, “Remember the blessings of God upon you when you were enemies before Islam, fighting each other for the slightest reason, and He brought your hearts together through Islam, so that you became brothers in your faith through His grace.” [3:103] Read More