Significant of the ‘dua’ recommend by the prophet SAW for the last 10 night of Ramadan.

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Indeed all praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness, we seek refuge with Allah from our soul’s evil and our wrong doings, he whom Allah guides, no one can misguide, and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and his family and Companions and all who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

Dear respective brother and sisters,
below is the explanation of the significant of the dua recommend by the prophet SAW for the last 10 night of Ramadan.

Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah:

‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’

The Prophet SAW said: “Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and you love to pardon, so pardon me “Reported by Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

The transliteration of the dua is:-

“Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fa`a fu annee”

And the Arabic text is as written below
اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

The meaning of the dua is broken down as follows
اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ
O Allah, You are pardoning

تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ
and You love to pardon

فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
so pardon me

From all the dua of the Quran and Sunnah, the Prophet SAW specified this dua for the last 10 nights showing us how profound it is. One of Allah’s beautiful names, Al-‘Afuww (the Pardoner) and it appears five times in the Qur’an and four times with Al-Ghafoor (the Most Forgiving)

Difference between ‘Afuww and Ghafoor

Al-‘Afuww comes from the root ‘afw, which means to hide, obliterate, or remove something.
This meaning connotes ‘pardoning’, which is when one looks over another’s error and does not take them to account for it. Technically, it means Allah’s protection from trials and sicknesses for the believers (i.e.… safety and well-being).

On the Day of Judgment, we may find that many sins we committed are not in our record, this is ‘afw, which is when Allah completely removes your sins from your record as if you never committed them. When it comes to

‘afw Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala said: “And He pardons much” [Ash-Shura 42:34]

Al-‘Afuww pardons His Servants by not calling them to account for their sins and erasing their sins from their records. Not only does Allah pardon and remove our sins, but He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala loves to Pardon, as is implied in the dua above.

Al-Ghafoor comes from the root ghafar, which means to cover, conceal, and shield. When Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala forgives a sin, it means that He covers it and conceals it.

Al-Ghafoor is the One who does not expose the sins of His Slaves. He shields and protects His Slaves from the consequences of their sins and still forgives even though He is All-Aware of the wrong they committed.

When it comes to Al-Ghafoor, He will forgive the sins but they will appear in your record. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala Said “Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases.” [An-Nisa’ 4:48]

Al-Ghafoor is the One who forgives any sin regardless of the size as long as one seeks sincere repentance. Al-Ghafoor even forgives sins when we does not seek repentance because it is out of Allah’s Mercy that when a Muslim does certain acts, these acts will automatically have some or all of their sins forgiven.
The sins that Allah did not erase will appear in our record, but Al-Ghafoor can still forgive them.

The Prophet SAW said, “There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins as heavy as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them.” [Muslim]

When Al-‘Afuww and Al-Ghafoor are paired together, it shows how Merciful and Compassionate Allah is. He Pardons much, and for those sins He does not Pardon, He will forgive and conceal if He Wills.

May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala pardon all our sins, past, present and future, make the Ummah benefit from this work and keep our hearts firm on His guidance. AMIN

Equality of Men and Women

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My brothers and sisters everywhere! Islamic law [Shari’ah] – that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) sent down to His Messenger Muhammad – came to announce that women (exactly like men) are full human beings. Women (like men) are therefore required to
follow the way appointed by Allah.

A woman (like a man) is therefore obligated with all three degrees of this religion: Islam (outward submission to Allah), Iman (inward faith in Allah), and Ihsan (perfection of worship of Allah).

Islam (outward submission to Allah)

It is thus required for every woman to testify that there is none deserving worship but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger; to pray; to give charity; to fast; and to make a
pilgrimage to Allah’s House if she has the means.

Iman (inward faith in Allah and the unseen [Al Ghaib])

It is likewise required for every woman to believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Allah’s decree (and that the good and evil consequences thereof are from Allah).

Ihsan (perfection of worship of Allah)

It is likewise required for every woman to worship Allah as if she sees Him. For although she cannot see Allah, she must believe that He sees whatever she does in secret and in public.

Women (exactly like men) have been commanded with these three levels of the religion ( Islam, Iman, and Ihsan).

Women, like men, are also obligated to enjoin good and forbid evil; to strive and struggle by saying that which is truthful; and to adhere to all noble behavior, like: truthfulness, trustworthiness, courage, modesty, and self-respect.

Every Muslim woman, just like every Muslim man, is commanded to be steadfast in her religion and not to be negligent with her faith. It is not permissible for her – under any pressure or compulsion – to open her heart to accept the word of disbelief. Hence every Muslim woman, like every Muslim man, falls under Allah’s statement:

“Whose disbelieves in Allah, after he has believed – excepting him who has been compelled, and his heart is still at rest with the Faith – but whosoever’s breast is expanded in unbelief, upon them shall rest anger from Allah, and there awaits them a mighty
chastisement.” [Noble Quran 16:106]

Clearly when Islam charged women with all these duties and in all these obligations made her equal to men, the intent was to honor her and permit her to reach the highest degree of perfection of her being.

The duties that Allah has obligated humanity with are but a means to honor us. Prayer, as well as fasting, is an honor for the servant and a means to raise his rank. To adhere to Allah’s straight path and the manners of Islam are, without doubt, a means to honor us
and not to humiliate us as imagined by those who are ignorant of Allah and follow their desires.

Such people think and imagine that a human being who does not believe in Allah, does not uphold the trust of these duties, and does not perform what Allah has commanded him is of a higher standing than the believer who adheres to the obligations of Islam. Such an
idea is ignorance and renders human beings on par with the animals.

Humans have been created to be tried by Allah and have been charged with fulfilling these duties to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and His creatures. As for animals, while they have been
created by Allah, they have not been charged with this trust.

Whoever considers that a human being who does not uphold what Allah has obligated as equal to those who fulfill what Allah has obligated is like those who consider humans and animals to be equal. For this reason, Allah has said:

“Shall we treat that those who have surrendered (as Muslims) as We treat the guilty?” [Noble Quran 68:35]

And He has said:

“We have crated for Hell many of the jinn and humanity; they have hearts, but understand not with them; they have eyes, but perceive not with them; and they have ears, but they hear not with them. These are like cattle; nay, rather they are further astray! Those – they are the heedless.” [Noble Quran 7:179]

The disbeliever in Allah (whether a man or a woman) is a guilty criminal, for he or she does not know whom to worship, i.e.,The Creator, The Protector, The Lord, and He Who created this universe in which he or she lives. The disbelievers enjoy what Allah has blessed them with and yet they forget the One Who blessed and preferred them with such blessings. As for the believers, they are the honorable servants who know their Lord and Creator, Allah, Whom they worship. They fulfill what Allah has obligated and travel upon the path that Allah has delineated for them.

Status of Mothers in Islam

What does Islam say about “mothers”?

Ansar Al-‘Adl

This is one of the most convincing things about Islam – the treatment of women in general and especially the high position mothers hold in Islam.

Amongst the clearest examples of Islam’s honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as shall be shown in this article.
Islam raises parents to a status greater than that found in any other religion or ideology.

The command to be good to one’s parents begins right from the Qur’an. Allah says:

“Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents…” [Noble Quran 4:36]

The mention of servitude to parents follows immediately after servitude to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur’an.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to
them the wing of humility and say, “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” [Noble Quran 17:23-24]

The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzî (d. 1201CE) explained:

To be kind to one’s parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy;
not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)

The Qur’an emphasizes the great struggles the mother goes through for her child, to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents sacrifice for them:

“And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.” [Noble Quran 31:14]

The renowned exegete, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’di (d. 1956), says about this verse:

{And to your parents} meaning, be kind to your parents, shower on them love, affection and piety, both in words and deeds, treat them with tender humility, provide for them and never harm them
verbally nor physically. […] Then, Allah mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says {His mother bore him in travail upon travail}, that is, the mother bore constant
suffering; in pain and hardship from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the time of delivery. And {his weaning is for two years}, that is, during these two years the mother breast-feeds her child and looks after him/her. So after all the years of suffering, hardship, love and care, could we not, at least, compensate our mothers for what they have done for us and pay them back their rights? (Taysîr al-Karîm ar- Rahmân fî Tafsîr al-Kalâm al-Manân)

The Qur’an repeats its mention of the struggles of the mother in yet another passage:

“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age
of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to
You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.” [Noble Quran 46:15]

In connection to this passage, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy (d. 1976) wrote:

Mother has more rights than father
Although the first part of this verse is a command to do good to both the parents, the second sentence refers only to the hardships suffered by the mother, because they are unavoidable, and no child can be born without them. Every mother has to go through the
problems of pregnancy and severe pains of delivery. As against this, it is not necessary for a father that he suffers any hardship in bringing up and educating the child, if he can afford to pay somebody else for these services. This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has given more rights to the mother than anybody else. According to a hadîth he has said,

“Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them.” [Mazhari]

“And his carrying and his weaning is in thirty months” [Noble Quran 46:15]

This sentence too describes the hardships suffered by the mother for her baby. It points out that even after suffering hardships during pregnancy and the severe labor pains, the mother does not get respite from toils, because the natural food of the infants is in her
breasts, and she has to suckle them. (Shafy, Ma’âriful Qur’ân [Eng. trans.], vol. 7, pp. 795-796)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one’s parents. The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the
mother:

A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the
Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2)

Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi notes:

This hadith confirms that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave precedence to kind treatment of one’s mother over kind treatment of one’s father (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 165)

Likewise, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abdul-Azîz Ibn Bâz (d. 1999) comments on this hadith saying:

So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the like of kindness and good treatment than the father. (Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

He also writes:

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given
precedence over and above the father. And I have no doubt that my mother – may Allah shower His mercy upon her – had a tremendous effect upon me, in encouraging me to study; and she
assisted me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward
her with the best of rewards for what she did for me. (Majmoo’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also said in a famous narration:

‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother’ [Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah]

What can be greater evidence of honoring women than this? Islam has effectively placed the ultimate reward for human beings in their devotion to their mothers. Shaykh Ibrahîm Ibn Sâlih Al-Mahmud writes:

Treat your mother with the best companionship, then your father;
because paradise is under the mother’s feet. Never disobey your parents, nor make them angry, otherwise you will live a miserable life in this world and the hereafter, and your children will treat you likewise. Ask your parents gently if you need something. Always
thank them if they give it to you, and excuse them if they do not, and never insist on a matter if they refuse to give you something. (Al-Mahmoud, How to be kind to your Parents, p.40)

It is related from Talhah ibn Mu’âwiyah as-Salamî who said:

I came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I want to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. He asked, “Is your mother alive?” I replied, “Yes.” The Prophet then said: “Cling to her feet, because paradise is there.” (at-Tabarânî).

Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa comments:
Cling to her feet means to submit yourself to her, be close to her, protect her, serve her because in this is Paradise and with her satisfaction you will enjoy the good blessings of Allah. (Sakkijihaa, Honoring the Parents, p. 52)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) showed us the importance of serving one’s parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud:

I asked the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the best deed?’ He replied ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To be dutiful and kind to one’s parents.’ I
further asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘Jihad in the
Allah’s cause. [Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim]

Just as the Prophet said that kindness to one’s parents was of the best deeds, he also said that disobedience to them was amongst the major sins:

“The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one’s parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness.” [Sahîh Bukhârî]

Even after the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him),

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the Muslim scholars continued to stress the importance of being dutiful to one’s mother. By examining the conduct and
teachings of the early Muslim scholars, one may see how the direct recipients of the Islamic message understood the command to be dutiful to one’s parents. Their behavior towards their parents shows Muslims how one is to implement the teachings of the Prophet on honoring parents.

Abdullah Ibn Abbâs (d. 687CE), a companions of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered kind treatment of one’s mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one’s relation with God. He said:

I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah than kind
treatment and respect towards one’s mother. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/45]

An even more powerful example is found in the statement of another one of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (d. 692CE), who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been related that:

Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawâf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!!” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/62]

SubhânAllah (Glory be to God)! The efforts of a man who carries his mother on his back while performing tawâf cannot even repay his mother for a single contraction that she went through for him. Wise indeed was Ibn ‘Umar’s reply to this man to show him how massively indebted he was to his mother. This is the tremendous value and prestigious position of mothers in Islam!
Yet another example is found in the following prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

There will come to you with reinforcements from Yemen a man
called Uways ibn ‘Âmir of the clan of Murâd from the tribe of Qaran. He had leprosy but has been cured of it except for a spot the size of a coin. He has a mother and he has always treated her
with kindness and respect. If he prays to Allah, Allah will fulfill his wish. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, then do so. [Sahîh Muslim 16/95]

Indeed, later on ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb met Uways who was exactly as the Prophet described, and upon ‘Umar’s request Uways prayed for him. Commenting on this narration, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimî writes:

What a high status Uways reached by virtue of his kindness and respect towards his mother, so that the Prophet recommended his Sahabah [companions] to seek him out and ask him to pray for them!

All of this indicates the high status to which Islam has raised the position of motherhood, and given the mother precedence over the father. At the same time, Islam has given importance to both parents, and has enjoined kindness and respect to both. (Al-
Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 167)

So great was the Islamic emphasis on parents, that the Muslims considered a great opportunity to attain paradise in service to one’s mother. Iyâs Ibn Mu’âwiyah was a famous Islamic scholar from the second generation of Muslims. When his mother died, Iyâs Ibn Mu’âwiyah cried. He was asked, “Why do you cry?” He said, “I used
to have two gates open to Paradise, now one of them is closed.”

Zayn al-‘Abidîn (d. 713CE) was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and also a renowned scholar. He used to treat his mother with so much
kindness and love as seen in the following narration:

Once he was asked, ‘You are the most kind person to his mother, yet we have never seen you eating with her from a single dish.’ He replied, ‘I fear that my hand would take the what her eyes have
already seen in the dish, and then I would be disobeying her’. [At- Tartushi, Birr al-Wâlidayn]

In other words, he was so careful not to disobey his mother that he would even avoid eating out of the same plate as her; He thought that she would see a morsel and intend to take it, but before she did he might unknowingly take that same morsel and eat it. This is how careful he was to obey his mother in the most minute details.
Another early Islamic scholar, Sa’îd Ibn Al-Musayyib (d. 709CE), was asked about the meaning of the verse “but address them in terms of honor” (17:23) . Sa’îd Ibn Al-Musayyib replied:

It means that you should address them as a servant addresses his master.
Muhammad Ibn Sirîn (d. 729CE) used to speak to his mother in a very soft voice, out of respect for her. He was also often seen inBthe company of his mother and looking after her. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr
al-Wâlidayn).

All that has preceded shows how the status of mothers – and consequently that of women – is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor Islam has given to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the
lofty status of Muslim Women.

Why Does a Single Good Deed Carry Tenfold Reward in Islam?

Alhamdulillah… Infinite thanks and praises are due to Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May His Peace and Blessings be upon the Complete Human; Habibi Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till the day of Judgement.

The fact that God is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful and the Most Loving and Caring for us, is enough to inspire us to appreciate why He matches every single good deed we carry out with tenfold reward, while on the other hand, a single wrongdoing entitles the doer to a single sin.
In addition to the above-mentioned understanding, the present article is a reflection on the concept of reward and punishment in Islam, from a different perspective, through which we look for more inspirations and motivations to work for the next life while enjoying the present.

Let me begin with a verse from Surah Al-Qasas, 28:84, where Allah says:

ﻣَﻦ ﺟَﺎﺀَ ﺑِﺎﻟْﺤَﺴَﻨَﺔِ ﻓَﻠَﻪُ ﺧَﻴْﺮٌ ﻣِّﻨْﻬَﺎ، ﻭَﻣَﻦ ﺟَﺎﺀَ ﺑِﺎﻟﺴَّﻴِّﺌَﺔِ ﻓَﻠَﺎ ﻳُﺠْﺰَﻯ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ
ﻋَﻤِﻠُﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺴَّﻴِّﺌَﺎﺕِ ﺇِﻟَّﺎ ﻣَﺎ ﻛَﺎﻧُﻮﺍ ﻳَﻌْﻤَﻠُﻮﻥ
َ
It means, “He who does good shall be rewarded with something better. But he who does evil shall be requited according to his deeds.”
In Surah Al-An’aam, 6:160, Allah says, and it reads:

ﻣَﻦ ﺟَﺎﺀَ ﺑِﺎﻟْﺤَﺴَﻨَﺔِ ﻓَﻠَﻪُ ﻋَﺸْﺮُ ﺃَﻣْﺜَﺎﻟِﻬَﺎ، ﻭَﻣَﻦ ﺟَﺎﺀَ ﺑِﺎﻟﺴَّﻴِّﺌَﺔِ ﻓَﻠَﺎ ﻳُﺠْﺰَﻯ ﺇِﻟَّﺎ
ﻣِﺜْﻠَﻬَﺎ ﻭَﻫُﻢْ ﻟَﺎ ﻳُﻈْﻠَﻤُﻮﻥ
َ
It means, “Whoever does a good deed will be repaid tenfold, but those who do a bad deed will only be repaid with its equivalent and they shall not be wronged.”
Every evil deed entitles its doer to a sin equivalent to the evil he committed. In doing so, Allah refers to that equivalence as fair and justice ( they shall not be wronged ). This is to say,
there’s no way one could be accused for what he has done not, let alone getting punished for it.
As for the good doer, his reward for his righteous deeds is always better than the deed itself. The minimum of that ‘better rewards’ is tenfold. Allah could match a good deed with one reward, similar to one sin, which is matched to one every single evil deed. What is the possible wisdom behind this equation?
Wrongdoing Requires No Condition
Among the possible wisdom ( Hikamh ) of this equation is that, it takes no determination to commit a sin and invite the displeasure of God. Why? Everyone can sin; the believer may sin. The disbeliever sins. The pious person may sin. The non-pious does sin. Man sins. Woman sins. The young can sin, so is the adult. In short, it takes no effort to sin.
Also, part of the challenges man has to experience in this life, is that his soul incites him to evil. Thus, sinful things and deeds are desirable to him, while righteous things and deeds are
undesirable to him. Because he is challenged not to fall victim to the desirables at his dispose, he is only awarded a sin (demerit point), whenever he fails the test. We understand this from the Hadeeth of the Prophet, reported by Imam Muslim:

ﺣُﻔَّﺖِ ﺍﻟْﺠَﻨَّﺔُ ﺑِﺎﻟْﻤَﻜَﺎﺭِﻩِ، ﻭَﺣُﻔَّﺖِ ﺍﻟﻨَّﺎﺭُ ﺑِﺎﻟﺸَّﻬَﻮَﺍﺕ
ِ
It meant, “Heaven is covered with the undesirables and Hell fire is covered with the desirables.” What about good deeds? Good Deeds Require Effort and Come With Conditions unlike doing sin, doing righteous deeds is challenging. There are three things you must do to in your way to righteousness. First, you have to walk out of the evil desires at your dispose. Second, you have to go for the righteous deeds and oblige
yourself to them. Remember the Hadeeth of the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam (above) says:

ﺣُﻔَّﺖِ ﺍﻟْﺠَﻨَّﺔُ ﺑِﺎﻟْﻤَﻜَﺎﺭِﻩِ، ﻭَﺣُﻔَّﺖِ ﺍﻟﻨَّﺎﺭُ ﺑِﺎﻟﺸَّﻬَﻮَﺍﺕ
ِ
Which means, “Heaven is covered with the undesired and Hell fire is covered with the desired.” The two things mentioned above are the effort we need to put in, to achieve righteous deeds. There is one more thing left, and that is the most important of all. Really? Yes.
The final step (third) is, you have to fulfil one condition for the effort you have put to be accepted. That one condition is that the doer must be a believer Mu’min ). In other words, Iman (belief in the One God) must fill his heart first. This is
understood from various verses from the Qur’an. One of them is the verse of Surah Al-Nahl, 16:97, where Allah says:

ﻣَﻦْ ﻋَﻤِﻞَ ﺻَﺎﻟِﺤًﺎ ﻣِّﻦ ﺫَﻛَﺮٍ ﺃَﻭْ ﺃُﻧﺜَﻰ ﻭَﻫُﻮَ ﻣُﺆْﻣِﻦٌ ﻓَﻠَﻨُﺤْﻴِﻴَﻨَّﻪُ ﺣَﻴَﺎﺓً ﻃَﻴِّﺒَﺔً،
ﻭَﻟَﻨَﺠْﺰِﻳَﻨَّﻬُﻢْ ﺃَﺟْﺮَﻫُﻢ ﺑِﺄَﺣْﺴَﻦِ ﻣَﺎ ﻛَﺎﻧُﻮﺍ ﻳَﻌْﻤَﻠُﻮﻥَ

It means, “To whoever does good deeds, man or woman, and is a believer, We shall assuredly give a good life; and We will bestow upon them their reward according to the best of their works.”
Also, in Surah Ghafir, 40:40, Allah says:

ﻣَﻦْ ﻋَﻤِﻞَ ﺻَﺎﻟِﺤًﺎ ﻣِّﻦ ﺫَﻛَﺮٍ ﺃَﻭْ ﺃُﻧﺜَﻰ ﻭَﻫُﻮَ ﻣُﺆْﻣِﻦٌ ﻓَﺄُﻭﻟَـﺌِﻚَ ﻳَﺪْﺧُﻠُﻮﻥَ ﺍﻟْﺠَﻨَّﺔَ
ﻳُﺮْﺯَﻗُﻮﻥَ ﻓِﻴﻬَﺎ ﺑِﻐَﻴْﺮِ ﺣِﺴَﺎﺏٍ

It means, “but whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, will enter the Garden; where they will be provided for without measure.” Similarly, Allah also says in Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:94:

ﻓَﻤَﻦ ﻳَﻌْﻤَﻞْ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻟﺼَّﺎﻟِﺤَﺎﺕِ ﻭَﻫُﻮَ ﻣُﺆْﻣِﻦٌ ﻓَﻠَﺎ ﻛُﻔْﺮَﺍﻥَ ﻟِﺴَﻌْﻴِﻪِ ﻭَﺇِﻧَّﺎ ﻟَﻪُ
ﻛَﺎﺗِﺒُﻮﻥَ

It means, “He who does good works while he is a believer, shall not see his efforts disregarded: We record them all.” The three verses above, among other verses in the Qur’an not indicated here, emphasize on the requirement of Iman in order for our deeds to be validated. Thus, attaining rewards for
righteous deeds is only confirmed only when one is in the state of Iman.
We have come to understand that the one who possesses Iman is a Mu’min (Believer). What does it mean to be a Believer?
What Does it Mean to Be a Believer?
Being a believer differs from being a Muslim. A Muslim does what people see and perceive to be correct (right[eous]). A believer lives what only God knows and sees. This means, every one can be a Muslim, even the hypocrites among us are Muslims. But only the righteous (the selected) can be believers ( Mu’minun ).
Believing in the existence of God alone doesn’t qualify one to be a complete Believer ( Mu’min ), but it sets the foundation for him to attain the remaining requirements of a complete
Believer. It’s important to know that everything about Belief (Iman) is unseen. They are not measurable. Therefore, we need forgo our logic and reason, and listen to what God and His
Prophet tell us.
We develop a proper Iman (belief) when we have believed in the six pillars of Iman. Knowledge about these six pillars is only attained through a divine revelation ( Wahy) and the Prophet
Muhammad has successfully conveyed that knowledge to his
Ummah . The six pillars are:
1. Belief in Allah (the One God)
2. Belief in the Angels of God
3. Belief in the Scriptures of God
4. Belief in the Messengers of God
5. Belief in the Last Day (Day of Resurrection)
6. Belief in Fate and Destiny, the good and the bad
Now let’s briefly touch on the pillars of Iman .
Belief in Allah (the One God)
Although we are not meant to see God with our naked eyes in this life, the natural feelings in every human tells of the existence of the One God.
God is One. He is Self-Sufficient. He does not give birth, nor was He born. And there’s nothing like Him. Belief in the Angels of God Angels are creatures of God, whom He created to serve Him,
and they fail not to obey His commands to them, and they are prompt as they are commanded.
God has used Angels to reveal all his commandments to mankind. Therefore they are only seen by those Prophets and Messengers, to whom they were sent. Only God knows their number.
The famous names among Angels known to us are Jibril (Gabriel), Mikaeel (Michael), Maalik, Ridwan, Israfeel, Azraeel.
Belief in the Scriptures of God, the Scriptures of God are those revelations descended to His chosen Prophets and Messengers. Those scriptures contain[ed] His commandments to us, and serve as our life manual. Through such scriptures and the Prophets, we get concrete and undoubted knowledge about God, the Hereafter and the unseen world.
The Qur’an in our hands today, serves as an example and is the most authentic scripture of God, which is still in use. It’s going to remain as such, till the Last Day.
Belief in the Messengers of God, Messengers and Prophets are human beings chosen from among humans to communicate with God through Angels and revelations and then convey the message(s) of God to His servants, and to remind them of their ultimate purpose in this existence, and to guide them towards the His Pleasure.
Belief in the Last Day (Day of Resurrection), In this life, everything is certainly temporal. In the next life (The
Last Day) everything is shall be eternal. When the day starts, there shall be two destinations. Heaven will be for those who chose righteousness in this life, and Hellfire will be for those who chose infidelity and transgression. It’s for this day, that this article is written.
Belief in Fate and Destiny, the good and the bad, this world is meant to be the home for all trials and tests.
That’s why not all incidents are logical to human comprehension. We have the right of choice, but at the same times, we are obliged to believe in Fate and Destiny .
It’s important to indicate here, that of all the six pillars of Iman, belief in the existence of God is the easiest attained. Yes, God created the remaining pillars of Iman, but we have to believe in them equally as we believe in God, Himself. In fact, disbelieving in one of the pillars of Iman disqualifies one from Islam.
We are not able to measure the state of Iman in others’ hearts, but each of us knows what is in his heart. On that basis, each one of us can be certain about the strength of his belief when in trials. This means, although I mentioned earlier that Iman is not measurable, you can try to measure yours, just to know (or estimate) its strength, and the extent to which it has settled in your heart.
How Do We Measure Our Iman?
We know our Iman is solid and has settled in our hearts (for good) when we are tested and put to the “undesirables.” How we react and handle tribulations; whether with contentment, patience, anger or sigh tells our level of Iman. This is why the companions of the Prophet are the best of all generations;
they’ve undergone all sorts of test for Iman, and all the them passed, save the hypocrites.
In times of desperate need, hardship and calamity, different people outsource different means to overcome their problems. But the believers always have one way in common to solve their
problems, despite their geographical, economical, intellectual, cultural and language differences; they turn to the One God. Do you? If you do, you are safe. If you do not, it’s not too late. So
take action now, for you do not know when you will stop breathing.
Getting your faith/iman right may seem difficult, and indeed it is… but it is easy. It’s going to remain difficult so long as you keep your heart attached to worldly materials. And it is going to start to be easy once you start to detach your heart from the worldly gains. Then, start making your intention of all you do for
God’s Sake alone. That’s it; all your endeavours become righteous, and you are rewarded in every step you make with tenfold reward, insha Allah.
Those were the feelings (faith) of the believers, which no one can ever take control over it, against their will, but God. What are their characteristics through which they are likely identified?
10 Characteristics of the Believers
There are various verses in the Qur’an that outline characteristics of the believers. Below is an outline of some of them. If you live them or most of them, I’m confident that you live a very high state of inner happiness. The believer…
1. He believes in Allah and His Prophet
2. He has no doubt in his faith
3. His heart becomes fearful when Allah is mentioned
4. His faith increases when the Qur’an is read for them
5. He attend to his prayers on punctual basis
6. He’s humble in his prayers
7. He pays his zakat
8. He safeguards his chastity
9. He is faithful to his trust and promises
10. He turns away from all frivolous

Conclusion
In worldly speaking, purposeful failure is a destination that requires no effort to reach. But success is a summit, which requires a lot of preparation, determination and sacrifice. The
satisfaction attained after reaching the summit worth all the struggles and sacrifices. So is doing righteous deeds and evil deeds and the scale for reward and punishment that come with them, respectfully.
In human-to-human relationship, you are punished beyond your mistakes, and you are seldom (never) rewarded with equivalent to your achievement. This is total opposite when it comes to
God-to-human relationship. Rewards and punishments take place in the day of resurrection. Thus, don’t lose focus in attaining such great rewards, as a result of the pains and inconvenience you experience, when you see the non-believers
and the transgressors enjoying what you think is convenience
and happy life. Always remember this:

ﺃَﻡْ ﺣَﺴِﺐَ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺍﺟْﺘَﺮَﺣُﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺴَّﻴِّﺌَﺎﺕِ ﺃَﻥ ﻧَّﺠْﻌَﻠَﻬُﻢْ ﻛَﺎﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺁﻣَﻨُﻮﺍ ﻭَﻋَﻤِﻠُﻮﺍ
ﺍﻟﺼَّﺎﻟِﺤَﺎﺕِ ﺳَﻮَﺍﺀً ﻣَّﺤْﻴَﺎﻫُﻢْ ﻭَﻣَﻤَﺎﺗُﻬُﻢْ، ﺳَﺎﺀَ ﻣَﺎ ﻳَﺤْﻜُﻤُﻮﻥ
َ
It means, “Do those who commit evil deeds imagine that We shall deal with them in the same way as We deal with those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds, that they will be alike in their living and their dying? How ,badly they judge!” [Surah Al-Jathiah, 45:21]
May Allah grant us Paradise and anything that will lead us to it. May He grant us the spiritual immunity that shall aid us out of the desires at our dispose, and empower us to commit to
righteousness, so to attain His Ultimate Pleasure. Ameen.

I would like to hear from you. I welcome your comments, feedback, suggestions and questions. Remember to share this
piece with your loved ones.
Allah knows best.

Source: Salam.net

10 Hadiths About Hajj

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Today, we witness the beginning of the rituals of Hajj. Millions of Muslims are gathering in Makkah and the sacred places to respond to the Allah’s invitation to visit His House; an invitation announced by Prophet Ibrahim and then renewed by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on them).In the following lines, we explore some of the Prophet’s hadiths related to Hajj that reveal the significance of this great worship and how pilgrims are received and perceived by Allah the Almighty. 

Among the numerous and diverse rituals of Islam, Hajj is a main component; it is an indispensible pillar of Islam:

1. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:”Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the zakah, making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)  

Once in a Lifetime

Despite the great significance of Hajj, it is sufficient to do it only one time in your whole life. Islam is easy and takes into consideration the burdens and difficulties that pilgrims go through:

2. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that one day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) addressed people saying:”O people! Allah has prescribed Hajj upon you, so perform it.”A man asked, ‘Every year, O Messenger of Allah?’The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kept silent. When the man repeated his question thrice, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:”Had I answered in the affirmative, it would have become a (yearly) obligation, and this would have been beyond your capacity.”Then he added:”Leave me alone so long as I leave you alone (i.e. do not ask questions about things I didn’t mention). What caused the destruction of the people prior to you was that they used to ask so many questions, and disagree with their Prophets.So when I command you to do something, do it to the extent of your ability, and if I forbid you from doing something, avoid it.” (Muslim) 

A Special Rank and Value

The Companions were keen to know the best deeds so that they can prioritize their good actions according to their value. In the following hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) highlights the special position of Hajj:

3. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet was asked, “Which deed is the best?”The Prophet said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.”He was asked again, “What is next?”The Prophet said, “Jihad [striving] in the cause of Allah.”He was further asked, “And what is next?”He said, “Hajj mabroor [i.e. Hajj accepted by Almighty Allah]” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). 

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Jihad Without Conflict

Going through the difficulties of travel and crowd,  the physical effort excerted while doing the different rituals of Hajj, the movement from one place to another and the sacrifice of money and time all make Hajj a form of Jihad. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended it for women and for weak men who are unable to participate in Jihad in the battlefield: 

4. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet, “As jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we [women] make jihad?”The Prophet replied, “The best jihad for you [women] is a Hajj mabroor.”`A’ishah later said, “I have been keen to regularly perform Hajj since I heard that from the Messenger of Allah” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). 

5. Al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying that he is weak and coward. The Prophet told him to participate in a type of Jihad that does not involve any fight, namely, Hajj. (Authenticated by Al-Albani) 

Generous Reward for Ethical Pilgrim

The following hadith highlights two things:
a. Hajj is a training course for Muslims on sticking to the highest manners whatever the circumstances are,
b. and Hajj is an effective means to erase your sin records:

6. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say,”Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression shall return [free from sins] as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Ultimate Success

In one Qur’anic verse (Aal-`Imran 3:185), Allah tells us that getting protected from hell fire and being admitted to the Jannh is the real success. That is exactly what Hajj earns you:

7. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleaseed with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,”The reward for a Hajj mabroor is nothing but Paradise” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). 

8. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,”There is no day on which Allah frees servants of His from Fire more than [those freed on] the Day of `Arafat. And, verily, He draws near and then proudly speaks about them [i.e. the pilgrims] before the angels, saying, ‘What do these seek?'” (Muslim) 

The Honourable Delegation

Pilgrims are the guests of Allah and you can imagine how much Allah will honor His own guests:

9. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,”The one striving in the cause of Allah and the one performing Hajj and the one performing `Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He calls them and they respond to His call, and they ask Him and He answers their supplication.” (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani) 

Special Days and Precious Opportunities

The days of Hajj are very special. Their blessings are not restricted to those performing Hajj only. It is a season of goodness for everyone:

10. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:”There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.”The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?”He said,”Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Olives” in the Quran and Hadith–Medicinal and Nutritional Value

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Oliver tree

Olive and its tree has been mentioned a number of times both in the Quran and hadith. Olive is considered a “blessed” fruit in Islam and besides it being a good source of nutrition, it is also used as a health food and used in “ruqyah treatment.” In his books on prophetic medicine, Ibn Al-Qayyim encouraged the use of olives and its oil.
Olive in Quran

Allah mentions olives in a number of verses in the Quran. They are as follows:

“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e., it neither gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e., nor does it get sun-rays only in the afternoon – but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.” [Surah al-Noor 24:35]

“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. [Surah al-Anaam, 6:141]

“And a tree (olive) that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters.” [Surah al-Muminoon 23:20].
Olive in Hadith

Abu Aseed said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Eat the oil and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1775; see also Saheeh al-Jaami