Seerah – Life of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

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Narrated By Anas : The Prophet (SAW) said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”  (Bukhari)

If you ask any Muslim whether he or she loves the Prophet, their answer would most likely be “Yes! Of course I do!” Sadly, many of us pay lip service to our beloved Prophet, yet never take the time to learn about his noble character, his life and accomplishments, or study the many teachings that he left behind for us.

It’s even worse that we know all of the names, birthdays, ages, hobbies, etc of the guys from “One Direction”, but don’t even know the name of the mother, father, uncle, grandfather or wives of our noble Prophet!! What a shame!

Incidents and situations from the Prophet’s life are relevant for us today. Seerah is more than studying biography of a person, it is biography of our most beloved’s life and the history of our religion. Loving him is ibadah, part of obeying Allah SWT and it is part of our deen.

We claim to love Rasullallah [sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam], but true love is only deep and sincere when you really know the person. If you dont really know them, your love is only shallow. The more we know Rasul Allah [sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam], the more we will love him and the purer and deeper our love will be Insha Allah.

This week as we mark the day our beloved Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam] was born, let’s take some time out to learn – or even refresh our memories – about who he was, what he did and why 1.6 billion Muslims across the world love him and send salutations on him till this day, and will continue to do so until the end of time, by the grace of Allah.

Where to Learn More:
Seerah (aka Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (S)) class sessions available online for free:
1) Qalam Institute (headed by Abdul Nasir Jangda)
-70 parts
click on the “Podcast” tab,
then click on “Seerah“.
Start at page 4, scroll to the bottom
and click on Episode 1, “Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Intro Part 1
direct link to the 4th page:
2) “Seerah of Prophet Muhammad” – Yasir Qadhi (on YouTube)
-73 parts
4. Seekers Guidance (headed by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)
-FREE Online Courses
Course options about the Prophet (S):
(The first two classes listed below are really in-depth, which I highly recommend.)
Books:
1) Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar)
by: Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri
2) In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad
by: Tariq Ramadan
3) Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources
by: Martin Lings
4) Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet
by: Karen Armstrong
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Breaking Bad Habits (and creating better ones) this Ramadan

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Breaking Bad Habits (and creating better ones)

this Ramadan

S. Ahmed

Ramadan: the month of fasting and of spiritual reflection. During this month, many of us try our best to become “better” Muslims by identifying and eliminating our bad habits while also hoping to create better ones.

A habit is a thing (or things) done repeatedly and automatically. It’s a reflexive instinct for some people. Not all habits are necessarily bad, but certain habits can be detrimental to us – physically, mentally, spiritually and/or emotionally. We are able to make the distinction between good and bad habits thanks to the intellect that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us.

We all agree that certain habits are no doubt bad habits: smoking, foul language, constantly missing prayer or always praying late are just a few examples. On the other hand, we can cultivate good habits: reading 1 page of Quran every day, praying Salah on time, smiling at people are a few simple good habits one can implement easily.

No matter how small and insignificant seeming a good habit may be, if our intention is to please only our Creator, then our reward will be immeasurable, inshallah. The Prophet’s wife Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired (of doing good deeds). And the most beloved of good deeds to Allah is that in which a person persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) started to do something, they would persist in it.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

This Ramadan, let’s challenge ourselves to identify the bad habits we may have and make a solid intention to break those habits while implementing good ones (no matter how “small” they may be).

A few words of advice on breaking bad habits

  • Reflect honestly on yourself and ask what bad habits you may have. That is, “What am I doing? Why am I doing it?” This is in no way a means to justify your habit, but rather a chance to get a better understanding of the problem and, eventually, a solution.
  • Think about the long-term benefits of eliminating that habit – this is not a time for instant gratification. Be realistic. You won’t see a dramatic change overnight, but with persistence and consistency, the results will take shape over time. Don’t just think about the immediate results, but rather about what it will do for your future.
  • Pace yourself – don’t take more than you can realistically handle all at once.  Again, be honest and don’t drive yourself to extremes.  Many people struggle during Ramadan because they set these grand (and unrealistic) goals for themselves. DON’T FALL IN THIS TRAP! Remember, Allah (SWT) loves any good consistent deed, even if it is small.
  • Be patient – it takes about 21 days to CREATE a habit, so understand that it will take that much time (if not longer) to break it if it’s a bad one.  Don’t become upset if it takes time to overcome a habit. If you mess up, you can just start over again. No one but Allah is able to judge you, and if you are sincere, even your effort will be rewarded. How cool is that!?
  • Get support – No one can truly kick a bad habit and replace it with a good one all on their own. Without the support of others, we are bound to quit and revert to our old ways. Don’t let embarrassment or fear hold you back from asking for support. Reach out to people who won’t judge you or make you feel bad, but instead will encourage you to help become better.
  • Celebrate achievements – congratulate yourself each day that you are successful and reinforce good behavior. On the days that you may slip up, remember that Allah will reward you for your efforts regardless of how you did that day, as long as your heart intended to please Him and only Him.

Finally, seek help from Allah to help you overcome any bad habits, implement better ones, and keep you consistent in all of your good deeds. May Allah bless us in all of our pursuits this Ramadan and accept all of our good deeds, no matter how small, but also forgive us if we fail or make mistakes. In the end, Allahu A’lam, and we seek patience and strength from Him.

Iftar Party August 5

Muslim Ummah of North America’s Michigan chapter will have an iftar party tomorrow Sunday, August 5, starting at 7:15 p.m. at Masjid Al-Falah.

Women will be seated in the main masjid complex, while men will sit in the auditorium.

Families are encouraged to join for programs and iftar.

Ramadan Reflections: Helping Out

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I organized a volunteer event for my Young Sisters of MUNA Detroit at Zaman International, a humanitarian organization located in Dearborn, Michigan on July 14. The organization was founded by Muslim nurse Najah Bazzy.

Zaman is an organization dedicated to bringing hope to humanity through all kinds of events. From feeding the hungry, to providing international help such as their project to aid victims of violence in Syria, Zaman is always ready to help make the world a better place.

Every year Zaman hosts a Ramadan food packing event where various volunteer groups from all over Michigan gather to create big, family sized boxes filled with food necessities to give out to struggling families who aren’t fortunate enough to afford basic food for iftar, or breaking the fast.

This year I decided to get the Young Sisters affiliated with Zaman through this volunteer event and Mashallah it went very well. Tazkia, Taslima, Aysha, Nasrin, and Sharmin and I made time to participate in this wonderful volunteer opportunity. Sharmin’s mother Najma Auntie, was kind enough to drive us all the way to Dearborn.

When we got there, packets of food were scattered everywhere but by the end of the day we were able to get all that food into neat organized boxes ready to be delivered to the needy families. Although we were all tired from a long day of work, we all felt amazing inside that we helped create food boxes that will be making a great difference in people’s lives. Participating in this event just days before Ramadan really helped us prepare our hearts and minds for the holy month. It made us remember that Muslims have a duty to help those in need in this world and the best time to help out is during the holy month. The experience was a day full of fun, hard work which provided me with a sense of satisfaction that Allah (SWT) will be happy we helped make food boxes which will fill people’s stomach and make them very grateful.

For more information on Zaman International visit http://www.zamaninternational.org/.

–Farjana Alam

Surah Ar-Rahman, highlights

Here are some key ayats that are in Surah Ar-Rahman.

55:5-6

The sun and the moon run on their fixed courses (exactly) calculated with measured out stages for each (for reckoning, etc.). And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate.

55:10-12

And the earth He has put for the creatures. Therein are fruits, date-palms producing sheathed fruit-stalks (enclosing dates). And also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-scented plants.

55:17-25

(He is) the Lord of the two easts (places of sunrise during early summer and early winter) and the Lord of the two wests (places of sunset during early summer and early winter). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

He has let loosed the two seas (the salt water and the sweet) meeting together. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

Out of them both come out pearl and coral. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

And His are the ships going and coming in the seas, like mountains. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
55:26-36
Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)! Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
We shall attend to you, O you two classes (jinns and men)! O assembly of jinns and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah)! Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
There will be sent against you both, smokeless flames of fire and (molten) brass, and you will not be able to defend yourselves. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

55:46-57

But for him who [the true believer of Islamic Monotheism who performs all the duties ordained by Allah and His Messenger Muhammad SAW , and keeps away (abstain) from all kinds of sin and evil deeds prohibited in Islam and] fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens (i.e. in Paradise).

Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

With spreading branches; Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
In them (both) will be two springs flowing (free). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
In them (both) will be every kind of fruit in pairs. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade, and the fruits of the two Gardens will be near at hand.
Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?
Wherein both will be those (maidens) restraining their glances upon their husbands, whom no man or jinn yatmithhunna (has had intercourse *rephrased*) before them. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?

$500 for Africa

Young Sisters of MUNA has decided to raise at least $500 for women, children and those in need in Africa due to the droughts that have claimed thousands of lives.

Our group plans to give through Islamic Relief, a charity organization in the United States and in many countries. Islamic Relief is one of the only organizations with people on the ground in countries such as Somalia.

YS Muna has a come up with three ways to collect money for this fundraiser: collection during our Educational Session and Eid Al-Adha party, individual contributions of $5 and $10 in fund raising per person, and a possible bake-sale during Thanksgiving Weekend.

Visit this site again soon for more information.

Educational Session: Oct. 23

Young Sisters of MUNA will have it’s annual educational session to discuss “teen image” on October 23 at the Old Masjid, unless otherwise noted before the date by email/web post.

Supporters, those who support the work of MUNA but are not members, are invited to attend. Associate members, those who keep report, pay monthly donations and attend programs, must be at the event with the past 2-3 monthly reports.

Associate members must also pick a topic related to teen image and prepare a 3-min. speech by October 11. Speeches should start off with acknowledgment of members, guests and the Prophet, followed by quotes used from the Quran and Hadith.

Guest speakers will be encouraged to explain the relationship between Western teen image in comparison to the Muslim identity.Those interested in attending should check their emails for more information closer to the date of the event.

The event is free. Donations will be collected for a simultaneous project by the Young Sisters, Detroit branch,  to raise $500 for families in need in Africa.