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.

List of Islamic Speakers

Ramadan Speakers and Lectures

Speakers & Specialties

1. Abdul Nasir Jangda – abdulnasirj.com, spirituality
2. Hamza Yusuf – zaytunacollege.org, spirituality
3. Faraz Rabbani – seekersguidance.org, fiqh, online Islamic courses
4. Khalid Latif – huffingtonpost.com contributor, NY chaplain
5. Muhammad Alshareef – almaghrib.org AlMaghrib Institute, practical points
6. Nouman Ali Khan – bayyinah.com Bayyinah Institute, Quran
7. Suhaib Webb – suhaibwebb.com; Islamic articles
8. Tariq Ramadan – philosophy, motivational speaker
9. Zaid Shakir – zaytunacollege.org, youth uprising, spirituality
10. Yasir Qadhi – AlMaghrib Institute / MuslimMatters.org, aqeedah
11. Wisam Sharif – wisamsharieff.com, Quran tajweed
12. Mufti Menk – muftimenk.co.za, video blogs
13. Yassir Fazaga – psychology, taking the deeper meaning
14. Hussein Yee – peacetv.tv, hadeeth

 

Video Lectures on Ramadan:

Halaltube.com <search <Ramadan

Khan: ‘Believers allergic to al-laghu (wasteful behavior)’

Wasting time, or indulging in behavior with no benefit in this world and the hereafter, leads to Allah’s displeasure said, Nouman Ali Khan a speaker from The Bayyinah Institute, an online learning community.

Khan said al-laghu, wasting time, can mean: engaging in small talk, just chilling, and wasteful speech.

He said parents should regulate the “careless overexposure of media” in children, especially in teens. Don’t put the computer in a child’s bedroom, Khan said. Put it in the kitchen or living room where it is faced out so anyone who walks by can see what they are doing. He said parents give children cellphones without checking the bill.

People can turn on the TV and find “the club” at home. It’s not like how it used to be, he said.

Some parents come from a different culture and they shut their children out, as long as they have a good report card coming home. Teens are living double lives, said Khan. Parents should take the time to talk to their kids and “not freak out.” “The child will shut you out.”

We are telling our kids to go against society, by being moral and following what is right. We have to be there for them, Khan said.

“Believer knows time is running out,” he said. There is an urgency to do good and abstain from bad.

Khan gave four ways to change: give zakat to purify oneself, keep good company at the masjid, become a person of dhikr or worship who reads Quran and remembers Allah throughout day, memorize at least one ayat verse of Quran daily, and guard our private parts.

Parents should care and be involved in teens’ lives, staring while the child is younger to discipline. Bad deen leads to a ruined dunya or world, Khan said. Al-laghu, wasting time, leads to fasha, worse things to do with time: possibly drugs, girlfriend/boyfriend, alcohol problems.

101 on Lailatul Qadr

Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power, is better than 1,000 months, roughly 83 years.

The physical night is a journey of spiritual growth for Muslims.

Lailatul Qadr is found on an odd-numbered night during the last 10 days of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims.

The spiritual night has to be sought out through physical signs: a calm night with no shooting stars followed by a serene sighting of the sunrise. The weather will be not cold nor hot.

During the night thousands of angels descend from the heaven, witnessing the deeds of the humans. For those who are well-occupied in worship, the angels are a means of witnessing their good deeds. Angel Gibrael will also come during the night and shake hands with all the believers. Subhanallah.

Lailatul Qadr signifies the time when the Quran was revealed. It was completed after 23 years of revelation.

For Muslims, this spiritual journey can help them earn the forgiveness of previous and future sins, and Allah’s Mercy.

Author’s note: We are in the last 10 nights of Ramadan.