Ramadhan Survival Guide: 10 Easy steps for students

student-survival

By theAMTG

The month of Barakah is here and you can feel it in the air. The auntie’s fridges are now open ready for the samosas to be fried for Iftar.

But wait !!! Not all of us are as excited for Ramadhan

“I’ve got exams throughout the whole of Ramadhaan!”, “I don’t think I’ll manage to fast this year”, “I’m so stressed, I don’t even want to THINK about Ramadhaan.”

Whoa, easy there. Take a chill pill, I got you covered.

This is your Ramadhaan Survival guide:Exam Blues

  1. Breathe easy, live easy

Too often in life, we do too much for everyone and everything else besides ourselves. It’s OK to take a moment to relax, in fact it’s extremely necessary. Hard work is in its place, but you’re not helping anyone if you’re so stressed on exam day that you’re completely blank. Take a moment to breathe and wind down, it’s for your own good.

  1. Manage your time before it manages YOU

“There’s not enough hours in the day”, “I just don’t have the time”, “Where has the time gone?”
There’s 24 hours in the day, same as always and time has gone nowhere, but if you think it’ll wait for you, you’re sorely mistaken. Sit yourself down and seriously decide how you’d like your time to be spent. Break down every hour of your life if you have to. Make your time work to your advantage.

  1. Every moment counts

Use every small, free moment to make Ibadat. Use the moments when waiting for your paper to make Durood; read a page of Qur’an before and after you study; instead of salivating over Mum’s food before Iftaar, make dua. Use EVERY little moment, it all counts.

  1. Check your intention

You can make a mundane action like frying samosas an act of Ibadat simply by making the correct intention. Instead of moaning, intend that when they’re eaten they’ll give people strength to perform Ibadat. Intend to sleep to replenish your body and wake up for Tahajjud. Intend that every moment you spend studying will In Shaa Allah be used someday for the work of Deen. You use so many words in the day, let at least 10 of them be good intentions. Let’s not forget those good intentions still receive rewards even if we don’t manage to carry out the action. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) said, “The best deeds are to fulfil the obligations of Allah, to be mindful of the prohibitions of Allah, and to have an honest intention before Allah Almighty.” (Source: Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam 38)

  1. Positive mind, positive life

Nothing, I repeat NOTHING can mess you up if you don’t allow it to. Sure, the prospect of exams and Ramadhan combined is more than a little daunting, but it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. So, we can either cry ourselves a river or… we can make lemonade! Ramadhan is the best month of the whole year to learn and be productive, let’s make the most of it.

  1. Small actions become big rewards

Every good action is increased a manifold in Ramadhan. That means even small good deeds count for big rewards. Give some money in Sadaqah, follow the Sunnats of eating or just smile. There’s no better time to make good habits. Even if your time is being used for studying and exams, you can still use the time you’re not (because it is human nature to take a break) to do small acts of goodness. Nabi (SAW) said, “Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is performed regularly even if it is small.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 43, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 785)

  1. Eat healthy today so you don’t die of cholesterol tomorrow

Samosas, pies, crumb chicken, falafel, kofta, mmm. You know what that spells?

Deep-fried, rolled in ghee, oily sneaky death bombs. Ok, dramatic, but really, Ramadhan is the best and worst month for your poor tummy. On the one hand, you’re fasting and detoxing the whole day then the first thing you eat at Iftaar is a lovely something that’s toxic to your tummy. I know, I know, when else will mum make savouries during the year? It sucks but minds and brain power are directly linked to the food you eat. Eat well and you’ll study better. Breakfast a.k.a Suhur/Sehri is the most important meal of the day ESPECIALLY when you’re studying and need that extra energy boost. Have a good filling meal at Suhur/Sehri and a healthy wholesome meal at Iftaar and you’ll not only feel, but see the difference.

  1. Catch a few Zzzz

A full 5-hour sleep (at the minimum) does wonders for you. Get to bed as soon as your Taraweeh or Fajr is complete (If you can depending on where you live) and you’ll find yourself waking up with ease. A small known fact: The best time to study is Fajr time. If you’re coming home straight after the exams, take a small nap and make intention for the Sunnat of Qaylullah (another big reward for a small intention). It’s a real energy-boost. If you’re not, there’s even more reason to go to bed early. Take care of yourself now and your body will thank you later.

  1. Meditate so you don’t need to medicate

Muslims have the best possible form of meditation, i.e. Salaah. In Salaah you stretch, you free your mind and you’re obligated to let go of any stress you have and place your sole focus on Allah (SWT). Sure, Taraweeh is really long and to get up for Tahajjud is hard, but good things don’t come easy, i.e. great reward comes with a little bit of sacrifice.

1.Prioritise

Yes, its exams, you’re busy and it’s just… too… much. You know what though? That’s never going to change. Today its exams, tomorrow it’s your job, maybe in a few years’ time, it’ll be your kids… It never ends. So what do you do? Prioritise. You have exams maybe 2 times a year and Ramadhan only once. We’ve got to decide if we want to make the best of this Dunya or the best of our Akhirah. Trust me, if you put Akhirah first, Dunya will come all on its own. Abu Amina Elias Zaid ibn Thabit(RA) reported:

Nabi(SAW) said, “Whoever makes the world his most important matter, Allah will confound his affairs and make poverty appear before his eyes and he will not get anything from the world except what has been decreed for him. Whoever makes the Hereafter his most important matter, Allah will settle his affairs and make him content in his heart and the world will come to him although he does not want it.” (Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4105)

May Allah(SWT) make it easy for of us students during this stressful time and may He grant us beneficial knowledge so we can become the flag bearers of His Deen In Shaa Allah,

Aameen.

 http://theamtg.com/

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Get Your Sweet Fix from Five Fruits Mentioned in the Qur’an

by Sister Jameela Ho

You all know that fruits are good for you. They’re full of vitamins, minerals and fibres. But are you and your family eating enough of it? Children can be fussy eaters, adults too, and sometimes fruits aren’t on the top of our list of favourite food to eat. We rather eat lollies and cakes to satisfy our sweet cravings.

Too much sugar, though, is the cause of many illnesses. It’s been called the modern drug that causes addiction due to its release of dopamine in the brain. The more you have of it, the more you want it.

Dangers of Sugar

Let’s take a quick look at some of the ill effects of sugar.

Sugar feeds the yeast in your body, causing it to multiply in your bloodstream and organs. This makes your blood acidic. Keep in mind that a healthy body is slightly alkaline. When the body is too acidic, all sorts of illnesses can develop such as gout and cancer.

Sugar quickly raises your blood sugar and just as quickly your body’s insulin will strip that sugar from your blood and make you feel fatigue and craving for more sugar. Also, sugar doesn’t satisfy your hunger but makes you hungrier so you end up eating more food which leads to obesity.

Too much sugar can cause a fatty liver because the sugar is stored in the liver as glycogen but if there’s too much glycogen then the sugar is converted to fat. When insulin stops working, because the cells become resistant to it, it leads to type II diabetes in people who eat too much sugar. Insulin also regulates cell growth so it can contribute to cancer.

These are some serious health issues that you want to avoid by limiting your intake of processed and artificial sugars. Let’s stick to what Allah has given us in nature because the more we eat things as close to its natural state then the beneficial it’ll be for us.

Healthy Sweet Options

…(Allah) causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date-palms, the grapes and every kind of fruit…

(Qur’an, An-Nahl 16:11)

Praise Allah that He has given us so many different and delicious fruits. There is so much goodness in each one. Even though fruits contain high fruit sugars, they also contain fibre and other nutrients that are good for you and buffer the effects of the sugar. Also, most fruits have a low Glycemic Index which means that it will take longer for your body to change the fruit to glucose so you won’t have a sudden spike in blood sugar.

So when you feel like something sweet, reach for a fruit. Or better still, if it’s available then aim to eat one of these five fruits mentioned in the Qur’an as they are among the best fruits.

  1. Dates 

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And in the earth are neighbouring tracts and gardens of vines and green crops and date palms…

(Qur’an, Ar-Ra’d 13:4)

Dates are packed full of nutrition with a whole lot of vitamins and minerals and are quickly digested so that when Maryam gave birth to Prophet Isa, Allah revealed to her to eat the date:

And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad. And if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day (Qur’an, Maryam 19:25-26).

Likewise, since it is an excellent source of energy and nutrients, we are advised to break our fasts with a date. Narrated Salman ibn Amir: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best suhoor for the believer is dates.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2345)

It’s only in recent years that science has revealed that the date can cure a number of illnesses due to its nutrient-rich properties. Some of these are bone health, nervous system health, heart health, blood purification, skin and vision improvement, digestion, allergies, immunity, cholesterol and cancer.

  1. Figs

dried-figs-health-benefits-for-repub

By the fig and the olive. By Mount Sinai. By this city of security (Makkah). Verily, We created man in the best mould. Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. Save those who believe and do righteous deeds.  Then they shall have a reward without end. Then what causes you to deny the Recompense? Is not Allah the Best of judges?

(Qur’an, At-Tin 95)

The fig is mentioned only once in the Qur’an but it is one of the fruits that Allah swears by, indicating that it is one of the best fruits there is.

Like the date, it is dense in vitamins, minerals and fibre. And similarly, figs are said to aid in digestion, heart health, bone health, vision and even skin and hair health. It can cure high blood pressure and diabetes due to the high levels of potassium whereas the high fibre content reduces cancer.

  1. Grapes

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Then We (Allah) brought forth for you gardens of date-palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you, and whereof you eat.

( Qur’an, Al-Mu’minun 23:19)

Grapes are high in vitamins and minerals but the most famous phytonutrient in grapes is resveratrol. This aids in heart health, skin, eye and brain health, migraine, cholesterol, increased immunity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

The nutrients, however, are mainly packed into the skin and seeds of grapes so don’t peel or spit out the seeds, eat them all.

  1. Pomegranates

pomegranate

And it is He Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date-palms and crops of different shape and taste and olives and pomegranates, similar and different…

(Qur’an, Al-An’am 6:141)

Pomegranates are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Its beneficial antioxidant compound is found in both the juice and the peel. If you’ve ever eaten a pomegranate before then you’ll know that the peel often comes off with the seeds and it’s time consuming to pick and separate them out. So don’t do it but eat them all together.

The antioxidant in pomegranates is said to be three times more powerful than green tea. It is a cure for heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer, among others.

  1. Bananas

whole-and-sliced-bananas-on-board

They will be among thornless lote‐trees, and banana‐trees (with fruits), piled one above another. And in extended shade, and by water flowing constantly, and abundant fruit, neither cut off nor forbidden.

(Surat al‐Waqi’a 56: 28‐33)

The banana is described in the Qur’an as one of the fruits from Jannah that the believers will enjoy. We know that Jannah is the best place with only the best things. It says a lot that the banana is named among them.

As usual, they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are great for digestive health, heart health, mood enhancing, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

These days the most common diseases among people are blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. The chances are high that you’ll know someone who has one or more of these illnesses. You may have noticed that the fruits mentioned above can be a cure for all of these. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every disease has a cure. If a cure is applied to the disease, then it is relieved by the permission of Allah the Exalted.” (Muslim)

Before you reach for the pill, try these natural alternatives. They are preventative as well as curative. And before you reach for the processed sweets, try one of these fruits. They will satisfy your sweet cravings. Have them readily available to your family so they too can reap the benefits.

Raising Children

On the subject of raising children, Ali ibn Abi Taalib, radhiAllahu anhu advised:

“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”

children

*First Seven Years

In the first seven years, your goal is to build a strong connection to your child. This is the foundation, the base from which your relationship with them grows. If this is rock solid, the remaining years will be much easier. If this foundation forms poorly, the next years will be more challenging.

If you have young children, this (first seven years) is the time to roll up your sleeves and invest, heavily, in your and their future. In fact, you will be rewarded for all the righteous progeny that survives you, not just children, until the Day of Judgement.

*Next Seven Years

Once children reach seven, they are ready to learn. (Perhaps this is why Finland starts school at age seven.) This is the time they are sponges, ready to soak up anything and everything you tell them, teach them, show them, and do in front of them. If you built that solid foundation in ages 0-7, they are now more than willing and happy to learn from you.

This is the time to teach them everything — aqeedah, halaal and haraam, fiqh, all the things they need to know to survive throughout their life. Qur’an and seerah are also very important; as one prominent tabi’een said, “we learned seerah (frequently and in details) from our parents the way we learned Qur’an.”

Teach them sports, too; Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Teach your children swimming, archery and horseback riding.” They gain many benefits from it, including physical fitness, learning teamwork, and sportsmanship.

*The Final Seven Years

Once your children hit 14, they are probably already mukallaf (full adults Islamically, and accountable for their actions) — this happens at puberty, or at age 15 at the latest.

At this age (grade 8-9), you are mostly out of the picture. Children achieve independence; their personalities manifest; they look more to their peers than their parents and families. During these critical years, befriend them, advise them, and do what you can; understand that they are now full adults, and the choices are theirs to make, right or wrong.

If you worked hard during the last two periods of seven years, you will already be that trusted confidant, that advisor, that go-to person when they need help or advice. Be part of their lives, and advise them as best you can.

Virtues of the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

Whatever we can view and whatever we can’t, have all been created by Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Quran:

“Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days.”

[Surah Al-A’Raf (The Heights) http://quran.com/7/54%5D

And for the formation of the world to work He created the sun and the moon. Allah states in Quran

[He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has made the night for rest and the sun and moon for calculation.

[Surah Al-An’am (the Cattle) http://quran.com/6/96%5D

For the calculation to work Allah (swt) formulated days and months, Allah (swt) mentions:

“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so was it ordained by Allah on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred,”

[Surah At-Tawbah (The Repentance) http://quran.com/9/36%5D

The sacred months are Muharram (The 1st month), Rajab (7th), Dhul Qa’dah (11th), and Dhul Hijjah (12th).

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From this verse we understand that Allah (swt), in His Perfect Wisdom, has blessed certain times and certain places with virtues and great rewards with which he has not graced others.

Allah (swt) has made certain months, days and nights more virtuous than others, to motivate his slaves to increase in worship and righteous deeds, renew their energies and revitalise their Iman.

From all the days Friday is the most virtuous and ‘The Best of Days’. (Sahih Muslim Book 7, Hadith 26 – http://sunnah.com/muslim/7/26 Sahih Muslim).
And from among the months Ramadhan is the most virtuous. However, there are other days scattered around the year that, too, have great virtues in them. The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (The 12th month of the Islamic calender) fall under this category.

These are the days when the pilgrims perform their tasks of Hajj. Just as these hujjaj have a special chance to get extra rewards, the ones who were not able to go for Hajj are also given a special chance to get more rewards during these days.

Such are the virtues and blessings of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah that Allah (swt) takes an oath by them, which indicates their importance. Allah (swt) says: “By the dawn; by the 10 nights” [Surah Al-Fajr (The Dawn) http://quran.com/89/1-2%5D.

Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.”

There are various hadeeth that narrate virtues of the ten days.

The Prophet (upon whom be peace) said, “One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the “Lailat-ul-Qadr”.

In another hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (upon whom be peace) said, “On no days is the worship of Allah desired more than in the (first) ten days of Dhul Hijjah. (Tirmizi)

So, during this period every Muslim should avail of this wonderful opportunity by keeping fast and performing as much acts of worship to Allah as he or she can.

Scholars have mentioned in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah that during the first ten days of Zul Hijjah Muslims should take care of performing 4 types of deeds:

(1) Takbirat: it means doing zikr (remembrance) of Allah by saying:
a) Takbir: Allah-u-Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)
b) Tahlil: La ilaha illaAllah (there is no god except Allah)
c) Tahmid: Alhamdu liAllah (all praises are due to Allah) and
d) Tasbih: Subhan Allah (Allah is Glorious)

The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:
“There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah then those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la illaha illallah), takbir (to say Allahu akbar) and tahmid (to say alhumdulillah).”[ at-Tabarani in al-Mu’jum al-Kabir]

The Takbir said during these days is of two types: general and specific.
(a) General Takbir: It is a sunnah to say takbirat at all times during the first 13 days of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
Allah says in the Qur’an: “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the name of Allah on known appointed days.” [22:28]

The known appointed days are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah according to the scholars of tafsir. Moreover, Allah says in surah al-Baqara: “And remember Allah during the few appointed Days.”[2:203] The few appointed days are the 11th, 12th and 13th days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah.

Regrettably, only a few people care to perform this great sunnat of our beloved Prophet (may peace be upon him). This takbir should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is no specific time to do; we can do it as per our convenience. This is a time to glorify our Lord, thank Him for His countless bounties and having mercy upon us.

It is narrated about Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them) that during these 10 days ‘they used to go out to the markets saying the takbir, which motivated other people to join them in saying takbir. Hazrat Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say takbir after prayers, whilst on his bed, in his tent, in a gathering and whilst walking.

There are a number of ways of making takbir, but the most authentic form is that which has been recorded about Umar bin al-Khattab and Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with them): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar; La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar; Allahu Akbar wa lillahil Hamd. (There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.)

(b) Specific Takbir: The other form of takbir is the restricted takbir. It is same in words; the difference is that it is to be said after each obligatory prayer beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zul Hijjah up to the ‘Asr prayer of the 13th. This takbir is called Takbir of Tashriq.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar; La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar; Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.
Saying this takbir after each and every fard salah, whether performed collectively or individually, is obligatory on each Muslim. However, male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice. It is narrated about Umar bin al-Khattab, his son Abdullah and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them) that they used to say takbirat loudly.

(2) Fasting: The second deed that Muslims should try to perform is observing fast. Fasting nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah is recommended.

Fasting is a form of worship of Allah, the Exalted. Narrated Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (may peace be upon him): “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days – i.e. the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah).”. These righteous deeds include fasting.

However, on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah it is haram to fast. A hadith narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) has it: “He [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] forbade fasting on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr and the day of al-Nahr (the day of sacrifice, i.e., Eid al-Adha).” (Bukhari: 1992; Muslim: 827)

The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is Haraam to fast on these days.

From among the 9 days of Dhul Hijjah, the best day to fast is the day of ‘Arafah i.e. 9th of Dhul Hijjah. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said about fasting the Day of ‘Arafah, “It is expiation for the previous year and the coming year.”

InshaAllah we will discuss the other 2 forms of worship: the sacrifice and Haj in our next article.

Note: Upon sighting the moon of Dhul Hijjah, those people intending to perform sacrifice should neither cut their hair nor clip their nails until the sacrifice has been performed. This is a desirable act. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) has said: “A person should neither clip his nails nor cut his hair until he performs sacrifice.” (Ibn-e-Majah)

Explaining the reason and wisdom behind this, some of the ulama have said that in this month, hundreds of thousands of people are blessed with the opportunity of visiting the sacred house of Allah in Makkah. There, they enjoy the spiritual atmosphere of the holy places and acquire maximum benefit from the blessed moments. Whilst they are there in the state of ihraam certain acts become impermissible for them. Amongst them is clipping of nails and cutting the hair. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) instructed those of his followers who could not reach the blessed places, to imitate the pilgrims by not cutting the hair and clipping the nails so that the mercy of Allah can enshroud them too together with the pilgrims.

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Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said, “When anyone of you intends to sacrifice the animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, he should not get his hair cut or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.” (Muslim)

Ulama have stated that this includes moustache and hair of the private parts etc. However, if the hair under the arms and in the pubic region is very long (which renders the salah makrooh i.e. it has been more than forty days since it was last removed), then it will become compulsory to remove such hair. However, if a person forgets to clip the nails before the 1st of Dhul Hijjah and the nails have grown so long that they may cause injury, then he may clip them.

 

Moulana Abubakr Diwan

Wasting Food

A couple of years ago a group of students from Macquarie University attached a label to each of its Active organic water bottle and this made headlines across the globe, especially through social media. The quote was not from Aristotle, Plato or any other non Muslim philosopher but a quote from non-other than, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) The quote was a Hadeeth narrated in Sunan ibn Majah, Do not waste water even if you are at a running stream.”.

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A question arises, why was this quote attached to the water bottle and what compelled them to attach this quote? The simple answer is due to the ever increasing problem the world is facing regarding wasting water and food.

According to Statistics

 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK.

 7 million tonnes comes from our homes.

 One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that could have been eaten.

 Britons are still throwing away the equivalent of 86 million chickens every year.

 The top three foods being thrown away uneaten in British homes are bread, potatoes and milk. The equivalent of 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes and 5.9 million glasses of milk are wasted daily.

This has led to new companies emerging around the globe to resolve this global problem, in England, Love Food Hate Waste was launched in 2007 to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and in June 2009, then Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn announced the government’s “War on Waste”, a programme aimed at reducing Britain’s food waste.

According to research, food waste was only identified as a problem in the UK during World War 1, whereas Islam had identified the problem and raised awareness about this issue 1400 years ago.

Allah has classed those people who waste as brothers of Shaytan,

      “Verily, those who squander are brothers of the Shayatin (devils)” (Surah al-Isra` 17:27 )

At another juncture Allah revealed his displeasure to those who waste, by stating

“Eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Surah al-A`râf: 31)

In Islamic terminology wasting food or water is classed as Israf (waste). Israaf according to Imaam Raaghib Isfehaani (RA) means:

‘Any action which an individual performs which exceeds the limits is considered as being Israaf’.

Being extravagant is to spend more than your means – which means that extravagance is relative and not something that we can put a limit/number to.

How many times have we sat down to eat, or been in a restaurant or at a wedding function and wasted food, and it doesn’t even cross our mind that we have just violated the commandment of Allah. Not only violated the commandment of Allah but also wasted crucial resources which was used behind the preparation of food such as energy, fuel, time and water that went into growing, harvesting, storing, transporting and cooking the food.

LET US LOOK AT IT THIS WAY:

Some nine months ago somewhere in India a farmer planted rice seeds.

Every day he goes out in the morning and check his crops until the rice grains are mature and ready to be harvested.

He drains any excess water and harvest.

After being harvested it goes to a milling process, the objective of a milling system is to remove the husk and the bran layers from paddy rice.

It is then transported to a packaging company, where thousands of employees work to pack rice in bags, before it is shipped around the world.

The rice is transported to a warehouse and then it is directed to our local supermarket.

Someone from our household goes to the shops and buys the rice, comes home and whilst we are at work spends their time preparing the food.

After work we come home, get changed and sit down to eat, the food is placed in front of us in our plates.

After all this, we have the decency to label it as rubbish food and have the courage to throw it away.

Dear readers we have not just wasted food, we have wasted the nine month cycle where thousands of pounds, employees effort and time was spent behind the preparation for the food.

Whereas our prophet  was so particular about not wasting that it is narrated in a hadeeth that the Prophet (pbuh) g  said “when you eat, do not wipe your hands till you have licked it”, he has mentioned licking of fingers to make sure no food is wasted.

So dear readers let us from today make a firm intention, that we will try our utmost in not wasting food.

So dear readers let us from today make a firm intention, that we will try our utmost in not wasting food.

Moulana Abubakr Diwan

The Forgotten Sunnah – Standing in the Rain

Fiqhul Hadith

The Forgotten Sunnah – Standing in the Rain 

An unusual sound penetrated my train of thought as I sat studying at my desk. I looked up pensively from my book and a few moments passed before I realised that what I was hearing was the sound of pouring rain. A sound so common back in my hometown,Cape Town, was now so foreign to me in the desert city of Madinah.

I rushed out onto the balcony to admire the rainfall. As I stood, witnessing Allah’s answer to the prayers of the community, a strange sight caught my eye down below. A man, instead of running for cover, walked calmly to and into his building. He reappeared shortly carrying a chair. Still in a state of composure, he placed thechair out in the pouring rain and just sat down! He appeared to be enjoying the sensation of the raindrops falling on…

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Solar Eclipse – Salatul Kusoof

 

downloadAllaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allaah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayaat in detail for people who have knowledge.” [Yoonus 10:5 – http://quran.com/10/5]

“And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allaah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Fussilat 41:37 – http://quran.com/41/37)

Salaat al-Kusoof is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) according to the consensus of the scholars. The daleel (evidence) for this is the Sunnah reported from the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

Eclipses are signs from Allaah by means of which Allaah makes His slaves afraid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction)” [al-Israa’ 17:39 – http://quran.com/17/39]

When the sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he went out rushing nervously to the mosque, dragging his cloak behind him, and led the people in prayer. He told them that the eclipse was one of the signs of Allaah, with which Allaah makes His slaves afraid, and that it may be the cause of punishment coming upon the people. He commanded them to do that which could prevent the punishment, so he commanded them to pray when an eclipse happens, and to make du’aa’, seek His forgiveness, give charity, free slaves and do other righteous deeds so that the punishment would go away and not befall the people. So the eclipse is a reminder to people, making them afraid so that they will turn back to Allaah and pay attention to Him.

During the Jaahiliyyah, people used to believe that eclipses happened to mark the birth or death of a great person, but the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) declared this belief to be false and explained the divine wisdom behind the occurrence of eclipses:

Imaam al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that Ibn Mas’ood al-Ansaari said: “the sun was eclipsed the day Ibraaheem the son of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, and the people said, ‘The sun is eclipsed because of the death of Ibraaheem.’ The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The sun and the moon are two signs from Allaah, and they do not become eclipsed for the death or the birth of anyone. If you see that, hasten to remember Allaah and to pray.’”

According to another hadeeth in al-Saheehayn: “Call on Allaah and pray until [the eclipse] is over.”

It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that Abu Moosa said: “These signs that Allaah sends are not for the death or life of anyone, but Allaah makes His slaves afraid through them, so if you see anything of that [eclipses], then hasten to remember Allaah and call on Him and seek His forgiveness.”

Allaah causes eclipses to happen to these two mighty signs, the sun and the moon, to teach His slaves and show them that these things are created and are subject to imperfections and changes just like any other created entities. Thus He shows them His perfect ability and that He alone is deserving of worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allaah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Fussilat 41:37)

The time for Salaat al-Kusoof lasts from the beginning of the eclipse until it is over, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you see that, then pray.” (Agreed upon). According to another hadeeth, “If you see anything of that, then pray until it is over.” (Reported by Muslim).

Salaat al-Kusoof should not be done once the eclipse is over, because the time has gone. If an eclipse ends before one knows about it, one does not have to pray, because the reason for this prayer is no longer there.

The way in which Salaat al-Kusoof is done is to pray two Rak’ahs in which Qur’aan is recited aloud, according to the correct one out of the two scholarly opinions. In the first Rak’ah, one should recite al-Faatihah and a long soorah such as Soorat al-Baqarah or the equivalent, then do a long rukoo’, then raise one’s head and say, “Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd (Allaah listens to the one who praises Him; our Lord to You be praise)” after standing upright, as in other prayers. Then one should then recite al-Faatihah and another long soorah, shorter than in the first recitation, equivalent in length to Soorat Aal ‘Imraan. Then one should do another long rukoo’ shorter than the first, and when raising one’s head, say, “Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan fih, mal’ al-samawaati wa mal’ al-ard wa mal’ ma shi’ta min shay’in ba’d (Allaah listens to the one who praises Him; our Lord to You be praise, much good and blessed praise, filling heaven and earth and whatever You will besides that).” Then he should do two lengthy sujoods, without making the sitting between them too long. Then one should pray the second rak’ah like the first, with two long rukoo’s and two long sujoods, as he did in the first rak’ah. Then he should recite the Tashahhud and say the salaam.

This is the description of Salaat al-Kusoof as prayed by the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as was reported with a number of isnaads. Some of these reports are in al-Saheehayn, including the hadeeth narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her):

“The sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out, stood up and said Takbeer (‘Allaahu akbar’), and the people formed rows behind him. The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited a lengthy recitation and did a lengthy rukoo’, then he raised his head and said, ‘Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd.’ Then he stood upright and recited another lengthy recitation, shorter than the first. Then he said ‘Allaahu akbar’ and did another lengthy rukoo’, shorter than the first. Then he said, ‘Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd.’ Then he did sujood. Then in the second rak’ah he did likewise, until he had completed four rukoo’s and four sujoods, and the eclipse was over before he had finished.” (Agreed upon).

It is sunnah to pray Salaat al-Kusoof in jamaa’ah (congregation), because this is what the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, but it is permissible to pray it individually, as with all other naafil prayers. However, praying it in congregation is better.

It is sunnah for the imaam to address the people after the prayer, and to warn them against negligence and being led astray, and to tell them to make lots of du’aa’ and ask for forgiveness. In al-Saheeh it is narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished his prayer then addressed the people and started by praising Allaah then he said, “The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allaah, and they do not become eclipsed for the death or the birth of anyone. If you see that, then call on Allaah, perform salaah, give charity…”

If the prayer ends before the eclipse does, then remember Allaah (dhikr) and call on Him (du’aa’) until the eclipse ends. The prayer should not be repeated. If the eclipse ends before the prayer, then the prayer should be completed quickly, but it should not be stopped or cut off abruptly, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and render not vain your deeds” [Muhammad 47:33]. The prayer should be at the time of the eclipse, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “… until it (the eclipse) is over…” and he also said, “… until what you are going through is over …”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Sometimes eclipses last for a long time, and sometimes for a short time, depending on how much of the sun or moon is eclipsed. The entire sun or moon may be eclipsed, or only half of it, or one-third. If it is a total eclipse, then the prayer should last long enough for all of al-Baqarah or something of similar length to be recited in the first rak’ah, and in the next rak’ah a shorter recitation is made. There are saheeh ahaadeeth narrated from the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as we have mentioned, and it is prescribed to shorten the prayer if the reason for it [i.e., the eclipse] is no longer there. So if it is known that the eclipse will not last for long, or if it started to get less, one should still pray, but the prayer should be shortened. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, because this prayer is prescribed for a specific reason, and if the reason is no longer there and the eclipse is over, one should not pray.”

(http://islamqa.info/en/6111)

Stay positive!

HaroonSidat

pci

The people you surround yourself with affects the outlook you have on life. You don’t need many friends; what you really need is people who are positive, driven and possess some sense of purpose. That’s when you come to realise you actually need fewer friends. The sort of people whose conversations flower with positivity and ambition; they are always upbeat, mention only good of others and desire for the betterment of society.

Avoid negativity like plague – because that’s exactly what it is. People who talk ill of others, lack any serious moral conviction and are expert fault finders won’t do you any good. Look around you, people who achieve anything worthwhile don’t sit around idly, complaining and whinging about their sad state of affairs. They put their trust in God, get out there and make something happen. Be a doer, get out on the field and make yourself count…

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