To love the Prophet PBUH is a supreme act of iman. It is indeed he, who bestowed us the true religion (of Islam), inculcated manners in us, guided us through every stride of our lives, and endowed us through his Sunnah, a recipe for successful life here and hereafter. Many at times the proclamation of love for our adored Prophet PBUH renders null and void by mere utteration. We either don’t accomplish the requirements of his love or else confine his love to make-believe boundaries suited to our liking. A true lover of Muhammad PBUH is the one who devotes self to the teachings of Allah SWT and the Prophet PBUH. Allah SWT mentions, “Say (O Muhammad), if you should love Allah, then follow me, (so) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.” [Al-Imran 3:31]

Beloved becomes dearer as the love blossoms and bonds them together. Mostly love, the most special feeling within our hearts, will cease to exist if it is pre-occupied by other emotion. The only fear a lover constantly bears is the pain of separation. Alhamdulillah, he who faithfully loves the Prophet PBUH is guaranteed that he be won’t apart from the beloved Prophet PBUH even in hereafter. Narrated by Anas RA, a Bedouin came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! When will The Hour be established?” The Prophet responded, “Woe to you, what have you prepared for it?” The Bedouin replied, “I have not prepared anything for it, except that I love Allah SWT and His Apostle.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those whom you love.” We (the companions of the Prophet) said, “And will we too be so? The Prophet affirmed, “Yes” So we became very glad on that day,” [Bukhari]. Allah SWT says, “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of the truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions,” [An-Nisa 4:69].

A Muslim is he who adores the Prophet PBUH more than his parents, his children, his belongings and even more than himself. Reported by Abu Hurairah RA that the Prophet PBUH said, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children,” [Bukhari]. In another narration by Anas RA, it is stated “none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children and all mankind,” [Bukhari]. It is important to note that in both these hadiths, the Prophet PBUH has sworn upon ALLAH SWT which depicts the graveness of the subject matter. A person’s faith is incomplete until his love for the Prophet PBUH is complete and absolute. Abdullah-bin-Hisham RA narrated: We were with the Prophet and he was holding the hand of Umar bin Al-Khattab. Umar said to Him, “O Allah’s Apostle! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then Umar said to him, “However, now, by ALLAH, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet said, “Now, O Umar, (now you are a believer),” [Bukhari]

A believer can experience the bliss and sweetness of Islam when he possesses the love of Allah SWT and His Messenger PBUH. Anas RA narrated that the Prophet PBUH said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness of faith:

  1. The one to whom ALLAH and His Apostle become dearer than anything else.
  2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
  3. Who hates to revert to disbelief (atheism) after Allah has brought (saved) him out from it, as he hates to be thrown in fire.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

ALLAH SWT has stringently warned his slaves to beware if the desire for any worldly possessions, or materialistic life, or its temporary pleasures, etc exceeds the love for Allah SWT and HIS Prophet PBUH. Allah SWT declares, “Say (O Muhammad), if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [Al-Taubah 9:24]. This is a cautionary advice to wait for what will befall of Allah SWT’s punishment and torment. May Allah SWT engross HIS love in our hearts and protect us from this obscured retribution.  Aameen


Taqwa & Spirituality

The Journey of Hajj is for Muslims, a journey of a lifetime. Most of the Muslims undergo this journey only once in their lifetime. With the economic prosperity that many Muslims have witnessed, some Muslims undergo this journey more than once in their lifetime. The month of Dhul Hijjah and the Ibadah associated with this month are essentially the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), be it Hajj or the sacrifice. The life of Ibrahim is amazing. An idol breaker son, born to an idol maker father. The spiritual presence of Prophet Ibrahim is always felt in the whole Muslim world, with his recurring remembrance, both in the Quran and a Muslim’s daily prayers. Islam attaches great importance to the annual pilgrimage of Hajj, which is intimately connected to the story of Ibrahim, his son Ismail and his wife, Hagar.

Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail’s story is about love and sacrifice. Unwavering love for Allah and the spirit of Sacrifice in His way. Hagar and Ismail were abandoned by Prophet Ibrahim at the place where Mecca stands today. It was to this valley that Ibrahim brought Hagar and their son Ismail. This valley between rocky hills, naked, hot and barren under the fierce desert sun. A place which was swept by flaming desert winds.

It was the proper setting for Ibrahim and his family to undergo the trial that Allah had set out for them. Prophet Ibrahim was convinced that Allah’s mercy is limitless. With this belief, Ibrahim left his weeping wife and the child in this uninhabited valley, leaving with them a water skin and a skin filled with dates.

A solitary tree stood in this valley. Hagar sat under its shadow with Ismail on her lap. Around them there was nothing. Just scorching heat, rocky slopes and an endless silence, with no other living being around. The hot day was followed by a cooler night and this went on. But on the third day, the dates in the skin were over and it was all despair. But when the child cried for water, Hagar could not do anything except crying out to her Lord. How could the distraught mother bear the sight of her dying child, crying for water? What could she do in a forlorn desert with no signs of any life around?

She started to run, to and fro with uplifted hands through this barren valley, over the same stretch, between two hills. It is in remembrance of her despair that the pilgrims who go for Hajj, run between these two hills, Saf’aa and Marwa.

The Lord was listening and then came the answer to her prayers. A stream of water gushed forth and the water began to flow over the sand. Hagar shouted with joy and immediately pressed the child’s face in the water so that he might drink. She drank with him and called out between her gasps, ‘Zummi, Zummi’.  Afraid that the water might run out, Hagar heaped a little wall of sand around the spring. The water ceased to flow and became a well, which came to be known as the well of Zamzam and the pilgrims, from centuries, have been filling water from this well and even carrying it back home with them.

Prophet Ibrahim returned to the valley after some time and found his son and wife alive. From then on, he visited them often. Ismail grew up there and married. Years later, Ibrahim and Ismail built the prototype of the sanctuary in Mecca known as the Kaaba. As they were cutting stones, Ibrahim exclaimed, ‘’Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik’’—‘O my Lord, here I am at Your service, The pilgrims on their journey of Hajj, raise this chant.

Hajj is a journey which calls for immense patience, sacrifice, perseverance, persistence and humility among many other things. It is a journey which can drain you emotionally. The first sight of Kaaba leaves you speechless. The mind goes blank and tears start rolling down your cheeks. Is it true that I am in front of the Majestic Kaaba? How lucky does one feel at that moment? For a moment, you seem to be floating in the air. It just leaves you speechless and there is only language that you can speak—the language of tears. Don’t restrain yourself. Weep, sob, cry, repent, pray, plead, ask forgiveness from your Lord, for this is the chance to be born again. 

Islam believes in only one division in mankind and that is based on Taqwa. The one who is more dearer in the sight of Allah SWT is the one who is better in Taqwa. Allah SWT says: “Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is knowing and acquainted,” [Hujrath 49:13].

No superiority of the Arab over the Ajam, White over the Black, Rich over the Poor. In the two piece Ahram, the Prince and the pauper stand shoulder to shoulder. The great egalitarianism of Islam is on full display there. That is the main highlight of the Hajj.

This script is authored by Tariq Jameel

Benefits of TAQWA

Elaborating on TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH , I wish to enlighten dear audience about the blessings the most merciful ALLAH has granted for devoted slaves for being Taqwa compliant. ALLAH SWT enjoins the mankind to submit to HIM so as to safeguard our own selves from HIS wrath. Indeed, securing from HIS rage and earning HIS gratificaton is adequate for us as a reward of Taqwa, but it does not cease here. There are more glad tidings from ALLAH the Almighty for fearing HIM. Remuneration of Taqwa in our lives is immense hereafter and not less compensating here. Casting light on few ….                                                                                                                                                                                  

Easeness of matters

Things get trouble-free and affairs are simplified for the one who fears ALLAH SWT. ALLAH SWT mentions, “And whoever fears ALLAH – HE will make for him of his matter ease” [At-Talaq: 65:4]. HE further pronounces, “As for he who gives and fears ALLAH and believes in the best [reward], WE will ease him toward ease,” [Al Lail, 92:5-7].

Blessings from the heaven and the earth

Blessings of both the worlds are enclosed within Taqwa. ALLAH SWT proclaims, “And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared ALLAH, WE would have opened (bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth…” [Al Aaraf, 7:96]

Help from ALLAH during distress and grieves

Help from the source you least expect. That is the wonder of Taqwa! ALLAH promises, “And whoever fears ALLAH – HE will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect,” [At-Talaq, 65: 2,3].

Good news in both the worlds

Showers of blessings. ALLAH mentions, “Those who believed and were fearing ALLAH. For them are the good tidings in the worldly life and in the hereafter,” [Yunus 10:63,64]. Ubadah RA asked Prophet PBUH the meaning of the mentioned verse. He was replied, “It (good news) is the good dream which a muslim sees or is shown to him,” [Ibn Majah: Hadith 3898].

Protection from the enemies

Feel protected with Taqwa. ALLAH SWT says, “And indeed, the wrong-doers are allies of one another; but ALLAH is the protector of those who fear ALLAH,”[Al Jathiyah 45:19]. In another verse HE pronounces, “And if you are patient and fear ALLAH, their plot will not harm you at all,” [Al Imran, 3:120].

Rectification of deeds

Taqwa betters your actions. ALLAH SWT the glorified says, “O you who believe, fear ALLAH and speak words of appropriate justice. HE Will (then) amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins,” [Al Azhab 33:70,71].

Obtaining ALLAH’s mercy

Gain most merciful ALLAH’s mercy through Taqwa. HE mentions, “My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it (especially) for those who fear ME…” [Al Aaraf, 7:156].

Protection from ALLAH’s punishment

Resurrected are the ones who fear ALLAH SWT. ALLAH SWT warns that the hell fire will be exposed to all on the day of Judgement and none will be saved from that but HE promises, “Then WE will save those who feared ALLAH and leave the wrong-doers within it, on their knees” [Maryam 19:72]

The path to paradise

Undoubtedly greatest reward for the good deeds is paradise. ALLAH SWT has reiterated that paradise will be especially for God-fearing persons. HE says, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden (i.e., paradise) as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for those who fear,” [Al Imran, 3:133]. HE mentions, “That is paradise, which WE give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of ALLAH,” [Maryam 19:63]

Forementioned are some of the many benefits affirmed in the holy Quran. May ALLAH help us to fear HIM every moment of our lives, in the daylight and in the darkness, in open and in secret, in our blessings and during the times of trails and tribulations; perhaps to gain HIS forgiveness. ALLAH SWT proclaims that, “HE is worthy of fear and adequate of granting forgiveness” [Al Muddathir 74:56]

TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH

ALLAH SWT has decreed in Holy Quran: “Every Soul will taste Death” [Al Imran 3:185] and accordingly the Creator has specified a time when HIS creation will cease to exist. Death is as certain for all as life. Even an atheist will concur that death is a universal truth. Post death, on the day of resurrection (Qiyamah), all of us will assemble and our Book of Deeds will be revealed. None will be spared from presenting the Account of Deeds. Wise is the one who reflects on this and is better prepared in advance for the ultimate examination. What could be the best thing a person can possess to present to ALLAH?

Fear of ALLAH SWT is the best thing what a servant (of ALLAH) can take as a provision for the goodness of his Deen (way of life). ALLAH SWT states, “And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear (of ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2: 197]. No good deed is acceptable except that which is a result of Taqwa. ALLAH says: “But righteousness is (in) one who fears (ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2:189].

Let us understand the meaning of Taqwa. Taqwa essentially is to protect self from punishment of ALLAH by obeying HIS orders and by abstaining from what HE has prohibited. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubay Ibn Ka’b about Taqwa. In reply Ka’b queried Umar (RA), ” O Leader of the believers, what do you do when you have to pass through a thorny road? Umar (RA) replied, “I lift my cloth up to my calves and watch my footsteps and take each step slowly from the fear of thorns lest they don’t prick me”. Ka’b said, “This is Taqwa”.

ALLAH SWT says, “O you who have believed, fear ALLAH as HE should be feared and do not die except as Muslim (in submission to HIM) [Al Imran 3:102]. He who fears ALLAH SWT and acts according to HIS instructions will be secured from HIS punishment. ALLAH SWT says: “And fear ALLAH and know that ALLAH is severe in penalty” [Baqarah 2:196]. He who is safe from the torment of that day (Qiyamah) will notice that his days on earth were nothing compared to what he is rewarded. ALLAH says: “And the hereafter is better for one who fears (ALLAH)” [Nisa 4:77].

Some of the factors that lead to Taqwa are:

Obedience to ALLAH’s diktat and abstinent from what HE SWT prohibits;
Submission to the Will of ALLAH and to the decree HE SWT has set;
Love of ALLAH SWT and HIS Messenger PBUH;
Striving in the way of ALLAH and HIS Messenger.

We observe that the affection towards this worldly and materialistic life has corrupted our heart to renounce Islam and its beautiful teachings. We have become slaves of this perishing life to such an extent that we consider the rich and those who have gained this world and its splendours or luxuries to be the most successful. Woe on us!! Whereas ALLAH says, “Indeed the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is he who has the most consciousness and fear (of ALLAH)”. [Al-Hujraat 49:13].

Abu Zar RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said to him, “Fear ALLAH wherever or however you are, and make a good deed subsequent to a bad deed; so that the good wipes away the bad, and treat people with the best of characters” [Tirmizi]. Our beloved Prophet SAW always advised his companions to fear ALLAH in all their matters. He once said, “Fear (ALLAH) in your worldly matters and fear HIM regarding your wives” [Ibn Majah]. In another hadith, Abu Ummah RA narrates that he heard the Prophet SAW saying in a speech during his Hajj, “Fear ALLAH, and pray your five prayers, fast your month, and pay the zakat of your money, and obey those who are in authority among you so that you will enter your Lord’s Paradise.” [Tirmizi].

The ill morale and character of the present society has deprived us the fear of ALLAH. Satan has showcased evil deeds in such an attractive package that the evils are being glorified and not considered harm. The condition of Muslim society can be improved only by retaining and refreshing Taqwa in our lives, i.e. by fearing ALLAH SWT and acting on HIS orders. May ALLAH guide us to HIS fear and reward us better than what we deserve and may HE love us in return of our fear for HIM. Aameen. ALLAH mentions, “whoever fulfils his commitment and fears (ALLAH) – then indeed, ALLAH loves those who fear (HIM)” [Al-Imran 3:76].

Blessings of Fasting

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a very blessed month and we should strive to spend more time in prayer, reciting Quran, charity and doing good things during this month. We list out the main things that Muslims can and should strive to achieve during this blessed month:

1. Attain Taqwa

Allah SWT says: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain Taqwa,” [Al-Baqarah, 2:183]. Attainment of Taqwa (Piety) is the foremost requirement in the life of a believer. One who has attained Taqwa has attained excellence in the worship of the Lord. It is beyond doubt that fasting stands as one of the sublime means in attaining it. In many verses of the Qur’an Allah SWT says that the reward of the people of Taqwa is Paradise. “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the Muttaqeen (people of Taqwa), [Al-Imran 3:133].

2. Seek Taubah

Making Taubah is a precursor to achieving Taqwa and what better time than the month of Ramadan to do this. The month of Ramadan provides a wonderful opportunity for accounting of ones’ sins and making repentance. Taubah is about reflecting on oneself and then taking note of the sins that one commits. As human beings, we are prone to making mistakes and it is incumbent upon us to repent for the mistakes that we commit. It should not become a ritualistic exercise but we should be sincere in our Taubah. In fact, the last few 10 days of Ramadan, when a lot of Muslims observe ‘Aetkaaf’ in the mosque, is one of the best times to reflect on ourselves and make Taubah.
Taubah is something that is between you and Allah SWT. Seeking Taubah is not only confined to Ramadhan, but is a continuous process. Allah SWT says: “Surely, Allah loves those people who constantly repent to Him (do Taubah to Him),” [Al-Baqarah 2:222]. One important point to take note of in this verse is that Allah SWT did not say: “Allah loves the Taa’ibeen (those who repent),” but he said ‘Tawwabeen’ which means “those who constantly, over and over, repent to Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah SWT said: “O mankind! Do Taubah (repent) to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for surely, I do so 100 times every single day.” [Saheeh Muslim]. In actuality Taubah is one of the purposes of our very creation as human beings. Human nature is submerged in sins. The month of Ramadan gives us a huge opportunity to do Taubah and draw ourselves close to Allah’s will.

3. Seek Forgiveness

None among us is perfect. We all have weaknesses and bound to indulge in wrongdoing. We commit sins out of ignorance or for fulfilment of desires and whims. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger PBUH said: “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain ALLAH’s rewards, and then all his past sins will be forgiven,” [Bukhari]. “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan (and that is called Qiyam) faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain ALLAH’s rewards (not for exhibition), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

4. Develop Relation with Quran

Recite Qur’an as much as you can

As this sublime truth, the glorious Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan. It deserves more attention and thoughtfulness during this month. We should strive to come closer to Quran and it’s message during this blessed month. It is beyond doubt that whoever develops a connect with the Quran will surely attain the goal of Ramadan (i.e. attainment of self-restraint, piety and noble conduct). Allah SWT says: “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims),” [An-Nahl 16:89].

The days and nights of Ramadan should be spent in the recitation of the Qur’an and reflection on its meaning. The Prophet PBUH said: “Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Qur’an and humiliates others by it,” [Muslim].

Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH said: “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of ALLAH on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from asleep. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted,” [Ahmad].

5. Strive to be amongst Siddeeqeen (true followers) and Shuhadaa (martyrs)

A man came to Prophet PBUH and said: “O Messenger of ALLAH PBUH, what if I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah SWT and that you are the messenger of Allah and I observe the five daily prayers, and I pay the Zakaah, and I fast and stand in prayer in Ramadan, then amongst whom shall I be? He PBUH said, Among Siddeeqeen and the Shuhadaa,” [Ibn Hibban].

6. Cut sexual desires

Fasting also helps in restricting ones’ desires. Alqama said: ‘’While I was walking with ‘Abdullah he said, “We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, ‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power,” [Bukhari].

May Allah bless us all and help us in achieving the true virtues of Ramadan. Aameen


Holy Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar. Each month of the lunar calendar is either of 29 or 30 days. Beginning of new month is based on sightation of new moon (like a crescent). Once the moon of Ramadan is sighted, then it is obligatory for all the Muslims who have attained the age of puberty to fast for the whole month except in few exceptional cases.

Arabic word for fasting is Sawm meaning a fast which begins with dawn and ends with sunset. Muslims wake up before dawn and have Suhur (Pre dawn meal). The next meal they have is only after the sunset which is called Iftaar (Post dusk meal). One must not forget that fasting in the month of Ramadan is among the five obligations which distinguish one as a Muslim.

The verse of the holy Quran clearly indicates that fasting is not a new obligation. Fasting was prescribed in the doctrines of other prophets who preached prior to Muhammed PBUH. ALLAH SWT says “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain Taqwa” [Al-Baqarah, 2:183].

Muslims fast because ALLAH SWT has commanded them to do so. Many people have researched, discussed, debated and documented many virtues of fasting such as developing control over hunger, thirst, abstaining from any kind of sexual desires etc. Yes, all these are absolutely right but the primary goal should be achievement of Taqwa.

The companion of the Prophet PBUH Abu Umaamah (May ALLAH be pleased with him) asked: ‘O Messenger of ALLAH, tell me of an action by which I may enter Paradise’. He said: ‘Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.’ [An-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Haakim, Saheeh]

Dear brothers and sisters the reality of our time is that our life span in this world is probably averaging between 60 or 70 years as Prophet Muhammed PBUH said that his ummah’s age would be anything between 60 and 70. Most of us have lived almost half the number. We have spent many Ramadans gaining nothing from it, though ALLAH SWT granted us this occasion year after year but we simply were not able to capitalize. We seldom utilized it to save our souls from the horrifying fire of Hell. On the other hand we are very uncertain that will we get this opportunity again? So let us all strive to make the most of this Ramadan by practicing all the deeds that bring the slave of ALLAH SWT closer to Him. Let us spend the forthcoming Ramadan as the last Ramadan of our lives.

Let me share a very thought provoking personal incident which shocked me. I was in my teens and the occasion was the first day of the holy month. I was about to enter the Masjid early to offer my first fajr of that Ramadan. As it was the first day my spirits were high which normally happens with most of us. Pity is that we become really enthusiastic during the beginning and as the month progresses the situation gets reversed. May Allah SWT forgive and help us all to be consistent. Aameen. Coming back to the incidence, an old man also entered Masjid along with me. Both of us performed ablution together. Soon the old man started crying out loud. I was thinking as to why the man is crying. He was asking forgiveness from his Lord and wept saying: You gave me a chance again so Oh! Lord accept the little deeds that I have done and forgive me for the sins that I have committed. Sadly, following year he passed away. Oh ALLAH! Forgive him and have mercy on him. Muslims! We must emulate this in our lives as well.

Oh believers! Let’s not waste this Ramadan in shopping, preparing for iftaar parties and various other activities killing precious moments of Ramadan that are gifted by our Lord. Kindly try as much as possible to utilize the opportunity to ask forgiveness, praise Almighty, thank HIM for everything, attain Taqwa, seek ALLAH’s pleasure, devote most of your time in prayers, Zikr, recitation of Quran and last but not least refrain from the acts that will displease our merciful lord – ALLAH SWT.

Humble request for prayers so that we can reap maximum benefit out of coming month of blessing – Ramadan. Aameen