Night at the Mosque

image
Last ten days usher in all nighters
In search of the Night of Power
Reprimands and laughter
Communal bitings and conversations
Brief sleeps urged by monitors
Impromptu classes
Arabic and etiquette
Quran and enunciation

Strong personalities clash and coalesce
Prayer mats turned to temporary mattresses
Awoken from deep slumber by faith and devotion
Feet stand and rest follow
Beauty in humility
Submitting body and self to a higher Being

Allahu Akbar!

Upright bodies, side by side
Straight rows
Gaps mitigated with touching toes (sometimes incessantly so)
Waning concentration with wandering minds
Constantly being brought back to present
By melodic, rythmic verses

Ameen reverberating through the entire mosque
Countless voices
One chorus
Many bodies
Single movements
Diversity despite/amongst uniformity

Viewing through Geometric dimensions

Assalam u alaykum we rahmatullah…

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Welcoming Ramadan – Day 1

ramadan_kareem

Today marks the first day of Ramadan. Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims by which we fast (don’t take food or water amongst other things) from sunrise to sunset for the next 29/30 days until the month is over. It is a time for increased introspection, reflection, deepening spirituality and developing a greater consciousness of self as well as practicing empathy for others.

May this holy month bring with it countless beauty and blessings, serenity and selam and a will to keep building and growing and improving long beyond the end of these 30 days, if we are so lucky to live them.

Saum maqbul. Selat maqbul. Duah maqbul. Insha’ALLAH.

Some articles on Ramadan:
Facts, History, Dates, Greetings and Rules about the Muslim Fast
Ramadan Guide to Islamic Holy Month
Why Muslims Celebrate Ramadan 

Bidding farewell – EID Mubarek

EID Mubarek to my entire Muslim Ummah. As we sadly bid farewell to the blessed month of Ramadan, I’m reminded that like was said with the death of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), “If you worship Muhammed (PBUH), he is dead. If you worship Allah, He is eternal.”

Similarly, if we worship Ramadan, it is gone. But if we worship Allah, He is always.

May the end of this month bring respite to the unrest, the injustice and the indignity raging across our globe – and the love that we need to counter all of this ugly.

In solidarity and struggle – today and always.

Ramadan – Satisfaction of My Soul

Ramadan-prep
I couldn’t put it any better:

‘…fasting is about gaining a deeper awareness and mindfulness of one’s self and, in turn, the world in which one is situated. From the outside it might seem like it’s about deprivation of food and drink. But by shifting focus away from a simple satiation of my stomach and looking more towards the satisfaction of my soul, I realize that are many different ways that I can nourish myself and many different parts of me that need to be nourished that I often times neglect, my heart being a primary amongst those….’
– Imam Khalid Latif

Jumah Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem

“Ramadan is a month long spiritual gym where we work on metaphysical muscles through more deliberate disciplines, prayer, reflections and worship.
It is an annual Muslim attempt to simultaneously grow vertically in their relationship with their Lord and horizontally with fellow human beings through emphatic and various acts of charity.
It is a month of self-auditing and self-evaluation.
May we all be able to bring ourselves to a level where we can accept and welcome all what Ramadan can give us.”
-Imam Abdullah Antepli

Ramadan

RAMADAN Bites

[7/30]
Verse in the Quran about a mirage in the desert: “The thirsty man takes it to be water until he comes to it and finds it to be nothing, and where he thought it to be, there he finds God.”

[9/30]
“You see, Faith is called faith because you just feel it in your heart. I can’t really prove to you that God exists. The only truth I can tell you is that we are all going to die at some point. But all I can say is this…once I’m dead and God just happens to be on the other side, I’d rather say that I was a believer than not!” ~Wala

[13/30]
Always seek the good that is in people,
And leave the bad to Him who made mankind
And knows how to round off the corners.
-Goethe’s Mother.

[14/30]
The very first verse that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH was ‘Iqra’ or ‘Read’. What dies that tell us about the role of seeking knowledge in Islam?
“I started reading, there and then. In the dust. On the ground. No time to waste! I was hungry!” -Ahmed Deedat

[15/30]
Seek & Spread. Truth. Beauty. Love. Peace. Knowledge.

[16/30]
Here’s to journeys and not knowing where they’ll take us – but knowing that the ALMIGHTY is with us every step of the way – and as we take one towards HIM, HE takes two towards us.

[17/30]
There is no substitute for the truth

[21/30]
Reflect inward. Strive for better in every way and in every day. Revolutions begin from within. ‪This is Jihad.‬

[23/30]
Injustice Anywhere is Injustice Everywhere.

[25/30]
‘Don’t waste a drop of water, even before a flowing river.’
-Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)

Ramadan Rain

Ramadan Rain                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Source: SuhaibWebb – Yasmin Mogahed

Imagine for a moment that it’s raining. It is pouring, in fact. And imagine that you are inside your house, watching as it falls. But imagine that there is something very different about this rain. It is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. On this day, it is not raining water. It is raining something much more precious to you. Imagine that on this day it is raining hundred dollar bills.

What would you do? What would happen in your neighborhood on that day? What would happen in the world? Would we not run outside, falling all over ourselves, competing to gain as much of the raining money as we can? Would we not stand outside all night to gather as much as possible?

We would do this for money because money is precious. But imagine for a moment that it was raining something priceless. Not thousand dollar bills, not trillions, but the mercy of Allah , a currency that no human currency could even measure.

The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad , (peace be upon him) said, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Narrated by Tabarani]

In this month, we are shielded from hell-fire, protected from the shayateen (satins), and cleansed from our sins. The Prophet said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith, hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all of his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari). In another hadith he said: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari]

Within this month, there is a night that is greater than a thousand months (97:1-5). “There is protection from hellfire, at least 70 times the reward for our deeds, and the chance to have all our sins erased.” (hadith) So, what greater loss can there be than to find ourselves standing in the middle of this massive downfall of blessings without collecting all we can of Allah’s mercy?

And while this mercy showers on us throughout the blessed month, the last ten days are like no other. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (meaning he would work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers [Bukhari].

But how can we fully take advantage of this blessed month, especially in the last ten days? Here are a few ways:

Reserve a Private Meeting with Allah:

Set a time before or after suhoor to be alone with Allah . Use this time to connect to Him by praying, making du`a’, or reading Qur’an. There is no other time like it. The Prophet said: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One, descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: ‘Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything so that I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?'” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Set a Time for Reflection:

In the midst of our busy schedule, we seldom find time to stop and relax, let alone reflect on the realities of life. Make time to do this. Take time to step outside of your daily routine and introspect about where you are and where you’re going. Reflect on the creation around you and on the reality of this life, death, and our final meeting with our Creator. Choose a time, such as the last third of the night, when there are no distractions.

Take a Trip to Allah:

We all need to get away sometimes. Use Ramadan as a chance to go away with Allah as your companion. ‘Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah used to practice I`tikaf (seclusion) in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan” [Bukhari].

Don’t Miss the Night of Power:

There is a night in the last ten nights of Ramadan that is greater than a lifetime (1000 months, 83.3 years). The Prophetsaid: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr (power) with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Aisha said: “I asked the Prophet , ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.'” [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi

Bottom Line: Make the most of every minute of the remaining days of this holy month…we know not if we will make it to the next…

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