You Must Learn

The wife and I have decided to upgrade our afterlife skills by pursuing the Program Takrif Islam course through PERGAS. It’s a ‘basic’ course, no doubt, but there are many areas that would be considered ‘basic’ where I feel like I am genuinely lacking as a Muslim, and I was attracted to the fact that there is a progression path for those taking the course on to Sijil Pengajian Islam, Sijil Lanjutan Pengajian Islam, Diploma Pengajian Islam and the Bachelor in Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage, offered in conjunction with the International Islamic University Malaysia. Given the heritage and leadership of PERGAS, I trust that I am in good hands and I pray insha Allah that whatever knowledge I gain is beneficial in this life and the next.

I really feel like maybe I missed out a little in not studying beyond the fundamentals of Islam when I was younger, and that all this is is a chance to play catch-up, as I move into my thirties. And I understand that this is but a small dip into the ocean of the wealth of Islamic knowledge, and that to truly pursue knowledge (and wisdom) will take a lifetime, and even then it will never be enough.  I just read this post, and it was both relevant and immensely humbling. Wa Allahu Alam.

In wordly matters, I think that to some degree my lack of experience and relevant knowledge in the areas I wish to explore career-wise is hindering my job progression. To that end, I’ve decided that I want to pursue a certificate in visual communication/graphic design, and take a second degree or a masters in mass communication. It’s what I should have done in the first place I realise, but maybe my head wasn’t in the right place when I was younger and in any case there’s no point complaining about what’s passed, just to look forward to better things in the future, insha Allah.

Wa Allahu Alam.

Peace be upon you.

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Fiqh takeaways – Sunnah Prayers (Part 1)

I’ve been regularly attending a class on fiqh, covering the text Muqodimmah Al-Hadromiyah by Shaykh Abdallah bin Abdul Rahman Bafadhol (the text used is an Indonesian translation by Abdul Qadir Ahmad Mauladdawilah, published by Ar-Roudhoh). For the sake of revising and reminding myself, and anybody who happens to come across this blog I’ve decided to do brief, ‘fiqh takeaway’ posts to summarise the lessons for the week. I’ll be starting with the chapter on sunnah prayers.

  • Witr
    • Afdal after the sunnah prayers offered in jemaah
    • Minimum of 1 raka’at, maximum of 11 raka’at (but to regularly pray only 1 rakaat of witr is a makruh act)
    • While wajib in the Hanafi madhab, it is a sunnah muakkadah (emphasised sunnah that the Prophet ﷺ was not known to have left) in the Shafi’i school
    • Best to pray the last raka’at of witr just before Fajr/Subuh
    • This time, the last third of the night, is called sahar, and it is the best for istighfar
    • Linguistic clarification: sahur is the food that is eaten, sohur is the time
    • Hadith:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

    • Beneficial to recite the du’a of  Yunus ( عليه السلام‎) forty-one times after witr for relief from worry/stress. This is according to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq
    •  الله‎ يا Ya Allah two hundred times quietly for fulfilment of one’s hajat (wishes)
  • Rawatib prayers
    • The Prophet (ﷺ) used to lie on his right side after praying the two sunnah raka’ats of Fajr and recite a du’a (which unfortunately I was unable to take down and have been unable to trace so far…)
    • The rawatib sunnah prayers are afdal over the tarawih prayers in the month of Ramadan
    • Certain sunnah prayers fall under the category of Ghair muakkadah, i.e, there is dispute over whether Prophet (ﷺ) left them
    • There is khilaf among scholars over when Maghrib ends, that is, whether it ends with the beginning of Ishak or whether it ends approximately half an hour after the adhan of Maghrib.
    • As such, it is better to pray the fardh prayers immediately after the azan.
    • While there are two raka’ats of sunnah qabliyah prayer before the fardh Maghrib prayers, the Shafi’i madhab allows for them to be prayed after the fardh prayers
    • According to a narration from Tarmidhi, ibn Masud prayed four raka’ats of sunnah prayers before and after the communal Juma’ah prayers. This is not bid’ah.
  • Tarawih
    • The Prophet ﷺ prayed eight raka’ats of tarawih prayer, and an increasing number of sahaba would join him in prayer in the mosque. This continued for four days consecutively, and on the fifth day the jemaah showed up but the Prophet did not. This was out of mercy for the ummah so that they would not consider the tarawih an obligation upon them.
    • Umar instituted the practice of twenty raka’ats  prayed in jemaah during his time as Khalifa, as he noted the sahabah praying tarawih in Ramadan individually and wished to bring them together. This, Umar stated, was “nikmatul bid’ah”, or the best form of innovation. It should also be noted that none among the ummah ever fought with Umar over this issue.
    • The ustaz noted that the late scholar Habib Ahmad Semait often faced complaints from his jemaah over why they prayed twenty raka’ats when such a thing was never practiced by the Prophet ﷺ, with Habib Ahmad stating that they were free to pray eight raka’ats if they so wished and as it was not obligatory to pray tarawih they could choose to sit at the coffeeshop instead if they were so offended by it.
    • The people of Madinah prayed thirty-six raka’ats of tarawih during the time of Imam Malik. During that time, the people of Makkah made tawaf around the Ka’bah after every four raka’ats of prayer. As the Madinans were obviously unable to make tawaf, Imam Malik stated that they would substitute an extra sixteen raka’ats of prayer for the tawaf.
    • The ustaz said that anyone who would criticise the ijtihad of as great a scholar as Imam Malik, the teacher of Imam Shafi’i, in this day and age should first go to the mirror and check for his own flaws.
  • Duha
    • Duha is prayed a minimum of two raka’ats and a maximum of eight raka’ats
    • The prayer time starts approximately sixteen minutes after Syuruk
    • No difference between duha and ishraq prayers
    • Best prayed at approximately 9-10am, as per a hadith of the Prophet ﷺ which stated that the best time to pray was when weaning camels got up from resting on the sand (because of the heat from the sun)
    • Duha is valid until istiwa’ (true noon)
    • A hadith states that sadaqah is enjoined upon every joint of the human body, and two raka’ats of duha prayer is sadaqah for every joint in the body
    • He who prays two raka’ats of duha will not be written down as one who is unobservant and one who prays four raka’ats will be considered as a good person, one who prays ten raka’ats will have his sins forgiven and one who prays twelve raka’ats will attain Jannah. This is from a da’if (weak) hadith from Imam Nawawi (My notes are unclear on this point, if I misinterpreted my lessons here please forgive me).
This is the lesson as I remember it. Any mistakes here are my own. Wa Allahu Alam. More posts to come, insya Allah.
Peace be upon you.
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The Intentions of Marriage

From here:

“Kitab an-niyat كتاب النيات (book of intentions)”

by Al Habib Muhammad bin A’lawi al-A’idarus (Sa’d)

The Intentions of Marriage

The following are intentions one should have when entering into marriage. The intentions were composed by the great Shaykh, the ‘Arif of Allah, ‘Ali bin Abi-Bakr as-Sakran, may Allah shower them both with mercy.

I intend to enter into this marriage and take this wife (or husband) for the love of Allah ‘Azza-wa-Jall and to have children so that the human race shall continue. I also intend [to enter this marriage] for the love of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, so that he may take pride in it, as he said: “Marry and increase in numbers, as I will take pride in you before other nations on the Day of Judgement.

I have intended in this marriage—and all the actions and words that come from it—to be blessed by the prayer of a pious child; or for his intercession if he dies young before me. I have intended by this marriage to protect myself from Satan, by breaking the desire, [and thus] breaking the temptations of Satan, to lower the gaze, and reduce the Wiswas (withdrawing whisperer). I have also intended to protect my private parts from lewdness (illegal intercourse).

I have intended in this marriage the amusement of the self and to bring joy to it through by companionship (with my spouse); looking, and playing freely and to bring comfort to the heart and strengthening it for worship.

I have intended in this marriage the relief of the nafs and cherish it through companionship, the pleasure that comes through gazing at one’s spouse, mutual foreplay, the repose that floods the heart and strengthening it for worshiping.

I have intended by it, the relieving of the heart from the worries of housekeeping, cooking, sweeping, making the bed, cleaning the dishes and taking care of lively duties.

I have intended by this marriage, to struggle with the nafs and to train it ‘through care and guardianship’, to fulfill the rights of the family and to be patient with their characters, to endure the harm that comes from them, to work towards making them good, to guide them to the religious path, to struggle to seek lawful earnings for them, to command them to discipline the children by also asking from Allah for it and success for his sake and to drop between his hands and to show the excessive need towards Him in gaining it. I have intended all the previous for Allah Almighty.

I have intended all the previous and more from whatever I control, say and do in this marriage for Allah Almighty.

I have intended in this marriage whatever Your righteous servants and Your acting scholars have intended.

Allahumma, give us success as you have given them, help us as you have helped them. Overlook our shortcomings, accept [this] from us and do not entrust us to ourselves, even for the blink of an eye. Make good for us, all of the previous, by Your Grace and Generosity in good and in good health.

Allahumma, forgive us and have mercy upon us, be content with us and accept from us. Enter us into paradise and save us from the hell fire and make good all of our affairs. Allahumma, grant me in everything—in this marriage and all of my affairs—Your Help, Blessing and Peace. Protect me from preoccupying myself with other than You and do not put obstacles between me and Your obedience and make this marriage sufficient and virtuous for me. Allahumma, I—my moments of movement and stillness—am entrusted to You, so protect me; wherever I happen to be, take my affairs as You have taken the affairs of Your pious servants.

Allahumma, help us, together with our parents, children, spouses, our Shuyukh, our brothers, all our relatives, all those who come from the same womb as us, all those who have rights over us, and those who have the minimum of rights over us. Allahumma, assist me in remembrance of You, gratitude towards You and excellence in You worship, O Lord of the Worlds. Allahumma, guide us and grant us success, O Lord of the Worlds. Allahumma, make us live this life by Your Book and the Sunnah, O the One who is Majestic and Noble. Allahumma, we ask you by that which is accepted from us and by whatever brought us closer to You. Ameen. And send blessings and salutations, by Your Majesty, to the most noble of all envoys, Muhammad the seal of all prophets, his family and companions. And all praise is to Allah Lord of the Worlds.

Allahumma Ameen.

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At least part of the process of growing up in ‘modern’ society involves going through ‘phases’, which are manifested outwardly in our manner of dressing. So when I was younger, everybody was a skater, or a punk, or a metal head, or a B-Boy/B-Girl, or rude boys/girls, or something or other. This exists now too, but I think the lines are more blurred. Now that I’m older that type of thing isn’t exactly age appropriate, but the desire to dress up and dress nice still exist.

Anyway, where I was going with this is that for myself I’m trying to find a grown-man style for myself. Ladies in this regard have it easier. Just look at the number of hijabi women’s style blogs that have popped up in the last few years. But how do men go about finding a style that’s dressy but casual, nothing too fancy but in accordance with the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ?

Rapper/poet Baraka Blue in the picture below is close to what I’m imagining. An outfit that would be fairly ordinary ‘smart casual attire’ but the sunnah accessories of the beard, kufi, shawl and ring make it recognisably Muslimin wear. Wallahu Alam.

Baraka Blue

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At last..

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Attention Deficit Disorder?

Results of your
Attention Deficit Disorder Quiz

You scored a total of  57

You appear to be suffering from a moderate amount of attention and concentration difficulties according to your responses to this self-report questionnaire. You should not take this as a diagnosis of any sort, or a recommendation for treatment. However, it would be advisable and likely beneficial for you to seek further diagnosis from a trained mental health professional soon to rule out a possible attention disorder.
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Everlast – What It’s Like

I recently came across this on a mixtape I found online. I haven’t really listened to this since the halcyon days of the late 1990s/early 2000s and was struck by how profound a statement the song and video really made. A reminder to all of us to avoid passing judgement on others, because we don’t know the situations they’re in and we definitely don’t know their standing in the eyes of God. Insya-Allah.


Working Week Woes

Coming back from two weeks of National Service, as tiring and back-breaking as it was, helped me break out of the day to day grind of work. This isn’t the first time I’ve appreciated NS for getting me out of a situation I didn’t want to be in, and it probably won’t be the last.

I’ve posted a little bit about my work situation before, and for the sake of privacy I don’t really want to post too much. Regardless, this job just isn’t what I was expecting and I don’t see a future for myself in the organisation. Among my main grievances are the lack of concrete job descriptions and responsibilities, and the lack of possibilities for job advancement. There are other reasons, of course, but nothing I can go into here, even behind the veil of so-called anonymity,

I think writing about it earlier I would’ve been much angrier. As of now I’m just resigned that this is the reality of my job for now, and to just bear with it until I find something better.

Alhamdulillah it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been able to make time to pray regularly, I’ve made friends, I’ve hopefully become more mature in a personal and professional sense and I’ve saved enough money to get married. So I take the good with the bad and try to understand the lessons I’ve had to learn and grow from.

Wa Allahu Alam.


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Native Deen – I Am Near

I think the use of auto-tune was a misstep but this video, to me at least, is deeply moving and the message is at the core of what being a Muslim is about.


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