Fearing Allah in secret & in public

Allah the Almighty promises Paradise to His servants who fear Him in secret or in public. It is said in the Qur’an:

And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires, then surely the Garden – that is the abode. (Nazi`at, 79/40-41).

And

This is what you were promised: (it is) for everyone who turns frequently (to Allah]) and keeps (His limits), who fears the Beneficent Allah in secret and comes with a penitent heart. (Qaf, 50/32-33).

And

Their sides draw away from (their) beds; they call upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and they spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them. (Sajdah, 32/16).

The nights of the Messengers and Friends of Allah, which they spend in fear of Allah and in hope of His beneficence, are brighter than the day, for their nights are filled with the serenity and spirituality of their prostration in tears.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ􏰂: the modest one

To Muhammad ﷺ􏰂, Prophethood did not mean temporal glory. Though there have been prophets who were kings, he preferred to be a servant of Allah rather than a king. (Haythami, al-Majmu`a az-Zawa’id, IX: 192.)

Heﷺ busied himself with the problems of his community. Heﷺ offered assistance to the needy. Heﷺ assigned living space at one corner of the mosque to the poor among his Companions, and he personally looked after those Companions, who worked hard to learn the religion of Islam.

His humility was extraordinary. Heﷺ never concerned himself with his own interests. His sole concern was to help people find the true path so that they could reach salvation both in this world and the Hereafter.

Hadrat A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) talked about how the Prophet 􏰂ﷺ used to help her with the housework. “My father Abu Bakr sent us a leg of mutton one night. The Prophet 􏰂ﷺ held it while I tried to cut it up, and I held it while he tried to cut it up.” One of the listeners asked A’ishah whether they had attempted this in the dark. Hadrat A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) answered, “When we had oil to put in the oil lamp, we preferred to use that oil for food. The family of the Prophet used to spend months without a piece of bread, or without boiling a kettle for food at home.” (Ahmad, VI:217; Ibn Sa`ad, I:405).

15th Ramadan: Birth of Sayyidina Hazrat Imam Hasan (‘Alaihi salaam)

Imam Hasan (‘alaihi salaam) Leader of the youth of Paradise, Grandson of the Prophet ﷺ, was born on the 15th of Ramadan.
Sayyidinaa Imam Hasan ibn Ali (‘alaihi salaam) the oldest son of Sayyidinaa Imam ‘Ali Asadullah Karam Allahu wajhahu and Khatuna Jannah Sayyidah Fatimah az Zahra ‘alaiha salaam, was born in Madinatul Munawwarah. He was extremely handsome (as his name suggests) and is known to have born a strong resemblance to the Holy Last Messenger Sayyidinaa Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim. When the Companions remembered and yearned for Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim, after his wisal, they would go and see Sayyidinaa Imam Hasan ‘alaihi salaam. After the martyrdom of Amir al Mu’mineen Sayyidinaa Imam ‘Ali al Murtadha ‘alaihi salaam, he succeeded his father in Khilafat, and then handed the reins to Amir Muawiya (Radi Allah Anhu) as foretold by Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) thereby uniting two conflicting groups of Muslims. He performed Hajj 25 times. Like his honorable father Sayyidinaa Amir ul Mu’mineen Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib Karam Allahu wajhahu, he was honored with Martyrdom [Shahadat] a mark of distinction which would become one of the salient features of the Blessed Ahl ul Bayt [alaihumus salaatu was salaam] when he was poisoned. The believers secretly hope and pray for martyrdom, desiring to leave this world in the blessed month of Ramadhan. Along with Sayyidinaa Imam Hussain ‘alaihi salaam he is the leader of the youth in Jannat.

 #LeaderofJannah

Ramadan Mubarak

Allah says, concerning His Majestic Book:

The Month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, [containing] clear proofs of guidance, and the criterion of distinguishing right from wrong. (Al-Qur’an 2:185)

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We encourage all of the believers to refrain from all of the ruinations of the tongue during Ramadan. In his seminal work, “Quickening the Religious Sciences,” Imam al-Ghazali (rah) mentions them as the following:

a) Speaking in matters that do not concern one.

b) Excessive speech.

c) Speaking about sinful matters.

d) Disputation and contestation.

e) Argumentation.

f) Excessively embellished speech.

g) Lewd, insulting, or crude speech.

h) Invoking the Curse of God on someone.

i) Singing indecent songs, or relating immoral poetry.

j) Excessive joking.

k) Sarcasm and ridicule.

l) Revealing secrets.

m) False promises.

n) Lying and false oaths.

o) Backbiting and slander.

p) Instigating tense relations between people.

q) Being two-faced.

r) Praising someone who is either undeserving, or unable to remain humble when praised.

s) Speaking about involved subjects and ideas one lacks the necessary knowledge or eloquence to adequately convey.

t) Ordinary folk speaking in subjects that are the domain of specialists.

May Allah spare us from these ruinations both during and after Ramadan.

The Prophet, Peace and Blessing of Almighty God be upon Him, said: “Whoever fails to leave off ruinous speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], God does not need him to leave off eating and drinking.” Al-Bukahri

We encourage the believers to avoid all arguments, disputes, and unnecessary worldly entanglements during this blessed month. This is a time for deep devotion and dedication to Allah.

We encourage the believers to work to restore any severed relations or kinship ties they may be experiencing. This is a time when the gentle breezes of Divine Facilitation are blowing. Any good we endeavor during this blessed month will come to bear its proper fruits, Insha Allah.

We encourage all of the believers to eat simply during this month. One should try to make a vow to give up unnecessary, and generally unhealthy fare during this blessed month. Pizza, ice cream, fast food, pastries, and soda should all go. We should make our solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters in other lands real, and not something confined to speeches and pamphlets.

If one is in the habit of watching television, or listening to commercial music, one should also try to give these things up for Ramadan. They are things that divert us from the remembrance of God in any case. During this special month when every letter we recite from the Majestic Qur’an is tremendously rewarded, we should busy ourselves with recitation, and drop other pastimes.

Married believers should encourage their wives to engage in spiritual pursuits during this month, i.e. reciting the Qur’an, attending Tarawih, etc. They should especially avoid burdening their wives with long hours in the kitchen in order to host extravagant Iftars. While it is certainly virtuous to provide the wherewithal for the believers to break their fast, dates, water, and simple dishes suffice in that regard.

These are some of the things we wanted to convey to you. Hopefully, they will prove of benefit. Again, we wish you a very successful Ramadan and would like to thank all of you for past, present, and future support. May Allah bless us to serve you better in the future.

On behalf of the Zaytuna Staff,

Your Brother in Islam,

Imam Zaid Shakir

Ramadan Kareem


The moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia. Ramadhan 1437 will begin tonight. 
May we all be blessed with Allah’s mercy on this first night of this month, may He forgive all of our sins, accept all of our fasts and worship, and may this month be a means of gaining nearness to Him and His beloved salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam. 

Please keep me and my loved ones in your blessed prayers.

#RamadanKareem #RamadanMubarak #Ramadan

Salawat’us-Sharifah

In the Holy Quran, Allah, glory unto Him, vows by the Prophet’s life. Mentioning his great name next to His Own, the Almighty has required belief in his prophethood, as a precondition of being a worthy servant. Allah took offense in others raising their voices in the presence of His Beloved , cautioning against calling out his name like any other. What’s more, the Almighty has stated that He and the angels send their numerous blessings, salawat’us-sharifah, to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), ordering his ummah amply do the same.

In accordance with the ayah:

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O Believers! Send your blessings on him and salute him with all respect,” (al-Ahzab, 56) sending salawat’us-sharifah to that Great Being is a duty for all Believers, laid down by Allah, glory unto Him.

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Narrating the following is Ubayy ibn Kab (RadiAllahu Anhu):

“A third of the night had passed when the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) awoke from his sleep and said:

‘Remember Allah, people, remember Allah! Blown will be the first horn that will rattle the ground. Then will follow the second. Death will arrive with all its intensity; death will arrive with all its intensity…’

‘I send lots of salawat’us-sharifah, Messenger of Allah’,said I. ‘How often should I do it?’

‘As much as you wish’ he (Peace and blessings be upon him) replied.

‘Would it be right if I spared a quarter of my prayer for it?’ I again inquired.

‘Spare as much from it as you wish’, he advised. ‘But it will be better for you if you spared more.’

‘Then I will spare half ’, I proposed.

‘As you wish…But better if you spared more’, said he.

‘How about I spared two-thirds then?’

‘As you wish… But better if you spared more’.

‘How would it be then if I send salawat’us-sharifah in the entire time I spare for prayer?’ I then asked.

‘If you do’, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘then Allah will rid you of all your troubles and forgive your sins.’” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamat, 23/2457)

Devotees of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), therefore, embrace the salawat’us-sharifah as a continuous chant, for they are means of increasing the love of the Prophet in a Believer’s heart. Appropriately following the Blessed Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and making the most of the quintessential example he has provided doubtless comes through a grasp of the reality of the Quran and Sunnah, which in turn is possible only by virtue of drawing closer to the exemplary morals of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and delving into the depths of his heart.

No mortal has succeeded in describing his (peace and blessings be upon him) essential attribute; his towering morals and disposition has eluded comprehension. The wise, those spiritual sultans, even the great Jibril (Alaihi Salaam), have all accepted being on his path as the greatest honor, begging by his door as the most indefinable bliss.

On another note, according to the manners of prayer advised by Islam, all prayers begin and end with thanking Allah, glory unto Him, and sending blessings to the Blessed Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). There is an established conviction that Allah, glory unto Him, never turns down a salawat’us-sharifah, which, in essence, is a prayer and plea to the Almighty; the precise reason as to why prayers are adorned with it, both in the start and in the end. That is to say, squeezing in personal prayers amid two, whose acceptances are highly expected, is to ensure their acceptance as well.

“A prayer is left hanging between the earth and the skies,” states Omar  “and is not raised to Allah until blessings are sent to the Messenger of Allah .” (Tirmidhi, Witr, 21/486)

Therefore do not forget sending your blessings and peace to him (peace and blessings be upon him)…for you too stand in need of his intercession in the darkest of hours!

Peace & Blessings

Things That Men Need to Pay Attention to in the Family

Supporting the religious and moral growth of women and children, assisting their education in the ways that will bring them eternal happiness, are among the most significant duties of men.

The happiness of a family depends on a righteous father’s strength of will. To be a righteous father means to be a father who provides his family with sustenance, discipline and protection. All these require a man to be intelligent, experienced, skilled and especially to have strong faith and good morals.

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To support the religious and moral growth of women and children, assisting their education in the ways that will bring them eternal happiness, are among the most significant duties of men. The Qur’an states:

O you who believe! Save yourselves and your fam- ilies from a fire whose fuel is men and stones … (66:6)

The full scope of this task encompasses the members of our families, our relatives, our neighbors and ultimately everybody in the country according to their positions and potentials; because just as families shape their greater environment, so also does the greater environment shape our families.

A father should pay attention to his family’s Qur’anic education and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and inspire them with a love for Allah and the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him). At the same time, it is necessary for him to teach his family the manners and customs of society.

A man has to protect his family from all kinds of negative influences. A father should keep children away from friends and places that may spoil their religion and morality, from the immoral shows on television, from vicious and worthless books and magazines. In short, protecting the family from attacks arriving both inside and outside the home is the responsibility of men.

A husband should speak pleasantly and gently with his wife; he should not alienate her by approaching her rudely and harshly. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) says:

The best of you is the one who is best in his treatment of women. (Tirmidhi, Rada, 11. See also Abu Dawud, Sunna, 15; Ibn Maja, Nikah, 50).

A wise man leaves his business life out of his home. He does not bring his problems home.

An intelligent and insightful man forgives his family members’ worldly mistakes and approaches them with mercy and compassion. He keeps his wife’s secrets and deficiencies from everybody.

However, he does not ignore his family’s faults in religious matters. He seriously confronts errors when they occur and heads off in advance mistakes that might be committed because of laziness or ig- norance. He meticulously does everything possible to support the religious education of his family. He teaches his children himself as much as he can and when necessary, he also gets professional help from effective scholars. These things, too, are among the responsibilities of the father.

A man should consult with his wife in family matters and should not give her responsibilities heavier than she can handle. He should help his wife with child care and discipline, because both child care and housework may exhaust her. Helping women in their work will increase mutual love and strengthen family ties.

A husband should pray for the welfare of his wife. He should not go on long trips without telling her in advance. He should also not bring guests home without getting her consent first. He should never insist that his wife go out in front of strangers to serve them. He should keep his family away from mixed environments as much as possible.

A father is like the sun in the sky of a family; a mother is like the moon, covered with veils of chastity; and the children are like the stars.

-An Excerpt from the book, “Peaceful Home: Paradise on Earth”