Advice for the Auspicious Nights

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Various approaches are implied by the Muslims to gain the most out of the nights which have been declared to be auspicious. Among these are the last 10 (odd) nights of Ramadhān which are generally thought to contain Laylah al Qadr.

Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani mentioned that these last nights of Ramadhān are meant for the servant to foster a strong relationship with his Master (Allah). Hence one should strive to worship Allah Ta’ālā by:

1. Reciting Qur’an in abundance, since this is the month of Qur’an.

2. Making lots of Du’aa – asking Allah for the bounties of this world and the hereafter.

Numerous supplications from Qur’an and Hadith have been nicely compiled in Munajāt e Maqbool (1) by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi which may be read during these nights.

3. Offering Nafl (voluntary) Salah – whereby:

a. the Qiyām is prolonged through lengthy recitation from the Qur’an

b. the Rukū‘ is prolonged through Tasbeeh – by reciting these, for example :

سبحان ربي العظيم
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

c. and the Sajdah is prolonged through Du’aa – a Hadith (2) mentions that the person is closest to His Rabb (Lord) in this state. Arabic prayers, that are mentioned in Qur’an and Hadith, should be whispered herein;

The person should hence strive to make the most out of these nights through personal ‘Ibādah (worshipping) in seclusion, during the darkness of these nights. On the contrary, arranging gatherings and feasts during these auspicious moments is against the purpose of these nights.

Adapted from the Jumu’ah discourse delivered (on 23rd Ramadhān 1437 A.H/ June 8th 2018) by Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani

(1) It’s available with Urdu and English translations which should be used alongside to understand what is being said and asked in these Du’aas. The English translation (along with a brief commentary) had been published as “Accepted Whispers” (translated by Khalid Baig).

(2) أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( أقرب ما يكون العبد من ربه وهو ساجد فأكثروا الدعاء) مسلم ( 482 )

Darul Uloom Karachi’s Masjid underneath the Cresent moon, during Ramadhān
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With the Hardship there is Ease !

 

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

قال الله تعالى في سورة الشرح

إِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا

 

“Undoubtedly, along with the hardship there is ease.” (Sūrah al Sharh: Verse 7)

 

While explaining this verse at a Jumu’ah lecture, Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (مد ظله) mentioned that this can have three meanings/possibilities :

1. Along with every hardship, there are numerous factors of ease as well (for example, while having a particular disease(s), a person is still saved from a thousand others).

2. Hardships are generally temporary and hence, after every hardship, there comes a period of ease.

3. Hardships allows us to gain huge rewards which we shall be able to reap in the Ākhirah (Hereafter). Hence, with every hardship in this life, there’s an increase in the ease and pleasure in the life after death.

—–

Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (رحمه الله) used to say that the hardships are also faced by the pious (Ahlullāh) and they may even appear to be concerned, anxious and/or grieved about it. However, that anxiety and grief doesn’t enter their “heart”, due to which, the core of their “heart” remains peaceful and content.

Hazrat would also say that one can experiences proximity with Allah the Most High during the times of trials and difficulties (and this “closeness to Allah” itself renders an immense and pleasurable “ease” while being in the “hardship”- Talhah).

– Adapted from a Jumu’ah discourse of Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and published discourses and anecdotes of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib.

A view of Darul ‘Uloom Karachi on a cloudy day

Leave the Sins Before they Shall Leave You! 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

 

Sayyidi, Hazratwala Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (رحمه الله) used to say that sins will depart and leave you eventually – when you will die, all the sources of sins and means of taking unlawful pleasures will leave you (they will either be no more usable like your body parts, they will either stay in this world or they may even depart you during your life by having their life ended). However, having left sins at such point in time will not render you any reward. Whereas, if you will leave them before they leave you, by using your Ikhtiyār (will power and ability), then you will gain huge reward, tranquility, closeness with Allah Ta’ālā and an eternal paradise. Therefore, now you decide which way you wish to adopt – leaving sins using your will power to become a friend of Allah or the sins leaving you, without you being able to do anything (for which, you will not gain any reward; rather, you will be punished for having spent your life in sins).

– Adapted from published discourses of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (Rahimahullāh).

img_20171008_001809_649.jpg
A Glimpse of the Masjid and Khanqah of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (رحمه الله) in Karachi, Pakistan

A Simple Routine for Islah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Many of us wish to start walking on the path of righteousness but either we’re hesitant to start or, sometimes, aren’t sure where to start from. By implying this simple act on a daily basis, we can begin and continue our journey towards Falāh (salvation), In Shaa Allah.

Sayyidi, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani mentioned (at a local gathering of a Masjid situated in an economically less privileged area near Darul’Uloom) that an easy, yet effective (In Shaa Allah), method for Islah (Personal reformation) is that when one wakes up in the morning, he/she should start the day with the remembrance of Allah Ta’ālā. So around Fajr, one should ask Allah Ta’ālā for assistance for strength to perform good deeds and to abstain from prohibitions. One should seek Allah’s refuge from sins and mishappenings. Alongside, one should make a firm resolution to strive him/her-self for it throughout the day. The desired actions include the modes of worship (‘Ibādāt) like Salāh, adoption of permissible ways for earning, guarding one’s tounge and sight, fulfilling others’ rights, and leading the day throughout as desired by the Sharī’ah (Islamic guidelines).

Then at night, before falling asleep, one should review his performance throughout the day (Muhāsbah). For all the good actions that he/she was able to perform and for the bounties that were received, one must express gratefulness to Allah Ta’ālā (Shukr). Then, for all the mistakes and sins that one slipped to commit, one must repent and make a firm resolution not to commit that again (Istighfār). Also, one must remain patient for anything that went against one’s will and desire (Sabr). By doing these acts, which consume a few minutes each day, one can gradually attain closeness with Allah Ta’ālā and this will lead to his reformation (Islāh) over the time (In Shaa Allah)

– Adapted from a short discourse after a Zuhr Salāh by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani.

 

Sunrise at Clifton Beach, Karachi, Pakistan

Two Deeds at the End of Ramadhān

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As the blessed month of Ramadhān approaches it’s end, the believers strive to make the most out of these auspicious moments before they end.

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Saheb Usmani mentioned that at the end of Ramadhān, we need to perform two important deeds:

1. Shukr (i.e expressing gratitude to Allah Ta’ālā) for whatever good deeds one was able to carry out during Ramadhān. We should acknowledge the utmost Tawfīq (guidance), granted by Allah Ta’ālā, which enabled us to accomplish whatever we could.

2. Istighfār (i.e. repenting for the mistakes and sins). Nevertheless, we couldn’t appreciate the true worth of such a blessed month and the auspicious blessings and opportunities it called us to avail. Through Istighfār, it is hoped that Allah Ta’ālā will not make us answerable to our lackings and sins in the hereafter.

– Adapted from a discourse at Jumu’ah by Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani. Talhah

A typical serving of dates and Qahwah for Iftār (taken from the internet)

Laylah al Qadr and the Lesson against Disputes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

While striving to increase our worshipping during the last 10 nights of Ramadhān, we must also remind ourselves of this important lesson!

Narrated by Ubada bin As-Samit رضي الله عنه :

The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم came out to inform us about the night of qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said, “I came out to inform you about the night of qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it..”

Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 32, Night Prayer in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)

Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Saheb mentioned, after referring to this narration, that our beloved Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم didn’t forget the knowledge about Laylah al Qadr without Allah Ta’ālā’s will. Rather, Allah Ta’ālā had intended for us to strive more (throughout the odd nights during the last 10 days of Ramadhan) to receive the immense rewards of this blessed night. However, through this incident, Allah Ta’ālā further revealed the wrongfulness of the act of altercation and dispute (1).

– Adapted from a discourse at Jumu’ah by Shaikh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

(1) Thereafter, the Shaikh continued his talk by mentioning this: https://sayyidtalhah.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/avoiding-disputes/

A Spiritual view of the Jāmi’ Masjid Bayt ul Mukarram, Karachi, at night

Difficulties and Calamities – Win in a ‘No-Win’ Situation!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

At times Allah makes someone fall into a trouble so that he/she may get closer to Allah by means of:
1. Pardoning of sins – It’s mentioned in a narration that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم said: “There is no calamity that befalls a Muslim but Allah expiates (sin) thereby, even a thorn that pricks him.”

(Narrated by Imām al Bukhārī and Imām Muslim)

Note: For major sins, however, proper Tawbah (repentance) should be made (i.e. remorse should be present in the heart along with determination that it will not be repeated)

 

2. Gaining huge rewards by practicing Sabr – i.e. remaining satisfied with Allah’s decree and not getting lazy in fulfilling His commandments out of despair.

Allah Ta’ālā says “Give glad tidings to the Sābirūn (patient ones)” (Surah Al Baqarah: 155).

 

3. Making Du’aa – one becomes deeply attached with Allah by making Du’aa. Allah loves when an ‘Abd (slave of Allah) begs in front of Allah and shows his Ihtiyāj (destitute).

 

4. Undergoing Islāh (Reformation) – misfortunes and afflictions give person a chance to change him/her-self. If this change shall ensue in a positive way (i.e. one becomes more obedient towards Allah and leaves away sins) then this will rather turn out to be a great ‘fortune’.

So imagine you attaining attachment with Allah, The Most High, due to a trivial, worldly mishappening ! Thus some pious person said in a verse:

جو ساتھ تم بھی ہو تو غم کا کیا غم ہے

If one attains friendship of Allah then grief for the mishap, that enabled this to happen, will surely be replaced with joy and tranquility.

 

Sunnah: Upon getting any sort of affliction (be it a prick of a thorn), one should recite the following:

إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي وَأَخْلِفْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا

Translation: We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it.

(Narrated by Imam Muslim)

 

Lastly, remember that any event that’s going to happen in our lives is either going to make us happy or make us sad. A believer utilizes both these opportunities to gain closeness with Allah – he does Shukr (offers gratitude) at that which makes him feel joyful and practices Sabr (patience) at that which makes him grief stricken. So thereby he gains benefit from both sort of situations! Thus a Hadith states ‘Amazing is the affair of believer’, and then it refers to the aforementioned phenomenon (Narrated in Sahih Muslim)

 

Adapted from various discourses by Ulama and Shuyukh

 

Sūrah al Baqarah, Verses: 155-157 (picture taken from the internet)