Archive | January, 2010

Salat-ul-Istikhara

31 Jan

Credits to this site~

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has said:

“If one of you is concerned about some practical undertaking, or about making plans for a journey, he should perform two Raka’aats (cycles) of voluntary prayer.” Then he should say the following Du’aa:

اللَّهمَّ إنِّي أستَخيرك بعلمكَ، و أستقدرك بقُدرتك، و أسْألك مِن فضلك العظيم،

فإنّك تَقْدر و لا أقْدِر، و تعلم و لا أعلم، و أنت علاَّمُ الغُيوب.

اللَّهمَّ إنْ كنتَ تعلم أنَّ هذا الأمْرِ خيرٌ لي في ديْني و معَاشي و عاقِبة أمري

– او قال عاجِل أمري و آجِله –

فاقْدِرْهُ لي و يسِّرْه لي ثمَّ بارِك لي فِيه،

و إن كنتَ تعلم أنَّ هذا الأمرِ شرٌّ لي في دِيني و معآشِي و عاقبةِ أمْرِي

– او قال في عاجِل أمرِي و آجِله –

فاصْرِفْه عَنِّي، و اصْرفْنِي عَنه، و اقْدِر لِيَ الخيْرَ حَيْثُ كان ثُمَّ ارْضِنِي بِه.

Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

Salatul Istikhara

We all turn to Allah during times when we are in need, and one of the most common methods and reasons for turning to Him is to seek His guidance through the Salaah of Istikhara.

Istikhara, in reality, means “to seek goodness from Allah” according to some Ulamaa and according to some it is “to seek guidance from Allah”. Whichever meaning we take, it is a prayer and supplication which is made by a believer to His Lord to help him in the time of need and confusion.

However, it is also a known fact that many people experience confusion about this particular prayer. The main reason for the occurrence of confusion is because the person who is offering this prayer is expecting divine guidance from Allah Ta’ala and therefore has this belief in this heart that whatever result and path he is shown to take will be the correct path and the most beneficial path for him chosen by Allah Himself.

However, when people offer this prayer, it is witnessed that the confusion of a person is not removed. Furthermore, the path that one appears to have been told to take is sometimes not a smooth and clear path; instead, the person apparently faces more difficulty in taking that path.

It is for this reason that it is vital to clear a few misconceptions and furthermore present a wonderful insight of a great scholar from the followers of Imaam Shafi’ee Rahimahullah.

First View

The first and most common view of Istikhara is that it is a prayer through which one seeks the guidance from Allah Ta’ala. It is a prayer that removes the confusion a person is experiencing in a matter he wishes to undertake; be that matter should you marry this certain person? Should you attend this graduate school? Should you take this job offer or that one?

Therefore, the person who performs this prayer does so in order to seek guidance from Allah Ta’ala and hopes that his heart will be inclined towards one of the two matters thus enlightening him as to what decision to make.

However, as mentioned before, we sometimes see that we do not receive any sort of inclination after the Istikhara, or that once the decision is made we go through difficulties in the option we followed due to the Istikhara.

Explanation

Primarily, it should be understood that, according to this view, we are seeking Allah’s complete knowledge to guide us and therefore we should understand that whatever path we take is the right path for us and no matter what apparent difficulties we go through there is some benefit for us within this path that Allah has inclined our hearts towards.

Furthermore, if we feel that there is no inclination towards a certain matter then the scholars have mentioned that we should perform the prayer several times until we do receive an answer from Allah Ta’ala.

Second View

Istikhara rather than being a prayer for guidance it is a supplication (Du’aa) to Allah Ta’ala and a prayer to seek goodness from Him. It is through this prayer that a person asks Allah Ta’ala to put goodness in whatever he decides to do and a supplication to Allah asking Him to guide him towards that in which there is goodness for him and keep him away from that which has no goodness for him.

(The explanation of the Imam that is given is very lengthy and takes a great effort to explain. Alhumdulillah I am in the process of completing the translation of this article which I will post in the near future, Insha Allah.)

In brief, the scholar mentions that if one is to believe that this prayer is that of guidance that it deems necessary to believe that Allah’s guidance is always correct as He has complete knowledge. However, we see many a times that the confusion still remains after the prayer and therefore it means that the promise from Allah was not fulfilled and through Istikhara one did not achieve what one was promised; and it is impossible for Allah to command of something and then not have that order achieve its results.

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi recalls one pious saint from the Shafi’ee group (which the author cannot recall) who mentioned an amazing insight about Salaat-ul-Istikhara. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, after mentioning this scholar’s amazing explanation, says himself that he is more inclined towards the Shafi’ee explanation of Istikhara and that this is the more correct opinion.

Explanation

With this view if we take into account the above issues and confusion that often occurs, the confusions still remaining and facing difficulties in the path the one took, we can say that Istikhara is a Du’aa and all Dua’aas are accepted by Allah but it is not necessary that it be in this world or immediately. Therefore, not receiving clarification would mean that Allah has accepted our Dua’aas (as He has promised to do so) but He has not answered it immediately, or that He will give us a greater reward for this supplication in the Hereafter.

Similarly, if we face difficulties in a chosen path it could have the same explanation as above or that Allah will shortly give us goodness in the matter we have chosen.

Benefits of this Second View

If one takes this second view into account then one will be able to make use of worldly means in able to make his decision and remove his confusion regarding the matter. Istikhara will be a supplication from Allah Ta’ala to help him in his decision and to give him goodness it whatever he chooses to do, whilst taking aid from the mediums will help resolve his confusion and assist him in making a decision.

Conclusion

We have been instructed by the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam to perform the Istikhara prayer whenever we make decisions in our life, especially when we make some major decisions in life. Therefore, we should always make an effort to perform this prayer of Istikhara, whether we see it as a way in receiving guidance or whether we perform it as a supplication.

Furthermore, we should always use the mediums that Allah has placed in this world to aid us with removing our confusions. The world has been referred to as “Darul Asbaab” (the place of mediums) and it is the wisdom of Allah that in order to acquire anything or even receive anything from Him we need to use the means and mediums that Allah has placed within this world.

Finally, we should always trust in the decisions that we take through the guidance of Allah and those that we take after supplicating to Him; His mercy is infinite and though Allah may shower His mercy with delay upon us, through His own wisdom, but He will surely guide us and aid us through those matters that we have taken with hope of His help and guidance. As the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam advised us in the final words of the Du’aa, “and make me content with it”, we should remain content with the decision we took with trust in Allah.

May Allah bless us with divine guidance from Himself and may He give us the understanding to make the correct decisions and may He put goodness in whatever He chooses for us to do. Aameen.

duties of God’s angels

22 Jan

They are the keepers of Paradise: “And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: Salaamun ‘alaikum (peace be upon you!). You have done well, so enter here, to abide therein.” (Qur’an, 39:73)

• They are the keepers of Hell, who are “stern and severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” (Qur’an, 66:6)

• There are angels that carry the Throne, glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the believers who repent sincerely. (Qur’an, 40:7)

• An angel is responsible for blowing the Trumpet to signal The Hour (Israfeel).

• Angels drive the clouds and descend with each drop of rain (Mikael and his helpers).

• Angels take a person’s soul at the time of Death (there is no authentic narration to state that the name of the angel of Death is Azra’eel).

• Angels test a person in the grave (Munkar and Nakeer).

• Angels are engaged in various acts of worship tirelessly: some are bowing, some are prostrating, some are standing in rows, some are circumambulating the House of Allah over the seventh heaven (Al-Bayt Al-Ma‘moor), which is the counterpart of the Ka’ba in the Heavens.

• Angels keep record of a person’s deeds, the “honorable scribes” (Kiraman Katibeen) who know all that we say and do. (Qur’an, 6:61; 43:80; 50:17-18)

• Angels protect a person throughout his life. “For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah.” (Qur’an, 13:10-11)

• An angel is responsible for the fetus in the womb, who “breathes the spirit into (the fetus), and is charged with four commands: to write down his provision, his life-span, his actions, and whether he will be wretched or happy.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

• There are angels who travel throughout the world, seeking out and gathering around assemblies of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah).

• Angels witness the recitation of the Qur’an at Fajr (Dawn): “Indeed, the recitation of Fajr is witnessed.” (Qur’an, 17:78)

• Angels are incharge of the stability of mountains, as mentioned in the authentic narration where the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was addressed by the angel of mountains at Taif, when he went there to call the people to Islam.

ol’ friends meet again

18 Jan

Meg’s 2*th birthday party celebration

Lots of fun though it was only for a short while! We played Taboo 🙂

Went off to meet other friends. Unfortunately no photo…

Next day was our celebration for Meg. Just us four girls.

what makes us happy

17 Jan

I’m unhappy.

I don’t know why i am unhappy but i know i’m not happy.

I wish i am an easier person to be with.

Someone who does not become unhappy so easily.

What makes it worse is i don’t know what makes me unhappy

thus making it harder for me to be happy again.

What makes people happy?

shopping? I did buy something really pretty but it didnt improve the state of my feelings

But then again…i think im volatile. Happy a moment, unhappy the next…

Are there such things as sudden unhappiness syndrome?

Because if there is, i would be a sufferer.

I don’t wish to be like this.

If only i had a choice.

Or do i?

Maybe its like being a big baby.

I become unhappy if i cant do what i want to.

Unfulfilled me causes unhappy me.

Maybe…

Does it work if i chant “i am happy” over and over?

Will it?

Or maybe think of the things which makes me happy.

Appreciate all the goodness in my life and feel good.

Feel good = feel happy.

I KNOW! Its the medicine!!!

(weirdly it makes me hungry very quickly, maybe it makes me unhappy quickly as well)

I’m super hungry now….adds to my un *ahem* happiness.

I shall try….

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

I am happy!

we never know what lies behind that facade

11 Jan

Marriage is suppose to protect us from zina and satisfy our natural human desires. Why then are married men resorting to such outlets to satisfy another type of human need? Does the problem lie with them or their wives?

This article(link) goes beyond the surface of the problem to find the cause, not just stopping sexual intimacy but physical and emotional intimacy. Is it the stress they face? They can even be leading double lives  so wives don’t only have to face their husbands addiction to pornography but much more stemming from just the husbands bad choices.

Below is a short paragraph extracted from the article :

The Secret Lives of Muslim Husbands

By  Abdul Lateef Abdullah

Writer, Counselor – Malaysia

As an IslamOnline.net cyber counselor, I am confronted on a regular basis with the growing phenomenon of pornography in the lives of Muslim husbands. Though it may come as a shock to many, according to concerned wives, pornography is becoming an increasing phenomenon for some Muslim men. It raises many questions, beginning with the most basic one: What is pornography an outlet for, specifically? Why are so many men turning to the “lesser adultery” or the adultery of the eyes despite their knowing – and not seeming to care – that both Allah and their wives are aware of their pastime? How can we better understand a Muslim adult male’s desire to indulge in viewing pornographic material despite its illicit nature?


dont we all love gifts?

10 Jan

I decided to show it off since i cant wear it out 🙂 It turns out my brother is the buying kind. He bought sovenoir for all of us! I was discussing this with Iq one day and we concluded that some people are the buying kind and some arent…

My other brother bought me a really really pretty dress from Vietnam 🙂

Hair clasp! and bracelet!

9 Jan

A friend’s problem become yours somehow even though you know there is only so much you can do. Advise and give ideas and try to give them support. I went searching for a case similar to theirs. I found this…

_________________________________________________

Marriage: A girl’s dilemma in the absence of parental consent

Q). A man from a Gulf country has proposed to me, but my parents refused on grounds of different cultures, as we come from Pakistan. He tried to talk to them, but my father refused to meet him. He only managed to talk to my mother and she refused his proposal. Is it possible that we get married without their consent?

S. Khan, Riyadh

A). Islam makes it clear that a girl’s father or guardian must act for her marriage. She may not act for herself, according to most scholars. That is because Islam views marriage as a union, which establishes a family, so it must be organized between families. This enhances a girl’s position and protects her rights.

However, in order not to let parents and guardians’ abuse this authority God has given them, the Prophet enjoins them to exercise it to the benefit of girls under their supervision. He says: “If someone whose strength of faith and honesty are satisfactory comes to you with a proposal of marriage, then give him your daughter in marriage. Unless you do, much conflict and corruption is likely to be the result.”

The criterion is thus well defined. People must make their judgement of any marriage proposal to their daughters or girls under their care in the light of this criterion. It is not right that class or difference of culture or status should be given paramount consideration. The basic issue is faith and honesty.

There is no way you can get married to this gentleman unless your father acts for you, with your consent in the marriage contract.

If a girl’s father is alive and present, no one else can act as her guardian. A marriage without the presence of a guardian is not valid. Hence your only way is to persuade your parents that this marriage is viable and likely to give you the happiness they undoubtedly want for you. You have to determine how you can achieve that, but make sure that your approach is not one of confrontation, because confrontation is likely to produce the wrong result. May be if your suitor makes his approach a family approach, you stand a better chance of persuading your parents to accept. That would mean that members of his family come to see your father, or women from his family come and see your mother first. If she is convinced then she may be able to persuade your father to moderate his stance. Whatever you do, make sure of remaining dutiful to your parents.

take from here!

stress busters

9 Jan

There are some really good points in this article…

the taboo topic

8 Jan

While i was blogsurfing, i came across this blog which was bookmarked. Click here and there and found this gem of an article. The author is a parent himself, speaking of the harms and benefits of sex ed in school.

I was never a fan of those, maybe im secretly jealous of the younger generation who got the chance at it. When little me was secondary school, i was such a shy girl. Don’t have many male friends because of that shyness. I grew out of it gradually in JC and poly, Alhamdulilah. Being shy is nothing to be ashamed of, it has made some actions natural to me.

Remembered in secondary 2 when we studied sexual reproduction during our ‘boring’ science lessons, the male species would laugh uncontrollably. What is there to be so excited about?! The test scores for that topic would be especially high. The male species would be most alive during that time of the day’s lesson. Maybe the jokes passed around during that time was beyond my innocence which explains why i didn’t take an interest in them.

In secondary school, we had maybe one or two sessions of sex education which i vaguely remember to be about abortion and the pain involved in the forcep method (using a device to extract the foetus out). The video was about STD’s as well.  We went into the AVA room thinking it was sex we were going to watch. *just imagine the excitement the male species displayed*

I think sex education has improved a great deal today. Must ask the teachers!

But then again, im not a fan of sex education because i dont think they’re any use. Many kids still want to experiment. There is so much the school can do to prevent unwanted pregnancies and its likes because the responsibility remains largely with the parents. There is a gap of months of school holidays when kids dont have much to do and no one to guide them, except the internet.

If you prevent them from using the internet, the school is making them use the internet for projects. I think its like the game you play in the arcades where you hit one head(in front), another grows on your left and when you hit that in, another grows from your right…..it never ends.

No one said parenting is easy. Similarly, planning a wedding is not an easy task, ensuring a lifetime of bliss (marriage) is an even harder thing to do. The author mentioned that its a fixed plan all parents encourage their children to have – child to teenager to University student to young adult establishing career to wife/husband. (The author couldnt have said it better)

Why should it be this way? Because weddings are costing a lot nowadays! Young adults cannot afford it. But the Prophet s.a.w said the best of weddings are the ones which cost the least and where poor people are invited. Many young couples in Singapore, of a certain race tend to head straight for a divorce in the following few years of their young marriage. The reason people draw upon is, that they are too young and immature to be in a marriage. There are many reasons…

I think one should go into a marriage when one is sure. And that should not take long, considering people of the past who got married to people their parents chose for them and yet they live happily to this day. Go into a marriage with the correct mindset and the correct intention – the purest…for Allah and to avoid zina.

There is a useful link in his article in which he addresses these questions related to Muslim parenting issues when sex education is involved and even shares his experience as a young adolescent.

what i’ve been up to

8 Jan

I was expecting the movie to go on when it ended! Hmm…it was an enjoyable movie nonetheless 🙂