Surah Al A’raf Series -1: Lessons from the surah ]

 

I used to think that In sha Allah I will go to paradise, but as I delve deeper into the Qur’an, I worry: what if I am not even among the people of Al-A’raf?

I did not notice the silent footsteps of this surah that made its way into my heart and settled there, in the process of reviewing the Qur’an a few Ramadans back.

Four years fast forward, as I started studying Surat Al-A’raf again, they rose up and nudged me. I was surprised to see them there and looked in the direction they were pointing me to turn.

They wanted me to see, understand, apply and share the immense resources in the Qur’an that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) made available for you and me, so that we could use them and try to at least end up on Al-A’raf.

So, here I am, delving into the Qur’an to search for treasures that can enrich our lives in this world and the hereafter.

These treasures are what we call ‘productivity lessons’. They are a reminder for myself before anyone else. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) enable us to acquire and apply them to the best of our abilities.

So are you ready for this treasure hunting spree? Let’s get going then.

Before we begin our journey into this surah to search for our treasures, let’s first gather the supplies we will need:

1- A pure intention

Umar Ibnul Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) told us: “I heard Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended…” [Sahih Bukhari]. We therefore must make our intentions clear and keep renewing them.

Our intention is to understand and apply the Qur’an as that is the book of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and it contains most precious information for us to live our lives while we are in this world.

2- Dua

This is the most powerful tool of a believer. You and I must have at some point made a dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to help us comprehend the Qur’an in a manner easy for us to apply. That is why we are here today; this is an answer to some duas of ours!

It’s time to make another one now.

“O Controller of the hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion” [At- Tirmidhi]

“O my Lord, as you brought us this far, help us correctly understand and implement Your Commands in a manner most pleasing to You.”

3- Seek refuge from the Satan

We all know that Satan’s sole purpose is to see all mankind in hell.

“(Satan)) said: “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all.”” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 16]

“Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them” [Qur’an: Chapter 15, Verse 40].

But we are too smart for him, right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taught us ways by which we can guard ourselves and deflect his attacks on us.

During the course of this journey into the surah, there might be times when we feel that a certain lesson is too hard for us to apply or that the timing to make that change is not right.

Remember these are all tricks of Iblis, as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has forewarned us in the Qur’an:

“Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 268]1

At times like this we should seek refuge often in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) from the accursed satan and continue on with determination and firm resolve.

4- Firm determination

Determination to complete this journey is a must. Tough times, difficult decisions and glittering distractions on the way can weaken us. But we have to persevere to stay on track, as a lot is at stake. Our hereafter is at stake. And you are not alone. We are all in this together. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has told us to be there for each other; to push and pull, drag and carry each other into paradise1 as He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told us:

“Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience” [Qur’an: Chapter 103, Verses 3-43]

And now, it’s time to get a clear picture of what exactly we are travelling towards, In sha Allah.

Background of the surah

Al-A’raf is the title of the seventh surah in the Qur’an, placed after Surat Al-An’am (The Cattle). Interestingly, Surat Al-A’raf was revealed before Surat Al-An’am. It is the longest Makki surah in the Qur’an, revealed towards the end of the Makkan period.

By “Makki”, scholars mean the period that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) spent in Makkah before he migrated to Madinah.

When the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) went public with the message of Islam calling everyone to it, he faced opposition and oh boy, what an opposition he faced! From thinly veiled insults to outright boycott, to personal harm, to public humiliation; you name it.

And the opposition against him ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and the other Muslims only escalated with time.

Quraish (the tribe that was settled in Makkah during that period) tried to always find points to argue with him ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), through the Qur’an, answered many of these points of argument.

Surat Al-A’raf is a continuation of the argument between the disbelievers and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

In Surat Al-An’am, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is telling the disbelievers that the Qur’an is sufficient as a revelation, whereas in Al-A’raf, He is telling them to look at the past. The past holds great lessons for all of us that primarily teach us to learn from our mistakes and those of others.

Scholars like Mujahid say that Al-A’raf is a barrier between paradise and hellfire.

In the Arabic language, “A’raf” is the plural of “urf” which is an elevated piece of land.

As I briefly stated in the beginning, those words were directing me towards an elevated piece of land between paradise and hellire, which house those people whose good and bad deeds are equal: their good deeds prevented them from entering hell, while their bad deeds prevented them from entering paradise.

Woah! What a feeling it must be! Saved for the time being!

And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations are men who recognize all by their mark. And they call out to the companions of Paradise, “Peace be upon you.” They have not [yet] entered it, but they long intensely. [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 46]

Productivity Lesson # 1 : Pay Attention!

Alif Laam Meem Saad [ Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 1]

These words are called the “huroof el muqata’at” and appear in 29 surahs in the Qur’an. They are recited separately. The word “huroof” is the plural of the Arabic word “harf” which means word. And “muqata’at” literally means “abbreviated”.

So in simple terms these words are abbreviations. Of what? We don’t know. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows the full form of these abbreviations.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) uses these words in the beginning of the surah to draw the attention of the listener. Strange words prick the ears of the listener and catch his attention, as he waits to know what follows.

So why are these placed in the beginning of the surah and how can they be our very first productivity lesson?

By telling us to look up, listen up, pay attention!

Attention is in very simple terms “directing a person’s mind towards something”.

According to Rick Hanson, the author of “Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of love, happiness and wisdom”, “attention shapes the brain.”

When we pay attention to something, we focus on something specific thus tuning out other irrelevant details, making us ignore other things.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants us to pay attention to the Qur’an when it is being recited so “…that you may receive mercy” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 204].

Just the Qur’an when it is being recited? No, but to everything that reminds us of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Whether it is a discussion between some people in a gathering, a forwarded message on our phones, a beneficial reminder in our Facebook feed or advice being given to us. A repeated act of paying attention will shape our minds and turn us more towards Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

So pay attention, as any single tiny good deed could be all we need to breeze over the A’raf and squeeze into paradise!

Do you think paying attention will do the trick by itself?

No, it won’t. There is something else that is needed along with it.

Productivity Lesson # 2: Focus

Attention is the act of looking in the direction of something, but focus is the act of actually looking at something.

Our relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the most important in our lives. If we pay attention to and focus on it, then In sha Allah, all our matters will fall in place.

The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) always focused on the person he was listening to. Focusing in salah and focusing on our work by avoiding distractions are some areas in which we all need help.

There are amazing resources on ProductiveMuslim that you can check out for maintaining focus.

Attention and focus are the building blocks of strong relationships. There are so many accounts of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) listening with attention and focus, even to little children.2

Subhan Allah! We learned some amazing lessons from just one ayah of the surah. I can’t wait to delve into it more!

Curious to know what’s coming up next? In sha Allah see you again next time with some more treasures from the Qur’an. Until then, I urge you to recite, read and learn more about the surah and share your thoughts below in the comments section.
(As appeared on productivemuslim.com)

Quran and Our Children

The quintessential needs for survival of a human being are food, clothing, shelter – and the Qur’an.
We are all born with a basic fitrah (disposition). Worshipping Allah I is embedded in our fitrah and hence the Qur’an is a basic need of our children. If we don’t fulfil it, we deprive them of something vital for their growth.
We might not be able to provide the best food for our children, or the best clothes, or a house with a back yard, but we can provide our children with the best access to the Qur’an.
How can we gather all the resources that Allah I has given us to feed the hearts of our children with the Qur’an?

1. Make du’a

The first step to attaining a goal, solving problems or completing a task is du’a. Time and again Allah I has shown in the Qur’an how the Prophets made du’a first. In the Qur’an (Al-Furqan:25-28), we are told how Musa u landed in Madyan and didn’t have a place to sleep or food to eat, and only had the clothes he was wearing. He made du’a and in the next few hours, he was provided with a job, a house to stay in and a wife.
Make these du’as abundantly for your children:
Rabbi j‘alni muqima salaaati wa min dhurriyati rabbana wa taqqabal du’a.
My Lord! Make me keep up my prayers and from my offspring (too) Our Lord! And accept my prayer (Ibrahim:40).
Rabbana hab lana min azwajina wa dhurriyatina qurrata a’yunin wa j’alna li lmutaqina imama
O my Lord! Grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes and make us guides to those who guard (against evil) (Al- Furqan:74).

2. Feed your heart with the Qur’an

Build your connection with Allah I, read Qur’an, understand it
and make goals for inculcating it in your life. Children are the best
copycats and love to copy their parents. Even before you can
actively start teaching them, you will be amazed by how these
memories of you will warm their hearts and propel them closer to
the Qur’an.
Make a daily habit of reading Qur’an; enrol for classes that teach
Qur’anic tafseer. If you can’t because of your schedule now, then
at least read the translation. Share the wonders that you read in
the Qur’an with your child. Recently, I learned in my class that our
shadows prostrate to Allah I in the mornings and afternoons
(Surah Raad), which was very exciting for my six year old!

3. Build your connection with them

Before the Messenger of Allah r started teaching Anas ibn Malik
t, he built a rapport with him. He showed him how much he r
loved him and how important he was to him r. Once Anas t
was secure in his r love for him and reciprocated it, the “teaching”
became easy. This is something that I adopted in my life and I
guarantee that it works. SubhanAllah!

4. Start at home

Even before you start looking for a teacher to teach them to read
the Qur’an, or schools or programmes for Islamic learning, start at
home. We moved quite a bit, and I realized that as places, schools
and teachers changed, what remained consistent was me and
my children and what I was doing with them. Our home lessons
were soothing for the children in the times of emotional turmoil of
leaving friends and beloved teachers, and it helped bring us even
closer as a family. Teach and review what they have learnt with
them. If you are unsure where to start, then scour Youtube videos,
and other online resources for interactive activities to get going.
So what will you need?

1. A name
What works best for us is to have a formalised study time with
my six year old and we call it “Amma Beti School” (Mother and
Daughter School). She loves it as it’s something special between
her and me, and this gives your teaching a personal touch.

2. A place and supplies
If you can fix a place where you will conduct the lessons, then
great! Otherwise, improvising the place each time you sit to study
also adds that adventurous touch to the whole concept. If your
children love crafts and activities, stock up on craft supplies.

3. Understand your child
Understanding the manner in which your child enjoys learning is
worth every second spent in doing that. If he/she likes storytelling,
weave in more stories from the Qur’an, Seerah, history of Islam, the
companions, etc. If your child likes a more activity-based study,
then make paper boats and cut outs of Nuh u’s ark and the
animals, the tree in Jannah which Adam u was forbidden to eat
from, etc.

4. Go on field trips
Every school goes on field trips, so why shouldn’t your school go
too? I recently studied Surah Hijr, Ibrahim and Nahl. These surahs
make excellent themes for field trips, as Allah I talks about the
water cycle, milking the cows and the beautiful times of sunrise
and sunset. A trip to explore and find beehives becomes a must in
light of Surah An Nahl!

5. Engage their interest
A friend wanted to teach her 12-year-old daughter the tafseer of
the Qur’an, so invited all her daughter’s friends over and gifted
them folders, pens, etc. as a fun thing to do every Sunday. So now,
they happily dress up, meet, talk and when the “class” starts, listen,
discuss and learn. They have started asking to cover surahs that
they really want to learn about. Alhamdulillah, the Qur’an is starting
to enter their hearts.

6. Angels as learning buddies
Let your child know that they are in good company, angels gather
around us when we are discussing and learning about the deen
of Allah I, covering us with their wings, and that all the fish in
the sea are making du’a for us (Bukhari). This will give them much
needed encouragement and also a feeling of warmth and security
that right now they have Allah’s angels as their learning buddies.

7. Frequency and duration of classes
If you are planning formal lessons, then it is best to start with a
once a week, one hour class. Even the Messenger of Allah r didn’t
teach the companions more than three times a week. Keep the
lecturing time limited to 15-20 minutes, weaving in discussion,
quizzes, activities and worksheets.

8. Structure of the “study time”
Whether you teach your children yourself or you enrol them into
programmes and only review their learning with them, have a
structure to what you do. Start with the du’as related to knowledge
from the Qur’an and Sunnah and get into the habit of reciting
them when they sit down to study.

9. Resources
There are, masha Allah, many resources available on the internet.
One of my favourites is yemenilinks.com. Use their worksheets and
templates. If you are unable to get printouts or downloads, then
use their ideas and create your own by using a pen and paper –
your mind is the best resource for you and your kids.

10. Consistency
The major pitfall we face when teaching Qur’an to our children
is losing our focus and consistency, especially when things get
overwhelming at home. Sometimes, we fall behind in our grocery
shopping, laundry, cleaning, or are just emotionally tired, and the
one thing that tends to end up being neglected is the Qur’an. But
don’t let this happen, it’s not worth it. Instead, be prepared. For
those low days, a prepared lesson plan or goal sheet comes in very
handy – you just have to pick up your plan book, see what needs
be done and get on with it without adding the worry of what to
do with your child.
Remember, you are the first, and in many ways the best, teacher
your child will ever have. Happy Qur’an time to you!

As appeared in the magazine SISTERS sept. 2013

Sana Gul is a happy homemaker and mother of two, with degrees in
engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.
She is currently pursuing her Diploma in Qur’anic Studies. She
writes regularly for productivemuslim.com and islamiclifestyle4u.
wordpress.com.

Nuh(as)–the plight of a father..

Nuh(as)--the plight of a father..

the plight of a father..

close your eyes and feel the pain,the grief, the desperation of nuh(as) as he tried to reason with his son and the waves came between them..

i cant.. i dont want to..i dont have the strength that Nuh(as) had..

This was the Prophet of Allah swt, His first Messenger to His creation.

and it happened to him.

it can happen to me too.. to you too..

make a dua for your children now, today, everyday of your life..

Rabbi ijAAalnee muqeemas salati wamin zurriyyatee
rabbana wtaqabbal duAAa

رَبِّ اجعَلنى مُقيمَ الصَّلوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتى ۚ رَبَّنا وَتَقَبَّل دُعاءِ
O my Lord ! make me one who establishes regular prayer
and (also) from my offspring ,our Lord !
and accept my invocation Surah Ibrahim :40

may Allah swt make us and our generations to come from among His righteous servants ameen.

“Behind every successful deed , there is a pure intention”

“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” said the Messenger of Allah (s):Sahih Al Bukhari Book 1 Hadith 1.
——————————————————————————————————————————————–
Imam Bukhari started compiling the “Sahih Al Bukhari” in Mecca and wanted to only include the most authentic Ahadith in it.
Before recording EVERY hadith he would take a ghusl(bath), and perform Salat-ul-istikhara (salat for seeking guidance from Allah subhana hu ta’aala).

Think.
Why did Allah subhana hu ta’aala want this hadith to be the first one?
——————————————————————————————————————————————–
We make the “intention” for doing an action before actually doing it.
if the intention is to “please Allah subhana hu ta’aala” then the action we do, will have our best effort,accomplished the Prophetic way and without any riya (arrogance).

A Believer’s ultimate goal is to gain the Pleasure of Allah subhana hu ta,aala, in Every action he does.

So,check and correct your intention before doing any deed, specially ones done in public.
i checked and corrected mine before posting this.
May Allah subhana hu ta’aala help us always in checking and correcting our niyah and forgive us if we fail or forget ,ameen

Love Each Other for the Sake of Allah subhana hu ta’aala — Part 2

Love Each other for Allah’s sake.Image

It’s easier said than done. Right?

No matter how hard we try, we still fail to love some people. All our efforts seem to fall flat. So, we either give up trying or are about to give up or desperately seeking a way to make it work. Sometimes these are really crucial relations like spouses, in laws, relatives and sometimes not so crucial but nevertheless important because of their influence in our daily lives like coworkers, neighbors, roommates.

Yet we witness certain relations that withstand the trials of our nafs, distance and time. Onslaughts of negative emotions like envy, ego is not able to even put a crack in the solid foundations of the relationship. We also witness a sudden surge of love and tenderness for people around us whom we could never imagine liking again.

How does that happen? Who makes us succeed and fail at times?

And (moreover) He has put affection between their hearts: not if you had spent all that is in the earth, could you have produced that affection, but Allah has done it: for He is Exalted in might, Wise.”[8:63]

“ .. And He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.[Surah Rum:21]

 

 

So, now we know who makes it all possible. But the question still remains. Why do we fail?

A mention of the above ayat[8:63] by my sister in law, a student of the Quran and a heart searching discussion with one of my dearest friends led me to understand why we fail and what we can do to improve our chances of success, as who doesn’t want Allah subhana hu ‘taala ‘s shade on the day when there will be no other?

1.Check your intentions—why do you really want to love this person? Do you want to love your husband, because you truly believe that Allah subhana hu ‘taala has chosen the best one for you? Why do you want to love your mother in law though she sometimes does point out your mistakes? Do you want to love her to please your husband or Allah subhana hu ‘taala? Once the truthful answers to all the questions you put to yourself are Allah subhana hu ‘taala, then it’s time for you to move to next step. Else stop right there and ask Allah subhana hu ‘taala to guide you towards Him and then proceed to the next step.

 

2.Make Dua—Dua is the weapon of a believer. It is the only thing that always works. So, close your eyes open your heart and feel the depth of words of the du’a the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) taught us.

 

“O Allah!! Put affection amongst our hearts, reform our matters within us, guide us to the path of peace, save us from the darkness towards light, save us from all kinds of obscenity; the apparent as well as the hidden; bless our hearing, our sight, our hearts, our spouses and our children, turn in mercy towards us. Indeed You are the One who greatly accepts repentance, most Merciful. Make us the ones most grateful for Your bounties so we may compete with one another n Praising You for these (bounties) and complete these (bounties) for us.

 The Arabic version is here.

  3. And now it’s time to start the process again.

 May Allah subhana hu ‘taala grant you success and grant us all His shade on the day when there will be none except His.

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Activities For Kids!!

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim !

 

List of Activities you can do with your kids

 

Story of Prophet Mohammed (swt) :

 

How he (sws) was protected by Allah (swt) from enemies of Islam  in  cave (the spider web and the dove nest)

 After telling the story within 10-15 mins you involve the kids making a craft as I remember a saying” Tell me and I forget, Involve me and I remember”

 

MAKING A Spider: Age : 5+

 Materials you need

  1. PomPoms
  2. Pipe cleaners
  3. Scissor
  4. Staple
  5. Wiggly eyes
  6. glue

Cut 4 pipe cleaner in halves and staple all of them (kids may need help) to a pompom making the spider’s body and 8 legs

Glue 2 wiggly eyes on top of the pompom making a complete spider

And ask the kids to draw a spider web in black construction paper to give look like a spiderweb on the cave and let the kids put the spider on that drawing and ask them to tell the story afterwards.

 

Making a Dove Nest:

You Need:

  1. White play dough
  2. black or brown yarns
  3. Scissor
  4. Paper bowl or paper plate

Cut a handful of yarn (1 ft length) and arrange those into a nest shape and place into a paper bowl or plate. Make 4 egg shapes molding play dough and keep those on the nest.

 

 

  • Musical Pillow: age 4+

         You need

  1. A pillow
  2. Islamic song on your cell phone ( instead of music)
  3. Copy paper 1-2 depending upon how many kids
  4. A small basket or bowl
  5. Board and board marker

For 12 kids

Cut the blank paper into 12 equal pieces and write on them

( Say the 1st Kalima, Say the Shahadah, say the meaning of the kalima, say the meaning of the shahadah,say your favorite short surah or meaning of your favorite surah, write Allah in Arabic, write Mohammed sws in Arabic….and so on)

 

Ask the kids to sit in a circle and play the song and ask the kids to pass the pillow …when song is stopped see which kid is holding the pillow ask him/her to pick a paper from the bowl , whatever is written on the paper he/she have to do that if not he/she is out of the game……while playing and pausing the song make sure every child gets a chance to pick a paper and say pr write something…this way they review and learn in a fun way.

 

Stick  the Tail:

You need

  1. A foam board
  2. Marker
  3. Construction paper
  4. Scissor
  5. Tape
  6. Thumb nail
  7. Scarf or a piece of cloth for blind fold
  8. A bowl with prewritten paper pieces( Smile as its sunnah, show how to slep in a sunnah way, make your own list of follow sunnah )
  9. A basket with candies or small prizes

Draw a cat with the marker on the foam board , draw a tail for the cat in a construction paper and tape it and keep it in a side

           Ask each child to come and stick the tail of the cat on the board with blind fold, if the child can do it he/she gets to pick any candy/ prize from the bowl, if not then ask the child to pick a paper piece and do whatever is written on it…if the child does it give him/her a prize.

               

            

 

99 Names of Allah swt: age 6+

Mix and Match

Time: 20 mins

 

You need:

  1. Beads of different colors (99 /child)
  2. Names of Allah(swt) print outs ( 5-10 attributes with meaning)
  3. Scirror
  4. Cell phone or Computer to play 99 names of Allah swt song

Play the 99 names of Allah swt song in youtube. Then ask them how many attributes Allah swt has.

Then make it clear to them that Allah swt is only one 99 beautiful names.

 

Ask the kids to take make 9 rows of 11 beads in each

who completes first wins

 

Then cut the (5-10) names , separate the meanings

call the kids one after one and ask them to find out a name with matching card which have meaning …who matches all wins.

 

Wall Hangings (Attributes of Allah swt):

Time: 30-45 mins

Age: 3+

This activity is suitable for teaching attributes of Allah swt to preschoolers who does not know reading, they can learn from pictures.

You need:

  1. Colorful (post it size) papers
  2. scissor/craft scissor
  3. glue
  4. Marker
  5. Pipe cleaner
  6. Printouts of Al -Wadud( The Loving one), As-Salam (The Peaceful) and Al-Malik (The King) …(6 +yrkids can write by themselves so they do not need the printouts.)
  7. Foam stickers(heart shape)
  8. Foam crown

 

For Al-Wadud which means The Loving One

Sat the Arabic name and then say the meaning

Then draw a heart on the paper and ask them to cut out side the edge

let them gule the word Al- Wadud in a different piece of paper then ask them to glue the heart shape under it and now stick the meaning of it on the heart and let them decorate it with foam heart stickers. Now make a small hole on top the paper with pipe cleaner and twist it so that it does not drop and also twist on the top of the pipe cleaner making a hole to hang on wall.

 

For As-Salam which means The all Peaceful: Same as avobe just make a peace sign in stead of Heart shape.

 

For Al- Malik which means The King:

 

Take a Foam Crown and glue the word Al- Malik and stick the word The King under it and put a pipe cleaner through the crown and twist it and also twist the top part of the pipe cleaner to make a hope to hang on wall.

 

When done you can hang them as single wall hanging or you can take a ribbon and hang all threetogether and then hang as a set.

 

 

 

 

How to keep my heart Guided

Image

In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent

Let me tell you something about the Bani Israel.

They were terribly oppressed by Fir ‘on for years and then Allah swt sent Musa (as) as the Messenger of Allah swt to free them from their oppression. But before they could get their freedom, they had to endure terrible hardships as Fir ‘on refused to accept the clear proofs that Musa (as) showed him to prove that he was indeed the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds. He ordered all the sons of the Bani Israel to be killed and their women kept alive. But through all this they were very patient and sought the help of Allah swt and Allah swt rewarded them by not only letting them escape Fir ‘on but also by watching him drown in the same sea that had been parted specially for them.

But as time passed and they got settled in their new life, they forgot Allah swt again and instead asked Musa (as) to make an idol for them to worship. [ Al Ar’aaf 102:156]

Allah swt has chosen to tell us about this particular incident out of the history of mankind for us to take a lesson.

For us to analyze are we doing the same?

Think .Have you ever been struck by a hardship in your life in which the ‘now” seems unbearable and the future scary if the hardship continues and you think, “When will this end”?

The loss of a job, the news of a life threatening illness or maybe the wait for a result of a medical test?  Or your child who gets lost in the market place? And as the trial affects you, you look around you and seek Allah’s help and do Sabr and wait for the storm clouds to pass over from your life.

And then Alhamdulillah, Allah swt fulfills His promise and rewards you with a new job, or a treatment that makes you better or a test result which says everything is alright with you or your child waiting for you at the customer service.

And as you weep with joy and thankfulness to Allah swt, you make a solemn promise to remember Allah swt and stay on His path.

The first few days or maybe weeks that follow are full of a renewed faith and a regular routine of Salah and Quran.

But then as time passes and things start settling again in the old familiar routine, you start slipping and the acts of ibaadat lack the energy and become few.

This is where we have to stop and instead of becoming like the Bani Israel, we need to turn towards Allah swt again.

Let’s see how:

  1. Make Dua Every day

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba’da idh hadaytana wa hab lana milladunka rahmah innaka antal Wahhab

Our Lord! (they say), Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure
[3:8]

2. Plan your day around Salah— Make Salah the high Point of your day around which you plan your activities and not the other way round.” I will pray fajr and my morning adhkar and then I will make my tea and read my quran and then get the breakfast going.” Some times zuhr is at 1 pm, and the kids come at 1:30 pm, so plan“I will pray zuhr and then lay the table for lunch for my kids”

3. Read the Duas for Morning and Evening – get the book with these duas or make a document with all the duas and keep it where you pray or somewhere handy and when you stand up for Salah , keep them next to you so that you don’t forget. Play them in your house in the mornings. In this manner everyone can recite them and learn them too.

And remember your lord within yourself humbly and fearing and in a voice not loud in the morning and the evening and be not of the heedless ones. [Al Araaf  205]

        Link for YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZuW14mUNb4

4. Alone Time is Dhikr Time

The prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said “Allah swt has angels roaming the roads to find the people of Zikr, i.e those who say La illaha illalah and similar expressions and then they find a group of people reciting zikr , they call each other and encompass them in layers until the first heaven—the location of which is in Allah’s knowledge (i.e to say , an unlimited number of angels are going to be over that group)—Bukhari and Muslim

One of the best times to do zikr is when you are alone. While you are cooking, or cleaning or driving or waiting in a queue or even while you are exercising. You can put on a cd or use an mp3 or just open your laptop and play your dhikrs on that. Do istighfar a lot. Seeking forgiveness from Allah swt for the sins we committed knowingly and unknowingly cleanse the heart and open it to accept the guidance from Allah swt.

5. Seek knowledge to do it better—analyze your life. There are many roles that we play in our daily life. The most important being , Slave of Allah swt, then as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a daughter in law, neighbor, sister, grandmother, mother in law friend, a member of the ummah. Look into the Quran and Sunnah and find out the best manner in which you can fulfill each of these responsibilities. Aim to be a better Muslim in each role that you play in your life.

ProductiveMuslim.com has some excellent articles on such various topics.

6.Learn a new dua :- learn new duas every few days. Duas from the Quran and Duas from the Sunnah. Incorporate the Quranic Duas in your Salah once you have memorized them. This will also help in increasing the khushoo in salah inshallah.

 In the end ,I would like to leave you these words of  Allah swt.

 I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me.

If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and
if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an
assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw
near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at
speed
.

 

May Allah swt always be with you. ameen

Surah Kahf– Tafseer For Kids!!

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Bismillah

The Young Men and the Kahf (Cave)

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a town. The people who lived in this town had forgotten that they had to worship Allah. They made statues out of wood and stone and worshiped them, asking them for anything that they needed.

Among these people, there were some young men who had imaan(belief in Allah) in their hearts. One day, all the people of the town gathered outside the city to worship the idols that they had made. When these young men saw this, they immediately felt in their hearts that this was not right. Only Allah had the right to be worshiped as He was Al Khaliq—the creator of the heavens and the earth!!

One by one, these young men left the company of the Kuffar(the people who disbelieved) and sat under a tree. None of them knew the other, but it was Allah who guided them to each other.

After some time the people found out about them and told their king.

The king questioned them about their faith. The young men told him that they believed in Allah and invited the king and the people of the town to believe in Allah.

But, the king did not believe in Allah and got angry with the young men and told his guards to punish the young men.

While in punishment, the king told the young men to give up the religion of Allah and come back to worshiping the idols, else they awaited a more terrible punishment!!

However while they were in punishment, Allah the Most Merciful helped the young men to escape.

They found a cave and went inside it to hide. They felt worried but Allah blessed them with sakina( peace) and strengthened their Imaan( belief in Allah) and they made a dua.

“Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.”

Then Allah caused them to sleep and told the sun to rise and set in such a manner that it did not disturb the sleeping men. From then onwards, the Sun obediently rose in the sky leaning towards the right side of the cave and set in the evening towards the left to follow Allah’s command. And thus Allah turned their bodies on the right and on the left while their dog stretched out on its forelegs.

Had you entered the cave, you would have thought they are awake and would have been astonished.  J

Like this they slept for years and years and years.

One day, Allah woke them up. One of the men asked the other,” how long did we sleep”?, to which the others replied “ maybe a day or a part of the day”. Then they thought Only Allah knows how long they slept, so they decided to send one of the young men to the city with some money to buy some food. But they told the young man to be careful, lest they catch him and make him turn back to the wrong religion.

So he disguised himself and took a different road to the city, but as he neared it, he was not able recognize it as everything had changed completely in the centuries that had passed. He thought maybe he was dreaming or confused!!

He quickly went to man who was selling food. When the man saw the coin the young man offered, he could not recognize it and thought maybe the young man had found some treasure!!

They asked him from where did he get the coin and the young man said:” I am from this land, I was living here yesterday!!”

They of course did not believe him and took him to their King, who questioned him about the situation.

The young man told them all about themselves. And then took the king and the city’s people to the cave to meet with the other companions.

And thus Allah made the people of the city know about them so that they may see that indeed the Promise of Allah is true and the Hour of Judgment will come soon.

Allah caused them to sleep and made them die.

Inshallah the young men are in Jannah Now !!

What a wonderful story!!

What do you learn from it?

We learn that no matter what happens or where we are ,we must always worship Allah and leave the place where we live in if the people are not letting us worship Allah. And then Allah’s help will come and He will reward us  inshallah!!

 

 Bismillah

The Two Men and The Garden.

Once upon a time, there lived two men. One of them Allah blessed with 2 gardens of grapes, surrounded by palm trees and it was rich and abundant with fruit. A river also flowed merrily through it.

The man who owned the garden was a very proud man. He took a lot of pride in his beautiful garden.

He told his friend, “I am greater than you in wealth and have more servants and attendants and children!!”

Then he went out to his garden and looked at it and said “I think this will not perish ever”!!

He forgot to say inshallah –if Allah wills!!

He was forgetting that it was Allah who had given him the wealth and so said “I don’t think the Hour will ever come” !!!!!!!!!

His friend said,” Don’t u believe that Allah created you? I believe that Allah is my Lord and I will never worship anyone except Allah.”

“it would have been better had you said “  Ma shaa Allah –that which Allah wills (will happen)! La hawla wala quwata illa billa (there is no power but will Allah!!) when you saw my less wealth and children!”

And then Allah sent a storm  that destroyed everything and the man was left with sadness at the mistake he had mad and  said “I wish that I had worshiped Only Allah “!

What do we learn from this story that Allah tells us?

We learn that we should always remember that whatever we have is a Blessing from Allah and Only Allah has the Power to give it to us. And did you know that “la hawla wa la quwata “ is a one of the treasures of Jannah

 

Bismillah

The Story of Musa (as) and Khidr

One day the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) told a story to the sahabas(companions).

Do you want to hear it too??

Ok , lets begin  Bismillah

Once Musa (as) was speaking to the Bani Israel. Somebody asked him, who has the most knowledge?.Musa(as) thought to himself that as he was the prophet of Allah , so in the “dunya” it must be him so he said: “I.”

Now, who has the MOST KNOWLEDGE?

It is Allah.. as it is Allah who has made the heavens and the Earth. And so Allah cautioned Mosa(as) not to think that just because he was a prophet of Allah, he had all the knowledge in the world. So, Allah said to him: “Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a slave of mine who is more learned than you.” Musa (as) said: “O my Lord! How can I meet him?” Allah said: “Take a fish and put it in a large basket and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.”

Musa (as) took a fish, put it in a basket and went along with his (servant) boy, Joshua (Yusha Ibn Nun), till they reached the rock where they lay down. Musa(as) slept, and the fish, moving out of the basket, fell into the sea. It took its way into the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water over the fish and it became like an arch (the Prophet(s) pointed out this arch with his hands). They traveled the rest of the night, and the next day Musa (as) said to his boy (servant): “Give us our food, for indeed, we have become very tired in this journey.” Musa (as) did not feel tired till he crossed that place which Allah had ordered him to find. His boy (servant) said to him: “Do you know that when we were sitting near that rock, I forgot the fish, and none but Shaitan caused me to forget to tell (you) about it, and it took its course into the sea in an amazing way?” So there was a path for the fish and that astonished them. Musa (as) said: ‘That was what we were looking for.”

So both of them (Musa (as) and the boy) turned and went back till they reached the rock. There they saw a man lying covered with a cloth. Musa (as) greeted him, and said: “I am Musa.”

The man asked: “Musa of Bani Israel?” Musa (as) said: “Yes, I have come to you so that you may teach me from those things which Allah has taught you.” He said: “O Musa (as)! I have some of the knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught me and which you do not know, while you have some of the knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught you and which I do not know.” Musa (as) asked: “May I follow you?” He said: “But you will not be able to remain patient with me, for how can you be patient about things which you will not be able to understand?” Musa(as) said: “You will find me, if Allah so will, truly patient and I will not disobey you at all.”

So both of them (Musa (as) and AL-Khidr) went out walking along the sea-shore. A boat passed Trains and More to Color by them, and they asked the crew of the boat to take them on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr, so they took them on board without any charge. When they were on board the boat, a sparrow came and stood on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once or twice into the sea. Al-Khidr said to Musa (as): “O Musa! My knowledge and your knowledge have not decreased Allah’s knowledge except as much as this sparrow has decreased the water of the sea with its beak.”

Then suddenly Al-Khidr pulled up a plank, and Musa (as) did not notice it till he had pulled up a plank. Musa (as) said to him: “What have you done? They took us on board charging us nothing; yet you have intentionally made a hole in their boat so as to drown its passengers. Indeed , you have done a dreadful thing.” Al-Khidr replied: “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to remain patient with me?” Musa (as) replied: “Do not blame me for what I have forgotten, and do not be hard upon me for my fault.” So the first excuse of Musa(as) was that he had forgotten.

When they had left the sea, they passed by a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy’s head and plucked it with his hand like this. (Sufyan, the sub-narrator gestured with his fingertips as if he were plucking some fruit.) Musa (as) said to him: “Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed any person? You have really done a horrible thing.” Al-Khidr said: “Did I not tell you that you could not remain patient with me?” Musa (as) said: “If I ask you about anything after this, don’t accompany me. You have received an excuse from me.”

Then both of them went on till they came to some people of a village, and they asked its inhabitants for food but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they saw a wall bricks Colouring Pages which was just going to collapse and Al Khidr repaired it just by touching it with his hands. Musa (as) said: “These are the people, whom we have called on, but they neither gave us food, nor entertained us as guests, yet you have repaired their wall. If you had wished, you could have taken wages for it.”

Al-Khidr said: “This is the parting between you and me, and I shall tell you the explanation of those things on which you could not remain patient.” [Sahih Bukhari]

The explanations of these events are in the Qur’an:

“As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

“And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience. [18:79-82]

What do you learn from this?

No matter how much ilm(knowledge) you get, there will  always be someone who Allah has blessed with more. So seek Knowledge till you can, never rest and always ask Allah for more knowledge so that you can use it and teach it to others inshallah!! J

And the best Knowledge is that of the Quran

Bismillah

The Story of Dhul Qarnain

Allah tells us the story of a great King Dhul Qarnain. The reason for his greatness is a secret for now. Inshallah when you read the story you will discover the secret.

So listen carefully to what Allah is telling us.

Ready? Let’s begin  Bismillah

Dhul Qarnain went on 3 journeys.

One he took to a western land where he traveled till he reached a place the sun was setting island sunrise coloring page into a spring of murky (dark) water.

Here he found a nation of people, and Allah (swt) gave him the choice to punish them or treat them kindly. Dhul Qarnain chose to punish those who continued in kufr(disbelief in Allah) and treated the believers well.

His second journey was to an eastern land where he traveled till he came to a place where the sun was rising  and the people who lived there had no protection at all from the Sun.

Allah had not provided with shade, i.e. they had no buildings or trees to keep them shade.Old Testament Clipart « Peregrina

And lastly he traveled to a land between two mountains. Valley In The Mountains coloring page

The people who loved here were greatly troubled by the tribe of Yajuj and Majuj.

They told Dhul Qarnain that if he could help them and build a barrier between them then they would give him something great.

To this Dhul Qarnain replied, “the wealth, authority, and power that Allah has given me is better than anything.  So lend me your support and I will build the wall for you”.

He asked the men to give me blocks of iron. He blocked the place between the two mountains with the iron blocks and then made the men blow so hard that they(the blocks) became hot as fire. Then he poured molten copper on the blocks.

Thus the Yajuj and Majuj could not climb up or dig through the wall and come to the people.

He told the people, that the wall that he helped construct was a mercy from Allah and on the Day of Judgment it would fall down and the Yajuj and Majuj would come out.

Well, did you get the secret behind the strength of Dhul Qarnain?

He was very humble. He knew that whatever he had was given to him by Allah.

So what lesson do we learn from this?

That we should never think we are great J whatever good we have, has been given to us by Allah. So Alhamdullilah for that!! And we should use it for making life better of the people around us.
Can you think of something “special” that Allah has given you?

Now think of how you can use it for HIS sake and do something good for others.

References:

The Quran

Tafseer–Ibn kathir