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Ramadan Rules: Etiquettes of Fasting in Ramadan

Want to learn the rules of fasting in Ramadan?

In this month, our hearts as Muslims turn to the Most Merciful Lord, fearing Him and hoping to benefit His mercy and the greatest victory – that is Paradise.

The status of fasting in Ramadan is so high that it is worth investing some time learning the rules. This way, you will know what you must do and how to do it and what is haram so to avoid it.

This article is a list of some ettiquettes and rules of fasting in Ramadan.

Before we begin…

Just before we begin, it’s important for us to know how these rules impact our Ibadah in the month of Ramadan.

Every action we take in life goes with two components. One is the purpose and spirit, and the other is the particular form chosen to achieve that purpose.

The main purpose of eating, for instance, is to stay alive and maintain strength. To achieve this purpose, you need to take a piece of food, put it in your mouth, chew it and then swallow it.

Anyone who tries to eat mud would be considered insane because he obviously does not understand the real purpose of eating. He thinks that the mere act of passing anything through the mouth to the stomach constitutes eating.

The same way, you will also call someone insane who thrust his fingers down his throat to vomit up the food he had just eaten and then complained that he can’t see the benefits that come from eating.

Such a person will only get thinner and thinner each day, blaming food for his situation instead of his own stupidity.

The outward actions are necessary though. Because without them the food cannot reach the stomach. However, merely fulfilling these outward actions cannot fulfill the purpose of eating.

What is my point here?

Without obeying the rules, your fasting is empty

If you feel empty after Ramadan, you may now understand why.

One of the greatest mistakes of Muslims today is taking the outward shape of fasting as the real Ibadah. We think that merely not eating and drinking the whole day is fasting. We are just like the person who thinks that eating is the mere act of taking food into the mouth and then chewing and swallowing it, expecting to receive the benefits regardless of whether he eat mud or vomit out the food soon after eating it.

Take for instance, as soon as Ramadan is over, we throw to the wind all that we gain from the fasting, just as a man who vomits out the food soon after eating it.

We all know that we cannot attain physical strength from the food we eat until it is digested, transformed into some blood that then spread through our veins. Likewise, we cannot attain spiritual strength from fasting until we are conscious of the main purpose of fasting and allows it to penetrate our hearts and minds and dominate our thoughts, motives and deeds.

This is why Allah, after ordaining the fasting, has said that fasting is made mandatory on you, ‘so that you may attain to God-Consciousness’ – Quran 2:183.

The rules of fasting in Ramadan

The prophet, blessings, and peace be on him, has in various ways pointed out the rules pertaining to fasting in the month of Ramadan, and has explained that to go hungry and thirsty while disobeying these rules carries no value in the sight of Allah.

NOTE: Whilst some of these rules are compulsory (waajib) to follow, others are only recommended (mustahabb) for you by the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be on him).

Below are therefore the rules of fasting in the month of Ramadan:

Niyyah (Intention) is required

Making Niyyah (intention) is a requirement in every obligatory fast including Fasting in Ramadan, making up missed fasts or fasts done as an act of expiation (Kafaarah).

The evidence is found in a hadith where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “There is no fast for the person who did not intend to fast from the night before.” (This was reported by Abu Dawood, no 2454)

You can make your intention to fast the next day at any time during the night, even if it is just a moment before Fajr.

Niyyah is simply a resolution in the heart to do something and does not need to be voiced aloud.

If you already know that the next day is one of the days of Ramadan and wants to fast, then automatically the intention is fulfilled. Thus, if you are fasting in the month of Ramadan, you don’t need to repeat the intention every night, because of the fact that you know the next day to be a fasting day and you want to fast.

Abstain from Food

This is an obvious rule of fasting in Ramadan: to remain hungry and thirsty every day for the whole month.

Siyaam in Arabic means abstaining; and in Islam it means abstaining from all things that break the fast, between down and sunset, after the making the intention (Niyyah) to fast.

Abstain from Falsehood

Once the Holy Prophet(saw) said,

If one does not give up speaking falsehood and acting by it, God does not require him to give up eating and drinking (Bukhari)

The lesson of this rule is very clear: merely being hungry and thirsty is never by itself worship, but a means for performing worship. The real worship is refraining from that which is haram out of fear and love of God and pursuing activities that please Him.

You must fast Consecutively

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the types of fasting the must be observed on consecutive days, like fasting to expiate for killing someone by mistake or having intercourse during the day in Ramadan.

However, making up missed days after Ramadan does not require you to fast on consecutive days.

Eat something at suhoor

Always try as much as possible to eat something at suhoor and also delay it until just before the call of Fajr.

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Have suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing (barakah)” (Al-Bukhari)

Do not Delay Iftaar

The Prophet (Blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The people will be fine so long as they do not delay iftaar.”(Bukhari).

Keep away from sin

This is not only a rule of fasting, but also a rule of life for all Muslims. It’s just that sinning in the month of Ramadan is uglier than sinning in the other months.

The Prophet (Blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

When anyone of you is fasting, let him not commit sin…” (Al-Bukhari).

When fasting you should, therefore, avoid all kinds of sins such as Zina, backbiting, lies, etc otherwise your hanger and thirst may all be for nothing.

Keep away from worldly destructions

Ramadan is a month of worship and Ibadah. Why would you allow yourself to be distracted with some worldly entertainment?

When fasting in Ramadan, you should not allow yourself to be distracted by movies, games or sports matches or idle gatherings.

Don’t get provoked

When fasting, you should never allow someone or something to provoke you in a manner that may cause you to do or say something unpleasant. Self-control is very important in the month of Ramadan.

The Prophet (Blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

If someone fights him or insults him, he should say, ‘I am fasting, I am fasting’” (Al-Bukhari).

The reason for this is to remind yourself and the other person.

Do not eat too much

When fasting one should try not to overeat. The Prophet (Blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“The son of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach.” (Al-Tirmidhi).

The wise person does not live to eat. But rather, he eats to live.

In Ramadan, you’ll see Muslims preparing all kinds of food, making housewives and servants spend all their time on preparing food. This keeps them away from worship. And Muslims spend far more on food than they do outside Ramadan. This makes Ramadan a month of food and indigestion for Most Muslims, where people eat like gluttons and drink like thirsty camels, leaving them lazy to perform the night prayer.

The sick is allowed not to fast in Ramadan

As fasting during Ramadan is mandatory for all adult Muslims, there are exceptions. These exceptions include the sick.

Allah said in the Quran:

“… and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days on which one did not observe sawm must be made up] from other days …” (Surah Al-Bakhara 2:185).

If you have medical proof, or you know your health condition from experience, or you are certain that fasting will make your illness worse or delay recovery, you are allowed to break your fast. It is disliked even for you to fast in such a condition.

If you are sick and only hope to recover, you should wait until you get better, then make up for the fasts you missed.

Feed the poor if you are unable to fast

There are many valid reasons not to fast including being critically ill and also being too old to fast. If you fall into this category of people, you should feed a poor person for every day that you have missed.

You can calculate the days you’ve missed and do all at once on one day at the end of the month, or you can feed one poor person every day.

Also, you should give actual food to feed the poor instead of money. However, you can give the money to a trustworthy person or a good charitable organization that buys and distribute food to the poor so that they may do it on your behalf.

Give as much as you can

Ramadan is a month of giving.

Thus, try as much as possible be generous by sharing knowledge, giving money, using one’s position of authority or physical strength to help others, and having good attitude.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that Ibn Abass (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of people [in doing good], and he was most generous of all in Ramadan …”

You should therefore not exchange generosity for stinginess in the month of Ramadan. This also means that you should never use fasting as an excuse not to do your work properly or treat people poorly.

Prepare yourself and environment for worship

The Month of Ramadan is the best time to make yourself available for worship by hastening to repent and turn back to Allah, fasting properly, reading Quran, fearing Allah in all your actions and seeking Laylatul Qadr.

Fasting is Compulsory

This rule states that every Muslim who is fit to fast must take part in the fasting of Ramadan. Fasting the month of Ramadan is Obligatory as clearly stated in the Quran and Sunnah.

Allah says in the Quran:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Quran 2:183)

The Prophet also narrated in a hadith saying that “Islam is built on five pillars …” among which he mentioned fasting in the month of Ramadan. (Bukhari)

Thus, whoever breaks the fast during Ramadan without a legitimate excuse has committed a major sin.

Eat secretly when you are not fasting

If your reason for not fasting is obvious, such as sickness, there is nothing wrong if you decide to eat or drink openly. However, if your reason is hidden, such as menstruation, it is better to eat and drink in secret, so as not to attract accusations and the like.

Break the fast as soon as the sun disappears

You should break your fast once you notice that the entire shape of the sun has disappeared. Do not pay attention to the red glow that remain on the horizon, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Once night comes from there and the day disappears from there, and the sun has set, the fasting person should break his fast.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is sunnah to hasten in breaking the fast. It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would not pray Maghrib until he had broken his fast, if only with a sip of water.

However, if you cannot find anything to break your fast, you should have the intention in your heart to break it.

Insha’Allah, I will try as much as possible to update this article with more fasting rules and etiquettes you need to know in the Holy month of Ramadan.

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Why Music is Haram in Islam (With a Short Story)

Alamgheer was one of the past Moghul kings in India. It is said he was a devout Muslim and a staunch upholder of Islamic tenets. He banned all luxury items in his kingdom including listening to music.

No one dared do so even privately in his home. Those engaged in musical provision for their earnings, got together to discuss what to do. They decided to take out a procession on the streets of Delhi in protest.

So one day they staged a grand procession taking out a big JANAZA (coffin) and marched on the streets of the capital. They passed in front of the king’s palace. They raised their voice as well as the JANAZA to make their amusing protest march conspicuously before the king who was then sitting on the front
terrace.

The king became curious and wanted to know which eminent personality had died to be given such a grand funeral. Some leaders from the procession approached the king and in a lamenting and wailing tone told him that the coffin was, in fact, that of ‘Music’.

Since it was strictly banned in the country, they were suffering the loss of daily income. On hearing this, the king smiled and said:

“Very good! Dig the grave so deep as to ensure that the DEAD MUSIC does not rise again for hundreds of years to come.”

Why Haram Music is not allowed in Islam

Let us ponder over the reasons why Islam has forbidden the playing, hearing and even the handling of musical instruments.

The Islamic philosophy of life dictates that this worldly life is transitional and a quick passing one, whereas the life hereafter is eternal and more important.

Therefore Islam has forbidden those things which distract our attention from this fact and which leads us towards the loose character and overlooking the moral duties of our life.

A number of these forbidden things in Islam are not only morally but physically and mentally harmful as proved by a number of modern scientists.

Professor Horst Hecheck of Vienna reports:

“The disharmonies of modern music frequently cause severe psychological and physical damage to musicians. Doctors and music experts say complaints range from nervousness, depression, and headaches to ulcers and impotence”

The toxic effect of the musical sound cannot be denied. Some years before, it was reported in a local newspaper in Daressalaam that a pregnant Hindu woman was much mentally engrossed in listening to a moving musical program in a cinema that she delivered a baby on the spot without realizing what was happening.

The newspaper in criticizing the incident remarked whether the place was a cinema hall or maternity home!

A professor at Columbia University in America, Dr. Adler, writes that the best melodious record of music can badly harm the human body nerves and the warmer the weather, more the harm. He also proved that music does upset the human nerves unnaturally causing considerable fatigue. The shaking effect of music also causes unnatural perspiration.

This research of Dr. Adler on music had such a widespread effect on the American people that many were led to stop listening to music. The belief that music was harmful to progressive nations reached a stage when a resolution to ban it by law was presented with relevant proofs and arguments in the American senate.

But in a nation where luxury and lust are widespread, how many could be expected to vote for such a ban?

It may be claimed that music has a soothing effect and as such, it is good entertainment, but taking into consideration that it causes more harm than good, it becomes undesirable and one should abstain from it.

Islam, as such, has forbidden music as we can see from the following Quranic Ayat and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.):

“But avoid the uncleanliness of the idols and avoid vain (false) words” (22:30)

According to the interpretations of all the major sects of Islam, the above mentioned vain (false) words include false utterance and music.

It is worth noting that the divine instruction to avoid vain words (music) is in conjunction with the instruction to avoid the uncleanliness (pollution) of the idol.

Thus the condemnation of music is along with that of idol-worship. The Prophet of Islam had said:

“Two kinds of voices are resented by Allah: the wailing at the time of a calamity and musical rhythm at the time of rejoicing.” (Nafahat Risaliyya)

For More Information about Haram Music and its effects, read this book.

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Benefits of surah-al-Jumuah (The Friday)

Surah al Jumuah is a ‘Madani’ surah and it has 11 ayaat.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that if this surah is recited frequently in the mornings and evenings, the reciter is protected from the influence of Shaitan and his temptations. His sins are also forgiven.

In another narration, it is said that if a person recites this surah daily, he will be safe from every dangerous and frightening thing.

See Also:

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Here’s How to date in Islam (Islamic Courtship)

Anyone reading this is rather interested in dating or has done it already. Or maybe you’re doing it, like to pursue it or need to educate somebody else. There’s nothing to worry about because you are not alone. It has become something like an obsession in our societies.

Dating is a relatively recent phenomenon and it is something a lot of people do when they are single. But for Muslims, almost all the Islamic scholars say no to it.

Why?

Because when we look at its basic definition, it does not respect the teachings of Islam. Wikipedia says:

“Dating is a stage of romantic or sexual relationship in human whereby two people meet socially, possibly as friends or with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospect partner in more committed intimate relationship.

It is obvious that any “romantic or sexual relationship between unmarried people is an unlawful one.

Meaning if you agree to Islamic teachings and is willing to do away with this unlawful romantic or sexual relationship, then it is safe to start a relationship that must also abide by the rules mentioned on this page.

In societies where this institution is common, lots of Single Muslims find it challenging without a boyfriend or girlfriend. In light of this, knowledge in halal dating will transform the lives of many Muslims around the world, because ignorance in dating is one of the common means Satan secured in encouraging Zina.

Laying down the principles and guidelines for dating in an Islamic perspective will put great masses of Muslims on a course towards healthy and Islamic centered Marriages. It will change lives by discouraging toxic and unhealthy relationships that Allah made unlawful.

Ignorance in halal dating often isolates us from the righteous Muslims. Drawing closer to a boyfriend or girlfriend removes us from other important relationships including our relationship with Allah. This pleases Satan; he loves this and encourages it at every turn.

One way to righteously deal with dating is to oppose absolutely everything Satan might want for us. Fight the desire to date in that corner by ourselves, and instead draw one another into the acceptable and important relationship desired by our Maker. The following rules should guide you (If Allah Wills)

Rule #1. Make your intention clear

how to date in Islam

The value of an action depends on the intention behind it – Prophet Mohammad

What is your reason for engaging yourself in a relationship?

This is a very important question and you must answer that. So, just stay put until you come clean with your intention.

Your interest in this relationship, is it to take away some of the personal loneliness? Is it to get you to be seen by your peers as someone who is modern and cool? Or it just makes you feel better about yourself knowing the fact that someone ‘really’ likes you?

Well, none of these is worthy of a reason. As a Muslim, no reason is valid enough for a relationship than a trajectory towards marriage.

No one said you can’t start a relationship, no, but it should come with a purpose. The purpose of which Allah has approved. The purpose must rest in finding someone who meets the values and goals you have for a future spouse. This purpose is one of the important things that will ever happen in your life as a Muslim. The purpose is called marriage.

Never start a relationship if you are not ready to get married!

Obeying this simple principle will help to avoid many relationships before getting married and land you an ideal woman who will support and grow old with you.

Rule #2 No sex until the purpose is fulfilled.

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Quran 17: 32)

This verse of the Holy Quran made everything clear for us. Disobeying it means great damage on our part. Looking at the statement, it is a direct command from Allah. Just imagine the damage you’ll cause by ignoring what Allah has enjoined upon you.

But the world now treats purity and chastity as something that seems to have gone out of fashion. Fornicators are now considered “winners” and “experienced”, while the chaste are taken to be repressed by Islam. However, the reality is simply the opposite.

The Holy Prophet also warns against this in severally in the hadiths, one of which says:

“If a man commits Zina, faith comes out of him and hovers over him like a cloud, then when he stops, faith returns to him.”

Ok! No sex until marriage, we got it. But how can we then avoid Zina? Great masses of people fall into this act because of satanic influences. To escape this destroying trap set by Satan, we need to take the following points seriously.

Rule #3.  Avoid being alone all by yourselves

Why?

Because the Holy Prophet said so, and with a good reason!

When you are together you think you are really alone and therefore can behave yourselves. But that’s not always true; it is easy said than done. Never trust your Nafs (self-discipline) because the temptations will become relentless when the situation unfolds itself.

The Holy Prophet already made this clear in a hadith that:

“No man is alone with a woman but the Satan is the third one present.” – Al-Tirmidhi.

I know by now your mind starts to throw questions from left, right and center like a ping-pong ball. “How can we date if we can’t be alone?” This is what you might be thinking right?

But the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, also mentioned that:

“No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a Mahram with them.” – Bukhari and Muslim.

The truth is that you don’t need to be alone before you can talk. In fact, when you are alone together, you won’t be talking. Rather, Satan will occupy your minds with some weird thoughts and the end results always turn out to be what you did not plan for.

Rule # 4. The conversation should not go beyond permissible topics

And permissible topics are those that are related to your purpose. At this stage, your primary focus should be to observe each other to see whether you fit for marriage.

So, the conversation between the two of you should focus on the purpose only.

Rule # 5. Avoid every other temptation that might lead to sin

Dating (relationship before marriage) as you see it is not Haram provided you obey whatever Allah has enjoined. Apart from an arranged marriage, what other means can one get married if not for a premarital relationship? You can call it courtship or dating, it doesn’t really matter if your intention is halal.

The Holy Prophet encouraged getting to know a woman before marrying her but in a permissible manner. He said:

Arrange to see her first (the woman you are considering marrying), this will help to establish accord between you. (Ahmad)

The fear is the temptations that are involved. So when you are in a relationship with someone, you should clear up your minds and declare the purpose of your relationship which should be a trajectory towards marriage.

Try to get to know each other and while in the process, try as much as possible to avoid everything that can lead you to something disliked by Allah (especially Zina).

Rule #6. Pray & Pray & Pray (Very Important)

A good spouse can be the best thing you can ever have in your whole life. This is enough for a reason to ask Allah to guide you find someone who will complete the other half of you and grow old with you.

Make dua to Allah to make things easy for you. Allah likes those who turn to him in Dua as the prophet said. Dua is an act that cannot and should never be neglected in this important course.

Is it too much?

What about if you cannot abide by these rules now?

If that’s the case, then I think it’s time to learn how to lead a single happy life.

And Allah knows best!

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45 examples of Riya (show-off) in Islam you should avoid

What is Riya (show-off) in Islam?

“Riya in Islam means to perform worship with any intention other than the pleasure of Allah Almighty. That’s with the intention of informing others about it to gain something, to be praised, to be considered pious or treated with respect.

Just for the temporary pleasure of being praised, admired and considered pious by others, many people fall into the pit of Riya (show-off). They fail to realize how much Allah Almighty would be displeased with them.

For sure, as the Quran asserted, the good deeds performed by ostentatious people, not for the sake of Allah but preferring worldly life to the afterlife will never benefit them at all. The Holy Quran stated;

“Whosoever desires the life of the world and its luxuries, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and will not make any reduction in it.” (Quran 11:15)

Whoever’s intention, concern, and goal is in the worldly life, then Allah Almighty will surely compensate him for his good deeds in this life.

Then, when reaches the next life, he will have nothing like good deeds that will be rewarded.

However, concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.

Many fail to realize that this is a matter of acute anxiety to be in the category of show-offs as a result of our insincerity.

What do you think will become of us in this sinful act? How will you endure the wrath of Allah Almighty?

Our delicate bodies fear even slight cold or heat, how will they bear the horrific torments of the Hell-Fire?

Considering the dangers of Riya, there is a need for us to ponder on our everyday activities to separate the sincere deeds from the fake once. Compiled below is a list of some common examples of a show-off in our everyday life.

Note that the rulings of some of these examples may change due to differences in conditions.

Show-off regarding Salah

  • To offer Salah regularly so that people will consider him/her very steadfast in Salah.
  • For a Haafiz to lead Taraweeh Salah for money or fame.
  • To offer Salah calmly with the humility of the body in the presence of people to impress them.
  • If a person who has offered Nafl Salah such as Salat-ut-Tahajjud and rubs his eyes or stretches during the day in the presence of people so that they will come to know that he has not slept at night but has stayed awake performing good deeds, this is an indication of Riya.
  • If a person is considered a regular observer of good deeds, but in fact, he is not so, there may be a risk of Riya (show-off) for him. For example, when introduced to people as a performer of these virtuous deeds, he lowers his head with a smile on his face giving the impression as if he performs these deeds. It is an obvious example of Riya (show-off).
  • If someone who has woken up to offer Tahajjud coughs loudly or does other things so that his wife or other family members can wake up and be impressed to see him offer Tahajjud, it is a clear indication of Riya.
  • To stay late at Masjid after offering Salah so that people can consider him a pious person.
  • To offer Salah regularly in the first row of Masjid so that people will praise him and be impressed with him.
  • To express regret in the presence of people for missing the first row or Jama’at so that people will consider him very enthusiastic about the first row and Jama’at.

Just before we continue, please don’t judge

The above examples of show-off are aimed at motivating the reader to detect show-off only in their own deeds, not in that of others. Riya is in fact related to the heart and not everyone can be aware of the intentions of others’ hearts. Therefore, one should never form a negative opinion about a Muslim by suspecting him or judging him to be involved in Riya as described in these examples. To form a negative opinion (about a Muslim) is a Haram act leading to Hell (May Allah forbid).

Riya (Show-off) for preachers

  • To deliver a speech so that people will praise his speech and call him a good preacher.
  • To say emotional sentences in a loud roaring voice during the speech or to recite couplets in an enthusiastic way so that the audience will praise the speech by calling him a great preacher.
  • To use wonderful sentences, complicated words, Arabic sayings during the speech so that people will consider him a learned preacher and be impressed with him.
  • To say such sentences at the beginning of the speech as: I have been continuously traveling for six days; I had to travel for 13 hours before I reached here; I am very tired, I have not yet eaten a meal but have come here to deliver the speech. This is Riya (Show off) if the preacher says such things so that people will consider him a sincere preacher making sacrifices in the Divine path.
  • To deliver a speech excellently and eloquently in the presence of some renowned or rich person so that he will get impressed with the preacher and will praise him.
  • To try to motivate some minister or officer to come to the home of the preacher so that people will come to know that officers are impressed with him, and come to his house for Du’a or blessings.
  • To advise some officer or rich person or point out his mistakes, giving the impression that he (the preacher) is not overawed even by the influential and powerful people, and feels no fear in expressing the commandment of Shari’ah before anyone.
  • If a preacher has ever inspired a rich and renowned person to grow a beard or has persuaded a notorious person to repent of sins, and then mentions this incident to Islamic brothers or during his speech so that people will get impressed with him but not to teach them some lessons, it is also an indication of Riya (show-off) in Islam.
  • To keep the eyes lowered, whilst sitting with people or delivering a speech or making conversation with others so that people will get impressed with him, considering that he keeps his eyes lowered with modesty (whereas his eyes roam and wander everywhere when he is not with people).
  • To serve Islam or make religious efforts, bearing hardships so that people will praise the sacrifices he has made and will consider him an active and enthusiastic preacher.
  • To travel to the various countries of the world in a Divine path so that people will praise the sacrifices he has made, mentions him as an example to others and calls him an international preacher.

Riya (show-off) for reciters and listeners of the Glorious Quran

  • To recite the Holy Quran so that people will give them money, food, and clothes; or will praise his voice, manner of recitation, pronunciation or couplets.
  • To recite Na’at from memory without seeing the book so that people will praise him saying that he has learned so many Na’ats by heart.
  • To explain a difficult couplet so that people will consider him an intelligent and learned person.
  • To recite unique couplets or to recite couplets in a newly-prepared or copied tune on some special occasion e.g. a holy night so that the audience will get excited.
  • To gain expertise in the recitation of the Quran and speech so that people will call him an expert in all areas.
  • To get his CD or VCD released for the purpose of becoming a renowned Quran reciter (or preacher).
  • To pretend to weep or wear a weeping look delivering or listening to a speech, or making or leading Du’a, or reciting or listening to the Quran, so that people will be attracted to him and look at him with praising eyes.

Riya (show-off) for people who spend money in Divine path

  • To donate money for religious activities so that people will call the donor a generous person.
  • To distribute charity to the poor so that they will gather around him, begging.
  • To serve and help patients, the grief-stricken and flood victims etc. so that people will call him a well-wisher of the troubled and a sincere social worker.

Other Different examples of Riya (show-off) in Islam

  • To use words that show humility for oneself such as a sinful or worthless person so that people will consider him a humble-natured person, praising his humility. (To use such words for oneself without the willingness of the heart is hypocrisy besides Riya (show-off).)
  • To meet people warmly and politely so that people will consider him a sociable and well-mannered person.
  • To wipe tears from eyes, when weeping during Du’a etc. in the presence of others, so that people will get the impression that he is wiping tears to avoid Riya (show-off).
  • To say such sentences to impress others as I am very fearful of sins, I am in constant fear of losing my faith, how can I face accountability on the Day of Judgement!. This is also an obvious indication of show off in Islam.
  • To have a sad look on the face or to say comforting sentences to those in trouble so that people will consider him a kind-hearted and sympathetic person. (To do so with the intention of comforting a troubled Muslim and that of gaining Divine pleasure is an act of worship and reward of the Hereafter.)
  • To act upon Sunnah properly, when eating, drinking, standing up or sitting, etc. in the presence of others, so that people will consider him a steadfast follower of Sunnah. If only we would develop the mindset of acting upon Sunnah whilst eating, drinking and doing other things in loneliness as well.
  • To eat less, when in a gathering or in the presence of others, so that people will consider him a less-eating person and a steadfast follower of Sunnah.
  • To tell one’s own virtuous deeds to someone and then ask him not to tell them to anyone so that he will get impressed and will consider him a sincere person not wanting his deeds to be revealed to others.
  • To use the title ‘Haafiz’ with one’s own name so that people will admire him saying: treat him with respect and request him to make dua for them. (If there is no intention of Riya (show-off), it is not prohibited for the Haafiz to use the word ‘Haafiz’ with his name.)
  • To perform I’tikaf in Ramadan or recite the Holy Quran in the presence of others or make Du’a in an extremely humble manner so that people will consider him a pious person.
  • To perform I’tikaf in Ramadan so that he can eat food for free, at Sahari and Iftari, gifted to Mu’takifeen in the Masjid.
  • If someone finds a wise and nice piece of advice while studying, and keeps it secret from others for the purpose of relating it to the attendees in a big Ijtima’ so that they will raise slogans to praise him and acknowledge him as a learned preacher, this is an indication of Riya (show-off).
  • To call Azan very melodiously in the holy night so that people will praise his voice and melody.
  • To include admonitory quotes [i.e. ones containing warning], interesting parables with wisdom in the book or article one is writing, with the intention of being admired and appreciated.
  • To perform Hajj and let others know that one has performed it so that they will call him Haji Sahib.

I urge fellow Islamic brothers and sisters to please check your virtuous deeds for hidden signs of show-off (Riya) as it enters into a good deed slower than even the pace of an ant.

It’s a fact that the pleasure of showing-off does not even come close to that of delicious foods and wealth, refraining from this cheap pleasure is very essential.

Therefore, if anyone suspects even a bit of show-off (Riya) in any of his deeds, he should fearfully repent of it as soon as possible. You can use the following as general signs to spot and deal with Riya in your deeds.

  1. Being lazy in performing good deeds when alone but active in the presence of people is a sign of Riya.
  2. Increasing one’s deeds when praised and
  3. Decreasing the deeds when criticized.
showing off (Riya)

Knowing the signs of show-off is one thing. So I’ll like to complete it by giving you some tips on how to actually shake it off your shoulders Insha-Allah.

  1. Get Help from Allah Almighty by making Du’a.
  2. Perform all deeds, in the same manner, be you alone or with people.
  3. Try as much as possible to always hide your good deeds.
  4. Always be aware of the harms in Riya.
  5. Get rid of the various causes of Riya (show-off) in your life.
  6. Sincerely perform Good deeds.
  7. Guard your intentions very well.
  8. Avoid satanic whisper during worship or while performing good deeds
  9. Engage only with righteous people.
  10. Continue making Dua to Allah.

I hope that you find this useful and will spread it to others who may also benefit from it. Jazaakallah Khairan Kaseeran.

Allah knows best.

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How to perform ablution (wudu) | Step by Step

What is Wudu (Ablution)?

According to Sharee’ah, Wudu is the using of clean and cleansing water upon certain parts of the body in a way prescribed and explained by Allah (swt) and His Messenger (pbuh).

Wudu as defined above is an obligatory act for every Muslim. Without a complete and correct ablution, a person’s Salaat can never be considered valid. Wudu is therefore a very important pillar of Salaat which is also part of the important pillars of Islam.

What did the Quran say about Ablution (wudu)?

O you who believe! When you stand (intend) to offer the Salah (the prayer), then wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Quran – 5: 6)

From the above verse from the Quran, Allah (swt) commanded performing Wudu before Salaat. This is a command of obligation in the case of impurity, and in the case of purity, it is merely a recommendation.

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported the Prophet (pbuh) to have said,

The prayer of anyone of you breaching purification is not accepted unless he makes wudu. [Muslim (no.225) and many others]

All the above narrations are just to prove the obligation of ablution before performing Salaat. Despite the fact that we perform ablution each day for Salaat or reading the Quran, a lot of Muslims really doesn’t know how to perform ablution the right way.

I am talking about the kind of ablution our beloved Prophet (pbuh) and His companions use to perform. This fact has interest me a lot to do a wonderful research for fellow Muslims and dear new Muslims who doesn’t know how to go about wudu the correct way.

I sincerely advise all Muslims to read this to the end so that we can check whether we were really doing the right thing.

  • Declaration of Intention

Don’t start to perform ablution until you clearly made your intention. This is the first step for performing ablution. In fact, declaring intention is the first step of doing every good deed in Islam. And intention is not by word of mouth. It is rather in the heart.

Ibn Taimiyya (ra) said:

“The place of the niyyah (intention) is the heart and not tongue in all forms of ibaadah – and that is agreed upon by all the Muslim scholars – Purification, Prayer, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj, Jihad, etc. they all begin with intention.

If He were to express with his tongue other than that which he intended in his heart – then what he intended is counted, not what he said.

If he voiced the intention with his tongue and the intention was not in his heart, that will not count – (by total agreement of all the scholars of Islam) – so the niyyah is the firm intention and resolve itself.”

Actions are judged by their intentions, and each person will earn what he intended. (Prophet Muhammad)

Therefore, the Niyyah is the firm resolve of the heart to perform wudu in obedience to the order of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (pbuh).

  • Begin in the name of Allah’s

Just like the intention, starting in the name of Allah is also recommended before performing any Deed.

It is recommended before starting any action for instance, Bislmillah is recommended before starting a Khutbah (speech), before eating, before reading, before doing anything.  There is a Hadith concerning this practice.

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported that Rasuulillah (pbuh) said: “There is no wudu (Ablution) for him who does not mention Allah’s name upon it.” [At-Tirmidhee (no.26) and others]

Thus, it is obligatory as we have shown, however, the one who forgets should mention Allah’s name as soon as he remembers.

  • Wash Your Hands three times

After you declare your intention and mention to start in Allah’s name, you should then begin by washing your hands up to the wrist three times.

Humraan (ra) narrates that ‘Othman called for water to perform ablution and washed his hands three times… then said: I saw Rasuulillah (pbuh) perform ablution just as I have made ablution. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

  • Wash your Mouth and Nose together with one handful (of Water)

At this stage of the wudu, you should not wash your mouth, after which you then wash your nose or vice versa. Rather, with a handful of water, wash both your mouth and nose together up to three times.

You don’t understand? OK

What is meant here is that, with the same hand full of water, rinse your mouth with some of the water and use the remaining to clean your nose.

To clean your nose, enter water into it and then expel it. Do this up to three times.

Al-Imam an-Nawawi says: And in this hadeeth is a clear proof for the correct opinion that the Sunnah in washing the mouth and nose is that it should be with three handfuls of water – washing the mouth and nose (together) with each of them.

What should be clear here is that washing the mouth and the nose is an obligatory part of Wudu. Thus, the most important thing is for you to wash the mouth and the nose respectively, the recommended is washing them together as stated above.

It is recommended to use the right hand when rinsing the mouth and nostrils, i.e. when putting water into them. And use the left hand when rinsing the nostrils out i.e. clearing them from dirt. This is based on the behaviour of Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).

  • Wash your face up to three times

The face includes the front part of the head, where the nose, mouth eyes and other features are.

It includes everything between the beginnings of the hair down to the cheeks and the chin, and up to the start of the ears including that which is between the beard and ear.

Wash the face. Washing it once is the minimum. It is best to wash it three times by pouring water on the face. The face must be covered with water from the top, where hair grows, down to the bottom of the chin or beard, and from right to left earlobe.

Washing the face is an obligatory part of ablution hence should never be left out as stated in the Quran “…then wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows…” (Quran – ch. 5: vs. 6)

  • Wash your arms and elbows (three times)

At this stage, the part to be washed includes the tips of the fingers up to the elbows (including the elbows).

Wash the hands up to the elbows once as minimum, however, three times is the best as practiced by the Prophet (pbuh).

It is recommended to start with the right hand, then the left, and move the ring and watch (if any) so that water will reach under them.

I saw Abu Hurayrah make wudu – he washed his face and completed the wudu, then washed his right hand until he reached the upper arm, then his left hand till he reached the upper arm” – then in the end of the hadith he said: “This is how I saw the Prophet (pbuh) make wudu” (Muslim, 1/246).

There are scholarly difference regarding washing the arms including the elbows – Some says that the elbows must be included in the washing, and others says this is not so.

This difference in opinion is as a result of their disagreement over the meaning of the word “ilaa” in the verse. Does it mean up to (until) or up to (including) the elbows.

We are not scholars, so let’s not worry so much about these terms; rather, let’s find the proof from authentic source as follows:

Humran Ibn Aban reports: Othman (ra) called for water for wudu and mentioned the Prophet’s way of making wudu – and Humraan said: then he washed his right arm including the elbow three times, then the left in the same way. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Therefore, my dear reader, it is very clear from the above hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) used to wash the elbows further, he used to increase upon that and was part of the upper arm.

  • Wipe your head and ears with wet hands

Wipe your head once with wet hands from the front to the back then the other way round. Then wipe your ears once from the inside with your index fingers, meanwhile, with your thumbs, wipe the outer part of the ears.

It was reported that “The Prophet (pbuh) wiped his head and entered his two forefingers into his ears and wiped the backs of his ears with his thumbs.”

In another description of the Prophet’s wudu’, it was mentioned that: He wiped his head (with water) only once”. (Agreed upon).

When you are wearing a turban?

Well, if your turban is covering the whole part of your hair which you don’t want to remove, then you can wipe your wet hands over the turban.

It was reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) made wudu and wiped over his forelock and over the turban and leather socks.” (Reported by Muslim, 1/159)

But remember that with a cap or hat on the head, you cannot wipe over because there is no difficulty in their removal and also, they do not cover all of the head normally, nor are they tied around it.

As for the woman’s head cover – it is permissible to wipe over it as Umm Salamah used to wipe over her head cover – as reported by Ibn al-Mundir.

  • Wash your right and left feet and ankles

Wash the feet up to the ankles. The ankles should be included in washing. It is better to wash them three times from the toes up to the ankles. However, washing them once is the minimum.

Begin by washing the right foot first then follow by the left one.

It was reported that Othman (ra) called for water for wudu and then mentioned the wudu of the Prophet (pbuh) – then Humran said: Then he washed his right foot to the ankle three times and then his left foot to the ankle three times.

  • Du’a to recite after performing Ablution

After you finished the ablution as it is, it is advised to recite the following supplication:

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan Abdoho wa Rasoolah. Allahomma aj’alnee minattawwabeen, waj’alnee mottatahhireen.

This means:

I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship, but Allah, He has no partner, and I bear witness that Mohammad is His servant and His Messenger. O Allah, make me of those who repent for their sins, and of those who keep themselves pure.)

Useful facts about ablution:

  • It is permissible after both wudu and ghusl to dry the body-parts. And the evidence is what Aisha (ra) reports, she said: Rasuulullah (pbuh) had a cloth which he used to dry himself with after making wudu.
  • You can perform more than one prayer with one ablution.
  • It is desirable to use miswaak at any different times as it is established from the prophet (pbuh) that he used to use the siwaak at every prayer, and before reading the Quran, and before sleeping and when waking, and when the breath changes – whether fasting or not, whether at the start of the day on in the afternoon, and it is a form of worship which is easy. O my Muslim Brother, observe it!

Ablution is invalidated by the happening of any of the following:

  • Natural discharges; i.e. urine, stools, gas … etc.
  • Falling asleep
  • Losing sense; i.e. becoming unconscious for any reason such as madness, sickness, drunkenness or by taking drugs
  • Eating camel meat

This is what Allah (swt) has made easy for us to gather together about wudu and its rulings. We hope from Allah the Most High that we have been able to do justice to the subject.

Please any brother or sister who comes across anything in this post which is incorrect, I trust him or her to cover up and give sincere advice in the comments bellow. It is Allah (swt) who grants success.

Thanks very much for stepping by and having a look. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have a question, suggestion or corrections to make. Let’s also use the power of social media to do the work of Allah. I appeal you to share this to your friends. May you succeed in everything you do.

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Benefits of reciting Surah al-Kahf (The Cave)

Surah al-Kahf has 110 ayaat and it was revealed in Makkah.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has said that whoever recites this surah will be protected from fitna (evil) for eight days.

If a person recites the last verse of Surah al-Kahf before sleeping at night, Allah (s.w.t.) creates a Noor (light) from his sleeping place up to the Holy Ka’bah and in this light are angels who continually pray for the reciter until he wakes up.

It is narrated from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that if a person wishes to wake up at a particular time, he should recite the last ayah of this surah and then make the intention that he will wake up at a certain time and he will be able to  wake up at that time INSHAALLAH.

Read Also: Benefits of reciting Surah Rahman

He (a.s.) also said that if a person recites this surah every Thursday night, he will die the death of a martyr. Keeping this surah (written) in the house becomes a means of protection

He (a.s.) also said that if a person recites this surah every Thursday night, he will die the death of a martyr. Keeping this surah (written) in the house becomes a means of protection

He (a.s.) also said that if a person recites this surah every Thursday night, he will die the death of a martyr.

Keeping this surah (written) in the house becomes a means of protection from poverty and debts.

 

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A brief History/Story of Hazrat Bilal Bin Rabah: The Great African Muslim

Bilal is very lovingly remembered by all Muslims of the world as one of the earliest great African Muslim.

He was born in a village in a mountainous place in Western Arabia. Bilal’s father was called Rebah and his mother was known as Hamama. They had come to Arabia as slaves from Ethiopia. The father and mother were slaves of Ummayya bin Khalaf, a rich man from the tribe of Quraish. Bilal was therefore born in slavery and served as a housekeeper. His master Ummayya bin Khalaf was not a Muslim.

When Bilal was about the age of 40, it was the time when Prophet Muhammad started teaching the new religion of Islam, Bilal was attracted by the teaching of Prophet Muhammad. He accepted the religion of Islam and became a Muslim.

When Ummayya bin Khalaf and his family went to worship idols, Bilal would pray to Allah as taught by Islam.

In the early days of Islam, the tribe of Quraish who were strong and many and lived in and around Makkah disliked Islam.

They also disliked Prophet Muhammad and his new teachings. If any person accepted the new religion, they oppressed and harassed him.

One day Ummayya bin Khalaf came to know of Bilal’s secret prayers. He called Bilal and asked,

“Oh Bilal, do you worship and bow down to the God of Muhammad?”

Bilal was not afraid. He replied,

‘Yes Master, I do worship Allah, the only God.”

The reply angered Ummayya greatly. He began to torture Bilal. He was tied with ropes and made to lie on the burning hot desert sand at mid-noon. He was then asked to forget the God of Islam and worship the ‘great’ idols known as LAT and UZZA. But Bilal was strong in his new belief. He refused to worship idols and kept crying “AHAD-AHAD”, meaning “One God, One God.” The tortures continued and were increased. Hot iron rod was stamped on his pained body. Yet Bilal would not yield.

On one hot day, Bilal lay on the burning hot sand tied to the ground. A very heavy stone was placed over his chest. Bilal could no longer bear the heat and the load so great. He had also grown weak. In that tied condition even water was denied to him. In the condition, he lay and lost his senses. As the day neared its end, it became cooler; he regained his conscious (senses). He found that the heavy stone was no more on his chest. He wondered who had come to free him from pain. His heavy eyes slowly opened only to look at the bright smiling face of Prophet Muhammad.

In the condition, he lay and lost his senses. As the day neared its end, it became cooler; he regained his conscious (senses). He found that the heavy stone was no more on his chest. He wondered who had come to free him from pain. His heavy eyes slowly opened only to look at the bright smiling face of Prophet Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad had heard of and seen the torture of Bilal. It pained him extremely to learn that a true believer should suffer in such a manner. He also felt pity for the poor man He told Abu Bakr to purchase Bilal from Ummayya and set him free. This was done. In similar ways the Prophet had many slaves set free. He insisted that slaves be treated fairly and kindly. By his own conduct, he also set such examples.

When Bilal first came before the Holy Prophet, he praised the Holy Prophet in two poetic lines of his native language. The Prophet asked Hassan bin Thabit to translate it in Arabic. He translated it in words which means:

“When in the world, the virtues are described, thou art mentioned as the model of virtues in our midst.”

Among the slaves from Africa, Bilal was the first to accept Islam. He had a strong faith in Allah and a great love for the Prophet. He had a pure character. Soon he earned high respect of the Prophet and other great Muslims of the time. The Prophet liked Bilal’s sweet voice and made him the first Muazzin –The Caller To The Prayers.

image source: Wikipedia

All through his life Bilal remained a close companion of Prophet Muhammad and was with him at every occasion. When the Prophet died he was very saddened. Thereafter all his life he looked grieved and very solemn. He had gone to Madina when the Prophet had migrated.

After the death of the Prophet, he did not feel happy to stay in Madina. He sadly discontinued giving ‘adhan’ and migrated to Damascus, Syria. He died there after about eight (or ten) years. His grave is still existing in the famous Muslim graveyard in Damascus. People still go to his grave to pay respect and salute him.

Bilal Azan: A video of Bilal in action

 

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problems with no solutions? Focus on Allah, you’ll be happy!

I am just wondering if you ever had the feeling that life isn’t good, really bad that you wish you were in another condition. Do you think that life seems to make everything difficult for you, work boring, life sucks, everything seems to go wrong?

It is even better if you know that someday you’ll get to the end of your problems. What about if there isn’t just any solution for you to lay your hopes on? That’s exactly a problem with no solution.

This is a situation you are forced into, and if you are forced into a situation or compelled to do something then you might as well enjoy it!

I’ll always say this to someone who grieves a lot about the fact that he cannot take coffee without sugar. I am talking about a diabetic here.

I’ll ask, “When you are sorry and sad while taking your coffee does the bitterness turn into sweetness?”

Obviously “Not

“Then why grieve over something that will only add-up your pains?” You should enjoy a situation so long as you are forced into it.

What I mean is very simple. The world is not perfect as we wish it to be. In fact, I am yet to meet the person who will say he had it all, and this happens frequently in everybody’s life.

Perhaps you propose to a girl you wish to marry but she turned you down and marries someone else. Can you tell me the solution? You and I know that it’s too late. This is spilled milk that cannot be scooped, why grieve so much over it!

If you haven’t read it yet, check out this post on how to lead a happy lifestyle as a single Muslim.

You may come across a person walking on the street alone; no-one can bear a second to speak to him because he is so frustrated he keeps repeating, “Oh! It’s so hot!”

If you are this kind of a colleague working in the same office with me, it would definitely be a trial for me to see you every day. You definitely will distract colleagues with complaints like “O man, the work is so much! Oh, when will they increase our salaries?”  If not a complaint of pains, then it’s his son’s bad behavior or something similar. He always arrives frowning and leaves resentful.

Coming to think of it, all we should realize is that there are challenges in our lives with absolutely no solutions. The only successful way to deal with them is to pause for a second, take things easy and adjust to it.

Yes, you need to enjoy life! You just have to beware of allowing your difficult situation to reflect on your behavior with your colleagues, at work, with your children etc.

What have they done to deserve such a punishment for problems that they played no part in? Share no grieves and sadness with people around you each time you are seen or remembered.

This is the main reason why the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) forbade one from wailing over the dead, tearing up clothes and screaming.

Why?

Because the only way left is to deal with the dead body, that’s burial. Wailing and Screaming serves no purpose, except that it turns the joy of life into grief.

Problems with no solutions

So, be content with what has been apportioned for you. End of suffering!

If what you desire does not happen, I think there is no reason for not desiring that which does.

A lot of people think a permanent depression is a solution, or excessive complaining to everyone they meet or maybe grumbling over the situation! This doesn’t help in any way.

So what then is the solution?

If what you desire fails, then desire that which has happened.

The one who readjusts himself in accordance with his situation always is the smartest; however, it may be, seeing as he is not able to adjust it for the better.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out this post on the reasons why every Muslim should read the Quran each day, even if you don’t know how to.

Listen to this story…

Once a man was supervising a charity project and during the process, funds became restricted. He then went with his team to one successful businessman to ask for a donation.

When they reached the man’s house, He received them calmly and sat with them for a while, and then gave them whatever he could.

In their presence, the man took some medicine out of his drawer to take. One of the men passed a gentle comment, “I hope everything is ok and nothing serious!

The man replied, “No. these are only sleeping pills. For about a decade now, I cannot sleep without them.”

They then prayed for him and left.

They came across a road construction work on their way home, along which was an extremely noisy electricity generators and other machines.

The strange and surprising thing though was that the man who was task with the responsibility to guard these machines was a poor worker who was comfortably lying down asleep on pieces of newspapers.

Look at this poor old man. Despite the fact that he is poor, it never stops him from enjoying what Allah has apportioned to him.

That’s it; enjoy your life because there is no time to grieve. Deal productively with what is available in front of you because it is not everything that is desired is achievable.

Not everything a man desires he achieves. Often the winds blow in unfavorable directions for the ships. Thus, look to the brighter aspects of your life before looking at the dark side and you will surely be happy.

 

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Benefits of reciting Surah al-Fajr (The Daybreak)

Surah al-Fajr was revealed in Makkah and it has 30 ayat. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) urged believers to recite this surah in their prayers as it is the surah of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and the one who recites it often will be in the company of Imam Hussein (a.s.) on the Day of Judgement.

It is narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) that the one who recites this surah, Allah (s.w.t.) will forgive his sins amounting to ten times the number of people who recite this surah. On the Day of Reckoning, he will have a shining light.

If this surah is written as a talisman and then tied to one’s back, after which he goes to his wife, then Allah (s.w.t.) will give him a child who will be a means of pride and blessings for him.

Read Also: Reason Why Every Muslim Should Read The Quran