Being Thankful

Bismillah.

Being thankful to Allah is hard. It’s even harder when experiencing tough times and nothing seems to be going according to plan. In such a situation, Shaitaan makes us forget the blessings of Allah that we have, instead shifting our focus to the blessing that we are – apparently – deprived of. But thankfully, Allah has sent down the Qur’an that contains the guidance that we need to swat away Shaitaan’s feeble plans.

Allah says,

Say, He is the one who has brought you into being, and has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and hearts; Yet how seldom are you grateful!

[Surah Al-Mulk:23]

How little are we thankful indeed! The most amazing thing here is not that the three organs mentioned in the ayah are fundamental to our physical existence. No! It’s that the three organs mentioned in the ayah – hearing, sight, heart – are the three most important instruments in recognizing the favors of Allah. If these become dulled, then recognizing the favors of Allah becomes difficult.

Think about this: if the heart stops beating, the person dies. If the spiritual heart hardens and dies, the person dies a different type of death; the Qur’an makes no sense and the ahadith seem like fairy tales. This  is the ultimate consequence of being ungrateful to Allah. This is why we can never afford to be ungrateful to Allah – even in the worst of times – because we are putting our existence at risk.

But being thankful is not easy. Sometimes, it’s not even in our control. We need help. “You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help” (1:4). Divine help and guidance is needed to accomplish this task.

Some prophetic guidance to help us be thankful, because without the prophetic guidance we would be clueless:

  1. After waking up, thanking Allah.
  2. Thanking Allah after each prayer.
  3. Thanking others who make a difference in our lives.
  4. Making this dua morning and evening

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Allahumma maa asbaha bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

and for the evenings:

Allahumma maa amsaa bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

The Prophet said, “Whoever says this in the morning has indeed offered his day’s thanks and whoever says this in the evening has indeed offered his night’s thanks”.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed if you are grateful and give thanks, surely, definitely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful, then know that My punishment is indeed most severe” (14:7). So let that drive us to be thankful to Allah – for His blessings, for His favours, for the things He withheld and for the things that He facilitated.

Alhamdulillah.


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The Dua of Musa [AS] and the Answer from Allah [SWT]

Bismillah.

Before Musa [AS] was given prophethood, he fled from the Pharoah to the city of Madyan – he had accidently killed a person and the Pharoah wanted to kill Musa [AS] in revenge. Upon arrival at Madyan, he found a well. At the well he saw a group of men watering their flocks, and two women were standing behind waiting for their turn since they could not jostle with the men for position.

One of Musa’s [AS] greatest and most admirable qualities was that he would always stand up for justice, whether it benefited him, hurt him or neither of the two. So, seeing this injustice he took the flock of the women and watered them on their behalf amongst the men. Keep in mind, Musa [AS] had no benefit from this and he was exhausted after his sudden journey away from Egypt. After he was finished, Musa [AS] went to a shade made this beautiful dua,

My Lord! I am truly in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’

[Surah Qasas:24]

Do you know what happened next?

Musa [AS] was asked by one of the two sisters to come meet their old father who wanted to reward Musa [AS] for watering the flock of his daughters…by marrying him to one of his daughters! Do you see how incredibly Allah [SWT] answered the dua of Musa [AS]?  He asked Allah [SWT] that he is in desperate need of any khair to come from Allah [SWT], and Allah [SWT] gave him a house, a family and a job all in one go!

What I find amazing is the personality of Musa [AS] even before prophethood. Often, when we have nothing to gain or nothing to lose, we never make a stand for the right thing. But subhan Allah, he stood up for justice and Allah rewarded him almost immediately for that.

Another thing that I find amazing is the trust that Musa [AS] had in Allah [SWT]. When he embarked on an unplanned, potentially dangerous journey away from Egypt to Madyan he said, <<قَالَ عَسَى رَبِّى أَن يَهْدِيَنِى سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِ>> “It may be that my Lord guides me to the right way”. And this was before prophethood! How true is the statement of Allah [SWT] that whoever trusts Him, Allah will satisfy him/her and be fully sufficient for him/her [Surah Talaq:3]!

Wa Salaamun ‘alal mursaleen. Wal hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘alameen.

Dua for Laylatul Qadr

Bismillah. Asked Siddiqah bint Al-Siddiq [RA], “what if I knew which night Laylatul Qadr was, then what should I say in it?”

He [SAWS] said, “Say:

[Reported by Tirmithi and Ibn Majah]

Transliteration (hover your mouse for translation)

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun
tuhibbul ‘afwa
fa’fu ‘annee

Some thoughts on this dua (based on the video above and more):

  • The dua is all about afwu. The three prominent words in the dua all share afwu as their common origin.
  • The word afwu عفو has two basic meanings: 1) to erase 2) to have leftovers, be prosperous.
  • Mapping it back to the dua:
    • Allah is the one who completely erases the sin – totally gone – despite having the power to punish.
    • Allah is the one who makes us prosper, gives us lots – mostly without us even asking for it.
    • He loves to erase our sins, loves to make us prosper.
    • fa’fu ‘annee: So erase my sins. Give me lots. Make me prosper.
  • This was given by the Prophet [SAWS] to the most beloved person to him: Aisha [RA]. So that makes the dua extra special.
  • Aisha [RA] didn’t ask the Prophet [SAWS] what I should do in Laylatul Qadr. She knew this is the night to make dua! So she asked for a dua, because that’s what she’ll be doing. An amazing insight into the mindset of the sahabah.

WAllahu alam.

Lastly, here’s a short article on some of my recommendations on what do during Laylatul Qadr.

[Updated 07/13/2015]

My Favorite Dua

Bismillah.

This dua is very special to me. You can say that this is my favorite dua. I try to make it every time in prayer before the tasleem .

In the hadith of Ali [RA] on the description of how Allah’s Messenger [SAWS] used to pray, he reported that at the end of what he said between the tashahhud and the tasleem was:


[Muslim]

Transliteration (hover your mouse for translation)

Allahumm-maghfirlee ma qaddamtu
wa ma akh-khartu
wa ma asrartu
wa ma aa’lantu
wa ma asraftu
wa ma anta aa’lamu bihi min-nee
antal muqaddimu
wa antal mu-akh-khiru
la ilaha illa anta

Al Muqaddim – The One who hastens or speeds whatever He wills/The First
Al Muakh-khir – The One who delays or slows whatever He wills/The Last

We’re asking for forgiveness for everything: for things we did, things we’ll do, things we conceal, things we reveal, things we do over-excessively, and for things we don’t even know exist within us (e.g. the disease of arrogance that lurks amongst most of us, but most of us are sadly unaware of)…Ya Salaam! What an amazing dua!

Also, keep in mind that the Prophet [SAWS] made a similar dua for his ummah in EVERY prayer.

Memorize. This. Dua.

WAllahu alam.

What Pleases Me?

Bismillah.

This is a dua that I’ve been making a lot recently. I find it so comprehensive and complete. In sha Allah, it’ll be of immense benefit.

And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes (i.e. those who please us immensely), and make us leaders for the pious.”

[AlFurqan:74]

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Rise and SHINE Everyday

Bismillah.

Rise and shine everyday by making the dua’ prescribed by Rasool Allah [SAWS] when waking up from sleep.

[Bukhari, Muslim]

Transliteration (hover your mouse for translation)

Alhamdu lillaahil ladhi
Ahyaana ba’da maa amaatana
Wa ilayhin nushoor

Shukr (thankfulness) is by action. So, let’s be thankful to Allah [SWT] first thing in the morning that he gave us the opportunity to live another day.

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Shukr is Action

Bismillah.

‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

When Allah’s Messenger [SAWS] occupied himself in the prayer at night, he observed it with such a extended qiyam (posture of standing) until his feet were swollen.

‘A’ishah said: “Allah’s Messenger, you do this in spite of the fact that your earlier and latter sins have been forgiven for you?”

He [SAWS] replied: “‘A’ishah, should I not prove myself to be a thankful servant of Allah?”

[Muslim]

One of the lessons that we derive from this hadith is that shukr is by action. The Prophet [SAWS] stood up in prayer to show his thankfulness (shukr) to Allah [SWT]. He did an action (the prayer) to show his gratitude towards Allah.

Being thankful to Allah is not easy. It’s very easy to be heedless (ghafil), but very hard to be thankful. A dua to help us be thankful is:

[Abu Dawud]

Transliteration (hover your mouse for translation)

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