A privileged young male Arab at odds with his cultural identity and his less fortunate street smart friend; a disillusioned Indian taxi driver who bears an uncanny resemblance to a famous Bollywood star; and a former Romanian ballet dancer now working as a flight attendant and searching for love and companionship … these individuals all live in Dubai and their lives are about to collide for better or for worse in a city where ambition, growth and opportunity are encouraged and dreams can still manifest. “City of Life” is an urban drama that tracks the various intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining how random interactions and their consequences can irrevocably impact another’s life. As the name suggests, City of Life’s inordinately humane kaleidoscope of converging experiences introduces a city that is in itself a living pulsating character. “City of Life” ultimately reveals how unexpected tragedy and loss can lead to hope and profound transformation as it explores and exposes the complex network that exists in an emerging multi cultural society’s race, ethnicity and class divide. Written by Tanya Wagner.
You know, Subhan’ Allah brothers and sisters, you know when the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Salaam fell sick and he was in his last moments he was; Aisha his wife narrates that was lying down with his head between her chin and her chest and in his last moments, he raised his hand and he said, ‘O Allah, I ask You for companionship with the Highest,’ meaning, I ask you for companionship with You; I wanna be your companion. Right, now Aisha says that when he Sallallahu Assalam says this, she knew that he had chosen to go to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and not stay in this world. And when he passed away, the Ummah fell into a state of confusion and chaos. Like, no one knew what to do. ‘Uthman, he couldn’t even speak, he couldn’t even speak; the narration says he couldn’t even speak. He sat down in the house of Fatimah; in his home. Umar Ibn Al Khattab (ra) he actually stood up in front of the companions in Masjid Nabawi and he pulled out his sword and he said, ‘whoever says, whoever claims that Mohammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has died, I will kill him with this sword of mine! He hasn’t died; he hasn’t died; he will never die!’
There are a number of highly recommendable worshipful practices to be performed during the days of Ramadan, for those who seek closeness to their Lord and His Companionship. Even if in the first part of the month we have missed out on one or more of these acts, we can still make an effort from now to reap their benefits insha Allah.
Don’t Forget or Neglect the Pre-dawn Meal (Suhoor)
It is recommended to partake of a light meal (suhoor)prior to commencing the fast. The fast begins at first light and ends at sunset (maghreb).
“Eat some food before the fast begins, there is blessing in its partaking.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Zaid, the son of Thabit related: “We partook of suhoor (food before the commencement of the fast) during Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah and then stood up for prayer.
He was asked what was the interval of time between the two, so he replied: ‘The time it takes to recite fifty verses (of the Quran).’”
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.” [Muslim]
Joy When Breaking the Fast
The fast is broken at sunset, and it is termed in Arabic iftar. It is a time of happiness and refreshment after experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst. It is usually broken with dates and in many cultures a light soup with bread or small side dishes. Breaking the fast is followed immediately by the evening obligatory prayer. In many parts of the world, including the US, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.
The Prophet (s) said: “Whosoever fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.”
“When evening approaches from this side (east) and the day retreats from this side (west) and the sun has set, the one who is fasting breaks his fast.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Break your fast with a date, or with water because it is pure.” [Abu Daud and Tirmidhi]
Generosity and Good Deeds During the Month of Fasting
Our beloved prophet, Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, spoke on many occasions about the fast of Ramadan.
He informed us of the way in which we should prepare ourselves as well as urging us to do good, to be charitable, and to refrain from ways in which our fast would become invalid.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). [Bukhari].
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
[Bukhari]. “Allah, the Mighty, the Glorified says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for himself, but his fasting is for Me and I shall reward him for it.
The fast is a shield. When any of you fasts he should forsake swearing and noise.’”
Retreat – ‘Itikaf
Regarding the retreat, it was the practice of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, to retreat to the Mosque during the last ten days and nights of Ramadan, fasten his cloak around his waist and encourage his family to do the same. His time in the Mosque was spent in worship and not in idle talk.
If it is one’s intention to offer the retreat then there are specific rules to be observed:
- Once the intention or vow has been taken to observe these days of continuous retreat, the continuity of its observance is broken if he leaves the mosque without a justifiable necessity, such as to attend a funeral.
- However, the observance is not broken when one leaves to go to the toilet. Those in retreat are permitted to renew their ablutions in their own home, but the restatement of the intent must be renewed unless the intention to spend the ten days in advance has been made. Any form of business to and from the mosque is not permissible.
- It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, not to leave the mosque except for the call of nature. Neither would he inquire about a sick person except as he passed by without stopping.
- Sleeping, eating, washing hands in the mosque do not invalidate the retreat, nor yet the emergence of a limb or part of the body from the mosque.
- Sexual intercourse invalidates the observance of the retreat, but not a non-arousing kiss.
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, would go into seclusion for (the last) ten days during the month of Ramadan, but the year in which he passed away he went into seclusion for twenty days.
Narrated ‘Aisha: “Allah’s Apostle used to practice `Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, ‘Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan’”. [Bukhari]
Narrated ‘Aisha (r) (the Mother of the Believers):” Allah’s Apostle used to let his head in (the house) while he was in the mosque and I would comb and oil his hair. When in `Itikaf he used not to enter the house except for a need.” [Bukhari]
Many Muslims dream of having a successful life, but it is easier said than done. Sometimes the things that help you to be successful in this world won’t help in the hereafter. We all have a limited time to understand and assess this situation. I’m sharing 7 points with you to give a head start to be successful in both worlds.
1. Dua (Supplication)
Dua is the most important aspect of a successful Muslim. It has the magic to change your fate for the good. Supplicate often, and ask Allah to show you how to live a successful life that pleases him. Don’t forget your parents your family and the whole ummah in your Dua, because the best gift you can give someone is Dua.
2. Connection with the Holy Quran
The holy Quran is the instruction manual for the whole humanity to be successful in both worlds. It has the answers to tackle every problem you face throughout your life. The Quran is not revealed just to read and put it away. It has to be studied and analyzed in order to bring it to our lives. Ask Allah to help you understand the Quran correctly and make it easy to implement in your life.
3. Helping others
Almighty Allah instructs us to be a service to the humanity regardless their religion or race. Helping others is a profound act which allows us to earn the pleasure of Allah and live a successful life. Allah Himself has promised to offer his divine support to those who strive to help others during misfortunes and disasters.
4. Dealing with temptations
Every one of us succumb to temptations because it is a part of our lives. But actually, a very few of us deal with those temptations effectively. We have to make a huge effort to resist temptations to the max in order to be a successful Muslim. (Read: 7 best ways to control sin)
5. Your companionship
Look around you, and connect with Muslims who are highly-driven with encouraging and positive ideas. If you are serious about becoming a successful Muslim, you have to realize who you are hanging around with, and assess how they can help you to shape and influence your life. That doesn’t mean you have cut out your best friend, but you should decide who deserves more and who deserves less of your valuable time.
6. Focus on the Akhirah
Execute all the simple objectives of this world from your life, and focus solely on the main event; The Akhirah (Hereafter). Live one day at a time and don’t be too nervous about what tomorrow might bring. It takes some time to banish all your distractions which are holding you back from becoming a successful Muslim. Eventually, it will become easier for you to move on to your goal.
7. Don’t give up
Once you commit yourself to take on the journey to achieve success, never ever simply give up yourself for trivial reasons. Chances are you might be so close to reach at your dream. Make sure you stick to your journey until you ultimately arrive at your destination of success.