By: A. A. Mawdudi
The frequency and timings of the Prayers never let the object and mission of life be lost sight of in the maze of worldly activities.
Ibadah (act of worship) is an Arabic word derived from `abd (a slave) and it means submission. It portrays that God is your master and you are His slave and whatever a slave does in obedience to and for the pleasure of his master is worship.
The Islamic concept of worship is very wide. If you free your speech from filth, falsehood, malice, and abuse and speak the truth and talk goodly things and do all these only because God has so ordained to do, they constitute `ibadah, however secular they may look in semblance.
If you obey the law of God in letter and spirit in your commercial and economic affairs and abide by it in your dealings with your parents, relatives, friends, and all those who come in contact with you, then all these activities of yours are worship. If you help the poor and the destitute, give food to the hungry, and serve the ailing and the afflicted persons, and do all this not for any personal gain of yours but only to seek the pleasure of God, they are nothing short of worship. Even your economic activities, the activities you undertake to earn your living and to feed your dependants, are worship if you remain honest and truthful in them and observe the law of God.
“Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity — they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
— Surah al-Baqarah (Holy Quran, 2:277)
Consistent and daily prayer practice constitutes one of the Five Pillars of Islam, holding a place of such importance and benefit that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) stated that it is the observance of daily prayers that delineates belief from disbelief.
And it is one of the great gifts of Islam that Allah Almighty has enjoined prayers upon believers, in effect providing a means to fortify and continually reinforce faith and belief, and to continually remember, for indeed, “faith without works is dead.”
By actively and consciously engaging one’s daily prayers, one can benefit greatly from this unique spiritual practice. Islamic prayer, or salah, provides the following three key benefits.
Indeed, Allah and His angels send prayers upon the Prophet. O you who believe! Send prayers and abundant salutations upon him. (Surah Ahzab, 33:56)
You should realize that prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ is a ladder and means of [spiritual] ascent to arrive unto Allah. That is because sending prayers upon him ﷺ frequently engenders the Prophet’s love, and the Prophet’s love engenders Allah’s love, and Allah’s love for the servant attracts the servant to the Divine Presence—with or without an intermediary.
By: Jumana Al Tamimi
Though Jennifer Grout, the 23-year-old American singer, doesn’t speak a word of Arabic, she has a rare talent: singing Arabic songs, including Arabic traditional ones, so fluently, so softly and so beautifully.
When Grout participated in Arabs Got Talent last year, she was among the top three finalists, with thousands viewing her spine-tingling performances of songs by Umm Kulthoum on YouTube. More recently, a video of a different kind has been drawing attention to Grout — one showing her announcing her conversion to Islam, which was posted online last month.
While she has actually converted to Islam, though “unofficially”, Grout told tabloid!the posted video is not real.
“Actually the video that everyone has seen is part of a Moroccan film I made before my performance aired on Arabs Got Talent.”
“And I originally was upset, and mostly scared, that it ended up on the internet, because I hadn’t even gotten the chance to tell my family and closest friends about Islam before there were headlines everywhere saying I’d converted. However, now that it’s out there, maybe it’s a positive thing — I am not ashamed of what I believe in,” she added in an email interview.
The posted video shows her declaring, in the presence of two men, the shahada, the declaration of faith that is one of the five pillars of Islam. In the shahada, the person states that “there is no God but Allah and Mohammad [PBUH] is His prophet”.
Grout, who lives in Morocco, explained that she has not gone to the mosque to “confirm her conversion with an Imam or get it on paper”.
“But I say the shahada from my heart. I have recently started to perform the [five] daily prayers.”
By: Taha Ghayyur
Time is limited. Death is certain. However, our intention to live a productive life and to serve Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and His creation will itself be enough to count as a positive action.
If you study the seerah (life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) with specific focus on his daily and regular routines, it is an eye-opener. How meticulous he was in planning every aspect of his day; how he prioritized tasks; how serious he was about keeping his word and how he kept his speech precise and not indulging in idle talk. He was the best of creation, Khayru-l-Khalq, and it is natural we should learn from his example. Below are five lessons on time-management that we can draw from the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) enormously productive and purpose-driven life.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not make your houses into graveyards, for the shaytan flees from a house in which Surah al-Baqarah is read.” (Ahmed & Muslim).
“Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “Allah’s Messenger (May Allah’s Peace & blessings be Upon Him) said:
“Do not make your homes into graves, nor make my grave into a place of celebration. Send your prayers and blessings upon me, for they will be conveyed to me wherever you may be.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood with a good sanad, and all of its narrators are trustworthy).
By: Brother Alex
1. Practice Islam as much as you can
“He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise.”
-The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (Tirmidhi)
As a new Muslim, you will have trouble keeping up with prayers every day, fasting during Ramadan, and the many other practices in this religion. The struggle that we face, with such a radical change in lifestyle, is difficult and will take some time. Awkward moments are bound to happen, don’t fret. You are not expected to wake up at 4am every morning to pray tahajjud (extra night prayers). If you have problems with certain practices, then gradually work yourself into the mindset of worship. A counsellor once told me when I was young, “How do you eat an elephant? Just One bite at a time.” Think of it as one step at a time. Pray to Allah and ask for Him to make it easy for you and the rest will come naturally.
Keeping up with your devotional practices is something that will strengthen your faith immensely. Read the Qur’an whenever possible. Find a collection of hadith, such as Riyadh us-Saliheen, and read it often. You will start to feel a connection to Allah and you will become used to Islam as a religion and way of life.