Posted by Akhi Soufyan
Photo of a ray-less Sunrise, a sign of Laylat’l-Qadr the night before
We prepare ourselves so well for Laylat’l-Qadr in terms of what it means to us andwhen it will be, but when we get there many of us don’t know what to actually do on the night itself and achieve the success being offered!
So, we came up with a plan as gleaned from the actions of the blessed early generations:
1. Prepare a list before the evening starts listing all of the specific du‘ās you want to make. This is not necessarily a Sunnah of course – this is only because the Muslims of our generation are not so great at ritual worship and making long, detailed meaningful du‘ās by ourselves; thus we need help, direction and structure.
2. Pray ‘Ishā in Jamā‘ah – that’s half the night in prayer achieved as stated by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Muslim, and that’s a portion of Laylat’l-Qadr achieved as stated by some of the Salaf like Ibn al-Musayyib and al-Shāfi‘ī.
3. Pray with the Imām, don’t leave him after 4 rak‘ah or 8 rak‘ah or whatever. Finish the Tarāwīḥ prayer with him and the Witr prayer as well, even if he prays it early in the night. You have now achieved the reward of praying the full night, which if it is Laylat’l-Qadr, then you’ve in sha Allah achieved the full reward of standingthe night of Laylat’l-Qadr as stated by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
4. Avoid setting up two night prayers, calling them Tarāwīḥ and Tahajjud.Either elongate one of them to last longer in the night, or just pray one of them completely with the Imam with Witr. This is the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Ramaḍān: a single congregational prayer, not two separate ones, is the action of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
5. Make a HUGE amount of du‘ā during ALL the rest of the time available before Fajr starts.
6. If you feel the need to take little breaks in the night, only do the following in them:
a) Give plenty of Ṣadaqah, carefully and judiciously, to the highest-returning projects as possible, across as many fields and initiatives as possible, as varied as possible, as much as possible. Take advantage of the hugely multiplied rewards on offer. You can plan this in advance online to save time browsing on the night itself.
b) Read or reflect on something beneficial about Allah or read the Qur’ān itself. Focus on His Mercy. And then call upon that Mercy later in your du‘ā.
c) Keep your tongue busy with dhikr. Don’t waste a single second talking, watching or listening to anything from the dunya if possible. It’s just not worth it. It can wait one night.
7. If you want to bank on just one du‘ā to really focus on during this night then choose the best Prophetic one of:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allāhumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuḥibbul ‘afwa, fa‘fu ‘annī
(O Allah, indeed you are the One who pardons, indeed you love to pardon. So please pardon me.)
8. Reduce the amount of food and time you will spend on eating Suḥūr so that you can spend more time making du‘ā. This night is about standing in prayer, yes, but if you’ve done the above, then that standing is sufficient. Now make the night allabout du‘ā.
9. Pray the Fajr prayer in Jamā‘ah with the Imām. You have just achieved standing the entire night in prayer as stated by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in al-Bukhāri. So that’s all of Laylat’l-Qadr in standing achieved if it was indeed that night. Doing this is like a double guarantee for the night
10. Finally, after your dhikr until Sunrise and your Shurūq prayer, get to sleep quickly so as to not to sleep too much during the day because there’s more ‘ibādah to be done on the 27th day too, to complete a successful night of al-Qadr as per the actions of the Salaf.
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Posted by Akhi Soufyan
The following is a useful resource we can use to help us figure out what sort of person we should marry, and can also come in handy when asking questions!
There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage. The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility. One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone.
A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are. The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them. The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent.
Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc. Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised. When you consider these limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place? Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences. If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase, the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid:
1) Do Not Marry Potential:
Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change. This is the wrong approach on both accounts. Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential. There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them. These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc.
2) Choose Character over Chemistry:
While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love. The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:
The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort. They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money? How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character. You can you rely on this person and trust what they say.
A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have. They very rarely complain.
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