6 Steps to Plan Your Ramadan!

6 minute read

Ramadan 2021 is just around the corner, and there is this beautiful festivity and excitement in the air as we all wait anxiously for the month to arrive. 

Around this time of the year, I am usually opening up my journals to plan out how I want this Ramadan to go. When we want to achieve the best in something, we always tend to have a plan. As the quote goes, ‘If you fail to plan, plan to fail.’ But sometimes we forget to apply the same system to our Hereafter too.

My first time I tried actively planning for Ramadan was around 3 years ago, when I first started bullet journaling. Its been an ongoing experiment these past 3 years, but there’s so much I’ve gained by taking this up and so I wanted to share a few tips to help anyone begin their Ramadan plan.

So, here’s 6 steps to plan for your Ramadan. 

1. Reflect

Before you begin to plan for this Ramadan, sit down with yourself and reflect on how your previous year since last Ramadan went. We want to make sure every Ramadan was better than the previous and to do that we need to first identify how the previous one went. Journaling comes in handy as it gives you access to exactly how your days played out. However, if you are not a journal-er, fret not. Simply think back to last Ramadan and jot down: 

  • What you think went well 
  • What habits were you able to sustain throughout the year
  • What you think did not go as well 
  • Why do you think this happened

Here is an example –

What went well: I prayed taraweeh every night

What habit was I able to sustain throughout the year: The 12 Sunnah salaahs

What didn’t go so well: I didn’t have as much khushoo in my prayers as I would have liked. 

Why: I didn’t cut down on my social media use and so had the same level of khushoo outside Ramadan

Jot as many as you can think of, as all these reflections will help to shape a better Ramadan for this year.

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2. Dunya Schedule

Identify what type of worldly obligations and responsibilities you have. As much as we would all like to dedicate our full days to just ibadah (worship), work and study is inevitable. By not taking into account these variables, we end up setting unrealistic goals for ourselves which inevitably leads to disappointment.

 So, do you have classes, meetings, deadlines, exams? Set out a calendar for the month of Ramadan and mark down all these events. By doing this, you are now able to create goals that are realistic to your situation.

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3. Things to cut down on

Ramadan is a month of doing as much good as possible. However, before we consider what extra deeds we want to do in the month, we first have to decide what we want to cut out. This is a step that is often overlooked, but one that is extremely crucial if we want to truly benefit spiritually. 

Reflect on this Hadith:

“Verily, when the servant commits a sin, a black mark appears upon his heart. If he abandons the sin, seeks forgiveness, and repents, then his heart will be polished. If he returns to the sin, the blackness will be increased until it overcomes his heart.”

(Tirmidhi 3334)

Think back to last Ramadan. Look at your step 1, to the points about what did not go so well for you. Were you spending your mornings with the Quran, standing the nights in prayer, listening to reminder after reminder, but found yourself unable to truly feel connected in prayer, unable to cry during your dua? If this is you, this could simply mean there was some other deed that was stopping you from really reaching that connection. If there was a sin you were indulging during the month, there may have a been a few extra black spots on your heart for it to truly take in the blessings of all the good acts you were performing.  

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Keep in mind that a lot of the time, the deeds that stop this are not exactly sins in themselves. They are in between and so we tend to guiltlessly indulge in them without realizing that this leads to a lot of ghaflah (heedlessness) and waste of time. Both these effects seep into our good deeds without us realizing, preventing us from truly gaining spiritually.

There are many different acts that can cause this; excessive socialising, entertainment, etc. And a big one — social media. While a lot of good can be found, we all know what happens when you start scrolling through meme pages. The best course of action is to limit your use, whether it be placing time limit apps or installing them only for a particular time in the day. 

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4. Things to add on

Since we have considered what we are going to cut down on, we can now move onto what we want to add. 

I like to break this down into:

  • Habits I want to build
  • Extra acts of worship

Habits I want to build

These are acts that you want to continue for the rest of the year. Ramadan is the perfect time to build new habits. It’s the New Year’s resolution time for the Muslim, and Allah gives us a month where the Shaytan are locked up to make it easier for us to set it in stone.

These habits can range from wanting to pray all 5 Salaah to more Dhikr or Sadaqah. But keep in mind 2 points when deciding what habits you want to build. Firstly, consider your why. Why do you want to build this habit, what is your intention? This helps you stay motivated to stick with the habit. After that, we need a course of action for how you are going to achieve it. This means giving it a time in your day to implement it. Without assigning a time, it becomes very easy to overlook it. My favourite way of doing this is attaching it to an action that I’m already consistent with. This makes it a lot easier to build the habit.

For example:

Habit I want to build: Reciting 100 istighfar a day.

Why: Because the one who is constant in seeking forgiveness, Allah makes for him “a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” (Riyad as-Salihin 1873)

Course of action: Recite 20 after every prayer.

A reminder to not try to become too ambitious with the number of habits you want to add. These are habits you want to keep past Ramadan, for life. Try to limit yourself to 2–3 and keep in mind the Hadith;

“the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”

(Bukhari 6464)

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Extra acts of worship

We know every good deed in Ramadan is multiplied immensely in reward, so we want to make sure we exert ourselves in good deeds. These are the main areas to consider when deciding on what extra acts you want to do.

  • Quran — more recitation, reading the translation, reflecting on the meaning
  • Salaah — the 12 Sunnah, Salatul Duha, Taraweeh
  • Sadaqah — setting an automatic daily charity system, helping out with Iftar, volunteering
  • Dhikr — morning and evening duas, Istighfar, Salawat

These are all just examples. Think back to your reflections from step 1 and decide which good deeds went well for you last Ramadan and which new ones you would like to add to this year. 

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5. Timetable

Steps 1 to 4 gave us all the jigsaw pieces to achieve the best Ramadan. Now, it is about putting the jigsaw pieces together. I do not recommend having an hour-by-hour timetable as that can feel too constraining and harder to stick to. Instead, I usually take this in 2 steps.

Firstly, planning the day in slots, revolving around Salaah. Decide what you want to slot in from one salaah to the next. Your Dunya Schedule from step 2 can help identify which slots you need to dedicate to your worldly obligations, and which slots you can use for your ibadah (worship).

Secondly, extending your Salaah breaks to stay on your prayer mat for a few more minutes than usual to incorporate some good deeds from step 4. For example, reciting x amount of Quran and y amount of Dhikr after each prayer. This is a beautiful yet simpler way of incorporating those habits you want to build. It also adds this amazing barakah to your day since everything is revolving around acts of worship and it also means you do not have to dedicate chunks of your day to solely one action as that can feel difficult to maintain long term.

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6. Dua list

Although this isn’t a point explicitly connected with planning, making a Dua list is something I highly recommend. This is where you note down, in a list, all the Duas you want to ask Allah. Apart from the list helping you to not leave out anything, the most beautiful part is when you look back on this list, days or months later, and realise how many of your Duas Allah has been answering. There is no moment of greater gratitude. 

If you are struggling where to start, below are a few categories. Remember to make this Dua list personal to you. Feel free to add Duas from the Quran and Hadith but also keep in mind that Dua is your personal conversation with your Lord. 

  • My Hereafter
  • My family and friends
  • My Deen (relationship with Allah, Quran, knowledge)
  • My Dunya (career, aspirations, marriage)
  • My internal state (character, state of heart)

اَللّهُمَّ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

I pray that Allah allows us all to reach this Ramadan and fully reap all the benefits from it. Ameen.

Making the Most of Ramadan: Light on the Tongue

3 minute read

Light on the Tongue But Heavy On the Scales

So often we get caught up in the rush of life to the extent that we can go for long periods without remembering Allah outside the obligatory acts. We may utter Alhamdulilah or Subhanallah or Masha’Allah in response to certain situations, but do we ever stop to really ponder the weight of these words?

Allah says in the Quran:

“O You who believe!  Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41].

Dhikr grounds us; when we are busy chasing the dunya it’s a means of reminding us that we are in fact seeking far greater than it. It’s the perfect act for us to incorporate into our days, requiring nothing more than for us to move our tongues and engage our hearts. It is something we can do whilst walking around campus, or cooking or doing some other mundane task. When a man came to the Prophet ﷺ  complaining that the laws of Islam were too many for him, and asking for something he could hold onto, the Prophet ﷺ replied:

Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah [Sunan Ibn Majah – 3793]

Below are some small phrases we can repeat as a form of dhikr and reap the generous benefits from doing so:

1.     Subhanallah wa bihamdihi subhaanallahil adheem

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are two statements that are light on the tongue, heavy on the Scale, and beloved to Ar-Raḥmān: “Glory is to Allah and the praise; Glory is to Allah, the Magnificent. (Subḥān Allāhi wa biḥamdih, Subḥān Allāhil-Aẓīm)” [Tirmidhi]

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. [Sahih al-Bukhari – 6405]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who recites ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi’ in the morning and in the evening 100 times, will not be surpassed on the Day of Judgement by anyone with better deeds except the one who says the same words or more.” [Muslim]

2.     Astagfirullah wa atoobu ilayhi

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said: ‘I seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him one hundred times each day.’ [Ibn Majah]

3.     La hawla wa la quwwata illa bilaah

The Prophet ﷺ said to Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari  : “Should I guide you to a word which is one of the treasures of Paradise?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet ﷺ said, “La hawla wala quwwata illa billaah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

4.     Subhanallah wal hamdu lilahi wallahu akbar

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who says ‘Subhānallāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 camels. He who says ‘Alhamdullilāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 horses on which he sends 100 warriors. He who says ‘Allāhu Akbar’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than freeing 100 slaves.” [Ibn Majah]

5.     Alhamdulilah

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Purity is half of Iman. Alhamdulillah fills the scales, and subhan-Allah and Alhamdulillah fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the Salah (prayer) is a light, and charity is a proof, and patience is illumination, and the Qur’an is a proof either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin.” [an-Nawawi – 23]The ultimate form of dhikr is the Quran. As the above hadith states, the Quran can either be a witness for us or against us on the day of judgement. Ramadan is the perfect time to work on our relationship with the Quran so that bi’thnillah it will be a proof for us on that day. We should set aside some time each day to read and reflect on the Quran, and if we do not know Arabic, to read the translation alongside it and try our best to understand and reflect upon the meanings.

Who is Allah? Al-Witr, The One and The Unique

3 minute read

Al Witr – The One and The Unique

Allah is the One who each and every one of us depends on and, He is the one and only Deity that we believe in. Allah swt is One in His being, meaning there is no other like Him. He is unique in His essence, in all His attributes and there is nothing equal to Him in any way.

Linguistically the word ‘Witr’ means that which is odd-numbered, uneven or not equable. Allah’s name Al-Witr is related in meaning to His beautiful names Al-Ahad and Al-Waahid.

Al-Waahid shows that He is One and that he has always been One. There was never a time where there were multiple Gods, and there never will be. Al-Ahad conveys the meaning that there is no one similar in His uniqueness. Allah swt is absolutely unique in His attributes and characteristics. His listening and His hearing are not like anyone else’s listening and hearing. This is supported by the ending of Surah Ikhlaas – ‘nor is there to Him any equivalent’.

And Al-Witr is the One, the Odd, and an entity that cannot be divided. Allah swt has no match, He is unparalleled and unequalled. He cannot be divided and there is no one that can become equal to Him or that can become His counterpart.
Allah says, “All praise be to Allah Who has neither taken to Himself a son, nor has He any partner in His Kingdom, nor does He need anyone, out of weakness, to protect Him.” (Al Isra 17:111) Similarly, when the polytheists came to the Prophet SAW and said to him “tell us about the lineage of your Lord”, Allah swt revealed Surah Ikhlaas to highlight there is no lineage for Allah swt. You do not talk about Allah the way you talk about the creation. You do not liken Allah to the creation – when you look at the creation you wonder; where is its origin? Where did it come from? But Allah swt is the Creator, He always was and always will be One.

Allah swt has created the entire creation in pairs, as he says, “And of everything We have created two pairs” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:49) such that they have an opposite or counterpart. It is only then it is complete, i.e., the is no concept of light if there is no darkness. Things are known by their opposites, if not their existence would be incomplete. However, Allah swt is independent of ALL. He is perfect and complete in and of Himself. He alone is the Creator and there is no Owner besides Him. He has absolute authority and power over the creation.

Therefore, all of these names are teaching us that Allah azza wa jall is One and Unique in His essence, all His powers, knowledge and abilities. He is One in His Uloohiyya, no one has a share, He is the only One that deserves worship. All attributes of divinity are solely confined to Allah and this is why we believe in the concept of Tawheed.

So how can we live by this name?
Study the meaning and increase your understanding of the Oneness of Allah (Tahweed). It is important to live with the understanding of the Oneness of Allah swt. If you don’t know about the oneness of Allah, then you are missing out – you are missing out on life and on your true purpose of existence. Tawheed is liberating, it is a beautiful wholesome concept which satisfies our minds and hearts and brings us clarity. Tawheed is the greatest reality because it is the reality of our Creator.

In this life, when you believe that it is Allah swt who is the giver and disposer of all affairs, He is the one who has all power. You ONLY need to strive to please Allah. Allah is Al-Witr, the One who your complete focus should be on. Give Allah swt importance over everything else. Remind yourself each day Allah swt is the only one who can give you Paradise, so put Him first and not what people think or want of you or even what your nafs whispers to you. Once you are able to do this, everything else falls into place. This is when your heart will truly be at peace; you will have found your purpose in life.

Lastly mention and declare His Oneness when making Dua.
O Allah, Al-Witr, we bear witness that there is no God but You, we know that You are One and Unique. Help us to remind ourselves of Your oneness and turn to You only for all our needs and us of those who consistently pray the Witr Prayer.’ Allahumma Ameen♥️

Making the Most of Ramadan: Intentions

2 minute read

Each year, when Ramadan comes around, it’s very easy for us to feel overwhelmed – there is so much we would like to get done in a day, but we’re often limited by the hours we have. We may begin Ramadan with ambitious goals, only to reach the end of the month realising that we came nowhere close to achieving them. Being students, we sometimes feel frustrated that we’re not spending as much time in Ibadah as we’d like, due to university and other commitments, but it really shouldn’t have to be like that.

Ramadan is a blessed month in which the rewards of our actions are increased many times over, and we should take full advantage of this. It is a time in which we can move closer to Allah, free ourselves from the whispers of Shaytaan and our own nafs, and continue on the path to attain taqwa. By beginning to incorporate some of the simple acts mentioned below into our day, we hope this Ramadan will encourage us all to take a step towards maximising our time and therefore our reward, insha’Allah.

Through a series of blog posts, we hope to give you tips on how best to make the most of your Ramadan, insha’Allah!

Everything begins with our intention:

Before lifting a finger, we must firstly decide what we intend by our actions.

After all, the Prophet ﷺ said ‘Actions are but by intentions and every person shall have only that which he intended’ [Sahih al-Bukhari – 1] and this is something we can use to our advantage. Of course, when we fast, pray, or recite dhikr we may intend it as worship, but what if we could apply this concept to even the most mundane, everyday tasks? What if we could turn sleeping, eating, and even bathing into an opportunity to earn ajr?

The key to this is our intentions and being mindful of them. So often we are on autopilot and we catch ourselves doing certain acts purely out of habit. To avoid this, we must pause before we pick up the Quran, or raise our hands to begin salah and ask ourselves why am I doing this?

Similarly, when we do things we wouldn’t necessarily think of as obvious acts of worship we should pause to think, is there some way I can make what I am about to do a form of Ibadah?

For example, when we would like to sleep, we can set our intention as fulfilling our body’s rights over us and gaining strength with the intention of waking up to pray tahajjud, or fajr, or do some other good with it.

When we break our fast, we can begin with eating an odd number of dates with the intention of following the sunnah of our beloved Prophet ﷺ. When we eat, we can intend it so that we are nourishing our bodies so we can stand to pray taraweeh.

If we adopt this mindset and seek a means to make everything we do an act of worship, we will bi’ithnillah begin to understand what Allah means when He says:

“I did not create jinn or man except to worship me” [51:56].

Who is Allah: At-Tayyib, The Good, The Pure

2 minute read

At-Tayyib. The Good, The Pure.

Allah (swt) is utterly good whereas his creation is not. He is unconditionally pure and good and no creation has that attribute associated with it. He is The Good, The Kind and The Pure in His Essence, Names, Attributes, Actions and Words. He does not accept any deed or saying from us, except that which is good.


Allah (swt) is free from all imperfections and is pure in his being. Its narrated in Sahih Muslim “Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good. And verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers”. He makes what he wills good and pure to accept it. Allah (swt) destined good people to good deeds, He guides them to everything good in life because of their goodness. He chooses the best of His creation for Himself such as His Messengers and the righteous. He blesses His obedient servants with good provision, just as He did for His Messengers, peace be upon them.

So how can we use this name? Well we as muslims must ensure our hearts and bodies are good and pure, void of any bad desires or doubts. We must adopt the attributes which agree with some of the Divine attributes, i.e. we have to be good and pure in our manners and character, we should distance ourselves from the filth of sins, and the harming of people, we should race to good deeds, for ourselves and for the people. We should be good in our relationship with our Lord, worship him sincerely and good in treating people. We as the slaves of Allah (swt) should not praise ourselves and describe ourselves as good. The worst kinds of praising is to describe ourselves with a quality that is not in us, or another person with a quality that is not in him.

One of my favourite duas which we should all make in order to become purer and to become from those that strive for goodness is:

‘O Allah! Assist me in remembering You, in thanking You, and in worshipping You in the best of manners’
Allahumma Ameen.

The 7 Shaded Groups on the Day of Judgement

7 minute read

Our days and nights, months and years are based upon the orbit of the Earth around the sun. This sun is over 148km away from us but a day will come where it will be brought only 1 or 2 miles away from us. Imagine the intensity of a sun brought this close to us with a temperature of over 5000 degrees celsius and a vastness such that over a million Earths could fit inside it. We find the temporary heatwaves in this world unbearable so how would we cope with the heat and severity of a day equivalent to 50,000 years?

“The sun will be brought close to mankind on the Day of Resurrection until its distance from them will be one mile”. Then the Prophet (saw) said “Because of this, people will become submerged in sweat, the severity of which will depend on their deeds. Some will be submerged up to their ankles, others up to their knees, others up to their waists whilst others will be submerged to their jaws.” The Prophet (saw) then pointed to his mouth. [Muslim]

On this unrelenting day filled with much calamity and hardship, Allah has guaranteed His shade for 7 groups of people. The shade on this day will be provided by Allah’s arsh and this will be the only shade available on this day, it will be a form of salvation to those who are extended it. We’re constantly striving to make our lives in this dunya as comfortable for us as possible so let us also prepare ourselves for this day too by learning who these 7 groups of people are and what we can do to be amongst them bi’ithnillah.

“There are seven types of people whom Allāh will give protection with His Shade on a Day when there will be no shade except His Shade.

(1) A just ruler;

(2) a young person who grew up with the worship of Allāh; 

(3) a person whose heart is attached to the mosque; 

(4) two persons who love, meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allāh; 

(5) a man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces, but he rejects this offer by saying: ‘I fear Allāh’; 

(6) a person who gives a charity and conceals it to such an extent that the left hand might not know what the right has given; 

(7) and a person who remembers Allāh in privacy and his eyes weep.”

[Bukhari]

1: A Just Ruler

This first category isn’t limited solely to those in great positions of authority such as those who are leaders of countries or large nations but rather extends to any individual who is in a position of authority over people and acts justly. When in such a position, it can be so easy to be more lenient towards those with whom we have personal connections with but remembering and fearing Allah allows us to treat everyone equally. This includes not accepting bribes or taking sides and giving everyone their due rights.

“The people of justice will be given pulpits made from light. They are those who do justice in their rulings, amidst their families and in all that which they have authority over.” [Muslim]

2: The Youth Raised In The Worship of Allah

These are the people who spent their youth in the way of Allah. This time is the prime of our life and we should therefore spend it in complete submission to Allah. The people who come under this category would frequent the masjid to pray and dedicate their time to circles of knowledge and remembrance. They would surround themselves with righteous company and use their youth to serve their parents. They would give in the way of charity and use their abilities to engage in projects that work towards benefitting the community as a whole. Our desires and urges peak at this time and with the haraam being so widespread and accessible, it can be hard to stay away from them but this is why the reward for our patience is so great. We will be held accountable for how we spent our youth and it is for this reason we should spend it in servitude to our Lord with the hope of attaining His pleasure and shade. 

Action point: We could make an effort to drop some change in our local masjid bucket each time we visit. We could start up projects in our community or even contribute our time and services to existing projects, this is a way to utilise our strengths to help us add benefit to our ummah. We can surround ourselves with company that encourage us to be in obedience to Allah swt, those who we gather with for the sake of Allah, and those who we feel ashamed to sin in front of.

3: A Person Whose Heart is Attached To The Masjid

Lockdown caused many of us to reflect on our relationship with the masjid. When we had full access to it, were we utilising it to the best of our abilities? Or were there so many more opportunities we could’ve taken up to spend more time in the houses of Allah? The people whose hearts are attached to the masjid are those who love to stay in the masjid to pray in congregation, recite Qur’an, make dhikr, attend halaqas and so much more. 

“When a man goes out of his house to the Masjid, one foot records a good deed and the other erases a bad deed.” [Bukhari]

Action point: This category is one we can still work to come under. We can take the first step from now to amend our relationship with the masjid by taking every opportunity we can to attend congregational prayers and stay a bit longer to engage in some dhikr too.

4: Two People Who Love One Another For The Sake Of Allah

Most of the people we meet and tend to get along with best are those we feel we have much in common with, be it mutual hobbies, culture or work. However these are things that can constantly be changing and as we grow, we may find we no longer have that same love and passion for the things that once excited us. When this happens, it is completely natural that the company around us may also change as our interests evolve.

Our love for Allah is not based upon the temporary situations of this dunya, rather it transcends time and borders as it is infinite. Our love for Allah is something that can only increase so when two people unite for His cause only, it is one of the strongest and purest forms of love. These are people who care intensely for each other’s akhira, meet purely for remembrances of Allah, guide each other to good and advise against the bad in the hope of an eternal reward. On the Day of Judgement, Allah will call for those who loved each other for His sake and will shade them with His shade. 

A man set out to visit a brother (in faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel on his way. When the man met the angel, the latter asked him: Where do you intend to go? He said: I intend to visit my brother in this town. The angel said: Have you done any favor to him? He said: No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious. Thereupon the angel said: I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake). [Muslim]

Action point: If you already have someone you love purely for Allah’s sake, hold onto them and tell them of your love, or reach out and find someone with the sole intention of guiding each other towards acts of good

5: A Person Who Resists A Direct Temptation From The Opposite Gender

This is the person who, when faced with the opposite gender seducing them, turns away saying they fear Allah. The opposite gender is one of the greatest fitnas for our ummah and with it being so widespread, it is one that can be so easy to fall into. However, by suppressing this desire and walking away out of fear of Allah, we realise that the shade of Allah is much more precious than any fleeting desire we may experience in this world. 

Say, “I truly fear—if I were to disobey my Lord—the torment of a tremendous Day.” [39:13]

Action point: We can work towards lowering our gaze and avoiding idle talk with the opposite gender. The Prophet (saw) advised us to marry young where it is possible for us to do so.

6: A Person Who Gives Charity in Secrecy

Charity is highly encouraged and is an essential part of our faith. The Prophet saw told us that charity does not decrease wealth in the slightest, rather it will result in an exponential reward: 

The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies the reward even more to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing [2:261]

Parting with our wealth can be difficult for us especially when we feel as though we put in a lot of effort to earn it, however when we recognise our wealth is only a blessing from Allah, it is only correct that we spend it in His cause. Giving charity in private purifies our intentions and is a cause for Allah to expiate some of our sins. 

Action point: The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are consistent even if they are small so we can aim to set aside a small daily amount to give in charity, with the sole intention of earning Allah’s pleasure and His shade on that day where there will be no shade but His. One of the ways we could do this is via sharethemeal app, which allows you to give to charity on a consistent basis.

7: A Person Who Remembers Allah in Private and Weeps

How many of our deeds do we do publicly? How many are kept private? Are we as motivated to do good behind closed doors as we are when out in the public eye? Reflecting upon these questions may encourage us to revisit our intentions and think about the purpose of our actions. When secluded, it becomes much easier for us to drop our guard and fall into actions that aren’t beneficial to us but when we have that taqwa (God-consciousness) and are aware that Allah is All-Seeing and All-Hearing, we become much more conscious of  our actions. The more we worship Allah in private, the deeper our eman grows and the deeper our sincerity. When inevitably faced with trials and tribulations, the foundations of sincerity and eman we have cultivated will put us in a much stronger position to stand firm bi’thnillah. 

Action point: By knowing who Allah is and being aware of His qualities and attributes, our taqwa will grow and we will be much more mindful of our actions. This comes from us taking the time to reflect on His names and being aware of them in the different aspects of our life, we can start by making the intention to learn just 1 name per week and seeing all the different ways it manifests in our lives. 

Who is Allah: Al Mu’akhir, The Delayer

2 minute read

Al Mu’akhkhir is the Delayer, the One who postpones and puts off advancement. The One who holds something back in order to put it in its correct place. He delays the disobedient ones and grants His guidance to those who obey Him. He postpones the penalty of the oppressor because He is Compassionate and Merciful.

This attribute of Allah is a reminder to us to have faith in Allah that He is the best planner. If things happen to us that we do not understand, or if there is something we want but cannot seem to achieve, have faith that it will come in due time and that any delay has khair (good) in it. Often when we are struck with calamity, we want the ease to come straight away, not realising the reward there is in having sabr and understanding that only Allah knows when the time is right. This can be applied to getting a job, getting married, having a baby, loneliness in friendships or troubles at home. Perhaps getting that job when YOU wanted it would clash with something else and put you in a vulnerable situation. You wouldn’t realise this until later and think ‘ah, THAT’S why I was given the job now and not then’. You end up putting these things together afterwards. However, the reward is in having faith in Allah SWT’s qadr DURING your hardship. That is when you are tested at your lowest and show your true imaan. So know that your time for goodness will come and fully trust His timing.

This attribute of Allah also means that oppressors of this world will not necessarily be punished for their sins in this dunya. That perhaps the Delayer knows that their true punishment will be the hellfire and therefore, we must have trust in that. We must believe that all justice will be restored in due time and that terrible things happening in this life does not mean that Allah SWT has turned a blind eye to them. Surely He is Al Aleem – the All Knowing and so knows when to hold something back so that it can be given at the correct time, including both punishment and blessings.

It also refers to guiding those towards the right path. Often, those who are born into Islam, will reach a point in which they ‘re-discover’ Islam on their own terms and at their own pace. This enlightenment is also an act of the Delayer who chose the perfect point in your life for you to truly turn to Him. And the same goes for reverts. Why weren’t they born Muslim? Al Mu’akhkhir post poned the moment they said la ilaha illallah as He knows what the best time would be for them.

For us to learn from this attribute, we must practice when to hold back and say no to certain things in order to prevent greed, so we can obtain those things at a better time instead. It could be holding off buying a car so you can help your parents with the rent, or perhaps not getting married just yet as you have other duties to fulfil first, or dropping some extra curricular work to focus on your studies etc. Surely when we delay something for the right reasons, for the sake of Allah, there will be barakah in it and we will obtain it in better conditions if Allah wills that for us.

Who is Allah: Al Hayyee, The Shy One

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Al-Hayyee – The Shy One.

He who loves and inspires modesty and shyness in His slaves and who Himself possesses the perfect modesty, so much so that He swt feels shy to leave those who ask Him empty-handed and doesn’t like to expose the misdeeds of His Slaves.

Hayyee comes from the root haa- yaa- yaa. Linguistically, Haya refers to the attribute of modesty, shyness and humility. The word Haya is used when speaking about the creation, it means to refrain from that which is bad and shameful. The Prophet SAW told us that every religion has its own distinguishing characteristic, and the character of Islam is Haya. [Abu Dawood] Haya is the intrinsic mechanism which prevents us from doing that which is displeasing to Allah SWT.

Shyness and modesty can be perceived as weakness or lack of confidence but in reality, these are among the most beloved characteristics by Allah. Having a deep sense of Haya is a true blessing. The Prophet SAW said, “Surely Allah (is One who) has Haya and is the Protector. He loves Haya and people who cover each other’s’ faults.” [Al-Bukhaari].

So how can we live by this name?
Realise that Haya is not something to be ashamed of and rather it beautifies. The Prophet SAW said, “when lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when Haya is a part of anything it becomes beautiful.” [At-Tirmidhi] Therefore, reflect on the way that we talk, the way that we carry ourselves, the way that we interact with people, the jokes that we make – implement Haya within these acts and recognise that everything that we do we will be accountable for.

Moreover, don’t be ashamed to tell the truth, stand up for that which Allah SWT has ordained and forbid the evil. Do not let shyness of people stand in the way of the orders of Al-Hayyee. Allah is the Shy One but ‘Allah is not Shy of the truth’ (Al Ahzab 33:53).
In doing so, strive for Haya with Allah swt. Strengthen your connection for indeed the greatest modesty you must have is with Allah swt. It is He who showers His blessings upon us, but we often use these very blessings to sin, even though modesty is the thing we need most! Know that Allah is Al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and that every thought and act is witnessed by Him. Allah says, “- and whatever deed you (mankind) may be doing (good or evil), We are Witness thereof, when you are doing it -” (Yunus, 10:61) Let this motivate you to increase in Haya!

Lastly, raise your hands and ask Al-Hayyee. The Prophet saw said, “Your Lord is modest and generous and would never turn the hands of someone without gain when he raises them to Him [in supplication].” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood] This is Al- Hayyee – the One with perfect modesty, a divine attribute befitting none but Him and suits His majesty and greatness to the exclusion of all creation. This modesty is in no way similar to modesty displayed by any of His creatures, for it denotes His all-encompassing mercy, perfect grace and kindness, and great forgiveness and forbearance.

Ya Allah, Al-Hayyee, we know that You are the One who is shy and who possesses perfect modesty. Beautify us with a strong sense of Haya and guide us in being modest towards the creation and in our relationship with You. Assist us to never being embarrassed in standing up for Your Deen and make our sense of shame a way to enter Your Paradise, Allahumma Ameen♥️

Who is Allah: Ash Shafee, The Healer

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As-Shafi – The Healer.

He who knows of all illnesses, of all their causes and cures and also the provider of all of them; the illnesses of the body, mind and soul; illnesses of doubt, illusions, malice, jealousy and sins. There is no healing except by His and no removing of harm except by Him.

Ash-Shafi is one of the remarkable names of the Exalted in the heavens—Allah—and we must praise Him, because He named Himself this name and is worthy to be characterized by the quality of healing, and He is the only One who heals and recovers the bodies of his worshippers. It is also a name with a clear meaning, and just by its appearance a deep meaning can be reflected upon. Ash-Shefaa (healing) is always related to the sickness. We need to ensure we have imaan and strong faith that all these sicknesses and different illnesses are trials from Allah.

As believers, when we are afflicted with sickness, we see it as a source of good deeds for us. And it is a means in which Allah swt wipes away our bad deeds and raises our ranks and levels in the paradise. This is how the believer sees illness. He sees it as something positive. The prophet AS was narrated to say that there is no calamity that afflicts the believer except that Allah swt expiate his sins. In another hadeeth, the prophet AS said that Allah swt will continue to afflict calamity upon a servant until the servant begins to walk on earth and he has no sins to his name whatsoever. Our predecessors would congratulate one after recovering from an illness, as stated by Muslim b. Yasar, they would say to each other, “congratulations on the purification”. This is the true reward of patience when afflicted with pain and illnesses. It can all become a source of good for you as long as you react to it in the correct and positive way. This is how Allah swt purifies his beloved slaves.

No human being is free from injury. Sooner or later they will be inflicted with an illness; if not a physical illness, then most certainly at least a spiritual one. Each person must pinpoint the source of their pain. Is it a physical pain keeping you up at night? Is it a psychological one that burdens you with terrible anguish and crippling anxiety? Is it an Islāmic illness of doubt, impermissible cravings, laziness, an inability to be productive or a weakness in experiencing the joy of Ibādah? So with your weakness in mind, your pain in sight, and your unwavering certainty in al-Shāfi, use this Majestic name of His in du’ā; “O Shāfi, you see my pains and know of my situation. Heal me.”Allahumma Ameen

Who is Allah: Al Haqq, The Truth

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Al-Haqq. The absolute truth. Allah is the one whom the truth, all righteousness and justice are revealed. Everything Allah does, says, commands, promises, rewards come from truth! His existence is undeniable and nothing else can exist except through him. If Allah is the Truth, then His words are the truth; His promise is the truth; His threat is the truth; And His acts are the truth.

Allah says in surah Yunus: “For that is Allah, your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted?”. Thus, if we are the creation of the ultimate truth, and we worship Allah who is the truth, then we must live our lives by the principles of truth. If we’re sincere lovers of Our Lord, then we must be sincere lovers of the truth and everything that is associated to the truth.

How can we practically implement this name into our lives? First, we must ensure we are honest and truthful in all our sayings, actions and dealings with other people. The truth is not just simply spoken, but rather the truth is something to be lived. We should all strive for honesty in all our actions because that’s living in accordance with the principles of the truth. It’s a whole mindset that we have to adopt which will allow us all to become from the ‘truthful ones’.

Secondly, by understanding who Al-Haqq is and the fact that Allah is the absolute truth and nothing but the truth, we can begin to understand the truths that we are taught and obligated to follow. From this we can strengthen our Yaqeen and Imaan in Our Lord, and know with absolute certainty that whatever happens is from the Qadr of Allah swt, and due to the incredible love and care Allah swt has for his slave, he always wishes the absolute best for us. We must take comfort in Allah’s promise when things become difficult and hard for us, and have peace within ourselves that Allah’s word is true.

Finally, we should aim to be a ‘seeker of truth’. Imam Al-Ghazali said, “realizing this name (Al-Haqq) means that a person is so absorbed in the Truth that he has no room for anything else”. It doesn’t matter if the truth is for or against you. What is important for you is that you are a follower of the truth and you live by those principles entirely in both your personal and professional lives. This is also one of the most important and key steps in helping us to build Taqwa, and to have that absolute faith in Our Lord who sees and hears everything.
I end with a beautiful dua that will allow us all to become seekers of the truth! O Allah! Show us the Truth as the Truth and give us the ability to follow it. And show us falsehood as falsehood and give us the ability to avoid it. Allahumma Ameen.