Laylatul Qadr

3 minute read

As we approach the end of Ramadhan, Muslims all over the world are awaiting the
opportunity to gain infinite rewards and blessings from Laylatul Qadr.
Here is a guide to everything you need to know about this blessed night and how to
attain maximum rewards!
But first, what exactly is Laylatul Qadr?

  • Many scholars translate this as the Night of Decree or the Night of Power.
    The Night of Decree implies that this is the night in which each believer’s
    destiny for the year is decided by Allah SWT and written by the angels. This
    destiny can refer to a person’s lifespan, sustenance, success and anything
    else.
  • Other scholars define it as the Night of Power.
    This is because any righteous deed performed during this night is far more
    powerful than it would be on any other night. In fact, the actions we do in this
    one night are equal to 83 years and 4 months (or 1000 months) and this is
    evident in The Holy Qur’an in Surah Al- Qadr, in which it states this night is
    ‘better than a thousand months’ (97:3).
    Sheikh Uthaimeen (may Allah SWT have mercy on him) said ‘Laylatul Qadr is given
    that name for two reasons. The first is because the actions of the children of
    Aadam and other things that will happen in that year are decreed, due to His
    Saying, the Most High, “Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We
    were to warn [mankind]. Therein [i.e., on that night] is made distinct every precise
    matter…” (Dukhaan 44: 3-4). The second reason is that it is a night of honour
    because of its immense value/rank evident in ayah 3 of Surah Al- Qadr as
    mentioned above.
    {Riyadhus- Saaliheen, Vol. 1, p. 1367}.
  • This auspicious night only occurs once in Ramadhan and though we do not
    know the specific date, the prophet Muhammad SAW said ‘search for
    Laylatul Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan’.
    {Sahih Al-Bukhari 2017}
    There is tremendous wisdom behind not knowing a specific date, as this
    will distinguish from those who were consistent in their worship and those who
    would only worship on the one day. This way, we are allowed the opportunity
    to gain even more rewards. It is paramount that we engage in plentiful Ibada’a
    and do good to reap the bounty, mercy, and pleasure of Allah SWT.
  • This was the night that the first verses of The Holy Qur’an were revealed to
    the prophet Muhammad SAW.

So how should I achieve the most out of this night?

  • Cut down and avoid unnecessary socialising whether that be through social
    media or face to face interactions as this can lead to extra sins.
  • Have a light suhoor; you don’t want to waste your day away by sleeping
    when this can be better spent in acts of worship to your Lord.
  • Keep dhikr moist on your tongue constantly! Remember, Allah SWT loves
    those deeds that are consistent, even if they’re small!
  • If possible, go into a period of I’tikaaf- this is to devote yourself to ibada’a by
    secluding yourself in the mosque for the entirety of the ten days as the
    prophet Muhammad SAW often did himself.
  • Perform voluntary prayers such as tahajjud and taraweeh and read other
    prayers in congregation, especially Isha and Fajr salah. Whoever does so,
    it is as if he had spent his entire night in prayer.
  • Read as much Qur’an as you can and ponder over the translation and
    meaning. These are Allah SWT’s words to you. Don’t forget, each letter is
    rewarded 10 good deeds but this multiplies drastically if you happen to do
    this on Laylatul Qadr.
  • Have a list of duas prepared in advance and use some of Allah SWT’s 99
    names to your advantage.
  • Give to charity in abundance and without fear for one’s wealth and it will be
    as if you had done this for 83 years.

Aisha Ra (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) reported:
I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! If I realise Laylatul Qadr, what should I supplicate in
it?’ He SAW replied, ‘You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun,
tuhibbul- ‘afwa, fa’ fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love
forgiveness, so forgive me).’
{At- Tirmidhi}.

Signs of this blessed night to look out for

  • A peaceful night implying it is neither too hot nor too cold- Ibn ‘Abbas
    RA said that the messenger SAW said ‘Laylatul Qadr is calm and pleasant,
    neither hot nor cold…’

{Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 2049}

  • The moon may have a distinct shape (half a plate)- Abu Hurayrah (May
    Allah SWT be pleased with him) said “We were talking about Laylatul Qadr in
    the presence of the Messenger SAW of Allah SWT and he said: He who
    amongst you remembers (the night) when the moon arose and it was like a
    piece of a plate?”.
    {Sahih Muslim 1170}
  • There is a possibility of rain- There are many narrations where Prophet
    Muhammad SAW did mention that he dreamt about Laylatul Qadr and in that
    dream he had prostrated and when he came up, his face was wet with rain
    water and mud.
    {Al- Bukhari, 813}
  • The sun rises early in the morning without rays- From Ubayy RA, who
    said that he SAW said ‘On the morning following Laylatul Qadr the sun rises
    not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.’
    {Sahih Muslim}

Ramadan: the month of Forgiveness

2 minute read

The blessed month is with us once again, Alhamdulillah and we are lucky enough to witness the beauty of this holy month, a time that we all look forward to year round.

Ramadan is about many things but it is also the month of forgiveness, the month of mercy where the doors of hell are closed and the doors of Jannah open; where shaytaan is locked up. It is the perfect opportunity to ask for forgiveness from your Lord, no matter how big or small the sin. Trust in Allah’s forgiveness as he is the Most Merciful, All-Forgiving.

First and foremost it is important to forgive ourselves. This month is about healing and repentance which is ultimately the source of inner peace and tranquillity. We are all human, nobody is perfect, we all sin. Yes, we are responsible for our actions, but it is knowing that we sinned which is important. Allah SWT loves those who repent, after all Jannah is filled with the believers who repented. How beautiful is it that Allah will eagerly forgive you for the things you can’t even forgive yourself for?

Ramadan truly reminds us of the mercy of our Lord. Allah SWT loves the voice of a believer, so ask Him for forgiveness for all of your sins and shortcomings. Take advantage of this month and repent to your Lord. Don’t ever think ‘My sin is too huge to be forgiven. Allah will never forgive me’. This is totally not the case. Take the example of the prostitute woman who was forgiven by providing water to a dog who was on the verge of dying. Such a small act of kindness, yet Allah SWT forgave her. Doesn’t that show you how Merciful your Lord is?

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying:

He who seeks repentance (from the Lord) before the rising of the sun from the west (before the Day of Resurrection), Allah turns to him with Mercy.- Sahih Muslim

مَنْ تَابَ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Whilst on the topic of forgiveness, it is also important to forgive others for any wrongdoing. Islam teaches us about forgiveness. Forgive others and pray for their well-being. Sometimes it may feel impossible to forgive people who have hurt us, betrayed us but remember everything happens for a reason, Allah SWT is the biggest of planners.. Forgive others for the sake of your own well-being. If you don’t forgive others, how do you expect Allah SWT to forgive you? Your Lord forgives the biggest of sins, so what makes you think you can’t forgive another being? Forgiving others is a part of healing. Forgive others just as Allah will forgive people on the Day of Judgement.

Allah SWT constantly reminds us in the Quran of his merciness and forgiveness..

قُلْ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

“ Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins.1 He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” 39:53 Saheeh international

Take advantage of this month, repent to your Lord, ask for his forgiveness and appreciate how Merciful Allah is. Surely, you will obtain inner peace and will strengthen your imaan.

Ramadan Reflection: How I set my goals

< 1 minute read

Written by: Mariam

It’s the blessed month of Ramadaan. We’re halfway through and reflecting on the past two weeks I’ve realised how easy it is to burden yourself with goals and high expectations of how much dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and Ibaadah (worship of Allah). Truthfully speaking I do this every year and I’m beginning to realise that although you should strive to be a better Muslim and definitely increase your ibaadah during Ramadaan, it shouldn’t be to an unsustainable level. 

It’s almost unavoidable to completely focus on improving yourself without comparing what your doing with what others are doing. Seeing posts/ stories of friends reading Qur’aan when you’re not can be guilt provoking. 

Personally I think before Ramadaan starts it’s always a good idea to write out realistic goals. Taking into account what you did the previous Ramadaan and how you found it as well as your habitual Ibaadah can help you find these realistic goals. An often neglected factor that is apparent in hindsight is how tiring fasting can be and that fasting in itself is Ibaadah. 

Reflecting on all the above I have adjusted my goals this Ramadaan and I’m focusing on maintaining a good level of Ibaadah and also building in good habits that insha’Allah can be sustained throughout the year. 

Tawakkul

2 minute read

Of course, it is never easy when the storm hits and you are suddenly engulfed in darkness, consumed with rain and thunder and no way to get out. You try to call for help, but you realise there is no human there to save you, no way to stop the rain from seeping in and no way to stop the boat from sinking. You look around and find that there are no emergency supplies, and you begin to realise with every call you make, your boat is sinking further into what seems endless darkness. 

It is in that moment, after exhausting all other means, you look up.

You call upon God.

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ٱدْعُونِىٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ 

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” – [40:60 Saheeh International]

There is no doubt that in this world we face challenges that are accustomed to our everyday life, and that in trying to maintain a societal friendly facade whilst battling these challenges, we begin to question what is around us. It is in these very moments where tawakkul is so very important, and we can look at stories of the past as paradigms of tawakkul.

Tawakkul is standing in front of the red sea with the advancing army behind, just as Prophet Musa A.S. did, and not concerning.

Tawakkul is running between two mountains in attempt to find water, just as Hajar A.S. did, after being stranded in an open desert with your baby, but having untouched conviction and a full reliance that Allah SWT is with you.

And tawakkul is also in waiting for the results of an exam you have so heavily revised for, waiting on our parent’s response about a marriage proposal, or perhaps we simply feel misunderstood as an individual, and are waiting for the feeling of peace to precede the feelings of doubt and pain.

It is important to distinguish between tawakkul (توكل) and tawaakul (تواكل). Tawakkul is the complete trust in Allah swt, whilst tawaakul, on the other hand, comprises elements of laziness, inability, a resigned attitude.

Having tawakkul does not mean that we can not put in our efforts, given that we have the capacity of doing so, and depend on Allah SWT to provide a way out. It simply means doing our best, which looks different for each person. 

And so I ask you, 

Do you think that Allah does not know? That He does not see the effort and struggles you go through? He is Al-Khabir, The All Aware. Do you assume he has given you a test that he thinks you will not pass? 

Allah is the most sincere, and He loves you more than you may know it, so believe that your duas will come true if they are what’s best for you – 

you must show trust and faith, better days will come In Sha Allah.

Starting the New Year Strong in Imaan

3 minute read

Let’s face it. To say that the past year and a half have changed our lives is an understatement. For many people, lockdown was a time of productivity. People had the chance to do things that they wouldn’t normally get to do. This also included reconnecting and becoming closer to Allah (SWT).

A huge number of people accepted Islam in 2020 and Ramadan that year saw a record-breaking amount of charity donations in the UK.

However, as things start to slowly get more normal and as our lives get busier, some of us may start to feel that we have less time to focus on our Deen. We may feel that we have unintentionally distanced ourselves from Allah (SWT). This inability to create a balance in life can start to affect our Iman.

Therefore, we’ve put together a few tips to build habits and start 2022 off with a recharge in your Iman:

  1. Reflect on and renew your intentions

The start of a new year is a time where many people set resolutions and goals for the year ahead. Making your intention clear and setting a goal, whether this is to become closer to Allah (SWT) or something else, is the first step to achieving anything. If you feel like you are lacking motivation, think back to a time in your life where your Iman was at a high point, think back to something you prayed for that Allah (SWT) granted you or come up with a list of things that you are grateful to Allah (SWT) for.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said “Actions are (judged) by intentions and every man shall have that which he intended” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Your intentions are between you and Allah (SWT)- know that He will reward you for just intending to become closer to Him. 

  1. Build a relationship with the Qur’an

Making the Qur’an part of your daily routine constantly reminds you of the teachings of the Qur’an and helps you to remain focused upon the things that matter most in life. You could start off by reading a small amount everyday and then build it up gradually. But even if you don’t manage to build it up, don’t worry about it. Even 1 page a day makes a huge difference to your relationship with Allah (SWT). Consistency is key..

When I was younger, my father once told me that if you want to talk to Allah (SWT), pray, and if you want Allah (SWT) to talk to you, read the Qur’an. I then realised that for this to happen, I had to understand the Qur’an. Therefore, try to read translations of the Qur’an if you don’t understand it. After you’ve read that one page of Qur’an a day, read one page of the translation!

  1. Look for different ways to help people

One of the biggest teachings of Islam is to help those in need. When helping those in need is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is donating money to help the poor. 

“O you who believe! Spend out of what we have provided you” Quran 2:254

However, Allah (SWT) has provided us all with much more than just money – knowledge, time, skills and much more! Therefore, use all these gifts to help others. Offer to volunteer in your spare time. There are now many ways to volunteer remotely from home which are easy to do even if you don’t have much free time. Helping others doesn’t need to be a long-term commitment – even answering a question and explaining something to another student is a form of helping. 

Another important thing to think about here is your intention. Intending to help someone for the sake of pleasing Allah (SWT) will help to motivate you to do more. 

  1. Listen to podcasts

Finding the time to read an Islamic book or attend events can be difficult. But listening to an educational podcast while you walk to university or whilst cooking your dinner is so easy! There are many different types of podcasts available that can act as reminders or even teach you something new. In my opinion, however, listening to someone else talk about their own life experiences and how Islam helped them get through these can inspire you and boost your Iman.

So let’s start off the new year with a new mindset- positivity and productivity In Sha Allah!

Tesnime’s Spoken Word

2 minute read

Brainwashed and blind folded

Hands sawn by the handcuffs

Feet are now numb to the chains and the cold concrete

The body is so bruised and wounded

I can’t even remember what not feeling pain is like

The screams and the thwacks of the whips

Are now background noise

I can’t even remember what silence sounds like

My brain is foggy by the alcohol they force us to drink

My legs are bare because of the scissors that cut through my skirts’ fabric

And here comes another round of torture

I can’t forget the feeling of the metal chair 

They stuck me in to beat me up

Because i am muslim

He is here because they found a Quran hidden underneath his mattress

She is here because she was concealing her hair

He is here because he had a beard and his chin wasn’t bare

She is here because she called her mom abroad to tell her not to drown in despair

So they uprooted us from our homes and took our lives away because to them we are a threat

Because we look different, sound different, and they want people to forget

That we exist. They want us to forget

Who we are

They want to erase us from this planet

And how convenient is it if no one sees the scars

So they put us all in the same cage

Hidden to the eyes

They torture our men

Rape our women and they sterilize

And the children that are already alive

Are scattered around from their family deprived

And sent to orphan camps so they can be

Annihilated before they even start to survive

Pile us up like you wouldn’t even treat a beast

They really hate us, to say the least.

That is not my story.

It’s theirs. Them, millions of stolen lives

It’s not mine to tell, i shouldn’t be here screaming these words

But both the words and the people were left on silent

And how can the world know if we also stay silent

How can we not lend them our vocal cords

They need us to stand by them and unite the hords

And we have failed them for too long.

So today we change the narrative voice

We are not leaving the oppressors spread any more lies

They need to hear our rage they need to hear our chants

Our sisters and brothers need to know our voices are theirs as long as they are voiceless

So let’s yell and screech and howl and shout

Until our lungs run out of air

And our throats turn dry

And our voices tear

The silenced era is over

And we will fight, we swear.

– Tesnime

How to handle hardships in life

3 minute read

Everyone suffers from hardship in life. It is safe to say it is completely normal, whether that be something big or small. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it is all a test from Allah, the All-Mighty. So do not lose hope. Have faith in Allah, always.     

We all get tested in life and it can often get quite difficult to deal with. First of all, there is a few things to understand- why we suffer from hardship           

The Quran states: وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. [2:155 Saheeh International]

This life is not meant to be easy, Allah has told us we will be tested with trials and tribulations, but it is the action you take to overcome these trials that truly matter. Do not run away when facing troubles, instead stand and fight against them. There is a hidden gift behind every hardship- “Paradise is surrounded by hardships” [Hadith Qudsi- Jami’ at-Tirmidhi:2559]. Perhaps these trials will make you closer to Allah, closer to the Deen and will allow you to develop a stronger relationship with your Creator. In the end it will all be worth the struggle.

Allah tests those whom He loves the most.  No matter how difficult the trial, no matter how much you are wanting to give up, remember, Allah is with you. Is there anybody else in the entire universe that could stand meeting you in whatever state- happy, sad, angry, hopeless? No one except Allah SWT. So turn to Him, He is always listening, He never lets His servants down.

How to handle hardships:   

Ø  Talk to Allah through dua. Dua is the most powerful weapon; the perfect way to communicate with your Lord, the one who created you. When making dua, do so with full hope that Allah will accept your prayers. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There is no Muslim who calls upon Allah, without sin or cutting family ties, but that Allah will give him one of three answers: He will quickly fulfill his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case we will ask for more.” The Prophet said, “Allah has even more.” [Source: Musnad Aḥmad 11133].

Ø  Remain hopeful because Allah is always listening and “Allah does not charge a soul except with that within its capacity” [2:286 Saheeh International].

Ø  Speak to someone, don’t keep it bottled up inside of you. But speak to the right people, those who you genuinely trust and those who have your best interests at heart. If you’re finding it difficult to make friends come along to our weekly gatherings on Friday at Mcdougalls

Ø  You attract what you are. So have a positive mindset always. Positive thoughts attract only positive energy. Shift your focus and you will start to notice all the little blessings in life.           

Ø  Take care of your body and soul, do some exercise and of course, eat good food. Praying your salah is not only a spiritual act but is also a way of caring for your soul.

Ø  Don’t forget to reciteQuran; it is the food for your soul. Ever feel worried? Open up the Quran, even if it’s just one ayah, recite. Try it. See the relief and inner peace you will feel. Try to make it a routine, again, even if it’s only one ayah.

Ø Sadaqah (charity) eases hardships, removes calamities and helps cure illnesses. It will welcome more blessings/baraqah in your life and wealth In Sha Allah. Therefore give, for the sake of Allah SWT.

Ø Put your complete and utmost faith in Allah SWT. Allah SWT says:  “…And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [65:3 Saheeh International].

Allah says: “… And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. [Hadith 15, 40 Hadith Qudsi]

So even if you have already given up faith, it’s never too late to turn back as Allah is always there for you, even if no one else is there. You are not alone. In the end the ultimate help is from Allah indeed. Take small but routine/regular steps and keep praying and keep striving. Better days are yet to come In Sha Allah.

إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

Indeed with hardship will be  ease

[Saheeh International 94:6]

The importance of Intention in Islam

3 minute read

-What is intention in Islam?

The term intention translates to ‘niyah’ in Arabic. Every Muslim is aware of the emphasis Allah SWT puts on intention in Islam, since every action is based on the sincerity of our intention. Intention is the prerequisite of the deed and therefore the foundation for your success from that point onwards. 

-The reward of a sincere intention.

As we know, Allah SWT appoints two angels to record our good deeds and our bad deeds. However, He is Ar-Rahman, the Most Merciful, therefore we are given opportunities as an incentive almost, to guide us to the right path. They are as follows: Whoever intends to perform a good deed, but does not follow through with the act, Allah swt still records it as a complete deed. However, if he also follows through with the deed, Allah swt multiples the reward for that deed. Allah swt’s mercy is greater than his wrath because if you have a bad intention, you are not punished for the thought. You are only punished if you commit the bad deed, yet this is only counted as one deed. Allah SWT acknowledges we are not perfect individuals and that we will sin, hence He doesn’t punish us multiple times and we’re even given the opportunity to repent.

-Examples using the Holy Quran and the Hadith.

The phrase ‘Fi Sabilillah’ must be mentioned when we discuss the topic of intention. This translates to ‘in the way of Allah SWT’ and is repeated many times within the Holy Quran. The importance of these words, is that it emphasises a sincere intention. Everything should begin in the way of Allah SWT, and the deed should not be done for anyone else but Him. We were not made to please the creation, but rather the creator. Should you begin every action with the correct intention, indeed Allah SWT will reward and send blessing upon you, abundantly.

In the Holy Quran, Chapter 51, verse 56, Allah SWT says ‘I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship me’. This reiterates the importance of doing an action purely for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT instead of attempting to please others. It is important to remember however, that whilst we should dedicate everything we do in the way of Allah SWT, we must not forget to set ourselves up in this life as well. Allah SWT does not tell us to abandon this world and only worship Him repeatedly. Many assume the two cannot go hand in hand and I will now give some examples of how we can implement Islam into our daily lives by using intention to complete simple tasks as acts of worship.

One example, is that you may set out and have the intention to earn an income. This is not a bad thing, however it is on its own, a worldly goal. If we simply refine this statement, into one along the lines of my intention is to earn an income in order to support my wife and family, this now becomes an act of worship as you are fulfilling the role that Allah SWT ordained for you as the breadwinner for the family in order to support his wife and children for the future.

Another example could be that your intention is to earn money, however you could amend this to I intend to earn money and give a small percentage to the poor, which results in you fulfilling one of the five pillars of Islam. 

It is important to continue to renew your intention every once in a while, as the wording and feeling behind your niyah can have a big impact on your afterlife. In fact, it can even hold significance in this world, as if you follow a life that Allah SWT favours, He will reward you plenty. 

Umar Bin Al- Khattab (may Allah swt be pleased with him) narrates that the prophet Muhammad SAW said ‘innamal a’malu bin niyat’ which translates to ‘the reward of deeds depends upon the intentions’. This hadith emphasises that your actions are judged based on your real intentions. You may overtly look as though your deed was done for the sake of Islam, but you must guarantee your intention matches, otherwise it holds little to no value.

We must remember that the true intention is in the heart and therefore it is hidden and only Allah SWT knows. Try not to concern yourself with what others may assume of you and do not diminish anyone else’s deeds either.

The first migration to Abyssinia and King Najashi

3 minute read

There were two migrations which took place to Abyssinia during the time of the Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ). Following the continuous threat of persecution and the torture of the Quraysh upon the Muslims, the Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) commanded some Muslims to immigrate to Abyssinia. These emigrants included Ruqayyah (ra), the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)’s daughter and her husband Uthman (ra). The purpose of this first migration was to escape persecution and be able to practice Islam freely. 

Abyssinia is now known as Ethiopia, a country which is in Africa. The Arabic word for Abyssinia is Habashah [1]. The Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) had advised the emigrants to go to Abyssinia because the ruler at that time, Najashi, was known to be a just King. All the Kings in Abyssinia held the title of Najashi (Negus) but his actual name was Ashama Ibn Abjar [2]. King Najashi was initially Christian and later converted to Islam. He gave refuge to the Muslim emigrants who were escaping persecution in their homes in Makkah.

When the Muslims arrived in Abyssinia, Ja’far ibn Abu Talib (ra) addressed King Najashi saying,

“O king! We were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism. We adored idols, we lived in immorality, we ate dead bodies, and we spoke abominations. We disregarded every feeling of humanity and the duties of hospitality and neighborliness were neglected. We knew no law but that of the strong, but Allah raised among us a man of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware, and he called to the oneness of Allah and taught us not to associate anything with Allah. He forbade us from the worship of idols and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of the neighbors and family members. He forbade us from speaking evil of women or consuming the wealth of orphans. He ordered us to avoid vices, to refrain from evil, to offer prayers, to give charity, and to observe fasting. We have faith in him and we have accepted his teachings and his command to worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him. We have allowed what he has allowed and prohibited what he has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us. They have persecuted us in order to make us abandon the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and harmed us until we found no safety among them, so we have come to your country and we hope you will protect us from oppression.”

The Negus (Najashi) said to them, “Do you have anything with you from Allah?” 

Ja’far said yes. 

The Negus said, “Then recite it to us.” Ja’far recited from memory the verses of Surat Maryam. The Negus, along with the bishops in his realm, were moved to tears due to what was recited to them until their beards became wet. 

The Negus said, “Verily, this what has come from Moses have emerged from the same lamp. You are released. By Allah, I will never surrender them to the Quraysh.” (Musnad Aḥmad 21992)

Meanwhile, the Quraysh sent a delegation to the King and attempted to bribe him with gifts with the aim of taking the Muslims back to Makkah. King Najashi in response refused to allow the Quraysh to take the Muslims. He also ensured that they could live in his Kingdom as long as they wanted to [3]. 

When King Najashi passed away, the Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) informed his companions and said; ‘’Ask Allah’s forgiveness for your brother.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3880) The Prophet (ﷺ) prayed his janaza, and instructed his companions to do the same in the following words: ‘’Today a pious man has died. So get up and offer the funeral prayer for your brother Ashama.’’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 3877)

This beautiful story can be reflected upon in many ways. We can appreciate how quickly King Najashi recognised the truth of Islam and how humble he was to have accepted it at once. We can also reflect on his qualities of justice and fairness that he did not let the bribery of the Quraysh sway him but instead ensured the safety and protection of the Muslim emigrants in his land. For Allah has promised that of those who will be under His shade on the day of Judgement, when there will be no other shade except His Shade, one of them will be a just ruler. (Sahih Al Bukhari 660)

Sources Used:

[1] https://emca.org.uk/al-negashi-the-abyssinia-king/

[2] https://muslimhands.org.uk/latest/2020/12/the-islamic-significance-of-ethiopia-in-the-seerah

[3] Yasir Qahdi’s YouTube video: (EP11) When The Muslims Migrated To Abyssinia – Story Of Muhammad (ﷺ) – #SeerahSeries – Yasir Qadhi

The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet – Safiur-Rahman and Al Mubarakpuri.

Intentions

2 minute read

Intention. A thing intended; an aim or plan. Many of us go to school because we want to get a degree or because we want to make our parents and the community around us proud, but let me ask you this… what is your ultimate intention?

When you work hard at school and get your degree, it will feel absolutely amazing to have finally accomplished such an expected and awaited accomplishment. As you look around the arena, you try to find your parents and see if you truly made them proud. All of that will last about 15 seconds… then little did you expect, there is another expectation or accomplishment waiting to be fulfilled. 

Now don’t get me wrong, making your parents proud is an important part of our deen (religion). In fact, it is so important that Allah SWT says… “And your Lord has decreed that you worship not except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” Did you notice the moment that Allah said to worship none but Him, He follows it directly with being good to your parents? So, make your parents proud and be good to them, but also, make your ultimate intention to please Allah first. 

I know we can all get lazy when it comes to homework and our studies, but here is one thing that can push you to do better and perhaps gain some motivation.  We get rewarded for completing our assignments. Did you know that? You read right! Everything we do can be an act of worship…How? By having pure intentions. 

Our Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended.” When one intends to do something or complete a task for the sake of his parents, he is putting his effort into that task for limited human beings who can only reward you with so much. On the other hand, when one intends to do something for the sake of his Lord, he is putting his effort into that task for the All-Mighty, the Ever-Living. The One who can bless you with great rewards, either in this life, the next, or both. So the next time you do anything, think to yourself… “who am I doing this for, why am I doing this?”

One way to purify your intentions is to do more hidden deeds. Deeds that no one knows about but you and Allah. The more you hide your good deeds, the more you will want to continue doing them for Allah’s sake and expect reward from Him only. Another way to purify your intentions is to make lots of dua and sincerely ask Him to make it easier for you. We are all guilty of wanting attention and validation from our peers and others but how many of us will try to truly change? Let’s be amongst those that try. 

As “40HadithNawawi.com” greatly puts it, “Intentions lead to results. When a change in intention occurs, a change in the external conditions will follow. Intention is also enough for Allah SWT to make a change in our reality, so we should not belittle the necessary change in intention that has to occur in order for our external condition to change.”