The Last 10

4 minute read

The last 10 days and nights of Ramadan are upon us!

This blessed month has gone by so quickly, no sooner had it come than it is now leaving. But Alhamdullilah for blessing us with these last 10 to utilize to maximise our ibadah and make the most of the rest of the time we have in order to come closer to Allah SWT. If you feel as though you have not utilised enough time in worship so far during this month, don’t worry as that’s what these last 10 nights for. They are your opportunity to go all out and devote yourself to Allah SWT in a bid to receive forgiveness and attain the spiritual contentment that this month has to offer. A chance to benefit immensely from Ramadan and seek the salvation of Allah SWT before the month comes to an end.

Narrated by Aisha (RA): With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Sahih al-Bukhari 2024]

In this last third of Ramadan, we should do our best to perfect our fasting and to avoid any shortcomings or sins. We should make dua for Allah. SWT to help us maximise in our good deeds whilst repenting to Him and seeking refuge in Him from the Hellfire. 

Allahumma Ajirna min-an-naar.”

Meaning: O Allah, protect us from the fire.

The last ten days of Ramadan are the most special because hidden within then is the night of Laylatul Qadr, the night the holy Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet SAW, and the night the fate of the creation of Allah SWT is decreed by him.

 . إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
 . وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ

 . لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

 . تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

 . سَلَٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ

Indeed, We sent it [i.e., the Qur’ān] down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit [i.e., Gabriel] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. [Qur’an, 97:1-5]

Narrated by `Aisha (RA), Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 2017]

Laylatul Qadr aka the Night of Decree is a night with many virtues and is a night we should strive to attain. We do not know its exact date, but this is a wisdom of Allah SWT and so we should concentrate our efforts into each of the nights and ensure we are steadfast in our worship across the entire last third of Ramadan so that we can reap its benefits. These nights are the perfect opportunity to search one’s soul, evaluate your good and bad deeds, supplicate to Allah SWT, repent, and seek forgiveness.

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: (الْلَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي) Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi] [Riyad as-Salihin 1195]

What are some tips to help you make the most of the last 10 nights, and especially Laylatul Qadr?

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 1901]

  1. Go back and read through all the previous blog posts in the series ‘Making the Most of Ramadan’ which give some great tips!
  2. Renew your intentions – we are nearing the end of Ramadan so it’s very easy to be tired and sit back. But this is the time you need to go all out. You need to re energize your spiritual battery and ensure you do not waste your nights. Stay focused and do your best to achieve the blessings and rewards which can be attained.
  3. Sincerely make dua to Allah SWT – these are the nights when your all your duas could be answered insha’Allah. So, make sure you are prepared by having a dua list with all you want to ask your Lord for, for yourself and others. Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” [Muslim] [Riyad as-Salihin 1495]
  4. Recite the Quran – Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, these last 10 nights are those in which the Qur’an was revealed. So, we should increase in our recitation of the Qur’an and ensure we understand and ponder the verses so that we can connect to the words of Allah SWT.
  5. Salah ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that when the last ten nights began Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kept awake at night (for prayer and devotion), wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe prayer (with more vigour) [Sahih Muslim 1174]. So, stand up in prayer, especially in the last third of the night when Allah SWT descends to the lowest heaven, and worship.
  6. Dhikr – make sure you continually remember Allah SWT. By doing small things like reciting the Tasbeeh (SubhanAllah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), Tahleel (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah) and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), you are accumulating an abundance of rewards and coming closer to Allah SWT.
  7. Give sadaqah – increase in your acts of charity and help those who are in need. The reward for righteous acts during Ramadan is multiplied by 70, and during Laylatul Qadr it would be as though it has been performed for 83 years and 4 months, subhanAllah. Who would want to miss out on this? So ensure you donate, even a little bit consistently over these nights and show mercy to others, so that Allah SWT may show mercy towards you.
  8. Switch off – if you haven’t already, switch off worldly distractions so you can focus on Allah SWT.
  9. Perform i’tikaf – the ultimate form of switching off is to seclude yourself so you can focus solely on worship. However, as students with exams, and due to COVID-19, it may not be possible to spend your time in a masjid. However, we can still try to seclude ourselves for periods of each day in our homes, to use as a time to reflect, perform Ibadah and seek to get closer to Allah SWT.

What rewards am I seeking from Fasting?

3 minute read

Many of us fast and know that it’s obligatory but don’t always know what benefits we should be seeking from it. 

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

“He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Why do we fast?

For many of us, Ramadan can become habitual and ritualistic, and we don’t give it deeper thought. Let’s refresh our intention every day that we’re fasting for the sake of Allah (swt), for our love and obedience to him.

And whilst there are many health benefits to fasting, including cleansing the body and removing toxins, that alone shouldn’t be our primary motivation to want to fast. We must also remind ourselves that we are fasting for Allah (swt), believing, and acknowledging that this is his deen and that it is an act of worship which he has prescribed upon us.

What rewards are we seeking from Allah (swt)?

1. Forgiveness. When we fast out of eman we’re seeking the reward of forgiveness, we want Allah (swt) to forgive our sins. All of this leads us to the end of the hadith ‘will have his past sins forgiven.’ ((Bukhari and Muslim). So we must fast with certainty that he is going to forgive our sins at the end of this month. A short dua we can implement is:

 اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُعَنِّي 

O Allah, You are Pardoning and you love pardon, so pardon me (tirmidhi)

2. Purification of the heart. Fast with the intention it will cleanse and purify the heart.  

3. Mercy. When we are fasting, we are fasting so Allah (swt) can grant us mercy, we must intend we want his mercy. A dua relating to this is:

رَّبِّ ٱغْفِرْ وَٱرْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ

My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the best of those who show mercy (23:118)

4. Fast intending that it prepares us to meet Allah (swt). Prophet ﷺ said There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord’ [Sahih Muslim-213]. There is spiritual enjoyment in fasting. Just like Musa AS, before he spoke to Allah (swt) on Mount Sinai, Allah (swt) commanded him to fast 40 days in preparation for the meeting.

5. Taqwa. “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may develop Godconsciousness.” (Quran 2:183) We should say ‘Oh Allah (swt) I am seeking the reward of Taqwa, grant me this taqwa.’ Taqwa means to increase in our obedience to him and decrease in disobedience, sins and evil.

We must renew our intentions for fasting daily throughout this blessed month. 

The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Actions are but by intentions and every person shall have only that which he intended’ [Sahih al-Bukhari – 1]

The more intentions we have when fasting, the greater the reward is.

Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’

When we are rewarded for something, we always expect the reward to be in accordance with who the one rewarding us is. When we know our reward lies with Allah swt who is Al-Mannan (The Ever Giving); Al-Wahhab (The Supreme Bestower); and Al-Kareem (The Most Generous), we can only then imagine how great and bountiful His reward must be. 

The small number of days for which we fast will inshaAllah be rewarded with an eternal abode in al-Firdaws. May Allah swt allow us to be amongst those who enter Jannah through al-Rayyan (the gate in Jannah exclusively for those who observed the fast). Allahuma Ameen.

Women’s History Campaign

2 minute read

In our second Women’s History post, we highlight the contributions two inspirational muslim women Fatima al-Fihri and Lubna of Cordoba, have made to society. With an aim to increase appreciation of the role Muslim women played in their time periods and respective fields and hope to encourage other muslim women to take inspiration and become masters in their fields.

Fatima al Fihri 

Fatima al-Fihri was born in 800 A.D into a wealthy family in Tunisia. Her father was Mohammed Bnou Abdullah Al-Fihri who was a rich merchant during the rule of Idris II. She was married but both her father and husband died soon after her marriage.

Fatima is known to be the founder of the first university in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records, dating back over 1000 years ago. When her father died, he left behind a huge fortune for her, which she invested back into her community by building a masjid and university in Fez, naming it al-Qarawiyyin after her hometown. 

This became an educational hub for people all over the world, coming to study many subjects from religion, to the sciences, to languages. From the 10th century onwards, al-Qarawiyyin masjid became the largest Arab university in North Africa. Some well-known people associated with the university were Ibn Khaldun, Abu Walid Ibn Rushd and Gerbert of Aurillac (Pope Sylvester II).

Lubna of Córdoba 

Lubna of Córdoba, an Andalusian born in the 10th century, was an intellectual known for her proficiency in mathematics, grammar and in writing poetry. Some narrations say that she was born a slave girl – this only makes it more inspiring to know that she rose to be one of the most important figures at the Andalusian court of Caliph al Hakam II.

Lubna held two main roles at the court: a scribe and a secretary. Her role as a scribe meant that she was in charge of writing and translating many manuscripts in the library of Córdoba. Additionally, she went above and beyond her role to provide her own annotations to important texts including those written by Euclid and Archimedes. She was the driving force behind the creation of the library of Medina Azahara – this famous library was home to more than 500,000 books.

Later she became the personal secretary of Caliph al Hakam II. To top this off, some sources narrate that she would give up her time to roam the streets of Córdoba teaching children mathematics.

Women like Lubna were not necessarily ordinary or unique during the reign of al Hakam II; there were many female scholars that existed during this time who were skilled in multiple disciplines, in fields such as politics, administration, social, intellectual and literary arts, during 10th Century Al-Andalus.

The many, varied contributions of women in the Andalusian Muslim civilisation, highlights the active role that they played in the advancement of a society rich in culture, education, tolerance and more

Making the Most of Ramadan: Practicing Gratitude

2 minute read

Being grateful is something we can all work on. Allah has blessed us in ways so numerous we couldn’t begin to count them; He says in the Quran:

“And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” [16:18]

However, many of us do not recognise or reflect on these blessings, or even if we do, we don’t express this gratitude to Allah.

How many of us would wake up with nothing, if all that we were left with were the things we thanked Allah for the day before?

One small way we can start to work on practising gratitude is to take a quiet moment, perhaps after prayer, to sit and reflect. In these moments we can begin by identifying 3 (or more) particular blessings Allah has bestowed on us (nothing is too small) and that we are grateful for – it’s important to choose things we feel grateful for – and then raise our hands and praise Allah and thank Him for these blessings; the simplest way we can do this is by repeating alhamdulilah.

By repeating this daily or more, we’ll begin to develop the mindset of seeing and focusing on the blessings Allah has surrounded us with, and bi’thnillah begin to learn how to be truly grateful to Allah.

Another way in which we can show gratitude to Allah is by obeying His commands – this is the physical manifestation of the gratitude we feel in our hearts and express on our tongues.

We should also make plenty of dua to Allah to allow us to be grateful and call upon Him by His beautiful names – for example, ash-Shakoor (the most appreciative) and al-Hameed (the praiseworthy).

 رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِىٓ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَٰلِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَـٰلِحًا تَرْضَىٰهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ

“My Lord! Inspire me to ˹always˺ be thankful for Your favours which You have blessed me and my parents with, and to do good deeds that please you. Admit me, by Your mercy, into ˹the company of˺ Your righteous servants.”

In his dua, Sulaiman (A.S) acknowledges and thanks Allah for the favours bestowed upon his parents as well as on him. We should do the same, as our blessings are an extension of those Allah granted to our parents. We should also realise our ability to express gratitude to Allah is only by His mercy, so we should be grateful for being able to be grateful!

Making the Most of Ramadan: Maintaining Family Bonds

2 minute read

We hope your Ramadan is going well for you inshaAllah, today we bring you another mini blog post on Making the Most of Ramadan, and we discuss the importance of maintaining family ties.

While we are striving this Ramadan to improve our relationship with Allah and seek His reward and forgiveness, we shouldn’t forget our families. Islam places so much emphasis on maintaining the ties of kinship, and our relatives have certain rights over us which we should honour. Being away from home and our families means it’s even more important that we strive to honour these rights and maintain these bonds. 

Maintaining family bonds is a source of plentiful blessing for us, and severing them will have severe consequences. The Prophet ﷺ said:

Kinship (rahim) is derived from Allah. If anyone maintains ties of kinship Allah maintains ties with him. If anyone cuts them off, Allah cuts him off.

Maintaining family ties means we show our families compassion and kindness, we help them when they are in need and we stay connected. Allah placed these people in our lives and made them our family for a reason, and we should honour and cherish them as much as we can. For example, we may take some time out of our day to ring our parents, siblings, or other family members. It may be that it is our parents or relatives who usually ring us, so this simple act of reaching out first might make their day. 

Truly upholding these ties means we do so in times of difficulty and towards relatives who may not have treated us favourably in the past. This is not easy, but we should know that it is a sign of faith. We should also make plenty of dua for our family, as well as the Ummah.

Making the Most of Ramadan: Sadaqah

3 minute read

Sadaqah describes a voluntary charitable act towards another being, whether through generosity, love, compassion or faith. Sadaqah Jariyah is a long-term kindness, a gesture that continues to give after you have gone. We should think of it as an investment in our akhira; that small amount of money, or time, or knowledge we spend in the way of Allah will earn us reward – in our lifetime and beyond. When our time comes to depart from this world and return to Allah, it is one of the three things we will still be able to reap reward from, bi’thnillah:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).

We’ve all heard the saying ‘charity begins at home’ and we can apply this here too. Being students, we might not have much money to spare however there is still so much we can give. Many of us have younger siblings, cousins, or neighbours. Helping them practise their Quran recitation, or teaching them a small dua is sadaqah jaariyah as this will remain with them for their lifetime, and if they pass on the knowledge you impoarted upon them, you will gain reward for it also, and it will come to our aid on the Day of Judgement. Even telling them a story about one of our pious predecessors can all be forms of sadaqah for us insha’Allah. The Prophet ﷺ  said ‘Convey from me, even if it is a verse’. We all have something we can share, and we should begin with those around and closest to us. 

If we do have some money to spare, there are many amazing projects we can donate to. We can do this for ourselves, or on behalf of someone else. We don’t have to build a whole mosque or water well to benefit, even donating £1 towards any good cause will insha’Allah be a source of barakah for us, well beyond our time on this earth. Examples of Sadaqah Jariyah include helping to build a well, school, hospital, or masjid. The beauty of Sadaqah Jariyah is that you earn a reward every time it is used, for as long as it is used.

The example of those who spend in the way of Allah is just like a grain that produced seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (the reward) for whom He wills. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. [2:261]

There are many virtues of giving sadaqah and I have listed a few below in hope you take inspiration and decide to implement this in your lives, during this virtuous month of Ramadhan and after too!

1. Sadaqah eases hardships and removes calamities

The Prophet (saw) said “Give Sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)

As Muslim, we believe that Allah (swt) has created this life as a test of our faith and loyalty through hardships. Giving Sadaqah during a difficult time shows strong Iman and gratitude to Allah (swt). Only Allah’s (swt) infinite mercy can change a situation and giving Sadaqah is a way of drawing closer to Him.

2. Sadaqah atones our sins and offers shade on the Day of Judgement

The Prophet (saw) said: “Charity extinguishes the sins like water extinguishes a fire.” (Ibn Majah)

On the Day of Judgement, every person will be held accountable for their sins, both major and minor. Giving Sadaqah regularly is a simple way of helping to expiate any sins we have committed knowingly, and unknowingly.  

The Prophet (saw) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Tirmidhi)

3.Sadaqah opens the gates of paradise

Only those believers who were charitable and gave Sadaqah in the way of Allah, to their parents, orphans, widows, the sick and the needy will be allowed to enter through Baab As-Sadaqah, one of 8 gates to Jannah.

“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, “Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,” (Quran 39:73)

4. Sadaqah creates balance and benefits to all of society

Sadaqah benefits the whole community and ensures that the most vulnerable, including  orphans, widows, the sick and needy, have an equal standing in society.  Remember, any act of kindness is Sadaqah, not just  money.

The Prophet said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns, or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity” (Bukhari)

Who is Allah? At-Tawwab, The Acceptor of Repentance

2 minute read

Continuing with our Who is Allah campaign, this week we learn more about Allah’s name: At-Tawwab, the one who accepts repentance. What better time to turn to Allah and seek his forgiveness and guidance, than the blessed month of Ramadan!

At Tawwab is the one who urges for our return to him and this beautiful month is the exact time for us to do that. He is the one who repeatedly guides us to turn back to him if we ever enter the wrong path and all he wants from us is to remember him and seek his aid.

From the root t-w-b which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to return to goodness, to repent, to be restored, to be rewarded for deeds, to be repeatedly summoned or called. This tells us that Allah is all good and pure, so to return to goodness is to return to Allah. If you are struggling, in pain, or even if you are happy and well, there is Allah’s mercy in it all, so it is vital we keep His name on the tip of our tongues.

As we have been blessed enough to enter this holy month, it is important we use our time wisely – to do ibadah (worship) and seek forgiveness. It is often the case that the more one sins, the more likely they are to stray away from God as they fear they are undeserving of His mercy. However, to think that way is also a sin as it is doubting the love and rahma of Allah SWT. To know that He wants us to return to Him and that He WANTS to reward us for our deeds, yet still believe He won’t forgive you and your sins if you were to genuinely repent, then you are once again, doubting who He is.

Ramadan is the month of forgiveness and mercy so regardless of the sins you have committed, use this time to turn back to your creator and grab every opportunity you can to do good. We must live each day as it is our last and each ramadan as if it is our last. Enjoy the moments you get at suhoor and iftaar, at taraweh and tahajjud, at the last hour before maghrib or the nap you take after duhur, the moments you share with friends and the ones you share with family, there is ibaadah in it all if you are doing it for the sake of Allah and remembering Him. So make the absolute most of this month so that even when it is over, you are no afraid to ask for Allah SWT’s mercy!

May this month be beneficial and beautiful for us all, Ameen

Asiyah & Zaynab Bint Muhammad

3 minute read

For Women’s History Month we wanted to showcase some of the amazing contributions that Muslim women across history have made. In today’s post we’ll be discussing Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoah and Zaynab, the eldest daughter of our Prophet Muhammad.

Asiyah:

Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh, and the adoptive mother of Prophet Musa (as) was no ordinary woman. Her strength and her status will forever remain unsurpassed.

She was a woman who never allowed herself to be defined or limited by her painful circumstances, but rather carried in her such a deep faith and sense of self that she was willing to die for what she believed in. It was for this reason that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned her as one of the four greatest women of all time.

She brought Musa (as) up under her protection and believed in his message as he grew up to be the Prophet he was. When Pharaoh found out, he tortured her severely but her faith was so strong that she was willing to suffer. This made her an everlasting symbol.

{God sets forth an example for those who believe — the wife of Pharaoh who said: “My Lord, build for me with Thee a house in heaven, and save me from the Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from an unjust people.”} (66:11)

Asiyah had no attachment to this life and she was not defined by the wickedness of the man she married. Her mind and her soul remained independent from him; and her heart was not a slave to his beliefs. She refused to submit to the tyranny of her husband, but chose instead to devote her soul and her life to Allah.

And in the story of Asiyah is an everlasting example of a woman who chose the Hereafter over all of the glitter of this world, and whose love for Allah and the Home with Him inspired her to take on the greatest tyrant of all time and give her life in the process. A woman we should all take as an example.

Zaynab bint Muhammad

Zaynab was the eldest daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She was amongst the first ten people to accept Islam shortly after the beginning of her father’s prophethood.

Zaynab (ra) was married to her maternal cousin Abu Al-’As Ibn Rabi’ around the same time the revelations were first revealed to the Prophet (saw). Their first child was Ali, who died at a young age and their second child was Umama (ra).The decision that Zaynab(ra) made to accept Islam created a strain on their relationship as Abu Al-’As was initially reluctant to accept Islam as a result of tribalism at the time. This delayed Abu Al-’As’s acceptance of Islam, as he was worried that his relatives would think that he had abandoned the religion of his forefathers for his wife. However, Abu Al-As resisted the societal pressure to divorce Zaynab (ra), to which the Prophet (saw) commended him as it showed the extent of his nobility.

As the time for Hijrah began, Zaynab (ra) wanted to join the Prophet (saw) but made the difficult decision to stay behind with her husband in Makkah. Shortly after Hijrah, the first battle between the Muslims and the disbelievers of Quraysh occurred: The Battle of Badr. It was this battle that created an intense amount of emotional turmoil for Zaynab (ra) as it meant that her husband would have to fight her father, the best of mankind: The Prophet (saw) . The prospect of her children being orphaned or losing her father meant that Zaynab (ra) had to overcome much sorrow and despair.

During this battle, her husband Abu Al-’As was taken as a hostage following the victory of the Muslims. Zaynab (ra) did not own many possessions, so in order to pay his ransom she offered the necklace that was gifted to her by her late mother.

When the Prophet (saw) received this necklace as ransom, he was reduced to tears by the memory of Khadijah (ra). He then refused to accept this and asked for her husband to be released from being a prisoner and the necklace to be returned. Abu Al-’As returned to Makkah and was reunited with Zaynab (ra). However, this was cut short as the Prophet (saw) was ordered by Allah in a recent revelation to forbid the marriage of a Muslim woman to a disbelieving man. Therefore, once Abu Al-’As returned to Makkah he sent Zaynab (ra) to Medina to join her father and her family. She was once again separated from her husband but through her unwavering patience, she persevered.

After this, she refused to re-marry for many years, with the hope that one day Allah would accept her prayer and Abu Al-’As would embrace Islam.Many years later after an encounter in Medina with Zaynab (ra), Abu Al-’As said his shahadah and accepted Islam. With the Prophet (saw) permission he was reunited again with his wife. Unfortunately, their long awaited reunion was short-lived as Zaynab (ra) passed away only a year later in the year 629 CE.

From her story, we can learn Zaynab (ra) was a courageous and righteous woman through the many sacrifices she made in pursuit of Islam and the way her devotion to Allah and his Messenger triumphed over her worldly matters.

Making The Most of Ramadan: Dua

2 minute read

Dua is one of the most powerful tools that we have. It is through dua that Qadr (divine decree) can be changed and the status of Dua in the sight of Allah shouldn’t be underestimated – the Prophet ﷺ said:

Nothing is more honourable to Allah Almighty than supplication.

Allah commands us to make dua, so the action itself is a form of ibadah and a means through which we can develop our relationship with Him. Furthermore, we should not despair even if it seems our dua is unanswered, when a servant of Allah calls upon Him “ Allah will give him one of three answers: He will quickly fulfil his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it…”

There are certain times or situations in which our duas are more likely to be answered, and this is something we can take advantage of:

  1. During the last third of the night [Abu Dawud]
  2. During prostration in prayer [Sahih Muslim]
  3. Between the athan and iqamah [Abu Dawud]
  4. While fasting [Tirmidhi]
  5. When it rains [Abu Dawud]
  6. The dua of the traveller [Tirmidhi]
  7. While drinking Zamzam water [Ibn Majah]
  8. A time on Fridays – scholars differ whether this is between the two khutbahs or the last hour before maghrib [Abu Dawud]
  9. Dua at the time of iftar [Tirmidhi]

When making dua, there are certain etiquettes that we should follow. We should be in a state of wudhu, if possible, and face the Qibla. We should begin by praising Allah and calling upon Him by his beautiful names, and send salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ as our supplication is suspended between the heavens and earth until we do so. We should be sincere in our duas and know that as Allah is the One who inspired us to raise our hands and ask, He wants to give. 

As well as making dua for ourselves and our loved ones we should make dua for the wider community and the Ummah. Whenever we make dua for others the angels reply with “Ameen may it be for you, too” so even through doing this for others, we are still benefiting. 

Here are a few topics of Dua:

  • Thanking Allah for your blessings
  • Remembrance of Allah Forgiveness 
  • Protection from harm 
  • Protection from the hellfire 
  • Entry into the highest rank of Paradise – Jannah al Firdaws
  • To receive the mercy of Allah on the day of judgement 
  • Duas from Qur’an and Sunnah
  • Your parents 
  • For others (family, friends, the ummah) 
  • Goals. 
  • Work & Rizq 
  • Health 

We have put together a Dua booklet which covers common daily Duas, different topics for Dua and an insightful overview of best times for Dua. Share this with your friends and family so that they may benefit from this (and make dua for you! )

Making the Most of Ramadan: Turning Back to Allah

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Turning back to Allah

Allah is al-Ghafoor (the ever forgiving) and al-Ghaffar (the all forgiving). He loves to forgive us and loves those who repent often so we should try our best to be from among them. We may at times feel overwhelmed by our sins however we should realise that through sincere repentance, no matter what we have done, we can be forgiven. As humans, we will inevitably fall into sin – this is in our nature. However it is what we do next that really counts. We can fall into despair and allow Shaytaan’s whispers to overcome us or we can transform the situation into an opportunity to experience Allah’s qualities of love and mercy and forgiveness. Allah says:

O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. [Hadith Qudsi – 34]

It may be that through committing a sin, and repenting sincerely for it, we take a step towards Allah that we may never have otherwise taken. In that way, we should see our sins as a path through which we can return to Allah rather than allowing them to create distance between us and Him. 

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. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [39:53]

Seeking forgiveness often from Allah is something we can begin doing this Ramadan if we are not doing so already. One dua which allows us to do so is as follows:

Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun Tuhibbul `Afwa Fa`fu `Annii ( or Annaa)

O Allah, You are pardoning and you love to pardon, so pardon me.

We should especially make an effort to read this dua during the last 10 days of Ramadan, as the Prophet ﷺ recommended the above when Aisha (RA) asked him what she should read on laylatul qadr. [Riyadh-As-Saliheen]

Another habit we should try to form in relation to sin is following every bad deed we do with a good deed in order to erase it. This attitude embodies what Allah says in the Quran ‘Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend’ [41:34]. We can use this same concept not just when we commit sins but when sins are committed against us, by controlling our anger and being patient and forgiving, just as we hope Allah will be towards us.