Sunday, December 27, 2015

Etiquette of dua: How to supplicate to Allah



The word “dua” refers to sincere and heartfelt supplication one makes to Allah. The dua can be for worldly matters like health, wealth, success and better livelihood. It can also be for spiritual matters like asking for forgiveness for sins, guidance on the right path and for Paradise in the Hereafter.

The dua is actually a testimony of fact that the Muslims consider Allah to be the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and believe that all the blessings come from Allah alone. 

No matter how important or how trivial the need might be, supplicating to Allah shows that the Muslim believes that none on this Earth can withhold what Allah has ordained and no one can grant any such favors which Allah has not constituted in their destiny. Hence it is with this faith and acceptance that a Muslim supplicates to Allah.

Supplication to Allah must be made with complete humility and preferably in a state of physical purity. It is also better to face the Qibla (direction of the Holy Ka’aba towards which Muslims pray). The dua should be made with raised hands and fear of Allah in the heart. The supplication, whether it is for the person himself or for someone else, must be made with a sincere heart. It must not be invoked for sake of showing off or as a false exhibition of piety.

When a Muslim supplicates to Allah, he must begin by testifying to the fact that Allah alone is worthy of worship. He must also invoke peace and blessings of Allah upon his last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He should then give thanks for all the blessings Allah has already endowed upon him. Then he should sincerely ask for his lawful needs. The supplication should also be made by invoking Allah’s attributes and names like Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful), As-Salaam (the Source of Peace) and Al-Khaliq (the Creator). 

A Muslim should also supplicate to Allah in times of ease and abundance, because dua is an expression of remembrance of Allah that is most liked by the Creator. During hardships, one usually invokes Allah for speedy resolution of his troubles, but when a Muslim remembers His Creator during times of happiness, Allah is most pleased with him.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 

“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” Narrated by Ahmad.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, 

“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): `I supplicated my Rubb but my prayer has not been granted’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This hadith shows one of the most important etiquettes of supplication to Allah. When a person is in need of something like happiness, success or wealth, one should continue asking Allah without ever thinking that, in spite of praying for a long time, his prayer has not been granted. 

One should never allow frustration, arrogance or even doubt to overcome his mind. A Muslim must firmly believe that, if his prayer is not being answered immediately, then Allah might have a greater reward for him for his patience and forbearance.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Do not be among those who are ungrateful and thankless: My Story

I was born to Muslim parents in a Muslim household. But that was the extent of my being a Muslim. I used to get up for fajr prayers, yawning and grumbling because my dad’s clock was loud enough to awaken the dead. I used to hurry through my other prayers because there was television, college activities and my friends whom I just could not ignore. 

I fasted in Ramadan because iftar things seem more delicious when one is hungry. And I would hand out a few coins to the beggars who would knock on my car window because I had some loose change in my purse after hours of shopping. Yes, that was my extent of being a Muslim.

For the first 20 years, I breezed through my life without a care in the world. I had very loving parents esp my dad who could never say no to any of his four daughters. I had good brains which saw me through school and college. My wardrobe overflowed with colorful dresses and more shoes than I could possibly wear.


When I got married, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter. Next year, my second daughter was born. Less than six weeks after her birth, she contracted viral pneumonia and my life changed forever. It was the 21st of Ramadan and the time was just before fajr prayers when she breathed her last in my arms.

Nothing in my life had prepared me for the sorrow or anguish or pain or the disbelief that followed. We had money to admit her to the best hospital in town. She was under the care of top pediatrician and the hospital prided itself on its nursing care. I was surrounded by my family. She was supposed to get well and not die. Wasn’t she?

Then the anger set in. What had I done to deserve this? What had she done? Why did Allah give her to me in the first place if she was to be taken away just weeks later. Why did I carry her for nine months, and endure the torturous labour pains when she was not meant to live? Why did I have milk to feed her when she was not meant to stay?

I needed answers so for the first time in my life, it seemed, I really turned to Allah. I begged for peace and tranquility and somehow that made me open the Qur’an. It seemed to me that every verse had been written for me and it gave me comfort like nothing else could.

“Truly, it is by the Remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest.” [Qur'an, 13.28]

“And be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.” (Qur'an 8:46)

I had not been very patient, it seemed to me so was Allah with me? Had I been forsaken and abandoned? And then I began to find answers and it seemed to me that the more I read the Qur’an, the more I got what I sought.

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.

And We indeed tested those who were before them….” (Qur'an 29:2-3)

Don’t we go through motions in life, feeling superior and safe because of our material comforts and wealth? How quickly our faith crumbles when a calamity touches us. How quickly our eeman flies out of the window and we lose hope when grief and sorrow come to visit? Doesn’t the Qur’an say:

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-S├óbirin (the patient ones, etc.).” Qur’an 2:155

That day, Allah tested me with loss of life that was dear to me and it was up to me to be one of the patient ones. But how? Tell me, O Allah. And then the verse of Surah Rehman hit me.

“Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?”

Allah had given me so much my entire life. Did I ever thank Him for my loving parents or my caring sisters? Did I ever show gratitude for any of the blessings that He had bestowed upon me? Did I ever say a prayer of thanks for my husband who had tears of joy in his eyes when our daughters were born and wept when our younger one passed away? Did I ever pause to take stock of all the things I had taken for granted all my life and even think about thanking my Creator?

And then another verse that brought me to my knees

“Who say, when a misfortune strikes them: Lo! We belong to Allah and Lo! Unto Him we are returning. Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided” (2:155-157).

This transient life has no meaning if we do not understand its purpose. Each of us is here because Allah willed and death will certainly overtake each of us. Our prophets, most pious and beloved of Allah, also suffered calamities and sorrow and yet remained steadfast. Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) said:

“What Allah has taken away from me belongs to Him. I was only its trustee for a while. He gives to whom He wills and withholds from whom He wills.”

When my Creator says that He never puts any burden on a soul that is beyond its ability to bear, who am I to argue otherwise?

“No burden do We place on any soul but that which it can bear.” (6:152)

Verse after verse of the Qur’an washed over me, driving away my despair and bringing solace. Today Alhamdulillah, I have two daughters and two very naughty sons.

Indeed which of the blessings of our Lord can we deny?

_________________________________________

My younger daughter is forever in my thoughts. In her memory, I buy school books for needy children, give away new clothes, toys and shoes on Eid and it is always a wonder to see the smiles that light up those children. Though she is not with me in physical sense, I am very fortunate because there are many women who never experience the joy and miracle of giving birth. Allah has given me this joy and for this blessing I am truly grateful.

At times, I wonder what she would have looked like today. Wearing a pretty pink dress and her front teeth missing? Maybe bent over her school books doing homework? Sometimes I still cry but I have found peace and I know that Allah is never unjust and our trials are a test of our faith in Allah and in Qadr.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Strange is the affair of the Mu’min, verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’mmin.”

Subhan Allah!

My request to those who are reading my story is this. If you have parents or siblings or a caring spouse and children, if you have the ability to see, hear and do things with your own hands and if Allah has given you the means to enjoy comforts of life, please say a short prayer of gratitude to Allah every day.

Take some time to reflect upon the favors of Allah and thank Him as is His due.

“If you count the favors of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.“ [Qur'an 14:34]

Do not be among those who are ungrateful and thankless.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Website review: Earnably.com



Earnably.com is an on-line rewards site where you can complete tasks to win points and then redeem those points for cash via Paypal, Amazon gift cards and Bitcoin payments. The site is free to use and can be joined by members from all over the world. 

There are loads of different ways to earn points with Earnably.com though some of the lucrative offers are only available for members from certain countries. Some of the ways to earn on Earnably are through:

o Offer Walls
o Completing Daily Surveys
o Watching Videos and ads
o Listening to the Radio and putting in a CAPTCHA Code every 10 minutes

There are also weekly and monthly contests to help you earn even more points with Earnably. 

My first impression of the site Earnably.com was that it looks a lot like Chatabout.com and people who are active on Chatabout will have little trouble using this site. However the


I like the auto redeem feature on this site which enables you to automatically redeem a pre-selected reward whenever you have enough points in your account. 

225 points are worth $2
500 points are worth $5
950 points are worth $10
1850 points are worth $20
2750 points are worth $30

Another way to earn a point daily is to put in the special promo code which can be discovered by hovering the mouse over the holiday icon under the menu. This offer runs till 25th December so take full advantage of this special offer as soon as you sign up.

Members must be 18 or over to join Earnably, and only one account is allowed per household. So join the site today and start earning by completing offers, taking surveys and watching videos.



Please join using my referral link: http://earnably.com/r/16016


See you there!

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