Does this scenario sound familiar? You are doing very well spiritually. You feel deeply connected with Allah , and then… you commit a sin! Once you do it, you feel like your entire life has collapsed. You start despising yourself, you think you are hypocritical, you think Allah will not accept you or take you seriously again.
It could be that you decided to quit a particular sin, and you actually refrained from it for a long period. You felt like you were really at the top of your game, but then you slipped… And once you did, you thought that everything has gone to waste, there is no more hope in you…
If this is what you’re thinking, then Please Stop This Line of Thinking NOW!
NEVER think that you are hopeless or that you’ve lost the battle. Never. So long as you’re breathing, you can completely change the situation, reclaim your life, control the sin and not allow it to control you.
Now, there are a few points to remember here:
1. One of the major obstacles to one’s spiritual productivity is falling into sin.
2. Yes, sins are ugly and they fill the heart, mind and soul with darkness, sadness and burden. As a matter of fact, we learn from the hadith that Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Verily, when the slave (of Allah) commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. When he refrains from it, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is polished clean. But if he returns, it increases until it covers his entire heart. And that is the ‘Ran’ which Allah mentioned: ‘Nay, but on their hearts is the Ran which they used to earn.’”[Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]
3. We definitely need to strive against sin because it prevents us from actualizing our purpose in life, which is to seek Allah , learn about Him, commit to Him, love Him and get closer to Him. Sin is like a block that just prevents you from moving forward, and Allah wants you to move forward. That’s why He specifically and clearly told us in the Qur’an,
“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ ” [Qur’an: Chapter 39, Verse 53]
4. All human beings commit sins. We cannot be sinless, but we can definitely control being sinful by working on disciplining our nafs (lower self), purifying our thoughts and actions, doing good deeds, seeking righteous companions and repenting often. It was narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
We do not have to indulge in sins and live in darkness. This is a major deprivation and injustice against one’s own self. One of Allah’s Names is An-Nur (The Light); how can we see The Light or appreciate The Light if we’re drowning in so much darkness…?
5. Yes, we sin, but sin is not our identity. Rather, struggling against sin could truly refine our character, faith, perseverance and commitment to Allah . That’s why it’s essential in this journey. If we haven’t experienced sin, how then will we know the value of the pure, righteous life prescribed to us through revelation and its impact on our heart, mind, soul and body? If we don’t have a choice to err, how then will we prove our love and commitment to Allah ? If we’re programmed to only love and obey Him, then there is no challenge. But it is in choosing Him over anything else in His creation and committing to His path against all struggles and temptations that we truly prove our faith and sincerity. And so, Allah wants us to come back to Him and never give up.
6. Allah says: “[…] Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 222].
He didn’t say “Allah accepts”, He said “Allah LOVES” those who are constantly repentant. Yes, He said “loves”. How beautiful and powerful is that? Tawbah essentially means insisting on coming back to Allah and Allah loves it when we insist on going back to Him. And He 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. [At-Tirmidhi]
So, if you’re in a position of making tawbah, then you are in a position of receiving the love of Allah . Do you see why Shaitan wants you to feel hopeless and prevent you from seeking forgiveness and tawbah? Because his ultimate goal is to divert you from the path of Allah and tawbah not only puts you back on track, but it also earns you the love of Allah Almighty The Most Merciful, Most Loving, Most Affectionate . So, tawbah all the way!
These are the action points that you need to do immediately- IMMEDIATELY– if you’ve fallen into sin:
1. Regret the sin
The Prophet says: “Regret is repentance.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Regret is essential in showing sincerity. If you truly regret a wrongdoing, then you understand why Allah told us that it is harmful and that you desire to truly purify yourself from it and seek the halal and pure means that He prescribed instead.
2. Stop the sin
Stop immediately. Do not persist or insist on committing the sin or indulging in it further. Just stop. Make a conscious, serious decision and effort to stop and quit this wrongdoing right away.
3. Make a sincere intention to not go back to the sin
This is a heartfelt decision that you make to truly quit and not go back. Even if you’ve fallen into the same sin an hour later, so long as you were sincere in giving it up, then it is accepted. Every time you fall, keep making sincere intentions not to go back. Yes, Allah can and will accept your sincere repentance each and every single time you make it even if it be one zillion times. Just do it, and mean it and be sincere, strong and perseverant.
4. Seek forgiveness of Allah and repent
One way of doing that is following what our Messenger taught us. The Messenger of Allah says: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well (does wudoo’/ablution) and stands and prays two rak’ahs (two units of prayer), then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him.” Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’ (Qur’an 3:135).” [Sunan Abi Dawood]
5. Follow the sin or bad deed with good deeds
Allah says: “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” [Qur’an: Chapter 11: Verse 114]
So, if you’ve committed a sin, then go make wudoo, pray two rak’aas, make istighfar, read your adhkar, read a few pages of the Qur’an, help your parents, call family members, relieve someone from their distress, give sadaqah, help someone in need, there are countless opportunities. So bring it!
Suffocate the sin with good deeds and do not let it suffocate you. Surround it from every direction with as many good deeds as you can. Just kill it! Again, you are in control, so control the sin and do not let it control you or define you or steal your life from you.
6. Do NOT delay tawbah. Do it immediately
One big mistake here is to think that you can delay repentance. The problem is, you never know when your last minute would be. You might delay, but never actually get the chance to do it. So you must do it as soon as possible. The Messenger of Allah says: “Allah accepts a slave’s repentance as long as the latter is not on his deathbed (that is, before the soul of the dying person reaches the throat)”. [At-Tirmidhi]
Now, one last point, if the sin involves transgressing against someone else, then you have to bring them their right back and/or seek their forgiveness. For example, stealing necessitates returning what you’ve stolen or the equivalent of it to its owners. If you’ve spoken badly/unjustly against someone, then rectify what you said and seek forgiveness. If someone else is involved, then we need to rectify matters with them. It doesn’t make sense to slander someone for example, and follow the steps above without actually fixing the damage you’ve caused to others. Allah forgives us, but what about the other people we’ve damaged? Allah is neither Unjust nor accepts injustice. It is healing and part of our spiritual journey and getting closer to Allah to also mend the injustice we cause others.
Islam essentially is about fixing yourself for your own inner peace, for Allah and for the people so that you neither harm nor reciprocate harm.
So, simply go and seek forgiveness if you’ve wronged anyone. And if Allah accepts our repentance, then who are we not to forgive others?
“And let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an 24:22]
This is it. Now you have a fresh start, insha’Allah.
Quick disclaimer, this article is in no way, shape or form an invitation for us to commit sins. We should do our absolute best not to fall into sin. But if we did fall, then we should do our absolute best to come back up strong and reclaim our righteous path towards The Most Merciful, The Most Pure; Allah .
It doesn’t matter if you repeated this process incalculable number of times.
It doesn’t matter. Allah will accept. The doors are always open for you. So long as you’re still breathing, then keep repenting. Never let Shaitan use the sin to ruin your relationship with Allah or stand between you and Him. Allah named Himself that Oft-Forgiving, The Hider of Faults, The Acceptor of Repentance… for us!
Click here to download your Tawabah To-Do List, and keep it where you can always see and refer to it.
Click to read more: http://productivemuslim.com/tawbah-to-do-list/#ixzz4d7F1hbgX
Love is difficult to measure; it is dynamic, beautiful, dangerous, bittersweet, fluctuating, and abstract. It can lead you to the highest clouds of happiness, but it can also sink you through the depths of a dark abyss.
Throughout one's life, different forms of love are experienced at varying degrees, but one type of love that is a constant for the sincere believer is the love of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
There are many reasons to love Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, as will be elaborated on in an upcoming article, but before we dive into the signs of true love, let us be reminded of one of the most heart-moving narrations that would increase a believer's love, in which Aisha said:
“Once, when I saw the Prophet being cheerful, I said to him: 'O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah for me!'
He said, 'O Allah! Forgive 'Aisha her past and future sins, what she has concealed as well as what she has made apparent.'
So I began smiling, to the point that my head fell into the lap of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ out of joy. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me: 'Does my du'a (supplication) make you happy?' I replied: 'And how can your du'a not make me happy?' He then said: 'By Allah, it is the supplication that I make for my Ummah in every prayer.' ” 
How can you not love the Prophet of Allah ﷺ when he supplicated for you in every prayer? The Prophet ﷺ cared more for us than we care for ourselves; he loved us more than we love ourselves. The proof of that is that he constantly prayed for his Ummah and struggled for 23 years in order to convey the message of Allah, and yet oftentimes we fall short with regards to our own spiritual well-being.
We may claim to love Prophet Muhammad, to ourselves and others, but let us examine some surefire signs that prove the authenticity of our love.
1. Imitating and emulating him
We frequently see society around us imitating sports players, movie stars, people of power, and other famous celebrities, out of love for their personalities, hairstyles, clothes, behavior, or speech.
Perhaps the greatest sign of your love for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is that your life is essentially a sequence of decisions that are guided by your desire to imitate Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. As the famous saying goes, “Your actions are louder than your words.” If you claim to love the Prophet ﷺ, then imitating him is a sign that your claim is authentic. It can therefore be said that the more you sincerely and correctly imitate the Messenger of Allah, the more love you have for him.
Perhaps one of the greatest calamities is when, for example, a passionate believer goes through a sudden spiritual change, and he attempts to implement — and enforce — the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ in some areas, but he completely overlooks the manners of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ without realizing that sound character is a part of faith, and one of the greatest ways to follow the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Thus, if you wish to imitate and emulate the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, then exemplify his manners alongside the jurisprudential issues.
Ask yourself: Are my decisions reflective of a believer who imitates and emulates the Messenger of Allah? What do my manners reflect? How do I treat my parents, wife/husband, children, community members, my superiors and employees, Muslims and non-Muslims?
2. Studying his seerah
When you love someone, you'll find yourself learning more about that individual's actions, sayings, and history. Many of the companions used to teach their children about the life of the Prophet ﷺ at a young age, and before many other subjects.
Every Muslim that is able to should study the life of the Prophet ﷺ to some extent; his mercy, love, compassion, dedication, speech, exalted manners, his concern for the Ummah, and the hardships he endured in order to fulfill his role of conveying the message of the Creator to the creation. This may entail reading a summarized book of the seerah, such as “When the Moon Split”, or covering an advanced book or in-depth video series, but ultimately, everyone should try to cover the basics at least once.
How can you love someone so much but have no passion to learn more about him? It's a harsh question that many of us need to ask ourselves, and the reality is that the more love you have for the Prophet ﷺ, the more eager you'll find yourself in learning about him. An indisputable benefit is that studying the seerah will increase your love for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
If you haven't yet, study the seerah on a basic level, alone or with family. If you have studied the basics, then move on to a more advanced and in-depth resource.
3. Studying what he conveyed
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was sent with the greatest and final gift to from the Creator to the creation: the Qur'an. Thus, one sign of love of the Messenger ﷺ is reciting, studying, understanding, implementing, and teaching what he conveyed. The Qur'an is a light for every darkness, a cure for every illness, a guidance for every misguidance, and it was delivered and conveyed by the Messenger that was sent to us for our own happiness and success, in both this life and the Hereafter.
Recite the Qur'an on a daily basis, even if in small quantities, and remember that consistency is key. Include with your recitation a basic study of understanding through authentic Tafseer (exegesis) so that your recitation brings about comprehension, concentration, and implementation.
4. Sending salutations upon him
Saying “Allahumma sallee 'ala Muhammad” in any of its appropriate variations is asking Allah to send peace and blessings and mercy upon the beloved Messenger, and every time you do it, Allah will send upon you 10 times the blessings and mercy in your life . Furthermore, every time you send salutations upon him, an angel appointed next to the Messenger ﷺ conveys your prayers to him. [ 3] Finally, the more you send prayers upon him, the closer you'll be to him on the Day of Resurrection and the more of his intercession you'll have on that significant day.
Try to begin the basic habit of sending 10 prayers upon him in the morning and 10 in the evening , and increase your habit from there throughout the day and night, especially when you remember him or when his name is mentioned.
5. Loving what/whom he loved
This includes acts of worship, such as fasting Mondays and Thursdays or praying at night, and countless sunnan, such as using the siwak or wearing white garments. This sign also includes the people he loved and those who loved him, such as Abu Bakr and Umar , and the Prophet's wife, Aisha , as well as his entire family and the companions in their entirety. This is a litmus test for many who claim to love the Messenger but believe in fabrications against his beloved and noble companions.
6. Remembering him and wishing to be with him
When you love someone, you find yourself thinking about them often. The more you love the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the more you'll refer back to his life and the more you'll pray that Allah grants you reunion with him in the Hereafter, in the highest levels of Paradise.
Action item: Include in your daily supplications a du'a for companionship with the Prophet ﷺ.
7. Encouraging others to learn about and emulate him
A sign of loving someone is that you want others to know about your beloved, especially when they delivered to you the only means of salvation and success. It's easy to encourage friends and family to partake in leisure, vacations, or other forms of entertainment; what we oftentimes forget when we're growing spiritually is to encourage others to grow with us. A believer who encourages others to study the life and teachings of the Prophet ﷺ has some apparent signs of loving the Prophet ﷺ himself.
Action item: Share this article with others to increase their love for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and encourage others to study the seerah and Sunnah of the Prophet frequently.
O Allah! Send your peace and blessings upon your Messenger, his family, and those who follow him until the Day of Resurrection.
O Allah! Grant us true and complete love for your Messenger and his Sunnah and allow us to be upon his path until the day we return to You.
O Allah! Grant us companionship with your Messenger in the highest levels of Paradise!
2. Muslim – “Whoever sends blessings upon me, Allah will send blessings upon him tenfold.”
3. Nasa'i – “Allah has angels who go around on earth, conveying to me the salaam of my ummah.”
4. Based on the narration of at-Tabaraani, “Whoever sends salutations upon me ten times in the morning and ten times in the evening will be encompassed by my intercession on the Day of Resurrection.” The narration's authenticity is disputed by a few scholars of hadith, but it has a sound classification according to al-Haythami, as-Suyuti, al-Mundhiri, and others.
Article originally found on: http://muslimmatters.org/2015/09/21/7-signs-that-you-truly-love-the-messenger-of-Allah/
About 1,600,000,000 cups of coffee are consumed every day around the world. Billions of people rely on it as part of their daily routines. And yet, very few people are aware of the Muslim origins of this ubiquitous drink. According to the historical record, in the 1400s coffee became a very popular drink among Muslims in Yemen, in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Legend goes that a shepherd (some say in Yemen, some say in Ethiopia) noticed that his goats became very energetic and jumpy when they ate beans from a particular tree. He had the courage to try them himself, noticing they gave him an energy boost. Over time, the tradition of roasting the beans and immersing them in water to create a sour yet powerful drink developed, and thus, coffee was born.
Regardless of whether or not the story of the shepherd ever really happened, coffee found its way from the highlands of Yemen to the rest of the Ottoman Empire, the premier Muslim empire of the 15th century. Coffeehouses specializing in the new drink began to spring up in all the major cities of the Muslim world: Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus, Baghdad. From the Muslim world, the drink found its way into Europe through the great merchant city of Venice. Although it was at first denounced as the “Muslim drink” by Catholic authorities, coffee became a part of European culture. The coffeehouses of the 1600s was where philosophers met and discussed issues such as the rights of man, the role of government, and democracy. These discussions over coffee spawned what became the Enlightenment, one of the most powerful intellectual movements of the modern world.
From a Yemeni/Ethiopian shepherd to shaping European political thought to over 1 billion cups per day, this Muslim innovation is one of the most important inventions of human history.
While many secondary school students struggling through math classes may not particularly appreciate the importance of algebra, it is one of the most important contributions of the Muslim Golden Age to the modern world. It was developed by the great scientist and mathematician, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khawarizmi, who lived from 780 to 850 in Persia and Iraq.
In his monumental book, Al-Kitāb al-mukhtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-jabr wa-l-muqābala (English: The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing), he set forth the basic principles of algebraic equations. The name of the book itself contains the word “al-jabr”, meaning “completion”, from which the Latin word algebra is derived. In the book, al-Khawarizmi explains how to use algebraic equations with unknown variables to solve real-world problems such as zakat calculation and inheritance division. A unique aspect of his reasoning for developing algebra is the desire to make calculations mandated by Islamic law easier to complete in a world without calculators and computers.
Al-Khawarizimi’s books were translated into Latin in Europe in the 1000s and 1100s, where he was known as Algoritmi (the word algorithm is based on his name and his mathematical works). Without his work in developing algebra, modern practical applications of math, such as engineering, would not be possible. His works were used as math textbooks in European universities for hundreds of years after his death.
Speaking of universities, that is also an invention made possible by the Muslim world. Early on in Islamic history, mosques doubled as schools. The same people who led prayers would teach groups of students about Islamic sciences such as Quran, fiqh (jurisprudence), and hadith. As the Muslim world grew however, there needed to be formal institutions, known as madrasas, dedicated to the education of students.
The first formal madrasa was al-Karaouine, founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri in Fes, Morocco. Her school attracted some of the leading scholars of North Africa, as well as the land’s brightest students. At al-Karaouine, students were taught by teachers for a number of years in a variety of subjects ranging from secular to religious sciences. At the end of the program, if the teachers deemed their students qualified, they would grant them a certificate known as an ijaza, which recognizes
that the student understood the material and is now qualified to teach it.
These first degree-granting educational institutes quickly spread throughout the Muslim world. Al-Azhar University was founded in Cairo in 970, and in the 1000s, the Seljuks established dozens of madrasas throughout the Middle East. The concept of institutes that grant certificates of completion (degrees) spread into Europe through Muslim Spain, where European students would travel to study. The Universities of Bologna in Italy and Oxford in England were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries and continued the Muslim tradition of granting degrees to students who deserved them, and using it as a judge of a person’s qualifications in a particular subject.
Military Marching Bands
Many students who attended high schools and universities in the Western world are familiar with the marching band. Made up of a group of a few hundred musicians, a band marches onto a field during an sporting event to entertain the audience and cheer on the players. These school marching bands developed from the use of marching military bands during the Gunpowder Age in Europe that were designed to encourage soldiers during battle. This tradition has its origins in the Ottoman mehter bands of the 1300s that helped make the Ottoman army one of the most powerful in the world.
As part of the elite Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, the mehter band’s purpose was to play loud music that would frighten enemies and encourage allies. Using enormous drums and clashing cymbals, the sounds created by a mehter band could stretch for miles. During the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans throughout the 14th -16th centuries, mehter bands accompanied the fearsome Ottoman armies, who seemed almost invincible even in the face of huge European alliances.
Eventually, Christian Europe also caught on to the use of military bands to frighten enemies. Legend has it that after the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683, the retreating Ottoman army left behind dozens of musical instruments, which the Austrians collected, studied, and put to their own use. Armies all over Europe soon began implementing marching military bands, revolutionizing the way war was fought in Europe for centuries.
CamerasIt’s hard to imagine a world without photography. Billion dollar companies like Instagram and Canon are based on the idea of capturing light from a scene, creating an image from it, and reproducing that image. But doing so is impossible without the trailblazing work of the 11th century Muslim scientist, Ibn al-Haytham, who developed the field of optics and described how the first cameras work.
It’s hard to imagine a world without photography. Billion dollar companies like Instagram and Canon are based on the idea of capturing light from a scene, creating an image from it, and reproducing that image. But doing so is impossible without the trailblazing work of the 11th century Muslim scientist, Ibn al-Haytham, who developed the field of optics and described how the first cameras work.
Working in the imperial city of Cairo in the early 1000s, Ibn al-Haytham was one of the greatest scientists of all time. To regulate scientific advancements, he developed the scientific method, the basic process by which all scientific research is conducted. When he was put under house arrest by the Fatimid ruler al-Hakim, he had the time and ability to study how light works. His research partially focused on how the pinhole camera worked. Ibn al-Haytham was the first scientist to realize that when a tiny hole is put onto the side of a lightproof box, rays of light from the outside are projected through that pinhole into the box and onto the back wall of it. He realized that the smaller the pinhole (aperture), the sharper the image quality, giving him the ability to build cameras that were incredibly accurate and sharp when capturing an image.
Ibn al-Haytham’s discoveries regarding cameras and how to project and capture images led to the modern development of cameras around the same concepts. Without his research into how light travels through apertures and is projected by them, the modern mechanisms inside everyone’s cameras would not exist.
Article originally found on: http://lostislamichistory.com/5-muslim-inventions-that-changed-the-world/
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