Category Archives: Deen Reminders

At the Price of Paradise by Ibn Qayyim

At the Price of Paradise by Ibn Qayyim

At the Price of Paradise by Ibn Qayyim
Have a nice read.
“And when those of certainty came to know what they were created for and for what purpose they came into existence they raised their heads high. 
When they knew that paradise was elevated for them they rolled up their sleeves for it. 
And that the straight path was made clear to them so they were firm as they traversed upon it. 
And they saw that the greatest inequity is to sell that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has not been conjured up by the imagination of any soul in an eternity that never ends for a temporal life, rather something only like a false dream, or a vision that visits during sleep, corrupted by disturbances, paired with torments. 
If it brings some laughter it brings much weeping, and if it causes happiness one day it causes sadness for months. Its pains are greater than its pleasures and its sorrows are many folds greater than its happiness. The first of it is fear and the last of it is ruin.
What amazement at a fool in the shape of a wise person, and an imbecile in the clothes of a person of intellect, who preferred a portion that is perishable and lousy, over a portion that is eternal, and sold a paradise that is equal to the heavens and the earth for an earth that is a constricted prison shared amongst a people afflicted by impairments and calamities. 
And (sold) goodly homes in gardens of Eden under which rivers flow, for a camel stable-constricted that ends with ruin. And (sold) loving virgins, equal in age, as if they are like rubies and coral (in beauty), for foul, lowly women who would take boyfriends or commit adultery. 
And Hoor with restricted gaze awaiting in tents, for filthy ones who would curse amongst the people. 
And (sold) rivers of wine a pure pleasure for those who drink, for an impure drink that does away with the mind and corrupts one’s wordly and religious life. 
And (sold) the pleasure of gazing at the Face of the All-Great and the Most Merciful, for the pleasure of glancing at hideous lowly faces. 
And (sold) the experience of listening to the address of Al-Rahman, for the experience of listening to music and singers. 
And (sold) the reclining on thrones of pearls, rubies and chrysolite on the Day of Increase for the reclining on gatherings of transgression with every wandering devil.
And (sold) the calling of the caller “Oh people of paradise: For you here is everlasting bliss and no despair, and everlasting life and no death, and everlasting residence and no relocation.
May Allah (swt) make us of the wise, Who do not lose the worthy at the expense of gaining the worthless. Ameen thumma ameen.

Funeral Gathering on the 3rd day

Funeral Gathering on the 3rd day

Today’s deen reminder is on a very important topic that is prevalent in our times. Kindly read on:
*Sadakar Uku and gathering after loss of a loved one.*
Ruling Concerning Post-Burial Gathering
Shaykh ibn Baaz رحمه الله was asked:
What is the ruling concerning what is known as al-ma`tim, in which people gather for three days after the burial in order to recite the Quran?
He  Responded: 
The gathering in the house of the deceased to eat, drink and recite the Qur’aan is an innovation. Similarly, their getting together to pray for the person and make supplications for him are also innovations. There is no source for it. All that should be done is that, people come to pay condolences, pray for the person, ask for mercy for them, console their grieving and encourage them to be patient. To gather for what they call al- ma’tim, to make particular supplications, particular prayers or reading of the Quran has no basis whatsoever. If that were a good act, our pious predecessors would have done it. 
The Messenger of Allaah صلي الله عليه و سلم did not do it. When Jaafar ibn Abee Taalib, Abdullaah ibn Rawaaha and Zaid ibn Haaritha were killed at the Battle of Mu’tah and the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم received the news through revelation, the Prophet announced that to the Companions and told them their news. He supplicated for them and asked Allaah to be pleased with them. He did no make a gathering. He did not prepare a meal or have a ma’tim. All of that he did not do even though the three who died were from the most virtuous of the Companions. 

When Abu Bakr died, also no one made a ma’tim, even though he was the best of the Companions. When Umar was killed, no one made a ma’tim. The people did not gather to pray or read the Qur’aan for him. Uthman and Ali were killed and the people did not gather after a specific time to pray for them, ask mercy for them or prepare food for them. It is, however, recommended for the relatives or neighbors of the deceased to prepare food for the deceased’s family and to send that food to them. This is similar to what the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم did when the news of Jaafar’s death came to him. He said to his family,
“Prepare food for the family of Jafar as something has occurred to them that is preoccupying them.”‘
The family of the deceased are preoccupied with their loss. To prepare food for them and send it to them is what is legal sanctioned. However, to add to their affliction and to put more responsibilities on their shoulders by making them prepare food for the people goes completely against the sunnah. In fact, it is an innovation. 
Jareer ibn Abdullaah al-Bajali said, “We used to consider gathering with the family of the deceased and preparing food after the burial as a kind of lamentation.” And lamentation is forbidden. This is to raise one’s voice, while the deceased is punished in the grave due to the wailing over him. One must avoid such practices. However, there is no harm in crying with tears.

#Just The Hijab

#Just The Hijab

She’s a good person, she recites the Qur’an, she fasts on mondays and thursdays and even prays Qiyaamul layl often. She just doesn’t wear the hijab’. Sounds familiar eh? It’s what a lot of people say when they are making excuses for their non-hijabi friends. Whenever I hear that statement, it makes me stops and think for a moment, is it JUST a hijab? Is it just a piece of cloth that a muslimah wears for extra rewards?

Before, every time I saw a hijabi doing something wrong or bad, I would become furious and think ‘even with her hijab?’ To me, anyone who wore the hijab was supposed to be a saint. Then my mother simplified things for me, she told me that hijab was an obligation, not something that just the pious muslimahs wore. Just like every muslim must pray salaah, every muslimah must wear hijab(of course salah is a greater obligation) it’s up to them to choose whether they have khushoo in that salah or represent the hijab well.

SubhanAllah, what she said really hit me and made me think of all my non-hijab wearing years when I thought hijab was for the ustadhas only, Alhamdulillah for Allah’s infinite mercy and guiding us back to His deen.
It also made me scared as I started recalling my non-hijabi friends and other sisters who are fully aware of the obligation of hijab and were still not complying.
Hijab in our times has become a voluntary act, a not so obligatory deed. It’s like we don’t know the punishment for not wearing hijab;
Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam having said this, “Their are two groups of people destined for the fire of hell. First, those officials who would carry with them whips looking like the tails of cows and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite being apparently clothed. They themselves will be inclined towards men and lure them as well. Their heads will be tall like the humps of Bukhti camels, bent onto one side (their hair will be styled in a bun). They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of Paradise which can be detected from great distances.” (Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth # 2128)
I mean can you imagine not being able to even smell the fragrance of jannah? It might seem like just a piece of cloth in this dunya but in the akhira it can make you taste the burning chastisement of hell.I agree that in our times wearing the hijab isn’t the easiest thing, what with all the alluring fashion trends that come out everyday making the struggle more and more difficult. But still, that doesn’t make it any less of an obligation, rather it makes the reward greater.
We shouldn’t make excuses and shy away from correcting our non-hijabi relatives and friends just because we see them doing other good deeds, rather that should make us want to correct them more because we see alot of good in them.
O my sister who observes her five daily prayers and fasts the month of ramadan,who recites Qur’an and is consistent in her nawafil and also to my sister who loves to give charity but finds it difficult to wear the hijab or observe it properly(makes if flashy,tight-fitting,attractive,scented,etc),know that hijab is not for when you are on an iman high, it is a command from Allah(SWT) the most high who created you and gave you that beauty that you find it hard to cover.
Cover yourself up and please your Maker, isn’t it His pleasure that you are seeking through all your other good deeds? Isn’t it His Jannah that you aim to enter? Are you going to obey Him only when it is convenient for you? Will you not Submit completely to Him?
You are a good person and you have a good heart my sister, It breaks my heart to see you doing all these voluntary good deeds and then abandoning what is obligatory, to think that all your good deeds may be scattered to dust because shaytan made you to believe that it was ‘just the hijab’.
Take heed my sisters,  it is not ‘just the hijab’ and it isn’t ‘just another sin.
Your sister in deen,

Umm Saabir.
For more information and encouragement on Hijab, Download and listen to ‘To veil or not to veil’ by Sh. Muhammad Elshinawy;

♧♧ Who is a Productive Muslimah?♧♧

♧♧ Who is a Productive Muslimah?♧♧

      A Productive Muslimah is one who takes pride in being a muslimah. She is focused on preaching Islam through her own practice. She loves Allah, her focus in life is Allah’s pleasure, and she loves to do things that bring her closer to her Creator and Sustainer. Her main concern is her success in the akhirah, thus she makes the most of this world as a means to achieve that success. Her iman is reflected through her outward appearance and mannerism, which is a complete submission to the shari’ah. 
      She lives a simple life that takes care of her needs and instead of going after her wants. She has a heart free of love for this world, free of love of leadership, free of bad opinions about others, free of grudges, malice, rancour, greed, envy and all other evil traits. Her tongue is not engaged in haram or vain talk, she thinks before she speaks, she controls her anger. She is a humble person; her goal is to be a better person every day of her life. She doesn’t hesitate to admit when she is wrong and is quick in correcting her wrongs/faults when she sees them.
       She is neither stingy nor a spendthrift, but she loves to spend generously for those things which will bring her closer to her Creator. Her heart is clean and pure, filled with love and reverence for her Creator: love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness for the creation. She is full of gratitude for every single blessing, especially for the spiritual blessings, and she is always striving to progress spiritually. She has complete trust and reliance in Allah, and when she goes through difficult or disliked situations, she knows there is good in it for her – both in this world and the next.
      She loves to be in the company of saliheen (righteous slaves of Allah). She strives to keep her promises and commitments. She is soft spoken but firm in her words and works. She always strives to be a part of solution and not a part of problem. She shows beautiful patience during difficult times, for she realizes things could have been worse, and that these are tests from Allah Who can be called upon and He will answer the duas. And she also has the certainty that, “Indeed, with hardship, there will be ease” [Qur’an: Chapter 94, Verse 6].
She is a living proof of what a muslimah should be, and all this with the utmost sincerity to please her Almighty Lord ♡
May Allah (swt) make each one of us a productive muslimah, ameen thumma ameen.

Amp Up Your Ramadan

Amp Up Your Ramadan

Amp Up Your Ramadan: 7 Steps to Make This Your Most Productive Ramadan
Every year as Ramadan approaches, there are many online webinars, events, and local activities that all pertain to one thing: preparing you for the best month. I have always believed that knowledge is not power;knowledge is potential power.
Because no matter how many lectures you listen to, and how many webinars you attend, if you are not willing to take that knowledge and implement it in your day-to-day life, then you are really not taking advantage of your resources and the knowledge that you have been blessed with.
Of course, that would not be you, because you are one of the readers of ProductiveMuslim! The fact that you are here right now reading this is a clear indication that you are serious about your personal and spiritual growth, and I honor you for that. The fact that you are dedicating some of your time to read to become a better and more productive Muslim is definitely something honorable. May Allah  always allow us to seek beneficial knowledge and help us implement what we learn.
As a personal development and high performance coach, I help thousands of people maximize their potential and become the best version of themselves. There is no better time than the holy month of Ramadan to do just that. Ramadan is an amazing opportunity for us to better ourselves, establish new effective habits, let go of ineffective ones, and set the tone for an awesome and productive year.
The tips and suggestions below have helped me over the years to really focus on the true meaning of Ramadan. My mission is to help you maximize your Ramadan so that you can truly reap its benefits.
Here are 7 simple yet effective steps you can follow to make this year’s Ramadan stand out from all the previous ones, In sha Allah.
1. Make the intention to make this your best Ramadan ever
Most of us are familiar with this hadith:
“The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention.”  [Bukhari]
However, sometimes it is very easy to overlook this simple yet profound act of making the intention. I mean, with all our heart. I really believe that the first step to having an amazing Ramadan is by taking a sincere decision to do our best in every single way.
This is also true for everything we do in life. We have to first decide and make the intention to do something. Once we make the intention, Allah  will help guide our steps, In sha Allah.
2. Set clear goals
Last year, I was invited to conduct a Ramadan workshop for a mixed-age audience. When I asked what their Ramadan goals were, an energetic young woman raised her hand and remarked: “I want to be more organized this Ramadan.” Even though from the onset that sounds like a great goal, and in essence it is, however, it is not a clear goal.
When you set your Ramadan goals, you want to be as specific as you can get. For instance, instead of putting down on your list “get more organized”, you may want to say things like the following.
Read 5 pages of Qur’an after each Salah.Prepare 15 freezable dishes to cut down cooking time.Take a rejuvenating power nap in the afternoon to be alert during taraweeh.
You get the drill, right?
Now pause your reading, grab a large index card or piece of paper, and write down 5 specific goals to make this your best Ramadan ever.
One of my specific goals last year was to read the Qur’an along with its meaning. I do not know about you, but for me, as someone whose native language is not Arabic, knowing what I am reciting enhances my experience of reading the Qur’an cover-to-cover.
Remember to choose goals that you were not able to accomplish last year. So, if you always manage to pray taraweeh every single night with no worries, then do not put that down on your list. Choose new things. Remember, we want to amp it up this year.
3. Block the time to achieve your set goals
Now that you have set your very specific goals, you need to make a daily schedule and make sure to block the time to achieve your goals. Remember, only the things that get scheduled are the things that get done. That is just how it works.
Therefore, simply recording your goals on a flash card or notebook will not enable you to get them done. You need to make the time for any activity in your schedule and actually write it down.
I encourage you to make a schedule of your entire day, with half-hour to one-hour blocks to do whatever you need to do on any given day. It may sound very rigid, but it really is not. On the contrary, scheduling your day will free up your time because when you get things done in a timely fashion, you will have more free time to rest and rejuvenate yourself.
4. Minimize distractions
Let’s face it, we live in a world of distractions. All our emails, texts, social-media notifications can distract us from what truly matters.
Now, I am not suggesting we give up all our gadgets. Not at all. But when we answer all the calls and notifications, in a way, we become slaves to our devices. On the other hand, if we choose to take charge, wedecide not to let them distract us. When we put them on silent or airplane mode, we use our phones and all kinds of electronics to their intended maximum potential. As a result, they become great tools to assist us in our daily tasks and can help us maximize our productivity.
There are some great apps that can help us track our time, memorize the Qur’an, or give us a daily hadith to ponder over. These are all great tools. However, we need to learn to use technology to serve us, instead of us becoming servants to it.
5. Plan ahead to simplify your life
Whether it is about preparing your meals or gifts for Eid, planning ahead will save you much needed time.
Spend less time in the kitchen. From samosas to grape leaves, everyone wants to make something yummy for their families, which can be great! However, if you and your family are spending a huge amount of time at the supermarket or in the kitchen preparing a feast every single day, you are really missing out on the true meaning of Ramadan. So, a little simplicity can go a long way.Make a menu for the entire month. Make sure to keep it healthy and simple. If you know you will have guests on certain nights, you can make those Iftars a little more elaborate if you choose to. Otherwise, think of easy-to-make soups, salads, and plenty of hydrating foods to break your fast.Cook ahead. It really does not take much for one to feel satisfied. Think of meals that taste great the next day so that way, you can cook enough for two days, hence saving your time and energy.Prepare by freezing. Many casseroles, pasta dishes, and other meals freeze wonderfully. This can save precious time that should be spent in worship rather than cooking.
The key is to remind yourself of the true meaning of Ramadan every single day to help you prioritize your activities.
As for getting ready for Eid, something that works really well for my family is to get ready before Ramadan. Yes, do all your Eid shopping before the moon is sighted.
Why spend any precious second shopping at the mall or browsing for hours online? Get all the gifts for your loved ones ahead of time, preferably wrapping them and hiding them. Now, if you are buying something really big and hard to hide, then you just have to be creative! Shopping ahead also includes those special Eid clothes. Make sure you get them ahead of time as well. Just make a list of everything and get it done.
Trust me, it is possible to be all ready before the month begins, if you are strategic about it.
6. Dedicate yourself to service
This one is huge! It is all about using your talents, skills, and resources to make a difference in the lives of others, which can be accomplished in many ways.
You can bake some goodies and deliver them to your neighbors with a kind and caring note. Action is the best form of da’wah to show how beautiful Islam is. You can visit the sick and elderly in the hospitals and nursing homes. You can cook some food for your local masjid for people to break their fast with.
The options are so abundant, all you have to do is be willing to make a difference and take action.
7. Make the Qur’an a top priority
I saved the best for the last! Having touched upon the idea of prioritizing our time in step 5, it is very important for us to keep the focus of the month of Ramadan on the Qur’an and remembrance of Allah .
Allah  tells us very clearly:
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 185]
We need to block the time to recite and study the Qur’an. We need to ponder over its meaning. This is the month in which it was revealed. So, we really have to get serious about learning about the greatest miracle of our beautiful religion.

The Qur’an

The Qur’an

Deen Reminder:
♡ The Qur’an; A Treasure Chest of Reminders ♡
I’m afraid to do what Allah (swt) wants from me because…
>>People will mock me behind my back
“And whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another (in mockery);

And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting.” (Q83:30-31)
“But this Day (the Day of Resurrection) those who believe (good doers) will laugh at the disbelievers (wrong doers)” (Q83:34 )
>>People will use hurtful words with me and act un-nicely towards me.
– “And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything)” (Q25:20)
>>I’m afraid i will lose out on people’s favours because they won’t like me anymore?
” Is not Allah sufficient for His slave(s)”? (Q39:20)
>>I won’t be able to withstand all that! 
“And have patience, indeed Allah never wastes the rewards of the good-doers”. (Q11:115)

What we face in holding on to the path of Allah is nothing peculiar to us. The messengers of Allah (swt) have experienced it and even more, and Allah (swt) recorded their plight and gave it to us to serve as our very own book of guidance.
“(This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember” (Q38:29)
Subhanallah. Let’s make a resolution to take the Qur’an as our best friend from today, let’s read it with understanding of what it teaches so that we can follow it’s guidance and lead our lives in accordance to how Allah (swt) wants it to be.
O Allah, make us so close to your Qur’an that we can fanthom the idea of meeting you in ignorance of even one ayah of it. And allow us to witness the coming month of the Qur’an and be of those who will change their lives for the better.
Ameen thumma ameen.

Taking The Antidote After The Poison


Assalaam alaikum warahmatullah wa barkatuh. 
☆ Deen Reminder: Taking the antidote after the poison
Shaykh Sulayman Ar Ruhaylee:
The believer who sins hoping for forgiveness, is like the person who drinks poison hoping for the antidote after drinking the poison. You will not find a sane person getting some poison, drinking it, and then swallowing it. Then after he swallows it he says: ‘here is the antidote; I’m going to drink it.’ Because he could die before the antidote takes effect.
And you—O slave of Allah—do not know when you are going to die. You could die while you are sinning. And the people will be raised on the Day of Judgment according to what they died upon. Whoever dies reciting the Talbiyah (the call made by the pilgrims on Hajj) will be raised to life reciting the Talbiyah. Whoever dies praying will be raised to life praying. Whoever dies giving Dawah will be raised to life giving Dawah.
Whoever dies fornicating—and with Allah refuge is sought—will be raised to life upon this evil condition. Whoever dies lying will be raised to life upon this evil condition. Whoever dies backbiting will be raised to life upon this evil condition. Whoever dies intoxicated will be raised to life upon this evil condition. Thus the person does not know; he could die while he is sinning.

For this reason it is mentioned that one of the Salaf said while admonishing his student: ‘Whoever can guarantee me he will live to see tomorrow, I grant him permission to sin.’
Whoever can guarantee me that he will live until tomorrow, I grant him permission to sin. Meaning the one from amongst you who will stand and say, I will live to see tomorrow then I grant him permission to commit every sin. Who is able to guarantee this?
By Allah; a person will be strong and healthy and fall dead all of a sudden. How many healthy people have died without any illness! And how many sick people have lived for a long period of time!
Some people become sick, and others go to visit them while believing the person is going to die and they will pray over him. But the one who visits him dies before he does, and his death is announced. And death is sufficient as an admonition.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee