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How I Consistently Wake Up (By Allah’s Permission) 45 Minutes Before Fajr Adhan

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Become an active member of the ProductiveMuslim community and enrich it with your thoughts. Leave a comment on this article and with it, your presence. We look forward to reading your comments.

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How I Consistently Wake Up (By Allah's Permission) 45 Minutes Before Fajr Adhan - Productive Muslim

One of the challenges that a Muslim faces when trying to wake up for Fajr everyday is the constant shifting of the Fajr prayer. Depending on the season you’re in, it constantly shifts either few minutes forward each day or few minutes back each day. Thus, it can be difficult to keep up with a varied Fajr schedule throughout the year.

 

This varied schedule poses three challenges for a productive Muslim:

  1. It’s difficult to “train” your brain to wake up at a certain time each day. When you read productivity books, their advice is to always wake up early around the same time each day, e.g. 5am. This helps train your brain to wake you up early regardless of how late you slept the night before. However, for a Muslim, this is not realistic, especially with the shifting time for Fajr prayer, which can start as early as 1am or 2am or as late as 7am, depending on the season and which part of the world you’re in.
  2. It’s difficult to maintain a regular “night” prayer routine. If you want to benefit from the last third of the night and get up and pray, you cannot have a consistent schedule. In some seasons, this will require you to wake up as early as 1am or 2am and in some seasons, you’ll need to wake up at 5am or 6am. Again, it can be difficult for you to stay consistent.
  3. You cannot maintain a consistent schedule or morning routine. Since your morning keeps expanding and contracting depending on what time you have to wake up for Fajr prayer, having a consistent morning routine can be quite challenging.

So How Do You Overcome This Challenge?

The solution is in a new routine I’ve developed recently. By Allah’s sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) permission and tawfeeq, I have been able to consistently wake up 45 minutes before Fajr adhan, regardless of the season and time of year I’m in.

This has helped me train my brain to wake up in sync with Fajr prayer adhan, as well as in sync with the seasons. It has also helped me maintain a regular night prayer + witr routine, since I now have a 45-minute window before the Fajr adhan.

So here’s my solution: This is a 3-step process that has worked for me and I hope and pray that it works with you.

Step 1 Get the Right Alarm

How I Consistently Wake Up (By Allah's Permission) 45 Minutes Before Fajr Adhan - Productive MuslimPhoto by: alfajr[dot]com/en/ct-01.html

I got myself a desk Fajr clock. The clock has  a unique feature i.e. it has an alarm that goes off in sync with the Fajr adhan and you can set it to wake you up at least 10 minutes before Fajr, everyday. Therefore, regardless of the time of Fajr adhan, it’ll go off exactly 10 minutes before Fajr.

Step 2 Develop Your Alarm Habit

Every person has a unique “alarm habit” whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. For some, it’s the classic ‘ hit the snooze button and sleep until it’s too late for you to hit the snooze button again’ habit. For others, it’s to simply shut the alarm and sleep for another 20-30 minutes before waking up scared that they’ll miss their morning commute.

I used to have quite a funny alarm habit myself. My alarm clock (the Fajr clock I mentioned above) was placed at the other end of my room. When it went off, I got up, walked across the room, turned it off and then walked straight back to bed for a snooze before my phone’s alarm woke me up. Normally, it worked for me. But, sometimes it didn’t and that bothered me.

Thinking about that routine, I realize it didn’t make sense. “Why am I heading back to my bed after waking up and walking across the room?!”. So I decided to change my routine to change my habit.

I simply changed the direction of my walk after I turned off the alarm. Instead of walking back to bed, I walked straight to the bathroom to get ready for salah. Initially, making that conscious shift of walking to the bathroom instead of the bed was quite challenging because I was trying to overcome an old habit. However, after a few days, this habit has become ingrained in me. Now, I find it much easier to get up at any time the adhan clock goes off and walk straight to the bathroom and get ready for salah.

Step 3 Tweak and Re-arrange

When I first changed my alarm habit, I used to have the Fajr alarm set at least 5 minutes before Fajr adhan. Of course, this gave me no time to pray tahajjud or witr on time. So what I wanted to do was gradually train my mind to wake up earlier and earlier each day. I knew that if I “jerk” my brain to wake up half an hour before the time it’s used to wake up, I might be tempted to go back to my old routine and walk straight into bed for a snooze.

To make this transition smooth, I followed a simple procedure. Each week, I set my alarm to go off 5 minutes earlier than the previous week. This small tweak of the alarm each week allowed me to gradually train my mind to consistently wake up 45 minutes before Fajr each day. This helped me overcome two of the challenges I mentioned earlier:

  1. Training my brain to wake up at “same time” each day.
  2. Staying consistent with night prayer.

What about the third challenge i.e. maintaining a consistent morning routine? To overcome this challenge, I would review my morning routine every three months. Normally, three months is enough time for Fajr prayer to have moved significantly to require me to tweak my morning routine. The way I tweak my morning routine is by either adding or removing “optional” morning activities to/from my “core” morning activities to have an optimal morning routine, depending on the season.

What are My Core/Optional Morning Activities? (Optional Activities Marked with *)

  • 4-6 raka’ah tahajjud*
  • 2 raka’ah tahajjud
  • Witr prayer
  • Istighfar
  • Repeat after the Fajr adhan with the nearby mosque mu’addhin
  • Fajr sunnah
  • Fajr prayer
  • Remembrance after salah
  • Morning remembrance
  • Qur’an recitation
  • Writing* – Brainstorming*
  • Reading*
  • Gym (swimming, weights, running)*
  • 7-30 minutes of home exercise
  • Breakfast

An Advance Tip

I want to go a level deeper with you and give you a really pro tip.This is for the productivity professionals out there.

You can play with the above system so you reduce the variance between your earliest summer wake-up time and earliest winter wake-up time. This way, you don’t go through massive swings during the year. For example, if Fajr gets as early as 3am and as late as 7am in your area (depending on the season), following my 45-minute routine before Fajr tip, the earliest you’ll wake up in the summer is 2.30am and the earliest you’ll wake up in the winter is 6.30am. However, that’s a 4 hour swing/variance in one year, which can be quite hard to adapt to.

What if during winter, instead of waking up at 6.30am, you wake up at 4.30am and give yourself a longer period to pray tahajjud. This way, the gap between your earliest winter wake-up time and summer wake-up time is 2 hours, which won’t be as difficult to adjust to, In sha Allah.

I hope the above has helped you in some way to develop a powerful wake-up routine that not only allows you to never miss Fajr, but also keep up with the Fajr timings throughout the year and get a chance to keep up with your night prayer each night. Of course, I must mention that waking up early for Fajr and tahajjud is a blessing from Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and can only happen by His permission.

Hence whenever applying the above techniques, remember you’re simply taking the means, but your heart and hopes should be connected to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) in Whose Hands is your ability to wake up. Pray that you wake up early and worship Him and remember: “You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help”.

Try out the 3-step routine and share your experience in the Comments section below.

Ramadan Countdown - Productive Muslim

 

Do NOT Be Afraid— To Fear ALLAH (SWT) !

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inspirationareyoufearing

Do you actually fear disappointing the One you so dearly love? Have you in some way gone past the stage of fearing Him from your heart?
Let’s explore why fearing Allah ‘azza wa jall in a balanced way is crucial for your eternal success.
In this week’s central ayah Allah the Majestic gives you a weighty instruction in order to succeed in life: O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him] [Quran, 3:102]Flee to Allah
Imagine that you die before taking even one moment to turn to Allah ‘azza wa jall and seek His forgiveness for all the times you wronged others and yourself. Your heart is losing its softness, not living up to your repentance— death is overtaking you while you are indulging in your desires. Are these actually part of the things you fear?
Fear of Allah ‘azza wa jall is a beautiful, blessed, and unique type of fear, as it makes you flee to the One you fear, as He says: So flee to Allah. Verily, I (Muhammad) am a plain warner to you from Him [Quran,51:50] This beautiful ayah combines the meaning of both the fear and hope you should have: fear of Allah and turning to Him, for there is no refuge from Him except in Him. No one offers refuge from Him except Him; doesn’t this show you He is more Merciful than anyone else?
Words for Fear in the Quran
There are more than ten words for fear mentioned in the Quran, the most common being khawf (خَوف). Khawf is the type of fear you feel when you actually see the upcoming danger and in turn you are afraid of what is coming. For example when there is a severe weather warning, you see the signs and should prepare. So see the signs Allah ‘azza wa jall laid out for you in this life and prepare for the next!
Khashiyah (اَلْخَشِيَه) means you fear the direct harm of something, like fear of a dog or snake, fearing they bite you. Allah ‘azza wa jall constantly warns you in the Quran about things and people before you did wrong and their punishments, so you can choose not to go down that road and it can add to your khashiyah of the dangers of certain deeds.
Khushoo (اَلْخُشُوْع) is normally mentioned related to prayer and feeling humility and having concentration in prayer, but it also has an aspect of fear build in it. The type of fear you feel in your heart and then affects your limbs and your muscles. Keep making dua’ that the speech of Allah reaches your heart and even causes an effect on your body.
Taqwa (تقوى) means that you protect yourself, or take precaution out of a certain fear or concern. An example is when you lock up your house as a precaution measure for burglars. And this is exactly how you should be as a believer, active and alert at all times in this world and take precaution by your actions and deeds in order to protect yourself from bad consequences in this life and the next.

7 Ways to Increase Your Fear of Allah

1. Don’t forget yourself.
Sometimes you are so worried about and focused on others, you forget about yourself and you no longer have fears for yourself. You lose the connection with yourself and find yourself not getting emotional when you hear the Quran or when you make dua’. Reconnect with yourself, look in the mirror and recognize your weaknesses in your relationship with Allah ‘azza wa jall.
2. Be careful with exposing yourself.
Be careful with exposing yourself to scary movies, graphic video games etc. This overstimulation might harden your heart, so when you read about the scenes Allah ‘azza wa jall describes in the Hellfire for example, it hardly affects your heart anymore, as it is so hardened by the things you have been showing yourself. This is very important in your children’s upbringing, too!
3. Realize that fear is a blessing.
Allah ‘azza wa jall says: But for he who has feared the position of his Lord are two gardens. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? [Quran, 55:46-47] If you feel fear for standing in front of Him and mind your actions, this genuine fear actually qualifies you for Paradise; your fear is a blessing in disguise!
4. Reflect on the fear of the creation.
Did you know the Day of Judgement will be on a Friday? The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: There is no angel, sky, earth, wind, mountain, or river that does not fear Friday [ Ibn Maajah] With knowledge of this narration, remind yourself of the Day of Judgement on Friday– and every other day— and let it motivate you to fill your days with good deeds.
5. Be inspired by the fear of Jibreel.
Jibreel ‘alayhi wa sallam came to the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and was crying. So the Prophet asked him, ‘What makes you cry?’ He said, “My eyes have not been dry since Allah created Jahannam, out of fear that I would disobey Him and He would throw me in it. [al-Bayhaqee] Have you ever cried just thinking about the Hellfire?
6. Think of the fear of the Companions.
Think of the amazing deeds they did, yet they felt so much fear. Whenever you do a deed, have both hope that Allah ‘azza wa jall will record it for you as fear it might not be accepted so you remain motivated to keep doing good deeds and aim higher and higher!
7. Advise yourself and others.
Make it a habit to talk to yourself and tell yourself out loud: Fear Allah! Also gently advise others out of love for them and their success in this life and the next byreminding them to fear Allah ‘azza wa jall, saying: اتقواالله‎, fear or be aware of Allah.
May Allah ‘azza wa jall adorn us with genuine, balanced fear of Him and assist us in acting upon the fear in this life, so we can be safe in the next, ameen!
Praying you will benefit,

Khawlah bint Yahya ~ United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL is dedicated to inspiring you to open the Quran every day, pick one ayah, and apply it to your own life by making acting on that ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Quran to our daily lives! Check www.ayahjournal.com or www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for examples.
 

ACJU - Special Media Release

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All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama conveys its sincere thanks to the Sri Lankan Muslim community for abiding by the guidance provided by our organizing in the past period when various adversities were lobbed at them. We also congratulate the Lankan Muslims for acting in the most pleasant and judicious manner with forbearance thus contributing to preserve peace and harmony in our Motherland.

ACJU once again reminds our people that we should always turn towards the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and exemplary ways of our beloved Prophet (Sal) and his Companions for solutions for any and every crisis that come our way.

Sri Lanka Muslims have a historic reputation as an uncomplicated ethnic group that exists congenially with all the communities that live in this country and as an affable religious minority that always gives prominence for national welfare, unity and harmony. ACJU asserts the importance of steadfastly maintaining that good repute, especially in these turbulence times when we have become a chosen target for provocation.

Muslims are pointedly proscribed from insulting other faiths and the Holy Qur’an enjoins as follows in this regard:

‘And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge’
-Sura Al An Aam 108

However, Muslims have become more hurt by the latest stunt of the Bodu Bala Sena organization, in which it has started to make horrendous remarks against the Holy Qur’an by misinterpreting its commands and spitefully commenting on its verses out of context.

Along with other false allegations that could be disproved in no time, the BBS propagates that there is a concept in Islam called ‘Thaqiya’ as facilitated by the Holy Qur’an which allows Muslims to defraud people of other faiths and that makes lawful for Muslims to acquire properties and wealth of non Muslims by cheating them. This incredulous allegation have deeply disturbed the local Muslims and it might agitate global Muslims as well which is not going to profit our country in anyway. Especially in these times when the entire world is scrutinizing us.

We are hoping to soon secure an audience with His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as one with Ven. Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter to make an appeal in this regard with the ultimate hope that necessary steps would be taken to put an end to these atrocities that clearly have surpassed all the limits.

In the meantime, we call our community to continue to be patient and prudent in these chaotic times as certain evil elements eagerly watch for a single slip from our side to ignite nationwide mayhem. We also request Muslims to make additional supplication to Almighty Allah, soon after the forthcoming Jumu’a Prayer to bring about lasting peace and unity to our country.

Ash Sheikh M. M. A. Mubarak
General Secretary, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama

http://www.acju.lk/press-release/co-existence/

 

ACJU Special media statement

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Naturally, fresh and optimistic expectations started to sprout in the minds of every peace-loving Sri Lankan after the end of the long war that lasted over three decades. Every one of us firmly believed and hoped that we would be able to eliminate mutual mistrust, hatred and other downbeat feelings that have rooted in our hearts for so long and that we would be able to heal deep wounds that maimed our hearts. We also hoped that we would be able, as a nation, to join hands to create a social setting that would never let such unpleasant things to happen again.

Unfortunately, what we witness here today is a totally contrast and volatile social atmosphere in which several extremists flaming religious movements lob insults and spiteful statements at each other.

We, at ACJU felt that it is our paramount responsibility as the apex religious organization of the Lankan Muslims to provide guidance on how to act in this turbulent situation.

On careful observation, ACJU identified several reasons that have helped ignite the present flame. The first one of them is forcing a faith to others. Islam rejects this notion altogether. The Holy Qur’an says as following;

‘There is no compulsion in the religion’
(2:256)

Accordingly, Islam totally shuns insulting or criticizing other faiths or religious personalities of other faiths. If any one acts in this deplorable way, he defies teachings of Islam and acts on his own audacious volition. Thus the ACJU strongly condemns such actions.

We also beseech the respected religious leaders of Lankan Buddhists, Hindus and Christians not to assume these imprudent acts of a handful as attested by Islam or approved by the Muslim masses of this country. While expressing our deepest regrets for such actions, we urge the relevant authorities to take necessary actions against those impulsive offenders who defy the command of Allah:

‘Insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah’
6:108

The other matter that seriously affects conciliation as we believe is the incapacity to tolerate other religions and cultures. This narrow mentality entices one to reject the globally accepted reality of multi ethnicity. Islam totally rejects this phobia and concedes the universal reality of multi ethnicity and accepts the fact that various religious would continue to exist in this world. This is asserted by several verses in the Holy Qur’an such as the two given below:

‘The truth is from your Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve’
(18:29)

 

‘O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another’
(49:13)

We would like to urge Muslims of this country to abide by the guidance provided by our organization and treat all the fellow Lankan’s with brotherhood and warmth regardless of their religious orientations or ethnic identities and contribute to recreate conciliation and harmony in our beloved Motherland. Also we once again request the masses of other faiths and ethnicities not to look upon the imprudent actions of few misguided Muslims as the approved ideal of the entire Muslim community living in this country. Finally, we request those astride responsible seats to see that the law of this country is fairly implemented to every one regardless of their religious or ethnic distinctiveness.

Let us unite and contribute to create a social environment where we can live with peace and happiness through a just and impartial way while discarding hatred and mistrust. Let us join hands as the children of Mother Lanka and resolve to unravel any and every dispute come our way via dialog and discussion. Let us contribute to create a prosperous Sri Lanka and save her for she is the only Motherland we Lankan’s have gotten.

Ash Sheikh Fazil Farook
Media Secretary
ACJU

http://www.acju.lk/press-release/special-media-statement/

 

Living A Lie: Rape And The Burning Muslim Shops

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May 14, 2014 |

Hameed Abdul Karim

Hameed Abdul Karim

The other day I came across an article that appeared in The Island titled ‘Buddha Sasana Ministry Invasion is a Rehearsal for Regime Change’ and was horrified to find the writer had casually justified the arson attack on a shop in Aluthgama owned by Muslims by claiming that this had happened because a young Sinhala Buddhist boy had been raped by the owner inside the shop.

The writer had gone to extents to twist the facts of the case to suit his ‘theory of justification’ blindly ignoring all the facts that were out there in the open days before the incident took place. The police had taken the shop owner into custody and kept him in the cop shop for one and a half days after which they were compelled to release him because there was no evidence at all to press charges.

To add insult to injury the writer states quite categorically that the boy, allegedly raped, was hospitalised. This is an absolute fabrication on his part. If this was the case, as he claims, then it would be only proper for him to check the hospital records.

Inside the Fashion Bug

Inside the Fashion Bug

According to media reports this boy in question had gone to the shop with his mother and it was at this point that the alleged incident had taken place. If the shop owner had actually raped the boy or abused him in any way then common sense suggests that quite a length of time would have passed for the act to take place. What was the mother doing while the boy was absent? Mothers usually don’t lose sight of their children when on an outing like going out shopping. Clearly this is a set up.

Another thing that your readers must consider that anybody trader of any faith will never commit such a vile crime in the place where he derives his income from fearing, what we might call, a divine backlash.

The writer then abrasively claims that in any such incident the shop would have been burned even if the culprit happened to be a Sinhala Buddhist! This is about the most ridiculous statement I have read in a long time. The media often reports cases of Sinhala Buddhist fathers raping their daughters and even grandfathers raping their grand children, but there have been no reports of their livelihoods been destroyed. Child abuse is happening as we speak and if we were to go by the twisted logic of the writer we must read of vindictive arson attacks quite often.

Moreover, in this case the CCTV footage vindicates the shop owner. If there was even a shred of evidence against him the police would never have let him go. What must be borne in mind is that the pretext for this attack is identical to the attack on the Muslim owned shopFashion Bug at Pilyandala.

Take the reverse argument for a moment. Supposing a Sinhala Buddhist had raped a Muslim boy and a mob of Muslims had done the same thing that the mob of Sinhala Buddhists did to the Muslim owned shop in Aluthgama, would the writer or Sinhala Buddhists applaud and justify the crime? Why, there would be hell to pay if this ever happened.

Right thinking people who read this article in The Island would be angered by the casual manner in which the writer justifies and dismisses the burning of the Muslim owned shop, never mind to which faith or race they belong to. There is no doubt that this dastardly act was one based on unbridled racism.

All this brings in the role of the police. What were they doing all the while when they knew they had a situation on their hands? A situation that would cause a breach of the peace? Why did they give permission to carry out a protest march against the shop like as if it was a political rally? Or was this job consigned to the newly formed Religious Police? If so where were they?

In my stupidity I still believe there is a rule of law in this country. And in that frame of mind I think the law should have taken its course. If the Muslim trader had indeed raped the Sinhala Buddhist boy or any other boy he should have been taken into custody and dealt with, with the full force of the law.

As a civilised society (a claim that politicians often utter) we should be talking of apprehending the arsonists and about compensating the shop owner, but up until now nobody has been taken to task and the shop owner is left destitute. No police teams have been appointed to inquire into the matter even as a ploy to allay the fears of Muslims. Neither has any politician of the area ‘looked into the matter’ and promised to compensate the shop owner who probably voted for ‘his’ man or woman at the previous election. And the OIC of the police station in the area sits smugly in his seat oblivious to the crime that had been committed under his nose. Sri Lanka is certainly a ‘land like no other’.

 

The Roots of Communal Politics

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The emergence of the Bodu Bala Sena and its continuing militant, anti-Muslim political activism has irritated many liberally-minded people. Some of those who are agitated have responded by proposing simplistic solutions to contain the movement such as banning it. Like many other such groups, BBS also did not emerge from nowhere; it has its social and political roots. It is necessary to understand these roots to find a satisfactory resolution of the deeper issues involved.

As is well known, in spite of the efforts of the leftist and liberally-oriented parties to promote class or citizenship-based politics in the country even before the country gained political independence from the British, communal politics emerged as the dominant form of politics in post-independent Sri Lanka.

As many analysts including the present writer have pointed out on many occasions, the result was that the post-colonial public policies with respect to language, education, land settlement and employment have further reinforced rather than marginalized communal politics in the country. The ethnic and religious conflicts that emerged after independence further solidified ethnic consciousness and ethnic divisions. Consequently, competition for resources in a context of rapid population growth and rising aspirations of the masses for a higher standard of living was perceived by many as a zero sum game involving ethno-religious communities. This competition became even more intense after economic liberalization. This became evident during the 1983 ethnic riots, when racist groups openly participated in the violent campaign.


The thirty-year war that devastated the country and a large section of the population does not seem to have taught the leaders of the country a lesson



Increasing economic pressure after economic liberalization compelled most people to look for more lucrative income opportunities through a highly competitive process. In spite of the adoption of market friendly, liberal economic policies and the rise of the market forces, the post-1977 Sri Lankan state continued to play a dominant role in land alienation, resettlement, provision of education, employment of educated youth and infrastructure development. Leading ruling party politicians continued to allocate public resources largely on the basis of political loyalty and personal connections. Given the dominance of the majority ethnic community in government, the general perception was that much of the resources flowed into the hands of this ethnic group, though minority community members of the government could also follow the same practice to favour their own communities.

Persisting communal politics coupled with the continued reinforcement of the ethnic consciousness of the wider population, including many members of the elites, by educational institutions and the mass media led to a widely held public perception that it is ethnic groups that compete with each other for life chances, not individual citizens on the basis of their personal attributes and their relative social class position.

As I have pointed out in a number of articles in this column, ethno-linguistic segregation of the education system over many decades, even in so-called elite government schools in Colombo and other major towns have continued to facilitate the formation of exclusive, ethno-religious identities even among upwardly mobile members of ethnic groups. So, it is not just the underprivileged, monolingual members of ethnic groups who are sympathetic to ethno-religious extremism but also the more privileged people who have had their education in segregated schools where they had no opportunity to interact with children from other ethnic and religious communities and get acquainted with their cultures and social practices.

The prevailing cultural differences and the social distance between ethno-religious groups often facilitate the formation of settlements segregated on the basis of ethnicity and religion. So, even in the ethnically mixed regions of the country, we have exclusive Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim villages and there are not many villages where people belonging to different ethno-religious groups share the same space. Such a settlement pattern, though it does not necessarily lead to conflict, does not facilitate social interaction across communities. Community based organizations functioning at a village level also often remain confined to their respective villages without having many opportunities to work together and transcend long established boundaries.

So, in an increasingly competitive socio-economic environment, segregated ethno-religious groups tend to perceive one another as being engaged in a zero sum game when it comes to securing resources such as land, employment and business opportunities. Recent controversies at a national level over admissions to the law college, settlement of people in the Wilpattu national forest reserve in the North-West, Halal certification of manufactured food, etc. clearly point to this perception. Then, there are literally thousands of such disputes at a local level in almost all parts of the country. The latter often do not come to the attention of the national media.
Allocation of public resources and resolution of disputes between contending groups cannot be done in an amicable manner in a country where the state and the public institutions appear to fail to treat citizens equally on the basis of their inalienable rights. Rational public policies and independent state institutions are critically important here. When the allocation of public resources does not appear to be guided by rational public policies and handled by independent institutions and public officials, and when it is increasingly perceived by people as a process which is micro-managed by numerous, sectarian politicians at all levels, extremist groups can easily arouse communal sentiments among ethnically conscious people across communities. This is what is happening today with the BBS.


The prevailing cultural differences and the social distance between ethno-religious groups often facilitate the formation of settlements segregated on the basis of ethnicity and religion


This is not the first time that communal politics derailed rational public policies and undermined public institutions. Well-conceived Kannangara-education reforms were subverted by communalists in the recent past with disastrous results. The monolingual, segregated education system that came into being as a result has continued to divide the younger generations into rival ethnic camps engaged in violent communal campaigns themselves, to divide up not just public resources but the country itself. The thirty-year war that devastated the country and a large section of the population does not seem to have taught the leaders of the country a lesson. If so, they would strive to move away from communal politics and take steps to adopt rational public policies and empower public institutions to ensure that public servants manage public institutions in keeping with the rules, regulations and state policies rather than take a backseat, virtually allowing politicians to take their place. Given the long established tradition of patron-client politics, deep ethnic divisions and widespread political corruption, most politicians will not be considered by the general public as impartial actors in the public domain. The situation appears to have got worse in recent years when national politics became more communal and sectarian, not less.

So, in conclusion, what is argued here is that there are no short cuts to resolving inter-community disputes when social and cultural institutions like education and the media continue to reinforce ethno-religious divisions in society and promote the public perception that it is ethno-religious groups that compete with each other for life chances, not individual citizens and classes on the basis of merit, need and socio-economic standing.

Then, we are asking for politicians to move into a new kind of politics, either of a social democratic or at least of a liberal variety.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/46690-the-roots-of-communal-politics-.html
 

The Heart and Its Healing

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The Heart and Its Healing

Understand Quran AcademyArticles > The Heart and Its Healing
inspirationoturnerofhearts

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
The body without a heart is useless. The Prophet (saws) has said,
There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled, the whole body gets spoiled– and that is the heart. [Bukhari]In the previous article, we looked at the three stages of the heart. They are summarized in the diagram below.
triangleheart

Corrupting the Heart

The heart is corrupted by committing acts of sins or disbelief. The Prophet (saws) said, When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. There are some sins which we are not aware of committing that leave spots on our heart, and these are the ones which we should be most watchful of.
A common example is backbiting. It has become so common everywhere that not criticizing someone behind their back might label you as being backdated or unsocial. Internet social media, blogging, and youtube have made it especially easy and dangerous, and I have seen people not even sparing scholars, actually thinking they are doing something righteous.
Another common disaster is showing-off, and it is actually a kind of hidden shirk. If you find in yourself signs of a sick heart, look out especially for these hidden sins.

Curing the Heart

  1. Tazkiyah (Purification)
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ
He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. [Quran, 87:14]

For curing the heart, it needs to be purified first from all kinds of filth like envy, hypocrisy, arrogance, gluttony and other diseases. First step towards purification is istighfar. The Prophet (saws) said,
When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person gives up that evil deed (sin), begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleared (from that heart covering dot); but if he repeats the evil deed (sin), then that covering is increased till his heart is completely covered with it. And this is Ar-Ran that Allah mentioned (in the Quran):
Nay! but on their hearts is the Ar-Ran (stain) which they used to earn” [Quran, 83:14] [Tirmidhi]
Another form of tazkiyah is charity. The words zakah and tazkiyah come from the same root word, meaning purification. Both zakah and sadaqah are purifying. The Prophet said,
Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire. [Tirmidhi]

  1. Reading and reflecting on the Quran

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing http://whereslloyd.com/cls for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. [Quran, 10:57]

Allah calls the Quran shifa , i.e. medicine for the heart. Reciting the Quran itself is purifying even if we don’t understand the meaning. To learn correct recitation, you can have a look at the course Read Quran in 20 hours.
Of course, understanding the Quran is far more beneficial than just reciting it without knowing what we’re saying. Learn 50% of the Quranic words in 9 hours.

  1. Patience in the face of trials
The Prophet said,
The Fitan (trials, tests) are offered to the hearts, just as the straws that are sewn into a http://historyfactory.com/sale/ woven mat, one after another. Any heart that accepts the Fitan, then a black dot will be engraved on it. Any heart that rejects the Fitan, then a white dot will be engraved on it. The hearts will therefore become two categories: white, just like the barren rock; no Fitnah shall ever harm this category as long as the heavens and earth still exist. Another category is black, just as the cup that is turned upside down, for this heart does not recognize righteousness or renounce evil. [Muslim]
  1. Dua

There are many duas which you can make for curing the heart. The best dua is of course that which comes from the heart. I’ll give you one beautiful dua each from the Quran and the sunnah.
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ
O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen! [Tirmidhi]

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran, 3:8]

There are two excellent books on this topic which you can benefit greatly from: Diseases of the Hearts and their Cures, by Ibn Taymiyyah, and In the Early Hours, by Khurram Murad.
Tabassum Mosleh

http://understandquran.com/heart-healing-cc.html


 

Stoop to Conquer: 10 ways of honoring servants

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By Sadaf Farooqi

Most Muslims in Eastern countries employ domestic staff as a norm. For some, domestic helpers are a priceless resource who significantly ease our day-to-day chores. Conversely, for others, they can be a source of distress and chagrin. 

Many women complain to each other about the trouble they face from the incompetence, treachery, and intentional misdemeanor of their servants. However, we need to remind ourselves that it is in managing our helpers according to Islamic injunctions where the secret lies to get the best out of them.

1. Think of their pay as Sadaqah

We need to change the way we view our servants’ wages. By considering it an “expense,” we tend to extract “full value” of the money. For instance, even if a maid is sick, her employer might say, “I pay her to work, so she must work.” But if we consider the salary a “Sadaqah” that helps fill their bellies, we will Insha Allah be more tolerant of their shortcomings as human beings.

2. Counsel them when they need it

You might notice that your domestic helpers are disturbed on some days. They are human beings who have problems and worries just like us. Ask them what is troubling them; then advise them to have patience and hope in Allah’s mercy. Keep the counsel short, but show them that you care.

3. Forgive and forget their mistakes

Just like other human relationships, it is not pleasant to have your past mistakes and wrongs thrown in your face repeatedly. Forgive them for the sake of Allah if they wrong you, and do not be harsh when scolding them.

4. Do not accuse them of stealing, cheating or lying on mere suspicion

Many employers are guilty of this unfair action – as soon as something in the house is missing due to their own absentmindedness, the domestic helper is squarely accused of theft or negligence. “O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin.” (Qur’an, 49:12). Ask them normally if they have seen the missing object, but do not accuse them of theft or misplacement. In most cases, the object is eventually found after the maid has been fired, causing guilt and embarrassment to the employer for life.

5. Informally teach them Islamic manners and knowledge

One of the rights of our domestic helpers upon us is that they be taught about Islam, or given its message if they are non-Muslims. Without being overtly ‘preachy’, give them small doses of the truth. The best way is to act upon Islam yourself. This will eventually make them love and respect you for the sake of Allah – which results in a sincere relationship devoid of mistrust and treachery.

6. Eat with them occasionally without separating utensils

Domestic helpers are not animals. Some people treat them as if they are unhygienic beings from another planet. Allow them to use the utensils from which you and your family eat. If they have dirty habits, teach them hygiene. But do not separate their utensils as if they are untouchables. This will make them feel insulted. They will never return an insult with loyalty or obedience. Abu Bakr Bin Hafs said: “Abdullah Bin Umar would never eat food except in the company of an orphan.”

7. Give them gifts

Reward their work – whatever it is like – with occasional bonuses in the form of clothing, shoes or other items that you are yourself using. Do not cast off broken, torn or damaged goods to them unless they agree to take them. This is part of the Islamic etiquette taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

8. Ease work when they are sick

Allow your helpers to go home early by reducing their chores when they are not feeling that well. Help them if they need money for medicines or medical treatment. Consideration such as this, without reminding them of these favors later, is a good way to establish a relationship based on mutual trust and care.

9. They are not robots

Domestic helpers are human beings with feelings and self-esteem. Any treatment that you would dislike for yourself would hurt them too. Scolding them in public, pointing out their faults before others, and allowing your children to mock at them or hit them or treat them disrespectfully are totally unacceptable behaviors. Treat them with honor and dignity.

10. You are not superior

“It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others.” (Qur’an, 43:32)

It is one of Allah’s laws of the universe that some people possess higher worldly ranks than others, so that they employ the services of the latter in return for wages. But this doesn’t mean a wealthy person is superior than a poor person. This doesn’t mean you are better than your servant. 

Islam has mandated lofty treatment with slaves. But we don’t show that even to servants who are mere employees, and not slaves. 

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to Abu Dharr regarding his treatment of his slave: “They are your brothers and servants whom Allah has placed under your authority. Anyone who has his brother under his authority let him feed him the same food as he eats and dress him in the same clothes as he wears. Do not overwhelm them with work and if you give them work to do then help them with it.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim) 

Our servants are not our slaves. But is our treatment as good as what the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded with regard to slaves during his time?

 

Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

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Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion |

By Rifai Naleemi -

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

A group of nearly three hundred radical Buddhist extremists have burned down a Muslim owned shop in Aluthgama town on 8/5/14.  This was not coincidently happened attack on the shop of this innocent Muslim businessman rather this was a premeditated racist attack to destroy the livelihood of this man. There is no shadow doubt that this attack was initiated and carried out with the support of Police, BBS and some Buddhist radicals of this area. This was the only Muslim shop in Aluthgama town. This shop has been set on fire last night (8/5/2014). It is believed that some extremist Buddhist people under the leadership of some radical Buddhist monks set fire to this Muslim shop. We should listen to the owner of this shop to know what exactly happened to his shop and why his shop was set on fire.

 

The owner of this is Mr. Ahmad khan. He has been living in this town since his childhood and he has been running this family business for many years. With his dedication and hard works he managed to build this shop and developed his business. He and his brother managed to develop their business with years of hard works and dedications: yet, some Sinhalese people in the town become jealous of this growing business and they did not want see one and only Muslim shop in that town. He has been doing business among Sinhalese people in that town.

It is due to mere jealousy and hared that this shop was set on fire and destroyed.  Some of these jealous people deliberately and intentionally created a plot and conspiracy to destroy this hardworking Muslim man’s shop and his livelihood without any human remorse for his family and children.

They plotted and conspired. As a part of their conspiracy they sent a mother and a son to his shop some time ago. This mother came up with a fabricated story against the owner of the shop. She claimed that her son was strangled or squeezed by his neck by the brother of shop owner and she made a complaint about it to Aluthgama police station and the brother of shop keeper was taken to police custody. He was kept in police for one and half day. This episode was craftily y set up by some elements in the town to destroy this shop and livelihood of this innocent business man

In order to revenge for this fabricated story some 300 hundreds Sinhalese radicals demonstrated in the township under the leadership of some monks.  They shouted that this Muslim shop would be set on fire and burned down! Police warned the owner of this shop to close down the shop when the demonstrators were marching towards the town and yet he turned down that request saying there was no reason to close the shop. The owner told police he has done no wrong to close his shop. The demonstrators did not do any damage to the shop on the day of demonstration and yet, at night time the shop was set on fire by some of these thugs. The shop was totally destroyed and nearly 50 million rupees worth of goods are destroyed and shop is totally burned down.

This was a racially motivated incident.  It was reported that Police did not take any action against the culprits of this attack and police has been supporting these thugs. It should be mentioned here that entire Police team at Aluthgama should take the responsibility for this incident since they have failed to take action.  They have failed in their official duties and they perverted course of justice in this case. It is in front of these police that this shop has been destroyed and yet, Police have not taken any action. Police was collaborating with these thugs, otherwise these thugs would not be able to do this destruction that quickly in that speed in the middle of the town.

This begs many questions about the prejudice and discriminative attitudes of Police in Sri Lanka. Police force is a law enforcement agent in any country. Sadly such law enforcing agent itself is collaborating with thugs to break the laws and order of this country? Why did not police take any action against these people and why did not police stop this destruction and why did not police do something to stop this injustice? The credibility of Police is questionable today in Sri Lanka?

There is no need to destroy a shop because of any minor incident or dispute.  We have a good legal system in Sri Lanka.  Why these people do not take these types of incidents to court rather than following the path of violence and destruction in Sri Lanka? Who is going to benefit from such destruction? No one benefits from such destruction. It is public who will pay the price for such destruction and it is our own national resources we destroy.

End of the day, we are damaging the image of our country and its economy by these types of anti-social behaviours and barbarism.  Today we do not need people who destroy Sri Lanka rather we need people who develop and build our Sri Lanka.

After all these happened to Muslims in Sri Lanka in broad day light, no constructive steps have been taken yet, neither by this government or Muslim politicians to stop this anti-communal activities. This government should take responsibility  for all these racist attacks.  This government is trying to catch fish in trouble water and it has been ignoring the plights of Muslims deliberately and intentionally for its dirty political ambitions. Our selfish politicians have failed to grasp the grave danger that has already engulfed Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/inside-story-of-the-torching-aluthgama-muslim-owned-shop/comment-page-2/
 

In Pictures: Carnage in India's Assam

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At least 32 people killed by suspected Bodo rebels in northeastern state forcing thousands to flee for safety.

At least 32 people from the minority Muslim community have been killed by the suspected Bodo rebels in two days of violence in India's northeastern Assam state.

The attackers sprayed bullets on people before setting more than 40 houses on fire. Thousands of people have fled their homes for safety.

Relatives of victims, who refused to bury their dead, finally performed the last rites on Sunday after the government promised to punish the culprits and provide security.

At least three rebels have been killed by the army, which has been deployed in the region following the killings.

In similar attacks nearly two years ago, Bodo rebels killed about 100 people and forced more than 400,000 people to flee their homes.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

Villagers watch as the dead bodies of the victims are brought for burial in Narayanguri village in Baksa district, about 200km from Guwahati, the capital of Assam state.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
The family members of those killed finally buried their dead after the government promised to punish the culprits and provide security.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Villagers look for belongings following the attack in Khagrabari village.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

A woman mourns the death of her relatives in the village of Narayanguri.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Security personnel get down from a boat to patrol in a remote area at river Beki in Khagrabari village, Baska district.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Rights body, Amnesty International has condemned the deadly attacks, terming the act as shameful and displaying contempt for human lives.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
A villager flees with his belongings to safer place.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Police said on Sunday that they had killed three suspected rebels and arrested eight forest guards for the alleged involvement in the killings.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
A man tries to salvage valuables from the remains of his house, which was burned by the rebels.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

More than 40 homes were set on fire by the attackers forcing people to flee for safety.



/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
The state government is planning to hand over the probe into the killings to the federal investigating agency, National Investigation Agency.


/[Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]
Army has been deployed in the area after the attacks.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/05/pictures-carnage-india-assam-20145515837562172.html
 

The High Levels Of Those Who Strive to Meet Their Brothers' Needs

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One of the greatest things that will relieve a person's distress on the Day of Resurrection is his efforts in this world to relieve the distress of those who are in distress, and to help those who are in need, and to make things easy for those who are in difficulty, and to overlook the mistakes of those who err.

In Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever relieves a believer of distress in this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes things easy for those who are in difficulty, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and in the next. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim in this world, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help the slave so long as the slave helps his brother." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1/71, hadith no. 204.]

Bukhari narrated from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "The Muslim is the brother of his fellow-Muslim; he should not mistreat him or let him down. Whoever meets the needs of his brother, Allah will meet his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of some distress, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and the next." [Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab laa Yazlim al-Muslim al-Muslim, Fath al-Baari, 5/97.]

Ad-Deenoori narrated in Al-Mujaalisah, Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Al-Shu'ab and Ad-Diyaa' narrated in Al-Mukhtaarah from Anas that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever helps his brother in secret, Allah will help him in this world and the next." [Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah, 3/218, hadith no. 1217.]

 

 

Sri Lankan Leaders Seek Action to Stop Harassment Against Muslims

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RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN

Published — Sunday 4 May 2014

http://www.arabnews.com/news/565366

Muslim parliamentarians in Sri Lanka have called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene in order to stop the continued hate campaign, intimidation and threats perpetrated against Muslims by some Buddist extremists of the Bodu Bala Sena and other allied organizations.


With the exception of A.H.M. Azwer and A.R.M.A. Cader, 16 out of the 18 legislators signed the petition sponsored by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCL).


Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, MCL President N.M. Ameen said that the campaign carried out against Muslims by the Bodu Bala Sena, Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya is alarming and dangerous. “We have full confidence in our president and we believe he will take appropriate action to resolve this issue,” he added.


The petition urges the president to immediately intervene to stop the harassment against Muslim IDP’s who have lived in different parts of the country as refugees and as a “forgotten” people over the last 23 years.

“We, the Muslim parliamentarians, wish to bring to your Excellency’s kind attention that these groups have been targeting Muslim places of worship, Halal food, the Muslim attire and now the resettlement of the Muslim lDPs who were expelled by the LTTE in 1990 in the worst act of ethnic cleansing in the history of our nation,” the petition read. These Muslim lDPs were labeled as “old lDPs” and did not even benefit from the resettlement scheme implemented by the government and international agencies including the cash grants provided by the UNHCR, it said.


In the absence of any substantial support for their resettlement, the Muslim religious, political and civil society leadership has been soliciting support for their resettlement from benevolent donors of Muslim countries and individuals. There has been some positive response from some of these donors and a number of houses have been constructed with their support,” the petition noted.


These houses have been constructed following due procedures of land distribution through the Divisional Secretariat and the Presidential Task Force for resettlement. The Sena and some sections of the media are highlighting the resettlement now as illegal, stating that they have encroached upon the Wilpattu National Park.


Signatories to the petition included, Senior Minister for Urban Affairs A.H.M. Fowzie, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, ALM Athullah, Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Basheer Segu Dawood, Kabir Hasim, Faizer Mustapha, MS Thowfeek, Faisal Cassim, Hassan Ali, M.S M. Aslam, M.H.M. Haleem, M.L.A. M. Hisbullah, Unais Farook and Mustapha Bawa Farook.

   

The Healing Power of Prayer

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Productive Muslim - Towards a Productive Ummah!

The Healing Power of Prayer

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The Healing Power of Prayer - Productive Muslim

In times of hardship, pain and loss, many of us attempt to find solutions in the very dunya that caused that calamity to befall us in the first place. We search for temporary comforts in people and worldly objects, all of which have the potential to break us again. Some of us find relief in medication and counselling, some surround themselves with sympathetic ears and some simply lose hope and derail from the path of Islam. However, Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) has provided us with the best tool of all: Prayer.

 

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] [Qur'an: Chapter 2, Verse 45].

Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) is the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. So who better to call upon than Him? Who better to seek ease from pain and hardship than Him?

Does Prayer Heal?

It sure does! As many verses of the Qur’an reiterate, Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) tells us to enjoin in prayer and it is not without wisdom that Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“… Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured, [Qur'an: Chapter 13, Verse 28].

Dr Andrew Newsberg of the University of Pennsylvania attempts to enlighten us with this hidden wisdom. He studied brain wave activity during prayer and found a direct impact on several brain locations. The benefits of prayer are incredible! Regular daily prayers halt the frontal lobe from shrinking with age, which is the part of the brain that regulates our speaking, reading and memory; therefore, this helps prevent memory loss in old age.

High activity was found in the anterior cingulate, the location that regulates our connectivity to others. A high activity in this part of the brain means a healthier and happier person. Our self-awareness is found in the parietal lobe, the overuse of which causes feelings of isolation and loneliness, and the limbic system is where negative emotions are stimulated. Prayer deactivates both of these areas of the brain, removing the negative emotions and allowing us to benefit from the frontal lobe and anterior cingulate. The result is a healthier, happier and longer life, In sha Allah. [1]

We need not look further to see that prayer is beneficial for us, making us healthier and happier. It is a healer in and of itself, activating regions of the brain that make us happier and ridding negativity. It is not just a form of worshipping Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He), but also a form of meditation: A self-help tool to bring us to a state of tranquility. The more regular the prayer and the deeper our connection with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He), the more beneficial it is for us.

A Perfect Example In Our Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) relied on prayer as a source of comfort. As we all know, the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was tested with many trials and tribulations in his time, and it is with prayer that he found mental calmness.

The prayer of the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was always with great humbleness, full concentration and sincere submission to the Almighty sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He). This is what is known as the state of khushu’, a state of full awareness of the Almighty sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) as we direct our minds and heart to our Lord alone.

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern…” [Qur'an: Chapter 33, Verse 21].

“Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive…” (Qur’an: Chapter 23, Verses 1-2).

This is the state that we should aim to achieve in our prayers. It is in this state that we will find the biggest stimulations in the brain so we may reap the true benefits of prayer, In sha Allah.

The Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not only pray at times of need, but would pray in all situations and occasions. He ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would pray to thank Allah, seek His forgiveness, and ask for His protection and guidance. He ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would offer prayer for rain, decision-making, before undertaking a journey and even during battles; the list is endless. And, there was not a prayer that he ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would offer except that, through the mercy of Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He), it brought about some sort of blessing, guidance or ease!

How Can We Attain Maximum Benefit From Prayer?

As Dr Newberg revealed, prayer performed regularly and with a deep spiritual connection, makes a happier and healthier person. Our Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is a perfect example of how and when prayer should be offered. We take from his example four practical steps by which we can gain maximum benefit from prayer: Engage, Connect, Submit and Make Dua.

1. Engage

Incorporate prayer into your daily life. We should always focus on improving our relationship with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and the best way to do this is to engage in regular prayer. So make prayer your habit. Converse with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) through your duas and try to connect with Him sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) every day. Remember Him sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and He sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) will remember you.

First and foremost, make sure you pray on time — no matter how busy you are — and do not miss any fardh prayers, especially Fajr.  A busy life may make prayer harder, but prayer makes a busy life easier! The five fardh prayers should be our first step if we have not yet already established them daily.

Abu Huraira (ranhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

The first thing about which the people will be called to account out of their actions on the Day of Judgment is prayer. Our Lord, the Exalted, will say to the angels – though He knows better: Look into the prayer of My servant and see whether he has offered it perfectly or imperfectly. If it is perfect, that will be recorded perfect. If it is defective, He will say: See there are some optional prayers offered by My servant. If there are optional prayer to his credit, He will say: Compensate the obligatory prayer by the optional prayer for My servant. Then all the actions will be considered similarly. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Once we have established the fardh prayers, we can move on to incorporating more optional prayers into our daily lives. The more we pray, the better our connection with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and the more we can seek the blessings and benefits of prayer. Take time to look into the many prayers that the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us to perform and their benefits, and try to incorporate as many as you can in your daily lives. Whether it is in times of need to seek council, or in times of ease to thank Him sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He), you can never call upon Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) too many times.

2. Connect

Make prayer deeper and more meaningful. We must try to concentrate and allow ourselves to enjoy a personal and proximate relationship with our Lord sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He). The best way to do that is to pray as the Prophet Muhammad ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did — with khushu. Here are some simple tips we can incorporate in our prayers to build a stronger connection and attain maximum benefit, In sha Allah:

  • When you stand to pray, remember who you are standing before and humble yourself in His sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) presence. Pray as if it is your last prayer. Imagine Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) standing before you and the angel of death behind you.
  • Know that you are in control of your mind and body. Remain still, focus on the place of sujood and avoid thinking of worldly matters; the time of prayer should be dedicated solely to focusing on your relationship with Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He). So let go of your worries and let yourself indulge in His sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) love and greatness.
  • Reflect and ponder on every ayah that you recite. This will help you concentrate on finding a personal meaning and help prevent your mind from drifting. The more you reflect, the more sincere your prayer will become.
  • Try to set aside time specifically for your prayers. Go to a quiet area, with least distractions possible and truly focus on the prayer alone. If you are praying in congregation, then let the spiritual atmosphere inspire you, not distract you.
  • Do not rush off from the prayer mat when you have finished your prayer. Take some time to reflect, recite the post-prayer duas, embrace the moment of closeness to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and know that He sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) is present and listening.

3. Submit

Remember that sujood is the position in which you are the closest to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He). Take your time and let yourself embrace that closeness, and be warmed and comforted by it. It is best to make dua while in this position, as per the Prophet’s ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recommendation:

A slave becomes nearest to his Rabb when he is in prostration. So increase supplications while prostrating.” [Sahih Muslim]

Ibnul Qayyim described sujood as the secret of prayer, the greatest pillar and the seal of the rukoo’. In this position, we can truly submit ourselves to the Almighty sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He).

In fact, further to Dr Newberg’s research, Dr. Ahmad Sakr found that the position of sujood is one method scientifically proven to bring peace, tranquility and happiness to the one in prostration [2]. He explains that we are all exposed to electrostatic charges from the atmosphere and ridding ourselves of these extra charges is beneficial to one’s health. The best way to rid these extra electrostatic charges according to Dr Ahmad Sakr, is to prostrate with one’s forehead to the ground. This brings about a calming feeling and dissipates electromagnetic energy.

Once again, science enlightens us on the wisdoms behind sujood. Not only do we find ourselves the closest to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) in this position, but it also physically brings us peace and tranquility. So whenever you are in need of mental calmness, follow the footsteps of the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and prostrate to the Almighty sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He). It is also the best time for us to make dua, as here, we are the closest to Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He).

4. Make Dua

I need not say more. Make dua, and trust in Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He), for He knows what is best for you. Remember that Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) alone is sufficient for us and through worshipping the Almighty with sincere submission, our hearts will find peace In sha Allah. Trust in Him sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) and have faith that He sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) will always answer your prayers.

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me — indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided” [Qur'an: Chapter 2, Verse 186].

“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” [Qur'an: Chapter 94, Verse 5].

Whether you take it from science or take it from our beautiful religion, call upon Allah sub?anahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He) with full sincerity and submission, and you will find bliss, In sha Allah.

Has this article been beneficial to you? I would love to hear about your experiences; how has prayer helped you through your hardships? What helps you gain khushu’ in your prayers? Please share your thoughts below!

[1] Newberg, Andrew B.; Waldman, Mark Robert (2009). How God Changes Your Brain.

[2] Sakr, Ahmad H. (1997). Sujood (Prostration).


About the Author:

Saadia recently graduated with a BSc in Psychology and has a healthy background working in this field. As a student of Islam, she aims to utilise her degree to its true depth by focusing on interlinking Islam with psychology. Her passion in writing is inspired by the beautiful harmonisation between the two.

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ACJU - MCSL Joint Press Statement on the UK Protest on Muslim Issues

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ACJU - MCSL Joint Statement on UK Protest

 

04th  May 2014

FOR THE ATTENTION  OF SRI LANKAN MUSLIMS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Dear Brother/Sisters

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmathullah

All Ceylon  Jamiyathul    Ulama  (ACJU)  and The Muslim  Council  of Sri Lanka  (MCSL)  have information  that a demonstration  opposite the  Sri  Lankan High Commission  in London, United Kingdom is to be held on 5th of May 2014 by certain group of Sri Lankan Muslims' in London.

We, ACJU and the MCSL wish to categorically  inform the Sri Lankan Muslims in London that we have neither initiated nor extended our support in any way to the holding of the demonstration  at this juncture.

We consider  holding  of the demonstration   is inappropriate    at this time and call upon the organizers to meet the High Commissioner  and convey their concerns of the community.

 

Jazakallahu  Khairan.

   

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