The Divine Link

Adivine link utm msalhamdolilah, by the mercy of Alla jalla wa ‘ala, we started our discussions on the Umm ul-Kitab, Umm ul-Qur’an, Surah as-Salat otherwise known as Surah al-Fatiha back in January at the University of Toronto Mississauga and alhamdolilah, we were blessed enough last week to finish that journey. May Allah accept it from all brothers and sisters who were in attendance.

For the brothers and sisters who were asking for a set of notes, you may download them from the link below. I’d like to request that you utilize the notes to fill in your own notes and to also teach others bi idhnillah in your family and social circles. Also, if you find any mistakes, please let me know so that I may correct them promptly. Jazakumallahu khairan! Download Al-Fatiha Student Notes here.


One year closer to death

As the clock hits midnight, the greetings start to pour in. Everyone I know, friends, family, and loved ones wishing me a “happy birthday”.

While I appreciate the gesture, and I know my environment teaches me to celebrate this day, I can’t help myself from thinking about my inevitable end, me being one year closer to my home in the ground. What have I accomplished in this past year? What mistakes have I made? What blessings have I remained unthankful for? What if I die today? What am I taking back to my Lord?

Its a tough pill to swallow.

I’m scared.

Today is not a day of celebration for something I had no control over; rather for me, it’s a day of regret and sorrow for everything I had control over.

Last year at this time I was unemployed, living with my parents, driving a broken down car with no AC, with hopes and dreams about becoming a father.

Fast forward one year, just one year, and Allah has blessed me with an amazing job, a new house, a new car, and one of my greatest joy of all: my little man, Ibraheem.

Subhanallah. How much Allah has blessed me with and how little I have done to show my gratitude to Him.

Oh Allah, I praise and glorify you, knowing that I can never do justice in it. I thank you oh Allah for every blessing which I am aware of and that which I am not, knowing that I could never do justice in it. Oh Allah, indeed You are the protector of the believers and you never dissapoint us. Oh Allah, be pleased with me and all of us, for verily I am pleased with You as my Lord.

To my wife, my friend, my companion in this life and the next… thank you.  I don’t say it enough and I don’t show it enough, but you are that rare treasure that came into my life that has been my backbone since day one. Through all the difficulties you remained patient and by my side and you never complained. You are that blessing which I have not thanked Allah enough for, so thank you oh Allah for her and thank you Nadia for just being you. Forgive me for my shortcomings and I promise I’ll try harder.

As I tread this path again, day by day, getting closer to my end, I realize I have alot to still do. May Allah put barakah in the years to come.

This got a bit emotional and long. Meh 🙂

There’s More to Knowledge than Knowing

There’s more to knowledge than just knowing and there’s more to da’wah than just doing.

On one side you have those who take knowledge as the end all be all and forget that knowledge has a greater goal; a goal to serve the soul and intellect in understanding its’ Creator,  a goal to act upon what is sought,  a goal to live the knowledge day by day, a goal to give light to those in darkness,  a goal to provide a hand to those falling off the edge.

…Many people know and few of them do.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
O you who believe! why do you say that which you do not do?

كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do.

Alas, on the other hand you have those who take da’wah as the end all be all  and forget that part of da’wah is knowing; knowing the best and most appropriate actions at each designated time. Part of da’wah is to act with knowledge in all circumstances.

…Many people do and few of them know.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
Who created death and life that He may try you– which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,

And in this is the challenge: To bring about a balance of knowledge and action while not swaying on one side too heavily.

Wallahu ta’ala alam

A Concern I Face Regarding the Future Generations

I have a concern.

Today I see a rise in knowledge and a rise in opportunities to learn. I see institutions rising and catering to the need for knowledge within our communities.

At the same time, I have a concern.

My concern is that we may have missed something. We focused on quantity so much but maybe forgot about quality and the objective of knowledge all together.

The goal has never been to just know or to just memorize but to let that knowing impact our daily life.

One area I have a concern about and wish to rectify by the will of Allah is regarding the Quran.

There are numerous opportunities to learn how to recite and memorize the Quran and many are raised with that being the peak of the mountain. However, once accomplished,  there’s nowhere to go but down. Many are raised with reciting and memorizing but not with understanding, acting and implementation. That’s a problem. It’s a problem because it’s a disaster to limit the Quran, the words of Allah, to just merely recitation and memorization without action and love.

Therein is something I’ve challenged myself with and want you’re suggestions: How do we raise the next generation of Muslims to love the Book of Allah? How we raise the next generation to truly have a relationship and close companionship with the words of Allah?

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Those only are believers whose hearts become full of fear when Allah is mentioned, and when His verses are recited to them they increase them in faith, and in their Lord do they trust.

Share your thoughts below.

The Secluded Tears

With the name of Allah do I begin writing this article. No benefit can be derived from anything without His will and thus we declare with full certainty His complete worthiness to be praised and glorified. Thereafter, I ask Allah to make this article of benefit to those who read it and let it impact the hearts and minds to an extent that is causes change. We ask Allah to send his peace and blessings upon our beloved Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam, his family, his companions and all those who tread and follow his way. Ameen.

The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam said in an authentic hadith on the authority of Abu Hurairah radhiAllah anhu:

Seven (people) will be shaded by Allah by His Shade on the Day of Resurrection when there will be no shade except His Shade. (They will be): a just ruler, a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, a man who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears, a man whose heart is attached to mosques (offers his compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque), two men who love each other for Allah’s Sake, a man who is called by a charming lady of noble birth to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her, and he says, ‘I am afraid of Allah,’ and (finally), a man who gives in charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.

Here is a hadith we may have heard on a few different occasions and I too have heard it many times. However, the other day when I read this hadith again, it really hit me, specifically the category of people that are described as those who, “remember Allah in seclusion and his (or her) eyes are then flooded with tears”.

The special environment that has been singled out for this great reward, shade on a Day where there is no shade but His shade, is the secluded environment. The environment in which one is free from showing-off and free from being preoccupied with other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Allah established this time for seclusion as a norm for our beloved Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam in the very early days of his mission. Allah says:

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
Stand (to pray) the night, except a little

Our Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam was commanded to pray in the nights, in a time of complete seclusion. It was here our Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam would beseech Allah in the most sincerest of ways and cry the nights away in contemplation and du’a.

Many of the pious predecessors would spend long periods of time in seclusion. When one of them was asked: “Do you not feel the bite of loneliness?” He replied: “How can I, when He has said that He is the companion of those who remember Him?” [Aboo Nu’aym, 8/217]

Ibn al-Mubaarak relates that `Umar said: “Take your share of seclusion.” [Fath al-Bari]

Clearly there is a special blessing one finds when he is in seclusion with His Lord, thus Allah rewards them with His Shade on that scorching day. However, looking back at the hadith, and looking carefully at the specific category we’ve been discussing thus far, we’ll realize its not as easy as it sounds.

First layer: A man who remembers Allah

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًاوَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا
O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and ‘Asr prayers].

Remembrance of Allah is more than just an action, rather its a state. A state in which ones’ eyes, ears, tongue and most importantly the mind and heart are aligned in the thought of Allah; whether that be in a form of contemplation, or dhikr, or recitation of the Qur’an, or sitting in gatherings of knowledge, etc. It’s easy to sit and rattle off words on our tongue, but to truly engage our hearts and mind alongside the words uttered, that’s a serious task.

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful.

وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
…the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc.) Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.

Layer two: in seclusion

We’ve all been there: It’s the 27th night of Ramadan and ma sha allah the Imaam is making such a heart-warming and emotional du’a that tears start automatically rolling down our cheeks. Or, you’re sitting in the masjid for the jum’uah khutbah and ma sha allah the khateeb delivers such an emotional account of a story that tears start dropping on your lap. Indeed, these are all signs of a heart that is alive, and this is good, and something that this is relatively easy when given the environment. However, the  unique thing about this hadith is that the reward is not tied to a general kind of tears, rather its very specific: the tears when one is in seclusion.

These days, with the advent and popularity of social media and smartphone devices, it’s a very difficult task to find a true moment of seclusion. It’s hard to not find our minds inching towards our phone to see the latest Facebook post, text message, tweet or email; even if we are ‘alone’. We may physically be able to seclude ourselves, but are we able to seclude our minds from the plethora of social information that keeps getting pushed our way? That’s the true test and struggle. Are we able to free ourselves from being preoccupied with anything else but Allah in those moments of seclusion?

It’s definitely not something that will happen over night. However, if you’re eager and desire to attain this reward, start monitoring your phone use and see how you can limit the compulsive and almost addictive need to constantly check our phones. Here are some ways that I can offer as advice:

  • Shut off notifications. This way you control when you access the information
  • Set times to check your phone.
  • Set times to completely shutdown or silent your phone

Layer three: his (or her) eyes are then flooded with tears

This layer has two components to it: a) that which precedes the tears b) the tears themselves

A) That which precedes the tears

Emaan (faith) is built upon three very important pillars: belief in the heart, actions of the limbs and statements of the tongue. True emaan (faith) constitutes all three pillars come together in the life of a Muslim; however, one deserves more attention and focus than the others. There is one pillar, amongst the three, that acts as the foundation, the core, the fuel of the remaining two. This pillar is none other than, ‘belief in the heart’.

You will find a lot of discussion surrounding the importance of this heart and the intricacies surrounding it. Allah talks  about this heart thoroughly throughout the Qur’an:

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
(They say): “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”

وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَيَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَإِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
And disgrace me not on the Day when (all the creatures) will be resurrected; The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart.

The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam has also spoken in much detail about the heart:

“…Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be good, all the body is good, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

If the heart is sound, you will find that the entire body will follow. Therefore, look closely to your actions and statements, and upon that you can judge the condition of your own heart.  If you find yourself talking foul, talking useless and foolish things, acting in unpleasant ways with others, abundantly watching and listening to that which is looked down upon, then indeed these are all signs of a sick heart. However, if you find yourself talking good, talking beneficial and upright things, acting in pleasing ways with others, abundantly watching and listening to things which are looked up upon, then indeed these are signs of a good heart.

Thus we find that the prerequisite for those tears is that first and foremost the heart must be in good condition–full of sincerity, love and fear of Him subhana–which all stems from obedience to Him.

B) the tears themselves

In reality, one could successfully pass through all the layers mentioned above and still not have tears fall from the eyes. He or she could remember Allah, with full sincerity and devotion, in true seclusion and yet tears are not released from the eyes.

This is a matter in which one must reflect upon his actions and most importantly his heart and look to rectify them. The more time one spends looking to his own actions, making them better and more pure for Allah’s sake, the more he will be drawn to His Lord and by His permission granted those marks of sincerity to run down his cheeks.

Indeed all that is good is from Allah and all that is wrong is from myself. Wa sallalahu wasalam ‘alayhi wa ‘alaa alaahi sahbihi wa sallimu tasleeman katheera.

A Praise of Beauty

Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wasalam ‘ala Rasool Allah.

Rifa’ah ibn Rafi’ said: We were praying behind the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam and when he raised his head at the end of the rak’ah he said:

“Allah listens to him who praises Him”

A man behind him said:
“O our Lord! To You belongs all praise, abundant good praise, inherently blessed”

When he finished he asked, “Who was the speaker just now?” The man replied, “I was.” He, sallalahu alayhi wasalam said,

I saw over thirty angels racing one another to be the first to record it.” (Bukhari)

For clearer text of the arabic, please click here.

This adhkar that has been accepted by the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam, thus it is a part of his sunnah (for more information on the details of sunnah click here).

We’ve already talked about the concept of hamd — the absolute height and perfection of praise which is reserved for no one except for Allah, the one who is deserving of all praise. To Allah belongs praise, an abundant praise because of who He is, because of the fact that He is the King of all Kings, The Most Forgiving, The Most Just, the Majestic, the Most Merciful, the Most High, and all the other beautiful names and attributes which befit His Majesty. All goodness we ascribe to Allah (alhamdolilah) and we reject all evil from Allah (subhanallah).

We see the importance of this remembrance because the Prophet of Allah sallalahu alayhi wasalam tells us that the Angels, the creation of Allah, ran in numbers to record it. The Angels are a creation of Allah that have been created for the sole purpose to worship Him, subhana. There is not a hand span of four fingers in the sky where there is not an Angel in worship of Allah. These Angels will rise up from a life-time of prostration to Allah and will say, “Glory be to You! We have not worshiped you like you deserve” (for more details about the amazing creation known as Angels click here). And it is the same creation of Allah, the sinless Angels, who raced for the honor of recording this specific remembrance. Make note of this importance, because you don’t hear the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam informing us about the Angels acting in a similar manner to other remembrances uttered.

May Allah azza wa jal give us the ability to put these small remembrances into our practice and give us greater concentration in our salat

The Foundation – Surah Ikhlas Part V (Final)

Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wasalam ‘ala Rasool Allah

SubhanAllah! How fast Ramadan came and how fast it went. It truly saddens my heart to see this blessed month go away, to see it slipping away, to have to say good-bye. In a few days, the shayateen will be let loose and the difficulties will emerge. Ya Rabbi! Give this ummah the strength to fight the shayateen and keep us steadfast in the deen. Ameen.

Many a times we read about the rewards of something without truly understanding the reason behind it. It is for this very reason I chose to present the rewards and virtues of Surah Ikhlas at the end so that when we read the rewards we have a greater understanding of why its worth so much. For example, when we realize saying SubhanAllahi wa bi Hamdi is in essence a negation of shirk (the worst of all deeds, the greatest of transgressions) and an affirmation of tawheed (the greatest of all actions, the basis to enter paradise) we can understand why saying it 100x in the morning and evening will erase our sins (as per the hadith collected by Bukhari).

It Earns the Love of Allah

Ya Salaam! Who doesn’t want the Love of Allah?

Aisha radhiAllah anha relates in a narration collected by Bukhari, that the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam sent a man as a leader of a troupe and he would lead them in prayer as well. However, he would complete every rak’a with the recitation of Surah Ikhlas. When the group returned, they relayed this habit to the Prophet sallalahu alayahi wasalam, to which he told them to ask the man why he does so. When he was asked, he replied:“Because it is the description of ar-Rahman and I love to recite it.” So, the Prophet of Allah sallalahu alayhi wasalam said:

Inform him that Allah loves him”


  • When someone’s actions seem to be different from the norm, present the case to someone of knowledge to see if it is correct or incorrect to do
  • Do not blindly follow your leaders
  • Before pouncing on an individual for an act that seems wrong or incorrect, ask him why he has done it
  • It was the intentions of this individual that gained him the love of Allah, not the mere recitation of it. He understood the meaning of the surah and thus loved to recite it.
  • To gain Allah’s love we should recite this surah with contemplation and understanding

A Way to Paradise

Anas ibn Malik radhilAllah anhu relays a narration collected by Bukhari, that a man from the Ansar used to lead them in prayer and he used to begin all of his recitations with Surah Ikhlas. He would do this in every single unit of prayer. Those with him began to complain about the practise of his and wanted him to stop doing it. To this he replied:“I will not stop doing this. If you want me to lead the prayers, I will do this, and if you don’t like it, I will stop leading you”

They all believed he was the correct person to lead the prayer, so they remained patient with him until the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam visited them one day. And so, they presented the case to Rasool Allah sallalahu alayhi wasalam to which he asked the individual why he would not listen to his people. He replied:“Indeed, I love it.” The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam replied:

Your love of it will cause you to enter Paradise”


  • There is nothing wrong in taking your concerns to leaders or even parents as long as its done with wisdom
  • A difference of opinion should not be the cause of disunity amongst the Muslims
  • Ask the person directly when you find his actions to be beyond the norm
  • It is permissible to recite more than one surah in a single unit of prayer

One Third of the Qur’an

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree radhiAllah anhu stated in a narration collected by Bukhari, that on one occasion the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam asked his Companions radhiAllah anhum: “Isn’t any of you able to recite a third of the Qur’an in a single night?” They found this difficult, so they responded: “Who amongst us is able to do that O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam replied:

Allah the Unique, the Self-Sufficient is one third of the Qur’an”


  • When motivating people to do good, begin with the results
  • Recite Surah Ikhlas!

May Allah azza wa jal bless us with the understanding and implementation of this great surah. May He shower His blessings upon us in these last blessed nights of Ramadan and accept our fasts, our prayers, and our du’as. May He grant us khusoo’ in our salat and guide us towards goodness in this life and the Hereafter. Ameen.

Wasalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah

The Foundation – Surah Ikhlas Part IV

Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wasalam ‘ala Rasool Allah,

Continuing in our series of the interpretation of Surah Ikhlas. We now move to the last verse of this beautiful chapter in which Allah says:

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ

And there is none co-equal to Him

Allah ends this surah in the same manner He began it: making clear His Oneness, His Uniqueness. That there nothing on the face of this earth and beyond that is comparable to Allah azza wa jal in any way, shape or form. Allah is Unique and One in His Lordship, in His rights to be worshipped, and in His Names and Attributes.

In regards to this verse, Ibn Rajab writes:

…this chapter contains the genealogy and description of God, the Most-Merciful. It was revealed by Allah to refute beliefs attributed to Him by misguided people concering His similitude, bodily form, origin and offspring. The claims idolaters, Sabians, Christians and Jews, and hypocrites from this nation that Allah gave birth to angels, intelligences, souls, or prophets and others are also included in that”

And so, this surah is a complete affirmation of the single-greatest act man can do: affirming Allah’s oneness, tawheed. And it is a negation of the greatest sin that man could ever do: associating partners with Allah, shirk. If truly understand the greatness of tawheed and the futility and dangers of shirk, we will begin to truly understand and appreciate the greatness of this surah. We can only worship Allah, in the manner He deserves, only when we know who He is. Thus, this surah is an explanation of who Allah is; it explains the superiority, glorification, and elevation of God beyond any creations.

Dr. Bilal Philips writes:

If God is Unique, nothing can be equal to Him. If nothing is equal to Him, then He alone is Unique. If He alone is Self-Suffiecient and all creation is in need dire need of Him, nothing in creation can be equal to Him. If He does not bear any offspring, nor did anyone or anything give birth to Him, nothing or no one can be equal to Him as every created thing came into existence after a period of non-existence.”

May Allah give us the opportunity to increase our khusoo’ in salat and better our relationship with our Rabb through our salat. May He make this this information of benefit for all the readers.

Jazakum Allahu khair,

Wasalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah