Learning the 5 pillars of Islam part 2 Prayer!

As Salam Alaikum friends. Hope your day is going well and that you are blessed.

Today we’ll learn about the second pillar in Islam which is Salat or “prayer”. Our days and nights are centered around prayer. We have 5 obligatory prayers each day and may pray more often and make supplications as much as possible if we wish. The more prayers the more rewards!

Allah has commanded us to pray because it purifies us, keeps Him in our hearts and on our tongue, curbs desires and elevates the mind to seek Him. It bring us closer to him and to our deen.

Islams 5 obligatory prayers are Fajr (morning), Dhur (afternoon), Asr (evening), and Isha (night). The times are dependent on where you live , time zone, etc. Muslims face front towards the Kaba in Mecca to pray because it has been commanded by Allah and its sunnah as our prophet did this as well. The direction will also depend on where you live. For example, I face northeast towards the Kaba.

Before prayer, it is necessary to cleanse oneself with a purification ritual called “wudu”. Wudu is the ritual cleaning of certain areas of your body before prayer and is needed so your prayer will be accepted. Basically what you do is first have your intention to cleanse for prayer, say Bis-Mi-lah (in the name of God), and start the ritual. Its as follows:

1. Wash both hands with water three times to wrist.

2. Wash out mouth with water three times.

3. Take water into nose by right hand, snort it out and wipe with left hand three times.

4. Wash face with water three times.

5. Start with right arm and wash right and left arms to elbow three times with water.

6. Take water and wipe front to back over hair 1 time.

7. With water, clean out the ear area with fingers and behinf ear with thumb 1 time.

8. Starting with right foot, wash feet with water to ankle 3 times.

Now you’re done! It actually is pretty quick, it just looks like a long list but it takes less than 5 minutes to perform.

Now you’re ready to pray, but first you must put those prayer clothes on! For women, a long dress or abayba/jilbab, is necessary and must be long enough to cover arms to wrists and down to feet. You may also wear pants with a long shirt that covers your bottom. I usually wear a long dress with pants under if going to the mosque. You also need to cover your hair with a head scarf and that includes neck, chest and ears. Men can wear a regular shirt, without logos on them and pants or shorts that cover below knees. Don’t forget to make sure the clothes are clean and free from dirt and / or bodily excrement’s including urine, blood, etc.

Things to note: Please recite only the Arabic portions during praying. Phrases are repeated at least twice in the audio files for your convenience. Recite the phrases only once during praying, unless otherwise mentioned. Some common Arabic Terms used: Surah = A Chapter of the Quran, Dua = Supplication

Ok NOW you’re ready to pray lol. Here’s how it goes…

1. Face the Kaba in Mecca…depends on your location as to which direction you will face.

2. Standing, you will start the prayer raising both hands up close to your ears and say “Allahu Akbar” (God is Most Great).

3. Then put one hand on the top of the other hand between your chest and upper stomach, and start reciting surah “al fatiha”, say “ameen” once you finish it, and then start reciting another small surah.

4. Once you finish reciting raise your hands up to the ears, saying “Allahu Akbar.” Bow (your hands on your knees, back straight, your face toward the ground, saying three times, “Subhana rabbiyal adheem” (Glory be to my Lord Almighty). This position is called (ruku’).

5. Rise back to standing while saying “Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal hamd” (God hears those who call upon Him; Our Lord, praise be to You).

6. Raise hands up, saying “Allahu Akbar” then descend to the ground (see photo), while your face on the ground say three times “Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High). This position is called “sujud”

7. Rise to a sitting position saying “Allahu Akbar.”

8. Then prostrate back on the ground (this is the second time you do it), while your face on the ground say three times “Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala”

This will conclude the first “rak’a”. Now to start the second “raka’a” you simply need to repeat steps from 2 to 8. Note that at the end of your second “rak’a” you will have to add step 9, which is:

9. Rise to a sitting positition, remain sitting and recite the first part of the Tashahhud in Arabic:  “Atta-hiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu As-salamu ‘ala an-Nabiyy wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu As-salamu ‘alaina wa ‘alaa ‘Ibaadillah-is-salihin. Ash-hadu-al-la-ilaha illAllahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluh”. Note that while reciting “Ash-hadu-al-la ilaha illaAllahu …” one should move the index finger of the right hand in a small circle like you’re drawing a circle on the sand beach with your index while the hand is still on the thigh. Only the index should be moving, the rest of the fingers and hand don’t have to move.

10. If the prayer is to be longer than 2 “rak’as”, then add the same steps from 2 to 8 depending on how many “rak’as” you have to perfom, for example if you have to make 4 “rak’as” then you will have to add steps 2 to 8 two more times (which means 4 times in total). Then finally add the step number 9 again (basically after each two “rak’as” the step #9 is required).

11. To end your prayer, while still sitting, turn your face to the right and say “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (Peace be upon you and God’s blessings), and turn to the left and say the same “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”. And that’s how you finish your prayer, easy!

Main prayers of the day:

1st prayer (Fajr) = 2 Rakats

2nd prayer (Dhuhr) = 4 Rakats

3rd prayer (Asr) = 4 Rakats

4th prayer (Magrib) = 3 Rakats

5th prayer (Isha) = 4 Rakats

So there you have it!! The Muslim prayer 🙂 I hope this was helpful to you and if I have left anything out or forgot to mention anything. I apologize. Please feel free to ask or comment on this in comment section!

As Salam Alaikum, Amani xoxo

May Allah bless you with happiness, health and safety. Ameen 🙂

Learning the 5 Pillars of Islam part 1

As Salam Alaikum friends and hello! Hopefully your week is starting off good and had a great weekend.

Today starts the first part of a 5 blog series of learning the 5 pillars of Islam. This is not only for Muslims but for non-Muslims too. There’s nothing wrong with a little knowledge, especially with all the false information about Muslims floating around out there in the media and such. I hope this will also be helpful for new Muslims as well or those looking to convert.

So, I’ll talk about the first pillar in Islam today which is the Shadadah. The shahadah is the declaration of the belief in God, Only one God and the belief in his messenger Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.). This is the first step you will take in becoming a Muslim. The shahadah is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: ašhadu an lā ilāha illá l-Lāhu (wa ashhadu ‘anna) Muḥammadan rasūlu l-Lāhi “I testify that there is no god except Allah and (I testify that) Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Taking your shahadah is done in a mosque where the Imam is present and a witness.

The moment you say this, with the intention and sincere belief, you will then become a Muslim and all sins from your past to that day are erased completely. You are as if you are a newborn baby. Its then your job to keep it that way 🙂 But how wonderful is that?!

Some additional info:

Tawheed:

The first part of the Shahadah, that there is no god but Allah attests the Oneness of Allah. There are numerous verses in the Qur’an about Tawheed or the Oneness of Allah.

In the first surah of the Qur’an it says:

“You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.”

Similarly, the Qur’an also states:

“Worship Allah and join no partner with Him.” [An-Nisaa 4:36]

The most summarizing expression is in Surah Ikhlas:

“Say, He is Allah, the One. The eternally besought by all. He begetteth not, nor was He begotten. And there is no one comparable to Him.” [Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4]

Associating partners with Allah is called Shirk. Shirk is not only the worship of idols, but also offering prayers or supplications to anyone, living or dead, believing that they hold the same attribute as Him. The Qur’an considers Shirk as an unpardonable sin. It says:

“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most evil indeed.” [An-Nisaa 4:48]

“What! Shall I seek for you as god other than Allah, while He has given you superiority over all creations.” [Al-An’am 7:14]

The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:

“Shirk is the greatest of all sins.”

Prophethood:

The next basic requirement is to believe in all the Prophets of Allah. The Qur’an says:

“He who obeys the messengers obeys Allah.” [An-Nisaa 4:80]

Allah sent prophets in different periods of time to communicate His guidance with human beings. They were raised from the nation in which they were sent to preach for. They preached in the languages of there nations as the Qur’an says:

“And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk that he might make (the message) clear for them.” [Ibrahim 14:4]

“And there not a nation but a warner has passed among them.” [Fatir 35:24]

“And for every people there is (sent) a guide.” [Ar-Ra’d 13:7]

Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is the last Prophet. No prophet shall come after him. He was sent for all mankind as he said:

“Every prophet before me was sent for his own people but I am sent for all mankind.”

So we see that this is the beginning of a new life for a new Muslim. Clean slate and a fresh start. I hope this has been beneficial to you whether Muslim or not…or just starting out. My next blog will be part 2 of the 5 pillars of Islam which is prayer! Remember to comment, like, share and / or follow and keep up to date!

Salam and May Allah keep you all happy, healthy and safe Ameen.

Love Amani xoxox

So You want to go to the Mosque!

As salam alaikum friends!

As per request of a lovely sister, my second blog for today is about what to expect before during and after going to the mosque or masjid. Going to the masjid (mosque) is a very spiritual occasion. There’s nothing like the feeling of being in the house of Allah. Praying in the masjid is a special experience, at least for me and most Muslims.

First things first, only men are obligated to attend the masjid on Fridays for Jummah prayer but women are definitely permitted to go and are rewards for doing so. But, women are also permitted to stay at home and pray and will not lose any reward in doing so. You may go to the masjid any day of the week and most are open, but you will probably find the most people on Fridays (Jummah prayer) and during holidays and special occasions. You may pray in the masjid even if it isn’t Friday.

For my sisters out there, you may go to the masjid at any time but may not enter the prayer area during your menses (monthly period). You may, however, enter the other areas such as study areas, kitchen, etc.

Before going to the masjid, its important that you shower and wear clean clothing. Also, of course if you are going to prayer, you must make wudu (the cleansing ritual made before prayer). Just because you have showered doesn’t mean you are ready for prayer yet, make sure to make wudu also. I usually do that in the shower if I am already in there.

As for what to wear, men and women should wear what is commanded by Allah, just as they should while they are in public anywhere. For sisters who do not normally observe hijab, you must do this before entering the masjid. Hijab isn’t just a head covering though, its also the rest of your clothing, your actions, your voice and words, etc. Sisters must cover their hair, neck, ears as far as head covering. Her clothing must be loose and long enough to cover down to feet and also, if wearing pants and shirt outfit, shirt must be long enough to cover her booty lol (rear end). Also, her chest area must be covered. Alot of women wear jilbabs or abayas (long dresses) that are loose, have long sleeves and come down to their feet, along with covering their hair, etc. Arms must be covered also to wrist…no short sleeves.

Men can wear a nice shirt or even a t-shirt (clean of course lol) but must not have anything on it such as pictures, etc. Their pants must cover from waist to a little below the knees or they can just wear long pants or capris (calve length pants).

Both men and women must remove their shoes before entering the prayer area at the masjid. Some people wear socks and others don’t. I haven’t heard that it is mandatory to wear socks, I don’t, but I’m not a scholar either.

On a side note, when I first converted and went to the masjid, I wasn’t aware that if you wear nail polish, your wudu isn’t accepted because the water cannot penetrate your nail polish to get the your nails! A rude sister at the masjid quickly pointed out my polished toe nails and I was less than happy. Anyway, I wear nail polish when not praying such as during my period but cannot when praying.

Anyhoo, When first entering the prayer area, its sunnah to pray to rakas to say hello to the masjid 🙂 For lack of better words. Then you may sit down and chat with the other sisters. By the way, the masjid is separated between men and women. There are separate prayer areas in the majority of majids so make sure you find out where the entrances for each are.

So, before the speech (jummah speech) is started, you may either sit and do nothing, read or chat but once the Imam starts speaking please be quiet. Make sure to give your salams when entering the prayer area…its just polite.

The Imam will start to give a speech, which will have something to do with Muslims or Islam of course and may add some requests for aid or assistance for the Masjid if needed, at the end. He will choose what to speech about. After that the prayer will begin. You will then pray along with the Imam. For men, the Imam is there with you and you just follow him. For sisters, there is usually a loud speaker from which you can hear the Imams speech and prayer so don’t worry about knowing what to do. Now certain prayers are not said aloud and certain prayers are said where you can hear them. Fajr is said aloud by the Imam, Dhur, is silent except for “Allah Akbar” and the ending where you say your salams. Asr is silent, Magrib is said aloud, and so is Isha.

After the prayer, usually people will chat or you may just leave is you wish. Some people will also do 2 more rakas or say their duas (supplication prayers to Allah).

I hope this has helped you some. If I can answer any other questions please let me know. Also, be aware that not everyone at the Masjid is friendly but please don’t let that stop you from attending if you really want to. Just avoid those people.

As salam alaikum and May Allah keep you happy healthy and safe Ameen.

Love Amani xoxox

20 Things to say and When to Say it part 3

As Salam Alaikum and hello friends. Today I have a list for those who may be just starting to learn Islam of phrases that are common to say by Muslims and when to say them. I read these a while ago on a web page so I am sharing with you. Please refer to my last blog for some other tips. And now for the list!

1. When starting to do something say – Bis-millah

2. When intending to do something say – Insha-Allah

3. When something is being praised say – Subhan-Allah

4. When in pain or distress say- Ya-Allah

5. When expressing appreciation say- Masha-Allah

6. When thanking someone say- Jazak-Allah

7. When awaking from sleep say- La-Ila ha-Ill Allah

8. When taking an oath say- Wallah-Billah

9. When sneezing say- alhamdu-lilah

10. When someone sneezes say- Yar-Hamok-Allah

11. When repenting a sin say- Astaugh-firAllah

12. When giving to charity say- Fi-sabi-Allah

13. When having love for someone say- Lihub-bullah

14. When getting married to someone say- Aman-to-billah

15. When parting from someone say- Fi-amaan-Allah

16. When a problem arises say- Tawak-kalto-al-Allah

17. When something unpleasant happens say- Na-ouzo-Billah

18. When something pleasant occurs say- Fata-barak-Allah

19. When participating in prayer say- Ameen

20. When death message is received say- Inna-lillahi-wa-inna-ilaihi-raji-un

Insha’Allah this list is beneficial to you as it has been for me. Thanks friends, for reading. Be sure to comment, share, like and follow!

As Salam Alaikum xoxo Amani

What to Say and When to Say It…Easy ways to mention Allahs name part 2

As salam alaikum friends! Hope your day is well insha’Allah.

So today is part 2 of the series “Easy ways to mention Allah name and get rewards!” We know by now that just the mention of Allah’s name gets us rewards and rewards are good m’kay 😉  Here are some ways to fit them into your day and night easily. What to say and when to say it are just some common phrases or words Muslims use to express either gratitude or ask for forgiveness, etc. There are alot but I will name a few. The more you mention, the faster Allah runs to you! Remember dhikr is always good (remembrance for the sake of Allah).

1. Alhamdulilah: This word means “thanks God” or thank you God or thanks to God. This is said for many reasons. The obvious reason would be to thank Allah for something good that has happened to you. Your health, your children, a home, food, etc. This is also said after finishing a meal to thank Allah for the meal itself and for being able to even have food to eat. A funny one is after you burp lol. Yes, even then. Basically, we usually burp after we have eaten or drank something and of course those things come from Allah so we say it then. Funny I know but look how easy it is! Of course I usually add an excuse me after lol. After coming home from a trip, say Alhamdulilah that you made it safely, even if its just a short trip to the store. Or if someone else makes it safely. Many, many reasons to say this. Don’t forget, even when bad things happen you may say this because Allah knows whats best for us so we are to be thankful for what he has done or what has happened to us, good or not so good.

2. Allahu Akbar!: This means “God is great” or the greatest. This can be said at anytime for any reason or for no particular reason at all. Allah likes us to mention him and come to him and he will rush to us. This phrase is also said during every prayer.

3. Istaughfirallah: This is spelled many different ways so if you don’t recognize it I’m sorry. This means to ask Allah’s forgiveness. This should be done as often as possible every day and night. We never know if we have committed a sin that we are not aware of and of course there are those sins that we are aware of that need Allah’s mercy. If you have hurt someones feelings, cursed, argued, etc, this is what you may say. If you have done any bad deeds, just ask Allah’s forgiveness. His mercy is infinite.

4. Masha’Allah: This phrase that expresses appreciation, joy, praise or thankfulness for an event or person that was just mentioned.  Towards this, it is used as an expression of respect, while at the same time serving as a reminder that all accomplishments are so achieved by the will of God. The literal English translation is “God has willed it”. So for example, if someone says “I have become a new father” you may say Masha”Allah!

5. Subhan’Allah: This phrase means glory be to Allah. A phrase said to declare the magnificent power of God for his creation.This is often used when witnessing something wonderful or miraculous. For example, “God’s mercy is infinite, subhan’Allah”. For lack of a better example, “That sunset is golden subhan’Allah!”

These are just a couple of things Muslims say to praise Allah. Feel free to add your own in the comment section below and as always, May Allah keep you happy , healthy and safe Ameen.

 

 

Easy ways to mention the name of Allah and get rewarded!

As Salam Alaikum and hello friends,

Today we’ll discuss ways to improve dhikr, or remembrance of Allah. There are many easy ways and lets remember, we get rewarded each time we mention Allah’s name and we all need rewards right? I’ll give a few easy ways but there are so many! Feel free to share some ideas as well in the comment box below. Like, share and follow 🙂

Starting with Bismillah (in the name of Allah):

Saying Bismillah before doing anything good or doing deeds, charity, eating, etc is an easy way to mention Allah’s name. Here are a few examples of when to say Bismillah:

1. Before eating and remember to eat with your right hand and eat of what is in front of you. [Bukhari 7/88, Muslim 2/207, Ahmad 17/92,Muwatta Malik 10/32 and Ibn Majah 1/557]

2. Before drinking and the right hand should be used here as well.

3. As your leaving the home. The Messenger Of Allah (saw) said, “If anyone of you when leaving the house says In the name of
Allah, I trust in Allah, there is no power and might except from Allah. Your needs shall be fulfilled,
you shall be saved from difficulties and hardships. Shaitaan hearing these words leaves him.”
[Al-Trimidhi 2/493]

4. When entering the home.

5. Before driving your car.

6. Before entering the bathroom. The Prophet Of Allah (saw) said “When you enter the toilet you should say, In the Name of Allah, I
seek protection in you from unclean spirits, male and female.” [AbuDawud 4/264, Ahmad 2/389 and
Fath Al-Bari 1/254]

7. Before wudu or ablution (cleansing for prayer)

8. After getting into bed to sleep. Can be followed by Audu Billahi min ash- Shaytan ir Rajeem. (I seek refuge from Allah against Shaytan or the devil). Excuse the misspelling if I have. I do not speak Arabic except in prayer 🙂

9. Before reciting Quran and when a verse calls for it.

10. When night falls. Allah’s Apostle (saw) said, “When night falls stop your children from going out, for the devils spread
out at that time. But when an hour of the night has passed, release them and close the doors and
mention Allah’s Name, for Satan does not open a closed door. Tie the mouth of your water-skin and
mention Allah’s Name; cover your containers and utensils and mention Allah’s Name. Cover them
even by placing something across it, and extinguish your lamps. ”

So there you have some ways. My next blog will be posting insha’Allah today, with other ways to mention Allah’s name and when to say them such as Alhamdulilah (Thanks God), Astaughfirallah (Allah forgive me) for sins, etc.

Thanks for reading friends and don’t forget to like, comment, share and follow please 🙂 Thanks and May Allah bless you all and keep you happy, healthy and safe Ameen.

Love, Amani

Poll on Religious Preferences and harrassment

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