What Happened to our Ummah?!

As Salam Alaikum friends. I hope you are well today and having a great day. I’m actually having a very good day today because I got to spend some time with a woman who is looking to studying Islam and eventually revert. Masha’Allah! She’s actually a neighbor of mine and I believe Allah brought us together under odd circumstances though, none the less lol. She has asked me to help her study! Alhamdulilah, masha’Allah…what an honor to teach someone the deen!

I felt compelled for a while now to write whats been in my heart about our Muslim community (ummah). Ummah, an Islamic Arabic term, means “community” or “nation”. Now the reason I wanted to write about this today is because the sister I am helping told me that she could not find any other willing sisters to help her study and learn our beautiful Islam! I was shocked but in a way I wasn’t.

It never ceases to amaze me anymore, with all the “every man/woman for him/herself” mentality going around. This is not Islam brothers and sisters. Our ummah is in trouble and has been for many years. My belief is that after our beloved Prophet died, and his companions, so did our ummah. No longer can we count on each other to take time out of our days to help another in need. Yet, we can be on Facebook (me too) and watch T.V., or any other thing that we do that takes away from our duties as Muslims. I am also guilty of this as well, which lead me to change in a small way by helping this young woman out. It makes me feel wonderful knowing dawah is happening! I also consider her a friend as well which as we know Allah brings us together for many reasons.

Next time you see someone sitting alone in the masjid, please, at least say your salams and maybe ask how they are. Especially if they are a new face. In my previous blog about my recent trip to the masjid, I stressed that it was an unpleasant experience, as it was. And it wasn’t the first time no one spoke to me while being alone and after giving my salams. This is exactly what I’m talking about. UMMAH!!! What happened to it?!!

What’s the solution? There may be many ways to help the situation. First off, passing judgement on other brothers and sisters of Islam ruins community (ummah). Lets face it, who wants to learn from or be around someone who is always judging them. Instead politely correct if you can, those things that you see may be wrong. It’s then up to the person to correct and for Allah to judge. Another way is to, again, reach out to others in need. Welcome new reverts with open arms as they are the fragile ones and there is currently no care for them. They take their shahada….everyone is all “Masha’Allah!!”, then BAM!, everyone’s gone! Where did everyone go. It doesn’t stop at the welcome into Islam. It should be a constant help towards those in need. I need to remind myself in this also as with everything I am writing, which is why I wanted to blog this topic.

Also, if you can, volunteer in the Muslims community for things such as helping other learn Arabic or English, which ever you speak and depending on the need. Help others learn some surahs to help them with their prayers. Teach someone that’s just reverting the 5 pillars of Islam as they are the fundamentals.

There are many other ways that I may not even be aware of but I ask if you can please comment with your suggestions. Also, what are your feelings about the state of our Ummah?

As always, May Allah keep you happy, healthy and safe. Ameen.

Love, Amani

 

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

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

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

Lets Look at Stereotypes….

As Salam Alaikum,

Let’s face it, there are many stereotypes about Islam and Muslims, especially here in America. Let me point out that I do not agree with any stereotyping of any person, Muslim or not. No matter what religion, race, color, etc.

Let’s look at the meaning of stereotype as written by Wikipedia:

A stereotype is a popular belief about specific types of individuals. The concepts of “stereotype” and “prejudice” are often confused with many other different meanings. Stereotypes are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions. Another name for stereotyping is bias. A bias is a tendency, most of these are good like knowing to eat food instead of paper clips, but sometimes stereotyping can turn into discrimination if we misinterpret a bias and act upon it in a negative manner.

So you can see it’s wrong any way you look at it. Now some familiar or not, stereotypes of Islam and Muslims…this is only a few because if I put them all here, it would be a darn novel lol.

1. Islam:

Negative images of Islam and Muslims are found everywhere in the media. These negative images are based on one-thousand year old European-Christian prejudices due to ignorance of Islam. American people have overcome their prejudices against the Irish, German, Italian, Jews and blacks. It is time that they shed their prejudices against Islam and Muslims by educating themselves about this fourteen centuries old religion, the youngest of the three Abrahamic religions of monotheism. Some examples of media prejudices and stereotype images are discussed below.

2. Terrorism:

Yes, there are a few hundred terrorists out of a population of 1,200 million worldwide who call themselves Muslim. There are Christian terrorists in Ireland and Christian criminals everywhere in the major cities of the U.S. Does it mean Christianity teaches them to terrorize, rob and kill people? Paul Hill, a Christian minister, killed an abortion doctor and his security man – would you blame Christianity as a source of his crime? If not, please, do not blame all for the terrorism of a few. There are mad men in every society! The term JIHAD is mistranslated and misinterpreted.

3. Women:

The media talks about the abuse of women in Muslim society. Yes, there is abuse but have you seen Oprah and other talk shows, lately? Almost every day one or another show brings cases of women beating, torture and abuse in the American society. Does it mean Christianity and Capitalism teaches people to abuse their women? Women abusers are found in every society since the most ancient times. Despite the twentieth century feminism, women abuse is endemic in every neighborhood of the West. Islam teaches kind treatment of women and expands their civil rights beyond even what is present in Western society.

4. Polygamy:

Another topic commonly misrepresented in the media is polygamy among Muslims. Yes, Islam permits men to marry up to four women provided all wives are treated equally with respect to time and money. Do you think it is possible to have more than one wife and treat all of them equally? Of course not! As a result less than one percent of the men have more than one wife in the Muslim societies of the East. Look at the situation in America! Having a series of boyfriends or girlfriends is common which is a form of serial polygamy, as is divorce-marriage-divorce-marriage. In addition, we find married people having boyfriends or girlfriends on the side and just one-night-stands are common; what do you call this? This is parallel polygamy without taking responsibility for the partner or the child which frequently ensues. Sexual anarchy is rampant in the West. In societies where women outnumber men, multiple wives allows the women the opportunity and security of a legal marital relationship where the husband is responsible for all wives and children. Islam provides solutions for the problems in society.

5. Hijab or head scarf:

Some people attack Islam for Muslim women wearing head scarves. For women to cover hair has been prescribed in Christianity and Judaism, too. As late as the last century women in the West wore scarves on their heads. Some of the nuns still wear head-gear when they are in public. Head scarves are common in Eastern Europe and villages of the West. Amish and Mennonite women in the U.S. continue to wear scarves to this date. If Muslim women opt to wear scarves in public it is their right which should be honored and respected without prejudice. Isn’t religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution? Aren’t people free to wear whatever they like?

Like I said before, these are just a few. To list them all would be impossible in one blog. Hopefully you are all safe and protect by Allah from these things but its kind of inevitable that we will all experience these biases.

Let me know in the comment section, below if you have had any experiences you would like to share or add.

May Allah keep you happy , healthy and safe Ameen.

Love, Amani

Another 4 year anniversary! My wedding anniversary today!!

As Salam Alaikum and hello everyone,

Well, March 13 was my 4 year anniversary when I converted to Islam. Today , March 15, is my 4 year wedding anniversary! A little about how I met my husband and how it correlates to me finding out about Islam.

In 2006, I began working at an apartment complex as a leasing consultant. For whatever reason, I worked with 5 Muslims at once, including my now hubby. Subhanallah! I began witnessing them practicing their religion, Islam, and fasting during Ramadan, etc. I also began asking questions. Now they were all men so I had no sisters to ask and they were very willing to help me. After all, it’s a huge reward to bring someone to Islam!

After some time, I began reading for myself as well and bought a Quran. I even fasted one day during Ramadan before even thinking of converting. Wow, was that hard!!! I respected these people for their faith and beliefs.

After a while, I started working mainly with my now hubby in another one of the offices. He would talk to me about religion and such. We got to be good friends and I trusted him. Fast forward to 2008, we ended up getting engaged but with no particular date set to marry. I decided by that time, after knowing what I knew about Islam, I wanted to convert. So, March 13 2008 I took my Shahada with my now hubby witnessing plus another brother and sister. I was so happy.

Now comes the funny part. I was in my apartment at the time on March 15, 2 days later, and said to my hubby, “let’s get married”. LOL. He says when and I just non-nonchalantly said tonight! LOL . He was shocked but said OK! I quickly got witnesses and we went at about 7 pm that night to the mosque, without even a warning to the Imam, just showed up an asked if he could marry us. He agreed and we had witnesses. I did have anyone to stand up for me so the Imam did it for me. We were finally married!

I didn’t covert for my hubby but I thank God he put him into my life and the other Muslims I met, because I wouldn’t have come to Muslim, probably…unless Allah showed me another way.

I love you habibi. Happy anniversary and many more happy years inshaallah !

Love Amani

Happy 4 Year Anniversary to me….As a Muslim!

Salam all and hello, well, yesterday was my 4th year anniversary since becoming a Muslim! Thank God – Alhamdulilah! Since some people who may read this may not be Muslims, I will explain words I use so you can understand what I’m saying.

Anyway, so 4 years ago (March 13th, 2008), I took my Shahada (declaration of faith to Allah – God and his messenger Prophet Muhammad pbuh – peace be upon him). I was a mess before that I must admit lol. From that day forward, all my sins were forgiven by Allah and it was as if I was a newborn baby, Insha’Allah (God willing). Alhamdulilah! Lets face it, I made some major sins so I was more than excited when I heard that!

Imagine the mercy God has for us. To take in a stray like me and turn me into something I can be proud of AND erase all my sins! WOOHOO!! Need I say more? Now I thank God everyday for allowing me to be a Muslim and receive his blessings and all that He has given me. Its like he polished a rock into a shiny new gem :)I continue to ask for forgiveness everyday because we as humans will always sin but insha’allah we may be forgiven.

Now tomorrow (March 15) is also another anniversary for me. Its me and my husbands 4 year wedding anniversary! Oh how the time flies! Alhamdulilah for my husband, children, family, life, health, and everything in between.

May Allah (God) bless you all and keep you happy, healthy and safe and your families as well. Ameen

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