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How to go to sleep – The Islamic Way

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 ABLUTION

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “When you go to bed, you should perform the ablution (wudu) like that for prayer, and then lay down on your right side. Then say:

“Allahumma aslamtu wajhi ilaika, wa fauwadtu Amri ilaika wa aljatu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika, lamalja’a wa la manja mink a ill a ilaika. Amantu bikitabi kalladhi anzalta wa bi nabiyyikal-ladhi arsalta”

(‘O Allah, I have turned my face to You and I have surrendered my self to You and I have committed my back to You out of fear and desire for You. There is no place of safety or refuge from You except with You. I have believed in Your book which You revealed and Your Prophet whom You sent.’)

If you die that night, you will die in fitra (natural state). And make these the last words you utter.’” [Bukhari]HandsFaucet.jpg

It is also reported that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Purify these bodies, and Allah will purify you. There is not a slave who spends his night in a state of purification except that an angel spends the night besides him. And whenever the slave turns over during the night, the angel says: ‘O Allah, forgive Your slave, for he went to sleep in a state of purification.’” [Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Kabir]

Nowadays some yoga experts, suggest washing certain parts of the body before going to sleep, since it has a cooling and calming effect on the nerves, helping you to get a good rest. However this practise was encouraged long ago as the Sunnah of Prophet  Muhammad (PBUH).

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DUST THE BED

Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, ‘When one of you goes to bed, he should undo the inside of his lower garment and dust the bed with it. He does not know what has come on his bed since he left it… ” (Abu Dawud)

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SWITCHING OFF THE LIGHTS

The Prophet (saws) said: “Put out lamps when you go to bed, shut doors, and cover water and food containers“ (Bukhari).

turn_off_lights_19916160The use of electric lights with the subsequent elongation of the ‘daylight’ hours causes the pineal gland to release hormones that (among other potentially harmful changes) stimulates early puberty in young females. – Borysenko,1998.

Scientific study has discovered the importance of a dark environment for a good night rest. Melatonin is a chemical released by our brain which promotes sleep onset. Light affects the level of melatonin produced by our body, which begins to rise in the mid to late evening when it gets dark, remaining high for most of the night, and then dropping in the early morning hours.

So turning of all lamps, (even dim lights), when we sleep saves us from many problems caused by hormonal imbalances.

 

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SLEEPING POSITION

The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) used to sleep on his right side, putting his right hand on his right cheek, and this is what the Prophet (PBUH) recommended others to do.

As seen before also in the Hadith under ABLUTION it is mentioned, The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,”Whenever you go to bed perform ablution like that for prayer, and lie on your right side.” (Muslim)

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Sleeping on the right side does not let the weight of stomach & intestine to suppress heart, it reduces the pressure and strain on the heart to pump blood. Hence blood circulation is not affected. It is also a good position for those with neck and back pain and pregnant women.

Furthermore it is forbidden and not recommended to sleep on stomach. Ya’ish bin Tikhfah Al-Ghifari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:  My father said: I was lying down on my belly in the mosque when someone shook me with his foot and said, “Lying down this way is disapproved by Allah.” I looked up and saw that it was Messenger of Allah (PBUH). [Abu Dawud].  According to another report, the Prophet (PBUH) prodded him with his foot & woke him up & said. “do not lie like this, for this is how the people of hell lie”, (reported bx Ahmad, Al-Fath Al-Rabban 14/244-245)

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RECITE

– Surah Al Mulk:  Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying:  “There is a Surah in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat which kept interceding for a man until his sins are forgiven. This Surah is ‘Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion.’ (Surat Al-Mulk 67).”  [Tirmidhi]Daftar-Aplikasi-Al-Qur_an-Digital-Android-Yang-Cocok-Di-Bulan-Ramadhan00-700x376

-Three Kuls: ‘Aa’ishah reported that when the Prophet (PBUH) went to bed, he would cup his hands together, blow into them and recite into them Qul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlaas], Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-falaq [Surah al-Falaq] and Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-naas [Surah an-Naas] (these are the last 3 Chapters of the Quran – Translator). Then he would wipe as much of his body as he could with his hands, starting with his head and face, and the front of his body. He would do this three times. (Bukhari)

– Surah al Kafiroon: Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite surah al Kaafiroon and then go to sleep after coming to its end, for it is a clearance from shirk.” (Dawud)
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DUA

Whenever the Prophet (saws) lay down for sleep at night, he would place his (right) hand under his (right) cheek and supplicate: “Allahumma bismika amutu wa ahya [O Allah, with Your Name will I die and live (wake up)].” (Bukhkari)

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Another Dua the Prophet used to recite is:

“Allahumma aslamtu wajhi ilaika, wa fauwadtu Amri ilaika wa aljatu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika, lamalja’a wa la manja mink a ill a ilaika. Amantu bikitabi kalladhi anzalta wa bi nabiyyikal-ladhi arsalta”

(‘O Allah, I have turned my face to You and I have surrendered my self to You and I have committed my back to You out of fear and desire for You. There is no place of safety or refuge from You except with You. I have believed in Your book which You revealed and Your Prophet whom You sent.’)

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Even simple acts such as going to sleep, can be done in a way that we earn the pleasure of Allah. Thereby earning rewards for them as well. All that is required is small effort from our side. For the amount of time we spend browsing our phones before bed, am sure following the above sunnahs before going to sleep shouldn’t be too hard.

 

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One Year of Patience, Ten Years of Peace – Greek Proverb

  By: M. Tariq Miskin

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Everyone has heard of the phrase, “Patience is a virtue!” at least once in their lifetime. And every single person has undergone some kind of hardship throughout their life. No matter what the circumstances are, rich or poor, powerful or weak, Young or old, every human has had some kind of worry, anxiety, and depression at least once. But it is most likely that we as humans have been in these situations more than once. This is life!

According to Islam, life in this world is a qualification examination for the hereafter. More specifically, it is a series of tests which get harder and harder as time goes on. The tests we face in the early days of life are much simpler but as we get older it gets tougher. So we are told to brace ourselves for tough questions and learn from our mistakes from each previous test and apply it to the subsequent tests. This will guarantee a good result in the final examination on the judgment day. So what are the requirements to succeed in these tests which Allah has decreed upon us?

mortar-board-degree-certificate-books.jpgIn a university, to follow certain courses one needs to have completed pre-requisite classes to be eligible to follow that particular course. As an undergraduate student I had to follow many of these prerequisite classes before I could attend the core classes required for my degree. Similarly the tests we face in life have prerequisites as well. One such prerequisite of the ‘life test’ and one of the most important is patience. And I have first-hand knowledge of how the prerequisite “patience” has helped me in life general and particularly when I was reading for my master’s degree.

Allah says in the Quran:  “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the cause of Allah) and As-Sabirin (the patient), and We shall test your facts (i.e., the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).”  (47:31)

Certainly, Allah tests all of us sometimes with the bounty and sometimes with the afflictions of fear and hunger. The test may also be by loss of lives, property, health, or wealth. Or we may be tested with not a loss but instead an increase in bounty. Different people are tested differently because Allah knows each and everyone us. For when the best and most righteous of us are tested to the extreme, they strive even harder in Allah’s cause. Allah is all knowing! Most wise!

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As a graduate student I was tested in way I have not experienced in my life before. There were so many hurdles to jump over. I was experiencing so many disappointments, worries, anxieties. On top of it I was away from my family for quite a period of the year, which in itself is a big test. This is where the ‘prerequisite’ of patience came in handy.

Allah also says: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient).”  (1:155)

Allah has taught us that patience is the key to success.. He tells us He will test us with many hardships but if we have patience we will get glad tidings. Certainly in my case, I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel. All my hardships can be conquered by having patience. All I had to do was to keep faith in Allah, and continue my ibadah. The mercy of Allah cannot be quantified in human terms. And there is no doubting his mercy.

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So who does Allah say are the patient? Allah goes on to say: “Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” (1:156)

This means that those who recite this statement, “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return,” to comfort themselves in the face of their loss and hardships, know that they belong to Allah and that He does what He wills with His servants. They also know that nothing and no deed, even if it was the weight of an atom, will be lost with Allah on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore they try to do more ibadah in the cause of Allah especially during such hardships.

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In the end, patience has indeed been rewarding for me. I finally see profit from my hardships as a master’s student. There is no denying that whatever Allah promises us in the Quran, He delivers on them. Allah never fails on His promise!

Is Salah Your Priority?

All of us constantly strive to keep up with the struggles of life everyday, so much so that we often forget the purpose of life. We make time to prepare for exams, presentations, interviews etc. by sacrificing sleep, even till dawn if we have to. We try to get to the theaters on time so we can avoid the queue to get movie tickets. But do we make the same effort to make time for Salah? Which hardly takes 10 minutes if we are focusing only on the obligatory prayers that is.lines.jpg

Salah plays a very important role in our lives. Our lives revolve around Salah, not the other way around. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The first thing which will be judged among a man’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper, but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser [Tirmidhi].”

This clearly means that without Salah, we lose the purpose of life. Indeed, our purpose in this world is to worship Allah. What better way to worship the Almighty other than through Salah.

Salah helps us to get closer to Allah, through remembrance and sincere repentance. This in turn helps you in becoming a better person for the sake of Allah.

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Salah also protects us from the Shaitan. Shaitan constantly tries to misguide you from the path of righteousness. In Quran Allah Almighty says:

“Shaitan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” (5:91).

You are just making it easier for the Shaitan by neglecting prayers, which is similar to neglecting Allah and the teaching of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). What does this make of you? In a hadith it is mentioned: “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever.” [Ahmad]

In todays world, we associate people from all walks of life, thereby engaging ourselves in many outdoor events, get togethers, outings, sleep overs, trips, work outs, reunions etc. Salah can be challenging in the above situations. Also while at these activities everyone presumes “they are busy and they don’t have  enough time”. Thereby conviniently missing out on prayers with this excuse. How do we not make this a excuse and make a little time for prayers too? Here are a few tips to get us through:

1. Do It Together

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When it’s time for Prayers get  together with your Muslim friends/ Colleagues/ acquaintances and pray together. Get them to join you at the prayer room/ mosque or any convenient spot, at a specific time that you all have agreed upon. This way when you forget or are busy, they can remind you and call you to pray with them.

2. Clean Will Do

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As long as a place is clean its a potential spot for prayers. If you uni/ workplace got no prayer rooms just find a clean secluded area and perform your salah. If you cant find a secluded area don’t feel shy to pray in front of others, even if they are non muslims. Maybe watching you pray will inspire them to want to know more about Islam.

3. Be Prepared

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Always carry a prayer mat along with essential praying utilities (for women) in your handbag or keep it in your office/ uni locker.In case your wearing clothes too complicated to take wudu in, make sure you take wudu before you put on you dress up or leave the house. If you cannot find water to take wudu, remember there are always mineral water bottles you could buy.

4.Excuse Me

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If you are in a group and its time for prayers.  Just excuse yourself for 10 minutes. Find a spot or a masjid and pray and rejoin them when your done. If they as you why, don’t be shy. Say its time for your prayer. Be strong.  Just 10 minutes of all that time spent with your group is all it takes.

5. Download apps

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There are apps with the local prayer times, compasses for Kibla directions, Nearest mosque, Quran etc. Download some apps to remind you its time for your prayer, set reminders and alarms so you wont miss a prayer.

These are just a few tips to help you not to miss prayers and keep you prepared for prayers during your busy schedule. But remember it mostly takes inner strength and strong Iman to be steadfast in prayer and we can all keep trying to reach such a level.  Never think of Salah as a burden. Salah is an opportunity for us to refresh our faith constantly and it revives us spiritually and intellectually.

 

Too Busy To Remember Allah?

Throughout our daily busy schedules our days seem to go by very quickly and we don’t even realise that by the time we get to bed at night, we haven’t remembered our Creator, Allah. Is it not ironic how backward we have become. Even after all the facilities and technology we have access to, yet we don’t have time for Him, the One who gave us all these facilities to begin with.

But Alhamdulillah, with all the hustle and bustle, the Almighty knows us better than we know ourselves. However far away from Him we may be, Allah is always close to us. Allah says in the Quran “And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” (50:16)

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The Prophet (PBUH) said “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; if he comes one cubit nearer to me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

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We are overly and happily preoccupied with our occupation, education, family technology and other commitments. But, why is it when it comes to our Creator we are so tired and forgetful?

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’ân nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship” (20:124)

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

It is food for the heart and soul. A natural cleanser of the rust in the heart A releaser from the worldly desires just how fish cant live without water, without Allah swt we cannot survive.

istock_000017833425xsmallHere are some praises of remembrance of Allah you can include on a daily basis despite our busy life. Lets try to make use of some idle time during which we do nothing. Like when you’re going to work, during your lunch breaks, waiting for the bus or train or even when your relaxing etc. Once you are familiar with it, Insha Allah it will come from the heart and roll of your tongue with ease.

  1. Use simple words in your conversation:
  • INSHALLAH (If Allah wills)- when talking about something that is yet to happen
  • MASHALLAH (Whatever Allah wills)- if you see something beautiful/or praise someone
  • ALHAMDHULILLAH (All praise is due to Allah)- when being thankful to Allah for something

2.Do a few simple Tasbih:

  • SUBHANALLAH (Glory be to Allah)
  • ALHAMDHULILLAH (All praise is due to Allah)
  • ALLAHU AKBAR (Allah is Great)
  • SUBHANALLAHI WABI HAMDIHI (Glory be to Allah and all Praise) 

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  1. Ask dua:

Asking dua doesnt mean you have to raise your hands or it has to be after a prayer. It can be done anywhere anytime. Just make a silent prayer in your heart that is a dua too. Ask dua silently or loudly. In public or in private. Ask for yourself or someone else. The more you ask the happier Allah gets. He loves it when a believer asks him for something. So ask even 20 times a day it’ll only get you closer to Allah.

And your Lord Says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” (40:60)

4. Recite the Quran: 

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 Did you know that for every LETTER recited you receive 10 rewards!

Download the Quran app on your phone. That way whenever & wherever you are you can recite. Take 5 minutes before u browse facebook to recite a few verses or for the next half an hour that you will be staring out the window while travelling to work 5 minutes of reciting  aint gonna do you no harm. 

  1. Do Sadaqah:

              Abu Dhar reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Your smile to your brother is a sadaqah (charitable act) for you. Your commanding the right and forbidding the wrong is a sadaqah.  Your guiding a man in the land of misguidance is a sadaqah for you. Your seeing (showing the way) for a man with bad eyesight is a sadaqah for you. Your removing a stone or thorn or bone from the road is a sadaqah for you. Your emptying your bucket of water into your brother’s (empty) bucket is a sadaqah for you.”  [Tirmidhi]

           Whatever good deed you do, do it with the intention of pleasing Allah. This way you get rewarded for it too. Allah loves you, He is just waiting for you to remember Him. May Allah guide us all.