Tag Archives: Quran

Quran Best Recitation Website

Welcome to my website of the best Recitation of the Noble Quran.

bestrecitation

I first listened to the Quran recited by Shaykh Saud Ibraheem Al-Shuraim and Shaykh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais when I went for my first umrah with my parents at seven years of age. The deep voice of Shaykh Shuraim and the melodious tone of Sudais deeply impacted me and induced in my heart a love for the Quran by the will of Allah. Like every Muslim, I traverse through the highs and lows of faith (eeman), but irrespective of the state of my faith, Allah has sustained the love for His book in my heart. Since that childhood umrah, I have been an avid listener of the Quran.

After years of listening, the idea sprang into my mind that I should compile a Quran such that I will choose the best recitation of each surah per my experience and (humble) judgement. In my selection process, I have primarily listened to the taraweeh recitations of Masjidul Haram from 1414 hijri to 1437 hijri, and the recitations of few other reciters whose recitation I enjoy. By Allah’s grace, I finished my work on the vacation of Eid Al-Adha 1437.

I have spent a lot of hours creating and compiling these audio files. I sincerely hope that Allah will accept this work from me. I hope that my compilation will induce the love for the book of Allah into the heart of many Muslims.

There are many benefits to listening to the Words of Allah. Listening makes your familiar with the Quran. Listening improves your pronunciation. But to me, the greatest benefit is the consolation of Quran. No matter how depressed, sad, or wounded you are, the divine words of Quran will console you like nothing else in this world.

Therefore, I conclude with the following beautiful dua, taught by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):

O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand (i.e. You have total mastery over), Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.

Ameen!

Sincerely,

The Shardul of Allah

Heart Trembling Recitation: Surah Ale Imran (186-200)

Heart trembling recitation of the last part of Surah Ale Imran by three famous qurras of our time:

Shaykh Saud Ibraheem Al-Shuraim: This is a fajr prayer clip recorded in the good old days, when Shaykh Shuraim would lead the fajr prayer in the Haram everyday. The shaykh recited with his usual deep voice.

Shaykh Abdul Wali Al-Arkani: I had the fortune to hear this recitation live at Qatar State Mosque on the 4th night of Ramadan 1434 H. Absolutely amazing recitation.

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Sudais: I was blessed to hear this recitation live in the Haram on the 24th night of Ramadan 1433 H. The way the shaykh raised and lowered his voice was just heart melting.

The Month of Quran: Recitation of Different Qurras

Here are some of my recordings of the Noble Quran recited at taraweeh salah at various masajids of Qatar throughout Ramadan 1434. These are not professional recordings. I recorded these clips with my Samsung S3. While listening to these clips, please use your headphone for better hearing experience.

Qatar State Mosque: Jaamea’ Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab20130730_192938_7

The taraweeh at Qatar State Mosque was led by four Qatari imams and four foreign imams. The four foreign imams were Shaykh Abdul Wali Al-Arkani, Shaykh Idrees Akbar, Shaykh Abdul Kareem, and Shaykh Saad Al-Ghamdi.

State Mosque Athan

Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Clip 5

State Mosque Taraweeh Clips

ArkaniShaykh Abdul Wali Al-Arkani: Shaykh Arkani was on top form throughout. I regret not recording more clips of him.

Taraweeh Clip | Witr

 

muhammad-abdulkareem-1098Shaykh Abdul Kareem: Taraweeh Clip

 

 

 

Imam 1

Qatari Imam 1: He was my favorite imam among the four who led taraweeh at  the State Mosque.

Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Clip 5

 

 

Imam 2

Qatari Imam 2: He has a melodious recitation. His memorization is very strong mashaallah. 

Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Witr

 

 

Imam 3

Qatari Imam 3: He was my second favorite among the four imams. He recites  fast. To me, his voice seemed to have semblance of the voices of Shaykh Juhany  and  Shaykh Basfar.  Listen to the  second rakah of Clip 1 to see how  beautifully  he raises his  voice.  Clip 1 | Clip 2

 

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Qatari Imam 4: Clip 1

Sarah Bint Saqr Masjid2

The imam of this masjid has a very beautiful recitation. Especially enthralling is his fajr recitation. Here are some clips:

Taraweeh: Clip 1 | Clip 2

Fajr: Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 (Clip 1 and 4 are really awesome)

 

 

 

 

 

Shaykha Mojah bint Ali bin Saud II Masjidp1000923-640x480

The imam of this masjid has a sort of linear recitation. His voice level does not vary at all, but I like his recitation.

Clip 1 | Clip 2

 

 

 

 

Ayesha Bint Qassim Darwish Masjid1-640x480

Recitation by a young Qatari imam: Clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaamea’ Hitmi p1000093-1024x768-640x480

Recitation by the Imam of the Masjid: Clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here are some recordings of my own recitation. I recorded them while leading maghrib prayers at Qatar University masjid. I am neither a hafidh of the Quran nor am I a Qurra, I am a simple bloke who likes to recite Quran in front of a microphone when there is a chance!

The air-condition of the masjid makes a lot of noise and thus the recordings are really poor. Use your headphone to listen to them.

Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Clip 5

Three Favorite Clips of Quran Recitation

Here are my three favorite clips of recitation from the Noble Quran. I have edited them and added English translations:

First Clip: Shaykh Saud Ash Shuraim recited verse 47 to 53 of surah Ash-Shura. The shaykh recited the verses with a deep and slow voice.

Second Clip: Shaykh Salah al-Budayr recited verse 40 to 52 of surah Al-‘Araf. The clip contains one the most beautiful verses of the Quran; the way shaykh recited it was heart melting:

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلَا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ ۖ لَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ ۖ وَنُودُوا أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah , who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [The Noble Quran 7:43]

The shaykh become very emotional when he recited the following verses:

وَنَادَىٰ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ

الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۚ فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُوا لِقَاءَ يَوْمِهِمْ هَٰذَا وَمَا كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ

وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

 And the companions of the Fire will call to the companions of Paradise, “Pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you.” They will say, “Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers.”Who took their religion as distraction and amusement and whom the worldly life deluded.” So today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this Day of theirs and for having rejected Our verses.And We had certainly brought them a Book which We detailed by knowledge – as guidance and mercy to a people who believe. [The Noble Quran 7:50-52]

Third Clip: Shaykh Abdullah Awwad Al-Juahny recited verse 58 to 84 of surah Al-Isra. The shaykh became slightly emotional when he recited the verse:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss. [The Noble Quran 17:82]

We are living in a time when we see people left and right interpreting the Quran according to their whims and desire. Whenever I come across interpretations of wishful desire, they remind me of this verse. Shouldn’t our heart tremble when Allah himself said that wrongdoers increase in nothing except for manifest loss from the Quran?

Maryam Jameelah: Interview of a Jewish Convert to Islam

Recently I read a book titled Testimonies of Jewish Converts to Islam. The book contains testimonies of some ex-Jews about the incidents, realizations, and reflections that had led them to accept Islam as their religion. Among all the testimonies, a particular testimony has impressed me the most. It is the interview of Sister Maryam Jameelah, previously known as Margaret Marcus. She accepted Islam in 1934 at the age of 27. I have found her story of converting to Islam a mesmerizing read because her story is a remarkable testament of how Allah can guide someone through his or her fitrah to the true religion.

The term fitrah means natural disposition. As the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) indicated in one of his sayings, every human child is born with the innate natural disposition that inclines him or her to recognize the oneness of Allah and worship Him alone. By the mercy of Allah, the fitrah of Sister Maryam remained so pure that despite being actively taught and encouraged by her parents to enjoy this worldly life without fearing any consequence in the hereafter, she failed to reconcile with such a false philosophy since her childhood days. Her pure fitrah had always fueled her search for the truth and eventually led her to accepting Islam.

Mayram Jameelah died on 31 October 2012 (may Allah have mercy upon her) and it is purely coincidental that I am reproducing her interview about her conversion to Islam in my blog at this time. Prior to reading her interview in the book Testimonies of Jewish Converts to Islam, I knew nothing about Sister Maryam. However, I Googled about her life and found out that she later associated herself with Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan and authored many books. Here I would like to make it clear that I am NOT associated with Jammat-e-Islami and with their ideologies in anyway. At the same time, through reproducing this interview, I neither advocate nor endorse the writings of Sister Maryam. I am posting her interview only because her conversion to Islam seemed to me a remarkable example of how fitrah can be someone’s guide  to recognize the truth.

Here is her interview:

_____________________________________________________________

Q: Would you kindly tell us how your interest in Islam began?

A: I was Margaret (Peggy) Marcus. As a small child I possessed a keen interest in music and was particularly fond of the classical operas and symphonies considered high culture in the West. Music was my favorite subject in school in which I always earned the highest grades. By sheer chance, I happened to hear Arabic music over the radio which so much pleased me that I was determined to hear more. I would not leave my parents in peace until my father finally took me to the Syrian section in New York City where I bought a stack of Arabic recordings. My parents, relatives and neighbors thought Arabic and its music dreadfully weird and so distressing to their ears that whenever I put on my recordings, they demanded that I close all the doors and windows in my room lest they be disturbed! After I embraced Islam in 1961, I used to sit enthralled by the hour at the mosque in New York, listening to tape-recordings of Tilawat chanted by the celebrated Egyptian Qari, Abdul Basit. But on Jumah Salat (Friday Prayers), the Imam did not play the tapes. We had a special guest that day. A short, very thin and poorly-dressed black youth, who introduced himself to us as a student from Zanzibar, recited Surah ar-Rahman. I never heard such glorious tilawat even from Abdul Basit! He possessed such a voice of gold; surely Hazrat Bilal must have sounded much like him!

I traced the beginning of my interest in Islam to the age of ten. While attending a reformed Jewish Sunday school, I became fascinated with the historical relationship between the Jews and the Arabs. From my Jewish textbooks, I learned that Abraham was the father of the Arabs as well as the Jews. I read how centuries later when, in medieval Europe, Christian persecution made their lives intolerable, the Jews were welcomed in Muslim Spain and that it was the magnanimity of this same Arabic Islamic civilization which stimulated Hebrew culture to reach its highest peak of achievement.

Totally unaware of the true nature of Zionism, I naively thought that the Jews were returning to Palestine to strengthen their close ties of kinship in religion and culture with their Semitic cousins. Together I believed that the Jews and the Arabs would cooperate to attain another Golden Age of culture in the Middle East.

Despite my fascination with the study of Jewish history, I was extremely unhappy at the Sunday school. At this time I identified myself strongly with the Jewish people in Europe, then suffering a horrible fate under the Nazis and I was shocked that none of my fellow classmates nor their parents took their religion seriously. During the services at the synagogue, the children used to read comic strips hidden in their prayer books and laugh to scorn at the rituals. The children were so noisy and disorderly that the teachers could not discipline them and found it very difficult to conduct the classes.

At home the atmosphere for religious observance was scarcely more congenial. My elder sister detested the Sunday school so much that my mother literally had to drag her out of bed in the mornings and it never went without the struggle of tears and hot words. Finally my parents were exhausted and let her quit. On the Jewish High Holy Days instead of attending synagogue and fasting on Yom Kippur, my sister and I were taken out of school to attend family picnics and parties in fine restaurants. When my sister and I convinced our parents how miserable we both were at the Sunday school they joined an agnostic, humanist organization known as the Ethical Culture Movement.

The Ethical Culture Movement was founded late in the 19th century by Felix Alder. While studying for rabbinate, Felix Alder grew convinced that devotion to ethical values as relative and man-made, regarding any supernaturalism or theology as irrelevant, constituted the only religion fit for the modern world. I attended the Ethical Culture Sunday School each week from the age of eleven until I graduated at fifteen. Here I grew into complete accord with the ideas of the movement and regarded all traditional, organized religions with scorn.

When I was eighteen years old I became a member of the local Zionist youth movement known as the Mizrachi Hatzair. But when I found out what the nature of Zionism was, which made the hostility between Jews and Arabs irreconcilable, I left several months later in disgust. When I was twenty and a student at New York University, one of my elective courses was entitled Judaism in Islam. My professor, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Katsh, the head of the department of Hebrew Studies there, spared no efforts to convince his students–all Jews, many of whom aspired to become rabbis–that Islam was derived from Judaism. Our textbook, written by him, took each verse from the Quran, painstakingly tracing it to its allegedly Jewish source. Although his real aim was to prove to his students the superiority of Judaism over Islam, he convinced me diametrically of the opposite.

I soon discovered that Zionism was merely a combination of the racist, tribalistic aspects of Judaism. Modern secular nationalistic Zionism was further discredited in my eyes when I learned that few, if any, of the leaders of Zionism were observant Jews and that perhaps nowhere is Orthodox, traditional Judaism regarded with such intense contempt as in Israel. When I found nearly all important Jewish leaders in America supporters for Zionism, who felt not the slightest twinge of conscience because of the terrible injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian Arabs, I could no longer consider myself a Jew at heart.

One morning in November 1954, Professor Katsh, during his lecture, argued with irrefutable logic that the monotheism taught by Moses (peace be upon him) and the Divine Laws reveled to him were indispensable as the basis for all higher ethical values. If morals were purely man-made, as the Ethical Culture and other agnostic and atheistic philosophies taught, then they could be changed at will, according to mere whim, convenience or circumstance. The result would be utter chaos leading to individual and collective ruin. Belief in the Hereafter, as the Rabbis in the Talmud taught, argued Professor Katsh, was not mere wishful thinking but a moral necessity. Only those, he said, who firmly believed that each of us will be summoned by God on Judgment Day to render a complete account of our life on earth and rewarded or punished accordingly, will possess the self-discipline to sacrifice transitory pleasure and endure hardships and sacrifice to attain lasting good.

It was in Professor Katsh’s class that I met Zenita, the most unusual and fascinating girl I have ever met. The first time I entered Professor Katsh’s class, as I looked around the room for an empty desk in which to sit, I spied two empty seats, on the arm of one, three big beautifully bound volumes of Yusuf Ali’s English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran. I sat down right there, burning with curiosity to find out to whom these volumes belonged. Just before Rabbi Katsh’s lecture was to begin, a tall, very slim girl with pale complexion framed by thick auburn hair, sat next to me. Her appearance was so distinctive, I thought she must be a foreign student from Turkey, Syria or some other Near Eastern country. Most of the other students were young men wearing the black cap of Orthodox Jewry, who wanted to become rabbis. We two were the only girls in the class. As we were leaving the library late that afternoon, she introduced herself to me. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, her parents had migrated to America from Russia only a few years prior to the October Revolution in 1917 to escape persecution. I noted that my new friend spoke English with the precise care of a foreigner. She confirmed these speculations, telling me that since her family and their friends speak only Yiddish among themselves, she did not learn any English until after attending public school. She told me that her name was Zenita Liebermann but recently, in an attempt to Americanize themselves, her parents had changed their name from “Liebermann” to “Lane.” Besides being thoroughly instructed in Hebrew by her father while growing up and also in school, she said she was now spending all her spare time studying Arabic. However, with no previous warning, Zenita dropped out of class and although I continued to attend all of his lectures to the conclusion of the course, Zenita never returned. Months passed and I had almost forgotten about Zenita when suddenly she called and begged me to meet her at the Metropolitan Museum and go with her to look at the special exhibition of exquisite Arabic calligraphy and ancient illuminated manuscripts of the Quran. During our tour of the museum, Zenita told me how she had embraced Islam with two of her Palestinian friends as witnesses.

I inquired, “Why did you decide to become a Muslim?” She then told me that she had left Professor Katsh’s class when she fell ill with a severe kidney infection. Her condition was so critical, she told me, her mother and father had not expected her to survive. “One afternoon while burning with fever, I reached for my Holy Quran on the table beside by bed and began to read and while I recited the verses, it touched me so deeply that I began to weep and then I knew I would recover. As soon as I was strong enough to leave my bed, I summoned two of my Muslim friends and took the oath of the “Shahadah” or Confession of Faith.”

Zenita and I would eat our meals in Syrian restaurants where I acquired a keen taste for this tasty cooking. When we had money to spend, we would order Couscous, roast lamb with rice or a whole soup plate of delicious little meatballs swimming in gravy scooped up with loaves of unleavened Arabic bread. And when we had little to spend, we would eat lentils and rice, Arabic style, or the Egyptian national dish of black broad beans with plenty of garlic and onions called “Ful”.

While Professor Katsh was lecturing thus, I was comparing in my mind what I had read in the Old Testament and the Talmud with what was taught in the Quran and Hadith and finding Judaism so defective, I was converted to Islam.

Q: Were you scared that you might not be accepted by the Muslims?

A: My increasing sympathy for Islam and Islamic ideals enraged the other Jews I knew, who regarded me as having betrayed them in the worst possible way. They used to tell me that such a reputation could only result from shame of my ancestral heritage and an intense hatred for my people. They warned me that even if I tried to become a Muslim, I would never be accepted. These fears proved totally unfounded as I have never been stigmatized by any Muslim because of my Jewish origin. As soon as I became a Muslim myself, I was welcomed most enthusiastically by all the Muslims as one of them.

I did not embrace Islam out of hatred for my ancestral heritage or my people. It was not a desire so much to reject as to fulfill. To me, it meant a transition from parochial to a dynamic and revolutionary faith.

Q: Did your family object to your studying Islam?

A: Although I wanted to become a Muslim as far back as 1954, my family managed to argue me out of it. I was warned that Islam would complicate my life because it is not, like Judaism and Christianity, part of the American scene. I was told that Islam would alienate me from my family and isolate me from the community. At that time my faith was not sufficiently strong to withstand these pressures. Partly as the result of this inner turmoil, I became so ill that I had to discontinue college long before it was time for me to graduate. For the next two years I remained at home under private medical care, steadily growing worse. In desperation from 1957 – 1959 my parents confined me both to private and public hospitals where I vowed that if ever I recovered sufficiently to be discharged, I would embrace Islam.

After I was allowed to return home, I investigated all the opportunities for meeting Muslims in New York City. It was my good fortune to meet some of the finest men and women anyone could ever hope to meet. I also began to write articles for Muslim magazines.

Q: What was the attitude of your parents and friends after you became Muslim?

A: When I embraced Islam, my parents, relatives and their friends regarded me almost as a fanatic, because I could think and talk of nothing else. To them, religion is a purely private concern which at the most perhaps could be cultivated like an amateur hobby among other hobbies. But as soon as I read the Holy Quran, I knew that Islam was no hobby but life itself!

Q: In what ways did the Holy Quran have an impact on your life?

A: One evening I was feeling particularly exhausted and sleepless, Mother came into my room and said she was about to go to the Larchmont Public Library and asked me if there was any book that I wanted? I asked her to look and see if the library had a copy of an English translation of the Holy Quran. Just think, years of passionate interest in the Arabs and reading every book in the library about them I could lay my hands on but until now, I never thought to see what was in the Holy Quran! Mother returned with a copy for me. I was so eager, I literally grabbed it from her hands and read it the whole night. There I also found all the familiar Bible stories of my childhood.

In my eight years of primary school, four years of secondary school and one year of college, I learned about English grammar and composition, French, Spanish, Latin and Greek in current use, Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, European and American history, elementary science, Biology, music and art–but I had never learned anything about God! Can you imagine I was so ignorant of God that I wrote to my pen-friend, a Pakistani lawyer, and confessed to him the reason why I was an atheist was because I couldn’t believe that God was really an old man with a long white beard who sat up on His throne in Heaven. When he asked me where I had learned this outrageous thing, I told him of the reproductions from the Sistine Chapel I had seen in “Life” Magazine of Michelangelo’s “Creation” and “Original Sin.” I described all the representations of God as an old man with a long white beard and the numerous crucifixions of Christ I had seen with Paula at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But in the Holy Quran, I read:

“Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, The Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is thee can intercede in His presence except as He permiteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).” (Quran S.2:255)

“But the Unbelievers,-their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds Allah there, and Allah will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account. Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depth of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!” (Quran S.24: 39-40)

My first thought when reading the Holy Quran – this is the only true religion – absolutely sincere, honest, not allowing cheap compromises or hypocrisy.

In 1959, I spent much of my leisure time reading books about Islam in the New York Public Library. It was there I discovered four bulky volumes of an English translation of Mishkat ul- Masabih. It was then that I learned that a proper and detailed understanding of the Holy Quran is not possible without some knowledge of the relevant Hadith. For how can the holy text correctly be interpreted except by the Prophet to whom it was revealed?

Once I had studied the Mishkat, I began to accept the Holy Quran as Divine revelation. What persuaded me that the Quran must be from God and not composed by Muhammad (PBUH) was its satisfying and convincing answers to all the most important questions of life which I could not find elsewhere.

As a child, I was so mortally afraid of death, particularly the thought of my own death, that after nightmares about it, sometimes I would awaken my parents crying in the middle of the night. When I asked them why I had to die and what would happen to me after death, all they could say was that I had to accept the inevitable; but that was a long way off and because medical science was constantly advancing, perhaps I would live to be a hundred years old! My parents, family, and all our friends rejected as superstition any thought of the Hereafter, regarding Judgment Day, reward in Paradise or punishment in Hell as outmoded concepts of by-gone ages. In vain I searched all the chapters of the Old Testament for any clear and unambiguous concept of the Hereafter. The prophets, patriarchs and sages of the Bible all receive their rewards or punishments in this world. Typical is the story of Job (Ayub). God destroyed all his loved-ones, his possessions, and afflicted him with a loathsome disease in order to test his faith. Job plaintively laments to God why He should make a righteous man suffer. At the end of the story, God restores all his earthly losses but nothing is even mentioned about any possible consequences in the Hereafter.

Although I did find the Hereafter mentioned in the New Testament, compared with that of the Holy Quran, it is vague and ambiguous. I found no answer to the question of death in Orthodox Judaism, for the Talmud preaches that even the worst life is better than death. My parents’ philosophy was that one must avoid contemplating the thought of death and just enjoy as best one can, the pleasures life has to offer at the moment. According to them, the purpose of life is enjoyment and pleasure achieved through self-expression of one’s talents, the love of family, the congenial company of friends combined with the comfortable living and indulgence in the variety of amusements that affluent America makes available in such abundance. They deliberately cultivated this superficial approach to life as if it were the guarantee for their continued happiness and good-fortune. Through bitter experience I discovered that self-indulgence leads only to misery and that nothing great or even worthwhile is ever accomplished without struggle through adversity and self-sacrifice. From my earliest childhood, I have always wanted to accomplish important and significant things. Above all else, before my death I wanted the assurance that I have not wasted life in sinful deeds or worthless pursuits. All my life I have been intensely serious-minded. I have always detested the frivolity which is the dominant characteristic of contemporary culture. My father once disturbed me with his unsettling conviction that there is nothing of permanent value and because everything in this modern age accept the present trends inevitable and adjust ourselves to them. I, however, was thirsty to attain something that would endure forever. It was from the Holy Quran where I learned that this aspiration was possible. No good deed for the sake of seeking the pleasure of God is ever wasted or lost. Even if the person concerned never achieves any worldly recognition, his reward is certain in the Hereafter. Conversely, the Quran tells us that those who are guided by no moral considerations other than expediency or social conformity and crave the freedom to do as they please, no matter how much worldly success and prosperity they attain or how keenly they are able to relish the short span of their earthly life, will be doomed as the losers on Judgement Day. Islam teaches us that in order to devote our exclusive attention to fulfilling our duties to God and to our fellow-beings, we must abandon all vain and useless activities which distract us from this end. These teachings of the Holy Quran, made even more explicit by Hadith, were thoroughly compatible with my temperament.

Q: What is your opinion of the Arabs after you became a Muslim?

A: As the years passed, the realization gradually dawned upon me that it was not the Arabs who made Islam great but rather Islam had made the Arabs great. Were it not for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Arabs would be an obscure people today. And were it not for the Holy Quran, the Arabic language would be equally insignificant, if not extinct.

Q: Did you see any similarities between Judaism and Islam?

A: The kinship between Judaism and Islam is even stronger than Islam and Christianity. Both Judaism and Islam share in common the same uncompromising monotheism, the crucial importance of strict obedience to Divine Law as proof of our submission to and love of the Creator, the rejection of the priesthood, celibacy and monasticism and the striking similarity of the Hebrew and Arabic language.

In Judaism, religion is so confused with nationalism; one can scarcely distinguish between the two. The name “Judaism” is derived from Judah-a tribe. A Jew is a member of the tribe of Judah. Even the name of this religion connotes no universal spiritual message. A Jew is not a Jew by virtue of his belief in the unity of God, but merely because he happened to be born of Jewish parentage. Should he become an outspoken atheist, he is no less “Jewish” in the eyes of his fellow Jews.

Such a thorough corruption with nationalism has spiritually impoverished this religion in all its aspects. God is not the God of all mankind but the God of Israel. The scriptures are not God’s revelation to the entire human race but primarily a Jewish history book. David and Solomon (peace be upon them) are not full-fledged prophets of God but merely Jewish kings. With the single exception of Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement), the holidays and festivals celebrated by Jews, such as Hanukkah, Purim and Pesach, are of far greater national than religious significance.

Q: Have you ever had the opportunity to talk about Islam to the other Jews?

A: There is one particular incident which really stands out in my mind when I had the opportunity to discuss Islam with a Jewish gentleman. Dr. Shoreibah, of the Islamic Center in New York, introduced me to a very special guest. After one Jumha Salat, I went into his office to ask him some questions about Islam but before I could even greet him with “Assalamu Alaikum”, I was completely astonished and surprised to see seated before him an ultra-orthodox Chassidic Jew, complete with earlocks, broad-brimmed black hat, long black silken caftan and a full flowing beard. Under his arm was a copy of the Yiddish newspaper, “The Daily Forward”. He told us that his name was Samuel Kostelwitz and that he worked in New York City as a diamond cutter. Most of his family, he said, lived in the Chassidic community of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, but he also had many relatives and friends in Israel. Born in a small Rumanian town, he had fled from the Nazi terror with his parents to America just prior to the outbreak of the second world-war. I asked him what had brought him to the mosque? He told us that he had been stricken with intolerable grief ever since his mother died 5 years ago. He had tried to find solace and consolation for his grief in the synagogue but could not when he discovered that many of the Jews, even in the ultra-orthodox community of Williamsburg, were shameless hypocrites. His recent trip to Israel had left him more bitterly disillusioned than ever. He was shocked by the irreligiousness he found in Israel and he told us that nearly all the young sabras or native-born Israelis are militant atheists. When he saw large herds of swine on one of the kibbutzim (collective farms) he visited, he could only exclaim in horror: “Pigs in a Jewish state! I never thought that was possible until I came here! Then when I witnessed the brutal treatment meted out to innocent Arabs in Israel, I know then that there is no difference between the Israelis and the Nazis. Never, never in the name of God, could I justify such terrible crimes!” Then he turned to Dr. Shoreibah and told him that he wanted to become a Muslim but before he took the irrevocable steps to formal conversion, he needed to have more knowledge about Islam. He said that he had purchased from Orientalia Bookshop, some books on Arabic grammar and was trying to teach himself Arabic. He apologized to us for his broken English: Yiddish was his native tongue and Hebrew, his second language. Among themselves, his family and friends spoke only Yiddish. Since his reading knowledge of English was extremely poor, he had no access to good Islamic literature. However, with the aid of an English dictionary, he painfully read “Introduction to Islam” by Muhammad Hamidullah of Paris and praised this as the best book he had ever read. In the presence of Dr. Shoreibah, I spent another hour with Mr. Kostelwitz, comparing the Bible stories of the patriarchs and prophets with their counterparts in the Holy Quran. I pointed out the inconsistencies and interpolations of the Bible, illustrating my point with Noah’s alleged drunkenness, accusing David of adultery and Solomon of idolatry (Allah Forbid) and how the Holy Quran raises all these patriarchs to the status of genuine prophets of God and absolves them from all these crimes. I also pointed out why it was Ismail and not Isaac who God commanded Abraham to offer as sacrifice. In the Bible, God tells Abraham: “Take thine son, thine only son whom thou lovest and offer him up to Me as burnt offering.” Now Ismail was born 13 years before Isaac but the Jewish biblical commentators explain that away be belittling Ismail’s mother, Hagar, as only a concubine and not Abraham’s real wife so they say Isaac was the only legitimate son. Islamic traditions, however, raise Hagar to the status of a full-fledged wife equal in every respect to Sarah. Mr. Kostelwitz expressed his deepest gratitude to me for spending so much time, explaining those truths to him. To express this gratitude, he insisted on inviting Dr. Shoreibah and me to lunch at the Kosher Jewish delicatessen where he always goes to eat his lunch. Mr. Kostelwitz told us that he wished more than anything else to embrace Islam but he feared he could not withstand the persecution he would have to face from his family and friends. I told him to pray to God for help and strength and he promised that he would. When he left us, I felt privileged to have spoken with such a gentle and kind person.

Q: What Impact did Islam have on your life?

A: In Islam, my quest for absolute values was satisfied. In Islam I found all that was true, good and beautiful and that which gives meaning and direction to human life (and death); while in other religions, the Truth is deformed, distorted, restricted and fragmentary. If anyone chooses to ask me how I came to know this, I can only reply my personal life experience was sufficient to convince me. My adherence to the Islamic faith is thus a calm, cool but very intense conviction. I have, I believe, always been a Muslim at heart by temperament, even before I knew there was such a thing as Islam. My conversion was mainly a formality, involving no radical change in my heart at all but rather only making official what I had been thinking and yearning for many years.

15 Simple Ramadan Tips

01. Repent to Allah. Start preparing for Ramadan by repenting to Allah subhanahu wata’la. Our hearts are rusty from the sins that we have accumulated since the last Ramadan. We cannot start the marathon of Ramadan in fifth gear without removing this rust from our hearts. And there is no other way of removing this rust except by repenting to Allah. Repent to Allah and abundantly ask for His forgiveness.

02. Learn the fiqh of Ramadan. We often read the ahadiths that inspire us to excel during Ramadan, and in the process, we forget to learn about the
technicalities and legal aspects of fasting. I would recommend you two sources from where you can learn the fiqh of Ramadan.

03. Tie the loose ends that you can tie up before the beginning of Ramadan. If there is a project report that is due in the middle of Ramadan, finish it before Ramadan. Buy all your groceries and stock them in your house before Ramadan. Whatever you want to buy for Eid, buy it before Ramadan. I will not be exaggerating if I say that it is a calamity to go out for shopping during this blessed month. Because going out for shopping will deviate you from your daily routine, distract your focus, destroy your inner peace, cost your precious Ramadan time, and put you in trial, as markets are places where Allah is scarcely remembered. Majority of the stores give Eid promotions during the month of Ramadan and unfortunately people fall for it. You will find that shops are packed when qiyamul layl is going on in the mosques. Isn’t it a calamity that people choose some miserable promotions of duniya over the promotion of Allah subhanahu wata’la?

04. What are your goals for Ramadan? It is a very gloomy reality that Muslims youths today do not have lofty goals when it comes to his or her religion. But the companions were not goal-less. They used to have lofty goals. There was one companion who used to serve the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). His name was Rabee’ah ibn Ka’b (رضى الله عنه). One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) asked him, “Ask for something.” Rabee’ah was among the poorest people of Madinah and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was expecting that he would ask for something related to this world. But Rabee’ah (رضى الله عنه) replied, “I want your companionship in Jannah” See the vision and the dream of a companion of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). But today, Muslim youths have no goal. They do not know what they want to achieve from this worldly life regarding their religion. And it is thus no wonder that they are also clueless about what they want to achieve from the month of Ramadan. So, have a vision. Of course we want to achieve taqwa but we should know how we will achieve taqwa. Do you want to pray all 150 salats in congregation? Do you want to complete the Quran 10 times? Do you want to read tafseer of one juz every day? Do you want to memorize some particular surahs? Whatever your goals are, make a list of them and make a simple routine that will help you to achieve those goals.

(Parting Farewell Advice of Ramadan: Watch this lecture of Brother Nouman Khan where he explained how taqwa can be achieved through fasting)

05. Start preparing a dua list. Ramadan is a great time to make dua. A dua list will ensure that you will not miss out any important dua that you want to make to Allah subhanahu wata’la during this blessed month. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The dua of the fasting person will not be refused.” [Reported by al-Bayhaqi, 3/345; al-Silsilat al-Saheeh, 1797] Learn about the etiquettes and manners of making dua by reading this book Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi (An audio version of the book is available here).

06. Be mindful of your intention. Intention was a thing that the companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) were always extremely careful about. Because intention is the fine line between sincerity and hypocrisy. At the same time, intention is something that is very fragile and it is exceptionally vulnerable to corruption. In of the hadiths, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever fasts one day seeking the pleasure of Allah, if that is the last day of his life, he will enter Paradise.” [Ahmad, 5/391] In another hadith, he (ﷺ) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and with the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 37]Allah subhanahu wata’la blessed us to experience many months of Ramadan, and today we should ask ourselves, “When was the last time we paused for a moment to analyze our intention? Before fasting, have we ever paused and thought about pleasing Allah subhanahu wata’la and getting reward from Him?” So, be mindful of your intentions this Ramadan. Pause and reflect on your intention.

07. Ramadan is not a food extravaganza. We are often told that fasting is a tool to fight the nafs-the lower self. But it often happens that we fast but feel no change in the power of our nafs. Have you ever wondered why? It is because we eat too much. We eat so much during suhoor and iftaar that we actually do not feel hunger except for an hour or so before breaking our fast. We cannot substantially reduce the power of our nafs unless we discipline it by feeling hunger. So if you want to straighten up you nafs, eat moderately.  Also, moderation in eating and drinking will make worshipping Allah easy for you.

08. Observe the sunnah of suhoor. Suhoor is a meal that is taken right before the break of dawn that commences the time of fajr prayer. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) encouraged us to take suhoor by saying, “Have suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing (barakah).” [Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 4/139].

 Eating suhoor differentiates our fast from that of the Christians and Jews. Also it is sunnah to eat dates in suhoor.  The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Suhoor is blessed food, and it involves being different from the people of the Book. A good suhoor for the believer is dates.” [Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 2345; Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/448]

09. Observe the sunnah of breaking fast. The sunnah of breaking fasts are three:

  • Hasten to break your fasts. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The people will be fine so long as they do not delay iftaar.” [Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 4/198]
  • Break your fasts with dates. Anas (رضى الله عنه) said, “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to break his fast with fresh dates before praying; if fresh dates were not available, he would eat (dried) dates; if dried dates were not available, he would have a few sips of water.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 3/79 and others. He said it is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth. Classed as saheeh in al-Irwa’, no. 922]
  • Recite this dua upon breaking fast: Dhahaba al-zama’, wa’btallat al-‘urooq, wa thabat al-ajru in sha Allah. Thirst is gone, veins are flowing again, and the reward is certain, in sha Allaah).” [Reported by Abu Dawood, 2/765; its isnaad was classed as hasan by al-Daaraqutni, 2/185]

10. Share your iftaar with the poor. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 3/171; Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/451] Abdullah ibn Umar (رضى الله عنه) would not break his fast unless he found orphans and poor people to share his iftaar with. If there are no poor people in the locality we are living, we may send some money back home or to countries where there are needy Muslims so that they can have iftaar during this blessed month.

11. Use this Ramadan to improve the quality of your salah. While describing the qualities of a true believer in the Surah Al-Mu’minoon, Allah subhanahu wata’la mentioned salah before everything:

Certainly will the believers have succeeded: they who are during their prayer humbly submissive [The Noble Quran ]

Therefore, it is of extreme importance that we stand before Allah with khushoo (full submissiveness and focus). In his poignant lecture Salah in Focus, Shaykh Abdul Nasir mentioned three factors that prevent us from standing before Allah with humility and full submissiveness:

  • Sinful lifestyle: If we commit sins, we will not be able to develop khushoo in salah. It is simple as that. Sin affects the heart. It destroys the light and tranquility.
  • Not preparing for salah: We prepare for work. We prepare for school. But we do not prepare for salah. Human mind is not a machine. It cannot jump from one state to another like a switch does from off-state to on-state. If you have been writing C++ codes for the last three hours, and you suddenly get up and make wudu and start praying, do you expect that your mind will suddenly become fully submissive to Allah? It will not. You need to prepare your mind for a great salah.
  • Not understanding the Quran

Therefore, this Ramadan should be the time to initiate a change the first two factors at least. Some ways to initiate that change could be: Determine to (a) do siwak and make wudu before every salah (b) go to mosque by walking (c) arrive at mosque 15 minutes prior to adhan (d) Pray tahiyyaatul msjid if there is no sunnah payer to pray upon entering the mosque (e) pray all the sunnah prayers and do not miss any (f) slow down the pace of your prayer and try to achieve khushoo as much as you can (g) memorize some additional opening supplications and adhkars of bowing and prostration  (h) recite authentic adhkars upon completion of fard prayers (i) prepare well before going to qiyamlul layl so that you do not have to go to toilet in the middle (j) do not miss a single takebeer tahreemaf of taraweehl/qiuamul layl (k) go to for jumuah salah early.

For sisters, it is best for them to pray at home. However, there is nothing wrong with going to mosque either, provided that they veil themselves properly.

12. Read Quran abundantly. Ramadan is the month of Quran. It is the month that rejuvenates our connection with the Book of Allah. Allah subhanahu wata’la said:

The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. [The Noble Quran 2:285]

While you should aim to complete the Quran as many times as you can in this Ramadan and read some tafaseer, I encourage you to make the intention in this Ramadan to learn the language of the Quran. Until we understand the Arabic of the Quran, we will never be able to truly feel the sweetness of reciting it and connecting with Allah. The whole Madinah Arabic course that teaches the Arabic of the Quran from scratch has been made available in this website for free of cost. We cannot have excuse anymore to remain illiterate in Arabic. The only thing that we need now to learn Arabic is self-discipline. Sincerely ask Allah subhanahu wata’la to give you self-discipline so that you can learn the Arabic of the Quran before Ramadan 1434.

13. CUT OFF TV (actually there shouldn’t be TV in a Muslim house to begin with) + COMPUTER + INTERNET + CELL PHONE. Shaytan will be locked in the month of Ramadan but he has already made us addicted to these time thieves. I ask you to be honest with yourself. “Can you not finish your true necessities in computer/internet in three minutes everyday?” The answer is, “You can.” But we spend hours in computer and internet for no justifiable reason. However, this is not the way of a true believer. A true believer is time conscious. He avoids distraction. He is not concerned about anything that does not benefit him. So, be time conscious in this month of Ramadan. Completely cut yourself off from TV, computer, and internet during the month of Ramadan. Do not say, “I can’t.” Because “You can.”

14. Refrain from gossiping and vain talk. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever does not stop speaking falsehood and acting in accordance with it, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.” (Al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 1903). So refrain from sin and gossiping and vain talk. I also encourage you to control what you think. Any action is first born as a thought. Engage in the dhikr of Allah when you are not directly worshipping Him. Contemplate over the blessing of Ramadan. The goal should be squeezing benefit from every second.

15. Beware of laziness and complacency. Laziness is the killer. We start the month of Ramadan with a lot of enthusiasm. But after a few days, when this initial impetus evaporates, the true test begins. Ramadan is a marathon and you have to sustain the pace until you finish the cross line. Yes, the body will want to relax but we cannot not give up. Because if we give up and relax, we will not achieve our goals and it will be another forgettable Ramadan. Therefore, do not give up. If you do not give up, Allah subhanahu wata’la will make it easy.

It is easy to talk the talk but it is hard to walk the walk. Giving advice is easy. Executing is the hard part. So, I ask Allah to make us witness the month of Ramadan and I ask Him to make acting upon these tips easy for us during the blessed month. Ameen!

This is a Mercy from Your Lord!

The Quran is a book of wisdom. The miraculous nature of the Quranic wisdom is it can be appreciated from numerous different angles. We may read volumes of tafseer books and spend a lot of time to understand a certain Quranic verse, and yet it is possible that years later when we ponder over this same verse while facing a calamity or a different circumstance, we may unlock a completely new insight from that verse, which we did not discover during our study and research. Allah says in the Quran:

These are verses of the wise Book [The Noble Quran 31:2]

The Quranic wisdom is so profound that a few verses from surah at-Taha was enough to transform Omar ibn al-Khattab from being a staunch enemy of Islam to the second best man (after the Prophets of Allah) to walk on the face of this earth.

That is why we should never stop pondering over the verses of the Quran. The more we will ponder over them, the more we will unlock their hidden insights, inshallah.

One day while watching a Makkah Taraweeh video (these videos play the recitation and the English translation simultaneously), I discovered a new insight from the following verse:

[Dhul Qarnain] said, “This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it level, and ever is the promise of my Lord true.” [The Noble Quran 18:98]

According to the Quranic description, Dhul Qarnain was a mighty but just and righteous ruler. He made journeys in three different directions: to the west, to the east, and finally to the north. The Quran is silent about the direction of his final journey, but many scholars of the Quran are of the opinion that it was probably to the north. Dhul Qarnain continued traveling towards the north until he reached a tract between two mountains. On the other side of the mountains, Dhul Qarnain confronted a nation who did not speak his language. Despite the language barrier, they were able to tell Dhul Qarnain that they intended to give Dhul Qarnain a tribute on the condition that Dhul Qarnain should build a barrier between them and the tribe of Gog and Magog. Gog and Magog used to harm the people of that region by creating mischief and corruption. Dhul Qarnain refused to take their gift, citing that what Allah had blessed him with was better than what they were offering him. He only requested manual labor from them. As per Dhul Qarnain’s instruction, the workers started inserting iron beams between the two cliffs from the bottom. When they reached the top of the cliffs, Dhul Qarnain poured molten copper over the iron beams. Thus a very strong gate was erected, which Gog and Magog were not able to scale anymore. Upon the completion of this project, Dhul Qarnain remarked, “This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it level, and ever is the promise of my Lord true.” [The Noble Quran 18:98]

There is a great lesson for us in this concluding remark of Dhul Qarnain. Because in his remark, Dhul Qarnain first thanked Allah, and gave Allah the credit for this monumental work. Second, he reminded people that this wall will be able to protect them only as long as Allah wishes.

Subhanallah!

Isn’t the humility of Dhul Qarnain amazing? He was an emperor who ruled the East and the West. Yet after building this dam, he did not show any sign of arrogance. Instead, he hastened to attribute this success as a mercy from Allah. Allah has preserved such exemplary humility in His greatest Book.

Even in the times of Jahiliyyah (ignorance), people of most religion would always thank Allah whenever they would achieve something. This was the norm. In our time, however, this trend is becoming non-existent. Rather the trend is to separate God from your achievements.

Today’s society wants you to talk as if YOU have achieved everything. It wants you to talk as if YOU are in full control of your destiny. It makes you believe that if you publicly thank Allah and attribute your success as His Mercy upon you, your will compromise your professionalism.

It is your money, your life, your power, your brain, your effort, your time, your body, your freedom – it is all about YOU and NO ONE ELSE.

Such way of thinking has the basis in atheism and secularism.

And ironically, we Muslims have also been influenced by such way of thinking. I remember many job interviews where I have said, “I earned my degree from University X. Then I did an internship in Company Y”

I did not say Alhamdulillah or anything before I uttered those statements.

Now Allah made me realize the humility of Dhul Qarnain and it hit me.

How can I not praise Allah and thank Him before I say “I earned my degree” when I see millions of children who have been deprived of the opportunity of education? Could I not have been one of them, had Allah willed?

How can I not praise Allah and thank Him before I say “I did internship in company X” when many of my friends, despite trying their best, did not get any internship? Could I not have been one of those unfortunate students, had Allah willed?

How come I am ashamed to thank Allah and praise Him before His Slaves when it is Allah who gave me everything and it is He who will also give me the job?

So, Alhamdulillah, I am trying to change. Now when my Christian boss asks me how I am doing, I answer “Alhamdulillah. I am doing well.”

We should try to change. If we claim to be Muslim, we cannot separate anything from Allah. Allah should be remembered in our thinking, in our actions, in our speech, in our dreams, and in our every breath. After we have put our hope only in Him, and have decided to fear none but Him, there should be no pressure to conform to the ways of secularism and atheism.

There are several benefits of constantly thanking Allah and remembering him in our speech:

First, this is a form of dhikr. Through thanking Allah and attributing our success to Him, we engage in His remembrance.

Second, this is a sign of humility. The life of a true Muslim is nothing about him but everything about Allah. Excluding Allah from our achievement and thinking that our achievement is all about our own effort is the essence arrogance and ungratefulness. Being Muslims, we cannot afford arrogance and ungratefulness. Being Muslims, we firmly believe that we can only try. For the result, we put our trust in Allah. If we fail, we resort to patience. If we succeed, we thank Allah and make our success a means to achieve humility.

Third, constantly thanking Allah is the way to become a grateful slave. Allah loves those who are grateful. And if we are grateful, He will give us more.

Fourth, this is a demonstration that we wear the tag of Muslim with pride. Are you not proud to be a Muslim? You should be. And if you are really proud, then what is preventing you from praising Allah when you have an opportunity to do so? As one Sheikh put it, “I am not only proud to be Muslim, I am also proud of the fact that I am proud to be Muslim [for those who have some knowledge of programming: it is like recursive programming ;)]

Fifth, this is a form of dawah. If my Christian boss suddenly asks me the meaning ‘Alhamdulillah’ and wants to know why we say it, this will be a great opportunity for me to briefly present the beauty of Islam to him.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Islam!

From now on, instead of saying “I have earned my degree”, we should say, “Allah has blessed me with this degree.”

Instead of saying “I have bought a car”, we should say, “Allah has blessed me with a car.”

Instead of saying “I have got a job”, we should say, “Allah has blessed me with a job.”

If we cannot paraphrase a sentence like this, we should simply add Alhamdulillah at the beginning.

Do not miss an opportunity to praise Allah. Praise Allah during your job interviews. Praise Allah during your informal conversations. Praise Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) before you give a speech. Praise Allah as much as you can-both secretly and publicly.

May Allah make us among the ones who constantly in their speech thank Him, remember Him, praise Him, and glorify Him. Ameen.

***

The video that I was watching: Makkah Taraweeh video of the 16th Night, Ramadan, 1431. Superb recitation of the last part of Surah Al-Kahf by Sheikh Saud Ash-Shuraim. Mashallah!