Assalam alaykum!

I hope you all had a wonderful Eid. Mine was remarkable in many ways because we travelled to my husband’s hometown. It was lots of hard work but it was also a wonderful change of scenery, getting to bond with other members of the family and loads of playing for the kids!

During our stay, a family member complained about the noise the mosque beside them made. Everyone totally understands the five daily adhan but after the adhan, the imam prays holding the microphone then after the prayer, a quranic recitation is played for about 15 minutes – all blaring through the loud speakers!

It makes me angry just thinking about it! WHY should anyone feel it is alright to do that?

There was a time former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola was closing down places of worship due to noise pollution. It really can be a nuisance.

Imagine you were awake all night trying to pacify your newborn and finally, success! Baby is nodding off then the adhan blares through the loudspeakers and not the usual 2 to 3 minute-long one.

Or you suffer insomnia and simply couldn’t sleep all night. Dawn comes, you make your salah but the loudspeakers won’t turn off1

It is a guaranteed way to ruin a person’s day.

I have the same problem with churches too which conduct their entire service with the speakers blaring. If I wanted to join the service, I would enter the church, I don’t need to be compelled to do so from home. I know some mosques like to compete with churches but the loudspeaker thing is simply inconsiderate.

Another peeve of mine is when we Muslims obstruct free flow of traffic for Friday Jumuah. The first flames of the Jos crisis of 2011 were said to have been sparked by a lady passing in front of Muslim men who were praying on the road.

When it is time for Jumuah, many Muslim business owners would sit tight at their places of enterprise until they hear the iqamah then they suddenly jump up with their prayer rugs and sachets of water to begin performing ablution. Wherever the prayer meets them on the road to the congregational mosque, they begin prayer especially right in the middle of the road. Many more latecomers join and voila, the road is obstructed!

When going for lectures in the university, I had to wait for juma’a to be concluded before I could go. People get late for appointments, emergencies, commitments because Muslims are praying on the road. Nurses who are to resume their shifts at 2pm often run late once they forget that it’s Friday. Patients may not be able to access a hospital close to a Juma’ah masjid (congregational mosque).

It was narrated that Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said:
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Beware of stopping to rest and praying in the middle of the road, for it is the refuge of snakes and carnivorous animals, and beware of relieving yourselves in the middle of the road, for this is an act that provokes curses.'”- Sunan Ibn Majah Book 1, Hadith 353

I have witnessed how annoyed both Muslims and non-Muslims are and honestly, I don’t understand why we have to inconvenience the entire populace of a town because we are praying. I do not know how it is done in other countries but in most states north of the Niger, this is the norm.

I really wish we can reverse some of these trends. Do you have any peeves of your own? Do share!


The world is becoming polarised – rapidly so.

During our early years, our home – during Eid al-Adha – was packed with both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It was an annual gathering of food, fun and laughter. For a long time, I never really understood the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims. I knew the Lord’s prayer and a couple of hymns as a child and had Christian friends who lived close to mosques and could recite Al-Fatihah and the adhaan.

It was not a big deal at the time.

Imagine my shock when I went to pick my son from school and saw a non-Muslim girl praying with the Muslims.

It is a big deal in these times.

One of my earlier memories of the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims was when my widowed aunt (who was living in our boys’ quarters at the time) declined our parcel of beef during Eid al-Adha because she had been so instructed in church. In our Islamic school, we were only told to avoid the traditional religion worshippers’ rites and practices, and of course, their food. I did not understand why she refused our beef but saw my parents’ smiles of acceptance and accepted it too. I wondered if they took offence but never asked.

These days, I ask before I offer my food. If they decline, I do not take offence but instead appreciate their honesty.

Eid mubarak to every one especially the pilgrims!


I love hearing the adhaan…but only in melodious tones, I must admit. I am often slightly peeved when I hear an off-key call to prayer but hastily remind myself that the muadhin (caller to prayer) is fulfilling one of the most important duties in the mosque. By virtue of calling the adhaan, he also calls the iqamah which is a shorter adhaan recited just before the prayer itself.

I often find myself humming to the adhaan or reciting along with the muadhin if I am familiar with the melody. Imagine how people would stop in their tracks if a woman’s voice was heard from the minaret speakers! :D
adhaan in english muadhin
The adhaan is like the theme song of the life of a Muslim, first heard (by a born-Muslim) by its recitation into his/her newborn ears. Ideally, during the call to prayer five times a day, Muslims are required to be silent and repeat after the caller except where he says, ‘Hayya ala Salah’ and ‘Hayya alal falah’ (meaning ‘Hurry to prayer’ and ‘hurry to success’ respectively). La hawla wa la quwatta ila billah is the response here.

It is not to be made if you are praying alone. The iqamah alone is enough if you are praying on your own.

After the adhaan:

Narrated by Jabir Ibn Abdullah, who reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW)said:
‘Whoever says when he hears the Call of Prayer, “Allahummah Robba haadhihi’l-da’watil-taam-mah wa’l-salaatil qaa’imah, aati Muhammadan Al-waseelata wa’l-fadeelah, wab’ath-hu maqaaman mahmoodah alladhi wa’ad-tahu. (O Allah, Lord of this perfect call and prayer to be offered, grant Muhammad the privilege and also the eminence, and resurrect him to the praised position that You have promised), will be granted my intercession on the Day of Resurrection.” – Sahih al-Bukhari Book 65, Hadith 4719

I must admit that I do take the adhaan for granted because I always hear it wherever I live. I cannot imagine a silent dawn! It must feel very lonely to be in a town where no adhaan is heard. May Allah strengthen the bonds of brotherhood among Muslims in such places.

The freed Abyssinian slave, Bilal ibn Rabah (RA) was the first muaddhin while Ibn Umm Maktoum (who was blind) was his ‘deputy’ in calling the adhaan.

It is sunnah for two rakats to be made between the adhaan and the iqamah for Fajr.

Anas bin Malik narrated that :
Allah’s Messenger said: ‘The supplication made between the Adhaan and Iqamah is not rejected.’ – Jami’at-Tirmidhi Book 2, Hadith 64

The janazah prayer made on the deceased is devoid of adhaan and iqamah. It is believed that they were recited at birth. In essence, our lives occur between that tiny spate of time between the adhaan/iqamah and the prayer itself…


I went to pick my son from school about 2 minutes before closing time and met them concluding the Zuhr prayer. I lingered for them to finish their supplications and went to assist my son to put on his socks and footwear. While I smiled and interacted with some of the students, a little girl caught my attention. I wondered why a non-Muslim girl was allowed to pray with the Muslims.

No, I did not mind that she was praying with them. Kids are curious and naturally drawn to the Muslim prayer. I was worried that her teacher allowed her knowing how much of a big deal her parents would most likely make of it. To confirm my worries, I asked her name and it was not a Muslim one. Many Muslims do not bear Arabic or Muslim names but her name was distinctly Christian/English.

I left with my son but my mind kept returning to the girl like the tongue would return to an oral sore so I decided to have a word with the teacher the next time I saw her. I told her of my observation and how the girl’s mother might not take kindly to seeing her daughter making the Muslim prayer and she said:

‘Oh, she has converted!’

My brows probably reached my hairline as I contemplated how a 4 year old Christian girl was allowed to convert to Islam, then she clarified that the girl’s mom had converted following her marriage to a Muslim so she had requested that her daughter joined the Muslims in prayer.

I let out a short bark of laughter mixed with relief and tinged with delight.

‘Are you serious?’ is all I managed to say while my lips formed a huge grin.

In my mind, I was doing a crazy little jig and screaming: Masha Allah, Alhamdulillah, a revert! Wohoo! Alhamdulillah! That’s so AWESOME!

I am soooo going to be on the lookout for her! :D

May Allah reward the Muslim men who bring women into the fold of Islam. I sincerely hope they do not coerce them though. That would defeat the purpose. I did mention that my mom is a revert but it wasn’t immediately she married my dad, not because of him and definitely not under duress. It’s been a couple of years since his demise and she’s still going strong.

PS: I couldn’t help but wonder if the girl’s name was eventually going to be changed though; and if she would simply accept it or challenge it. 4 year olds can be pretty sure of themselves!

Do you think her parents should change her name? Why? I would love to hear your thoughts.


You stumble across a good book and review the wisdom of the writer with some of your friends. They share your enthusiasm and applaud the writer’s skill…until they find out (s)he’s non-Muslim then the praises stop abruptly. You can almost see the guardrails come up and click firmly in place.

In my humble opinion, that;s just plain silly!

Allah (SWT) says:

‘HE who taught Man that which he did not know…’
He did not say ‘ only Muslims’.

It is quite childish to think that all the bright ideas must come from the Ummah for it to be deemed fit for use. No one has the monopoly of knowledge that is why we transgress all bounds when we look upon ourselves as self-sufficient in knowledge.

Indeed, when we stick our noses in the air at non-Muslim sources, we behave in a manner similar to those who opposed the Prophet (SAW)’s message. They saw the sense in his words but could not think beyond the fact that he was unlettered albeit, from a good family.

image credit:

It is from a blackened pot that (white) cornmeal emerges – Nigerian adage. Image credit:

Allah can inspire whom He wills with whatever knowledge He decides for indeed, He is able to do all things. The onus is on us to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Prophet (SAW) said: Wisdom is the lost property of the believer and he has a right to it wherever he finds it.- Jamiat Tirmidhi Book 41, Hadith 43

(Please, note that this is not permission to plagiarise or infringe on copyright).

May Allah grant us the humility to discern wisdom from the most unlikely sources, and use this wisdom to benefit the Ummah.


Assalamu alaikum, dearies.

It will be the 1st of last month of the Islamic calendar tomorrow in sha Allah. It is auspicious time for Muslims and we are advised to fast during these days. Eid-l-Adha (10th Dhul Hijj 1436) is most likely to fall on the 24th September, 2015 in sha Allah. Here is an old post on 10days.

And the post on Witr as promised…

Witr is an odd-numbered prayer whose time range is the same as for Tahajjud.

It is supposed to be the last prayer of the night so it can be made just after ‘Isha if you are unlikely to wake up for night prayer or after Tahajjud (night prayer). It can be tahajjud if prayed singly or it can be made after a couple of rakats of Tahajjud.
cupped hands in prayer
It is recommended to recite after Suratul Fatihah, the following surahs: Surah-al ‘Ala (Qur’an 87) in the first rakah, Surah al-Kafirun (Qur’an 109) in the second then Surah al-Ahad (Ikhlas), Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas (Qur’an 112-114) in the third rakah. However, any part of the Qur’an can be recited.

The Qunut is a special du’a oft-recited during Witr while standing, before or after the last ruku’ (bowing). Here is a transliteration:

Allahumma ‘hdini fiman hadayt; wa afini fiman afayt; wa tawallani fiman tawallayt; wa baarik li fiman aatayt; wa qiini sharra ma qadayt. Fa’innaka taqdi wala yuqda alaik. ‘Innahu laa yadhillu man wa alayt, wa la yaizzu man adayt. Tabarakta Rabbana wa ta alayt.

‘O Allah, guide me along with those whom You have guided, strengthen me with those whom You have strengthened, be an ally to me along with those whom You are an ally to and bless for me that which You have bestowed. Protect me from the evil You have decreed for verily You decree and none can decree over You. For surety, he whom You show allegiance to is never abased and he whom You take as an enemy is never taste glory. You are blessed, our Lord, and Exalted.’

After the Witr, say:
Subhaanal malkil quddus, Subhaanal malkil quddus, Subhaanal malkil quddus, Rabbul malaaikati waruh. (Glory be to the Master, the Holy 3x, Lord of the angels and the Ruh (Jibril).

Ask Allah for His forgiveness and make the supplications you desire. If you have a du’a list from Ramadan, you can use that too.
You may conclude your prayers and return to bed or wait for Fajr and make the recommended two rakahs before Fajr.

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated: I once stayed over at the house of (my aunt ) Maimuna while the Prophet (SAW) was with her, to see how was the night prayer of Allah’s Messenger (SAW) …When it was the last third of the night (or part of it), the Prophet (SAW) got up and looked towards the sky and recited the Verse: ‘Verily! In the creation of the Heavens and the Earth….there are indeed signs for the men of understanding.’ (Qur’an 3:190) Then He got up and performed the ablution, brushed his teeth and offered eleven rakat. Then Bilal pronounced the Adhan whereupon the Prophet (SAW) offered a two-rakat (Sunna) prayer and went out to lead the people in Fajr. – Sahih al-Bukhari Book 97, Hadith 78

May our ibadah never be in vain.

Sources: Fiqh us Sunnah Volume 2 and Fortress of the Believer.

TAHAJJUD Q17:79, Q25:64

It has been a while that I have wanted to write this post but I wanted to include it in a Prayer Series. I still haven’t gotten around to doing the series yet but hopefully, this post will evoke the desire to begin the series.

Tahajjud (which I used to confuse with Tarawih which is essentially Tahajjud in Ramadhan) is a voluntary late night prayer. I read that whoever desires something and has not prayed Tahajjud for it does not really want it.

It is a prayer highly recommended by Allah, preferably made during the last one-third of the night when Allah is most receptive to our pleas. It can be made anytime from after ‘Isha (the last prayer of the day) till before Fajr (the first prayer of the day made at dawn). There are a good number of verses that mention those who forsake their beds at night to seek Allah’s Face.

Here in Northern Nigeria and indeed other parts of Nigeria where there are masajid, there is usually a call to prayer roughly and hour before Fajr prayer. One could get up at this time for Tahajjud.

Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying:
Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him?… – Sahih Muslim Book 6 Hadith 202

It is a time when the world is asleep and there are no interruptions and you can allow yourself be overcome by emotion without feeling people’s eyes on you. It is a serene time when you truly feel enveloped in Allah’s Mercy and connect with Him.

‘Actions are by their intentions’ so if you desire to pray tahajjud, make the intention before you fall asleep. A hadith mentions that after making the intention, if one is overcome by sleep and forgets to wake up, he will still be rewarded for what he intended.

I would recommend eating light and going to bed early particularly for the hypertensive amongst us. Lack of a good night rest tends to elevate the blood pressure, tahajjud or not so ensure you get at least 6hours of sleep at night.

On waking, thank Allah then brush your teeth or use a miswak and perform wudhu. Wake others if they are interested.

Spread your prayer rug and make two rakat at least. It can be as many as you want – even numbers only. The prayers can be said in units of two with tashahud (At-tahiyatulillah…) in between each two units and teslim (Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah) at the end, before the Witr. A single Witr prayer can also suffice for Tahajjud, however but one can make Tahajjud and pray Witr afterwards. (I will discuss Witr in the next post in sha Allah.)

If you begin to feel sleepy to the point that you become unaware of your utterances, it is allowed to return to bed.

After the Tahajjud, you may recite of the Holy Qur’an as much as you can/wish and make supplications you desire. It is a perfect time for reflection.

We should all endeavour to make this a habit as Allah loves a consistent deed even if small.

May Allah accept our supplication.