WITR

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.

INADVERTENT SINS Q39.47

During our clinical rounds as medical students, we came to the bed of a woman who had terminal cancer with a festering sore. Anyone who has smelt a cancerous ulcer in late stage will testify to the ‘God-awfulness’ of the stench. The nurses had peppered her vicinity with air freshener but the odour persisted and some of us covered our noses and couldn’t wait to get out of there.
ward rounds
Our resident doctor ordered us to remove our hands from our noses and spent an unduly long time sitting at her bedside showing her care.

Reflecting back, we had sinned by showing our disgust at her fetid ulcer. Our emotions were not wrong but our action was. I usually pray to Allah to forgive my sins, those doing both knowingly and unknowingly. I know many of us do too.

How do we commit these inadvertent sins? There are various ways, often from being negligent to those around us.

• Relishing a meal in the presence of him whose stomach is empty and not offering him any
• Talking animatedly of our children or husband to our unmarried or childless friend (I am so guilty of this!)
• Refusing to allow our kids play with children beneath our status or ‘protecting’ them from ‘childless’ people
• Rejoicing at our child’s success in the presence of one whose child is retarded.
• Reading the Qur’an very loudly in the masjid or allowing our kids run amok and disturbing the concentration of he who is praying
• Showing our disdain for a gift given to us
• Showing off our happy married life on social media while our friends are struggling through divorce or other problems

You will observe that these actions are not bad in themselves but they could be construed as improper. We may not have meant to do wrong but the other party feels slighted, and rightfully so.

We have every right to rejoice, to eat, to celebrate and protect our children but we should remember to be sensitive to the feelings of those around us. Being oblivious to their discomforts can cause negativism and ill feelings that should not have arisen in the first place. Let us not live our lives like those described in the verse, oblivious of the consequences of our actions. We should always ask for Allah’s forgiveness for both inadvertent and intentional sins.

Bottom line: Live your life, but be considerate (as much as is possible) of others.

SPIRITUAL GROWTH Q23:115

Abdul-Alim Badejo* was on television reading the Qur’an. Big deal, you might say but this was a 10 year old boy reading the Qur’an in Braille (I didn’t even know that existed) and with proper tajwid!
My husband’s first remark was, ‘And some of us with sight cannot even read.’ How true! Those deprived of their sight seem to visualise the Aakhirah better than those of us with it.

It’s not only bad that some of us cannot read the Qur’an, it’s worse because even our children can’t. Of course they can recite the English alphabets and the numbers backwards including the times table and the National anthem plus a myriad of songs at a very young age but they cannot even say ‘Bismillah.’ So what excuse will suffice?


Indeed, we are truly blessed now. Those of us reading this do not need to send our barefooted children to faraway schools on foot after fetching water from the well 5km away. Schools are everywhere we look; information is at our fingertips; a plethora of learning resources are available; degrees can be earned online.

We will not succeed in this world or in the Hereafter if we do not seek to develop ourselves and our children in every way. Some of us have never had the opportunity of learning the Qur’an while some us dropped it like a hot potato in our youth and have not returned to it since then.

Besides our financial growth, we need to develop in other fields especially spiritually. Just as we will be unhappy if not promoted at work, likewise we should be unhappy at our stunted growth in the deen. Being educated in the deen will help us discern bid’ah from sunnah, Islam from culture and help us to be better Muslims.

No excuses! Create time out of no time! It’s never too late. Nothing is more important than the Aakhirah.

*Not his real name

ARAFAH DAY Q5.03, Q9.36, Q22.26-37

The month of Dhul-Hijjah is one of the sacred months in the Islamic calendar. It is the month of hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) and culminates in the Day of Arafah at the Mount.

It is a day that combines many acts of worship like the prayers of the pilgrims on the Mount, abundant adhkaar, and other hajj rituals.

image credit: http://i.huffpost.com

image credit: http://i.huffpost.com

Allah, the Most Merciful has given us an opportunity to be closer to the pilgrims – in spirit – by fasting on the Day of Arafah.

Preferably, we should commence the fast from the 1st of Dhul-Hijjah till the 9th, which is the Day of Arafah. Tomorrow, the 3rd of October, 2014 is the Day of Arafah in sha Allah.

Narrated one of the wives of the Prophet (SAW): Hunaydah ibn Khalid narrated from his wife on the authority of one of the wives of the Prophet (SAW) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to fast the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, ‘Ashura, and three days of every month…” – Sahih from Sunan Abi Dawud 2437

Fasting on the Day of Arafah absolves of the sins of the preceding year and the coming year, in a hadith narrated by Abu Qatadah (R.A.).

The beautiful verse of Surah al-Maidah verse 3 – in which Allah perfected the religion and named it Islam – was said to have been revealed on this day to the Messenger (SAW) while he was on the Mount.

image credit: portraitofatraveller.wordpress.com

image credit: portraitofatraveller.wordpress.com

As Lailatu-l-Qadr was singled out by Allah as the Night of all nights, so was Arafah day singled out as the Day of all days.

Aisha (R.A.) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’ – Sahih Muslim 1348

I have not been fortunate (yet) to stand on that rock but my heart flies out to those on the plains when I watch them on the screen. We all yearn to be there with them talking to Allah one-on-one. Yeah, I know. I can talk to Him from here but I want to talk to Him from THERE!

*Sigh* Anyway, to those on Hajj right now, I envy you so much right now; and to those of us who will be watching them from home, wishing to be like one of those tiny white specks, our turns too shall come! In sha Allah.

P.S. If you did not fast from the beginning of this sacred month, it’s not too late…yet!

THE BEGINNING OF THE END Q83.18-20

angels in flight
THUMP, THUMP…THUMP, THUMP
He feels himself slipping away
Thump, Thump…Thump, Thump
Like a dancer in a ballet
Thump, thump…thump, thump
He sees the light; that fabled light
Thump, thump
Thump, thump

As all becomes enveloped in night.

With the final thump, he becomes fluid
Like an ocean tossing a seaweed
On angels’ wings, he takes his flight
Defying gravity, gaining height

Mantled in robes of ivory tusk,
All around him, the scent of musk.
With each ascent, they’re put to task;
Reply his name to those who ask

The gates open by beings – pretty
Ahead, behind: splendour, beauty!
Peace and colours; summer in June
His book is registered in Illiyun

His soul’s escorted back to Earth
Right back to the land of his death
No one seems aware that he’s gone
As all around him life goes on.

© 2014 AwK

Blessed Q108:1-3

Hmm…
Sometimes, I am not so crazy about medical practice especially when I have patients that test my patience. Other times, I am so grateful at the learning opportunities they provide me. I had one of both cases yesterday.
surah al-kauthar
I had one who tried my patience; and I had another who made me so grateful for all Allah has blessed me with.
The latter was barraged with a plethora of family, financial and health problems that after she left, I couldn’t help but wonder why I thought I had problems – financial ones.

There are people we encounter daily with illnesses that their millions can do little to alleviate. There are thousands out there with psychological problems and emotional turmoil that all the money in the world can’t fix. People have lost their loved ones; those who haven’t got loved ones; those who haven’t got food to eat, a shelter over their heads; those going to and from hospitals to fix what we doctors haven’t got a clue about…

If you are reading this, remember never to forget how lucky and blessed you are. Indeed, we all are.

Alhamdulillah!

GETTING INVOLVED Q3.154, Q64.11-3

As we live, we learn. We lost a patient today.

Sometimes, we keep our distance from people so we do not get bothered or hurt; so they can’t reach us within our shell. We call it ‘professional distance’. We are told to empathize not sympathise but sometimes, we don’t, nay, can’t obey. Sometimes, we wear our hearts on our sleeves and get so involved such that when they eat, we get filled; they drink and our thirst is quenched; they die and a part of us shrivels up. We grieve for them like they are family.
open grave
Other times, our affinity and commitment implodes in our faces. Either way, everyone says, ‘I told you so’. Such situations eventually cause us to harden, develop shells we withdraw into or just go out there to keep getting hurt.

In spite of these setbacks, we should not avoid volunteering, giving care, or helping the cause of Islam. It doesn’t have to be in a hospital, it could be in the mosque, at PTA meetings, in the office. We should keep trying to attain a state of equilibrium, balance and keep seeking Allah’s Favour. Such experiences make us more wholesome because at the end of our journey on earth, our lives must have mattered to someone.

And to medics reading this, the benefits (of saving lives) far outweigh the demerits. It’s not our call to extend life. Allah simply uses us to achieve His Will. We are not to rely on our strengths as the ultimate for we can only do so much. Our trust should be in Allah. We should do our best and leave the rest to Him.

To the rest of us, put yourself out there and serve people for Islam.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.”

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP Q60.12

This, here, is a medical advice. And free too. So let me cut straight to the bone.

A lot of women have had induced abortions, a lot more are contemplating having, and many more will perform them. It is very sad that Muslims are among this group of women. Don’t you dare think it’s just the single women because it is very common amongst married women particularly for the sake of Hajj, subhanallah.

I will start by laying the blame on us parents.
baby-scan-
No one expects you as a parent to encourage your daughter to get knocked up but when she does and you are the one bringing her in to request an abortion, it’s just plain sad and disheartening. It is bad enough that she committed fornication. Worse is that, if she does get knocked up, she wouldn’t dare to tell us about it, indeed, we are often the last to know. Why? Because, they are scared we will judge them instead of help them through the phase.
It is not something to wear as a badge of honour especially if your daughter is a teen but I bet you that, in a couple of years, we will be proud of our grandchild.

In Nigeria, induced abortions are not legal unless the mother’s life is at stake or for other medical reasons. Most doctors who perform this procedure, often called a D&C, MVA or Evacuation, are merely looking for a quick buck. Others who do this are not doctors but other medical personnel who acquired the skill via apprenticeship. Needless to say complications often follow this procedure if done by unskilled hands.

Years later, these ladies flood fertility centres, with their husbands in tow seeking to conceive. Some do get away with repeated abortions and go on to get married and conceive, but how sure are you that your case will be like theirs?

If Allah blesses you with a child, it is never a mistake. It is a beautiful gift irrespective of the timing and whether it is within or outside wedlock.

The best outcomes of such cases I have seen are when the girl is allowed to deliver the baby and continue with her education while her mother helps raise the baby. These girls often go on to become pillars in their families. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. The girl has erred and there is no point in making things worse.

It is really so sad the incidence of premarital sex and adultery even amongst us Muslims. Women are often served the short end of the stick in terms of sexually transmitted infections, tubal blockage, pregnancies and the complications associated with it, so it really confuses me why we allow ourselves fall prey.

I will share a story with you tomorrow in sha Allah.

OPEN BOOK Q2:271, 274

The modest ones amongst us have fallen into the habit of concealing our good deeds. We conceal them so much that the left hand is unaware of the right hand’s activities. Without a doubt, this is good but we forget that we are the first books our children read. In fact, we could be the only Muslim book a non-Muslim may feel inclined to open. But like those diaries with a lock, they cannot access the beauty of our lives because we have locked them out.

While we perform our deeds, we forget to carry our kids along. They do not see us perform ablution and pray. We do not take them to the masjid for fear of them distracting others. They do not see us give alms, fast voluntarily, pay visits to sick relatives and are unaware we pay zakat. Our co-workers do not see us pray, are unaware we fast, have never heard the recitation of the Quran or a nasheed ringtone. So secretive are we of our actions that you would think we were living in the time of the Prophet(SAW) when he had just a handful of persecuted followers. Are we ashamed?

image credit: mereponderizations.wordpress.com

image credit: mereponderizations.wordpress.com


Who knows? Just a glimpse of us in rukoo may be all that’s needed to encourage a co-worker to take that first step toward Islam. That hijab may spark curiosity in your room-mate to try it on. That ablution we performed with our child may be his first memory of you when he is older.

Let us resolve today to leave our books open for others to read so that through us, in sha Allah, they may be guided to what is right.

A WORK IN PROGRESS Q96.1-5

My friend and I set up a Blackberry Group in Ramadhan of 1434AH and we had a couple of challenges initially (different people, different thoughts). As I handled some difficult situations as one of the administrators, I marvelled at who I had become. I had not even seen myself becoming this individual that I had been praying and wishing I could be. I am not there yet but masha Allah, I recognised some changes in myself and others did too. The old me would not have handled the problems as I had, so I was pleased that there was progress, Alhamdulillah!
work-in-progress
I attribute this to the answering of my prayers to Allah to enable me improve daily and to the writing for this blog. Subconsciously, you start becoming like what you preach. You learn more as you write because for you to write, you have to read. When you read, you know; when you know, you want to share.

I urge you to keep reading the Qur’an in a language you understand, continue reading the Arabic Quran too if you know how to, read other Islamic literature including the Ahadith and attempt writing, if you can.

It is amusing how sometimes, we behave like Allah doesn’t know what He’s saying and we know better. We ignore the fact that the first word of the Qur’an was ‘Read!’ Why, of all the words in the languages of the world, would He select that word as the first? It is because He knows its significance. He knows how colourful knowledge makes our world. We should obey that command and read!

Most importantly, reflect on all you read and try to implement those you can. That’s the hard part. Insha Allah, with the right motives, your life will become richer, more tranquil and you will be happier.