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In the Name of God بسم الله

Labbaik786

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  1. @amina_ibrahim s/a sister, My apologies for the delayed response. Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers. I kept on going through them and even though everything made sense and I could relate to, there seemed something more stronger that was preventing me. In searching deeper, I think everything I mentioned, even though legit obstacles, was just me making excuses. The real reason I think is that when I am away from my environment, my connection to Him becomes weaker. I think I need to work on connecting with Him in a more stronger way. In saying that, m/A you have so much put yourself in His trust. You have a lot of "blind" faith (in a VERY good way!) in Him. Can you possibly share how ( and maybe why) your heart has reached Him in such a deep way. Once again, thank you for your response.
  2. S/a, I had gone on a business trip/family vacation for a few days. I had my wife and 4 kids with me. Before my travel, I had firmly reinforced my intentions of praying all my prayers on time. This has previously been a weakness for me (praying during travel), but since my spirituality has increased over the last time I traveled, I thought I would fare well. Unfortunately, I failed! :-( My first day was okay, but the remainder 6 days were not! I have been trying to search the reasons for me failing so easily and trying to see what I can do for the future so I do not repeat this poor behavior. So far, I feel the following factors contributed to my failure: quiet place to pray (I was in a VERY busy city and it seemed like there was people everywhere) clean place to pray (issues of najis/unclean areas) "inconvenience" of doing wuddhu - both with dress attire and having to do wuddhu in public areas fear of persecution in this political climate (go figure how much I depend on God!) responsibility of 4 kids being extremely tired and exhausted at end of day (to at least do qadha) being outside the comfort of home (or place I am familiar with) etc Can anyone suggest what I can do to make my connection with God be as strong during my periods of travel? Thanks. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Ironically, I found this (below) in my email on my arrival (it has started helping me and hope it helps others too): Quranic Reflections 6:16. Āyat 66:8 – Turning to Allah (swt) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا Yā ayyuhalladhīna āmanū tubū ilallāhi tawbatan nasūha. O you who believe, turn to Allah a sincere turning (Sūratut Tahrīm, No. 66, Āyat 8) This verse is an invitation to turn back to God after having turned away from Him. For all those who have become distracted from God, have disobeyed Him, and have not made Him the focus of their lives, God calls them back to Him. He asks them to repent for the distance they have created between themselves and their Lord. It should be a sincere repentance based on awe of Allah (swt) and a disappointment with the self. The word nasūhā implies sincerity as well as a firm determination. Its purity prevents a person from returning to the pollution of sin. Turning back to Allah has to have the following qualities: a) Feeling remorse with the heart at having turned away b) Apologizing and seeking forgiveness with the tongue c) Stopping sins and all that turns one away from God d) Intending to continue quality (c), above. When the world is full of distractions and the human being is so weak, it is very easy to turn away from God. This does not only mean committing sins. Sometimes it is possible that a believer is not disobedient. But he is apathetic in his obedience. His connection with Allah is weak despite performing his wājibāt (the required obligations). This distance from God weakens his resolve and creates emptiness in life which he seeks to fill with other things. Allah tells him to turn back to him, sincerely and strongly. Such a turning back is valuable and can transform his life. It is incredible that the human being in all his weakness and smallness turns away from His creator. God in all His greatness and majesty calls him back. Why? After having created him, having blessed him with so much, giving him guidance so he can turn to Him, God still is patient with Him. He does not give up on him and invites him to come to Him. Imam Ali (a) says: Be obedient to Allah and love His remembrance. Picture to yourself that you are running away while He is approaching you. He is calling you to His forgiveness and concealing your faults with his kindness while you are fleeing from him towards others. (Nahjul Balāgha, Sermon 220) In Du‘ā al Iftitāh, recited in the nights of Holy Ramadān, we say: [O Allah] I have not seen a more generous master, patient with a wretched slave, than You are with me. My Lord, You call me and I turn away from You, You show affection to me and I show hatred towards You, You display Your love for me and I do not respond, as though I am above You. But this does not prevent You from having mercy on me, being good to me, and favoring me, through Your Generosity and Nobility Such is the Merciful God we worship. As we enter the season of worship during the months of Rajab, Sha’ban and holy Ramadhan, turn back to God with sincerity and determination. Recite this verse to remind yourself of God’s invitation and accept the call to turn to Him. Life will become much more meaningful and enlightened.
  3. @Abu Hadi THANK YOU for you response. I really appreciate the time you took to explain in such detail. Your answer was so beautiful, that I would give it a 100 likes if I could. I really made everything VERY clear. Thank again
  4. S/a, What are the best practices for mixed gatherings between couples?. When inviting friends and their spouses, are we allowed to sit together over tea/dinner and converse at free will between all genders?. The reason I ask this is because most conversations are not deemed necessary (although there may be communication that has true value in between), but for the sake of strengthening relations, is it the right thing to do?
  5. @Ali_Hussain and @Ibn Al-Shahid I try and do Salatul Layl as often as I can. For now, I manage 2-3 times per week, but want it to become everyday eventually. However, I find myself dosing off at about 8/9 PM and that is usually when I spend time with my wife when the kids go to sleep. But you are right. Salatul Layl is very powerful for the soul and the time to offer it is very special; you feel it! @Ali_Hussain my schedule is pretty much set as that. I do 15 min of quran after fajr, but than the kids wake up, so I have to help with breakfast/getting them ready for school. By night time, I am pretty tired and so it's hard. I do attend Friday prayers, but I like your idea of bringing dates etc. I will be aware of that and keep that in mind. I like your idea of the cleaning part even more. I think it helps with depleting the ego and besides it's something that most people do not want to do. I don't even know who cleans the toilets (how I take it for granted!), but I will find out. Also regular prayer, Alhamd, tend to be on time for the most part. Thank you for your responses :-)
  6. This is politics. Trump probably doesn't even mean half the things he say (nor would Congress allow him to do it, if he comes on). As long as he gets his votes, it doesn't matter how it's done. Unfortunately, he puts Muslims in a compromising situation. However, this is not something that I see as unfortunate, but as an opportunity. Muslims in the U.S. (for the most part) and in other parts have been complacent. Pressure like this forces us out of our comfort zone and has the following benefits: - More attention in media. the attention may be negative, but it is our responsibility to make it positive. We need the best of our speakers on the forefront (e.g. Mahdi Hassan, Yasmin Mogahed etc) and we need to fight for that airtime - Becoming better Muslims in society. We have to become more active in helping within our communities. We first need to treat everyone as humans, rather than Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Atheist etc, because we too are fighting to be considered as humans. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a mass of "would be Trump supporters" having a confused look on their face, because there is a good number of hijabis helping at their church project. - We need to come together. We have issues with people within our own family, community and than everyone else. Our religion teaches compassion and forgiveness and that alone should help us unite. If there are issues, confront them; niceness is not smiling at someone with a dagger hidden behind your back. Unite with a pure heart and the effects are amazing. It is also important to unite with our Sunni and other Muslim brothers and have a common forefront. This makes us stronger, besides we have so much in common and we have been given the intellect to handle that, that we do not agree with. Be graceful. - Widen your horizons. We need to stop the attitude of "joining daddy's business" (as happens in many communities) and being in the same old mentality of doctor, engineer and accountants. We need more public speakers, politicians, PR professionals, IT start ups, financial persons, law makers etc. These are the type of professions that are progressive in the 21st century. The previous ones make one sit in a box having to deal with outsourced colleagues and live a mediocre life. Our Imams were pioneers and that is what we need to aim for and more. They set an example and it seems we got lost along the way. There are many other aspects we can address, but I'm sure my point is passed across. The reason I feel that we have regressed so much (and this is only my humble opinion based on observations), is that we have taken a lot of our religion and replaced it with tradition or even worse with cheap values of the material world. One that understands God, has a close relationship with Him and understands his religion is a very powerful individual. Persons like these are so determined towards their goals and because they do it in His name, they break through every barrier and most times the guidance and energy come in forms that make us wonder!. In having religion, we are also compassionate, but also very confident in our abilities and goals and this is admired by people of all races and religion. This is our time. As Mike Tyson is allowed to exercise his right, so are we. But do we have what it takes to stand up and "win" (proving to other that Islam IS a religion of peace, that we are a productive part of society, that we do have individuals that are pioneers, that we deserve to be respected!)?. I am glad that this pressure is upon us as it give us opportunities and I truly hope that we capitalize on it. If we do not, than we will perish and God will replace us with a better people that will worship and carry themselves towards Him in the way it is required.
  7. In summary, I have slacked over the past years when it came to religion. That has been due to a lack of appropriate guidance, but things changed for me a few years back. These are the following things that I want to take on: 1) Perfecting my prayers (this includes focus/concentration, understanding what I am saying, connecting spiritually with it and knowing the basic rules) 2) Reading the Quran daily (I have barely touched that book over the years, so at present, I am competing with my son :-p - I am interested in improving my makharij, fluency and pronunciation) 3) Reading and understanding tafseer of quran in depth (I really want to understand this book to such a level, that it becomes my guide for "even the next breathe that I take") 4) Learn Arabic (to aid in #2 and 3) 5) Becoming more active within my community - giving and aiding in the name of Allah purely for His pleasure I have 4 kids and a family to provide to (financially, emotionally, mentally etc) as I feel that they have to get the tools AND know how to utilize them as they grow. This requires an "education" that is time consuming. I also owe my time to my wife to build on our bond and lastly, I have a business to attend to. The task I am trying to attempt is huge. For now, I am doing "everything" as and when I get time, but I need to be a little more organized and logical in how I tackle these to fruition. Can you please provide me your suggestion on how I would best be able to tackle this. Please note that, I would like to focus and attend to what is most important first. I also am wondering what if I start with one and the task is so huge and wide, that it takes me years to get to par, what happens to all the others items?. If I tackle all of them together, the progress may be very slow and that can be demoralizing and my knowledge may be limited enough to not make me as "strong and convicted" as I need to be. Your input is appreciated.
  8. This is a very good selection with which I can be very content. However, are you sure that this type of music is halal?. I am not questioning you, but more myself as I have been "washed" with the notion of music being haram in such an intense way that it becomes difficult for me to distinguish. Also, can you please tell me if the following would be considered halal as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sc-ir2UwGU (very similar to Blackmill ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQHsXMglC9A
  9. يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ ۖ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ayats like the above tend to confuse me. When I spend on my siblings (relatives), to help them out, what are the limits. In fact, it is ayats like these that have given rise to this thread. Both I and my wife agree to give, but differ in our definition of giving (spending) and who to give.
  10. @sidnaq see what @notme above has said. My actions are not based solely on right or wrong, but more on enhancing family relations (including that of mine with my wife). I try and be courteous, generous and "submissive" on my part, so as to strengthen our family from the foundation. I have parenthesized "submissive" as it holds a different meaning for me. Submissive, first off, to me, means exercising patience. Patience before speaking or acting, so as to allow one time to digest the situation, before exercising any action towards it. Being "submissive" is also a good exercise to portray in front of ones children, as they learn fast that life is not about "me" and that a reaction does not have to be immediate. Most of all, my "submission" is to Allah, with the hope that he will help me straighten out things and guide me. In his submission, my path becomes easier, clearer and a more successful one at achieving results that I am looking for. I say this last part from personal experience. I by no means define submissive as being a little mouse taking shelter at the first cover I see. Being "submissive" requires a lot of courage, strength and control over ones nafs. Unfortunately, I am not as strong and need to keep on working at this.
  11. @notme I completely agree with the above and live by this. Thank you.
  12. Why not?. Is it just because I am the bread-winner. In this day and age, she has the possibility of being the bread-winner and me being a stay-at-home dad. Does that mean that she is not obliged to take my opinion. I respect her a lot and know the love, care and sacrifices she gives and for that alone, her wishes/opinions are important to me.
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