Thursday, November 23

8 tips on preparing for Hajj NOW!

Any Muslim who can afford it and is in good health must perform Hajj. it's an obligation not an option. This once-in-a-lifetime experience for most Muslims requires the utmost preparation and planning beforehand.

Below are some tips to help you start preparing today.

1. Ask Allah
Say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah) and make Dua (supplication) to Allah to help you find the resources and time to perform Hajj this coming year. Only He can make it happen.

2. Discuss vacation time
If you work or have other obligations, you must ensure you get the three weeks to one month off needed to perform Hajj. Check the exact dates of Hajj in the coming year, find out exactly what days you need off (once again, you can talk to your travel agent) and talk to your employer or anyone else who needs to be informed about your plans to give you time off.

3. Start saving up and shopping around
Hajj is an investment. You need to shop around to find a travel agent who can give you the best deal. This is where your meetings with others who have performed Hajj can help.
Look for a Hajj package through a travel agent who offers a wide selection of "packages" for Hajj and who can help you with other details relating to Hajj (i.e. immigration, leading a group through the Hajj, etc.).

4. Start asking about the legal requirements
You need a number of legal documents to perform Hajj.
You will need a visa to go to Saudi Arabia. Find out how long before you have to apply for this, what documents to prepare for it, etc. Make sure your passport has not expired. Be sure to get it, or any other paperwork relating to your residency in your country to be complete before you leave. Start today by calling your local Saudi Arabian embassy to ask about the requirements and preparing the necessary paperwork. Or you can also ask your travel agent (some who offer Hajj packages also help arrange immigration matters for those customers taking their Hajj package).

5. Read about how to do Hajj
There are a number of guidebooks on how to perform Hajj. One of them is A Handbook of Umra & Hajj by Sarwar Alam Raz (which is also available online).
Know the different rituals of Hajj, how and when they are performed, as well as the things to avoid and things that are recommended to do during Hajj.

6. Keep yourself physically fit
Hajj is one pillar of Islam that is physically demanding. Having to walk in the heat, running from Safa to Marwa, these are just some of the rituals someone performing Hajj will have to do.
Start watching what you eat and walking 30 minutes a day or getting involved in any other kind of Islamically permissible activity you enjoy to keep you physically ready for when you go to Hajj, if Allah wills it. Also, get a medical checkup.

7. Make an appointment with those who have made Hajj
Make a formal appointment by phone or in person with someone who has performed Hajj. If you are planning to meet them in person, ask them to bring their Ihram and other things they used during Hajj. Use this meeting to get tips and practical advice from them which you won't find in most guidebooks.

8. Read the Diary of a person who has performed Hajj
If you know of no one who lives near you who has performed Hajj, read the diary of a Hajji by Ishaq Zahid (it's online and it's free!) to get the inside story on Hajj from someone who has performed it.

NB: Remember us in your dua'az when you make Hajj inshaAllah.

Other useful links:


An online
Handbook for Hajj and Umrah or BUY IT!

Diary of haji: Day by Day in Makkah & Madinah

The Inner Dimensions of Hajj: Syed Abul Ala Maududi

A Hajj packing list for Muslim women

Running to Remember a Mother and Her Trust in Allah

The Kaba: It's Size and History!

Zamzam: Notes and Facts

21 Tips for Parents for a Hajj Presentation in a Class

Hajj on CNN

Getting into Hajj Spirits (for non-hajjis)


The Last Sermon of the Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessings be upon him)

One Hajji's apprehension & acceptance of the animal sacrifice

The Place of Prophet Ibrahim in Islam, Christianity and Judaism

The first 10 days of Zul Hijjah: why they matter

15 Supplications for the first 10 days of Zul Hijjah

10 steps to memorising the Quran

Memorising the Quran is a great virtuous deed. It will intercede for the one who memorises it and will also act as prevention for one to enter Hell-Fire. According to ahadith, it is also narrated that Allah will never put a person in Hell-Fire who has any part of the Quran in his heart. The 'Golden Age', as described by the classical scholars is between the ages 5 to 23 years. Definitely the golden age is the best time to memorise the Quran as it is the peak of a person's memory. This age factor is a great bonus and aid for those wishing to memorise the Quran and should be utilised by the person immediately.

Below are 10 simple steps a person needs to practice in order to memorise the Quran fast and effectively:
1. Al-Ikhlas - Sincerity The first step to ease the memorisation of the Quran is sincerity. The person must memorise the Quran for the sake of reward and to please Allah. Not to show off, aim to impress others or in order to get a Job (e.g. as Imaam of the Masjid).
2. Correct the pronunciation and recitation Another factor that will help a person memorise the Quran is to correct the pronunciation and recitation of the Quran. This can be achieved by listening to a Qari whose style of recitation you like and makes you feel connected to the Quran.
3. Specify how many verses you want to memorise on a daily basis For example, commit yourself to memorise 3, 5, 10, 20 verses per day. If you give yourself a target to memorise 3 verses per day, read the three verses you have memorised along with the new three verses you are trying to memorise e.g. If you memorise 3 verses on one day, the next day you should memorise another 3 verses and repeat the verses you memorised the day before. Another tactic to memorise the Quran is to keep repeating the verses at any opportunity with tajweed (tune). The tajweed will cause the person to enjoy the tune of recitation thus allowing the person to memorise that verse.
4. Do not exceed the limit of your day If you have committed yourself to memorising 5 or 10 (for example) verses per day then do not exceed it. Commit yourself to a regular number of verses you wish to memorise everyday and do not change this pattern.
5. Memorise from only one copy of the Quran This is because in every Qurأan, the layout of the verses is different. If you memorise from one copy you will have a mental picture of the verse in your mind, whereas if you attempt to memorise from many different copies of the Quran, it could lead to confusion and difficulty in memorising the Quran.
6. Understanding is a mechanism of memorising Understanding the verses will definitely increase memorisation and also khushoo (ritual fear and focus) during salah.
7. Do not go to another chapter until you finish the chapter you are on Memorising the Quran in chapters is the best way to memorise the Quran as it will be easier to remember where you stopped last.
8. Do not listen to yourself all the time It is advisable to recite in front of someone who is Hafiz ul Quran (who has memorised the Quran) as this will benefit the hafiz and he will correct him on any mistakes he makes.
9. Continuity - Always recite to yourself, wherever you are It has been reported the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said that the Quran will run away from the tongue of a person faster than an untied camel. Make sure you are constantly reciting the Quran wherever you are e.g. on the bus, whilst travelling, relaxing at home etc.
10. Identify the patterns of the verses The Quran is Mutashaabihaat, which means that it has a pattern. Verses often look and sound like each other, which is a great aid to memorising the Qurأan.
Difficulties in memorising the Quran
For those who have passed the golden age, have disability or any hardship in memorising the Quran, it is advisable to have plenty of honey and black seed, which are natural remedies that aid memorisation as-well as cure sicknesses.

Wednesday, November 22

Improving your Relationship with the Qur'aan

1. Before you touch it, check your heart. The key to really benefiting from the Quran is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah's book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was described by his wife as a "walking Quran": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Quran, he lived it.

2. Do your Wudu (ablution). Doing your Wudu is good physical and mental preparation to remind you you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.

3. Start with reading only 5 minutes everyday. Too often, we think we should read Quran for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, Insha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!

4. Make sure you understand what you've read. Five minutes of reading the Quran in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Quran in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.

5. Remember, the Quran is more interactive than a CD.In an age of "interactive" CD-Roms and computer programs, a number of people think books are passive and boring. But the Quran is not like that. Remember that when you read Quran, you are interacting with Allah. He is talking to you, so pay attention.

6. Don't just read, listen too.There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Quran, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your walkman or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Quran reading, not as a replacement for it.

7. Make Dua (supplication). Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Quran. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah


Friday, November 17

Remember Death....

SubhanAllah, i had to share this video....any time you need to remember death....or when your getting too wrapped up in your worldly affairs, take time out and contemplate...and really reflect on why you are here inshaAllah.

""Every soul shall taste death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception."
(Surah Al-e-Imran: verse 185)

Wednesday, November 15

Two Little Girls

by Abu Maryam Smith

Two little girls playing in the sun
One wore a scarf, the other wore none.
"Why do you wear a scarf?" asked the one without.
The other little girl said without a doubt
"Allah loves me to cover my hair
so that little boys won't stand and stare,
when I grow up what I really want to be
is a well dressed Muslim lady like my pretty Mummy."

Monday, November 13

Count your blessings: SubhanAllah

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back,a roof overhead and a place to sleep ...

you are richer than 75% of this world's population.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet,and spare change in a dish someplace ...

you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ...

you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation...

you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can pray in mosque without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ...

you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If your parents are still alive and still married ...

you are very rare.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful...

you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can read this message,

you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you,

and furthermore,you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings to thank ALLAH (God),and pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.


Take heed, be thankful to Allah, for today...."If you wake up in the morning, don't think of the evening, and if you stay alive to the evening, don't think of the morning.
Save from you health to anticipate your sickness. And from your youth to your old age. And from your life to your death. And from your wealth to your poverty. Indeed! You do not know what you will be called in the future."

Wednesday, November 8

Urgent: Shaykh Anwar Al Awlaki

Campaigns : Shaykh Anwar Al Awlaki

Urgent Appeal: Shaykh Anwar Al Awlaki - A Leader in Need 08/11/2006
Urgent Appeal: Imam Anwar Al Awlaki - A Leader in Need

Reports indicate that Imam Anwar Al Awlaki, a prominent Muslim scholar highly regarded in English speaking Islamic circles, has been detained incommunicado for the past two months in Yemen and may face torture or ill treatment in custody. Anwar Awlaki, whilst in the US worked for inter-faith dialogue– working hard to establish a reasoned, nuanced and just form of intellectual dissent in Western Muslims Enabling Muslim communities in western societies to contribute and interact in wider society and contribute to it whilst remaining confident of their Islamic heritage and identity. Regarding the 9/11 attacks, Imam Anwar was quick to state, “What has occurred is a heinous crime. A Muslim can have nothing to do with this.” [1] Imam Anwar was renowned for his justice amongst people, even when Muslim sentiment would seem to be totally against the West; this is typified by one of his statements: “President Bush has showed the Muslim American community some good gestures. He specifically warned the people from committing any hate crimes against their fellow Muslim citizens, and he visited a Mosque.”

Anwar al-Awlaki is a Muslim scholar who was born in New Mexico, and is a US national. His parents are from Yemen, where he lived for eleven years and received the early part of his Islamic education. He served as an Imam in Colorado, California, and later in the Washington, D.C. area where he headed the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and was also the Muslim Chaplain at George Washington University. Prior to his detention, he was resident in Yemen, where he was studying Islamic Jurisprudence with prominent scholars, He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, a M.A. in Education Leadership from San Diego State University and was working on a Doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at George Washington University. He authored many popular audio series including the "Lives of the Prophets", "The Hereafter" and "The Life of Muhammad".

In the early hours of October 17, a Yemeni secret police raid swept up eight foreigners living in Sana'a, under surveillance by the CIA and British intelligence, and at least 12 other men across Yemen. Yemeni authorities insist they dismantled an al-Qa'ida cell and disrupted a gun-running ring to neighboring Somalia. It was subsequently reported that the key to the raids was Anwar Al Awlaki (identified in the media as 'Abu Atiq') who was arrested six weeks before the October 17 swoop. Media reports allege that 'Abu Atiq' was an associate of two of the September 11 hijackers and a protege of Abdul al-Majid al-Zindani, who the US wants arrested on terror charges. They also make allegations of supposed involvement in a foiled al-Qa'ida plot to bomb oil and gas facilities in Yemen.

He is believed to be held in Central Security Prison in Sana'a. Locals in Sanaa insist, perhaps apocryphally, that the two stories of the complex above ground sit atop eight stories underground, where torture rooms and darkened cells are often used. Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International have repeatedly raised concerns regarding arrests and detentions by the Political Security Organ in Yemen, which are carried out with total disregard for the rule of law and for Yemen’s international human rights obligations. Amnesty states that, “arrests are carried out without the judicial supervision required by law and those detained were invariably subjected to lengthy incommunicado detention and interrogations, during which some detainees claim that they were tortured or ill-treated. Detainees have also been denied access to lawyers, as well as being denied the opportunity to challenge the legality of their detention before a court.”For more information about Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, please visit:

Take Action for Imam Anwar Al Awlaki
Write to the US authorities: Demand that the state department fulfils their statutory duties and provide consular assistance and clarify where Anwar Al Awlaki is held; Demand an end to incommunicado and secret detention; detainees should be held only in officially recognized places of detention with access to family, lawyers and courts; Call for human rights laws and standards to be strictly adhered to in cooperation between US security forces and those of other countries, ensuring that torture and ill-treatment, incommunicado detentions and "disappearance" play no part in such cooperation; Ensure his rights as a US national are being protected and that his detention is free from torture or ill-treatment

Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State U.S. Department of State2201 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20520Tel: + 1 202 647 4000 Fax: + 1 202 261 8577

Write to the Yemeni authorities:
Appeal for the immediate release of Anwar Al Awlaki unless he is to be promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence and given a fair trial without further delay in accordance with international fair trial standards

Call on the authorities to respect the rule of law Remind the authorities of their obligations under both national and international human rights law and allow Anwar Al Awlaki access to legal counsel, his family and the opportunity to challenge the legality of his detention
General ‘Ali ‘Abdullah SalehPresidentOffice of The PresidentSana’aRepublic of YemenFaxes: 009671274147

Rashid Muhammad al-‘Alimi Office of the Republic of Yemen Ministry of the Interior Sana’a Republic of Yemen Telephone: 009671332701 Fax: 009671274147

Write to Islamic organisations:
Encourage all Islamic organisations in the US to campaign for the release of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.
Further encourage the these societies in the US to promote the right to a fair trial and the rule of law.
Islamic Society of North America PO Box 38 Plainfield IN 46168 USA Telephone: 0013178398157 Fax: 0013178391840
Council on American-Islamic Relations 453 New Jersey Avenue , S.E. Washington DC 20003 Telephone: 0012024888787 Fax: 0012024880833
May Allah (swt) give the Shaykh sabr, shifa'a, protect him from torture, or ill acts and hasten his release alongside our other brothers and sisters currently captive across the globe.