CelebrateMercy Presents: Hope After Hardship-Lessons from Muhammad’s Migration to Medina

Enjoy CelebrateMercy’s 8th Webcast: HOPE AFTER HARDSHIP-THE  OFFICIAL TRAILER

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CelebrateMercy Presents CM8 Ramadan Webcast “HOPE AFTER HARDSHIP”

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For the Month of July and August and September don’t forget to register for CelebrateMercy’s 8th Webcast which will be broadcasted live on the internet from July10 – Sept 14th of 2014. Check out their flyer and register now so you can watch this live at the times that suit your local time zones. Don’t delay as tickets are selling fast: http://www.celebratemercy.com/register

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Rajab: The Month of Allah!

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By the bounty and grace of Allah SWT (God), we are embarking upon the eve of one of the four sacred months of the Islamic Lunar Calender- Rajab. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah (Nation).” The mere fact that it is the month of Allah means that it is made worthy of exalting.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself would honor it, and when the month entered he would seek its blessings by saying:

Oh Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to reach Ramadan; whosoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab will be granted the great reward of Ridwan (an angel in heaven); the wrath of Allah shall be distanced and the door of Hell shall be closed.”

Salman Al Farsi, (one of the esteemed companions of our Prophet (pbuh) narrated that the Final Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had said that there is a day in the month of Rajab on which if a person fasts and performs ‘qiyam ul layl’ (night vigil), he will receive rewards like a person who fasted for a 100 years. This night is the 27th night and day of Rajab. This is the day when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), traveled to Jerusalem and then ascended to the highest Heavens until he was in the presence of Allah SWT.

Prayer recommended by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the first night of Rajab:

He (pbuh) stated, “ The person who performs a two rakah salat (two unit prayer) in the first night of the month of Rajab after his Isha (nightly prayers) and in the first rakah recites Surah al-Fatiha, Surah al- Inshirah and Surah al-Ikhlas (three times) and in the second rakah recites Surah al- Fatiha ,Surah al-Inshirah and Surah Falaq and Nas one time each and then performs the rest of the salat with the Tashahud and Salaam and sends prayers upon the Prophet (pbuh) and his family. All of his or her previous sins will be forgiven and he will be like one who was newly born from his mother’s womb with no sins on his record.”

 

In essence, the importance of Rajab is for anticipation and the preparation of the Holy month of Ramadan. It is also known as the month of istighfar (repentance). The best way of preparing the heart to receive divine gifts is its purification and repentance.

Some of the scholars have compiled special formulae of isthighfar especially for Rajab. Habib Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad used to recite the following formula 70 times in congregation immediately after Isha prayers every night in Rajab:

“Rabbi’ ghfir li w’ arhamni wa tub ‘alayya.” (Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.”)

Rajab is the month of planting seeds of worship, in Sha’ban you irrigate it with spiritual devotion and Ramadan should be your harvest.

Let’s all pray : Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha’ban wa ballighna Ramadan” (Ahmad)

O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (prolong our life up to Ramadan), so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings. Ameen!

 

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Islam in Aromatherapy

Here is my article in ‘Awakenings Middle East Magazine’ about how aromatherapy originated in Islam and how the Prophet (pbuh) loved scents.

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Father’s Final Wishes

Dear Readers,

Please take a look at this page and help me to fulfill my father’s final wishes that he chose as his favorite cause. May your contribution be a means of blessings in your life eternally and may this benefit my father as well Ameen.

http://www.celebratemercy.com/azhar

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Love Thy Neighbor

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“Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself” – (The Bible)

In the midst of chaos a little bit of Mercy goes a long way. It is month 4 of my father’s battle with cancer and he has been through 4 hospitals, 3 rehab centers and too many sad days away from his home. Our family has experienced, pain, love, fatigue, immense hope, sadness, tranquility, fear and Grace all in these last few months. Sometimes God really shows you His Mercy and reminds you that you are okay and that people love you for who you are. A reassurance that I recently felt and noticed which gave me hope in humanity all over again.

It is one thing to be the recipient of kindness from someone who shares your faith but to be honored and recognized by someone who is not, holds a lot of weight. My mother is a typical desi aunty,(of Indo-Pakistani decent)  who immigrated to America in the early seventies with her Urdu accent and national dress called the shalwar kameez. She has been a pioneer in her own way for Muslim Americans who had to learn how to live in non-Muslim lands within the guidelines and teaching of Islam. A task that was not easy in her youth as many did not know what Islam was in those days. She came here with my father and no other relative of hers to give her guidance, but was able to preserve her own identity and be able to maintain her dignity and individuality as a naturalized American Muslim.

As a teenager I used to feel embarrassed at the fact that my mother always looked and appeared more Pakistani than American. I used to feel that my mother did not do enough to integrate into the American society or improve her English or make any effort to make non-muslim friends. Today I was proven wrong. My parents moved to Southern California about 27 years ago and they have lived in the same house in the same neighborhood since then. They are still surrounded by the same neighbors that they had back in the eighties. Though my mother may not be very worldly, one thing she is for sure is true to herself, her faith, her people and her God. She is who she is and that is all that matters. It is so great to get to know my Mom through the lens of our old neighbors of 27 years. Today this Thanksgiving weekend I was shown how much my mom was loved for who she is and what she stands for.

Our neighbors who live right across from us are wonderful Christians who invited my mom and gave her the honor of inviting us to their home and having her light their Christmas tree to kick-start the mark of the Christmas season in their household. They picked my hijabi (one who covers her hair) mom, who barely speaks English and never has been inside a Church; to honor her and to also remind her that she is not alone and that there is always hope. I cannot tell you how special we all felt as her children and how proud we were of her and how she always maintained her dignity, her honor, her culture, her religion. I came to realize that not only did she maintain her culture and religion but she also was successful in maintaining relations with her neighbors despite her differences with them. All along I was wrong in my belief that my mom was not integrating into her society. In fact, I was completely wrong about my mom, she is the sole person who has always been a true “Samaritan” and always had maintained ties with all of her loved ones, her relatives, her community members and her neighbors. Every Christmas holiday, Eid Holiday, birthday, my mom was the first in sharing gifts and baking goodies and distributing food to the neighbors for the last 27 years consistently. She not only did that but also anytime there was a reason to morn or to visit someone in time of need my mom was the first one there and the first to offer her help to others. She never looked at their ethnicity or religion but just cared for others because her Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) always emphasized the importance to be good to one’s neighbors as they have rights over us. Today I realize that Mom has done a lot for Islam and today our neighbors will always remember that Mom is just as precious as any other member in our street and that being a Muslim is as special as being a Christian, Hindu or a Jew. We are all people of the same God, if only everyone would get it!!

Sayings of our Prophet (pbuh) about relations with our neighbors:

  • Look how the Prophet (pbuh), exhorted Muslims to be good to their neighbors and to honor them when he said: “… and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his neighbor generously.”
  • The Prophet (pbuh) said: “By the One in whose Hands [1] my soul is, no slave of Allah has true faith unless he likes for his neighbor what he likes for himself.” A person who is good to his neighbor is the best of people in the sight of Allah The Almighty, as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best companion in the sight of Allah is the one who is best to his companion, and the best neighbor in the sight of Allah is the one who is the best to his neighbor.”
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CelebrateMercy Presents “To Know Him is to Love Him” in Southern California! this October 26th 2013

If you are in Southern California and love our Beloved Messenger, you don’t want to miss this event. Buy tickets now and/or donate towards this amazing organization.
Dinner, talks, amazing scholars and nasheeds.

http://www.celebratemercy.com/love; http://www.celebratemercy.com/donate

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