Imam Gazali on Time Management

Eye opening remineder

“Your time should not be without any structure, such that you occupy yourself arbitrarily with whatever comes along. 
Rather, you must take account of yourself and order your worship during the day and the night, assigning to each period of time an activity that must not be neglected nor replaced by another activity.
By this ordering of time, the blessing in time will show itself. A person who leaves himself without a plan as animals do, not knowing what he is to do at any given moment, will spend most of his time fruitlessly. 
Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah.
Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. 
So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. What good is there in wealth that increases while one’s lifespan decreases?
Do not rejoice except in an increase of knowledge or an increase of good works. 
Truly they are your two friends who will accompany you in your grave, when your spouse, your wealth, your children, and your friends will remain behind.”
— Imam al-Ghazali

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A Teenager

Youth aged 12 to 20 are called “teenagers”, “Teenager” is a modern western term that aims to deprive confidence out of the Youth and give them an excuse for their temerity.

take a look at our youth in history:

Abdul Rahman Al Nasser, 21 years old: most powerful prince of Iberia, his era was the golden time of Andalusia, in which he ended the chaos and raised an unrivaled scientific renaissance, making his state the strongest one in his era, which required the leaders of Europe to seek his acceptance.

Mohammed Al Fateh, 22 years old: conquered Constantinople, capital city of the Roman/Byzantine empire, that the top commanders at the time couldn’t approach.

Usamah bin Zayed, 18 years old: led the army of the Muslims that included the top companions may Allah be pleased with them, like Abu Bakr and Umar, to face the greatest armies of the earth at the time.

Mohammed Al Qassem, 17 years old: conquered the Land of Indus, was one of the top military commanders of his time.

Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas, 17 years old: the first to throw an arrow for the sake of Allah and one of six people of Al Shur’ra. whenever he turned to the Prophet while sitting among his Companions, he was greeted cheerfully by the Prophet saying, “He’s my maternal uncle. let every person show me who his uncle is”

Al Arqam bin abi al Arqam, 16 years old: made his house a headquarter for the prophet ﷺ for 13 continuous years.

Talhah ibn Obaidullah, 16 years old: the most generous arab in Islam, pledged an allegiance to death to the prophet in the battle of Uhud, and protected him from the Kuffar and shielded him from the arrows with his own hands until it got paralyzed and shielded him with his body.

Al Zubayr ibn al-Awam, 15 years old: first one to raise a sword for Islam, and he’s the disciple of the prophet ﷺ.

Amr ibn Kulthum, 15 years old: a knight and the leader of the Taghlib tribe, in which it was said that “if it weren’t for islam, the taghlib tribe would have eaten the people”.

Mu’ādh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Jamūḥ, 13 years old. Mu‘awwidh ibn ‘Afrā’, 14 years old: fatally wounded Abu Jahl the leader of the polytheists in the battle of Badr.

Zayed bin Thabit, 13 years old: had the role of writing down the Quranic verses that were sent to the Prophet from Allah through Jibreel. learned the Syriac and Hebrew languages in 17 nights. memorized the Quran and contributed in compiling it, was the personal scribe of the Prophet.

Attab ibn Asid: the prophet appointed him as the governor of Mecca when he was 18 years old.

Ok but how is 20 a teenager fam I don’t want this title anymore

Pleasing Allah

Al Hasan al Basri رحمه الله was asked:“Which would you choose first: to pray two raka’at? Or to enter Paradise?”

He answered “I would pray two raka’at first.”

When asked “why?”, he replied:

“Because praying two raka’at pleases Allah, whereas entering Paradise pleases me. And a polite slave will choose what pleases Allah over what pleases himself.”

When will Allah ﷻ return izza and victory to the Ummah again?


Aleppo, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Libya, Somalia and the list goes on! Why is the Ummah suffering like this? When will it stop? When will Allah ﷻ return izza and victory to the Ummah again? Wallahi my brother’s & sister’s Allah ﷻ and The Prophet (ﷺ) answered these questions for us clearly!

We need to understand that the reason why we are suffering so much as an Ummah is because of our actions. Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah Al-Rum, “[Since they have become oblivious of God,] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea due to what men’s hands have wrought: and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return [to the right path].” Our Ummah is being annihilated due to shirk, bid’ah and major sins widespread. You being in that relationship you shoudn’t be in. You going to that club you shoudn’t go to. Endless sins that we regard as trivial.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) also told us that due to our love of Dunya & hatred of death that the enemies of Allah ﷻ will set upon us like diners set upon food. Showing how vulnerable we’ll become when we get so attached to this Dunya & forget the Akhira. We’re all so guilty of this!

Allah ﷻ put qamu Musa (AS) under drought due to an individuals sin and we lost the battle of Uhud due to the disobedience of one of The Prophet (ﷺ) orders, yet we want victory while we sin 24-7 carefree and fail in our basic tenets of faith?! Again, The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) told us in another hadith that Allah ﷻ himself will send down humililation upon us if we do not return back to the Deen and His path. The way the Salaf (May Allah be pleased with them) understood it!

Wallahi we can protest all day & sign petitions all night but it will make no difference. If we don’t change our mindset and the way we live our lifes we will continue to suffer, for now. “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” – Surah Al-Ra’d [13:11]. We can’t point fingers at the world leaders, double standards and lack of media coverage because that’s not the problem and not where victory lies. It’s us! We’re the problem. Remember the Ummah in your duaa’s, in every sajda.

Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.

Praise be to Allaah.
It is better to offer naafil prayers at home, unless it is Sunnah to pray them in congregation in the mosque, such as the prayers to be offered at the time of an eclipse, or it is narrated that it is encouraged to offer them in the mosque, such as naafil prayers before Jumu’ah. That was proven from the words and actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The evidence for that includes the following:

1 – It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 422; Muslim, 777)

al-Nawawi said:

The words “Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves” mean, pray in them (your houses), and do not make them like graveyards which are devoid of prayer. What is referred to here is naafil (supererogatory) prayers, i.e., offer naafil prayers in your houses.

Sharh Muslim, 6/67

2 – It was narrated from Zayd ibn Thaabit that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made a cubicle – I think he said, made from a reed mat – in Ramadaan, in which he prayed at night. Some of his companions prayed behind him, and when he realized they were there he sat down. Then he went out to them and said, “I know how keen you are to pray behind me. O people, pray in your houses, for the best of prayer is a man’s prayer in his house, apart from the prescribed prayers.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 698; Muslim, 781

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said:

The apparent meaning is that this includes all naafil prayers, because what is meant by the prescribed prayers is the obligatory prayers. But it may be interpreted as referring to all those for which it is not prescribed to offer them in congregation and those which are not to be offered specifically in the mosque, such as the two rak’ahs for “greeting the mosque.” This is the view of some of our imams.

Fath al-Baari, 2/215

3 – It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Shaqeeq said: I asked ‘Aa’ishah about the voluntary prayers of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She said: He used to pray four rak’ahs before Zuhr in my house, then he would go out and lead the people in prayer, then he would come in and pray two rak’ahs. And he used to lead the people in Maghrib prayer, then he would come in and pray two rak’ahs. And he would lead the people in praying ‘Isha’, then he would come into my house and pray two rak’ahs. And he would pray nine rak’ahs of night prayer (qiyaam al-layl), including Witr. He would pray long prayers at night standing and long prayers at night sitting. If he recited Qur’aan standing, he would bow and prostrate from a standing position and if he recited Qur’aan whilst sitting he would bow and prostrate from a sitting position. Wand when dawn came he would pray two rak’ahs.

Narrated by Muslim. 730; there is a similar hadeeth narrated from Ibn ‘Umar in al-Saheehayn.

Al-Nawawi said in his commentary:

This indicates that it is mustahabb to offer the regular naafil prayers in one’s house, as is also the case with other naafil prayers. There is no difference of opinion among us on this point. This is the view of the majority and in our view and theirs, the naafil prayers connected to the obligatory prayers are the same whether they are done at night or during the day.

Sharh Muslim, 6/9

4 – It was narrated that Jaabir said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you finishes his prayer in his mosque, let him give his house a share of his prayer, for Allaah will create something good in his house from his prayer.”

Narrated by Muslim, 778

Al-Manaawi said:

The phrase “When any one of you finishes his prayer in his mosque” means, performing the obligatory prayer in a place where it is offered in congregation. The mosque is mentioned because that is where the prayer is usually held. “Let him give his house” means the place where he lives. “A share” means a portion. “Of his prayer” means, let him do the obligatory prayers in the mosque and the naafil prayers in his house, to bring barakah (blessing) upon his house and family, as he says, “for Allaah will create something good in his house from his prayer”, i.e., because of the prayer. “Something good” means a great deal of good, because he has furnished his house with the remembrance and obedience of Allaah, and the presence and glad tidings of the angels, and the reward and barakah that he brings to his family.

It also indicates that naafil prayers offered at home are better than those offered in the mosque, even in al-Masjid al-Haraam.

Fayd al-Qadeer, 1/418

There is more evidence than this, for the regular naafil prayers of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), his night prayers (qiyaam al-layl) and Duha prayer were all done in his house, but we have omitted (the reports concerning) that for the sake of brevity. What we have mentioned above is sufficient. Some of the scholars have stated that there is a reason for that:

Ibn Qudaamah said:

Offering voluntary prayers at home is preferable, because praying at home is closer to sincerity and furthest removed from showing off. It is an act that is done in secret, whereas doing it is the mosque is in public, and secrecy is better.

Al-Mughni, 1/442

It also serves as a reminder to the forgetful and teaching of the ignorant among the members of the household or those who see him.

With regard to the evidence that it is mustahabb to offer the eclipse prayer in the mosque:

5 – It was narrated that Abu Bakrah said: We were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when the sun was eclipsed. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) got up, dragging his lower garment, and entered the mosque. We entered too, and he led us in praying two rak’ahs until the sun had cleared. Then he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The sun and the moon do not become eclipsed for the death of anyone. If you see that then pray and make du’aa’ until the eclipse is over.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 993

With regard to the evidence that it is mustahabb to offer the naafil prayers before Jumu’ah in the mosque:

6 – It was narrated that Salmaan al-Farsi said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does ghusl on a Friday and purifies himself as much as he can, then puts oil (on his hair) and applies perfume, and does not force his way between two persons (assembled in the mosque for the Friday prayer), then prays as much has been decreed for him, then keeps quiet when the imam comes out (to deliver the khutbah), his sins between that Friday and the previous one will be forgiven.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 868

And Allaah knows best.

Virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah

Among the great seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah has favoured over other days.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” (Bukhari)

This year, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah will inshaAllah start on Saturday the 3rd of September! (Expected)

The previous hadith, along with others indicates that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception. They are even better than the last ten days of Ramadhan, but the last ten nights of Ramadhan are better than the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah, because they include Laylat ul-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months.
Virtues of these ten days include:

Allah swears by things to signify their importance, and Allah has sworn by these ten days in the holy Qur’an, where He says in surat Al-Fajr, {By the Fajr, And the ten nights} [89:1-2] Early scholars which include Ibn Abbas have stated that these 10 nights mentioned in the Qur’an are indeed the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said that these 10 days are the best 10 days of the year, as mentioned in the hadith above.
They are the best days to make remembrance of Allah in. It was narrated from ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” (Ahmad)

They include the day of ‘Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah), in which Allah completed this religion on. Fasting this day erases the sins of the previous year and the following year (minor sins only. Major sins require repentance too). They include the day of “The big Hajj”, which is Eid day (10th of Dhul-Hijjah), and this day is the greatest day of the whole year

So the Muslim should start these days with sincere repentance to Allah, then he should do a lot of righteous deeds in general, and he should pay attention to doing the following deeds:

1 – Fasting

It is recommended for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, because the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) encouraged us to do righteous deeds in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and fasting is one of the best of deeds as mentioned in the hadith qudsi: “Allah says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.” (Bukhari).
2 – Reciting tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed a great deal

As mentioned previous, it is from the sunnah to recite tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (There is none worthy of worship but Allah)), takbeer (saying Allahu akbar (Allah is most great)), tahmeed (saying al-hamdu Lillah (praise be to Allah)), and tasbeeh (saying Subhan-Allah (Glory be to Allah)), during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. We should say these words out loud in the mosques, homes, streets and every place in which it is permissible to remember Allah so that we can perform this act of worship openly and proclaim the greatness of Allah.

Allah says in surah Al-Hajj {That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days..} [22:28]

The majority of scholars are of the view that the “appointed days” are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, because it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the appointed days are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

The way of doing takbeer in these days is as follows:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is none worthy of worship but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise). There are also other ways of saying this.
This takbeer has become a forsaken sunnah nowadays, especially at the beginning of these ten days. You can hardly hear it except from a few. It should be recited out loud, so as to revive the sunnah and remind the heedless. It was proven that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting the takbeer our loud, and the people would recite takbeer when they heard them, i.e., the people would remember the takbeer and each one would recite it by himself. This does not mean that they recited in unison – that is not prescribed in Islam.

Reviving sunnahs that have been forgotten brings a great deal of reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “Whoever revives one of my sunnahs that has died out after I am gone, will have a reward like that of everyone who does it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” (Reported by Tirmidhi)
3 – Doing Hajj and ‘Umrah

One of the greatest deeds that can be done during these ten days is Hajj to the sacred House of Allah. Whoever Allah helps to go on Hajj to His House and do the rituals in the required manner will – inshaAllah – be included in the words of the Messenger of Allah (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “An accepted Hajj brings no less of a reward than Paradise.” (Bukhari)
4 – Udhiyah (sacrifice)

One of the righteous deeds that bring a person closer to Allah in these ten days is to slaughter the sacrifice and to look for a good, fat animal and to spend money on it for the sake of Allah.

5 – Read more Quran

6 – Pray all the Sunnah prayers

7 – Pray the night prayers

8 – Give charity

9 – Spread knowledge

10 – Repent to Allah and seek forgiveness from previous sins

11 – Increase in asking for forgiveness by saying, “Astaghfirullah”

12 – Fast with your body too, i.e don’t look at haram, don’t speak haram, don’t listen to haram, etc

13 – Make Dua’a for the Muslims worldwide

Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi – the Man behind the Armour


He defied the odds in an era of darkness. He set aside the criticism of those who called him crazy for wanting to do the seemingly impossible: uniting the Ummah, standing up to the Crusaders, and returning honor where it belonged. He was respected by both his friends and foes, and is perhaps one of the few men whose name evokes feelings of honor and pride in the minds of so many people in every era and place. Even the generally anti-Muslim film industry in America could not help but portray the honor and righteousness that Salah ad-Din was known for.

We all know of how he laid waste to the Crusaders and had them chasing their tails in the battles of Alexandria, Hittin, Acre, Tyre, Beirut, Nablus, Haifa, Tiberius, Gaza, ‘Asqalan, Jerusalem, and dozens of other cities and towns across Sham and North Africa. We know of Salah ad-Din the warrior. But, who was the man behind the armor? What was he like as a person? What was he like as a Muslim? What personality does it take to carry out such heroic feats and achieve such a status?

In ‘al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah’ (13/5-6), Ibn Kathir said that at the time of his death, Salah ad-Din hardly had any money in his possession, and this is because:

“…of the immense amount of gifts and charity and kindness that he used to show the leaders and ministers under his command, and even to his enemies! I’ve already described this previously. And he was very simple in his clothing, food, drink, and transportation. He would only wear cotton, linen, and wool. It is not known that he ever approached anything forbidden or discouraged, especially after Allah blessed him with his kingdom. Rather, his greatest concern and goal was to aid Islam.”

Ibn Kathir continued:

“This is all in addition to the virtues and unique skills he possessed in the Arabic language, poetry, and history, such that it was said he had memorized ‘al-Hamasah’ (a book of poetry compiled by Abu Tammam at-Ta’i) in its entirety.
And he was very strict in praying on time in jama’ah. It is said that he never missed a single prayer in jama’ah for a great part of his life, even during the illness that killed him. The imam would enter and lead him in prayer, and he would struggle to get up and pray despite his weakness.”

He continued:

“And he loved to hear the recitation of the Qur’an and the reading of ahadith and knowledge. He was constant and habitual in listening to ahadith being read to him, to the point that he would hear a section read to him while he was standing between the ranks of soldiers! He would enjoy doing this and say: “Nobody listens to ahadith in a situation like this.””

He also mentioned:

“He had a soft heart, and was easily swayed to tears when he would hear ahadith.”

He continued:

“And Salah ad-Din was from the bravest of people, and the strongest of them in body and heart despite the illnesses and sickness his body suffered from. This was most evident during the Siege of Acre, where despite the massive numbers of the enemy, he only increased in power and bravery. They had as many as 500,000 soldiers – some say 600,000 – and he killed 100,000 of them.”

He also said:

“He was generous, well-rounded, always laughing and smiling. He would never slack off in any good that he did. He was extremely patient when doing good and worshipping Allah.”

In ‘Siyar A’lam an-Nubala” (15/436), it’s mentioned that al-Muwaffaq ‘Abd al-Latif said:

“I went to Salah ad-Din while he was in Jerusalem, and I saw a king who filled eyes with amazement and hearts with love, whether they were near or far. He was an easygoing person, likeable, and his companions used to try to imitate him, racing towards good actions, as Allah Said: {“And We removed any sense of pain from their hearts, making them like brothers…”} [al-Hijr; 47]

The first night I spent with him, I found his gatherings filled with scholars engaged in knowledge. He would listen intently and participate in their discussions. He would learn how to build walls and dig trenches, and he would then do this himself, carrying the rocks on his own shoulders.”

al-‘Imad said in ‘as-Siyar’ (15/440):

“He would only wear what was permissible to wear, such as linen and cotton. His gatherings were free of vain talk, and they were only attended by the most virtuous people. He loved to hear ahadith being read with their chains of narration. He was forebearing, honest, pious, pure, and trustworthy. He would contain himself and not become angry. He would never turn back someone in need or embarrass someone who spoke in front of him. He was extremely kind and charitable, and he reprimanded me for decorating my utensils in silver, and I replied that Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni mentioned a point of view of it being permissible. And I never saw him praying except in jama’ah.”

Also on the same page, Abu Ja’far al-Qurtubi said that when Salah ad-Din was on his deathbed:

“I finished reciting the Qur’an at the verse: {“He is Allah, besides Whom there is none worthy of worship; the Knower of the Unseen and the seen…”} [al-Hashr; 22] and I heard Salah ad-Din saying: “This is true,” and he was in a coma before this. He then died, and al-Khatib ad-Dawla’i washed his body. He was brought out in a coffin, and Muhi ad-Din bin az-Zinki prayed over him. He was then returned to the room in the garden where he had been sick and was buried in a kiosk. Voices were raised in crying, and it became so loud that even the smart one would think that the whole world was screaming in a single voice. The people were so overwhelmed that some of them were distracted from praying over him. People expressed their remorse at his passing – including the Crusaders, due to how truthful and trustworthy he was.”

adh-Dhahabi said:

“And I never saw a king whose death people were sad for except him. This is because he was loved by everyone: he was loved by the righteous and the wicked, the Muslim and the kafir.”

The above descriptions speak for themselves. 

This was Salah ad-Din. This was the man behind the armor. This was his lifestyle and character, and it was nothing other than this that served as the platform for the amazing feats across the lands that we remember him for today. It was nothing other than his lifestyle and character that made him the one chosen by Allah out of all his contemporaries to have the vision and do the deeds that would make him such a legend.
And this lifestyle and character is something you find common between all of the legends of Islam we have today, be they scholars or Mujahidin. You always find them paying great attention to the following: daily recitation of the Qur’an, studying of the Shari’ah, giving tons of charity, preventing a single useless word (let alone harmful or obsene) from coming out of their mouths, living simple lives free of luxury and excessive comfort. Believe it or not, some of us actually look at these things as difficult, boring, and lacking excitement, and we ignore them out of an inability to comprehend how these would be linked to the heroic deeds that these legends became known for. However, there is no way around it: it was this lifestyle alone that made it possible for these people to live for something greater than themselves – for Islam. There is no way you can dream of defending the Shari’ah if you don’t even have the willpower to implement it on a daily basis in your own life.
One more thing should be mentioned: he wasn’t always like this. adh-Dhahabi said in ‘as-Siyar’ (15/434 and 436):

“Since his time as a ruler, he had abandoned alcohol and worldly pleasures.”
“He used to drink alcohol, and then repented from it.”

That’s right. Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi – this righteous man who singlehandedly changed the course of history – loved to drink and indulge in the dunya before he decided to take on the Crusaders. This small fact teaches us a mighty lesson: not everyone is born into a life of taqwa. The great people we love and admire who are out there were not always so great, and this gives you hope no matter how insignificant or lost you think you are that you can become something truly great one day.

Raising Righteous Children

Praise be to Allaah.

Raising and educating children is one of the duties required of parents. Allaah has enjoined that in the Qur’aan, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also enjoined that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded”

[al-Tahreem 66:6]

Imam al-Tabari said, commenting on this verse:

Here Allaah is saying: O you who believe in Allaah and His Messenger, “Ward off yourselves” teach one another that which will protect those who do it from the Fire and ward it off from them, if it is done in obedience to Allaah and they do it in obedience to Allaah. The phrase “and your families against a Fire” means, and teach your families to do acts of obedience to Allaah so that they may protect themselves from the Fire.

Tafseer al-Tabari, 18/165

Al-Qurtubi said:

Muqaatil said: This is a duty that he owes to himself, his children, his family and his male and female slaves. Ilkiya said: We have to teach our children and families religious commitment and goodness, and what they cannot do without of etiquette. This is what Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And enjoin As-Salaat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaat (prayers)]”

[Ta-Ha 20:132]

And Allaah said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):

“And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred”

[al-Shu’ara’ 26:214]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“And teach them (children) to pray when they are seven years old.”

Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 18/196

The Muslim – any Muslim – is a daa’iyah (propagator)who calls people to Allaah, so the first people whom he calls should be his children and family who are close to him. When Allaah commanded His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to call people, He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred”

[al-Shu’ara’ 26:214]

because they are the first people to whom he should do good and show mercy.

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the parents the responsibility of raising the children and made that obligatory upon them.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” He said: and I think he said, “A man is the shepherd of his father’s wealth and is responsible for his flock. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 583; Muslim, 1829.

Part of your duty is to bring them up from a young age to love Allaah and His Messenger and to love the teachings of Islam. You should tell them that Allaah has a Paradise and a Hell; that His Hell is hot and its fuel is men and stones. The following story contains an important lesson.

Ibn al-Jawzi said:

There was a king who had a lot of wealth, and he had a daughter and no other children. He loved her very much, and he used to let her enjoy all kinds of entertainment. This went on for a long time. Beside the king there lived a devoted worshipper, and whilst he was reciting one night, he raised his voice saying, “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones “ [al-Tahreem 66:6 – interpretation of the meaning]. The girl heard his recitation and said to her servants, “Stop!” But they did not stop. The worshipper started to repeat the verse, and the girl kept telling them to stop, but they did not stop. She put her hands to her collar and tore her garment, and they went to her father and told him the story. He went to her and said, “My dear, what happened to you tonight? What made you weep?” and he hugged her. She said, “I ask you by Allaah, O my father, to tell me, does Allaah have a Fire the fuel of which is men and stones?” He said, “Yes.” She asked him, “Why did you not tell me? By Allaah I will not eat any good food or sleep on any soft bed until I know whether my abode is in Paradise or Hell.”

Safwat al-Safwah, 4/437-438

You have to keep them away from the places of immorality and misguidance; do not leave them to grow up with evil things from the television etc, then after that expect them to be righteous, for whoever sows thorns cannot harvest grapes.  That should be done when they are young, so that it will be easy for them when they grow up, and they will get used to it, and it will be easy for you to tell them what to do and what not to do, and it will be easy for them to obey you.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5868

But the educator must be merciful, forbearing, easy-going and approachable, not foul-mouthed or unkempt, arguing in a manner that is better, far removed from insulting, rebuking and beating, unless the child is one of those who willfully disobey and rejects his father’s commands and neglects his duties and does haraam (impermissible)things; in that case it is better to use stern measures with him, without causing him harm.

Al-Minaawi said: For a father to discipline his child when he reaches the age of discernment means that he should raise him with the characteristics of the righteous believers and protect him from mixing with evildoers; he should teach him the Qur’aan and good manners and the language of the Arabs, let him hear the Sunnah (Prophetic traditions) and the sayings of the Salaf (pious predecessors) and teach him the religious rulings that he cannot do without. He should warn him then smack him (lightly) if he does not pray etc. That will be better for him than giving (dry measure of food) a saa’ in charity, because if he teaches him properly, his actions will be among his ongoing charity, whereas the reward for a saa’ of charity is limited, but that will last as long as the child lives. Discipline is the nourishment of the soul, and training it for the Hereafter.

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)…”

[al-Tahreem 66:6 – interpretation of the meaning]

Protecting yourself and your family from it means reminding them of Hell. Discipline includes preaching, warning, threatening, smacking (lightly, if necessary), detaining, giving and being kind. Disciplining one who is good and noble is different from disciplining one who is difficult and ignoble.

Fayd al-Qadeer, 5/257

Smacking is a means of correcting the child; it is not something that it wanted in and of itself, rather it is resorted to if the child is stubborn and disobedient.

There is a system of punishment in Islam, and there are many punishments in Islam, such as the haddpunishments for adultery, theft, slander, etc. All of these are prescribed in order to set the people straight and put a stop to their evil.

Concerning such matters the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised parents to deter their children from doing wrong.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.”

Narrated by al-Tabaraani, 10/248; its isnaad was classed as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 8/106

Al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4022, it is hasan (good).

So raising children should be a balance between encouragement and warning. The most important element of all is making the environment in which the children live a good one, by providing the means whereby they may be guided; this means that their educators should be religiously committed, including their parents.

One of the ways in which a parent may be successful in raising his children is to use a cassette player to play tapes of teachings, Qur’aan recitation, khutbahs (sermons)and lessons of scholars, for there are many available.

With regard to the books that you asked about, which you can refer to with regard to raising children, we recommend the following:

Tarbiyat al-Atfaal fi Rihaab al-Islam by Muhammad Haamid al-Naasir and Khawlah ‘Abd al-Qaadir Darweesh

Kayfa yurabbi al-Muslim waladahu by Muhammad Sa’eed al-Mawlawi

Tarbiyat al-Abna’ fi’l-Islam by Muhammad Jameel Zayno

Kayfa nurabbi Atfaalana by Mahmoud Mahdi al-Istanbuli

Mas’ooliyat al-Abb al-Muslim fi Tarbiyat al-Walad by ‘Adnaan Ba Haarith

And Allaah knows best.

How to deal when a calamity befalls the Muslim

Praise be to Allaah.Firstly:
Calamities and disasters are a test, and they are a sign of Allaah’s love for a person, because they are like medicine: even though it is bitter, despite its bitterness you give it to the one whom you love – and for Allaah is the highest description.

In the saheeh hadeeth it says: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2396) and Ibn Maajah (4031); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

Calamities are good for the believer in the sense that reward is stored up for him the Hereafter thereby; how can it be otherwise when he is raised in status thereby and his bad deeds are expiated?

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He hastens the punishment for him in this world, and when Allaah wills ill for His slave, he withholds the punishment for his sins from him until he comes with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.”

Al-Fadl ibn Sahl said: “There is a blessing in calamity that the wise man should not ignore, for it erases sins, gives one the opportunity to attain the reward for patience, dispels negligence, reminds one of blessings at the time of health, calls one to repent and encourages one to give charity.
Through calamity the believer seeks reward, and there is no way to attain it but patience, and there is no way to be patient except with resolute faith and strong will.

Remember the words of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

So if calamity befalls a Muslim, he must say Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return), and say the du’aa’s that have been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

How wonderful are those moments in which a person turns to his Lord and knows that He alone is the One Who grants relief from distress. How great is the relief when it comes after hardship. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but give glad tidings to As‑ Saabiroon (the patient).

156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’
157. They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones”
[al-Baqarah 2:155-157]

Muslim (918) narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and says what Allaah has enjoined – ‘Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allaah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ – but Allaah will compensate him with something better.”
She said: When Abu Salamah died, I said: Who among the Muslims is better than Abu Salamah, the first household to migrate to join the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Then I said it, and Allaah compensated me with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Secondly:
There are things which, if the one who is stricken with calamity thinks about them, that will make the calamity easier for him to bear.

In his valuable book Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/189-195), Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned several things, including the following:

1 – If he looks at what has befallen him, he will find that what his Lord has left for him is similar to it or better than it, and if he is patient and accepts it, He has stored up for him something that is many times greater than what he has lost through this calamity, and if He willed He could have made the calamity even greater.

2 – The fire of calamity can be extinguished by thinking of those who have been hit even harder. Let him look to his right, does he see anything but calamity? Then let him look to his left, does he see anything but loss? If he were to look at the people around him, he would not see anything but people who are tested, either by missing out on something that they like, or by having happen to them that which they dislike. The pains of this world are like dreams or like a passing shadow. If you laugh a little you will weep a lot, and if you are happy for a day you will be miserable for a lifetime, and if you have what you want for a little while, you will be deprived for a long time. There is no day of happiness but it is followed by a day of pain. Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: For every moment of joy there is a moment of sorrow, and no house is filled with joy but it will be filled with sorrow. And Ibn Sireen said: There is never any laughter but there comes weeping after it.

3 – It should be noted that panicking will not make the calamity go away, and in fact it makes it worse.

4 – It should be noted that missing out on the reward for patience and surrender, which is mercy and guidance that Allaah has granted as the reward for patience and turning to Him (by saying Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)), is worse than the calamity itself.

5 – It should be noted that panicking makes one’s enemy rejoice and makes one’s friend feel sad; it makes Allaah angry and makes the shaytaan happy; it destroys reward and weakens resolve. If he is patient, seeks reward, strives to please Allaah, to make his friend happy and to make his enemy sad, and seeks to relieve his brothers of their burdens and to console them before they console him, this is steadfastness and a sign of perfection – not slapping one’s cheeks, rending one’s garment, wishing for death and being discontent with the divine decree.

6 – It should be noted that what comes after being patient and seeking reward is pleasure and joy that is many times greater than what he could have got from keeping what he lost. Sufficient for him is the “house of praise” that will be built for him in Paradise as a reward for his praising his Lord and turning to Him (by saying Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)). So let him decide which of the two calamities is greater: a calamity in this world, or the calamity of missing out on the house of praise in eternal Paradise. In al-Tirmidhi it is narrated in a marfoo’ report: “On the Day of Resurrection people will wish that their skins had been cut with scissors in this world, when they see the reward of those who were struck with calamity.” One of the salaf said: Were it not for the calamities of this world, we would come empty-handed on the Day of Resurrection.

7 – It should be noted that the One Who is testing him is the Most Wise and the Most Merciful, and that He – may He be glorified – did not send this calamity in order to destroy him or cause him pain or finish him off, rather He is checking on him, testing his patience, acceptance and faith; it is so that He may hear his du’aa’ and supplication, so that He may see him standing before Him, seeking protection, filled with humility and complaining to Him.

8 – It should be noted that were it not for the trials and tribulations of this world, a person could develop arrogance, self-admiration, a pharaonic attitude and hardheartedness which would lead to his doom in this world and in the Hereafter. It is a sign of the mercy of the Most Merciful that He checks on him from time to time with the remedy of calamity so as to protect him from these diseases, to keep his submission and servitude sound, and to eliminate all bad elements that may lead to his doom. Glory be to the One Who shows mercy by means of testing, and tests by means of blessing, as it is said:
Allaah may bless us with calamities even if that is hard, and Allaah may test some people with blessings.

9 – It should be noted that the bitterness of this world is the essence of sweetness in the Hereafter, as Allaah will turn the former into the latter. Similarly the sweetness of this world is the essence of bitterness in the Hereafter. It is better to move from temporary bitterness to eternal sweetness than the other way round. If this is still not clear to you, then think of what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Paradise is surrounded with difficulties, and Hell is surrounded with desires.” End quote.

Secondly:
In many cases, if a person responds well to calamity, they understand that it is a blessing and a gift, not a test. 

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: A calamity that makes you turn to Allaah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allaah.”

Sufyaan said: What a person dislikes may be better for him than what he likes, because what he dislikes causes him to call upon Allaah, whereas what he likes may make him heedless.

 
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) regarded his imprisonment as a blessing that had been caused by his enemies. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: One day he – meaning Ibn Taymiyah – said to me: What can my enemies do to me? My garden is in my heart; wherever I go it is with me and never leaves me. My detainment is seclusion (an opportunity for worship), my being killed is martyrdom, and being expelled from my city is a journey.

He used to say of his detainment in the citadel: If I were to spend the fill of this citadel in gold, that would not be sufficient to express my gratitude for this blessing. Or he said: That would not be sufficient to reward them for what they have brought to me of goodness.
When he was imprisoned, he used to say when prostrating: “O Allaah, help me to remember You, give thanks to You and to worship You well. Ma sha Allaah. He said to me (Ibn al-Qayyim) one day: The one who is really detained is the one who keeps his heart away from his Lord, and the real prisoner is the one is captive to his whims and desires. When he entered the citadel and was within its walls, he looked at it and said: “So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment” [al-Hadeed 57:13]. Allaah knows that I have never seen anyone who was more content with his life than him, despite all the hardship that he experienced, and the lack of luxury and comfort, in fact the opposite of that, and despite the imprisonment, threats and exhaustion that he faced; despite all of that, he was the happiest of people with his life, the most content, the most courageous, the most satisfied. You could see the signs of joy and happiness in his face. When we felt afraid and were expecting calamity, and we had nowhere to turn, we would go to him and as soon as we saw him and heard his voice, all those fears disappeared and were replaced with contentment, courage, certainty and tranquillity. Glory be to the One who showed some of His slaves His Paradise before they met Him, and opened its gates to them when they were still in this world of deeds and actions, so some of its breezes and fragrance came to them, which made them devote their energy to seeking it and competing in attaining it. End quote.

Al-Waabil al-Sayyib (p. 110).

Ten Causes that Result in Allaah’s Love For His Slave and the Slave’s Love for his Lord

First, reciting the Qur’an while pondering over its meanings and what is meant by it.

Second, getting closer to Allaah by performing voluntary deeds after completing obligatory deeds. This is as is stated in a Hadith Qudsi: “My slave continues getting closer to Me by performing voluntary deeds until I love him.”

Third, continual remembrance of Allaah under all circumstances, with one’s tongue, heart and actions. The extent of one’s love of Allaah is determined by this.

Fourth, giving precedence to what He loves over what you love when you are overtaken by your desires.

Fifth, the heart being avid of Allaah’s Names, and Attributes and the heart roaming in that garden of knowledge.

Sixth, observing Allaah’s kindness, goodness and bounties, both hidden and open.

Seventh, and this is the most wonderful, the heart being soft, subdued and meek before Allaah.

Eighth, being alone with Allaah during the time when the Lord descends during the last portion of the night while reading His Book and ending that by asking for forgiveness and repenting.

Ninth, sitting with the beloved and sincere, benefitting from the most fruitful of their speech. And not to speak unless speaking is more beneficial and you know that it will improve your state and be beneficial to others.

Tenth, remaining away from every cause that comes between the heart and Allaah.

[Ibnul Qayyim al Jawziyyah, Source: Madarij as-Saalikeen (vol. 3, pp. 17-18 )]