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 Your Divine Brother

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Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu anhu) reported:
The Allah's Messenger (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) used to urge (the people) to perform (optional Tarawih) prayer at night during the month of Ramadan. He did not order them or make it obligatory on them. He (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) said, "Whosoever performs (optional Tarawih) prayers at night during the month of Ramadan, with Faith and in the hope of receiving Allah's reward, will have his past sins forgiven."
As taken from Riyad-us-Saliheen
*This Nafl Salat has been interpreted in Ahadith as Qiyam Ramadan. Later on they were named Tarawih. Tarawih is the plural of Tarawihah. Since the Companions of the Prophet (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) and the successors of the Companions used to make a lengthy Qiyam in them and they would take rest after performing every four Rakah. This is how these came to be named Tarawih. (4 Rakah are called Tarawihah).
*Tarawih are in fact Tahajjud prayers. For the sake of convenience and benefit of the maximum number of people, it is performed in the Month of Ramadan soon after Isha prayer, along with the latter, which is the early time for Tahajjud prayer.
*Tarawih were performed in congregation, is established from the conduct of the prophet (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam). He led this Salat on 23rd, 25th and 27th of Ramadan. During his caliphate, Umar (Radi Allahu anhu) started it again and ordered Ubayy bin Kaab and Tamim Ad-Dari to perform them in congregation.
The Prophet (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) did not continue it out of fear that it will be made obligatory; otherwise he would have carried on with it.
Narrated Aisha (Radi Allahu anha) :
Allah's Messenger (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) used to offer Salat in his room at night. As the wall of the room was short (low), the people saw him and some of them stood up to follow him in the Salat. In the morning they spread the news. The following night the Prophet (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) stood for the Salat and the people followed him. This went on for two or three nights. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) did not stand for the Salat the following night, and did not came out. In the morning, the people asked him about it. He replied, that he was afraid that the night prayer might become compulsory.
Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:696
When the fear that this practice be made obligatory was over, Umar (RA) (during his caliphate) gave it the form of Nafl prayer and revived the mode of performing it collectively, and thus fulfilled the desire of the Prophet (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam). In spite of all these facts, it is still permissible for one to perform Tarawih individually in the late hours of the night. Since ordinary people are not capable of performing it individually, the step taken by Umar (Radi Allahu anhu) is perfectly correct. If this had not been done, the majority of the people will have remained deprived of the blessings and reward of Qiyam-ul-Lail, which would have been a great deprivation indeed.


Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Beware of envy because envy consumes (destroys) the virtues just as the fire consumes the firewood," or he said "grass."[Abu Dawud].


Envy is one of the major sins which are bound to destroy virtues as fast as the fire burns the wood and dry grass to ashes.
270/1569 - Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)



A Most Distinguished Night

By Sayed Qutb
(From on high, We [Allah] bestowed it [i.e. the Qur'an] on the Night of Decree. Would that you knew what the Night of Decree is! The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. On that night, the angels and the Spirit by their Lord's permission descend with all His decrees. That night is peace, till the break of dawn.) (Al-Qadr 97:1-5)
This surah speaks (loosely translated as "the Supreme Society," including Allah and the angels). That night marked the beginning of the revelation of the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), an event unparalleled in the history of humankind for its splendor and the significance it has for the life of humankind as a whole.
Its greatness is far beyond human perception. (From on high have We [Allah] bestowed it [i.e. the Qur'an] on the Night of Decree. Would that you knew what the Night of Decree is! The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months) (Al-Qadr 97:1-3).
The Qur'anic statements that relate this great event radiate with Allah's clear and shining light: (From on high We [Allah] bestowed it on the Night of Decree) (Al-Qadr 97:1).
There is also the light of the angels and the Spirit moving between the earth and Al-Mala' Al-A`la. (On that night the angels and the Spirit by their Lord's leave descend with all His decrees) (Al-Qadr 97:4).
In addition, there is also the light of dawn that the Surah represents as perfectly harmonious with the light of the Qur'an and the angels as well as with their spirit of peace. (That night is peace, till the break of dawn) (Al-Qadr 97:5).
The night in question here is the same night referred to in Surat Ad-Dukhan:
(From on high We [Allah] bestowed it [i.e. the Qur'an] on a blessed night, for We would warn [humankind]; on a night when every precept was made plain as a commandment from Us. We have ever sent forth messengers as a blessing from your Lord. It is He alone Who hears all and knows all.) (Ad-Dukhan 44:3-6)
It is clearly established that it is a night during the month of Ramadan, as stated in Surat Al-Baqarah:
(It was in the month of Ramadan that the Qur'an was revealed: a guidance for humankind and a self-evident proof of that guidance and a standard to distinguish right from wrong.) (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
This means that the Night of Decree marked the beginning of the revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet and his mission of delivering it to humankind.
Ibn Ishaq related that the first revelation of the Qur'an, consisting of the opening Surat Al-`Alaq (The Clot) took place during the month of Ramadan, when Allah's Messenger was at his devotion in the Hiraa' Cave:
A number of hadiths specifying this night have reached us. Some stress that it is on Ramadan 27, others on 21; a few others say it is one of the last 10 days and still some others do not go beyond saying that it is in Ramadan.
Its name, Laylat Al-Qadr, or the Night of Decree, may be taken to mean deliberate planning, management, and organization, or it may mean value, position, and rank.
Both meanings are relevant to the great, universal event of the revelation of the Qur'an and the assigning of the message to the Prophet. It is indeed the greatest and most significant event the universe has ever witnessed.
It is the event that explains most clearly how human life benefits by Allah's planning, management, and organization. This night is better than a thousand months. The figure here and elsewhere in the Qur'an does not signify a precise number. It simply denotes something very high. Many thousands of months and many thousands of years have passed without leaving behind a fraction of the changes and results brought about during that blessed and happy night.
This night is too sublime for us to recognize: (Would that you knew what the Night of Decree is) (Al-Qadr 97:2). However, there is no reason to attach any value to the legends circulated concerning this night. It is great because Allah chose it for the revelation of the Qur'an, so that its light may spread throughout the universe, and divine peace may spread in human life and conscience.
That night is great because of what the Qur'an includes: an ideology, a basis for values and standards, and a comprehensive code of moral and social behavior; all of which promote peace within the human soul and in the world at large.
It is great because of the descent of the angels, Gabriel in particular, by their Lord's leave, carrying the Qur'an. They fill all the space between heaven and earth in such a splendid, universal celebration, vividly portrayed in this surah.
When we look today in retrospect, after the lapse of numerous generations, at that glorious and happy night, imagine the fascinating celebration the world then witnessed, and ponder over the essence of revelation and its far-reaching effects on human life and values, we appreciate how great this event was. We can then understand, to some extent, why the Qur'anic reference to that night is made in such an equivocal way: (Would that you knew what the Night of Decree is) (Al-Qadr 97:2).
On that night every matter of significance was made plain and
distinct; new values and standards were established; the fortunes of
nations were determined; and values and standards were sorted out.
Humanity, out of ignorance and to its misfortune, may overlook
the value and importance of the Night of Decree. When humanity
does so ignore it, it loses the happiest and most beautiful sign of
grace that Allah bestowed on it.
It also suffers the loss of the real happiness and peace gifted to it by Islam, namely, the peace of conscience, family, and society. What it has otherwise gained of material civilization is inadequate compensation for its loss.
Humanity is miserable in spite of higher production levels and better means
of existence. The splendid light that once illuminated its soul has been put out; the happiness that carried it high up to Al-Mala' Al-A`la has been destroyed; the peace that overflowed in peoples hearts and minds has disappeared. Nothing can compensate for the happiness of the human soul, the heavenly light and elevation to the loftiest ranks.
We, the believers in Islam, are commanded not to forget or neglect this event. The Prophet has taught us an easy and enjoyable way to commemorate it, so that our souls may always be in close communion with it and with the universal event that it witnessed.
The Prophet has urged us to spend this night of each year in devotion. He said, "Seek the Night of Decree in the last 10 nights of Ramadan." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.) He also said, "Whoever spends the Night of Decree in worship, with a pure motive of faith and devotion, will have all his past sins forgiven" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Islam is not mere formalities. Hence, the Prophet specifies that the consecration of that night must be motivated by faith and devotion. This would make its consecration by any individual an indication of his or her full awareness of the far-reaching effects of what took place on that night.
The Islamic method of education and character-building links worship with faith and establishes truth in our hearts and consciences. By this method, worship is considered a means for maintaining full awareness of this truth, its clarification, and its firm establishment in our minds, hearts, and souls. This method has been proved to be the best for the revival of this truth so that it has an unfailing influence on people's behavior.
The theoretical understanding of this truth cannot, on its own and without worship, establish it or give it the necessary impetus for its operation in the life of the individual or the society. This link between the anniversary of the Night of Decree and its consecration in faith and devotion is a part of the successful and straightforward method of Islam.

* This article is based on the English translation of the author's work Fi Zilal Al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Qur'an), Volume XVIII, Trans. and ed. by Adil Salahi, published by The Islamic Foundation and IslamOnline.net.
**Sayed Qutb (1906-1966) was a prominent and influential Muslim intellectual and writer. He wrote many books about Islam and its distinctive features as a comprehensive way of life. Among his most important works is his exegesis of the Qur'an In the Shade of the Qur'an, which was widely welcomed among Muslims and established itself as one of the best references in Qur'an exegesis.



Except those who (regret and) repent afterwards, and mend their ways. (If they do) then indeed, Allah is the most Forgiving, and the most Merciful!

The Prophet (pbuh) has said:

[Bukhari, Book #93, Hadith #485] "Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the Prophet "O Allah's Apostle! Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke Allah in my prayers." The Prophet said, "Say: O Allah! I have wronged my soul very much (oppressed myself), and none forgives the sins but You; so please bestow Your Forgiveness upon me. No doubt, You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

[Sunan Abudawud, Book #14, Hadith #2596] "Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: Ali ibn Rabi'ah said: I was present with Ali while a beast was brought to him to ride. When he put his foot in the stirrup, he said: "In the name of Allah." Then when he sat on its back, he said: "Praise be to Allah." He then said: "Glory be to Him Who has made this subservient to us, for we had not the strength, and to our Lord do we return." He then said: "Praise be to Allah (thrice); Allah is Most Great (thrice): glory be to Thee, I have wronged myself, so forgive me, for only Thou forgivest sins." He then laughed. He was asked: At what did you laugh? He replied: I saw the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) do as I have done, and laugh after that. I asked: Apostle of Allah , at what are you laughing? He replied: Your Lord, Most High, is pleased with His servant when he says: "Forgive me my sins." He know that no one forgives sins except Him."

If Satan Was an Angel, Why Did He Disobey God?


Question and answer details
Name of Questioner: Jamal
Reply date: 2013/07/14
Question: Salam aleikom wa rahmatoelahi wa barakatoh. One day I was reading one of the answers given on a question posed about free will of mankind. A fragment of that answer was: "Remember that the angels were told to prostrate to Adam (Al-Baqarah 2:34 and elsewhere). Man can be regarded as higher than the angels from the perspective that he has free will and can choose to do right or wrong; he can choose to worship and obey Allah. The angels, on the other hand, have no free will to choose. They simply do what they are created or "programmed" to do." I started thinking, because the topic of free will has my interest. Here comes my question; If man has free will and angels do what they are created or programmed to do, how then is it possible that Satan (then an Angel) did not prostrate for Adam and thus disobeys Allah? Jazaka Allah Khairan
consultant: Ahmad Saad
Salam Jamal, 
Thanks for the question. I really appreciate your keenness to learn and broaden your perspectives.
In fact, the whole topic of free will is very interesting, yet, a misunderstood topic. Almighty Allah has honored humans and endowed them with two important gifts.
The first is the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, and that is attained by the very clean human instinct and then furthered by the dos and the don'ts as explained by Shariah.
The second gift that was given to humans by their Creator is the free will to choose between what is good and what is bad. Of course, this choice is not a blind one; rather, it is based on the Divinely-endowed will and the nature that is able to differentiate between right and wrong.
Bearing all this in mind, none can ask to be excused on the Day of Judgment because they had no knowledge of what is right and what is wrong or did not have the free will.
The simple reason for this is, as explained before, that people do have the ability to discern what is correct and what is not, and are endowed with responsible will that enables them to take full responsibility of all their words and deeds.
This very notion of being able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong puts humans in a delicate test to explore and show their real obedience to their Creator.
Therefore, people who make the effort, struggle against their will and direct it towards Allah are better than angels in that sense.
This is because angels do not have this free will. They are there for specific purposes and to do specific jobs like carrying the messages of Allah to the messengers of Allah, protecting human beings and recording their deeds.
Because they have no free will, and they are just cut for obedience, angels will not be reckoned on the Day of Judgment, because there is no point of doing that to them.
Of course, this is then completely different from human beings who, on the Day of Judgment, will be taken to task for their deeds and punished or rewarded according to their choices.
Some people may question: if angels were created to obey and have no free will, how come then that Satan said: "No" when he was commanded to prostrate, amongst all other angels, to Adam? Is not that considered to be disobedience and thus it gives an indication of some kind of choice?
The simple answer to all this is no, simply because Satan was never one of the angels and never will be.
So, if that is the case, what is the whole story behind the Satan's being mentioned in the same context and what brought him to the scene? To answer this question, we need to refer to the Quran itself and the books of exegesis.
The Quran tells us in another place that Satan was one of the jinn and he disobeyed the command of his Lord.
Almighty Allah says:
{And (remember) when we said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam. And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was one of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command.} (Al-Kahf 18:51)
In his commentary on this verse, Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, one of the most well-known translators of the meanings of the Quran, wrote: "The fact that Iblis or Satan is one of the Jinn and not of the angels, though he was among the latter, explains his disobedience, since Jinn, like men, can choose their path of conduct." (Pickthall, The Holy Quran, pg. 186)
With this in mind, we can understand what our scholars tell us that Iblis (a name of Satan) was actually one of the jinn, and was so obedient to Allah that He raised him, for wisdom and a purpose, to higher ranks and he was living in the heavens, worshipping with the angels.
When he was commanded to prostrate to Adam, he was there in his place amongst the angels, but because of his nature, he was still endowed with the free will to choose.
His presence there was definitely for a purpose. Probably, it was a test and Almighty Allah knew that Satan was going to do this.
Either way, Satan was not one of the angels and therefore, the characteristics of the angels do not apply on him.
One final thing remains. Humans have an eternal enmity with Satan and know that Satan is sparing no efforts all the time to misguide and mislead them. Therefore, they should be very cautious and alert, never to fall in the snares of Satan.
Islam teaches that the way out is to resort to Allah all the time and pray to Him for guidance and protection. Muslims are taught by the Quran to seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan and say: "I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan."
May God protect us all from Satan and forgive our sins and mistakes.
I hope I have answered your question. Please keep in touch.

[GOD'S Limitless Glory]

"He is God, the Creator, the Maker who shapes all forms and appearances! His [alone] are the attributes of perfection. All that is in the heavens and on earth extols His limitless glory: for He alone is almighty, truly wise!"
[Quran – 59:24]

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands."
[Acts 17:24]

Feeding Others Who Are Fasting
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, 
"Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward." 
[At-Tirmidhi, authenticated by Al-Albani (rahimahullaah)]
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said,
"Those who have the ability should strive to feed those who are fasting (when it's time to break the fast) either in the masaajid or in other places. This is since whoever feeds a fasting person, he will receive the same reward as the one fasting. So if a person feeds his brothers who are fasting, he will receive the same reward as them. Therefore, those whom Allaah has granted wealth should take advantage of this opportunity to obtain a great reward."
[48 Su'aalan fis-Siyaam]



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Searching for "truth," could take someone through different paths.
Which truth?
That which makes you look forward to living. That which gives you passion to live.
In that search there maybe different paths:
Religious paths, "self-created" paths out of conceptual understanding, and the path of "doing what everyone does," all of those paths will bring different experiences.
Religious paths are ways of reforming the self. In other words, the belief that we are "sinful" beings who need to be reformed to align with some "plan."
That is, God's plan or some other "elevated" vision of whom I should be. The issue is that most of the time, the emphasis on changing into a virtuous being, is surrounded and manipulated by rituals and devotional practices which are meant so we can belong to a particular creed, rather than allowing that person to explore his own limits and discover by himself what being virtuous is all about.
After all, it is truly a pathless path which may need a little "push" from "up above" to get us started.
Therefore, that original reform becomes a source of dependency, that is "I am virtuous, or I am with God as long as I belong to that particular path." With that narrowed vision of what is truly meant to be unlimited, universal and wholesome; fear will be built rather than trust in life, in my own capacity and abilities.
That is, doubting in my own honesty to be spiritual.
Thus, someone is not spiritual just because that person does not practice a particular ritual, but because there is no sense of inner balance and inner beauty in their life; harmony is lacking. In a sentence:
"When the smile in the face does not come from serenity of the heart."
"Self-created paths," means to create your own flavor according to the whim of the moment. There is the danger of misunderstanding in this path.
For instance if I want to try Taoism as a guiding path, there is the main teaching there of "being natural" and doing what is "natural."
Obviously this word "natural" may get interpreted in different ways according to my whims and my state of consciousness.
Thus, doing what is "natural" may not be what is "right."
For that reason, it may be important to start our spiritual quest through the direction of some sort of reformation.
Why is reformation important?
Because as long as a person does not know about his "higher" destination in life (other than getting a great job, a big house and a beautiful partner,) that person will be lost in life. What we are looking in life is not something more to "do," BUT to "BE."
Peace, serenity, love…those are not small things to "be."
Those things cannot be bought with money or degrees or social status.
If that is your goal and you do not know where to start, you may need to look into reforming the self, for the "brainwashing" of "doing" before "being" needs to get out of our system.
Then, your search has truly started.
The Path of "doing what everyone does," is the path to be like everyone. More "doing." That simply means entropy. Going down.
Why is that?
Because it is the world of duality, the world of search for pleasure over pain. The world of "me" versus "them." The world of divisions, the world of "getting things done."
None of the above mentioned paths is the "only path." As a matter of fact, different combinations of those paths will be experienced by many.
In life we can recognize that there are no 2 people who are the same. Similarly, there cannot be 2 paths which are alike.
Nevertheless, "true" spirituality starts with a search. It has to be a search of something, which we know exists, even though we cannot put it in words. We cannot search for something, which we do not know what it is.
Life will bring the other ingredients towards finding that which we are looking for according to our sincerity, our honesty.
Then, honesty is the most important part in "being spiritual."
Spirituality is for those who are sincere, honest. For those who are not afraid of viewing themselves as who they are, without covers. For those who do not perform to satisfy the "normal" status quo. For those who do not pretend.
It is in the heart of that main virtue of honesty, where all other virtues could appear.
Life will only peel the layers of confusion out, so the gem could shine. Chiseled by the experiences of living life; it will be bright; all by itself, as the sun rises in the horizon dispelling the clouds of confusion of the mind.
 Your Divine Brother

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[Attachment(s) from Satya included below]


Desires will never end but our sense organs will be worn out. The state of Bliss cannot be experienced by a wandering mind seeking sensuous pleasures. It can be achieved by self-knowledge, self-realisation and yoga with the Supreme
Situations are a reminder to bring out positive qualities.
Every situation is an excuse to bring out qualities from us, good or bad. It is upto us what we want to use. If we continue to blame situations to bring out anger, ego or any other negative trait, it will continue to increase. On the other hand, if we use the positive qualities, we find them increasing. So, in any situation it is important for us to remind what positive traits we have and use them. Today I will learn from one situation. I will check if I am able to maintain a positive state of mind or not. I will create a thought, based on a learning from the situation, making my mind positive. I will then be able to add power to the situation, instead of losing my own power.
The Power to Pack up (cont.)

As I progress on my spiritual journey, even thoughts that waste the precious resources of the mind come to be seen as a barrier. Turning a scene over in my mind repeatedly is an example of waste, that will rob me of the mental concentration and emotional stability I need to keep moving forward. Sometimes we do get stuck, like a broken record, in such mental grooves, without realizing what we are doing.

The power of pack up means I recognize the damage caused by such waste, and put an end to it. As I renew the awareness of myself as a soul, in relationship with the Supreme Soul, the needle of my attention is lifted above the groove, letting me come fully into the present.

I also learn to be selective in what I choose to remember or forget from the past. This is not dishonest; in fact, it is being honest to my task. Human beings in any case have highly selective memories. We not only see and understand differently, according to our individual interests and agendas, but our attitudes and perception also determine the memories we choose to store.

Meditation enables me to exercise this option quite deliberately, picking up those scenes from the past that nourish me and help me move forward, and rejecting memories that pollute my mind and slow me down.
Soul Sustenance

How Often And Why Do I Need To Meditate?

As with anything else, the more we practice meditation, the more we feel the benefit of what we are doing. We do need to practice meditation regularly because the habits of:

i. identifying with our physical form,

ii. succumbing to mental and emotional negativity (in the form of waste and negative thoughts) along with negativity in words and actions,

iii. becoming attached to the physical as well as the non-physical, and

iv. being dependent upon the experience of physical stimulation of any sort (from e.g. food, movies, people, sports etc.) for happiness are extremely deep.

These habits have deepened over a period of many many births, because of repeating them regularly, due to a lack of spiritual awareness. As a result, in the present moment also we regularly and quite easily slip into these four habits.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Message for the day

To be prepared for obstacles is to remain cheerful under all circumstances.

Projection: Generally there is always a wish not to have to face any obstacles. When we begin something new we usually have a thought to have things going perfectly well. So when obstacles do come we are not prepared and we experience dissatisfaction and sorrow.

Solution: Whenever we start something new we need to prepare our mind that we are sure to be faced with obstacles. Along with it we also need to understand that these obstacles actually teach us something new and it is only with such situations we can learn.

 Your Divine Brother


Attachment(s) from Satya

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