Food For My Soul: Zikr (#2)

Assalamoaliqum everyone! I hope you all are doing well? As we all know we are reaching almost to the end of this Holy month of Ramadan and I’m kinda sad but it has to end –  you know all good things must come to an end, anyhow so before it leaves us I won’t miss this chance to write something which you can benefit from In’Sha’Allah (If God wills) and in return I can fill my bucket of good deeds as every act of goodness in this month is multiplied by 70. So today I am going to talk about the second most important ‘food for our souls’ and that is “Zikr” – yes –  “Remembrance of Allah”!
As Muslims, we all believe that we are like a traveller in this world and have to leave this world one day but still we work so hard for this worldly life, and do so little for the life Hereafter. We should try to spend more time for worship and do something in this Duniya that can be helpful for us in the hereafter. Zikr is the best thing to do even if we are busy with our worldly affairs. We lose nothing if we remember Allah (Zikr) for a little while or whenever we get free time, even if we are cooking, doing house chores, we can make ourselves busy with zikr and it will count as an Ibadah (act of worship).
Recently I got this noble oppurtunity  of meeting few sisters in Deen, they came all the way from South Africa to Perth and Allahamdullilah we had some real heart to heart conversation and I felt so great and spiritually uplifted in their company. All this for the sake of Allah –  SubhanAllah – the amount of sacrifice they do for ALLAH and on the path of Allah, it can not be explained in words. May Allah reward them for their efforts. I had a beautiful experience with them and most interesting part is they gifted me this book named as “Faza’il – e – A’maal” by Maulvi Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi. This is a beautiful gift I could ever have, may Allah reward them for this. So I started reading this book which is divided into different sections, as I was turning pages I reached a section on “Virtues of Zikr”, out of curiosity I started reading this section. SubhanAllah, I was amazed to see that there are multiple benefits of doing zikr and I have realised that how important it is to include Zikr in our day to day life to gain more Barakah. So, I thought of sharing it with you guys.
Hafiz Ibn Qayyim, a well known Muhaddith has written an authentic book, named, ‘al – Waabilus Sayyib’ on the virtues of Zikr. He has stated therein that the virtues of zikr are more than 100 and he has listed 79 of these. I am gonna share few of these with you not all of them …
  1. Zikr keeps away the satan and weakens his strength
  2. It is the cause of Almighty Allah’s pleasure
  3. It relieves the mind of anxieties and worries
  4. It produces joy and happiness in the heart
  5. It brightens the face and the heart
  6. It attracts one’s sustenance
  7. It invests the zaakirs (person who does Zikr) with awe and sweetness so that the seeing eye is filled with awe and pleasure at his sight
  8. It is the key to nearness to Almighty Allah; the greater the Zikr, the greater the nearness to Allah, and greater the indifference to Zikr, the greater the difference from him.
  9. Zikr of Allah causes one’s mention in the court of Allah, as Quran says “Remember me, and I will remember you”
  10. It gives life to the heart. Hafiz Ibn Taimiyah says that Zikr is as necessary for the heart as water for the fish. Imagine the condition of a fish out of water
  11. It is food for the heart and the soul; depriving them of Zikr is like depriving the body of its food
  12. The words of Zikr keep on moving round the Arsh of Almighty Allah as stated in a Hadith
  13. If one remembers Allah in happiness, Almighty Allah remembers him in his afflictions
  14. It causes Allah’s peace and mercy to descend, while angels surround the person engaged in Zikr
  15. It saves the tongue from indulging in backbiting, loose talk, lies and abuses. It is a common experience that a man whose tongue remain engaged in Zikr does not commit these absurdities. On the other hand, the tongue that is not used in Zikr, falls an easy prey to all kinds of useless talk
  16. By virtue of Zikr, the Zaakir is blessed, as also the person sitting by him.
  17. If Zikr is shared by tears and repentance in loneliness the Zaakir (a person who does zikr) will be blessed under the shadow of Allah’s throne on the Day of Judgement, when hearts will jump to lips due to agony of intolerable heat of that day
  18. The noor of Zikr remains with a person in his life as well as in his grave. It will go infront of him on the Siraat in the Hereafter.
  19. There is a sort of hardness in the human heart, which is not softened by anything except Zikr
  20. Almighty Allah grants His grace to those who do Zikr, and the angels pray for them (Imagine angels are praying for you, Isn’t it worth it.)
  21. By Zikr one is blessed with divine help that associates in all one’s doings. That is why some time man’s achievements surpass his powers, and he attains what was seemingly beyond his reach. This is perhaps the reason why our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) advised his daughter Hazrat Fatima (Radhiyallaho anha) to recite SubhanAllah – Allhamdullilah 33 times each and Allahu Akbar 34 times before going to bed at night, when she approached him for a helper, complaining that she was over-worked by the labour of grinding wheat and doing other house-hold jobs. The prophet (peace be upon him) further said, “The recitation of these Kalimahs is better for you than a servant”
  22. The faces of those who do Zikr remain bright in this life, and will carry a special radiance in the Hereafter
  23. One who does Zikr at many places will find many witnesses in his favour. Our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whatever deed is done, good or bad, by any man or woman on the face of the earth, the earth will describe it all, with date, time and place”
  24. Zikr dispels every fear of the heart. It has a special hand in inducing peace of mind and for relieving the heart of its fear. The greater, therefore, the amount of Zikr, the greater freedom from fear
  25. Gatherings of Zikr are also the gatherings of angels

After knowing all of this who wouldn’t want to do Zikr. I specifically found these virtues so inspiring. So my last note would be: get yourself engaged with Zikr and other kinds of worship, especially in this last portion or Ashrah (ten days) of Ramadan. These days are signified by increasing devotion to worship and increased good deeds. For this reason I have taken these last days of Ramadan off from all social media because I believe it’s important to recharge our souls, connect ourselves to Allah and to get ourselves spiritually uplifted so that we can face the challenges this world has to offer with powerful souls for the whole year. And Ramadan is the best time to do that, to discconett ourself from the social media. That’s all for now, Remember me in your prayers. See you after Eid In’sha’Allah! 🙂

Till then take care and eat healthy! 🙂

Food For My Soul: PRAYER (#1)

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“Coolness of my eyes lies in Salah (prayer)”
(Ahmad, An-Nasa’i)
Muslims are ordered to pray five times a day; to keep renewing their connection with Allah throughout the day and to keep themselves on track. Prayer is like a freedom of the soul from all worldly attachments and materialistic things. And the idea that prayer (salah) could be the coolness of our eyes is something that seems sooooo beautiful.
Prayer has tremendous benefits both physical and spiritual. It energises the souls and help us transcend to a higher level of awareness. Studies show that engaging in regular ritual activities helps us relax, which in turn adjusts our blood pressure and heart rate, and harmonises our breathing. Relaxation reduces the over-secretion of adrenaline resulting from the constant stresses of life. By reducing stress, one empowers the immune system, protects the heart and adjusts one’s blood pressure and circulation. This regular act not only harmonises the soul, but also heals our physical ailments and helps us cope with the tensions of everyday life. Many studies now show the evidence of reduced rates of depression, sorrow and pessimism among individuals who perform their prayers regularly. I actually have experienced this in my life, from the day I started getting regular with my prayers I felt more in peace, more happy and contented.
 
From The Life Of Our Beloved:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a role model for all humanity. And we should take his life as a role model for us in every affair of life and should mould our character and day to day life according to it. After performing my first Umrah, I started learning about my deen (religion), wanted to develop a true love for our beloved Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) so I started this quest for Seerah books. When I started reading about him I got more curious and wanted to know more about him; how he used to do Ibadah (worship), what he used to eat, how he used to spend his day and all that balance of Deen and Duniya he brought into his life so I continued reading about his life and I have learnt few things (still learning) and I’d like to share it with you guys, you know just a little bit of his prayer routine mixing with our current routines.
If you study the life of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), you will get to know how the Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to prayer when he had any worries or problems. Allah says in Qur’an:
“And seek help in patience and prayer, and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for those who have true humility {those who obey Allah with full submission, fear His punishment, and believe in His promise(Paradise) and in His warnings (Hell)}”.
Quran 2:45
Allah also says:
“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and Prayer. Truly Allah is with the patient ones”.
Quran 2:153
Prayer Routine: Early in the morning, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to wake up, drink a cup of warm water with one teaspoonful of honey dissolved in it, and then pray. After Fajr prayer, he rested for meditation and morning Dhikar-Allah (Remembrance of Allah) till sunrise, when he prayed Duha prayer (a non obligatory prayer in the forenoon). This habit is very beneficial for increasing concentration and mood elevation throughout the whole day. Waking up early and drinking a honey tonic enable the brain to secrete enough serotonin to boost one’s mood for the rest of the day. Always try to keep this thing in mind that the 2 hours after sunrise are the peak production time of serotonin, the hormone responsible for a feeling of well being and for uplifting the mood.
After Duha prayer, It is time to start work till noon, when we take another short break to recharge our souls with an extra boost of energy while praying the midday prayer (Dhuhr). Our beloved used to take a short nap (Qailoola) before Dhuhr. You can take 5 to 10 min nap minimum and 30 to 40 min maximum, It’s a power nap and will recharge you for the rest of your day. Then after Dhuhr we resume work till Assar (afternoon prayer) time, about which we are specifically ordered by Allah to respect its timings:
“Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle prayer (the Assar prayer). And stand before Allah with obedience (and do not speak to others during the prayers)”.
Quran 2:238
The middle prayers are believed to be Fjar and Assar prayers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The angels descend to you in succession by night and by day, but they all gather together with you at the dawn and afternoon prayers. Those who have passed the night with you ascend to Heaven and Allah asks them, although He is well aware: “How did you leave my servants?” The angels reply, “They were praying when we left them and when we arrived we found them praying”.
Bukhari
SubhanAllah!
In order to respect ‘Assar prayer timing‘, people should not sleep after lunch time. This is beneficial to health, as sleeping directly after eating slows down digestion and weakens the body. After Assar Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to take another few minutes for meditation and evening Dhikar-Allah. After this little rest, the body is fully reenergised for resuming work till sunset (Maghrib) prayer, after which comes dinner time, followed by some gentle physical exercises such as walking, which aids digestion, benefits the metabolism, strengthens the heart and boosts blood circulation. At the end of the day it is time for the evening prayer (Isha), then a early to bed for a good night’s sleep.
How To Improve Our Salah:
To be able to pray five times a day, to truly enjoy it and find such an intensity of happiness in it that you call it the coolness of your eyes, seems like such a blessing and something to truly aspire to. There are a number of things that we should do to improve our salah and through it our lives in’sha’Allah …
  • So first things first, We should learn more about salah – I will talk about myself here, I really want to review my recitation in salah and whether the movements and positions are accurate.This may seem very basic but whenever I reflected I found out every single time there has room for improvement. Sometimes I perform salah with full speed and worldly thoughts in my mind especially when I am in social gatherings, or in the market, sometimes in the middle of the daily chores. I really need to improve this.
  • I would also like to study a little more about the benefits of salah and also the punishments for leaving salah. I believe that these are the things that will help to inspire and motivate me in’sha’Allah.
  • Reflect on salah – I want to spend a little time reflecting on the words and the meanings in salah.
  • Dedicate more time to salah – I often miss the Nawafil part of my prayers. I really need to work on that. Ramadan is the best time to offer Nawafil and to get into the habit.

So, that’s about it. I will end my blog here but before I leave I’d like to share something which inspired me: In autumn, usually the leaves of the trees fall in large numbers, so much so that on some trees not a single leaf is left behind. The same is the effect of salah performed with sincerity and devotion. All the sins of person offering salah are wiped off. SubhanAllah, Isn’t it amazing? Of course we all want to get rid of our sins, don’t we? I can not even try to explain the marvellous effects of a true prayer. One who practices it will soon feel and learn for himself; it is enough to mention this Hadith here:

 “If one prays two Rakah with full concentration, Allah forgivers that person for whatever sins were committed before”. 
Bukhari & Muslim
So, just try to perform your prayer with a complete sense of humility and submissiveness to Allah. Put all worldly thoughts behind you, in prayer you are directly addressing Allah. You should try to sense the meanings of each word and verse you are reciting; contemplate these meaning as deeply and sincerely as you can to keep you away from whispering of the devil (Sheytaan). Let’s make our prayers better and full of devotion. I will try to follow it as well because all of this is a reminder for myself first and foremost.

‘Food For My Soul’ – New Series

In our religion (Islam) we believe that Allah (God) created human beings with both a body and a soul; the body was created from clay and a soul was a breath from the spirit of the Almighty. Throughout our daily life we eat, drink, work, learn and rest; while we are nourishing our physical bodies, we rarely remember the food of the soul: It’s connection with its creator – ALLAH, how it craves for Allah’s pleasure, compassion and satisfaction. The soul is a specific creation sent by Allah is also satisfied and fed through something that Allah specifically sent, like the Quran (Holy book)

In this day and age, it’s very common to see the imbalance of our spiritual bodies. We spend hours and hours to feed our physical bodies but forget to nourish our souls. The imbalance of the spiritual body actually occurs when the soul disassociates itself and disconnects from Allah; when it strays away from the straight path. We get so much busy in this material or physical world that somehow we lose this connection from our lord. Submission to Allah, connecting back to Him is the only saviour of the soul: It is the only spiritual healer. This is the fact that is well known but intentionally ignored by human beings who vainly search for their happiness and peace of mind in worldly gains and transient trivial pursuit.

To cut the story short, just like we feed our physical body with food everyday, we need to feed our souls as well. This is the food which is very essential for the survival of our souls. Now the question is what exactly is the food for our souls? I believe anything that connects you to your Lord is the food for your soul, either it be the holy book ‘QURAN’, Prayers, Zikar/Remembrance of Allah, or a spiritual lecture, spiritual gatherings or even connecting to nature and remembering Allah. Because Allah has created this world for us to ponder and praise His glory.

Keeping all this in mind I came up with the idea of starting this new series ‘Food for my soul’  in which I will try to draw your attention towards the intake of spiritual food and will try to connect myself first and then you guys with our Lord the most high, the merciful. May Allah help me and guide me in this. So be with me and keep reading this new series “Food for my Soul” to nourish and keep your soul alive. If you have any suggestions for this new series or any spiritual writings please do share with me on my Facebook page ‘My healthy Life’ and I will share it on my blog with your name, In’sha’Allah!

Cheers xx

Pics were taken at the Silver Sands Beach, Mandurah