Anytime Resolutions…


5 Easy Tips to Make Our Lives Spiritually Enriching!

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

The Islamic New of 1434 has recently ushered in and people generally begin to think about their life and some even make resolutions about how they will approach this New Islamic Year and their work, health and relationships. As humans and believers we also have ambitions. Instead of making resolutions only about material progression, the resolutions of a believer would and should be about one’s progression on the path of enlightenment and nearness to his or her Creator Allah Ta’ala. In reality we don’t need a New Year or special occasion to make a resolution for doing or achieving good. It can be done instantaneously!

Generally people intend doing things to become better off than the year before. Common resolutions include cutting down on chocolate/weight, quit smoking, getting in shape, etc. A lot involves benefits to the health and/or improving their lifestyle. Others include giving more to charity, being closer to family which boosts a personal level of satisfaction etc. But this we as Muslims should be doing regardless.

What about us? Have we set a goal or targets for ourselves? If so, was it because it was a New Year? Did you have to wait for the New Year to set it? Is there something about you that you wish to improve? No human is perfect. But Allah Ta’ala gave us human’s intelligence to learn and the means for people to better themselves. And we should aim for perfection. The whole essence of Tarbiya is based on improving ourselves, i.e. self development.

While people set goals or targets for the benefit of this world, we as Muslims should ideally be setting goals for not only our material well-being but more importantly for the aakhirah (Life in Hereafter), to maximise reward so we attain Jannah(Paradise) and to avoid the punishment of the Jahannam (hellfire). That is not to say that we should not set goals for this material life , by all means go ahead. But if you intend to do a good deed for the dunya(worldly life) only, your reward will be in the dunya. When you intend to do a good deed for the aakhirah, your rewards will be in both the dunya and the akhira. For example, when you intend to eat so you can have the strength and energy to work so you can maintain and care for your family as it is a Command of Allah Ta’ala to do so, you will be rewarded  and receive benefits both in this world and the next. But if you just eat so satisfy your hunger then your reward is just the benefits of eating.

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Quran; “…And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me..” (Quran 51:56).

Therefore, our intentions and targets should ultimately be aimed at pleasing Allah Ta’ala. We set ourselves certain targets that will help us maximise reward, or to even minimise sinning. For many of us we can start with some simple yet effective, ways which we can improve our character such as to stop backbiting, be more trusting, watching our tongue, not lazing about, etc.

Let us look at it another way. Do we ever stop at the end of the day to look back thinking, what have I actually achieved today? It may be a good idea, before the start of each day, to ask yourself, what can I do tomorrow to improve myself? It can even be something small such as learning an ayah of the Quran or giving a loaf of bread in Sadaqah (Charity) or just to smile at somebody.

Whatever you wish to improve on, no matter how ambitious or small it is, whether it is for the dunya or the akhirah, one can apply the SMARTmethod. What they stand for is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. The crucial element here is time, which means you need to set yourself deadlines. Instead of saying, I’m going to memorise the Quran, Insha Allah (If Allah Ta’ala wills), rather say by the end of this month, Insha Allah I hope to have memorised juz(chapter) Amma. Its more direct and you will have set yourself up with expectations. Another way to help is to let others know what you intended to do. This way you will have someone else to give you that extra push. If you and a friend decide to work towards the same target then it makes it much easier, you both can push each other. The Noble Messenger of Allah is reported to have said; “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Hadith:Bukhari and Muslim).

There is also the topic of setting a long term goal, but that in itself is another topic, though the principles are similar.

Often the lack of motivation is what causes people to stop pursuing their targets. However, if you set your targets with the intention of pleasing Allah Ta’ala and make effort, He will make things easier for you. In Hadith Qudsi Allah says, “if he comes to Me walking, I go running unto him”(Bukhari, Muslim).

Allah Ta’ala also mentions that; “…those who strive in Our cause, We will surely guide them in Our Paths. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” (Quran, 29:69).

Knowing that Allah will reward you both in this world and the hereafter should re-stimulate that motivation that you need to accomplish things. Sometimes it is that extra motivation that you need. So if ever, when working towards something you feel a bit bothered about then just ask yourself again why you are doing this. If it is for Allah Ta’alas cause then He shall make things easier for you. But you need that bit of effort. Have a bit of patience for you will be rewarded for that too.

There is indeed no limit to the good a person can intend and indeed according to ones niyyah (intention) one will be rewarded . According to Hadith if a person intends to do a good deed but cannot do it, Allah writes for him a reward of one good deed. If he both intends to do and performs that good deed, Allah writes for him a reward of ten good deeds and increases it up to seven hundred and more. (Hadith Bukhari). Also if a person intends to do a good deed, but is then unable to complete it due to an obstacle in his way, there will still be a reward just for his good intention.

Intention is such a magical cure that it turns habits, activities, deeds to worship. And also it is a soul which turns dead circumstances and moods to live worships.

Setting goals or targets is an excellent practise. There are good resolutions a person can make and does not need to wait for a New Year. Here are a few tips to get started…

5 Easy Tips To Get You Started…

REACH FOR THE STARS! AIM HIGH: So indeed there is no harm in achieving good in both materially and spiritually.The most important is to note that all resolutions, hopes, ambitions and dreams etc are entirely dependent on Allah Ta’ala, The Most Wise, for their fulfilment. So making Dua (asking Allah Ta’ala) is the most essential ingredient for achievement. When making dua “reach for the stars” i.e. ask Allah Ta’ala for the most in fact ask for everything good. Don’t leave out anything. Allah, The Most Wise, says: “Invoke Me, (and ask Allah for anything) I will respond to your (invocation/dua)…………..” (Quran: 40: 60)

ELIMINATE SINS: Just like a Shop keeper refuses to grant more credit to a bad debtor or nonpayer, likewise how can we expect Allah Ta’ala to grant us good if we continuously sin and transgress. To get the Help of Allah Ta’ala we need to remove sin from our lives. We are not perfect and as humans we often err. But the least we can do to show our sincerity to Allah Ta’ala is to intend to abandon ALL forms of sins from our lives. Allah is Ar-Rahman, the Most Compassionate, and Ar-Raheem, the Most Merciful. Allah Ta’ala tells man of the greatness of His forgiveness and mercy so that no one would despair due to the amount of sins he may have committed. This is supported by the following verse of the Holy Quran: Say: “O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an:Surah az-Zumar 39:53)

MAKE ISLAM THE BIGGER CIRCLE: Until now we may have made our material (worldly) desires the Bigger Circle and Deen(Islam) the inner Smaller Circle that occupies a very small insignificant place in the Bigger Circle. Now resolve to make Deen(Islam) the Bigger Circle and make everything else fit into the Bigger Circle. If it does not conform to Deen, no matter what it may be, leave it out of the Bigger Circle! The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him is reported to have said: “None of you can be a true Muslim, unless his desires are subject to the religion that I have brought.”(Hadith). Yes set high goals both for our Spiritual and Material progress. The Holy Qur’an says: “Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire” (Quran:Al-Baqarah:201).

SET SPECIFIC GOALS: It would be good if specific intentions are made. Also categorise goals. For example ; lets take salaah (prayer): Resolve that henceforth all five prayers will be read punctually and better still for men(if possible) that prayers would be in the Masjid. Qur’an: Aim to memorize more verses of the Book of Allah; Make our children Hafiz of the Quran; Zikr: Increase the amount of Zikr done daily and aim to improve concentration. Sadaqah (Charity): Spend more on the poor and for all other noble causes whether it be victims of natural disasters or contributing to the local Masjid etc. Increase the amount of time one spends volunteering, Spending Time in the Path of Allah, memorize duas for different occasions or Prophetic traditions(Hadith), making quality time to spend with family, making wise career choices for yourself/children, assisting one’s mother and/or father, speaking well with one’s siblings, furthering Islamic knowledge, serving those less fortunate and oppressed and thanking Allah Ta’ala in whatever way for the all blessing and bounties for which He has bestowed upon us.etc etc

BE EXTENSIVE AND SYSTEMATIC: Yes let the list be extensive, realistic and systematic. Dedicate time with family to make these resolutions. Make your family part of it and set goals together. In addition, it helps to write down intentions and to regularly review those intentions in order to fulfil those commitments.

Finally the most important resolution is that My Creator Allah Ta’ala must be pleased with me. So whatever I desire, do, say, want, etc must be only to please my Lord!

May Allah Ta’ala make this Islamic Year 1434 Hijrah the most spiritually rewarding year for the Ummah and may He grant ease and relief to those that are suffering and oppressed throughout the world.…Ameen

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10 habits of highly effective Muslim wives


by Swami Stream
Source: http://www.muslimworker.com,http://www.muslimvillage.com

After my husband wrote the “10 Habits of Highly Effective Muslim Husbands,” he thought it would be interesting to add the other perspective.

So, I made a list of 10 habits that my husband has commented on over time that has produced positive changes in our relationship.  He is right, the first year of marriage is really about adapting and compromise.  We are shown our terrible habits (how did our parents put up with us?) and overtime you do fall into a groove.

But, don’t get too comfortable in your routine.  Adding some spice and maintaining some good habits will make a very successful and enjoyable marriage.  Some of these habits are similar to the “Muslim Husband Habits” but, some are just for us, girls.

  1. Stay Healthy and Get Outside!

    This is by far the most important habit a Muslim Wife can do to make a successful marriage.   Before marriage, my husband and I were both active people.  He was an extreme biker and I played basketball for almost 10 years before we met.  After marriage and the onset of chores, work and family obligations, time for staying healthy was becoming low on our priority scale.

    Over time, we both forgot the initial attraction we had for one another – an active, healthy lifestyle.  An active lifestyle brings many benefits from  clearing the mind from trivial matters to enjoying each other’s company in a different way.

    As we have brought the active lifestyle back into our lives, we both realize we learn a lot about each other through activity.  For example, on our hikes we see the other person’s stamina and determination, in playing basketball, we see our competitiveness side, and in our daily walks we see each other’s stillness and appreciation for nature.

    It is by far a crucial aspect of our relationship and one that really keeps us connected, alhamdulillah.

  2. Listen and Be Supportive

    One of the best things a Muslim Wife can do for her husband is be supportive.  We all know the famous story of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him; after receiving revelation, he came straight home to his nurturing wife, Sayyidina Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her.  She wasn’t on the phone with her girlfriend nor was she too busy on the computer, she was ready to comfort and listen.

    For me, this starts as soon as your husband comes home through the door.  Greeting your husband with a salaam, a smile and a hug is sure to set a peaceful atmosphere right away.

    A Muslim Wife is attentive to her husband’s needs.  If he is holding something in his hands, like groceries, take them from him, hand him a glass of juice or have some fruit or snacks readily available.  These small gestures show simple kindness and goes a long way.

    If your husband had a hard day at work, the initial greeting will soothe him.  Thereafter, if he needs to vent about his boss or co-worker, listen to him.  A good listener asks questions, makes good eye contact and reassures with nods and affection.  Initially, take his side!  If things are said that you don’t agree with, wait until a better time to give advice.  The first initial response he is looking for is support and kindness from his wife, even if he is wrong.  Thereafter, of course you can give advice and guide.

    Another tip – remember names of people your husband says.  A week later after the work problem is over, simply ask your husband, “Is everything okay with Michael, now?” He will be happy that you really listened by remembering names.

    So, lend a good ear and your hearts will come closer together.

  3. Be Creative – Change is Good!

    We like to change things around in our apartment every season.  This is as simple as changing the furniture into a different position, changing hanging pictures or de-cluttering old knick knacks.

    Over time, my husband and I have become minimalists.  We like the clean counter-tops, things put away in drawers and cupboards, and we have a new distaste for random objects.  So, we minimize every season by giving away clothes, dishes and books.

    We also change our “usual” eating spots at the table and seating in the living room.  We change our chores around too.  I usually cook and he washes the dishes, but lately we have been cooking together and then sharing the dishes too (I soap while he rinses).

    We have about four or five home-cooked meals that we both enjoy and we basically just rotate them week to week.  But, after a while we add a new dish to the mix.  I’ll learn something new from mom or a girl friend and surprise him with it one night.

    Small changes creates new growth and stimulation to your relationship without falling into boredom and we always feel like “we’ve just moved in” every time we change things around.

  4. Engage in Good Conversation – Learn New Things

    Engaging in meaningful dialogue that does not consist of talking about family, friends or every day matters can boost your marriage.

    Very easily we can fall into talking about what’s happening in our lives right now, which is fine and needed.  However, your relationship truly grows and tests new boundaries when you learn new things and share them with your spouse.

    My husband shares new things he is always learning from blogging, marketing and computer stuff.  To be honest, this is foreign to me.  But, it is something that he is motivated by and by listening to him I have learned a lot of interesting things about it (and he has convinced me to write this article for example, lol.)

    It’s nice to talk about the books or articles I’ve read and thought about with my husband so I can gain his perspective, learn about him and enrich my own.  At times, when we disagree on a topic, our persuasive strategies kick in, allowing for a good debate.  :)

    When other temporary things fall away that make you happy – a good conversation can last a life-time.

  5. Be Alive and Excited about Life

    Do you remember the first time you met your husband?  Probably one of those awkward meetings or something.  But, I remember both of us being alive and happy.  We tried to look our best and be interesting too.  I don’t remember either of us letting all of our problems out!

    I’ve met a few sisters in the last little while that exude a certain kind of sadness or worry or fear that they don’t even realize that they exude.  They actually walk around with a frown!

    They might have a problem or concern that of course makes them look and feel a certain way, but over time if the sad state continues it can really dampen the best of relationships.

    Yes, the honeymoon phase (they say it’s the two year mark) can reach it’s end – but it doesn’t have to!  If you find yourself bored and sad, then it is really up to you to make a change in the relationship.  If you are seriously upset about something, then seek help!

    There are so many things to be excited and alive about in the world!  You might need a change in your circle of friends (who really do have a big influence on how you see and do things) or you might need a new hobby or need to get outside and get fresh air on a regular basis.

    Being energetic and happy and willing to try new things with your husband is an important aspect of marriage.  Being grumpy and unmotivated can lead to a whole bunch of problems for both of you.  Find a new friend or a new hobby or a new book and get excited about life.  Your husband will notice the energy and cheerfulness in you and you could change the atmosphere of your home and relationship just by changing your mood.

  6. Have One Good Girl Friend (Or Mom) – Share your Problems with Grace

    There are some things that you just need to tell a girl friend because she will just understand and some things you can only tell your husband and it is important to know the difference.

    It is very easy to get so comfortable with our husbands that we share some  things with them that they really could be spared.  There is a certain kind of respect and dignity a husband needs to have.  And, sisters, there is a certain level of respect and dignity he also has for you, too.

    I have seen too many times, sisters complaining about other sisters, their clothes or their characters to their husbands.  Please don’t do this!  Sharing secrets or worse the flaws of other sisters to your husbands is a big no-no, especially if the sister confided in you.  Even though you and your husband are a pair, your sister friend should not feel that everything she tells you is going straight to the husband!

    This is not only gossip and forbidden in Islam, but boring and undignified to your husband.  Instead, having a good girl friend or even your mom or someone else you trust provides an excellent outlet to let out frustrations that can dampen a marriage or a husband’s mood or respect for you.

    In the same vein, sisters should not tell other sisters their husband’s secrets!  It’s okay to seek advice but not in a way that can make your husband lose respect in front of your friend.

    Your husband can be your best friend and will be with you to the very end, inshaAllah.  It is not worth it to lose your husband and what matters to him over a friend who no matter how close they are, can end up not being there for you in the end.

  7. Dress Up and Smell Good – Take Care of Your Outward and Inward Appearance

    Finally, after years of searching for the “one” you are married!  You look into the face of your spouse and you think, “so it was you” that I was meant to marry.  And, the marriage chapter of your life begins.

    Marriage is “half our deen” and now that there is this one man in your life, this is your chance to make it everything you’ve ever dreamed of.  And one fun thing a Muslim Wife can do is simply dress up and smell good.

    I always think it’s interesting that sisters (and brothers) can be “frumpy” in their homes but as soon as they step out of the door they dress up and go all out.  Very often we dress up for the world (strangers who we don’t know or at our workplace) and sometimes we just let ourselves go in front of  family and our spouses.

    I think it’s great that couples get so comfortable with each other that they can stay in their pajamas all day.  But, sisters, simply dressing up and smelling good can really uplift your husband’s appreciation of you and may make him dress up and smell good for you too.

    If you are a stay-at-home sister/mom, yeah you can stay in your pajamas all day – but if you know your husband is coming home at 5:30, then change into something nice and put on some perfume at 5:00!  :)

    Taking care of personal hygiene and working on yourself inwardly is sure to add to your overall character.  Reading Quran, catching up on a Islamic lecture, praying and making heartfelt dua’a all add to the beauty of you.

    So, strike a balance between the outward and the inward appearance of you and watch the positive benefits come into your marriage and family.

  8. Be Affectionate – Don’t Hold Back Your Love

    I think culturally, many sisters can bring a lot of baggage to their marriages and it is not our fault because it’s the way we’ve all grown up.

    Some of us have been too immersed in Western culture and seen all the movies that we have expectations of our husbands to act a certain way or we are the complete opposite where we have been so sheltered that marriage and the thought of living with a boy (when you are married) is strange and almost – wrong!

    And, it is strange.  All of our lives, sisters grow up in the homes of parents only to leave them (quite suddenly) to live with a complete stranger (most people only know each other for a short while before they get married.)

    But, the truth of the matter is that marriage is a noble sunnah that is one of the most beautiful aspects of our deen.  And, one of the best things a Muslim Wife can do is to be affectionate, even if it has to be learned over time.  This is your husband now.  The one man that you married and will be married to for ever, inshaAllah.  Be affectionate with your husband, whatever that means to you, and the affection will lead to a closer and more connected relationship.

    Human touch, whether it be holding hands or a hug, leads to Mercy (Rahma) in relationships whether it is with your husband, sister friends or even your parents.  So, be affectionate often and reap the benefits.

  9. Go the Extra Mile – He’ll Notice (Hopefully)

    Going the extra mile means doing something for your husband that goes above and beyond what he expects of you.

    If he asked you to make a meal for his family, it means you go all out and make the dishes with care and effort.

    If you are going out for a special day, it means you take time to find the right outfit and perhaps wear it a bit differently than he is used to.  It could mean sending him a random text message to say you are thinking of him or a random e-card.

    It could mean spending extra time listening to him talk to you about his concerns without you changing the subject.  It could mean baking home-made cookies, inviting him on a special day you have planned, making him a gift or cleaning his desk space.

    It could mean wearing earrings if you normally don’t at home, or giving him free time to work-out or for his hobby, or even helping him get ready in the morning with a packed lunch with a nice note inside.

    The ideas are endless and with a bit of extra time and effort, your husband will appreciate the little details you’ve paid attention to, inshaAllah.

  10. Say “Thank You” – Be Grateful for Small and Big Things

    One of the hadiths that scare me to death is the one that says, “The majority of hell is made up of women who were ungrateful to their husbands.” Yikes!

    So, say thank you every night to your husband before you go to sleep for anything and everything that he has done for you.  Don’t overlook things you have got used to like him buying groceries, helping out with dishes, listening to your problems or simply going to work everyday.

    Remember the big things and the small things and soon all small things will turn into big things for you, inshaAllah.

    Thank him sincerely: “Thank you for helping with the dishes because it really cuts the time out I have to spend in the kitchen.” Rather than simply saying thank you, explain yourself to him and tell him why it’s important to you and that you noticed.

    He will feel happy that he could help and may make him feel like doing it even more for you!  Most importantly, give thanks to Allah, most Generous, and He will increase your marriage even more, inshaAllah.

Parting Thoughts

This list is a reminder first to myself before I send them to you.  All of these are from experience of being married for almost three years now.  You may agree or disagree, but these are just some things that have helped the both of us over time.

And, we are always learning and growing and making mistakes, alhamdulillah, it’s all part of the journey.  Feel free to share more insight or your own tips with us in the comments below.

InshaAllah, may Allah pour blessing upon blessing into all our marriages!  Ameen!

10 habits of highly effective Muslim husbands


By Abu Nura

Source: http://www.muslimworker.com,http://www.muslimvillage.com

Alhamdullilah, I have been married for almost three years now and I feel that Muslim Marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts that Allah has given to Muslims in this world.

However, Muslim Marriage doesn’t come easy right away. Actually, many husbands today have been spoiled by family or their environment or even society and media. This has caused us to lose our manliness and personal striving that our forefathers and great men in the history of Islam had.

Now, as a Muslim Husband in this generation, I know how important and necessary it is for every Muslim Husband to work hard at their marriage in order for this Ummah to be strong again. After all, without the Muslim Family foundation, all other foundations cannot be formed.

I’ve put together some habits as a personal reminder to myself first and hopefully it can benefit Muslim Husbands out there who want to create a blissful marriage. Some ideas presented are from what I’ve read and heard and some are from experience. Take what applies to you and act on it.

So, let’s start…

1. Exercising, Staying Fit and Healthy

Sorry, brothers, you know this was coming. It is important that we stay healthy, exercise and keep fit for our wives and children. Many of us let ourselves go after marriage when it should be the other way around. When we are fit, we can do more for our wives and children. We also feel good that we are a strong contributing member of the Ummah.

My wife told me a story of how she was visiting a Muslim country recently and saw many couples where the wife was still dressed up nicely but the husband had totally let himself go.

I’m not asking everyone to be Arnold Schwarzenegger but to exercise so that when your kids are 12 years old, you can still kick a soccer ball with them. Because of my career in the software industry, I have to especially work hard at it as it is so easy for me to slack off (which I already have on a few occasions).

Doing what you enjoy will also help you stay fit. You don’t have to lift weights to stay in shape. As long as whatever you do helps you maintain a healthy, fit, Islamic lifestyle.

Also, it is imperative to eat a healthy diet. It doesn’t make much sense to work-out and stay fit and indulge in sweets and desserts everyday. Having a sweet tooth my whole life, I have now limited my sweet intake to one day of the week and have noticed positive changes like having more energy.

2. Dress well and with Ihsan (Excellence)

This is something I had to work on as I was never a good dresser when growing up. It doesn’t mean you have to wear rich expensive clothes. It means that your clothes are in good condition and you look presentable.

Muslims in history were known to dress excellently and to take care of their bodies. In the middle ages, Muslim Spain had running water and baths while the rest of Europe hardly washed their bodies.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to wear Musk to smell good.

Prophetic Saying:

Muslim narrated that Abu Sai’d Al-Khudri said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best type of perfume is Musk.”

Try to buy quality over price or quantity as this is what dressing with Ihsan (Excellence) is about. At the end of the day, your wife will be happy with you and be thinking “MashaAllah.”

3. Read

It is no surprise that the first word revealed from the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “Read…” (Surah Alaq 96:1).

I always struggled with reading growing up as I was too preoccupied with TV and video games. Even though I excelled in school, reading was always a chore and I didn’t do a lot of it.

However, as a Muslim Husband, reading is an important skill to have. Not only will it enrich you with more knowledge, it can also help with your communication and conversation skills with your wife and children. You will have much more interesting and important things to say and teach your children too.

Especially in today’s age of changing media and technology, if you are not reading and learning, you will be more susceptible to negative influences around you.

4. Help out around the house – Clean!

Many wives today juggle more daily than ever before. Things like working full-time, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids are all part of her daily regimen. Your wife will be more than happy if you can take some of that load off her.

Washing dishes, vacuuming or other chores around the house should be taken up by you and it should be proactively done. Read: Do them before being asked. :-)

Even the best of creation, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) helped around the house.

Aisha (Ra), the wife of Muhammad (SAW) said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi).

5. Read Quran

A Muslim Husband is the leader of a Muslim Family. He needs to be setting the example for his wife and children. That is why it is important he reads the Quran.

Children imitate. If they see their father read Quran, then they will want to read Quran too. Doing this can actually make children look forward to the dreaded Sunday Quran school. :-)

Before marriage, I wasn’t very good at Quran and barely had any surahs memorized. I then worked hard at improving my reading by attending Tajweed classes and memorizing more surahs.

Praying together is a large part of a Muslim household and knowing Quran will help you, the Muslim Husband, to lead your wife and family. The Muslim Husband or Father should strive to lead the members of his house in prayer at least once a day if not more.

6. Be Critical and Analytical – Talk about Ideas

When I was growing up, my mom had put up a sign in a hallway of our house saying: “Small people talk about other people, Average people talk about things, Great people talk about ideas.”

It is important that a Muslim Husband matures beyond self-interest and is able to transcend petty talk about people around him and material things. He needs to start talking about ideas.

It comes back to the fact that the Islamic role of a Muslim Husband in the family is to lead. If all he talks about is how he hates his boss at work or about his new pair of shoes, his family is going to suffer.

Before being married, it was easy for me to slip in to friends and enjoy trivial things like movies and sports, however, I knew that I had to rise above these activities and start reading and learning more about ideas and principles about how our world works. I needed to increase my knowledge.

I didn’t want a superficial marriage and I didn’t want to be a superficial husband. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and took action to grow intellectually. I believe that if you want a successful Muslim Marriage that Allah will shower His blessings on, it has to be about more than food and cars.

7. Take your wife out – Plan stuff

Every wife likes to be taken out, no matter how religious she is. You also don’t have to be rich either to do so.

Going to the park or buying her a new hijab or checking out that new halal restaurant are all fun activities you can enjoy with her.

I know that I sometimes slack off in the planning department. But every time I plan an outing with my wife, our marriage and relationship improves.

My wife and I have one day of the week that we go out together to explore a part of the city we haven’t yet been or we re-visit a favorite place. It is the day of the week that we re-connect and talk about our ideas.

Try it out, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. :-)

8. Act Manly and Confident – Make Decisions

Men today behave less like men than our forefathers did. If you think back to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions were all manly men, were confident and had presence.

Basically, Muslim Husbands need to take action in their lives and not sit idly by and let life slip away from you. I used to be very laid back and complacent in my first year of marriage but I realize that this quality is not beneficial in a relationship. When I started to act with confidence and to take action in my life, I began seeing positive changes in both my marriage and my personal life.

It is important to note the difference between confidence and aggression/domination. The former deals with taking positive action in how one carries himself while still maintaining the haqq/rights of those around him. The latter does not focus on the haqq.

A confident Muslim Man, although a leader of his home, also knows and applies the concept of Shurah/consultation. It is important to include your wife and children in any major and minor decisions that will effect everyone.

Be a Muslim Man. Take Action. Be Confident. Your wife will be happy and your marriage will prosper, inshAllah.

9. Balance between Career/Work and Religion

A Muslim Husband must have balance. He should work and strive in his career to provide for his family as it is a haqq/right of the wife to be provided for (even if she chooses to work). He also must understand the fundamentals of his deen/religion. He doesn’t have to be a scholar, but he should at least know the basics.

I remember I was at Eid Prayer a long time ago and I saw a father teaching his son how to pray before the prayer itself. As a leader of the home, a Muslim Husband must know enough about Islam so that he can teach his wife and children. He shouldn’t be doing it at Eid prayer. He should have done it at home already.

If you can, go to a class once a week about your deen and read more about it. There are also vast resources online about this beautiful religion of ours.

Also, a Muslim Husband should strive to be excellent in any work/career that he takes on. Remember that balancing both is difficult to do but can be achieved gradually.

10. Cook and help with meals

OK, this is a contentious issue. Even though shariah doesn’t say that a wife must cook for her husband, she usually does. And, I am thankful that she does! :)

As a Muslim Husband, you should help with cooking dinners and preparing meals. This will alleviate some of the load off your wife and she will be very thankful you assisted.

You can do this by making a schedule and telling her which days you can help. Believe me, this will also really help your marriage and improve your relationship.

Parting Thoughts

There you have it. 10 habits that will make you a better Muslim Husband. You may already be doing some of the things I mentioned or none at all. You may even completely agree or disagree with me. You might have more habits to add. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Not in Front of the Children!


By Ibrahim Bowers

Many times parents and adults do things intentionally or unintentionally that may set a bad
example to their children and other youngsters around. Below would be some such situations
and advises on how to set a better example for your youngsters.

Setting Bad Examples for Children
“Tell them I’m not here,” we yell to our spouse or children as the telephone rings. Although we
might no have noticed it, we have just set an example of lying for our children. When they see us
lying, they may say to themselves that it’s okay to lie. Dad and mom do it.
If we had been more conscious of our role as an example for our children, we could have
avoided this mistake by using a caller ID; by telling our spouse or our children to say that we
were unavailable to talk now, not that we were not at home; or by simply taking the call. But we
should never lie.
Many other “little” things that we do during the day may actually be setting bad examples for our
children without our even realizing it. Remaining constantly aware of our role as an example
might help us to avoid making some of these mistakes. However, there are several danger areas
in our daily lives that we should be especially careful about.
Here are some thoughts about providing a better role model:
We Should Never Make False Promises to Our Children.
For example, we should never tell them, “I will take you for ice cream if you are good,” when we
have no intention of taking them for ice cream. This is also lying, and if we do it, our children
may lose confidence in everything we say.

Don’t Argue with Our Spouses in Front of Children
What must it feel like for children to see their mother and father yelling at each other and even
hitting each other? What horror they must feel at that time. And how will they know what to do
afterwards? Can they ever go back to the same loving relationship with their father and mother
after watching them abuse each other? If we do make the mistake of arguing or fighting in front
of our children and then we make up later, we should be sure to include the children and even
apologize to them for our immature and un-Islamic behavior. InshaAllah, they will respect us
even more for admitting that we were wrong.

We Should Never Make Fun of Others.
If we say, “Hey, look at that ugly guy over there! Ha! Ha! Ha!,” our children may think that this is
acceptable behavior. Afterward, if they publicly say something bad about somebody and we or
that person gets embarrassed, we should remember that we are the ones who taught them to
behave this way.We Should Never Gossip
We must not gossip or speak evil about others behind their backs. Even though the victims of
our gossip might not hear us, our children will. They are watching us eat the dead flesh of our
brothers and sisters, and it could affect them in many ways. They might simply begin to believe
that this is normal behavior, or they might be extremely disgusted with their parents for behaving
in this way. Either way our children will be negatively influenced.

We Should Never Watch Bad Radio or Television Programs
Later, when we tell our children not to watch kissing or violence on TV, they will see us as
hypocrites and lose respect for us.
As Muslims, we should of course try to be the best human beings we can possibly be. As Muslim
parents, we must try even harder because our behavior will very likely have a major impact on
the behavior of our children now and when they grow up. It’s not what mom and dad say; it’s
what mom and dad do.
Raising kids is an incredible responsibility. If we want to succeed, we must raise them with both
words and actions. As human beings, we will at times do wrong and make mistakes. But please,
NOT IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN

The Effect of Sins and It’s Remedy


“Stay away from outward sins and inward sins. ” (Quraan)

 

Sins cause a barrier between a person and His Creator, between a person and the mercy of Allah, between a person and sustenance in abundance, between a person and peace of mind and contentment of the heart, between a person and a peaceful time in the grave, between a person and Jannah (Paradise) etc.

 

Sins lead a person to the displeasure, anger and wrath of Allah, lead a person to difficulties and hardships, both here and in the hereafter, lead a person to depression and anxiety, lead a person to the punishment of the grave and finally to Jahannam – hell fire (May Allah protect us all – A’meen).

 

Sins are very tempting, desirous and beautiful in the beginning and at the outset but soon shows its ugly poisonous head, like a snake kept in a beautiful, colourful scented packet very tempting and inviting, but as soon as it is opened and one sees the snake – what a shock, fear, etc sets in.

 

Hakimul Ummat, Mujaddid-e-Millat, Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahimahullah) has mentioned an eye- opening story illustrating the evil of sins. A married man used to wet his bed every night. His wife asked what is this? You are a grown up, married man. We treat little children with this disease. We stop their liquids early, etc. He explained that shaytaan comes to him in his dreams every night and takes him for a long walk, after which he needs to go to the toilet to urinate. Shaytaan shows him an ultra modern, hygienic toilet wherein he relieves himself. But it is all in his dream and he wets the bed. His wife said, “Shaytaan is such a great friend of yours that he visits you every night and he is the king of the evil Jinnaat. He knows where all the treasures, etc. are kept. Why don’t you ask him to show you all this treasure. You know we are so poor. You can bring us this treasure.” He said “Yes, I never thought of this idea.”

 

That night shayaan came in his dream again. He told shaytaan what his wife said. Shaytaan said why did you not tell me long ago? Come I will take you right now. He took him and showed him a huge treasure box filled with jewels, diamonds, golds, pearls etc. He rushed to pick it up (all in his dream, in his sleep, in bed). It was so heavy he passed stools and messed the bed (a reality). In the morning his wife asked, “And now what is this?” He explained his dream. She said you rather carry on doing what you were doing before.

 

Many people remember this story but forget the moral. Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahimahullah) explained that sins are those temptations, the glittering gold and silver etc. in the dreamworld, while the reality is worse than the actual stool in bed. May Allah protect us from all sins. After understanding the reality of sins, it requires just a little effort to abstain from sins.

 

On one occasion, my Sheikh Hadrat Moulana Hakim Akhtar Saheb (Mudda Zilluhu) was travelling with his Sheikh Hadrat Moulana Abrarul Haq Saheb from Jeddah to Madina Shareef in the summer of Hijaz-e-Muqaddas. The car was very hot and uncomfortable. Moulana Abrarul Haq Saheb asked the driver if he did not put on the air-conditioner. He said it was on, but it seemed as though some window was left open. One window was open. On closing it, the car became cool on which Moulana Abrarul Haq Saheb (Mudda Zilluhu) observed, “See, the air-conditioner was doing its work. Cool air was coming but we did not get the effect. Similarly, the Ummat is doing good deeds and good effects of these are coming (even in the dunya) but we are not experiencing them because our sins are blocking them. Salat, Haj, Umrah etc. are on the increase but our window of sins of the eyes, ears, tongue, heart, etc. are open, letting in the unpleasant hot air which blocks the effect of our good deeds. Therefore, taubah and istighfar are absolutely and continually essential.

 

Another example of the evil of sins is that of a person who has for example imported some goods which he is going to market at 2000% profit or even more, yet it is such a ‘hot’ item that as soon as it comes into the market, it will all be sold, but his goods are blocked in the customs because some of his paper work is not done. Similarly, our good deeds will give us so much benefit but our sins are blocking those benefits. It comes clearly in the Hadith that for some bandas (servants) of Allah, a huge amount of sustenance is waiting for them right at their heads but only their sins are blocking it. Just remove the sins, make taubah and the sustenance will start flowing.

 

Sins are like a person day-dreaming. By committing sins of lust, it is like fantasising. By earning haraam for example, is like dreaming of building castles in the air. Like Sheikh Chillie who was asked by somebody to carry his ghee worth R100 to his house for which he will pay him R10. Hecarried the ghee on his head and began day-dreaming that with the R10 I will buy 10 eggs and let them hatch under my neighbour’s hen. I will have 10 hens which will lay 10 eggs. Soon I will have plenty of fowls. Then I will buy goats, sheep, cows, horses etc. Then I will buy land, cultivate it, and have lots of crops etc. Then I will build a house. I will get married. I will have children. They will have children. My grandchildren will come and trouble me and say “Dada Jaan”, “Daadi” is calling for meals and I will say, “Out of here,” shaking his head and saying, “Don’t disturb me” and the ghee falls from his head. The owner becomes angry and says you destroyed my R100 worth of ghee. He said you are worried of your R100. My 3 generations are destroyed.

 

Similarly, sins are just an imagination of enjoyment while their evils are a reality. Like a person who has acquired haraam money (by stealing, fraud, etc.) and dreaming. I will buy a car, house, go on a holiday etc. His friend telephones him on his cellphone and tells him the police have caught up with you. A warrant of arrest has already been issued and they are on your trail to arrest you. That same money that was so dear to him, which he felt and touched now and again to make sure it was safe, he starts throwing it away far, so that there must not be any evidence against him.

 

In the Ayat mentioned earlier, Allah Ta’ala has first mentioned outward sins. This shows how serious and dangerous they are! Shaytaan deceives many of us by saying the inside, the heart must be right. The outside does not matter. Many say, “My Islam is in my heart, I don’t have to keep a beard and make a show of my Islam.” A woman will say, “My modesty and purdah is in my heart. My heart is clean. I don’t have to make a show of my Islam by wearing a burqah,” etc. and similar other remarks.

 

A few examples of a few outward sins are mentioned now: A person who does not keep a sunnat beard ( i.e. a fist length on all sides etc.) should consider this example: a plane fall of hajees lands at Johannesburg International airport by a Saudi flight. The captain, pilots etc. all are Muslims who have just performed haj. The captain announces that we have all made haj and have tawakkul in Allah and we do not have to make a show of our Islam. So similarly, our aircraft has got wheels but when landing, we are not going to take them out. We will keep them in our heart. We don’t have to make a show of our wheels.” At that time, all will realise that our philosophy of ‘hiding’ our Islain (beard) is not correct but must be shown outside.

 

Similarly a royal bird that soars high in the air and wins great prizes, if somebody thinks the inside “steam-power” of the bird is the important thing and the outside does not matter, cuts the wings of the bird – the bird will not fly. It will lose all its value and die in depression. Similar is the case of a sincere conscious Muslim. Also consider, if we are eagerly waiting at Jeddah airport to board the plane to Madina Shareef but because of an outside deficiency, a puncture, the plane is not taking off. One small outside deficiency will cause unsurmountable frustration to the ardent lovers of Nabi(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam).

 

The importance of the outside can further be gauged by the example of a hobo dressed in torn and tattered clothes, no shoes, etc. who forces himself into the first class lounge at a modern international airport, the people are upset and force him out but to no avail. They report him to the person in charge. Following procedure, he asks him for his ticket. On seeing that he has a first class ticket, all have to accept him there. When boarding the plane, he will be turned out, but he forces himself into the first class. Again he is turned away, but when they see his ticket, he is given VIP treatment again. Similarly, his whole joumey will initially go in difficulty and opposition at every stage and will become a luxury and comfort when he proves his inside. Similarly will the journey into the Akhirah be if the outside is not adomed and identified by a’mal and sunnats – by the barkat of imaan, he will eventually be given VIP treatment.

 

Now let us consider a few examples of purdah (hijab) of women. To protect milk and meat from the cat and money from the crooks, so much precaution is taken. When in fact money, meat and milk cannot fly, so how much more should not the women be protected from the enemy. The evil people will even get tempted by the mere looks or dressing of women. If one hundred thousand rands is stolen but after sometime returned, it will be just as dear to one, but if one’s wife is missing for an hour or two and she cannot explain her absence, the rest of one’s life will be Jahannam.

 

Valuable treasures, gold, silver etc. are kept in a safe. Nobody objects to it. It is the right thing to do but when women are kept safely in the house or behind the veil, then it is objectionable. Is the value of our women less than milk, meat or money?! The problem is we have forgotten our true values – values of lslam, by the various propaganda machines of the west from kindergarten till university and we have imbibed animal values from magazines etc. to television.

 

Also it is necessary for a woman to cover herself with a proper purdah that fulfills its purpose and does not in fact serve the opposite purpose, for example, if on a hot day an umbrella is used of such material that intensifies the heat or if on a rainy day an umbrella is used to save oneself from the rain, but instead of the umbrella being in its normal dome shape, if it is made in a funnel shape and all the water falls onto the person, then the purpose of the umbrella will be defeated.

 

Similarly, if the burqah is of such bright colours, beautified with bead work, lace etc. or the face or eyes are left open, which are the more important things to be covered, then the purpose of the burqah is defeated. We do not have to cover ourselves to fool ourselves that we are covered. Rather, we cover ourselves to see that the command of Allah is fulfilled. Judge Akbar Ilaahabadi said women were asked what has happened to your purdah (veil). Why don’t you wear it any more. They said it has fallen on the brains of our men (so they don’t allow us to wear it).

 

May Allah save us from the snares of shaytan and propaganda of the enemies and bless us with proper understanding and amal.

(Hazrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Ishaaq Saheb; Principal of Daarul Uloom Azaadville,South Africa)
Courtesy: www.everymuslim.net