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Exclusive Sunnan for the Last Ten Nights

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This is a translation from Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimahullah) who listed five specific Sunnan from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) in relation to the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Link to all Ramadan 2010 posts

Bismillah

Of these specific Sunnan (plural of sunnah):

1) Staying up at night. A’isha (radi Allahu anha) said: The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would pray and sleep during the 20 days [of Ramadan], then during the ten [last nights] he would stay awake and tighten his belt. [Narrated in Ahmad, Authentic] What is understood from staying awake at night is staying up for most of it, as A’isha also said, “I did not know of Allah’s Messenger praying the whole night until morning.” [Muslim]

2) Waking up family. A’isha (radi Allahu anha) reported that Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would wake up his family during the last ten nights. [Bukhari] Sufyan ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) said: “It is beloved to me that I pray tahajjud and that I strive more [in worship, good deeds etc] and that I wake up my family for prayer if they are able to when the last 10 nights come.”

It is also reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would come at night to Ali and Fatimah (radi Allahu anhuma) and say: “Won’t you both stand up and pray?” [Bukhari and Muslim]

It is reported in Al-Muwatta’ that Umar (radi Allahu anhu) would pray during the night then when he reached half of the night he would wake up his family for prayer and say to them, “The prayer, the prayer (as-salah, as-salah)” and then recite the ayah, “And enjoin prayer upon your family and be steadfast therein.” (20:132).

3) The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would tighten his belt. There are two major opinions on what this statement means among the scholars. The first meaning is that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would strive and work harder and increase in his worship. The other meaning is that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would keep away from his wives (i.e., marital relations), and this is the opinion of many of the predecessors such as Sufyan ath-Thawri. He explained this hadeeth to mean that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would not return to his bed until the month of Ramadan had passed.

4) Bathing between Maghrib and Isha. A’isha (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would bathe between the “two Adhans”. [Translator’s note: This hadeeth has been graded weak.] Ibn Jareer (rahimahullah) said, “They would love to bathe every night of the last ten nights.” It was also reported that Al-Nakha’i (rahimahullah) would bathe every night of the last 10 nights. Furthermore, of the Salaf were those who would bathe and wear perfume [only for the men] on the nights they hoped to be Laylatul Qadr such as Abu Ayyub Al-Sakhtayani (rahimahullah) who would bathe and wear two new garments.

We should note that beautification on the outside will not be complete without beautification on the inside. Beautifying oneself from the inside is sought with repentance, returning to Allah and purification from the filth of sins; for beauty of the outside while destroying the inside does not amount to anything.

Furthermore, it is not appropriate for an intimate conversation with a king to take place except with beautifying and purifying the apparent and hidden; specifically with the King of the Kings, the One who knows the secrets and that which is more hidden. He is the One who does not look to your forms but rather looks to your hearts and deeds. So whoever stands before Him, let him beautify his outer with clothing and his inner with Taqwa.

إذا المرء لم يلبس ثيابا من التقوى ٭ تقلب عريانا و إن كان كاسيا

If a person does not dress with the garment of Taqwa, he will become naked even if clothed.

5) I’tikaf (seclusion in the Masjid). A’isha (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would perform i’tikaf in the last ten nights of every Ramadan until he passed away. [Bukhari and Muslim] In Bukhari, it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam)  used to stay in I’tikaf for ten days in the month of Ramadan, but stayed for 20 days during the year he died.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), seeking Laylatul Qadr, would perform I’tikaf in these ten nights to disconnect from that which occupied him, clear his mind and seclude himself, remembering and supplicating His Lord.

So the one in I’tikaf has confined himself to the obedience of Allah and His remembrance and cut himself off from all distractions. He has engaged himself wholeheartedly with all that brings him closer to his Lord, with no other aim except to attain the pleasure of Allah. And when the ties of knowledge and love of Allah are strengthened, then is the person bestowed with total isolation with Allah.

Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Pingback: Exclusive Sunnan for the Last Ten Nights – MuslimMatters at Satellite Broadband Internet

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    Ameera

    August 29, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    Jazaakillah khayr! :) It was great to be reminded of this at this point. :)

  3. Avatar

    Ayesha

    August 29, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    jazakillahukhairan for the reminder…
    ((Allahumma ballighna laylatul qadr ala ta’atik))

  4. Avatar

    Armokha

    August 29, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    MashaaAllah MashaaAllah very right timing for this post. Jazaak Allah khair. May Allah swt give us taufeeq to understand Quran and Sunnah..ameen

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    n

    August 29, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    This article while its a great reminder…leaves out a lot of issues related to women….perfuming..it is mentioned as though the evidence is for both men and women? its obviously not im assuming…as women arent suposed to go out perfumed.

    -what about itikaf? does that relate to women compeltely as well. from what i know theres several issues related to women about that.

    Insh’allah in the future my suggestion is that when articles are written, that we make sure they address both men and women.

    The sunnah is obviously meant to be followed by both men and women.

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      Amatullah

      August 29, 2010 at 9:55 PM

      Jazaak Allahu khayran for your comment. Those issues were not added as this is a translation and we only included what ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) stated in his short piece.

      There is already an article about perfume on MuslimMatters that was posted a few days ago, most sisters know that wearing perfume outside is not permitted. As for i’tikaf for women, you can easily find answers to that anywhere. Every Ramadan these issues are brought up so we did not see a need to repeat these matters. In general, the scholars permit women to perform i’tikaf as long as she has the permission of her husband/father, or whoever her wali is. And Allah knows best.

  6. Avatar

    SOME

    August 30, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    Hi,

    I think that several stuff are not true, because I read that the Prophet pbuh would worship Allah SWT everynight. Also why is it always Aisha ra is in the hadeeth how about hafsa, khadija and his other wives said anything. sorry for my english i speak french :)

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      August 30, 2010 at 2:47 AM

      A’isha (radi Allahu anha) narrated the most ahadeeth out of the wives of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), and she even narrated more ahadeeth than some of the major companions. After the Prophet died, she became a scholar and so she narrated many narrations from the Messenger of Allah. Khadija (radi Allahu anha) passed away very early after Islam, so we do not have any narrations from her. There are narrations from the other wives (radi Allahu anhun) but A’isha has narrated the most.

      As for some things not being true, alhamdulillah every one of these things stated in the article is backed up by authentic narrations. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would worship Allah more than anyone, however sometimes he would sleep at night and other times he would pray at night. This is the balance of Islam.

  7. Pingback: A Guide to the Last Ten Days « Ramadan: The Greatest Month of the Year

  8. Avatar

    zuhaib

    August 30, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Assalam-o-Alaikum,
    Anyone knows who is delivering dars on 21, 23, 25, 27 & 29th ramadan in masjid-al-Tawhid Leyton & what time are we going to do qayaam-ul-lail ?

  9. Avatar

    Nabil

    August 31, 2010 at 4:05 AM

    Assalamu ‘aleykum,

    Can we get a link to the original by Ibn Rajab in arabic by any chance?

    Jazakumullah khaiyran,

    wasalam.

  10. Pingback: Keeping It Real on the Late Show Updates « IslamNewcastle

  11. Pingback: Information on the Last 10 Nights « The Blog of The Nomadic Empress…

  12. Pingback: Causes of Forgiveness in Ramadan | MuslimMatters.org

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#Current Affairs

Do You Know These Heroes of Eid?

Ramadan is a time of sacrifice, and the Eid honors and celebrates the fulfillment of that sacrifice. But for many the hardships do not end.

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Rohingya children

Ramadan is a time of sacrifice, and the Eid honors and celebrates the fulfillment of that sacrifice. But for many the hardships do not end.

Between one million and three million Muslims are being detained in concentration camps in China, while masjids are being demolished and imams executed.

The Rohingya Muslims of Burma continue to suffer from terrible persecution. In one Rohingya refugee camp on the Burma / Bangladesh border there are half a million children. These children are banned by the Burmese authorities from attending school and are at risk of early marriage, child labor or being trafficked.

In the Central African Republic, the Muslim minority lives in daily fear of being killed, especially in the south.

The Palestinians continue to suffer after seventy years of occupation, with no end in sight.

Russian and Assad regime attacks on civilians continue in Syria, with the real possibility of an upcoming genocide in Idlib province.

Heroes Abound

In the midst of this all suffering, heroes abound. There’s Serikzhan Bilash of Kazakhstan, who has labored feverishly to document China’s internment of Muslims across the border. He urges those in his organization to continue their work, even as he himself has been arrested.

Those Rohingya children I mentioned in the refugee camp, banned from attending school? One 14-year-old Rohingya girl mentioned in the article has managed to enroll in school in Bangladesh. Her mother sold her food rations and borrowed money to create a fake Bangladeshi birth certificate, then paid a smuggler to take her daughter out of the camp. The girl herself says, “People hate the Rohingya here. I don’t tell people I am one… I have to lie about my identity to survive. Even though it’s a big struggle… I am able to study. There are hundreds of thousands of kids like me inside of the camps who are forced to marry off early…They have no opportunities.”

Also in that camp is 13-year-old Halim, who runs his own tutoring service, where he teaches more than 20 children. He says, “I am teaching them so they can do something for our nation. If they don’t learn anything, they can’t prosper in their life, as well as they can’t fight for the nation.”

Razan al-Najjar

Razan al-Najjar

In Palestine, let us not forget Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old volunteer paramedic from Gaza who was shot by an Israeli sniper on June 1, 2018, while tending to a tear gas victim. In her last Facebook post, the day before she was killed, she wrote, “Your conscience will be comforted as much as possible since God always knows your intention. #sleep_well Be good.”

In Syria, we have Dr. Omar Ibrahim, an Egyptian neurosurgeon who could probably be earning a hefty salary anywhere in the world, but instead labors under constant bombardment in the war-torn and half crushed city of Idlib. He’s been in Syria for five years and says, “I have no regrets about doing this work. Because I have passion for my work, and this work inspires me.”

A Religion of Heroes

Dr. Omar Ibrahim

Dr. Omar Ibrahim

Such stories are amazing, but they are not unique. There are countless heroes, and should that surprise us? Islam is a religion of heroes, and has always been so, going all the way back to its inception in Makkah, when the Prophet Muhammad (sws) drew around himself the weak and powerless, the slaves and foreigners. They were tortured, but did not surrender their new faith. Heroes.

Or, several years later, when the disbelievers of Arabia came in great numbers to wipe the Muslims off the face of the earth. The Muslims dug a great trench around Madinah, and held off the attackers under conditions of hunger and terrible cold, until – with Allah’s help – the siege was broken. Heroes.

So if you thought such heroes were a thing of the past, remember Serikzhan Bilash, the Rohingya girl, Halim, Razan al-Najjar, Dr. Omar Ibrahim and the untold, uncounted heroes like them. You may even know a few heroes personally. I do.

There’s my friend Karim, who works for an organization that sponsors Muslim orphans. He’s overworked and underpaid, and struggles to support his family and two children. He’s highly experienced and could earn more somewhere else. But he sticks with it because he believes in Islamic work.

I think also of my daughter’s homeroom teacher, sister Sharmeen. She’s an enthusiastic teacher who pushes the children to read, write and understand the roots of language. She does more than is required and is not appreciated as she should be. But once again, her passion drives her.

Persistence of Dua’

Our local Imam recently gave a khutbah about the importance of dua’. He said that Allah loves the dua’ that is persistent. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Daa’ wa’l-Dawa’: “One of the most beneficial of remedies is persisting in dua’.”

So be persistent. Pray for our suffering Ummah, and pray for our heroes. And donate whatever you can spare to the organizations that work on their behalf.

My Ordinary Life

As for me, my life is ordinary. On the morning of Eid, I, my mother and my daughter Salma – who is twelve years old now – wake up early and put on our best clothes, inshaAllah. We get in the car and stop at Krispy Kreme donuts.  I buy a box of a dozen to share with others after Salat al-Eid, and a few extras in a bag for our family, so we don’t have to wait in a long line and elbow people to snatch a cruller.

I pick up my cousin’s son, who does not have a car. We go downtown to the Fresno convention center and sit among a thousand other Muslims. We recite the Takbeerat al-Eid, praising Allah’s greatness. The Eid salat begins, then I strain to hear the khutbah as so many people begin chattering right away. Especially, the sisters. Sorry ladies, but it’s true :-)

I know, it all sounds a bit silly, but I’m excited. It’s a wonderful day. I see brothers that I haven’t seen since last year. Everyone is wearing their best outfits.

But it’s not about the donuts or the nice clothes. It is this feeling of sharing a connection with every Muslim around the world; a feeling of being part of something great.

When we return home, my mother makes cookies, and we put some decorations on the walls. Salma opens her presents, which this year are a new Switch game, a dartboard and a pearl necklace. It’s the first piece of real jewelry I’ve ever bought her. Buying it left me with $18 in my bank account, which means I predict a lot of Uber driving (my side job) in my near future. So I hope she likes it.

On such days, I thank Allah that I am alive to see another sunrise. Another day to strive to be a better Muslim and a better human being.

The Spirit of the Prophets

I also talk to Salma, as I do every year, about our Muslim brothers and sisters who are struggling all over the world, fighting for their freedom and their very survival. They don’t have pizza and donuts on Eid or pearl necklaces. Some are starving. Most have lost someone: a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend. Some have been utterly devastated.

Yet they are resolute. They have a deep strength that, like the well of Zamzam, never runs dry, SubhanAllah. They will not give up their hopes, their dreams or their faith, Allah willing.

These are the real heroes of Eid. I feel small next to them. They are the ones living the spirit of the Prophets and the Sahabah. They have made the greatest sacrifices, and are still striving, undaunted. They are living the words of Allah:

Say: ‘Verily, my ṣalāh, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are all for Allāh, the Lord of the ‘Alameen’ (6:162).

May Allah ease the hearts of all who are suffering, replace pain with comfort and joy, sickness with health, oppression with liberation, and tyranny with freedom. May Allah give them security, safety, comfort, victory, and Jannah.

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#Islam

Swallowing Your Pride For A Moment Is Harder Than Praying All Night | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman

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Iblees was no ordinary worshipper. He worshipped Allah for thousands of years with thousands of prayers. He ascended the ranks until he accompanied the angels with his noteworthy worship. Performing good deeds was no issue for him. He thanked Allah with his prayers, and Allah rewarded him with a lofty station in Paradise. But when Adam was created and given the station that he was, suddenly Iblees was overcome by pride. He couldn’t bear to see this new creation occupy the place that he did. And as he was commanded to prostrate to him, his pride would overcome him and doom him for eternity. Alas, swallowing his pride for one prostration of respect to Adam was more difficult to him than thousands of prostrations of worship to Allah.

In that is a cautionary lesson for us especially in moments of intense worship. When we exert ourselves in worship, we eventually start to enjoy it and seek peace in it. But sometimes we become deluded by that worship. We may define our religiosity exclusively in accordance with it, become self-righteous as a result of it, and abuse people we deem lesser in the name of it. The worst case scenario of this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about one who comes on the day of judgment with all of their prayers, fasting, and charity only to have it all taken away because of an abusive tongue.

But what makes Iblees’s struggle so relevant to ours? The point of worship is to humble you to your Creator and set your affairs right with His creation in accordance with that humility. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that whoever has an atom’s worth of pride in their heart would not enter paradise. The most obvious manifestation of that pride is rejecting the truth and belittling someone else. But other subtle manifestations of that pride include the refusal to leave off argumentation, abandon grudges, and humble yourself to the creation in pursuit of the pleasure of the Creator.

Yaqeen

Hence a person would rather spend several Ramadan’s observing the last 10 nights in intense prayer seeking forgiveness for their sins from Allah, rather then humble themselves for a moment to one of Allah’s servants by seeking forgiveness for their transgressions against him, even if they too have a claim.

Jumah is our weekly Eid, and Monday’s and Thursday’s are our weekly semblances of Ramadan as the Prophet (s) used to fast them since our deeds are presented to Allah on those days. He said about them, “The doors of Heaven are opened every Monday and Thursday, and Allah pardons in these days every individual servant who is not a polytheist, except those who have enmity between them; Allah Says: ‘Delay them until they reconcile with each other”

In Ramadan, the doors of Heaven are opened throughout the month and the deeds ascend to Allah. But imagine if every day as your fasting, Quran recitation, etc. is presented to Allah this month, He responds to the angels to delay your pardon until you reconcile with your brother. Ramadan is the best opportunity to write that email or text message to that lost family member or friend and say “it’s not worth it to lose Allah’s forgiveness over this” and “IM SORRY.”

Compare these two statements:

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “He who boycotts his brother for more than three days and dies during this period will be from the people of hellfire.”

He also said:

“I guarantee a house in the suburbs of Paradise for one who leaves arguments even if he is right.”

Swallowing your pride is bitter, while prayer is sweet. Your ego is more precious to you than your sleep. But above all, Allah’s pleasure is more precious than it all.

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#Life

Fall Apart: Be Weak to Find Strength in Allah

Hiba Masood

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Growing up in Jeddah, every evening in Ramadan, we would pile into our car and whiz off to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers to Shoaibi Mosque and spend a few spell-bound hours under the reassuring baritones of Sheikh Abdullah Basfar. His beautiful voice became the anthem of my childhood in many ways but more than his voice, it was the building of tradition and memory that became ingrained in my system. By doing the same thing, day in, day out, year in, year out, my parents gave us a sense of stability and predictability that set the tone for our entire adolescence.

How that rhythm seeped into the very bones of who I am is something I am still discovering well into adulthood.

Last night, standing in my grandmother’s garden in Karachi, I experienced my first Taraweeh Khatam-e-Quran since leaving my parents home in Jeddah so many years ago. It is also, incidentally, my first Ramadan without both my parents, who last year seemingly decided they would much rather be together in Jannah than spend more time in this rubbish world and in quick succession, returned to their Maker, leaving me understandably grieving, awash in memories, struggling to steer my ship.

And so it was, that by the time the imam reached Surah Qadr, I was chokey. By Surah Kawthar, I had tears streaming down my face. And by the time the last three surahs, the comforting Quls, began, I was openly sobbing. Probably more openly than what is considered socially appropriate…but honestly, I was restraining myself. Because what I actually felt like doing was throwing my head back and howling up at the sky. Thankfully, I was flanked by women who knew, who understood, who with tears in their own eyes, let me be with my heaving shoulders and a chest that felt it would crack open under the weight of my emotions.

As the imam had recited surah after surah and the end of the Quran had approached, the ghosts of Ramadan Past had flooded into me and my body had remembered. It had remembered years and years of experiencing that same excitement, that same sense of weight as Sheikh Abdullah Basfar gently and methodically guided us over the course of the month through the Book of all books, that same uplifting, heartbreaking, momentous trepidation of offering something up to Him with the hope that He would bestow something shining in return.

Had this Book been revealed to a mountain, the mountain would have crumbled. You get a tiny glimpse of that weight when you complete a khatam. Here I am, Allah, here I am, in my little hole-y dinghy, with my itty bitty crumbs of ibaadah. Pliss to accept?

Back in Jeddah, after the khatam, we would pile back in the car and go for ice cream. Last night in Karachi, after the khatam, the Imam gave a short talk and in it he mentioned how we are encouraged to cry when conversing with Allah. We should beg and plead and insist and argue and tantrum with Him because He loves to be asked again and again. We live in a world of appropriateness, political correctness, carefully curated social media feeds and the necessity of putting our best, most polished face forwards at all times. How freeing then, that when we turn to our Lord, we are specifically instructed to abandon our sense of control. All the facades and the curtains are encouraged to be dropped away and we stand stripped to our souls in front of Him. In other words, He loves it when we fall apart. Which is exactly what I had just done. 

Last night, I found myself wondering what exactly had I cried so hard over. Which tears were for Him and the desperate desire for His mercy? Which were for the loveliness of the Quran, the steadying rhythm of it, not just verse to verse but also, cover to cover? Which tears were for the already achey yearning of yet another Ramadan gone past? Which were for my breaking heart that has to soon face my first Eid day and all the days of my life without my beloved Mumma and Baba? Which tears were of gratitude that I get to stand on an odd night of the best time of the year, alongside some of my dearest people, in the courtyard of a house full of childhood memories, under the vast, inky, starry sky and standing there, I get to fall apart, freely, wholly, soul-satisfyingly?

And which tears were of a searingly humbling recognition, that I am so wildly privileged to have this faith of mine – the faith that promises if we navigate the choppy dunya waters right, we will be reunited with our loved ones in a beautiful, eternal place, that if we purposely, and repeatedly crumble under the weight of our belief in Him and His plans, our future is bright?

Today, I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter why I cried. Because here is what I do know:

1. “If Allah knows good in your hearts, He will give you better than what was taken from you…” (8:70)


2. “If Allah intends good for someone, then he afflicts him with trials.” Prophet Muhammad

3. “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him. If he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” Prophet Muhammad

In losing my parents, I have drawn closer to Allah. And though I miss them dizzyingly, I am so thankful that through the childhood they gave me, through the anchoring to the Quran they gifted me with, through their own tears that I witnessed during those long-ago khatams in the Shoaibi Mosque in Jeddah, they left me with the knowledge that if in losing them, I have gained even an atom’s worth more of His pleasure, then that’s a pretty great bargain.

 

As a parent of three young ones myself, I’ve spent my days teaching my children: be strong, be strong, be strong. Stand tall, stay firm, be sturdy in the face of the distracting, crashing waves of the world. But now I know something just as important to teach them: be weak, be weak, be weak.

Crumble in front of Him, fall apart, break open so that His Light may enter and be the only thing to fill you. It’s not easy but it will be essential for your survival in the face of any loss, grief, trial and despair this world throws your way. It will help you, finger to tongue, always know which way the wind is blowing and which way to steer your ship. Straight in to the sun, always. To Jannah. Because how wondrous are the affairs of us Muslims that when it comes to our sorrows and our hopes, out there on the horizon of Allah’s wise plans, it all shimmers as one – The grief of what is, the memory of what was and brighter than both, the glittering, iridescent promise of what will be.

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