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Practical Spirituality Part 1: The Inaugural Address of the Prophet

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) arrival in Madinah was a turning point for the Muslim community. Abdullah b. Salam, a Jewish scholar, was awaiting his arrival along with the rest of the city. It was a huge celebration – children were singing, drums playing, and everyone was excited to finally see the Messenger of God.

Abdullah b. Salam was interested in seeing who this man was and if he actually did fit the description of the coming Prophet mentioned in the Torah. He described the scene after his arrival, saying there were so many people, I was on my toes trying to get a look at him. The crowd was so large that some people were climbing up palm trees just to get a glimpse of him. Finally, Abdullah saw his face. He said, I knew right then and there that his face was not the face of a liar.

Then, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) started to speak. “Ya ayyuhal-nas! Everyone, listen close!” The crowd went silent. At this crucial moment when the whole community was gathered and waiting on his first words – Abdullah b. Salam tells us the inaugural address of the Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

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أفشوا السلام، وأطعموا الطعام، وصِلُوا الأرحام، وصلّوا بالليل والناس نيام، تدخلوا الجنة بسلام

“Spread the greeting amongst yourselves, feed the needy, maintain a strong family relationship, pray during the night while others are asleep, and you will enter Jannah safe and sound.”

The first thing we notice is that Abdullah b. Salam raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) recognized the truthfulness and sincerity of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) just by looking at him. It was visible on his face, his body language and this gave him credibility because it supported his message[1]. Abdullah accepted Islam and became one of the prominent companions.

Spread the Greeting

I’ve moved around quite a bit the past few years. One of the first things I notice about a city is how often people greet one another. Some cities feel downright gloomy because the residents barely crack a smile. We underestimate the impact of a simple hi. Have you ever had a not-so-good day and someone genuinely smiled at you and asked you how you were doing? It made your day, right? Greeting people is a way to build relationships and develop traits like compassion and empathy. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is teaching us to not live in a bubble. Greeting someone means we are aware of their presence, mood and circumstances. If we walk by one another without a care in the world, our connection as fellow people will significantly decline. You won’t ignore someone if you see they are in low spirits or even in need of help if you initiate a greeting. This why the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) tells us in another hadith, spreading salaam will increase the love between all of you. It is the first step in cultivating a relationship with others.

Feed the Needy

This is the next step after greeting people. While feeding those in need is a good deed, the bigger picture here is that the believer is socially conscious and an active member of the community[2]. They are critically aware of what is going on around them and they do what they can to help. Islam teaches a sense of responsibility to ourselves, our families and our communities. Providing food for those in need is one of the ways to fulfill our communal duties. Similarly, this is a recipe for building compassion. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us that interacting with people directly will connect us to one another. He tells us to wipe the heads of the orphans, to shake the hand of our fellow brother or sister and to help the person with a heavy load. Feeding is a theme that comes up again and again in the Qur’an, many times coupled with other acts of worship like prayer, illustrating the multifaceted nature of worship in our religion. An important point here is that being socially active is not done for recognition or an award or for the sake of taking up a social cause. The Qur’an tells us that the motivation of those who feed the needy is loving God, not praise or recognition (76:8-9). Loving God and being conscious of Him translates into taking care of those around them.

Maintaining a Strong Family Relationship

The next advice is to maintain strong family ties. We have all seen it in our communities: people who are active, first in line for prayer or first to provide a service yet it is well-known that they treat their family terribly. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is telling us here that if your Islam is not making you a better family person then you have not embodied the core principles of the religion. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) includes the rights of others, including our families, among His Rights. So, maintaining and developing a strong family unit is fulfilling the right of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Relationships is the theme emphasized by the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as he first addresses his new community, teaching us that our relationships are the infrastructure of our communities. Often times when we talk about taqwa, developing a consciousness and awareness of Allah, it is done in relation to halal/haram. In doing so, we overlook the context of 90% of taqwa’s mention in the Qur’an – our relationship with people and our character. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us to embody justice in all of its forms – whether it is being an honest employee, spending time with your family, feeding the poor or not littering – because it is the height of piety (5:8).

Night Prayer

The final advice of the Prophet subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) connects the dots between our devotional acts of worship and day-to-day life. He gives us our spiritual fuel[2]. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) recognizes that consistently doing the above three advices is not easy. It takes time, effort and self-discipline. So, how do we help ourselves in doing the above three? Praying during the night while others are sleeping. This is how we cultivate and strengthen our personal relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). We are taught here that prayer, along with other personal acts of worship, are not just rituals. They are a means to build a relationship with God[4].

Worship will renew us spiritually when we feel worn out from our social activities. When activists and Islamic workers face burnout, we overlook one of the root causes which is a lack of a relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Without this fuel, we will keep draining ourselves until there is nothing left to drain. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is teaching us to always take time for our personal relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). It will give us the inner strength and energy to sustain our relationships and service to others[5].

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) ends by saying if one follows this formula, they will reach Paradise in peace. There are no gimmicks or loop holes here. We are given our fuel, personal devotion to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and our vehicle, social relationships, to get there bi salaam, safe and sound with nothing to worry about.

Practical Spirituality

Oftentimes when we learn about tazkiya or purification of the heart, it becomes something abstract and reduced to catch phrases like “be patient” and “have taqwa”. We don’t really know how turn “be patient” into self-development. The dots aren’t connected for us and we don’t know how to connect them ourselves. For some, Islam becomes something purely external and ritualistic. It becomes about halal and haram. For others, Islam is about a “cause”, focusing on social activism or islamic work. The bottom line is that we pray, we fast, we go for hajj while we have some deep-seated spiritual and ethical ailments.

In this hadith, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) addresses both groups of Muslims – those who focus solely on devotional acts of worship such as prayer while falling short in their relationships and those who excel in their relationships and social causes but fall short in their worship. He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gives us a practical formula to excel in both aspects of our Islam, when consistently maintained, will lead us to Paradise.

We all know the ayah that tells us our purpose in life. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us, “I have not created man and jinn except to worship me.” (51:56) Yet we often forget the accompanying hadith. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) tells us he was sent to “perfect good manners”. What does this mean? It means that I have been sent to bring out the best in you, to bring out the best in people.

Islam, when done right, makes us better people – in all aspects of our lives. This is practical spirituality[6]. We look at the Companions and see how they were transformed – they did not just start praying, but they reached the height of their potential as human beings as servants of God, as strong family men and women, and as people who served their communities.

The purpose of this series is to learn how our spirituality is an all-inclusive effort. We have our personal relationship with Allah (swt), we have our own personal development, and we have a relationship with those around this – this is all inter-connected spirituality, as illustrated in the above hadith. We will talk about our potential for spiritual development, how to spiritually nourish ourselves and how to connect the dots between all aspects of our spirituality to become people who take Islam beyond superficial definitions and ritualistic schedules.

[1] Feed, Greet and Pray: The Prophetic Formula

[2] Islam’s Social Vision

[3]Feed, Greet and Pray: The Prophetic Formula

[4] Dr. Maher Hathout.

[5] Feed, Greet and Pray: The Prophetic Formula

[6] The term “practical spirituality” was coined and used often by our Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda.

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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.



  1. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    JazzakAllahu khair, good article, just one question:

    Where did you get the Maher Hathout citation from? Is it in a video he made or a lecture or a book of his? I used to attend the masjid he frequents.

    • Avatar

      Yusra Owais (Amatullah)

      July 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      It is from an episode of “straight talk”.

      • Avatar


        July 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Anyways, I would be weary of him and his partner Khaled Abu El Fadel.

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          July 3, 2013 at 8:02 AM


          As informed earlier, all your comments are manually approved by Comments Team. Please have patience and don’t assume they have been censored. JazakAllahu Khairin.


  2. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    This is very educating

  3. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I try not to comment but could not resist once again. I hope someone can help me in better understanding my life long struggle; the purpose of “MY” life!

    I agree with what is said in the article only up to the heading ‘Practical Spirituality’ (the last heading). By the way, the ayah been quoted should read 51:56 not 51:55. Also I feel the more appropriate ayah would have been 4:36. However, I am glad that you have chosen the 51:56 and addressed it as the purpose of our life. But is it the purpose of our life? I don’t think worshipping God is our sole purpose in life. Perhaps ‘worship’ means something else to me? What do you mean by worship? Praying is what I understand. Then, someone who prays 5 times a day and more with all the sunnahs and some extras …they had fulfilled their purpose?
    I feel you have taken the ayah out of context and made it out that God was in desperate need for people to worship Him and to praise Him therefore we were created. Praying should be seen as seeking help and guidance from God in my opinion. Because if you read 51:57 God says no sustenance do I require of them….. He does not need anything from us.

    So unless you have a valid reason to why you feel this is the purpose of our life; for me back to the drawing board with my question of ‘what is the purpose of MY life’

    • Avatar

      Abu Asiyah

      July 2, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

      As a convert, one of the things I really appreciated about Islam was that it made no separation between the secular and the spiritual. Any permissible act in Islam can be made into worship by a simple intention to please Allah Ta’ala through the act (such as read a book to relax to have more energy for worship, talk with your friend to strengthen the unity of the ummah, etc).

      As such, anything that pleases Allah or is done in His obedience, is worship. And our objective in life IS to worship Him by obeying Him and seeking to please Him. And it’s true that, like you said, Allah Ta’ala ensures that no mistake is made by reminding mankind that He doesn’t need our worship. I don’t think the article needed to include that verse, the context is more suitable for a discussion on aqeedah.

      • Avatar


        July 2, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        From what I know from Nouman Ali Khan, the actual meaning is enslaving. So when we say in Surah Al Fatiha “iyah kana’budu” it means “you alone we enslave ourselves to”

        Such an important thing-the purpose of our creation and we don’t translate it properly. SubhanAllah.

      • Avatar

        Yusra Owais (Amatullah)

        July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        Gunal and Abu Asiyah, the reason why I put the ayah from surah 51 in this article is for the same reason why you mentioned prayer = worship in your mind. The concept of ‘ebadah is understood to mean “worship” but it has more of a meaning of being devoted only to Allah (swt). Unfortunately, we sometimes limit the meaning to physical and/or devotional acts of worship such as prayer or fasting. But, as I included in the article, taking care of your family is worship, smiling and greeting others is worship just as praying is worship. This is mentioned by Abu Asiyah. When this ayah is coupled with the narration from the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, we learn that worship in all of its forms and being devoted to God should be an active part of our lives as well as a means of our self-development. The purpose of this article and the whole series is for us to understand the comprehensive yet practical nature of worship and spirituality. Allah knows best.

        And jazak Allahu khayran for correcting the typo.

      • Avatar


        July 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Thanks Abu Asiyah.

        Yusra, it can be said that I am not comfortable with such wide meaning given to the word ‘worship’. According to your article we are supposed to think worship encapsulates the meanings ibadah, pray, good behaviour towards others… Perhaps even more?

        I thought it means as Mahmut said ‘enslaving ourselves’. If so then ayah 51:57 contradicts it. Allah (swt) does not need anything why should He need to create us to enslave towards Him. Perhaps then, He created us to enslave to each other. I don’t feel this is the case neither.

        I feel the whole ayah (51:56) is mistranslated. Of course I am aware that on the judgment day it will be all cleared up for us. By refusing to take your words for it now, I am trying to voice that something about it is not making complete sense to me. As the scholars by commenting and expressing my concerns to you I am hoping for some clarification before I will be confronted on the judgment day.

        Thank you for the opportunity.

        • Avatar


          July 3, 2013 at 2:23 PM

          Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

          From listening the Nouman Ali Khan, that appears to be the literal translation.

          Perhaps that is a benefit of Allah saying he doesn’t need us right after the purpose for which he created us. It removes any possible confusion.

          Yes, Allah aza wa jal does not need us but he created us to enslave ourselves to Him. He knows more, there is a hadith that says no one loves to be praised more than he does and for this reason he praises himself.

  4. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this much needed and wonderful post!

  5. Avatar

    Mace Abdullah

    July 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    No mention of the Sahifatul Madinah or Constitution of Madinah, enacted by the Prophet, AS, assured certain forms of ta’awun or mutual cooperation would be implemented, upheld.and that contained three (3) aspects of ta’awun, including:
    • “Provision for social insurance affecting the Jews, Ansar and the Christians.
    • Statement that “the immigrants among the Quraish shall be responsible for their word and shall pay their blood money in mutual collaboration.”
    • Provision for ransom (fidya) whereby payment is made to rescue the life of a prisoner and the relatives (‘aqilah) could cooperate to free him.”

  6. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    for those who want their agendas focused in the article, you should simply write your own article and not look for faults in others

    • Avatar


      July 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      This is the whole purpose: Others write the articles and we are able to comment. Even if we write our own agendas (in our own articles) we would not stop commenting on the others’ articles. If you don’t like the heat get out of the kitchen!

  7. Avatar


    July 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Selam Mahmud,

    I am so happy for you that you are able to see ayah 51:57 opposite to how I see it. You sound so convinced.

    However, I still see It as contradiction to 51:56.

    It doesn’t matter for me because through a lot of thinking and being able to read Qur’an’s translations from 2 different languages I can see how difficult it can be interpreting something which is; a)not written within the language it is spoken b)neither can be understood as what it may have meant in the times It was written (such as the expressions of the words’ changeability through time). Did you know that according to some teenagers today the word sick means actually an awesome thing? To be honest when looking at the facial expressions accompanying the word sick, I am still not certain sometimes what that young person mean. Should I call an ambulance or should I open a bottle of bubbly (sparkling appletiser of course)!

    So, I can say that as well as the word ‘worship’, the meaning of ‘slavery’ is not so sick for me.

    Yes it doesn’t matter for me because in my language (Turkish) we have a word called ‘KUL’. I am not going to write what it translates in English because it loses its meaning. So I will explain it in so many words;
    in United KINGDOM the citizens are not called the ‘CITIZENS’. They are called the ‘SUBJECTS’ of that kingdom. Governed by and swear allegiance to that kingdom. Just like that, we have a CREATOR and His KUL(S) (He created) belong to Him, governed by Him, swear allegiance to Him… As a citizen in Turkey or a subject in UK I am a slave in this world. Mainly I slave to my own desires. Slave to the golden carrot dangled in front of me. But when it comes to my Perfect Creator I wouldn’t like to slave because; I can’t help myself, because I am weak, because He gave me life, the experiences in His world and the prospect of a better everlasting future… I feel I would and all of His Kul(s) would do anything for Him just because we recognise the comfort it gives us just for belonging to Him.

    Yes it doesn’t matter for me about this particular contradiction but for scholars out there – as you will see from A’s comment on the article ‘Muslims Can’t do anything why be Muslim’ I am not alone. Some views paint a totally different picture in our minds.

    • Avatar


      July 9, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what is confusing you, brother. Is it the notion that we’re slaves of Allah and our purpose in this life is to worship Him and Him alone? I’m just going to quote you a little bit, if you don’t mind ;)

      “What do you mean by worship? Praying is what I understand. Then, someone who prays 5 times a day and more with all the sunnahs and some extras …they had fulfilled their purpose?”

      No, people who merely pray 5 times a day have not fulfilled their purpose. Worshipping Allah(swt) means doing all the tasks he made compulsory for us first, (the 5 daily prayers, fasting, zakaath etc.) then applying ourselves in our daily duties (family, work, school) within the limits set by the religion of Allah(swt). Basically, if you pray 5 times a day, as you mentioned, you have done the important bit, congratulations. It’s these acts of worship that strengthens and maintains your relationship with Allah, and reminds you that Allah is ever watchful. The next bit of worship is conducting yourself within the rules and regulations set in Islam, while possessing the mannerisms taught by the Prophet, peace be upon him. These acts of worship include things as little as greeting a person with a smile, helping out a person in need, refusing to cheat during an exam, avoiding usury while conducting a business transaction, or even playing with your children and spending time with your family.

      Of course, if you neglect your religious duties then nothing else you do can be considered an act of worship.

      Hope this helps, I’m sure there are people on here who are far more capable than I am in putting thoughts to words.

      • Avatar


        July 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Thanks for your concern Ismail. I am okay now. Not so cofused. :)

  8. Avatar

    Zabi Mohamme

    July 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    As salaamualaikum, this is such an amazing article you have written. SubhanAllah, it was something very revealing about the beauty and practicality of Islam. Along with the message presented in a very articulate form, one thing that really made me understood the truth of the Prophet’s gift: He was given by Allah the ability to explain a whole idea, a concept in just few words. I always knew about this gift of His to his beloved but as an average Muslim you fail to acknowledge just the sheer beauty or strength of our Deen, our Prophet(Sallallahualihiwassallam), the respect, the adab he deserves for just being him. But this article really made me understand his gift, his amazing ability. I may be going off topic, but it’s got me one step closer to my Nabi, who I should obediently and arduously follow.

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Identity Scholarship: Ideological Assabiya And Double Standards

The Prophet helped the Arabs overcome their asabiya (tribalism) and enter a new defining bond of Islam. The criterion for right and wrong was no longer clan membership, but rooted in the religion of Islam. Muslims were instructed to defend the truth, command good, and forbid evil regardless of tribal affiliation. Asabiya does not just relate to kin-based tribes.  One of the resurging traces of jahilya affecting our discourse is ideological tribalism. In ideological tribalism, we hold double standards between our tribe and other tribes, and overlook fallacies in our group that we would not for other groups. Just as we protect an idea that represents our identity, when a personality reflects our group identity, there is a personal reason to defend the personality. It then becomes instinctual then to double-down in discussions even when wrong to show group strength, which at this point is a survival mechanism and not a true dialectic. Abandoning a quest for truth and succumbing to an in-group vs. out-group dichotomy leaves us to defend falsehood and dislike truth. Refusing to accept truth is one way the Prophet described arrogance. 

Group belonging

One of the main drivers of identity scholarship is group belonging. When we focus on defending our group rather than principles which extend beyond group delineations we prove false our claims of wanting the truth.  The burden of moral responsibility is not offset by finding someone to follow [1]. Charismatic leaders have an ability to tap into latent desires of individuals and awaken in them the desire to be part of something greater than themselves. Their own identities are often validated by following the charismatic figure, and they then work hard to preserve the group as they would to preserve their own selves.

According to Ann Ruth Willner, charismatic authority “derives from the capacity of a particular person to arouse and maintain belief in himself or herself as the source of legitimacy. Willner says that the charismatic leadership relationship has four characteristics:

  1. The leader is perceived by the followers as somehow superhuman.
  2. The followers blindly believe the leader’s statements.
  3. The followers unconditionally comply with the leader’s directives for action.
  4. The followers give the leader unqualified emotional commitment.
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Charismatic leadership satisfies our desire to be part of something bigger, and paradoxically, to hand all power over to someone else can make us feel more powerful because we think that person is the best version of ourselves. We feel that we have gained ‘agency by proxy.’ We have also dumped all responsibility for decisions onto the leader- what Erich Fromm, the scholar of Nazism, called an ‘escape from freedom.’ When we are in a charismatic leadership relationship, our sense of self-worth attaches attached to the identity of the leader, so that we take personally any criticism of that leader, and have as much difficulty admitting flaws or errors on the leader’s parts as we do on our own. Because we see the leader as us, and we see us as good, we simply can’t believe that he or she might do bad things” (59) [2].

Charismatic leadership is emotional and works on desires. This type of leadership has no relation to truth. It exists and persists due to feelings, hence contradictions, double-standards, and outright hypocrisy aren’t issues for those in the relationship. Even when the leader confidently behaves irresponsibly, followers do not think less of him. What is inconsistent and irresponsible for an out-group observer is charming to members of the in-group.

As Miller points out: 

Followers don’t expect charismatic leaders to be responsible for what they say, nor to behave responsibly; their irresponsible behavior is part of their power. Their use of hyperbole and tendency to be unfiltered in speech are taken to signify their passionate commitment to the in-group (60).

Such loyalty is not specific for charismatic leaders, The Minimal Group Paradigm shows that we have more empathy for our in-group even if that in-group is arbitrarily assigned, and we will act biased in their favor against an arbitrarily assigned out-group. This is a tendency against which we must actively fight to maintain clarity in thinking and fair standards in discussions. When group loyalty is prized there is a fear of opposing the group, which obliterates any chance of scholarly discourse. Questioning a position becomes akin to questioning authority and leaves the questioner ostracized and out-casted. When the out-group is pejoratively labeled, there is an additional fear of thinking like or ending up in that group. 

Identity scholarship

Rather than looking at the argument constructed and judging whether or not it is sound, identity scholarship approves or dismisses arguments based on the person making them. Arguments are then validated by personalities and not standards of scholarship.  This is a dangerous shift from reasoning and evidence to personalities. 

Identity scholarship leverages the need to belong and centers the personality over the argument. However, focusing on the strength of arguments and not the personality is especially important given that the term ‘scholar’ or ‘shaykh’ is applied to vocationally trained Muslims, seminal graduates, preachers, or to those who display a scholarly caliber in Islam alike. This is a sufficient crisis. The term is heavily equivocated, and should never serve to stand in place of standards of scholarship in discourse. 

Ambiguity in the term ‘scholar’ or ‘shaykh’ is exploited by groups to strengthen their influence. Not always pernicious, this is the natural progression of proselytizing via group identity. An in-group who will dismiss dissenting voices for not having studied long enough, not obtaining ijazas, will promote voices of similar or less educated Muslims when those voices are in their ‘in-group.’ Titles like ‘ustadh’ and ‘ustadha’ are quickly conferred upon those who are volunteers or proponents of the ‘in-group’ even with minimal study. Advocating for the correct paradigm is rewarded more than a knowledge based approach to issues. Giving titles to those with social capital in your in-group is also an effective way for brand expansion. For example, loosely affiliated students with avenues into the growing Muslim mental health field are often referred to as ‘ustadha.’  Also, traditionalists will often promote in-group religious figures engaging in no-risk activism like condemning already popularly condemned figures as exemplary ‘scholars and activists’ who should be followed by other activists.  

If a person has been doing this long enough they become ‘shaykh,’ and then eventually a ‘senior scholar’ with assumed wisdom and spiritual insight, worthy of deference. I am well acquainted with the unfortunate irony in traditional circles where those who push a manhaj of studying at the feet of scholars have by and large not done so beyond attending general lectures by visiting scholars.  Many do not even know Arabic, but their zeal and tenure of feel good lectures in a community primarily interested in nasheeds and tea coupled with their promoting the right figures secure for them a scholarly status by generations who venerate the theory of studying at the feet of scholars. 

Thus authority and titles are conferred by virtue of in-group allegiance. 

Slip into demagoguery

When we accept an in-group and out-group dichotomy and don’t argue fairly, we lay the foundation for demagogic discourse. As Patricia Mill-Roberts writes “If people decide to see things as a zero-sum game- the more they succeed, the more we lose, and we should rage about any call made against us, and cheer any call made against them- then democracy loses” (13). The best way to avoid this is by maintaining fair discussions and letting go of double standards. Arguments appealing to in-group or out-group positions rather than being based in fact should not be accepted regardless of which group they are coming from. Several tactics used in these types of arguments are described below. 

Creating a strawman

Falsely representing the out-group is a common tactic in demagogic discourse. One example is portraying out-group critics as only critics. The critic is frozen in time as someone who has accomplished nothing, helped no one, and as only one who sees the faults in others. The in-group then goes on to list what they have accomplished -‘albeit with some faults’- to not seem as braggarts, but insists that those faults are magnified by the arm-chair critics. 

Another example is labeling Muslims more concerned with academic preservation and development as Muslims in ivory towers. This suggests knowledge is only relevant if immediately actionable and discounts the role of theoretical knowledge in both present and future action as well as an intrinsic end.  

Even when it comes to the epitome of practical action, Allah tells the Muslims to not all go out in battle, but to have groups remain behind to study.

Condescending discrediting

One way demagoguery characterizes the out-group is by a “dithering, wavering, impaired masculinity, and weakness…”(66).  Just as Rudy Giuliani dismissed those protesting Trump’s 2016 win as “professional protestors” with nothing else to do in life, so do we dismiss dissenting voices. 

Terms like ‘keyboard warrior’ should be dropped from the vernacular of anyone who uses the internet for Islamic education. If the internet is good enough for theatrical Ramadan reminders and choreographed Islamic reflections, it should also be good enough for dissent and valid critiques.[3] We have to embrace the fact that the internet is not a pretend medium; social media posts are used in newsfeeds, are reacted to on the mimbar, and even prompt live events. If we dismiss valid criticisms made online as the act of ‘keyboard warriors’ we should also call those giving dawah online ‘studio daa’is.’  

Discrediting due to inexperience

Experience is an important element in answering questions and dealing with different scenarios, and, should rightly be considered when one is looking for a teacher, etc. However, frequently, the standards for what constitutes experience are used inconsistently. The same individuals who refer to young teachers as ‘shaykh’ or ‘mufti’ while in their in-group, dismiss ‘shaykhs’ and ‘muftis’ in the out-group of similar age and experience, arguing that a person can’t be a ‘real’ mufti because studying 7 years doesn’t make anyone a scholar. Graduating from a seminary or Islamic university will be the standard for members of an in-group to be called scholars, but the out-group will be ‘immature graduates’ who have not learned wisdom.  Wisdom itself will be defined as the avoidance of actions which challenge the in-group. Likewise an activist saying the right thing and echoing in-group talking points will be called ‘ustadh,’ but if from the ‘out-group’ dismissed as a Godless- activist’ that just hates hierarchy. 

Victimization and Victimology

Demagoguery thrives on the in-group being victimized by the out-group. It is common for religious figures to dismiss valid criticism as nothing but hate, envy, or ignorance [4]. When criticized by activists, it is common to label them as ‘anti-clerical’ activists who only have an issue with Islamic leaders because they are neo-Marxists. 

‘Neo-Marxist’ is used as a catch-all term to discredit those who disagree with the positions of some religious leaders to insinuate the disagreements are rooted in hate for hierarchy or authority thus being illegitimate. Even conservative and practicing Muslims are labeled as ‘leftists’ and ‘Godless activists’ for simple critiques. In Sufi groups, disagreeing with leadership is often said to be the result of being spiritually veiled, or the work of ‘dark forces’ and ‘shayateen’ dividing us. If we can agree that black-magic and evil-eye are real but should not be the first culprit in a failing marriage, let’s also look for practical failures when religious organizations break down before we start blaming the ‘shayateen.’  

On one hand the in-group claims they are victims, on the other they blame the out-group for having a victim mentality.  This may seem like an obvious contradiction, but as Miller explains,  

If condemnation of out-group behavior is performed by a very likable persona, then onlookers are likely to conclude that the rhetor would never engage in the behavior she or he is condemning. This maneuver is especially effective with people who believe that you can know what someone believes by listening to what values he or she claims to espouse, and with people who think you can predict behavior by listening to values talk (who believe that ‘good people- that is, people who say the right things- don’t do ‘bad’ things) (56) 

Another tactic is using terms like ‘victomology’ to belittle legitimate grievances of being wronged and falsely representing those grievances as an attitude of being a victim in life.

Being oppressed (mazlum) does not require living a tough life, being a victim in life, or being part of an oppressed group. We are told by the Prophet that delaying a payment owed while being capable of paying is oppression (Muslim). When our God given rights are transgressed upon, we are mazlum in that situation. It is not uncommon however to see Muslims want to claim their rights and express they have been wronged to be dismissed as those who love to be victims. Ironically, this is even done by organizations that describe themselves with the leftist concept of ‘safe spaces.’  

Disregarding Nuance

“Demagoguery is comfortable because it says the world is very simple, and made up of good people (us) and bad people (them)” (24). 

We must understand that if someone does not see an issue as black or white, it’s not because they are obviously corrupt, willfully ignorant, or stupid.  The word nuance itself triggers cynicism and is treated as an excuse to employ mental gymnastics to deny what is ‘obvious.’  The fact of the matter is when it comes to khilafi issues there is generally a vast scope of acceptable actions, and when it comes personal ijtihaadi matters for policy there is often no clear-cut best answer. Thus in such matters the objective is to come to a best resolution or course of action. In short, we should all take appropriate measures in our decisions to ensure the benefit outweighs the harm. Certain positions are cautioned against due to the likelihood of harm to one’s religion, but that likelihood may not serve as evidence that one has harmed his religion. As the great scholar Muhammad Awama relates in Ma’laam Irshadiya, the way of the scholars is to leave people in what they are following as long as it is correct and has a valid legal perspective [5]

Scholarly discourse

Advice from recognized experts in a field carries weight, but it should not be conflated with a scholarly argument. A common mistake is to confer authority upon an opinion outside the area of one’s authority. Scholarly works must prove themselves to be scholarly as stand-alone works. Even if a great scholar has published many scholarly works, his advice should be taken as advice. For example, Imam al-Ghazali was a great scholar, but Dear Beloved Son is not a scholarly work.  We have a malfoozaat (wisdom-sharing) tradition that is precious, but we must know where to place it in the hierarchy of Islamic knowledge. 

Islamic scholarly discourse should be evidence based, demonstrative of legal proficiency, and cater to Islamic concerns. Those engaging should share the evidence for what they say, the sources of the rulings they share, the difference between the reason for a ruling and the wisdom of a ruling [6], understand contextual fatwas,[7] and understand which rulings are based on urf and which rulings are intrinsic obligations or prohibitions. These are just some elements of Islamic scholarly discourse, and it cannot exist alongside identity scholarship. 

There should be private forums with prerequisites where scholarly discourse can take place. When these discussions move outside of their proper place other issues such as discussing weak or aberrant (shadh) fiqh opinions arise, which to an undiscriminating audience all will seem co-valid on the spectrum of differing opinions in sharia. Promoting aberrant positions caters to our cultural preferences of thinking outside the box and carries the façade of an intellectual approach to Islam. In Maharam al-Lisaan (Prohibitions of the Tongue) Muhammad Mawlud lists both mentioning the conflict between the Sahabah, and mentioning aberrant opinions as prohibitions.  This is not due to the utterance being sinful, but rather to the misconceptions it can lead to for the average Muslim if not properly addressed.  

There may be a need to dismiss open innovators and those spreading misguidance, because there is no end to the possibilities of innovation and it obfuscates what should be self-evident, and can be very difficult for even scholars to refute in ways that resonate with those affected by innovation. The double standard as previously mentioned is when lack of formal credentials is only a problem for out-groups. 

How to have productive discourse

Islamic historical discourse has its share of polemics. There are commentaries, fatwas and treatises which insult valid ijtihad and even refer to the entirety of a madhab with epithets. Some scholars were harsh and had a penchant for polemics. Transgressions into mockery and slander were not condoned, and belligerent attitudes were something scholars sought to check with reminders of adab al-ikhtilaf (the etiquettes of disagreement). While the previously mentioned certainly existed and such an approach may serve to strengthen positions of the in-group to the in-group, it does not make for productive dialogue with the out-group.

Outside of scholarly discourse, when we debate policy and Islamic positions, we need to have sincere, fact based arguments with the goal of arriving at truth. Our ability to accept truth no matter who says it shows we have transcended in-group vs. out-group tribalism and have entered the realm of sincere discourse.  Overcoming in-group tribalism and following the truth, rather than blindly following our ‘fathers’ is a central message in the Quran. 

And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?  2:170 

Arguments on points should never be personal. We should train ourselves to evaluate arguments and understand that people we like can make mistakes, and people we dislike and generally disagree with may be right on certain matters. 

Don’t take cheap shots if you disagree with someone, such as pointing out a typo to insinuate incompetence. 

It’s important to leave double-standards, and to point them out when someone is employing them.  When one side is unfair or uses double standards, it encourages the opposition to act in kind, and the discussion devolves into a fight. When disagreeing with someone, never insult that person.  When a personality is attacked, the response will be defending the personality, and the entire discussion is derailed. 

Sharing a post, or article should not be seen as endorsing an individual or a post. Sometimes it’s a means of opening a discussion, other times to share beneficial points even if the entirety of what is shared is not beneficial. Furthermore, endorsing an individual in one area is not a blanket endorsement, and should never be taken as such.  The Hanafi tradition was able to benefit from legal fatwas while not accepting theology of Mu’tazilite scholars. Likewise, many of our best tafseers are from Mu’tazilite scholars. The widely studied and highly regarded Tafseer al-Baydawi is basically a reworked Mu’tazilite tafseer without the Mu’tazilite aqidah. Scholars have been able to ‘take the good and leave the harm.’ 

“I don’t think you could search America, sir, and find two men who agree on everything.” – Malcolm X

We need to uplift our intellectual level and drop disclaimers like “I don’t agree with everything in this article” or “I don’t agree with everything he said.”  It is only worth stating when you do agree with everything someone says or does.  The common disclaimers should be taken as givens and we shouldn’t capitulate to a cultural push of walking on egg-shells so no one accuses us of supporting the wrong person or idea. 

It is critical we operate under the assumption that sharing a panel with or working with an individual is not an endorsement of that individual. Likewise, working with an organization is not an endorsement of that organization. Such associations are attacked as potentially confusing to the average Muslim, but we must work towards establishing that such actions are not support. 

Here we see an ambivalent conceptualization of the ‘average Muslim’ as someone who both deserves transparency from religious scholars for their actions as well as one who is easily confused or misled by the actions of Muslim scholars. If we can accept both propositions, that a scholar’s actions are not proof, and that working with someone and sharing posts and platforms do not equate support for every particular view or stance of a person, we may set the foundation for being issue focused rather than personality focused. 

In conclusion, it is important we all hold ourselves to high standards of discourse and not support behavior or fallacies from our in-group that we would deride from an out-group. The groups themselves are inevitable and not a problem, but we have to work to overcome the natural ideological tribalism that accompanies group membership.  If we personally transcend in-group bias and reflect it in our discourse, we can overcome the pettiness and hypocrisy that stifles productive discussions. 

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Dawah and Interfaith

10 Lessons I Learned While Serving Those in Need


I have spent about a decade serving the impoverished domestically and recently, abroad. I don’t work for a major charity organization, I work for my community, through grassroots efforts. It was something embedded in me while learning Islam. Before starting a charity organization, I started studying Islam with Dr. Hatem Alhaj (my mentor) and various other scholars. The more I studied, the more I wanted to implement what I was learning. What my community needed at the time was intensive charity work, as it was neglected entirely by our community. From that, I collected 10 lessons from servicing those in need. 

1. My bubble burst

One of the first things I experienced was the bursting of my bubble, a sense of realization. I, like many others, was unaware of the hardship in my own community. Yes, we know the hadith and see the events unfold on the news and social media, but when a father of three cried before me because a bag of groceries was made available for him to take home, that moment changed me. We tend to forget how little it takes, to make a huge difference in someone’s life. This experience, made me understand the following hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy, who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524. I

t is simply an obligation, due to the amount of good it generates after you do this one action. I then realized even more how beautiful Islam is for commanding this deed. 

2. Friendships were developed on good deeds

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Serving the poor is a great reward in itself. The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498. But it is better done with a team, I began building a team of people with similar objectives in serving the needy. These people later became some of my closest friends, who better to keep close to you than one that serves Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) by helping the neediest in the same community you reside in. Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” [reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee] This is turn kept me on the right path of pleasing Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Working with a team removes a lot of the burden as well and the depression that might occur seeing the saddest stories on a daily basis. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “Indeed the believers are brothers.” (49:10). Sometimes there is a misconception that you have to have a huge office or a large masjid in order to get work done. But honestly, all you need is a dedicated group of people with the right intention and things take off from there. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 'If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.' - Al-Tirmidhi,Click To Tweet

3. Made me thankful

This made me thankful for whatever I had, serving the less fortunate reminded me daily to turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness and so be thankful. This kind of service also puts things into perspective. What is truly important in life? I stepped further and further away from a materialistic lifestyle and allowed me to value things that can’t be valued by money. I learned this from the poorest of people in my community, who strived daily for their family regardless of their situation — parents who did what they can to shield their children from their harsh reality. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376. They had a quality about them, despite their poverty status. They were always some of the kindest people I have known. 


4. People want to do Good

I learned that people want to do good; they want to improve their community and society. I began to see the impact on a communal level, people were being more engaged. We were the only Muslim group helping indiscriminately in our county. Even the people we helped, gave back by volunteering at our food pantry. We have schools where small kids (under adult supervision) partake in preparing meals for the needy, local masajids, churches, and temples, high school kids from public schools, and college organizations (Muslim and nonMuslim) visit frequently from several cities in neighboring counties, cities, and states. The good spreads a lot easier and faster than evil. People want to do good, we just need more opportunities for them to join in. United we can rock this world.

“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” Malcolm X. Click To Tweet

5. Smiles

Smiles, I have seen the wealthiest smiles on the poorest people. Despite being on the brink of homelessness, when I saw them they had the best smile on their faces. This wasn’t all of them, but then I would smile back and that changed the environment we were in. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98. Smiles are truly universal.

6. It’s ok to cry

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah said: “A man who weeps for fear of Allah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder, and dust produced (when fighting) for the sake of Allah and the smoke of Hell will never coexist.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasaa’i. There are situations you see that hit you hard; they fill your heart with emotions, but that never swayed my concrete belief in Allah’s wisdom. Crying before Allah, not just out of fear, but to be thankful for His Mercy upon you is a relief.

7. Learning to say no

It was one of the hardest things I had to do, a lot (if not all) of the requests I received for help were extremely reasonable. I do not think anyone asked for anything outrageous. Our organization started becoming the go-to organization in our area for help, but we are one organization, with limited resources, and a few times we were restricted on when or how we could help. This is where learning to say no became a learned skill. Wedid do our best to follow up with a plan or an alternative resource.

8. It is part of raising a family and finding yourself

How so? Being involved in your community doesn’t take away from raising your family, it is part of it. I can’t watch and do nothing and expect my children to be heroes. I have to lead by example. Helping others is good for my family’s health. Many people living in our country are consumed with their busy lives. Running out the door, getting to work, driving the kids to their after school activities, spending weekends taking care of their families, etc. So people have a fear of investing hours in doing this type of work. But in reality, this work puts more blessings in your time.

One may feel they are taking time away from their family, but in reality, when one comes back home, they find more peace in their home then they left it with. By helping others, I improve the health and culture of my community, this in turn positively impacts my family.

I enjoy being a softie with my family and friends. I am a tall bearded man, and that image suited me better. I am not sure what made me softer, having kids or serving the poor. Either way, it was rewarding and defined my role and purpose in my community.

I learned that you make your own situation. You can be a spectator, or you can get in there and do the best you can to help. It gave me an opportunity to be a role model for my own children, to show them the benefit of doing good and helping when you can.

It came with a lot of humility. Soon after starting I realized that all I am is a facilitator, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is giving an opportunity of a lifetime to do this work, a line of work very little people get to engage in regularly. My advice to my readers, if you can serve the poor do so immediately before you get occupied or busy with life.

Helping others is good for my family’s health.Click To Tweet

9. Dawah through action

As I mentioned before I did spend time studying, and at one point developed one of the top dawah initiatives in the country (according to IERA). But the reality is, helping the less fortunate is my type of dawah, people started to associate our food pantry and helping others with Islam. As an organization with one of the most diverse groups of volunteers, people from various religious backgrounds found the environment comfortable and hospitable. I began working with people I never would have worked before if I had stuck to traditional dawah, studying, or masjid involvement, all of which are critical. This became a symbol of Islam in our community, and while serving, we became those that embodied the Quran and Sunnah. For a lot of those we served, we were the first Muslims they encountered, and Alhamdulilah for the team we have. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) also says in the Quran: “So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159). It is our actions that can turn people away or towards Islam.

10. Once you serve the needy, you do this for life

I wasn’t volunteering on occasion,— this was an unpaid job that was done regularly. I got requests and calls for emergencies daily at times. It took up hours upon hours every week. As a charity worker, I developed experience and insight in this field. I learned that this was one of the best ways I could serve Allah [swt. “They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travelers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.'” – The Holy Quran, 2:215

I believe the work I do with the countless people that do the same is the best work that can be done in our current political climate and globalization. My views and thoughts have evolved over the years seeing situations develop to what they are today. This gave me a comprehensive outlook on our needs as a society and allowed me to venture off and meet people top in their fields like in social activism, environmentalism, labor, etc.

I want to end with three sectors in society that Muslims prosper in and three that Muslims can improve on. We strive on individual education (noncommunal), distributing and organizing charity, and more recently being politically engaged. What we need to improve on is our environmental awareness, working with and understanding unions and labor rights, and organizing anti-war movements. 

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

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.

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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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