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The Amazing Virtues of Duha Prayer

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The virtues of Duha prayer are vast, uplifting, life-changing, and of immense benefit to those who implement the habit of praying it on a daily basis. What follows is an in-depth description of Duha prayer for readers who prefer to understand the full context of the prayer, including its definition, description, recommended times, virtues and rewards, number of rakʿahs, and related questions. For readers who are looking to quickly skim through the inspirational virtues, scroll down to “Virtues & Rewards of Duha Prayer”.

Definition of Duha prayer

Duḥa is linguistically defined as the time of sunrise.

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The jurisprudential definition: It is an optional two-rakʿah prayer that the Prophet ﷺ prayed frequently and advised the companions to pray, and its time is between sunrise and Dhuhr.

The ruling is that Duha prayer is a sunnah mu’akkadah (confirmed Sunnah), which entails massive rewards and blessings if established, but there is no sin on the one who leaves it.

Description of Duha prayer

Duha (forenoon or “chasht”) prayer, also referred to as Salāt al-Awwābeen (the prayer of the oft-repentant), is prayed like most other voluntary prayers in that you pray two units and you end the prayer with the tasleem to the right and left. If you wish to pray more than two units, then you may pray as many as you wish, two units at a time.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The [voluntary] prayers of the day and night are to be offered two by two.”[1]

What is meant by two by two?


Ibn ʿUmar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “Saying the tasleem after each two rakʿahs.”  [Muslim]

Recommended time

The time of Duha begins after the sun fully rises and it ends approximately 15 minutes before Dhuhr prayer. The most preferred time for Duha prayer is at the hottest part of the day, when the sun has reached its zenith (its highest point), and this is approximately halfway between sunrise and Dhuhr prayer.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The prayer of those who are repentant is observed when your weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.”[2]

Virtues & Rewards of Duha Prayer

1. It fulfills charity on every joint in your body.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“In the morning, every single joint of yours must pay a sadaqah (charity). Every SubhanAllah is a sadaqah, every Alhamdulillāh is a sadaqah, every La Ilaha Illa Allah is a sadaqah, every Allahu Akbar is a sadaqah, every commanding good is a sadaqah, and every forbidding evil is a sadaqah, and all this is accomplished through two rakʿahs one can pray in Duha [prayer].”[3]

This hadith emphasizes the status and virtue of Duha prayer, two rakʿahs of which is sufficient as a charity on behalf of every joint in the body, and a sign of genuine gratitude to Allah (swt).

2. It is the prayer of the oft-repentant. 

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“None is diligent in establishing Duha prayer except one who is oft-repentant (awwāb), and it is the prayer of the oft-repentant.”[4]

The term “Salat al-Awwabeen” comes from this narration, in which the Messenger ﷺ emphasizes that only the oft-repentant are persistent in praying Duha prayer habitually. Thus, one of the signs of true repentance is to return to Allah (swt) by not only cutting off a major sin, but striving diligently to increase in one’s voluntary deeds, especially the optional prayers.

3. It was an advice from the Messenger himself.

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: My beloved (the Prophet  ﷺ) advised me to do three things, which I will never abandon so long as I live: to fast three days of each month, to pray two rakʿahs of Duha prayer, and not to sleep until I pray Witr.[5]

Imam al-Qurtubi raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “The advice of the Prophet ﷺ to Abu Hurayrah and Abu ad-Dardā’ indicates the virtues of Duha prayer, and the vast rewards of the prayer as well as its significance; thus, both companions safeguarded this habit and never abandoned it.”[6]

4. Under certain conditions, the reward for praying it is equivalent to a complete Hajj and ʿUmrah.

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays the Fajr prayer then sits in his place of prayer remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays two rakʿahs, shall be rewarded as if he had performed Hajj and ʿUmrah, with a reward that is complete, complete, complete.”[7]

Note: This doesn’t fulfill the requirement to perform Hajj.

5. Forgiveness of one’s sins.

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever regularly prays the two rakʿahs of Duha, his sins are forgiven even if they are like [the vastness of] the foam of the sea.”[8]

The Prophet ﷺ also said:
“If anyone sits in his place of prayer when he finishes the dawn prayer till he prays the two rakʿahs of the forenoon prayer, saying nothing but what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they are more than the foam of the sea.”[9]

6. Equivalent to ʿUmrah and a lofty position.

Abu Umāmah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“If anyone leaves his home after performing ablution for the prescribed prayer in congregation (in the mosque), his reward will be like that of one who goes for Hajj after wearing (the clothes of) ihram. And he who goes out for the forenoon (Duha) prayer, and takes the trouble solely for this purpose, will have the reward like that of a person who performs ʿUmrah. And a prayer followed by a prayer with no worldly talk during the gap between them will be recorded in ʿIlliyyūn[10].”[11]

7. Allah will suffice you!

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Allah the Exalted says: ‘O Son of Adam, do not be heedless of praying 4 rakʿahs for Me in the beginning of your day and (as a result) I shall be your sufficiency at its end.’”[12]

In another narration:
“Allah the Exalted says: ‘O Son of Adam, pray to Me in the beginning of the day with four units and I shall thereby suffice you at the end (of it).’”[13]

The meaning of “suffice” in these narrations, according to various scholars, includes the protection of Allah from all evil and harm, protection against misguidance and sinfulness, alleviation of anxiety and worries, and forgiveness for one’s shortcomings during that day, or a combination of any of the above. Reflect on the fact that Allah, the Creator and Sustainer, will Himself suffice you of any of your worldly needs in ways that you cannot begin to imagine.

The scholars differed about whether this hadith refers to 4 units of Duha prayer or if it refers to Fajr prayer with its sunnah. The scholars who held the view that the hadeeth refers to Duha prayer include Abu Dāwūd, at-Tirmidhi, al-Irāqi, Ibn Rajab, and others. The wise believer, therefore, would strive to implement both views – Fajr and its sunnah as well as four units of Duha prayer – in order to maximize the reward, protection, and blessings.

8. A palace of gold in Paradise.

Anas b. Mālik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays twelve rakʿahs of Duha, Allah will build for him a palace of gold in Paradise.”[14]

Abu ad-Dardā’ raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)  narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays Duha will not be written amongst the heedless (people), and whoever prays four (rakʿahs) will be written amongst the worshipers, and whoever prays six (rakʿahs), it will suffice him on that day, and whoever prays 8 (rakʿahs) will be written amongst the pious, and whoever prays 12 rakʿahs, Allah will build for him a palace in Paradise.”[15]

Number of Rakʿahs

5.1 Minimum number of rakʿahs

The minimum for Duha prayer is 2 rakʿahs according to scholarly consensus.[16]

5.2 Maximum number of rakʿahs

There is no clear report that indicates a restriction on the number of rakʿahs for Duha prayer; however, there are three common opinions on the matter:

First opinion: 8 Rakʿahs

This is the opinion of Mālikis and Ḥanbalis based on the following report:

It was narrated from Umm Hāni’ bint Abu Tālib that on the day of the Opening (of Makkah), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed Duha with eight rakʿahs, saying the salaam after each two rakʿahs.[17]

Umm Hāni’ said: “I never saw the Prophet ﷺ offering a lighter prayer than that [Duha] prayer, but he was performing perfect bowing and prostrations.”[18]

 The Mālikis considered it makrooh (disliked) to pray more than 8 rakʿahs if the additional prayers were with the intention of Duha,[19] and they considered 6 rakʿahs to be moderate and preferred.[20]

Second opinion: 12 Rakʿahs

This is the opinion of the Hanafis, Shāfiʿis,[21] and one of the views of the Ḥanbalis,[22] based on the aforementioned narration:

“Whoever prays Duha with twelve rakʿahs, Allah will build for him a palace of gold in Paradise.”

This narration is weak[23] according to most scholars of hadeeth; however, even if it reached a unanimous level of soundness, the narration would not necessarily indicate a maximum restriction on the number of units one can pray.

Third opinion: Unrestricted

This is the opinion held by al-Aswad b. Yazīd (d. 75/694), Ibrahīm an-Nakhaʿī (d. 96/714), at-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892), al-ʿIrāqi (d. 806/1403), as-Suyūti (d. 911/1505), and many of the earlier and later scholars, as well as this author’s preferred opinion due to its evidence and reasoning.

Al-ʿIraqi (r) says, in his commentary on Sunan at-Tirmidhi:

“None of the companions or [their] successors are known to have restricted it to twelve rakʿahs.” As-Suyūti raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) agreed with this opinion.

Ibrahīm an-Nakhaʿī raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that al-Aswad b. Yazīd was asked: “How many rakʿahs are to be prayed for Duha?” He answered: “As many as you wish.”

In other words, there is no restriction on how many optional prayers you can pray at the time of Duha, and as the reports indicate, none of the companions or their successors were known to have restricted Duha prayer to twelve rakʿahs. Therefore, any nafl mutlaq (general optional prayer) prayed between sunrise and Dhuhr would fall under the category of Duha prayer, and Allah knows best.

5.3 Preferred number of rakʿahs

Even within each madhhab, the scholars held different opinions about the preferred number of rakʿahs to pray for Duha prayer as a habit.

The Mālikis preferred 6 rakʿahs,[24] the Hanafis preferred 4 or 8 rakʿahs,[25] the Shāfiʿis preferred 8 rakʿahs,[26] and the Ḥanbalis did not specify a preferred number of rakʿahs.

Based on the authentic aforementioned evidences, what seems to be most preferable – and Allah knows best – is to pray at least 4 rakʿahs, as two individual units, based on the following two narrations: 

  1. ʿAishah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to observe four rakʿahs in the forenoon prayer and he sometimes observed more as Allah pleased.[27]
  1. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah the Exalted says: ‘O Son of Adam, do not be heedless of praying 4 rakʿahs for Me in the beginning of your day, and (as a result) I shall be your sufficiency at its end.’”[28]

Questions pertaining to Duha prayer

Q: Can it be prayed while the sun is rising?

No, that time is forbidden for prayer. The sun takes approximately 15-20 minutes to fully rise, so wait from the beginning of the known time of ‘sunrise’ for at least 15 minutes.

Q: Do I have to stand while praying Duha prayer?  

No. It is permissible to pray a voluntary (sunnah) prayer while sitting, whether at home, at work, in a moving vehicle, or elsewhere, but the reward is decreased significantly if one has the physical ability to stand.[29] Nevertheless, it is lawful to sit, and in the case that one would not pray Duha unless they were able to sit, for whatever circumstances, then it is encouraged to pray it while sitting if that is the only option.

Q: Do I have to recite a specific surah in Duha prayer?

The Shāfiʿi opinion[30] is to recite Sūrat al-Kāfiroon in the first rakʿah and Sūrat al-Ikhlās in the second rakʿah, due to the massive rewards of reciting both suwar.[31] The Hanafi opinion[32] is to recite Sūrat ash-Shams in the first rakʿah and Sūrat ad-Duha in the second rakʿah, based on a narration[33] that is considered by some scholars to be fabricated.[34] What seems to be most correct is that there is nothing clearly authentic narrated about the matter, so you may recite any sūrah you wish after Sūrat al-Fātihah.

Q: For the reward of Hajj and Umrah, can a woman receive this reward if she prays at home?

Yes.

Q: For the reward of Hajj and Umrah, does one need to remain in the same spot they prayed, or can they move about the prayer area?

There is a known difference of opinion about this matter; some scholars were of the view that moving about the mosque is fine because the entire masjid is considered the prayer place, while others emphasized the importance of staying in one’s particular prayer place due to several narrations, including the following:

I (Samik) asked Jābir b. Samurah: Did you sit in the company of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ? He replied: Yes, very often. He would not stand from the place he prayed the dawn prayer till the sunrise. When the sun rose, he would stand (to pray Duha).[35]

Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1449) stated, “The ‘place of prayer’ referred to in the hadith is the place in which the prayer took place (i.e., the masjid) … so if the individual moves about to another area within the masjid with the intention of waiting to pray (the Ishraq/Duha prayer), he will have the same (reward).”[36]

Zain ad-Deen al-ʿIrāqi (d. 806/1403) stated, “What is meant by ‘prayer place’? Does it refer to the specific place a person prays in, and moving about the masjid would cause him to lose the reward (of Hajj and Umrah)? Or does the prayer place refer to the entire masjid he prayed in? Perhaps it is both of these meanings and most likely the second meaning is more apparent and correct.”[37]

Q: Is it permissible to pray Duha prayer in congregation?

Some voluntary prayers are recommended to always be performed in congregation, such as the prayer for rain, the eclipse prayers, and taraweeh. Other prayers, such as the greeting of the masjid, Duha prayer, and the regular voluntary prayers, are generally to be prayed alone, but it is permissible to infrequently pray the latter in congregation.

Thus, it is permissible to infrequently pray Duha in congregation, but most of the narrations describing the Prophet ﷺ praying Duha were not in congregation, and praying it in congregation should not become a habit as that would contradict the sunnah. As for narrations which indicate that it is permissible, we have the following report:

Abu ‘Abdullah said: Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet ﷺ advised me to offer two rakʿahs of Duha prayer.” Itbān b. Mālik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and Abu Bakr came to me after sunrise and we aligned behind the Prophet ﷺ and offered two rakʿahs.”[38]

Q: Ishraq (or Shurooq) prayer – what is its relation to Duha prayer? 

Some scholars specified that Ishrāq prayer was the prayer of 2 rakʿahs performed after one has remained in their prayer spot until sunrise – mentioned in virtue #4 above – and has the reward of a complete Hajj and Umrah; therefore, it is the earliest possible Duha prayer. Others, and this can be observed in many classical books of fiqh, stated that there is no difference between the two prayers, since any prayer between sunrise and Dhuhr falls under the category of “Duha”, including these two rakʿahs, and Allah knows best.

Action Items

1. Set your intention now to begin praying Duha prayer habitually in order to obtain its vast rewards, blessings, and virtues, and encourage others to pray it habitually as well.

2. Take action! If necessary, set repeated reminders for yourself to establish this new habit.

3. Try to encourage your loved ones by striving for the reward of Hajj and Umrah together, particularly on days in which it is possible to remain in your prayer place until sunrise.

4. Share this article with others in order to maximize their reward and yours too.


May Allah grant us the vast blessings and virtues of Duha prayer, sound knowledge, and consistent implementation.

 

[1] at-Tirmidhi (597) and Ibn Mājah (1322).

[2] Sahih Muslim (748).

[3] Sahih Muslim (720).

[4] Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah; authentic according to the conditions of Muslim. Sahih at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/164).

[5] Sahih al-Bukhāri (1981).

[6] al-Qurtubi, Al-Mufhim Lima Ushkila min Talkhīs Kitab Muslim.

[7] at-Tirmidhi (586), al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/220), and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (6346).

[8] at-Tirmidhi (476) and Ibn Mājah (1382). This narration is weak according to some scholars, but strengthened by multiple reports according to others.

[9] Abu Dāwūd (1287), Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Masābeeh (2/74), and al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/221).

[10] ʿIlliyyūn: The record of the righteous, or a high place for the righteous after death.

[11] Abu Dāwūd (558), Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (6556), al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/320), al-Khulāsa of an-Nawawi (1/313).

[12] Abu Dāwūd (1289), Musnad Ahmad (22469), al-Haythami (2/239), and Sahih at-Targheeb (672).

[13] at-Tirmidhi (475), Sunan al-Bayhaqi (4786), Sahih Ibn Hibbān (2534), Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Masābeeh (2/73), and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (4339).

[14] Classified as hasan by Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Māsabih (2/74) and Ibn al-Mulqin in Tuḥfatul Muhtāj (1/415). Classified as ghareeb by at-Tirmidhi, and daʿeef by al-Albāni.

[15] Its narrators are trustworthy according to al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/320) and as-Safāreeni in Sharh Thulāthiyyat al-Musnad (2/306), and weak according to al-Albāni in Da’eef at-Targheeb (405).

[16] Al-Mawsuʿah al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 225.

[17] Sunan Ibn Mājah (1323).

[18] Sahih al-Bukhāri (4292).

[19] The response to this is that any prayer performed at that time is considered Duha regardless, rather than only a nafl mutlaq (general voluntary prayer).

[20] ad-Dusqooi, Hāshiyat ad-Dusooqi, 1/313.

[21] The opinion of the Shāfiʿis, according to an-Nawawi, is 12 rakʿahs. Al-Majmūʾ 4/36.

[22] Al-Mawsuʿah al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 226.

[23] Ibn ʿĀbideen stated: What has been repeated (by many scholars) is that a weak narration may be acted upon for virtuous deeds. Hāshiyat Ibn ʿĀbideen, 1/459.

[24] ad-Dusqooi, Hāshiyat ad-Dusooqi, 1/313.

[25] Al-Haskafi, ad-Durr al-Mukhtār 1/459.

[26] An-Nawawi, Rawdat at-Tālibeen, 1/332.

[27] Sahih Muslim (719).

[28] Abu Dāwūd (1289), Musnad Ahmad (22469), al-Haythami (2/239), and Sahih at-Targheeb (672).

[29] Based on the narration, “Whoever prays while standing, that is better, and whoever prays while sitting will have half the reward of one who prays standing.” Reported in Sahih al-Bukhāri (1116), Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i.  This applies to voluntary prayers.

[30] ar-Ramli, Nihāyatul Muhtāj, 2/112.

[31] It was narrated, “Qul Huwallāhu Aḥad is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’an, and Qul Yā Ayyuhal Kāfiroon is equivalent to one-fourth of the Qur’an.” Sahih Muslim (811) and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (4405).

[32] Ibn ʿĀbideen, Hāshiyat Ibn ʿĀbideen, 1/458.

[33] Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-Bāri, 3/55.

[34] Classified as mawdooʿ in as-Silsilah ad-Daʿeefah (3774).

[35] Abu Dāwūd (1294).

[36] Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-Bāri, 2/136.

[37] al-ʿIrāqi, Ṭarḥ at-Tathreeb, 2/367.

[38] Sahih al-Bukhāri (1171).

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Imam Suleiman Hani is an international lecturer and resident scholar from Michigan who currently serves as an AlMaghrib Institute instructor, a Yaqeen Institute scholar, and a graduate student at Harvard University. At the age of 14, Suleiman completed a 10-month Qur’an memorization program and began his intensive studies under numerous scholars, later earning a Master of Arts degree from the University of Jordan's College of Shari’ah, ranking first in his class. Over the past decade, he has served as an Imam and community leader in Michigan, lectured in dozens of countries, and was featured on the largest Islamic TV stations worldwide. His recent hobbies include mixed martial arts, archery, and skydiving.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Taimur

    November 6, 2016 at 1:41 AM

    Very nice MashAllah . May Allah (SWT) reward you for this

  2. Avatar

    Nicolás

    November 6, 2016 at 2:55 AM

    Superb article. Very beneficial and well-referenced. May Allāh reward you.

  3. Avatar

    Haroon

    November 7, 2016 at 2:37 AM

    Important message. Allah bless.

  4. Avatar

    Abdullah

    November 7, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Jazakumullahu kheyran very beneficial article. Let us all race for Allah’s reward insha’llah.

  5. Avatar

    Umm Hadi

    November 9, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    Barak Allahu feekum. May Allah make us steadfast on our Deen.

  6. Avatar

    Mustapha umar

    December 21, 2016 at 5:20 AM

    Jazakumullahu Bi Khair

  7. Avatar

    Bari

    March 16, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    Very informative

  8. Avatar

    Arjmand

    December 16, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Jazak Allah khair, very beneficial and informative.

  9. Avatar

    Naswiru shema

    December 21, 2017 at 12:15 AM

    I have a question is it permissible to pray duha at home for example u finish al fajr u go home sit and wait for total sunrise and pray duha is it allowed ?Please get back to me as soon as possible

    • Aly Balagamwala

      Aly Balagamwala

      December 22, 2017 at 5:30 AM

      Yes you can do so. You can read the Duha prayer from 10 minutes after sunrise till before Zawal in any place (Masjid, home, school, office, park, etc)

    • Suleiman Hani

      Suleiman Hani

      December 23, 2017 at 8:12 AM

      Assalamu alaykum Naswiru,

      As Ustadh Aly mentioned, you can pray Duha from the time the sun fully rises (approximately 10-15 minutes after the listed “sunrise” time in the prayer schedules) until approximately 10 minutes before Dhuhr adhan time, whether you’re at home or work or any general permitted environment to pray in.

      If, however, you were asking specifically about the reward of Hajj & Umrah mentioned in the virtues of the article, then as was noted, some of the scholars held the opinion that the reward is for the one who stays in the prayer area (masjid). If there is a dire, urgent need to leave the prayer area and the individual continues to worship Allah until sunrise and subsequently prays the 2 rak’ahs when the sun fully rises, then we hope and pray for the same reward, but it should be noted that it is explicitly mentioned – and opined by scholars – to try to remain in the general prayer place until sunrise. As was noted, some scholars even opined that it’s restricted to the literal place in which one prayed the morning prayer, showcasing the different viewpoints. For women, if their prayer is at home and they remain in the area in which they prayed – in a state of worship via Qur’an, dhikr, du’aa, etc. – then we believe the reward applies to them as well, wallahu a’lam.

      • Aly Balagamwala

        Aly Balagamwala

        January 1, 2018 at 9:47 AM

        SubhanAllah Shaykh! May you be rewarded for the title but I am not an Ustadh or even close to it.

        اللهمَ اجْعَلْنِى خَيْرًا مِمَّا يَظُنُّونَ وَاغْفِرْ لِى مَا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ وَلَا تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا يَقُولُون

        O Allah, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for what they do not know about me, and do not take me to account for what they say about me.

  10. Avatar

    doaharianislami

    March 31, 2018 at 2:29 AM

    alhamdulillah thank for dhuha payer..jazakallah

  11. Avatar

    Prayer Time Dubai

    June 10, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    very Important message. Allah bless.

  12. Avatar

    Salat Time London

    August 3, 2019 at 8:13 AM

    Such an inspiring article boosts up our whole system and we pray that ALLAH always keeps you in good health.

  13. Avatar

    Yusuf Cincinnati

    September 18, 2019 at 8:02 AM

    As. Few questions

    1) what is the significance/importance of timing from narrations mentioning the sun is a “spear length above the horizon”?

    2) if we follow the opinion that it’s preferable to pray nawafil in home, is this specific prayer an exception to that opinion per the narrations of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam standing at Duha time?

    JAk

  14. Avatar

    Ramadan 2020

    April 15, 2020 at 8:18 PM

    Wow, really impressive Article Thanks for sharing.

  15. Avatar

    Ahmed Abdulla

    April 23, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    Wow…Jazakallah for creating such a detailed article.

  16. Avatar

    iftar dua

    April 28, 2020 at 6:55 AM

    Mashallah you have put up a very nice website cataloguing really good material. Inshallah will be visiting their in future when looking for some lectures to listen on my way to and form work.

  17. Avatar

    Farah

    June 9, 2020 at 5:31 AM

    Really enjoyed the article and all the questions that l had always wanted to ask were answered in it. Allah khair!

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 16: The Best of You

Now that we have learnt about fruit out of season, let’s now talk about the best of you.

I want you all to think about your closest friends and how you treat them. 

Question: Would anyone like to share how they try to treat their closest friends?

That’s wonderful! You try to be thoughtful and considerate of their feelings. You bring snacks to share with them, you may buy or make them a gift.

Question: Now, I want you to close your eyes and think of the way you treat your family members. Is it the same?

Question: Why do you think that there is a difference between the way we treat our friends and the way we may treat our siblings or parents?

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Yes, we do spend a lot of time together. We see each other when we’re cranky or frustrated. Sometimes we want our own space to think, or we don’t want someone interfering with our things. Those are all valid reasons. But, do you know that it is more beloved to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that you treat your family members better than you even treat your friends?

It’s true! In a hadith, Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: 

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي وَإِذَا مَاتَ صَاحِبُكُمْ فَدَعُوهُ

“The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.” 

Question: What are some ways we can be the best to our family members? I’m going to share with you a hadith that may help you get some ideas: 

وعن أبى أمامه الباهلى رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ “أنا زعيم ببيت في ربض الجنة لمن ترك المراء، وإن كان محقاً، وببيت في وسط الجنة لمن ترك الكذب، وإن كان مازحاً، وببيت في أعلى الجنة لمن حسن خلقه” ‏(‏حديث صحيح رواه أبو داود بإسناد صحيح‏).‏

“I guarantee a house in Jannah (Paradise) for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a house in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”

If we work on these three things: less arguing, no lying, and good manners, alongside all of your other suggestions, we will be rewarded with Jannah, inshaAllah

Question: Do you think we can all work hard to be the best to our family members?

 

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Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas | Book Review

In the second decade of the 21st century in America, Muslims consider themselves “as American as apple pie,” don American-flag hijabs, and consider their presence and participation in American politics as a crowning achievement. There is little to no resemblance between the majority of the American Muslim population today, and the very first Muslims who landed in America – not as privileged individuals, but as enslaved people at the hands of vicious white colonizers who had already decimated the Indigenous population and who had no qualms about destroying the lives of their slaves. Dr Sylviane A. Diouf’s book “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas” tracks the journeys and experiences of African Muslims who found themselves shipped aboard slave-trafficking vessels and taken to the other side of their known world. From their induction into the Transatlantic slave trade, to their determination to uphold the five pillars of Islam – regardless of their circumstances – to the structure of the enslaved Muslim community, their prized (and dangerous) literacy, and their never-ending resistance against slavery, Diouf illustrates in incredible detail the powerful and painful experiences of enslaved African Muslims, and the legacy that they left behind in the Americas.

This review of “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas” will focus on the unique qualities and formidable faith of the very first Muslims in the Americas, and the legacy that they left for Muslims in the Americas today.

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In Chapter One, Diouf begins by answering the very first question that arises when considering the path of enslaved African Muslims: how did they end up enslaved in the first place? Slavery already existed as an institution in Africa, though vastly different from the horrifying standards of the European slavers. Between the existing slave trade, military conflicts that created prisoners-of-wars who were then sold as slaves, and the European propensity for kidnapping innocent people, many Muslims found themselves swept into the Transatlantic slave trade. These same Muslims were the ones who provided us with much of the knowledge that we have today regarding the American slave experience. Most African Muslims were literate, due to the religious and cultural importance of education; of those enslaved, many were religious scholars or students of knowledge. They described how they were captured, the torturous journey of the slave caravans across the continent, and the even more horrific experience of the slave ships themselves. These men also documented their lives as slaves, and indirectly, provided deep insight into their own inner nature. 

Despite the intense pressure and demands on African enslaved people to renounce their ‘heathen faith’ and be inducted as Christians, African Muslims demonstrated a commitment to Islam that should cause modern Muslims today to feel deeply ashamed in comparison. The very first words that Job ben Solomon (Ayuba Suleyman Diallo) uttered, after running away and then being discovered in Pennsylvania, were the shahaadah; Omar ibn Sa’id wrote numerous Arabic manuscripts, in which the shahaadah was always found (Diouf, 2013, p. 72-73). When Catholic priests tried hard to educate slaves about Christianity as part of the conversion process, the African Muslims were both resistant and unimpressed; they were already familiar with many Biblical stories, thanks to their Qur’anic education. Of those who seemed to have accepted Christianity, many did so only outwardly, while confirming their belief in Allah and His Messenger in every aspect of their lives. Indeed, in Brazil and other areas where there were large concentrations of Muslim slaves, the Muslims established underground madaaris to maintain and pass on their Islamic knowledge and education. Muhammad Kaba Saghanughu was a man whom the missionaries had thought was successfully converted when he provided all the right answers to their pre-baptismal questions – eleven years later, in a Baptist Missionary Society notebook, he wrote a 50-page fiqh manual in Arabic that encompassed the rulings of salaah, marriage, and other topics. 

Slavery did not stop the African Muslims from maintaining their salaah in whatever manner they could manage, considering their circumstances. Some did so in secret, while others insisted on upholding their salaah in public, to the extent that these incidents were recorded by the descendants of slaves and slaveholders alike. In Brazil, the African Muslim community – both enslaved and freed – held together so strongly that they were able to secretly establish Salatul Jumu’ah and attend gatherings of dhikr, even in the face of intense scrutiny (Diouf, 2013, p. 88-89). 

Perhaps one of the most greatly moving examples of enslaved African Muslims’ dedication to their Islam was that even in the midst of the utter poverty of slavery, they found a way to uphold zakaah, sawm, and Hajj. In Brazil, it was recorded that the Muslims would end Ramadan with the exchanging of gifts, no matter how simple they were; in truth, these gifts were zakaatul fitr and zakaatul maal.

In other areas, the descendants of Muslim slaves recalled that their parents and grandparents would make rice cakes called saraka at least once a year – saraka was a corruption of the Arabic word sadaqah, and the rice cakes were a Jumu’ah tradition in West Africa. (Diouf, 2013, p. 92-94) In Ramadan, many Muslims sought to fast; indeed, despite the incredible hardship and lack of nutritious food that the slaves already endured, there were those who fasted voluntarily outside of Ramadan as well, often by pretending to be ill. They knew that their situation meant that fasting – in Ramadan and outside of it – was not obligatory on them, and yet, to them, no circumstance was bad enough to warrant not even attempting to observe Ramadan. Hajj was another pillar of Islam that was both impossible and no longer obligatory on the enslaved Muslims; yet in Brazil, in a house that was used as a masjid, there were illustrated depictions of the Ka’bah – demonstrating the emotional bond that the African Muslims had with the Sacred House. 

Throughout Diouf’s book, the overwhelming theme that arises is the fierce commitment that enslaved African Muslims had to Islam. It was not superficial, shallow, or easily shrugged away in the face of difficulty. Instead, the African Muslims held onto their belief in Allah and their daily, lived practise of Islam, even when they had every excuse to relax their obligations. They upheld their Islamic and cultural dress code, not just at its minimum standard of modesty, but in a way that clearly demonstrated their religious identity (Diouf, 2013, p. 101-110). They found ways to make prayer mats and dhikr beads; they gave their children Muslim names in secret, when they were expected to present themselves as Christians; they even strove to observe whatever they could of the Islamic dietary code, by refusing to drink alcohol or eat pork – Ayuba Diallo went so far as to only eat dhabiha meat that he himself slaughtered (Diouf, 2013, p. 119-122). The enslaved African Muslims valued their Islamic identity above all. Even in slavery, they knew that their ‘izzah came from their Deen – and so did those around them, who noted their unique bearing in the face of the horrors of slavery. 

The story of the African Muslims who were enslaved and brought to the Americas is not merely a history lesson, or a token homage in honour of Black History Month. It is a story that echoes the persecution of the earliest Muslims in Makkah, and applicable to Muslims today. Muslim minorities in the West are often all too eager to complain of our difficulties and to seek religious exemptions for our minor inconveniences. Yet who are we in comparison to the earliest African-American Muslims, who endurable the unspeakable? Who are we, with our privileges, with our very freedom, in comparison to those Muslims who were stripped of everything and everyone they knew and loved, and who still held ever tighter to the Rope of Allah? One may say that it is unfair to compare us and them; that to recognize their struggles should not mean invalidating the challenges we face today. Certainly, we face numerous different fitan that are very different from what they experienced, but the truth is that we should compare our attitudes with those of our predecessors. We should be ashamed of our own weaknesses in times of privilege compared to their strength in times of oppression. More importantly, we must learn from them what it means to have such a relationship with our Creator and our Deen that we are capable of surviving and thriving in even the worst of circumstances. 

May Allah have mercy on the enslaved African Muslims who endured one of this Ummah’s historic tragedies, and may He make us of those who demonstrate their strength of love for Him through every tragedy of our own.

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Remembering Mufti Naeem (Jamia Binoria)

Guest post from Areeba Baig

Sometimes you are so busy with life you don’t think much of where it all started, how you became who you are, the journeys you took and the people who helped you along them. And then something happens which forces you to pause. Only then you remember there were people who played a major role in shaping you to the person you are today, in turning your dreams which you thought would remain dreams forever into a reality.

I’m remembering now.

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I was just one of his thousands of students. Not one of the best, not even close to accomplished. I’ll admit I wasn’t even someone who was considerate enough to keep much contact, keep him updated, despite how much he had advised us to. As the years went by, the relationship, even memories, faded away.

And yet I haven’t been able to focus on anything else all week long. Not surprising, of course, considering the influence he had and the role he played in enabling me to study. It’s surprising, rather, how I took his presence granted for all of these years.

I wasn’t sure whether I’d share this initially. I was writing this to sort my own mind and thoughts. Then I remembered he would tell us that he hoped we’d remember him with goodness all our lives, and share his words when we teach in the future, the same way he’d always quote his own teachers and mention them by name when he taught. A legacy through ‘ilm. Sadaqah jariyah. That is all he ever worked for.

Apart from the final year Bukhari class, I didn’t have much direct encounter with him, but my entire stay in Pakistan was due to him and under his care. It was his invitation and his hospitality that brought me ther,e so everything about my stay in Pakistan is intrinsically linked to him and his family.

When I went to Pakistan to study back in 2006, there were few, if any, quality Alimiyyah programs in America for girls. I chose Pakistan because I had family there. But, really, I chose it because of his school. There are many seminaries in Pakistan, but it was only his that really accommodated foreigners.

He would go out of his way to encourage and allow foreign students in and accommodated every request or need along the way. Although he had many other responsibilities, foreign students were his personal guests. He understood that traveling so far and studying in a land where everything was different was a big adjustment and sacrifice, so he did his best to make it easier. He also understood the stakes here; if these students could successfully study and go back to their lands, the benefit they could have in their communities was critical.

This treatment wasn’t just for western students. This is how he treated every student who came from afar. Students from Thailand and Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Tajikistan, Russia and Fiji; students from remote villages in Sindh and Baluchistan and other parts of Pakistan all called his madrasa their home. And that’s one of the biggest things that sets him apart.

As Mufti Rafi said, “His service to foreign students can never be forgotten. There is no similar example in any other madrasa.”

When I last visited Pakistan two years ago, a classmate of mine and now a teacher at the madrasa for the past decade asked me “We don’t get many students from America anymore the way we used to before. Why? You guys aren’t encouraging kids to study anymore?”

It dawned upon me then that his dream to spread this knowledge worldwide had already begun to be realized. I told her there were now so many programs and schools and teachers in America that students didn’t need to go abroad the way they did before.

Thousands of his students, male and female, are teaching across the world. He’d proudly tell us of his students starting madrasas in remote villages in Baluchistan and Sindh. “These girls are educating their entire villages and communities, people didn’t even know how to say the Kalima before. People come from miles away to learn from our students.”

It is this that really gave him joy and fulfillment.

At a time when the political climate in Pakistan made it difficult for foreign students, he took responsibility for all of them. He promised them he would take care of them. He fought for their right to study. He built relationships with ambassadors of other countries. He opened his doors to both foreigners and anyone else who wanted to see what a madrasa is like. He invited the media to come and see a madrasa from the inside, to show them that far from being places of extremism and violence, they were places of learning and teaching sacred knowledge. He so earnestly believed that madrasas could and should exist in the modern world, and he knew it wouldn’t be possible without building links with the outside world, something that many madrasas were hesitant to do then.

His efforts and attitude enabled so many to come and study the words of Allah and the Prophet ﷺ. Even those who didn’t attend his institute benefited from his presence, knowing that he was there to stand up for them if anything was to happen. He didn’t discriminate when it came to helping others. Any foreign student of any institute was welcome at his place.

There are so many stories of entire families traveling to Pakistan to study at his seminary. And many more of them entrusting their children to him completely. He fulfilled that trust.

There was a girl in my class from Tanzania. When she was about 9 her uncle came to Pakistan for Tabligh, and upon visiting the seminary he was impressed with the opportunities here for girls. Mufti Naeem invited him to send his children, and he went back and brought four of his daughters and nieces to study. The girls grew up there. They first memorized the Qur’an, then started the alim course. He came back eight years later at the graduation ceremony of the oldest girl and decided to take all the girls back because the separation had been too long. He brought home with him four hafizas of the Qur’an, one who had completed the alima course, and another who had nearly completed it. Her uncle’s plan was that the oldest girls would tutor the rest in their studies and then they’d all teach together in their city in Tanzania. We had laughed then at the idea of her and her cousin teaching the younger cousins books like Mishkat, but we missed the bigger point, that this was how knowledge is shared and spread.

There was another girl in my class from Sri Lanka. Her entire family moved to Pakistan and both parents and all three siblings enrolled. They first memorized the Qur’an, and then completed the course before returning to Sri Lanka.

These are just some of the hundreds of stories of people studying at his seminary, who otherwise wouldn’t have that chance, and then going back to benefit others. This was his constant emphasis. Study and teach those who don’t have access. Always be involved in teaching, he told us in one of our final lessons. Even if you have no formal teaching opportunity, just invite people to your home to learn.

His concern for girls’ Islamic education in particular is especially noteworthy. Of course, there are many seminaries and institutes of Islamic knowledge for girls in Pakistan, and many people who support them. But he was one of the influential people who was an outspoken proponent from the beginning and truly believed in the potential. He was also one of the few who accommodated female foreign students, especially those who were there without family.

Before I went to Pakistan to study, my father consulted other scholars. Some discouraged him. Doing an Alima course isn’t that important they said, especially with all the difficulties and risks of going far from home. It’s not fard to study the deen at that level. Karachi was going through a very unstable period back then so they did have a point. We also inquired with other girls madrasas in Karachi, that were closer to where my extended family lived (Jamia Binoria was in the outskirts of Karachi). But they all said they don’t allow girls over the age of 13 and they don’t encourage Americans to attend.

Mufti Naeem, rahimahullah, was the only one who really encouraged it. He’s the one who understood the value and need, who was willing to take responsibility for it all, despite the risks. He’s the one who kept inviting my father, and reassured him everything will be taken care of, that there would be nothing to worry about. He accommodated all our requests and needs, to the point of welcoming my grandmother into the madrasa community and allowing her to spend her day there whenever she liked. He assured us that my only worry should be to study. Everything else will be taken care of.

While many other girls madrasas in Pakistan suffice with the standardized curriculum for girls, which back then (it has since changed a bit) was an abridged version of the regular curriculum and especially subpar when it came to subjects like Arabic. Jamia Binoria had its own curriculum, which included a very strong Arabic curriculum. Many other teachers including my late teacher, the principal of the girls division, Maulana Masood Baig rahimahullah, had a role in this but it was also something Mufti Naeem would take pride in and mention. It’s something I took for granted initially and only much later did I learn that most madrasas in Pakistan, and perhaps even worldwide do not have a strong Arabic program for girls, which makes it very difficult for them to pursue independent research and further studies after graduation.

Jamia Binoria was also one of the few madrasas in Pakistan then that had an ifta (mufti) course for women. In my final year, at least once a week he’d encourage us to enroll in it the next year. He’d tell us how important doing takhassus fil ifta was, how if he was to have it his way he would make ifta a requirement for all students. He would emphasize how much there is a need for female mufti(a)s, how there are already thousands of male Muftis, but they can never replace the role a female one can have.

He’d talk about how proud he was of all the female ifta students, how every time he looks at their work he’s so impressed. “They’re better than our male students,” he’d say. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t become a mufti. If a woman can become a surgeon or engineer why can’t she become a mufti?”

As a teacher he was always encouraging, appreciative of the smallest of achievements, and ready to praise and make du’a for his students. The term “mushfiq” is what everyone is using to describe him, because that is what he was. Loving, caring, encouraging.

In Pakistan, teachers don’t really praise students; the tendency (both in schools/colleges and madrasas) is to put students down. And yes, too much praise can be dangerous, but a little bit of encouragement and upliftment is needed. He wouldn’t withhold this.

There was a curtain in our classroom, separating the male teachers from the students. This was the standard system of all girls madrasas in Pakistan, preserving religious guidance and cultural sensitivities regarding modesty and hijab while still enabling students to communicate with and build a positive relationship with male teachers. Hadith classes usually involve a student reading the Arabic text, with the teacher interrupting every now and then to explain. He would make it a point to ask the name of the person who read and praise them and make du’a for them.

It’s these little things that would encourage us all to work harder to succeed. He would often call my father and keep him updated and congratulate him on mine and my sister’s progress. Knowing that despite being in charge of 5000+ students and a host of other responsibilities, he was personally invested in our success always helped drive us to work hard.

He taught Bukhari with passion, you could sense the love for the Prophet ﷺ in his words. The Bukhari class was more than just facts and technical explanation. There was always a practical lesson. He strongly emphasized that knowledge must lead to action and he always made his classes reflect that. He would say, my goal is to teach you in a way you’ll never forget, that you still hear my voice when you read these hadiths the way that I hear my teacher’s voice when I read them, and that you carry these lessons with you lifelong the way my teachers enabled me to.

Now I hear his voice, not just in those hadiths but in every hadith or ayah I read. Everything has a connection with him for it is in his madrasa that I studied everything. It is in his madrasa, and through him, that Allah allowed the doors of knowledge to be opened for me, and for that I am forever indebted.

Hospitality is another word that defines him. Anyone that has visited him can testify to his boundless hospitality. This is something he practiced with both words and actions. It’s something he strived to build in his students and family too. I remember him going off on a tangent once in Bukhari. In a hadith in Kitab al-Nikah, the topic of guests came. He talked about how guests are a blessing, how we should always honor guests, how we should never complain about guests. “Many people complain about the work involved in hosting. They complain when they have family that constantly visits. Guests are a blessing from Allah. When you go to your homes remember this. Don’t ever complain about guests.”

I’ve always remembered this when someone is coming over.

My friend tells me that after his passing, as people crowded his house for ta’ziyah for his family, something that of course was more challenging and complicated with covid-19, his wife mentioned, “He would always tell us to honor guests. So what can I possibly do now?”

Thankfully others intervened and told people that it is best to show sympathy by genuinely doing what’s best for grieving family, which in these circumstances means not visiting so as not to afflict them with more worries and difficulties.

His hospitality meant that the doors of madrasa were always open to those who needed help. Beyond hospitality, he took care of those around him. Orphans, widows, converts to Islam. The madrasa was a shelter for so many who didn’t have a shelter. There would always be some girls sheltering there. He’d take care of their expenses and education and even get them married when they were ready if needed.

Once, he was hosting the wedding of a convert girl. This girl had spent quite some time at madrasa so everyone was excited. Obviously it wasn’t logistically possible to invite all of the students to the wedding but my classmates decided to try to get an invite anyway. When he came in to teach Bukhari the day before the wedding, they broached the subject of the upcoming event, knowing he would be excited to talk about it. He took the bait and started talking about the wedding plans and arrangements. “But we aren’t invited,” they said.

“You aren’t? Why didn’t anyone invite you? I am inviting you all. You all can come as my special guests.” He replied.

His wife wasn’t too pleased with us, “You have no shame in asking for an invitation, in taking advantage of the softheartedness of your teacher like that?”

But that’s how he was. Always rushing to take care of everyone around him. Solving problems, fixing things.

No problem was too small for him to address personally. He told us once about a former student who lives abroad who called him and asked if he could add photos of the girls’ campus to the website. The website had photos of the boys campus but not the girls. She missed the madrasa and wanted to see it again. He had photos taken and put up right away.

That’s the type of person he was. People would go to him for anything big or small and he’d oblige.

I remember when his own father passed away, he came a day later to teach his class. We asked about his father and he broke into tears. He shared the story of his father, the last moments, highlighting how his father was continuously reciting Qur’an until the end.

It is people like him who bring barakah to institutions, he said. Madrasas run through spirituality, not through money. Make dua this institution continues to run. He was worried about fulfilling his responsibilities after his father passed. He cited that with the passing of each scholar, degeneration follows.

Now we’ve lost another link to the previous generation.

He was a simple man. Whatever he did he did for the institution, for all madaris, for the deen. No personal benefit or enjoyment. No fun vacations. No days off. Just working for the people.

He didn’t care what people thought. It wasn’t glamorous work. Being under the spotlight meant there would always be people out there to criticize. But that didn’t bother him. He just went out of his way to serve the people, to do things that nobody else was doing, that many didn’t even see the point of doing.

Mentioning him won’t be complete without also mentioning his family, especially his wife. If he was the father figure of all students, his wife was/is the mother, especially of the girls. They were a team. She’d be with him on many of his travels. She was also the head in charge of the girls school, his representative at madrasa. Always looking out for the girls affairs, always ready to address issues that needed care, always extending hospitality. She took care of the girls as if they were her own daughters, especially those who had no family nearby. Because of her active involvement with the madrasa, he also was always an integral part of it, always accessible, always concerned about the girls. The madrasa was a family effort, and his entire family served it day in and day out.

May Allah always protect her and allow her to continue.

Although one the most defining thing about him is his service to others, which he spent his life doing, it never came in the way of worshipping Allah. He was a man who was always reciting the Qur’an, following the footsteps of his own father. A man who never left tahajjud. A man who always finished a recitation of the Qur’an in taraweeh independently every year. A man who always prayed in congregation. Even on his last day, though he was feeling unwell the whole day, he prayed at the masjid. He came home from Maghrib, rested for a while, felt more unwell. They took him to the hospital and he passed away on the way, before Isha.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

It is examples of my teachers like him and others which have given me the energy to carry on teaching even when life is busy, and balancing everything is difficult. Remembering their advices and their constant urging that teaching is a right that knowledge upon us, has always reminded me that it is not optional, that it is not a favor we do upon anyone, but rather an honor and trust Allah has given us.

What I feel now is a renewed purpose to continue this work and to internalize all the lessons from his own life.

I learned from him that the road less traveled may be difficult to take, but it is a necessary road to take to cause lasting good, and that sometimes the most benefit is in doing things that others are not doing.

I learned from him what it means to be the people about whom Allah says, “La yakhafun fillahi lawmata laim.” They do not fear the blame of the blamers. I learn that it is only Allah who we should work to please, because it is to Allah we will return, and as long as we are sincere and on the right path, there is no need to worry about what others say.

I learned from him to think beyond my own benefit and to think of the benefit of those around me. To think beyond the needs of the present, and consider the needs of the future generations as well.

I learned from him that while you should dream big and work hard, small efforts should never be underestimated. It is small efforts that grow into the big things that help fulfill those big dreams. No dream is too big if Allah’s help is with us and no action too small for Allah’s reward.

I learned from him what it means to be a hafidh of the Qur’an. That more than just memorizing the words, it means to fill one’s life with the Qur’an, and to regularly and always recite it, and to understand and implement it.

I learned from him that no matter how busy a person may be, it is always possible to have time for the Qur’an if a person wills it. The ability to recite the Qur’an is an issue of devotion and priorities, not an issue of the availability of time.

I learned from him that our character and our dealings with people speak much louder than any other words, that a student is more likely to remember and feel inspired by a kind word than a long lecture.

I learned from him what it means to be hospitable and generous with one’s time, and that this is the first step of dawah and teaching. I learned what it means to serve others for the sake of Allah. By lowering ourselves in front of others for the sake of Allah, we are only raised in rank by Allah.

But most of all, I learned that knowledge increases and multiplies as it is shared. I learned that the benefit of knowledge is not limited to the teacher and student, but rather it flows to the entire community. I see from his example how just one person of knowledge can have the ability to change the lives of hundreds of thousands, if Allah so wills it. And I learned that the legacy of sacred knowledge is the most valuable legacy to leave.

May Allah accept his efforts, overlook his shortcomings, raise him to the highest levels of Jannah, and increase his sadaqah jariyah.

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