5 Hadith on developing character – Reminders from the Sunnah

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Here are five Hadith on developing and maintaining righteous character:

  1. An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الْبِرُّ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي صَدْرِكَ وَكَرِهْتَ أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ

Righteousness is good character and sin is what waivers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it. Sahih Muslim 2553,

2.  Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلَا يُؤْذِي جَارَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm his neighbour. Sahih Bukhari 6110,

3. Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لِامْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ

Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will have only what they intended. So whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. Whoever emigrated to get something in the world or to marry a woman, then his emigration is for whatever he emigrated for. Sahih Bukhari 54,

 

4. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour his neighbour. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour his guest. Sahih Muslim 47,

5. In another narration, the Prophet said:

وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him uphold his family ties. Sahih Bukhari 5787,

 

These Hadith are from Imam Nawawi’s collection of 40 Hadith, which brings together some of the most important and pivotal Prophetic traditions. Each tradition encapsulates a great rule of the religion of Islam, described by Islamic religious scholars as an ‘axis’ in Islam. The commentary of the great Hadith master Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id is simple but erudite and was the first prepared on Imam Nawawi’s collection.

More information on the book is available on our website and Amazon

Why can’t I see Allah Dad? [Children’s Books]

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The “I Wonder About Islam” series started one day with my son asking me, “Why can’t I see Allah, Dad?” The question was so unexpected that I didn’t know what to say, although I actually knew the answer. But when he asked so suddenly, I just said, “Umm, well…” He opened his eyes wide and started staring at me as if to say Come on, give me the answer! I beat around the bush for a while. You know, I was humming and hawing. In the end, I said, “Your eyes are so small, yet Allah is so big! This is the answer to the question. Because of this, you can’t see Allah!” “Oh, really?” he said.  Then, as if he hadn’t said anything, he went to his room.

He was only five years old… Perhaps, for a child his age, this answer was enough. I had handled the situation. However, as he got older, he would ask heaps of new questions about Allah. I had to prepare my answers. So, that is how I started the “I Wonder About Islam” series. The best thing about this book is that not only my kids, but kids from around the world can benefit from these answers. The first and second books in the series consist of answers I have given to questions about Allah. In the third book, you will find answers to questions about the Prophet, peace be upon him. The fourth book is about the Muslim holy book, The Qur’an.

Have I answered all the questions about all these topics? Of course not! I’ve only tried to answer the most frequently asked ones. But if you look at how these questions are answered, it will help you work out the answers to other questions yourself. If you hang on to your question’s tail and pull as hard as you can, a huge
answer will follow. From reading the book, you will see that questions don’t frighten you as much as before. You will bravely ask the questions you thought were the most challenging to answer, and soon you will see that you can’t think of a question that doesn’t have an answer.

Asking a question is saying, “I want to learn!”, “I want to understand!”, “I want to know better and love more!” You should never be afraid of asking questions, and don’t ever give up asking questions! Because a question is a key. Every question opens a door for you. And behind every door is a whole other world. Furthermore, asking a question is also a prayer. Make sure you pray a lot so that your mind and heart are filled with the light of knowledge; so that your path is always bright.

The “I Wonder About Islam” series has been written using the works of the great Muslim
scholar Said Nursi (1878–1960). The answers given to the questions and the examples to help you understand the topics have all been taken from his Risale-i Nur books.
Özkan Öze
İstanbul

This foreword was initially published in the ‘I wonder about Islam’ series, his books can be found here.

Islamic Manners – A Brief Reminder

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Islamic Manners

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may God be well pleased with him, who reported that the Messenger of God, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him say something good or else keep quiet. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him honour his neighbour. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him honour his guest.’
[Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]


His saying (whoever believes in God and the Last Day) means whoever believes fully, with a complete faith that saves from God’s chastisement and leads to God’s good pleasure, let him (say something good or else keep quiet). This is because the person who truly believes in God fears His threats, hopes for His reward and strives to do what He commands and refrains from what He prohibits. The most important thing in this process is to control his limbs which are his subjects and, therefore, he is responsible for them, as God Most High said, the hearing, the sight, the heart – all of those shall be questioned of [al-Isra 17: 36], not a word he utters, but by him is an observer ready [Qaf 50: 18].

 

The defects of the tongue are numerous. This is why the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Are people thrown in the Fire on their nostrils except for that which their tongues have reaped?’ He also said, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him: ‘All the speech of the son of Adam will be against him except for the remembrance of God Most High, enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong.’ Whoever knows this and truly believes in it will fear God with regard to his tongue and will only utter that which is good or else keep silent. One scholar mentioned that all the proprieties of goodness are derived from four prophetic sayings and he mentioned among them the saying of the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him: ‘Whoever believes in God and the Last Day let him say something good or else keep silent.’


Another scholar said: ‘When a person wants to speak, he should first think: if what he is going to say is definitely good and he is going to be rewarded for it, then he should speak. Otherwise he should refrain from speaking whether what he is going to say appears to be unlawful, offensive or permissible. Hence, he is commanded to refrain from permissible speech, for it is recommended to do so, out of fear that it may lead him to speech that is forbidden or offensive, and this may happen quite frequently. God Most High said: not a word he utters, but by him is an observer ready [Qaf 50: 18].

 

The scholars have different views about whether everything uttered by a person is recorded, even if it happens to be permissible, or whether only that in which there is re-ward or punishment is recorded. The latter view is the view of Ibn Abbas and some other eminent scholars. The noble verse [Qaf 50: 18] is therefore of particular applicability to the speech that involves a requital. His saying (let him honour his neighbour… let him honour his guest) points to the rights of the neighbour and guest and the necessity of being kind to them and of protecting one’s limbs. In His Book, God Most High has enjoined being kind towards neighbours. The Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘Gabriel, peace be upon him, kept on enjoining me to take care of the neighbour until I feared he was going to make him among one’s inheritors.’

 

Giving hospitality is part of Islam as well as being the characteristic of the prophets and righteous people. Some scholars declared it to be an obligation, but most scholars are of the opinion that it is of the noble character traits.The author of al-Ifsah wrote: ‘Among the things that one understands from this prophetic saying is that honouring the guest is an act of worship, which is neither diminished by hosting a rich person nor is it changed by giving one’s guest whatever little one has. To honour a guest consists of showing him a happy manner and engaging him in good conversation. But the heart of offering hospitality lies in providing food. One has to hasten therefore to provide whatever God has made available without any display of affectation.’

 

The same scholar went on to mention a few things about offering hospitality until he said: ‘As for his saying (let him say something good or else keep quiet), this indicates that the utterance of that which is good is better than keeping quiet, while silence is better than saying something bad. Included in the utterance of what is good is to convey from God and from His Messenger, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, teaching the Muslims, enjoining the good with full knowledge of what one is doing and forbidding the wrong also with full knowledge, reconciling between people and saying fair things to them. The best speech is to utter a word of truth in front of someone who is feared or sought in matters of substantiation [of claims] and settlement [of disputes].’

 

This excerpt is from ‘A Treasury of Hadith – A Commentary of Nawawi’s Selection of Forty Prophetic Traditions’ which is available here.

Al-Ghazali on Listening to Music in Islam

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Listening to Music 

Listening [to songs] can be absolutely prohibited, permitted, reprehensible or praiseworthy. As for that which is prohibited, it is for most young men who are overwhelmed with the lust of this world; for listening will stir up in them nothing but the reviled attributes prevalent in their hearts. As for that which is reprehensible, it is for those who do not project what they listen to into the image of human beings, but take listening as a habit for most of the time, for entertainment. As for that which is permitted, it is for those whose share of listening is restricted to enjoying beautiful voices. As for that which is praiseworthy, it is for the one who is captivated by the love of Allah Most High, and listening will only stir in him his
praiseworthy attributes.


Centuries ago one had to go to special places and gatherings to listen to songs, which were not available all
the time. When Muslim scholars discussed and ruled over listening to music and songs, they could not
imagine a time in the future when literally millions of recorded songs would be stored in a virtual reality
that are readily available all the time. But what are they listening to?


Imam al-Ghazali’s first concern was about the content which might lead youngsters to psychological
projection and fantasising about sexuality. They colour what they hear through their own lustful desires. Once the content in itself is problematic, it becomes prohibited. The degree of prohibition of this type of songs may have been more severe had the scholars of old known about some of the explicit lewd content of many songs today. And while there are songs today that may be considered positive, because they motivate people to overcome challenges and do something good, there are dark-themed songs that entertain suicide and encourage wrong behaviour.

Once the song is devoid of problematic content according to Islamic universal norms, and the listener does not project any ill thoughts, but only listens by way of habit for extended periods, then listening is reprehensible. Al-Ghazali is concerned here with wasting time, as with any type of extended activity that does not generate personal or public good, material or spiritual. Listening here is a distraction from a purposeful life. It is interesting that the synonyms of ‘entertainment’ include diversion and distraction.


The third category is when listening to songs is simply permitted. Here the listener enjoys the beautiful
voice and the melody. There is no transgression in content and it is done only occasionally.

The fourth category is when listening becomes commendable. It is for those whom the love of Allah occupies their whole time, emotions and actions. They are the opposite of the first category, for once they hear a song about the beloved, they think of Allah. The song, in their case, becomes a tool that helps in bringing forth the best in their souls and character.

This excerpt is from ‘A Treasury of Ghazali: A Companion for the Untethered Soul’

You can find out more information about the book here. To read a sample of the book click here.

Al-Ghazali on Travelling

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Travelling

The benefits that motivate travelling are either running away from something or seeking out something, for the traveller is either bothered about something where he is staying, without which he would not aim to travel, or he has an objective and purpose in doing so.

Running away takes place because of worldly issues that have adverse effects on him, such as the plague and epidemics when they appear in a country, or out of fear because of sedition, a dispute or a hike in prices. The reasons for travelling are either general, as mentioned, or particular such as being targeted with personal harm in a town so that one runs away.

The reason for travelling may also be for matters detrimental to one’s religion such as being tried with prominence, money and a host of other material causes that prevent one from dedicating one’s time for the sake of Allah, thus preferring the life of an unknown person or a stranger to avoid wealth and status. And it may be that one is coerced to subscribe to a blameworthy innovation in religion or invited to take a public office which is unlawful to assume, and hence one flees from it.



Al-Ghazali captures [in the above passage] the essence of travel. One travels to avoid danger or discomfort, to
look for better conditions for one’s final destination, or simply to seek some other good. There is nothing
more iconic than the image of refugees coming from different religious, ethnic and national backgrounds,
trying to cross the Mediterranean in overcrowded boats. They ran away from war and poverty. Their plight does not end simply by reaching their new destination. If they survive the waves of the sea, the tide of xenophobia is awaiting them.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم sent two waves of early Muslims to Abyssinia to seek refuge because Muslims
were persecuted in Makkah. The Makkan idol worshippers were the first known Islamophobes. They tried unsuccessfully to poison the air between these Muslim refugees and the Negus of Ethiopia, their host.

Travelling, al-Ghazali adds, is sought either for worldly gains or for religious purposes. The latter can be divided into seeking knowledge or action. Knowledge covers personal practical ethics that can be acquired through travelling, but also the knowledge of geography which reflects the marvels of the earth.

As for action, it can be divided into acts of worship such as the formal Pilgrimage or the visitation of Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem.

Today, People flock to Makkah and Madinah without hesitation, but not to Jerusalem because it is still under occupation. There is a strong scholarly argument encouraging Muslims to visit al-Aqsa Mosque because it is spiritually meritorious to do so. Imam Al-Shaf’i, founder of the legal school to which al-Ghazali belonged, said in one of his poems, extolling the merits of travelling: Travel, you will find recompense for what you leave behind And strive, for the pleasure of life is in working hard.

I have seen water stagnating when left still, Refreshing when flowing, if not it doesn’t taste well. Travelling may take place to avoid tribulations and unwanted personal roles that defy Allah’s plan for humanity. Al-Ghazali travelled to seek knowledge, but once he became the most famous scholar in the Muslim world, he left Baghdad in order to purify his heart from egotistic residues resulting from fame, money and power.

Something to ponder about if you are preparing a journey to Hajj, making Hijrah or if you are travelling abroad.

This excerpt is from our title ‘A Treasury of Ghazali – A Companion for the Untethered Soul

Read a sample of the book here!

Al-Ghazali on Seeking True Happiness

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Seek Felicity

The otherworldly felicity we are concerned with is
subsistence without end, pleasure without toil, happiness
without sadness, richness without impoverishment, perfection
without blemish and glory without humiliation.

In sum, it is everything that can [at the same time] be
conceived of as sought and seeking, desired and desirous,
eternally and forever, such that it is undiminished by the
passage of time and successions of generations.

Indeed, if the whole world was full of gems and a bird was to
pilfer one of them every one thousand years, then the
gems will be exhausted but everlasting eternity
would not be diminished a bit.


No matter how plentiful they are, the good and enjoyable things in this world are finite. In fact, even the bad things are finite. Worldly pleasures, often conflated with happiness, are dependable on finite components. Even when they are wholesome and there is nothing controversial about them, or about how they are acquired, they are always incomplete and lacking. Material fulfilment is temporary in its very nature and the physical pleasures cannot be maintained, even when wealth and good health are at one’s disposal. One cannot eat continuously, for example, because food is plentiful and tasty, even if one does not care about health issues. Eating continuously is not sustainable. Everything that one builds will inevitably wither away in time, and all those beloved to one will either leave one or one will leave them, just as every accumulated wealth, big or small, will one day be left behind.

  

 

It is foolish to prefer what is finite and perishable to everlasting life, perpetual happiness and infinite rewards, where no effort is required. An abode where there is no striving or toil, where all joys are eternal, without any negative associations as in this worldly life. It is important not to confuse wealth with the state of happiness. Material wealth does not translate necessarily into happiness, for there are many people who are comfortable financially yet lead a miserable life. Many of them end up committing suicide due to a lack of meaning in their lives. Yet, material wealth does not necessarily preclude happiness, nor could it be automatically considered antithetical to a fulfilling spiritual life. It all depends on what is going on in one’s heart, and not on what is available in one’s bank account. The heart may be obsessed with material wealth to the extent that this prevents one from tending to one’s spiritual needs.

Muslims are, for instance, enjoined to perform the Pilgrimage to Makkah and circumambulate the Kabah, the first house established for the worship of Allah. This pillar of Islam is required once in a Muslim’s lifetime if he or she is capable financially and physically. Yet, many choose to
circumambulate the malls and the marketplaces time and again, often buying unnecessary things, or simply walking around as if time is not the most precious ‘commodity’. What is life if not the sum of these moments, whether utilised properly or not. But leading a purposeless life is not about time, it is about the path one charters.

Not using time properly is an act of ingratitude towards Allah who has gifted one with life. Is death not an end to time in this life? Is wasting time not a kind of death of the wasted months and years? Why, then, does one lament and feel a deep sense of sorrow for the former form of death but not lament or feel a deep sense of sorrow for the latter form?

This excerpt is from our title ‘A Treasury of Ghazali – A Companion for the Untethered Soul

Read a sample of the here!

My First Book About the Qur’an [Children’s Book]

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My First Book About the Qur’an – Teachings for toddlers and young children is Kube Publishing’s new board book!  Considered as “The perfect book to introduce children to the teachings in the Qur’an..”

Inside this board book toddlers and young children will find out about the Qur’an’s beautiful teachings: to care for all creation; to respect the books of the Prophet and God; to be good to one another; and to believe in Allah, the Creator.

Stunning illustrations, full of colour, bring the pages to life and the carefully written text is simple, easy to understand, and suitable to be read aloud.

At the end, the book also features some facts about the Qur’an and common questions children might ask, such as: what does the word “Qur’an” actually mean? Which are useful for starting an introductory discussion about the Qur’an with your children, in a madrasa or a classroom!

Author Sara Khan shares her thoughts on her book, “Starting with My First Book About the Qur’an, I hope to capture young children’s attention through simple language and colourful illustrations in a board book format that is suitable for their age group and presents them with the fundamental teachings of the most important book in Islam.

I hope it becomes a treasured introduction to the Qur’an and Islam and that it will be accessible to every young child and parent who values their child’s Islamic education or would like to raise their awareness and understanding with regards to a religion or way of life that may be different from their own.”  

Read the sample here.

My First Book About the Qur’an: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children is available to order here.

By Sara Khan, illustrated by Ali Lodge

£4.99 (prices vary internationally)

ISBN:9780860376187

 

Ibn Taymiyyah on Paradise

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Paradise

‘In this world there is a paradise. Whoever does
not experience it, will not experience the Paradise
of the Hereafter.’


In Paradise there is only peace, prosperity and happiness. For some, the very thought of this will
contrast starkly with their experience of this world. Experience of the harsh reality of the world may even make any attempt to conceive such a state very difficult. And while the fundamental nature of the world and our perception of our own place within it, has surely evolved with the onset of modernity.

Many of us, despite possessing the means to sustain a largely comfortable existence, compare ourselves to others which can leave us feeling that we are not good enough, do not have enough, are not doing enough, and so on. Anxiety, panic and depression are too often the resultant conditions, and they are on the rise. It is now a fact that one in three of us will at some point in life suffer from one or another mental health issue. In light of this, the words of Ibn Taymiyyah take on a new hue of meaning; they are a reminder and encouragement to those of us experiencing a sense of dislocation in the world—and perhaps seeking an unhealthy sense of longing for another life—that paradise has a place in this world.

Ibn Taymiyyah goes further than this, of course, and says that it is only those of us who experience the paradise of this world who can experience the Paradise of the Hereafter. But do not be fooled into thinking that such a state is obtained simply by bowing and prostrating on a prayer mat; or indeed that those experiencing one form or another of melancholy are in a low state of iman. Human states, whether spiritual, psychological or emotional are too complex to be facetiously and superficially categorised in this way; there are no simple formulas for bringing about different states of mind and being. However, there is a point to take from the comparison of the Paradise of the Hereafter and the paradisical state which Ibn Taymiyyah believes can be achieved in the life of this world.

The Paradise of the Hereafter is a timeless place, in which there is no past and no future—therein only the present exists. It is quite possible, therefore, that the experience of peace, prosperity and happiness in the Paradise of the Hereafter is a consequence of living in and embracing the moment. In Paradise, there will be no place for anxiety over what has passed or anxiety of what is yet to pass. And for this very reason, there will be no disruption to the experience of peace, prosperity and happiness.

Now, although living in the present—in the here-and-now—is no doubt something that requires a certain degree of conscious effort, and probably impossible to sustain for long, it is surely a desideratum to be sought, however and whenever possible, if even to momentarily enjoy the taste of what is promised to us in the Paradise of the Hereafter. In the words of another sage: ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift …  that is why it is called the present!’

And God knows best!


This excerpt was taken from ‘A Treasury of Ibn Taymiyyah’. If you liked this blog post and want to find out more, you can read more of Ibn Taymiyyah’s timeless thought and wisdom here.

Gratitude In Islam

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Gratitude lies at the core of man’s relationship with Allah. It may be expressed by the heart, tongue, through deeds, words and gestures. As to the gratitude flowing from the heart, it is the proper response for innumerable divine favours. A grateful person is always mindful of being indebted for Allah’s bounties, big and small, and articulates his feelings t every step to express gratitude.

This feeling of constant gratitude has a very significant bearing on man’s deeds, For he is pleased to do the deeds that please Allah, his benefactor. Conversely, he is averse to anything that amounts to ingratitude in response to a divine bounty. One who truly appreciates divine bounty. One who truly appreciates divine bounties can never reconcile himself to abusing them by acting against Allah’s will. If someone gives us a weapon that can help us to defend ourselves, only a wicked person would abuse that weapon to hurt the one who gave it. One who truly appreciates divine bounties is never ready to abuse them in the cause of Satan. Umm al-Mu’minin A’ishah made this point in her letter Amir Mu’awiyah; ‘A person blessed with some favour owes the minimum obligation of not abusing that favour against his benefactor.’

To develop a constant feeling of gratitude and a sound consciousness on this count, the first and foremost ask is to constantly acknowledge and declare the favours bestowed upon by Allah. It is a general human weakness that if someone is afflicted with some misfortune, he is continually mentioning it which he constantly enjoys. He disregards these as if these do not exist. Such a person is not likely to appreciate the favours done to him by his benefactor. To overcome this weakness, we should devote a little time every day to reflect on the bounties we enjoy and to study divine signs scattered around us. We should reflect too on what our state would be if he had not been blessed by Allah with the favours we are currently enjoying. If we had not been endowed with eyes,, ears, limbs and brain, we would not have been able to accomplish anything. We would have led a miserable life.

Another equally important point to remember is that Allah has granted us innumerable favours even though we have not deserved them. By definition, Allah is not obliged to do us these favours, and we can never repay Him in any measure for His bounties. While cannot repay Him, he can deprive us of His favours whenever He will, and there is no one to stop Him from doing so. A king may be reduced to a pauper; so he should not dismiss a lowly person, for Allah may degrade us to the same position, we should constantly praise Him for His favours to us.

Another help in encouraging gratitude is not to look at those who have been blessed with more than us, but at those who have been blessed with less. Those who fail to do this are always complaining of their difficulties and problems and are never blessed with satisfaction or contentment. Even when their lot improves, they do not experience true contentment . This is because it is impossible to be in a state that is in all respects better than that of everyone else. The only way to express our gratitude to Allah is to be constantly mindful that we are servants of Allah – some of His servants are not granted as much as we ave, and others are favoured with more than us.

The wisdom in that approach is well illustrated by an anecdote related by Shaikh Sa’di. While travelling he reached Damascus in a miserable condition. He did not have any money to buy new shoes to replace his old ones. It pained him that he was unable to buy a pair of new shoes. With these thoughts he entered the mosque where he observed a lame person, without feet. On seeing this, he immediately fell into prostration, thanking Allah profusely for having provided him with feet, if not with new shoes. This incident identifies the perspective in which we should look at things. Those with a feeling of gratitude observe numerous manifestations of Allah’s favours which then fill them with greater gratitude. However, there are others who are always complaining of what they do not have, and are therefore unable to thank Allah for the many blessings He has bestowed upon them.

Excerpt taken from:  Tazkiyah – The Islamic path of self-development available here, for the eBook version click here.

Heavenly Bites Review!

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Heavenly Bites

heavenlybites cook book

Food glorious food! I just want to show you guys how awesome this new book I have is!

This is a collaboration post with the author of the book Heavenly Bites. Karimah Bint Dawoud. If you haven’t heard of her, well now you have. The award-winning Karimah is a qualified nutritionist. Her book, Heavenly Bites, won the Gormund award in Paris (so you’ll know this book is pretty darn good if it has won an award.)
More about the lady herself, she’s a trustee of a charity called Karimah’s Cuisina. It’s a non-profit organisation where she cooks and feeds homeless people in central London. It also promotes faith-based wellbeing.

After she had co-produced and presented a successful cooking show, she was invited to make a book with the healthy versions of traditional Islamic food. It was then that she started to realise nutrition was the way forward. That’s when she went into a clinical nutrition course with the hope of combining nutrition with Islam.

Her most recent project is working on writing a new book. This one though will be more about the Islamic way of cooking and eating. In the book, she’s also exploring having a consciousness about the environment and animal welfare which right now, in the world that we live in, is such an important topic. (By the way that’s only a snippet of what this talented lady has been up to.) Head over to her blog to find out more about how to use Nutritional Sunnah foods >>> Karimahs Cuisina

lentilsoup

In this post, I wanted to specifically show you all her book Heavenly Bites. It’s a cookbook about some of the best recipes from around the world. She takes traditional recipes from different parts of the world and shows you how to make them. It’s very clear and easy to understand.

It’s split into six different sections, each section has several types of recipes in its particular category. The sections are:

  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Snacks
  • Smoothies
  • Main Courses
  • Marinades
  • Sweets

These are great categories as you’ll be able to cook a full 3-course meal with all the sides and extras as the book provides you with all of it. I love how it even has a marinades section. That’s actually really helpful especially if you’re unsure as to how to make one and whether it will taste nice or not.

The book is fairly short, so don’t expect it to be thick and filled with pages and pages of recipes. Remember, it’s a book about the BEST recipes from around the world, not all of the recipes. These are a select few favourites that you can use again and again, knowing that people will actually like and enjoy them.
The recipes are also simple to make, so for a person that isn’t so great with cooking, learning from the book is pretty straight forward. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed making recipes from this book and eagerly look forward to using more of it.
roastchicken

So, since receiving the book, you can clearly see I got a little busy with using it. From the pictures, you’ll see I used a couple of recipes, one from the soups section and one from the main course section. I chose to make the Bengal Dhal Soup and the Faith Roast Chicken, well because they are classic favourites for me as it is.

Now, the soup was fairly straight forward. This is one of my favourite soups so it was definitely a must-make. Also, I really wanted to try her particular recipe which turned out to be just delicious!

Let’s get onto the Faith Roast Chicken. (And boy, did I have faith when I sunk my teeth into this chicken!) It’s really unlike any roast chicken I have made before. I think the fact that it required poaching beforehand had something to do with it.

Then the prunes added into the roast just made the flavour of the roast a whole lot juicier. The crunch of the nuts as a dressing was just the icing on the cake. Look at it this way, I never thought a sweet roast could ever taste this good!

That’s just only two of the delicious recipes imagine all of the other goodness it has to offer! Another recipe I had tried was the Ajwa Shake. I tried this one particularly because I’m planning on drinking it during Ramadan. Well, I am actually planning to use most of these recipes in Ramadan as they are both healthy and tasty, which is just the perfect mix!

roast chicken, couscous, lentil soup
faith roast chicken heavenly bites
Heavenly bites cookbook

This wonderful blog post was derived from @stepinsidemyhandbag you can check her blog here. Don’t forget you can catch up on the author Karimah (@theislamicnutritionist) on this blog!

For more information about this book, Heavenly Bites click here.

[Recipe]: Sunnah Shake – Heavenly Bites

Written by R on . Posted in Author, From Kube Shelves

Sunnah shake

[Bukhari Volume 007, Book 065, Hadith Number 356. Narated By Sad : Allah’s Apostle said, “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.“]

This shake is a great and simple way to start your fast in a completely Sunnah way using ingredients recommended in the Qur’an and Sunnah. a recipe perfect for Ramadan as well!

Ingredients

  • 7 dates soaked in water over night (each ajwa date has 40 calories x 7 =280 calories)
  • 237ml/ 8oz / 1 cup of organic  milk (75 calories) or home made nut milk (120 calories)
  • Pinch of cinnamon or ginger optional
  • Add bananas for more calories, each medium size banana has 105 calories and is great for strengthening the stomach

Method

I usually take the stones out of the dates and put the dates into a cup of water with a lid and leave it in the fridge to soak overnight.

In the morning take the dates out of the water and blend the dates, milk and bananas in a blender or a smoothie maker. The water the dates were soaked in is also deliciously chilled and full of natural sugar to give you that much needed energy, to help you get through the day. Alhamdulillah for the blessing that Allah has given us, ameen.

For more amazing recipes on the best of Muslim Cooking, check out Heavenly Bites the award winning cookbook.

You can also follow Karimah Bint Dawood on her Blog, Facebook or Instagram!

Revive Your Heart – More Reviews!

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Trade Books

As Salaam Alaykum,

Alhamdulillah we’ve been getting a lot more positive feedback on ‘Revive Your Heart‘ and we wanted to share what other people have been saying about this title.

“His writing style is conversational. You feel as if your older brother is sitting next to you having a heart to heart and offering some really sincere advice. If you enjoy his lectures, you will enjoy his writing style.

As Nouman is a student of knowledge and an Arabic teacher, much of what he discusses focuses on in his book are different translations and the roots, connotations, and synonyms of the Arabic used in the Quran”

AboutIslam.net

“One thing I have always appreciated about Nouman Ali Khan is his honesty. You can tell when something seriously grieves him in his videos just from the way he talks or when something ridiculous cracks him up. It’s the same for Revive Your Heart. Revive Your Heart was written to suggest how Muslims can find peace in chaotic times. In a world that revolves around technology, social media and globalisation, it is easy to get distracted and disheartened by every day life. ”

Pardon My Writings
“This book reminds us not just about the temporary nature of this life, but how we should nurture our heart so it’s ready for the Hereafter. It also touches upon the pertinent issues and challenges affecting the Muslim communities such as the issue of leadership, disunity in the Muslim Ummah and the unacceptable attitudes some Muslim communities have towards women and daughters, despite the beautiful teaching of Islam that call us to honour them.

What we like the most about the book is how Khan makes enormous efforts to explain the meaning of important words or verses in the Qur’an so that the reader may actually understand and appreciate the message and beauty of their religion. Nowadays, the ongoing developments in technology and everything around us can easily distract us from our duties and purpose in life. It is as if our physical body is just going through the motions, and our hearts (and ruh (soul)) are dying.”

Productive Muslim

“In its essence, it’s a book that calls into question the importance of reviving your heart, to not get caught up in life to the point where you forget your spirituality and character-building. To at least form a habit of remembering God in our lives as the busy lifestyle we all may lead, can take us away from the bigger picture. To just having a moment of peace, reflection and a sit-down conversation with God.”

i.Reads

“His profound explanations of disarmingly simple words and phrases is by far the book’s greatest strength, as it opens up the world of the Qur’an in a way few other sermonic texts do. This book will no doubt prove popular as a devotional work for the faithful Muslim reader, and it might also benefit those who want to understand what it means to be Muslim beyond the headlines and in the midst of modern life.”

Publishers Weekly

To find out more about Revive Your Heart, click here!

P.S. The e-book version is available on Amazon 

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