7 tips for a healthy month of Ramadan

How quickly time flies – Ramadan is just around the corner! As we focus on bettering ourselves as Muslims and reflecting on our relationship with God, looking after our health during the month is also important. Let’s start with a few questions we may need to ask ourselves to work through what to focus on (no guilt-tripping intended!);

  • What are some habits that I want to change from last Ramadan?

  • How will I maintain a healthy diet week on week?

  • How will I maintain a balance between fasting, eating well AND a busy schedule?

  • What tools can help me achieve my goals during Ramadan?

  • There are many resources out there, which ones can help me?

 

1 – Starting with the right mindset

Fasting is a spiritual action, a bootcamp for the mind, body and soul to reach an improved if not transformed connection with Allah (swt).

‘O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous..’

Surah Al Baqarah (2:183)

Being mindful of the way we eat during the month and giving our body its right over us is a part of the process. We don’t need elaborate meals with several different kinds of main courses and then some! The aim is to be nourished, and maintain it through the month.

 

2 – Don’t miss suhoor!

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

 

It can be tempting to skip the pre-dawn meal, however the Prophet said: “Take Suhoor, for in Suhoor there is blessing.” ( Sunan an-Nasa’i 2149). Having water and something to eat will help with energy levels throughout the day. Here are a few ideas for suhoor;

Dates and Milk. Dates are high in natural sugars and various vitamins and minerals, and it is sunnah!

Oat porridge with honey and dried fruit. Oats are rich in fibre including beta-glucan which slows digestion and increases satiety (feeling full).

Smoothie bowls. If you have a blitzer, try adding you a few pieces of fruit and lay the mixture in a bowl along with granola, honey and chai seeds. It is a quick way of adding different fruit to your diet for the day!

Poached eggs and wholemeal bread. Eggs (be sure to get the free-range, good quality kind) are rich in protein and vitamin A.

 

3 – Remember to hydrate yourself

person holding drinking glass
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

During suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and when breaking our fast, let’s remember to drink water! Not just tea, coffee and juices full of sugar (although these do count as some water intake) – but just good ol’ water! We should be drinking 2 litres per day, which works out as 6-8 cups. A good tip is having a jug or water bottle filled and in the fridge, ready for consumption at suhoor and Iftar.

 

4 – Meal planning

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Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

This will look different for everyone – some of us are students or working full-time during Ramadan, others will be staying at home with child-care responsibilities. For all of us, spending an hour or so before each week of fasting can save a lot of time and help incorporate some healthier options.

When planning, the downloadable EatWell Guide gives a overview of what a nutritious daily diet should look like and in what portions. It may seem obvious but being super busy may mean we overlook some essentials!

Think about transforming the fridge so it serves better in Ramadan. Investing in containers to store pre-cooked meals and pre-made salads for a few days can help.  Think about organising it into suhoor options, soups, meals, and also fruit and veg. Don’t forget the fruit and veg!

Lastly when meal planning, let’s think about cutting down processed or genetically-modified food. Look for organic, locally produced options. If I had more time I would try and grow some herbs and veg on my own.

Did you know that about a third of all domestic waste is packaging? A shift towards buying food and drink in recyclable packaging, buying a few things in bulk and re-using carrier bags does make a difference. We are care-takers stewards of the earth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, the exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves” (Saheeh Muslim). Being mindful of our consumption and how it impacts on our environment is definitely something to consider!

 

5 – A few things to incorporate this Ramadan

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fish. Oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which contributes to improving heart health.

Soups. Soups and stews help replace the fluids lost during the day and can be packed with a lot of goodness if done well – vegetables, lentils, fresh herbs etc!

Brown rice. Brown rice contains more fibre, vitamins and minerals in comparison to white rice. More fibre keeps the body fully for longer. White rice is made up of only the almost nutritionally void part of the grain. However, white rice is almost a staple food for many and whilst it is more processed it might not need cutting out completely.

Nuts. High in protein, fibre and essential fats. Hazelnuts, almonds and chestnuts have low saturated fat content while cashews and Brazil nuts have a high saturated fat level.

 

6 – Avoid heavy meals

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Fried food. We’ve all had fried samosas or chicken during Ramadan, but the internet is filled with healthier versions of different food we know and love, let’s take the time to do some research for the benefit of our health. Try grilling or roasting everything you are used to frying or cut the foods that can only be fried down significantly.

Food high in saturated fat. Butter, ghee, pastries, cakes and biscuits all have a lot of saturated fat associated with ‘bad’ cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease. Incorporate sparingly and think about swapping butter for reduced-fat spreads for example.

Salt. A high-salt diet is associated with a raised blood pressure which in turn impacts the risk of heart disease. Let’s cook with less salt, choose reduced-salt products and incorporate flavour alternatives such as garlic, herbs and fresh vegetables.

Sugar. A lot of traditional desserts are soaked in syrup (baklava, gulab jamun, kunafe..) and we eat them out of habit with tea and coffee which can also be sweetened. An occasional treat is lovely, but in small occasional portions!

 

7 – The rule of thirds

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’”

We are fortunate to be guaranteed food and fasting with our fridges and freezers filled, alhamdulilah. Ramadan can be a time where we buy so much food especially when hosting Iftars and family gatherings. Let’s try and be mindful of of waste. If a lot of food is left after Iftar, leftovers can make for great new meals with a little time and creativity!


 

Making small changes will go a long way and help contribute to our health over time. Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we are putting into our bodies. I hope these tips help, do remember to do some research and seek individual advice especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

I wish you all a blessed and productive Ramadan 2019, in sha Allah!

 

 

 

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Hajj: The Greater Pilgrimage

What is ‘Hajj’?

Hajj, known as the greater of the two forms of pilgrimage (see Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage), takes place in the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar – Dhu Al-Hijjah. Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime, if indeed their means, circumstance permits them to do so. It is said to be the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, with 2.35 million pilgrims from across the world performing it last year alone.

Hajj is both a collective undertaking and a deeply personal experience. It involves a series of rituals around Mina, ArafatMuzdalifah over a period of 5 or 6 days.

The rituals have their origins in the time of the Prophet Ibrahim (Upon Him Be Peace). Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) led the Hajj himself in 632AD.

 

Entering the holy city of Makkah, the journey begins…

It begins with pilgrims arriving in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.

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At the centre of the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah is the Kaaba, around which pilgrims perform Tawaf, circling the Kaaba seven times in anti-clock wise direction. During tawaf, pilgrims will recitate supplications, prayer and the Talbiyah. The purpose of Tawaf is to symbolically represent the idea that our life should revolve around thinking and remembering Allah Almighty.

Talbiyah

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ والنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكُ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ

لَبَّيْكَ إِلَهَ الْحَقِّ لَبَّيْكَ

“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak.

Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner”.
This is the Talbiyah recited by the pilgrim doing Hajj and ‘Umrah.

More on this: http://understandquran.com/six-parts-of-the-talbiyah-are-you-ready-to-taste-its-sweetness.html

The hills of Al-Safa & Al-Marwa, performing Sa’i

In Islamic tradition, Abraham (Ibrahim) was commanded by Allah to leave his wife Hagar (Hajar) and their infant son, Ishmael (Isma’il), alone in the desert between Safa and Marwa. When their provisions were exhausted, Hagar went in search of help or water. To make her search easier and faster, she went alone, leaving the infant on the ground. She first climbed the nearest hill, Safa, to look over the surrounding area. When she saw nothing, she then went to the other hill, Marwah, to look around. While Hagar was on either hillside, she was able to see Ishmael and know he was safe. However, when she was in the valley between the hills she was unable to see her son, and would thus run whilst in the valley and walk at a normal pace when on the hillsides. Hagar traveled back and forth between the hills seven times in the scorching heat before returning to her son. When she arrived, she found that a spring had broken forth from where the archangel Gabriel (Jibra’il) hit the ground with his wing as both sustenance and a reward for Hagar’s patience. This spring is now known as the Zamzam. (source)

And so, once their Tawaf is complete, pilgrims will walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times to commemorate this advent.

Safa and Marwa are mentioned in the following Quranic verse:

“Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth.”

— Surah 2, Al-BaqarahAyah 158[1]

8th of Dhul Hijjah – Hajj Begins

Once pilgrims have completed their premiere Tawaf and sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa, and as dawn breaks on the 8th of Dhul Hijja, they make their way to Mina, the ‘city of tents’, situated 7km east of the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. It is here that pilgrims will undertake their daily prayers, remain immersed in worship.

Day of Arafat – 9th of Dhul Hijjah

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:

“The Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat” [Tirmidhi]

As dawn breaks on the 9th of Dhul Hijja, pilgrims make the 14.4 km journey from Mina to the plains of Arafat, Mount Arafat itself, or Jabal al-Rahmah (Arabic: جبل الرحمة; ‘Mount of Mercy’), also known as Mount Arafat, the scene of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) final sermon. Pilgrims spend the day here in remembrance of their Lord, repenting for their sins and seeking His mercy. Many muslims around the globe, who are not performing Hajj, choose to fast on this day. The Day of Arafat is considered one of the most important days, not just of Hajj, but of the Islamic calendar.

Collect pebbles at Muzdalifah 

After sunset, the pilgrims will make their way to Muzdalifah – a 9 km trip – where they spend the night under the stars. Many will also begin collecting pebbles here for tomorrow’s rites at Jamarat, departing again just before sunrise.

Eid Al-Adha – 10th of Dhul Hijjah

This day starts by casting stones at Jamarat, three stone pillars which are pelted as a compulsory ritual of Hajj in emulation of the Prophet Ibrahim (upon him be peace). They represent the three locations where Ibrahim (upon him be peace) pelted the shaytan (Satan) with stones when he tried to dissuade him from sacrificing his son, Ismail (upon him be peace). The pillars are called ‘Jamarat-al-Ula’, ‘Jamarat-al-Wusta’ and ‘Jamarat-al-Aqaba’. Throwing stones in Jamarat reminds the pilgrims to be conscious of temptations and act against them, to counter our nafs, or lower self, and to remain steadfast in serving God.

Pilgrims must then slaughter a sheep, goat, cow or camel – or pay for it to be done in their names. Eid Al Adha symbolises the devotion to God and a commitment to help the poor and the needy. The symbolism is as well in the attitude — a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Str and please God.

After Eid, pilgrims will return to Makkah to perform the final circulation of the Kaaba, a ‘farewell’ tawaf.

 

Philosophy of Hajj

Hajj is more than a series of rites to be undertaken, Hajj is founded on the tenants of spirituality, unity, equality and simplicity. Pilgrims performing Hajj are known as the ‘guests of God’. It is, ultimately, a pilgrimage aiming to revitalise the pilgrim’s love for their Lord in their heart, seeking His mercy and forgiveness for all their transgressions.

Spirituality

Hajj is the last pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam. The five pillars being:

  • ShahadaFaith
  • SalatPrayer
  • ZakātCharity
  • SawmFasting
  • Hajjpilgrimage to Mecca

Many steps lead us to Hajj, bring us closer to Allah. These steps can be followed through the order of the pillars. After the shahada their is prayer, a concrete action that illustrate the love of the worshipper in his/her daily life; charity will improve and purify your soul, whilst fasting is the expression of your devotion, then comes pilgrimage where you worship in the symbolic abode of your Creator.

The Prophet (saw) says:

إِنمَا فُرِضَتِ الصّلاةُ وأُمِر بِالحَجِّ والطّوافِ وأُشْعِرتِ المَناسِكُ لإقَامَةِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ، فإِذا لم يكُنْ في قَلبِكَ لِلمذكُورِ الّذي هو المَقصُودُ والمُبتَغى عَظَمَةٌ ولا هَيبَةٌ فَما قيمَةُ ذِكْرِك؟

“The daily prayer, Hajj, circumambulation, and the other rites are aimed at remembering Allah. But when there is no remembrance of Him in your heart, what value will your oral remembrance have?” [Hadith Qudsi]

Unity

From all over the world, people converge unto the same place, at the same time of year in order to perform the same act of worship: Hajj. Hajj is a perfect illustration of the universality and beauty of Islam, the construct of ‘Umma’ is brought to life before one’s eyes. It’s a unique, very powerful and immersive experience, where you feel a strong connection with fellow Muslims through your supplications, prayer and the recitation of Talbiya (Labbayk Allah). This is the beauty of Hajj, to be  connected to God and connected to one another – one Ummah (community), one body, one faith, one heart.

Simplicity & Equality

Wearing simple clothes is essential, the Hajj is performed in a state of Ihram. In addition to the simplicity of the attire that must be worn, is the simplicity and piety of the manner in which a pilgrim must behave; stripped of worldly possession, and immersed in worship, the pilgrim exists in a supreme state of simplicity – even the accommodation is reflective of this, Mina is a temporary camp, for example.

Prophet Muhammad PBUH, said:

“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” [Bukhari]

Be it under the tents in Mina, or as pilgrims congregate on the plains of Arafat, during Hajj, every pilgrim worships as an equal to their brother or sister, equal in the eyes of their Creator – your worldly station matters not.

For those preforming Hajj, may it be accepted by Him, and for those who have not been blessed with the opportunity as of yet, may He call you to Him in due course, give you the opportunity to perform this beautiful pilgrimage, inshAllah! On this day, the 8th of Dhul Hijja, may all our duas be accepted, our sins forgiven – may we all be in receipt of His mercy inshAllah!

– Hawazine HAOUAT –

Some useful resources:

  1. https://yaqeeninstitute.org/en/ibrahim-hindy/living-abrahams-legacy-relevance-of-rites-and-rituals-in-the-modern-age/

 

 

 

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The Finding of One’s Peace: A Necessary Precursor to Self-Reflection

The nights have drawn in and a biting chill now pervades; the end of the year is upon us, and although time will, of course, carry forth seamlessly into what signifies the beginning of a new year, the now is oft a time of reflection. Whether impacted by trial and tribulation, or blessed with triumph, over the course of this year, life has been lived, and we have been moulded indelibly by our experiences. How exactly have I been changed and to what extent? What have I achieved? Am I broken or made, working on my healing, and if in deed it is the former, how should I now chart the course of repairing myself? So on and so forth. The questions you ask of yourself, and the relative scrutiny one can pile upon oneself when in a state of reflection can be unrelenting; we tend to be far more unforgiving of ourselves than when being of counsel to those we care about, holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. How then, do we go about utilising self-reflection constructively so as to recalibrate our course and find the resolve to pursue said course?

For me, this process begins with the finding of one’s peace. In the oft all-consuming routine preoccupations of life, moments of genuine peace can be relatively few in number. The re-imagining of such a moment in time within the recent past, in which a visceral and pervasive comfort was experienced, can readily lend itself to the clearing of mind and focusing of one’s energies thereafter. My peace is currently found through the revisiting of memory pertaining to an umrah I was fortunate enough to perform this past month. 

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ

It has rained heavily on a few occasions since my arrival; an unrelenting rain, more akin to the monsoon rains that sweep across northern Pakistan, for example. The sky remains overcast, an amalgam of greys and blues, heavy with a pleasantly warm moisture and the smell of formerly parched earth; an almost melancholy sky, but somehow beautiful still? I walk onto the white marble floors that surround the Masjid-al-Haram, it’s only just past 8am, and although umrah season is in full swing, there are relatively few in number present – mildly reassuring as I’ve a slight apprehension pertaining to navigating my way through large crowds of people, having to do so can leave me a little anxious. Prior experience, however, has taught me how to channel my energies so as to immerse myself fully in the worship itself. Save a general idea as to where my family may be at any given time, my mind tends only to be home to the echo of the recitations one undertakes whilst performing tawaf and sa’i. 

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I can feel my mood shift with every step taken towards Malik Abdul Aziz Gate, a stillness begins to make its way into my consciousness. It feels as though the adding of milk in the strongest of brewed teas looks; a milky cloud forming instantly, mushrooming until every last drop of tea is overcome, it’s composition changed irrevocably. I remove my slippers outside Malik Abdul-Aziz Gate, the white marble floors so very cool under my feet, and as I set foot into the Haram, a gust of equally cool wind blows inward, as though ushering me into its bounds. 

How many times have I repeated the words of Tawheed thus far? 

Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak | Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.

It is in this moment that I arrive. It is in this moment that these words have borne the sweetest of fruit; O Allah, here I am, here I finally stand, drawn close to You. It is in this moment that I am overcome, my disposition changed in its entirety, the strongest of brewed tea finally changed wholly in its composition; nothing save the anticipation of that first sight of the ka’bah, and the dua I would like to make, occupies my mind. I am calm.

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I can hear my mother’s voice talking to the little girl she once carried into the haram in her arms, explaining how upon setting eyes on the ka’bah for the first time, I should make dua for all and sundry, for mercy, guidance, patience and more. And just like that the ka’bah comes into view; my eyes widen at the sight of worshippers moving in rhythmic unison around it and the echo of their recitation rising upwards towards the heavens, the brilliant white of many thousand ihrams a stark contrast to the magnificent black of the kiswah. My hands rise instinctively and I begin to make dua. It is in this moment that aforementioned calm has permeated every fibre of my being and I have found my peace. I am at peace.

So, where were we? 

How exactly have I been changed and to what extent? What have I achieved? Am I broken or made, working on my healing, and if in deed it is the former, how should I now chart the course of repairing myself? Find your peace; re-live your moment, then ease into asking yourself whatever you may please. You may find that with said peace, a clarity of thought, an altered perspective, pervades. You may find that the answers to questions you ask of yourself are somehow measured; you are kinder to you, and you may well find yourself in command of the resolve required to walk your path hereafter, inshAllah.   

RTP CEO Appointed Fellow of RSA

We are very pleased to announce that RTP Founder & CEO, Omar Salha has been appointed as a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – commonly known as the Royal Society of the Arts or RSA. 

The RSA is an organisation which seeks to find practical solutions to some of the world’s most challenging social problems.

The Fellowship is a global network of 29,000 people who support the RSA’s mission to enrich society through ideas and action which is a great opportunity for RTP to continue our work with the access to a powerful network and build upon our successes!

Reacting to the news, Omar said : “I am extremely honoured to be appointed a Fellow of the RSA. It is a privilege to be a member of such a respected society, whose commitment to finding practical solutions for contemporary social issues is one I share and strive towards”.

Salha Portrait

Omar is a PhD Nouhoudh Scholar at SOAS University of London with his research focusing on the Integration of Muslims in British Society. Additionally, he has worked for a number of community projects – most recently being one of the first respondents to the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire and played a role in the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit.

 

Thoughts & reflection on the past 7 weeks at Grenfell Tower

Our founder Omar Salha, shares his personal thoughts and reflection on the past 7 weeks at Grenfell Tower:
“The past 7 weeks has been one of the most difficult, transformational, profound and moving experiences of my life. On the night of the Grenfell Tower Fire, I was driving back from East London Mosque from Taraweeh prayers after finishing up from our daily RTP Open Iftar. That night we hosted our Patron Professor Tariq Ramadan, and the topic of the talk was about Tafakkur (deep contemplation) and our need to refine our approach to worshipping God by appreciating His creation in His vast universe. Sadly, that evening ended in heart-ache, despair, desperation and agony.
Grenfell was a childhood memory. Memories which were stored in Summer afternoons and Wintry nights playing football at the base of the Tower with friends and locals who lived in the neighbourhood. Memories of praying & breaking fast with brothers at the car park and engaging in thoughtful discussions and debates on the grass parallel to the Tower.
Those memories were quickly removed through schemas and experiences at the night of the fire. Screams of young children still ring loudly in my head. Residents frantically rushing around with buckets of water. Streets filled with families desperately looking for their loved ones. It was total chaos but the community reacted quickly opening up their homes and attending to the needs of those families that evening.
What ensued in the first couple of weeks was an astounding response from local communities across London and Britain. People from as far as Scotland drove down to donate goods and offer their time to volunteer and support. RTP was among the hundreds of individuals, charities, and organisations to be at the scene. During the blessed month of Ramadan, as we prepared each night for Open Iftar, hot meals were distributed to displaced families, survivors and volunteers. As a local resident in the area, now 17 years and counting, I took it upon myself as an obligation and duty to support my local community. However, the need for a coordinated response was essential.
The Grenfell Muslim Response Unit (GMRU) was set-up by volunteers bringing together key Muslim agencies to provide immediate support to families regardless of race, religion, background and creed to ensure their needs were met with dignity, care and compassion. 7 weeks on we have continued to support the needs and well-being of the families including all the trauma, anxieties, depression and PTSD they have encountered. By Allah’s grace alone, during this journey myself alongside all the volunteers have been blessed in our position to help all the families in one way or another. Whether it was through a small or large act of charity, it put a smile on the faces of the families. We pray to Allah that He accepts it from us all. Ameen.
On this journey I have met some wonderful, incredible, inspiring and honourable individuals, volunteers, colleagues, family members and residents. Selflessly dedicating their time, efforts and energy to help assist in bringing some comfort and ease to the families affected by the fire. As I look back after these eventful 7 weeks, I reflect on the words of Prof Ramadan that first evening and the importance of appreciating God’s creation in His vast universe. Serving people, serving humanity, serving our community is by way of virtue serving our Lord through helping others. Throughout my personal journey during this experience, it has reaffirmed my belief that contemplation, Tafakkur, as an Islamic form of worship is in fact a cognitive spiritual activity in which the rational mind, emotion and spirit are combined. That spiritual activity takes form in serving those around us and deeply reflecting and being appreciative of the people in our lives, and the situation we are currently in.”
As Allah SWT says, “It is God who brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and minds, so that you might be thankful” – Holy Qur’an 16:78

A reflection on the tragic events in Britain: a message of hope, unity and peace.

Salam alaykum,

Following the recent acid attacks on our fellow brothers and sisters, the Grenfell Tower Fire and the spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, Islamophobia and terrorist attacks against the Muslim community, it is important for us to be aware, vigilant, unified, look out for each other & pay attention to our surroundings.

Furthermore, it is incumbent upon us to follow the advice and the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Our beloved Rasool was not only a man of faith and a messenger but was also a fair, modest and calm leader who spoke with wisdom, firm conviction and reliance upon Allah. In these tough times, it may well feel like there isn’t anyone to turn to and our only option is to live in constant fear from walking out of our homes and going to work and our children going to schools. Do not be afraid, for indeed Allah is with us. Allah is the controller of all affairs, He is the sustainer, the Protector, the All-Loving. Our community must stand united and stay true to our high standards of Islam and repel evil with good.

We must continue to speak out against all injustices and speak truth to power, through humility, patience and firm conviction in Allah’s will. We must support our brothers and sisters emotionally and mentally. Be ready to speak to them and nurture a space for healing and confidence building in their unique and wonderful abilities. We only have each other to turn to besides Allah when times are difficult and our faith is only completed through the service of assisting and aiding one another. For the one most beloved to Allah, is the one who is most beneficial to others.

We should also aim to protect ourselves from harm and evil and learn and recite the following dua. As the Prophet PBUH said:

“There is no person who says, in the morning and evening of every day: (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ) In the name of Allah (الَّذِي لاَ يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَىْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ) with Whose Name nothing on earth or in heaven harms (وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ) and He is the All-Hearing the All-Knowing (ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ) 3 times (فَيَضُرَّهُ شَىْءٌ) and is then harmed by anything.”
Subhanallah!
Remember to recite this 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening for protection from all evil.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لاَ يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَىْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Walaykum al Salam,

Omar Salha

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