How to keep a healthy heart beat.

Written by Hanan Abdel-Khalek






A week in, it has all gone by so quickly, a beautiful blur of rice, frayed deep blue velvet prayer rugs, milk, honey, and dates, wudu water spilled from a cheek, laughter caught on the ends of the steamed hot air rising from the kitchen. Tasbeeh whispers, rolling on old and young tongues. And in all of this beautiful blur, I can go through 10 solid emotions in a day, when Ramadan comes in, I find myself feeling an immense closeness, and a severe far ness from Allah all at once, at times. 

“I have never struggled to rectify something that is more difficult to overcome than my soul.” – Sufyan ath-Thawri

The pressure in which these intensified emotions have rolled out day to day, has urged me to think about, study, and understand my entry points well. Like a General planning his next move in this warfare I am in with myself. I examine the access I have into the signal that connects me to Allah. What are these mind vortexes I step in and out from, daily, hourly? Why does it feel like I am wrestling with my spirit and heart constantly to enter and leave them? The needs versus the wants, versus the needs. I am a seesaw of commitment. The nature of the heart is so soft, and sensitive, that the fear of losing that signal, the connection to Him, overwhelms, at times, to a paralysing degree. Daily tasks, what are those? Keeping up with daily prayers, Dhikr, Athkar for protection of this unruly heart of mine. Ok, What else? Reading this heavy book, revealed in this month, filled with the greats, bursting with colours, secrets, treasures, science, and reflecting on its sublimity.

But here’s the thing, all of these daily tasks I set myself, views the heart in a vacuum. As if the other tasks I do, won’t counter the impact of the ‘spirit tasks’. The chatting with friends, the mundane laundry pile, the emails that won’t write themselves, reply to that WhatsApp, tune on to that Live, the cheeky Netflix episode before your next Salah. These are actions too; they’re tasks that carry pressure of impact, a knock on effect. I go deeper, what food am I consuming? How am I consuming it? When was my last mental check in? Have I been outside? Look at that sky!

All of these thoughts, whirling around my mind, and in all that sparkly noise, I find some clarity. A great lesson from this month, for me, has been the practice of discipline. To look back, I have always called myself a free spirit without understanding the truth behind my own words. I’m not free, I’m not free at all, rather, I lack discipline, and hate anything that forces me to succumb to it. 

But here’s the thing, discipline leads to freedom. Discipline enables that email load to finally go away so that you are left with that filling hour to be present with your mum learning her ancestral recipes as she spins magic in the kitchen. It allows the hoovering to get done so that you can breathe, with some African Bukhoor and finally have that direct conversation with Allah (swt),  and level with Him. It summons you from your lazy slumber on the couch to recite the daily protections so that your heart can survive another day unscathed by the claws of distraction. Without discipline, the formula I have been looking for, all this time, to gain sovereignty over the state of my heart, just won’t work. 

Now that I found the formula, I had to re discover what was distracting me from my new found balance. My entry points, the spaces and dimensions around and inside of me, areas on my body, the corner of my room that gathers dust, were both feeding me spiritual food, and making me starve of it. Entry points are metaphorical, and metaphysical, but they are also very tangible. The bodily senses are entry points to your heart. Am I exercising restraint, and discipline over the things I consume, watch, hear? The things I say, are they fruitful for others to hear? Are my hands going to purchase things online, that can lead to a knowing or unknowing endorsement of child labour, that may impact my heart later?  Is the food nutritious, is it Tayyib? Halal? Small doses? Am I wasting water when I take wudu, letting the tap run? Did I leave my light on wasting energy?  Am I being gluttonous, selfish, greedy? What about my limbs? Are they being fed appropriately by giving them gentle workouts? Am I sticking to my commitments, the facetimes, helping my friend on her project, the meetings, the call to the cousin I promised a week ago?

If Ramadan is a time of discipline, what is it that helps lift me in this month, that I don’t feel in others? True, there are blessings in this month, only awarded to us by Allah that no human can take responsibility for, but the rest, that daily willingness to participate in any of it, that burn of motivation, yes that comes from you. It can be orchestrated, created and gathered. I read in a book once about Quest Physics, I don’t think it is a legitimised science, but it should be, it goes like this, 

“a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule is ‘If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.’ 

I see my path to finding peace, like this, a mini quest. With that said, the formula for a balanced heart, I’m sure looks like a very different blueprint for every single spirit out there. But for me, I have found, that my balance, and freedom, both rest in discipline. The daily tasks, therefore, spiritual or otherwise, are all necessary, not just for a healthy mind, spirit, and body. But for the flagrant, and colourful beating of an otherwise numbed, and neglected heart.  

After all Allah loves small and consistent deeds. 

Featured photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Hanan, for sharing such insightful and important food for thought!

Dear light



Written by Hanaa Abdella







Dear light,

I forgot how you can shine so bright
And I am sorry for not getting in touch; that I didn’t fight,
for you to stay in my life
But this month you came back visiting me again
and I realized that I should care for you like I care for my friends
I am sorry that it took me so long to see your value
I missed you during your absence and now that I have you, I will not let you go, because it’s true what they say about you
You are the enlightenment that we need
You are the one who nurtures and feeds
our desperate soul
Without you there is a hole in my heart and I don’t feel whole
Keeping the good attributes you gifted me is my goal
Because with you I feel like walking on clouds
I feel calm and balanced out
Mainly because of the beautiful sound I hear of the book that was in your month revealed
My heart aches everytime I remember that our time won’t last forever.
So I try to enjoy every second of our time together before your departure is here.
The last ten days is where the true miracle lays
So I take whatever I can take
For my own sake and be able to survive until our next meeting
And it leaves me with a sad feeling that I won’t see you for a long time
But oh Ramadan you will stay in my heart and on my mind

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Hanaa, for sharing your beautiful words and poetry. May we all stay in contact with our light.

Ramadan Reflections.

Written by Rahan Alam

In my slightly younger years, I would look at Ramadan as a burden, and in return it would treat me in that way.

In 2018, after a life changing experience within a Naqshbandi Masjid, I decided to change my approach to this Holy month, and accept Ramadan for what it is and embrace it.
This totally changed my outlook and how I felt within the month, as I can now appreciate the spirituality it holds and give the month the respect it deserves.

Since my change of perspective, the month has brought so many blessings and a sense of peace into my life. This reminded me of the very well known hadith where Allah swt says:

“Take one step toward Me, I will take ten steps towards you.
Walk towards Me, I will run towards you.”

[Hadith Qudsi]

I now use Ramadan as a form of reset and detox. Spiritual reset and physical detox.

This month (especially in our current situation) allows us to look inwards and address the issues we are facing and gives us the strength to overcome those issues physical or spiritual. I pray that everyone can involve themselves in countless amounts of ibadah this month and moving forward; whether that be reading Quran, Performing Dhikhr of Allah (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or gaining knowledge of the Deen.

“Ramadan in lock down has really made me realise the importance of community and how much I’ve taken it for granted in the past. However with that being said it has also allowed me to turn inwards and also step back from the world and re-align my energy.”

Featured photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Rahan, for sharing your comforting thoughts and advice. We can all take from your advice.

Ramadan is a gift for the bereaved.


Written By Sumaiyah Al-Aidarous





The current health crisis has meant that more families than ever, around the world are grieving the loss of somebody they loved. With Ramadan now here, a chance every year to dedicate our days to worship, reflect and spiritually blossom, we can use this month to aid in our grieving process. Not only is Ramadan an emotional time for those who have faced recent deaths, but as Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr is a time for family and friends to come together, the memory of those we’ve lost in previous years can re-enter in the form of a sharp and jarring pain, where it feels like the grief is re-bleeding from within. However, the blessings of this month can be used as painkillers for the soul, and the emotional suffering we face can be used as a means to disentangle the complicated emotions we might be feeling with the goal of deepening our connection with our Creator.

إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون

To Allah we belong and to Allah we return.

Ramadan nights, especially in quarantine is time to be with yourself and your thoughts. This time spent journalling and organising any complex thoughts with your islamic values at heart is an obedient act in the eyes of Allah, and is truly invaluable. It is a really important part of our faith as whilst we submit to Allah’s plans, we will feel grief, sadness and separation. It is important not to ignore these emotions and put them into a closed box, but to embrace and grow from them. Even the Prophet (ﷺ) (p.b.u.h), the most perfect man that has lived felt grief several times in his life, from the loss of his Mother when he was a small child, to the loss of his first wife and close companion, Khadijah (RA), his 3 beloved sons, and countless other sahaba – who he saw die from illness, during battles, or after being tortured by people who refuted Islam. We can learn so much from how Rasulullah (ﷺ) (p.b.u.h) overcame these losses. Even he felt many emotions when these sad events happened and he was not afraid to express his sadness to those around him. However, even when tears were brought to his eyes, he always attributed the losses to Allah’s mercy.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

We went with Allah’s Messenger () (p.b.u.h) to the blacksmith Abu Saif, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah’s Messenger () took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Saif’s house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah’s Messenger () (p.b.u.h) started shedding tears.

‘Abdur Rahman bin `Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!”

He said, “O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy.”

Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”

 [Sahih al-Bukhari 1303]

Complete submission and acceptance of Allah’s plan requires time and patience, and we need to train our soul to relate everything back to Allah and His mercy. Fighting your nafs (soul), particularly in a secular world can be one of the most challenging tasks, but it is truly through this jihad (struggle) that we strengthen the bonds we have with Allah. Yet we have to be gentle with ourselves, especially when we are bereft. Working through emotions from loss helps us develop mentally and spiritually, and allows us to handle all of life’s challenges in a more gracious way. We believe Allah is the knower of all hearts, and he has made a guarantee that there will be reward for any pain we feel in this world. Sometimes, we may feel like we are fighting an internal battle within ourselves, or we might feel very alone in our grief, particularly as no single person had the same relationship with the one who has passed as us, and so it can feel like no one understands our struggle. But no matter how far everyone else may seem, Allah is closer. He knows exactly how we are feeling, He is waiting for us to turn to Him, and He will never abandon us.

Narrated `Aisha (RA):

(the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Messenger () said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.”

One of the many ways in which we can begin to cope with bereavement is by doing actions which we will know will benefit the soul of our loved ones that have moved onto the next life. The Prophet () (p.b.u.h) said: “A man’s status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, ‘How did I get here?’ He will be told, ‘By your son’s du’aa’s (prayers) for forgiveness for you.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, no 3660). During this month, where we hope to increase the time we spend in worship, naturally we can spend some time in contemplation and prayer to ask Allah to forgive the sins of those before us and raise their rank in the Heavens. As evidenced by this Hadith, they will be informed of the duas being made for them and this is a sign of the continual love we have for them. Often, missing someone can be difficult because you feel as though you did not have time to repay them for all they did for you in their lifetime, but prayers are the best thing we can do for somebody, and can be reflected as the biggest act of love and kindness. As well as this, Ramadan is the month of sadaqah (charity) and we can dedicate anything we are able to give to our loved ones who are deceased, with the intention of rewards reaching them too.

Ramdan forces us to stop our worldly desires and think about the next life. In the next life, we will surely meet the souls we miss, and this can be a reminder that this time apart is not permanent, which makes it easier to handle. However, it is also a reminder that in the here and now, we must make the best use of the time that Allah has given us, particularly during this month where good deeds are amplified in reward. Grief can be used as a tool to re-evaluate our intentions and there is nothing like seeing the loss of someone close to us to remind us of the transient nature of this life. We can use this special time in reflection to create meaningful spiritual goals for the year ahead. Islam encourages us to think about death constantly to allow us to remain grounded and steadfast, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

Grief is a process and a journey, and you can never really go backwards. As your life changes and you evolve, your relationship with the one who has left this world will change and evolve too, and insha’allah only deepens and strengthens. Months, even years down the line you might come across something which brings back a memory you’ve never replayed in your mind before, or meet someone who knew your loved one so you can hear stories about them all over again. Any work that you put into yourself during this month will always carry you forward, and give you a strong foundation to build on in those moments where you feel weak and are missing them the most. The spiritual and mental renewal that comes from putting your trust in the Most High, accepting that this world is not the best place for the soul of your beloved is second to none and we can use these principles in any challenge that we face in this life.


Featured photography by Nadeem Ghafur @nadeemghafur


Thank you Sumaiyah, for this beautiful and very necessary piece, and your healing words. May our hearts find peace in the gift of Ramadan.

Charity







Written by Mariam Habib

To my own nafs I say,

Give from what Allah has blessed you with

Convince your stubborn self and Allah will be pleased with you

What more do we need if He is happy with us

What you give is what stays with you in the eternal life

And what you spend for your own desires disappears as soon as it is used

What you have is not yours, it is truly from Allah and He can take it back at anytime

You might be an answer to a desperate prayer

Made by one who is in need

You will be asked, o nafs, what have you done with every single thing you were blessed with

So give and give only seeking the pleasure of Allah.

Featured photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you, Mariam for sharing a very beautifully written valuable lesson.

3. Al-Imran: The Family of Imran

Bismillahi, Wal Ahamdulillahi, Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, sal-lal-lahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

In the name of Allah, and exaltations be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him).

Structure:

  • Verses 1-63 : Introduction to dialogue with the People of the Scriptures
    • 1-9 Heavenly Books are for guidance and trial
    • 10-13 Reality of worldly life
    • 19-32 Islam is the religion to be followed
    • 33-63 Story of Mary and Jesus
  • Verse 64-120 : A word that is equitable between us and you
    • 64-68 Ibrahim submitted to Allah alone
    • 69-80 The people of the Scriptures
    • 81-92 Covenant of the Prophets
    • 93-99 Fabrication of the Children of Israel
    • 100-110 The best nation
    • 111-115 Conditions of the People of the Scriptures
    • 116-120 Recompense of disbelievers
  • Verse 121-129 : Battles of Badr and Uhud
  • Verse 130-200 : Keeping firm on Islam
    • 130-141 The believers’ duties and trial
    • 142-158 Reasons for the Muslim defeat in Uhud
    • 159-164 Some characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (s)
    • 165-168 More reasons for defeating in Uhud
    • 169-174 The martyrs’ rank
    • 175-179 Warning against Satan
    • 180-184 Consequence of miserliness
    • 185-186 The real success and value of patience
    • 187-188 Blameworthy dispraised attributes
    • 189-195 Importance of contemplation
    • 196-197 Don’t be deceived by the affluence of the disbelievers
    • 199-200 Reward of the pious

Revelation:

  • Madani surah
  • Consists of 3 discourses:
    • 1-32 & 64-120 : Appears to have been revealed soon after the Battle of Badr
    • 33-63 : 9 A.H. when the deputation from the Christians of Najran visited the Prophet
    • 121-200 Revealed after the Battle of Uhud
  • 200 Verses and derives its title from verse 33

Key Themes and Messages:

  • Allah’s testimony about Himself
  • Decisive vs. allegorical verse of the Quran
  • The only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam
  • Live Islam and die as a Muslim in order to get salvation
  • Followers of Isa (Jesus) were Muslims
  • Birth of Maryam (Mary), Yahya (John) and Isa.
  • Life and death is from Allah
  • There is no escape from death
  • Those who are killed in the path of Allah are not dead, but are alive
  • Muhammad (s) is no more that a prophet of Allah
  • Prohibition to take the unbelievers as protectors
  • Critical review and lessons taught during the Battle of Uhud
  • The first House of Allah ever built on earth is that of Ka’bah in Makkah

Selected Verses:

2:14 Temptations of the Dunya

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.

2:26 Source of all power and sovereignty

قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Say, “O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honour whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.

2:97 Obligations of Hajj

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.

2:103 Unity

… وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers…

2:104 Enjoin good and forbid evil

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.

2:134 Qualities of the God-fearing

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;

2:140 Civilisation rotation

… وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ …

And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people

2:152 The World v.s. Hereafter

مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ

Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter….

2:159 Character and control in the path of Dawah

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].

2:164 Mission of the Prophet (s)

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.

2:173 “Allah is sufficient for us”

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah , and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”

2:180 Zakah

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَّهُمْ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُوا بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.

2:200 Be patient if you want to be successful

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.

Virtues:

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said “… Read the two radiant ones Al-Baqrah and Al-Imran for they will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds, or two shades, or two flocks of birds, pleading for their companions.”

[Tabarani 8823]

Supplications:

3:8

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.

3:9

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِيَوْمٍ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

Our Lord, surely You will gather the people for a Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise.”

3:16

رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire,”

3:26

اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honour whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.

3:38

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

“My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”

3:53

رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنزَلْتَ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ

Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger Jesus, so register us among the witnesses [to truth].”

3:147

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

“Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

3:191-192

     رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ مَن تُدْخِلِ النَّارَ فَقَدْ أَخْزَيْتَهُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

“Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.

Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit to the Fire – You have disgraced him, and for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.

Sources:

Online:
Altafsir.com (Tafsir)
Alim.org (Tafsir)
Sunnah.com (For Hadith references)
islamawakened.com (For Quranic text, transliteration, and translation)

Books:
Tafsir Al Jalalayn Jalalu’d-Din as-Suyuti (Author), Jalalu’d-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli
Journey through the Qur’an – Sharif Hasan al-Banna

How my faith taught me how to love

Written by Our Faiza Saqib










The broken home: It was an endless battle, walls tearing down as I would hear my father’s voice echoing through every brick and bone. Tireless screams and broken dreams, it was my mother who faced it all. She carried strength and resilience in all that she did, no matter how many times she was hurt, she stood tall knowing that God was by her side. Most nights I would hear my father’s voice piercing through every bone in my mother’s body, a memory that still pains me till this day. One night I heard my mother crying, and I ran into the next
room only to find my father’s hands wrapped around her neck, I froze, broke into tears and
ran towards her to untighten his grip, only to be pushed onto the ground. Moments later
my brother came into the room and manage to separate him from my mother, she was
broken in tears, I was broken…we were all broken by one man and his actions. The
realisation that this man could potentially take my mother’s life away was a fear that stayed
with us all for many years, a man that was considered a father by name and by blood.
I often wondered when the pain would end, and when my mother’s heart would finally
mend. Even in those long nights of verbal and domestic abuse, she would constantly be in
prayer, finding a moment of solitude in the hardships she faced. I was just a child, so I
couldn’t understand why it was so hard for us to leave, why couldn’t we break away from
the tears, pain and burdens that came with one man. I remember the heart aching
supplications my mother would make, hands raised to the sky as a stream of tears would
roll down her precious face. I gazed at her often, feeling her heartbeat on mine and falling
into prostration, waiting for a sign.

A mother’s healing: Allah says “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning
Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.
So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly]
guided.”
Quran 2:186

I would always question and wonder how my mother kept such a strong faith in times of
turbulence and her response would always be “Khuda Mehfama bachem”- “Allah knows, my
child.” Hearing those words brought ease onto my heart, knowing there was a greater
omnipresence to guide us through every hardship. My mother faced war in her homeland
and then faced another war in her home away from home. She was in a constant battle with
life and yet, she maintained a relationship with God beyond my understanding. I was always
in awe of her love for Allah. Those tears soon turned into laughter and the power of Dua
came to light, if not months but years later. The echoes of my fathers screams soon faded
and there was a relief and hopeful end to what felt like a lifetime of pain.
And If I were to ask my mother what got her through all these years she would say “Khuda”-
“My Lord.” Her love and devotion to Allah was all that I saw when I was a child, a reflection
of her heart and soul, became something I truly cherished the most.

Acceptance:Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Surah Ash-Sharh 94: 5-6)

Acceptance for me, remains a form of healing. Accepting and acknowledging that as Allah
SWT states in the Quran, there is ease after every hardship. There is so much love to be
found in the faith that we carry, and my means of seeing it was through my mother’s eyes. I
had never seen a woman love so much, unconditionally and consistently. Looking past her
own body and raising her children on her own. From one home to another, the words of
God forever remained on her lips.
My mother would always grace my ears with the glorious verses of The Quran that now
remain imbedded in my heart and soul forever. So how has my faith taught me how to love?
Well, my image of love and faith remains in one woman and her strength. She taught me
love through the knowledge of Islam and Islam guided me to find tranquillity in every
moment.
I found love through the acceptance of myself, the past, the present and the future that is
yet to come. I cannot change the past, but what I can do is seek to find a future thriving in
purity with God’s given grace, for love will always prevail. My mother taught me how to
love, and my faith taught me how to navigate that love, which then guided me to my own
mind, body and soul.
I will leave you with these words from the Holy Quran, that often help me through the good
and bad moments: “Whoever puts his trust in Allah; He will be enough for Him.” (65:3)
-F.S


(Disclaimer: Faith was a means of my mother keeping her sanity during tough time. But we
also did our part by actively reaching out to emergency services and or helplines. If you are
facing any form of Abuse at home, please reach out to relevant helplines and remember you
are never alone. Seek solitude in prayer, but also reach out and know that people are always
there to help.)

May Allah bring light into homes filled with darkness and ease every pain that is felt.

Ameen.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline:
0808 2000 247
https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Faiza, for sharing such a touching and deeply moving piece. We are sure it will benefit many readers in our community, who need to hear about your incredible journey. Stay safe and reach out.

Loss

Written by Arwa Tawfiq

Loss. //
To no longer know the warmth of your hands
To forget the lines in your face that I traced as a child
To lose the scent of your clothes from mine as the years pass
That is the tragedy I fear
That my young one may never look into your aged eyes
That you will never meet the generations of leaders that you have bore
That they will step forth into the world without your hands guiding them so
I cry for the nights they will fall asleep to songs you cannot sing
I regret that your future family will not know you like I did
That you will only exist in stories I sit proudly and recite around the dining room table and in the corners of coffee shops
But your soul will remain on the mantle as a voice of support and of reason in the dark nights I spend awake with no sleep in sight
Answering the questions I wish you could hear
And I will ask myself
How did this come to be
How did I become so lucky to grieve you
Why am I filled with certainty
That the pain of losing you was worth the joy in loving you
And I will realise yet again that although you have said your final goodbye
I know you did not choose to leave
That your book ended abruptly
Mid-sentence
But I hope you left knowing that you built a suit of armour around me
That you have enveloped me in blessings whispered into the sky as you said your midnight prayers
And most of all
That you have taught me that I should give without questioning why
That I should listen before I let words escape me
That I should provide a room for each voice hoping to find a home
That faith in humanity is the only way you can create a brotherhood
And I will use those lessons as string when the fabric tears
I will use them as a balm to heal the wounded
I will use them as a welcome when the doors begin to shut between friends and strangers alike
And while I know that a piece of you lives in everything I see
I will remember that what I see are the best parts of humanity
To allow the moonlight that shines on the shattered pieces to help ease the ache of your absence
And remind myself that what I know to be infinitely true is as follows
Your life was a blessing in this temporary world
And reuniting with you in the afterlife is the biggest gift God has planned for me to receive
When shaking hands with you after a life well-lived will abolish the pain of a thousand suns that have set without you in their shadow
When the strength of our embrace will wake the mountains and shake the floors of the oceans
Reminding us that we must erupt so that we can rebuild in the life yet to come
That we must forget the sleepless nights spent in the clouds
Remember the glimmer of hope bestowed by the stars
And step forth into the abyss
Knowing there are hands to catch us as we fall

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Arwa, for allowing us to experience these incredible words with you. May we all find comfort in them.

5 tips for a merciful Ramadan

Written by Hafsa Moolla




assalamualaikum guys,

 i just wanted to share a few tips on how we can make the most of our time in ramadan. especially due to the uncertainty and anxiety many of us are experiencing, it’s important for us to keep our focus on our spiritual health generally. i, myself, have often disregarded mine during this time by putting other things as priority. with that being said, as difficult as it may be, ramadan has come at the perfect time. the most important part of ramadan is to recharge our spirituality and carry over the habits we gain in ramadan throughout our life and in’sha’Allah i hope these tips allow us to do that.

1. do little of loads of different acts of ibaadah every day.

– many of us enter ramadan with a lot of spiritual energy and therefore place high expectations of ourselves to do loads and loads of ibaadah. we think we can carry it on throughout the month, but it often never works out that way (at least for me). this is because we end up getting spiritually burnt out from doing too much in one go. to prevent this, i would recommend doing little chunks of different acts of ibaadah. for example: reading a juz of the Qur’aan, doing your dhikr and duas, reading hadeeth, islamic history and general islamic knowledge. many of us who’ve grown up in the western world don’t have the privilege of understanding the language of the Qur’aan so reading the translation alongside the tafseer, is also important. instead of reading the Qur’aan or other islamic books, you can also listen to recitations (with translations and tafseer) and lectures, so you can take in the knowledge while carrying out other commitments.

2. practice active spirituality.

–  this is a concept we often overlook. we are always reminded to read and listen, but we often forget that the words we read and listen to must be put into action. it is definitely easier said than done but we should make the intention to improve ourselves. i have a lot of personality flaws that i need to work on and ramadan helps me reflect on them and actively change them. in’sha’Allah it can do the same for you.

3. channel your spirituality in different ways.

– we often spend our entire day praying and reading which, like i mentioned before, can lead to a spiritual burnout. to avoid this, we can also express our spirituality through creativity like poetry, singing, painting, drawing. remember: you don’t have to be an artist to do these things. the reason i think this is so important is because it allows you to reflect on your connection with your religion and Allah, but also express your creative side. engaging with this side of you also relieves anxiety, which we all need during this time.

4. be there for those who are spending ramadan alone.

– during ramadan, communities often become a safe space for those who are alone. however due to the unfortunate circumstances, they may no longer find that. therefore, it is so crucial for us to check up on those spending ramadan alone or away from their families. you could even do iftar over video calls if that’s something they’d enjoy. lastly, have insightful conversations with your friends, reflecting over your spirituality with each other and trust me, it will leave you both feeling content.

5. to those struggling mentally, be easy on yourself.

– linking to my first tip, it’s important not to have extremely high expectations of yourself. take baby steps. ramadan can be a difficult time in different ways for different people whether that’s because of anxiety, loneliness, an eating disorder or any other illness. especially right now, with us being at home, we don’t have routines to keep us busy so we can easily fall back into these scary cycles. if you find yourself struggling to actively read Qur’aan due to your state, even listening will benefit. and if you’re going through a difficult time, reach out to a trusted friend or family member.

most importantly, talk to Allah, especially when you just want someone to listen. 

– hafsa moolla | @letgotoholdon (instagram)

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Hafsa, for sharing these valuable tips on how to better our experiences during the Holy month of Ramadan

2. Al-Baqarah: The Cow

Bismillahi, Wal Ahamdulillahi, Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, sal-lal-lahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

In the name of Allah, and exaltations be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him).

Structure:

  1. Verses 1-20 : Reality of the Quran and peoples’ different attitudes towards it
    1. Verses 1-2 : Quran
    2. Verses 3-5 : The Believers
    3. Verses 6-7 : The Disbelievers
    4. Verses 8-20 : The Hypocrites
  2. Verses 21-39 : Servitude to Allah
    1. Verses 21-22 : Command to worship Allah alone
    2. Verses 23-24 : Authenticity of the Prophet’s message
    3. Verses 25-29 : Importance of worshiping Allah alone
    4. Verses 30-39 : Story of Adam: The first worshipper on earth
  3. Verses 40-150 : Submission to Allah
    1. Verses 40-103 : A negative example
    2. Verses 104-123 : Attitude of Children of Israel towards religion
    3. Verses 124-141 : Prophet Ibrahim: A positive example
    4. Verses 142-150 : Story of Qiblah
  4. Verses 151-242 : Comprehensiveness of Worship
    1. Verses 151-152 : Remembering Allah and being thankful to Him
    2. Verses 153-157 : Patience and prayer
    3. Verses 158-163 : Symbols of Allah and monotheism
    4. Verses 164-176 : Contemplation – Loving and obeying Allah
    5. Verses 177-182 : Righteousness – Legal retribution, Bequests
    6. Verses 183-199 : Fasting and new moons
    7. Verses 190-195 : Self-defence
    8. Verses 196-203 : Hajj and Umrah
    9. Verses 204-214 : Various examples of people’s worship
    10. Verses 215-220 : Questions and answers
      1. Spending
      2. Sacred months
      3. Intoxicants and Gambling
      4. Orphans
    11. Verses 221-242 : Ruling on family matters
    12. Verses 243-252 : Worship leads to glory and progress
    13. Verses 253-260 : Greatness of Allah
    14. Verses 261-283 : Charity and Finance
    15. Verses 284-286 : Keeping firm on sound worship and beliefs

Revelation:

This is a Madani Surah which follows Surah Al-Fatihah, which ended with the prayer: “Guide us to the straight path”. The Surah begins with the answer to that prayer, “This is the guidance that you have asked for.” The greater part of Al-Baqarah was revealed during the first to years of the Prophet’s life in Madinah. It consists of 286 verses and the name of the Surah is taken from the story narrated in verses 67-73.

Key Themes and Messages:

– Claim of the Quran : “This is the Book which contains no doubt.”

– Creation of Adam, man’s nature, and his destiny.


– The Children of Israel and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).


– Israelites’ sin of worshipping the statue of a calf.


– Punishment of Israelites’ violation of Sabbath.

– Nature of Jewish belief.

– Allah orders not to prevent the people from coming to the mosque.

– Ibrahim and his sons were neither Jews nor Christians but were Muslims.

– Ibrahim, Isma’il, and their building of the Kabah.

– Change of Qiblah (direction in prayers) towards Kabah in Makkah.

– Allah orders not to profess any faith blindly.

– The moon is created to determine the time periods i.e. months and years.

– Hypocrisy vs True faith.

– Ayat-ul Kursi (verse of the Throne of Allah).

– Allah orders the believers to enter into Islam completely.

It is unlawful to marry a polytheist.

– Victory is not by numbers but by Allah’s help.

– Confrontation of Ibrahim and Namrud (the king of his time).

– What makes charity worthless.

– Taking usury is like declaring war against Allah and His Messenger.

– All business dealings relating to deferred payments should be in writing.

– Retaliation against oppression.

– Non compulsion in religion.

– Divine laws are promulgated about the following:
Food, Fasting, Self-defence, Charity, Gambling, Menstruation, Alimony, Usury, Loans, Retribution, Bribery, Evidence, Drinking, Marriage, Oaths, Nursing, Buying on Credit, Pledge/Mortgage, Wills, Jihad, Pilgrimage, Bloodwit, Orphans, Divorce, Widows, and Debts.

Selected Verses:

2:2 “A Guide for the God-fearing people”

  1. Belief in the unseen
  2. Establishment of the prayer
  3. Spending in the cause of Allah / Spending for the sake of Allah
  4. Belief in the Quran
  5. Belief in the previous scriptures and messengers
  6. Absolute certainty in the Hereafter

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.

2:3 Ghayb – belief in the unseen

‘Establish prayer’ (Iqamat as-Salah)

“Spend out of which We have given them”

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,

2:4 Belief in previous scriptures

وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ

And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].

2:21 Commandment to worship

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.

2:26 Guidance and misguidance through the Quran

 … يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا …

… He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby …

2:37 Repentance of Prophet Adam

فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

2:104 Importance of a distinct discourse

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقُولُوا رَاعِنَا وَقُولُوا انظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

O you who have believed, say not [to Allah ‘s Messenger], “Ra’ina” but say, “Unthurna” and listen. And for the disbelievers is a painful punishment.

2:138 Moulded by Allah

صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ

[And say, “Ours is] the religion of Allah . And who is better than Allah in [ordaining] religion? And we are worshippers of Him.”

2:141 Being proactive and a rule regarding historic precedence

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

That is a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.

2:143 Justly balanced nation as witnesses unto mankind

 … وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا

And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you …

2:151 Four functions of prophethood

كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ

Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.

2:152 Consequences of remembrance

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.

2:155 Test by fear, hunger and depletion of wealth

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,

2:168 Concept of halal and tayyib – law and ethics

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.

2:177 Concept of morality, integrity, and human kindness

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

2:183 Obligation of fasting

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

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

2:186 Making supplication to Allah – du’a

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

2:201 Balance in du’a

وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

2:204 Oratory deception

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ

And of the people is he whose speech pleases you in worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the fiercest of opponents.

2:212 Apparent good/evil and reality

زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allah are above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.

2:229 Divorce is only twice

… الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ

Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment ……

2:238 Virtue of the middle prayer

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ

Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah , devoutly obedient.

2:255 Ayat-ul Kursi (verse of the Throne): “Greatest Verse in the Quran”

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

2:256 “There is no compulsion in religion”

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

2:265 Metaphor of giving

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَآتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِن لَّمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

And the example of those who spend their wealth seeking means to the approval of Allah and assuring [reward for] themselves is like a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour – so it yields its fruits in double. And [even] if it is not hit by a downpour, then a drizzle [is sufficient]. And Allah , of what you do, is Seeing.

2:269 Importance of wisdom

يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.

2:275 Warning against taking riba (usury)

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah . But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.

2:285-6 Last 2 verse of Al-Baqarah

    “Whoever reads the last two verses of surah Al-Baqarah, that will be sufficient for them.” [Bukhari 5/345]

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.”

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

Virtues:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not turn your houses into graves. Verily, Satan flees from the house in which is recited Surat Al-Baqarah.”

[Sahih Muslim 780]

Supplications:

2:127:

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.

2:128:

وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

2:201:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

2:250:

رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

“Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

2:286:

رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

“Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”