Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eid Mubarak - No Vowels

New Calligrafy Art, For Eid... Entitled: No Vowels.

-Is(Smile)-


A Little About Eid

I always try and educate individuals on Islamic practices and just things Muslims do in General, and Eid is one of them.


So here is my annual Eid post...

Eid ul-Fitr, (Arabic: ‎عيد الفطر ), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadhan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking (the fast)". The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadhan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal.

Eid-ul-Fitr Salaah (prayer) consists of two units, which is generally offered in an open field or large hall called an Eid-gah. This salaah or prayer, can only be performed with Jama’at (i.e., in congregation) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah, according to the Hanafi school. 

 Muslims are commanded by Allah in the Quran to complete their fast until the last day of Ramadhan and pay the Zakaat ul-fitr before doing the Eid prayer.


History

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, we find mention of Eid festivals as yawm al-sab‘ and yawm al-sabasab as well as some others among the idolaters of Arabia. The shari‘ah of the Israelites had Eid festivals as well but as is evident from the Old Testament and other scriptures, these festivals related more to commemorating certain days of their history. The Eid ul-Fitr was originated by Prophet Muhammad and is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal right after the end of the holy month of Ramadhan in which the believers undergo a period of fasting.

It is evident from certain Ahadith (traditions of the Prophet) that these festivals were initiated in Madinah after migration. Anas reports:
When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves by playing and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation of the days of jahilliyah (Ignorance). At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.
For Muslims, both these festivals of Eid ul-fitr and Eid ul-adha are occasions of showing gratitude to Allah, remembering him and are a means of entertainment. 
Aishah (prophets wife) narrates that when on an Eid day her father Abu Bakr stopped young girls from singing, the Prophet said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an Eid and [this day] is our Eid.

General rituals

Muslims offer the Eid ul-Fitr prayers in the morning either at the Mosques or in open fields called Eid gah (Eid field).  
 
Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated for one, two or three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak ("Blessed Eid") or ‘Eid Sa‘eed ("Happy Eid"). Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences or past animosities that may have occurred with others during the year.  
 
Typically, Muslims wake up relatively early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the Sunnah (traditions and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), clean one's teeth with a Miswaak or toothbrush, take a Ghusul (shower) before Fajr prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.  
 
It is haraam, or forbidden, to fast on the Day of Eid. That is why it is recommended to have a small breakfast (as a sign of not fasting that day) of sweet dish, preferably the date fruit, before attending the special Eid prayer. It is a Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) that the Zakaat ul-fitr, an obligatory charity, is paid to the poor and the needy before performing the Eid prayer by all those adult Muslims who are required to pay Zakaat. Muslims recite the following Takbir (Praise) in the low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha ilal-lahu wal-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa-lilla hil hamd.   
 
Muslims are recommended to use two separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.
Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at Masjids. No adhan (Call to Prayer) or iqama (call) is to be pronounced for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two rakaah (units of prayer) with an additional six Takbirs. The Eid prayer is followed by the khutbah (sermon) and then a supplication (dua) asking for God's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The khutbah also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakaat. Listening to the khutbah (sermon) of Eid is a necessary requirement (wajib) i.e. while the khutbah is being delivered; it is haraam (prohibited) to talk, walk about or offer prayer while the sermon is being delivered. After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.  
 
Gifts on Eid are frequently given to children and immediate relatives; it is also common in some cultures for children to be given small sums of money by adult relatives or friends.

Islamic Tradition

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community; i.e., empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc. Fasting is also believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from worldly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank him for his blessings. It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord. After the end of Ramadhan, is a big celebration of Eid.

In the Gregorian calendar

Although the date of Eid ul-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last week of the same Gregorian calendar year. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local sightability of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined by international sightings, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence.   
 
In the Islamic calendar, a new day, and therefore also Eid ul-Fitr, begins at sunset.
-Is(Smile)-

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dua/Supplication When You Complete The Quran (Khatam-ul-Quran)

Many of us strive to complete the Quran in Ramadhan From start to finish, and many of have done so more than once, some even thrice.

A couple of ladies requested if they could get a copy of the Dua [Supplication] I made, so instead of sending it to just a couple individuals, I posted it on my blog so we all could benefit and use it in the future as well.

This Dua can be made at the time of completing the Quran, and is not "THEE" Dua for completing, is "A" Dua... There is NO specific Dua for completing the Quran, it is a Sunnah [practice of the Prophet] to make Dua.

English Translation At The Bottom.
Allah, the Most High, the Most Great, has spoken the truth, His noble Messenger has spoken the truth, and we are witnesses to that. Our Lord! Accept from us, for verily you are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

Allah! Grant us with every harf [letter] of the Qur’an halawah [sweetness]
and with every juz [part] of the Qur’an jazaa [reward].
Allah! Grant us with (the recitation of every) alif, ulfah [love]

with (every) baa, barakah [blessing]

with (every) taa, tawbah [repentance]

with (every) thaa, thawaab [reward]

with (every) jeem, jamaal [beauty]

with (every) haa, hikmah [wisdom]

with (every) khaa, khair [goodness]

with (every) daal, daleel [proof]

with (every) dhaal, dhakaa [intelligence]

with (every) raa, rahmah [mercy]

with (every) zaa, zakaah [purity]

with (every) seen, sa’aadah [happiness]

with (every) sheen, shifaa’ [cure]

with (every) saad, sidq [sincerity]

with (every) dhaad, dhiyaa’ [light]

with (every) taa, taraawah [tenderness]

with (every) dhaa, Dhafar [victory]

with (every) ‘ain, ‘ilm [knowledge]

with (every) ghain, ghinaa [wealth]

with (every) faa, falaah [success]

with (every) qaaf, qurbah [nearness]

with (every) kaaf, karamah [nobility]

with (every) laam, lutf [gentleness]

with (every) meem, maw’izah [exhortation]

with (every) nun, noor [light]

with (every) waaw, wuslah [connection]

with (every) haa, hidayah [guidance]

and with (every) yaa, yaqeen [certainty]

Allah! Benefit us through the the great Qur’an, and raise us through the ayat [verses] and the wise Remembrance. Accept from us our recitation and overlook for us that which was present in the recitation of the Qur’an – of mistakes,  forgetfulness or negligent pronunciation in changing words from their [correct] places. Or advancing, delaying, adding or subtracting. Or interpretation [according to] other than what You have revealed. Or doubt, uncertainty or bad reading. Or hurrying while reciting the Qur’an, laziness, hastiness or a swerving tongue. Or stopping without wuquf, idghaam without mudgham, iz-haar without bayaan or madd, tashdeed, hamzah, jazm or i’raab, [according to] other than what You have decreed. Or lack of longing and fear at the [time of reciting] the ayat of mercy and the ayat of punishment. So forgive us, our Lord, and write us as amongst the witnesses.
 
Allah! Illuminate our hearts with the Qur’an, beautify our character with the Qur’an, save us from the Fire with the Qur’an, and enter us into Paradise with the Qur’an.

Allah! Make the Qur’an for us in this world a qareen [intimate], in the grave a mu’nis [companion], upon the path a nur [light], in Paradise a rafeeq [friend], from the Fire a sitr [shield] and a hijab [barrier], and to good deeds – all of them – a daleel [evidence]. So record for us upon the completion and grant us fulfillment with the heart and tongue, love of goodness; happiness and glad tidings of faith.

And the blessings of Allah, exalted be He, be upon the best of His creation, Muhammad, upon his family and his companions, and much, much peace.

*Ameen*

-Is(Smile)-
 

Six Habits You Should've Picked-Up By Now

Point 1: You can fast for a full month!


We've learned from fasting how to soften our souls and conquer our desires while performing the concept of worship to Allah alone. The Prophet, peace be upon him, encouraged us to continue fasting with six days during the month of Shawwal when he said, "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and he follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted the whole year." 

Also, It was the sunnah (Practice) of the Prophet to fast Mondays, Thursdays, three days of each lunar month, the day of Arafah, Ashourah, and most of Sha'ban and Muharram.  

Can you fast at least some of these days? Try it...


Point 2: You can pray Taraweeh!

Allah describes his pious servants as, "they used to only sleep for a short period of time at night" in Surat ul-Sajdah. 

Praying at night was the habit of the Prophet all his life, and he used to encourage his companions and family to do the same. He said, "Do Qiyam-ul-layl, the night prayer, it used to be of the good deeds of the pious people before you. It draws you closer to your Lord, it causes your sins to be forgiven, and it causes you to avoid doing bad deeds." 

Can you commit to praying 2 Rakaats after Isha? Don't be afraid to drop them extra Rakaats...

Point 3: You love reciting and listening to the Quran!

Do not stop reading the Quran after Ramadhan. We made reading the Quran, and spending a few minutes per day to recite or listen to it, a part of our daily schedule. Make this habit live longer than this one month so you can be amongst those whom Prophet Muhammad described, "Read the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its companions." [Muslim]. 

Can you dedicate some time to the Quran? Trust me, you'll feel better...

Point 4: You can give charity!

Allah says, "Those who spend their wealth day and night, secretly and publicly, their reward is with their Lord." 

If Allah promised to compensate you for what you spend in charitable causes, what's stopping you from giving more? If spending for the sake of Allah, as a sadaqah jariyah (continuous charity), is one of three actions that would outlive you, 

Can you give more? Hopefully we will, because we can... Donate HERE !

Point 5: You can give up major sins! 

The purpose behind fasting is not just to be hungry and thirsty, rather the purpose is that it leads to the suppression of desires and taming one's evil inclinations. 

Besides, what kind of a person would stop sinning only in Ramadhan but as soon as Ramadhan ends, he/she goes back to them?  

Can you continue to stay away from such sins? Definitely something to think about and make an effort for...

Point 6: You can forgive and forget! 

It is amazing how families and friends come together during the month of Ramadhan. We eat at the very same time and we pray at the very same time.  We hasten in inviting people over for iftaar and exert extra efforts in offering them a variety of dishes and making them feel comfortable. Yet, this feeling of "community" seems to be lost after Ramadhan is over.  

Prophet Muhammad said, "It's not allowed for a Muslim to avoid his brother/sister for over three nights... and the best of them is the one who initiates salaam".  

Can you be the best of the two? I plan to be...

Think About It... Lets Keep The Good We've Gained in Ramadhan Goin... Inshallah !
-Is(Smile)-

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just So You Know...

This is NOT a "Religious/Islamic" Blog...

I am blessed to be Muslim and I am very thankful to Allah for this blessing, among many others. Some people are under the "assumption" this is an Islamic website... it is NOT, as I mentioned, I am Muslim... so obviously I would speak about my religion (way of life) Islam openly and freely. Also because it's the month of Ramadhan (1 of The Holiest Months For Muslims), my post have been ONLY about Ramadhan and Quran. 

Many people do not know what Ramadhan is, and 1 of my goals in life is to educate (Promise I made to my Mommy before she passed), so I try my best in w/e ways I can to disseminate knowledge and seek knowledge as well.

If you look at my past posts from before Ramadhan you will see that they are very unique and captivating, as well as "Multi-Religious"... Predominately my posts consists of "My company Calligrafy, Art, Fashion, Music, Islam, Support of Friends and positive causes, Things you wouldn't normally see or hear about, My love for words, etc."

Ramadhan is coming to an end so my post will again begin to vary (I have A LOT of back posts waiting, haha)... so be on the lookout for them.

Support, Stalk, Subscribe, Follow, Join, Like and Bookmark this blog !!!

My Goal is to "Beautify The World... One Stroke At A Time" any way I am Able.

-Is(Smile)-

Monday, August 22, 2011

Random Moments: Ramadhan/Quran 2011 Edition

Haha, So I Like To Freak People Out Sometimes... Just By Being Me.

How? Might You Ask... Well During The Month of Ramadhan I Recite 10Times More Quran Than I Recite Throughout The Year... Sooo, I'm Riding The Train (Going To The IC For Taraweeh) and I'm Reading From My Little Pocket Quran and I Randomly Look Up To See A Couple Individuals Staring At Me With Their Judging Eyes... So What Do I Do ?

SideBar: I'm A Hafidh of Quran (I Memorized The Entire Quran By Heart/Memory).

Back To The Story: So What Do I Do ? I Smile and Then I Proceed Stare Back At Them, While I Continue To Recite, For Like 5Mins... Haha, So All They See is Me Staring Back At Them With My Lips Moving and Some Foreign Words Coming Out My Mouth... It Freaks Em Out EVERYTIME !!!

But A Couple People Have Asked Me What It Is That I'm Reading...

"Islam/Quran is Beautiful... Learn What It is and Never PreJudge (Anything in Life). Knowledge Should Be Something We Run Towards, Not Something We Shy Away From ! "

***I Remember There Was A Time I Was Shy About Reciting The Quran on The Train, Because I Knew It "Looked Weird"... Not Anymore !***

-Is(Smile)-
Sent via Ismail's BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last 10 Days of Ramadhan

When the last ten nights (of Ramadhan) would begin, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) would keep awake at night (for prayer and devotion), awaken his family and prepare himself to be more diligent in worship.
 
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The entire month of Ramadhan is a spring season for virtues, worship and obedience of Allah, but its last ten days are the peak of this season of worship. Therefore, one must strive hard in the last ten days and nights of this month to follow the practice of the Prophet (PBUH), to seek the Pleasure of Allah and to attain the benefits of Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of power), which occurs during this period. The Prophet (PBUH) used to make special arrangement for observing I`tikaf (Spending time in the Masjid/Mosque in worship of Allah), and we must also make an effort to follow this practice of his to the best of our ability. Inshallah.

-Is(Smile)- 

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Random Thought & Info On Ramadhan

One of My Non Muslims Associates Asked Me Early Today... "Have You Heard The New Music That Has Been Dropping? Straight Fire My Dude ! "... I Looked at Him and Said "Nah, I Haven't Listened To Music in About 3 Weeks Man". He Says "Why?, You Buggin Son ! Not Even WTT ? ". I Said "Well it's Ramadhan and I Choose To Stop listening To Music and A Couple Other Things As Well"... He Then Says "C'mon Son What Do You Have On Your Dres Right Now?" I Simply Say "Quran"... He Then Says " O, So That's What You Chose To Give Up For Ramadhan, I Couldn't Do it... Music is My Life."

Commentary:
I Think We As Muslims, Need To Better Explain What Ramadhan is... Because Some People Are Under The Assumption That It is Similar To Lent and Other Non Islamic Observances, Where They Give Up Certain Things. It is NOT.

Ramadhan Serves A Stepping Stone For The Rest of The Year, Up Until The Next Ramadhan.

We Are Prescribed By Allah (God) To Give Up "Food, Drink & Sexual Activities" DURING The Day Time Hrs, I.e Between Sunrise and Sunset. Muslims Are Allowed to Eat "As They Feel" After.

Ramadhan is About Restraint and Suppressing Desires For The Desires of Allah. So in That Spirit I Decided To Leave Off Things (Twitter, Facebook, Music, Tv, and General Interaction With Individuals... Etc.) That Consume My Time and Focus Solely on Quran During This Holy Month !

My View is "If I Can't Give It (W/e It Might Be) Up During Ramadhan, Then I Will Never Be Able To Give It Up. So I Try My Best To Have Restraint During This Month and Hope It Carries Over into The Rest Of The Year and My Life.
-----------------------
SideNote: I Just Had Some BANGIN Rice From My African Peoples !

I Swear They're Tryna Get The Boy Fat ! *Stretches*

-Is(Smile)-


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Me Reciting At The Alhambra Ballroom...



Monday, August 15, 2011

Reflections During Ramadhan: Part 1

So half of Ramadhan is gone and we are entering the second half, I want to share a couple reflections/thoughts/ from Ramadhan thus far.
 Man do these Africans feed me like I'm the skinny child they wish they never had... SHEEESH !!! (LOL). You should see the amounts of food they give me, It's crazy. then they "try" to make me eat some "white, creamy, lumpy, porridge like substance (pause) to break my fast, but that's a NO go ! the other day they gave me FIVE pieces of chicken, along with chicken and lamb 0_o !!! But do I waste anything ??? Nope, it's Ramadhan and I refuse to waste food when there are less fortunate people out there.


One thing I love about Africans is their good hearts... it's a beautiful thing.


O yea, why do Jay-z and Kanye keep emailing me ??? I coulda swore I told them I wasn't listening to any music during Ramadhan, haha. yes I got my copy(s) of "Watch The Throne" and NO I haven't heard it yet (Even though I've been tempted).


So far this has been an excellent Ramadhan for me, learning new things about myself, strengthening my Quran (this is the BEST time for a Hafidh), and just clearing my mind/thoughts/head of all the smog that the past year has accumulated.


You should see my beard, Freeway, Stalley and Rick Ross would be proud, ha ! (you would think I was a miniature version).


I have been gettin NO sleep ! *Rubs eyes*

I HATE being touched... everyone wants to hug and grab me, especially after I lead Taraweeh (Night Prayer), I guess as a means of saying "good job". It just annoys the **** out of me ! Shaking my hand is cool... Cuz I sorta have to. Ha !


One thing that has been happening to me since the day before Ramadhan began is...EPIC Dreams !!! My dreams have been cinematic, descriptive, book/movie worthy... and to top it all off, I remember Everything. Look for some "writings" to come out of it.


There's more (I'll add to and share as I remember)...


All in all I'm truly thankful for this Ramadhan, one of my best. Have been able to spend much more time with my Qur'an (which is always a plus, I've finished my personal Khatam 3times, not including Taraweeh). This is a time when I try my best to better myself in every way possible and I feel I'm on the right path (Inshallah). 


Not to mention so many job opportunities have come my way in these short 2weeks.


Looking forward to the second half !


-Is(Smile)-

Friday, August 12, 2011

Charity During Ramadhan

The Messenger Of Allah (Muhammad) PBH: Was the most generous of men and he was most generous during the month of Ramadhan when the angel Jibrail (Gabriel) visited him every night and recited the Qur'an to him. During this period, the generosity of the messenger of Allah "Waxed faster than the rain bearing winds."

Commentary:  This Hadith induces us to do two good things frequently and with full preparation in the month of Ramadhan. First, benevolence and generosity so that people get maximum time for worship and reduce their mundane affairs during this month. Second, recitation of the Qur'an and Mudarasah, (reading and hearing the Qur'an from one another) as is done by two Huffadh (individuals who have memorized the entire Qur'an by heart) in this manner. The reason for the stress on the Qur'an is that the Qur'an and the month of Ramadan are closely linked with each other. The Qur'an was revealed in this month.

-Is(Smile)-

Monday, August 08, 2011

 We all NEED to do our part for those less fortunate (Horn of Africa) and what better time than in Ramadhan when the blessings are endless !

We are one Ummah: it's not about one nationality donating to their nation. As Muslims we should all take care of each other." - Dr.Abdullah Hakim Quick
 
"The test that we are in is to recognize that we are being tested." - Sh Yasir Qadhi
 
"Imaan [Faith] is statement AND action."
 
"You listen, you care! If you have donated, then donate again" - Sh Muhammad Alshareef

It's NEVER too late to help and do our part, even if it's a dollar... it helps, so help!


Allah says in the Quran:

"Never will you attain the good (reward) until you spend (in the way of Allah)
from that which you love. And whatever you spend, indeed Allah is knowing of it" [3:92]

Go HERE to donate !
-Is(Smile)-

Friday, August 05, 2011

Random Fact About This Day "5th of Ramadhan"...

This day 25 years ago in Ramadhan 1986 (9/5/1406 in the Islamic Calender), I (A star) was born. Which means Islamically I'm 26 (Islamic calendars are a year ahead, and when you go past 40, it's two years ahead)... 

And that is my random Ramadhan thought for the day.
-Is(Smile)-

Monday, August 01, 2011

Gone For Ramadhan


Once Again Another Ramadhan Has Begun and I Take My Leave From The "Normalcy" and Head Into A Place Where I Strive To  Better Myself as A Muslim, Individual, Man and Overall Human Being.

Here Is My Latest Calligraphy Project, Pray For Me and See You In 29 or 30 Days !

-Is(Smile)-

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