Haj made me stronger in belief

Updated 26 August 2016
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Haj made me stronger in belief

This is a wonderful story of a conservative Christian whom Allah guided to the path of truth making him one of the most prominent Islamic preachers in the African continent. The Chad-based Ali Ramadaan Naajeeli, the Sultan of Qindi, narrates how much he hated Muslims, but embraced Islam when studied it:

I WAS lost and confused until I became Muslim in 1977 at the hands of a Nigerian sheikh, a dayee. His sustained preaching among us drew us to learn and understand Islam.
The Salafi scholar proved beyond doubt that Islam was not like others would like to make out of it. He told us how the mushrikeen (idolaters) offered power and wealth to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but he refused it for the sake of his dawah. And he told us how he had striven against the mushrikeen for many years and had bore insults and torment until his divine mission succeeded and spread throughout the world. His months of dawah convinced us of Islam’s truthfulness, and we entered the faith on the basis of conviction. We became Muslims willingly, embracing a religion in which we could worship on God in all sincerity, worshipping Him alone.
I became Muslim with the others, among whom was my father, the Sultan of the region of Mahim Tooki Qindi in Nigeria. After I embraced Islam, I went with the sheikh and remained in his service for 6 years, then I graduated to become a dayee, after studying Islam. At the end of the training period, he said to me: “Work with me in Nigeria.”
I became the sultan after my father passed away, after calling people in the region to Islam for two years. This led to 4,722 people from the Saraqulai tribe becoming Muslim, including 14 Christian priests. From this time the confrontation with the Christian missionaries in the south of Chad began. They tried to destroy the Islamic dawah and make those who had become Muslim Christian, using various methods. They regarded the Islamic dawah there as a rival, which threatened to stem the Christian tide. They tried to tempt me with money and by offering me a house and a farm so that I would become Christian. They wanted me to work for Christianity. This is what made the Chadian government appoint me as a member of the Higher Committee on Islamic Affairs in the Republic of Chad. But despite all these offers, I rejected what the Christian missionaries offered me. So they started to provoke the animists against the Muslims in the south, but their efforts ended in failure.
Later, the Islamic Dawah organization permitted me to perform Haj. When I visited Makkah and saw the Muslims there — white and black, with no differences between them; all of them wearing the same clothes and equal in status, I could not stop myself from weeping. I had no one from my family with me, yet I felt that all the people around me were my family and my brothers. This increased my determination to strive more seriously in the field of dawah, to guide other people to this great religion and not to keep this spiritual joy to myself, and to save the rest of my brothers from doom and from the Fire of Hell. I decided to start my dawah in my own country, Chad.
After I came back from Haj, I decided to open Islamic centers, to construct more mosques and schools. Praise be to Allah, I was able to establish 12 mosques and a school. We dug up 12 wells for the people in the Qindi region. I also worked to establish a foundation for training of converts in dawah. My only aim now was to spread the message of Islam; its teachings, morals and manners; and to focus on teaching Arabic. We established study circles to teach Qur’an and Sunnah, praise be to Allah.
Besides, there are many obstacles facing the dawah in the south of Chad. The main obstacles are material, for the people there are poor and do not have their daily food. The region also suffers from a lack of roads and there are no means of transportation to go into the primitive animizt areas in order to make dawah in the villages where most of the people are Christians. We are also suffering from a lack of trained dayees.
Many of the Muslims there know little about Islam, which is most unfortunate. In contrast, the efforts of the Christian missionaries are supported by material support. The missionary efforts remain the greatest obstacle we face in this region. When the Pope from the Vatican visited the region of Qinda at the end of his African tour, he met with the missionaries there and made great plans to Christianize the region. Hence they supplied many missionaries from a number of European countries and they supplied the money they needed.
They also announced that they would build a number of churches in the region. One of the Italian missionaries told me that this region would be Christian soon. Each month they organize local festivals where they offer food, drink and assistance to the animists and invite them to become Christian. They also visit orphanages and refugees, which they support financially, in order to Christianize the children who stay there. They are very devious: They were working in the name of the Red Cross there when it was discovered that they have been sterilizing women by giving them medication with the result that they will never again conceive. This is one of their means of limiting the number of Muslims and putting an end to Islam in Chad.
I have discovered the fragrance of Islam and there is no doubt that it is the religion of equality and justice. It makes no distinction between rich and poor, black and white except in terms of taqwa. Everyone turns to Allah and everyone is a slave of Allah.

— islam-qa.com




My advice to all Muslims, if they want to see Islam prevail, is that they should follow Islam in word and deed. This in itself will be a cause of Islam spreading, because the others do not possess the good characteristics and conduct which are the reason why others are attracted to it and embrace it. Islam prevails and is not be prevailed over, because it comprises a great treasure, lofty teachings and lessons for mankind which are still hidden and which have to be revealed to all of mankind. This can be achieved if we adhere to it, follow its teachings and manners as given in the Qur’an and the sayings of the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) and his companions.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.