#MiddleGroundPodcast – Salah (Prayer) Is Islamic Spirituality

Do you desire a close(r) relationship with God?

  • What do you imagine that relationship will look like?
  • What do you bring to the relationship?
  • How much time are you willing to invest?

Given that God doesn’t “talk” to anyone directly, how will you have a relationship with Him?

  • The importance of the physical rituals in Islam.
  • Without them, the relationship will not have a routine.
  • While intellectually we may desire that we should read the Quran every day for a certain amount of time, in the physical reality of human life, this desire alone is not sufficient. There is a missing ingredient; we need something to subdue the body to make it come along for the ride, every day.

Salah (Prayer) – the perfect combination of body and spirit.

  • You cannot maintain a daily Qur’an reading, with consistency, without also integrating it with your prayer.

Tahajjud – the great Islamic mystical ritual

  • Tahajjud allows and enables us to always remain close to God. How? Because it’s on His terms, not ours.
  • It is a reliable means to renew our relationship with Him daily.
  • The nature of that relationship is going to primarily rotate around forgiveness of sins, reorienting ourselves away from the worldly life’s pull and stress, and encouraging us to live a far simpler life, living in the blessed realm of walking with God through life.

#MiddleGroundPodcast: Jumu’ah May 25th “Why We Need Allah – Why We Need One Another”

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِنْ تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِنْ لَدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

‘Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but is there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward’.”Qur’an 4: 40

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏

إِذَا خَلَّصَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَأَمِنُوا

فَمَا مُجَادَلَةُ أَحَدِكُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ يَكُونُ لَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا أَشَدَّ مُجَادَلَةً مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِرَبِّهِمْ فِي إِخْوَانِهِمُ الَّذِينَ أُدْخِلُوا النَّارَ

قَالَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِخْوَانُنَا كَانُوا يُصَلُّونَ مَعَنَا وَيَصُومُونَ مَعَنَا وَيَحُجُّونَ مَعَنَا فَأَدْخَلْتَهُمُ النَّارَ

فَيَقُولُ اذْهَبُوا فَأَخْرِجُوا مَنْ عَرَفْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ

فَيَأْتُونَهُمْ فَيَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِصُوَرِهِمْ لاَ تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ صُوَرَهُمْ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَخَذَتْهُ النَّارُ إِلَى أَنْصَافِ سَاقَيْهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَخَذَتْهُ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ

فَيُخْرِجُونَهُمْ فَيَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرَجْنَا مَنْ قَدْ أَمَرْتَنَا

ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَخْرِجُوا مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَزْنُ دِينَارٍ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ

ثُمَّ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَزْنُ نِصْفِ دِينَارٍ

ثُمَّ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ

قَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يُصَدِّقْ هَذَا فَلْيَقْرَأْ

It was narrated that Abu Sa’īd al-Khudrī said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

When Allah has saved the believers from Hell and they are safe, none of you will dispute with his companion more vehemently for some right of his in this world than the believers will dispute with their Lord on behalf of their brothers in faith who have entered Hell. They will say: “Our Lord! They are our brothers, they used to pray with us, fast with us and perform Hajj with us, and you have admitted them to Hell.” He will say: “Go and bring forth those whom you recognize among them.” So they will come to them, and they will recognize them by their faces. The Fire will not consume their faces, although there will be some whom the Fire will seize halfway up their shins, and others whom it will seize up to their ankles. They will bring them forth, and will say, “Our Lord, we have brought forth those whom You commanded us to bring forth.” Then He will say: “Bring forth those who have a dinar’s (a small coin) weight of faith in their hearts, then those who have half a dinar’s weight in their hearts than those who have a mustard-seed’s weight.”

Abu Sa’īd said, “He who does not believe this, let him recite,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِنْ تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِنْ لَدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

‘Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but is there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward’.” — Qur’an 4: 40

Taken from Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 60

#MiddleGroundPodcast – Contentment With the World is the Enemy of Success


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إِنَّ الَّذينَ لا يَرجونَ لِقاءَنا وَرَضوا بِالحَياةِ الدُّنيا وَاطمَأَنّوا بِها وَالَّذينَ هُم عَن آياتِنا غافِلونَ

أُولٰئِكَ مَأواهُمُ النّارُ بِما كانوا يَكسِبونَ

“Those who don’t look forward to their meeting with Us, who are satisfied with the life of this world and who disregard Our Signs (verses) they’re going to have their home in the Fire on account of what they’ve earned for themselves.”Qur’an, 10: 7-8

قال الحسن: والله ما زينوها ولا رفعوها ، حتى رضوا بها وهم غافلون عن آيات الله الكونية فلا يتفكرون فيها والشرعية فلا يأتمرون بها

Ibn Kathir relates in his Tafsir: “They adorned this life and praised it until they became completely satisfied with it.  They were unconcerned with God’s signs in the universe, nor did they ponder over them.  They were also unconcerned with God’s commandments, nor did they adhere to them.  Their resting place on the Day of Resurrection will be in the Fire; that’s their reward for what they earned in their worldly lives through all their sins and crimes, and that’s in addition to their rejection of God, His Messenger and the Last Day.” — Hasan al-Basri

Never Being Satisfied With One’s Character

من قرأ القرآنَ فقد استدرج النُّبوَّةَ بين جنبَيْه غيرَ أنَّه لا يُوحَى إليه لا ينبغي لصاحبِ القرآنِ أن يجِدَّ مع من وجَدٍّ ولا يجهلَ مع من جهِل وفي جوفهِ كلامُ الله تعالى

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever recites the Qur’an, they have approached prophethood, the only difference being they do not receive Divine Inspiration. It is not appropriate for the Companion of the Qur’an to act hastily with a hasty person nor be ignorant with an ignorant person while having the Word of God in his breast”. — al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

اغْتَنِمْ خَمْسًا قَبْلَ خَمْسٍ شَبَابَكَ قَبْلَ هَرَمِكَ وَصِحَّتَكَ قَبْلَ سَقَمِكَ وَغِنَاكَ قَبْلَ فَقْرِكَ وَفَرَاغَكَ قَبْلَ شُغُلِكَ وَحَيَاتَكَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِكَ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Take advantage of five things before another five are taken from you: [1] youth before old age; [2] health before sickness; [3] wealth before poverty; [4] free time before becoming busy; and [5] life before death”. — Narrated by ’Abdullah bin ’Abbas in al-Bayhaqi’s Shu’ab al-Iman

Satisfaction With The Creator vs. Created Things

إِنَّ الَّذينَ آمَنوا وَعَمِلُوا الصّالِحاتِ أُولٰئِكَ هُم خَيرُ البَرِيَّةِ

جَزاؤُهُم عِندَ رَبِّهِم جَنّاتُ عَدنٍ تَجري مِن تَحتِهَا الأَنهارُ خالِدينَ فيها أَبَدًا ۖ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنهُم وَرَضوا عَنهُ ۚ ذٰلِكَ لِمَن خَشِيَ رَبَّهُ

“However, those who believe and do what’s morally right are the best of creatures.Their reward lies with their Lord: everlasting gardens beneath which rivers flow — and there they shall remain — God well pleased with them and they with Him.  This is what’s in store for the one who adored his Lord.”Qur’an, 98: 7-8

 

Your Relationship with Allah Cannot Be Separated From Your Worship of Him – A Middle Ground Khutbah


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Your relationship with Allah cannot be separated from your worship of Him. For you have had a relationship with your Creator, your Lord, for a very, very long time.

Am I not your Lord?

وَإِذ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَني آدَمَ مِن ظُهورِهِم ذُرِّيَّتَهُم وَأَشهَدَهُم عَلىٰ أَنفُسِهِم أَلَستُ بِرَبِّكُم ۖ قالوا بَلىٰ ۛ شَهِدنا ۛ أَن تَقولوا يَومَ القِيامَةِ إِنّا كُنّا عَن هٰذا غافِلينَ

“When your Lord took out all their descendants from the loins of the children of Adam and made them testify against themselves ‘Am I not your Lord?’ they said, ‘We testify that indeed You are!’ Lest you say on the Day of Rising, ‘We knew nothing of this’.” Qur’an, 7: 172

This is the issue of putting too much stock in identity and not enough in substance. When your relationship with Allah is based solely on your experience as a physical body in the here-and-now (hayāt al-dunia) and not balanced with not just the concerns of the Life To Come, but its reality, then one will consistently be riddled with disappointments and doubts.

Islam, as a way of being and living, certainly includes using one’s mind, it should not be confused for being a religion of intellectualism. When one feels overwhelmed, go back to a point of simplicity and sincerity.

ذكر عبد الله بن بسر أن رجلا قال إن شرائع الإيمان قد كثرت علي فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله تعالى

‘Abdullah bin Busr mentioned that a man said to the Prophet ﷺ ‘O Messenger of God, the rules and regulations regarding faith are too numerous for me so inform me of something I can hold on to’. The Prophet replied ﷺ ‘Never allow your tongue to cease being moist in the remembrance of God the Exalted’.” — Related by al-Tirmidhi in al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib

“In the original American populistic dream, the omnicompetence of the common man was fundamental and indispensable. It was believed that he could, without much special preparation, pursue the professions and run the government. Today he knows that he cannot even make his breakfast without using devices, more or less mysterious to him, which expertise has put at his disposal; and when he sits down to breakfast and looks at his morning newspaper, he reads about a whole range of vital and intricate issues and acknowledges, if he is candid with himself, that he has not acquired competence to judge most of them.”Tom Nichols, How America Lost Faith in Expertise.