Monday, July 26, 2010


I was in the chapter of Al-Fatihah.  Unbeknown to my mother, she asked us for the meaning of Al-Fatihah, verse for verse as my sister and our family gathered for tea.  I didn't answer, my sister and her husband did and they got through smoothly.  Of course I knew all the meaning, except, when it came to Amin.  My sister was quick to answer "perkenankan" (please grant the request).  I was quiet but the truth was, I was not quite sure the exact meaning of Amin.  I had some idea but I had not come to that yet.  It turned out my sister was spot-on.

Amin means: "Oh Allah! Accept our invocation".

With that it brought me to beautiful doa's (supplications) I found in the book The Salah, by Shaikh Muhammad Nasir.

"Oh God! Forgive me what I have done in the past, and what I will do in the future, and what I have concealed, and what I have done openly, and what I have exceeded in, whatever You know about me more than I. You are the Bringer Forward, and You are the Delayer, there is no god except You."

"O God! indeed I ask of You, O God, the One, the Only, the Absolute, Who begets not and nor is He begotten, and there is none like Him, that You forgive my sins; indeed You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

"Oh God! Indeed, I ask of You, by the fact that to You belongs all Praise; there is no god except You, the Bestower of Favours; Originator of the Heavens and the Earth; O One that is Full of Majesty and Honour; O Living One, O Eternal One; indeed I ask of You the Garden, and I seek refuge with You from the Fire."

"Oh God! by Your knowledge of the Unseen, and Your control over the creation; give me life as long as You know that life is best for me, and take me when death is best for me. O God! I also ask of You fear of You, in secret and in open; I ask of You the word of wisdom and justice in anger and in pleasure; I ask of You moderation in poverty and affluence; I ask of You joy which does not fade; I ask of You pleasure which does not pass away, nor that which ceases; I ask of You the delight of looking towards Your Face; and eagerness towards meeting You, not in harmful adversity, nor in misleading afflictions. O God adorn me with the decoration of believe, and make me of those who guide and are guided."


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Is Righteousness

My reading of Tafsir Ibn Kathir has entered Surah 1, Al-Fatihah (part 1).  Al-Fatihah means the Opener of the Book.  It is also called Umm Al-Kitab (the Mother of the Book) and The Seven Repeated Ayat of the Glorious Qur'an.  It is also called Al-Hamd (the Praise) and As-Salah (the Prayer).  It is also called Ash-Shifa' (the Cure) and Ar-Ruqyah (the Remedy).

Moving slightly away from my reading of the Tafsir, a few days ago, my son asked me what is the meaning of being a good person.  I don't remember my exact answers to him.  I remember telling him that he is in college learning "ilmu that menfaatkan ummah" (knowledge that benefits mankind) and that that is an act of a good Muslim.  Later, I told him and his brother that they are perfect sons.

I feel the answer is in a verse I came across the translation a few years ago in the book Rights, Religion and Reform by Chandra Muzaffar.  It was Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 177 that read:

It is not righteousness 
That ye turn your faces
Towards East or West
But it is righteousness -
To Believe in God
And the Last Day
And the Angels
And the Book
And the Messengers
To spend of your substance,
Out of love for Him,
For your kin,
For orphans,
For the needy,
For the wayfarer,
For those who ask,
And for the ransom of slaves;
To be steadfast in prayer,
And practice regular charity;
To fulfill the contracts
Which ye have made
And to be firm and patient,
In pain (or suffering)
And adversity
And throughout
All periods of panic
Such are the people 
Of truth, the God-fearing.

My note:
We must always be close to Ayat Qur'an and understand the meaning.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Tonight, Sunday 18th July 2010, at 10.33pm, as I sat on my couch and my son sitting across from me on a sofa, and as we watched Angels and Demons, while doing his mathematics homework (believe it or not, I am helping him with his college mathematics), I started my reading of the Tafsir Ibn Kathir (the meaning of the Qur'an compiled by Ibn Kathir).

I have glanced through and I am struck on learning that Allah began His Creation with the Praise, the Hamd (we know, Alhamdulillah, All praise to Allah, that Hamd).

"All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and originated the darkness and the light; yet those who disbelieve hold others equal to their Lord." (Al-An'am 6:1)

And ended it with the Hamd.
"And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of Allah), glorifying their Lord with praise. And judgement will be made between them (creatures) with the truth. And it will be said, 'All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exist." (39:75)

In the beginning and in the end, His is the Praise.
"He is Allah, there is no god except for Him, His is the praise in the beginning and in the end, His is the judgement and to Him shall you (all) return." (28:70)

My note:
Alhamdulillahirabbila'lamin. We must remember to be grateful to Allah all the time. Alhamdulillah in the morning as we open our eyes from the night's sleep and alhamdulillah before we fall asleep again for the night. And all throughout the day.