Tag Archives: philosophy

My Pre Ramadan To-Do List

4 Jul

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As a means to help others out there who aren’t quite sure what they can do right before Ramadan begins, I’ve decided to share this list with you on things you can do just before Ramadan.

I know many people are too busy with work, school, children or other time consuming activities, so insha’Allah this list will help you prepare for Ramadan.

Before I begin, it’s important to highlight this following hadith:

Abu reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When half of Sha’ban remains, then do not fast.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Fasting this last week is not recommended. I had the intention of fasting a few weeks ago, but Alhamdulillah I found this hadith narrating the importance it is to not fast right before Ramadan.

Plan a food calendar.

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If this is your first Ramadan, or you are unsure of what to eat for suhoor and iftar, then plan ahead. Make sure to base your early breakfast – suhoor – around enough vitamins and nutrients to help you withstand the long hours of fasting throughout the day.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water. [Abu Dawud]

It was Sunnah (prophetic way) for the Prophet (saws) to break his fast with dates, and if they were not available then with water.

Watch Ramadan Prep series on QuranWeekly.com

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An easy way to help you learn before Ramadan, to prepare you and to spend some time remembering Allah ta’aala (dhikr) is by watching these informative videos. There is a new video up every night at 7:00 p.m. Costa Rican time if you are interested in watching them. You can look back to the previous 4 videos they have up to catch up, and they also have the videos from last year’s Ramadan Prep series if you’d like to learn from those as well. Insha’Allah we can learn how to prepare ourselves for Ramadan before it finally comes.

Learn a new Surah

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A great and simple way to improve yourself before Ramadan is by memorizing a part of the Qur’an.

Whether it be an ayat, or an entire Surah to recite in our Salat (prayers), it is very important to take advantage of this month and actually learn from the Qur’an.

How many people fast just with their bodies? The true fasting is that which is in the heart, abstaining from evil thoughts and devoting your time and effort to learning and acting upon the Qur’an.

This website will help you learn to memorize a Surah or Ayat of the Qur’an: www.MountHira.com

Hear a short Podcast from Bayyinah Institute.

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These small podcasts are free, and open to anyone in desire to improve their emaan.

I know that here in my country, the ummah is spread around the country in different parts. Therefore, I can’t indulge myself in the activities held in the masjid for distance and financial reasons, so what better way than to learn Qur’an through the Internet.

So far I’ve listened to the first 21 ayats of Surah Al Baqarah from two separate podcasts. They have helped me learn what these ayats truly hold, and the ustadh Nouman Ali Khan is a great teacher to obtain knowledge from.

Here is the link to the podcasts. Feel free to download or hear as many as you’d like. Just remember that it is better to hear a short 30 minutes per night than to try to hear 2 hours of tasfeer, which can be exhausting to the mind.

http://podcast.bayyinah.com/category/002-surah-al-baqarah/

Learn and practice du’aas

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Another simple way to prepare yourself for Ramadan is to practice easy du’aas before and after an action. Not only is this beneficial to you, but also you will learn to perform actions for the sake of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) and achieve humbleness and taqwaa (fear or piety to Allah).

You can find tons of duaa’s online and websites that can help you memorize duaa’s.

I recommend you write them down, and hang them around your room for you to memorize them. For example the du’aa said when you wake up and before you go to bed you can hang next to your bed so you can remember to recite it. Or even saving them on your phone is a good idea.

I will leave you with a du’aa to help you retain whatever you listen to or read.

According to Imam Ali ibn abi Talib to retain in memory whatever one listens or reads, recite the following dua’a after every obligatory salat.

In the name of Allah the most kind the most merciful.

Glory be to Him who does not treat the citizens of His kingdom unjustly.

Glory be to Him who does not let the torment and pain come suddenly upon mankind.

Glory be to the compassionate the merciful.

O Allah, fill my heart with true enlightenment, wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Surely you are able to do all things.

SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YA-TADEE AA’LAA AHLI MAMLAKATIHEE SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YAAKHUD’U AHLAL ARZ’I BILWAANIL A’D’AABI SUBH’AANAR RA-OOFIR RAH’EEMI ALLAAHUMMAJ-A’L LEE FEE QALBEE NOORAN WA BAS’ARAN WA FAHMAN WA I’LMAN INNAKA A’LAA KULLI SHAY-IN QADEER

Commit yourself to watching a Ramadan series video every day

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There are two Ramadan series I’ll be watching this Ramadan insha’Allah.

The first one is from Qur’an Weekly, called the Quranic Gems. You can watch the video on their website, and tune in every day to hear a specific part of the Juz for that day commented on. Here is the link to their website: http://www.quranweekly.com/quranic-gems-series-ramadan-special/

The second series I’ll be watching insha’Allah are live clases every day for the month of Ramadan. Here is the link, and you can enroll for free with your name and e-mail account. http://www.ramadanwithquran.com

Insha’Allah you can enroll as well. If you have any other series we can watch for Ramadan please link in the comment section for others to benefit from.

Make voluntary prayers

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We all know we are obliged to complete our fard prayers every day. Another simple yet rewarding way to improve your emaan is to also make Sunnah prayers when you perform your Salat. Not only will this help you strengthen your connection and taqwaa with Allah (swt), but when you are feeling down or spiritually low, you will sacrifice making your Sunnah or voluntary prayers, but not sacrifice your fard prayers.

When Ramadan comes, you will be performing your five salat, and on top of that making voluntary prayers as well. Thus, your emaan will grow insha’Allah.

Our prayer will be the first thing questioned upon on the day of Judgment. Allah (swt) says in the following hadith:

The Messenger (S.A.W.) told us in an authentic hadith , “The first thing the people will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment is prayer, Allah will say to His angels (even though he already knows) : “Look at my servants prayers. Were they complete or not?” If they were complete It will be written as complete. If they were not fully complete Allah will say: “See if my servant has voluntary prayers, If he has them Allah will say: Complete his obligatory prayers shortage with his voluntary prayers.” Then the rest of his deeds will be dealt with in the same manner.” {Reported by Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawood, An-Nisa’i, and Al-Hakim}

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Insha’Allah this list will help you improve your emaan and help yourself prepare for Ramadan.

Remember that fasting without true emaan and having true intentions, is not the same as if you just fasted with your body. Fasting is far more than abstaining from food and drink. It is also a means for you to come closer to Allah, to fast with the heart and for the intention to be only for the sake of Allah.

“and fast, it is better for you, if only you knew” [al-Baqarah, 2:184]

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What to do before Ramadan? A small course to prepare you for Ramadan

19 Jun

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As-salaam alaykum,

As you might know, I’m a student of Islamic Online University (click the previous text to see their website). It’s a free university that offers a free diploma course for anyone, anywhere, and anytime you’d like. Also, once you finish your diploma course, you can choose whether or not you’d like to continue your studies to obtain a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies (you will have to pay a small fee though, depending on your country, but the highest registration fee is $90. That’s not a lot for a university, subhanallah) So if you’re looking to broaden your knowledge on Islam for the purpose of giving dawah, and internal wisdom, I highly recommend it. 

Alhamdulillah a sister recommended one of their courses for me a few days ago, which I hadn’t noticed before. You see I’m taking the courses as they go along on their study plan, since it’s easy and that way you can understand everything better. 

However, this course, which is in Part Two of the diploma degree is called Prophetic Reflections on Ramadaan, and Subhanallah that she mentioned it to me. That way, I can read up on Ramadan before and during Ramadaan, and really enjoy and learn during my fasting.

So as I am in no means selfish or egocentric alhamdulillah, I’d like to share this course with you guys. The courses are free, you can sign up to any of them whenever you want, and if you’re just interested in this specific course to read up before Ramadaan, then you can just take this one course. 

I’ve learned so much through this website, things that I would have never learned on my own. And since it is a university, it really helps you understand and actually learn the information, and not leave it there like you’d usually do with a book. 

So please, I encourage everyone to take this course before, during or even after Ramadaan if you’re reading this post just after the Holy month. Insha’Allah I can take it as well and we can all benefit from it. 

May Allah protect you, have you in the best of spiritual and mental health, and give you plenty of patience for this course if you’d like to pursue it. Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

Chao 

Ramadan is just a month away! Why fast?

9 Jun

For the Mind and Soul

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As-salaam alaykum everyone. As a recent convert (Allahu Akbar) I’ve been thinking about Ramadan these days more than ever; what will it be like? Will my body last an entire month of fasting? How can I make this experience even more profitable?

I’ve been looking around some website and books on Ramadan, including Hadiths and quotes from the Qur’an. The benefits of Ramadan are just so many Alhamdulillah! Although we may not see them.

So I’ve decided to write a quick post on some of the benefits of this sacred month, not just physically, but mentally the amount of blessings and good things come out of it insha’Allah.

There is a great reward for those who fast

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Abu Huraira, radhiya Allahu `anh reported:

The Prophet said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” [Bukhari]

Allah, the Most High, the Most Beneficent, will reward a person that fasts for His sake only. Think about it. It is indeed a sacrifice. I don’t think fasting is all that easy, given the many hours without food or water. Insha’Allah there will be reward in our fasting and Allah will accept it.

Our supplications are granted

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Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: “There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks the fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed”. [Tirmithi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban]

Our dua’s are accepted when we indulge in this action intended only for the sake of Allah. We must remember constantly why we are fasting, for what purpose we are doing so and to always thank Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) for giving us the strength and patience to fast.

Just think for a minute how many people out there starve to death because they can’t eat even a loaf of bread or drink a drop of pure, clean water. Think how privileged you are as a Muslim to be able to fast! So many people don’t have food at their tables, and cannot have this “luxury” of fasting for the sake of Allah.

It is a means of forgiveness for us

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Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger said : “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

Subhanallah, how merciful our Rabb truly is. If you fast just 30 days of the 365 days of the year, with devotion, purity in your heart and sincerity, Allah will forgive any sins you have had in your past. Whether you are a new revert – like myself – or you have grandchildren and have retired, it is never too late to ask Allah for forgiveness and to repent to our Lord, to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. May Allah always guide us.

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So these were the brief benefits that we have when fasting during Ramadan. Imagine how wonderfully merciful and forgiving our Lord is that He has given us this “tool” or action to use for our own benefit, and of course always for the sake of Allah.

You won’t find these benefits in other religions. They have deviated from the straight path of monotheism – Judaism and Christianity – and now follow practices that were never accepted during the time of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). We as Muslims are benefited in so many ways and take them for granted, that we don’t even have time to sit down and think about this and thank Allah (swt) for all that He has given us.

Insha’Allah I’ll be writing about the physical benefits of fasting during the month of Ramadan in a new post. So keep tuned for a new article on how not only your mind, but your body can benefit from this sacred and blessed month of Ramadan.

Allahu Akbar. May Allah safeguard us from Shaytaan, may Allah reward us and may Allah protect us and guide us from any evil. Ameen Rabb.

And Allah, our Lord, most Beneficent and most Merciful, knows best.

Chao.

Following the righteousness of Rasul Allah

4 Jun

~ Patience (Sabr) ~

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As-salaam alaikum. May this message find you in the best of health and emaan, and may Allah always protect you from the cleverness of Shaytaan and what is evil.

Despite the few posts I’ve been able to meticulously write on concerning my day to day issues as a revert to Islam, I find that there is one thing that we should never lose focus on.

Patience is one of the most important things we must have as Muslims or as non-Muslims on the path to Islam. Not only is it Sunnah to be patient in our everyday tasks, but also because it gives us such a peaceful and enjoyable quality that openly invites others to Islam through our own attitudes.

Even though this blog is focused on Islam and topics concerning Islamic issues, I think that everyone must learn to be patient, humble and peaceful in everything they do. Taking religion away for a minute, it’s highly important because this peaceful attitude towards life will help you understand, well, everything in life.

When you are bitter, stressed out, or hasty, you start to spread this negative attitude towards others.

On the contrary, when you are of a peaceful manner to everyone around you, your joy and happiness will spread and people will want to enjoy your company.

For me personally, one of the best ways to tell people about Islam is not by my words, but through my actions. I never tell someone not to do something, or frown upon an action and make that person feel bad.

Instead, we must learn to take the good out of our religion, and share this with others.

For instance, I like to pray in my room, with my door closed, as to not make my family members uncomfortable seeing me pray. However, I comment on my prayers occasionally to my mother, and recently we were having breakfast together and she asked me how I prayed. Alhamdulillah, I made her curious about Islam yet I’ve never forced Islam on her or anyone!

When you do something good, and your friends or family members compliment you or praise you on it, always tell them why you did that action.

For example, if you are like me and happen to be an addict to cleanliness, and you clean the entire house one day, when your spouse or mother or anyone else in your household compliments you, let them know that cleanliness and purity is of great importance to a Muslim.

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Spreading the message of Islam (submission to the will of Allah) is not done through war, violence, and terrorism like the media has portrayed Muslims to be. These acts are strictly forbidden in Islam.

If you want to know exactly how to spread the message of Islam, look into the actions and words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salaam: peace be upon him).

I love reading up on the Prophet’s biography, as it gives me a very peaceful feeling afterwards. When you read a book on the Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salaam), read a hadith, or see a video, you will realize just how wonderful Allah (subhana wa ta’aala: glorified and exalted is He) is and that Islam will touch the heart of those people whom Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) wishes.

“…and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an, 14:4)

Remember to act accordingly to the Sunnah (prophetic way). When you study your religion, you will realize just how truly beautiful it is, and how wonderful the Prophet (salalahu alayhi wa salaam) was in reference to how he spread Islam.

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Don’t feel frustrated if you have failed to act patiently beforehand. Instead, ask Allah to forgive your sins and act righteously as the Prophet did during his time. Allah is indeed with those that perform good actions.

“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” (Qur’an, 29:69)

I ask Allah to bless you, to guide you aright, and to help you in your calamities. Allah is the best of planners, and Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) knows exactly why you are in a certain circumstance, and He will guide you through it if you just put your trust in Him.

Whether it be at work, at home, at university or anywhere you might find yourself, take a few seconds to remember Allah, and to thank Him for the countless blessings He has given us, without us realizing it sometimes.

Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.“
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Abu Said Al Khudri
in Sahih Bukhari, vol 2 hadith 548.

I invite you to bookmark this page on your browser to read the beautiful qualities and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salaam) and insha’Allah to implement his teachings in our lives.

Positive Quotes from the Prophet Muhammad 

“Make things easier, do not make things more difficult, spread the glad tidings, do not hate.” [Bukhari, Al-Ilm (Knowledge); 12]

And Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful, knows best.

Chao. 🙂

Quick “Ideas” Update

14 May

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As-salaam alaikum everyone! I know it’s been forever since I haven’t posted anything new here.

I do hope you’re all doing well, and that Allah (subhana wa’tala) has granted you guidance, health, wisdom and all the countless blessings He gives us each and every day.

So you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to lately. Do know that I will continue to have new ideas for this blog, and make it much more than just a “diary” type of blog.

I created this blog with the intention of sharing my ideas to the world, to discuss certain topics related to Islam, and of course to spread knowledge insha’Allah.

So I have some series I want to start posting up for my followers to read and obtain a bit of knowledge, may Allah will this.

Ideas. 

The first idea that came to mind was to create a section of this blog dedicated to my revert story to Islam. I’m always curious how new Muslims have come to the religion, or how Muslims that have been raised as Muslims “re-discover” their Muslim identity. So I’ve decided to work on that. I’ll divide the whole story into chapters that insha’Allah I’ll post up weekly so you know exactly what got me into the religion of Islam.

Also, have you ever gotten stuck on a question a non-Muslim might ask you?

It sometimes happens to me, like I don’t know exactly how to answer it correctly – like when you’re asked, Why do women have to cover? or Why do you have to pray in Arabic? – or other times, I just wish I could quote directly from the Qur’an and know I’m not making up my answer.

So given this, I want to start up another sections called ‘The Selected Questions’ Series or SQ Series, to help give short, and to-the-point answers to Muslims when we get these simple, yet serious questions from non-Muslims.

And finally, I’ve really, really wanted to start reading the in depth analysis books called “In the Shade of the Qur’an.” It’s an entire volume series dedicated to the analysis of the Surah’s in the Qur’an.

My hands are twitching just thinking how delightful this may be; to obtain this amount of knowledge.

However, I know most people don’t get all anxious to start reading a 19 volume book series on the Qur’an.

So I’ve decided to create reviews on the books, that really summarize the Surah’s and what I found most interesting. This way, I’ll be able to give you a small, yet meaningful amount of knowledge, as well as broaden my Islamic studies.

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Some great sites to check out!

To wrap things up, I’d like to leave you with some links to great Islamic websites I’ve found these days and that have given me much to read on, and study.

After I reverted to Islam, I’ve started online Islamic courses on the website Islamic Online University. 

The diploma course is completely free, so you can enroll whenever you want. However, please take the courses seriously, since this is a university and will require some of your time.

The good thing about it is that you can study whenever you want, and finish the diploma as fast or as slow as you’d like. Click on the underlined link to check their website out and start your Islamic Studies today, insha’Allah.

Also I found this website that gives free Live courses every day, from Monday to Friday on a variety of Islamic topics that change constantly. The website is Sisters of Sunnah and the imams are well known, such as the creator of Islamic Learning Materials is on there, Muttaqi Ismail, and he gives lectures on Wednesdays if I’m not mistaken.

To join the live sessions at SOS (Sisters of Sunnah) and see the daily schedules, just scroll down and hit Join live, enter your name and that’s it!

So go check those two websites out insha’Allah.

So that’s all for tonight.

I hope you continue to look around my blog and comment if you desire.

I would like to know what else I could write on my blog about and get some inspiration from you, insha’Allah.

Thanks for the support, and please follow me on Twitter if you’d like: @TheTicaMuslimah.

May Allah bless you.

Chao!

Who am I?

16 Apr

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

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This is a picture from where I live in Costa Rica. Mash’Allah, such a beautiful scenery.
———-

As-salaam alaikum (May the peace and blessing of Allah be on you)

I’ve gotten some hateful comments on my blog this week, which I clearly won’t allow these hatred-filled emotions to be published on my blog.

Why, you may ask? This is a blog that I created because I love Allah and for the sake of Allah only. I will not accept hate of any sort be expressed on my blog, whether it be to Islam, or any other religion.

I was told to “leave Costa Rica now” since “we don’t want you here on our country.”

I literally Laughed Out Loud.

I am, in fact, Costa Rican. I was born in Costa Rica, raised by Costa Ricans and my entire family and descendants are in fact from Costa Rica.

My parents decided to live in the United States for several years, where I learned English, the northern American lifestyle and I learned to cherish and appreciate the country.

However, my family was always very strong in teaching me as much as they could about my roots. They taught me Spanish and my Latin culture, about Costa Rica and many more.

So for all those that think I’m not from Costa Rica, and that I should leave as I happen to be a “terrorist” (this is laughable, I must admit) then I have nothing to say to you and your ignorant words.

However, most of my followers probably think I’m a foreigner living in Costa Rica since the majority of my articles are in English.

Well, to clear things out, I am Costa Rican. And a Muslim. Subhanallah (All Glory be to Allah).

It might be rather strange for viewers to imagine a Latin Muslim; which is the purpose for which I created my blog 🙂 It’s just like those that don’t understand how a north American can become Muslim, living in the US.

Islam is not a religion of hatred, or of racism, or of oppression or all these other things mentioned on the news. Get your facts straightened up.

Islam has been sent for ALL of mankind.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Every other Prophet was sent only to his people, whereas I have been sent to all mankind.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

Oh, and for the “terrorist” point of you, please read this:

There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. (2:256 Noble Qur’an)

Different from Christianity, since according to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus (peace be upon him) said:

But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me. (19:27 Bible)

 Luke 19 was actually one of many Biblical statements that powered the killings of the Crusaders and other “Holy” wars, where Christians would slaughter those that did not accept their religion. Islam has never been a religion forced upon people. War was used only when the Muslims were being attacked and had to defend, not force upon others.

I strongly suggest you consult the imams as to these topics, as I am not a scholar and it’s preferable for this to be discussed with someone of better knowledge than I or any non-scholar for that matter.

Please, I ask you, Muslims and non-Muslims, know the religion of Islam. Know so that you won’t fall in this state of ignorance of which you WILL repent one day, when you’re in front of your Creator on the Day of Judgement pleading for forgiveness because of your actions.

Islam is a religion of God – Allahu Akbar! Muslims are not hated here in my lovely country of Costa Rica. And I will not leave my home country anytime soon to “please” those that “hate” Islam, because I haven’t happened to come across any, alhamdulillah. 🙂

Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. (2:6) Noble Qur’an

And Allah (swt) knows best.

Chao. Que Dios te bendiga a todos (which means, may God bless you in Spanish).

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Walking in the Light of the Quran – Mufti Menk

6 Apr

Beautiful lecture by Sheikh Mufti Menk this March 2, 2013 at Bradford University, England.

All praise be to Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

May Allah (subhana wa’tala) guide on the straight path, those whom believe in the unseen, perform regular prayer and give Zakat (because materialism has a lot of magnetism to unnecessary things).

Ameen.