Alhamdulillah, we are all alive and have been given the blessing of another Ramadan. I just wanted to wish you all a blessed and fruitful Ramadan. I hope that we as an Ummah can come back to Islam and use this Ramadan as a time to re-energize ourselves spiritually, get closer to Allah and really affect change within us. Br. Mokhtar was telling us each day in Ramadan should be better than the day before, we should fast with focus, turn to Allah in Salah and dua and instead of celebrating food, we celebrate something that is beyond the physical.

This past weekend some of us traveled to Maryland for the MYNA conference. There, brother Muhammad Al-Shareef told us a story of some youth in the Middle East who were in a car accident. When people came upon the scene of the accident all they heard was the blasting of the radio music with some song playing. They went to the youth and found that one of them was in very bad condition about to die. They started repeating the Shahada to him asking him to repeat “Ashadu anna laa ilaha il Allah…” but all he kept repeating was the lyrics to the song. Subhanallah, at the moment of his death when it was most important to say the shahadah so he could go to Jennah he wasn’t able to.

He also told us of a second story of a boy, a teenager too, who’s car broke down. He went to the trunk to take something out when another car came careening down the hill and slammed into the back of the first car. The policeman and others who came knew that he probably would not make it. On the way to the hospital they noticed that the boy kept mumbling something over and over. And then when they leaned down they realized that he was reciting Quran and before they could even encourage him to say the shahadah he said it on his own, “Ashadu anna laa ilaha il Allah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasoolillah.

On our way back from the MYNA conference we were tied up in traffic for hours and figured it must have been because of all the Thanksgiving Day travel. Then as we were driving for a while we noticed that the entire other side of the highway was completely empty. Our side was packed bumper to bumper with hundreds of cars but the other side across the wide ditch was totally deserted. We continued driving; it was high up in the mountains with a lot of fog and difficult to see. Then we noticed ahead of us sirens, flashing lights, fire trucks, ambulances and cars. There were cars in the ditch between the two highways, on top of each other, there were cars that were totaled, and others were dented or completely messed up. There were people everywhere, near the cars, walking away, police and officials everywhere. It was like a scene of disaster area. There were trucks that had crashed into each other, one tractor trailer half gone with all it’s fish produce spread across the highway. Another pickup lay in the ditch at an angle with the door open. A dog remained alone inside barking.

In all, it was a 75-car accident; the destruction continued for at least a mile. 30 people, they said, had been taken to the hospital. At the end of the last crashed cars, a police barrier was put up and the highway for miles and miles just contained parked cars, with hundreds of people out of their cars walking, talking to each other, trying to figure out why they weren’t moving for the last hour.

If those stories don’t scare you I don’t know what will. Despite what that first boy thought he wasn’t able to lie when his end came, his own lips bore witness to his life. The same for the second story. Also for us, despite what we might have thought, that accident could just as easily have been on our side. Death can come to any of us at any time. We should take examples like these as signs and make sure that when our end comes we don’t regret anything and haven’t lived a life of heedlessness. For we won’t be able to lie to anyone or even ourselves, our body parts and our deeds will speak for us.

On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions. On that Day Allah will pay them back (all) their just dues, and they will realize that Allah is the (very) Truth, that makes all things manifest. [Quran 24:24-25]

We know during Ramadan there is great reward for any good deed, for reading Quran, fasting, standing in prayer, feeding others. The Prophet (s) said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

This is a promise from Allah. I wonder that our actions sometimes seem to doubt this. “…So I said: Rasululah, I wish you had led us in superogatory prayers during the whole of tonight. He (s) said: When one prays with an imam till he goes he is reckoned as having spent a whole night in prayer.” [Bukhari]

“A blessed month has arrived. Observing it in fasting is mandated on you (the believers). During this month, the gates of Paradise will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed. The evil ones (Shayateen) will be handcuffed. In it there is one night, during which worship is better than worship in a thousand months. Whoever is denied its blessings has been denied the biggest blessing.” [Ahmed, Nasaae, and Bayhaqi]

Ramadan Mubarak :)

May Allah accept from you and from us our deeds this Ramadan In sha Allah. Please mention me in your duas. I really need them.

By Sr. Huma