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Some Ways to Get Sins Forgiven

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Some Ways to Get Sins Forgiven

and to Erase the Aftereffects and Consequences of Bad Deeds

 

Did you know that the sound of a believer asking God’s forgiveness is very beloved to God?

 

The first way a believer can avoid punishment for committed sins and negate their negative consequences, is to sincerely ask God for forgiveness. Truthfully acknowledge the wrong that you have done, take ownership of it, have remorse and regret for it, and ask God to forgive you for having done it. Try your best to not return to that sin again by having the resolve not to relapse. Someone who has this habit is like a person who has never sinned.

 

God will either erase and/or conceal the sin when the believer asks God to pardon it. Out of His mercy, He loves to pardon those who request clemency.

 

When you perform good deeds, it eliminates the bad consequences for sins. The Messenger of God told us “Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out.” So, for example, if you’ve said a bad word or cursed, repent, and say something good instead to wipe your slate clean.

 

Someone pious can pray for you and supplicate to God to forgive you. This can come into play when you request someone righteous to pray for you, but will happen more naturally if that person knows you well and keeps you in their prayers. That is why it is great to know good people who will pray for us especially in our absence. Their prayers to God may be a way for our sins to be forgiven, whether we are alive, or even after we have passed away.

 

The challenges of life can also be a means to expiate sins. God tests us through all the different aspects of our lives, to see if we are grateful. Tests remind us of the purpose of our existence which is to know God and to love Him through dedication and service. If these tests are passed through perseverance and forbearance any consequence of sins is avoided. This is not limited to the tests of life but continues after death.


Everyone is tested in their graves. The tests and trials of the grave and on the Day of Judgement are also ways that God can alleviate punishment for the believer. Sins are washed away by the difficulties of the grave, and the sweating, discomfort and waiting of Judgement Day.


That being said, God has no prerequisites to mercy. If God decides to have mercy on you, then He will, and that will be sufficient to keep the punishment for your sins far away from you.


God never tires of forgiving and pardoning our sins. It may occur to a person that it would be better not to sin at all! Consider this quote from the Messenger of God on the matter:


“If you people did not fall into sin, God would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek God’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.”


Let us always remember that God is forgiving and merciful and He loves it when His servants turn to Him in repentance.

Best Answer to non-Muslim Family about World Events

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Best Answer to non-Muslim Family about World Events

 

One of the first things I did when I accepted Islam was to continue a family tradition of sending a newsletter to my family (yes, snail mail).  It was to inform my family members that I had accepted Islam. It was also an invitation to have them contact me when they had questions about Muslims or Islam, instead of going to news media or others who were not Muslim for answers.

 

This may have been ok in my situation (may not be wise for others to do) but it also opened the door for some of my family and their friends to forward me any number of weird news stories about crazy stuff happening around the globe.

 

Even the most intelligent and well-informed political analyst will get it wrong sometimes when discussing world politics. So it’s best not to go there at all. All you are responsible for is to be the best Muslim that you can be, to learn and practice as much as you can.

 

But sometimes those questions come, anyhow.

 

One of the main reasons that my mind was convinced about Islam, is because a tragic event occurred, and I got no satisfying answers from anyone, of any faith, until I asked a Muslim.  Without hesitation, she replied that God knows the reality of what and why things happen. Everything that occurs is according to His plan. Humans show arrogance when they assume that they know best or they have figured things out.

 

God is Perfect and flawless and His plan is what happens. This is such a comforting idea and gives us great relief. It reminds me of visiting a valley surrounded by mountains.

Dad Tests: Lessons on Dealing with Dad from the Story of Abraham

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Dad Tests: Lessons on dealing with Dad from the Story of Abraham

If we conjure the image of someone who is diametrically and entirely opposite of a Muslim, who can you think of? It’s a pretty grim picture and something that many Muslims may not think of often.

How about if that person was in your family? How about if he was your own father?

Abraham was a Muslim and a great messenger of God but his father was such a man. Not only did he reject the exclusive right of God for worship and associated partners in worship with him, he was actually the idol-maker for his people. He rejected the worship of God alone, and knew first-hand (pun intended) that the idols of clay and wood were man-made.

So how do you think Abraham, who was the closest of men to God, dealt with a man who was so far away?

Was he harsh due to his father’s rejection of his message of worshiping the One True God?  Did he consider himself above praying for the guidance of such a man?

No. Not at all.

Check out the language and the attitude of Abraham (the the first of two men called the ‘Friend of God’ the second being Muhammad), used when addressing his father on religious issues:

 

“Father, why do you worship something that can neither hear nor see nor benefit you in any way?

Father, knowledge of the Divine that has not reached you has come to me, so follow me: I will guide you to an even path.

Father, do not worship Satan (by obeying him) – Satan has rebelled against God the Gracious.

Father, I fear that a punishment from God the Gracious may afflict you and that you become Satan’s supporter and companion in Hell.” 19:42-45

 

Abraham used delicate and kind language with his father, the idol-maker!

Can you imagine anyone rejecting such a kind and well-mannered invitation?

Well, he did and his reply was:

“Abraham, do you reject my gods? If you do not stop this, I will stone you. Keep away from me for a long time!” 19:46

Abraham did not become rude even at this point. His reply was just as kind as his invitation:

“I pray for your protection from evil and your well-being and will beg my Lord to forgive you – He is always gracious to me – but for now I will leave you and the idols you all pray to and worship, and I will pray and worship my Lord and trust that my prayers will not be in vain.” 19:47-48

 

What an excellent conversation on the part of Abraham. The Father of Prophets (a name given to Abraham because many of God’s prophets were from his progeny) was so nice to his dad, even when he kicked him out.

12 Rights Due to Our Parents

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12 Rights Due to Our Parents

We all come into the world the same way: through our parents. This list will help new Muslims make sure they are giving their parents their rights.

    1. Dutifulness: Do things for your parents. Make sure that you are in their service to the best of your ability.  This includes physically helping them out at home, running errands for them, and calling them frequently to check up on their welfare.

    2. Obedience: Islamically, the age of 18 does not give a person the right to ignore the wishes of their parents.  We should obey our parents in everything they tell us to do, except those things that go against the commands of God. Obedience to God is supreme.

    3. Speak to them politely and gently: Imagine how you would speak to a famous world leader. Now speak to your parents in a better way.  Our parents cared for us when we were difficult to deal with, so if we experience some difficulty in caring for them, we should remind ourselves of this fact. Politeness and gentleness should flow through our speech to our parents.

    4. Humility: No matter how old or helpless our parents become, we must be humble when dealing with them.  We must always remember, as is mentioned in the Quran several times, the hardship that came with their care for us.  They gave up a lot of comfort, were humble and generous so we could survive.

    5. Pray for them: Pray to God for their health, their livelihood, and for their guidance in this life as often as you remember.

    6. Don’t curse or disrespect others’ parents: This may cause others to curse or disrespect your parents. Every parent deserves respect.

    7. Respect your parents’ their family, relatives and friends during their lifetime. Even after their death continue to show respect to whomever they kept in touch with and were close to. Keep in touch with and care for those special to your parents even after your parents pass away.

    8. Share good information: Anything beneficial you learn that can help your parents, you should share with them. This includes information about God and our relationship with Him. Offering this information in the kindest way as sincere counsel is a great good deed.

    9. Befriend your parents: Establish a closeness to them, which will increase your love and affection to them. Examples of this are to consult them and take from their life experience, and to give them gifts all the time.

    10. Be considerate of their culture and habits: There is probably a small fraction of the culture you came from that is opposed to Islam. Do not disrupt the habits and culture of your parents, and be considerate of their feelings.

    11. Changing the name your parents gave you is a huge insult to your parents. If you so choose, don’t use your new name around your parents.

    12. Invest in your parents: Try your best to bring joy to your parents’ hearts. Get to know them better to find out what is dear to them, and be creative in how you invest your time and energy in establishing a solid, caring relationship with them.

 

 

 

 

 

May God Almighty bless us with consideration and good manners in regards to our parents, the people through which God brought so much mercy and care, who cared for us and still do.

How the New Muslim can Celebrate Eid on Their Own

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How the New Muslim can Celebrate Eid on their Own

Sometimes you can be alone, in a room full of people.  New Muslims often feel like that, even if the room is full of other Muslims.  Sometimes it’s because the convert is the only Muslim in the room. This is a feeling new Muslims can have any time of year, but it can be especially challenging to feel this way on Eid Day as it is the day of celebration for Muslims.

A sister I met treats Eid like any other day. She doesn’t take off work, and behaves as though it is any other day. She attended the Eid congregation service, out of obligation, but felt out of place. She was single and not married with no family or loved ones among the Muslim community with whom to share the day.

I recommended that she at least go out for dinner, or treat herself out. This is, after all, a day we are commanded to eat and have fun!

New clothes for a new Muslim

It is encouraged to purchase and wear new clothing on Eid day for those who can afford it. This is a great time to get some new clothes. Even if you can’t get to an Eid congregation service, you will get a lift of spirits wearing something new.

Eid day without Eid Congregation

If you don’t live near a place that offers Eid congregation services for Muslims, or you just can’t go, you can still worship God on this day.  Remember God the best way you can during the day.  Thank Him for allowing you to reach the end of Ramadan, and beg him to accept what good you were able to do during the month. Renew your intention to keep up good habits formed during Ramadan.

Part of what Muslims do on their way to attend Eid congregation services is to make ‘Takbir’, which is a prayer for the glorification of God stating ‘God is greater than everything and anything’. Repeat this prayer as often as possible, beginning at sunset on the eve of Eid, all through the night until when Eid congregation service is usually offered, before noon. There are different forms of saying the prayer. The most complete form is “God is the Greatest! God is the Greatest! There is nothing worthy of worship except the One True God. God is the Greatest, God is the greatest, and for Him is all the praise.”

Treat yourself this Ramadan

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Treat yourself this Ramadan

Treats. Everyone likes them, not just children.  Treats are rewards for doing work, or for being active, which motivate the one awarded to keep going. So treat yourself this Ramadan.
Pick something that you really like to eat, a treat, whether sweet or savory, and purchase or make some.  When you break your fast, then you eat a little of it, to reward yourself for a good job done.  You can treat yourself for accomplishing any of your Ramadan goals, or for offering your prescribed ritual devotion on time.
Why not?  You’re a new Muslim. You need the motivation! The result will be that you look forward to the treat, and it makes the deed (fasting, reading Quran, praying) more enjoyable because you know the reward.
This basic human nature of appreciating a reward after hard work is the beautiful thing about Paradise as mentioned in the Quran.  God knows our nature and has promised us whatever we want in the Paradise, when we are working hard and doing good things in our lives.
As you prepare your treats, consider the treats and delights that could be in store for you in the next life. Here are some descriptions of Paradise as told by God in His Book:
“Here is a picture of the Garden promised to the pious: rivers of water forever pure, rivers of milk forever fresh, rivers of wine, a delight for those who drink, rivers of honey clarified and pure, [all] flow in it; there they will find fruit of every kind; and they will find forgiveness from their Lord…” (47:15)
“So God will save them from the woes of that Day, give them radiance and gladness, and reward them, for their steadfastness, with a Garden and silk [robes].  They will sit on couches, feeling neither scorching heat nor biting cold, with shady [branches] spread above them and clusters of fruit hanging close at hand.  They will be served with silver plates and gleaming silver goblets according to their fancy, and they will be given a drink  infused with ginger from a spring called Salsabil.” (76: 12-19)
No matter what kind of awesome treat you make or buy, you can’t beat that!
May God allow you to give yourself a treat and discover ways to motivate yourself through the rest of Ramadan.

Three Steps to Ramadan: How the Early Muslim Community Learned to Fast

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Three Steps to Ramadan: How the early Muslim community learned to fast

Muslims today wake up before dawn to prepare for the fast, they fast all day, and then they break fast at the setting of the sun. Did you know the rulings for fasting went through a few changes during the ministry of the Messenger of God? Read on to learn the gradual stages that fasting went through in the early days of Islam.

To fast, or not to fast? That was a question!

           When fasting was first introduced to the early Muslim community it was to fast a limited number of days, three days out of every month, and the day of Ashura. Read here about that special              day.

           “You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God. Fast for a specific number of days, but if one of you is ill, or on a               journey, then on other days later.” 2:183

           Two years after the migration from Mecca to Medina, fasting Ramadan was introduced but as part of the gradual process of legislation and teaching, there was an option to fast, or not to fast            rather to feed those in need instead.
          “For those who can fast only with extreme difficulty, there is a way to compensate – feed a needy person.  But if anyone does good of his own accord, it is better for him, and fasting is better               for you, if you only knew.” 2:184

         The final stage was to obligate fasting except for those who have valid excuses not to fast.

Big consequences for Missing the Breakfast Meal

If the Muslims did not break their fast at sunset, however, they could not eat until the following pre-dawn meal. One of the early Muslims came home on a day he was fasting, and fell asleep before breaking his fast. He also missed the next morning’s early meal, and then passed out in the middle of the next day.

Some of the Muslims admitted to the Messenger of God that they had relations with their wives in the nights of Ramadan.

When this story about the man passing out, and these admissions were made, God revealed, “It is permissible for you to lie with your wives during the night of the fast: they are as close as garments to you, as you are to them. God was aware that you were betraying yourselves, so He turned to you in mercy and pardoned you..” 2:187

The early Muslims were delighted that they were allowed to have intimacy during the nights of Ramadan and not have to fast until right before dawn.

The Fast we Know

After that, another verse was revealed which made fasting an obligation for everyone, and paused fasting all night until the pre-dawn meal.  God revealed, “..So any one of you who sees in that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship.  He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.” 2:185

Every person who was present when Ramadan came was to fast the month. Those who were sick or travelling at the time could make up for the days later, and the rule remained that the weak and the elderly could feed people instead of fast.

It’s enlightening to know about the gradual stages of the revelation of the Quran and the gradual rulings about different aspects of Islam.  God willing, this will motivate you for the rest of this blessed month.

Sickness and Fasting Ramadan

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Sickness and Fasting Ramadan

Many of us at NMA (New Muslims) are eager to fast and to show our dedication to God. Some of us are feeling guilty for not being able to fast due to our health condition. It is important for us to realize that God does not desire for us to put ourselves in harm’s way. Showing dedication to God is to obey Him, even if it means taking the legal concessions He has given us instead of doing a ritual devotion that we may desire.

I want to remind you that God knows your condition and does not hold you accountable for what you cannot do physically.

The general principle with acts of devotion is that they are based on one’s ability to perform them. This is taken from the text of the Quran and the prophetic teachings.

God says, “…..He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.” 22:78

“God does not charge a soul except with that within its capacity.” 2:286

“Keep your duty to God as best you can” 64:16

Islam is not meant to overburden you or cause you stress, neither are its regulations and commands. What is meant is peace of mind, heart and soul through devotion to Almighty God.

Sicknesses are of different types and degrees of severity. Some sicknesses affect the fast while others do not.

A sick person has one of these three scenarios

Does not get effected by fasting. Examples of this are having a minor cold, a light headache, toothache etc. This individual is obligated to fast.

Experiences difficulty by fasting but it does not risk definite personal bodily harm. Examples of this are flu (unless the person is very old); certain common infections like tonsillitis; migraine headaches or severe tension headaches, etc. This individual is recommended not to fast.

Experiences difficulty by fasting and it causes personal bodily harm. Examples of this are kidney failure, diabetes, cancer etc. This individual is forbidden to fast and will be sinful for doing so. Hence, a person with a chronic disease is obligated not to fast.

As for making up the missed days of fasting: If the sickness is temporary with the hope of recovery, the person should make up those days sometime in the near future after recovery. However, if you have a chronic condition where the sickness is permanent and there is no hope of recovery, the person atones for the missed days by feeding a poor person twice daily for the amount of days he/she has missed.

A sick person who has a chronic condition does not fast. Instead, you get the same reward of fasting by feeding a poor person for everyday you miss.

This is an example of how to do so utilizing one of the many Muslim charity organizations.

If you live in the USA, by paying $10/per day ($300 total) to a charity organization. They will handle the rest of giving the money to those eligible.

One such organization is Islamic Relief

Good News for You, the Sincere Convert to Islam

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Good news for You, the Sincere Convert to Islam

Fasting takes practice. And a lot of energy. And self-control. Sometimes you can actually hear the argument that your stomach gives you when you fast!

God knows how hard it is for you to do what you do for His sake.  He knows your intention, and He will reward you greatly.

Converts to Islam don’t have nostalgia or family culture to comfort them during Ramadan.  They perform the prescribed ritual devotions, fast, read the Quran and offer prayers that are foreign to their own cultural customs and traditions.  They believe wholeheartedly in a Messenger that they have never even seen.

Did you know that the Messenger of God mentioned such people over 1400 years ago?

The Messenger of God once was with his disciples and said, “I wish I could meet my brethren.”

The Messenger’s disciples said, “Are we not your brethren?”

The Messenger said, “You are my companions and disciples, but my brethren are those who believe in me although they have never seen me.”

May God bless us to be among those people that the Messenger of God mentioned so long ago!

In the Quran there is also good news for the sincere new Muslim:

“Those who believe in God and His Messengers are the truthful ones who will bear witness before their Lord: they will have their reward and their light…”(57:19)

So take heart, and welcome this great news from the Messenger of God and the Quran that you are on the right path, and your reward is certain if you are sincere.

May God bestow on us sincerity and purity of intention, and the capacity to do all the good we intend to do in this month, and always!