Sunday, 13 March 2016

First Dream

First Dream

Eyes slid shut
Encased in my own dream
I felt weightless
May be I was lost in space

My hand floated involuntarily in front of me
As if I had to learn again what they had once known.
I curled my legs
A topsy tervy question

And suddenly flip
Like the spin off a trampoline
Head over heels
Then heels over head
I didn't know which

I was bunny hopping
Without the luxury of friction
Not even noting my breath on my visor
Not even having a breath to notice

Then tug
The pull of the life cord
Woke me with a start

My webbed hands made a chance grab
My foot lashed out
"Boom, Boom"

"Go on son"

Reverberated around
I noticed shadows in the darkness
And I heard the chant of soothing prayer

That had set me off on my first adventure.
"Go to sleep my little darling..."
A cavern so dark
And a voice so sweet and loving

My head dozed
And i curled again on my amniotic bed.



Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Advice for the Hujjaj, and those intending Umrah

Advice for the Hujjaj, or those making Umrah.

The haram are places of small miracles, but don't let those go to your head, instead be humbled by them and let them help you to do good to your fellow Muslims by helping them in the small things- like carrying a stool for an elderly person.

And every trial that you face, face it as a trial of Sabr- with patience- and accept it with grace. Things will work out in the end.

And whilst entering Mecca do so with utmost humility both physical and spiritual. Lower your head, and slump your shoulders and enter the haram with a pilgrim's gait.

Remember how Muhammad (saw) entered Mecca as a conquering hero, with head bowed on his camel Qaswa.

The pilgrim's garb has a reason to it.
It is meant to be uncomfortable and to be a trial. So eschew all garb that is elasticised or has button glued on, though not stitched.

Likewise the pilgrims mental state should be one of being away from the World, and it is only one of the times that Islam asks of you this. The other time is at itikaaf.

The stark nature of this is complemented by it being recommended that before you adorn yourself with the pilgrim garb that you take full advantage of the World-
Cleanse yourself and then to perfume yourself exquisitely.

And so in accordance with this being away from the World, eschew everything from this World except the necessary. Refrain from taking pictures or even using your mobile phone for anything other than the necessary. And it is better for you if you leave it aside, and forget the World.

Islam is a social religion, but at this time keep yourself solely in the presence of Allah t'ala with his remembrance and the Talbiyya-
Labayk Allahuma Labayk.

When starting the ritual Tawaf of Umrah men are to uncover your right shoulder but only do so at that point. The first two- or three rounds (I cannot remember which, so please consult a book on this) are to be done as Raml for men. Imagine yourself as the first Muslims who made Tawaf whilst surrounded by Quraish who were distant but who looked on them - in accordance with the treaty of Huddabiyyah.

The Raml is a jog with bent arm movements that swing back and forth as if you are in an army and are displaying your strength to the onlooking Quraish.

If you are stationary then jog on the spot. Do not try to push past people even whilst in or out of Raml.
Raml is peculiar to Umrah, and once out of Ihram the other Tawafs do not include it.

Also at the start of the Tawaf or just before it say in dua the words that Ibrahim and Ismail (as) said whilst building it, in English they are
"O Allah accept this from us, and make it acceptable to you" (S. Bakarah).
This is not in Hadith, but I have found it beneficial as a prelude to the Tawaf.

In the Tawaf do not turn your body at any point towards the Kaba,
Always keeping your left shoulder towards it.

The Prophet (saw) taught us the dua that commences from the Yemeni corner that precedes the Black Stone, Rabbana Atayna ...
By this he clarified for us that the best time to make dua for yourself or any others is at the end of a process of worship.

So do not be ashamed to make dua for yourself and others at that point and even in the last round of the Kaba of your Tawaf.

As you pass the Black Stone, raise your right hand and point it to it, Palm towards it and say Bismillah Allahu Akbar. A green light marks the point of starting and the finishing of each round.

Set out a plan of what you will do in each round as a means of keeping track, for me

1- SubanAllahi WA Bihamdi- "words which are easy on the tongue but heavy on the scale", and then from the Yemeni corner I asked Allah to bless me with His Worship that I might enjoy it and be blessed with doing it abundantly.

2- start with SubhanAllah and then move on to Istighfar- and make dua for that forgiveness at the end

3- start with SubhanAllah, then Istighfar and then send salutations upon Muhammad (as).
And respond to Muhammad's (saw) question on the farewell pilgrimage, after all he was talking to us all there -
say "O Allah t'ala indeed I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) has fulfilled his trust that You burdened him with, and that we have believed in You because of him, so reward him in abundance. Ameen"
This is a like manner to what Saad bin Abi Waqqas (as) said.

4- for the 4th I added supplication for my parents

5th onwards I did other supplications

On the 6th round starting make your way to the outer edges of the Tawaf, so that on the 7th your dua for yourself and those you love can be prolonged.
Also walk slower in this last round that you might prolong your opportunity.

After the Tawaf it is customary to perform 2 cycles of Nafl Salaat near the Station of Ibrahim, this is mentioned in the Qur'an : "And take the station of Ibrahim as a place of worship."

For these it is often better to go past the station of Ibrahim before looking for a place to pray, as the space between the Black Stone, where the Tawaf ends, and the Station of Ibrahim is usually more crowded.

For this prayer do not prolong it nor any dua after it as many of your fellow brothers and sisters will likewise be waiting to complete their obligation.
But after it nothing should stop you from making further worship or supplications elsewhere in the haram.

After this to Safa and the Sai'. To once again remember the struggles and tribulations of the first Muslim family.

Then to the honour of those shaven heads relinquishing their manes of glory for HIS greater glory.

And the remembrance Hudabiyyah of how precious that shaven head is, and to the remembrance of Khalid (as) as he caught up with his army in Sham, as they beheld in wonder his shaven head.

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