Ibn Abbas narrated, Once I was in a state of itikaaf in the Prophet’s Mosque (Medina). A certain person came to me and sat down. I said to him, ‘O so and so, you look sad’. He said, ‘Yes of course, o fraternal brother of the Prophet. So-and-so has his due on me, and by the one who lies in eternal peace in the grave (i.e. Prophet Muhammad), I am not able to pay the debt’ I said, ‘Should I not talk to him about your debt?’ He said, ‘You can do so if you like’ There upon I put my shoes on and went out of the mosque. The person asked him, ‘Have you forgotten the state you were in (i.e. itikaaf)?’ I replied, ‘Not at all, but I have heard rom the one who lies in eternal peace in the grave [saying this his eyes became filled with tears], said:
“One who moves to fulfill any need of his brother, and makes effort for it, will find it better than itikaaf of ten years; and one who performs itikaaf for one day for the pleasure of Allah, he will create a distance of three ditches between him and the hell – and each ditch has a width which lies between East and West, or between the heaven and earth.”
Source: Al Targhib Vol II p 272.
By the blessings of Allah, we are approaching another Ramadan. For most of us, we feel a little taste of hunger during this month only. But there are billions for whom it is a matter of daily life. Let us get immense rewards by helping our needy brothers and sisters around the world during this month of generosity.
By Dan Ephron – NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Mar 30, 2009
Army specialist Terry Holdbrooks had been a guard at Guantanamo for about six months the night he had his life-altering conversation with detainee 590, a Moroccan also known as “the General.” This was early 2004, about halfway through Holdbrooks’s stint at Guantanamo with the 463rd Military Police Company. Until then, he’d spent most of his day shifts just doing his duty. He’d escort prisoners to interrogations or walk up and down the cellblock making sure they weren’t passing notes. But the midnight shifts were slow. “The only thing you really had to do was mop the center floor,” he says. So Holdbrooks began spending part of the night sitting cross-legged on the ground, talking to detainees through the metal mesh of their cell doors.
He developed a strong relationship with the General, whose real name is Ahmed Errachidi. Their late-night conversations led Holdbrooks to be more skeptical about the prison, he says, and made him think harder about his own life. Soon, Holdbrooks was ordering books on Arabic and Islam. During an evening talk with Errachidi in early 2004, the conversation turned to the shahada, the one-line statement of faith that marks the single requirement for converting to Islam (“There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet”). Holdbrooks pushed a pen and an index card through the mesh, and asked Errachidi to write out the shahada in English and transliterated Arabic. He then uttered the words aloud and, there on the floor of Guantanamo’s Camp Delta, became a Muslim.
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”
The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.”
What he had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.”
Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?
Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
“It is He, Who has created for you (the sense of) hearing (ears), sight (eyes), and hearts (understanding). Little thanks you give.” [surah Al-Mu’minun; 78]
Say “Astaghfirullah” for your sins and mistakes
Make matters well between you and Allah, and Allah will make matters well between you and people.