King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz • الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz • الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز

I was sitting on the couch with Y when suddenly he said, “There are all of these things on Twitter saying that King Abdullah died, but I don’t know…”

“Do you think it’s true?” I asked.
“I’m not sure…” he replied.

We went on doing whatever it was that we were doing. I think we had the MBC movie channel on the TV and both of us were sort of mindlessly scrolling through social media dashboards on our phones. All of a sudden the channel changed to the live feed from Makkah. Not just one of the channels, but all of them.

I could tell by the look on Y’s face that this had more significant meaning than a strange technical glitch. A few moments later the channel quickly changed to a news broadcast. The man on the screen announced the death of the King.

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Y looked at me with such sorrow in his eyes and said, “King Abdullah is one reason that I met you”.

إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون
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الحمد لله‎


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A Beautiful Surprise

One of my students went to Makkah to do Umrah and when she returned I came to my office to find a surprise waiting for me on my desk.

She left a little gold bag. There was a little note she had written on the back of a small picture of the Kaaba. Inside the bag was a Quran with a pink cover. I didn’t notice under later that she had my name pressed into the back cover. It is such a special gift and something that I will really cherish.

الحمد لله‎

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Happy Eid عيد سعيد

Happy Eid
عيد سعيد

Wishing you all a blessed Eid
كل عام وانتم بخير

May God accept all of our fasting and prayers.
تقبل الله منا ومنكم

Thanks be to God الحمد لله‎ for this past month of Ramadan
and God willing ان شاء الله it is not our last.

What is Eid Al-Fitr عيد الفطر ?
It is the celebration marking the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan).
Everyone wears new clothes, enjoys delicious food and thanks God for all of His blessings.

There is an obligatory act of charity, prayer, time is spent with family and small gifts of money or candy are given to children.
It is a beautiful time to reflect on the lessons and realizations of the past month.

الحمد لله‎


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Jesus عيسى – Part 1

Please read with an open mind and an open heart.
ان شاء الله

Jesus عيسى 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)
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No Muslim is a Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus Christ.
The Muslim, in compliance with the Quran believes that Jesus was a great messenger of God, that brought the dead to life by God’s will, that he healed those born blind and the lepers by God’s will, that he was born without any male intervention and that he was the Christ.

لا اله الا الله

Biblical evidence of Jesus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) being a Servant of God and having no share in divinity.
“Children of God”
Jesus never called himself Son of God, but he used to call himself the “Son of Man.” [Mark 2:10]
Although he heard himself being called that name he did not object and did not condor the title exclusively for him.
According to the Biblical term in the Old and New Testaments, every God-fearing righteous person is called “Son of God”.
[In Matthew 5:9 we read]
“Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
[In Matthew 5:45]
“That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven…”
[Matthew 23:8]
“And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven.”
From this you will note that fatherhood and sonship is meant to be the relationship between the Lord and His servants: It is meant in general sense and not specifically for Jesus.

Jesus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) : Preacher of Monotheism
[In John 17:3]
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.”
[In Mark 12:28:30]
“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ And Jesus answered him: ‘The first of all the commandments is; hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is One Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord, they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.'”
[In Mark 12:32]
“And the scribe said unto him, ‘Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God, and there is none other but He.”
[In Mark 12:34]
“…he (Jesus) said unto him, ‘Thou are not far from the kingdom of God…”
In these verses, Jesus himself had testified that Allah is the One God, there is none other than Him, and whoever believes in his Oneness, he is near the Kingdom of God. Therefore whoever associates partners with God or believes in the trinity is far away from the Kingdom of God.
[In Matthew 24:36]
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of the heaven, but my father only.”
A similar text is proclaimed in the Quran stating that none knows when the hour will come except God. This establishes the fact that Jesus was subservient to God and that he had no share in Divnity: that he was an inaction of God, was an innovation by people.
Prophet Jesus never claimed divinity.
He taught the Oneness of God and confirmed that he was just a messenger.
[In John 20:17]
Jesus said, “…I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
[In John 5:30]
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

After the ascension of Prophet Jesus most of the Christians remind Unitarian. They used to believe in the oneness of God and the teachers of Prophet Jesus and all of the other Prophets. They did not believe in the doctrines of Trinity, Original Sin, Blood Atonement or Divine Sonship of Jesus. After centuries of Persecution against the unitarian Christians, the Pauline church prevailed and the teachers of Paul replaced the teaching of Jesus.

I hope that you found this brief post informative and a helpful introduction in understanding the difference in views of Prophet Jesus in Islam and Christianity.

To be continued…
ان شاء الله

الحمد لله‎


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Ramadan Kareem – رمضان كريم

Abu Huraira (may God be pleased with him) Reported: God’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

 . عن ابي هريرة رضي الله عنه ان رسول الله صل الله عليه وسلم قال : اذا جاء رمضان فتحت ابواب الجنة ، وغلقت ابواب النار ، وصفدت الشياطين
(رواه مسلم)

رمضان كريم 
Ramadan Kareem

As we enter Ramadan I would like to wish you all a blessed and successful month.
May God accept all of your prayers, fasting, and good deeds.
May God give you peace, happiness and prosperity.
May God protect you and guide you.

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Ramadan Mubarak
Congratulations for the holy month of Ramadan
May God be upon you in protection and in faith.
and May God accept from us our deeds.
Every year may you become closer to God.

الحمد لله‎


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Ramadan رمضان

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ramadan رمضان

Abu Hurairah, (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)(x)

The holy month of Ramadan is almost here!
اللهم سلمنا لرمضان وسلم رمضان لنا وتسلمه منا متقبلا
Oh Allah, safeguard us for Ramadan, safeguard Ramadan for us and accept it from us.

The Islamic calendar is a type of lunar calendar with 12 months in 1 year.Each month is measured by the amount of time it takes for the moon to go through its phases: new moon, half moon, full moon, and back to its initial phase. A new month begins with the sighting of the crescent moon.

Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. It lasts 29 to 30 days and ends with the beginning of a new lunar cycle. The reason that Ramadan is considered the most important month in the Islamic calendar is because it is the month that the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad. During Ramadan, muslims fulfill one of the 5 requirements of Islam: fasting.
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Fasting begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. It includes abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex. Time during the fast is spent in prayer, reading or reciting the Quran, remembrance of God and solidarity through charitable deeds. Not to mention living  normal everyday life like going to work or taking care of family. Aspects of fasting -Sincere love for God. -Hope to please God and seek His Grace. -Devotion, dedication and closeness to God. -A sound conscience: being faithful to the fast in public and in private. -Patience and selflessness: feeling the pain of deprivation, but enduring. -Moderation, willpower and discipline. -Adaptability: being able to change the entire course of daily life. -Social belonging, unity and equality before God.
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Suhoor is the meal before the first prayer  of the day when fasting begins. Iftar is the meal just after the fourth prayer of the day when fasting ends. Before the prayer it is common to break the fast by eating dates.
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“Throughout it all, we maintain an ambiance of joy and gratitude for all that God has blessed us withand reflect on those in this world who have been given much less.”  (x)

الحمد لله‎


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Patience

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

[Patience in The Quran]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
Al Quran 2:153

[Patience in The Sunnah]
Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri:
 Some Ansari persons asked for (something) from Allah’s Apostle and he gave them. They again asked him for (something) and he again gave them. And then they asked him and he gave them again till all that was with him finished. And then he said “If I had anything, I would not keep it away from you. (Remember,) whoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 24 Hadith 548

[Beautiful Words about Patience]
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
(Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist)

“Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”
Joyce Meyer

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
Aristotle

الحمد لله


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Riyadh Gallery – الرياض جاليري

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Continued…

Friday morning we woke up and ordered coffee, tea, dates and a couple cheese sandwiches from the shop below the hotel. We enjoyed the food, talked and watched tv.

Friday (Jumu’ah) in Islam is like Sunday in Christianity. There is a special prayer in congregation on Friday at the noon prayer. The athan will sound as usual, but there will be a sermon (khutbah) before the prayer.

“Oh you who have believed, when the athan (call to prayer) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah (God) and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew. And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah (God), and remember Allah (God) often that you may succeed”.
~Quran, Surat Al-Jumu’ah (The Congregation, Friday), 62:9-10

The prayer on Friday is half of what the noon prayer is on all the other days of the week, a beautiful gift from God.

After the Friday prayer we packed up our things and left the hotel.
We started driving around trying to decide what shops to stop at or what mall to visit. Most of the shops were still closed because of it being Friday. It is similar to how everything closes early on Sunday in the USA, except the shops here in KSA open later instead.

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Eventually we decided to go to Riyadh Gallery – الرياض جاليري .
It is a three story mall with a beautiful, almost park like design in the middle of the ground floor. There are all kinds of shops, a supermarket and tons of restaurants.

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I really enjoyed walking around the mall with Y, Mom and H. We went in and out of various shops, sat to relax while the stores were closed for the afternoon prayer and eventually made our way back out to the car.

It wasn’t my first time at the mall and even at this mall in particular, but the experience was different because of who I was with. I’m not sure how to explain, but just having them around me there made it a much more beautiful experience.

Y’s mom would come to me with a skirt or a shirt that she thought I would like and there is something about that action that makes whatever item more important or more valuable. It is the same feeling that I get when I receive a gift from someone I love, no matter how small. These are things to cherish.

Grocery shopping with Y reminded me of home. It was comforting to have him by my side, pushing the shopping cart and making suggestions of things I might need. It might seem silly, but these are small moments that bring warmth to my heart while he’s away.

To be continued…

الحمدلله


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5 times a day

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

5 times a day, every single day,  you will hear the athan أَذَان‎ or call to prayer from nearly every direction.
Muslims perform obligatory prayers 5 times each day.

For example, today’s prayer times were:
فجر Fajr:  5:11 AM
ظهر Dhuhr: 12:08 PM
عصرAsr: 3:21 PM
مغرب Maghrib: 5:45 PM
عشاء Isha: 7:15 PM

At each of these times you will hear the following words echoing beautifully from each mosque.

الله أكبر,الله أكبر
God is greatest, God is greatest (x2)
أشهد أن لا اله إلا الله
I bear witness that there is no deity but God. (x2)
أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. (x2)
حي على الصلاة
Hasten to worship (x2)
حي على الفلاح
Hasten to success (x2)
الله أكبر
God is greatest (x2)
لا إله إلا الله
There is no deity but God.
(At the morning prayer you will hear an extra line that says prayer is better than sleep)
If you have never heard the Islamic call to prayer take a minute to listen:

The athan is not only a call prayer, but also a beautiful reminder of God.
I love hearing the athan here.
It is a blessing.

الحمدلله


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