Dua Part 3 Sa’at al istijabah (a time when du’a is answered) – Jumu’ah Reminder

I’ve not posted in ages as I’m pretty busy doing my dissertation and working. But I managed to get 15 minutes of relaxed time and thought to myself: “hey, why not post a Friday (Jumu’ah) reminder”. This reminder will be of one of the particular benefits of Friday – Sa’at al istijabah, that many Muslims don’t either know about or are too lazy to do (myself included).

So what is Sa’at al istijabah?

According to a Hadith narrated by Jabir (RA) the Prophet Sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Friday is comprised of twelve hours. There is one in which a Muslim who asks Allah for something will have it granted to him. Seek it in the last hour after `Asr.”

[Sunan Abî Dâwûd (1048), Sunan al-Nasâ’î (1389) and Mustadrak al-Hâkim(1032)]

This is known as Sa’at al istijabah (a time when du’a is answered)

“Note: It’s NOT ‘Salat’ (prayer), it’s Sa’at (time) of istijabah (response).”

[Sheikh Abu Abdissalam]

What time does it occur?

Simply put, the later part of ‘Asr or the final period before Maghrib. This is because the word ‘hour’ that has been mentioned in the hadeeth is a translation and it cannot be definitively the final hour before Maghrib. Thus it is best to make du’a after ‘Asr salah and definitely just before Maghrib. I myself try to make du’a 15 minutes before Maghrib to ascertain that period when du’a is being accepted.

And that is it folks, very simple, yet a forgotten Sunnah. Make sure you let others know too. And remember guys – Ask for Allah to grant you Jannatul Firdaws, enter you into paradise without any hisaab (judgement), grant you forgiveness, invite you to Hajj, grant you a blissful marriage/a companion that will be the coolness of your eyes, grant you success in this world and the akhirah (hereafter), grant you understanding, knowledge and so on.

Remember you are speaking to Allah The All-Mighty so don’t hold back and make du’a with yakeen (certainty – that your du’a will be accepted). To illustrate my point about Allah Jalla wa ‘ala’s Greatness, just contemplate over this statement (quote):

“Who stands in front of a king and asks for a penny?”

SubhanAllahi wa bihamdhi such an amazing statement, it puts everything into perspective.

Finally, I’ve linked a couple of videos at the end of this post to help those that wish to make more quality du’a 🙂

May Allah azza wa jal grant us all the ability to make Du’a regularly and for our Du’as to be effective and accepted. Ameen!

PEACE!

Updated on 20/05/2017

Blog Tour Award: On Creative Process

So I was nominated by this brother: https://akhymjanja.wordpress.com/ Check him out people he’s got some funny anecdotes 🙂 He nominated me last week on Monday and the challenge required me to post my answer on a specific Monday (today 06/04/15).

The rules are:

1. Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers.

2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.

3. Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.

4. Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nominator).

1. What I’m working on at the moment. At the moment I’m just writing up my dissertation and trying to post weekly on my blog – I say trying as I’m struggling with time due to University and work. Once I get more time y’all get more content inshaAllah!

2. How my work differs from others in my genre. There are similarities, but I mainly try to put beneficial information for those that wish to develop their: physical body, mental state and spiritual state. These three (body, mind and soul) are my pivotal point when posting. I guess it’s different as it encompasses all aspects of life (me being biased). 😉

3. Why I write and create what I do. Well, my sister would occasionally tell me that I talk a lot, I mean a lot! Thus she said I should do some writing – of course I didn’t take much notice of it. It was in January 1st 2015 – I wanted to start my own blog then. lo and behold here I am today, typing away :D. Albeit it seems somewhat cliche that I started my blog on new years day, it was actually a spontaneous.idea!

4. How my writing and creative process work. Sometimes I’ve hit a brick wall – What I mean is: I try my utmost best to put good content up for others to read so that they can benefit from it. I usually sit and contemplate and then a sudden thought passes through and the next thing you know, I’m typing away. Sometimes my post can be drawn from my day-to-day experiences. It would be a combination of both my day-to-day experiences and me working my brain cells till they cause a worthy “action potential” – that means the activation of a neuron, but a worthy one only. 🙂

Lastly I nominate the following:

https://islamconverts.wordpress.com/

https://beautifyourummah.wordpress.com/

http://seekingtobetter.com/

https://themuslimh.wordpress.com/

Y’all can put your blog tour post on 13th April

PEACE!

Dua (supplication) Part 2

This is “Dua Part 2” hence the title, so If you’ve not read part one and you wish to read it, then just follow this link: https://silvermind20.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/soul-nutrition-dua-supplication/

“Who stands in front of a King and asks for a penny?”

This was one of the most profound statements I have read regarding Allah Almighty’s ability to provide. It highlights how much our limited imagination constricts us! We ask Allah for many things but we don’t ask for GREATER results. I.e. Ya Rabb grant me a pious spouse. Many of us would be satisfied with this…but why do WE ask for so little when we know our lord is beyond comprehension.

Why not ask Allah Azza Wa Jal to grant you a righteous, pious, beautiful, Intelligent and a spouse that will draw you closer to him and for them to be the coolness of your eyes and so on. It’ll only take another 5 seconds.

Furthermore if you seriously want something, you should be making regular Dua and making sure you follow the etiquette of making Dua.

The etiquette for making Dua are:

1. Make Wudhu; have nice clothes on; face the qiblah and make sure you lift your hands up together. These first points are not a requirement but they definitely make Dua a LOT more effective.

2. Start by praising Allah in the beginning i.e. call him by his namess and recount the blessings in your life (past and present).

2. Then make Salawat on the Prophet (SAW). I.e. send salaam by just saying Allahumma Salli Wassallim ‘Ala Sayyidinna. There are a plethora of salawat’s.

3. Thereafter ask Allah for forgiveness and make sure you call him by his names whilst making Dua. So here examples would Ya Ghafoor (Oh forgiver), Ya Raheem (Oh the merciful, Ya Rahman (oh the MOST merciful ) and by the way “Rahman” is higher form of mercy.

If you’d like to understand further here’s a link of Surah Ar- Rahman Tafseer by Nouman Ali Khan

4. Now you can start with yourself. Go all out! Ask for Jannatul Firdaws, ease in the grave, no questioning on Yawm Al Qiyamah, and you can ask for ease in exams, work, health and so on. Again call him by his most beautiful names and the most applicable to your issue/predicament. If you’re in a financial problem then call him by saying Ya Razaq (Oh Provider) and then just proceed with your specific need.

5. After you’ve made Dua for yourself (30 minutes later haha) you should make Dua for your parents, then siblings, then extended family and then friends.

6. Lastly you should make Dua for the Ummah i.e Ya Rabb help the Muslims around the world, help our brother and sisters in Gaza, Syria, Burma, Bangladesh, Egypt, and so on.

And remember folks Dua is also a form of worship; make sure you ask frequently and make sure you call him by his names.

That’s all people…

PEACE!

Why You Should Add Sprints To Your Workouts

Whether you do strength training, bodybuilding or even just for fitness purposes you should definitely add sprints to your regime. Sprinting fits well with all of the above an It compliments all of them quite well.

So how does sprinting help a strength athlete?

A key aspect of lifting heavy weights is explosive power. Strength athletes can develop explosive power by doing sprints couple of times a week. Sprints help make the fast-switch muscle fibers stronger and larger thus enabling strength athletes to lift more weight!

Of course sprinting is not only limited to helping strength athletes, they can help bodybuilders and people that are trying to get fit. Just before I expand on this, I’ll just explain to y’all that not all bodybuilders are in shape in terms of fitness

A huge misconception people have is thinking that bodybuilders can lift heavy weights and do a lot of cardio. While that may be the case for some it is most certainly not all. I can attest to it 🙂 – I’ve been a victim of good size but only adequate strength and good shape but awful fitness. So as I was saying it can help bodybuilders develop a healthy cardiovascular system and others that wish to lose weight and get their fitness up quickly.

It worked for me, I remember last year when I started doing sprints. The first day I was panting like had ran for a mile or two when in actuality I had only ran for 13-15 seconds but at max speed. And it hit me how unfit I was but after a few days I realised how my body had already adjusted – my breathing became efficient, my lungs seemed to grasp more air, and my legs weren’t as tired. But yeah that was only after a few days, amazing isn’t it!

So sprinting has a plethora of benefits.

  • Increases cardiovascular system almost instantaneously
  • Lungs work efficiently: take in more air and they get stronger
  • Fast-twitch fibers in muscles are strengthened and they get bigger consequently granting more explosive power
  • It helps lose weight as sprinting is a form of high intensity cardio

That’s all folks…

PEACE!

How To Relieve Lower Back Injury/Pain

Just a bit ago I was talking to someone about their lower back injury. I realised that many a times people seem to focus (myself included) on what exercises to do to relieve the tension or to rest more and so on. But they never seem to get the right balance and acknowledge the fact that even minor lower back injuries can take 2-4 months for a full recovery.

A simple pull in the lower back caused by lifting something heavy can take few weeks to get better but sometimes if someone doesn’t recovery fully from their first injury it could cause a relapse but a 3 fold one in this instance. Thus being a more prolonged case now. I.e. although minor problem (no operation necessary) it is has a longer recovery period.

A 2-4 month period of stretches and light weight exercises would need to be carried out 3-4 times a week whilst taking anti-inflammatory medication or supplements or changing your diet (if you’re a natural remedy type of person) by incorporating regular anti-inflammatory types of food in your meals and so on.

We need to understand that the lower back requires multiple forms of treatment and one is not better than the other. Rather they complement each other i.e. taking anti-inflammatory medication whilst relaxing for the first week will help relieve the inflammation and calm it down excessively.

Thereafter if you continue taking the supplements and start your stretches (usually physiotherapists can help by telling you which exercises and stretches will help alleviate the pain) you’ll see that your mobility has increased extensively and the pain gradually diminishes.

I’d say the 5 things you should do is the following:

1. Rest but not for too long – it depends on the magnitude of the injury.

2. Take anti-inflammatory medication, supplements or foods.

3. Carry out stretches and light weight exercises.

4. You MUST acknowledge that it will take some time to recover (relapse is a no go zone, it’ll be worse the second time round) and let it recover fully- not when you think it’s MUCH better 😉 .

5. Lastly be patient, and make sure you see a physio and follow your physiotherapist’s instruction but ask them pertinent questions and make sure you find out exactly what is wrong or else you’ll just be a sheep.

Remember guys making regular dua (supplication) is a key element in recovery. May God Bless Y’all…

PEACE!

A Mother’s Leave…

I’ve been away from home but it’s never been the other way around…

My Mum left yesterday, she’s gone over to my sister’s for a few weeks. It didn’t hit me then how much I’d miss my beautiful mother. But afterwards I was in rue. I was saddened. I was down. I then proceeded with late breakfast and then got ready for work. After coming back from work the house was quiet – my lovely mother was not home. I can only be grateful to Allah Azza Wa Jall for not yet taking her away from me. I don’t know how I would cope without her presence. I can barely continue even though she’s only 180 miles away. I’ll have to continue with this agony for 3-4 weeks until she’s back InshaAllah.

I was naive to think I’d be fine…

It is in these moments you can see why one should have a connection with Allah Subahan Wa Ta’ala. When the believer prostrates to his lord, Allah is closer to him than his jugular vein. In a hadith the Prophet (SAW) said In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

The fact that humans can develop such compassion/love for one another from only 1 portion of Allah’s mercy it is just inconceivable how much mercy Allah has for his slaves. His mercy outweighs his wrath and it is only by his mercy  the believers enter paradise.

May Allah grant all those that have lost a close one ease and may Allah azza wa jal reunite them in jannatul firdaws. Ameen.

PEACE!

The Robust Human

Just before I begin, I searched Google to see if there was such a concept ever coined. And to my amazement there were non – this will be the beginning of ‘The Robust Human’ (maybe even a book – only GOD knows hey!). Then again my content can be vapid at times… *sigh*

Okay so what is a robust human?

A robust human by my definition would be:

  • A person that is versatile at carrying out physical tasks efficiently
  • Someone that excels in cognitive tasks
  • Has high levels of emotional intelligence
  • One that observes there spiritual well-being frequently
  • Lastly a person that is humble.

Most people can reach this summit. Albeit it won’t be easy. One should try to aim to be the best version of themselves. If you focus on developing your cognitive skills then you’ll see simple mental tasks become a toddle likewise working out the body will also create a strong sturdy body thus daily tasks will be carried out efficiently.

Though the above seem rather easy to develop, emotional intelligence is very peculiar skill to develop. Some people by default ‘are people smart’ others aren’t unfortunately. Consciously being aware of the people around you and listening to them MORE is a start and taking A STEP back from your surroundings will help you observe objectively the environment. I forgot to mention how fun it is too.

Think about the last time you were using public transport…you definitely observed the people around you. That’s observing right there however there’s a fine line between grasping an individuals demeanour by observing them and then merely just observing someone’s behaviour 😉

It’s futile observing and not deducing anything from the observation. Part of having high emotional intelligence would be to deduce people’s personality’s and their common behavioural patterns. Not for any negative purposes but to be able to get along with them better.

As for spiritual well-being it a need of the soul. The soul requires time and reflection. This will encourage the sensation of feeling satiated and content. One does not need the pleasures of this world to feel content. To re-connect with your organismic self i.e. the natural inclination to worshiping God and to make Dua (supplicate) to him alone will be the catalyst to great prosperity and peace.

Finally being humble will prevent you from becoming haughty and prideful. Always consider yourself to be incomplete and needing further improvements. And grant the other person that you ‘observed’ an excuse for their behaviour. It’s hard and somewhat contradictory to observe others and then granting them an excuse. Perhaps what I’m trying to illustrate here is to learn from other peoples mistakes. I’ll end with this quote (from the top of my head)

‘A fool learns from their own mistakes but a smart person learns from other peoples mistakes’

PEACE!

Should You Lose Weight First Or Start Building Muscle?

The one thing many people get wrong is whether they should build muscle first or lose weight. There are a lot of men that end up building muscle whilst having a body fat percentage (bf %) of 16<. They should really aim to lose weight first until they drop down to 8-10% body fat. This is because when you start lifting weights to build muscle, your body naturally will need to be in a caloric surplus.

If you are already 16% at the beginning of your first stages of building muscle then after 6 months (bulking phase) you’ll end up being plump (probably be around 21%< bf) and will have the illusion of “yeaaaaaaah! I’ve put on some size dude” when in reality all you’ve put on is some muscle and a lot of fat. Thus if you start when you are at least 11% bf then you’ll see after 6 months that you have gained more muscle than fat.

Saying that you must understand that the path to building muscle also includes adding some fat to the body too. You’ll find that it is inevitable to not gain fat and just build pure muscle.

However this is when you will minimise the chances of building too much fat by making sure that you eat clean and go over your maintenance calorie intake just by around 200-350 calories. After a month or two you’ll be able to see if you’ve put on too much fat or a just a little. You want to be in the latter category and those that are in the former they should just tweak their caloric surplus by taking out a 100 calories or so.

So the method is this:

1. Find out your bf percentage.

2. If it is below 11% you can start building muscle but if it is higher than 11% then make sure you just do some cardio for as long as you need to and lower your daily calorie intake. Once you’ve reached 11% bf you can start to work on building muscle and getting into a caloric surplus. By the way many people would recommend 9% but that’s not necessary 10% will be fine too.

3. Increase you calorie intake (known as caloric surplus) by around 200-350 depending on your body type i.e. if you have a really fast metabolism go for 275+ but if you are an individual that puts weight on quickly then just increase it by 150+.

4. Make sure you take monthly photos too as you’ll be able use to seeing yourself in the mirror. Compare these photos and your present state to identify if you have put on more fat than muscle.

5. If you’ve put on fat instead of more muscle then cut back in your calories but if you’ve seen little changes then increase your daily calories.

6. Make sure you actually lift weights in the gym and work the muscles. no pain no gain!

7. Last tip, take it easy y’all it’s not about beating the next man next to you at the gym, don’t compare yourself to others just be the better version of yourself. If you look better than how you were a month ago – consider that as an achievement.

And remember no pain no gain!

PEACE!

‘Brain Fitness’

Sorry folks for not posting, I’ve been busy last couple of weeks. You know the sketch uni and work *sigh*, final semester now an’ I’ll be graduating in July InshaAllah (by the will of God). Nonetheless I’ll try posting regularly InshaAllah 🙂

Albeit you will rarely hear about this aspect of health it is just as important as keeping your physical body working at optimum levels. Now you’re probably thinking what’s brain fitness – in a nutshell brain fitness are cognitive exercises that prevent cognitive decline. I.e. someone that regularly solves puzzles or reads will be exercising their brain thus inhibiting the chance of cognitive decline.

Cognitive decline is basically a fancy way of saying the brain functionality starts deteriorating.

A crude example would be if you ask an old person what’s 16×3 they’ll take some time (probably take 15-30 seconds) compared to a 13 year old school kid (probably take 5-10 seconds).

There are a few reasons for this. Young people’s brain plasticity is still very malleable thus they continue gathering new information regularly from their environment. Whereas older people have a lack of brain plasticity which causes them to be less receptive consequently achieving cognitive decline.

Although the old person took longer this may have not been because they were ‘old’ but because their lack of cognitive exercises daily caused them to undergo cognitive decline. I.e. if you  account the daily tasks a school kid has compared to an old person you’ll see that school kids are required to do mental marathons and sprints consistently (are required to take classes such as: maths, science, language and evening classes such as another language or further tuition in the evening) whereas an old person would occasionally commit their brain to do challenging tasks. Maybe some Sudoku 😛

So it’s not because the old person is ‘old’ but because they allowed cognitive decline to take place by not exercising their brain regularly.

Now that we’ve established what cognitive decline is and what causes a decline in cognition we can look at how to maintain our cognitive abilities or better yet – we can look at ways to improve our cognitive abilities.

We should all have weekly cognitive challenges: this can be anything from solving maths problems to playing a computer game or even reading something challenging.

As I’m still studying I don’t really have anything in particular to stimulate my brain but I can imagine myself in the future playing more chess and erm…I’ll wait when I get older 🙂

But for those that are interested:

1. They can too play chess which is most certainly an amazing game. Or other games that gets you working your frontal lobe very hard. I.e. puzzles. Heck even computer games can be played, once you play strategy games you’ll know what I’m talking about. They aren’t all that bad I’ve had my fair share of gaming and I’ve noticed some of ‘smart’ friends seem to be really good at them too. Is there a correlation? Maybe, but I can’t delve into that topic now hehe.

2. You can read more challenging material as opposed to a fictional book. Not that some fictional books aren’t challenging -_-

3. Memorise frequently. Whether it’s a word a day or maths equations it doesn’t matter you’ll see that your memory becomes stronger and you retain the ability to memorise frequently. That being said maintaining strong memory is difficult and some are just better than others naturally but the doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on developing your memory skills. This a facet of the cognitive brain.

All in all I think trying to implement any of the above regularly would most definitely keep our brains stimulated and for some that spend more time than usual will increase their cognitive processes. By the way once a week will be futile, at least 3 times a week will be good (just like physical activity) and it should be at least 30mins each time and anything more would be GREAT.

Oh and guy remember, just like the physical body reaches its prime the brain too reaches its prime and everything afterwards means a decline. However that decline does not need to be early it can be prolonged to a point when one may no longer require such brain or physical activity 🙂 AKA… death, just kidding guys but y’all get what I’m saying.

May Allah grant us ‘ilm (knowledge) and keep our brain functioning at optimum levels. Ameen!

PEACE!

Why You Should Stretch More

There are many coaches and trainers that advocate stretching before carrying out any strenuous exercise/sport. Albeit there aren’t enough telling their students/clients to stretch daily even if they are not going to do any physical activity.

You may be wondering why it is important to stretch when you are not going to be involved in any physical activity. Well to begin if you stretch regularly your tight muscles will gradually decrease in tightness for a longer period of time rather than just stretching 10 minutes before each gym/sport/exercise session. So stretching daily will help long term flexibility whereas stretching couple of times a week will be a more short term fix as your muscles aren’t getting the consistent time and stretch in order for them to maintain that state.

Many people undermine stretching daily (I’m guilty of this) which is a problem, especially in the 21st century. In our era people are sat in their offices with poor body posture causing their back to round for long periods of time making the individual susceptible to pain in the lower back and developing further back problems. This habit will need to counter-balanced by frequent stretches at home before work or after work.

Now what are the notable benefits of stretching?

1. As you age your muscle gradually get shorter and tighter consequently making you more susceptible to joint, tendon and muscle injury however stretching regularly prevents this from occurring.

2. This is one that everyone needs to know…stretching helps alleviate lower back pain or developing lower back pain. In particular the hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back muscles and quadriceps. These muscles contribute to you body posture thus stretching these muscles inhibits the onset of lower back pain.

3. It improves blood circulation

4. Stretching is a stress relief as tight muscles and areas of the body that have been caused to tighten up due to stress can be stretched to relieve the tension.

5. Being flexible eliminates the chances of getting injures in your normal day-to-day life.Think about it people if you stretch consistently now by the time you get old you’ll still be flexible and independent in carrying out your day-to-day tasks.

Lastly people I’ll just like y’all to do this simple exercise…

Stand straight, make sure you are on a flat surface, make sure you are not wearing any shoes, and that you are wearing pants that are loose at the crotch. Now attempt to squat to the ground with the soles of your foot touching the floor and make sure you aren’t on your toes or else that’s cheating. 🙂

If you successfully did this then kudos, other that found it difficult or failed at it should really try to attempt this movement everyday for a couple of minutes till their body is able to produce it. This is a simple movement that should be done by everyone comfortably. By the way squatting successfully by no means does it mean that you are now considered flexible, don’t be think your a contortionist now :p I merely used this as an example to illustrate my point of people lacking flexibility.

On that note I’ll end with this folks

How often do you stretch?

When do you Stretch?

Is it before exercising?

Or do you usually stretch to loosen tight muscles?

Just Do It…

PEACE!