Thursday 29 August 2019


Since moving to Ireland in late 2003, Dr Umar Al-Qadri has become a prominent figure in representing the Islamic voice in Ireland. Having received a traditional Islamic education in Pakistan, Al-Qadri went on to obtain a master’s degree in Islamic Sciences. Making frequent appearances in Irish publications like the Irish Times, he also lectures across the country in mosques, community centres and universities about Islam and the the challenges that Muslims face today.

For Al-Qadri, the integration of the Muslim community into wider Irish society is something of a priority. In Ireland, there are now an estimated 70,000 members of the Muslim community, and at home and abroad, Muslims are increasingly facing marginalisation, persecution and criticism. As the spotlight is placed on Muslims the world over, I sit down with Al-Qadri, the Head-Imam of Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre Ireland, in Trinity’s Science Gallery café to discuss our Muslim community here and the challenges they face.

Our Muslim community is not immune to the sensationalised and inaccurate representation the religion sometimes receives in the media across the world. Neither too do they avoid the fate of being too often rendered largely invisible within Irish society. Al-Qadri’s response to this is to stress the idea of people all living as one. He stands for equality and mutual respect between groups as something essential for modern nations, an ideology that informs many of his own actions.

Our interview begins with Al-Qadri tracing the origins of Ireland’s Islamic history to one man, Mir Aulad Ali Khan, one of Dublin’s first Muslims, as well as a scholar and professor of religious studies in Trinity in the 1860s. Al-Qadri describes him as very well integrated, and who at the same time maintained his own identity and wore his traditional Muslim clothing. It was only in the 1950s, however, that Muslim students began to come from South Africa to Ireland to study medicine. It was these students who formed the first Muslim community to establish themselves here. This tradition, continuing throughout the 1990s, allowed for a well-educated Muslim population to develop in Ireland. Since then, the numbers have grown from 33,000 in 2003 to upwards of 70,000 now, Al-Qadri tells me. The community has changed too. While it was previously based around the medical and scholarly professions, it now represents a diverse group of people from many walks of life, ranging from taxi drivers to IT professionals. Often, he adds, you cannot tell a Muslim apart from any other Irish person. They often do not have dark skin, while many choose not to wear traditional Muslim dress, he explains, gesturing down towards his sharply tailored suit. He humorously adds that perhaps only the beard would give it away.

Muslims, when they have friends that are consuming alcohol … they will interact together, but they won’t drink themselves and they will not treat the person that drinks alcohol differently. But they will treat someone who is gay differently, and that is something that is not understandable.

Al-Qadri’s early years were spent in the Netherlands, where the he remained until he’d completed secondary school. He highlights this time as a formative period in his own ideological development: “I wouldn’t be the same person I am if I didn’t grow up in the Netherlands … I think my ideas have been shaped by my experience growing up in the Netherlands as a second generation Muslim.” It was there he witnessed first-hand the challenges that many Muslims face across Europe. The years he spent here were during a period of Dutch history characterised by the dominance of right-wing conservatives, who were in finally in government after years of steadily increasing their vote in elections. The party, which he describes as “anti-Muslim and anti-Islam”, pushed Muslims to live in isolation and caused them to be segregated from the greater population. The reason that Al-Qadri believes that these problems arose is because the “Muslim communities that lived in the Netherlands somehow failed to reach out to the other and failed to integrate”. By this he means integration beyond purely language and dress, with the community perhaps not doing enough to counter those who sought to marginalise them.

Motivated by the desire to do something for his religion, Al-Qadri wanted to avoid making the same mistakes in the newly-diverse Ireland’s young Muslim community. In an earlier stage of development and with an educated and professional Muslim population, he perhaps thought he could help Irish Muslims and write a different narrative for the minority group. The way in which to achieve this, he believes, is by reaching out. This, after all, is the teaching of the Prophet Mohammed, he tells me, who “welcomed communities and opened the doors of the Mosque to others”. This is something that Al-Qadri firmly holds to be true.

He believes that Muslims often isolate themselves in an effort to protect their faith and identity, something that is, in fact, damaging for the community. “We are living in a society where people do accept and tolerate other views. We should reach out and not be afraid”, he urges his fellow Muslims. His recent invitation to members of the LGBT community to the mosque’s end of Ramadan meal in June reflected this sentiment of inclusion. “As Muslims we must reach out to others’’, he says, “we must not treat people differently because of their lifestyle or beliefs”. Although such an expression of kindness and support appears radical in relation to the more stereotypical image the religion being strongly doctrinal, Al-Qadri cites the teachings of Islam as the foundation for his argument, where you must treat people as human beings first – something which he says has been lost among many Muslims.

Nonetheless his actions were still somewhat radical, and he came under criticism from the group that he represents for reaching out in this way. Some felt that this gesture was akin to him condoning homosexuality, but in the face of the controversy, he stands by his actions. “Inviting them does not mean that we condone or that we agree with [homosexuality]”, he explains. “It means that despite our disagreement we can still share a meal together”. Although he does not condone the act, he believes that the LGBT community, like Muslims, share similarities. The two minority groups have both been marginalised and should join together against a common injustice. He gives a practical example to support his decision to invite LGBT members to the event, which he hopes that Muslims will be able to appreciate, drawing a comparison between the two Islamic sins of drinking alcohol and homosexuality: “Muslims, when they have friends that are consuming alcohol, they would be okay with it, they will sit down together, they will interact together, but they won’t drink themselves and they will not treat the person that drinks alcohol differently. But they will treat someone who is gay differently, and that is something that is not understandable”. Al-Qadri emphasises that the teachings of Islam are to treat people as humans first, and the success of the meal, which had over over 20 LGBT members alongside some Muslims all enjoying themselves together, stands as testament to that.

Full article:

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Romania, a beacon of coexistence for Muslims in Eastern Europe

The Grand Mosque of Constanta in southeast Romania has a hulking minaret nearly 50 metres high overlooking the Black Sea.

It was constructed as a symbol of gratitude to the city's Muslim community on the orders of King Carol I in 1910.

Much has since changed in Romania, but that sentiment remains.

Constanta lies in Dobruja, an ethnically diverse region split between Romania and Bulgaria, where the River Danube meets the sea.

Ottoman Turks invaded the region in the late 15th century and subsequently expanded further into Romania.

Several centuries of Turkish rule followed, bringing settlers from across the empire.

Northern Dobruja came under Romanian control only in 1878, after the young kingdom defeated the ailing Ottoman Empire with assistance from Russia.

Some of the region's Muslims left for Turkey, but others stayed on; their descendants now form the backbone of Romania's Muslim community of about 64,000 people, roughly 0.34 percent of the country's population.

Compared with other countries in Eastern Europe, Romanian Muslims say their experience has largely been one of peaceful coexistence.

"When Muslims here were still the majority in the 1870s, the Muslim mayor of the town of Medgidia appealed to the authorities in [Romania's capital] Bucharest for money to build a church for the local Christians," said Murat Iusuf, who has been Romania's Chief Mufti since 2005, speaking to Al Jazeera from his office in Constanta.

"Records of the meeting include transcripts of the mayor's broken Romanian. But a common language was found; it's a good example of Dobruja's history."

About 26,000 ethnic Turks, 20,000 ethnic Tatars, and an undetermined number of Muslim Roma - who generally declare as Turks in censuses - form the country's diverse Muslim community.

Turks and Tatars speak related Turkic languages and the two communities have a high rate of intermarriage.

However, some Tatars are trying, amicably, to assert their distinctiveness, highlighting their history as descendants of Tatars who fled the Crimean Peninsula after its annexation by Russia in 1783.

The Tatar Community Center in the suburbs of Constanta makes that point loud and clear; its walls are covered with Crimean Tatar flags and paintings of Khans who once ruled their ancestral homeland.

"In the last 10 years, people have become more curious about their history. Turks come from the southern shores of the Black Sea and Tatars from the North," said Dincer Geafer, chairman of the Ismail Gaspirali Tatar youth organisation and a local politician from the Tatar-Turkish Muslim Democratic Union.

This new awareness has surfaced politically; when Russia annexed Crimea again in 2014, local Tatars protested outside Russia's consulate.

Recent years have also seen the growth of a 10,000-strong Muslim community in Bucharest, comprising foreign citizens and converts.

They attend the Carol-Hunchiar Mosque on a leafy side-street in the capital, where 78-year-old Osman Aziz serves as the imam.

He remembers Romanian Islam under socialism.

From 1960 to 1962, Aziz was the imam at Ada Kaleh, an island fortress in the Danube populated by Turks, which remained Turkish territory well into the 20th century.

When the island was submerged after the construction of a dam in 1970, Aziz unsuccessfully campaigned to reconstruct the famous mosque.

For now, a more modest concrete one, under construction in the yard outside, will have to suffice.

"In any case, we managed to keep the faith alive," he said.

Although prayer was discouraged under communism, Romania's Muslims did not face the same level of repression as in other Eastern Bloc countries.

"Nicolae Ceausescu had good relations with several Muslim-majority states, from Iran to Lebanon and Libya; the mufti accompanied him when he visited them," said Iusuf, adding that students and workers from some of those "brotherly socialist states" eventually moved to Romania.

But Daniyar Cogahmet, an imam in the Dobromir area near the Bulgarian border, said many mosques were sparsely attended back then, especially by young people.

Muslims were free to practice their faith, he explained, but rural poverty saw many leave villages - a reality which affected Romanians of all backgrounds.

"Because of the common language, Turks and Tatars used to go to Turkey to do odd jobs," said Cogahmet.

By 2007, when Romania joined the European Union, that migration pattern had changed.

"Now everybody wants to go to Germany, and there are plenty of Turks there," said Cogahmet.

Constantin Voicu sits in his thriving vegetable garden in the village of Lespezi, Constanta, known in Turkish as Tekkekoy.

The 83-year-old told Al Jazeera how grateful his ancestors were to move here.

The poor Christian peasants from Transylvania had been given 10 hectares of fertile land after the annexation of the region.

It was a bid to resettle the land with loyal Christians, but any grudges are in the past.

"I'm no historian, just a simple man who knows things," said the pensioner, "but people know and like their [Muslim] neighbours and they don't believe everything they see on TV."

Romanian Muslims appear to have largely been spared the Islamophobic vitriol seen in neighbouring countries at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.

But that year, while there were no rallies against refugees from Muslim-majority countries, protests did erupt over plans to construct a large Turkish-funded mosque in Bucharest, which was ultimately shelved in 2018.

"The presence of Muslims in Romania remains ... a marginal issue on the political and public agenda," concluded the authors of the 2017 European Islamophobia Report. "Much of society's anger in recent years has been directed towards corruption and the 'deep state' rather than poor migrants or Muslims," said Cristian Pirvulescu, a political scientist at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest.

In 2017, Romania nearly got its first female Muslim prime minister when the Social Democratic Party nominated Sevil Shhaideh, a politician of Tatar descent who was serving as deputy prime minister at the time.

"You might find anti-Islamic discourse among some nationalist intellectuals, but if you stop ten ordinary people on the street here, you won't hear it," said journalist Vlad Stoiescu, who coordinates Sa Fie Lumina, an online magazine about religion in Romania.

"The Muslims in Dobruja are well integrated - Romanians are accustomed to their presence and so are they to the Romanians.

"When you visit those villages, take a look at the monuments to locals who in the First World War. Half the surnames on them are Turkish. They fought and died for this country."


Saturday 17 August 2019

Khutbah by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan: Dua for the Ummah

Another very beautiful khutbah by Br. Nouman. The most important thing to highlight for the sermon is, “Posting a dua is not dua. A dua is a conversation with Allah, not with the internet. Not with people.”

You can check out our Dua (Supplications) page

In that, one of the most popular page are the Fortress of the Muslim section.

Thursday 15 August 2019

Hearts and Minds

 From FB of Shakh Yasir Qadhi:

Once, the Caliph `Umar saw a group of people around a campfire in the middle of the desert. Instead of calling out to them with the phrase, 'O people of the fire!', he chose, 'O people around a light,' to make sure that a potentially negative phrase didn't affect them.
At another time, the grandsons of the Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) saw an old man performing wudhu, but making many mistakes. Instead of berating him, they went up to him and said, 'The two of us are arguing which one has the better wudhu, and we'd like you to be the judge between us.' When he saw how perfect their wudhu was, he said, 'It is my wudhu that needs to be corrected, not yours.'
A famous preacher of the last generation - during a time when there was a raging debate regarding the theological verdict of the one who abandons the prayer, is he a Muslim or not - was asked, "What is your opinion about the one who abandons the salat?" The person that asked him was not a scholar, but rather someone who listened to debates and liked to revel in his self-taught knowledge. The Shaykh smiled and said, "My opinion is that we should hold on to the hand of the one who abandons the salat and encourage him to come to the masjid with us!"
A lot of times, its not the message itself, but how you present it, that moves hearts and changes minds. And not every single controversy needs to be laid out in front of every single person: speaking to your audience correctly is half of knowledge.
May Allah grant us the wisdom to preach in the wisest and best of manners!

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Hadiith of the day

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "After my time, governors will arise whose falsehood will be believed and who will be assisted in their oppression by those who enter their presence. They have nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with them. . .But those who do not enter their presence, believe their falsehood and help them in their oppression, they belong to me and I belong to them." Al-Tirmidhi

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The people before you were destroyed because they inflicted legal punishments on the poor and forgave the rich." Sahih Al-Bukhari

Saturday 10 August 2019

Dua for Arafah Day, Takbir & Tashreeq

If Laylat al Qadr is the most powerful night of the year, then the Day of Arafah is most certainly the best day. It was on this day that Islam was perfected (Qur’an 5:3) and when also Rasool’Allah (pbuh) gave his last sermon. Here are three things you should try to do on day of Arafah.

1. Ask for forgiveness

Millions will fast on this day to wipe out their sins of the previous and coming year, as recommended by the Prophet (pbuh). As Allah (swt) descends to the skies and showers His mercy on the millions of Hajj pilgrims gathered on Mount Arafah, there is no better time to make dua and ask for forgiveness. Here is the best dua you can make on the Day of Arafah.

2. Do a good deed

The Prophet (pbuh) said ‘There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days (first ten days of Dhul Hijjah).’ [Bukhari]

So, in these last remaining days, give an Eid Gift for £20 and provide presents and clothes to deserving children over the coming days.

3. Feed the poor

Many of us will have finalised our preparations for Eid, including buying all the delicious food we plan to share and eat.

This Eid, help feed those with nothing, including the Yemeni Refugees now living in Somalia. Or, if you haven't done so already, you can still give your Qurani and provide the poor with something to eat on the blessed days of Eid.

You should also start reading Takbir from the day of Arafah all the way till the last day of the Eid

More about Dhul Hijjah here.

More about Hajj, Umrah and Eid-ul-Adha (Bakri Eid) here.

Monday 5 August 2019

Ali ibn Abi Talib's Letter to Malik al-Ashtar, the Governor of Egypt

'Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them.'

'Should you be elated by power, ever feel in your mind the slightest symptoms of pride and arrogance, then look at the power and majesty of the Divine governance of the Universe over which you have absolutely no control. It will restore the sense of  balance to your wayward intelligence and give you the sense of calmness and affability.'

'Maintain justice in administration and impose it on your own self and seek the consent of the people, for, the discontent of the masses sterilises the contentment of the privileged few and the discontent of the few loses itself in the contentment of the many. Remember the privileged few will not rally round you in moments of difficulty: they will try to side-track justice, they will ask for more than what they deserve and will show no gratitude for favours done to them. (…) They will feel restive in the face of trials

and will offer no regret for their shortcomings. It is the common man who is the strength of the State and Religion. It is he who fights the enemy. So live in close contact with the masses and be mindful of their welfare.'

'Keep at a distance one who peers into the weaknesses of others. After all, the masses are not free from weaknesses. It is the duty of the ruler to shield them. Do not bring to light that which is hidden, but try to remove those weaknesses which have been brought to light. God is watchful of everything that is hidden from you, and He alone will deal with it. To the best of your ability cover the weaknesses of the public, and God will cover the weaknesses in you which you are anxious to keep away from their eye.'

'Do not make haste in seeking confirmation of tale-telling, for the tale-teller is a deceitful person appearing in the garb of a friend.'

'Do not disregard the noble traditions established by our forbears, which have promoted harmony and progress among the people; and do not initiate anything which might minimize their usefulness. The men who had established these noble traditions have had their reward; but responsibility will be yours if they are disturbed.'

​'Remember that the people are composed of different classes. The progress of one is dependent on the progress of every other, and none can afford to be independent of the other'
'He who does not realise his own responsibilities can hardly appraise the responsibilities of others.'

'Beware! Fear God when dealing with the problem of the poor who have none to patronise them, who are forlorn, indigent, helpless and are greatly torn in mind – victims of the vicissitudes of time. Among them are some who do not question their lot in life and who, notwithstanding their misery, do not go about seeing alms. For God’s sake, safeguard their rights, for on you rests the responsibility of protecting their interests.'

Do not treat their interests as of less importance than your own, and never keep them outside the purview of your important considerations, and mark the persons who look down upon them and of whose conditions they keep you in ignorance. Select from among your officers such men as are meek and God fearing who can keep you properly informed of the condition of the poor. Make such provision for these poor people as shall not oblige you to offer an excuse before God on the Day of Judgement for, it is this section of the people which, more than any other, deserves benevolent treatment.'

​'Seek your reward from God by giving to each of them (the poor) what is due to him and enjoin on yourself as a sacred duty the task of meeting the needs of such aged among them as have no independent means of livelihood and are averse to seek alms. The discharge of this duty is what usually proves very trying to rulers, but is very welcome to societies which are gifted with foresight. It is only such societies or nations who truly carry out with equanimity their covenant with God to discharge their duty to the poor.'

'For I have heard the prophet of God say that no nation or society, in which the strong do not discharge their duty to the weak, will occupy a high position.'

'I enjoin on you not to succumb to the prompting of your own heart or to turn away from the discharge of duties entrusted to you.’

‘I seek the refuge of the might of the Almighty and of His limitless sphere of blessings, and invite you to pray with me that He may give us together the grace willingly to surrender our will to His will, and to enable us to acquit ourselves before Him and His creation, so that mankind might cherish our memory and our work survive.'


Sunday 4 August 2019

Home, After 24 Years in Jail: ‘My Memory Fails Me, I Lost Everything’

In a low ceilinged room inside his home in downtown Srinagar, Mirza Nisar Hussain, 40, struggles to recognise the man who just hugged him. As the two men embrace, Nisar’s weak eyes turn for answer towards his elder brother.

“He is our uncle, our mother’s maternal cousin,” Nisar is told by Zaffar Hussain, his brother who works as a private teacher.

Yet Nisar seems clueless. His empty, moist eyes gaze at the man with the curiosity of a newborn. Having spent the past 24 years in jail, he is visibly struggling to reconnect with his roots.

“What can I do? Memory fails me. I spent 24 years of my youth in jail. I lost everything,” he says.

Mirza Nisar is one of four men from Jammu and Kashmir acquitted Monday by the Rajasthan High Court after the prosecution’s failure to prove charges of their involvement in the 1996 Samleti bomb blast.

Nisar was 16 when sleuths from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested him and another brother of his, Mirza Iftikhar, from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu for their role in the bombing of Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market, also in 1996, which killed 13 civilians and injured 39.

The two brothers had a flourishing shawl business started by their father, now deceased. “Once in jail, whenever there was a blast in the country, we were questioned and tortured because we were Kashmiris and Muslims. We kept telling them we are innocent but they didn’t listen to us,” says Nisar.

The two brothers’ sudden arrest led to the closing of their business as their eldest brother, Zaffar, had to follow the case in court. “I was studying for medical entrance which I had to give up. I started a small coaching centre and also got three sisters married in the meantime. No one should go through what we have endured in all these years,” Zaffar tells The Citizen.

While Iftikhar was acquitted in 2010 of his involvement in the Lajpat Nagar bombing, Nisar was booked in the Samleti blast case, casting a shadow on prospects of his early release.

“In all these years, I read religious books which gave me comfort and solace in the darkness of the barracks in jail,” he says.

On Monday, a convict held at Jaipur Central Jail had gone to court for an appearance. “When he returned, he broke the news of our acquittal. I couldn’t believe it at first. When I told others they cried in joy,” says Nisar.

At their home in Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal locality, a Kashmiri chef (waza) has taken over the kitchen to deal with the deluge of visitors coming in to congratulate the family for the “miracle”.

The rush of visitors keeps Nisar on his toes. Men and women are sitting in separate rooms but everyone wants to witness the miracle. As his close relatives shake his hand and hug him, Nisar initially looks at them with empty eyes.

“He is Papa,” Zaffar says of the man, their mother’s cousin, who has just hugged Nisar. A spark lights up in Nisar’s eyes as he again stands up to hug ‘Papa’.

“We had given up hope. When I shared the news of Nisar’s acquittal with my mother and sisters, they were shocked. God is great. This is nothing less than a miracle,” Zaffar says.

Along with Nisar, Mohammad Ali Bhat and Lateef Ahmed, both residents of Srinagar, were released from jail on Tuesday after the court acquitted them of all charges in the Samleti blast case.

“Now the fight for justice begins. We will sit down, all of us who were released, and chalk out a legal strategy to seek compensation for what we have lost. The government can’t return the 24 years I spent in jail. At least they can provide us compensation so we can start our lives afresh,” says Nisar.


Thursday 1 August 2019

Ten Blessed Days: First Ten Days of Dhu'l-Hijjah

By His wisdom, Allah عزّ وجلّ gave preference to some places and times over others. For Muslims, Friday is the best day of the week, Ramadan is the best month of the year, “Laylat al-Qadr” is the best night in Ramadan, the day of “Arafah” is the best day of the year. Likewise the first ten days of the month of “Dhul-Hijjah” are the blessed days for Muslims.

Allah عزّ وجلّ says in the Quran what means: {By the daybreak, by the ten nights, by the even and the odd, by the passing night – is this oath strong enough for a rational person?} (Al-Fajr 89:1-5)

Early Muslim scholars differed on what is meant by the “ten nights”. But most of them agreed that the ten nights refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

In another verse Allah عزّ وجلّ says: {… to attain benefits and mention God’s name, on specified days.} (Al-Hajj 22:28)

Most of the Quran commentators view that the specific days are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

What a great virtue attached to those days which pass unnoticed by many people nowadays.

On the merits of the first ten days, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?" He said: "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Al-Bukhari)

In what follows are suggested ideas on how to make the best use of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:

Repent to Allah عزّ وجلّ

Make a sincere repentance to God and promise Him that you will not do bad deeds again. This may be your last chance. You are not sure if you will live till next year.

Pray at the Mosque

Try to perform the five daily prayers in the mosque. If you have time after Fajr prayer, try to sit in the mosque, read a juz' (part) of the Quran, make duaa, or recite some Adhkar (remembrance of Allah عزّ وجلّ). Then offer two rakahs before you go home. If you do so, you are reviving a tradition that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to do, a tradition which these days has been neglected by many Muslims.

Observe Fasting in the First Nine Days

Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said: I heard the Prophet saying, "Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's Pleasure, Allah عزّ وجلّ will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years." (Muslim)

Do not observe fasting on the tenth day because it is an `Eid day and it is prohibited to fast that day.

Good deeds are rewarded abundantly in these first ten days; and as fasting is a good deed, it is recommended to fast these nine days.

Do not Miss Fasting the Day of Arafah

On the day of Arafah, non-pilgrims are highly recommended to maintain fasting. It is reported that the Prophet was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, whereupon he said: "It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year." (Muslim)

He also said: "There is no day in which Allah frees a greater number of His slaves from the Hellfire than the Day of Arafah." (Muslim)

Make a Lot of Supplications (duaa) on the Day of Arafah

The Prophet said: "The best supplication is that of the Day of `Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said, is: La ilaha illa allahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa `ala kulli shai'in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belong the sovereignty and all praise. He has power over all things.) (Al-Tirmidhi)

Try to Do Something New this Year

If you used to recite a part of the Quran last year, try to finish reading the whole Quran this year. Try to pick some verses everyday and check the books of Tafsir (exegesis of the Quran) to reflect on their meaning in order to derive lessons from them in your daily life.

If you do not read Arabic, I recommend Muhammad Asad's translation of the Quran. If you are well-versed in the Quran recitation, try to teach a group of new Muslims how to read the Quran correctly.

Maintain your Family Relations

Visit your relatives even for a few minutes. If they live far away, give them a call. Do not forget your parents. Be kind to them, visit them, and attend to their needs. Some new Muslims think that after their conversion, they should cut off their family members. God orders Muslims to be kind to their parents even if they are non-Muslims. This occasion might be a good opportunity to talk about Islam to your non-Muslim parents.

Give to Charity

Make it a daily habit to help the needy. Look for humanitarian organizations in your neighborhood and help them in any way you can.

Don't Miss Offering at Least Two Rakahs of “Tahajjud” at Night

Offer many extra prayers, as much as you can. God promised a great reward for offering extra acts of worship. The Prophet said: "Allah said, 'I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him." (Al-Bukhari)

Reciting the Takbir

It is an act of Sunnah to say “Takbir” (Allah is the Greatest) in the first ten days.

The “Takbir” should be pronounced everywhere; in the mosque, at home, in the streets, etc. It is reported that: “Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them.” (Al-Bukhari)

There are many forms of Takbir, but the most common one is: Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbaru, la illaha illa Allah, Allahu akbaru, Allahu akbar, wa lillahi al-Hamd.

In another version of the Hadith mentioned above on the merits of the ten days, there is this addition: "… so increase saying Tahlil (saying la-illah illa Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu akbar), and Tahmid (saying Al-hamdullilah)" (Ahmad) Therefore, these kinds of “dhikr” should be recited day and night.

The Best Good Deed in These Days is to Offer Hajj

Go to Hajj, if you are physically and financially able to perform it. If not, try to offer a sacrifice if you have the means. By doing this you are commemorating the story of sacrifice of both prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail (peace be upon them). The poor and the needy have a share in the sacrifice and feeding them is one of best deeds that can be done on the day of `Eid.

I pray to Allah عزّ وجلّ to accept our good deeds in these days of Dhul-Hijjah and throughout the year. When our good deeds are accepted by God, we will be admitted to Paradise, by His Mercy.

Read More Here:

The Repentance of Abu Nawas