This is why I love Ramadhan!
Shukran to the writer
Morale: Don’t rebuke any1 who turns up at mosque in Ramadhan only
Via: Shaykh Abdul Raheem
Love Ramadan for others just as you love it for yourself and rather than rebuking or scolding someone, make sincere du’a for them.
By Khalid Baig
Fasting during Ramadan was ordained during the second year of Hijrah. Why not earlier? In Makkah the economic conditions of the Muslims were bad. They were being persecuted. Often days would go by before they had anything to eat. It is easy to skip meals if you don’t have any. Obviously fasting would have been easier under the circumstances. So why not then?
The answer may be that Ramadan is not only about skipping meals. While fasting is an integral and paramount part of it, Ramadan offers a comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul. The entire program required the peace and security that was offered by Madinah.
Yes, Ramadan is the most important month of the year. It is the month that the believers await with eagerness. At the beginning of Rajab — two full months before Ramadan — the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to supplicate thus: “O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’ban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health).”
During Ramadan the believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. “If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan,” said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him.
“Anyone who fasts during this month with purity of belief and with expectation of a good reward (from his Creator), will have his previous sins forgiven,” said Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. “Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven.” As other ahadith tell us, the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.
Along with the possibility of a great reward, there is the risk of a terrible loss. If we let any other month pass by carelessly, we just lost a month. If we do the same during Ramadan, we have lost everything. The person who misses just one day’s fast without a legitimate reason, cannot really make up for it even if he were to fast everyday for the rest of his life. And of the three persons that Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam cursed, one is the unfortunate Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek Allah’s mercy.
One who does not fast is obviously in this category, but so also is the person who fasts and prays but makes no effort to stay away from sins or attain purity of the heart through the numerous opportunities offered by Ramadan. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us: “There are those who get nothing from their fast but hunger and thirst. There are those who get nothing from their nightly prayers but loss of sleep.”
Those who understood this, for them Ramadan was indeed a very special month. In addition to fasting, mandatory Salat, and extra Travih Salat, they spent the whole month in acts of worship like voluntary Salat, Tilawa (recitation of Qur’an), Dhikr etc. After mentioning that this has been the tradition of the pious people of this Ummah throughout the centuries, Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi notes: ” I have seen with my own eyes such ulema and mashaikh who used to finish recitation of the entire Qur’an everyday during Ramadan. They spent almost the entire night in prayers. They used to eat so little that one wondered how they could endure all this. These greats valued every moment of Ramadan and would not waste any of it in any other pursuit…Watching them made one believe the astounding stories of Ibada and devotion of our elders recorded by history.”
This emphasis on these acts of worship may sound strange — even misplaced — to some. It requires some explanation. We know that the term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada — worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.
Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.
This spirit is captured in I’tikaf, a unique Ibada associated with Ramadan, in which a person gives up all his normal activities and enters a mosque for a specific period. There is great merit in it and every Muslim community is encouraged to provide at least one person who will perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan. But even those who cannot spare ten days are encouraged to spend as much time in the mosque as possible.
Through direct Ibada we “charge our batteries”; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life. Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength. How much we benefit from it is up to us.
Source: Al Balagh
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Hereunder we suggest a 24-hour programme for the month of Ramadhan. It is an example of spending our time correctly. The programme starts from Maghrib till Maghrib the following day.
Read: “O You who are Great in Bounties, forgive me”, as many times as possible before Iftar.
Make du’a 5 to 10 minutes before Iftar. The du’a of a fasting person is readily accepted at this time.
Make Iftar quickly. Thereafter perform Maghrib (for men with Jamat and for women at home).
After Maghrib perform 6 to 20 Rakats Awwâbîn Namaz.
Read Surah Tabarak after Maghrib. The benefit of it is that it will save us from the punishment of the grave.
Read Surah Waqiyah. The virtue of it is that it will save one from poverty.
Have supper quickly. Our suggestion is that due to the long days, have a rest for 15 – 20 minutes before Esha, so that one may be fresh for Tarawîh and Esha salâh.
Prepare for Esha before the Esha Azan and proceed for Esha and Tarawih Salat. Return home immediately after Tarawih or after any Deeni programme in the Masjid. Do not waste time talking and discussing political and business issues.
On returning home, read Surah Sajdah. Thereafter spend a few minutes with the family and try to sleep as early as possible allowing one to arise at 3.00 a.m. for Tahajjud salâh.
Read Tasbeeh-e-Fatimi before sleeping.
Perform at least 4,8, or 12 rakâts Tahajjud salah, thereafter read the first kalima 100 times and then make du’a before partaking of Sehri.
Immediately after Sehri proceed to the Masjid for Fajr Salâh. After Fajr recite the Quran till Ishraq time.
Perform 2 or 4 Rakats Ishraq. The benefit is that your daily work will become easy and you will attain the reward of an accepted Haj. After Ishraq rest before going to work. People who are self employed should take advantage of this rest and also give their employees this opportunity.
At work or at one’s business, one should keep one’s tongue moist with Zikr eg. Kalimah Tayyibah, Istighfar and Durood Shareef. Those who are bay’t to a Sheikh should complete their prescribed Zikr.
Try to be early for Zohar Namaz so that one could read the Qur,an immediately after one has read the 4 Sunnat-e-Muakkadah before the Jamat Namaz. If possible try to read Qur’an after Zohar Namaz as well, depending on how long one’s lunch break is.
After completing Asar Namaz, read Durood Shareef at least 100 times and Istighfar 100 times. Thereafter spend the balance of the time reciting Qur’an till Iftar time, not forgetting the du’a before Iftar.
Published by Villa Liza Madrasah, Actonville, BENONI
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Experience has shown that effects of ibaadat (worship) in the blessed month of Ramadhan remain upon the remainder of the year. Whomsoever practises any virtue informally therein, ease of performing A’amale Salihah overtakes them thereafter.
Similarly, whoever prevents them self from sinning therein, for the remaining eleven months abstentation will become easy. In reality, prevention from sins in Ramadhan is not too difficult because, it is established that the Shayateen are imprisoned. Consequently, less sinning occurs generally because of removal of this stimulant.
However, sins do not totally disappear because the other orchestrator: one’s nafs (self) is present. Even in this month it will instigate sins but, yes, its schemes will lesson because only one stimulant is now active.
Therefore, the impositions of this one month should be accepted. All parts (of one’s body) should be saved from sin.
Source: Ashrafs Blessings of Ramadhan
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It is related by Abu Hurairah (RAA) that the Apostle of God (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) said “When the month of Ramadhan comes, the Gates of Heaven are thrown open and the Gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are put behind bars” In another report, the “Gates of Mercy” are mentioned in place of the “Gates of Heaven”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Commentary – Commenting of this Tradition, Shah Wali-ullah remarks that as the devout bondsmen apply themselves to worship and good-doings during the month of Ramadhan and spend their days in God- remembrance and recitation of the Qur’an while Fasting, and a major part of their nights in Taraweeh and Tahajjud, supplication and repentance, under the influence of their high spirituality and devotional exertions the hearts of the common Muslims, too become more inclined towards prayer and piety and they, on the whole succeed in abstaining from good many sins. Owing to the generation of the atmosphere worship and virtue in the Islamic circles, people who are not wholly disregardful of transcendental truths develop a fondness for things that are pleasing to God and an aversion for acts that are repugnant to Him. moreover, in this blessed month the recompense on even smaller acts of moral goodness is made much greater by God than on other days. In consequence of all this, the gates of Paradise are opened and of Hell are closed for such people and the devils are not left free to tempt and mislead them.
It would be clear that all the three things – the throwing open of the gates of Heaven, the shutting up of the gates of Hell and the binding of the devils in chains – are in respect only of the bondsmen who feel disposed towards good-doing in the month of Ramadhan, and out of the keenness to partake of its blessings engage themselves enthusiastically in worship and other religious duties. As for the Apostates, the negligent and the heedless who care little for Divine injunctions and produce no change in their daily lives at the advent of Ramadhan, these tidings do not apply to them,. When they have opted out, of their own accord, for the path of error and omission and taken willingly to follow Satan and doing his bidding there is nothing for them except disappointment with God as well.
It is related by Abu Hurairah that the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) said : “When the first night of the month of Ramadhan (comes), the devil’s and defiant Jinn are bound in chains and all the Gates of Hell are closed and non of them remains open and all the Gates of Heaven are thrown open and none of them remains closed and the heavenly herald announces, “O seeker of goodness and virtue! come forward; and O lover of wickedness and evil-doing! Halt, and do not come forward” and a large number of (sinning) bondsmen are released from Hell at the command of God (i.e., decision of forgiveness and deliverance is taken for them), and all this takes place on every night of Ramadhan.” [Tirmizi and Ibn-i-Maja]
Abdullah Bin Abbas narrates that the Apostle of God (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) was superior to all men in generosity and the doing of good to the people in general, but in the month of Ramadhan his benevolence knew no bounds. In Ramadhan, Gabriel came to him every night and the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) recited the Qur’an to him. During Ramadhan the Prophet (sallaho alaihi wa sallam) appeared to be faster than the wind in generosity and benevolence. [Bukhari and Muslim]
From Meaning and Messages of the Traditions
By Shaykh Mohammad Manzoor Nomani (RA).
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O ye who believe! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you, that ye may guard yourself (against evil)” Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 183).
Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayers for the Muslims. The fast consists of total abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk. There is, however, a greater significance to fasts than mere abstinence from eating and drinking. The real objective of fasts is to inculcate in man the spirit of abstinence from sins and of cultivation of virtue. Thus the Qur’an declares that the fasts have been prescribed with a view to developing piety in man, as is clear from the verse quoted at the top of this page.
How are the many facets of piety sought to be cultivated through the fasts?
Source: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
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On a sweltering hot day your throat has become parched. You are in the privacy of your home and the refreshingly cool water is within hand’s reach. You desire to drink it, but you do not. Why? Simply because you are fasting and while fasting you cannot eat and drink. If somebody prompts you to nevertheless drink it and says: “Nobody is watching,” you will immediately rebuke him with the words: “But Allah is watching!”
ALLAH TA’ALA IS WATCHING!
Subhanallah! Allah Ta’ala is watching. Allahu Akbar! Allah Ta’ala is All Hearing, All Knowing, He is Omnipresent. He sees and knows when we cheat while fasting, thus we resist all temptations of food, drink and lawful conjugal relations from dawn to dusk. We have learnt the lesson of Taqwa. We have learnt that lesson which the fasting was meant to teach us. Allah Ta’ala is watching! Yes, Allah Ta’ala is Watching! Every time there is an urge to eat or drink while fasting, the voice from within cries out: “Allah Ta’ala is watching!” Dozens of times daily for an entire month this reality is reaffirmed. Allah Ta’ala is watching. So deeply is it embedded in the heart that by the time Ramadhaan is over, a person becomes conscious of Allah Ta’ala to such an extent that he is now guided by an inner force that propels him in the direction of righteousness and turns him away from sin.
The fasts of Ramadhaan were prescribed for the purpose and object of attaining Taqwa. This is clearly declared in the Qur’an-al-Kareem. Taqwa simply is to obey the commands of Allah Ta’ala and refrain from all sin, The increased rewards for lbaadah (worship) in Ramadhaan and all the blessings of this great month should be considered as the bonus. The object is Taqwa. If one performs an abundance of Salaah, completes the recitation of the Qur’an thirty times and engages in many other acts of lbaadah, but fails to give up sins – one has failed to achieve the object and purpose of Ramadhaan. One has failed to firmly embed the reality of Taqwa in the heart, the Taqwa that cries out “Allah Is watching” whenever one contemplates committing any transgression.
The dictates of Taqwa are not restricted to abstaining from drinking, gambling, adultery, transacting in interest and other such vices. Indeed Taqwa demands that while abstaining from all the above vices one also observes Taqwa in one’s business. When the temptation to cheat the customer beckons, or when one is tempted to buy stolen goods, or to indulge in fraud, at that time also the heart should cry out “Allah is watching” and it should restrain one from the sin.
Similarly, Taqwa demands the fulfillment of the rights of the husband/wife, It also demands the joining of family ties. It demands respect for the elders and kindness for the young. Taqwa entails, among other aspects, being honest and clear in all monetary dealings and social interactions. Hence when there is a wedding or funeral, or at the time of distributing the inheritance of the deceased, the same level of Allah consciousness must be displayed as was apparent when refraining from drinking the cold water while fasting.
Likewise, when the laws of purdah are violated, does the heart cry out “Allah is watching”? Or when one intends to watch something on TV., which will most definitely involve one in zina of the eyes and ears, does one hear the voice from within: “Allah is watching,” as a result of which one refrains from that sin? The same pertains to the Shari’ aspects of appearance and clothing. How often have we done things to appease and please even the enemies of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? How often have we abandoned the dictates of Taqwa in order to earn a few coppers? Now is the time to sincerely repent. It is the time to say “Allah is watching” and to do everything to please Him. It is a time to acquire Taqwa.
ABSTAIN FROM SIN
This then is the object of Ramadhaan. This will only be achieved if we conduct ourselves in this great month with Taqwa. Or else the object of Ramadhaan will be defeated. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “He who does not forsake lying and other futile actions, Allah Ta’ala has no need for him to give up his food and drink.” Thus together with fasting, performing Salaah, reading the Qur’an, serving the cause of Deen, etc,, one must totally abstain from every sin in the month of Ramadhaan and adorn oneself with Taqwa. Insha-Allah this will then carry one along for the rest of the eleven months to abstain from all sins.
May Allah Ta’ala enable us to make this Ramadhaan a month where we will truly attain Taqwa. Aameen.
AL-HAADI, Volume 5 – Issue 4
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by Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya
HADITH NO. 7 Ibn Umar (Radhi Allaho anho) relates: Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ‘Verily Allah and His Malaa’ikah send Mercy upon those who eat ‘Sehri’ (sower-Suhoor).”
COMMENTARY How great is Allah’s favour upon us that even the partaking of food before dawn for fasting is so greatly rewarded. There are many Ahaadith in which the virtues of “Sehri” are expounded and the rewards mentioned. Allaamah Ain – Commentator on Bukhari – has quoted the virtues of “Sehri” from seventeen different ‘Sahaabah’ and all the “Ulama” are agreed on its being “Mustahab” (desirable). Many people are deprived of this great reward because of their own laziness. Some even go so far as to finish ‘Taraweeh’, eat (what they suppose to be “Sehri’!) and go to bed. What great blessings do they lose! “Sehri” actually means partaking of food shortly before dawn. Some authorities say that the time for “Sehri” commences after half the night has passed (Mirquat). The author of Kash-shaff (Zamakhshari) divided the night into six portions, stating that the last one of these is the time of “Sehri”; so that, when the night (from sunset till dawn) extends over twelve hours, the last two hours would be the correct time for “Sehri”. Then it must also be remembered that to eat at the latest possible time is better and greater in reward than eating earlier, subject to the condition that no doubt remains as to whether “Sehri” had been eaten before the time of dawn. The Ahaadith are full of virtues of “Sehri”.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said: ‘The difference between our fasting and that of the Ahlul-Kitaab (Jews and Christians) lies in our partaking of food at “Sehri” which they do not.” The Prophet has said, “Eat Sehri, because in it lie great blessings; and again. “In three things, are the great blessings: in “Jama’ah” (company), in eating “Thareed” and in “Sehri”. In this Hadith, the use of the word “Jama’ah” is general, wherefrom we deduce that it includes “Salaat” with “Jamaa’ah” and all those righteous deeds done in company, as thus Allah’s help comes to them. “Thareed” is a tasty preparation, in which baked bread is cooked with meat. The third thing mentioned in this Hadith is “Sehri”. When Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) used to invite any of the companions to eat “Sehri” with him, he used to say: “Come and partake of blessed food with me.” One Hadith says: “Eat ‘Sehri’ and strengthen yourself for the fast. And sleep in the afternoon (Siesta), so as to gain assistance in waking up in the latter portion of the night (for “Ibaadah”).” Abdullah bin Haarith (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that one of the Sahaaba said: “I once visited Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) at a time when he was busy in partaking of ‘Sehri’. Rasulullah then said: “This is a thing full of blessings, which Allah has granted you. Do not give it up.” Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) in urging us repeatedly for ‘Sehri’ has said: “Even though there be no food, then one date should be eaten or a drink of water taken.” Thus, when there are definitely great advantages and reward in ‘Sehri’, Muslims should endeavour to observe this practice as much as possible. However, in all things moderation is important, and going beyond the bounds of moderation is harmful: neither should so little be eaten that one feels weak throughout the period of fasting, nor should so much be eaten that it causes discomfort. Repeatedly, we have been prohibited from filling the stomach excessively.
In his commentary on “Sahih Bukhari”, Ibne Hajar has mentioned various reasons for the blessedness of “Sehri”:
These are a few of the major reasons; there are many others as well. Some ‘Sufis’ are in doubt as to whether the eating of ‘Sehri’ conflicts with the object of fasting or not. They maintain that the object of fasting is to stay away from food, drink and sexual desires, therefore ‘Sehri’ is against the object of fasting. In my opinion the amount to be eaten varies according to different persons and their activities. Foe example, for those students who are busy seeking knowledge of ‘Deen’, too little food at ‘Sehri’ as well as ‘Iftaar’ will be harmful; for them it is better not to have too little, because they seek ‘Deeni’ knowledge, which is very important (for the preservation and spread of Islam). similar is the case of those who are busy with ‘Dhikr’ and other ‘Deeni’ activities. Other people who have no such hard work to do should eat little at ‘Sehri’.
Once Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) announced to those proceeding for ‘Jihaad’: ‘There is no virtue in fasting while travelling.’ That was in the month of Ramadhaan, when some Sahaaba were fasting. Allamah Sha’raani mentions in Sharh Iqna: ‘A covenant was made with us that we shall not fill our stomachs (completely) when eating, especially in the nights of Ramadhaan.’ It is better that one should eat less in the nights of Ramadhaan than on other nights. After all, what is the utility of fasting after having filled oneself at ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftaar’? the religious divines have said, ‘Whoever remains hungry in Ramadhaan shall remain safe from the evil of ‘Shaytaan’ throughout the year, until the next Ramadhaan.’
Sharah Ihya Ulumuddin mentions the experiences of some saints, such as Sahl bin Abdullah Tastari, who used to eat only once every fifteen days, while in Ramadhaan he ate only one morsel; but in order to follow the Sunnah, he used to have a drink of water daily for ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftaar’. Shaykh Junayd always used to fast throughout the year. However, when his noble friends would visit him occasionally, he used to break his fast and eat with them, saying, ‘The virtue of breaking fast and eating with (such noble) friends is not less than that of ‘Nafl’ fasting.
Similarly, we can mention the experiences of numerous saints who through eating less used to discipline their inner-selves, but let us bear in mind that it should not be carried to such extremes that the’religious’ activities and responsibilities are neglected, as a result of weakness of the body.
Virtues of Ramadhaan
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Idea Nine: Ramadan Muslims, Convert! It is true that on the first day of Ramadan, the number of Muslims in the local Masjid multiplies considerably. And, it is a sad moment on the first day after Ramadan that the Masjid attendance drops significantly. This idea is Operation No More Ramadan Muslims. We want people all year long!
Ibn Abbas I’tikaaf: A man came to Ibn Abbas while he was doing I’tikaaf in the masjid and asked him for his assistance. So, Ibn Abbas stood to leave and people around him warned him, ‘but you are in I’tikaaf’. He replied, “To assist my brother in fulfilling his need is more beloved to me than to perform I’tikaaf for 2 months in the Masjid of Rasul Allah – sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Try this: Make a ‘compassion crew’ that reaches out specifically to Ramadan Muslims. Extra special attention is showered on them and roles of responsibility are delegated to them so that they can participate more in the Masjid. Invite them to special Iftars where they are the center of attention. With this extra attention and responsibility, bi idhnillaah, every month will be Ramadan for them and the masjids will be full all year.
Idea Ten: Home Halaqah Muslim families often keep their worship for the Masjid, but why not make Muslim family time at home. It could work like this: After Taraweeh or Asr, the family gathers together for 15 minutes. There are many things you could do in your Halaqah, the main thing is that you set time aside for it. For example, each family member may recite a few verses of Qur’an. Or, one of the kids can read a story of the Sahaabah so that all family members can be reminded. Or, each family member can speak about the blessings of Allah upon them and what they have in their lives for which they are thankful. Just 15 minutes for the home Halaqah. For the entire family, bi idhnillah, it will be a spring of Eman.
The past saw Muslims that spent their nights of Ramadan awake praying to Allah. It saw days where people, for the sake of Allah, went thirsty. They knew that this season may never return on them and they heard Allah’s words “Ayyaman Ma’doodaat”– a limited number of days. Don’t let the sand of Ramadan slip away.
I hope this post came of benefit, dont let the month of Ramadan fly by, do as much ibadah as possible this could be your last Ramadhan…
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah