Category : Blog

muharram

The First Day

 

Allah said,
“A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in.”
[Quran 9:108]

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Five years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing be upon him), in 638 CE, the dating of the Islamic calendar was firstly introduced by the second caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, attempting to solve administrative problems during his period. That was, as Ibn Kathir (d. 1373 CE) narrated, because one Shahabi who was a governor of Iraq, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, wrote to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in distress: “There are letters have reached us from you, o Amirul Mu’minin, but we do not know how to deal with them. We read a document dated the month of Sha’ban, but we do not know which of the Sha’bans is meant: is it the month that has passed, or that which is to come?”

Not like names of days and months, Arabs at that time had not had numbering system of years yet. They only named years by the most significant event or situation occured during those years. For instance, the year of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth called “The Year of Elephants”, named after Aksumite warriors who attempted to attack Kaaba with their war elephants. Al-Biruni (d. 1050 CE) also mentioned that Muslims named the year 10 AH as “The Year of Farewell”.

Receiving Abu Musa’s complaint, Umar call a number of senior Shahabis to discuss this very issue. They all agreed to invent a new calendar system instead adopting both Persian or Roman calendar. Then they began disputed which year should be the first year of this new Islamic Calendar. Some said, “From the year of the Prophet’s birth.” Others proposed, “From the year of thr Prophecy when Quran first revealed.” Ali suggested, “From the year of Hijra to Medina.” Umar agreed with him saying, “We begin from the year of Hijra, because it distiguished between the truth and the falsehood.”

Next, they talked the beginning month over between several suggestions. Umar approved Uthman’s proposal to begin every Islamic year from the month of Muharram, reasoning it by saying “It is the month when people returned from they hajj (pilgrimage).” even the Prophetic hijra was in Rabi’ul Awwal. After this discussion, Umar announced this agreement and spread the using of this Islamic calendar and that year itself was consequently the 16th AH (After Hijra).

Some scholars, like Dr. Yassir Qadhi, stated that the 108th verse of At-Tawbah in Quran may be a sign to this calendar: “A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in.” Note that Allah called the Prophetic Hijra when our Prophet built Quba mosque as “awwali yawm/the first day”. It is somehow like a sign that Islamic Calendar will refer to this historical moment. Allah knows best.

This sunset (Islamic days begin every sunset), 10th September 2018, we are going to enter 1st Muharram 1440 AH the first day of the Islamic new year. For many muslims, Islamic New Year is more of a time for personal reflection than parties and celebrations. It is, therefore, a time when people make new year resolutions, especially those who return home from their hajj (pilgrimage). We should make our resolutions in this new year to make our worldly life and our Hereafter life much better. If our beloved Prophet arranged and designed everything for his hijra very well, why we live our life and spend our time without any planning?

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kahfi 7.1

Was Iblis a Fallen Angel?

 

 

Allah stated,
“And when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam!’ and they prostrated, but Iblis (did not). He was of the jinn so he departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.”
[Quran 18: 50]

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One of interesting issues to talk about, even actually it has no essential effect to our faith, is the question about the origin of Iblis. Was he an angel or a jinn? In some Western literatures, even it is not mentioned literally in Torah, Bible nor Quran, we find the term “fallen angels”, which refers to angels who were expelled from Heaven for showing disobedience and ungratefulness to God. They were originally created to believe in God and serve him, but now they are enemies to both him and humanity. Was Iblis one of those fallen angels?

Honestly, some Islamic scholars believed it. This opinion is actually based on some Israiliyyat (Israelites’ traditions), which mentioned that the name of Iblis was “Azazil” and he used to live on the earth. He was one of the strongest of the angels in terms of knowledge and intelligence. Responding Israiliyyat, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (d. 1449 CE) said that if those known to be true because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, we confirm them. And if those not known to be true or false, we may tell them without saying whether they are true or false. But if those known to be false, because the revelation to our Prophet, we must reject them.

Nonetheless we cannot accept this Israiliyyat particularly because in chapter of Al-Kahf verse number 50, Allah clearly stated, “He was a jinn so he departed from the command of his Lord” (kana min al-jinn fa-fasaqa ‘an amri Rabbihi). This is a crystal clear evidence supporting the opinion that Iblis was not an angel. It is just because the conjunction “fa” in the Arabic text is indicative of the reason. Fakhruddin Al-Razi (d. 1210 CE) explained, “The sentence ‘He was of the jinn’ indicates that Iblis’ disobedience to prostrate wasbecause he was a jinn.” On the contrary we saw that angles never disobey Allah’s commands. Allah describes them, “…who disobey not, from executing the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Quran 66:6].

Simultaneously, there are a number of differences between Iblis and angels. Our Prophet mentioned them as two different creatures when he said, “The angels were created from light, Iblis was created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.” [Muslim]. Angels also do not have any descendants whereas Jinn have. Allah said: “Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you?” [Quran 18:50]

Furthermore, those Islamic scholars who held the opinion that Iblis was an angel also misinterpreted the sentence “‘So angels prostrated, except Iblis” which appear seven times in Quran, firstly in chapter of Al-Baqarah verse number 34. They said if Iblis was not an angel, then he must not be blamed when he did not prostrate because Allah only asked angels to prostrated when He said, “When we commanded to angels (wa idh qulnaa lil malaaikah)”. Ibn Kathir (d. 1373 CE) answered this understanding by saying, “When Almighty Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, Iblis was regarded to be inclusive in that command. Although he was not of their kind, he was like them and he was performing their deeds. Because of that, Iblis was also regarded as the addressee of that command directed to the angels. And he was condemned since he did not obey that command.”

Additionally, Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (d. 1566 CE) said, “It is obviously clear that the signification of the sentence ‘He was of the jinn’ is stronger than the sentence ‘So all angels prostrated, except Iblis’, because separated exception comes a lot in Quran and hadiths.” Separated exception is one of two kinds of exception in Arabic grammar. It means “but” rather than “except” because the thing excluded and the things not excluded are two different kinds of beings. For example, “Those workers went but their children (did not go).” Allah said, “They have no knowledge of it but following of assumption (they only have).” [Quran 4: 157]. We all know that following the assumption is not a knowledge at all, yet we see here that Allah excludes it from knowledge. Similarly, Allah said, “So all angels prostrated, except Iblis” should be understood like this: “So all angels prostrated, but Iblis (did not prostrate).”

To sum up, we consider a small dispute between Islamic scholars whether Iblis was an angel or not, but the right opinion belongs to those scholars who says that he was not an angel, instead he was a jinn and the ancestor of jinn. Hasan Al-Basri (d. 642 CE) and other tabi’is said, “Iblis was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of the Jinn just as Adam was the origin of mankind.”

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kahfi 6.1

This Worldly Life and Water

 

Allah said,
“And present to them the example of the life of this world, its being like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and then it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.”
[Quran 18:45]

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The word “Dunyaa” in Arabic morphology is derived from the root word “danaa” which literally means to be near or to be low. This word which has passed to several Asian, European and African languages is often used in Quran to call this “worldly life” that opposes to the Hereafter (Aakhirah). It is called “Dunya” because it has much lower class than Aakhirah as it is also considered nearer to us than the Hereafter life.

Allah mentioned over here the parable of this worldly life. How it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it. It mingles with the seeds that are in the earth, so they grow and become good, producing bright, fresh flowers, then after that it becomes dry and broken pieces, withered up, which the winds scatter tossing them about right and left. This is the real face of “Dunya” which will eventually cease and come to a halt.

Al-Qurtubi (d. 1273 CE) explained in his Tafsir how compatible this parable is. He said that Allah compared Dunya to water for the following secrets.

Firstly, water does not settle and remain in one place. Equivalently, Dunya does not remain the same upon one state of affairs. Someone may be rich right now, but next month he may lost his wealth, or vice versa.

Secondly, water goes away and does not remain likewise Dunya will eventually come to an end. Some women can be proud of her adorableness when she was young, but three decades later that beauty is absolutely going to fade.

Thirdly, nobody is able to enter water without getting wet. Similarly for Dunya, no one is perfectly safe from its trials and calamities even he tries his best in swimming. We all know what will happen later to those who deeply dive or even sink into Dunya forgetting Aakhirah.

Fourthly, if you have the right amount of water it is a useful nursery, but if it goes beyond the limit it is a harmful destroyer like flood or tsunami. Analogously to Dunya, its subsistence is beneficial while its excess is harmful. Dunya is not forbidden, instead it is important in life. But it will become disaster when somebody takes it more than its proper quantity. Of course, everyone should recognize their own measures. May Allah help us to be proportional in this worldly life and keep it in our hands not inside our hearts.

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Written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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kemerdekaan 2

Two Sides of Independence Day

kemerdekaan 2

Allah said,
“And recall when Moses said to His people, ‘Remember the favor of Allah upon you when He saved you from the people of Pharaoh, who were afflicting you with the worst torment and were slaughtering your newborn sons and keeping your females alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.'”
[Quran 14:6]

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Allah tells that Moses (d. c. 1271 BC) reminded his people about their misery under Pharaoh Ramesses II (d. c. 1280 BC) and Allah’s bless that He bestowed on them. He saved them from Pharaoh and the torment he used to exert on them. Pharaoh and his army used to slaughter whomever they could find among their sons and let their females live. Allah sent Moses to bring Islam to Egyptian and Israelites including Pharaoh himself. At the same time his mission is also to lead Israelites escape from Egypt. He confronted with Pharaoh for years then Allah saved him and Israelites from Pharaoh’s evil in one of greatest event in humankind’s history: the Exodus (c. 1280 BC).

Allah named all of these things “balaa-un ‘adzhim”. Al-Asfahani (d. 1108) explained that the word “balaa'” means both of favor and trial. Hence, the Exodus or let us call it “the Independence Day of Israelites” could be the favor from Allah with this freedom from slavery and tortures, so they must be grateful towards this mercy. On the other hand, it was also a difficul trial to see if they used this independence in noble deeds or sinful ones.

We as Indonesian people today, on 17th August, celebrate our 73th Independence Day. Similarly with Israelite’s exodus, this independence from colonialism has two sides of the same coin: favor and trial. May Allah help us to thank His favor and be success passing His trial. Congratulation and happy independence day, Indonesia!

written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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bulan suci

Four Sacred Months and Related Issues

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, said, “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve lunar months in the register of Allah from the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.” [Quran 9:36]

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We are now in the month of Dhul-Qa’dah which its name in Arabic means “sitting”. This month was given this name because it was the month during which pre-Islamic Arabs would sit and stop fighting. Why did they stop fighting each other? It was because this month was one of those four sacred months which they considered too due to the Abarahamic teachings.

In the abovementioned verse, Allah informs us that since He created the universe Allah had set the months to be twelve, and He, Almighty, informed us that He, Almighty, designated four of them to be sacred. Moreover, there are other three months beside Dhul-Qa’dah which belong to the group of sacred months: Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab, as mentioned in Sahih of Al-Bukhari & Muslim.

Dhul-Hijjah which refers to “Hajj” in Arabic was given this name because they performed Hajj (pilgrimage) in this month. Muharram means “forbidden” in Arabic. It was called that because they forbade fighting during it. Rajab which in Arabic means “remove” was labeled with this name because the Arabs used to remove the heads of their spears and refrain from fighting.

Moreover, we should be aware to the following related issues around these four Sacred Months.

  1. It is recommended to fast in these Sacred Months. The Prophet said, “Fast during Sacred Months and omit.” [narrated by Abu Dawud]. Ibn Ruslan (d. 1440) explained that this hadith urges us to fast several days in these months not all days.
  1. Punishment of sins in this period of time is greater as Qatadah (d. 735) and many salafs opined. When a period of time has sacredness more, punishment for disobedience during that period is multiplied accordingly. For example, punishment of the Prophet’s wives if thay commit a sin is heftier since they are more sacred than any other women. Allah said, “O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality, for her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah, easy.” [Quran 33:30] Therefore, Allah said in the verse above, “… so do not wrong yourselves during them.”
  1. Vice versa, the reward of noble deeds in these months will be more enormous as well. Al-Qurtubi (d. 1273) explained this concept clearly in his tafsir. Related to the last example, Allah said, “And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness, We will give her her reward twice, and We have prepared for her a noble provision.” [Quran 33:31]
  1. It is not allowed to make an offensive jihad in these months according to the stronger opinion as Ibn Qayyim (d. 1350) declared. Some scholars explained that the secret is to help Hajj and ‘Umrah performed comfortably. Dhul-Qa’dah, the month before the Hajj month, was made sacred because they refrained from fighting during that month in order to make Hajj preparation and its journey safe. Dhul-Hijjah, the next month, was made sacred because it is the month of Hajj, during which they performed Hajj rituals. Muharram, which comes immediately next, was made sacred so that they are able to go back to their areas in safety after performing Hajj. Rajab, in the middle of the lunar Hijri year, was made sacred so that those coming from the farthest areas are able to perform ‘Umrah and visit the Kaaba and then go back to their areas safely.

bulan suci

written by Nur Fajri Romadhon

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Mencari Apa Pun yang Ingin Anda Ketahui di Quran

… Dan Kami turunkan Kitab (Al-Quran) kepadamu untuk menjelaskan segala sesuatu, sebagai petunjuk, serta rahmat dan kabar gembira bagi orang-orang muslim.” (QS An-Nahl: 89)

 

Agar Al-Quran menjadi petunjuk untuk kita, maka kita perlu mempelajari/memahaminya, hanya sekedar tilawah saja termasuk mengabaikan Al-Quran kata Ibnul Qoyyim menafsirkan QS Al-Furqon:30. Dan Al-Quran bisa menjelaskan segala sesuatu. Namun, tak semua orang punya ilmu untuk menggali Al-Quran yang luar biasa dalam dan luas. Mereka yang punya ilmu tersebut adalah ulama tafsir Quran. Karena luasnya Al-Quran, para ulama bahkan bisa menafsirkan Al-Quran yang sama dari berbagai sudut pandang. Contoh: mayoritas metodologi Tafsir Ibnu Katsir adalah menukil Nabi SAW dan para sahabat; Tafsir Imam Qurtubi lebih bernuansa sastra, budaya, dan kemasyarakatan; sedangkan tafsir Fi Zhilalil Quran lebih bernuansa sosial politik; bahkan banyak ayat-ayat Quran yang bisa digali untuk IPTek modern; sampai-sampai struktur dan format Quran saja bisa menjelaskan banyak hal yang bermanfaat bagi kita.

 

Selama ini, para ulama menuangkan “galian” Quran mereka ke dalam bentuk buku, yang kita kenal dengan buku tafsir. Permasalahannya:

  1. buku tafsir biasanya sangat tebal. Tafsir Ibnu Katsir contohnya, sekitar 6000 halaman. Ini baru 1 tafsir, jika kita ingin berbagai sudut pandang kita perlu banyak tafsir, berapa puluh/ratus ribu halaman totalnya…
  2. karena sangat tebal, biaya cetaknya pun mahal. Tafsir Ibnu Katsir contohnya, 1 set lengkap 30 juz harganya Rp 5 juta. Jika ingin tafsir-tafsir lainnya juga, berapa puluh juta kita harus merogoh dompet…

 

Permasalahan ini bisa disolusikan dengan

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Ramadan Kareem

Learn Quran just released a special video to welcome Ramadan this year.

“The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” [Bukhari].

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#LQMeet goes to Australia as the Only Muslim Startup Representative

End of April 2018, Learn Quran Tafsir is launched with the English version. Then, one of the LQ Team, Asma, had an opportunity to introduce this Quran’s Google to Muslims Community in the Australia. She joined International Business Readiness-A course for leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators of technology enabled startup, held by Australia Award. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is their partner university. Learn Quran is the only Muslim startup as the representative from Indonesia, Masha Allah. Let’s check her story below.

asm

Journey

From April 27 to May 13, 2018, she traveled to Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane. She followed a series of lectures, site visitations, networking sessions, and meeting several local Muslim communities. Not only interesting lectures about growing business as startups, but she also found valuable ukhuwwah islamiyyah while introducing LQ Tafsir as the first Quran search engine with Artificial Intelligence technology.

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Asma created a sharing session to the Indonesia Muslim community, also known as IQRO Foundation in Sydney, to introduce LQ Tafsir as a tool to learn more about Quran. Then, she moved to Adelaide where she met Fairus, a Muslimah from Australia. She brought Asma to UNISA’s (University of South Australia) Islamic Student Society who were running a campaign to introduce Islam with Quran. Ibrahim, one of its member was interested in using LQ Tafsir.

In Brisbane, Asma met a representative from Muslim Student Association of QUT, Falihin. Lastly, she met with the Indonesia Muslim community in Brisbane (IISB) where most of the members are permanent residents of Australia, students, and Australian citizens from Indonesia.

Great experience

During her 15-day journey, Asma not only learned from the classroom sessions, but she also gained invaluable experience to witness how people live there, respect each others, and follow the rules. Australia is truly a different country, unlike Indonesia with its homogenous society and predominant Muslim community. Alhamdulillah, Learn Quran Tafsir have positive responses for the Muslim communities in Australia.

May this journey creates barakah and bring benefits for the ummah, Insha Allah.

 

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4 Things You Can Do in Ramadan with Learn Quran

Ramadan is the most special month of the year and a good chance to learn more about Quran. It is the month of Quran revelation as it mentioned here:

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. (Al Baqarah: 185)

Multiple rewards await in this holy month. When the day is packed with our activities, you have the night to do more prayers and asking for forgiveness. You only have 24 hours so you have to make sure every second counts. Nevertheless, your gadget can be a distraction and procrastination tool, hindering you from a meaningful Ramadan. Technology should improve your productivity to and make life easier.

Here are four things that you can do in Ramadan to improve your Quran skills with Learn Quran:

  1. Improve your Tajwid skills and knowledge Learn Quran Tajwid App
    • You must have learned some tajwid rules but now there are some ayah you don’t know how to read it. You hesitate to stop or to continue when you see some waqaf signs in the middle of an ayah. These are the signs to revisit the tajwid lessons. When you’re busy, this app can help you to learn and practice tajwid anywhere.
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  2. Create a plan to master all the lessons in Learn Quran Tajwid App
    • There’re 22 lessons in total. If you already master the alphabet, you can skip it. If you want to learn only about the tajwid rules, you can go straight to the 14th lesson. Make a personal plan and make sure you can cover all selected lessons in one month. After Ramadan, you can recite Quran with more self confidence and may be you can teach others.
  3. Learn one ayah everyday with Learn Quran Tafsir while you’re commuting
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    • Learn Quran Tafsir is presented in a bit size so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the tafsirs. There’s a button to show a random ayah so you can use it if you have no exact plan which ayah to learn. You can also make a plan, for example you want to finish reading all tafsirs in Juz 30 during Ramadan. You can go to the selected surah and ayah by clicking the menu on the left side.
  4. Support Learn Quran Foundation as ‘Amal Jariyah
    • If you enjoy Learn Quran Tafsir, you can support us with donation in our campaign page here or via PayPal to donation@learn-quran.co. Your support is very valuable to improve Learn Quran Tafsir features and make sure more people can enjoy using this Quran search engine too. Moreover, in Ramadan every good deeds creates multiple rewards, Insha Allah.

“My Lord, put my heart at peace for me and make my task easy for me,” (Taha: 25-26)

Ramadan is a good chance for us to focus and learning more about Quran. And with Learn Quran, we can practice Quran recitation and get more depth with the Quran in a modern way. Bismillah.

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Seven Habits of Stephen Covey in Quran

A friend of mine asked me hours ago, “If Quran is complete, why then there is no life guidance similar to those popular seven habits written three decades ago?”

I answer, “Firstly, those habits were only creation of that great man. Other writers could make it five, nine, add things, change others. Those are not the scripture which cannot be changed. Even the author himself add the 8th habit. Writers after him also make another version of these beneficial habits.

Secondly, the seven habits really exist in Quran and it teaches us more than these seven habits. It is impossible that Allah who is the Merciful and who knows everything best then does not guide us to such useful manners. In fact, there are several verses signify these habits and command us to do so as follows.

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1st habit: Be proactive

Highly effective people make improve their lives through the things that they can influence rather than being reactive to external forces. Change in this world starts from within. Allah said: Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. [Quran 13:11]

2nd habit: Begin with the end in mind

Begin everything you do with a clear picture of your ultimate goal. Allah frequently reminds us about the Hereafter to always remember that everything we do should be oriented towards it. He said: O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow. (Quran 59:18).

3rd habit: Put first things first

We will be asked about our priority list. Choosing to do something before another wrongly could bring us to Hellfire like people who were late to embrace Islam or perform noble deeds until they passed away. Allah said: Everyone will then know what he has put forth and kept back. [Quran 82:5]
4th habit: Think win-win

Be considerate of the feelings of others. Do not always look for our happiness if it makes people suffer. Even when people do awful acts upon us, we should respond them with pious deeds to make all of us gain positive results then we become friends rather than enemies. Allah said: Repel evil by that deed which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity will become as though he was a devoted friend. [Quran 41:34]
5th habit: Seek first to understand, then to be understood

In Islam, you are prohibited to cut others’ talk before they have finished it. You also must listen well to what Allah and the Prophet said firstly then try to understand and learn it, after that you should obey, then Allah will give you His mercy. Allah said: And if they had said, “We hear and obey” and “Wait for us to understand,” it would have been better for them and more suitable. [Quran 4:46]

6th habit: Synergize

Through mutual trust and understanding, one often can solve conflicts and find a better solution that would have been obtained through either person’s own solution. Allah urges this point several times in Quran. For instance, He said: And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.[Quran 5:2]

7th habit: Sharpen the saw

In Quran Allah never commands us to request the addition of anything except daily additional knowledge or skill. Muslims should endlessly develop their quality. Allah said: and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” [Quran 20:114]

May Allah help us to be those highly effective people. Allah knows best.

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