5 Ways to Improve Yourself from the Teaching of Islam

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Islam is said to be not only a set of belief and its system, but it is altogether a lifestyle. Islam depicts and gives advice on each and every situation that a Muslim would be faced with in the worldly affairs. Be it education, marriage, upbringing of children, work, finance, household responsibilities, social, economical or political agendas, the Quran has answers to each and every prevalent situation that may arise. From the vast sea of information that leads to a better life, here are 5 ways that may assist in better personal management as per the teachings of Islam-

1) Practice patience and gratitude-

One of the major teachings of Islam is to be patient and be full of gratitude towards what life has bestowed upon you. People tend to get in the hurricane of negative emotions, comparing personal lives with others and feeling insignificant or lesser in terms of financial stability or social status. It is without doubt strictly negated in Islam to compare oneself with others and feel degraded. One must practice patience in matters that are beyond personal reach and be thankful on all the blessings. This would churn out a more positive and light minded person.

2) Be tolerant towards oppressors-

Oppressors in these times can be seniors in workplace, adults in family or any accomplice. Islam preaches tolerance, it has been said time and again that do not go out and take revenge. Instead, try to bring out solutions through peaceful negotiations. By practicing tolerance in daily life, there will be lesser arguments between couples, parents will be more tender with children, better environment at workplace and an overall betterment in the society.

3) Never lie, cheat or miscommit-

The Prophet Muhammad PBUH has preached several times that those who lie, cheat or backbite are not part of the Muslim community. It is stressed several times that when a word for any work is given, stick to it religiously. Only this fosters companionship and trust on one another. May it be personal or professional commitments, never fail to fulfill work that has been accepted. Incase it is impossible to fulfill the commitment, then do not agree to it in the first place.

4) Budget and spend within means-

Islam forbids excessiveness in any activity. May it be housing, clothing, eating or talking. A moderation in every activity is prescribed for Muslims. By practising this teaching of Islam, the modern term of it called as being more minimalistic has multi pronged advantages. Excessive money spent on unwanted material obsessions  would be minimized and it would lead to better utilization of resources. A better quality of active life can be enjoyed by following this teaching of Islam.

5) Safeguard Chastity-

One of the most stressed upon teaching of Islam for being a better human being includes safeguarding chastity. Women are advised to remain faithful to husbands and never reveal themselves in front of strangers as an act of protecting what belong to the husband only and men are advised to safeguard their gaze and not develop relationships with women other than their wives. By developing and following this preaching of Islam in daily life, divorce rates, broken families and miserable childhood would be reduced largely.

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Everything You Should Know About the Five Pillars of Islam

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Islam has certain parameters which need to be declared, believed and acted upon in order to fulfill the requirements of being called a Muslim. These 5 acts have to be performed by a Muslim, it is a religious duty for which there is no space for excuses, as each pillar has its own wisdom and need that affects personal life as well as the society at large-

1) Shahadah (Expression of accepting there is only 1 God)-

The first pillar of Islam is Shahadah. Shahadah is an arabic word which means bearing witness to the fact that there is only One God, and He alone is the Master of the Universe and all its Creations. Shahadah also declares that from the many Prophets that God assigned, the last Prophet after whom no other Prophet would follow is Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. This statement is made to commit to God’s Oneness and the last Prophet who sealed Prophethood for mankind.

2) Salah (5 Prayers a day)-

A muslim from the age of 7, or a revert from the time of taking Shahadah, must perform 5 prayers a day starting from the break of dawn to the evening. This is the second pillar of Islam, called Salah. Islam stresses on the fact that personal relationship must be built with God, and Salah is the means to communicate. Salah can be performed in seclusion and in a congregation. It is advisable for men to gather at the nearest mosque to perform salah collectively and for women to perform in seclusion.

3) Zakat (Payment of possessions for welfare of community)-

It has been made a compulsion on all Muslims to part 2.5 percent of total net worth as per http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/Islam/five_pillars_of_Islam.aspx, adding in all assets and valuables deducting any payable to friend, family or bank. This 2.5 percent is forwarded to the underprivileged members of the society. They can be anyone from extended family or other acquaintances that one might have or even any charitable organization. Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, designed to remind Muslims that materials possessions are temporary and for the love of God, they must be circulated among the poor and needy people.

4) Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan)-

The fourth pillar of Islam is Sawm, that is fasting in the month of Ramadan. According to the Islamic calendar Ramadan is the ninth month when the Holy Quran- Book of Allah, was sent upon the Mankind. To celebrate the revelation of Quran on Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him, and to practise self-control by refraining from eating, drinking and fulfilling any sensuous desires, Muslim commit to God and fast. These fasts are made obligatory so that Muslims can feel how the oppressed and poor people survive, this spirit may increase sensitivity towards others and motivate Muslims to help the needy.

5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to the House of Allah- Kaaba in Makkah)

Muslims are required to pay pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam, it needs both physical and financial strength to fulfill the pilgrimage. It is a spiritual gathering where Muslims from across the world, millions in numbers, gather together and perform the rituals of Hajj. These complete 5 pillars are the identity of a Muslim and outline the religious duties that must be performed throughout the life.

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5 Tips to Preparing for a Successful Hajj

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Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, those who have enough monetary wealth and are healthy, are obligated to go perform Hajj once in a lifetime. Though this religious obligation seems to be quite demanding, if one simply goes out unprepared the task may seem next to impossible as well. Or even worse, once returning from Hajj people might tell what you could have done in a better manner or what has been missed completely. To avoid such situations, read on to find out 5 tips that would help in preparing for a successful Hajj-

1) Manage personal belongings in a way that focus remains on the pilgrimage-

Often people are unaware that even at such a religious event certain thieves and morally sick groups tend to slip in. After reaching the destination it is found that personal belongings are unsafe. To stop the mind from wandering on worldly possessions and affairs, it is wise to either leave behind valuables or the ones that are being taken must be stored in safes. Many kinds of safes are available, one that fulfils size and security should be opted.

2) Get required vaccinations done-

The tourism company that is providing with the package and details of travelling often outline and guide as to which vaccinations must be done before going for Hajj. People from all over the world gather together, and the tedious task of performing most of its rituals lead to getting sick. In order to maintain as much proper health as possible, it is mandatory to get certain vaccines injected which would fuel and act as antibiotics for the rest of the journey.

3) Read a Hajj Diary-

There are many instances that only people who have performed Hajj can explain, these insights of experience can prove to be extremely helpful. If there are family members or friends who have already performed the rituals, an appointment must be made with detailed questions ready. Ehram, the cloth that is worn during Hajj must be seen as well. As there are some people who do not have access to friends or family who have performed hajj, referring hajj diaries is one of the best alternatives.

4) Gain as much knowledge as possible-

There must be adequate and appropriate islamic knowledge regarding hajj gathered so that no ritual act remains unknown. Attending classes for gaining extra knowledge and watching video tutorials that explain the correct manner, do’s and don’ts along with practical examples and problem solving situations is ideal to carry out. Look for as many authentic sources of information as possible so that success in the performance of Hajj becomes possible to its closest sense.

5) Prepare for physical activity-

Since Hajj requires several kilometers of walk and running from Safa to Marwah, it is highly recommended to stay in shape while preparing for the big day. Eat carefully and start walking to build the stamina and energy required to fulfil the rituals. Although people with a bit of slacked health also perform hajj, but if the true job of performing hajj in optimum conditions can derived then it is better to prepare for it than to be sorry later.

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7 Tips for Eating Low Carb Diet That Keeps Up Your Energy During Your Hajj

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Muslims believe in the five pillars of Isla, one of which is Hajj. This important ritual is performed by those who may eat diets with low carb foods. Maintain energy for this very important ritual and religious duty is essential. Hajj is celebrated by every Muslim who could financially capable and physically fit to travel to Mecca – the center of their religion. This must be done at least once in their lives. This celebration is a reflection of their devotion to their god.

During the celebration of Hajj, there are a lot of activities. These activities would require energy and physical strength of Muslims. They would have to travel from one town to another. They will walk around a Black Stone. During the walk they could not eat but they are allowed to take water. There are also a lot of prayers and devotions being done during these times.

As you could see, there are a lot of things being done during these times. It is important to have proper diet. Muslims, even if they are not celebrating a religious activity, have certain diet restrictions such as they are not allowed to eat pork. Aside from diet and food restriction, they follow rituals and tradition. As Ahmad and At-Tirmithi said “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright (i.e. adequate him for the needed energy) are sufficient for him. However, if he has to (eat more), then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing.” 

Here we will talk about seven (7) tips for eating low carb diet that keeps up your energy during your Hajj.

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are allowed within their diet. It is healthy and helps in the body’s metabolism. Since these foods are high in fiver, it helps the person have regular bowel movement. Without regular bowel movement the person may feel full, bloated, and weak; at some point they could also feel irritable. Three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruits each day is advised and highly recommended.

2. Eat grains

Eating six to eleven servings of grains such as bread, pita, rice, noodles and couscous are recommended each day.

3. Do not forget to eat milk and dairy products

Two to three servings per day will suffice and give the person enough energy. Eat foods such as yogurt and cheese.

4. Eat protein rich foods

Foods such as egg and meat will give the person protein which is important in having enough energy for the day. A recommended two to three servings per day is enough.

5. Have a lot of vitamins

It is an important part of a person’s diet to have enough vitamins and minerals.

6. Drink plenty of water

In moments where there is a lot of perspiration, dehydration may occur. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water.

7. Wash your hands

Even if you are not under a religious ritual, washing hands is important to prevent sickness such as diarrhea.

Hopefully, these tips may help you as you celebrate Hajj.

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How to Maintain Gorgeous Hair Under a Hijab

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Wearing a hijab as a Muslim hajj woman is something required by faith, but unfortunately, wearing it for long hours can cause hair and scalp problems. It is very common in women who wear hijab to experience problems like itchy scalp, dandruff and oily hair. Consequently,  you have to keep your hair in a healthy state to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place–or even treat them if you already have them by applying these tips below:

A Few Hair Care Tips for Muslim Women

  • Don’t always wear a hair band/ponytail holder but if you do, make sure you use something soft that’s not too tight—otherwise you may risk damaging your hair ends.
  • Take a specialty vitamin—vitamins like B-complex help nourish hair from the inside out and help keep hair stronger and less prone to damage.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water. Water helps moisturize the hair shaft for smoother and supple looking hair.
  • Avoid wearing your hijab while your hair is wet—when your wear your hijab when your hair is wet makes it more prone to breakage.

How to Moisturize Your Hair After Wearing a Hijab

  • Shampoo your hair 3-4 times a week with a good leathering moisturizing shampoo. One tip to avoid getting tangles is slowly massaging the hair in lukewarm water without messing the hair ends with the hair roots. Also avoid shampooing your hair every day or more because you risk drying out or causing more oiliness as the natural hair oils are removed that way.
  • One of the best hair conditioner tips, according to http://www.velvettresses.com/ is  to use a leave-in conditioner to moisturize your hair and keep it tangle free.  Of course you should condition your hair with a rich conditioner but use it only on your hair ends, only 2-3 times per week as you don’t want your hair to become heavy and limp.
  • If your hair is too dry or damaged, you can use a deep mask once a week, leaving it in your hair for 5-10 minutes or until you feel your hair deeply moisturized and detangled when your run your fingers through them.
  • When your hair is wet, avoid using a thickly tooth comb because you can break your hair and it will be hard to recover the damage afterwards. Instead,  rub your fingers with a leave-in conditioner and run them through your hair  to gently detangle your hair. Alternatively, you can use  a wooden wide teeth comb to comb your hair with minimal damage.
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How to Prevent a Cold from Happening Before Your Hajj

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To complete your Hajj, it’s vital that you’re not getting sick, and your health is in good condition. While elders and those sick are exempted from the pilgrimage, you want to make sure you can go on your journey.

With all the exhausting activities and sleepless nights, our immune system may weaken. One can become more susceptible to diseases. Furthermore, there are a lot of people making cross contamination and transmission of viruses and diseases easier.

One of the most commonly spread disease is the common cold. It could easily be spread from person to person. People with weaker immunity will be more prone to having the disease.

Here are a few simple tips in order to prevent a cold from happening before your Hajj.

1. Always wash your hands

We do not know who are sick or who are carriers of the disease. A simple sneeze or cough from a sick person may infect other people. If a sick person sneezes and the droplets touch a table or any object, and another individual touches that contaminated table then that person may get infected and obtain the disease. Thus, washing hands using soap and water always is a must. If washing of hands could not be done, a sanitizer or alcohol will be enough.

Doing this will not only prevent you from getting the common cold but also prevent you from other diseases like diarrhea.

2. Avoid touching your face

We cannot see microscopic microorganisms like viruses. We will never be 100 percent certain that our hands our clean. Thus, avoid touching your face, especially if you are out at public places. You will never know if your hands are contaminated with a virus.

3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

We all know that fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Eating the right foods like vegetables, fruits and grains are important in maintaining a healthy body. Eating foods rich in vitamin C will help boost your body’s immune system. Having a healthy body is important to prevent you getting a cold.

4. Drink plenty of water

It is always advised that a person drinks at least eight glasses of water a day. This helps the person maintain a healthy body. An added benefit will be flushing out of viruses such as cold and flu virus from the body.

5. Take supplements

During the religious activities such as Hajj, it is hard to have all the needed vitamins and minerals. This is either due to the lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition from food and stress. To cope up, it is advisable that the person takes in vitamin and mineral supplements. This will ensure that the person is receiving the minimum required daily dose of vitamins and minerals.

6. Get adequate sleep

This is quite hard to do during the Hajj. But one must try their best to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. This will help your body gain energy for the next day’s activity, it gives your body the chance to regenerate cells and it also helps improve your immune system

7. Get vaccinated

If you are travelling to an unknown place, it is always advisable to get vaccinated. An influenza shot is one of the vaccines you could ask from your doctor. The influenza shot does not guarantee that you are risk-free from the disease, but it lessens the chances that you will contract the disease.

These are just some precautionary ways to prevent a person from contracting the common cold. You could choose any of the above mentioned ways, but it is best if you do multiple pre-emptive ways to ensure you do not get sick. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

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How to Keep Your Facial Hair Looking Good on Your Hajj

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On your spiritual journey, you want to make sure that you have kept your facial hair in good form. There is something exceptional that empowers the person who has a proper beard – like the feeling of being sexy, cool and standing out with pride. It is usually the basis of checking out the virility and masculinity of a guy and this is a physical feature that totally makes men incomparable from women.  But, growing a beard is not just as simple as stopping from shaving; it takes time, effort, devotion and great resistance ability in the urge of itchiness.

If you are curious and are already up for the challenge of having beard but don’t know how to start, here are some ways on how to grow facial hair:

  1. Have the determination and patience. Growing your beard is not as easy as you may think; most of the men who tries to grow a beard failed to do so because of lack in determination and are not patient enough in waiting to have the growing hair needed. Regularly, it takes a month to grow an enough long beard, but still depends on your length of hair growth. There would be some time that you would like to pick up your razor again and just shave it off, but in time like this, your determination and patience will be truly challenged.
  2. Decide on the kind and look of the beard that you would like to grow. Before you even try to grow your beard, try to decide on what kind of beard would you like to have, full beard, goatee, over-all scruff, sideburns, chinstraps, the combo and others. You can even search for your bearded model, an actor, singer or anyone that would likely keeps you a good idea on what could be the look of your beard.
  3. Stop from shaving. Eventually, stopping from shaving is the first process in growing your beard. At first, it will definitely be itchy as your hair is used on being shaved every day, but resistance in itchiness is good thing here. There are some who believes that shaving can make your hair growth thicker but it is not yet proven and will never be. Once you have shaved, your hair growth will eventually got even slower that’s why it will be hard for you to grow a beard if you are shaving. So the best thing that you should do is to leave your facial hair as it is and keep your razors somewhere that will keep it from making you have an urge to shave.
  4. Let it grow. So the next step in growing a beard is of course letting it grow. Four to six weeks may be enough for you to see some changes in your facial hair.
  5. Take care of it. The final step now is taking care of it. You may actually need to put some dandruff shampoo on it a couple of time a week to at least lessen the itchiness and once you are satisfied with its length, you are now free to styled it the way you want.

So there you go! You are now ready to show off with your amazing beard on your hajj!

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What is a Hajj? And Why You Need to Stay in Shape to Do It

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What is Hajj?

Muslims’ beliefs and traditions are rooted on five pillars: Shahadah – there is no god except God and Muhammad is God’s messenger, Salat – a ritual prayer done five times a day, Sawm – fasting during the month of Ramadan, Zakat – donating 2.5% of their money to the needy, and Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life. All Muslims must abide to these acts.

The pilgrimage to Mecca or Hajj is observed during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah by both male and female. Once a person has performed the Hajj, they are known as hajj. Every year there is an estimated 2 million Muslims who join to commemorate Haajj. Hajj must be done by any Muslim, as long as they can physically and financially travel and observe the different practices. There are certain protocols and traditions that must be observed such as wearing a two piece white dress called Ihram clothing. This symbolizes that they are all equal before their god, Allah. During the five or six days of worship, they must perform the Tawaf or walk around the Kaaba seven times, Istilam or touching the Black Stone, Sa’yee or travelling to and from Mount Safa and Mount Marwah seven times, and Ramee or stoning the Devil in Mina which represents casting away of the devil. This is done because it is a devotion to god.

Because of all these activities, and a large scale gathering one must be fit, in proper shape and condition. This means you are not just physically able but also free from any diseases or ailments. Here we have listed reasons on why you should be fit.

1. There are a lot of activities, it demands physical strength

The different activities done during one’s religious pilgrimage to Mecca was already mentioned such as: Tawaf, Sa’yee and Ramee. Walking around the Black Stone seven times and traveling back and forth is really a tiring task. It demands a lot of physical strength. All these activities must be done during one’s visit in order to complete their devotion. Thus, to perform and accomplish all these activities, one must be fit. You have to be capable of enduring all of these physically.

2. There are a lot of people

Millions of people gather from all parts of the world in order to perform their duties as a Muslim. From these people you will never know who is sick or carrying a virus. If you are not physically well or your immune system is down, then there is a higher chance of you getting sick.

3. Have a meaningful pilgrimage

Last but not the least reason for you to be fit is to be able to satisfactorily complete your moral and religious obligations. If you are not able to focus and concentrate on praying and devoting time to god, then you have failed to fulfil your duty as a Muslim.

Hajj is an important part of being a Muslim. It is considered as one of their five pillars, thus there is a must to be able to perform this religious pilgrimage with a devoting heart and an able body. To know more about Hajj, the activities done, history of Hajj as well as latest updates, you could visit: http://www.performhajj.com/index.php. This site offers you a better insight to Hajj.

 

 

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