Productive Muslim Sleep Routine

October 7, 2011

Every once in a while I come accross an article which really strikes me and leaves a strong impression.. This one did… maybe because my household really needs this information and to IMPLEMENT IT not just understand its value.  I hope that this will help many other people as well, and in the end it will not only make life more productive, but easier, healthier and happier for all.  Time is a thing that once gone cannot come back so we need to make the best use of what God gave us. 

Many people who struggle with waking up early, realize that how and when they slept the night before has an impact on their morning routines the next day. This is why we advocate the importance of not just a morning routine, but a productive night routine as well! The sleep routine is derived from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and what he used to do before he sleeps (Peace be upon him). Check out the sleep routine here: http://bit.ly/sle-ep

by ProductiveMuslim63 Comments

Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2011 in Articles

If you’ve started waking up early and working in those early hours of the day as we recommend at ProductiveMuslim.com, you’ll find that it’s pretty hard to be consistent each and every day with this routine. And when you search for the reasons for this inconsistency, you’ll realise that it’s mainly because it’s hard to regulate your sleep; one day you sleep well, so you wake up early and can work hard. Other days, you don’t sleep so well and those early hours are pretty difficult to maintain.

ProductiveMuslim Sleep Routine

Sleep, as any other activity we do as humans, can be optimized by planning well in advance and following a particular routine each night. You might think: “Dude, I just crash and sleep”. Well, that’s one way of doing it, but here’s another routine. Try it out and tell me if sleep doesn’t become a rewarding, spiritual and fulfilling experience for you after this.

The following sleep routine requires you to prepare for it at least 90 minutes BEFOREyou actually sleep. And it’s basically dividing those 90 minutes into 3 parts:

  1. One third for Your Lord
  2. One third for Your Self
  3. One third for Your Sleep

1. One third for Your Lord:

This starts with you making wudhu, brushing your teeth, putting on nice clothes and perfume and praying Tahajjud and Witr for Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) (Note: If you prefer to wake up before Fajr to pray these night prayers then definitely go with that. However, if you can’t trust yourself to wake up that early, it’s better that you pray Tahajjud and Witr Salah BEFORE you sleep). This is my favourite part of the sleep routine and favourite part of the day!

It’s such a calming experience after going through a long hard day, to stand in front of your Lord, recite His verses, supplicate to Him and ask Him of whatever you desire in this world and the Next. Do this for a couple of nights and you wouldn’t want to give up doing it! In fact, throughout your day, you’ll be anticipating this moment and looking forward to it!

2. One third for Your Self:

This is where you prepare yourself for sleep by putting on your pyjamas, getting into bed and reading a good book for at least 30 minutes. If you’re like me, ideas and thoughts will keep popping into your head as you read, and you will want to save them for later. For these, I have a plain notebook and pen/pencil next to me to scribble anything (and I mean anything) that pops in my head! You’ll be surprised how many great ideas originate from these 30 minutes.

Alternatively, instead of reading, you may spend these 30 minutes brainstorming on a plain notebook any ideas,plans, and projects you have in mind. You don’t have to come up with the ‘perfect’ idea/solution, but simply brainstorm as much as you can then literally “sleep on it” (as the saying goes). In the morning, you’ll be surprised at what your sub-conscious mind brings forth for you.

3. One third for Your Sleep:

I’ve said that this is a third for your sleep, but truly this is a third for your Lord to bless your sleep, and basically this involves going through the duas and verses that one should recite before sleeping as per the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These include reciting Surah Al-Mulk and Surah Al-Sajdah and other supplications recommended before sleeping. For me, this last part of the routine is like the cherry on top of the cake! Nothing fills you with more tranquility than to sleep having uttered the words of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

So there you have it, the ProductiveMuslim routine for Sleep. You may think it’s lengthy, but there has been no day that I’ve followed it, except that I’ve slept peacefully and woken up peacefully.

Hope it works well for you and that you have a productive sleep – Sweet dreams!

PS: The ‘ideal’ ProductiveMuslim morning routine

Given that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was THE most productive man that ever lived, I think emulating him and his habits day and night would go a long way to helping us become more productive inshaAllah!

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Are there any duas to remove my deppresion?

July 15, 2011

Front of the Quran

Image via Wikipedia

Praise be to Allaah.

 In al-Saheehayn it was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when he felt distressed:

La ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem ul-Haleem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb il-‘arsh il-‘azeem, Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb is-samawaati wa Rabb il-ard wa Rabb il-‘arsh il-kareem (there is no god except Allaah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allaah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god except Allaah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne).”

 And it was reported from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when something upset him:

“Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoom, bi Rahmatika astagheeth (O Ever-Living One, O Everlasting One, by Your mercy I seek help).”

 And it was reported that Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed? ‘Allaah, Allaah, Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an (Allaah, Allaah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him).’”

 It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says:

 “Allaahumma innee ‘abduka wa ibn ‘abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘andak an taj’ala al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’

 – but Allaah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.”

Al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, edited by Shaykh al-Albaani, p. 72

Another dua that I have found to really ease the stress and emotional pain is this one which a sheikh taught me:  Allahuma rehmataka ‘arjoo fala takilnee ‘ila nafsee tarfata ainin, wa aslihlee shan’nee kuliahu, la ilaha illa anta (oh Allah it is your mercy that i HOPE FOR so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshiped except you).

More dua can also be found at this link:

‘O Allaah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make difficulty, if You wish, easy.’

From: Daily Qur’anic Verses by Toufique H. Sumon


The Islamic Method of Slaughtering Animals

May 28, 2011

Quran & Science

Why is Islamic Way of Slaughtering Brutal ?

how to slaughter an animal

Research: Islamic Slaughtering and Western method of Slaughtering

Let’s begin with a small introduction with the term HALAAL

What is Halaal ( هلال )?

Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. The opposite of halal is HARAAM (حرام ), which means unlawful or prohibited. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. However, we will use these terms only in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, and food contact materials.

While many things are clearly halal or haram, there are some things which are not clear. Further information is needed to categorize them as halal or haram. Such items are often referred to as mashbooh, which means doubtful or questionable.

All foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram):

Swine/Pork and its by-products – Read more on WHY PORK IS PROHIBITED

Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering

Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants

Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals

Foods contaminated with any of the above products

Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors are questionable (mashbooh), because the origin of these ingredients is not known.

Ref: Islamic Food and National Council of America

In this video: In Islam, a set of dietary regulations determines what you can eat. Here’s how to serve up a meal according to the basic rules.

Let’s now move into the topic

The Islamic practice of slaughtering animals by means of a sharp cut to the front of the neck has frequently come under attack by some animal rights activists as being a form of animal cruelty, the claim being that it is a painful inhumane method of killing animals. In the West, it is required by law to stun the animals with a shot to the head before the slaughter, supposedly to render the animal unconscious and to prevent it from reviving before it is killed so as not to slow down the movement of the processing line. It is also used to prevent the animal from feeling pain before it dies.

German Research Studies Pain

It therefore may come as a surprise to those who have made such acclimations to learn of the results of a study carried out by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and his colleague Dr. Hazim at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover University in Germany. The study: ‘Attempts to Objectify Pain and Consciousness in Conventional (captive bolt pistol stunning) and Ritual (halal, knife) Methods of Slaughtering Sheep and Calves’ concludes that Islamic slaughtering is the most humane method of slaughter and that captive bolt stunning, practiced in the West, causes severe pain to the animal.

In the study, several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skull of all animals, touching the surface of the brain. The animals were allowed to recover for several weeks. Some animals were then slaughtered by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck cutting the jugular veins and the carotid arteries as well as the trachea and esophagus (Islamic method). Other animals were stunned using a Captive Bolt Pistol (CBP). During the experiment, an electroencephalograph (EEG) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) recorded the condition of the brain and the heart of all animals during the course of slaughter and stunning.

The results were as follows:

I – Islamic Method

1. The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision.

2. For the following 3 seconds, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep – unconsciousness. This is due to the large quantity of blood gushing out from the body.

3. After the above-mentioned 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.

4. As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord) driving a maximum amount of blood from the body thus resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.


Helping Teens Cope When a Parent has Cancer

March 1, 2011

This is an x-ray image of a chest. Both sides ...

Image via Wikipedia

When a Parent Has Cancer – 10 Tips for Helping Your Teenage Child Cope

Teenagers Who Have a Parent With Cancer Need Special Attention

By Lynne Eldridge MD, About.com Guide

Updated April 05, 2010

About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

 

Coping with a parent with cancer is a trying experience for anyone, especially teens. In a child’s eyes, parents are protectors. Seeing them weak or hurting can have a profound impact, especially on older children who have more of a clear understanding of the circumstances.

Pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk’s father passed away from lung cancer when he was just 17. In an interview about his father’s journey, Tony shared that watching him “wither away” was the hardest part of all. This is a common and understandable struggle for any child whose mother or father has the disease.

When a parent has lung cancer, what can they do to help their children cope, especially their tweens and teens?

 

Communicate Openly

Children usually want to know what is happening with their parent. It is important to sit down and explain (in an age appropriate manner) your diagnosis and a general overview of what treatment you will be having. Children often glean bits and pieces of information from listening to their parents conversations with others. Left on their own, this can be frightening as they fill in the blanks trying to make sense of what is happening.

Answer questions. Stop periodically and ask your child if he or she has any questions. If it is clear that you are receptive to questions, your child will be more likely to ask you about concerns he or she has in the future.

Be Honest

We all want to protect our children, and that instinct extends to wanting to protect them from bad news. When the prognosis is not good, or complications arise, we want to shelter our offspring. But honesty during the difficult times is important to maintain their trust.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spirituality, Religious Wisdom, and the Care of the Patient

December 26, 2010

Dignity and Patient Care: An Islamic Perspective

By:  Ingrid Mattson

There is a great diversity of culture among the approximately 6 million Muslims who live in the United States. The cultural traditions of African-Americans, South Asians, Arabs, Turks, Eastern Europeans and others might influence the way in which any particular Muslim in the United States responds to illness and other life crises. Sacred texts and traditions, particularly the Qur’an and the Sunna-the example of the Prophet Muhammad-are the primary sources for a shared spiritual or religious response to illness among Muslims.

According to the Qur’an, all human beings (“children of Adam”) have been granted dignity by God: “We have dignified the children of Adam, and borne them over land and sea, and provided them with good and pure things for sustenance, and favored them far above a great part of Our creation (Qur’an 17:70).” The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that Adam was created in God’s image; dignity and nobility are part of each human’s birthright. Although the Qur’an recognizes that humans are easily tempted, it rejects the notion of original sin. In Islam, humans are not “essentially” sinners, rather, each human is born pure and is inclined towards goodness. In Islamic theology, society bears a heavy responsibility for suppressing and distorting the natural goodness of each human. In the end, however, every person should choose a life of goodness for themselves; this individual act of choice is the key to human dignity, and what raises humans above others of God’s creation.

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Story of an old Bedouin

December 26, 2010

arab man in the desertWhen passing through a mountain pass, a bedouin once came across an old man who was blind and who seemed to be afflicted with various ailments all over his body. It was clear that he was wasting away. He was even paralyzed and was constantly forced to remain in a seated position. The Bedouin could clearly hear him say, “All praise is for Allah, Who has kept me safe from ailments with which He has tesed many among His creation; and He has indeed preferred me over many among those that He created.”

“My brother!” exclaimed the bedouin. “What have you been saved from? By Allah, I think that you have been afflicted with every single kind of ailment!”

“Go away from me,” said the old man, as he raised his head. “Do I not still have a tongue with which I can pronounce His Oneness, and with which I can remember Him every single moment? And do I not still have a heart with which I can know Him?”

These words of the old man were enough for the bedouin to repent to Allah for his sins and ask Him for forgiveness.

 


WHAT IS THE WEIGHT OF STRESS?

August 16, 2010

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, Raised a glass of water and asked; ‘How heavy is this glass of water?’

 stripes falling off a zebra as he comes unraveled by stress

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, ‘The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.’

He continued, ‘And that’s the way it is with stress management.. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, As the burden becomes increasingly heavy, We won’t be able to carry on. ‘ ‘As with the glass of water, You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.’ ‘So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, Let them down for a moment if you can.’

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don’t pick it up again until after you’ve rested a while


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