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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

THE 5AM CLUB: Wallow in Bliss and See Humanity Glow

Bismil Laahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu my dear brothers and sisters. Alhamdulillaah for the countless blessings Allah azza wa jal has endowed us with. We are fully grateful. We pray that He, subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa, continue to ease our affairs and accept our minute efforts to please Him. Aameen Yaa Allah.

Today, I am going to give you a review of a book I read recently - The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma. It is a wonderful book by many standards.

During the reign of Omar ibn Al-Khattab radiyallaahu anhu as Khalifa (leader) of the Muslims, he exhibited beautiful leadership traits that I believe everyone should learn about. He had learnt these traits from the best of humankind - Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.

I could talk about Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq radiyallaahu anhu as well but Umar's reign was much longer.

There were times when visitors could not make out the Ameer (Umar) from his subordinates as he sat with them because there was nothing that differentiated him from the others physically. This, he had learnt from his boss.

Umar's popular night vigils have so much sauce in them for great leadership. His acute sense of responsibility was so much so that he mostly cried when he thought he had been negligent about some responsibility.

He was a product of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.

Among the key lessons the Prophet had taught his companions was RISING EARLY IN THE MORNING. Yes! For special benefits, the earlier before Fajr, the better. And approximately, Fajr is at 5am though it differs slightly for countries due to the different time zones. 

If you won't wake up for Tahajjud, which is before Fajr, it is obligatory that you wake up to pray Fajr at the stipulated time. It is also not recommended that you sleep after Fajr. The best is to recite Al-Qur'an, do azkaar or something worthwhile.

Performing nawaafil and then Fajr is some form of exercise as it requires the movement of your body.

Rasuulullaah also taught us that humility was key for us and being a leader does not exempt you from being humble. He taught servant leadership. He taught leading with high level of emotional intelligence which makes you respectful to even the janitor and more concerned about people's emotional, spiritual, financial and physical welfare.

During Umar's night vigils, he mostly went undercover to serve the 'detailed' needs of the people he was privileged to be exposed to. He cooked and cleaned even for the poorest people because he wanted to exhaust his responsibility.

Now, let's come to Robin Sharma's 5AM Club. Smiles!

Before anything else, I will recommend that you read the book. You will learn from every sentence. Trust me! So, I am not going to give you details.

Robin Sharma, in the book, is promoting a culture of early rising and the uncountable benefits that it gives the human being especially the one who wants to be great. The one who wants to work on the well-being of his or her mind, heart, health and soul.

He however makes it clear that it is not just rising early, 5AM, that does the magic but what you do when you rise early. I won't tell you what he says should be done because that is one  of the interesting things about the book and I want you to read it. Smiles.

In his book, he features a  billionaire whom you will definitely fall in love with due to his beautiful personality and leadership characteristics. This billionaire has too many interesting ways of leading his life and his businesses that are mind blowing. 

Sometimes, he dresses like a pauper and moves around just to imbibe humility. There was a time Umar nearly whipped some of his Prime Ministers (smiles) just because they became engulfed with the culture of lavish dressing and eating.

To engrain humility in his heart. He fasted two days a week.  This helped him a great deal. Remember that Rasuulullaah recommends fasting on Mondays and Thursdays? Smiles. 

This billionaire had a mentor who taught him all these beautiful ways of living and he loved him badly. The beautiful thing however was that just as he was taught these great lessons of life that had helped him, he fished out people whom he believed could pass on the tradition and trained them too with his resources. How he did this made him even more loveable.

The billionaire's high level of emotional intelligence was displayed clearly in his many interactions with his students who fell head over heels in love with him. You would've too. I did! Smiles! He was not only generous, he was sensitive to their every need. He brought himself down to their level and but for the wonders of his wealth that they saw and his depth of knowledge and expertise, they could have mistaken him for one of them.

Robin Sharma gave many models of good living in this book that you should read about. He did not exclude prayer and the importance of solitude. 

Rasuulullaah suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was a man who cherished solitude even before he became a Prophet. It was in solitude that Angel Jibril alayhis salaam had come to him. Tahajjud was a time of prayer and solitude. He appreciated and promoted a time for deep thinking, self-admonishment, reflection, self-introspection and gaining some calm and serenity.

There is a whole chapter on the strives and gains of Nelson Mandela and you will love how he extracts the beauty in that struggle.

Robin Sharma quoted a number of Muslim leaders who were, Rumi, Khalil Gibrain and  Muhammad Ali. I was however disappointed that he did not mention the contribution of Rasuulullaah suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and at least one of his successors in this tradition of routine early rising coupled with beautiful leadership traits.

Now, if you have read this book before, share your thoughts with us in the comments section. If you haven't, please do but then share your thoughts on this article with us. Smiles! May Allah azza wa jal love you intensely. Aameen Yaa Waduud Yaa Allah!


Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu-Morla







Wednesday, 22 April 2020


Bismil Laahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu.

FOMWAG is the acronym for the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Ghana. FOMWA, Federation of Muslim Women Associations, is an international organization which has branches in various countries including Ghana. FOMWAG has regional representatives that work for National FOMWAG.

During this COVID-19 pandemic which led to a lockdown of some parts of the country which included the Greater Kumasi area, the Ashanti Regional branch of FOMWAG, led by its President, Hajia Yasmeen Fatimat Appiedu, decided to help some poor and needy women in their region.

With the help of donations from its members and other key people in the community, they were able to do the distribution of food packages to 250 needy and poor women at their office in Kumasi.

Due to the ban on gathering, various community leaders were invited to take food packages on behalf of the needy and poor women in their communities. This was done today, Tuesday, the 21st of April, 2020.

They are still accepting donations either in cash or kind in order to help some more of these women. It is their hope that they can help make life a lot better for so many people who are going through financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are fully grateful to all those who donated or helped in any way to make this donation a success. It is their ardent prayer that God will richly bless them and replenish their help in many folds.

You may contact them via;

FOMWAG Ashanti Region
President: Hajia Fatimat Yasmeen Appiedu
P. O. Box 540
PHONE NUMBER: 0206487437
WHATSAPP: 0274538783

Witnessed, Compiled and Photographs by
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu-Morla

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

SISTERS' CIRCLE: Single and Happy: Then, Who to Marry

Bismil Laahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu dear brothers and sisters. I pray you are super awesome by the unflinching grace of Allah subhaanahu wa ta aalaa. Indeed, if we wanted to count the blessings Allah azza wa jal has endowed us with, never and ever would we be able to count them. We are definitely in need of more of His bounties. May He, azza wa jal, shower upon us more. Aameen Yaa Fattau Yaa Razzak Yaa Wahhaab Yaa Allah.

Now, today, I am going to write about a beautifully awesome talkshow we had on Sunday, the 29th of December, 2018. The talk was on maximizing the benefits of our single life and choosing the right spouses. Interestingly, most of the participants were married. We however achieved our target of making the talkshow for all categories of ladies because the partipants were made up of;

1. A mother who has been married for over 30/40 years.
2. A first wife of three wives.
3. A second wife.
4. A third wife.
5. A divorcée.
6. A single lady
7. A lady married to a 'burger'.
8. And the other married sisters.

Now, before the talk started, I had the privilege of being told a super fabulous story by one of the particants.

The story...

She has a sister-in-law who has not been able to give birth seventeen years after marriage. This lady had tried all her best to convince her husband to marry again but her husband will not hear of it. The one telling me the story had given birth and her mother-in-law sent this sister-in-law to see her at the hospital. When this lady saw the new born, she told his mother that it was her first time of seeing a new born.

Within some months after this, she became pregnant after many years of waiting and wailing. I guess we have all probably heard of people becoming pregnant many years after marriage so the story might not sound so 'something'. The interesting aspect of the story however is:

When she had seen the new born for the first time, she made a du'a. From the deepest and sincerest part of her, knowing that Allah azza wa jal is Al-Mujeeb, she had prayed saying;

'Yaa Allah! If such a baby is good for me, then bless me with one.'

Isn't this amazing? True and clear belief in the fact that Allah azza wa jal is a God of possibilities is what pushed her to make such a beautiful du'a. Right after making this du'a, she missed her period. She didn't even bother because missing her period was a normal thing. This time however, within a few weeks, she was feeling all the pregnancy things but she still ignored them because she couldn't bring herself to believe she could be pregnant. Then she had to do the pregnancy test and it came out positive. We can all tell her excitement. But she still thought that it could all be a mirage until her stomach started blowing up. Now, she is almost about to give birth but says that until she holds the baby in her hands, she will not believe she is going to be a mother.

Do you recall the story of how Prophet Zakariya, alayhis salaam, had prayed for a miracle after witnessing Allah azza wa jal's miracle with Maryam, alayhas salaam? This is a typical example. Let this ignite our trust and believe in the power of dua.

Back to our talkshow...

We started by introducing ourselves, saying something small about our single lives and how we met our husbands. One interesting story came up. This woman never saw or spoke with her husband until their first night as husband and wife and they have been married for almost twenty years now.

They had an arranged marriage and she was very young. She just wanted to do as her parents wished. Now, a Muslimah scholar, who was part of the participants, made it clear that though such a thing seemed praiseworthy, it was not Islamic. She mentioned that the Prophet Mohammed suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam encouraged that the yet to be spouses see each other before marriage proceeds.

A discussion on the causes of problems in marriages came up and as participants stated various reasons, one of them said;

'The problems we encounter in marriages are due to one thing only and that is ignorance of the laid down practices of Islam.'

She believed that whatever it is, if both a wife and a husband are enlightened about their roles in connection to one other in Islam, their problems will be limited. There was a talk on how being patient in marriage is key for the success of the marriage but there is a limit to that patience. We are not encouraged by Islam to be patient with something that overburdens us. A typical example is where a wife is told severally to be patient with a husband who beats her.

A situation of whether it is right for a woman to say she prefers to marry a rich or poor man came up. Of course, some women think that marrying a man who is already successful is not the best as the man and or his family may not respect you. Others also think that it is wiser to marry a rich man than a poor man because you may sacrifice so much for a poor man but the moment he becomes rich, he will begin treating you like trash. A conclusion was arrived at that a man being well to do or poor is not the most important. What is important is that the person understands Islam and your right upon him as a wife. This is because if he is poor or rich but is religious, then he will not do as stated above.

Someone brought up the issue of whether it is the right of the woman to sign a marriage contract with her husband. It was explained that signing of a marriage contract is something that the couple could decide to do or not. What women have to note however is that if a man signs in the contract that he will never for example marry anyone but his wife and in the future he changes his mind, the worse that could mostly happen is divorce provided the wife will not accept any kind of compensation. What then is the point of signing such a contract? If anything at all, the couple should agree to realistic things and endeavour to fulfill them.

One of the known causes of divorce is the interference of family into the marriage of their children. Women who get married to men who live abroad and who do not send them abroad after marriage mostly find themselves in an entangled web of family troubles. Most of the time, The family of these husbands, if they are not in good terms with the wives, feed the husbands with all kinds of negative things about their wives, some may be untrue. These men, if they are not responsible enough, believe in these things and as a result start treating their wives with disdain. Some even completely lose trust for their wives. In the long run, most of these women get divorced when they least expect it. Such was the story of the divorced lady among us. But alhamdulillaah, her separation with her husband, whom she married young, has rather helped her to become a better and a more empowered woman who knows what she wants.

Allah azza wa jal tells us that He created man and woman and he put between them, 'love' and 'mercy'. Interestingly, some of our local scholars and elders hold the notion that love in marriage does not last long but mercy is what could be everlasting in marriage. They believe that after a few months or years into marriage, the love couples feel for each other diminishes and in the long run, the marriage survives on mercy. I personally have had a reservation to this from the first time I heard it. We see Allah azza wa jal sth how much He loves some particular people in the Qur'an. We also see how much He talks about how merciful He is upon the whole of humanity. The lesson I learn from this is that even though you may love someone enough to marry them, it is the mercy you have towards them that will make you overlook some things you may not love about them. And of course, you could never really love everything about a person.

It was pointed out that this notion is wrong and the evidence of love being able to last till forever is featured in the marriage of Rasuulullaah suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and his wife, Naana Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. The Prophet loved her intensely and he expressed this love even years after her death. That alone is enough to discard their claim. The only time they will be right is where the love was based on useless worldly things.

There was a touch on polygamy which will be a major aspect of the second session which will come off on the 18th of January, 2020 in shaa Allah. If Allah azza wa jal allowed polygyny, then however we argue on it, it is good and we must not detest it. One of the participants mentioned that when a young woman's husband marries again, it is actually a greater test than when an elderly woman's husband does. She explained this by saying that usually such a woman is at her prime and needs her husband more in terms of intimacy, finance, child upbringing and all that. However, most women at a little earlier age lose interest in intimacy and their concentration is mostly on how to help their children become successful in life. This is also the time that most men become sexually active and feel lonely because of neglect by their wives. When such a man marries, the pain is a lot less.

She added that first wives also face greater tests than subsequent ones because they might have sacrificed their all for their husbands and when these men get rich enough to give them a better life, then they go in for other wives who shares in these latest riches that they have not contributed to.

There was a counter opinion that even for the second and subsequent wives, polygamy is a test because it isn't easy deciding to marry a man who is already married. To this, it was explained that the fact that she has the right to decide or not is an advantage to her. It will be her choice to enter or not and that makes it less of a trial. For the first wife, it is going to change her whole life as she will have to adapt to not having her husband to herself anymore. It is a lot more painful if she has struggled with him to create a certain package that is acceptable to the subsequent wives.

The case of the attachment first wives mostly have with their husbands came up. Some first wives, if not most of them, have lived with their husbands for years and they know them in and out. When subsequent wives come, they tend to battle with the fact that their husbands are more attached to their first wives or let's say, they seem to love them more. Some disagreed with this. Let me end it here on polygamy. Join our next session to speak your mind on this issue.

Who is responsible for domestic work? Cooking especially. We discussed this matter briefly. Someone mentioned that in Islam, that job is for the females. She gave an instance of where Naana Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid, radiyallaahu anhaa, went to serve Rasuulullaah suallallaahu alayhi wa salaam and Malakul Jibril sent salaams from Allah azza wa jal to her. This and other instances where the women were said to have prepared food during the Prophet's time indicate that it is a woman's job. The man should be the financial provider for the home. That is not to say they both cannot help one another in their duties especially in these times when women are contributing greatly to the upkeep of the family.

All in all, we had a great talk as sisters even though the programme could not start on time. We hope to have an awesome one again next time and we will love for you to join us. You can share with me all that you think about what we discussed in Shaa Allah.

Jazaakumullaahu khairan always for making time to read this. May Allah azza wa jal love you extremely. Aameen Yaa Waduud Yaa Waliyyu Yaa Allah. And in the end we say, 'Alhamdulillaah.' May Allah azza wa jal shower an abundance of His peace and mercy upon Rasuulullaah, his household and his companions. Aameen Yaa Allah.

Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu-Morla
+233 555392722 (WhatsApp)