Prophet Nuh was born approximately 10 centuries after Prophet Adam was created. He is one of the 5 prophets who have been accorded the highest status by Allah (SWT) from among all the Prophets sent to humanity. They are known as the most resolute, and consist of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Nuh (AS), Prophet Musa (AS) and Prophet Issa (AS).
Prophet Nuh (AS) was sent to a people, who for centuries had practised polytheism (shirk), worshipping idol statues. Their idols had been named Waddan, Suwaan, Yaghutha, Yaauga and Nasran, after pious men of previous generations. When these men died, Satan misled the people into erecting statues in order to remember and honour them. Iblis then deceived the succeeding generations, telling them their forefathers used to worship the statues, as they had brought gifts such as rain. Prostrating to these idols was the first shirk. Over time, the following generations forgot why the statues were built, and knew only that their parents prayed to them, and continued this tradition.
It was into this environment that Prophet Nuh (AS) began to call upon the people to return to the worship of one God. The Quran says Prophet Nuh (AS) lived for over 950 years, and spent most of his life preaching this message. In all those years, very few believed in his message.He was a good orator and very patient with the people. However his message was rejected time and again by the rulers and the overwhelming majority of the community. Only a few of the poor and most disadvantaged became his followers.
Initially he would discuss and try to reason with the community, but as time went by, they began to rebuke, mock and avoid him. They would place their fingers in their ears to avoid listening to him, calling him insane or possessed. They began to taunt him, asking when God would send forth a punishment for their sins. Eventually, they threatened him with death if he did not desist from his message.
Finally, after 950 years of patiently preaching monotheism, Prophet Nuh asked Allah (SWT) to destroy the disbelievers. Allah (SWT) responds to his request and instructs the Prophet to begin building an ark far away from the sea, using His instructions, and to await His sign of a great flood to come.
He assembled all the believers and animals, took them aboard and sealed the ark, as the people in the community continued to laugh at him.
Thereafter rain poured from the skies in previously unseen quantities. Water from the earth also rose with the ocean floors lifting, and for the first time, earth was entirely submerged. The ark sailed on waves as high as mountains and finally, as the flood subsided, eventually came to rest on Mt Judi.
The Prophet’s wife and one of his sons were not among the believers and didn’t enter the ark. They were drowned with all the disbelievers.
Prophet Nuh was then summoned from the ark by Allah (SWT), and came out with the believers, releasing all the animals. There was a day of fasting following the disembarkation to give thanks to God for being saved from the flood.
Upon his deathbed, Prophet Nuh advised his son to worship only Allah, and passed away.
Benevolence Australia took pride in partnering with the Victoria Police Muslim Association (VPMA) to co-sponsor a special iftar dinner, shared here in Melbourne with over 250 guests including special guests from Christchurch, Jamal Green from the Al Nour Mosque and Peter Cooper, Inspector with Christchurch Police.
Also joining us were members of the Victoria Police including Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, Commissioners from various regions across Victoria, Federal Police, youth and staff from Wellington Secondary College, Doncaster Secondary College, East Doncaster Secondary College, Minaret College and members of Muslim and non-Muslim communities from regional Victoria, namely Bendigo and Shepparton.
Prior to the iftar, Benevolence founder Saara Sabbagh facilitated an enlightening Understanding Islam and Ramadan program to police officers from across the state. Police had come from the Critical Incident Response Team, metro and regional divisions, general policing, community engagement and the Academy to learn about Islam and the importance of the holy month of Ramadan.
The VPMA is the largest faith-based employee network in Victoria Police. It was formed in September 2013 to promote social cohesion and harmony, and raise the profile of Muslim's working in Victoria Police. The VPMA’s membership is comprised of 85 proud and active Victoria Police employees who include Victorian public servants, police officers, protective service officers and police custody officers.
It was a privilege to share in important conversations about cohesion and how successful multiculturalism is a tool for national security and what cohesion looks like in other communities and organisations.
The evening was a resounding success, and could not be possible without the tireless efforts of staff and volunteers from both organisations. We extend a special thank you to VPMA Chairperson, Sergeant Maha Sukkar, and VPMA Patron the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Mr. Graham Ashton for enabling this event to eventuate.
The successful and respectful production of events such as this iftar dinner depends on team work and harmonious collaboration. The holy Quran stated the importance of team work in the verse: Surely Allah loves those who struggle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid cemented structure. (61: 4)
Photography credits: Elio Rulli, Studio House Photography
“Whoever prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.”
We are approaching the last ten days of Ramadan, in which we seek the Night of Power, when the Qur’an was first revealed to our beloved Prophet ﷺ.
It is a night filled with mercy, when peace reigns throughout; a still and tranquil night, neither hot nor cold, when angels descend from the heavens to the earth, and the sun rises the next morning reddish without rays.
Our teachers at SeekersGuidance advise that, "the exact night on which laylatul qadr occurs is of those matters whose certain knowledge has been lifted by Allah Most High from this Ummah, for the wisdom that people strive to seek it.
Scholars generally agreed that it is most likely to be in the last ten nights of Ramadan, with the odd nights being more likely, and the 27th night the most likely out of the odd nights.
It is recommended to seek out this special night and to observe it with additional salat (prayer), recitation of the Qur'an, supplications (du`a), and remembrance of Allah (dhikr). Because obligatory acts are more beloved to Allah than supererogatory ones, the most important thing for men is to pray both Isha and Fajr at the mosque."
We ask Allah to forgive us and bring us close to Him. Please remember us, and the entire ummah in your du'as during these special days and nights.
The discussion at our weekly #illFastWithYou iftar, taraweeh and hadith night covered the seeking of forgiveness as we approach the last ten days of Ramadan.
In this period we look for the Night of Power, Laylat al-Qadr, mentioned in Surah 97:
"Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit (Archangel Jibril / Gabriel) descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn."
The recommended du'a during these special days is:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni
'O Allah, You are the One who pardons, You love to forgive, so forgive me.'
And know that the sin is completely wiped clean, as if it didn't exist. This is how we should also be to forgive others, and not to hold grudges against them.
We ask Allah to forgive us and bring us close to Him, ameen. Please remember us, and the entire ummah in your du'as during these special days and nights.
The favourite and most anticipated event by many of our convert community is our annual convert iftar.
For the 8th consecutive year, we booked out a restaurant and welcomed converts and their families/friends to share in the breaking of fast during this blessed month of Ramadan.
Benevolence recognises the need for convert only events to provide a safe, friendly, and non-judgmental environment to support and empower new Muslims on their faith journey.
Please help us to do so by donating to our 'I'll Fast With You' program.
Benevolence was pleased to host the 'Spirit of Ramadan' iftar to share the sacred gathering of mind, body, spirit and community with a lavish banquet by Moroccan Soup Bar in conjunction with the Immigration Museum.
Benevolence founder Saara Sabbagh presented on the purpose of Ramadan: that the soul feasts in God-consciousness through worship, prayer and charity, while the body fasts from normally permissible acts such as eating and drinking - a means to achieving greater self-purification, a special time of spiritual renewal.
• 'Spirit of Ramadan' exhibition open until 4 June. Tickets included with museum entry, check it out!
Benevolence honoured the blessed month of Ramadan by bringing together the Muslim, convert and wider community with our annual iftar - a powerful means of strengthening community unity.
Our most popular event of the year is proudly supported by MAA, where everyone brings a plate to share as we experience the joys of praying and breaking fast together.
The event is made possible by the power of volunteers, from across the community and from our Bene Youth and Spirit of Leadership chohorts who embody khidma (service). Thank you, team!
Focusing on understanding the ego, Benevolence's Spirit of Leadership participants are studying the text "Agenda to Change Our Condition", which is centred on the Quranic verse, "Allah does not change a people until they change what is in themselves." (13:11)
Within this verse is a calling for introspection, self awareness and a call to action: the attainment of taqwa, God-consciousness. Our SOL program aims to provide the space, knowledge and support where striving for excellence in character and self-refinement can be gradually incorporated into our daily lives until it becomes part of who we are.
"After meeting Saara Sabbagh, founding director of Benevolence Australia a few years ago it quickly became clear that we shared many of the same values – particularly around the need to, as she describes it, ‘raise the bar of human consciousness’. We have since been privileged to work with Saara and her organisation on strategic planning, board development and mentoring. This month we asked Saara to introduce her wonderful organisation via a guest post."
– Gayle Hardie, Global Leadership Foundation co-founder
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The blessed month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The word ‘Ramadan’ comes from the Arabic root word Ramadha, meaning “intense heat”, referring to sins being incinerated during Ramadan.
Did you know?
Fasting was made obligatory for Muslims in the 2nd year of Hijra, and occurred in three stages. Initially, it was mandatory for Muslims to fast on the day of Ashura (which fell on the 10th day of Muharram). In the second stage, there was an option of fasting during the month or feeding a poor person for each day not fasted, with fasting preferred over feeding. In the third stage, fasting in Ramadan became obligatory.
Historical events of significance during this holy month include:
• The Holy Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohamed SAW in this holy month through the Angel Jibril.
• The Battle of Badr was fought and won in Ramadan during the second year of Hijra (2 AH), when Muslims were first obligated to fast. This was the first large-scale battle in Islamic history, and the Muslims defeated a Meccan army three times larger in size.
• Hassan RA, the beloved grandson of the Prophet SAW, was born during the month of Ramadan in 3 AH.
• Khadija RA, the beloved wife of the Prophet SAW with whom he had shared a happy life for twenty-five years, passed away in the 10th year of prophethood, on the 10th of Ramadan.
May Allah aid us to make the most of the blessed month, give us the best connection to the Qur’an and allow us to reflect upon it, grant ease to those suffering anywhere in the world, and pardon us our shortcomings, O Most Generous.
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