Books

8 Tips for Producing High Quality Islamic Content

8 Tips for Producing High Quality Islamic Content

1. Plan it out carefully. Take the time to map out a full plan regarding what you are producing, why you need to produce it, how it benefits the ummah, how long it will take to produce, and what you need to do each step of the way.

2. Take your time. Do not rush it. Good work takes time and meticulous effort. If you need to research for two years before you even start writing, then do that! Do not rush the process, because this often destroys the quality of the end product.

3. Do it for Allah. Even if your books or courses are a source of income, ensure your primary intention is the pleasure of Allah. This will lead to barakah in whatever you earn through those projects.

4. Hire experts. Nobody is an expert at everything. You will need to outsource some aspects to others, be it cover design, video editing, or marketing. Know your areas of weakness and outsource those to experts.

5. Set deadlines and stick to them. If you say you will write a book some day, that day will never come. If you commit to completing your book by December 5th, you may actually do so.

6. Listen to constructive feedback from your sincerely well-wishers and even from your critics. We all are a work in progress, and in order to grow into the best versions of ourselves, we must be open to criticism and feedback.

7. Dedicate time daily to your craft. Block out time to focus on your product. Even if you spend an hour a day over three years working on one book, it will be worth it. Just block out time, work hard, keep improving, and take your time.

8. Block out the noise. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the latest trend and controversy. Utilize social media for beneficial means only, and completely shut it down during your work time. Your craft deserves for full attention.

Alhamdulillah, hard work pays off in the long run. I spend years researching the History of Islam, and 18 months working on the course (https://islamicselfhelp.gumroad.com/l/history1). I ask Allah to accept my efforts, and make it a means of khayr for the ummah.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, 0 comments
Ramadan Mubarak – New Free eBook

Ramadan Mubarak – New Free eBook

As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

Ramadan Mubarak!

I ask Allah to bless us all with a productive, spiritually uplifting, piety-increasing Ramadan.

Check out our free Ramadan resources at the Yaqeen Institute here: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/

This includes a brand-new free Ramadan ebook entitled Qur’an 30for30: Seerah Edition, co-authored by Dr. Omar Suleiman and Sh. Ismail Kamdar.

The Qur’an was revealed over 23 years, its revelation intertwining with the Prophet’s ﷺ Seerah. Many chapters and verses were revealed addressing specific events that occurred during the Seerah. Which surahs have a special reason for revelation? How can learning about this context help us gain a deeper appreciation of the Quran?

Explore key events from the life of the Prophet ﷺ and learn about the reasons for revelation of various passages of the Qur’an with Qur’an 30for30: Seerah Edition.

Tip: To enhance your Qur’an 30for30 Season 3 viewing experience, read the eBook chapter corresponding with each day’s juz before watching the episode!

Download the ebook here
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments
New Book Launched: Earning Barakah

New Book Launched: Earning Barakah

Inner Peace has no price

We get it. You are conflicted. Should I focus on earning well and taking care of my family. Or should I focus on pleasing Allah?

Why not both?

Meet Khalid. A few years ago, Khalid thought he had to decide between studying Islam full-time or starting an online business. Then he discovered the tools within this book. He learned the importance of halal wealth, trusting Allah, and running an ethical business. Most importantly he learned how to achieve these things.

The result: balance. A smooth running online business that finances his study of Islam.

You too are on the verge of achieving this balance.

You just need to do three things:
1. Get this book
2. Read this book
3. Implement the teachings of this book

We made it easy for you. The book is short (100+ pages). The book is affordable ($6 if you purchase today). And the book is easy-to-implement. (each chapter focused on actionable concepts)

Don’t allow yourself to doubt yourself anymore. Your journey towards barakah and inner peace begins with a single click.

Grab the book today:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096VDT5JR

Gumroad PDF: https://gumroad.com/l/earnbarakah/earlybird​ 

Amazon Kindle: https://amazon.com/dp/B0976WQ2SB/

PayHip PDF: https://payhip.com/b/QAISZ

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 0 comments
Good Deeds That Erase Sins

Good Deeds That Erase Sins

This article is an extract from the Book of Hope, available at the links below the article.

Part of Allah’s Infinite Mercy is that He legislated many good deeds that wipe away our minor sins. The beauty of this is that even people who don’t actively seek forgiveness may still have their minor sins forgiven if they commit to these good deeds.

These specific deeds are mentioned in the hadiths below and include the following:

1. Establishing the five daily prayers

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “The similitude of five prayers is like an overflowing river passing by the gate of one of you in which he washes five times daily.” Hasan said, “No filthiness can remain on him.”

Sahih Muslim

2. Prostrating to Allah in the salah:

Ubadah ibn al-Samit (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “No servant prostrates for the sake of Allah except that Allah will record for him one good deed, erase one sin, and raise his status by one degree. So, perform many prostrations.”

Ibn Majah

3. Performing ablution and praying two rakat with khushu:

Uthman (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “He who performed ablution like this ablution of mine and offered two bowings of prayer without allowing his thoughts to be distracted, then his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim

4. An accepted umrah or hajj:

Abu Huraira (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “The umrah pilgrimage to the following umrah will expiate whatever sins were committed between them, and the accepted hajj pilgrimage has no reward other than Paradise.”

Sahih al-Bukhari

5. Converting to Islam, emigrating for the sake of Allah, or an accepted hajj:

‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “Do you not know that embracing Islam wipes away all sins committed before it, that emigration wipes away what came before it, and the hajj pilgrimage wipes away what came before it?”

Sahih Muslim

6. Fasting the days and praying during the nights of Ramadan for the sake of Allah:

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) said, “Verily, Ramadan is a month in which Allah Almighty has obligated its fasting. And verily, I have instituted for Muslims the (recommended) practice of its prayer at night. Thus, whoever fasts it with faith and expecting reward will be rid of sins like the day he was born from his mother.”

Musnad Ahmad

Conclusion

There are many other good deeds that also wipe away our sins. This is just a glimpse of how merciful Allah is to us and how many opportunities He gives us to be free from our sins.

If Allah wanted, He could have made forgiveness dependent only upon repentance. Instead He created so many ways for us to be forgiven that it would be our fault alone if we missed every one of these paths to forgiveness.

It may be impossible to avoid committing sins for the rest of our life, but it is possible to do so many good deeds that Allah may forgive all our minor sins on account of our good deeds.

In order to earn this forgiveness, we must commit to these good deeds. Begin with praying five times a day. Establishing the five daily prayers is the most important good deed in the life of the believer.

Prayer is the second pillar of Islam, the first thing we will be asked about on the Last Day, and a means through which all minor sins can be forgiven.

The Prophet (salallahu alahi wasalam) compared it to bathing in a river five times a day. Just as bathing five times a day would wash away all physical dirt, praying five times a day washes away all sins.

So let us start with this. Let’s commit to praying five times a day for the sake of Allah. And let us make this a priority and habit in our lives. This one habit alone could save us on the Last Day and be the means through which our sins are forgiven.

To continue reading about this topic, access the full book at one of the links below.

PDF EDITION

KINDLE EDITION

PAPERBACK EDITION

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, 0 comments
How I read 50 books in 9 months

How I read 50 books in 9 months

Over the past few years, I have made it my goal to read more books each year than the year before. By increasing the number of quality books I read per year, I increase the amount of knowledge I gain every year. Reading daily is a habit that I encourage everybody to take up. It isn’t just something I preach, it is something I am committed to doing myself.

Having in previous years, read 20-40 books a year, I decided to up my goal this year to 50 books. Alhamdulillah, I am happy to announce that nine months into the year, I have already completed 51 books, and am on my way to completing 7 more.

Now, in reality, this number isn’t really that impressive. Some of my teachers read 100 or more books per year. But these teachers are also retired and have more time on their hands. I have to handle a university job, a freelance career, a writing career, and homeschooling my kids. So I am quite happy with my progress in building this habit.

So the question I have been getting a lot in the past few days is, “How did you manage to read so many books this year?” The answer is rather lengthy so I decided to write this post about. There are six important steps that helped me accomplish this goal.

1. Having an ever-increasing to-read list.

To ensure that I never reach a point in the year where I don’t know what to read next, I am constantly adding books to my to-read list. I utilize Goodreads to keep track of every book I read, am currently reading, and plan to read in the future.

I also use it to keep track of my progress towards my annual reading goals. Whenever I come across a book I might be interested in, I add it to my Goodreads to-read list. That way, I always know what I plan to read next once I am done reading my current set of books.

Recommendation: Get a Goodreads Profile, and start using it to track your progress.

2. Reading more than one book at a time.

I don’t stick to one book at a time. This can sometimes be very tedious, especially if reading for multiple hours a day, and if the book is lengthy. Instead, I focus on two or three books at a time. That way, as soon as my attention is waning from one book, I can switch to another to keep my mind fresh. By reading multiple books at a time, I am able to finish 5-7 books per month easily.

Recommendation: Build a habit of reading two books at a time. This will be even more effective is they are from completely different genres.

3. Reading for two to three hours a day.

I started my habit many years ago with a dedicated half an hour a day for reading. As the years have gone by, I have increased it by half an hour each year. Currently, I read for two or three hours a day, depending on my workload. In this way, I am able to read more books per month by reading for more hours per day.

Recommendation: If you don’t have a habit of reading yet, start with building the habit of reading for thirty minutes every day. Once you are accustomed to it, slowly increase the amount of time you spent reading daily.

4. Alternating between long and short books.

One obstacle that prevents many people from meeting their reading goals is getting stuck in a long book until you lose interest. My way around this is to read multiple books at a time, some short and some long. That way, even if it takes me three months to read a long book, I would have completed 10 other books during that same time using this method.

For example, Principles by Ray Dalio is a very lengthy book on investing and finance, I started reading it in February, and completed it in May. At the same time though, I alternated between reading this for an hour and reading a shorter book for an hour. As a result, I read 12 other books during this same time period.

Recommendation: Don’t get stuck on lengthy books. Read a shorter book alongside it, so that you can meet your goals and not lose motivation.

5. Speed-Reading only when needed.

There are two situations in which I choose to speed-read; when I am reading about a topic I am already very familiar with, and when I am re-reading an old book that I read many years ago. Many books discuss similar topics, to master a topic I tend to read at least 10 books on the topic. I will read the first one or two slowly, but then start speed-reading through sections of the others. In this way, I cover more ground faster without wasting time slowly reading something I already read before.

Sometimes I re-read books I have read many years ago to refresh my memory or get a new perspective on them. Our thoughts, knowledge, and experience develop with time, so it is often helpful to go back and re-read old books with a new perspective to understanding them better.

Recommendation: If you find the content of a book familiar, try speed-reading it. If you know of any books that you read many years ago and didn’t understand, try re-reading them again this year. You will be surprised how much better you understand them now.

6. Incorporating reading into my work tasks.

I primarily earn a living through three things; university teaching and management, freelance writing, and writing my own books. All three require extensive reading and research. As a result, I have the privilege of being able to read on the job and to get paid for it.

Often a client will give me a list of books to read before writing their book/article for them. In these cases, they are literally paying me to read books. Likewise, the university expects me to have the latest information in my field, so reading books on the subjects I teach during work hours is an expected part of the job.

And of course, for my own books, I need to research thoroughly before writing, so I large part of my writing process is extensive reading.

Recommendation: If you really want to spend a large portion of your day reading, choose a job/career which requires you to read and research a lot.

Conclusion

Utilizing these six steps I am able to read dozens of books per year. I accomplish this by having a constantly growing to-read list, reading multiple books at a time, and dedicating hours of my day to reading. I also alternate between big and small books, speed-read when necessary, and do work that requires extensive reading. This is how I met this goal.

I hope this sufficiently answered the question. 🙂

Best books I’ve read this year

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, 1 comment