Allah (swt) Forgives All Sins

forgive

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By Anoshia Riaz

Being worried and concerned about the day that you are going to meet Allah (swt) – the Day of Judgement- when all the secrets of your heart will lay bare if you have not sought forgiveness.

Why I say if you have not sought forgiveness?

Because Islam is based on mercy- it is a religion of peace and mercy. It starts off with the terms or the words of the blessed noble Quran, right at the beginning, known as Surah-Al-Fatiha.

Al humdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen

You are praising your Maker. You are declaring all praise to the Maker-the Rabb. The Rabb here refers to the One who created-
Nourisher, Cherisher, Sustainer, Provider, Protector, and Curer.

All these terms are included in the term Rabbun, made of two letters in the Arabic language: One Raa and two Baa. So, praise be to Allah (swt), Lord of the worlds. Then what does Allah (swt) say?

Allah (swt) declares immediately that not only is He the Merciful, but the faith that He has asked you to believe, to be a follower of the faith of mercy; the faith that is based on hope, not the faith that is based on the wrath and the anger of Allah (swt). Therefore, he could have chosen after “Alhumdulillahi Rabb-il Aal’ameen” whatever he wanted. He could have spoken about punishment, he could have spoken about so many other things- but, he chose to say “Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem” – the qualities which are repeated by me and you who pray so many times a day. Every unit of prayer, we repeat Allah (swt) is the one who is “Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem” – the Merciful, the Merciful. It’s actually Merciful twice. Different types of mercy, one is ‘broader’ than the other. This is making mention of how beautiful the faith is. That is why, I say that those who repent, and who seek forgiveness from Allah (swt). Wallahi, my dear brothers and sisters, your sin is wiped out. Never let the devil come back to you and make you think: “You know what, your sin was too big and you are not forgiven.” No way! That is one of the plots of devil. Allah (swt) says,

“Say: “O ‘Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful..” (Az-Zumar 39:53)

Do not become despondent; if you become despondent, or if you despair, or if you think that your sin is not forgiven by Allah (swt) – you have insulted Allah (swt) because He says,

Allah (swt) will forgive all sins. What you need to do is repent. Which brings me to a point that Muslim is he or she who constantly turns to Allah (swt): “O Allah forgive me! There are sins I have committed that I don’t even know. I was on a street today, and I looked at things that might displease you. There are things that I might have said today which you did not like. Ya’Allah (swt) forgive me for the sins I know, and the sins I do not know. I admit, I regret, I seek forgiveness and I promise I would not do it again. Those are the four conditions of the acceptance of your repentance.

The best Muslim constantly seeks the forgiveness of Allah (swt). The Prophet Muhammad (sa) was the ultimate best. No competition, hands down. He was the best.

What did he do?

Look at the Ahadeeth.

Look at the sayings of the companions where they say that he sought forgiveness around 70 times a day, 100 times a day. Why?

He was sinless, spotless. But, it is because it was a lesson for every one of us. You want to be the best Muslim. Learn to turn to Allah (swt), everyday!

Seek forgiveness of Allah (swt). I will tell you, start your day seeking forgiveness of Allah (swt) every single day, and you end your day seeking forgiveness of Allah (swt) each day. One day you will leave this world. And, if you make this a habit of seeking forgiveness, the day you leave this Earth, you would have sought forgiveness of Allah (swt) on that same day. So, when your deeds go up, the angels will obviously have the deeds laid bare, and it will be seen that the day you died, you told Allah (swt): “O Allah (swt), I seek your forgiveness.”

Be hopeful my brothers and sisters, this is a religion of hope! Never let the devil make you think you are right off! The best Muslim is he who constantly has hope in the mercy of Allah (swt); who knows that the devil wants to trap me.

Video URL (courtesy Muslim Speakers YouTube Channel) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNphN65mJjE

Exclusive Interview with Brother Raja Zia-ul-Haq

Hiba Magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Brother Raja Zia-ul-Haq, President and CEO, Youth Club.

Raja Zia-ul-Haq is a prominent motivational speaker, life coach and ‘spiritual cardiologist’ from Islamabad.

The interview was conducted by Talha Arif, a 15-year-old student of L2L Academy, on behalf of Hiba.

You can listen to the audio of the interview below:

Everything about Jannah will be Upgraded

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And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing. And those who say: “Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.”Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to dwell. And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes). And those who invoke not any other Ilah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance. And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity. And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat. And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.(Al-Furqan 25:63-74)

“The slaves of Allah (swt) who control their anger; and also those who pray in the middle of the night; and also those who make Dua to be saved from the fire of Jahannum; and also those who are financially responsible; and also and also….”

Slaves of Allah (swt), masters in Jannah!

They will be compensated with very high, lofty mansions. They will be given palaces because of the Sabr they had. Because of the patience they had.

What is Allah (swt) telling us? All of these qualities require what? Sabr.

What does Sabr mean?

Sabr does not only mean patience; it means constancy. Let me tell you what constancy is because Ramadan is coming. Some people become very good Muslims in the month of Ramadan, but they don’t have the Sabr to continue after Ramadan.

You can have these good qualities. You can control your anger, but you say that I controlled it for like two months, I ran out of gas. Then, I went back to normal again. No. no! Sabr means when you take these qualities for life. If you are able to make that a lifestyle choice, then you get Jannah.

And, they are going to be greeted by angels in Jannah. They are walking in there, and they are going to be greeted:

“Assalam-o-Alaikum! You are here! So happy to see you, this is your palace. Congratulations! It has all of these entrances. By the way, there is a waterfall on the back, go check it out.”

All of this, and they are giving you a full tour of the palaces. You are being greeted. Angels are your tour guide in Jannah.

And, when you go to an expensive place- you know, sometimes, hotels look like palaces. You go and spend how many nights in the hotel? One. Two. It is expensive.  And, then you realize- I am going to leave, but I should take some pictures before I go. Or, you go to some beautiful island, some beautiful resort for vacation- how long do you stay there? Just a little bit.

You are being given this beautiful tour. Allah (swt) says, “Khali-dee-naa Fee-haa” they are going to stay here. This is not temporary. It is your home now. This is where you are going to live. This is such an awesome place to be temporarily and long-term. Now the question comes, how come Allah (swt) mentions Jannah temporarily? Why did he mention “Must-aqarr”? Because if you make it to one level of Jannah, it might be that Allah (swt) is giving you the option, it might be that He might upgrade you to the executive suite.  Next level of Jannah!

So, this home that you have in Jannah- as awesome as it is- might be temporary. Because, Allah (swt) is going to upgrade you; it might be that when you are upgraded, Allah (swt) is about to upgrade you again. And, so this is an open Ayat for Muslims. It may be that as Jannah has seven levels, you make it to level one. May be you made it to the basement of level one. Then, Allah (swt) is offering you over time, Must-aqarr, more above and above. I will keep giving you better, Subhan’Allah! It is awesome.

In one of the descriptions of Jannah in the Quran, we find:

“Maa-kitheen-aa Fee-h’i Aba’da’a – In which they will remain forever” [Al- Kahf 18:3]

Maa’kith, in Arabic Language, means someone who is waiting for something and they are excited. Musa (as) told his family: “Wait here! I am going to go and see that fire! Um-ku-su’o, you stay here.”

When they are staying, are they waiting excitedly? Like I can’t wait till he comes back, or they may be like: “Yeah! Might as well stay here”. No! They are nervous, they are excited, and they are waiting for the next thing. Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “We will constantly be waiting in Jannah with excitement.” You know what that means?

Allah (swt) will give you fruit and you will eat it like: “Aah! that was amazing!” And then, you are excited because the next delivery is coming. Then, Allah (swt) will show you a palace, and you will be so happy; but then you are excited because the next palace is about to be shown. You are constantly going to be upgraded, and this is going to happen forever. You can’t go beyond iPhone 5 guys; you have to wait, and you have to make Dua for six. You got Samsung whatever that is it. You have to wait till the upgrade. But, everything in Jannah will be upgraded, permanently, permanently, you keep moving upwards.

That is: “…Hasunat musta-qar-ranw-wa muqaamaa – Good is the settlement and residence. [Al Furqan 25:76].”

I shared these verses with you because I want to encourage you and your families to be Ibad-ur-Rahman. Allah (swt) did not tell us that you have to do all of this. He said at least do one of these. Give me one of these, so I have a reason to call you Ibad-ur-Rahman. Give Allah (swt) a reason to call you Ibad-ur-Rahman. Give Allah (swt) a reason, you know. He is so loving and kind that instead of setting higher requirements, he lowers the requirements. Okay, you can’t do that one, how about this one, how about this one. Subhan’Allah.

May Allah (swt) truly make us Ibad-ur-Rahman; and may Allah (swt) put Barakah in this community. Ameen!

 

Transcribed by Anoshia Riaz

 

Tips for a Happy Marriage

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When was the last time you sent your wife an SMS?

You say: “Why should I? She does not deserve this.”

No Ya Akhi! While you are in your office, what’s wrong in sending her an SMS saying: ‘I love you- I miss you!’?

You say: “Shaikh, this is inappropriate, me saying to my wife: I love you. Are you stupid?”

The Prophet (sa) used to say this. The Prophet (sa), whenever Aisha (ra) used to drink from a glass of milk, he would take it and look where she put her lips and drink from it.

Nowadays, the husband says: ‘Honey, bring me a spoon so that I can eat with it.’

She says: ‘Take my spoon.’

‘Are you crazy? Wash it seven times with water, and once with soil, and then bring it over.’

What kind of husband is this? Ya Akhi! She is your wife.

The Prophet (sa) used to see the meat where she took a bite from and he would put his mouth on it. This is the love we want. So, send her an SMS, when you coming from work Ya Akhi! Buy her a rose, seven riyals for a rose; or buy her a dress.

And, when you see your husband coming out of the shower- (and most men do this huh?) They stand in front of the mirror, and do muscle stretching, and say: ‘Honey, how do I look? She breaks into laughter for half an hour, what’s wrong? She laughs for half an hour. On the contrary, when he says like this, she should say: ‘Masha’Allah, I wonder whether your biceps are bigger or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, wow! You look beautiful my love, my hubby. You should say this, this increases love. Same thing happens with us. When the Mrs. dresses up, and going to a wedding or a party, she says: ‘How do I look?  You say: ‘Is this your daughter’s dress? She says: No, why? It’s too tight I can see all the fat coming out of it. No! Not good on you. Ya Akhi! This is wrong! You lie to make the love ignited.

So, when you see this, say: ‘Wallahi, I don’t know who is making who beautiful?

Wallahi, you are making this dress so beautiful.

You are making this dress beautiful; it’s not the other way around.

You are the charming one who is making the dress beautiful. While, she would blush and say: ‘You are lying…’ and you say: ‘Yeah Yeah!’ (nodding in affirmation).

You should not, you should not!

You should try your level best to have this love increase. It takes a lot of diplomacy; it is not something difficult, it’s an Art! And, you have to know your shortcomings; and you know how to do this, Insha’Allah Allah (swt) will make things better.

Transcribed by Hira Naqi

Less is more: The Hazards Of Over-Parenting

 

parenting

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When my son was born- naturally, I was overjoyed. The mommy in me thought- now is the time to materialize the ‘to-do’ list I have been preparing since as long as I can remember.

My dreams,my desires, my wishes, my passions, my plans, my goals, my wants, my, my…and only my!

But, when things don’t go the way you planned in your head, you just tend to over-do it. You become somewhat reactive, and do more of something rather than less. If children are not listening to you, you most certainly will raise your voice, rather than lower it. If they are struggling with something, you jump in with plenty of ideas, rather than keeping quiet, or offering to help when needed. However, knowing that a softer voice would probably be more effective in getting their attention, but you have little or no faith at all in that notion.

With all the workshops, courses and webinars we have attended; the text we have read, and the discussions we have gone through; and thanks to the social media- there are strong assumptions that when our children are struggling, it means they need more: more attention, more time, more focus, more love, more rewards – maybe more warnings, and more punishments. Parents may wonder, for instance, if my daughter seems to be daydreaming lately, so perhaps, she needs more attention from her parents. My son isn’t doing too well in school this term/semester/year- perhaps, he needs more focus from teachers and parents. Or, my little one seems to have low self-esteem,  maybe he needs more love, acknowledgement, praise and rewards.

Stop Over-Giving, Over-Admiring, Over-Rewarding, and Over-Sharing

Anything in excess is never good. Mommies need to be wise enough to strike a balance between emotional needs, physical and material needs. How to attain that wisdom? We have many options now, but don’t delve too much in it for you will begin to over-think about matters which don’t even exist.

Maybe for some kids and for some parents, this is true; but, most of the time it is not. Often, giving more of those things is a sure way to impair our children, and you may push them towards being dependent all the time. Even though, we react this way out of unconditional love, we can be causing the very opposite outcome of what we intended.

One thing parents really need to be trained for is- to make your child independent; because, face it- you will not always be around to make things better for them. Why not start earlier and make them more responsible?

Years from now, when my son was still an infant, I was watching a talk show. This woman’s philosophy to make a child in-charge, made me realize how important it is to start early on. Don’t do everything for them, that way your prime focus is not to spoon-feed your child. What she said after made so much sense to me. When you are doing every little thing for your child, one – you are paralyzing them; and two – when your child is all grown up, you miss doing chores for them. And hence, you feel you have nothing left to do anymore. You end up in misery, and this causes major issues when you become the dreaded mother-in-law. When instead of you- someone else is running errands for your son.

From the very first day, we’ve been conditioned to over-do for our kids. By over-giving, over-rewarding, and over-admiring, we are contributing to their ultimate dependence on, perhaps, everything.

As a result, many kids believe, they can’t manage their schoolwork without help from their parents. Children don’t feel good about themselves- unless they are acknowledged by others; while some do not know how to regulate their lives without getting others’ time, focus and attention. Unconsciously, we as adults have encouraged dependence, rather than self-reliance in our little Ummah. Kids get addicted. And sometimes, we get our own validation by feeling useful and necessary through over-doing for our children. But in the end, they learn helplessness rather than resilience. Teach them to be responsible for little things at a tender age, give them job tasks according to their age, strength and understanding. Never underestimate your children’s potential.

That’s also, where we over-look Sunnah of the Prophet (sa). The ultimate example and inspiration for our little ones, who would not just do his own work, but help around the house.

Tolerating our Kids’ Pain

Being empathetic to people, especially to children is really important, to understand ones feelings, emotions and needs.

We hear all the time that in order to be a good parent, partner, or friend- it is important to fulfill others’ needs, and be empathetic to their feelings. Yes, that is important, but only up to a point. This perhaps is quite challenging for any parent, especially mothers.

For example, a teenage girl has issues with a friend at school. The parents empathize with the teen’s pain and struggles so much that each time the child has issues, they rush to solve it. Some may go to the extent of running, and picking the child- as soon as the youngster shows signs of distress. They would do whatever they could to make her feel better, assuring her that she hadn’t failed, and she was just not ready.

Same goes when a child who comes home, and complains about his teacher(s). Coming to the child’s aid instantly, may paralyze the child’s ability to deal with matters ultimately.

In such a scenario, would it be possible for the teenager to become more responsible and learn to deal with issues, without being too dependent each time? Her parents could have encouraged her to challenge her fear, manage her anxiety, and regulate her own emotions.

If you, as a parent, acknowledge your child’s struggles, efforts, pain and distress without rescuing them from it, each time- they can irrefutably grow up and become a more autonomous and responsible individual.

Naturally parents need to be more tolerant towards the child’s pain. Although, it can be very challenging to wisely pick and choose where to empathize, and where to let go. It is only when parents can raise their tolerance level for their child’s pain that their child can be motivated to do the same and not break down.

Is more ever better?

Is more the right solution? Is it ever better than less? You be the judge.

Try doing more for yourself and less for your child. For instance:

  • Empathize less, cater needs less, and focus less on her. I came across this piece where someone suggested- let your child get bored. It is then when the child will learn to entertain or busy themselves. But, if you as a parent begin to sympathize, suggest alternatives, and solve problems for them- they will come to you each time. I remember, as a child, when my parents’ friends would come over, we kids were left on our own without my parents suggesting what we should play. We (most of the times) never came to them grumbling, or whining that we are bored. I believe that’s why we came up with very creative games and kept ourselves busy. We, as parents, don’t give our kids a chance, and end up complaining about what we have hammered in them.
  • Think less about fulfilling your kids every need, and more about helping them take charge for themselves. A classic example- don’t go running back to school so that you can give homework books your child forgot – this attitude will never make them responsible individuals. Again, this is very age dependent- but try to begin as soon as possible. Also, never try to rush to replace something your child has lost due to carelessness.
  • Think less about your children’s feelings (all the time), and more about helping them function at their best. A mother telling her child, “You may not feel like apologizing to your cousin, but I am holding you accountable to do the right thing.”
  • Think less about giving into their whining and complaining, and more about helping them deal with problems and fine-tune themselves. “I know that you hate doing your chores, but when I ask you to do them, I expect them to get done. You can be unhappy about it, but please find a way not to drag others down when you are unhappy.”

Be there for your kids in the ways they actually need you, but move out of their way otherwise – learn to know the difference.

Letting Go

Surely, as a mother, you were repeatedly told by teachers, family, in-laws and friends, or acquaintances- that your kids seem to need more from you—attention, time, focus, recognition, rewards, approval—stop and think hard about it. You must have taken a couple of guilt trips each year as well. Clear your mind, take a deep breath, relax, get all the pre-notions out of your head, and in your quiet comfortable space, ask yourself- Does your child really need it? Are you actually a careless, negligent mother? Be honest to yourself and not judgmental. If so, then of course you should do more of what they need from you.

Remember to communicate…always talk, converse, discuss.

Nevertheless, in the more likely scenario, they are getting more than enough from you. Hence, it’s best for them if you cut back, and let them struggle to find their own legs. Letting go will leave you feeling wobbly at first, but with practice and time, you will find your own strong legs to stand on.

Lastly – Do not raise your children to financially provide for you. Raise them to worship Allah (swt). If you give your children everything, but haven’t given them the Deen, then you haven’t given them anything. Give them the Deen, which is everything. Teach your children Quran, and Quran will teach them everything Insha’Allah.

Are You Falling in This Trap?

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Among those deceived people maybe the one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or keep a check on his sins. But if he does a good deed, he remembers it and relies on it.

This is like the one who seeks Allah’s forgiveness with his tongue, i.e. by words only, and glorifies Allah by saying Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) one hundred times a day. Then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour and speaks all day long about things that displease Allah.

This person is always thinking about the virtues of his saying Subhan Allah and La ilâha illâ Allah but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, those who lie and slander others, or those who commit other sins of the tongue.

They are completely deceived.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

Running out of Patience? A Quick Reminder!

 

 

patience

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Oh feet of patience! Keep going, for what remains is only a little. Remember the sweetness of worship and the bitterness of striving will become easier for you.

Oh you who are patient! Bear a little more. Just a little more remains. Patience is that the heart does not feel anger towards what is destined for you and the mouth does not complain.

If a man’s patience is stronger than his whims and desires then he is like an angel, but if his whims and desires are stronger than his patience then he is like a devil.

If his desires are stronger than his patience then he is no better than an animal.

There is no joy for the one who does not bear sadness.

There is no sweetness for the one who does not have patience.

There is no delight for the one who does not suffer.

And there is no relaxation for the one who does not endure fatigue.

Happiness is attained by three things:

  • Being patient when tested.
  • Being thankful when receiving a blessing.
  • And being repentant upon sinning.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

 

[True Story] Children are Allah’s gifts

 

true story

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I have three children Alhumdullilah. Two of them are 13 and 9 years old. After a gap of 9 years I had my third child. Now why did it take me nine years to have the third one? Well my second child was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of one. His treatment was both emotionally and physically quite a challenge for me but by the grace of Allah he recovered at the age of 6. I was so scared of having a third one that I kept on asking people who had three children that how they managed. After a lot of research one evening I was getting ready for maghrib prayers at my parents place when I told my mom about my desire to have another baby. I told her to pray for me and we both offered dua. From that day on I realized the power of praying. My third child is a joy for all of us!

She does not have severe colic issues like my first child and she sleeps at night!!! When I looked at her for the first time in detail I was simply astonished. Allah Ho Akbar!

How Allah creates all the features of a human in such a tiny face! The hands and the feet, the lines in the palm…..everything is so beautiful.

I never knew that I will be enjoying my baby so much. She reminds me of the blessings of Allah. My elder children are so caring towards her that I feel my little one has more than 2 parents!

I am not a young mother and my bones are not that strong anymore! But I am much more mature and experienced than before. Hence I am calmer and do not loose hope and temper that easily.  Looking after my baby is my first priority and it does not bother me that I cannot continue my job because of the baby. I feel less threatened when someone points out my mistakes.

I used to feel very insecure when people used to give their expertise on bringing up children when I became a mother for the first time.

I think I am stronger in my faith too and therefore do not get hurt when offered opinions and myths. I listen to everyone, acknowledge their opinion but then research the information online and act accordingly. I am more grateful to people around me who offer a helping hand.

When I became a mother for the first time I was so overwhelmed with information coming from so many people around me. Some would criticize me while some would make me feel very guilty when there was a problem. I really wish people would stop being so critical towards first time mothers.

We don’t realize how stressed out a mother is for the first time. She is physically tired, emotionally disturbed and going through a brand new experience.

She needs a helping hand, someone to encourage her, give her positive feedback and support her when faced with a problem. In our society she is often faced with a totally different dilemma. Grandparents start with stories like “in our times” we did so and so and some even present the most horrific pictures to a new mom who has just started motherhood. Some criticize everything she does and makes her feel worthless. On top of that many consider her of no use as she stops working and is not earning money anymore.

This is not the right way to treat these mothers. They are tired, haven’t had sleep and are new to motherhood. The least people around her can do is help her and not create more problems for her. By now for me, Allah is the best help I take refuge in. I look for duas and Islamic ways of soothing my child. There are some wonderful sites with so much help and tips. Islamic songs and lullaby’s are easily available online. I have downloaded KidsGoApps on my mobile for Islamic songs, alphabets, nasheed and lots of other things to keep my baby entertained when she is upset.

My request to experienced moms, please share only positive things with new moms. You can warn them and give them solutions but don’t share unpleasant experiences. For example, if your baby was colic and you had a very tough time, don’t share it with a new mom unless she asks for help. Even when she does, give her helpful tips and encourage her to focus on the positive side. For example, tell her it is just a phase that will soon be over.

New moms, read, study and talk to other mothers to get as much information as you can. Record it in a journal so that you have a reference book that you can use when faced with an issue.

Keep a bulletin board in your room where you can pin up important things like vaccines, solid food chart etc. Of course this is time consuming but once you do this everything will be organized and right in front of you. You won’t have to call a friend again for a recipe or tip. So take out time once in a while and keep everything in place for future use. Important phone numbers should be saved in your mobile phone.

One last lesson that I personally use and find it very handy, when the baby is crying too much and you can’t handle it, give the baby to a responsible person and move out of that room. Drink a glass of water or eat something if you are out of energy. Go to a quieter room for two minutes, calm yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best. The baby will cry because that is the only language she knows. Once you are back to your baby you will have more energy to deal with the situation.

And remember one thing…….this is the best gift Allah has given you. Enjoy it! Nothing like a baby’s smile and for me when my baby cries for me I feel so important! I do not regret going back to work or not being able to cook a perfect meal!

 

 

Tips to Become Allah’s Beloved

good people

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Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings the most benefit. And the most beloved of deeds, according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificence is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim or relieve him of distress or pay off his debts or keep hunger away from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my Muslim brother in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the day of standing. Whoever walks with his Muslim brother in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the Day when all feet shall flip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey.” (At-Tabarani; reliable)

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

The Secret to Life that Everyone Knows but Nobody Uses

 

way_of_life

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The more you get into skincare, the more complicated it gets. There is seriously a step-by-step program to get your skin out of acne-land and into clear territory. At least, that’s what my latest purchase of skin products claims.

So, it is time to bring out the cleanser, the toner, the moisturizer and so on and so forth for coaxing your skin to become smoother, cleaner, clearer and under control.

I wish it was that easy to clean and clear out my heart from all the garbage gathered in it over the years. It’s a one-step program, though. Put one step on your Nafs (your base desires) and put your next step into Paradise. However, stepping on your Nafs is like trying to pin down greased lightning. In other words, it slips out of the way and out of control.

The beautiful thing is that it’s your effort that counts. Put in the best effort, and the results are not in your hands.

Purification of the Nafs and the soul is Allah’s (swt) job. Doing the struggle is our job.

Funny enough, it is the same with skincare. We cannot force the products to work. The function of the products and the way our body responds to them are not in our hands either, which is good. Just imagine having to physically push the moisturizer into the skin and make the skin absorb it and then make it soften the skin. You get my point, I hope.

So, what’s the secret?

The secret to unlocking the door to a blessed life is…it’s possible to do it. It’s within reach. It’s right there, and it’s yours.

That’s really all there is to it. It’s only our own self that gets in the way, with its inclinations towards laziness, indulgence and entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with having a slow/lazy day, indulging in a treat or entertaining yourself, but if you allow them to stop you from practicing Islam, then it’s a problem.

Action plan for revitalization

Usually, by the time we realise we need to work on our hearts, they are quite dead. If your day goes by and you don’t feel the need to open the Quran, it means you are being fulfilled by the distractions of this world; therefore, you are not seeking the goodness of the afterlife. The principle in play here is that the very things that seem difficult to us (focusing in prayer, making heartfelt supplication and reading the Quran with understanding) are the things we need in order to get out of this rut.

Fortunately, the very routine that sucks us into a monotony of soul-breaking activities can be set up in such a way that it benefits us. Take up three simple things in your life:

  1. Miswak (brushing with a tooth-stick)
  2. Sleeping the Sunnah nap after Dhuhr prayer
  3. Sleeping early after Isha prayer, getting up on time for Fajr prayer and not sleeping after the Fajr.

These things will bring Barakah (value, goodness) into your life.

How to follow the action plan?

It’s easy enough to figure out, which habits of yours hold you back from making the most of your real potential as a Muslim.

The key here is to find that one good habit that you can use to chip away at the road block of heedlessness. It can be a recitation of a certain Surah of the Quran, or a recital of a supplication, or a lecture series/book you are really into.

Find that one thing and hold on to it with both hands. Don’t engage in it mindlessly. Do it every day within a set time slot, and do it with your heart. If you don’t or can’t do something new in your routine, do something you already do with heart, with feeling and focus.

How do I know it is working?

I have news for you. You will never get a celebratory fanfare with the spotlight on you and a big screen with ‘you did it!’ on it, with confetti falling on you, and the crowd screaming in delight (you get the picture) – you will not get it in this life for anything Islamic you do. It’s not like you will pick up the prayer beads and suddenly your heart will undergo a permanent transformation for the better. Be realistic. That little flutter in your heart, when you finally connect with the words you speak, while going over those prayer beads? Awesome. Just don’t make it the aim of your worship. The aim of worship is not to experience enjoyment. It is to humble ourselves before Allah (swt).

To give a direct answer to the question: love is a verb. It means, when you care about someone, you give them importance by doing things for them. In this scenario, it means you express your love to Allah (swt) by dedicating your life to Him.

The very fact that you are bringing Islamic activity into your life means that the change for the better has taken place.

Any last words?

We usually expect Islam to ‘fix’ our lives and make them harm-proof the moment we act upon it. That’s not the purpose. Life is hard and it will remain so. However, there’s a big difference between simply existing and going with the flow and actual living for achieving something.

Whether it’s softening skin or softening hearts, the same rule applies. We just have to remember it.

Seven Tips to Discipline your Inner Self

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  1. Seek Refuge from Shaytan

As soon as you get a negative thought about someone, realize that Shaytan is playing with your mind. Don’t let him win. Instead, ask Allah (swt) to protect you from him.

  1. Focus on the Facts

When something happens that you do not understand or like, understand the facts. By taking a colder look at the facts, you will see that the situation is lot less dramatic than you originally thought.

  1. Analyze your Interpretation

How are you interpreting the facts? This is usually what is triggering your negative emotions-except that you have added this interpretation yourself, and that you can choose to have an empowering interpretation instead.

  1. Don’t make people into villains

As difficult as it may feel, let go of the idea that someone else in your situation is the enemy who is out to get you. Stop making others wrong and yourself right.

  1. Avoid Playing the Victim

By choosing to put yourself into the role of the innocent victim, you are avoiding taking responsibility for your situation. Instead, be proactive and look at what you can do to make the situation better.

  1. Make Excuses for Others

The Sunnah encourages us to think good of others and make excuses for them whenever possible. In fact, Hazrat Umar (rta) said: “Do not think badly of a word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.”

  1. Take Responsibility for Yourself

Allah (swt) has given you freewill-  no matter how difficult a situation may appear to you, it is entirely up to you how you choose to react. Remember-  the test of life is not what happens to you, but whether you deal with it in a manner that is pleasing to Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) give me and you the Tawfeeq to implement these tips. Ameen.

 

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

Successful Parenting and You: Golden Tips to be at Finger Tips

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Allah (swt) has granted great status to parents- not only because they bring the children in this world, but they are raising future Muslims. Children are the responsibility of parents, and Allah (swt) will ask about that responsibility on the Day of Judgement. Parenting is not an easy job, and can’t be learned from any book- one can learn it from experience only.

Respect

Mostly, the word ‘respect’ is associated with elders only. But, children also have the right to be respected.

Sometimes, parents scold or shout at their children in front of friends and cousins. In such situations, children face shame and humiliation. Parents can scold their children, but everything has a way to be done.

“Don’t yell at your children, when you yell the message is lost. Speak calmly for words to be heard, and they’ll retain the message better”. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give respect to your children to gain respect. When children feel respected, it boosts their self-esteem.

Love

All parents love their children, but only a few express that love. Parents should express their love to children by actions live kissing, hugging and complimenting them. One can learn from Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) behaviour with kids also. Prophet (sa) also said:

“He is not from us who does not show mercy to the young, and does not honour the old.” (Tirmidhi)

Comparison Is Not Good

Parents compare their child with children of the same age group. This shouldn’t be done. Every person has its own abilities and talents. The comparison may lead to wrong way. They should encourage their children for doing good things and build their confidence. What happens next after this comparison is a child starts to copy others- instead of discovering his/her hidden talent and polishing own skills.

“As parents, we must learn from our children and guide them in daily lives. Parenting goes both ways- it’s a give and take relationship”.  (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give Attention

Sometimes parents complain that my child doesn’t pay attention to whatever I say. He/she does not bother to listen. I think, somewhere, it is their fault because a child seeks full attention of parents which they fail to give. This often occurs when mothers are helping their young children to do homework, their finger of one hand is on a copy of child, and the other hand is on a smart phone.

Also, elders don’t listen to younger ones whole heartedly; or do not let them complete because they are taking a lot time to convey their matter. Parents should give full attention to their children, and let them talk. They should spend quality time with them indulging in activities like storytelling, cooking their favourite food, playing games.

“Spending time with children is more important than spending money on them’’. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Avoid Nicknames

Don’t call your children by nicknames like “Munnu” or “Baby”. Name has an impact on personality. If you call your child by a nickname, then avoid calling by that name in the presence of his/her friends. Sometimes these nicknames embarrass children in a gathering of friends and school.

Parents are Role Models

I heard my 4-year-old cousin saying: “Mama, I want to be like you. I want to wear earrings like you and have long hair like yours.” This shows that children follow their parents, and want to be like them. So, that’s why parents should be careful of their actions and words in front of children- because these little ones are great observers as well.

 

 

Top Five Thoughts to Forgive Anyone

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How can you forgive someone when it seems too difficult? Try considering the following:

 

  1. It is the fastest way for you to get Allah’s (swt) forgiveness; ask yourself this question from the Quran- Do you not want that Allah should forgive you?
  1. It will free you from the pain- for holding onto bitterness makes you suffer. If you find their mistakes too big, remember that by definition, forgiveness is when they don’t deserve it.
  1. Forgiveness is the quality of the people of Taqwa. Do it for yourself if you want to be a person of Taqwa who enters Jannah.
  1. You want people to forgive you. You need others to forgive your mistakes instead of settling the score because you want peace on the Day of Judgement.
  1. What if they die tomorrow? Would you still feel angry, or would you feel regret for how things ended? Make peace with them now when you still have the choice.

 

May Allah (swt) make forgiveness easy for us. Ameen.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

 

 

 

Parenting – Create Loving Homes for Your Children

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For raising our children to become responsible and well-groomed Muslim youth, we, as parents, have to put forth efforts into development of their character and personality. Since home is the first nurturing place of every child, it is of utmost importance to create within it a supportive atmosphere, which will facilitate the stability and confidence of our children. The following tips will help you to build loving homes for your children:

1. Trust comes first

Parents and children should have a relationship based on friendship and trust. No matter what age they are, our children need guidance from the inside of the home, not the outside.

We cannot be sure of the motives of people giving them guidance from outside; thus, they should feel confident enough to seek guidance at home, without feeling the need to look for outside sources.

2. Home Safe Home

Home should be the most comfortable place for your children. If they are not comfortable staying home for studying, playing and relaxing, they may look for options out of the home, which can become a negative influence on them.

3. Be the problem solver

Trust your children. Give them as much space, as they are comfortable to share with you. If they have a problem, listen to them and help solving it- instead of making a big issue of it, which would encourage your kids to hide from you their other problems.

4. Befriend their friends

Know the friends of your children for ensuring that they are in a good company. Let your children invite their friends to your home, so you can keep a watch over them and get to know them.

5. Keep a hawk’s eye

Keep parental controls over social media, technologies, gaming and mobile phones. There are more wolves out there than you can imagine.

6. Stay tuned to their life channel

Never be overly confident that your child is the purest person on earth. It may happen that our children fall in bad company, which affects them in ways we could not have dreamed of.

7. Family’s day out

Limit the time your children spend with their friends and increase family outings to compensate for it. Sleepover at any friend’s place must be a big ‘no’.

8. Their life, their choice- Accept!

Accept your children’s choices, whenever possible. Often they are not wrong in asking what they wish for, whether it is their career choice or even a prospective spouse.

9. Matured rightly? Time to marry!

Encourage your children to marry early, as that helps in character building and assuming a responsible attitude towards life. This is encouraged also in the Sunnah. From our surroundings, we can see the repercussions of doing the opposite. If you are against early marriage, your child may find an alternative in the form of a girlfriend or boyfriend outside the home. Thus, it is wise to marry your children, both boys and girls, when you are sure they are mature enough to think rightly.

10. Home is not a place, it’s a feeling

Don’t build a luxurious and lavish house for your children, indulging them with the material goods of this world. Instead, make loving homes for them, guide them with advice and nourish them emotionally, so that they are ready to face the adverse environment of today’s society.

 

 

Tips to Get Closer to Allah (swt)

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Some tips to get closer to Allah (swt) are:

Call out to Him

Make Dua to Allah (swt). When you take one step towards Allah (swt), He will take ten steps towards you. So, ask Allah (swt) to help you get closer to Him, and to accept all of your actions.

Some good stories must stay untold

Do more secret good deeds. Hide rather than publicize your good deeds. Without the watchful eyes of people, it will be easier to purify your intentions, and do things for the sake of Allah (swt).

Death is running after you

Remember death. Death is the only thing guaranteed in life; so remember where you are heading. Imagine lying in your grave; imagine the angels questioning you; and imagine standing in front of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement.

Nothing is sweeter than His own name

Find out Allah’s (swt) names and attributes. The more you know about Allah (swt), the more your heart will become attached to Him. Also, learn about the life of the Prophet (sa) and his companions; this will increase your love for them, and ultimately, your love for Allah (swt).

Keep Allah (swt)-loving company

Find good friends. The Prophet (sa) said: “A man will follow the religion of his close friend; so let each of you look to whom he takes as a close friend.” It is critical to surround yourself with friends who will help you get closer to Allah (swt).

Connect with the Quran daily

The Quran contains Allah’s (swt) words to us, which is medicine for our soul. Set aside time daily to read the Arabic and translation- even if it’s a small amount, and reflect on the meaning.

Speak your heart in Salah

Understand what you recite in Salah. The prayer allows you to speak to Allah (swt), but it will only deeply affect your heart when you understand what you’re saying. Learn the meaning of the words, and think about the meaning as you pray.

May Allah (swt) give me and you the Tawfeeq to implement these tips. Jazak’Allah Khair.

 

Transcribed for hiba by Saneya Qadir

First my Mother- Forever my Friend

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The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Paradise lies under the feet of mother.” This Hadeeth highlights the importance of a mother, and the role of a mother in a child’s life.

A mother is not only the gateway of paradise for a child; rather she is a ray of hope in all problems.

She pulls a child out from all the difficulties, and enables him to transcend all the barriers, and cross all obstacles.

 

I experienced a serious problem a few weeks ago. I was bullied for being short. My classmates used to make fun of me and call me “Choti Auntie (short-heighted woman).” As a result, I became increasingly conscious about my appearance, and became quite self diffident. I talked to some friends about it, and they told me not to worry about it. Their satisfying words did not satiate me completely- as the thought of being physically defected had made a niche in my mind.

 

All the other thoughts of positivity could not pass through this barrier of self doubt. My mother is an extremely conscious lady. She observes all the family members to find out whether they are okay or not. She had been noticing my odd behaviour. I had not been eating well. I had been skipping meals, and staying quite doleful. She observed my condition for a week after which she made her move. After Fajr, my mother called me and asked me to go for a walk. I declined at first because I was not in the mood. She persisted and I gave in. We went to a park near our house for the walk. We walked for about five minutes after which my mother finally spoke up.

 

She asked me why I had been too different recently. “School stuff and stress!” I replied in an impassive way. She persuaded me, and finally convinced me into telling her why I was so upset. I told her about being bullied. I explained that I had become the laughing stock of my class fellows because of my short height. She listened to all my complaints with concern. I started to cry and she began to console me. I realised that day that the only shoulder which can offer me satisfaction and calm my inner storm is that of my mother.

 

She explained how people become jealous of your abilities, and point out flaws in you to let you down. Her soothing words made me re-think about my behaviour for the past few days, and I reached the conclusion that I should not waste my time thinking about the flaws. Her words instilled a positive spirit in me.

 

It is strange how a mother’s love and her kind words can cure the incurable wounds easily.

The status of mother has been raised because of the affection she showers to a child. Specifically, the bond between a mother and daughter is unique, and cannot be put into words. We face many problems in our life, and the sole remedy is Mother. Respect and love her and cherish those lovely mother-daughter moments. Do not feel low or uncomfortable due to the mean and rude remarks of others; rather keep your self-esteem high and fight all odds.