I discovered when I covered

Blumen - DekorationI was not ready to wear Abaya at all; it seemed quite outmoded and I loved to doll up.
For me Abaya was not less than a prison. My vision shadowed by the basic concept of stereotypes. The idea of Purdah came up with the image of women who swathed themselves in veils, hiding in the inner most recesses of their homes.

I was not raised in a very religious family, but I had seen my mother being a very composed Muslimah. She is the one who made me learn and understand the basic concept of Deen. But there was and there still is a void- I could feel it.

The feeling of emptiness made me curious for what was lacking.
Hijab was my first step towards a contented and perfect living; there was no inspiration behind- it was just a promise I made to myself and Allah (swt).

Later on, my heart found its way, and I started to gain knowledge; but then Abaya was something I never thought of wearing.

And one day, my mother asked me to wear it, and somehow, I reluctantly agreed. In the beginning, I found it real hard and the worldly imperfections attracted me. It still does attract- but now, I have finally decided not to let this precious thing get away from me ever.

This Quranic verse is my favourite; and it is the only thing which inspires me to be pious for Allah (swt) Who is closely watching us, “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do, and say to believing women that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what appears thereof.” (Surah Nur 24: 30-31)

I feel more confident and secure in my Abaya; it’s like a Harry potter’s cloak to me which makes me disappear in front of all evil eyes and protects my grace. Moreover, Abaya is a real blessing for girls- whether in T-shirt or Pyjamas- just get up wear your Abaya and you are gracefully ready to go.

May Allah (swt) grant us utmost righteousness. Ameen.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of all?

mirrorWhen I was in college, there was a high trend of writing confession pages and so there were some confessions about me as well.

Some said something about my features- actually a lot about my features. The features that Allah (swt) has made, and surely He is Al-Khaliq- the Creator of everything. Al-Azim – The magnificent; Al-Majid- the Glorious; Al-Kabir- the Greatest; Al-Aziz- the Victorious; and Malik-Al-Mulk- the owner of all.

Previously, I used to feel sad, and for a period of time I couldn’t get over that and then I started accepting it. I used to say ‘ What Bhonday lips and nose I’ve got!’ I started making fun of myself. But then one day, I realized how can I ever, or how can they ever make fun of something that is given by Allah (swt). He is Al-Mussawir – the Artist, the Shaper of beauty. How can I even point mistakes in His Takhleeq? He is Al-Baree- the Maker of order. You don’t need anyone to tell you how beautiful you are; you are created by the Allah (swt); He is Al-Mu’izz- the Bestower of honours, and how beautiful is that.

I just wanted to share with you people. I took time to realize all this but don’t let the same happen with you. When you look at the mirror- before taking a selfie- do recite the Dua (Translation: Oh Allah (swt), you beautified my body, so beautify my character.) and say,  Alhumdulilah because Allah (swt) is Ash-Shakoor ,the Rewarder of thankfulness.
May Allah (swt) give us Hidayat and forgive our sins; surely He is Al-Ghafaar- the Forgiving. Ameen.

Face it or Fake it

face it or fake it

People don’t fret too much about the amount of fabric covering their bodies. But they do worry sick about the make-up that conceals their face.

The billion dollar industry of cosmetics and dermatology products rests on the self-consciousness of women in particular but men are fast catching up as well. What are the common tag lines?

  • “Enhance your beauty.” (If I am beautiful, why do I need to enhance it?)
  • “Look naturally beautiful.” (So you mean to say I am ugly otherwise?)
  • “Feel confident.” (My confidence is wired to your shampoo and lipstick? Heaven help me!)

But the problem is that the standards of the world keep changing. Light is in, dark is out. Ultra-thin is in, normal thin is out. Wavy is in, straight is out. Phew! It’s impossible to catch up, let alone enjoy the moment.

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Reflection of This Mirror


As a mother, I want to teach you the important lessons of life

Tomorrow when you stand as a husband or wife,

I might not be around as I am growing old and gray

Caring for you, worrying for you every living day,

Today, when you’re young and spirited so high

You want pleasure and freedom to fly,

Things matter most to you and they better be the best

Your heart is constantly in this world put to test,

My child understand the mirage of the world

Do not lose your grip in this dazzling whirl,

It’s the stuff that allures

But it won’t be long before you want more,

The nature of worldly things is such

It captivates your desires, but keeps your soul unrested much,

Occasionally the make-up may fail

The weight may go up and down the scale,

Dark or fair, don’t worry, don’t fake

Allah (swt) made you and He makes no mistakes,

You are beautiful because of your soul

Not the six pack chest or the beauty mole,

If you believe in yourself and the beauty of what lies within

You will be the happiest person from Bahrain to Berlin,

Befriend Allah (swt) so He lights up your heart

May your Iman and Aqeedah never depart,

Throw the world behind you and let it chase you

Just lead a meaningful life with courage and be true,

Let the stuff be your slave

And with dignity do behave,

You are from the Ummah of the greatest leader of all times

Never should you be the reason for anyone to ever malign,

Our beloved messenger (sa) who cried for you and I

Do not forget until you die,

Allah (swt) has destined your Rizq all along

It is you who has to decide the path right or wrong,

Not a penny will you earn less, not a penny more

Than what you deserve so go on and explore,

I don’t want a grade you earn by cheating others in school

I don’t want you to demean yourself to look cool,

I want to see you live and die loving your Creator

I want you to feel pride in serving His creation,

I want to meet you at the gates of Paradise

I want to embrace you there with no guise,

I pray to Allah (swt) to choose you to be the one

A worthy daughter or a wonderful son,

Oh my child, this life is so precious to waste

Such little time is left, until death we taste,

Rise and stretch high

Sprint and zoom by,

Do not look back, but only to learn from your errors

One day you will become a reflection of this mirror,

I pray to Allah (swt) He forgives my slights

And fulfills all the gaps with His might,

Mould you into what He wants you to be

And as a striving and faulty mother honour me. Ameen

This poem is dedicated to every mother who sheds tears for the salvation of her family.

Cloak with an Eternal Glow

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

The first time I met a princess;
Astonished, I don’t know how to express,
The look of an empress,
That leaves man always impressed.

A beauty that radiates from the heart,
Makes you look down when it meets your sight.
The show of modesty so bright,
That places her in the greatest heights.

Beauty –
A controversial discussion.
Whose is the duty
To judge in that position?

Their acclaimed beauty is skin scratched;
Nothing, but a facial mask!
To a pitiful task,
Obliged to what the society asks.

The sight that betrays the gaze,
As it cruises in lustful chase.
On flesh, a baked clay,
Leaving body and soul dazed.

Beautifully unique are these knights,
Who wear the flags of the One with Might.
Not parading what is meant out of sight,
These beauties you cannot smite.

With bigots from the society,
Plague to humanity,
Coming from their so-called liberty
To distort nature’s morality.

Freedom without values,
Forced in skimp and hills,
Degrading our milieu,
With shapes without skills.

She’s free from the eyes that prey,
Cover to the heart that prays,
Save the next generation from fray,
With guidance from the religious rays.

Clothe to please her Lord
Distinguished from them all
As believers in His law,
Who look away from human lure.

She’s free;
Freedom from the denizen of earth.
She’s beautiful in her Hijab and heart.
She’s a princess on earth
And a Queen in Jannah.

She’s better than Hurul-Ayan;
They didn’t pass through this worldly strain,
Obeying their Lord’s claim,
Eminent ladies of heavenly gain.

To all Hijabis,
The queen of Al-Jannah.

Pearl in the Shell

pearls4Until I wore the Hijab, I had no idea of how it feels to be a victim of prejudice. When I covered my head, I opened my mind. I’m Malak Nawfal and currently in high school. I’ve always been a cool person. I’m bubbly, smart and pretty. I was welcomed and accepted everywhere.

Looking back, I always mourn the years I spent in complete ignorance of who I was. I was a born Muslim but not a practicing one. And I did not want to practice. I thought Islam basically told you to stop doing anything fun and spend your life in worship. Hey, I wanted to live my life. I didn’t like people, who were too religious, because then it would be a “You’ll go to hell!” lecture.

The Hijab signifies the identity of a Muslim woman, but the examples the Hijabi girls set for me were far from ideal. I saw them with boyfriends, tight clothes and heavy makeup. After all, if they did such things, then why care for an extra piece of cloth on one’s head? I thought so, until I heard those two men conversing.

It was Sunday and I was at the mall with my friends. It was just four of us: Sarah, Justin, Mikael and I. By two o’clock, we were feeling hungry. The three went off to order pizza, while I sat at the table, lest someone take it. As I looked around, I became aware of two men talking. Through the noise, I could barely hear them. Eavesdropping is rude, but when you’re left alone, what do you do? Anyway, the men were talking about girls that pretty much got my attention.

“Man I tell ya I could eat ‘em girls in one bite’, I heard one say.

“Darn right. Ya talk to them all nice ‘n they’ll fall all over ya. Then ya ditch ‘em an’ get a new one.” answered the other.

I sat still. They were talking of girls, as if they were objects! Toys!

“Yep most of ‘em swooning girls’re ugly anyway. They slap on lots ‘a cream but can’t hide that black skin.” They started laughing and I wondered, if that was what most men thought of girls?

In books and movies the men loved their women, and every girl hoped for her Prince Charming someday. I dived into their conversation again.

“You ever gonna marry man?”

“Me? No. It’d never work. Ya marry one, love her fer a few days. By the end ‘a the year ya wanna strangle her. Women’re vicious. Ya marry one ’coz ‘a her looks and she turns out to be a monster. If I marry it’ll be ‘coz she’s a good person inside.”

I was cold and sweaty. I ate my pizza in silence. I kept thinking: “Do Justin and Mikael feel like that? Are we just toys?”’

“Hey, Malak, what’s wrong? You’re real silent.”

“I’m fine.”

I replied that I was not fine. I just heard men discussing girls like trash. My world had been shaken for God’s sake. As we made our way out the door, I glanced warily at every man I passed. I just wanted to go home and think about this.

After returning home, I made my way upstairs. I ignored the greetings of Salman, my brother, and Nayla, my sister. My father is an Arab, but he studied in America. My mom is American, born and bred. I took a shower and went to sleep.

Next day, school felt like a prison that I couldn’t escape. I listened to nothing during class and failed every pop-quiz the teacher pulled. That night, I went out with my friend Khadijah. She wore Hijab but put on heavier makeup than I. I liked her a lot. Today, with those men on my mind, I asked her: “Khadijah, what’s the Hijab for?” She shrugged. “I think it’s for hiding your hair and to cover your beauty, but I just wear it, because my mum makes me do it.” That didn’t make sense. I knew even with the Hijab you could look beautiful. Your hair was just one of those features that made you pretty. I didn’t want a guy to judge me by my appearance, but by my heart.

From that day on, I stopped trying to look glamorous. I wanted to see, whether people still adored me. They didn’t. My mom did not like it. She told me: “Nowadays people don’t care about personality. You just have to have a good body.” I was so angry. “Then I don’t care about them either! I can live without them!” I bursted. I was right, but I still felt incomplete.

Salman came to my rescue. He said, “You said the Hijab didn’t make any sense. Let’s see, if it does.” So for the next few weeks that’s what we did – research about the Hijab. A converted Muslim talked about it on YouTube as it being an identity clarifier – a sign that this woman was to be respected. She said it represents our uniqueness from other women. There were millions of women out there on display. The ones, who are covered, were secrets and mysteries. Only after marriage their lucky husbands would uncover the mystery. It was like any other prince charming story I’d ever thought of, though it was more exciting. I read somewhere, “A pearl is pure and precious. It does not float in the sea but is hidden away in its shell, opened by only the fortunate. You, my dear sister, are the pearl, too.”

It made sense. Covering meant hiding your beauty. At the same time, Islam urges us to look clean and presentable. To our husband, we can be much more than that. My lucky husband – I smiled. It felt nice to be the pearl. “I’ve made up my mind,” I said to Salman, “I’m going to start the Hijab. It makes sense.” Salman hugged me. Dad was fine with it. Mom was not. We argued and argued. I wanted my place in the world; she said I wouldn’t get one with that cloth on my head. So I didn’t go anywhere. Not to the mall or school or anywhere else. Dad thought it had gone too far. He said mom was being paranoid. I agreed.

On a bright, sunny Monday morning I pinned up my hijab and smiled. I was the pearl now and nothing could stop me from shining. No insult, prejudice or any amount of reasoning could stop me from shining. I was pearl with a shell and that was something none could break. Not now, not ever. Insha’Allah.

Discover Yourself: Break the Shackles of Inferiority

fish2Often in shopping malls, restaurants, educational institutions and in family functions, there is this girl who is trying to hide herself from everyone around. With eyes defining both fear and sadness, she wishes to be as beautiful as the girl sitting next to her. She wants to become as fairer, taller and confident as this girl in order to avoid the fear of being compared and the sadness that consequently follows it. But, her wish list goes on as the number of people she comes across in life is countless. These wishes increase each day when she meets someone better than her; her heart aches and she finds herself devastated. This scenario, with a few subjective variations, is something that goes on in many peoples’ lives. Not only girls, but boys too fall prey to inferiority complex. They are letting this plague take over their lives to such an extent that they are willingly stepping into the dungeon of depression. It would be well suited to use the word ‘willingly’ because no child is born with an inferiority complex. It is later in life when he/she learns to make such choices on the basis of various stereotypes the society is following.

Each one of us is blessed abundantly, and for sure none of us is deprived of Allah’s (swt) blessings.

Stereotype is Hype

A stereotype is a widely accepted view that is applied to a particular social category and every individual in it- without deeply knowing what that particular individual is like. Beliefs like all dark complexioned people are aesthetically inferior, men are insensitive, people who wear glasses are nerds, all riches are successful and lead a happy life, no Hijabi manages to get good marriage proposals or Hijab wearing women are oppressed are some examples of stereotypes that our societies follow. In short, these are man-made criterion that the human race has set to judge one another. Anybody who fails to satisfy these criteria is considered as “The Unlikable”.

Ever since most of us are put to watch TV as kids, we start feeding it in our minds that beautiful girls are as fair as snow, have impossibly tiny waists, are up to date with the latest fashion, and that they have sweet melodious voices to mesmerize everyone around. Such personas are often made to appear kind hearted, caring, well mannered, successful, smart and above all they are the protagonists. The antagonists are likewise made to appear the opposite.

In case of programs that young boys are subjected to, all the successful stereotypical characters own noticeable cars and latest gadgets, play video games, are clean shaven, possess a super muscular body, at times are rich too and above all manage to attract the opposite gender. In short, such stereotypes define gender roles and criteria for physical attractiveness in most of the existing societies. Unfortunately, racial and physical attractiveness stereotyping does not end in cartoons, but lingers on in most of the dramas, movies, literature, and art and even in commercial advertisements- ultimately forming the society’s mentality. Such stereotypes do change with the passage of time e.g. the ideal women in the early 1600s were voluptuous as compared to today’s ideals. People that don’t possess the admirable physical traits highlighted by some sources tended to alter and are still altering with what Allah (swt) gifted them. But, the part of the society that cannot afford to have alternatives catering their demands, fall prey to depression when subjected to never ending criticism.

Piety is something that any human being can acquire regardless of any physical, racial, gender or class discrimination.

Block Criticism – It’s not for You

Criticism occurs as most of us are in a habit of associating positive personality traits with people who seem physically attractive to us without even knowing them completely. In one of the psychological studies on physical attractiveness, male and female subjects were presented with photographs of some men and women from a college yearbook and were asked to rate the pictured individuals on a number of traits. The photographs had been previously rated as very attractive, average, or unattractive. Compared to the unattractive individuals, the attractive individuals were rated as being more sensitive, kind, interesting, strong, poised, sociable, outgoing, exciting, and sexually warm and responsive. They were also rated as having higher status and as being more likely to get married, to have a successful marriage, and to be happy. The only exception to this rosy portrait was that the more attractive individuals were rated as being slightly, but not significantly, less likely to be good parents than neutral or unattractive individuals (Dion, Berscheid, and Walster, 1972).

Imagine the frustration when one has a lock, but the key is nowhere to be found. But to end this frustration it is obvious that one will look for ways to find the key- the solution to the problem. This would be the rational perspective as throwing the lock away would add more to the list of incomplete tasks which when piled up becomes a burden for the whole life time. And this exactly would end up in regrets, and only regrets. In the same way, there are solutions adhering to which one can get rid of inferiority complexes, and some of them are as follows:

  1. The Real Criterion for Superiority

Unlike the changing criteria of society, Allah (swt) the Almighty has put before mankind only one criterion of superiority in Islam that is piety. Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Hujurat,

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa (i.e. one of the Muttaqun.) Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

Piety is something that any human being can acquire regardless of any physical, racial, gender or class discrimination. It liberates an individual to such a level where he embraces Allah’s (swt) will. He learns to bow down only before Allah (swt) the Almighty which saves him from bowing down before other peoples’ will. To be more precise, he discovers his true self that connects him with Allah (swt) Almighty, and discards other selves that he had been keeping to please the people. Such ‘selves’ are like masks that are well suited for different desirability criteria set by different people. But, when there remains no need to please the people, since no human was born to do so, one can get rid of these masks and breathe freely in open air. One may become popular by becoming desirable amongst people, but it is only in the remembrance of Allah (swt) that hearts find rest.

  1. Help Yourself by Helping Others

If you had been subjected to criticism because you couldn’t fit in the society’s criteria of beauty or desirability, and intend to bring a revolution in people’s mentality; bring a revolution from within yourself at first. Try not to do to others what you had to face. Sometimes in an attempt to face the harshness of the society we ourselves become harsh in order to fit in it. Along with that pray for the ones who are or were being harsh to you once. Return them with something good and simply follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) who never wished bad for the ones who wished bad for him. It is through forgiveness that you would be able to relieve yourself of the pain you had been carrying all along. Let it go and move ahead with firm belief in Allah (swt) the Almighty. Remember what Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Fussilat,

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)

  1. Acknowledge What You Have Been Blessed with

Most of us don’t know how much we’ve been blessed with ever since our birth; probably because we never took out the time to focus on this aspect of our lives. This happens because most of us are busy noticing what we don’t have, and what others have. For sure if we spend our time thanking Allah (swt) for what we have, we wouldn’t get any time whining for what we don’t have as Allah’s (swt) blessings upon us can never be numbered. Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Ibrahim,

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, – a disbeliever).” (Ibrahim 14:34)

Each one of us is blessed abundantly, and for sure none of us is deprived of Allah’s (swt) blessings. But, along with that Allah (swt) tests His slaves due to His wisdom that He is aware of, and due to a benefit that He wants His slave to attain. Consider the example of a rich man who has every luxury that any man unlike him would wish for, but despite of the entire treasure, he cannot sleep well at night without taking tranquilizers. On the other hand a farmer with very little income has been blessed with a good night’s sleep. Both have been subjected to certain trials, but they are not deprived of Allah’s (swt) blessings at the same time.

  1. Beauty is Only Skin Deep

Do we appreciate doctors, writers, counselors, social workers, Daees, Ulema etc. due to the good looks that they possess? Or is it due to the work that they do? If we’ll manage finding out the answer to this question, we would certainly be introduced to the real meaning of beauty.

  1. Beauty is Culturally Defined

As mentioned earlier, the criteria for physical beauty is different for different cultures. With so many cultures all around, it is difficult to mould one’s self according to anyone. You might end up pleasing a fraction of people, and displeasing another. That is when Islam stands high by bringing in concepts that can be universally acted upon. This is because Allah (swt) the Almighty is aware of everyone’s needs and that is why He revealed to mankind a system that caters each one of us. So, simply bring back what you had lost earlier.


Concluding by focusing all my words to pinpoint one beautiful fact- I would like to say that if you are beautiful by thought, you’ll certainly meet people who are beautiful by heart. For that you don’t need to alter your physical self, but to change your thought. Such bonds that you’ll make will never end up even if you turn old or do not possess the beauty that you once had. To be precise, focus all your energy on doing something that really matters, because the world is becoming short of beauty that comes from the heart – the everlasting beauty. Remember the following Hadeeth for refreshing your Iman:

Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Verily, Allah (swt) does not look for your faces and your wealth; but He looks for your heart and for your deeds.” (Muslim)

Who is Truly Strong?

truly strongBy Irada Mirzamagomedova – Writer

Strength. Power. What comes to mind when we hear these words? Someone may imagine a muscular athlete with a stern face, while someone else may think of the power of a thought or a word.

So who, in your opinion, is truly strong? Is it someone who can bend iron rods or pull a truck on his own? Yes, such people are ‘strong’ in the physical sense of this word; we cannot argue over this. However, how can we identify a person with a strong spirit? Here intuition will be of no help as a person with a strong spirit can only be identified through his deeds and his words. Have you ever heard the statement: strong is not the one who beats, but the one who can tolerate the beating? It is a fact that no special talent is needed to hurt someone. However, helping another person or finding enough strength within oneself to refrain from replying to an offender in kind is something that is in decline today.

It is not always true that those who possess willpower – which characterizes them as a strong person – are able to live through the hard times and trials of life without collapsing and falling in the eyes of the society as well as close ones. Often, the reason behind all the troubles of a ‘strong’ person is his inability to accept his own weakness. Unwilling to admit this, such people swing from one extreme to another as they seek a way out of difficulties, making use of means which exceed the limits of morality and conscience. Today, we witness such cases in our society more and more often.

Who is the strong one today, according to the standards of society? Is it someone who has power, money, and beauty?

Translated from Latvian to English by Laila Brence

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Gift, not a Trouble

burdenHave you ever thought that you have come to the end of your tether? Or that you have suffered a lot? That everyone is against you? That people do not understand you and that the course of events always works against you?

You may be going through a difficult time, but the situation may not be as you imagine.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual. Everyone has different flaws: some people are impatient, some are restless, some are distrusting, some are uneasy, some are prone to negativity and others are quick to anger.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual

Troubles, sickness, losses and deficiencies are all blessings for one to overcome these flaws, beautify one’s soul and improve one’s moral values. Our Lord knows what every person needs, and He knows best how much they can stand. If there is something troubling you, it will not exceed your capacity to cope with it; as a matter of fact, if you are a believer, it will strengthen you.

Some people, who encounter times of trouble, may think there is no way out, that they have come to the end of the road and that their difficulties can never finish. Some people may even behave in a rebellious way; however, all of this is but apprehensions whispered to them by Satan.

God creates different events for everyone on Earth. The observances commanded by God, the difficulties He creates to test us and the responsibilities He places on us are all proportional to our strength.

Our Lord knows best what people can cope with and how much. God is infinitely Just and Forbearing toward His servants. Our Lord will never impose a greater burden than one can bear, nor a responsibility one’s conscience cannot accept; no one would ever be wronged. That is God’s promise. It is a manifestation of His being the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful.

All sorts of tests, sicknesses, accidents, material and psychological difficulties and all the rest, are set out within the individual’s ability to cope with them and are events that God has ordained specially for them in their destiny;

“And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.” (Al-Muminun 23:62)

Nothing is coincidence, there is wisdom behind everything

Everything in the life of this world is realistic and takes place as the result of causes. For that reason, some people think that the time allotted to them in this world will never end. The fact that everything gradually decays and that people grow old, even the existence of death, does not make them admit that irrefutable fact. They imagine that the life of this world is absolute and are reluctant to think about the Hereafter or even to consider a life after death.

The troubles and difficulties sent to such people, who fall into the error of thinking that they should constantly strive for worldly things, never end. For that reason, in order to see the goodness and wisdom in events and realize that ‘everything happens for the best’, one must first not forget that this world is only a transient place of trial.

A sincere believer must know the truth that no matter what befalls him; it will be something in the face of which he can exhibit moral virtue and fortitude. No matter what hardship befalls him, it will be something he has the strength to cope with and face with patience.

The joy of faith

Believers never lose their joy, if there is a decrease in their blessings, if they are sick or face some other affliction. On the contrary, they regard troubles as a gift. They have no need for special reasons to be happy. For them, faith itself is a source of joy and gratitude.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate.

They trust that all troubles in life are created to test them and that they will receive a fine reward in the Presence of God for their fortitude in the face of troubles; that idea is their source of happiness. Since they act in the light of their conscience, they make comparisons and through comparison, better realize the value of blessings. That is the joy of faith.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate. This is a fulfilment of the heart of the believer, who hopes for God’s approval, mercy and eternal Paradise, with joy from Him.

This joy-filled life that believers enjoy in this world will, by the mercy of God, continue increasingly without any interruptions in Paradise.

“Then as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honoured and made to enjoy luxurious life (forever) in a Garden of delight (Paradise).” (Ar-Rum 30:15)

No matter what befalls you, do not forget that you are strong enough to cope, and that you can face it with fortitude and pleasantness.

A final reminder

When you are troubled or made uneasy by something, have a look at the situation of other people in the world and think about those, who are starving to death in war, those who are trying to survive by eating grass, those waking up to the sound of bombs and finding their homes crashing down around them. Think about those who cannot find water to drink.

Give thanks for all the good things in your life. Think of the people, who have never even dreamed of those shoes that you may have worn for years, no longer like and are planning to throw in the trash. Always remember to give thanks for what you have.

Give thanks to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on you. Make a resolution to see the goodness in everything by saying: “Alhamdulillah, thanks be to You, my God.”

Key to Productivity: Bowing to the Will of Allah (swt)

dawnIn the life of this world, we have countless matters and desires to deal with. When we believe in one God, we have this faith that whatever good or bad happens to me (us) is from Allah (swt). No human being or any other creature on this earth has the right or power to benefit me or harm me. This is the crystal clear Islamic belief, find and accept it straight.

When most of us start practicing, we focus more on ‘apparently bright sides’ and forget the ‘apparently dark sides’ of believing and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt).

Now empathize with these situations:

  • What if you are a Muslim who prays five times a day, who does Dawah and other virtuous activities; but Allah (swt) makes your son die, who was born after twelve years of marriage? Imagine your son was almost one year old and he just started playing with you well.
  • What if you are extremely ugly in the eyes of people? You do not meet the criteria of world beauty. Your body is fat, complexion is black and height is extra-large; hence you are labeled ‘ugly’. But do you still believe in God and His love for you, is that the case?
  • What if your age is perfect for marriage and everyone in your circle who is getting married makes you feel low, that you are deprived and a loser. Deep down in your heart, you are struggling to maintain chastity and wondering, ‘what is the will of Allah (swt)?’ Isn’t it the right time for the acceptance of all your Duas?
  • What about the little sinless children who die in disasters like earthquakes, wars, floods etc. Hearts ache and eyes weep on all this, but a Muslim surrenders to the will of Allah (swt), right? Ya Salam!
  • When everyone else is having a good time with their parents, enjoying being pampered by their parents’ love and affection, but you, just at the age of fifteen, are burying your father.

Will of God? Good for You?

What does Allah (swt) want? Your heart shrieks, eyes weep and brain questions. Do people make you feel extremely low? Do they make you feel deprived and less-privileged with zero self-respect?

Why is it so:

  • that Allah (swt) loves His Prophet Muhammad (sa) but He made his parents die, when he was too young?
  • That Allah (swt) gave beauty to Hazrat Yusuf (as), but he was put into problems by women because of the same beauty? Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

Oh dear people, who are entering into Islam and who have started practicing it – make sure that you train your body and mind for both sides. Wake up from dreams and fantasies that our whims and desires will be accepted because we are the best people on earth.

Yes! You’re the best but Allah’s (swt) will is the wisest.

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer.” (Ash-Shuara 42:11)

We cannot compare Allah (swt) with any of His creations. He (swt) is beyond comparison and most of us cannot comprehend the wisdom behind matters.

In the story of Musa (as) and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf, we get to know that the child was killed, because his life would have proven to be a Fitnah for his parents.

What if your child, whom you are crying for, would have deviated you from the path of Allah (swt) and let you die as Kafir? We just surrender before the decree of Allah (swt) because we know that all this is happening for best!

Allah (swt) has not over-pressurized us. He knows we are weak, which is why we are allowed to grieve for three days and nights for those who die.

Hadeeth states: Once Hazrat Sa’d Bin Ubadah became ill, and the Prophet (sa) went to see him; he was moved to tears on seeing the pitiful situation of his companion and said: “Allah (swt) does not punish because of tears, nor because of grief, but he punishes because of this” – and he pointed to his tongue. (Bukhari)

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az-Zumar 39:10)

We need to believe that life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Read out loud: life lies ahead of this Dunya!

What did I say? Life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials. This world is but a temporary abode.

As a Muslim, we need to be mature and help our fellow Muslims to stay grateful and calm. One easy way is to not show-off the blessings you have; so that those whom Allah (swt) has not given those things, will not feel bad and stay grateful.

This world is a deception – tests and trials are a reminder for good

Moreover, have this clear in your mind that afflictions are not a sign that you are a loser or Allah (swt) wants to do bad with you! No, Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and the patient ones, and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).” (Muhammad 47: 31)

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials.

Sheikh As-Sadi (ra) said: “That is don’t extend your eyes out of amazement and don’t keep looking out of approval at what people are enjoying of worldly gains- such as tasty food and drink and fancy clothing and adorned homes and beautified women; for all that is from the splendor of worldly life which the souls of deceived ones rejoice over, and which the eyes of the negligent are amazed, and which the wrongdoers enjoy – without thinking of the hereafter. Then it all passes by quickly and disappears and kills those who love and adore it; and they regret at a time when regret is of no benefit. Then when come forward at the time of Resurrection, they will know what they were upon and that Allah (swt) had only placed it as a trial and test, to see who would be deceived by it as opposed to who would be better in deed as the Exalted says (what means):

“Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. (i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s (swt) sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet (sa))” (Al-Kahf 18:7)

Article based on: http://islamqa.info/en/178673 and http://islamqa.info/en/71236

What does a Beautiful Soul look like?


By Ruhie Jamshaid

It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In Islam, however, Allah (swt) sets for us certain guidelines to live and decide by, so that personal human opinions are not involved. Even true beauty is defined in our religion. While in today’s world we fancy silken hair, fantastic figures, beautiful clothes and plastered make-up as the epitomes of great beauty, in Islam, the meaning of true beauty is understood to be something else.

In Islam, beauty of the soul is greatly emphasized over the outer, physical beauty. Therefore, the saying “beauty isn’t skin-deep” is absolutely true. The Quran and the Sunnah repeatedly remind us to avoid Tabarruj or the outer display of beauty.

Allah (swt), being our Creator, is All-Aware of the path to our happiness. Logically speaking, if we (men or women) are consumed by looking physically attractive in a culture of ‘showing-off,’ the development and beautification of our inner souls will inevitably suffer. For instance, we will be consumed with the desire of having lovely hair and spend hours enhancing its beauty, instead of spending that time and effort in uplifting our souls through Dhikr and prayers, or attending to our primary responsibilities, which is also a form of worship. And if we look at the total time involved in embellishing the beauty of such outwardly displayed body parts as eyes, skin and figure, we can well imagine how time-consuming the entire process would be!

Natural beauty, like all other good things, is a blessing bestowed upon us by Allah (swt), and we must appreciate it. It is good to look after ourselves and take care of our physical self. However, it is important to remember that inner beauty is far more permanent than any excellence in external appearance. Time ravages the outer beauty, but a beautiful soul will remain beautiful forever! Therefore, if Allah (swt) has granted us great outer beauty, we must appreciate this blessing. On the Day of Judgement, we will be questioned about it. Did we use this beauty to achieve wrongful means? Did we display it outlandishly and disobey Allah (swt) in the process?

Interestingly, it is no secret that physical beauty attracts others towards us, even if we are not overtly displaying it and are within the confines of the Hijab. If we have been bestowed with pleasant features, it is often easier for us to gain friends and, perhaps, do Dawah more effectively. Hence, we can use the gift of natural beauty to enhance our inner selves and further the cause of Allah (swt)!

We must always remember that the glamorous celebrities or the stunning friends or relatives we might admire are not necessarily more valued in the eyes of Allah (swt) than an average looking individual. Outer beauty as the yardstick for measuring our personality is set by humans, not Allah (swt).

This life, as we know, is temporary. With death being our ultimate fate, it is simply more sensible to spend a larger proportion of time on beautifying our souls for a better hereafter, than spend the same amount of time on enhancing our physical body, which we will leave behind in this Duniya! When life will seep out of us at the point of death, our physical beauty will probably be the least of the concerns. In fact, it will be the beauty of the soul, which will decide the ease of our passing into the hereafter.

It will be this beauty that will confer us a place in Jannah. And when Allah (swt) decrees for us to be the inhabitants of Jannah (Insha’Allah), our beauty will increase manifold.

Hence, in this lifetime, we must strive to obey Allah (swt) and do good deeds, because it will be our beautiful hearts (Qalb-e-Saleem) and not our physical attributes which will be the winners in the hereafter!

Face Value

face valueHave you ever wondered why Allah has created faces so different? Why do people have to be good or ugly looking by worldly standards? The answer is simple. For Allah, each one of us is beautiful. He says: “Allah, it is He who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shade and made your shapes good (looking)…” (Ghafir 40:64). However, He does have special favourites – those with a beautiful heart, for they are the ones who have equally beautiful deeds.

Humans, on the other hand, are far less forgiving. They have a tendency to seek the exterior beauty. To them, a person means a great mane of hair, a slender figure, big beautiful eyes, or a fair-coloured skin.

Show business is generally considered to be the root of this bizarre concept of beauty, which recognizes only swans in the pond. How come most of their stories revolve around extremely good-looking men and women only? Similarly, novelists are far ahead in the race of depicting an ideal, which is handsome or pretty at any cost.

Marketing gimmicks of today deserve the final applause – they lead people into a blind belief about inadequacy, unless they buy a specific product. They keep on stressing, how wrong we look and how ugly the world would be, if we would follow our own advices only.

Observe your conversations with your friends for a while. You will be spooked to discover, how very often they center on someone’s face or appearance. At school – may be a teacher, on TV – definitely some movie star, at a party – anyone in sight. We spend much time calling names, making fun of others, picking on people, or simply driving them away because of the way they dress or look.

The pressure to look our best and win people over is most obvious in the way we nowadays contract marriages. Dolling up girls and letting them loose in the middle of a party, so that every young man can stare at them to his heart’s content.

Ask yourself – is this the most dignified way of getting married? Besides, can a marriage based on something as superficial as good looks be really successful? This reminds me of a joke I once read. An idealist is the one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than cabbage, concludes that it will also make a better soup!

Trust me, if Allah has ordained marriage for you, your spouse-to-be will manage to find you even in a cave of Africa! If you are not destined to marry by Allah’s wisdom, no makeover can ever match you up.

Do not get me wrong! In every human being, Allah has placed a sense of appreciation, which instinctively appeals to beauty. However, getting carried away into extremes is absurd! Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

Love people for the goodness in their hearts. Only Allah deserves the credit for a beautiful face that He has made. Besides, lasting and cherished relationships are based on deeper matters than one’s appearance, which would pass away in just ten or fifteen years from now, when we would start to wrinkle and gray.

Learn to look beyond a face. Search in a person for intelligence, compassion, humbleness, and truthfulness. You will be surprised to discover that this world is filled with wonderful people!