Sickness- A blessing in disguise

blessingSubhan’Allah, we have such a blessed gift of Allah (swt) – such a blessed gift, known as sickness. Did you ever know that sickness is a gift? It’s one of the few things that instantly draw you close to Allah (swt). You have no option, especially when medicine has been given to you, then you realise that you need to develop a link with your Maker. And that is a gift of Allah (swt). If that is what caused you to earn Paradise, then it is the best thing that could have happened to you. May Allah (swt) grant us cure. Ameen.

Some people never read Salah. Never ever. The day they cannot move anymore, they want to read Salah while sitting. Alhumdulillah! Beautiful! At least now you’re reading Salah- even though you’re now sitting, Subhan’Allah. It’s a gift of Allah (swt). So, Allah (swt) watches you, He sees you are ill, He sees you are sick. That’s a gift of Allah (swt). He knows. He made you that way because He loves you, and the Hadeeth says: ‘When Allah (swt) loves a worshipper, He tests him.’ He gives him more tests. Hence, Allah (swt) tests you. Allah (swt) will test you.

Sickness – Boon or bane?

Then you start crying to Allah (swt), helplessly. And, when you turn to Allah (swt), and obviously, there are two things that can happen- when you are sick and ill, Shaytan can get a hold of you, or spirituality can get a hold of you, religiousness can get a hold of you. So you need to be careful, it’s like treading a tightrope.

You’ll have someone who looks like a religious person and he says, ‘Hey, I can cure you.’ And you say, ‘Okay, cure is in the hands of Allah (swt), obviously- but let’s see what you have to say.’ Or if they’re giving you for example, some herbal medication or some ZamZam, or they’re giving you honey, and for example, the black seed and these things that are beneficial; various other items or they give you a diet to tell you, ‘You know what, try and abstain from this type of food; and try to eat this type of food, it’s high in mineral and vitamin.’ Alhumdulillah, we understand it.

Empty mind- A devil’s workshop

But, the minute they tell you, ‘Listen, stand on your left foot for three minutes and start looking up in the sky. And hold five leaves in your right hand and then you tell someone to put a piece of lemon in your mouth, and do that five times a day.’ You need to know that is Shaytan. Complete Shaytan. Allah (swt) is going to ask you. That is the devil, Wallahi. You need to know- where did they come from? This is nothing that makes sense. It’s not medication, it’s not herbal medication, it is superstition. It is the devil. No matter what the person who gave you this looks like, this is wrong. You need to have common logical sense that is unacceptable. This is Allah (swt); He’s going to ask you about this gift.

Early bird catches the worm

At the same time, your heart becomes softened, and you turn to Allah (swt) and cry. So your Salah, you don’t miss. Why? Because you have a problem. And, what happens when you have a major issue? Subhan’Allah. You get up a little bit earlier than Salat ul Fajr for another Salah that is known as Tahajjud. Isn’t it? You are up very early and you say, ‘Sister’, or if your husband says, ‘Hey wifey, why are you up so early?’ and you say, ‘You know, I have a problem, so that is why I am up.’ Subhan’Allah. May Allah (swt) grant us ease. Ameen.

So you are up very early and you cry to Allah (swt). This is why Allah (swt) makes it very beautifully clear where He says, “And when We show favour to man, he withdraws and turns away, but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications.” (Fussilat 41:51)

You have nothing missing in your life, absolutely nothing. Your health is okay, your wealth is okay, your children are okay, your work is okay, you salary is okay, your situation is okay, everything is beautiful. You are enjoying- eating out every other day, you have a holiday, everywhere you want to go, you have gone, and so on and you still keep on going and everything is going smoothly. Then what’s the point of knowing Allah (swt)? A lot of the people would say what’s the point of knowing? That is the time you’re supposed to get closer to Allah (swt). The winner is the one who has the Dunya and the Akhirah.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (swt) explains to us this Dua, this beautiful Dua, ‘And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” (Al-Baqarah 2:201) That is the beauty; you want goodness here and there. That is obviously, not everyone will get this, but that is the ultimate gift of Allah (swt).

If you have an issue, and it is quite normal to have issues, problems, difficulties, learn to turn to Allah (swt) and Allah (swt) alone. It is when things go wrong that people begin to make supplications, long Dua, prolonged Dua. You know, if you see a man walking in the Masjid, and he sits in the Masjid, asking Allah (swt). And if you find him after Salah, he is sitting there after Salat ul Asr, and you go for Salat ul Maghrib and you find him- he is sitting in the same place, crying and asking Allah (swt). What do you think? You think this man has got a big problem, he is sitting on exactly the same spot, and he is asking Allah (swt). So, that is the description of Surah Fussilat in the verse I read, “When we have bestowed upon man, we have given him, he turns away, on his side. And when evil befalls him, he makes prolonged prayer.”

Spiritual analysis via sickness

Now let’s analyze- spiritually, which is the better condition? Is it better to turn away or is it better to be engaged in prolonged prayer? What is the gift of Allah (swt) here for us? May Allah (swt) bless us. Ameen.

Why is it that old people become sick, invalid? When you’re old, you find it a little difficult to walk. May Allah (swt) grant Shifa and cure to all those who are ill. Ameen. And then sometimes you cannot walk, you have to sit down; you become old, and then, pass away.

Why is it that Allah (swt) has kept it such in the older people? Why isn’t it that in the middle of your life? He makes you sick, but then healthy once again. It is Allah’s (swt) gift that when you get old, you start suffering pain, you start turning to Allah (swt), preparing for the day you will meet with Him. It’s amazing. You know that it’s time to go. You know it. It’s a fact. Why? Because you’re old, things change, everything happens and everything starts moving in a direction that keeps on reminding you, ‘I’m no longer the little teenager I used to be.’

May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to thank Him for His gifts. Ameen.

Transcribed by Asma Imran

A Warm Welcome to Winter

winter

Just take a walk amidst the cold

You will find a ray of hope

Those white snowy lands, and chilly winds blowing

Makes you realize that Allah (swt) is All-Knowing

He knows the human psyche so well

That He has offered us with variety, to happily dwell

They say winter is depressing, and drains one’s power

I say winter is the month of believer, and an energizer

We often hear people nag about the drop in temperature

It has blessings in disguise; let’s make use of this venture

Days are shorter, nights are long

Return spiritually to Him- to whom we belong

Fast the days, and pray the night prayers

Rekindle the faith, and keep it with care

Activities are put to halt, atmosphere is lazy

Read Quran to remove any perception that is hazy

It is an opportunity to be in love with your Rabb, and strengthen the tie

Buckle up O Muslim, for time flies.

 

For the Unwed Muslimah: Single is Serene

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

  1. Everything is decreed

The only sober way to change your perspective is to know that you are where you were destined to be. Allah (swt) is Al-Muqtadir (The perfect in ability) and He is the Creator of the Divine Qadr. Your destiny was written by Him even before you came into existence. Customarily, we find people pinning blame or ill-omens to single women for being single. Nothing can be more ignorant and farther from the truth. If you are single right now, you are living out what has been written for you and the rest shall come to pass too- if that includes a husband and a family then rejoice; if it doesn’t, then rejoice some more. It is your Creator’s (swt) wise plan.

Ask any married individual and he/she mopes about having no time for self-growth and development.

  1. Marriage – a non-mandatory blessing

Our lives, our time, the air we breathe are some blessings that have been granted to us by our Lord. But, who said that a spouse is included in the deal for all? Each and every one of us enjoy a different set of bounties when it comes to our share of family, friends, Rizq, intelligence, talent, beauty and opportunities etc. You are not bound to have a relationship; so stop thinking that you are deprived. Your Creator is Al-Wahab (The liberal Bestower). You may have what many other married couples do not have. If being single was unfortunate, then Allah (swt) would not have destined Maryam (as) and prophets like Yahya (as) to live and die as single.

  1. Comparison is the thief of joy

Everyone is in a different chapter of his/her life story. If you decide to compare your life to that happily married cousin or the very wealthy and pampered friend, you will self-sabotage your own life. Understand that Allah (swt) has created every person and his circumstances unique. Any kind of comparison is the greatest insult one can do to that uniqueness in creativity. When we compare our life to others, we are always comparing apples to oranges. Regretfully, social media with couples flaunting their joy adds to the trigger of emotions; and single people often feel insecure, under-achieved and deprived. There is so much to life. A spouse may be a cherry on the cake, but not the cake itself. The cake is your relationship with Allah (swt); the rest is just the icing.

  1. Fasting ensures chastity and contentment

For many Muslimahs, marriage is simply a means to satisfy their natural intimate desire- as Islam disallows adultery. They are not mentally mature to handle a relationship; and neither they are committed and trained to bear and raise kids. If physical attraction would have been such a strong means to keep couples together, then we would not have seen spiralling divorces. Sexual need is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. The prophetic means to curb is to fast regularly. Also occupy yourself with something productive; refrain from viewing soft pornography and seductive imagery on media; try to hang around with friends and family members who are serious about developing their own talents, skills and pursuing community and welfare services.

  1. Self-appreciation and education

Marriage is a serious business. It comes with a set of heavy duty responsibilities that occupies your entire day and time for many years. Ask any married individual and he/she mopes about having no time for self-growth and development. If Allah (swt) has destined you to be single, then avail this opportunity to grow- educate yourself, develop a skill, pursue a hobby and take care of your health. We often hear comments like: “I need to lose weight so that I can get married.” The only reason one should maintain good health and care is so that he/she is able to worship and obey Allah (swt) effectively. Your self-esteem will rise automatically. Your looks and your decisions should not be fashioned to win a spouse; rather to keep Allah (swt) pleased with you.

May Allah (swt) bless us all with understanding of His Deen and contentment. Ameen

What if your entire memory was erased?

memoryIt is our memories and our past that make us who we are. Every morning, we wake up as the same person. God creates us every morning again, gives us consciousness; and we have all our memories in place telling us who we are, where we live, and what is our past. The people we met, our family, our job, our memories are all the same. Thanks to Allah’s boundless beneficence, we don’t have to get used to or try to adjust to the people we see around or the house we live in, every time we wake up.

Think about it for a second; you wake up one day and your whole memory is gone. You have no idea who you are or whose house you are living in or any who are the people looking at you. Think how you would feel if you had strangers telling you ‘I am your spouse’, ‘Mom, don’t you recognize me?’ and all the details like the school you went to, the courses you took, your birth date, your friends and your family are all lost irretrievably. Surely, losing your memory like that would be a great test for you; but probably now you have a little bit more appreciation of this great blessing you have and will be more thankful for it.

“They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:32)

People usually live their lives taking their memories for granted, not even realizing that it is an amazing miracle. They are not aware of the fact that they go through a sort of resurrection after sleep and that their memories are recreated completely after sleep.

People usually live their lives taking their memories for granted, not even realizing that it is an amazing miracle. They are not aware of the fact that they go through a sort of resurrection after sleep and that their memories are recreated completely after sleep. But the truth is that God creates every cell again each time, along with every bit of memory with it.

Do you realize, how you remember your past, when you are asked about it?

All the information you’ve learned so far was turned into proteins called ‘memory molecules’ in the ribosomes. These protein molecules were turned into electric impulses and thus allowed millions of bits of information to be stored in your brain; you call that ‘your past’ and all this accumulation of data makes up your past. When you say ‘I remember’, you are retrieving that data stored in your brain. So when you are asked ‘Which school did you go to?’ You are given the relevant data about your school and only then you can answer.

If there were no such thing as a memory, what would happen? Our lives would be a mess. Since we wouldn’t even store the information we had learned in our memory, we would have to learn everything from scratch every time we needed it, just like a newborn baby.

People with short or long-term amnesia understand very clearly how difficult this can be. Those with short-term memory loss, or those who cannot remember what happened more than five minutes ago, will have to find their way home every single time. They will not remember which food upsets their stomach and they will eat it again only to fall ill once more. They will not remember the details about their loved ones, the lovely times they shared or their experiences, and this is not the worst part of it; they will be unaware of potential dangers they may face as they will be devoid of the past experiences that would give them a fair-warning to those threats.

Be grateful to Allah (swt) – memory is a great blessing

God protects people by giving them such a precious blessing called memory. God allows us humans to use our memories with a simple principle. People keep benefiting from this amazing blessing, yet most of the time, take it for granted. Memory is not crucial only for our social lives; we need it just as much in our education and careers as well. If it weren’t for our memories, we would have to learn even the simplest things like the alphabet and the multiplication tables over and over again. And we would have to learn everything we learned at school again when we started a job.

For example, a lawyer would have to go through all the laws again, a doctor would have to peruse the medical books and a physicist would have to re-learn all the laws of physics. A person who does a technical job would have to learn everything all over again, because there would be no experience and no past memory helping him in doing his job. Therefore, memory is a great blessing bestowed on us by our Almighty Lord, and we should be profoundly – and properly – grateful for it.

A Blessing in Disguise – Your True BFF!

niceI left the room and saw her anxiously waiting for me in the hallway. She grabbed my arm and hastily led me into an empty classroom, next to the room where I had just finished delivering a talk to a group of teenagers. She quickly closed the door and started explaining.

“I have been meaning to talk to you… I have a request.” she said, suppressing her overwhelming emotions. “Can you talk to the girls about the importance of the ‘mother and daughter’ relationship?” Fighting back her tears, she struggled to speak. “You know… we were very close… me and my daughter… we were friends… best friends… but now she has become indifferent towards me and doesn’t want to share anything… I don’t know why, I’ve tried everything… I can’t seem to reach her.” Saying this, she burst into tears.

This was one of many heart wrenching incidents that I have come across, where parents feel a drastic tear between them and their children. The most evident, expressive and apparent relationship is between a mother and her daughter. This mostly starts off as a bond between the two, but due to various reasons it weakens, breaks or in some cases is destroyed.

I have been a firsthand witness to relations that had gone through a complicated phase in life, because this important connection was missing from their lives. However, the consequences vary from situation to situation. Therefore, one cannot place a finger on the core problem and cover it under a blanket statement.

Nevertheless, there is no problem, for which Allah (swt) has not given a solution. First, we need to understand what the problem is. Second, we need to ask ourselves, if we consider it worth solving. Third, if yes, then how do we solve it?  Because sweeping it under the carpet would mean knowingly marching towards destruction.

Essence of a Relationship

Why do we have relationships? To feel worthwhile, to be nurtured, loved and cared for. What do we want from a relationship? Primarily, a firm relationship rests on the foundations of respect, trust, love, confidence and support.

Generally, the relationship that fits the above mentioned criteria is experienced between friends. Friendship is the only relationship that we are not compelled to establish. This allows us to have a choice; thus, we carefully pick and choose like-minded people for befriending. Whoever ‘clicks’ with our personality is worthy enough to be our BFF or ‘best friend forever’ or bestie, as commonly used nowadays by youngsters.

Who is a Best Friend?

As per the general criteria, who is a ‘best’ friend? Someone, who cares the most about you, who is always there for you, regardless of the situation, conditions and circumstances; someone, who tries to understand you, who wishes the best for you and is always eager to help you; someone, who fears losing you and is there to rectify your situation, where you are prone to harm; someone, who wishes the best for you and helps you work towards it and who loves you selflessly and unconditionally. Above all, despite being aware of your shortcomings, they stick around and put up with your weaknesses, while helping you throughout your life.

Role of a Best Friend

A BFF is not the one, who expresses what you want to hear and is there to support you in whatever you do, because she wishes you to be happy in life. Instead, a true bestie is the one, who says what is better for you and is there to correct you, when you go wrong, regardless of your reaction towards her. She is there to connect you to the true source of everlasting happiness, your Creator, by showing you the light amidst darkness and the positive amongst the negative. She is there to guide you to the source of all Khair, so you may rise from your misery and recognize the beauty of life.

a true bestie is the one, who says what is better for you and is there to correct you, when you go wrong, regardless of your reaction towards her.

Who, in your opinion, truly comes up to the criteria of being your bestie? Before your mind starts scrolling down the list of your friends to pick the most worthy out of them all, let me give you a hint that this best friend of yours is someone, who lives somewhere in the background of your life – your mother.

She is the one, who has been and probably still is doing all  and more for you, just to put a smile on your face. She in reality is that ‘insignificant’ friend, who is ready to trade the world to purchase everlasting happiness for you, if she could.

Remember the last time you felt despair, and how things took a U-turn, and it all worked out in the end. It was because of this friend’s secret pleas and Duas that did wonders. It was not because your ‘best’ friend at school or college listened and agreed with your complaints about the whole situation that helped you strive through – it was this ‘insignificant’ friend, who found ways to make it happen (by the will of Allah (swt)).

She in reality is that ‘insignificant’ friend, who is ready to trade the world to purchase everlasting happiness for you, if she could.

Instead of lending her shoulder for you to cry on, she was there to help you regain your strength, so that you may never feel the need to cry in front of anyone, except your Creator.

Remember the times, when she tries to approach you and you give her a deaf ear, assuming her concern to be an irritating lecture. How you coldly switch off even before she has offered any advice, because you have conditioned yourself to believe that no matter what she says, it has to be against you; just because you think that she does not understand you. While giving others an opportunity to express their opinions and showing your respect for what they believe in, did you show a little compassion towards her views, opinions and beliefs?

Being your un-acknowledged but true best friend, she does not only overlook your indifferent behaviour towards her, she empathizes and justifies it for you. She wishes that you stay happy not only in Dunya but in Akhirah, and such a friend is a blessing that is there to escort you to Jannah, Bi izn Allah.