Handling my Teen’s Relationship with Allah (swt)

9 teens relationship with AllahI was sipping my cup of morning coffee when a glance at my watch told me it was already half past nine. I looked around but there was no sign of my ex-student Seema. She had called me last night, and had made a hurried request to meet her in a day or two. She had sounded very tense, and out of great concern for her, I had agreed to meet her the very next day. Our meeting was fixed for nine, and here it was a half hour past it and she was still not here. That was highly unusual since I had always known her to be a very punctual person.

A few more minutes passed. I looked around, and saw a young boy of about sixteen or seventeen years of age, sitting with a girl a few years younger than him. Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, I simply observed them talk and eat their breakfast, until the boy took out a rose from his pocket and presented it to the girl. I shook my head in disappointment and prayed for them to be shown the right path towards Jannah.

It was likely to occur to a person observing them that their parents had not taught them their religion or the teenagers belonged to a family with liberal beliefs, who did not consider pre-marital relationships to be unacceptable. But for me this perception was no more valid because I myself had faced this situation a few years ago when my own daughter had entered her teen years. It was one of the most devastating periods of my life because my husband and I were firm believers, and had always been conscious about not committing any sin. Yet our daughter was caught having a relationship with her class fellow; this was totally unacceptable and shameful for us.

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Gratitude is an Attitude

My Quran Reflections Journal – 1

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

koran-rose-flower-5867760Day 1 Reflection

Gratitude is an Attitude

Surat Al-Fatihah

‘Alhamdulillah’ is the one word, which should be said with utmost gratitude not just by our tongue – it should be felt in the heart and expressed by our limbs. This gratefulness needs to show in our Neeyah (intention), words and actions together, Insha’Allah. We say this word many times per day, including the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in our Salah. Yet we are missing that connection and relationship, which can give us the conviction that we actually consider Allah (swt) our Rabb, and ourselves as His Abd (save). Could there be a greater status of an employer than the Rabb? The Sustainer, the Nourisher, the All-Giver, the Creator? Could there be a lower status of servitude than ‘slavery’? No! Yet, when we hear the speech of Allah (swt), unfortunately, it doesn’t move us to tears or stirs those emotions in us, which probably the normal speech of an ordinary human being can. Why is it so? Is there anything lacking in the speech of Allah (swt)? Definitely not! It is the lack of understanding on our part, something missing in the sincerity of our Neeyahs and the Waswasas (whispers) of Shaitaan, to which we are extremely vulnerable, that prevent us from drawing closer to our Rabb!

As I embark upon this journey of learning and understanding the Quran, I sincerely renew my intentions and beg Allah (swt) to give me the strength to proceed on this path in the manner that is most pleasing to Him. I voluntarily give myself in Your servitude, Ya Rabb!

Allah (swt) is the One, the Lord of the worlds, Who is the Rahman, the Raheem, the One, Who is the Owner of the Day of Recompense, no doubt the One without any deficiency, nothing is impossible for Him! May Allah (swt) guide us and give us the Taufeeq, the ability to seek all help from Him alone. May He send His help in the best form that He loves for us; through books people, tests, trials, calamities or blessings. May He send His Hidayah (guidance) to each one of us, who is seeking it, and also to those, who are oblivious to this beautiful and great blessing, so far! May He keep us all steadfast in our pursuit of knowledge and derive for us ways that are easier than our imagination and fulfilling than any other thing in this world. Aameen!

Day 2 Reflection

The Pendulum

Surat Al-Fatihah

A beautiful realization that struck me today is encompassed in my teacher’s wise words “Emaan is between ‘hope of reaching Jannah and fear of being saved from the Hellfire’.” SubhanAllah! How true is that!

Honestly, if we come to think about it, our faith is truly comparable to a pendulum, on one end of which is ‘hope’ and on the other – ‘fear’. These emotions compel us to turn to Allah (swt) with full conviction. The hope that He (swt) is the All Merciful, The Oft-Forgiving, that He is able to provide us solutions for all our problems, helps us revive our faith. We supplicate to Him and ask Him for whatever it is that we need. On the other end of faith lies fear. The fear of not getting what you ask for, but the hope that what Allah (swt) is giving us is indeed better than anything we could have asked for ourselves, is what strengthens and fortifies our faith in Him!

May Allah (swt) fill our hearts with the hope and fear that increases us in our servitude to Him, humbles us and helps us love Him and fear Him truly, so much so that we become from the Mutaqeen (God-conscious). Aameen!

Connecting with the Quran

Vol 6 - Issue 4 Connecting with the QuranBy J. Samia Mair

I have read several different English translations of the Quran. Although I get immense pleasure and spiritual growth reading a translation, I always feel that I am missing so much, because I cannot read Arabic. The Quran cannot be translated properly because of the depth of the Arabic language. In addition, there are spiritual benefits associated with reciting the Quran, even without understanding.

Despite knowing that reciting and memorizing the Quran has many virtues, for a long time the thought of learning Tajweed was extremely intimidating to me. I would pick up a copy of the Quran, see a page full of unrecognizable symbols, and view the task as impossible. I did not have much trouble memorizing the shorter Surahs for prayers, but I feared that I would never move much beyond that point. I was wrong.

The Quran is accessible even for non-Arabic speakers. I have turned to the Quran in many different ways over the years. Now, I have a study programme that seems to be working. A few suggestions are below:

  1. Make reading the Quran a priority. We all have busy lives, family responsibilities and a million other things to do. However, put Quranic study at the top of the list.
  2. Focus first on learning to read and recite the Quran and then understanding. Having spent about $200 on Arabic books,I realized that I need to rethink my goals. My goal was to learn to read and recite the Quran, even if I did not understand it. Learning the Arabic language was slowing me down.
  3. Set realistic short-term goals. You know yourself better than anyone else. Set short-term goals that are realistic for you. For example, if you do not know the Arabic alphabet, give yourself enough time to learn it well. Meanwhile, continue to memorize shorter Surahs, even if it is just one Ayah a week.
  4. Have good intentions. According to many scholars, several Ahadeeth suggest that if you intend to do something good – e.g., memorize the Quran – and die before completing it, that intention will be completed in the grave. Thus, when you stand in front of Allah (swt), you will have memorized the Quran.
  5. Develop a study plan and be consistent. “The best deed (act of worship) in the sight of Allah (swt) is that, which is done regularly.” (Bukhari) I try to read the Quran, memorize a little and read the translation and accompanying commentary every day.
  6. Choose study materials carefully. The following are the best materials that I have found for beginners. The CD set Ahlul Quran Gear (by Haroon Baqai) is wonderful for learning the last half of the 30th Juz. Shaykh Baqai recites the Surahs slowly, verse by verse, leaving time for the listener to repeat after him. In addition, I use a textbook Juz Amma: 30 (by Abidullah Ghazi). Each Surah has a Latin transliteration and is broken down into its Arabic vocabulary.
  7. Find a Tajweed teacher. It is essential to have someone check your pronunciation and teach you how to read the Quran properly. If I could afford it, I would constantly be enrolled in a Tajweed class.
  8. Make Dua for success. Nothing is accomplished without Allah’s (swt) Will. Have sincere intentions and ask Allah (swt) to help you in this most noble endeavour.

Although I have a long way to go, before I can read the Quran fluently, I am no longer intimated by the task. Now, I enjoy the process and look forward to that special time during the day, when I feel even closer to Allah (swt).