Citizenship of Jannah

rural-crossroads1My Quran Reflections Journal – 4

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 7 Reflection

(Al-Baqarah 2:21-25)

Citizenship of Jannah

Today’s lesson was about the first glimpse of Jannah in the Quran. Subhan’Allah, the mere glimpse of it makes one wish to work towards pleasing Allah (swt) to earn it. A beautiful reflection was shared by one of my classmates today, after we completed the lesson. She actually gave words to what I was thinking. She said that this is the beginning of the year (2015), and the beginning of our course (today was just the 7th day) and the beginning of the Quran. Subhan’Allah, Allah (swt) sets forth this description of Jannah in the second chapter among the first few Ayahs, so this is nothing but His mercy. If you come to think about it, we can set a goal from now onwards to reach that destination (Jannah).

I would like to elaborate further that through continuous worship of our Lord (not just in our prayers but also in our daily lives) we can hope to attain our citizenship of Jannah. We must remember that worship is an entire way of living. It encompasses concrete obligatory acts, which come under this category, such as Salah, Zakah, Hajj, etc. as well as abstract qualities, such as honesty, sincerity, empathy and care.

Indeed our Rabb is the Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful, and He sends signs, reminders and admonitions from all ends.

Oh Allah (swt), make us from the dwellers of Jannah and save us from the Hellfire. Aameen!

Day 8 Reflection
(Al-Baqarah 2:26)

Wisdom or Illiteracy?

Today’s lesson was about the example of a mosquito, which Allah (swt) presents to explain the abstract viewpoint of how certain disbelievers challenge Allah’s (swt) words, only because in all the Hikmah (Wisdom) best known to Him, He chose to use this example.

Have we ever wondered that in the Quran there are examples of the heavenly rivers and provisions, as well as the gigantic universe and whatever it contains – even a mosquito as it also is a part of this universe! Why do we have such big egos that we deny the truth or question Allah’s (swt) wisdom of presenting an example of such a small creature as a mosquito, when we readily get awestruck by the magnanimous and humangous creations of Allah (swt)? Is the Message and Who is giving that message important, or does the importance of the message diminishes, because the example used here is that of a creature we consider almost negligible? Is it wise for us to question His Hikmah or are we being illiterate by doing so?

Oh Allah (swt), make us understand the logic of the Quran, rather than the logic of using a trivial creature as an example. Open our minds, so we can see the bigger picture and learn the lesson, which You intend for us to understand, rather than try to negate the divine message because of the petty nature of the example used to explain an abstract concept. Oh Allah (swt), give us the mind that can understand the significance of Your insightful message and the heart that can act upon it. Aameen!  

Our Desired Goal

Image courtesy http://strategicmodularity.com/

Image courtesy http://strategicmodularity.com/

My Quran Reflections Journal – 3

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 5 Reflection

Surah Al Baqarah (Ayahs 8-16)

Our Desired Goal

Today’s lesson revolved around the third category of people mentioned in Surah Fatihah (Ayat 7) – Ad-Duaaleen (the Munafiqun). These are those disbelievers, who went astray. They had Hidayah Ilmi (knowledge) but were deficient of Hidaya Tawfeeqi (capacity to implement the knowledge).

Some signs of such people are:

1) They try to deceive Allah (swt) and the believers and collaborate in doing so, but end up deceiving themselves.

2) They consider the Mutaqeen foolish and mock them.

3) They lie and pretend to be among the believers, but when alone with their type of people, they declare they are among them (the Shayateen).

4) They create corruption and mischief on the Earth, and, when asked not to do it, they say they’re among the rectifiers.

My mind was continuously wandering; deceptive people, liars, mockers, people who joke around and lie in their jokes, too, people who consider others foolish and think of themselves as superior, those who are pretentious and mischievous, these are the ones, whom Allah (swt) has left to transgress and such people will never be guided. These are the hypocrites that Allah (swt) refers to as Ad- Duaaleen.

I couldn’t think any further. Time for some serious retrospection – Tazkiya-e-Nafs (self analysis). I am not in a position to say anything, because I first need to rectify myself and clear myself of all such habits. Only then will I be able to come out of this category.

I also thought that a lot of these characteristics are directly proportional to one’s level of Taqwa (Allah-consciousness). The higher the Taqwa, the more the cautiousness of not committing the sins named above. Henceforth, my desired goal is to make continuous Dua for increase in Taqwa, Insha’Allah, along with actions, which would lead me to put my Ilm (knowledge) into Amal (action).

I thought of sharing this Dua with all of you. I pray that this Masnoon Dua benefits us all, Bi Idhn Allah.

“Allahumma Ati Nafsi Taqwaha wa Zakkiha anta Khayru man Zakkiha anta Waliyyuha wa Mawlaha.” (“O Allah, grant my soul its piety and purify it, You are the best to purify it, You are its Guardian and Master.”)

I also pray that the next time we all pray to be among the pure believers, the Mutaqeen (Alladheena Ana’mta) and not from the pure disbelievers, the Kafireen (Al-Maghdoob), and neither from the hypocrites, the Munafiqun, (Ad-Duaaleen), we say it with our whole hearts. May Allah (swt) listen to us and guide us to the straight path. Aameen.

Day 6 Reflection

Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 18

Our Inner State

“Deaf, dumb and blind they would never return to the right way.” (Al-Baqarah 2:18)

I was stuck on this Ayat last evening. It describes the inner state of the hypocrites. However, what one needs to understand is that these people are not literally deaf, they hear the Divine message but deny it; they are not literally dumb or mute, because they do mock the believers. Neither are these individuals literally blind, but their vision is impaired because of their lofty aspirations and excessive materialistic desires. Hence, they stay oblivious to the truth – the Haq (knowledge).

I just want to ask myself: am I one of those? Was I from among them in the past? Would I want to stay one of them in the future? If not, then this Ayat serves as a wake-up call for me and, in fact, for all of us.

I beg Allah (swt) not to seal our hearts and allow our hearing, sight and speaking faculties to do their jobs in the way that is most pleasing to Him. Aameen.

The Window to our Hearts

My Quran Reflections Journal – 2

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 3 Reflection

The Larger Picture

Image courtesy http://www.windowintotheheart.com/

Image courtesy http://www.windowintotheheart.com/

Surah Al Baqarah (1 – 5)

Today in class, I met a girl, who gave up her entire crucial year of college for coming all the way from Michigan to study Quran with us. Away from her family, and obviously from the comforts that she was enjoying at her parents’ home, she’s here just to quench the thirst of knowledge. What took me 38 years to reach, she has aimed for and achieved at the young age of 18, SubhanAllah!

Today’s lesson got me thinking about this exact point! Muflihoon (Al-Baqarah 2:5) – those, who are successful in the real sense. Allah (swt) sees them as ‘successful’; the ones, on whom His favours are bestowed upon (Al-Fatihah 1:7). Look at the connection between the two, SubhanAllah!

A serious shift of perception is required here. As opposed to people striving to attain more of Dunya, truly successful are those, who focus on the Akhirah (the unseen). Those, who establish prayers, as opposed to those, who rush through it thinking it’s an obligation. Those, who let go of their wealth, as opposed to being stingy about it. Those, who spend in the path of Allah (swt), as opposed to accumulating mountains of wealth. Truly successful are those ,who believe in the Book that Allah (swt) has revealed to our Prophet (sa) and the Haq (truth) from all the previous revelations, rather than being arrogantly biased about their religion (Islam), SubhanAllah!

May Allah (swt) make us of those, who are truly successful in front of Him, in this world and the hereafter. From those, who can give up a university degree or a few years of college or high school, keeping the larger picture in view; for attaining Khair and not sacrifice the Khair, the true knowledge for the success in this Dunya. Aameen!

Day 4 Reflection

Windows to our Heart

Surah Al Baqarah (Ayahs 6 & 7)

Today’s lesson covered the characteristics of the Al Maghdoob – those, who earned Allah’s (swt) wrath (refer to Surah Fatihah). Allah (swt) has sealed their hearts and hearing and has covered their sight. Such are the people, for whom is Azaab Un Azeem.

Another teacher of ours shared the reflection that if the two faculties of hearing and sight can be controlled, which are like the two windows of your heart, the chances of your heart staying on the right path increase. I thought to myself: “How true is that!” Most of the sins that we commit, or become part of – such as gossip, back biting etc. – all enter our heart, because we listen to such talk or we watch things that have been forbidden in Islam.

What truly struck me was that prophet Musa also needed a Dua for expanding his chest and removing the knot from his tongue, SubhanAllah! Who then are we? Shouldn’t we ask Allah (swt) not to seal our heart and make it receptive for understanding the knowledge that is poured upon us through the Quran, Sunnah, lectures and Dawah posts? Don’t we need wisdom of speech and selection of words, which can enable others to understand the message that we are trying to convey?

I pledge that from today onwards, Insha’Allah, before I utter a word concerning Deen, I would ask Allah (swt) to “expand my chest and ease for me my task, and untie the knot on my tongue, so that they may understand my speech”. I don’t want my near and dear ones not to understand the knowledge, the Kalaam Allah (swt) that may reach them through me. Above all, I do not want myself to become complacent after being guided, lest Allah (swt) puts a seal on my heart, after being guided, so I must continuously ask for Allah’s (swt) help to keep me on the straight path – Ihdinas Sirat Al Mustaqeem.

Oh, Allah (swt), make us from amongst the Mutaqeen (conscious of Allah (swt)) and the Muflihoon (Aakhira oriented). Make us from those, who continuously seek Allah’s (swt) help – You Alone we worship and You alone we ask for help! Aameen!

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!

The True Essence of a Muslimah

Beautiful-DiamondA daughter once asked her mother, “Mom, I have heard about diamonds and rubies and also gold and silver. Which is the most precious jewel?”

Her mother replied, “Jewels of gold, silver, diamonds and rubies are all only stones, and do not shine, unless they are burnt and polished. For me, you are my precious jewel. In fact, every daughter is a gem, irreplaceable! I would like to decorate you with such jewels and gems, which will bring you honour and respect, and add a glow to your dignity and character.

• Clothe yourself with Taqwa, and adorn yourself with the most precious jewel of piety.
• Take care of your head! It is the closest to Allah (swt) in Sujud, so make your prostrations lengthy.
• Keep your head cool and low (out of humility) when amongst people. Let Allah (swt) raise it high.
• Keep your hands immersed in work and tongue moist in Dhikr. That’s the essence of the women of Jannah.
• Raise your hands, shed tears, and share your thoughts and feelings only in front of Allah (swt).
• Lower your gaze and adorn it with the emeralds of contentment.

If you have gold, it’s not that you will not turn old.
But if you have character, it will build your Akhirah.
If you have lots of brocade and silk in your closet,
But elegance will be disclosed by your deeds’ facet.

If you are not endowed with diamonds or pearls,
Remember, through your speech and smile you glitter.
And scatter the beauty of Islam.
Through reverence in covering your Awrah.
And reveal what is permissible, and be it little, be happy with Halal and pure.
That’s the true essence of a Muslimah.

Her daughter replied: “True! I am blessed to have a mother, who knows my true value and wants the best for me in this life as well as hereafter.”

May Allah (swt) guide my daughter and all the daughters of the Ummah, too. Ameen