“Dear Diary: I just can’t stop smiling because Allah (swt) has His Hands on me.”




                                                 Image Courtesy islampeace1.wordpress.com



Life is beautiful, yet funny. All the problems are like brain injuries, and it’s an old joke that if you get a second blow at the same spot, you get all your memory and sanity back.


On the second day, when my full body X Ray was performed (I was in excruciating pain on the first day, and mostly sedated throughout the day), there he was, my neurosurgeon sitting right across the table, telling me that there was just a very minor bleeder (that resulted in a clot pressing in on my nerve)in my brain, and that I would have to go through a transient amnesia for at least four weeks- as it would take that much time to get resolved- so I better not be given any blood thinner. But, that demanded that I be kind to myself for forgetting things, and ask others to do the same- as a blood thinner could cause bleeding of wounds and delayed healing- and I had already lost some blood in my accident.


After hearing him out, of all the possible thoughts that could have struck me, the above mentioned adage dropped into my brain box and I went like: “Doc, can’t I just get another blow at the same spot, and just get done and over with”. He was flabbergasted. After a few seconds, he managed a mild smile. I laughed (had to at my own joke), and my nose started bleeding because I had head trauma, and massive nasal bleeding post crash. I was a funny mess on a wheelchair. He told me, “You’re a doc, I understand; but I also understand the seriousness of your injuries, and what you have gone through. How are you laughing and not shocked? Do you even know that your pain scale is almost 10/10? You will receive multiple treatments including electric current therapy (transcutaneous nerve stimulation) for numbing your nerves. Your body is in shock. I am happy that you are optimistic, but this isn’t a normal reaction. We hardly see this.”


My reply was: “I’ve no option, but to smile and laugh about it. A few hours ago I slid down my staircase, and landed with a thud all happy, and could move my head in any direction I wanted. And now, I just can’t..Isn’t it a brilliant feat? Isn’t it funny?”
He remained totally dumbfounded at what I had said, completely quiet. Looking at it retrospectively, I also found it hard to believe- I had the courage to say all of that because I knew how much difficult and painful it all was.

Faith in Allah (swt) can do miracles. I remembered all the Prophets as), and all that they went through; and yet, they were patient. I think I remembered all of that at the right time, and gained courage through that.


I now think that when you lead a life of obedience to Allah (swt), He gives you all the courage. Just like His remembrance in ones youth, keeps one away from major sins because of His mercy; and even, if you slip and commit a minor one, you burn that sin away with tears of regret; and promise Him  for never repeating it again.  Similarly, He the Almighty keeps you away from major traumas, and even, if you do land in some kind of pain ( physical, emotional, psychological etc.), then Dhikr, and those nights of remembrance, burns all the pain away.


And so, in all his surprise, my physician went on and asked me how I was feeling; and in all my delirious amnesia (forgive my satire) I retorted: “As it is only my second day, I can’t surely say- but so far so good- best is yet to come.” I felt so calm because I had asked Allah (swt) directly during those last moments for I still hadn’t done enough for my Hereafter, and He listened. I know that pain is a blessing in disguise. Doctor told me that he couldn’t believe his ears because, even though he had seen loads of war and what not injuries, he knew my courage was coming from a place of contentment and peace. And, during the times of pain and hardship, it is rare. “I call it faith. It results in patience. I know how sweet it is. It dissolves everything bitter.”


“You remember Me, I’ll remember you” (2:152) –Allah (swt) addressing believers in Quran.


“Remember Allah (swt) during times of ease, and He will remember you during times of difficulty,” (Tirmidhi)


I vouch by all the Great names of Allah (swt), it’s true. I have experienced it. My doctors said that even if I’d just let myself truly feel the pain my body was experiencing, I could have died of that feeling alone. Even the mere act of thinking about pain and solidifying that thought in mind kills people because it leads to hopelessness, and that’s just like rust. Like a fire that spreads fast, and burns everything coming in its way- I survived because Allah (swt) gave me hope, and made me see it all positively. I don’t know how many times I’ve free-fallen for Allah (swt) since then. People fall for people, and things, and world, and this, and that, and what not. But I fall, I free-fall for Allah (swt) over and over again. I trust Him that much. Alhumdulillah.


A soldier is prepared before leaving -but even though they are all ready- after injuries, they themselves, and their bodies go through shock.

I guess none of us are ever prepared as such; but I think that Allah (swt) does prepare us- whether we realise it or not. I had seen off my father to two wars. I had seen hundreds of tanks and APCs, other equipment, and the whole garrison move from the top most place; it was terrifying to see off thousands of soldiers to war, and overwhelming at the same time, and I still remember that view.


I had seen death of my friends; I had shouldered and hugged my friends on their father’s funerals post war; I had prayed for my father for his martyrdom on his very own request. I had seen enough to be patient. Allah (swt) had prepared me for this well in advance. He surely only puts the burden you can always endure. All of us are the same. He makes us brave. Yes, He makes us, it’s not our own doing- it’s His. He makes us either through His own will, or He makes us when we truly seek and ask for it. Know this in your heart that all the battles you have fought, Allah (swt) had always known you could fight that one. He gave us our parents, and families, and put us through situations with the knowledge of what lies ahead.


My physician pushed me to meet paraplegic war veterans, and bomb blast victims- just so that I share my spirit, and humour- as it may give them courage to not give up. “They get depressed and suicidal; and it is, but natural and expected. They have suffered loss, sometimes an irreplaceable or unfixable one.” he told me. “You must meet them.” He also called on the trauma team, and said: “Emergency, RTA case, hyper-reflexes, ask her anything and listen to her replies. Which one of you was telling me the other day that she feels like killing herself just because she couldn’t do well in PLABS.” I had another bout of laughter.


realise now that, in this day and age of fear mongering and media blast, perfectly normal and healthy beings are ripped off of peace- just because they believe in the lies media, and the world tells them. Their innocence is lost to the stupidity of educated illiterates- (sorry, but I don’t have another term to describe the behaviour and stereotyping they preach who tell them what to look like, what to wear, and how to be like to be accepted and revered. The loss of connection with Allah (swt) makes them believe whatever they are told and taught- because they lose their ability to think, solve and apply. They lose their touch, their brilliance, their courage- because being strong, and being a believer, isn’t cool enough anymore. Beauty has lost its touch, modesty has been stripped off,  and perfect beings are just depressed because they couldn’t get an A+.

The education we get at schools and colleges, and the media we rely on, doesn’t prepare us to deal with real life situations. And, it results in depression for most of the kids and adults alike, unfortunately.


My earnest request is that if you ever get into a tough situation, just get help from your own nearest support system- ask Allah (swt). I do it all the time. I share with people I trust, I ask for help, because sometimes you just need to hear the thing you already know from someone else’s mouth- just for the sake of hearing and internalising it. But again, ask Allah (swt) first and foremost. Cry, beg, weep for hours esp. in the last third of the night – He listens, He truly does. Ask for help -do whatever it takes but never fall into the abyss of hopelessness- it is a trap.

Coming back to where I started off- if something hits you hard, just lie down and breathe. Laugh and remember your best friend who is always there -Allah (swt).
If you get a brain injury, get another one on the same spot like I wanted to. My religion tells me to be thankful in every situation. I was well-taught about it, and I also found it on my own through my experiences. You all probably know that too; and if not, just embark upon this beautiful journey to seek gratitude, and you will find it for sure. Allah (swt) has already told us all that, “If you are thankful, I’ll surely increase you.” (14:7)
Hopelessness is a word missing from our dictionaries because probably a believer can’t disbelieve in Allah (swt); and hopelessness is the biggest sin- it’s the denial of the Creator as the Creator. Let’s not wait for some event, or some grand thing to happen to apply this. Do it now in regular mundane stuff. If I can, you too can. And Allah (swt) never leaves a believer, trust me with this. In fact, just trust Him. He is pure love. I have experienced it, and continue to every day and every minute. You just have to let it sink in.

Be positive – Put your hope in Allah

Path.Woods_“Think positively!” is the most common phrase. I used to hear this every single day. I was a girl who used to curse fate and life for everything that went wrong. I was depressed, spiritually weak, and distressed; I used to blame myself for my ill-fate and for every mishap. I was always a good student, but soon the turmoil deepened its root, and I started to lose my grades. The good girl turned into a bad irritable girl, but soon found peace within herself.

The peace-hunt

It sounds so easy to get close to Allah (swt), but actually, it is the most difficult journey. All you have to face is total guilt. I faced myself going back to my past- it seemed like I started living in hell having vicious flash backs. My heart sank, my brain struck with pain. I wanted to get rid of my past, and still, I am trying to get rid of it. But trust me- it’s more peaceful than before. I feel I am half washed and half pure because I am trying.

Maybe my story is not that strong, but all I believe is that trying and getting close to Allah (swt) will not just enlighten your heart, but it will also stabilize your soul.

I am the luckiest person living on earth, and I am sure you will be the next.
Hold on to Allah (swt), this is all we need for success…

“Some found Allah (swt) in the depth of their sin.” This is what I love to relate with myself.

People often get too depressed for what they had been doing in the past, and they lose hope in nurturing their self and soul for better.

I personally advise people to let it off and try to start a new chapter- A pure chapter of your life. Insha’Allah.

In The Dark, I See The Spark!


In the dark, silent nights,

The pillow absorbs the warm tears that roll down my eyes.

The aches are still apparent.

The agony which tears apart every inch of my soul.

The memory of letting you down several times.

The hurt of giving priority to those other than you.

The burning feeling of cheating you.

The fear of becoming a hardened one.

The anguish of being lost and alone.

The shiver of spell bound heedlessness.

The denial of standing in front of you one day.

The nervousness of being accountable.

The pit in stomach when hear of your justice and anger.

The forgetfulness of daily obligatory prayers.

I cry and become restless for wasting one more day.

In dark, silent nights,

The pillow absorbs the warm tears that roll down my eyes.

I sob out of love for you Ya Rabbi.

I ask, I ask for Jannah like a stubborn child.

In the dark, silent nights,

I long for your pleasure.

I pray for steadfastness.

In the dark, silent nights,

The hope is still high-

As your blessing is more observant.

Taubah: Long Over Due

erasingmistakeRamadan is  a month filled with blessings from Allah (swt). Once this blessed month arrives, one realizes its importance. We are in need for spiritual rejuvenation and revival of  the heart with constant remembrance of Allah (swt). But why?

Because  little does our heart fear Allah’s (swt) wrath and little do we hope for Allah’s (swt) mercy upon us. We have a heart that doesn’t shed tears for the sake of Allah (swt) and that doesn’t yearn to meet its Creator.

Fast to heal your heart!

Why do we feel so numb when Allah’s (swt) words are recited to us or we read them. While secretly we long for tears or some expression of joy only to find ourselves unmoved by the Divine Discourse? Why? Why? Why? The answer lies in the verse of the Quran that mentions this purpose of fasting in Ramadan:

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun.” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

We hear this verse over and over again; but in all honesty, for many of us it has lost its meaning. Ramadan comes and goes, but nothing changes. We are still inclined towards sins, still mindful of what the world thinks of us but not mindful of Allah’s (swt) commands.

Just imagine- if we were to become of the Al-Muttaqun after this Ramadan, how different we would be? Taqwa has many meanings: one of which is God Consciousness. To always know that Allah (swt) is Ever-Present and we are accountable for all our deeds. If we would always remember that Allah (swt) is watching us, how different would are actions be? Our priorities would change and sins would become disgusting and vulgar to us, as they deserve to be. But sadly, the fact is that sins are not disgusting to us anymore.

Flaunt or not?

Is it not true? We may openly talk about our sins and may flaunt them like they are accolades of the highest degree. Look at me! I am so bold. Where is this boldness when it comes to worshipping Allah (swt)? When it comes to spreading the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah? We feel shy and ashamed when it comes to doing what is right. We lose all vigour to please Allah (swt) like it’s the most tedious task in the world. Our heart doesn’t even want to consider the right choices; because it is afraid of those difficulties that lie ahead.

It is true that in this time and age, wrong doing has been made easy and attractive to us with slogans like “Flaunt it; if you got it!” and “Gotta have it!” We find ourselves swept in the whirlwind of human desires; where because of the lack of God consciousness, we are easily tempted to follow suit. So much talk of wrong doing and evil makes one’s headspin.

Is there any hope/solution?

Alhumdulillah yes! In Islam Allah (swt) gives us the best solutions to our problems.

While the world may not be willing to forgive our faults, our mistakes, Allah(swt) is Ghafoor-ur-Raheem (Most Forgiving ,Most Merciful) He not only forgives us, but is more than willing to forget; but only if we make true Taubah to him.

The moment is now. In these quiet and serene Ramadan days, let’s truly spend time analyzing ourselves and asking, “What sins have I done?

Gates wide open for repentance!

The kind of the Taubah that has been so encouraged in this month. While the devils are chained; let’s take a moment to contemplate:

While we were so busy pleasing our Nafs and being Shaytan’s partner in crime. What did we gain? It’s not a rocket science. We are weighed down by our sins; sins that we have been accumulating all year round. As a result, our hearts are numb up on the mention of Allah (swt) and we can’t motivate ourselves to do good deeds. We don’t fear Him like we should; in fact some of us satisfy ourselves saying: “Allah (swt) samajh jaeyga.” (Allah (swt) will understand)

The moment is now. In these quiet and serene Ramadan days, let’s truly spend time analyzing ourselves and asking, “What sins have I done?” In fact, make a list of all the bad things you can think of. It may be long before you can stop writing. Or maybe, you can’t even remember the many times you have repeated the same sin in different situations. Make sincere Taubah for each sin you remember and even for the ones you can’t. Ramadan in a golden opportunity for forgiveness:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and hope for reward, his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

All that is required is to sincerely repent and pray to Allah (swt) for forgiveness. Truly Ramadan is such a blessed month. Let’s do the Taubah that is long overdue. Taubah that can help us finally be excited about doing good deeds; no matter how small they are. Taubah that makes us increase our sense of accountability in the court of Allah (swt) so that even when we slightly err, we do Taubah fearing Allah’s (swt) anger.

May Allah (swt) give us Taufiq to sincerely repent to Him and never go back to doing those wretched bad deeds ever again. Ameen.

As Miraculous as a Sincere Dua

ray-of-hope-marcel(This story is one of the entries received  as part of the story writing competition 2014)

“Mariaaam,” bellowed my mother-in-law from the lounge. Wiping off my tears, I folded the prayer mat, preparing myself for another exhausting session of criticism, wondering about my recent mistakes and asking Allah’s (swt) help, as I left for another spiteful session.

Past two years were no less than a dreadful nightmare for me. Back in Karachi, I belonged to a well known family and had completed my studies at a reputable university. I would never have imagined the acute misery and anguish that was coming my way.

In the elite society, to which I belonged, I was known for my elegance, intelligence and sense of style. There were many high class proposals awaiting my approval, but I chose my former college fellow Sufiyan.

My post marital life was going quite smoothly, until the day, when I received the news from Sufiyan’s office that he was stuck with a paralysis attack; I felt my whole world falling apart. None of the expensive medications and supremely qualified doctors would offer a cure for this disease.

My in-laws forced us both to live with them, which became the beginning of my torment.

Entire responsibility of Sufiyan’s personal care was now lying on my shoulders. He was in a state, where he could perceive all that went on around him, but could not speak. All his limbs became immobile. I could not bear my once dominating husband being utterly indigent. It was breaking me apart from within.

This strain was further accompanied by vicious treatment from my in-laws. My mother and sisters in-law burdened me with the responsibilities of house-cleaning and cooking. I sometimes speculated over the sudden transformation of my lifestyle: from a woman, who never stepped a foot into the kitchen, I had turned into a nurse and maid, also, being accused callously for her shortcomings.

My circumstances denied me from escaping this locality, as I could not return to my parents for Sufiyan’s sake. The walls of darkness were closing in on me, until one day in the hospital’s waiting area I heard a beautiful recitation and translation of the Quran being played on the television: “Is not He Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generation after generation. Is there any god with Allah? Little is that you remember.” (An-Naml 27:62)

These verses immediately grasped my attention and I reflected upon my current state. Speculation upon my destitution and contrasting that with the motivated effect of this verse brought tears into my eyes. I had never been close to the basic requirements of Islam, let alone ever become a staunch Muslimah. I had spent my entire life according to my own will and sternly followed the norms of the society.

However, after hearing this, feelings of repentance suffocated my heart for days. The love and mercy my Allah (swt) had always had for me never meant anything to me – I kept steadfast on my distorted way of life. I knew that it was me, who was responsible for all this mess, and then I prayed to Him to let me out of this. I started offering five daily prayers, which was a rare routine for me before. I began exploring the Quranic messages, and I firmly believed then that only Allah (swt) could grab me out of this situation. The verses like below kept me hopeful.

“And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Al-Anbiya 21:83-84)

Although all potential solutions offered by the doctors showed no progress, I prayed with conviction in Allah’s (swt) power that He could seize me out of this ordeal. The words of the Quran changed me from within. I promised my Lord I will only keep moving forward in His path and my faith won’t waiver. I was optimistic and kept on calling for His assistance. I knew He was listening to me, and sooner or later His “Amr-e-Kunn” would arrive.

My life was based upon tending to my husband, his family and seeking for Allah’s (swt) help. I conversed with my Lord in loneliness and complained to Him about my exhaustion. I knew He was close to my jugular vein and He was listening to my whispers.

A ray of hope arose when one day I received a call from Sufiyan’s doctor – they were conducting a series of trial experiments and were willing to include him in the experiment. The doctors assured me that there was an 80% chance for this drug to work well.

After a thorough discussion with his family and with the doctors, it was decided that he will participate in this trial. I prayed to Allah (swt) that everything goes right. I called on Him in my sleepless nights. The trial lasted for about two months. My mind went crazy with distress during this period and I begged to my Allah (swt) for His help every second.

During these two years, my husbad’s limbs slowly began to move, and he progressed to a stage, where he could walk himself to bed. I believed that Dua could do miracles, and I was not wrong.

Allah (swt) helped me and my husband, and the day came, when he could speak and walk around with no difficulty. All his limbs started working as they used to. I used to thank my Lord with each step of progress Sufiyan made. But I could not thank Him enough.

He showed me the purpose of my life, and I developed complete faith in His supremacy. He is our Sustainer and He ought to be given His designated value in our lives. I understood His working and I vowed to be a parable of His favourite slaves. I know He is always listening to our calls, and He has a right time for everything.

Pearls of Peace: Extracts from Juzz 14 & 15

pearlGain awareness – ignorance is not bliss

In Surah An-Nahl, Allah (swt) warns us against jumping to conclusions, “And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad (sa)) any but men, whom We inspired, (to preach and invite mankind to believe in the Oneness of Allah). So ask of those who know the Scripture (learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)), if you know not.” (An-Nahl 16:43) Here we learn the significance of being knowledgeable. People who acquire knowledge have a status above the ignorant ones.

Talking about ignorance, one of the practices in the days of ignorance was to bury the female child alive. “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief!” (An-Nahl 16:58) Our Prophet (sa) strove to banish this evil custom from the Arabian Peninsula; sadly however, it has crept into our societies today. Despite all the awareness, people still make faces when a daughter is born. Women are divorced for delivering a baby girl; even though they are not given a choice!

How will we face Allah (swt) in the hereafter?

He decides who gets a son and who gets a daughter. We can’t fight His will. For some people, Allah (swt) has ordained only male children; we don’t know the reason behind it. But Allah (swt) knows. So thank Him. For some people, He has ordained only daughters; they are their Paradise. Thank Allah (swt). Girl is an Amanah; (trust) you only look after her for some time, for someone else. People who don’t have children, perhaps it is destined for them to get closer to Allah (swt) through this test. Having or not having children is not a scale to assess someone’s success. Some people do not benefit from their children at all. Look at the wives of the Prophet (sa). Other than Khadijah (ra) and Mariah (ra); none of them had children from the Prophet (sa). But they were never depressed. All of Prophet’s (sa) children, except Fatimah (ra), passed away before him. The best of creation lost many of his children, but was he depressed? Hence, sit with those who have knowledge and learn from their wisdom.

Justice – order of the day

Allah (swt) commands us to be just, “Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet (sa) in a perfect manner), and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahsha (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” (An-Nahl 16:90) Notice that justice comes before good conduct. It is because while it is virtuous to forgive people like Yusuf (as) did, no one can expect us to keep forgiving- despite their continuous disrespect and oppression. Seek justice, it’s your right; however, avenge your heart from anger.

Our journey – to this world and back

There are times when one does not have anything. He is low in terms of his worldly status. Then Allah (swt) expands his provision and instead of being grateful, he becomes haughty. “Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever with Allah (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (An-Nahl 16:96)

Presently, man misses his prayer for one more phone call, one more email, one more business transaction and one more task of the world. When he will enter Paradise, he will forget everything that he was given in the world. Jannah contains that which no eye has ever seen. It’s precious and free from filth. Man would look at his own wife and feel as if he is looking at her for the first time. No rancour or grudges. Let us not become arrogant for the blessings that Allah (swt) has gifted us. Rather, let us use those blessings for His cause. Give Him your wealth, your skills and your resources for a better return in the Hereafter.

Don’t strive for more – the day is close

Let us not waste our time here because Allah (swt) says, “(Remember) the Day when every person will come up pleading for himself, and everyone will be paid in full for what he did (good or evil, belief or disbelief in the life of this world) and they will not be dealt with unjustly.” (An-Nahl 16:111) The more things we possess, the more answerable we will be on that Day. It will be said, “(It will be said to him): Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.” (Al-Isra 17:14) The poor (mentioned as Miskeen in authentic narrations) will be the first ones to enter Paradise, because they had very little rights upon others. Those who have been blessed by Allah (swt) have been informed of their responsibilities towards others. If we fail to honour their responsibilities, there will be people on the Day of Judgement fighting against us. They will take away our good deeds and there will be no help.

Polite invitation towards Deen

As Quran touches our hearts, it is equally important to speak to people in such a way that it has a positive effect on their hearts; especially when one is calling them towards Allah (swt), Invite (mankind, O Muhammad (sa)) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.(An-Nahl 16:125)

Use kind words and good speech to win hearts. Do not be harsh and condescending. The Prophet (sa) won people over by his beautiful conduct and gentleness. (If you lack confidence, recite the Dua of Prophet Moosa (as) (Ta-Ha 20: 25).)

Who deserves our kindness the most?

Our parents! If your parents are alive, exert yourselves in serving them. If they have passed away, make Dua for their forgiveness and an elevation of their status in the Hereafter. May Allah (swt) make us and our children a source of continuous charity for parents. Ameen. Our parents and household was chosen by Allah (swt). No child picks his own parents. Therefore, families are one of the tests decreed. Children are a test for their parents, and parents are a test for their children. Remember the phrase: As you do so shall be done unto you. Be kind to your parents; give them your love and respect, and above all give them your time.

Allah (swt) says, And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy…” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

“Uff”- the prohibited word!

“Uff” is a word uttered in rebuke. We should remember they are our parents. They fed us, looked after our needs, raised us, made arrangements for our education and upbringing, and did whatever they thought was right for us. If we feel they have failed in some aspects, then we should let it go and forgive them. Look at how the instruction of good treatment is followed by a Dua. Allah (swt) instructs us to say, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small. (Al-Isra 17:24) When we feel cold towards our parents, we should go back and check our Islamic history. Read up stories of the Companions (ra) and learn how they were with their parents. Some of them had non-Muslim parents; yet they never dishonoured them. Some of them were oppressive; yet the Companions (ra) never lost their good conduct.

Parental tyranny

We come across incidences of parental abuse even in Muslim societies. Today, being a parent is not enough. One must beseech Allah (swt) for his own uprightness. If we are not upright ourselves, what would we be teaching our children? Parents complain of their children not respecting them, have you reflected upon your own behaviour? How do you speak to them? How do you carry yourself around them? May Allah (swt) make us responsible and upright parents; and enable us to fulfil the rights of people around us. Ameen.

Spending rightfully

Look at what He says further, “And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift .” (Al-Isra 17:26) After spending on one’s own family, a person must look at the needs of his relatives, who might not be wealthy, and travellers who are strangers in a new land. Even though begging is despised; but never rebuke a beggar. Utter a kind word and turn away.

Next, Allah (swt) commands us not to be wasteful. Extravagance is one reason why people are unable to give in charity. We spend so much on ourselves in superfluous things that we have little left to give in Allah’s (swt) way. Wastefulness is ingratitude. We should not indulge in the worldly life so much that we lose our focus – the Paradise.

Balanced expenditures

Not being wasteful does not mean living like a miser, And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.” (Al-Isra 17:29) Islam recommends choosing the middle path. Neither be extravagant nor stingy. Keep a balance. Spend on your needs and occasional indulgences. We learn in Hadeeth that the best Dinar that a man spends is a Dinar that he spends on his family. (Muslim)

Why are we stopped from extravagance?

Extravagance instils haughtiness. And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.” (Al-Isra 17: 37-38) So why be haughty and demean others by means of our wealth when everything is from Allah (swt)?

Peace – the order of Jannah

“And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best.” (Al-Isra 17:53) Allah (swt) commands us to be careful with our words; which is why we see that one of the treasures of Jannah would be “no foul speech”.

Shaytan – the open enemy

“(Because) Shaytan (Satan) verily sows disagreements among them. Surely, Shaytan (Satan) is to man a plain enemy” (Al-Isra 17:53) Shaytan, the known enemy to mankind, provokes us to gossip, back bite, slander, and hurt others. Let us not use the resources that Allah (swt) blessed us with, in evil deeds. Let us indulge our tongues in reciting the Quran, praising Allah (swt) and calling people towards His path. Let us consider another person’s reaction before we open our mouths. Let us remember that the angels near us are recording every word that we speak and every deed that we perform. Let us be people of Shukr and not those of Kufr.

How can one become a Kafir?  

By turning away from Allah (swt) despite enjoying all His favours, “And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path.” (Al-Isra 17:83) What are the repercussions of distancing from Allah (swt)? He loses hope, And when evil touches him he is in great despair.” (Al-Isra 17:83)

Hope vs. fear

A believer should live his life between hope and fear. Hope that Allah (swt) will forgive him and fear for what if He doesn’t. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) would say, “If it were announced from the heaven: ‘O people! You are all entering Paradise except one,’ I would fear to be him; and if it were announced: ‘O people! You are all entering the Fire except one,’ I would hope to be him.”

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)



Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca / Foter / CC BY

Free Grunge Textures – www.freestock.ca / Foter / CC BY

Yet another serious heart-break,
yet another unexpected blow.
Yet another discrete proof of,
people’s fake and outward show!

Ready to help us all the time,
support they’re willing to offer.
But when the time comes to help,
their words and actions differ!

Expectations are built and broken,
it happens again, and yet again.
One feels dejected and ditched;
friendships are lost without gain!

Words of hope echo in your mind,
their false claims give you tears.
But you, O human, do not stop,
to turn to the “Only” who’s near!

Nothing to lose when you love Allah (swt),
His pleasure wins you all gain.
Benefits in this world and the next,
happiness and rewards, no pain!

Yet we humans fail to be believers,
we find it difficult to rely on Him.
Shaytan wins the battle with us,
chances of not being doomed are slim!

We know all this yet from people,
our needs of love, we associate.
We get hurt but we keep trying,
to fool ourselves till we dissipate.

Then we gather our shattered self,
we bow down to Him in depression.
We renew our faith, and we pledge,
We’ll only yearn for His attention.

A few days pass by until we stick,
to the new promise and resolve.
However, Shaytan doesn’t cease,
we give in to his tricks, we absolve!

Our mind tries to hold us back but,
our heart craves for love and care.
Self-deceived and misguided again,
we turn to the creation in despair!

Knowingly we treat ourselves unkind;
we get involved in people again.
Expecting from others rather than Him,
Utterly dismayed, we shout in pain…..

“Yet another serious heart-break,
yet another unexpected blow.
Yet another discrete proof of,
people’s fake and outward show!”

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Ali’ Imran

pearlIn this Surah we learn a powerful Dua that is a source of our peace, “(They say): “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”(Al-Imran 3:8)

After you have been guided, don’t return to your old state. People start offering five daily prayers, and then suddenly drop down to four, then three, to eventually abandoning it. People have been modestly dressed for years but due to peer pressure or Shaytan’s whisperings they abandon the good dress for immodest clothing. Don’t regress. Move forward and earn the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Who can earn Allah’s (swt) pleasure?

As we are talking about earning the pleasure of Allah (swt), let’s learn about the ones who can earn it. Allah (swt) says, “(They are) those who are patient ones, those who are true (in Faith, words, and deeds), and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah. Those who spend (give the Zakat and alms in the Way of Allah) and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night.” (Al-Imran 3:17) These are the ones who will attain Paradise – the home of eternal peace and contentment. May Allah (swt) make us amongst them. Ameen.

The honour lies with whom?

People search for honour and dignity through various means. Some earn it through their academic accolades and others through their financial status. Honour and dignity is in the Hands of Allah (swt). “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): “O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things..” (Al-Imran 3:26).

You want honour? Ask Allah (swt), Al-Muiz. When Allah (swt) honours people with respect and dignity; they sometimes become arrogant. Remember if He has given you He can snatch it away at any time. Have little earned from honest living and be content with that. Don’t cheat or look down upon others.

Love Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa)

The discussion then changes to an important matter. We all claim our love for Allah (swt) but how many of us actually fulfill the conditions of this love? Allah (swt) says, “Say (O Muhammad (sa) to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”” (Al-Imran 3:31)

Loving Allah (swt) is one thing but when Allah (swt) loves a person, do you think that person will ever lose contentment? How does one know if Allah (swt) loves me or not? The sign of Allah’s (swt) love is, when one follows the footsteps of His Messenger (sa). May Allah (swt) grant us His love, and may we be among those who are resurrected with Muhammad (sa). Ameen.

Acceptance of Dua – based on strong faith in Allah (swt) and His will

Story of prophet Zakariya (as)

A beautiful incident is narrated from which many people derive comfort. People are married for years without children, and this is the Will of Allah (swt). May He make matters easier for them. Ameen. Allah (swt) mentions the story of Prophet Zakariya (as). Prophet Zakariya (as) and his wife were really old and they didn’t have any children. He was assigned the care of Maryam (as). “So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariya (Zachariya). Every time he entered Al-Mihrab to (visit) her , he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Maryam (Mary)! From where have you got this?” She said, “This is from Allah.” Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.” (Al-Imran 3:37)

Witnessing this miracle before his eyes, prophet Zakariya (as) got encouragement to ask Allah (swt) for a child. If He can provide Maryam (as) with off season fruits, then He can certainly provide him with a child.

The hopeful Dua of Zakariya (as)

“At that time Zakariya (Zachariya) invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”” (Al-Imran 3:38)

Moral of the story

This teaches us an important lesson that is whenever you see the Qudra (power) of Allah (swt), make Due for yourself. That is a time of acceptance of Dua. The next time you see someone bestowed by Allah (swt) or when you look at the mountains, the trees, the fruits and the sea; don’t forget to make Dua for whatever tiniest issue you have. Allah’s (swt) majestic creation should strengthen our Iman in Him.

Build relationships with true promises

One cause of lacking peace in our lives is over committing or not fulfilling our covenants. We fail to honour our contracts and commitments and that results in a great disaster. We risk our reputation and lose crucial relationships. When you promise something then deliver it. If you cannot deliver it do not promise.

Now emphasis is on keeping the promises, Allah (swt) says, “Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s Covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them, nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment.” (Al-Imran 3:77) Be as truthful and sincere as you can be in honoring the covenant of Allah (swt). We don’t wish to be among those with whom He will neither speak  nor look at them.

Break-free from the love of the material world

What happens when your child drops your S4 and the screen breaks? Does all hell break loose over a cell phone? How do you react when your maid burns your brand new dress while ironing it? Many people beat their children and servants over a small mistake to the point that it results in their death. Allah (swt) instructs us not to attach ourselves to the material possessions of this world.

He says, “By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc., it means here Allah’s Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah’s Cause) of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.” (Al-Imran 3:92)

Your spirituality is your wealth

If your wealth is affecting your spirituality, then share it with those who don’t have it. Your heart will be at peace and make you humble. If our wealth is making us haughty and egotistical, then certainly it’s not worth it. The only time we should be really proud of ourselves is when in the Hereafter, we are handed our book in the right hand and we are given the glad tiding of Jannah. May Allah (swt) make us of those who are pleased with Him and He is pleased with them. Ameen.

Ready for the inevitable?

The various reminders of death in the Quran tell us that we need to be prepared for death at all times. Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” (Al-Imran 3:102).

How does one prepare for death? By submitting to Allah (swt); submitting to whatever He has commanded us to do and whatever He has commanded us to abstain from.

Being compassionate is our Deen

Allah (swt) says, “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Maruf (i.e. all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.” (Al-Imran 3:110).

This means a believer is not selfish. He is not just concerned about his Hereafter but also encourages others to do good and stops them from committing wrong. Similarly, a believer does not make fun of someone who is going through a trial; it is a trait of an enemy to laugh at someone’s misery.

Allah (swt) says, “If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.,” (Al-Imran 3:120).

Here vs. Hereafter

Why do you want to risk your Akhirah over a temporary situation of this world? If a person is going through distress, we don’t say, “He deserved it.” Why if Allah (swt) makes that happen to us? A believer lives between the state of fear and hope at all times. He is neither too content with his life nor negligent. He certainly isn’t jealous of others. He knows if Allah (swt) can provide a fellow human being with something then He can certainly provide him as well.

May Allah (swt) humble our hearts and not make this world the main focus of our lives. May we be more worried about the Hereafter then the petty issues of this world. May Allah (swt) grant us peace. Ameen.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)