Are You Falling in This Trap?

character

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Among those deceived people maybe the one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or keep a check on his sins. But if he does a good deed, he remembers it and relies on it.

This is like the one who seeks Allah’s forgiveness with his tongue, i.e. by words only, and glorifies Allah by saying Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) one hundred times a day. Then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour and speaks all day long about things that displease Allah.

This person is always thinking about the virtues of his saying Subhan Allah and La ilâha illâ Allah but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, those who lie and slander others, or those who commit other sins of the tongue.

They are completely deceived.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

Running out of Patience? A Quick Reminder!

 

 

patience

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Oh feet of patience! Keep going, for what remains is only a little. Remember the sweetness of worship and the bitterness of striving will become easier for you.

Oh you who are patient! Bear a little more. Just a little more remains. Patience is that the heart does not feel anger towards what is destined for you and the mouth does not complain.

If a man’s patience is stronger than his whims and desires then he is like an angel, but if his whims and desires are stronger than his patience then he is like a devil.

If his desires are stronger than his patience then he is no better than an animal.

There is no joy for the one who does not bear sadness.

There is no sweetness for the one who does not have patience.

There is no delight for the one who does not suffer.

And there is no relaxation for the one who does not endure fatigue.

Happiness is attained by three things:

  • Being patient when tested.
  • Being thankful when receiving a blessing.
  • And being repentant upon sinning.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

 

[True Story] Children are Allah’s gifts

 

true story

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I have three children Alhumdullilah. Two of them are 13 and 9 years old. After a gap of 9 years I had my third child. Now why did it take me nine years to have the third one? Well my second child was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of one. His treatment was both emotionally and physically quite a challenge for me but by the grace of Allah he recovered at the age of 6. I was so scared of having a third one that I kept on asking people who had three children that how they managed. After a lot of research one evening I was getting ready for maghrib prayers at my parents place when I told my mom about my desire to have another baby. I told her to pray for me and we both offered dua. From that day on I realized the power of praying. My third child is a joy for all of us!

She does not have severe colic issues like my first child and she sleeps at night!!! When I looked at her for the first time in detail I was simply astonished. Allah Ho Akbar!

How Allah creates all the features of a human in such a tiny face! The hands and the feet, the lines in the palm…..everything is so beautiful.

I never knew that I will be enjoying my baby so much. She reminds me of the blessings of Allah. My elder children are so caring towards her that I feel my little one has more than 2 parents!

I am not a young mother and my bones are not that strong anymore! But I am much more mature and experienced than before. Hence I am calmer and do not loose hope and temper that easily.  Looking after my baby is my first priority and it does not bother me that I cannot continue my job because of the baby. I feel less threatened when someone points out my mistakes.

I used to feel very insecure when people used to give their expertise on bringing up children when I became a mother for the first time.

I think I am stronger in my faith too and therefore do not get hurt when offered opinions and myths. I listen to everyone, acknowledge their opinion but then research the information online and act accordingly. I am more grateful to people around me who offer a helping hand.

When I became a mother for the first time I was so overwhelmed with information coming from so many people around me. Some would criticize me while some would make me feel very guilty when there was a problem. I really wish people would stop being so critical towards first time mothers.

We don’t realize how stressed out a mother is for the first time. She is physically tired, emotionally disturbed and going through a brand new experience.

She needs a helping hand, someone to encourage her, give her positive feedback and support her when faced with a problem. In our society she is often faced with a totally different dilemma. Grandparents start with stories like “in our times” we did so and so and some even present the most horrific pictures to a new mom who has just started motherhood. Some criticize everything she does and makes her feel worthless. On top of that many consider her of no use as she stops working and is not earning money anymore.

This is not the right way to treat these mothers. They are tired, haven’t had sleep and are new to motherhood. The least people around her can do is help her and not create more problems for her. By now for me, Allah is the best help I take refuge in. I look for duas and Islamic ways of soothing my child. There are some wonderful sites with so much help and tips. Islamic songs and lullaby’s are easily available online. I have downloaded KidsGoApps on my mobile for Islamic songs, alphabets, nasheed and lots of other things to keep my baby entertained when she is upset.

My request to experienced moms, please share only positive things with new moms. You can warn them and give them solutions but don’t share unpleasant experiences. For example, if your baby was colic and you had a very tough time, don’t share it with a new mom unless she asks for help. Even when she does, give her helpful tips and encourage her to focus on the positive side. For example, tell her it is just a phase that will soon be over.

New moms, read, study and talk to other mothers to get as much information as you can. Record it in a journal so that you have a reference book that you can use when faced with an issue.

Keep a bulletin board in your room where you can pin up important things like vaccines, solid food chart etc. Of course this is time consuming but once you do this everything will be organized and right in front of you. You won’t have to call a friend again for a recipe or tip. So take out time once in a while and keep everything in place for future use. Important phone numbers should be saved in your mobile phone.

One last lesson that I personally use and find it very handy, when the baby is crying too much and you can’t handle it, give the baby to a responsible person and move out of that room. Drink a glass of water or eat something if you are out of energy. Go to a quieter room for two minutes, calm yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best. The baby will cry because that is the only language she knows. Once you are back to your baby you will have more energy to deal with the situation.

And remember one thing…….this is the best gift Allah has given you. Enjoy it! Nothing like a baby’s smile and for me when my baby cries for me I feel so important! I do not regret going back to work or not being able to cook a perfect meal!

 

 

Tips to Become Allah’s Beloved

good people

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Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings the most benefit. And the most beloved of deeds, according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificence is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim or relieve him of distress or pay off his debts or keep hunger away from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my Muslim brother in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the day of standing. Whoever walks with his Muslim brother in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the Day when all feet shall flip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey.” (At-Tabarani; reliable)

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

The Secret to Life that Everyone Knows but Nobody Uses

 

way_of_life

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The more you get into skincare, the more complicated it gets. There is seriously a step-by-step program to get your skin out of acne-land and into clear territory. At least, that’s what my latest purchase of skin products claims.

So, it is time to bring out the cleanser, the toner, the moisturizer and so on and so forth for coaxing your skin to become smoother, cleaner, clearer and under control.

I wish it was that easy to clean and clear out my heart from all the garbage gathered in it over the years. It’s a one-step program, though. Put one step on your Nafs (your base desires) and put your next step into Paradise. However, stepping on your Nafs is like trying to pin down greased lightning. In other words, it slips out of the way and out of control.

The beautiful thing is that it’s your effort that counts. Put in the best effort, and the results are not in your hands.

Purification of the Nafs and the soul is Allah’s (swt) job. Doing the struggle is our job.

Funny enough, it is the same with skincare. We cannot force the products to work. The function of the products and the way our body responds to them are not in our hands either, which is good. Just imagine having to physically push the moisturizer into the skin and make the skin absorb it and then make it soften the skin. You get my point, I hope.

So, what’s the secret?

The secret to unlocking the door to a blessed life is…it’s possible to do it. It’s within reach. It’s right there, and it’s yours.

That’s really all there is to it. It’s only our own self that gets in the way, with its inclinations towards laziness, indulgence and entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with having a slow/lazy day, indulging in a treat or entertaining yourself, but if you allow them to stop you from practicing Islam, then it’s a problem.

Action plan for revitalization

Usually, by the time we realise we need to work on our hearts, they are quite dead. If your day goes by and you don’t feel the need to open the Quran, it means you are being fulfilled by the distractions of this world; therefore, you are not seeking the goodness of the afterlife. The principle in play here is that the very things that seem difficult to us (focusing in prayer, making heartfelt supplication and reading the Quran with understanding) are the things we need in order to get out of this rut.

Fortunately, the very routine that sucks us into a monotony of soul-breaking activities can be set up in such a way that it benefits us. Take up three simple things in your life:

  1. Miswak (brushing with a tooth-stick)
  2. Sleeping the Sunnah nap after Dhuhr prayer
  3. Sleeping early after Isha prayer, getting up on time for Fajr prayer and not sleeping after the Fajr.

These things will bring Barakah (value, goodness) into your life.

How to follow the action plan?

It’s easy enough to figure out, which habits of yours hold you back from making the most of your real potential as a Muslim.

The key here is to find that one good habit that you can use to chip away at the road block of heedlessness. It can be a recitation of a certain Surah of the Quran, or a recital of a supplication, or a lecture series/book you are really into.

Find that one thing and hold on to it with both hands. Don’t engage in it mindlessly. Do it every day within a set time slot, and do it with your heart. If you don’t or can’t do something new in your routine, do something you already do with heart, with feeling and focus.

How do I know it is working?

I have news for you. You will never get a celebratory fanfare with the spotlight on you and a big screen with ‘you did it!’ on it, with confetti falling on you, and the crowd screaming in delight (you get the picture) – you will not get it in this life for anything Islamic you do. It’s not like you will pick up the prayer beads and suddenly your heart will undergo a permanent transformation for the better. Be realistic. That little flutter in your heart, when you finally connect with the words you speak, while going over those prayer beads? Awesome. Just don’t make it the aim of your worship. The aim of worship is not to experience enjoyment. It is to humble ourselves before Allah (swt).

To give a direct answer to the question: love is a verb. It means, when you care about someone, you give them importance by doing things for them. In this scenario, it means you express your love to Allah (swt) by dedicating your life to Him.

The very fact that you are bringing Islamic activity into your life means that the change for the better has taken place.

Any last words?

We usually expect Islam to ‘fix’ our lives and make them harm-proof the moment we act upon it. That’s not the purpose. Life is hard and it will remain so. However, there’s a big difference between simply existing and going with the flow and actual living for achieving something.

Whether it’s softening skin or softening hearts, the same rule applies. We just have to remember it.

Seven Tips to Discipline your Inner Self

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  1. Seek Refuge from Shaytan

As soon as you get a negative thought about someone, realize that Shaytan is playing with your mind. Don’t let him win. Instead, ask Allah (swt) to protect you from him.

  1. Focus on the Facts

When something happens that you do not understand or like, understand the facts. By taking a colder look at the facts, you will see that the situation is lot less dramatic than you originally thought.

  1. Analyze your Interpretation

How are you interpreting the facts? This is usually what is triggering your negative emotions-except that you have added this interpretation yourself, and that you can choose to have an empowering interpretation instead.

  1. Don’t make people into villains

As difficult as it may feel, let go of the idea that someone else in your situation is the enemy who is out to get you. Stop making others wrong and yourself right.

  1. Avoid Playing the Victim

By choosing to put yourself into the role of the innocent victim, you are avoiding taking responsibility for your situation. Instead, be proactive and look at what you can do to make the situation better.

  1. Make Excuses for Others

The Sunnah encourages us to think good of others and make excuses for them whenever possible. In fact, Hazrat Umar (rta) said: “Do not think badly of a word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.”

  1. Take Responsibility for Yourself

Allah (swt) has given you freewill-  no matter how difficult a situation may appear to you, it is entirely up to you how you choose to react. Remember-  the test of life is not what happens to you, but whether you deal with it in a manner that is pleasing to Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) give me and you the Tawfeeq to implement these tips. Ameen.

 

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

[Poem] Good mood, good life!

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Smiles in the childhood, and lot to play
Shiny is the night, and bright is the day.
No need to worry, no reason to cry
No need of wings to get to fly.

When comes the time, when we become teenager
Friends in school, and messages on pager.
Play the football and eat the chips
Laugh a lot while having slips.

Then soon you enter the crew of youth
And this is the time to choose your booth.
One is responsibility, and other is just fun
With one comes success, and with other life burns.

Choice is yours, so select the good
And don’t hide your abilities in a hood.
Work hard and wear noble kits
Because we get spoilt by bad habits.

Then time comes, when one gets age
And bones get weak in body’s cage.
When conscious level is down, and comes nervousness
But grand daughters and sons give happiness.

Not all happiness, not all grief
In any case- be patient and heave.
There will be hard times, don’t let you hide
The thing is that, this is life.

Successful Parenting and You: Golden Tips to be at Finger Tips

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Allah (swt) has granted great status to parents- not only because they bring the children in this world, but they are raising future Muslims. Children are the responsibility of parents, and Allah (swt) will ask about that responsibility on the Day of Judgement. Parenting is not an easy job, and can’t be learned from any book- one can learn it from experience only.

Respect

Mostly, the word ‘respect’ is associated with elders only. But, children also have the right to be respected.

Sometimes, parents scold or shout at their children in front of friends and cousins. In such situations, children face shame and humiliation. Parents can scold their children, but everything has a way to be done.

“Don’t yell at your children, when you yell the message is lost. Speak calmly for words to be heard, and they’ll retain the message better”. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give respect to your children to gain respect. When children feel respected, it boosts their self-esteem.

Love

All parents love their children, but only a few express that love. Parents should express their love to children by actions live kissing, hugging and complimenting them. One can learn from Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) behaviour with kids also. Prophet (sa) also said:

“He is not from us who does not show mercy to the young, and does not honour the old.” (Tirmidhi)

Comparison Is Not Good

Parents compare their child with children of the same age group. This shouldn’t be done. Every person has its own abilities and talents. The comparison may lead to wrong way. They should encourage their children for doing good things and build their confidence. What happens next after this comparison is a child starts to copy others- instead of discovering his/her hidden talent and polishing own skills.

“As parents, we must learn from our children and guide them in daily lives. Parenting goes both ways- it’s a give and take relationship”.  (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give Attention

Sometimes parents complain that my child doesn’t pay attention to whatever I say. He/she does not bother to listen. I think, somewhere, it is their fault because a child seeks full attention of parents which they fail to give. This often occurs when mothers are helping their young children to do homework, their finger of one hand is on a copy of child, and the other hand is on a smart phone.

Also, elders don’t listen to younger ones whole heartedly; or do not let them complete because they are taking a lot time to convey their matter. Parents should give full attention to their children, and let them talk. They should spend quality time with them indulging in activities like storytelling, cooking their favourite food, playing games.

“Spending time with children is more important than spending money on them’’. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Avoid Nicknames

Don’t call your children by nicknames like “Munnu” or “Baby”. Name has an impact on personality. If you call your child by a nickname, then avoid calling by that name in the presence of his/her friends. Sometimes these nicknames embarrass children in a gathering of friends and school.

Parents are Role Models

I heard my 4-year-old cousin saying: “Mama, I want to be like you. I want to wear earrings like you and have long hair like yours.” This shows that children follow their parents, and want to be like them. So, that’s why parents should be careful of their actions and words in front of children- because these little ones are great observers as well.

 

 

Top Five Thoughts to Forgive Anyone

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How can you forgive someone when it seems too difficult? Try considering the following:

 

  1. It is the fastest way for you to get Allah’s (swt) forgiveness; ask yourself this question from the Quran- Do you not want that Allah should forgive you?
  1. It will free you from the pain- for holding onto bitterness makes you suffer. If you find their mistakes too big, remember that by definition, forgiveness is when they don’t deserve it.
  1. Forgiveness is the quality of the people of Taqwa. Do it for yourself if you want to be a person of Taqwa who enters Jannah.
  1. You want people to forgive you. You need others to forgive your mistakes instead of settling the score because you want peace on the Day of Judgement.
  1. What if they die tomorrow? Would you still feel angry, or would you feel regret for how things ended? Make peace with them now when you still have the choice.

 

May Allah (swt) make forgiveness easy for us. Ameen.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz