The special structure of a mother-of-pearl

mother-pearlIn the development of materials to be used in the production of strong impellers in jet engines, the mother-of-pearl’s structure is imitated. 95% of the mother-of-pearl on the inner layer of many shellfish’s shells is chalk, but mother-of-pearl is 3,000 times stronger than chalk- thanks to its composite structure. When this structure is examined, it is seen that microscopic tablets, only eight microns (1 micron=10–6 meters) in width, and one half of a micron in depth, are arranged as layers. These tablets are a dense, shiny crystalline form of calcium carbonate. But, the combination of these tablets is only possible with a silk-like sticky protein.

This combination ensures a two-way hardness. First, the breaks that form when a heavy load is placed on the mother-of-pearl, naturally moves along the thinnest layers,; yet they change direction when they try to pass the protein layers. This distributes the applied force, and thus, a complete break-up is prevented. A second strengthening factor is that the protein layers tighten along the cracks when a crack is formed. By means of this tension, the energy that will resume the break is dispersed.

This special damage decreasing structure of the mother-of-pearl has become a subject of research for many scientists. The fact that matter in nature has gained resistance with such intelligent methods points to the existence of the Owner of a superior intelligence. As can be seen from this example, Allah (swt) shows us His existence and the evidences of the superior strength and mightiness in His Creation with His infinite knowledge and intelligence. Therefore, the praise for the order here is for Allah (swt), as it is in all things. In one verse, Allah (swt) reveals as such,

“To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. And verily, Allah He is Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.” (Al-Hajj 22:64)

The superior creation in Bats teaches us how to be safer in our cars

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have conducted studies on a robot, which has “smart ears” to find its way via eco-location (using the sound waves emitted by some creatures to detect things such as the distance or size of an object) just like a bat. Jose Carmena, from the informatics faculty of the university, and his co-workers have named this robot as “RoBat.” A sound source that acts like a mouth and two fixed sound detectors were placed on RoBat. Then the robot’s mouth was arranged to spread sound waves (echos) just like in bats.

In the design of RoBat, other characteristics of bats were also considered to utilize the echos in the best way possible. Bats move their ears to determine the frequency intervals of sound waves, and in this way, they easily overcome the obstacles in front of them and find their prey and catch it. RoBat was also equipped with such ultrasonic detectors to have a perfect mechanism like that seen in bats.

By means of such sound detectors, designed by inspiration from nature, it is thought that roads and highways will become safer one day.

However, the leading car manufacturers of the world are using ultrasonic detectors that are activated when the vehicle is put into reverse gear. The driver is, therefore, able to recognize how close he is to another car or object standing behind him, thanks to these detectors.

These superior beings, of which we can give a few examples, and which serve as an inspiration to the technological advances of the 21st century are only some of the works of Allah (swt), Who creates all things without prior example and in a perfect manner. In the Quran, Allah’s (swt) name “Al-Badi (One Who creates without example)” is revealed as follows,

“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth.…” (Al-An‘am 6:101)

Lessons on Parenting from Umm Ammarah (ra)

flower-blooming-drawing-picture-VFqaA Strong Mother

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) defence of Islam did not end with the Prophet’s (sa) passing away; when the Fitnah (trial) of apostasy emerged, she pledged her support to Abu Bakr (ra). He acknowledged that she was indeed a strong and daring woman; hence, allowed her to join the Muslim forces fighting the apostate Musalymah Kathab.

The Battle of Yamamah was the toughest battle that the Muslims faced. Musalymah had gathered a large army and was confident that he will wipe off Islam. They plan and Allah (swt) plans too, and Allah (swt) is the Best of the planners.

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son, Habeeb (ra) was captured by Musalymah’s forces. Musalymah asked him if he testified Muhammad (sa) to be the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied in affirmation. Musalymah then asked if he testified that he (Musalymah) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. Again Musalymah asked if he believed Muhammad (sa) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) again replied in affirmation. Musalymah then repeated his question about his being a Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. The show went on for some time and Habeeb (ra) remained firm in his replies.

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions.

Furious, Musalymah ordered body mutilation. With each limb being cut, Habeeb (ra) was asked the same questions and the heroic boy repeated the same answers until he died.

Musalymah was later assassinated by none other than Habeeb’s (ra) brother Abdullah Ibn Zayd (ra).

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions. They were equally passionate about acquiring and transferring knowledge, as they were about defending the Prophet (sa) in the field.

Lessons: Abu Bakr (ra) did not oppose Umm Ammarah’s (ra) request to join the army because he had witnessed how skilful she was. When someone does not assign us a role, we blame the person and call him biased. But have we ever assessed our skills? Have we focused on developing ourselves and complaining less about people or our circumstances? A person who is able does not have to beg for attention, his work speaks for him.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons.

Umm Ammarah (ra) was sixty years old, but not even for a moment did she think of what use she could be. How many times have we limited ourselves or allowed others to restrict our potential? How many excuses do we have for staying behind in the service of Islam? What is our life’s mission?

Umm Ammarah (ra) did not raise her children in comfort and luxuries. She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children. It was this upbringing that made her children fearless. The entire family had one common goal: striving in the cause of Allah (swt), no matter what sacrifice it demanded. This was the family that truly lived by the verse: “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists)” (Al-Anam 6:162)

She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children.

When her son got injured in the field, she attended to his wounds, and told him to get up and fight the enemy. When she was attacked, her sons defended her and dressed her wounds. When the news of her son’s disfigurement reached her, she was calm because she knew Allah (swt) had purchased the lives of the believers in exchange for Paradise. She was not attached to the world. She knew their real home was in the hereafter.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons. How would have we reacted? How do we react to daily news of violence? How are we raising our children?

Umm Ammarah (ra) loved studying the Quran and Ahadeeth, and taught her children the same. Their love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) was so pure that Allah (swt) chose from them Hadeeth narrators. Do our children know who Allah (swt) is, who the Prophet (sa) was, what his Sunnah is, and how much he cried for us? Is their love for Allah (swt) and His Beloved (sa) apparent in their conduct? Is our Dawah limited to the people ‘outside’ our homes?

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Maternal affection- Signs of Allah’s (swt) compassion

handholdingRecent scientific research has shown that there are genes in infants that are activated when they receive affection — or lack of affection — from their mothers.

Brain analysis performed by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center has revealed that several hundred genes are more, or less, active when infants experience pain than those that do not. However, when infants receive affection from their mothers as a manifestation of Allah’s (swt) compassion, fewer than a hundred genes are similarly expressed.

In a study involving rats, Regina Sullivan, a neurobiologist researching the subject, for the first time revealed the short-term effects of maternal affection on a distressed infant’s brain.

The study was also designed to show the long-term consequences of maternal affection. The study’s conclusion was striking, because similar effects were shown in humans, as well as, other mammals.

The study showed that a mother’s “Tender Loving Care” (TLC) reduces sensations of pain in babies. TLC also had a positive effect on early brain development. It was conducted by altering gene activity in the region of the brain involved in emotions.

Sullivan said: “Our study shows that a mother comforting her infant in pain does not just elicit a behavioural response, but also the comforting itself modifies — for better or worse — critical neural circuitry during early brain development.”

The study involved genetic analyses on the almond-sized amygdala region in the infant rat’s brain. This is the region responsible for emotional processes. Signals related to fear or pleasure, for instance, are processed by that region.

Sullivan discovered that maternal affection controlled electrical signaling in the infant rat’s brain. The latest research has shed light on the complex mechanisms by which affection eliminates feelings of pain in newborns.

Sullivan went on to say that nobody would want to see an infant, from whatever species, suffering; and emphasized that, new alternative methods should be developed to treat pain in infants, since the opiate-based drugs used to treat adults suffering from physical pain could be very dangerous for infants. Maternal affection and care, and maybe even factors such as the mother’s scent, may be able to reduce that pain.

Sullivan directed her attention to the long-term consequences of these genetic modifications. In her view, these long-term consequences must be compared to the short-term benefits for tying pain stimuli throughout infancy to the mother, the symbol of safety and security.

Sullivan also said: “The more we learn about nurturing the infant brain during infancy, the better prepared we are to deal with the long-term problems that arise from pain, and physical and mental abuse experienced during infancy.”

It is of course, Almighty and Omniscient Allah (swt) Who produces all living things’ superior characteristics; Who causes them to adopt rational plans; and Who creates and inspires these. “And Allah did create you (Adam) from dust, then from Nutfah (male and female discharge semen drops i.e. Adam’s offspring), then He made you pairs (male and female). And no female conceives or gives birth, but with His Knowledge. And no aged man is granted a length of life, nor is a part cut off from his life (or another man’s life), but is in a Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz) Surely, that is easy for Allah.” (Fatir 35:11)

Chance is unable to account for the cause and source of a living being’s behaviour. It is of great importance to examine living being’s behaviour from that perspective because observations show that no living being is completely uncontrolled. It is Allah (swt), the Lord of the earth and heavens and all that lies between; Who creates all living things from nothing; Who observes them at every moment and commands their behaviour. This is revealed as follows in the Quran, “

“I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth).” (Hud 11:56)

The wisdom behind sensitivity to affection

There is much wisdom in the way that Allah (swt) creates people to be so sensitive to love and affection. Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful of the merciful, and He commands people to submit to, and seek refuge in, Him alone.

People are created to be so sensitive to love and affection- so that they feel a natural need to seek the shelter of their Lord, the All-Merciful and the Most Loving. Such people turn to Allah (swt) with a great passion, and submit to Him in all matters.

The affection that people need as babies is met by the love of Allah (swt) manifested in the mother; but as a person gains consciousness, he becomes aware that he needs to seek the shelter of Allah’s (swt) love, and he needs to alter his mind and will accordingly. Believers who possess unwavering faith know that Allah (swt) is the All-Merciful and the Most Merciful; and that He is the most loving toward His servants; and they feel His love and compassion throughout their lives.

Paradise, the greatest manifestation of His love, awaits the believers in their eternal lives.

It is revealed in the Quran that Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful of the merciful as follows, He (Moses) said, “Musa (Moses) said: “O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and make us enter into Your Mercy, for you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.”(Al-Araf 7:151)

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.”(Al-Anbiya 21:83)

Reflection of This Mirror


As a mother, I want to teach you the important lessons of life

Tomorrow when you stand as a husband or wife,

I might not be around as I am growing old and gray

Caring for you, worrying for you every living day,

Today, when you’re young and spirited so high

You want pleasure and freedom to fly,

Things matter most to you and they better be the best

Your heart is constantly in this world put to test,

My child understand the mirage of the world

Do not lose your grip in this dazzling whirl,

It’s the stuff that allures

But it won’t be long before you want more,

The nature of worldly things is such

It captivates your desires, but keeps your soul unrested much,

Occasionally the make-up may fail

The weight may go up and down the scale,

Dark or fair, don’t worry, don’t fake

Allah (swt) made you and He makes no mistakes,

You are beautiful because of your soul

Not the six pack chest or the beauty mole,

If you believe in yourself and the beauty of what lies within

You will be the happiest person from Bahrain to Berlin,

Befriend Allah (swt) so He lights up your heart

May your Iman and Aqeedah never depart,

Throw the world behind you and let it chase you

Just lead a meaningful life with courage and be true,

Let the stuff be your slave

And with dignity do behave,

You are from the Ummah of the greatest leader of all times

Never should you be the reason for anyone to ever malign,

Our beloved messenger (sa) who cried for you and I

Do not forget until you die,

Allah (swt) has destined your Rizq all along

It is you who has to decide the path right or wrong,

Not a penny will you earn less, not a penny more

Than what you deserve so go on and explore,

I don’t want a grade you earn by cheating others in school

I don’t want you to demean yourself to look cool,

I want to see you live and die loving your Creator

I want you to feel pride in serving His creation,

I want to meet you at the gates of Paradise

I want to embrace you there with no guise,

I pray to Allah (swt) to choose you to be the one

A worthy daughter or a wonderful son,

Oh my child, this life is so precious to waste

Such little time is left, until death we taste,

Rise and stretch high

Sprint and zoom by,

Do not look back, but only to learn from your errors

One day you will become a reflection of this mirror,

I pray to Allah (swt) He forgives my slights

And fulfills all the gaps with His might,

Mould you into what He wants you to be

And as a striving and faulty mother honour me. Ameen

This poem is dedicated to every mother who sheds tears for the salvation of her family.

Appreciate Allah’s Blessings – Before They Are Taken Away

Small-paper-boats-in-water_1920x1200Losing your father when you are only three days old makes you feel devastated when you learn about it. Sounds like an emotional dialogue, isn’t it? However, some events in our life take place to make us strong which unfortunately some people fail to realize.

At the age of seventeen, when I was told by my grandmother that some people at my dad’s funeral named me as an unlucky child for the family- that was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I felt so bad even my mother’s words were not enough to console me although she read inspiring Islamic stories to me and told me not to get worried over such things; she told me she loved me and I was a blessing for her.

I felt she was only uttering those words to make me feel better. I did not change my thinking and told some of my friends about this. I felt really embarrassed because I am an introvert. However, as it is said, “good friends are a blessing,” which was very true in my case. They helped me to think about the blessings which I had and forget about the past.

My mother has always strived hard to make me feel content for whatever I have and to be thankful to Allah (swt). But, I took really long to appreciate the countless blessings I have. Whining about not having a father and a lavish lifestyle did not end until I lost my grandmother at the age of twenty one.

That moment changed my thinking. Why did I fail to realize that when Allah (swt) takes something away from you, He compensates in some other way? Why did I fail to understand that Allah (swt) had blessed me with my grandmother, who had always been supportive and understanding? I felt so ashamed of myself, and began to realize that Allah (swt) is the best planner; and we are no one to term our lives as unfair. Life isn’t unfair and it can never be; we human beings term it as unfair which is not true. Allah (swt) loves us more than seventy mothers, so how can we even think that our mothers would do or plan something which is unfair?

Alhumdulillah for what I have! May Allah (swt) guide us all to the straight path. Ameen.

[Family Matters] Honouring Parents by Wael Ibrahim

Elderly ParentsAs Muslims, we have no option to disgrace or dishonour our parents, even if they ask us to commit Shirk, which in itself is an unpardonable sin. Disobedience to parents ranks number two on the list of major offences. It comes before such vices as fornication, killing, etc.

Uqooqullah (linguistically) means to cut off one’s garment. It is one of the major sins in Islam, as if you are severing ties with your parents and Allah (swt). There are nine consequences that may happen to us in Dunya and Akhirah, if we cause displeasure to our parents:

  1. Allah (swt) will shut out your light. Never cut your ties with your dad. You will be left misguided.
  2. You will face disgrace and humiliation in this world.
  3. If you end up disobeying your parents, Allah (swt) will haste your punishment in this world. Hence, lower your wings and be humble before them.
  4. You will experience hardships. You will never be successful as you will find closed doors in your way. A famous historic account tells us about Juraij, who earned the title of Al-Abid- the worshipper. Once he was worshipping while he heard his mother call him. In a dilemma whether to answer her or not, he decided not to. She got frustrated as he didn’t respond to her and cursed him to see the face of a prostitute before he dies. Rest assured, a woman carrying a baby falsely alleged Juraij to be the father of the child. Juraij lost his pious status and was covered with humiliation because he angered his mother. When his mother forgave Juraij, the baby spoke from the cradle to defend Juraij’s honour and he was acquitted.
  5. We are advised never to make Dua against our life, wealth or children lest it comes true.
  6. Those who consume alcohol and dishonour their parents will not cross Al-Quds Masjid. When Jerusalem will be returned to Muslims, such people will be barred from entering it.
  7. Allah (swt) will never look at the one who disobeys his parents.
  8. Good deeds of the one who dishonoured his parents will not be accepted by Allah (swt).
  9. A person who had knowledge and acted upon it, yet failed to honour his parents will not be granted Jannah by Allah (swt).

Transcribed by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at Family Matters at Twins of Faith Karachi organized by Mercy Mission.

(Part 2) From House to Home

Family ConceptSilat-ur-Rahm is to keep regular contact and be in their service with politeness and courtesy. It means to exhibit excellent behaviour towards them. It is also said that reciprocation is not maintaining ties. It is not contingent upon their good behaviour to us. Whether they are practicing or non-practicing Muslims or non-Muslims, we are required to look after these relatives. The Prophet (sa) was asked a multiple times: “Should we offer good kindness even if parents are doing Haram or are abusive and oppressive? He replied: “Yes and continue to do it for Allah’s (swt) sake.” If any relative chooses to break off from us, it can be their choice and their decision to earn Allah’s (swt) wrath but we should never initiate it.

We are doing proper Silat-ur-Rahmi when it is hard and painful. When we don’t have any Dunya’s interest, it is literally at our own expense, that’s when we have done it. We are trying to maintain what is disconnected and broken. In Islam, it is one of the key obligations, and hence, most highly rewarded and also most punishable actions. What are we trying to achieve? We are trying to please them. Some of them may be easy to please while others very difficult. Some may be high maintenance people while others may have simple needs. Silat-ur-Rahm is a tailored thing. It is constructed around customs to please our relations. Silat-ur-Rahm is sometimes unfair but our deal for Jannah. Our attitude towards it should change from that of a burden to an opportunity because it makes the society healthy. Imagine sending gifts, relieving burdens and what not.

As Muslims we have been tasked to improve the society. For this job, we need more people to rise and tackle the situation. For this very reason such monumental emphasis has been placed upon Silat-ur-Rahm. The Prophet (sa) also offered Dawah to his family first then to others.

Silat-ur-Rahm is sometimes unfair but our deal for Jannah. Our attitude towards it should change from that of a burden to an opportunity because it makes the society healthy.

Mothers are most emotionally weak. They need our regular love and attention. They need to be called, hugged and talked to. Kindness and constant connection is the focus. Conversely for fathers obedience is the focus. If we do not call them regularly it won’t hurt them, but what they crave for is respect and control. They will always want to be part of our important decisions in life. The target is to manage expectations. However, obedience is in what is Maruf (good). There is no obeying our parents in anything Haram, or that which is not obligated. For example- if our father tells us to drink six glasses of water everyday, it is not necessary to follow him as it is not linked to the Akhirah.

Lastly, the nuclear family is the one that includes our spouse and children. Make no mistake but it is families that get married not just a man and a woman. One should marry someone who loves Allah (swt) more than his spouse. He/she will be a fair and Muttaqi partner lifelong. The Quran defines a marital relationship aptly. It is governed by love and mercy. Love is what makes the relationship kick off. It’s when we feel all the excitement and experience our honeymoon. This is like a T20 cricket match. However, its mercy that keeps the match going. When we are patient with one another, overlook faults and drop our expectations. Because we know that it’s a long inning.

Love is what makes the relationship kick off. It’s when we feel all the excitement and experience our honeymoon. This is like a T20 cricket match. However, its mercy that keeps the match going.

No matter what our struggle is in our marital life, we need to turn on the mercy button. Be easy about our own rights; think about the benefit of our children. When we are out of love, depend on Islam and Ehsan. Once a woman complained to Omar (rta) as the Khalifa about not being able to love her husband. He replied with anger that there were hardly any homes where couples lived a loving life. Real world is very different from the fantasy world we imagine or paint for ourselves. A husband takes precedence in obedience over his wife’s father. Every wife should try to earn such a relationship that her husband pleasingly values her desires and dreams.

About our offspring, we need to build a level of trust with them that they love us too much to hurt us. They do not fall into Haram fearing the impact it will have on us. If we are not our child’s best friend, there will be hundred others ready to become his friend at the drop of a hat. We ought to have more confidence in the relationship of love and stop outsourcing our child’s education. We can’t pay our way out by expecting others to do a good job, since we don’t want to do it ourselves.

Tarbiya cannot be purchased. We are lured into a false sense of security. Parents need to filter information after kids return from school because much Haram practices are happening out there; having said that, we can’t ban our kids from life. We can’t put them in a cave and teach them there.

Lastly and most importantly, it is not obligated to obey the in-laws; however, it is inconceivable for a God-fearing Muslimah to forsake her husband’s parents if she loves Allah (swt) and cares for her husband’s feelings. It is known that mothers-in-law have the hardest time letting go off their married sons in the Eastern culture. The West is not like that. Hence, every woman becomes the enemy she hated most once she steps into the shoes of a mother-in-law. The remedial measure is to part the families offering mutual space and respect. An arrangement should be made to look after old parents by their own children in terms of best care and quality time spent. Otherwise, it will be a punishable sin in the hereafter.

In conclusion to build the right family we must always read the Quran as if it is speaking to us directly. If we read it like a third party, we will never be able to reap the benefits of a fulfilling familial life. This was the attitude of the Sahabah. They never thought, “Oh what will happen to others.” They owned every verse of the Holy Book and internalized it to build a house to home.

Transcribed for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at “Live Deen”, Karachi.

(Part 1) From House to Home

home_1361726270_540x540After becoming a distinguished practicing Muslim, a person’s primary concern becomes his family. Mainly because he realizes that his Akhirah is dependent upon it. A family offers diverse relations – people with obligatory rights, next come Silah-e-Rahmi and further Ihsani rights. If we don’t define them and do not understand these parameters, they become over-whelming. Because of a culture of respect in the East, we still have comparatively stronger family bonds. In the West they are not a priority for them. Parents don’t depend on their kids or vice versa.

We should be provoked into thinking about the value of children with respect to our deeds. There will be a time we will be needing support from our children. Our child could be the difference between fire and Jannah or one level of Jannah from another level of Jannah. This process of raising kids is called Tarbiya. We love our parents because of the Tarbiya they gave us. People of other religions love their parents because of love.

Islam commands not to even utter the word ‘Uff’ to our parents, but to say to them a respectful word. To lower our wings when we have learnt to fly great heights, at a time when we no longer need them. Before we begin to believe in our own nonsense and strut around with a puffed up chest, we better calm down. We ought to become humble and exhibit merciful kindness.

Allah (swt) states, “And ask Me about your parents.” (17:23-24)

We pray for them because of the effort they put into us when we were young, ensuring we turn out to be practicing. It is Karma- “do to them exactly as they did to you.” As a parent, we do not want a hassle filled life forever; hence, we go out of the way to raise a righteous child who will serve us in later years. When we are dead, our virtuous deeds will not end. Our child will come to aid us in the hour of need in our grave with his supplication for us and kind actions in the world transferring Sadaqah-e-Jariya.

A school and a Madrasa give Taleem (education). Their job is data input and processing, transfer of Ilm (knowledge). Hence, a teacher is called a Muallim. Parents on the other hand offer Tarbiya (nurturing) and are Murabbis. They invest intellectually and emotionally and spend time with each child on a one to one basis. This is a slow process that cannot be rushed.

Parents offer Tarbiya (nurturing) and are Murabbis. They invest intellectually and emotionally and spend time with each child on a one to one basis.

A child is like a canvas. It will display whatever we paint on it. We need to spend time with our children with love and patience and produce something worthwhile. It’s like preparing a ‘Murabba’- the science of creating a fresh fruit jam reveals how it requires many months to get the right texture, flavour, colour, etc. It needs regular monitoring. People value products of time, care and concern. Actor Brad Pitt is known to have bought an entire jam factory in France in appreciation of their distinguished taste. Imagine a child is similar. He/she stands out among others when the child has been raised likewise.

A child literally worships his parents; hence, Tarbiya should be done early. The main job should have been done by the age of seven. Reason being that as a child grows up; he realizes that there are other adults and influences in his world too in the form of teachers, friends, gadgets, etc. The kid might just decide that I can be like any of these big guys. We should become the person of trust our child can come to at any time and age of his life. This cannot happen if we keep relegating our responsibility to others. Our tangible and quality relationship makes the difference. A well-tended garden that has been seeded watered and pruned stands out in comparison to a jungle that has been left to grow on its own.

Tarbiya should be done early. The main job should have been done by the age of seven.

It seems in the modern day and age, the father’s role in a Muslim family is over-emphasized. It needs to be realistically assessed. A responsible father has to earn a decent living for the family, he is obligated to be at the Masjid five times of the day and he is also needed to be at the helm to lead many community service matters. That doesn’t mean that the fathers go missing or indulge in nonsense or behave irresponsibly.

Alongside the role of a mother is understated as a Murrabiya. Traditionally many scholars and men and women of great feats and achievements were raised solely by their mothers. Mainly because Allah (swt) has granted a natural generic skill set to women. They have an intrinsic bottomless well of patience within them. I observe this as a teacher too. Though I hope to deliver high quality of education to my students, but I do find myself struggling with kids. At times, my mind is blown away. But my female counterparts have a phenomenal ability to be patient with children.

Traditionally many scholars and men and women of great feats and achievements were raised solely by their mothers.

The greatest manifestation of mercy is in the womb of the mother. The baby receives complete charity in the form of oxygen, fluid, food, etc. If she cuts the cord, the child dies instantly. Hence, in the Arabic language the word ‘Rahm’ stands for a mother’s womb and from this another word ‘‘Rahma’ is derived which means mercy. People of Rahm are your family and ‘Silat-ur-Rahm’ means people connected to you with this link.

The Prophet (sa) emphasizing the family ties stated: “The one who does not maintain family ties will not enter Jannah.” (Bukhari). Ulool Arham are the womb relations from your mom i.e. her brothers and sisters.

Our obligatory rights are upon our family members with blood ties or our Mahrams by relations. This is a small group of people that include our father, mother, grandparents, grandchildren, father’s brothers, father’s sisters, niece, nephew, etc. This does not include our cousins whom we can marry. So technically if we do not maintain ties with our uncle (Father’s brother), it is a punishable sin, whereas if we ignore our ties with our cousin, it is not punishable. We need not look after him/her if we do not want to. Grandparents enjoy the same obedience and rights as our parents do.

(Transcribed for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan from a talk at “Live Deen”, Karachi.)

[To be continued Insha Allah]

[Twins of Faith Karachi] Family Matters by Br. Adnan Rashid

familyAllah’s (swt) greatest gift to Muslims is Iman (faith). Something they never pursued and were awarded effortlessly. But what is Iman? It is belief and action combined together based on the Ilm (knowledge) one has acquired. Yes, it’s a pre-requisite that Ilm must be followed up by Amal (action); otherwise, Ilm is not even considered to be Ilm.

Iblees (Satan) is most knowledgeable. He maybe is more learned than all the Ulema of the world collectively. Why? Because he has been around the longest. He was there even before Allah (swt) created Adam (as). And he worshipped Allah (swt). So where did he fail? How did he become Rajeem (the cursed and rejected one)? Significantly, because he failed to act upon the knowledge he earned. He recognized Allah (swt) to be the Supreme Creator, Who solely deserved to be worshipped, but blinded himself to His divine guidance. Hence, Ibless became a Kafir. Ilm without action is a recipe for Jahannum.

Numerous orientalists and non-Muslims have studied Hadeeth and Aqueedah in more depth than many Muslims on Earth. But it doesn’t save them. Knowledge and action are intertwined. One is vain and useless without the other. If we are granted knowledge and we do not act upon it, we are considered to be hypocrites. If we do not have knowledge and we act as per our desires, we can cause Fitnah and perform Bidats (innovations in Deen).

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

We need to approach our families with the knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah, especially when delivering their rights upon us. Family is one of the greatest blessings from Allah (swt). It is an important opportunity to please Allah (swt) and enter Jannah. As Muslims, we must recognize who is who in the family. It is essential to understand the value and status of your parents, spouse, children and extended family.

Orphans are the ones, who know the true importance of having a family. Once, our beloved Prophet (sa) was travelling along with his companions (rta). Suddenly, he came to a halt and began to weep. His companions (rta), unable to see his grief, cried along with him, until Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rta) asked him: “Ya Rasool Allah (sa), why are you crying?” He replied: “My mother is buried here.”

Why did Allah (swt) place Jannah beneath the mother’s feet? Because it can only be attained by serving her. After mentioning Shirk as an unforgivable sin, Allah (swt) places disobedience to parents next in line. They can either be our doors to Jannah or gateway to Jahannum.

Once, the Prophet (sa) descended the pulpit thrice, and each time he uttered: “Ameen”. The companions (rta) asked him, why he did so? The Messenger (sa) explained: “Gabriel (as) visited me and informed me: ‘Woe to the person, who finds Ramadan but doesn’t enter Paradise.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Then he said: ‘Woe to the person, who, upon mentioning your name, doesn’t send Salawat upon you.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Lastly, Gabriel said: ‘Woe to the person, who finds his parents in their old age and fails to attain Jannah.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ ”

Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

Many times kids do not out-rightly misbehave with their parents, but it’s that one shrug of shoulders, gesturing of the eyes or wrinkling with their forehead that does it all. The Quran doesn’t even permit us to utter ‘uff’ to them. If a word shorter than that would have been known, that would also have been forbidden to say against one’s parents.

How Allah (swt) defends the honour of a mother? When Maryam (as) gave birth to Isa (as) and brought him to her people, she was falsely accused. At the moment she pointed to Isa (as,) who was still an infant in the cradle. He spoke for his mother as a miracle. Allah (swt) granted him the power to do so. Isa (as) confirmed to the people that he was special. He was most importantly a slave of Allah (swt), He had been given a book (Injeel) from Allah (swt), he had been made a prophet of Allah (swt) and he was obedient to his mother.

I see the Western society collapsing from within. I have seen kids curse their parents. It’s an unbelievable phenomenon. Their family institution has disintegrated. On the other hand, Islam is great. It gives the right to people they deserve. Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Transcribed by Rana Rais Khan from Br Adnan Rashid’s talk at Twins of Faith Karachi, organized by Mercy Mission.

Marital Blues: He Loves Who?

divideredThis is the dilemma most of the men around encounter, as soon as they step into a marital relation. The first few months are a bliss, since there is absence of responsibilities and family pressures. He is solely a husband enjoying with his better half and guarding and combating for his beloved’s rights and desires. He cannot imagine a single thorn to prick her feet that would cause her pain or anguish. However, the picture starts to dim, as the time passes by. Later things start to deteriorate, when he is being questioned by his emotional mother and sentimental wife. The tug leaves him despicable and perturbed. “What can I do to make each of them happy?” is a common question that pops up on the surface of his consciousness. He starts to avoid and ignore the situations that direly require his supervision, wise decision and problem solving. He spends most of his time secluded in his own cave. The love is now out of the window.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve. Women are possessive by nature. One of my male teacher said, women are possessive. It is all about their family – its wellbeing, its health and all related to their own kith. For this reason, it is natural for a mother to feel insecure and jealous when her son’s attention, love, care, and time is divided. She cannot tolerate the shift and thus, resentment follows towards the new addition. In this situation, the man has to be cautious of the mother’s feelings and tackle accordingly by giving her time and constant reassurance about the status she still holds in his life. On the other hand, the wife who is newly wed to him craves for his attention and time, love and care. He should balance the two entities with insight and not to make any one of them feel unloved and ignored.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve

There are some common points to ponder on before a man reacts.

Firstly, a woman who is now your wife is not an outsider. She is a part of you and your life. She is not a third person. So do not, I stress, do not make her feel like a fish out of water. It is not about her and us (you and your biological family). When you expect her to treat and take care of your own family like hers, then make her feel a part of the family too. If you are going to shun her and talk behind her back; make detail discussions about her attitude and behaviour to others behind doors; complain to your parents, especially your mother, about her actions or words that you find offending etc. – it all will make her feel isolated. When you expect her not to bad mouth about your family, and some issues that she might be facing with people around; and to deal with the shortcomings with tolerance and oft forgiveness- then you are expected to be as generous as you want her in regard to her short comings and not to bad mouth, complain or nag about her bad points to your family.

Being a man, you are held responsible to earn the bread and butter for the family. You are made the head (Ameer) of the family. Working outside by dealing with people, and surviving peak rush hours of traffic, bearing losses, or not meeting up the desired target may make you vulnerable and depressed. As you expect home and your spouse to be pleasant, the same is expected of you. Pouring down your frustration and tiredness on your spouse and kids is not at all justified.  How can we forget the example of our beloved Prophet (sa) (may peace be upon him) who used to be playful and loveable towards his wives, and he used to pamper them too even when he was given such a difficult and challenging work of Dawah (spreading Allah’s (swt) Deen) and also facing a lot of felicity and turmoil.

A man should neither misbehave with his mother nor speak to her in a loud tone, specifically when the spouse or the kids are around. A mother who has taught you how to speak is not at all worthy of your foul language and raised tone. Treat her in a respectable way, even if you do not agree to her terms and conditions. She may feel degraded in front of others and this will give birth to a grudge in her heart against your spouse (as she might feel her responsible for this outburst of anger and misbehaviour). Satan is everywhere and he loves to instill assumptions in our hearts. Accusations are a result of these whispers of Satan mostly.

You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

You are required to be a man with his own set of rules; forget those days of leniency and childhood. It’s time to act like a grown up instead of crying and complaining. Safeguarding the respect of both is crucial in attaining a good and friendly environment at home. You need to open your ears, but not to believe in everything you listen. At times what you see is not the truth but a manipulated and falsified lie. Do not turn a deaf ear to your spouse’s complaining by considering her guilty every time, and accusing her for things she did not do. Generalizing complains that you have got against her will break her into pieces, and will not earn anything but lack of trust in future. You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos. Limit other’s interference and influence over your decisions- especially governing your own family. It is all about maintaining a balance. You need to decide it yourself by an honest retrospection about your actions. And if you have decided it once that you are too good to be challenged, and you have done a lot to make things workable and your spouse happy- then no one can help you and your highly held ego. We all make mistakes and we all have some short comings. Wise is the one who does not drown in his ocean of I, me, and myself notion and in the pool of self-assumed goodness and sacrifices- but the one who looks beyond it and is ready to make a change. Where a female is involved, you have to deal with it like a fragile thing with lots of emotions, appreciation, recognition, and praise. And when two females are involved, then with these things, the aid of Allah (swt) is a must. Consistency is required when dealing with females, you are not required to do big lofty things, but little tiny things on a daily basis will do wonders. Calling her or texting her once in a day will make her more than happy. It is not necessary to buy expensive gifts every time, a surprise note or a flower will surely earn you grade points.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos.

Supplicate to Allah (swt) for being accurate in your decisions and to be fair in dealings. Pray for tranquility and love among the family members and a heart that is ready to forgive and forget. Dwelling on past issues will not bear any good outcome. So stop being critical and sarcastic. When it is cancerous for you to compliment your spouse, it is cancerous for the relation when you pass nasty comments even under the banner of joke.

In a nutshell, marriage is for man and not for boys. It is not a platform to satisfy your sexual desires and physical needs. If you are not ready to bear the responsibility and to manage all affairs with a hard nerve, then kindly don’t opt to tie the knot soon.

The Dua that changed my World

dua(This was one of the entries received as part of the story writing competition 2014)

Making Duas was never important to me. I always used to think that since Allah (swt) knows what is in my heart, He will listen to me. Consequently, there was no conscious effort in my Salah or otherwise to make Dua during rain, or between Adhan and Iqamah, in prostration, after reciting Quran, after Fard Salah, on Friday, while travelling, before opening a fast or at the time of Tahajjud. However, my thinking and understanding of the Deen changed considerably after my new homecoming to Deen.

It was something magical and surreal. There was something divine about this change. It made me happy and satisfied. It completed me. It gave me an identity and put my aching heart, wandering mind and unrest soul at peace!

My life took 360 degrees turn four years ago. A lecture at a friend’s house, followed by a few lectures at Markaz Al-Huda in Sharjah, and my heart gradually attached to the Deen.

It happened immediately after I realised that I had been wasting my life. I had surrounded myself only with things that would drift me away from the Deen, rather than bring closer. This realization was painful but satisfying. It put me to shame, but I was grateful to Allah (swt) that He opened up my mind to this reality.

The next big challenge was to remain steadfast upon the change. Guess what helped me to continuously come closer to Allah (swt), seek His pleasure, and increase the knowledge of Deen? The Duas, of course! My favourite Dua at that time and even today is: “Ya Muqqalib Al-Quloobi, Thabbit Qalbi, ‘Alaa Deenik.” (“O, turner of the hearts, make my heart steadfast upon your Deen.”) (Muslim)

I learnt some very meaningful Duas and started reciting them regularly, Alhamdulillah. Each one of it sounds more beautiful and meaningful, since now I make a conscious effort of learning the meaning in English and reciting the Dua in Arabic. Slowly and gradually, my misconception of the fact that Duas are not answered faded away, as I saw, in front of my eyes, my Duas being answered, irrespective of the language… one by one, Alhamdulillah!

Just like many of my sisters and brothers in Islam must have discovered the power of Dua, I too am discovering and enjoying it. In fact, sometimes a Dua that I have asked for is answered beautifully, and it leaves me awe struck and amazed. Sometimes the Duas are answered as I have asked, while at other times my Duas are in fact replaced by something better than I could never have imagined. I have been experiencing the miraculous beauty of the bond between the Creator and His servant getting stronger, Subhan’Allah!

To think of any single Dua that was answered is difficult for me at this point in time, because like I said, Allah (swt) has been so Merciful, Masha’Allah, that when He guided me to His Deen, He made ways of bringing me closer to Him, day by day. The recent Dua that I made, was answered in a manner I could have never imagined – I will share with you this beautiful incident.

My seventy-three years old mother was sick in Pakistan. I had seen her in 2011, and in 2014 she fell really sick. I told my family back home that I was coming from Canada, because I wanted to meet her. This was in February, this year. I went and spent 12 days with her, Alhamdulillah. During this time, she recovered from her illness and seemed to recuperate day by day. What happened to her? Well, a mix of multiple problems. She had angina, breast cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, hernia, and in February she developed severe bronchitis, due to which she used to have breathing problems, as water would fill up in her lungs. To top it all, old age itself is a big problem. When I came back and saw her for the last time on the 8th of March, my heart was aching and my tears wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to come back to Canada, but I had to!

After coming here, I got busy with various chores. We were moving from Toronto to Mississauga. The kids were starting Hifz program here. Then I slipped from the stairs of my new house. There was too much on my plate at that time. I used to call mummy on Sundays and speak to her for a while. I used to make a lot of Dua for her health.

I remember vividly the Sunday before she passed away – I couldn’t call her, as we were going somewhere. In the car, while it was raining outside, and we were travelling to a relative’s house, I made a sincere Dua to Allah (swt). I begged him to relieve my mother of all the pain and never make her dependant on anyone. I prayed to Allah (swt) to ease her of all her sufferings and trials. I prayed for her to die peacefully, as a Shaheed, whenever her time came. I was deeply saddened by the fact that I wasn’t close to her and I couldn’t serve her or do anything for her, except make Dua.

That night in the bed and all the nights that followed, I repeated the same Dua. I didn’t want my mother to suffer any more, as I had always seen her sick. She had always been a fighter. The following Thursday, on the 12th of June, 2014, she passed away – peacefully – in her bed, Alhamdulillah!

I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t happy about the fact that I didn’t speak to her on the last Sunday that she was alive, but I was grateful to Allah (swt) that she died in her own bed, not in the hospital. She went away without giving trouble to any of my siblings. I sincerely hope and pray that she had recited the Kalimah, when she passed away. I beg all the readers of this insignificant note to recite this Dua for my mother with me:

“O Allah (swt), forgive and have mercy upon her, excuse her and pardon her, and make an honourable reception for her. Expand her entry and cleanse her with water, snow and ice, and purify her of sin, as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange her home for a better home, and her family for a better family, and her spouse for a better spouse. Admit her into the Gardens, protect her from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire.” Ameen. (Muslim)

Feed Them with Apples, not Apps

“He is too young for that.” This is a common expression that mothers have heard from their elders or other mothers under the banner of free advice. However, I have experienced it to be entirely wrong. We often ignore our toddlers and/ or underestimate their capabilities that Allah (swt) has blessed them with.

It is supported by researches that fetus starts listening and recognizing the voice of his mother while in her womb. This indicates his ability to comprehend and adapt to other clues, when he is just a toddler. Being a mother, I have made some achievements to connect with my son emotionally and most importantly – to connect him to Deen.

Listening skills are finer than speaking at early years. So make use of it by talking to your toddler about things. Describe him the procedure that you will do to make a simple shake or whatever, tell him about the existence of Allah (swt) and angels, who record deeds. Explain him appropriate behaviours and show him emotions by modeling yourself.

Instead of making your child addicted to television and other gadgets, encourage him to listen to Quran’s recitation. A wide range of Islamic Nasheeds are also available online. You can check Kids Land by Dr. Farhat Hashmi – it has Urdu, English, and Arabic Nasheeds that toddlers love to listen. Memorize them yourself and sing with your babies. They will love your actions and voice, and this way you will limit use of computers and television from an early age.

I was astonished to know how quickly these little toddlers pick up visual information. Buy them colorful Islamic books, read them out aloud to them and ask them questions related to the context. Repetition and consistency are the two keys to success. Masha’Allah, my son learned to perform ablution, when he was one plus by just looking at me, while I was making ablution, and with the aid of pictures. I involve him in craft work by making thematic artwork for Hajj or Ramadan and posters on Salah and other pillars of Islam.




Narrate to them stories at bed time – stories, which talk about good behaviour, Jannah, animals, and prophets. What is worth doing is your involvement in it: the way you narrate, your gestures, actions and tone will make it a fun learning. You have no idea how much impact it can have on his beliefs in later years.

Always offer them choice by giving two or three options. By this you will catch them psychologically, and they will have no way of saying ‘no’ but to accept from the choices given. For instance, ask them which color milk you want? Red (add few drops of red color juice) or chocolate? They will be tied up to the options and will choose one, Insha’Allah.

Make their eatables attractive. Spend some time and effort in preparing healthy foods; and do not leave them on mercy of junk food from an early age. You can make oat muffins instead of normal all-purpose flour; or can bake cookies of various shapes by using alphabet cutters, etc.

I am not in favour of parents who helicopter their kids day and night, but a cold and unresponsive mother will deprive her child from strong psychological and emotional development. The more stimuli you provide in early years, the stronger will be the cognition and response later on. Make wise choices and select good exposure, while your children are small, as it will facilitate their development into better Muslims.

[Poem] Du’a


There’s unexplainable anguish,
And unbearable pain!
My heart feels heavy while,
I stare my surroundings in vain!

I am in a state of denial,
I am experiencing agony,
I want to escape the truth,
Oh Allah, I want to flee!

The hand that rocked my cradle,
Is not in the world, no more!
I can’t change what’s happened,
As it was your will, I know!

But the reality is killing me,
Agonizing, this pain is so much!
My heart seems to tear apart,
Nothing to console me, as such!

I feel I have lost my shelter,
I feel so insecure,
My mother was my refuge,
She was my Jannah’s door!

Her voice echoes in my ears,
I can still feel her touch,
Her beautiful smile and face,
I can’t forget, It’s really tough!

Although my ‘Ma’ has departed
To her abode that’s final,
I want to acknowledge,
The goodness of her survival ….

Her beautiful patience,
Her demeanor that was lively,
Her kind words and deeds,
Her dua’s that came timely!

Oh Ummi, I miss you badly,
While you submit to His summon!

I know you are in a better place,
You are in Allah’s perfect care,
You have finally met your Creator,
You are much happier there!

May Allah lighten up your grave,
And may He shower His mercy,
On you, O Ma, so you may,
Reach eternal bliss and be…

A resident of the Paradise,
His rewarded and blessed one,
May you be granted the highest rank,
In your journey, that has just begun!


A Blessing in Disguise – Your True BFF!

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

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

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

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

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

Essence of a Relationship

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

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

Who is a Best Friend?

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

Role of a Best Friend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Practical Steps to Become a Productive Muslimah

productivity1Before I begin, I would like to confess that I am a striving Muslimah myself like anyone of you. Therefore all these reminders are for me and you both.

I pray to Allah (swt) that we all become firm in our faith, steadfast on the straight path and gain the reward as promised by Him.

1. Gain knowledge

Being a mother, wife, daughter and a homemaker, all at the same time is not that easy as we all know. But as a Muslimah we have a responsibility towards our Deen. Serving our Deen is the basic purpose of our life. In this regard, seeking knowledge takes the first position. Without knowledge, we won’t know what to do and how to do for the sake of Allah (swt).

The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (at-Tirmidhi)

2. Learn It, Be it!

Whatever we learn or understand, whether it is a verse of the Quran, a Hadeeth or any Dua, we should make sure that we start applying it in our daily life.

Once we start observing them, they become a part of our habit and eventually our character.

3. Get smart via smart phones

The big question is how to manage time for learning while juggling between household chores, kids and other responsibilities.

Almost all of us own smart phones and there are lots of beneficial apps available from which we can benefit. Listening to Islamic lectures widens our thoughts and hearts. Play them while cleaning, cooking, nursing your baby etc. so that you use your time in a productive way.

4. Some verses a day keep the devil away!

Use some time of the day, especially when the kids are sleeping, to go through the verses of the Quran so that we are able to concentrate more.

5. Sharing is gaining

We are obliged to share the knowledge Allah (swt) has provided us with, which has become very much easier in this age of technology. We can adopt our own ways to share what we learn. But, not to forget, every small deed should start from home. We should never consider ourselves superior to the other.

6. Serving the family

Doing even the smallest chores at home with the intention of seeking Allah (swt) pleasure will make them fruitful, even making a cup of tea for your hubby.

7. Long-lasting impression on the little brains

Use your creativity to instil Islamic values into the little minds of your children. Simply remind them that their family, toys, dresses are all signs of Allah’s (swt) love, this can be understood even by a toddler.

To conclude, living a life as a productive Muslimah or at least trying to be one, will remind people around you about Islam and it might benefit them as well. All our actions are solely based on our intention as per Hadeeth. Therefore we should strive for good only to please Allah (swt) alone. Keeping our hearts, as clean as possible, is a quality of a Muslimah for “Allah (swt) does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds.” (Muslim)

In the end, don’t forget to keep making Dua, not just for yourself but for others as well.

Our Families; Coolness of our Eyes

7 coolness of eyes

This Dua is at the conclusion of the 25th Surah of the Quran, where Allah (swt) tells us to say:

“And those who say: Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.’” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

“Our Lord”

Those who say: “Our Master, our Lord, gift us, grant us…” We are asking Him to give us a grand, unexpected, and beautiful gift. This prepositional phrase is brought earlier, especially for us. We are asking for a special favour from Allah (swt). What is this favour?

“Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring…”

In other words, you are not asking for children only; you are requesting for your lineage, for your future generations, to be the coolness of your eyes. Make our eyes cool by means of our spouses and by means of our children.

Benefits of this Dua

I call it my favourite Dua for two reasons. One, I am married and I do have children and a spouse. Two, all of us have to appreciate the power of this Dua because of the crisis of the world today. The world’s fundamental institution of family is under attack.

Almost nobody is immune from this problem. In many of our homes, there is a storm. When you find coolness of the eyes, you find refuge from the storm. This storm is not “outside” the house; it is actually “inside” the house! The family has become a place of sorrow, of depression, of sadness, of anger, and of rage. You tend to get away from home to get away from the yelling, the screaming, the name-calling, the insults, the depression, the sadness, and the friction between husband and wife, and between parents and children.

Since there is a crisis inside the home, what better Dua to ask Allah (swt)? Here, Allah (swt) tells us to ask so perfectly, so eloquently that the home should become the place of refuge. Your refuge… your safe haven… should be your spouse and your children and that is inside your home. When you see them, your worries should disappear. But for most of us that’s when our worries begin! It’s the exact opposite.

I want to give you a further appreciation of this remarkably beautiful phrase and how it is used in the Quran. I want to explain this feeling to you that Allah (swt) wants us to have with our families.

Do you know the most strongest of all emotions that exists in the humankind? The strongest emotion that I can think of is the emotion a mother feels for her child. It is the strongest bond. Can you imagine the state of Moosa’s (as) mother’s heart? She puts her baby in the water. You can’t even leave your child outside the hall. You start calling your husband: “Where is he?” “Have you seen him?” You just can’t stop. You are 30 minutes late picking your child up from school. What happens to you, you know. (I know, because I have been late picking up my kids from school before. So I know what my wife goes through.)

Now can you imagine the feelings of Moosa’s (as) mother; she had put her child in what for her was apparently certain death because what was behind was even more graphic. So she was in this desperate situation. Did she know what would happen to the child? She did not. Can you imagine not knowing what is happening or going to happen to your child when you know that they are in a dangerous situation? Subhan’Allah!

On the other hand, there was another woman in the same story. She was married to the Firawn (Pharaoh). You know some times women are in a difficult domestic situation. Now in the case of the Pharaoh’s wife, we don’t know if there was any physical abuse, but the Quran certainly indicates psychological abuse. So much so, that she had to ask for rescue. She had nowhere to turn. So the only place she could turn to was Allah (swt)!

When that baby washed up you know what she said? Now think about this… She picked up the child and she said…

  • “He will be the coolness of my eyes for me.” (read Surah Al-Qasas)
  • “He will be my refuge from the storm.”
  • “He will be my only source of joy because… I am in the middle of sadness.”

She was with the child… that childless woman was with a child now. All of a sudden, all her problems disappeared. That was her first reaction to the child. Subhan’Allah! On a separate note she said to the Pharaoh, “I won’t discuss with you.” She separated herself from the Firawn even in that. Further she said: “He will be the coolness of my eye for me and even for you.”

Even to the Firawn, she didn’t say “for us” because she did not associate herself with him. Subhan’Allah! May Allah be pleased with her!

Now, one last thing about this coolness of the eyes… and why this Dua is so beautiful, powerful, and eloquent.

When a mother has lost her child, which in this case she had, and she is re-united with her child, can you imagine the feeling of that mother? Can you imagine the tears of happiness? Can you imagine that emotion?

Now understand how Allah (swt) describes that emotion. Allah (swt) tells his favour to Moosa (as). He says: “So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve.” (Ta-Ha 20:40) Allah (swt) is describing the most amazing joy! The most amazing relief! The most indescribable feeling in the heart of a mother! And what expression does He use? The coolness of the eyes!

And so we ask Allah (swt): “Give us from our spouses and our children…coolness of eyes.” When somebody says, “I want to get married,” he should go further than just wanting to get married. Say: “I want to get married to a spouse who will cool my eyes. I will be the coolness of their eyes and they will be the coolness of mine.”

Allah (swt) took the Dua further and then we understand why he talked about future generations. I’ll conclude with this: “And make us leaders over those who are cautious, conscious, fearful, pious, righteous, and those who are fearful before Allah (swt).”

This makes you realize your relationships right now are not just about you. You are setting a precedent in your family for generations to come. So when you are not acting as good husbands, good wives, good parents, and good children, then what are your future generations going to be doing? Who is going to be answerable for that negative trend that was started by you?

It’s an intelligent Dua that we should find coolness of the eyes not only in our immediate family, but the future generations should be amongst the righteous too. When we are raised on Judgement Day, we will be the Imam (leader) over the entire family, whether they were messed up or not. So we better ask for such kind of people in our lineage who elevate our ranks and not drag us down on the Judgement Day. We beg Allah (swt) that He gives all of us those kinds of families. This Dua is something you and I …everyone… every Muslim… even non-Muslims need today. Make this sincere Dua to Allah (swt) as mentioned in the Quran:

“…Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

Original transcription courtesy; edited by hiba’s team with permission.