Happiness- Six steps away

Vol 7 - Issue 1 The real happinessIt was a usual bright morning, and I was standing in the main foyer. Suddenly, cold wind touched my skin, and at once I uttered Alhumduillah! Thanking your Creator also provides you with an essence of happiness.

Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:28)

Smiling and laughing all the time doesn’t make you happy. Following are the ways which will help you to attain happiness in this world and in the hereafter.

Ponder and give thanks

You think about the loss, and do not give thanks for what is with you. Ponder upon yourself, your household, your good health and you will find yourself genuinely blessed by Allah (swt).

Think of the people who are less privileged, count on your blessings and give thanks to your Creator.

“And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An- Nahl 16:18)

The past is gone

The ingredient for happiness is to avoid lengthy meditation on the past. Recalling the past, reacting to it and being sad are stupidity and madness. Be courageous and embrace your present with much enthusiasm and live it; and surely He is sufficient for us and is the best disposer of affairs.

“…And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.” (Al-Maidah 5:23)

Patience and prayer

Be patient, no matter how difficult the situation gets, and the path gets darkened- happiness and ease comes with distress and hardship. When fear engulfs you, and sadness surrounds you, rest and tranquil your soul through Salah.

“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) (Al-Baqarah 2:153)

Consolation from the stricken

Look around- do you find any other afflicted being? Every home has a weeping story. You should take consolation from those stricken with adversity, and try to live happy with what you have.

“Or think you that you will enter paradise without such (trials) as come to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken….” (Al-Baqarah 2:214)

Make a pleasant drink from the lemon

When an adversity befalls on you, try to look at the bright side; take out every possible positive aspect. Don’t let people or situations ruin your happiness. When a person hands over a cup of lemon to you, add a cup of sugar to it, and when he presents a snake to you, take its priceless skin and leave the rest. Being happy is all in your hands.

Greed and love for Paradise

If you are eager to gain Jannah, you will definitely refrain yourselves from wrong doings. Ignore all the negatives of your life, and try to lead yourself with the formula of “Sabr and Shukr”; you will feel peace and happiness within yourself.

Remind yourself of the paradise, the width of which is as that of the heaven and the earth.

“Peace be upon you for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” (Ar-Ra’d 13:24)

These ways will make your life easy and full of happiness Insha’Allah.

Why do bad things happen?

question mark with speech bubles, vector on the abstract backgroundAfter preparing for lunch and dinner, and cleaning up, I was fully tired.

I grabbed my eleven month old along with three years old and entered the room to find a messy sheet; a room with toys scattered everywhere. How exhausted I was!

I was thinking how to fold the huge pile of clothes lying in a corner.

Cell beeps…

It was a message saying that there was an earth quake all over Pakistan.

Fear shook me off; some sensations ran down my spine and my legs felt so weak.

I realized that I had postponed my Dhuhr prayer to complete the house chores.

In anguish and awe, I rushed to perform Wudu and prayed. The prayer was different from the ones before. As if the earthquake had shaken me away from my endorsed life full with materialism and worldly affairs.

One thing occupied my mind, what if I die under the rubble of my fallen house? What will I be taking with me to my grave? Have I prepared enough? Am I satisfied with standing in front of Allah (swt)?  The answers were surely not affirmative.

We believe that we are safe. It’s happening with the rest of our country, and in farfetched areas. It cannot touch us, nor can it harm us, neither can it leave us devastated.

Whenever I think of the Makkah crane crash, it leaves me perplexed and astonished. As in my perception, nothing bad can happen to good people- especially not in the holy place like Haram; and moreover, not when performing Tawaf or offering prayers. So why does it happen? Why it happened to them? Were they not pious? Why the blessings (Rehma) of Allah (swt) did not wrap them safe and sound?

When a calamity strikes, we often comment in the shade of our distorted belief. For instance- a lady dies of fatal illness with severe pain; we say it is because Allah (swt) is angry at her as she was horrible towards her mother. A kid fell off the stairs; we say because he did not listen to his father’s plead to finish his homework.

So why do bad things happen?

Allah’s (swt) Plan

It is Allah’s (swt) Plan to test the believers- to test the strength of their faith and belief.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

The soul detox

Allah (swt) wants to clean your bad side and detox your soul.

 And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (Ash-Shura 42:30)

 A reminder

Hardship and adversity are also reminders for people who tend to take things for granted and forget all of Allah’s (swt) blessing- Humans are ungrateful by nature.

And when We show favour to man, he withdraws and turns away, but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications.” (Fussilat 41:51)

Wake-up call

We are overly absorbed in the worldly affairs and competing to excel in the worldly matters.

But when He delivered them, behold! They rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully. O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your ownselves, – a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Us is your return, and We shall inform you that which you used to do.” (Yunus 10:23)

Reliance is only on Allah (swt)

We often forget Allah’s (swt) authority; hence we turn to other resources and people for support and help. Nothing happens without His will. He says be and it is. We are powerless and submissive.

O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.” (Fatir 35:15)

Things to remember when a calamity hits you down

  • Allah (swt) is not punishing you; its devil’s trick to discourage and distract you.
  • Be patient over what befalls you.
  • Give charity (Sadaqah) as much as you can.
  • [9:103] take from their money a ‘sadaqa’ (charity) to purify and sanctify them. And encourage them, for your encouragement reassures them. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
  • Al-Musibah is term to hit where it is supposed to be. There is no chain of cause and effect. All incidents are individual.
  • Be hopeful as it is said in Surah Baqarah, congratulate the patient ones (Sabireen). Reward is with Allah- Jannah!

 

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The Benefits in Being Grateful

thankGratitude (Shukr) is an important characteristic; and the one who instills it, is endowed with great blessings.

Allah (swt) says, “And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah).” (An-Nahl 16:78)

Also, it is mentioned, “Allah, it is He Who has made the night for you that you may rest therein and the day for you to see. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, yet most of mankind give no thanks.” (Ghafir 40:61)

Gratitude infiltrates a person with happiness, and evicts pressure and anxiety. It teaches one to be content and happy in whatever state he is. Also Allah (swt) has made mankind grateful by nature; thus, we should express gratitude- not just to Allah (swt), but also to the people we deal with.

Many a times in the Quran, Allah (swt) divides people as being grateful and ungrateful in order to motivate us to join the camp of those who are grateful. In one of such verses, Prophet Sulaiman (as) said, “One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” then when (Sulaiman (Solomon)) saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself, and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful.”(An-Naml 27:40)

Gratitude is escorted with many blessings. Some are discussed below:

Gratitude- A blissful attitude

We, today, are busy like robots; having full plate and swamped by work the whole day- we tend to forget the countless blessings around us. Being grateful to Allah (swt) helps us to focus on the gifts gifted to us by our Most Generous Lord Allah (swt); and hence, it reminds us that everything is decreed by Allah (swt), and whatever happens with us is by the will of Allah (swt).

As He says in the Quran, And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.” (An-Nahl 16:53)

He also says, “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.” (Ad-Duha 93:8)

Let’s therefore, constantly remind ourselves of Allah’s (swt) bounties by expressing our gratitude to Him in prayers and at other times.

Gratitude- The best mind craftBy paying gratitude for our blessings, prevents us from focusing on other peoples’ lives and blessings. When we allow our minds to look into other peoples’ lives, we welcome a lot of different problems and negativity along with it to enter our brains. Let’s therefore, use gratitude to motivate ourselves to look for solutions and possibilities, and not the negativity associated with the problem.

Gratitude- Wards off Allah’s wrath

Allah (swt) is happy with His slaves if they are thankful to Him. Such people are protected from all evil- hidden or evident. If you are not grateful, then one deserves wrath and resentment of Allah (swt). We know that if Allah (swt) were to punish us for our negligence, He would be justified for it.

He says in the Quran, And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves. (Fatir 35:45)

At the same time though, Allah (swt) provides us a way to escape His punishment by being thankful to Him. He says, Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” (An-Nisa 4:147)

Gratitude, therefore, is not an option; and we should clean our hearts to thank Allah (swt) for everything that He has provided us, for not doing so would bring the displeasure of Allah (swt).

It teaches us to slow down, rather than always waiting for our next wish to come true. It trains our minds to be happy and content with our blessings, today and always

Gratitude- A self-guide

It teaches us to slow down, rather than always waiting for our next wish to come true. It trains our minds to be happy and content with our blessings, today and always. It also shows us that if we are not happy with our life today, then we will never be happy with the blessings to come tomorrow. It helps in controlling the unnecessary wants and desires by restraining our Nafs; and recognizing that we have what many people are yearning for. Gratitude is a sense of fulfillment that comes not from wanting more, but rather from a sense of knowing that Allah (swt) has already blessed us with what we need. In one of the Ahadeeth reported by Ahmad, the Prophet (sa) said: “…if the son of Adam has one valley, he will wish that he had a second, and if he had two valleys, he would wish that he had a third. The stomach of the son of Adam will be filled only with dust (i.e. he is never satisfied)…” (Saheeh Al-Jaami’). So, let’s use gratitude to enjoy what we have today, rather than fretting over it and losing it tomorrow.

Patience

With restraining our Nafs, comes the lesson of patience as well. As per Ibn Qayyim, “Patience in resisting desires is easier than patience in dealing with the consequences that result from desires. It is because consequences either lead to pain and punishment; or they prevent a more complete pleasure; or it deprives one of a blessing which would be more pleasurable and better than the fulfillment of desires; or they cut off an oncoming blessing; or they have a life-long negative impact on one’s character – because deeds have a great impact on one’s character and behaviour.” (Al-Fawaa’id) Exercising patience against the forbidden commands prevents us from harmful results coming thereafter.

Good attitude, Good life

Gratitude makes us less demanding and teaches us to remain happy in all states. Thus, personal desires fulfillment can be easily sought with less. As a result, we can be happy with others easily by having fewer expectations, which thereby, withdraws burden from our close relationships. This trait makes our company more pleasing instead of making us unhappy, demanding and burdensome for other people.

Gratitude says go to ego

Holy prophet (sa) made it quite evident via his sayings that thanking Allah (swt) also comprises of thanking people who have done any favour on us. To be grateful to people is also an important factor. The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said, as narrated by Abu Hurairah (ra): “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah (swt)” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi) He also said: “Whoever does you a favour, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him.” (Abu Dawood )In another Hadeeth, he said: “Whoever has a favour done for him, and says to the one who did it,‘Jazak’Allah u Khairun,’ has done enough to thank him.” (Tirmidhi) Let’s therefore, ensure that we do our part to sincerely thank our families and those who have done good to us.

 Actions speak louder than words

The prophet (sa)  continued to strive for His pleasure, although his sins were forgiven. It was narrated that A’isha (ra) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (sa) prayed, he would stand for so long that his feet would become swollen. ‘A’isha said: O Messenger of Allah (sa), why are you doing this when Allah (swt) has forgiven your past and future sins? He said: “O ‘A’ishah, should I not be a thankful slave?” (Bukhari, Muslim). Let’s, therefore, pray the Nawafil to thank Allah (swt) for His blessings.

Gratitude augments one’s blessings

Allah (swt) says, “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Ibrahim 14:7)

Let’s, therefore, make thanking Allah (swt) an integral part of our morning and evening remembrances (Adhkar) to get Barakah in our blessings.

Gratitude- Allah’s (swt) pleasure here and hereafter

The People of Paradise will say, “You (Allah) have given to us what You have not given to anyone among Your creation,” Allah (swt) will say to them, “Shall I not give you something better than that?” They will say, “What is it? Have You not brightened our faces, and admitted us to Paradise and saved us from Hell?” Allah (swt) will say, “I bestow My pleasure upon you, and I will never be angry with you after that.” (Muslim)

What better reward can we expect? So, why not be grateful to Him for what He has blessed us with?

Finally, remember that being grateful is not an option, but an obligation; and being one brings us closer to those whom we thank and appreciate.

Conclusion

Gratitude’s importance was emphasized by the Prophet (sa) when he took the hand of Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal and said: “O Mu’adh, by Allah (swt) I love you, by Allah (swt) I love you.” Then he said: “I advise you, O Mu’adh, do not fail to say this after every prayer: O Allah (swt) help me to remember You, to thank You and to worship You properly.” The Arabic version of this Hadeeth is the following. Let’s ensure that we memorize it and recite it after every prayer.

Finally, remember that being grateful is not an option, but an obligation; and being one brings us closer to those whom we thank and appreciate.

We can be grateful to Allah (swt) by utilizing our blessings, the way Allah (swt) has ordered. For example- if we have enough money, we should give a lot of Sadaqah and the prescribed amount of Zakat. This way Allah (swt) will increase our blessings. Similarly, if someone has adequate knowledge in any subject, the best way to be grateful is to spread that knowledge and expect its reward from Allah (swt) solely. This way gratitude helps us to seek Allah’s (swt) pleasure; and aids in transmitting positive energy around us by carrying an optimistic dynamism.

In a nutshell, gratitude is very essential for building strong relationship with the people in this Dunya;  and of course, our association with Allah (swt) will also have an impact, consequently affecting our Akhirah.

 

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going!

sabrandsalahIn our daily life, we face situations that leave us badly concerned as to how to deal with them. Later on, when they are done smoothly, we tend to be astonished. Basically, everything is pre-planned and happening under Allah’s (swt) Will and Order. We all possess a curtailed approach, and hence, cannot think of our Creator’s Planning at all.

Similarly, we might dislike something; but Allah’s (swt) planning might be different in this regard, which yields the best results- again leaving us surprised.

This is what Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran,

وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُون
” and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know…” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

In this regard, I would like to present one of the best solutions for tackling hard situations, which has already been given by Allah (swt) in his Holy Book. Quran says, وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ
“And seek help in (by) patience and As-Salat (the prayer).” (Al-Baqarah 2:45)

This is a Quranic formula for us, As we human-beings,- when facing any hardship or calamity become hurriedly unconscious; Allah (swt) has ordained us that whenever we face such an incident, without being unconscious and having firm belief upon Allah (swt)- we should seek His Help through prayers and observe patience. It is such a door from where no one will return bare-handed.

I came across an inspiring quote which said: “For Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse, we have been ordained to offer certain prayers. This is the effectiveness of Salah that by Allah’s (swt) order, it can deal with Universal, Giant systems. If it is juxtaposed with our problems, then how can’t Salah deal with our personal issues which are minor and little?”

One thing which makes me wonder and I would like to mention. The whole world knows the young Imam of Masjid Al-Haram, Shaikh Mahir AlMuaiqly; undoubtley, his beautiful voice infuses love for Quran in believers’ hearts. One of the lesser-known facts about him is that, he also holds a degree in Mathematics. Upon this, he was recruited in a school in Madinah tul Munawwara. Primarily, he was a student of Religious sciences- so he pursued Masters in Islamic Jurisprudence easily as an additional qualification. Nobody knew that one day he would lead prayers in Masjid Al-Nabawi and MasjidAl-Haram- except Allah (swt), as He planned this for him.

Lastly my dear, rely entirely upon Allah (swt) for everything. Next step is to keep yourself connected with Salah which is among the pillars of Islam. Observe patience as it has been the tradition of messengers. Verily, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) patience towards brutalities of disbelievers is exemplary.

Are the new couple in double the trouble?

thumb2Walking into the holy matrimony at the age of nineteen, I had my fair share of doubts and misunderstandings. I had this fantasy of no less than a hybrid Mr. Darcy and Hugh Grant. For me, this marriage scenario basically meant a “Halal boyfriend” type of situation – and to be quite honest, it’s not my fault that I had such expectations. The world of social media made me presume that my marriage would be full of selfies and hashtags. But it’s not like that.

It’s so much better.

The big day came and went in the blink of an eye; and six months later there is so much that I have learnt.

1.      It is difficult. It’s not easy to live with someone you hardly know. But, with extra time and extra patience, it gets better. You become each other’s best friends and everything becomes easier when you have that one person to talk to about anything and everything. The Holy Prophet’s (sa) and Aisha’s (ra) relationship is the paramount example for such a relationship. They played with one another, and one of my most favourite actions of the Holy Prophet (sa) is how he would kiss Aisha (ra) on the forehead or cheeks in affection. I admire their relationship and feel as though in this day and age, such a relationship would prove to excel rather than the orthodox “husband rules wife”- the Desi marriage.
2.      Never assume! Assumptions are the death of happiness. Don’t assume that he isn’t trying or that he doesn’t care. Every man is different and his perception of love is different as well. I assure you, give them time; they will prove to be a soppier romantic than you, and they may even surprise you with loving gestures.
3.      Don’t rush things. You have your whole life together so take it easy. Enjoy the little moments together.
4.      Be generous with words and gestures. Say “Thank you”, “I’m sorry” or even “I love you” without hesitation. Spontaneous bursts of love are always confidence boosters. The Holy Prophet (sa) treated all his wives with such love and respect and his wives treated him the same. Respect, trust and love are the foundations for good marriage.
5.      Have little things that are just yours. A certain word that only you two know, or a game that only you two know how to play. Create something unique just for yourselves.
6.      Be each other’s support. This is the most important thing. Text messages and emails can always bring out other meanings rather than what we wish to portray – so don’t be irrational and judge, instead take a deep breath and support each other’s flaws and perfections. One of the most beautiful examples in Islamic history is Hazrat Ibrahim’s (as) and Hajra’s (ra) journey into Safah and Marwa. She supported her husband without any doubts, and waited for him in mountains with a wailing child. Her trust in Allah (swt) and her husband made her a woman of Jannah.

In the end, when the whole world seems like a lonely place, your spouse will always be there. He or she is “your person”; so, fight for them and always appreciate them. They are one of a kind and they are all yours. Allah (swt) made marriage half of the faith and the Holy Prophet (sa) made marriage a Sunnah. “Marriage is my Sunnah whosoever keeps away from it is not from me”.

As a girl, my Dua for myself and every other girl who is married or getting married is to “find a spouse that has the traits of Hazrat Adam (as) in the matter of knowledge, the traits of Hazrat Yaqub (as) in the matter of fatherhood, and the traits of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the matters of love”. Ameen.

Fortitude with Gratitude – Key to a Happy Marital Life

vision for marriageSana and Ali got married three month ago. They were having a life of bliss. For them, marriage was nothing, but a bed of roses.

They were going through the period of dinner invitations. Last invitation was from Ali’s uncle. They were warmly greeted by the family members, and then started a session of talks and discussion about the current scenario of Pakistan. It came to a halt when Hira, Ali’s cousin enquired Sana about her views on marriage and her husband.

Sana smiled generously and said: “People with patience and gratitude are the residents of Jannah.” It was just a blunt statement that she uttered without calculating the pros and cons. She had no idea what will it be bringing for her in near future.

Ali was rude and ruthless in their bedroom where Sana had already dressed up for sleep. He did not talk to her a single word. Banged the bedroom door hard and dozed off.

Pillow absorbed the tears that she shed the whole night. She was depressed and felt disdain.

That sort of reaction, slowly and gradually, became a part of routine. His loving tone, incomparable care and affection, those looks, the sugary mesmerizing words, all praise and appreciation, emotional support just started to vanish in a glimpse.

She could not come out of the shock of his change in behaviour. She started to whine and nag. Being bitter and moody became her traits. She started to miss her daily obligatory prayers.

Time passed and their relationship deteriorated with every single day. Things turned out to be more jumbled up. Finally, she thought of taking advice from her best friend, Annabia. On the other hand, Ali was opting for something that she could not even think of.

She narrated her feelings openly to her. She wept and wept madly. “What has happened to him, why does not he love me anymore, what should I do to have him back?

Annabia was very relaxed. There was not even a single line of disbelief or surprise, or even sympathy on her face. Her reaction was calm. She was enjoying her cup of tea and it blew a big hit to Sana. She almost started to yell and scream.

“Are you listening to me? Do you have any idea how miserable my marriage is going? I will be insane in a few days; I cannot handle it. I want things to be the same as they used to be.”

“I was stupid enough to come to you; you seem to be busy with your cup of tea. You can never imagine my agony.” She was exhausted.

Annabia took a deep sigh and gently touched her hand.

“Just relax,” she softly whispered.

‘But but…” Sana murmured.

“This is all very normal Sana; marriage is not only a bed of roses. Life will not always be full of laughter. It is common to feel neglected, and in the lowest pitch of dismay after few months of marriage. It is not a honeymoon period always. In the start, things are new. Both spouses are emotionally high with their own sets of thoughts and desires. They show their best. Have time to spend time with each other and hang around. But then, there lies a practical life ahead which demands a lot. Both parties have their separate set of responsibilities and expectations to prove up to. Love does not end, but it fades away. In later years of marriage, the partners have to work hard, and invest time and energy to keep the love alive, to let it ignite and blossom. Every marriage has some hiccups: Sabr (patience) and Shukar (thankfulness) are two main weapons of a believer. List down the things that he excels in, you will find yourself way better than thousands of women who are victims of domestic violence, torture, and are nothing more than a sex toy.” She added.

“I had felt the same way. Everyone does, but nobody reacts the way you are doing. It is not the end of the world honey. Things will be fine. Give some space and time. Uplift your faith and things will fall into order very soon. You need to have patience, and this can only be attained by connecting more with Allah (swt), offer night prayers- instead of boiling your head with worries.” She advised Sana to be the way she used to be. ”Instead of expecting him to be the same old person, try yourself to be as energetic, loving and happy. It will be a vicious cycle. Who knows, he might be feeling same the way you are. Men are not vocal about their feelings. They shut themselves up with a board of ‘do not disturb.’”

Sana felt a relief. For then, she had a vision about a strategy, a remedy to follow.  Past flash backs made her heart beat with happiness, and she could not stop herself from smiling. She rushed home where the love of her life resided.

Some known voices caused her feet to numb. She could not breathe for another second. It was as if her body had been paralysed. The exchange of dialogue caused shivers to run down her spine.

Her mother in law was furious and cynical, whereas Ali sounded irritated and said, “I did not choose her, it’s you. I am sick and tired of all this. If you have so many problems with her, I will divorce her.”

“I asked you not to give her leniency, but no, you were the one running after her. Taking notes from her and pleasing her. And what did she do? She disrespected you in front of your family by saying she is patient enough. She is living a terrible life with you and you being the lucky one must thank Allah (swt) for such a beauty queen in your life.” The words were flooded with sarcasm.

Ali said in a hurtful tone, “Do not keep reminding me about it, I wish you never heard her saying this to Hira. I will find a way soon.” he left by saying this.

Sana rushed to her room. She made ablution, and went straight in prostration (Sujood) and sobbed bitterly. This was  the first time that she asked Allah (swt) for help. She felt so light after communicating with the Lord of the worlds.

Now, she  needed to be a person of her words. Her formula of life became patience and gratitude.

We will face every sort of people in life; we cannot change them, but can make our roots of faith strong to encounter such facets.

 

Lessons of Patience from Hind bint Amr (ra)

flowerwiltBurial of Loved Ones

When the light of Islam enters the heart, even an unbeliever becomes convinced to fight in the way of Allah (swt). Amr ibn Jamuh (ra) who took his time to embrace Islam was then determined to fight in the way of Allah (swt). The Battle of Badr was all set to take place. Amr (ra) was also preparing to participate in the fight against the unbelievers. His family, however, feared for his safety. He had a fault in one of his legs, and could not walk properly. They pleaded before him to not participate in the battle. And,, when he did not listen to the family, the family took the case to the Prophet (sa). The Prophet (sa) looking at his condition advised Amr (ra) to stay behind. And so, the determined warrior surrendered before his leader (sa).

When the news of victory at Badr reached Madinah, Amr (ra) was both thrilled and saddened. He had missed his chance to participate in the first battle of Islam.

At one time where the family was concerned about Amr’s faith, Amr (ra) preceded the family in entering Jannah.

As determined as he was, he did not let go of his desire of martyrdom. The Battle of Uhud was around the corner. He again started preparing for it. His family again pleaded before him and recited the verse that excuses the weak from participating in a battle. Then Amr (ra) went to the Prophet (sa) to complain about his family. He shared that he wanted to see himself walking crippled in Paradise. When RasulAllah (sa) noticed his sincere desire, he stopped the family from preventing him from participating in the battle. He said that it might be that Allah (swt) willed martyrdom for him.

Amr (ra) was granted the permission. He entered the battlefield with his sons as a lion surrounded by his cubs. Since his intention was sincere, he was granted martyrdom along with Hind’s brother Abu Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra).

Aisha (ra) narrates that on the day of Uhud, she saw a woman leading two camels that were carrying some load. Aisha (ra) asked her what the news was. The woman replied that everything was alright. Allah (swt) had granted victory to His Messenger (sa) and the believers, and some people of the faith were granted martyrdom. Saying this, the woman started weeping. It was Hind (ra) carrying the bodies of her husband Amr (ra) and brother Abu Jabir (ra).

Hind (ra) did not immediately say that she was carrying the bodies of her loved ones, rather she said that Allah (swt) had granted victory to the believers and martyrdom to some.

Hind (ra) spent the rest of the days of her life in fasting and worship, until eventually she met her Lord (swt).

Lessons to draw: We learn that we should never underestimate the power of one’s goodness. At one time where the family was concerned about Amr’s faith, Amr (ra) preceded the family in entering Jannah. Moreover, we are again reminded of watching our tongues when we lose someone or something. Hind (ra) did not immediately say that she was carrying the bodies of her loved ones, rather she said that Allah (swt) had granted victory to the believers and martyrdom to some. Here was a woman clear in her mind about the reality of this life. She knew eventually all of us will leave this Earth. She continued performing her duties as life for her did not end.

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

From Ms. to Mrs. – Expectations Versus Reality

Vol 4-Issue 3 Muslim WeddingsI’m getting married -Yay! There is so much to be done- designer dress, jewellery, footwear, bags, make-up artist, salon etc. How many days will the wedding celebrations continue? How many functions? Theme of the day? What about the dance preparations? Do we have enough time to rehearse the dances in-sync? Oh wait- I almost forgot, the photographer! ‘Capturing memories that will last for a life-time.’ I want my wedding album to be the most creative. I’ll update my face book profile pictures and cover photos every day. Why not share my happiness with the world?

Many of us start considering these things as soon as the wedding bells start ringing in our head. The fairy-tale we had been reading, watching and dreaming of since our childhood is finally becoming true. So what do I do to prepare myself for this life-altering event? Yes! I Know! I need the wedding glow. I can’t be a dull bride. Manicure, pedicure, whitening facial, skin treatments, weight-loss plans, gym programs (Obviously, I can’t be a fat bride. What will people say?)

But….What happens once we say ‘Qubool Hai’? The fairy-tale wedding, the excitement of the events, the food, the glittering dresses, and need not mention the never ending laughter. What happens when all of this comes to an end and a new chapter in our life begins? What happens when the first time we get into an argument with our husband? What happens when someone from the in-laws says something that hurts you deeply? What happens when misunderstandings arise? This is the time when it truly hits us that the fairy-tales always promised a happily-ever-after, but this is not what we had imagined. What does this ‘happily-ever-after’ mean anyway?

We are so focused upon the fairy tale wedding events and the preparations that we forget to make preparations for the real life drama that would follow-on later.

Expectation vs. Reality

  • Expectation: My husband will come home every day with a smile on his face.
  • Reality: Girls, sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not true for an everyday routine. Your husband is a human. He goes through different stressful routines and tasks in a day at his work. He gets tired, he has hunger pangs, he is uncomfortable with the work-place politics and there could be a number of other reasons which you are unaware of. At times, he would want solitude for a little while. Try to calm him down. Ask him about his problems, strike a light conversation to divert his attention, give him a light snack to eat, dress-up adequately for him and be empathetic. Don’t take it personally. His mood will eventually become better.

 There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts.

  • Expectation: I will live the way ‘I’ like.
  • Reality: Once you get married, for some initial months, you are new to the in-laws and your in-laws are new to you. Learn their living habits, likes/dislikes and make sincere efforts to adjust to the new lifestyle. Pray to Allah (swt) for an increased level of patience and Taqwa. In times of turmoil, recite the Quran and the burden will be lifted from your heart Insha’Allah. Seeking permission wouldn’t mean the end of your freedom. Your husband would like it when you seek his permission and value his opinion in every matter.
  • Expectation: I will be showered with compliments
  • Reality: There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts. This is the time when you require patience the most. Keep doing good anyway. Keep a clear heart and try to improve your short-comings. Allah (swt) is the All knowing and All seeing. Allah (swt) is the turner of hearts.
  • Expectation: I will never get into a disagreement with my spouse
  • Reality: You and your husband are two different people with two different minds. There are going to be many occasions when you would not agree with a certain behaviour of your husband, or when your husband doesn’t agree with your opinions or conducts. Satan becomes the happiest when there is disagreement between the husband and wife. So, whenever you see yourself lose control of your patience, remember to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the Satan. Even the Holy Prophet (sa) once had misunderstandings with Hazrat Aisha (ra) due to the malicious rumours spread by certain slanderous people, while on an expedition against Banu-Al-Mustaliq (Ref: Book Enjoy your life- Deduced from a study of the Prophet’s (sa) life by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Areefi) Have the utmost faith in the judgement of Allah (swt). Try to finish the disagreements as soon as possible. Don’t prolong them. Be courteous and respectful even in the state of anger.
  • Expectation: I will spend my husband’s money as I like
  • Reality: You are now the lady of the house. It is your responsibility to make sure that the house expenditures run efficiently. Well, who doesn’t like shopping? But, set priorities and be a helpful and considerate spouse, rather than a shopaholic spendthrift. Make efforts to strengthen your Iman and do not indulge too much in the worldly desires.  In Surah Al-Araf, we are told, “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of ) the Kabah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights.

My dear sisters, the relation of a husband and wife is the first relation to come into existence i.e. that of Hazrat Adam (as) and bibi Hawa (as). The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights. We, at times, have such high expectations from our marital lives that even a slightest issue disrupts the harmony which we had imagined; and we tend to give up hope. Marriage is a relationship upon which you and your spouse have to work coherently. Learn to adjust, learn to give-in, to forgive, understand each other and above all respect one another. May Allah (swt) guide us to the best of knowledge and Iman.

Ibn Qayyim said: “The (path) always starts with trials and tests, then comes the period of patience and reliance (upon Allah (swt)), and the end is enlightenment, guidance and victory.” (Shifaa’ Al-Aleel)

Lessons of Patience from Umm Sulaym Bint Malhan (ra)

sabrMother’s love for her son

The Prophet (sa) would often visit Talha’s (ra) family; he would not go to any other home besides his wives’. The scholars explain that Umm Sulaym (ra) and her sister Umm Haram (ra) were maternal aunts of the Prophet (sa) either through breastfeeding or blood. Hence, they were Mahram.

One day, when the Prophet (sa) came, Umm Sulaym (ra) presented him with dates and Ghee (purified butter). The Prophet (sa) informed that he was fasting. He, then went in a corner, and offered two units of voluntary prayer. Anas (ra) and his mother joined him, as well. The Prophet (sa) prayed for Umm Sulaym (ra) and her family. Umm Sulaym (ra) then requested the Prophet (sa) to pray for her dear son Anas (ra). The Prophet (sa) said, “O Allah (swt)! Give him wealth and children, and bless him.” This Dua was accepted by Allah (swt). Anas (ra) grew up to be wealthy and there were many children from his lineage.

Lessons to draw: We see that Umm Sulaym (ra) misses no chance to seek the best for her son. When her husband rejected her, she dedicated herself to Anas’s upbringing. When Anas (ra) grew up a little, she sent him to the Prophet (sa) to serve him and to learn directly from him. When the Prophet (sa) visited their home, she requested prayers for her dear son.

We see that Umm Sulaym (ra) misses no chance to seek the best for her son. How attentive are we to the many opportunities around us?

How attentive are we to the many opportunities around us? How enthusiastic are we in seeking lasting goodness for our children?

Umm Sulaym’s (ra) patience

Umm Sulaym’s (ra) exemplary patience and strength at the passing of her son is an incident that she is most known for.

Allah (swt) blessed Umm Sulaym (ra) and Abu Talha (ra) with a beautiful son Abu Umair. He was the apple of their eyes. One day, Abu Umair fell sick and he died. Abu Talha (ra) was away on a business trip. Umm Sulaym (ra) instructed everyone not to send the news to her husband. She wanted to inform him herself.

When he returned home, Umm Sulaym (ra) served him and allowed him to rest. She then informed the father of their son’s passing away. She said, “O Abu Talha! What is your opinion if some people have trusted you with something, and then they demand to take it back? Should their property not be returned to them?”

Abu Talha (ra) replied that it was their right to claim it back. Umm Sulaym (ra) said, “See our son was Allah’s (swt) Amanah; today, He has taken back His Amanah. Our son has passed away.” She then advised him to be patient.

The next day when Abu Talha (ra) informed the Prophet (sa) about the night’s incident, the Prophet (sa) supplicated for the family.

When Allah (swt) tests someone and they clear their test, He rewards them with something better. After the passing of Abu Umair, Umm Sulaym (ra) and her husband were blessed with another little boy. The Prophet (sa) named him Abdullah ibn Abu Talha and gave him Tahneek.

When the child is taken back, the mother advises the father to be patient. Generally, it is the woman who seeks consolation from others, but here we see that the woman is giving comfort to the man.

Abdullah ibn Abu Talha lived a long life and had many sons – each of them a memoriser of the Quran. This was all because of the Prophet’s (sa) supplication for the family, and their admirable patience and generosity for the sake of Allah (swt).

Lessons to draw: People are inflicted with trials to ascertain their conduct. How are they going to react? Are we going to complain while we do not own anything in this world? All that we enjoy are special favours of Allah (swt). A couple cannot have a child, unless Allah (swt) wills. When the child is taken back, the mother advises the father to be patient. Generally, it is the woman who seeks consolation from others, but here we see that the woman is giving comfort to the man.

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

Personality Development: The Jewels of the Household

diamond_1461404cWe are the nucleus of the family- whether a daughter, sister, wife or mother. We keep the bonds strong. The touch of a loving mother is irreplaceable- who wraps her children in a blanket of love, affection and protection, while tending their needs as well as raising them to be good Muslims and Muslimahs. When she hears the call of the prayer, she sits to worship her loving Creator, Allah (swt) and positions her child next to her on the prayer mat facing the Qiblah. A dutiful daughter aids her mother. A devoted wife propels her husband to the summits of success whilst he goes out to earn the daily bread. Indeed, the following saying is true:

‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’.

In Islam, women are not considered as maids of the households rather it acknowledges women’s equality with men in many aspects. Allah (swt) stated in the Holy Quran,

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Exemplary Muslimah in Islamic history

Throughout the Islamic history, women have played a major role in spreading Islam and our beloved Prophet (sa) has praised the following: his youngest daughter, Fatimah (ra), his beloved wife Khadijah (ra), Maryam (as) and Asiya (as), the wife of Pharoah. These diamonds are core role models and legendary beacons of productivity and balance of how we as Muslim women can divide our time fairly between family, work, home and Islam to reach our ultimate goal- Jannat-ul-Firdous. A place free of pain, hardship and sorrow can be replaced with eternal happiness, relief and ease if we learn from the lives of our role models. One of the prime examples is of, Fatimah (ra).

Who was Fatimah (ra)?

A patient and consistent slave of Allah (swt)

She was a passionate worshipper, who put a hard effort in looking after her home and daily chores. She was both- a dutiful wife and daughter, and had a stance in the community for helping the poor and needy, as well as, good Islamic manners. Often, she would give all her food to the poor and stay hungry. She would never complain, no matter how difficult the circumstances were. Aisha (ra) said:

‘I did not see any one resembling the blessed Prophet (sa), regarding all manners, more perfectly than Fatimah (ra), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (swt).’

She and her husband, who was the Prophet’s (sa) cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) led a simple, but content life and had two sons: Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra) who were very dear to Prophet Muhammad (sa). They also had two daughters Zainab (ra) and Umm Kulsum (ra). Her relationship with Prophet Muhammad (sa) was very close; and it shone with pure love and affection that he said once:

‘Fatimah is part of me, and he who makes her angry, makes me angry’ (Al-Bukhari)

Immense love and respect for her father

He usually visited her house. Her childhood was a shadow of trials and tribulations as her father underwent hardships spreading Islam in Makkah in the time of ignorance. Thus, she grew up with patience and determination. She courageously protected her father, and wept when she saw him bleed. She comforted her father. Once, the disbelievers sacrificed a camel. At the time, Prophet Muhammad (sa) was praying with his companions. Abu Jahl dared his friends to put the bowels and filth on Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) back. Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’it took up of the offer and piled it on the Prophet’s (sa) back. When Fatimah (ra) heard of this, she ran to her father; she removed the filth with her hands from her beloved father’s back, and scolded the disbelievers due to the brutal treatment they performed towards him. When Prophet (sa) completed his prayer, he lifted his hands to supplicate Allah (swt) to hold Abu Jahl, Uqbah and those involved. The Prophet’s (sa) supplications were answered.

Compassionate servant of Islam

Fatimah (ra) even helped during the battles by nursing the wounded. After her mother’s death, she would devoutly look after her father. When he passed away, she was saddened and lived only a few months after him.

Fatimah was an exemplary Muslimah for every Muslim woman- a woman of courage, piety and righteousness. Her aim in life was to serve Islam. May Allah (swt) allow us all to learn from this jewel of Islam on how to find the right balance between Deen and Dunya. Ameen.

Powerful Tips for Last Ten Nights

How should we spend the last ten nights of Ramadan? What are the ways to make the most of these blessed nights. Following is an infograph based on tips by Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury. Illustrated by Owh So Muslim.

Click on the image to enlarge.

47u 10-Tips

New Lease on Life

bridge

My Quran Reflections Journal
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 23 Reflection
Takmeel Surah Al-Baqarah

My world came tumbling upside down,
Yet on my forehead, there wasn’t a frown!

‘Several arteries and the left main blocked!’
The news left my husband and me, awestruck and shocked!

Indeed towards Allah (swt) we all will return,’ is what I said,
‘Indeed Allah (swt) is with the patient,’ to him I declared!

‘It’s a heart bypass!’ He said worried and scared,
‘Will I make it?’ His next question he shared!

‘Insha’Allah, Allah (swt) will give you Shifa completely,’
I consoled him- ‘Soon you will be well and with your family!’

I saw fear of death on his face, which went pale and white!
I couldn’t glare at him for long, I thought to myself, ‘What if he died? ‘

I remembered Allah’s (swt) favours and countless bounties
We hadn’t asked Him for anything, Yet He granted us with His infinite mercy.

I shrugged my shoulders, and got rid of the negative thought,
Saying ‘Audhubillah’ – I sought refuge in Him and did what is taught.

I spread the prayer mat, and in Sajdah I fell,
Saying ‘Istaghfar’ – I shared with Allah (swt) the thoughts that dwell.

I recalled His kindness and mercy, and that He tests those He loves
I renewed my faith, made Dua to emerge successful and rise above!

I didn’t want my husband or myself to wallow in self-pity,
I reminded him of Allah’s (swt) promise that, He will always be…

…With those who are patient and those who find strength in Salah,
I smiled at him and helped him do Wudhu to run towards Falah!

Together we prayed, we cried, we spoke to Allah (swt) and we found peace,
My husband was now ready for the surgery, and to get a new life’s lease!

The strength that Allah’s (swt) words gave us in this trial is unreal!
It cannot be expressed, just felt – because no words are substantial!

Before he left for the operation, he held my hand and said,
“I am now tension-free and to Allah (swt) I have pledged.

If I am given another life, it will be spent in His obedience,
His worship will be my motto, and I will bear everything with patience!”

“Alhumdulillah,” I said, while wiping the tears in his eyes and mine,
“Do not stress yourself, Insha’Allah you will be back, healthy and fine!”

He hugged me one last time, before he lay on the stretcher,
“I have made Dua for you sincerely,” he whispered in my ear!

I couldn’t stop my tears; I was very scared and didn’t want him to go,
I asked him to be brave, although he was being braver than me though!

He said, “Won’t you ask what I asked Allah (swt) for you? Shouldn’t I recount?”
I kept quiet, he said, “Oh Allah (swt) grant her Jannah without any account!”

He left me dumb-founded and courageously went for the surgery,
“Ameen. Oh Allah (swt), and, please, in Jannah make him accompany me!”

I burst into tears, and remembered Allah’s (swt) promises in Al-Baqarah,
I waited patiently, prayed sincerely and found solace in Salah!

Alhumdulillah, Allah (swt) has mercifully granted a new life to my husband,
And as a result of this test, He has made our love for each other exuberant!

Our Ummah

Rainbow_Path_STOCK_by_wyldraven

Here we are
Here we stand
Away from start
Lead to our state

A community of the just
A middle course
From the down throbbing
From being harshly erratic

With the precedence of righteousness
With precedence of justice
For the benefit of the people
Goodness to the masses

In closeness to God
Far from greed
As every matter is reversed to creed
Mindful gaze on the hereafter

Here we are
Here we stand
Away from the start
Lead to our state

There set in distraction
From the worldly beauties
Frivolities and excess indulgent
Diseases against heart ailment

Rightly guided Caliph set the pace
To live in a godly space
The kingdom set the stage
For the alien to place

Strayed from the crux
Lost at the cross road
Tainted with desires
Aspiration for the Dunya

Here we are
Here we stand
Away from start
Lead to our state

Wealth accumulation
With the divide and rule notion
Driven with a plot of nationalisation
A call to Jahiliyah in motion

Who is better than I?
His is the Qiya’ Madhab
Not the Madinah school of thought
Sects and violence prevail

Extremist views not entail
From name call and Kaffarah rending
Ayah and Ahadeeth bending
To suit cases they detail

Here we are
Here we stand
Away from start
Lead to our state

A civilisation of patience and constancy
That wouldn’t ride on hatred and war mongering
Perseverance is its teaching
And, the key the Ummah back its footing

The moon longs for those days
When the Ummah’s radiance sweeps evil
When worldly desires dwindle not trust
Fear of Allah (swt) kindles man to be just

And, sovereignty is for the Lord
That grants man freewill and love
To channel the world to goodness
And not love the world to stupor

We know where we are
We should move away from where we stand
Closer and not away from the start
Closer to Quran and Sunnah guidance
Leading to a better state.

Stone-Hearted Humans

heartMy Quran Reflections Journal – 8
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 14 Reflection
(Al-Baqarah 2:74-82)

“Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones, out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah.” (2:74)

Time has changed us into stone-hearted, rock-hard individuals. We have become desensitized to our surroundings: at a collective level – to the calamities that Ummah is afflicted with; at an individual level – to sufferings of the individuals around us.

This verse got me thinking: who are we to judge other people with hard hearts, when we ourselves are undergoing the same transformation, off and on? The hardness, which has overshadowed the goodness within them, can be removed, if we try to drip on them with our patience, compassion and perseverance, slowly but surely, as water dripping on hard rocks and ultimately making its way.

If somebody behaves badly with us, we shouldn’t respond with the same demeanor. We must try to win hearts by forgiving people, being nice to them and not judging them for their one act; in fact, even for their repeated acts of disappointing us. Because we are not in position to judge! We don’t know, which of our own acts are accepted by Allah (swt) and which not. Allah (swt) can change any heart, whether it is an ailing one or a sick one. He can turn it into a heart, from which water gushes forth and benefits others.

May Allah (swt) make us from those, who worship Him in solitude and fear Him to the extent that we weep in solitude. May Allah (swt) fill our hearts with his Khashiah (genuine fear out of love and respect). May He enable us to make Dua for all those individuals around us, who are struck by stone-hard hearts. This is definitely a sign of our genuine well-wishing and soft-heartedness. And may Allah (swt) protect us from becoming stone-hearted humans ourselves! Ameen.

[Video] Giving Dawah to Family Members by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

This beautiful reminder by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan illustrated by Darul Arqam Studios highlights the importance of patience when giving Dawah to family members. It gives the example of Imam Abu Haneefah and his mother, who wanted to consult another scholar and not her own son.

Lesson From Story of Imam Abu Hanifa | Nouman Ali Khan from FreeQuranEducation on Vimeo.

Nouman Ali Khan: Persevere with Patience

o-PROPHET-MUHAMMAD-facebookIn regard to the recent crisis in France, I came across a talk by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, in which he discusses the correct reaction a Muslim should have to such incidents. I found the video very profound and thought provoking, something that I believe every Muslim should hear. Therefore, I am typing it out it here to be able to share it with others:

“Anybody, who seriously studies the Quran knows that Allah (swt) records on multiple occasions, how prophets were insulted, made fun of and rejected in the most obscene ways. And how even the prophets themselves felt the pain of those disbelievers making fun of them.

Prophet Nuh complains about how people found him disgusting – they would plug their ears with their fingers and walk away from him; they would pull their clothes back as a show of insult to him. Our Prophet (sa) is no exception. This Quran that honors our Prophet (sa) also records the most hurtful words that were said about him – the Prophet (sa) would have to recite these words , thus reminding himself of the pain every time. For example: Sahir (magician), Majnoon (insane), Kazzab (a perpetual liar) – so many accusations were made against our Prophet (sa), all of which are recorded in the Quran. With this, Allah (swt) wants us to remember an important fact: although the prophets are the most noble of Allah’s (swt) creation, at the same time, they are the people, who will face the worst kind of insults, the worst kind of ridicule. But what is our reaction supposed to be like?

If anybody would be angry and overwhelmed with rage, when the Prophet is insulted, I would argue it would be his companions. Their faith cannot even be compared to yours and mine. But how come they don’t react the way we do? How come they never had any ‘protest’? How come they were not going out for yelling and screaming in rage? Because they understood that the Quran didn’t just come to give them a love for the Prophet (sa) but also to ‘guide’ that love and teach them, how to respond to these kinds of insults. How is it that we don’t know that the Prophet (sa) himself is told:

“And leave Me Alone to deal with the beliers (those who deny My Verses, etc.), and those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while.” (Az-Muzzamil 73:10)

Be patient over whatever they say. I am fascinated by this Ayah. Because the word ‘مَا’ means ‘whatever’ – ‘whatever’ they say. Not whatever they have said, but whatever they might even come up with. And the form of the word in the Arabic suggests ‘what they may have said in the past, in the present and even in the future till this day.’

The Prophet’s (sa) policy is to be patient himself. Where does the Quran justify such our anger? And even if our anger is justified, the one thing we should feel towards those, who hate us and make hateful speech towards us, is sorrow. We should feel sorry for these people. They can’t hurt the Prophet (sa). They can’t take away his honor. It was given from the sky. It was given by Allah (sa). Nothing on earth can take it away. No article, no cartoon, no film, no speaker and no hate speech – no form of art can take away the dignity of our Prophet (sa). All these their efforts are futile and wasteful attempts to undermine the message of Islam.

Do think also about the following: when we react in such emotional manner and engage in senseless violence, don’t we also misrepresent Islam? Aren’t we doing exactly what the enemies of Islam want? The only thing that makes me angry is the anger at our own selves, that we don’t understand the policy of the Quran about responding to insults:

“Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter.” (Al-Mu’minoon 23:96)

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)

Respond with that which is best.

There also are some people, who think that this policy was only for the early times of Islam – the Mekkan time of the Prophet (sa), when he was supposed to be passive. But when he migrated to Madinah, battles began: Badr, Uhud, Ahzaab, Tabook, etc. Thus, according to claims of such people, the passivity policy was changed to that of action. Let’s look at Surah Aal-e-Imran, the battle of Uhud – what does Allah (saw) say to us?

“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah…” (Aal-e-Imran 3:186)

You will absolutely hear hurtful words from those, who were given the book before you, and from the people, who commit shirk (associate partners with Allah) and blasphemy with God. You will hear hurtful speech ‘absolutely’ coming from them. These kinds of things are a manifestation – a proof that Allah (swt) prepared us mentally for that. And in the very same Ayah, Allah (swt) himself tells us, what our reactions should be like:

“…but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2) then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs, and that is from the great matters, [which you must hold on with all your efforts].” (Aal-e-Imran 3:186)

If you can be patient and maintain the consciousness of Allah (swt), then that is the most noble of the deeds and the highest of accomplishments that you can achieve. That is supposed to be the reaction of Muslims.

I would like to end with the following: at school, bullies tease the kid that they know gets teased and shows a reaction. The more we react, the more we encourage others to pursue even more hateful speech. We have to learn to respond in mature, civil and higher discourse – the way the Quran, the Sunnah and the legacy of our Prophet (sa) tells us.

I pray that this message reaches all of my young brothers and sisters, who are feeling the sadness, the rage because of this incident. And I do hope that we can turn that rage into something positive.”

I pray that this beautiful reminder from Ustadh enables us to reflect upon this matter and help us adopt the correct way for representing our religion. If there are people who with their actions dishonour Islam, it is our duty to carry the name of our religion so well that its beautiful teachings should be reflected in our personalities. May Allah (swt) give us the wisdom to bear such incidents with patience and to be able to repel the bad with good.