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

 

 

diary

                                                 Image Courtesy islampeace1.wordpress.com

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

How to Fill Your Spiritual Void

INDONESIA“Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture (the Taurat, Torah)! Have you then no sense? And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashiun [i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)].” (Al-Baqarah 2:44-45)

Is there a spiritual hole inside you?

I would like to share with you yet another reminder. This one is particularly for those of you that are involved in any sort of Islamic activity: volunteering at a Sunday school or an islamic school, helping out at the MSA, working at a youth group, helping put a conference together, bringing educational programs to your community, trying to put together a soup kitchen or a humanitarian cause, putting up a halaqa for the youth. There are so many activites that many of you are involved in and you are doing it for the sake of Islam. It also includes learning the Deen and attending courses.

A lot of times what happens is, and I speak from personal experience, we get caught up with these activities and there is a deepening, widening and gaping spiritual hole inside of us. You are doing all this stuff but your prayers have become empty, you do not enjoy reciting Quran and in your downtime you are addicted to entertainment. You cannot help but watch movie after movie or video after video and YouTube, like you are watching now. Or you do other things to entertain yourself, like video game after video game, and you just cannot help yourself. You are caught up in this cycle, every time you are by yourself, you are just doing these things that you hate yourself for. You know you should be doing something better with your time but you just cannot get yourself to do it. You try to pick up the Quran and recite it, but you just do not do it. You are so busy volunteering, you are tied up in all these things, that even in the most amazing course you have been in, you have not listened to anything because you were helping out. May Allah (swt) reward you for helping out, but you have other needs also, and there is this spiritual hole that needs to be filled.

we get caught up with these activities and there is a deepening, widening and gaping spiritual hole inside of us. You are doing all this stuff but your prayers have become empty, you do not enjoy reciting Quran

Types of Services for the Deen

So there are two kinds of services in this Deen:

  • There are services you provide for others for the sake of Allah (swt). For example, you serve the community or you serve a good cause.
  •  There are things in this Deen you do to make yourself a better person.

You need to have a balance between both of these things.

Allah’s (swt) Complaint to the Children of Israel

The Ayat I recited to you was a complaint Allah (swt) made to the Children of Israel. He (swt) says:

“Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense?” (Al Baqarah 2:44)

In other words, clearly the person who runs the halaqa and the one who is knowledgeable, they are the ones who tell other people to do good. But when they are by themselves, they forget so easily. Why did this person not get it? Why did he not understand?

The Remedy

So then Allah (swt) gives a remedy: if this is your problem, if in your public life you become very active (not to show off but sincerely active) but in your private life you have been devoid of spirituality and Khushu in your prayer, then what should you do?

“And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi’un (i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)).” (Al-Baqarah 2:45)

Seek help in perseverance and patience. Part of the meaning of perseverance is being tough with yourself. Get yourself up to pray, force yourself. Just turn that thing off and go recite some Quran or memorize some Ayat or do some Ibadah or make some Dua, memorize a new Dua or two. Force yourself to do this Sabr.

Seek help in perseverance and patience. Part of the meaning of perseverance is being tough with yourself. Get yourself up to pray, force yourself.

And then He (swt) says:

“Seek help in Salat.” The prayer is supposed to help you get out of this problem. You see, when Allah says “seek help” there is a problem for which you seek help. The problem was (mentioned) in the previous Ayat: you tell people to do good but you forget about yourself.  Allah says, to help yourself get out of this problem, you turn to prayer, you turn to the Salat.

Some Practical Advice for the Brothers

Now, I want to give some very practical advice, especially to the brothers. There are many spiritual excercises in the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sa), many Azkar, many practices of higher levels, like fasting every Monday and Thursday, and the Tahajjud and Ishraq prayers. But before you talk about any of that, let me just give you some very practical advice: if you can make it to Fajr and Isha to the Masjid and you can do so for a month, two months or three months regularly, without missing a single one, you would have addressed your spiritual problem for the most part. The way you feel after you come back from the Masjid after praying Fajr, you will know that feeling. I cannot argue with you, I cannot give you evidence for it. Rather you yourself will witness it.

Most Beloved People to Allah – As-Sabireen

indeed-allah-is-with-the-patient

Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali

“…and many a Prophet (i.e. many from amongst the Prophets) fought (in Allah’s Cause) and along with him (fought) large bands of religious learned men. But they never lost heart for that which did befall them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves As-Saabireen (the patient ones, etc.).” (Al-Imran 146)

“This passage comments on the early events of the Battle of Uĥud up to the point at which the victory which was well within the grasp of the Muslim army turned into defeat.”(In the Shade of the Quran, Vol. 2 p.185). This was the first battle after Badr, and the Muslims felt victory was their destiny in every encounter as they were on the right path. Without making this ayah particular to a nation, Allah tells us that at any point, when faced with trial the true believer remains strong (both emotionally and physically) and patient – their reward is Allah’s love. This Ayah speaks to us in the present also. “It (Allah’s love) helps heal wounds and is accepted as ample and generous compensation for every hardship.”(In the shade…Vol 2, p.199)

To have patience/to be patient is mentioned many times in the Quran – but only once does Allah say He loves the patient ones. Reward for patience and the description of what patience means is mentioned many times, but Allah’s love as a reward for being patient is mentioned only once! This is the highlight; patience is a prerequisite to gain Allah’s love.

 What is patience?

sabr

It is when a believer controls his/her desires when faced with a situation where it is difficult if not impossible to control the Nafs (ego/desire). Every part of a person’s body needs to exercise patience:  the heart – I should not complain or feel unhappy with what is going on (situation), the tongue – not to complain to people (as if complaining about Allah to the slaves of Allah), the limbs – control all my limbs from any kind of action that is displeasing to Allah. For example, to control oneself from being negatively influenced by others– when something painful happens and you are patient, others might provoke you by saying, “Why are you quiet? Go fight for your right.” This leads you away from patience – beware of it.

Characteristics of As-Sabireen

الاستعانة بالصبر و الصلاةThey rely on Allah alone

  • Prayer helps you rely on Allah and be patient

الصدق They are truthful

  • Liars are impatient – they cannot be patient in a situation, so they lie
  • Even during a trial/test, the truthful ones stay patient (accept the situation), they don’t try to change it by lying

التقوى They are pious

  • People who are pious are patient and vice versa
  • They control themselves from everything that is displeasing to Allah or following their own desires
  • They are patient because they know Allah, therefore they love Allah, and fear Allah alone

الغلبة على الأعداء They overcome their enemies

  • They remain strong and firm/steadfast
  • They are both physically and emotionally strong

تجنب المعصيةThey abstain from sins

  • Abstain from sins for the sake of Allah alone

عدم النزاعThey are patient during conflicts/fights

  • It’s easy to get angry/shout/complain/show impatience and fight/argue because of impatience
  • They don’t come near conflicts in order that it might lead to fights– they control themselves in such situations

و في الامر – الدعوة بالمعروف و النهي عن المنكر They are patient when giving Da’wah – enjoining good and forbidding evil

  • Patient when calling people to Islam – especially if the person who they are giving Dawah to is close to them (family, relatives)

الصبر على محبة الدنيا و الرغبة في الآخرة They are patient in this world and yearn for the Hereafter

  • Love of the world and love of the hereafter cannot be in the heart together
  • They are not always busy thinking about material things, money, property or children. They are busy thinking about the Day of Judgment, Sunnah, Quran and Allah’s commands.

الصبر على الأمراض والبلايا They are patient when in sickness or afflictions

  • They don’t complain about their situation/ health

الصبر على الاستهزاء و أذى الناس They are patient when they are mocked at / humiliated

  • When someone is trying to harm them using words or mock, insult, humiliate, make fun of them, they are patient

عدم خطوات الشيطان They are patient when the devil whispers to them

  • They don’t follow in the footsteps of Shaitaan
  • Being patient helps to refrain from falling into the trap of the Shaitaan
  • Being patient about things that are not clearly Haram or Halal. Asking for Allah’s guidance to help decide

When you run towards Allah, towards gaining His pleasure, towards attaining His love, everything in life will come to you easily, but the prerequisite is patience. No matter how much you run or struggle for this life, it will keep slipping away from you! Control your desires, and be patient – Allah will make it easy for you.

Rewards for being among As-Sabireen:

  • The love of Allah – the best of rewards. (Al-Imran 3:146)
  • The companionship of Allah (complete comfort and supporting all aspects of life and the Hereafter) – this is mentioned many times in Quran. Can you hope for a better companion than Allah?
  • Unlimited rewards, there are no bounds to their reward. (Az-Zumar 10)

“O ALLAH! MAKE US FROM AMONG THE PATIENT ONES” – Ameen