On Eid Day – Thank. Pray. Celebrate.


                                                              Image Courtesy www.defence.pk


Pledge to Allah (swt)

First and foremost, promise Allah (swt) that this Eid, we will not engage in that which will earn the wrath of Allah (swt), or make Him displeased with us. The reason is, as soon as, we see the moon, two things happen. One is Ramadan comes to an end, that is also very sad. Eid is declared- that is something happy- because we deserve a day for rejoicing after so much of intense worship of Allah (swt).

Beware- The devil is out and about!

Secondly, those devils that were tied prior to Ramadan, they are released. Subhan’Allah- and this is why, may Allah (swt) protect us from the devils. Ameen. Many people on the Day of Eid- unknowingly or sometimes knowingly- they start to commit sins that displease Allah (swt); yet, it is the Day of pleasure, the day to please Allah (swt). So the clothing that we are wearing on the Day of Eid- especially when it comes to our sisters- let us make sure that it is cut in a way that will please Allah (swt). It is His Day; whatever we plan to do on that Day, it should be in accordance with the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Pray for it’s Eid day

Thirdly,  every time there is a happy occasion, we celebrate it by increasing the acts of worship. So, when it comes to marriage, what a happy occasion- we have an extra Khutbah. When it comes to Jummah, what a happy occasion- we have a Khutbah that is something which is not there on other days.

When it comes to Eid, the happiness of a Muslim is shown by extra worship, so we have Salat-ul-Eid. We have an extra prayer on that particular day. This is how, we as believers, show our happiness and gratitude to Allah (swt) – by obeying him more, by doing things that will please Him.

Make Him happy to be happy

Look at the other Eid that we will be having Insha’Allah- in approximately two and a half months from now- we find the Eid where we will be sacrificing, that is an extra worship for the sake of Allah (swt), this is how we declare happiness. We have never been taught to declare our happiness by doing that which will displease Allah (swt). We have meetings with opposite sex on Eid, to go back and do what we did not do in the month of Ramadan- in terms of sin; is that what Eid is all about?

Eat with no greed

Fourthly, sometimes, we become involved in gluttony to the degree that we eat as though we are doing Qaza of what we have missed in the month of Ramadan. If that is the case, we have missed the point. It is the day of eating, but it is not the day of gluttony. May Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen. It is not a day when we are supposed to eat until we get sick. That is not Eid!

Want to miss your prize distribution eve?

Eid is the day when we are conscious of Allah (swt); we thank Him for giving us a beautiful season, and coming out with forgiveness. ]Are you aware of the fact that the eve of the Eid, once the moon is sighted, it is known as Lailat-ul-Jaiza? It is known as the eve of prize-giving, and this is why in one narration, the Prophet (sa) says that Allah (swt) calls out to His angels on the Eid eve, and He asks them, “What do you think the reward of the slave who has fulfilled his job is?” And they will say, “O our Lord, it is to be given what He was promised.” So Allah (swt) says, “All my worshippers who have fasted for me, who have prayed for me, all my angels I let you bear witness that I have forgiven them completely.”

That is the night of forgiveness when the prizes are given. You know a child who has been to the school through the year, and has worked very hard, is a child that deserves the prize; and there will be a night when the prize is actually given to the child, and the child feels happy. What about the prize that is dished out by Allah (swt)? And, that is forgiveness and freedom from Jahannum. If I were to die now, I have no hope, but in the mercy of Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) have mercy on us. Ameen.

A Warm Welcome to Winter


Just take a walk amidst the cold

You will find a ray of hope

Those white snowy lands, and chilly winds blowing

Makes you realize that Allah (swt) is All-Knowing

He knows the human psyche so well

That He has offered us with variety, to happily dwell

They say winter is depressing, and drains one’s power

I say winter is the month of believer, and an energizer

We often hear people nag about the drop in temperature

It has blessings in disguise; let’s make use of this venture

Days are shorter, nights are long

Return spiritually to Him- to whom we belong

Fast the days, and pray the night prayers

Rekindle the faith, and keep it with care

Activities are put to halt, atmosphere is lazy

Read Quran to remove any perception that is hazy

It is an opportunity to be in love with your Rabb, and strengthen the tie

Buckle up O Muslim, for time flies.


Dealing with False Company: Control, Alter or Delete!

ctrlaltdeleteAnother depressing day, and I didn’t know why I was sad. I really thought about my life, and I realized that I was doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. I had started listening to music, and I prayed twice a day, which was soon to abandon. It was 4 p.m. and I could hear footsteps coming towards my room. It was probably my mom coming in to force me to go to my Quran class, and yes, that was exactly what happened. I dragged my feet to the car, and grabbed my scarf in exasperation. People already regarded me as a weirdo, and hardly anyone would talk to me.

I was ten minutes late for the class, and I had already planned that I would just go to sleep, because the lecture was always boring. My teacher knew that something was wrong with me, but she didn’t say anything. The topic that day was about the influence of friends/social circle. I was least interested, as my problems seemed bigger to me than a boring lecture.

Mrs. Hamid said that wherever you are, choose your friends wisely. This was her favourite sentence. “The social circle in which you are can change your lifestyle; so choose your friends wisely.” It was not until the next day, when I started pondering over these words. I realized that my problems were due to my friends, with whom I would hangout most of the time.

“If someone in your life is a bad influence, get away from that person as soon as possible and surround yourself with people, who will support you.” These words echoed in my ears. I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t due to my friends, as we had been together for the past eight years; besides, they were really good people.

It was winter break, and I had decided to observe my life without those friends of mine. Also, I tried to pray regularly and stopped listening to music. I deactivated my accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat; moreover, I didn’t talk to them on Whatsapp.

“Wake up Manahil! You have to pray.” I had asked my mom to wake me up for Fajr that I used to regret every morning. My warm, cozy comforter hugged me; and my bed was as soft as wool. I’d never felt this comfortable in thirteen and a half years! I tried to get up, but the cold morning air was another obstacle I had to face. Oh! I totally forgot about the freezing water, and within five minutes, I was fast asleep.

“Hey, listen, come to my house tomorrow. Okay? See you tomorrow! Bye.” One of my friends called and invited me to her house. All of us gathered the next day, and they decided to listen to music. “Hey, listen guys, let’s do something else. Can we not listen to music?” I asked my friends.
“We can talk while the song is playing…” replied Amna.

“Can’t we pray first?” I asked, trying to avoid music.

when there is a ‘knock knock’ in your heart, and you realize that you were on the wrong path, ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and start doing the right thing.

“Oh my God, Manahil! What has happened to you?! Don’t be too Islamic.”

“Yeah, we are here to enjoy, so, please!”

“Okay fine…” I couldn’t say anything else. I don’t know why, but I started feeling very uncomfortable with them. I sent a message to my mom to pick me up in five minutes. “Mrs. Hamid was right…” I told myself. Winter break was way better than school days, because I was far from my so-called ‘best friends’.

“Yes, Mrs. Hamid, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t comfortable. I always had a lot of fun, when I used to hang out with them but…” I narrated the whole incident to her.

“I’m glad you realized. Always remember – when there is a ‘knock knock’ in your heart, and you realize that you were on the wrong path, ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and start doing the right thing. It’s a golden opportunity for you. Let me tell you one thing – most of the people today are listening to music; how beloved you will be to Allah (swt), if you don’t listen to it! Try to leave those friends – you can only be betrayed by the people you trust. Choose your friends wisely. The company you keep defines you and your level of faith. Also, you don’t become what you want; instead, you become like the ones you hang out with. The Holy Prophet (sa) described the good and bad companions when he said: ‘The example of a good companion is that of the bearer of musk, and the worker on the bellows. The bearer of musk would give you some of the perfume- you either buy it, or smell its fragrance. The worker on the bellows, on the other hand- either burns your body or your clothes, or you smell a bad odour from him.’ So choose your friends wisely.”

Cloak with an Eternal Glow

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: TexasEagle / Foter / CC BY-NC

The first time I met a princess;
Astonished, I don’t know how to express,
The look of an empress,
That leaves man always impressed.

A beauty that radiates from the heart,
Makes you look down when it meets your sight.
The show of modesty so bright,
That places her in the greatest heights.

Beauty –
A controversial discussion.
Whose is the duty
To judge in that position?

Their acclaimed beauty is skin scratched;
Nothing, but a facial mask!
To a pitiful task,
Obliged to what the society asks.

The sight that betrays the gaze,
As it cruises in lustful chase.
On flesh, a baked clay,
Leaving body and soul dazed.

Beautifully unique are these knights,
Who wear the flags of the One with Might.
Not parading what is meant out of sight,
These beauties you cannot smite.

With bigots from the society,
Plague to humanity,
Coming from their so-called liberty
To distort nature’s morality.

Freedom without values,
Forced in skimp and hills,
Degrading our milieu,
With shapes without skills.

She’s free from the eyes that prey,
Cover to the heart that prays,
Save the next generation from fray,
With guidance from the religious rays.

Clothe to please her Lord
Distinguished from them all
As believers in His law,
Who look away from human lure.

She’s free;
Freedom from the denizen of earth.
She’s beautiful in her Hijab and heart.
She’s a princess on earth
And a Queen in Jannah.

She’s better than Hurul-Ayan;
They didn’t pass through this worldly strain,
Obeying their Lord’s claim,
Eminent ladies of heavenly gain.

To all Hijabis,
The queen of Al-Jannah.

Four Steps to Jannah

stepping-stones‘Abdullah bin Salam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) saying, “O people, exchange greetings of peace (i.e., say: As-Salamu ‘Alaikum to one another), feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship, and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace.” (Tirmidhi)

Lessons from the Hadith:
This beautiful hadith encourages us to do three actions that generate mutual love and remove any kind of hatred, evil thoughts and dislike we could have in our hearts for others .and motivates us to do an action that helps to build a stronger relationship with our creator by worshipping Him at a time when everyone around us is sleeping.

All these actions are also connected as they help us grow slowly, step by step to build a stronger relationship with people and ultimately get closer to Allah (swt).

1. Spreading Salaam
The Prophet(sa) said, “You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another: ‘spread salaam’ (the greeting of peace) among you.” [Muslim]

2. Feeding others
A man asked the Prophet(sa) , “What sort of deeds or (what qualities of) Islam are good?” The Prophet(sa) replied: ‘To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not Know.”

“‏ تُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ، وَتَقْرَأُ السَّلاَمَ عَلَى مَنْ عَرَفْتَ وَمَنْ لَمْ تَعْرِفْ ‏”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

3. Strengthen the ties of Kinship:
A man said to the Prophet(sa): “Direct me to a deed which may admit me to Jannah.” Upon this he (sa) said, “Worship Allah and never associate anything with Him in worship, establish Salah, pay Zakah, and strengthen the ties of kinship.”

‏تعبد الله لا تشرك به شيئًا، وتقيم الصلاة، وتؤتي الزكاة، وتصل الرحم‏

[Bukhari and Muslim]

4. Praying at night

Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger(sa) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Sahih al-Bukhari )

‏ يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ

يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ ‏‏‏.‏


Thus the Prophet(sa) has urged the believers to soften their hearts by combining the good actions in both words and deeds which is a perfect treatment that sows seeds of love and friendship in their hearts.

Action Points:
Peace of mind, contentment, happiness and freedom from worries and anxiety… this is what everyone wants, and these are the ways in which people can have a good life and find complete happiness and joy in this life and Akhirah. But this can only be achieved when one has the nature of caring and giving.

All actions mentioned in the hadith requires self control and patience and when we are able to conquer this, the path to enter in Jannah with peace becomes easier.

On the other hand we must engage ourselves in remembrance of Allah (swt) as this is the greatest means of feeling content and relaxed and of acquiring peace of mind in dunya and then ultimately in Akhirah as Allah (swt) said in Surah al-An’aam:127

لَهُمْ دَارُ السَّلَامِ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“For them will be a Home of Peace in the presence of their Lord: He will be their Friend because they practiced (righteousness)”

When we are at peace with others, our heart is at peace to worship our creator. And thus we are able to enter Paradise with peace and that is the ultimate achievement, the epitome of success and the greatest of rewards.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لِي خَيْرًا ‏
O Allah, I ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and I seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good, Ameen!

Courtesy: Alhuda Canada

How She Found God

stepping-stonesBeing a Muslim, I am very much interested in listening to the stories of reverts. It really fascinates me, how people of different religions come into Islam by their own will. And all of them have beautiful stories of how they are guided by Allah (swt) to the true religion and to the one and only God.

On Wednesday night, 10th December, 2014, a Columbian lady came to my house with her husband and two little daughters: Shazia and Hanan. Actually, she was my father’s old friend’s wife. She was clad in a black Abaya with a scarf neatly tucked onto her face. Her mother tongue was Spanish, and so her daughters could only speak Spanish. They all were sitting in our drawing room, when the two cuties saw the whiteboard in our basement, and they wanted to write on it. So we all went into the basement and they just started playing. A huge smile came on their faces and they got busy. It was then that the Columbian lady told me that she reverted to Islam in 2001, and before that she was a Catholic.

I always had this feeling of emptiness in my heart. I felt something was missing from my life. I wanted to pray to God directly.

I was excited to know that she was a revert. I wanted to know everything about her journey to Islam. So we went upstairs at the dining table to talk. She asked me where and what was I studying. And then told me that she herself was a costume designer. She went to USA to get her degree in costume designing, as she was very passionate about it. I then asked her; “So how did you find your way to Islam and Allah (swt)?” She said; “Okay, so let me tell you my story. But I want all of you to listen; your mother, brother and sisters.” So I called my siblings and mom. We all sat at the dining table, eager to hear from her. As she recently learned English from USA, so her English accent was a mixture of Spanish and American English, which sounded really sweet.

She started off with her story. “I always had this feeling of emptiness in my heart. I felt something was missing from my life. I wanted to pray to God directly. I used to go to the church and ask the nuns: ‘Why can’t I pray to God directly? Why do I have to pray to the priests and saints as intermediaries?’ She said that’s how it was. But her answer did not satisfy me. I told her again: ‘Tell me a way, through which I’ll be able to pray to God directly.’ She told me: ‘For that, you will have to become a nun.’ Obviously I never wanted to become a nun, as I wanted to get married and have kids. This caused so much chaos in my mind that I just told myself that I wasn’t a part of any religion. However, it was somewhere in my mind that there is a God… the One Who created me.” She told.

“There were some thoughts that kept coming to my mind. I knew deep inside that there was a Creator – the One, Who created me. And I really wanted to pray to Him. My mother was a very practicing Catholic, whereas my father wasn’t that practicing.”  “He’s an artist.” She added, looking at a painting on our staircase wall.

“I went to USA to do my career in costume designing, as I loved clothes. During my stay in USA, I used to live alone in an apartment with my younger brother. Since a very young age, my parents had taught me to be sincere and truthful. I used to tell myself: ‘Keep it clean.’ My brother had gotten into bad company, and his conduct was worsening day by day. I was getting very depressed for him, because back at home in Columbia, my parents were thinking that my brother was doing well, as he was living with his elder sister, i.e., me. But sadly, little did they know that the reality was very different. When I could not bear my brother’s ill behaviour any more, I told him to leave my apartment and live where ever he wanted. From then on, I was living alone. I was very disturbed. I started thinking about life, my purpose, God… I was in a state of utter confusion.

As I had to earn for my living, I started a part time job as an office cleaner. The job of cleaning is very beloved to me as God guided me to Himself through this simple job. So one day, I was alone in the office, and it was very late. I was exhausted. I went clumsily to get the cleaning equipment. Then, with a lot of effort, I cleaned the office. As I was tying the garbage bag, all of a sudden it fell on the carpet and all the tiny pieces of paper were scattered on the carpet that I just cleaned. Although I was drained out, I had to clean everything again – otherwise, my boss would get angry. So instead of bringing all the equipment again from the store, I sat on my knees and started picking up the mess with my hands. As I was on my knees, a very strange thought came to my mind; I am on my knees. I am humbling myself in front of whom? In front of this garbage just to please my boss? Why can’t I humble myself to God? Why?”

“You know, I used to write these thoughts in a diary. I still have that diary. Because I knew these thoughts were not mine. And I was scared I would forget these thoughts, so I secured them in the form of writing. I was lost in these thoughts. At times I felt like I was getting crazy. I never felt like partying anymore. My friends and I used to party a lot every weekend. But later, whenever they called me I used to refuse. I wanted solitude. I told them, “Leave me alone please.” I started thinking about life. I started thinking: whom am I worshipping? What are my desires? My career – costume designing? Is that it? Is this what I will be doing all life?

I felt empty and purposeless. I missed my brother, too. I prayed to God in my own way; I prayed that my brother comes back home. And after a few days, he did come back. This strengthened my belief that we can communicate to God directly without any intermediaries. And God listens to our prayers.

Now, when I look back, I realize that God was guiding me step by step. So one day, I was in my university library working on an assignment on the computer. I needed some assistance in setting up a program on the computer, so I went up to the librarian. She was a young lady, who wore Hijab. And she was writing an essay on Islam. I don’t know what happened to me, but I asked her if I could read her essay. She was astonished. She asked me, if I was interested in Islam. I told her: “I don’t mind reading your essay. I’m very open minded.” So she took my email address and gave her number to me. She said she’d mail me her essay. Her name was Zahida.

After she accepted Islam, she went back to Columbia. Since then, eighty people reverted to Islam… just by observing her mannerism.

So, I went home, read the essay. I was not intrigued by it. My depression phase continued… After some time, I had opted for another job of a house cleaner. Due to my parents’ upbringing, there were some values that were ingrained in my mind: to do every work with perfection and not to steal or lie in any case. Hence, I was a perfectionist even at cleaning. I used to clean every corner of the house. One day, I was cleaning this house, working too hard to clean it well. Suddenly, a thought struck my mind that why am I being so cautious while working? I am not stealing even though there’s nobody looking at me. Why? Because of recompense from my boss. I immediately got my answer to “What is life?” and “What is our purpose in life?”  I thought just like I’m working sincerely because of recompense from my boss; similarly, in life, whatever we do, there will be a recompense from God for all our deeds. I immediately went into prostration and I was crying like a baby, although I knew nothing about prostration. It was just automatic, by default. I thought this was a last push from God for me to come to the true path.

I went back home and wrote about all this in my diary. Then I called Zahida (that Muslim librarian) and told her: “I don’t know why I feel like crying and I feel like talking to you only Zahida.” I told her about my recent thoughts. She told me: “God does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.” I found these words so beautiful and soothing. I cried when I heard them. I asked her, if these were her own words. She told me these are from the Quran. I told her I wanted Quran. She told me she would send it to me with translation in my language i.e. Spanish. In the meanwhile, she gave me Hadeeth-e-Qudsi (Hadeeth Qudsi are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) as revealed to him by the Almighty Allah (swt). Hadeeth Qudsi (or Sacred Hadeeth) are so named because, unlike the majority of Hadeeth which are Prophetic Hadeeth, their authority (Sanad) is traced back, not to the Prophet but to the Almighty) to read. The Hadeeth-e-Qudsi touched my heart deeply. I knew this was the true religion that I was searching for. And Alhumdulillah, I took my Shahada.”

After she accepted Islam, she went back to Columbia. Since then, eighty people reverted to Islam… just by observing her mannerism. Subhan’Allah! She told me: “My parents named me Monica. But after accepting Islam, I named myself Sakina.” Sakina means: tranquility, devout, God-inspired peace of mind.

When leaving our house, Sakina hugged me warmly. And her daughters just clung on to me. They didn’t want to leave. I asked Sakina how to say “Come back soon!” in Spanish. “Regrato pronto!” she told me cheerfully. I asked her the same for “I love you”. “Te quiero mucho!” she said. I kissed her lovely daughters saying “Te quiero mucho.”

This beautiful sister left such a deep impact on my soul. How she yearned to pray to Allah (swt), how she cried, while prostrating. And then I thought of how strong her faith was, Masha’Allah. Most of us are born in Muslim families, but we hardly strive to find Allah (swt) and build a connection with Him. The signs are everywhere… if only we strive to seek for Him.

Pray Before You are Prayed Upon

last dayAnd the day draws to an end…

I think of how my life would change if I found out that this is the last month of my life. A state of perfection cannot be achieved in such a short time. Thus, I would prefer to live a life without regrets of not fulfilling my duties to my Lord, to the people and to myself. As Muslims, we know that this life will end and we will be answerable for every word we speak, every action we do and every prayer we may recite.

However, if I know the end is near, I will lose interest in going to places, stop eating frantically or stocking up whatever possible for family. Rather, I’ll try to be more content with what I have, treasure the people in my life and ask for their forgiveness, finish my incomplete prayers and finally, prepare for the ultimate journey by repenting to the Almighty.

I would leave a will for my children and mentees, taking inspiration from the ten precious advices Luqman (as) the wise, offered his son. Allah (swt) liked them so much that he honoured them to be a part of the Quran. We as Muslim parents should communicate this valuable advice to our children, family, and members of society. There cannot be a better legacy to leave for one’s mentees and children.

Moreover, if we follow and implement this advice, then Insha’Allah we all will be on the straight path leading to Paradise.

Try doing this exercise yourself!

This short and thought provoking exercise influences our entire way of living. It makes us reflect on how ready we are to present ourselves to Allah (swt)! Amazingly, the more I think, the more I tend to realize that nothing can be more important than asking for forgiveness when we know that the day is soon coming to an end. Is not repentance and humility what we were sent here for? Aren’t we astray from the right path and disillusioned/distracted by the worldly charms?

May Allah (swt) forgive us and guide us towards His path. Ameen