How to Change your Life?


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So let’s now talk in these few minutes we have together about how to at least practically build that solution.

We talk about reminders, we talk about grand things; then we talk about advice, I believe to talk about advice in a very practical- even minimalist point of view: things that you can practically do. And, that’s why I don’t like to share much personally, even though I read them for myself for inspiration. I don’t like to share the stories of the Tabi’oon and the Sahaba, the companions of the Prophet (rta) who prayed the entire night, or recited the whole Quran in a week, or made Dua. I don’t share them, you know why? Because, you know what happens to most of you when you hear them?

“Man, they were so awesome! I am so bad. Assalam-o-Alaikum.”

That is the end of that.

“Man. Sahaba were really cool. I am so going to hell.”

That’s it.

Let’s start little by little.

The Arabs have a saying; it is in many of our cultures too: “the first of the heavy rain is just a drop, and then it pours down.”

Discipline your life

Let it build little by little. The first thing you got to do is that you have to discipline your life people! I have to do it. You have to do it. You know what it means to discipline your life?

  • Sleep early

Go to sleep early. Pray Isha and go to sleep. Don’t go to Hookah joint until 12:30 a.m. Don’t go see a movie. Don’t hang out with your friends. Don’t watch Islamic lectures until 2 in the morning. Do not! It is not beneficial for you. Pray Isha, go to sleep and wake up early. Wake up before Fajr. Give yourself 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. I know it seems impossible. It is only impossible because of Netflix at night. Okay? That’s the only reason it is impossible. Give the night life up. Let the night be for sleep.

  • Timely Pray Fajr in the Masjid

At least, you are not accumulating sin every night. At least, you are not burying your heart under more sin every night. At least, you are sleeping. At least, you are innocent for that much. Then you wake up and you pray. At least, start with praying Fajr on time. And the guys here, at least at least, once a week guys, make it to the Masjid for Fajr. I don’t ask you every day. Just one day a week, give yourselves one day a week. And, you don’t catch the second Rakah right before the Salam. Right? And, then after you finish, making it up-

“Ah! Masjid today. It’s right!”

Get to the Masjid early. Let me tell you something about Fajr in the Masjid: it has a spiritual impact that only people who go to it will experience, and it can’t be explained in the lecture.

When you go to prayer, and you sit there in the Masjid quietly, and you wait for the prayer to start. And, you sit there and recite the Quran; and you ask Allah (swt) to forgive you in those morning hours; and then, you stand next to other believers and countless armies of angels; and you stand and pray in front of Allah (swt) early morning, giving up your sleep which only happened because you gave up your night life. When you do that even once a week, the joy you will get out of it as you walk out of the Masjid, you will wish to yourself, you did that every morning. I swear to it, I guarantee it. You are going to walk out of that Masjid; you going to wish, “Man! I wish I could do this every morning.”

You really will. But start with once a week.

Transcribed for Hiba by Anoshia Riaz

Be the Forerunner – Don’t Delay Good Deeds

3D people competing‘Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah!’ I turned my head to left saying Salam, ending my Taraweeh and then hurried opening my bag. She was sniffing and I knew she was having a hard time praying. I thought to give her my tissue pack as soon as our prayer ends. And then, it had ended but I was unable to handle her that. I was shy. That was a new place for me. I did not know their language. And above all, there were two girls between us, I wasn’t even sure if I could cross them and hand her the tissues. ‘What if it’s impolite here? I don’t even know their culture.’ She sniffed again.
‘Just give her. If you intend good, go for it.’ thinking this I leaned forward. Just when I was about to hand her a tissue pack, the girl between us handed her one. She took it and gave her a beautiful Dua. I sat back with my tissue pack and a saddened heart.
This wasn’t the first time I had lost my chance.

*** *** ***

“…Then of them are some who wrong their ownselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds. That (inheritance of the Qur’an), that is indeed a great grace…” (Fatir35:32)

Sitting in the lawn and having my lunch, I was still engrossed in that day’s lesson. The Ayah had left me in awe. Just the thought of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (sa) running for good deeds, in order to surpass in goodness, made me smile. ‘I won’t lose my chance of a good deed ever again, I will forerun, Insha’Allah!’ I promised myself and continued eating.
After a little while, I saw somebody dropping some trash near the classroom. It was a little away from where I was sitting with friends. “Let me get up and throw it in the dust bin. I will keep this place clean; this is where we learn about Allah (swt).” I had my next bite thinking. “Yeah just this last bite, I am going to get up.” I wiped my hands, drank few sips of water. “I am going to do this for Allah (swt) because cleanliness is my Deen. He gave me a chance to do this, I am so lucky.” Muttering as I was walking towards it slowly, feeling happy about this little good deed I was about to do. Just when I reached closer, someone picked it up seconds before me and threw it in the bin. She turned back and smiled, “Did I just win?” She was my teacher and was referring to the lesson she had taught earlier.
“I thought I will pick it up after a bite. I was coming here anyway.” I explained myself. The truth is, I hated it. I wanted to fore-run her.

“When He gives you a chance to do something good, do not give it a second thought. He has His mighty army. Always ready. If you hesitate, someone else will take over. Remember, it’s a competition!” She tapped my shoulder and walked away.

*** *** ***

We are sent to this Dunya for a trial period. We are being tested every day, every moment. Sometimes, we go through happy moments, and other times we are afflicted with hardships. We are taught to face these times with gratitude, patience and sacrifice. It is our connection with His Majesty that matters in every situation. However, there are some other times when we are tested with the chances to do good deeds. These are the times when we have option to either perform a certain action of goodness or go past it. The fact is, though usually not considered- this is also a form of test.

When He gives you a chance to perform a virtue, He actually has chosen you over entire mankind. He wants you to get up and do it. He has opened the door for you. He has let the angels write your name in their Book, while you perform the act of goodness. He has blessed you with His mercy. This is your moment to pick. However, if you delay your performance by ignoring it or over thinking due to the pinches of Satan, then know that Allah (swt) does not need your service. There are people whose hearts are full of Iman. Their eagerness to do good deeds is like a gushing stream. They are ready to die in His way. They would run and compete with others just for the sake of His pleasure. When you lose your chances of goodness, remember that Allah (swt) is not dependent on your choices. That deed will be done, anyway. But you, my friend, have lost your chance!

“For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2:148)

Next time, when you see an old lady wanting to cross road, do not delay. Go hold her hand and help. When you see an injured cat, mumbling on roadside, do not go past it. When you see two people fighting, do not ignore. When you see a hungry man crying, do not hesitate. When you see an orphan with no clothes, do not neglect. When you are invited for charity work, do not overlook.

When you see, a chance to do good, do not think twice, Be a forerunner!

My Ramadan Inspiration

ramadanWe have been given a concept of living ‘in moderation’ by the west. Little Deen, little Dunya and it is readily accepted by our modern day generation.

We live in a house which we find the best. We need a job that is secure and the best. For our children’s education, there is no compromise; they should be in the best school. And which parents would love their children to score low. Hence, for Dunya we aspire for everything of best quality. Even the tiles of our kitchen and bathroom are chosen with great care and should be the best. Our Deen, our way of life, the aspect which would decide our Akhirah, the foundation stones of Jannah should it be substandard and should we be happy with it. Allah (swt) has said in the Quran that He has made man for worshipping Him. Allah (swt) also has promised that He will guide those striving on His path, whether male or female and reward them with a life of bliss.

In other words, these are the ones who will be contented in Dunya and will not participate in the rat race towards Dunya and money. But they run to Allah (swt); run to revive Deen; run for the wellbeing of others; run to make others happy… Allah (swt) has bestowed us with Ramadan to practice all these deeds and be firm on them.

In Ramadan, we think more about our food than about the Sahabas, who tied stones to their bellies for spreading the Deen. We are worried about our rest more than the world, which is deprived of the pearls of Deen. We are worried more about clothes for the Eid than about our lowly deeds. We cry under our pillows when we are in trials, but forget to weep over our sins, which are the main reason for them.

So let’s begin from today and keep involuntary fasts, include supererogatory Ibadah, immerse in Dhikr because Allah (swt) says, “Fazkurullaha Dhikr an Kaseera”- Do my Dhikr abundantly, repent with remorse not just to wash off your sins; but make a sincere promise to Allah (swt) to lead a life of Taqwa , piety and sincerity. May Allah (swt) guide us all and keep us guided till our last breath. Ameen