Our Twin Enemies

Picture credits: riverdell.org.au

Picture credits: riverdell.org.au

My Quran Reflections Journal – 6
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 11 Reflection
Surah Al Baqarah (verses 48-59)

Mental enslavement signifies that one is a slave of a particular mindset: your thinking reflects your slavery and is manifested in your actions as well.

Let’s pause and ponder: are we mentally and physically enslaved as well? Just like Bani Israel had the wrong focus, which resulted in wrong choices, are we falling in the trap of enslavement to our twin enemies – Shaitan and our Nafs? Do we consider ourselves free individuals, because we follow the prompting of our Nafs and Shaitan? We are in fact victims of self-delusion!

Time for some serious retrospection! Let’s change our focus in life and find refuge in patience and prayer, Insha’Allah.

Day 12 Reflection
Surah Al Baqarah (verses 60-62)

Obligation, Not an Option!

We cannot be selective in our obedience and love of Allah (swt), if we are truly the guided ones. When truth reaches us through authentic sources – the Quran and the Sunnah – there’s no room for complacency, arrogance and disobedience. Action, implementation and application of Allah’s (swt) commandments are an obligation on a believer, and not a mere option!

A believing heart is the one, which listens and obeys, understands and implements, applies and exemplifies through excellent conduct that is taught by our Mahboob (the Most Loved), Maqsood (the One Sought) and Matloob (the One Desired) that is Allah (swt) in the Quran and by His Messenger in his Sunnah.

One also has to be clear that Allah (swt) is the ultimate and exclusive source of help for us. Any confusion, hesitation or clarification should be directed towards Allah (swt) alone, and we must have faith that He will help us, Insha’Allah.

“Oh Allah, You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.” (Al-Fatihah 1:5) Ameen.

Let Allah (swt) Guide us in Distress and Weakness

ShipStormIn times, when confusion and misguidance is rife and we can’t tell our foes from friends, when people, whether believers or disbelievers, are made to believe lies and led to hopelessness, we need to seek refuge in Allah (swt) instantly.

Our Creator has not just created us and left us to our own devices to wander around in this world blindly. There is a clear guidance for all situations for those, who believe.

The following invocations from the Quran and Ahadeeth will help us stay steadfast on the truth and secure peace around us, Insha’Allah. Please recite with an intention to obey Allah (swt). Also, share with all. Support the truth by actions and condemn injustices whether in your house, workplace, schools, road and market place.

May Allah (swt) always be our only Guide and provide us refuge from Shaytan’s schemes. Ameen.

1. “I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.”

2. “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shaytin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord, lest they may attend (or come near) me.” (Al Muminun 23:97-98)

3. “I seek refuge in Allah (swt) from being among the ignorant.” (Al-Baqarah 2:67)

4. “O Allah (swt)! I became obedient for You and believed in You, reposed faith in You, turned to You and fought by You. I seek refuge with Your honour, lest You might not lead me. There is no true God other than You. You are Ever-Alive. You never die, while the Jinn and the human beings die.” (Muslim)

5. “O Allah (swt), I seek refuge in You from the evil of destiny and from falling into the hand of calamity and from the mockery of (triumphant) enemies and from the hardship of misery.” (Muslim)

6. “O Allah (swt), I seek refuge with You from poverty, I seek refuge with You from want and humiliation, and I seek refuge with You from wrongdoing others or being wronged.” (An-Nasaai)

7. “O Allah (swt), I seek refuge with You from being overwhelmed with debt, from being overpowered by the enemy and from the enemy rejoicing over my misfortunes.” (An-Nasaai)

8. “O Allah (swt), I seek refuge in You from the bad day; from the bad night; from the bad hour; from the bad companion; and from the bad neighbour of the house of abode.” (At Tabrani)

9. “O Allah (swt), I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men.” (Abu Dawud)

10. “I seek refuge with Allah (swt) from turmoil and its visible and invisible aspects; and I seek refuge with Allah (swt) from the afflictions of the one-eyed liar.” (Ibn Hibban)

The Four Surahs



O disbelievers! Listen, O you!
I don’t worship what you do

Nor are you worshipers of what I worship
Since you will never, why should I flip?

So for you is your religion, for me is mine
Between you and me, there’s a fine line


He is Allah, He is one
every other god we are to shun

He is self-sufficient, free of need
We are dependent, to Him we plead

He neither begets nor is born
He never sleeps nor feels worn

Nor is there to Him any equivalent
Neither idols nor the prophets He sent


I seek refuge of the Lord of daybreak
When through the night, light outbreaks

From the evil of what is created by Him
I seek refuge from everything grim

From evil of darkness when it settles
hiding the evil as it battles

From evil of blowers in knots
Black magic of all evil plots

From evil of an envier when he envies
From blame, calumny, backbite, and tease


I seek refuge in the lord of mankind
their Master and God— only One of His kind

From evil of the retreating whispering one
into their chests the whisper’s done

They may be from humans or Jinns
No matter the form, don’t let them win

Pearls of Peace: Extracts from Juzz 13

Photo credit: Yogendra174 / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Yogendra174 / Foter / CC BY

Essence of Dhikr

What does Dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah (swt)) entail? Some people confine this to the act of doing Tasbeeh such as: uttering Subhan’Allah and Alhumdulillah. Dhikrullah means to keep Allah (swt) in our thoughts all the time; bearing in mind that He is watching us. One should remember Him by his tongue, his heart and keep Him in his mind. One should know that all tests are from Allah (swt) and that he is sent by Him and will return to Him. This is the source of attaining peace. We learn, “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-Rad 13:28) May He make us of the Dhakireen. Ameen.

Make Arabic your language

When one falls in love with the Quran, the first thing that they get upset about is the language barrier. A lot of meaning is lost in translations. Non-Arabs wish they were born in an Arab land and Arabic was their native language. Allah (swt) maintained diversity by making us belong to different races. However, we are encouraged to learn different languages, as this is the sure way of bridging gaps. “And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Ibrahim 14:4) Learn Arabic and witness how your understanding of the Quran reaches a higher level.

Goodness comes with gratitude

We all want an increase in goodness and escape from punishment. How can we make that happen? “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)

How can we be grateful to Allah (swt)?

We can be grateful by honouring His commands. By offering our prayers at their appointed time and not when we will. Gratitude should be expressed by the tongue, the heart and the limbs. Allah (swt) has blessed us with health; we should make the most of it by serving Him and His religion. Allah (swt) has given us wealth, we should spend it in His cause. If one is told to count the favours of Allah (swt), he would never be able to do so.

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, – a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate, denies Allah’s Blessings by disbelief, and by worshipping others besides Allah, and by disobeying Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (sa).” (Ibrahim 14:34) This is a challenge to the entire mankind. We miss one thing from our lives and we claim Allah (swt) has kept us deprived. What about the one thousand others things that we have?

Ingratitude belongs to the Shaytan, the deceiver

Ungratefulness is from Shaytan, he beautifies the harmful things for us and we feel as if we are denied. On the Day of Judgement, Shaytan will excuse himself from us. “And Shaytan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun.” (Ibrahim 14:22) What a devil he is! First he whispers evil thoughts and then backs out from enticing.

Allah’s (swt) assurance of His mercy upon His slaves

While Shaytan conspires for our downfall, what does Allah (swt) assures us of? “Declare (O Muhammad (sa)) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.” (Al-Hijr 15:49) Reading this verse what should we say? We should hasten to make the Dua: O Allah! Forgive me and have mercy on me. Grant me peace in this world and the next. Ameen. Again, this is not a license to continue sinning.

We live in times, where mosque which is free to enter, but is empty; while clubs which cost several thousands to enter, but are packed. This is why the verse right after the previous one warns us, “And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.” (Al-Hijr 15:50) Thus, we must not indulge in acts that can lead to His painful punishment.

Islam is protected by Allah (swt) alone

Next, we learn about a miracle that was given to Muhammad (sa), “Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers.” (Al-Hijr 15:95) Each time the scoffers mocked the Prophet (sa) – they were either punished for the words they uttered, or they were guided because of that. How were they guided? Each time someone decides to damage Islam by drawing caricatures, more people become interested in Islam and embrace it. There were many people during the time of the Prophet (sa), who wanted to harm him; but within moments, they were testifying that Muhammad (sa) is the Prophet of Allah (swt). While such incidents of blasphemy hurt us, we must remember Allah (swt) is the In-Charge here, He will hold the perpetrators accountable.

The matter that requires our attention is that when a non-Muslim disrespects Islam, we come out on the streets, carry out protestations, burn vehicles, damage property and gather all the energy to endure heat and discomfort. But when the call to prayer is given in the mosque, we don’t budge. We are so far away from our own religion, why criticise the non-Muslims? Reverts are much better than some of the born Muslims. May Allah (swt) guide us. Ameen.

It is natural for a tender-hearted person to be distressed by what’s happening around them. Allah (swt), the All-Knowing, knows the hearts of His slaves, “Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say.” (Al-Hijr 15:97) This was His assurance to Muhammad (sa).

Sunshine or rain – He is the domain

What should one do when he is suffering? He says, “So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” (Al-Hijr 15:98-99) Rain or shine, we must never forget the purpose of our creation. If things are good, praise and thank Allah (swt). If things are not so good, have patience, praise and thank Allah (swt). The Day of Judgement will settle all disputes. Prostrate whenever you can, because that is the closest we can get to Allah (swt).

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)


Understanding Surah Asr – 3

time management sunnahTranscribed from the Bayyinah podcast Tafseer series by Iqra Asad.

“By Al-Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd).”

Don’t wait to do good- It is now or never!

Many times, when you have to give advice, you hesitate. You wait for a better time. You keep waiting and that better time will never come. The sense of urgency is in the word “Tawasi”. “Wasiya” is also when you bequeath someone with property. What you are to offer someone is literally of value. When you give someone good advice, they reply with, “But I’ve seen you do this, what about you?” Most of us are reactive when we receive advice. When you are on the side of giving advice, you take the good of it and leave the bad.

“Tawasi bil Haq”

First, it is mentioned generally to do good deeds. Then one specific good deed is mentioned i.e. patience. Allah (swt) puts patience at the end and “Haq” first, to emphasize the nobility of good.

This Surah challenges us to change our definitions of success and failure.

The true essence of faith

A lot of people consider faith to be just a declaration. You could claim it as a lack of knowledge but in reality it’s an attitude; the assumption that we have faith, and the assumption that faith alone is enough. What does it mean to have faith? From a legal point of view, anyone who declares the Shahadah has faith. Legally speaking, anyone who claims to be a Muslim, is a Muslim. Then there is the matter of the distinction that Allah (swt) Himself makes in Surah Hujurat.

He says, “The bedouins say: ‘We believe.’ Say: You believe not but you only say, We have surrendered (in Islâm), for Faith has not yet entered your hearts.” (Al-Hujurat 49:14)

What people assume to be “Iman” (faith) is actually just the declaration of Islam. Faith is in the heart. The first thing inside the heart is faith, the second is revelation. If you memorize the Quran, it resides in your heart. The third thing, among others, associated most with the heart is Dhikr (remembrance). These three things are inter-connected.

In Surah Al-Anfal, “The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qurân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith” (Al-Anfal 8:2)

The easiest gauge of faith is your Salah (prayer); “Allah would not be one to waste your faith.”(Al-Baqarah 2:143) This verse refers to prayers as “faith”. So where goes the statement, “I don’t pray, but I still have faith”? The second misconception that once you have faith, you don’t need deeds is crushed in this Surah. What kind of faith is this that you don’t have action? If we internalize this, we know that our faith will not survive, unless we have action.

A Believer vs. Those who believe!

The difference between two commonly used terms in the Quran, “believers” (Muminoon) and “those who believe” (Allazeena Aamanu): one of them is verbal (those who believe), the other (believers) is a noun. In Arabic, a verb is temporary, it is not stable, but a noun is fixed. “Believers” is used for people of mature faith. It is always used in a positive aspect. However, with “those who believe”, you may not find nice things. You find Allah (swt) saying to them, “those of you who believe, believe!” Become true believers. “Those who believe!”—category of those who are not necessarily doing well. “Believers”—mature faith who have already attained success.

The three core pillars of faith: “faith in Allah (swt)”, “faith in the Message” (the Book and the Messenger), and “faith in the Afterlife”. Sometimes people take one or two of these and say their faith is complete. If you do that, you will fall into a serious psychological imbalance.

Faith in the Messenger of Allah (swt)

Sometimes you can say something about the Messenger (sa) that can waste your Iman. On one hand, you have people who love him so much that they end up giving him a status beyond a human being. On the other hand, you have pseudo-intellectuals who treat him as just another historical figure. “It’s just a Hadeeth.” “It’s not even in the Quran.” The Surah Muhammad, Fath, and Hujurat discuss faith in the Messenger. When Allah (swt) mentions the Prophet (sa) in the Quran, He doesn’t use his name, and if He does, He says “RasulAllah” next to it. In the Quran, “O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (sa), nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.” (Al-Hujurat 49:2) In order for good deeds to count, you must have faith.

Fruits of faith

Tranquility: you come to terms with the fact that all deeds are rewarded.

Iman: a treasure that you get to keep when you do good deeds. But what kind of person would you be if by feeding a hungry person, you would get more food back, but you still wouldn’t do it?

This statement is very empathetic because both the preposition and the verb have been repeated.

Haq: “truthfulness” means that you convey the advice in a truthful and sincere manner, holding nothing back. “With truth”, refers to Quran, that you counsel each other with Quran. Someone’s losing hope, how do you do “Tawasi bil Haq”? Through Quran, quote Quran to them: “My slaves who have violated against their own selves, don’t lose hope in Allah’s Mercy!”(Az-Zumar 39:53)

It’s easy to sit behind a microphone and talk about these things to strangers. It requires courage to do this with family. It requires patience.

What does “Sabr” mean? Patience, perseverance, commitment, constancy.

“It is to have the same level of obedience to Allah (swt) whether in ease or in difficulty.”(Ibn Taimiyyah)

Fidelity and forbearance is the key

Good people, who are working for Islam, may lose heart at all the criticism they receive. You must do “Tawasi bil Sabr” with them; tell them to be patient, no matter how difficult things get. They will appreciate it. Those who do work for this Deen; whether you are doing work for Islam inside your house or outside it, are under direct attack of the Shaytan. You must have patience and obedience to Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) speaks to us and He knows what kinds of lives we lead. There are brothers and sisters who are active in spreading Islam, but they have some very bad habits. They need someone to do Tawasi bil Sabr with them, to tell them to hang on.

These statements are in the past tense. Why not mention it in the present tense? It implies that these people spent their entire lives doing Tawasi bil Haq and Tawasi bil Sabr. You can never stop until death.

They are encouraging each other with patience. The way you deliver it requires patience, and what you are recommending them to do is patience.

These four things are connected to each other. If someone loses Sabr, they will not be able to do Tawasi bil Haq.

This is the shortest Surah, but also the heaviest Surah. It will change your attitude towards success and failure. Your time to get serious about faith, action, Tawasi bil Haq and Tawasi bil Sabr is short. May Allah (swt) make us of those who successfully fulfill the conditions of Surah Asr. Ameen.

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Araaf

pearlsWith this message we begin Surah Al-Araf. Allah (swt) says, (This is the) Book (the Quran) sent down unto you (O Muhammad (sa)), so let not your breast be narrow there from, that you warn thereby, and a reminder unto the believers.” (Al-Araf 7:2) How fortunate we are that we have the Quran, which is an anti-depressant; yet how selfish we are that we do not communicate its gems and wonders with our friends and families. We recite the Quran, learn it, preserve it in our hearts and keep the knowledge to ourselves. The Prophet (sa) said, “The best among you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it.” (Bukhari) If someone informed us that there is a university where from if we graduated we will get $150,000 per month we would have rushed to enrol ourselves in it. The Prophet (sa) is calling us to something better and we are not moved.

We have read Harry Potter and other similar books. We wait for their launch and fantasize the stories; but have we also read the Quran? If we have not read the Quran ourselves, how can we teach it to others and be amongst the best? This is the Book of Allah (swt), the word of the Creator which we have not even attempted to learn. That is why we don’t have peace in our lives.

We need to be careful of the devil’s plot. Shaytan says, “Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” (Al-Araf 7:17) He beautifies sins for us and makes us fall for them. May Allah (swt) bless us the insight to distinguish between the straight path and the trap of Shaytan. Ameen.

Adam (as) and the treachery of Shaytan

Allah (swt) then mentions the story of Adam (as) that how he lost a certain place in Paradise due to the treachery of Shaytan. This teaches us an important lesson: if we fall for Shaytan, Allah (swt) will take away the blessing that He gave us. In this story, we also learn about clothing; which is both an adornment and a covering.

Clothe with piety

When we are invited to our friend’s house or some renowned politician, businessman or anyone famous, we pick up the best clothes that we can. We make sure our hair and our accessories are in order. We check ourselves out several times in the mirror before leaving the house. But how do we approach Salah? When the Maker of everything invites us to stand before Him for a private conversation that guarantees us everything that we desire, what clothes or condition are we in? Sometimes for Fajr Salah, we simply roll out of our beds, throw water on our face, perform a quick Wudhu and stand up in prayer in our sleeping pyjamas. Is that an attitude of gratitude towards Him Who rewards one good deed up to ten times?

Allah (swt) says, “O O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of) the Ka’bah, 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) Do not be extravagant in your clothing. When one looks today at the prices of bridal and semi-formal clothing, he wonders where the money is coming from. An ordinary dress with trimmings of silk or Banarsi fabric and some embellishments is priced at 50,000 rupees or even more. Lawn which was the clothing of common people is now sold at Rs. 6,000. Allah (swt) says, “And the raiment of righteousness, that is better.” (Al-Araf 7:26)

Not only should the clothing be sanely priced, but also, it should serve the purpose for which it was created. And that is “covering”. Too tight, too short, too revealing is not the clothing of people of Taqwa. If Salah is not accepted in such clothes, how can one step out of their house wearing those welcoming gazes of strange men?

Choose the appropriate attire

If one has to shed their clothing in order to appear attractive in front of others, then they should know twenty years later, they will not have the same appearance. So why not attract people by your character and Taqwa, instead of superficial things? If we dress up according to how Allah (swt) commands us, we will, Insha’Allah, attract those who are best for us in the Sight of Allah (swt). Who doesn’t want a righteous companion? Everyone does! The righteous companion pushes us to give our very best to Allah (swt). Thus, let us not attract the filth and dress appropriately instead.

Allah (swt) has promised us that He will send messages and reminders to us in various forms. Some fortunate ones lived in the midst of the messengers. For later generations, there were people who had acquired knowledge from the messengers and disseminated it to others. And that is how it reached us.

What should be our attitude towards Allah’s (swt) messages?

Allah (swt) says, “O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from amongst you, reciting to you, My Verses, and then whosoever becomes pious and righteous, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Al-Araf 7:35)

Two actions are required: Taqwa and reform. By being conscious of Allah (swt) and rectifying our faults, we will be free from anguish.

Dialogue between the dwellers of paradise and hellfire

Then we learn about a dialogue that takes place between the people of hellfire and the people of Paradise: “And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: Pour on us some water or anything that Allah has provided you with. They will say: Both (water and provision) Allah has forbidden to the disbelievers.” (Al-Araf 7:50)

What actions lead to hellfire?

Allah (swt) says, “Who took their religion as an amusement and play, and the life of the world deceived them. So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day, and as they used to reject Our verses (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).” (Al-Araf 7:51) Materialism took over them. They were more attached to the material things than to their Maker. The love of Allah (swt) should exceed our love for every other being or thing. People who have taken religion as play and amusement, have chosen to ignore Allah (swt) (may Allah (swt) protect us). Hence, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah (swt) will disregard them.

How does one ignore Allah (swt)?

By not abiding to His rules and regulations, by not abstaining from His prohibitions, and by not following the commandments that He has ordained upon us. Move towards Allah (swt) even if it’s inch by inch. Our Prophet (sa) would say: “O Allah (swt), make faith appear beautiful to us and adorn our hearts with it, and make Kufr, sin and disobedience abhorrent to us. Make us of those who are rightly guided. Ameen.”

Befalling of a calamity – boon or bane?

Again we learn about calamities. One thing to remember is that a calamity is not always a punishment. While some people drown and die in floods, there’s someone in the same city who died in the state of prostration. Your heart gauges whether a calamity is destruction or a blessing. If you find contentment and peace in your heart, then you are blessed. It could be a mean to raise your status in the sight of Allah (swt). So be pleased with His decree.

Sometimes we see images of calamity-stricken areas and we notice almost the entire settlement has perished, except one house. Why it is that one house is saved while all the other houses collapsed? It could be because the resident of that house was engaged in enjoining good and forbidding evil. He did his duty, he forwarded the knowledge that he had acquired. If people didn’t pay heed, he would not be held accountable for it. Look at what Allah (swt) says, “So when they forgot the reminders that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah).” (Al-Araf 7:165)

Lesson to learn

The key to stay protected from Allah’s (swt) punishment, after we have reformed ourselves, is to remind others. Tell the brothers to come to the Masjid for Salah. Advise the sisters not to dress in a certain way. Remind, for reminders benefit the believers.

Pay full attention to the Quranic recitation

How would one feel if the CEO of the company is talking and no one is paying attention? Sometimes, we turn on the Quran recitation and continue chatting on the side; paying absolutely no attention to what is being said. Allah (swt) warns us about this in the Quran, “So, when the Quran is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. (I.e. during the compulsory congregational prayers when the Imam (of a mosque) is leading the prayer (except Surah Al-Fatihah), and also when he is delivering the Friday-prayer Khutbah).” (Al-Araf 7:204) Listening to Quran results in receiving Allah’s (swt) mercy, Subhan’Allah! Our mind and heart both should be attentive. Know that the one who receives the mercy of Allah (swt) is a person of high rank.


Pearls of Peace – An Extract from Surah Al-Fatiha

Pearl-in-a-shell1We praise Allah (swt) Who has blessed us and granted us this beautiful month of Ramadan and such a beautiful opportunity to earn His countless Blessings. May He grant us with the blessings and forgiveness in this month. May He increase the love and bond in our hearts that we have for one another and alleviate the suffering of humankind all across the globe; relief the ones who are going through difficulties and turmoil including ourselves.

Imagine if Prophet Muhammad (sa) was among us and recited the Quran. Imagine if the companions of Muhammad (sa) were to recite the Quran; what type of recitation do you think it would be? It would be miraculously beautiful as it would come from the depths of the heart and true love for the Quran. Hence, that is the kind of recitation one should aspire for.

The theme we have chosen to speak about this year is Pearls of Peace from the Noble Quran. It is the Book of peace and indeed full of the ingredients of peace. Many of us are searching for peace, contentment and happiness so that we can alleviate whatever suffering we are going through, but we have not searched through the pages of the Book of peace; coming from the Owner of peace, AsSalam.

The theme we have chosen to speak about this year is Pearls of Peace from the Noble Quran. It is the Book of peace and indeed full of the ingredients of peace.

Types of peace

There are two types of peace:

  • The inner peace – the peace within one’s heart and mind
  • The outer peace – is amongst one another; within our family, our community, with the Ummah at large, with humanity, and with all the creatures of Allah (swt) and this is the peace we are searching for.

As we search for this peace and we open the Book of Allah (swt), do you know what is the first word of peace that we find? Amazingly: Audhu billahi minash shaytanir rajeem. Analyze the statement. This is the statement of peace. Before you commence with the Quran and its recitation, you need to utter these words because Allah (swt) has declared,

So when you want to recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).” (An- Nisa 16:98)

The ways to acquire peace

Without seeking protection of Allah (swt) from the devil, how will we be able to acquire peace? Many of us, when we read the Quran we have no concentration. That’s because the devil has contaminated our heart and our mind. He makes us fight and argue; splits and disunites us. This is why we start off with Tawuz. Let’s remember this powerful supplication and use it.

Now the next most powerful statement: Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem “In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Most Forgiving Most Merciful.”

This is Allah (swt), this is peace! Peace is connected to the mercy of Allah (swt). Look at the manner He starts. He has told us to start off by saying His Name, acknowledging that He is full of mercy, compassion and forgiveness. If He wanted He could have said, “Say: In the Name of Allah, the Owner of the severe torment and punishment.” He could have said that; but the heart requires that flicker wherein we all have hope in the mercy of Allah (swt).

Pearls extracted from Surah Al-Fatiha

Allah (swt) has chosen to open the Quran with what is known as Surah Al-Fatiha – the Opening Surah.

“(All) praise is (due) to Allah, the Rabb of the worlds.”

What is the meaning of Rabb? The One Who created, nourishes, provides, and protects, the One Who is in absolute control of every single aspect of the entire existence. All praise is due to Him, Who created you and me and everything in existence. Praise Him regularly and you will achieve peace.

Immediately after this powerful opening statement He says: Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. A loser he/she will be the one who does not receive the mercy of Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) make us from the winners. Imagine, if He had said, “I am never going to forgive certain people even if they seek forgiveness.” Did He ever say that? Never! Even a person who has committed Shirk, if he seeks forgiveness, Allah (swt) says, “My doors are open for him, I will forgive him.”

Maliki yawmi addeen – “He is the Owner of the Day of Judgment.”

From this we learn that we are answerable to Allah (swt). Let us learn not to become judgemental when it comes to deal with one another. Sometimes a person who might not appear religious outwardly is perhaps much more religious within. They may be struggling to adopt the commands of Allah (swt) one by one just like we are. None of us is perfect. We are all trying. Eradicate your bad habits. Seek the assistance of Allah (swt).

Iyyaka nabudu wa-iyyaka nastaeen – “You (alone) we worship and You (alone) we ask for help.”

A powerful statement that we utter almost five times a day.

Do you want peace? If yes, then worship Allah (swt) alone. Ask Allah’s (swt) help and assistance. Remember, He is Rabb-al-Alameen, the Owner of every single aspect of existence.

Ihdina assirata almustaqeem – “Guide us to the straight path.”

This is the Dua that we make for ourselves. The path of peace, the path to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt). If Allah (swt) has given us Hidayah (guidance), what more do we want? We will be the happiest people in the Dunya.

“Amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit; If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him.” (Muslim)

Allah (swt) has always blessed us in every single way; yet sometimes we do not realize and recognize. We only pick on certain things that our soul desires and we keep on saying, “Ya Allah (swt)! You did not give me this. You did not give me that.” But when you look at the favours of Allah (swt), they are plenty.

These were some of the blessed pearls that we extract from Surah Al-Fatiha.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)



It’s Never too Late to Repent

rpetance(A condensed version of the talk “On repentance” by Sheikh Kamaluddin Ahmed)

Allah (swt) said in the Quran, “Leave (O mankind, all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.” (Al-Anam 6:120)

Hastening to perform Taubah for our sins

In other places in the Quran, Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance.” (At-Tahrim 66:8 and Hud 11:3)

Now this word “Taubah” (repentance) is very interesting, because Allah (swt) says “Do Taubah towards Allah.” What it means is that repentance is (what you call in English) a “paradigm shift”. If you’re living a life of sin or are engrossed in one particular sin, you must totally turn away from the sin and orient yourself back towards Allah (swt). Someone who is distant from Allah (swt), His Book and His Messenger (sa) will find it difficult to leave sin.

Four things that ensure acceptance of our repentance

1.  Repent to Allah (swt) sincerely

The seeker must promise to Allah (swt) sincerely in his heart that he will never commit the sin again. People say, “How can we say that when we know we will do it again?”

Well, life is like a boxing match, where you have to get up every time you are knocked down. The coach would get happy if you manage to get up after every knock down. Similarly Allah (swt) loves those who try again and again for His Mercy. When your clothes get dirty, you don’t stop washing them thinking, “What is the use when we know that they will get dirty again?” Hence we need to wash ourselves, we need to purify our souls, our intentions hoping that Allah (swt) will forgive us and we won’t repeat that sin.

Once two young men were arguing and they went to an old man to settle their argument. They asked, “Who is more beloved to Allah (swt), he who sins and repents or he who never committed the sin in the first place?” The old man said, “I am not an Islamic scholar; I am a weaver. I can just tell that when I am weaving, I have to follow many threads on my loom. If a thread snaps, I tie it back, but from then on I keep an eye on that thread. So it may be that Allah (swt) keeps a special gaze of mercy on those who break away from Him, but tie themselves back through repentance.” Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous?” (Al-Infitar 82:6)

When your clothes get dirty, you don’t stop washing them thinking, “What is the use when we know that they will get dirty again?” Hence we need to wash ourselves, we need to purify our souls

2. Forgive others for the sake of Allah (swt)    

It comes in a Hadeeth: “On the Night of Qadr everyone’s prayers are answered except the person who has malice and a grudge against people in his heart.” (Shuab ul Iman)

Hence, we should forgive even if we are justified in being angry. Allah (swt) is justified in being angry with us when we sin; are we more justified in being angry than He is? It would have been completely appropriate for Allah (swt) to punish us immediately whenever we sinned. The second we looked at something that we shouldn’t have, He should have made us blind. In such a case, all of us would be blind, deaf, mute and crippled. If we wish Allah (swt) to accept our repentance, we must forgive others.

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (ra) writes in one of his books that once there was a man and wife. The wife did something very bad, so much so that the man would have been justified in divorcing her. She asked him to forgive her. He thought, “O Allah (swt), I forgive her for Your sake.” Later the man passed away and somebody saw him in a dream. The man said in the dream, “Allah (swt) forgave me for everything. Allah (swt) said that you forgave her because she was My servant, I forgive you because you are My servant.”

3. Abandon bad company   

We must keep ourselves away from the people who bring us closer to sin. Every night in the Isha prayer in Dua Qunut, we declare “O Allah (swt) I will isolate myself and I will repudiate that person who disobeys You.” A bad friend is worse than a snake because when a snake bites you, it sends you to your death, but a bad friend sends you to hellfire. A bad friend is even worse than Shaitan because Shaitan only whispers, but a bad friend takes you toward the sin.

4. Increase in your good deeds

People, who fall into any sin feel ashamed about it and so they stop praying, thinking that how can they face Allah (swt).

Quran says, “Say: O ‘Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar 39:53).

How does Allah (swt) address these people? He doesn’t say “you sinners”, He says “My servants/slaves”. He doesn’t kick them out of the servant hood. He still takes them under His Custody.

Rewards for the Repenting Ones

1. A clean slate

Once repentance is accepted, the person becomes as if he doesn’t have any sins. We should make Dua that Allah (swt) erases each and every aspect of sin from us; May He remove even the memory of the pleasure of the sin.

2. Protection by Allah (swt) from Shaitan

Allah (swt) protects the person from Shaitan. Quran says, “Verily! My slaves (i.e the true believers of Islamic Monotheism), you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” (Al-Isra 17:65)

We cannot fight Shaitan, we can only seek Allah’s (swt) protection from him.

3. Acquiring an esteemed rank with Allah (swt)

Allah (swt) will include the person among the ranks of His Beloved. Quran says, “…Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Al-Baqarah 2:222)

There was a man called Hasan al Basri who taught Quran on the command of Hazrat Ali (ra). One of his students was a widowed woman who dedicated her life to raising her son. Her son was a big sinner. She always tried to work on her son and take him to Hasan al Basri to make him leave his sinful ways. The son remained stubborn and did not leave sin. This continued until the time of his death. The mother cried and asked him to repent. Finally the son said that he felt the error of his ways and wanted to repent. He wanted Hasan al Basri to lead his funeral prayer. The mother went to the Sheikh but he refused saying that her son was just fooling her again. When the son got to know about this, he told his mother to drag his corpse around the city and show the people the fate of a sinner and sadly he passed away. Later Hasan al Basri went to meet the mother. He told her that after she had left, he heard a voice saying, “You think you are the friend of Allah (swt), but you refuse to pray the funeral prayer of His friend?”

Twenty Tips for a Successful Marriage

happy-marriageMarriage is not only about love; it is also about trust. If you are not able to trust your spouse then there can be no love in the relationship. Today’s generation does not know the meaning of marriage. Marriage is an exceptional bond that binds you in a relationship such that whether you have a small tiff or a major problem, you try to overcome it with mutual understanding.

Even the Shaitan is envious of a married couple who ties the knots in a bond that is unbreakable. Every day he sits on his throne ordering his Shaitan servants to go and make the humans go astray. After they accomplish their evil mission, they go to their master and happily tell him about whom they managed to mislead. But the Shaitan (Iblis) is not very happy with their performance. However when one of his servants tells him that he has caused a rift between a husband and wife, he gets excited and praises that servant of his. Allah (swt) has created this couple and through Nikah they are in a special internal bond that is unbreakable. Allah (swt) hates the word divorce whereas the Shaitan (Iblis) loves to break this relationship.

Today’s generation should always think before they start an argument with their spouse; maybe it is the Shaitan who is trying to cause a rift between them. Always sit and talk about your problems to one another. Try to be patient even if your spouse isn’t. A husband-wife relationship is like a car with tyres on each side; when one of the tyres inflates, the car cannot be driven further. So keep this in mind and build such a strong relationship that even a hurricane is unable to shake it. Our Prophet’s (sa) dealing with his wives is an ideal example for us to follow and succeed.

Here are some helpful tips for a successful marriage, Insha’Allah:

  1. Trust and help each other; be good and stay positive.
  2. Please your spouse and make him or her feel special always. For example, cook his or her favourite food or dine out at his or her favourite place.
  3. Be humorous, playful, helpful, respectful and entertaining.
  4. Never bring your past mistakes in your present.
  5. Encourage and give hope to your spouse.
  6. Do not compare each other even over tiny things.
  7. Surprise your spouse with something new. For example, give gifts to each other.
  8. Spend quality time as much as you can.
  9. Look beautiful for your spouse.
  10. Listen carefully and obey sincerely.
  11. Avoid fighting, ignoring, lying, doubting, misbehaving and getting angry.
  12. Be open and discuss your problems/worries with your spouse. Also, make eye contact while speaking.
  13. If one of you is angry, the other should be quiet.
  14. Don’t argue. Simply say ‘Sorry’ whether it’s your mistake or not.
  15. Always make Dua to make your marriage successful and your relationship/ bond strong.
  16. Always be thankful to your spouse.
  17. Say ‘I love you’ to your spouse.
  18. Understand each other by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  19. Respect your spouse and be a garment for him or her everywhere.
  20. Eat together, be together and pray together.

Love or Loss?

steppingstonesIt was around 11:00 p.m. and she was running on the road in an unknown direction. The streets were covered with fog and there was complete silence, with the exception of her loud cries. She was screaming for help as if burning in scorching heat. People are always afraid of going near the fire but she was experiencing blaze with soaring intensity. Her heart was beating so fast that she felt it will burst out if she ran for another minute. Suddenly a car stopped on the adjacent lane and called her “Sara”. She turned back and recognized that it was Hannah. Out of exhaustion and fear she instantly fell on the ground and lost her consciousness. The last words on her mind were from the Quran:

“(Shaitan) said: Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.” (Al-Araf 7: 16-17)

Few Days Back . . .

Sara was late for the Islamic Conference and it was raining unexpectedly. “Can’t you wake up early? Is it necessary for you to always get late?” she said to herself and went out of the house. “Oh Allah (swt) help me in reaching safely there!”

While she was thinking her phone rang, “Sara where are you girl?” Nageen inquired.

“I am stuck in rain. Can you please send someone to come and pick me?” she said.

“Yeah sure I am sending Hannah, just wait there alright?” Nageen replied.

“Yep I am waiting.” said Sara.

She was now standing on the road corner under a shade when someone called her from backside,

“Hey Sara, what happened?” said Faraj. “Were you not supposed to be at the convention by now?” he inquired.

“Yeah I am waiting for Hannah.”

“Hmm, alright. But listen I am also going there so why don’t you join me?”

Sara waited for a second and realized that it was raining heavily. She was thinking what to say and just then someone whispered to her, “Sara you are already late and why disturb Hannah? She will have to leave all her work to come and pick you. Faraj’s offer isn’t really bad. Come on it’s just a 15-fifteen minutes drive.”

“Hmm yeah right!” she thought and sat in Faraj’s car. Then she called Hannah and told her not to come.

Sara and Faraj were volunteers at a non-profit organization which arranges lectures of renowned Islamic scholars in USA. They met for the first time a month ago at the annual meeting of volunteers. Although there was complete segregation between men and women but in order to resolve some technical issues in the ladies’ hall, Sara had to call Faraj and then they both arranged another room for the girls. There they had very limited conversation regarding work. They next met at a shopping mall and again had some formal exchange of greetings. Now almost two weeks later she was sitting in his car “accidently”.

The convention proved to be very successful and the audience immensely appreciated the managing team. When Sara reached home it was around 7:00 p.m. She prayed and then rested. Later in night, she woke up to check the convention response on their Facebook page. As soon as she logged in she saw a friend’s request. She opened the notification and to her surprise it was Faraj. She thought for a while and then someone whispered to her, “Yeah that’s really good that you avoid accepting friend requests from “brothers” but come on its Faraj! Remember he gave you lift today in the morning? It is inappropriate to reject his request. Don’t forget his favour…Yeah?” And she clicked “Accept”!

“And come not near to adultery. Verily, it is a Fahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)) and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” (Al-Isra 17:32)

Few Days Later…

Sara was doing some of her college assignments late night. Her Facebook account was logged in and suddenly a conversation window popped up. It was Faraj.


“Asalaamu ‘alaikum.”

“Oh lol Wa alaikum salaam.”

“So how you are doing?”

“I am good and how are you?”

“Yeah fine. Actually very tired just got back from a party :D”

“Ohk so you do party?”

“Lol yeah what’s so shocking about it?”

“Nahh I was just saying….”

Out of the blue, Sara realized that it was a useless conversation. She shut down the window and continued with her work. Faraj also did not say anything. But then after a while the window popped up again.

“Hey sorry I got a call. . . so how about Sunday?”

“This Sunday?”

“Nahh next month’s fifth Sunday :P”

“Lol hmm nothing special . . . why?”

“I am having a party at my place . . . you know I have cleared my exams”

“Congratulations . . . that’s good news. Which course?”

“Business Management. So are you coming?”

“Hmm I’ll tell you about it…”

“Don’t worry I’ll send you my car :P”

“Haha nah that’s not an issue. Actually that day my father left early and I could not bear the risk of driving in such an intense weather.”

“Yeah I can understand. Alright I gotta go now. Talk to you later and yes be there Sunday 8pm. I’ll text you my address send me your number. Okay bye.”

Sara did not know what trigged her and she just wrote her number in the conversation window.

Next day in the morning, Faraj called her and explained the address. Although she was still undecided whether to go or not, she noted down the address and promised him to be there.

On Sunday evening, she received a text message while sleeping. “Hey I’ll be waiting for you . . . do come.”

Someone whispered to her “Oh he is being so nice and look how rude you are. Can’t you attend a simple party in return of his favour? Now don’t come up with a lame excuse that it’s not good. Just don’t drink and dance there. Attend the party for him and come back!”

“Yeah . . . it’s just a party! What’s the big deal?” she talked to herself. “Yes I will come.” she replied.

This became a regular pattern. Sara was amazed as to how in a few days she had come so close to Faraj. Initially she was just trying to return his favour which gradually turned into friendship.

This became a regular pattern. Sara was amazed as to how in a few days she had come so close to Faraj. Initially she was just trying to return his favour which gradually turned into friendship. She was always attracted to Muslims and tried to make friends in her community only. Therefore she had very few friends, but they were all trustworthy. However, Faraj was slightly different. She knew that he was gaining more importance than just a friend. Sara felt something in her heart “Maybe its love…” someone whispered. She smiled to herself and then went to sleep.

Sara belonged to a family where parents communicate all the religious obligations while leaving rest on the experiences of their children. She was brought up with Islamic values while also enjoying the freedom of choice. From day one, she knew that her relationship with Faraj was highly inappropriate in the religious context but she was continuing it, assuming that it was no big thing. On the other end, Faraj was an Asian, pursuing professional education in America. His family was by-the-way Muslim and had a huge architecture business in their hometown. Belonging to such a background, money and values were never his problems. He was actually very “different”’ in his routine life and he joined the conventions only on the emphasis of some fellows belonging to his district back home. He was not at all religious and that was pretty evident from his ways and attitude. But at the same time he knew that living alone in USA can be very challenging if he does not have good terms with the Muslim community. Hence he chose to volunteer for the Islamic organization.

Days turned into months and now it was the best time for Faraj to extend his relationship with Sara. By now he had gained her confidence and knew that she was blindly in love with him. When he finally proposed to her, she was overwhelmed with happiness and instantly accepted him as her future husband.

One day Faraj called her in the morning:

“Free tonight?”

“Yes what’s the plan?”

“That’s a surprise! Get ready at 9:00 am sharp. And yeah dress your best; you are going to remember this night forever.”

“Haha sure!”

“And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the Zalimun (unjust and wrong-doers).

Then Shaitan (Satan) whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before); he said: Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.” (Al-Araf 7:19-20)

Sara listened to the whispers of Shaitan and came nearer to the greatest sin with every coming day she was spending with Faraj. She knew that even coming near to adultery was strictly forbidden by Allah (swt) but Shaitan told her that it was no big deal and that she will end up with a caring and loving husband. Doesn’t she already want that?

Clock hits 9:00 p.m. and Faraj was standing outside her home. She came out telling her mom that she is going with a friend of Hannah to attend a party.

They drove over to Salman’s house, who was Faraj’s best friend. In the midst of dance and music, Salman came and informed Sara that Faraj isn’t feeling well.

“He is having a severe headache; please just go and check him.” Sara got quite alarmed. She immediately went upstairs into Salman’s room where Faraj was standing near the window. One can only imagine what might have happened next… It’s only important to know that Sara managed to run out in the nick of time.

Hannah saw her running on the road. She called her name but Sara fell on the ground unconscious. Hannah took her to the hospital where doctors examined her and concluded that she has just experienced a great shock. Hannah felt relaxed to know that she will be fine by the next morning. She dropped Sara at her home.

“And We send down from the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it) and it increases the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss. And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path. And when evil touches him he is in great despair.” (Al-Isra 17:82-83)

Why has he forbidden unnecessary conversations between men and women? Simply because they hurt a lot and leave an everlasting scar on our lives. It seems something very attractive and begins with innocence, giggles and loving emotions but ends on heart breaks and severe sins.

Next day when Hannah went to see Sara, she came to know the entire story. Sara told her how she met Faraj and how slowly and gradually she started loving him. Hannah was stunned to find out that so much was happening in her friend’s life and she knew nothing. After listening to Sara, she tried to console her and said: “Do you know why Allah (swt) has asked us to not even go near these relationships? Why has he forbidden unnecessary conversations between men and women? Simply because they hurt a lot and leave an everlasting scar on our lives. It seems something very attractive and begins with innocence, giggles and loving emotions but ends on heart breaks and severe sins. Allah (swt) wants to save us from the extreme humiliation that human beings suffer as a result of shamelessness. Salat and Hijab aren’t enough to protect ourselves from Fitnah these days. We actually need to take extra precautions to avoid falling prey to the Shaitan. So now repent from the depth of your heart and believe that Allah (swt) is Ar-Rahman. He will surely forgive you”.

“They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (Al-Araf 7:23)

From the Diary of a Revert

diary-copyAs I look out through the window, I recall about how my life was before I met Him. I was born and raised in France till the age of 21. Then I moved to the UK. Many French and European young immigrants (including me) suffer from a social breakdown.

Sometimes, I think about how my life would have been if I had continued my life without Him. Before meeting Him, I was lost like an orphan without parents. But now I know He is there whenever I think of Him. I will never be lost again. Once being a non-Muslim, I am very grateful to Allah (swt) as He called me towards His path and made me a Muslim. Today, the Quran and the Sunnah are my way of life.  Now when I walk on the streets with my hijab, I feel secure and honourable.

When I pray, I ask Him to forgive my sins. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Ameen. I ask Him to protect Islam and guide the non-Muslims towards His path. There is a sense of peace that I feel when I meet my Lord five times a day during Salah. I love to share this feeling with all my Muslim  brothers and sisters around the world.

May Allah (swt) bless our parents and bestow His favours upon them; the favours of this Dunya and the Akhirah. I feel so proud whenever my parents are pleased with me. I am happy whenever my husband is happy. I pray to Allah (swt) to protect all the married couples from Shaitan and bless them with pious children. I thank Allah (swt) for giving me such beautiful and healthy children. May Allah (swt) bless the Ummah of  our  beloved  Prophet Muhammad (sa), the Prophet of Islam. Ameen.

The Menace of Extravagancy


Not once in a person’s life, one must have attended a lavish wedding in a five-star hotel where as soon as one sets foot in the hall, one gets a hint of the massive amount of money expended on the occasion. Valuable cash can be seen thrown on everything from the huge hall adorned with thousands of lights hanging from the ceiling and luxurious tapestries embellishing the walls to miniscule stuff like tiny sequins scattered on the dining tables, neatly polished cutlery and plated candle-stands. In addition, the bride is seen donned in a profligate dress, the cost of which can easily sky-rocket to several thousand rupees; with matching sandals that are no less a burden on the pocket. Not to mention the culinary delights that feature an extensive assortment of dishes prepared in amounts enough to suffice probably five times the number of guests and which, after the occasion, are left to rot in rubbish dumps.

Then one does not let go of other prospects of squandering wealth on unnecessary stuff too. Come any important occasion in the home and all the lights, fans and air-conditioners are switched on even in rooms that aren’t inhabited by guests. Hundreds of tiny light bulbs spring forth draping the lawns, walls and ceilings not to mention the extra electricity being utilized by the stereo systems because they are operating much over the hearing range of a normal man. This ‘electravagancy’ can also be witnessed in one’s daily life in the form of televisions and laptops kept on throughout the day whether they are in use or not.

 in the Quran (Surah Al-Isra, Verse 27), the spendthrifts have been declared as brothers of Shayatin (devils) and the verse goes on to say that Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

Next comes our love for branded items whenever one visits the market place or mall. These include anything ranging from clothes and accessories, to even over-the-counter medications though generic versions of these items can be just as good while being lighter on the wallet. And the list goes on and on and on…..

We have been commanded by Allah not to waste our wealth in Surah Al-A’raf, Verse 31, “…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” In another place in the Quran (Surah Al-Isra, Verse 27), the spendthrifts have been declared as brothers of Shayatin (devils) and the verse goes on to say that Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

A Muslim should infact follow a middle path as depicted in the Quran, “And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.” (Al-Isra, verse 29)

 It is high time we stop blaming the height of poverty in our country only on the Government. A hefty fraction of the blame falls on us too. If even a portion of the money we waste could be spent on the well being of the under-privileged, a massive change can be brought about.

On the other hand, just a sneak peak at the conditions of the people on the opposite side of the story is enough to reduce a sympathetic person to tears. Millions and millions of our countrymen have, for years been living below the poverty-line and the last few months have witnessed an unprecedented rise in their number. One only has to take a drive on any of the main roads to experience the dilemma that has enveloped us. Children and disabled people begging for alms has become common sight. Hundreds of homeless with ragged clothes and bare feet can be found sheltering under tarpaulins or pieces of clothes on footpaths or snuggled up under blankets. Young boys digging through rubbish-dumps for any re-usable material and in some instances, even for leftovers depict a highly pitiable state.

It is high time we stop blaming the height of poverty in our country only on the Government. A hefty fraction of the blame falls on us too. If even a portion of the money we waste could be spent on the well being of the under-privileged, a massive change can be brought about. So the next time one sets out to buy something or call one’s friends over for a party, he should keep his fellow countrymen in mind and remember that wasting money is not only detrimental to one’s overall financial well-being; it is irresponsible and disliked by Allah too.