What Is Your Sacrifice?

                                                   Image Courtesy www.7-themes.com



When we say sacrifice, one of the prime issues that come into our minds- The sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) of his son Ismail (as).

May peace be upon them all and upon us. Ameen.

If we take a look at what happened- according to the narrations- the historic narrations and some of the Ahadeeth of RasulAllah (sa). It was a dream-an instruction to a Nabi of Allah (swt)- to Ibrahim (as) to do something that pleased Allah (swt). Although, it did not make sense to that man. But, he knew it was coming from Allah (swt). So, whether it made sense or not, he had to get that fulfilled because it was:

Wahi– a revelation.

It was from Allah (swt).

It was an instruction from the Maker.

There it was, and he planned to get that fulfilled.

He was instructed to sacrifice his son.

And, the upbringing of that particular son was such, that when he spoke to the son, the son said:

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’ Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

(As-Saffat 37:102)

This was the upbringing of the child. May Allah (swt) help us to give our children similar upbringing that when the decree of Allah (swt) is mentioned to them, they do not find it difficult to surrender to it. Ameen.

Today, we do not read Salah, and we expect our children to read Salah. We do not dress appropriately, and we are saddened when our children dress more indecently than us.

There are two ways, Insha’Allah to solve that matter. May Allah (swt) grant us a solution to that.

Ibrahim (as), when he went to fulfill the instruction of Allah (swt), Shaytan came to him. When Shaytan came to him, he pelted the devil on three occasions according to some narrations, and later on, he fulfilled this sacrifice.

Points to Ponder from Ibrahim’s (as) sacrifice

Every one of us is taught to engage in that sacrifice in one way or another, by the will of Allah (swt), not because it’s all about the festival of meat, and it’s all about enjoying eating. It’s not only that. Subhan’Allah.

The celebration is on the obedience of Allah (swt), and upon putting a knife between you and that which comes in the path of earning the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Let me share an example- what is the point of someone sacrificing a Ram at the time of Eid-ul-Adha yet, they have not put a knife to adultery they are committing for the last ten years.

What’s the point?

What is your sacrifice?

What have you put to an end in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt), from the sin that, you are committing?

A person lies every day, yet they want to slaughter animals and  enjoy the meat. But, brother your sacrifice is to cut your lies. Some people speak rough to their family members; they have no way of communication. They speak to their wives or sometimes the (women) speak to their husbands, or their children, or parents, or in-laws in such a rough way that they can only be pleasing the devil- yet they will come to you at the time of Eid-ul-Adha.

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak! Subhan’Allah

Eid is not only about greeting people, No!

It is a bigger, much bigger issue. It is the development of yourself- you celebrate upon the fact that you have put a knife to that, which was displeasing ALLAH (swt); or when it came in to the instruction of ALLAH (swt), you made sure that come what may- you adopted that instruction. May Allah (swt) grant us goodness.

We have people, who cannot give up pornography; but, when it comes to sacrifice they are quick to put the knife on the Ram, and say: ‘We sent twenty animals to Bangladesh, and we sent fifty animals to India, and we sent another five hundred to Africa, Masha’Allah! That is very good, but…What did you do about the animal within you? You have not yet slaughtered it. Allahu Akbar!

What about the pornography inside that you are so hooked to?

Cut it out my brothers and sisters, cut it out and see….How you will enjoy the sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha.

You are sacrificing something for the pleasure of  Allah (swt).

People have so much money. Some people have serious connection to false wealth that is not theirs. They want to use usurp wealth through robbery or deception, and they get happy about it- ‘Brother: I am a very rich man.’ How did you get your money? If you did it Halal, Alhumdulillah! We are happy for you. If not, put a knife to it! That money will not come about with any form of goodness. If we are not prepared to put a knife to it, then Subhan’Allah, how will we earn the pleasure of Allah (swt)?

This is one angle of looking at that sacrifice of Ibrahim (as)- what am I prepared to sacrifice to earn pleasure of Allah (swt). On one hand, Ibrahim (as) was instructed to do something that did not make sense to him, nor will it ever make sense to anyone of us.

Imagine, sacrifice your son!

Can it make sense to you? No!

Did it make sense to him? No!

But, it definitely was never a point of question, because he knew the source of the instruction. Once Allah (swt) said, Do this. He said: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا -‘we have heard it and we have obeyed it’

Whereas, we have light items to fulfill. No one has asked us to sacrifice our children, or do something barbaric in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt)- No!

But, it is the small things in our lives that we are not even prepared to look into. How then are we going to be able to sacrifice them?

Cut them out for the sake of Allah (swt).

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi







All messed up: There’s more to the picture

lightIt was early in the morning when X looked out of the large wooden window she was sitting in front of. The night that had just passed was something she feared would come again. Her room had already started to illuminate with the light of the rising sun, but she thought it was something she wouldn’t be able to experience in life. Things quite dark had happened to her, and she thought there was no one to help her stand up again. All this made her wonder if she could choose not to live.

What if in the midst of what X was going through, something could convince her not to do so? What if there was something more to the picture? What if there was something that could overpower her worries to finally leave her? If you think you had been having the same thoughts as X lately, for sure you need to know how the religion of Allah (swt) answers all such questions.

1. Why did it happen to me?

This life is a test, so we must always be ready to receive tribulations. True happiness will be granted to us, Insha’Allah, if we get past these tests with good grades; and we’ll be motivated to do that only if we desire for Jannah. In short, these trials are our chances to reach Jannah. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) has already told why Allah (swt) afflicts His servants with trials.

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta) that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “If Allah (swt) wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)

2. Khayr is there, look for it.

Each event that happens in our lives leaves us with some understanding which we couldn’t have acquired if it didn’t happen the way it did. Especially, the bad ones when pass, strengthen us to face bigger challenges. The finest steel does become what it is, after going through the hottest fire! A bird does learn to fly when its mother pushes it out of the nest. Until this doesn’t happen, it never knows it can fly. At the time of hardship, we can’t exactly see where the Khayr is. But, we all know our knowledge is limited, while indeed nothing is hidden from Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

3. You have the cure, use it!

What you have been given as a test by Allah (swt) is something that you can bear. This is Allah’s (swt) blessing on each one of us, which we should always be thankful for. You just have to gather yourself again by keeping in mind what Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)


4. Realized? Time to repent!

Many a times, people feel stuck because they know they’ve done wrong, and that it is the reason why they feel devastated. But, what they forget is that their Lord is Ar-Rahman. His forgiveness is beyond our imagination. Keeping this in mind, there remains no need to try to shut doors which have already been kept open!

Abu Sa’id ibn Sa’d ibn Malik ibn Sinan al-Khudri (rta) reported that the Prophet of Allah (sa) said: “Among those before you there was a man who killed ninety-nine people. He asked who was the most knowledgeable man in the world and was directed to a monk. He went to him and said that he had killed ninety-nine people and was repentance possible for him? The monk said, ‘No,’ so he killed him and made it a hundred. Then, he again asked who was the most knowledgeable man on earth and was directed to a man of knowledge. He said that he had killed a hundred people, so was repentance possible for him? The man said, ‘Yes, who can come between you and repentance? Go to such-and-such a land where there are some people worshipping Allah (swt, the Almighty. Worship Allah (swt) with them and do not return to your own country. It is an evil place.’ So he went and then, when he was half way there, he died. The angels of mercy and angels of punishment started to argue about him. The angels of mercy said, ‘He came in repentance, turning with his heart to Allah (swt) Almighty.’ The angels of punishment said, ‘He has not done a single good action.’ An angel came in a human form and they appointed him arbitrator between them. He said, ‘Measure the distance between the two countries and whichever one he is nearer to, that is the one he belongs to.’ They measured and found he was nearer to the land to which he was going, so the angels of mercy took him.” (Riyad As-Salihin)

5. Call Him, He is never engaged!

It takes us little time to realize how merciful our Lord is. Even though, He tests us with trials throughout our lives, He has blessed us with various ways to call Him for help. One may call on Him at any part of the day, but to call is what must be done!

6. Please Him, not them!

Many problems arise when an individual is unable to live up to other people’s expectations. Each one of us comes across numerous people in life each of whom has different likes and dislikes. No matter how hard a person tries, at the end of the day criticism still remains. This happens when one forgets what he was born for. To be precise, pleasing people was never our duty, but to only obey Allah (swt). This doesn’t mean we have to do nothing with people. But, whatever dealing that has to be with them is only what Allah (swt) has ordered us to do.

7. No pill, no kill- just chill!

Many may think committing suicide means putting an end to problems, but in reality it doesn’t.  Rather it creates problems even in the afterlife-the life which one will live forever.

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it, and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.” (Bukhari)

Why do bad things happen?

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

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

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

Cell beeps…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why do bad things happen?

Allah’s (swt) Plan

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

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

The soul detox

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

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

 A reminder

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

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

Wake-up call

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

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

Reliance is only on Allah (swt)

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

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

Things to remember when a calamity hits you down

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


win 7 home premium 64 bit product key
win 7 home premium key oem
win 7 home premium serial key 2014
win 10 professional key paypal
win server 2012 r2 essentials cd key
win 7 enterprise key cheap
win 10 ultimate activation code 2012
win 7 professional serial key 32 bit
win server 2012 essentials keygen
Office Outlook 2016
windows 7 activation key sale
windows 7 professional sp1 key
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise with SP2
windows 7 license key cheap
windows 7 enterprise product key code
windows 7 key cheapest
windows 10 activation keygen
windows 10 enterprise activation key download
Microsoft Office 2010
win 10 license key finder
win 8.1 pro genuine product key
win server 2008 genuine activation key
win server 2012 install cd key
win 8 standard key code
win 7 professional sp1 key oem
win 10 Home Basic to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
Office Visio Standard 2013
win 7 64 bit product key
win server 2012 r2 standard keygen
win 8 professional activation key 64 bit
win 8.1 professional 64 bit product key
win 7 enterprise x86 serial key
win 7 product key buy home premium
win 7 Ultimate
win 10 ultimate sp1 32 bit cd key
win server 2008 r2 standard key activation
win server 2008 32 bit cd key
win server 2008 r2 enterprise key 2012
win 8 standard activation key
win 7 home basic genuine key
win 10 cd key not valid
win 8.1 enterprise product key price
win 10 professional key cheap
win 7 enterprise activation key download
win 10 professional license key purchase
win 10 activation key purchase
win 8 license key sticker
win 8.1 pro dell oem key
win 8.1 pro cd key
win 7 home premium oem key asus
win 8 enterprise key shop
Office 2016
win 7 Home Premium to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
win embedded 8 standard key
win 10 home premium sp1 key original
Office Project Professional 2013 SP2
win 10 professional 64 bit product keygen
win server 2008 r2 original key
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter R2
windows server 2012 r2 essentials keygen
windows 8 enterprise key
windows 7 home cd key
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2013 (1PCs-2Year)
windows 10 ultimate serial key list
Norton Internet Security 2013 2 years/3 PC
windows 10 license key
windows 10 home premium sp1 key original
windows 8.1 enterprise x64 serial key
Windows 10 Starter to Home Premium Anytime Upgrade
windows server 2008 key
Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
windows 10 home premium sp1 key serial
windows embedded 8 standard key
windows 7 home premium key shop
windows 10 enterprise activation key download
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP2
windows 7 ultimate key cheap
windows 8 professional oem key
Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
Rosetta Stone German Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Set
Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate
windows 8.1 cd key list
Windows Vista to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
windows 7 professional product key activation code
windows 7 professional product key prices
Windows 10 Starter to Home Basic Anytime Upgrade
McAfee Total Protection 2013 (3PCs-2Year)
windows 7 home oem key
windows 7 home premium activation key oem
windows 7 enterprise serial key 64 bit
windows 7 home premium keygen 32 bit
windows server 2008 buy key
McAfee Internet Security 2013 (3PC-1Year)
windows 8 enterprise genuine key
windows 7 ultimate oem key 2012
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic With SP2
Windows 7 Enterprise SP1

Light at the end of the tunnel

light at the end of the tunnelDarkness had prevailed in her life; she wanted to get out of it, but it was complicated. As she tried to stand up, her surrounding didn’t let her do it. It discouraged her until she lost hope and her brain filled with complexity. She couldn’t blame anyone, as she was afraid of revealing her emotions to those who were busy in their lives; and they never noticed what her heart wanted to say.

“Neglect it! Neglect it!” it wasn’t a spoon-feeding job. Everyone has his own personality that possesses a packet of talent- which neither a teacher, nor the parents are aware of. It can only be obtained by trusting upon an individual.

Her talent was ordinary for others, but totally opposite in her perspective. As she believed that the greatest achievement of all is to do more than peoples’ expectations.

Taking this theory in her mind, she tried to expose that: ”Yes!! Something inside me brightens me up”, but she failed as she forgot that people couldn’t comprehend her feelings and thoughts correctly.

On the other hand, the fake friendships and then the deceitful people stabbing her back grabbed her attention. And, the talk which led her to lose her self-confidence made her life pathetic and miserable. She thought to be the worst terrestrial creature.

But, one day she saw a door through which she saw the rays of sun forming a circle around her and those rays were the message from Allah (swt) which made her realize what she really was. Then a reality struck her mind that this world is temporary, and the testing period will make her way easy to the Paradise. Hence, she welcomed those down phases, removed all the negativity, left behind everything and worked upon endurance and tolerance inside her. She bowed down to Allah (swt) who is omnipotent and omniscient. Still people think of her as an ordinary person, but she knows that Allah (swt) has endowed her with loads of qualities on which she is working, and preventing it from rusting by showing gratitude towards Allah (swt) Almighty Who is her light…the Brightest Light.

How to see the Silver Lining in your Situation?

silverliningAn individual’s perception is central in shaping a person’s behaviour and attitude. If we have a positive approach towards life, everything about ourselves- our conduct and behaviour becomes positively geared with respect to our perception. Likewise, if we have a negative outlook, everything in us becomes attuned to that only.

Everyone encounters ups and downs in his/her life. At times, it becomes hard to maintain a positive outlook; but it is crucial, since it not only affects us, our health, but also those around us.

Here are some tips that will, Insha’Allah, help us see the silver lining in a tough situation:

Human capacity is limited

Remember- no matter how much you try to avert a situation, your power is limited. Human agency is limited, and you are not held accountable and responsible for what is beyond your control. Be content with the knowledge that you did your best, and some things are beyond your control.

Count your blessings

Whether you are dealing with troublesome relatives or experienced the loss of a job- instead of viewing your losses with a sense of despair- breathe. Relax, sit back for a moment, and count the blessings that you have and express thankfulness for them. Allah (swt) says, “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Ibrahim 14:7)

Stop ‘comparing’ yourselves with others

A common pitfall nearly everyone falls prey to is that of ‘comparison’. Distance yourself from social media. Stop pursuing photos of immaculately dressed people, scrumptious food and expensive furniture. Comparing yourself and your situation to people who seem to ‘have it all’ is just going to end up making you feel worse about yourself. It won’t achieve anything. It’s unhealthy. The best comparison one can make is with one’s own self. Not everyone has the same rescores, opportunities or abilities.

Rephrase and reframe your situation

As mentioned earlier, perspective matters a lot. Rephrase, and reframe your worries in such a way that they do not remain worries, but mere challenges and obstacle to overcome. An ‘awful’ day becomes ‘challenging’, a ‘difficult’ person becomes a litmus ‘test’ for your patience.

Life is a test

Lastly, just remember that we have been sent in this world to get tested, so we can prove our mettle, our worth. Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Donot look upon your trials as a source of discomfort, but resolve to emerge through- stronger than before! You will encounter trials and tribulations every step of the way, but how you deal with them is what matters. View a hardship simply as a means of getting closer to Allah (swt) and strengthening your Iman.

May Allah (swt) guide us to success, in this world and the hereafter. Ameen.

Beyond imagination is the love of Allah (swt)

sunset9:30 a.m. April 7th, 2013

Her hands trembled as she opened her prayer mat. Amir’s words echoed in her ears as she closed her eyes, and called upon the Almighty. She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserved that! Why her out of all the people? She had wasted 25-twenty five glorious years of her life as a single parent raising 5-five kids. Five kids! No easy task. It was a roller coaster ride with more downs than ups. She went through a lot but came through. Came through to have what? What did she ever do to deserve that? Tears rolled down her cheeks as she whispered to her God.

She lived with her only son, Amir. Her daughters were married off and lived with their families. Her son was also married and had two sons of his own. Together, they portrayed a picture of a big happy family. Only she knew what she had to endure to get to that stage.  But she didn’t have any regrets. She was happy. She was content with what she had. She never complained. She never asked for more. Even though in her heart she knew she deserved more. She knew she was being tested and she strived to win. But what did she get after all those hard-spent years?

8:00 a.m. Dec 20th 2012


“Yes, Bhai? Assalamu alaikum.”

“Wa alaikumasalam Farzana, how are you and everyone else?”


“Did you get my email?”

“Yes Bhai, got it. I’m on it right now. Don’t worry. I’ll let you know in a week or so.”

“Ok, Ok. Take your time. I know you’re busy with your new job and all.”

“Yeah, but I’ll get it ready in a week.”

“Ok Farri, take care and give my love to the kids.”

9:40 a.m. April 7th 2013

She wanted to scream. She wanted to shout. But her lips were sealed. No words came out. Is this what it all ends up to? She survived mountains of miseries to get beaten by this? But this was the mother of all miseries, she must’nt forget. How was she going to survive this? She could feel the sweat trickle down her spine as she recalled the insult she was just put through. She wanted to talk to the Lord. She wanted to cry it all out. But she couldn’t. She had never felt so worthless in her life.

10:00 a.m. Dec 29th 2012

“Assalamu alaikum”

“Wa alaikumasalam Bhai. I was going to call you today.”

“Haha Farzana, that’s what you say every time I call you. So? Did you do the work?”

“Yes Bhai, almost done. It’s taking a lot more time than I thought it would. I didn’t imagine it would take so long.”

“Yes, it must be hard work. But consider it a great favour towards your brother.”

“Haha no Bhai, don’t take it wrong. I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m sorry that I can’t do it any quicker.”

“Take your time Farri. I don’t want you to rush through it. You doing that favour for me is a big help. Take care and give my love to the kids.”

9:50 a.m. April 7th 2013

She was in Sujud. Her whole body shook as she cried. She wasn’t weak. She wasn’t weak at all. She was as strong as a woman can be in this society- maybe even more! She didn’t let anything come between her and her kids’ well being. She met every obstacle headstrong. All she wanted in return was to have a peaceful life with her kids and grandkids- as the women of this society are brought up dreaming about. It was never in her slightest imagination that things would take such a bleak turn.

‘Why did You leave me like this?’ she whispered to her Lord, ‘is this how You reward me, pay me for all the sacrifices I made?’

This was not the woman she used to be. Today’s event showed her that she was the one meant to suffer from the beginning. No matter what she did, no matter how strong she became, she was still a weak woman meant to suffer in the hands of the men in her life. And this time that man was her own flesh and blood; her son, Amir.

9:30 p.m. Jan 23rd 2013

“Assalamu alaikum”

“Wa alaikum assalam Bhai.”

“Heard about your father in law’s death.”

“Yes bhai. It was so tragic. He was in such good health. It all happened in a week. The kids are all in a shock. They just can’t accept their Dada is no more with them.”

“Yes, it must be the hardest for kids. Give them some time. They’ll be ok.”

“Yes, Bhai. I had been so busy for the last two weeks, I just couldn’t work on the list Bhai.”

“Of course farri, I wouldn’t even worry about that now.”

“I know Bhai. I just feel so ashamed. You told me to do it such a long time ago and I still couldn’t do it.”

“Well, you will do it eventually right? So don’t worry about it.”

“Yeah Bhai, I’ll do it as soon as the kids get settled”

10:10 a.m. April 7th 2013

She no longer had any hope. Good deeds and sacrifices were of no worth in the eyes of God. She suffered all her life alone with 5-five little kids thinking she was being tested and once she proves herself, it will all be over. She’ll see better days. She didn’t lose hope even when her son couldn’t get a degree from a renowned university because she couldn’t afford it. She didn’t lose hope even when her son couldn’t get a good job because he didn’t have a fancy degree. She didn’t lose hope even when she was forced to live in a rundown apartment which she couldn’t afford to paint. She had hope that good days will come- but not anymore. God didn’t care about her. He had better things to do.

11:00 a.m. Feb 13th 2013

“I got your mail sis. It was such a big help!”

“I’m so sorry it took me so long. All I had to do was make a list of our relatives who were having a rough time here. It wasn’t so hard. I just couldn’t find time.”

“It’s all right. You did do it. That’s all that matters. Now all I have to do is send you the money. You’ll then have to make different envelopes of them and send them to the different addresses you’ve sent me. I’ll let you know how much to whom, Ok?”

“Ok, Bhai. And Bhai, I think it’s a very noble thing you’re doing- keeping record of all the less privileged in the family and sending them money. I think you’re doing an awesome job!”

“Thanks Farri, it’s the least I can do. On my last trip, I saw them living so miserably it broke my heart. I hope this money I send them each month makes up for the things I could’ve done while living there.”

“Yes, I’m sure they’ll all really appreciate it once they get the money.”

10:20 a.m. April 7th 2013

Why did she even think God would actually care about her? She was a nobody. God only cared for people who did big things for Him. She didn’t. All she did was raise five kids and somehow screwed up that too. Wasn’t God there when she was having a hard time feeding the kids with a low paying job as a house help? Didn’t God see how she struggled to get her daughters married off at the right time? Apparently not or He would’ve had some pity on her.

9:30 a.m. March 1st 2013

“Assalamu alaikum”

“Wa alaikum assalam, Farri. I’ve sent the money. You’ll get it in two days time. Then you’ll have to make separate envelopes and deliver the money. I’ve also sent you the email telling how much money to whom.”

“Ok Bhai. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”

“You just don’t know how much I appreciate what you’re doing Farri.”

“No Bhai, I’m doing it for myself. I want to make my contribution in this good work.”

“May Allah (swt) reward you for it.”

[To be continued Insha Allah…]

Trials and Tribulations

Photo credit: BarbaraWilli / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: BarbaraWilli / Foter / CC BY

Every human on this planet has to come across hardships in life. Not only us but also our ancestors had to face certain trials and tribulations. Some of us manage to go through difficult times by being patient, while others hand themselves over to depression. Some grieve over lost possessions, while others cry upon seeing their loved ones in pain. This is the principle of life that differentiates the believer from the hypocrite, steadfast from the shaky, and claimer from the doer. If man manages to know, why he is made to suffer, he will soon find out the reason behind his existence. This is the truth that most of us do not yearn to look for. This is the knot that we still need to untie by sparing sometime to think about us, and about our self!

Humans often do things that they once claimed not to do and vice versa. How many times it happens that we tell someone not to reveal our secret, yet we find people talking about us the next day? Students, at times, fix the date for a particular test with mutual agreement, and still they are not prepared for it on the fixed day. But, it is not a universal truth for all; as there are people who keep secrets and students who prepare for the test as planned. Same is the case with the believer who acts upon his/her own claims. The believer can only be a believer when by actions he/she displays his firm belief in Allah (swt) Almighty. Trials and tribulations befall us by the command of Allah (swt) Almighty to see if we truly believe in Him, as we claim.

Allah (swt) says, “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.” (Al-Ankabut 29:2)

From entering a medical college to getting a driver’s license, everybody has to go through a test, without which such goals cannot be achieved. Same is the case with a sports person, who practices all day long to have what he had wished for. In short, every achievement has its own criteria of eligibility. The one who manages to fulfill such criterion simply has it. We, humans, are also tested by Allah (swt), so that He would know, which one of us is righteous in deeds. The ones, who will ultimately manage to pass all the trials with patience and strong faith in Allah (swt), will, Insha’Allah, get the greatest reward – Jannah!

Allah (swt) says, And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

There is no doubt about the fact that we all will be tested. But what is more important to know is that the burden we will be subjected to would not be something unbearable.

There is no doubt about the fact that we all will be tested. But what is more important to know is that the burden we will be subjected to would not be something unbearable. This shows Allah’s (swt) mercy, as our Lord despite of testing us, creates ease for us.

Allah (swt) says, “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Allah (swt) Almighty, the Most Merciful, the Most Generous, has put before us examples of prophets to follow. The life of each prophet portrays a lesson for the believers. One can relate to their stories, while going through the walk of life. Hearing of trials and tribulations, prophet Ayoob’s (as) name comes to my mind. Allah (swt) Almighty tested him in everything that he had. He lost his children, wealth, health and even his closest friends. Yet, after going through such tests, he showed patience and prayed to Allah (swt). Regarding Ayoob (as), Allah (swt) says:

“And (remember) Ayoob (Job), when he cried to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Al-Anbiya 21:83-84)

Living and trying to face our problems with patience is better than giving it all away to depression. Especially, when we know that it is something, which we can handle. Burying our head in the sand to avoid danger would not change the reality. We are going to be tested when there is time for us to be tested. So, it is better to strengthen our Iman (faith) before that time comes. In order to increase our faith in Allah (swt) Almighty, we must increase our knowledge about Islam. And to do that, let’s just spare a few minutes from our busy lives learning about Islam, in order to nurture our soul and manage our highs and lows.

Trials as Blessings for the Believers

trials-and-tribulations“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).” (Al-Ankabut 29:2-3)

It is certain from the following verses of the Quran that Allah (swt) will test those who believed in one way or the other- as He tested the believers before. These tests may be in the form of hunger, loss of a loved one or health, or wealth as stated in the Holy Quran: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Why believers?

Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “This world is prison for a believer and heaven for the disbeliever.”

But why these tests are specified only for those who believe? What is the wisdom behind it?
Firstly, it is to check the level of their Iman – to make sure, whether they are strong enough to bear a calamity with an unwavering Iman; and secondly, to wipe out their sins – to purify them for the Akhirah.

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man or woman on himself, his child and his wealth until he meets Allah (swt) with no sin on him.” (Tirmidhi)

It was narrated by Anas (ra) that the Prophet (sa) said: “When Allah (swt) wills good for His slave, He hastens the punishment for him in this world; and when Allah (swt) wills ill for His slave, He withholds the punishment for his sins until he comes with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidhi)

Aisha (ra) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “The believer is not harmed by a thorn or anything greater, but Allah (swt) will raise him in status thereby, or erase a sin thereby.” (Muslim)

The wisdom behind testing the believers through trials and tribulations is that they are made to remember Allah (swt) on account of these adversities. This makes them accustomed to remember Him and keep their thoughts busy with Him. It is natural for the believers to seek and turn to Allah (swt) for help in adversities; while in the times of comfort they forget and neglect it. A believer’s heart only gets content and rest while he remembers Allah (swt) as it is stated in the Holy Quran: “Those who believe, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28)

How to deal with trials and tribulations?

Allah (swt) has stated in the holy Quran that the most powerful methods to bear calamities and trials are being patient and seeking help from Him through prayer.

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

Inspiration from the Prophets (as)

a) Prophet Adam (as)

Allah (swt) forbade Adam (as) to eat from the forbidden tree in paradise; but he got impatient and listened to Iblees. As a result, he gained Allah’s (swt) wrath and was sent down to earth. It took forty years of Dua and patience by Adam (as) to be forgiven.

b) Prophet Yusuf (as) and Yaqoob (as)

Prophet Yusuf (as) was sent to prison for the crime that he had not committed, but he remained patient and was released after several years; while, on the other hand, Yaqoob (as) met his son after the patience of thirty-four years.

c) Prophet Ayoob (as)

Prophet Ayoob’s (as) story is the most famous story of patience and forbearance. He remained patient during his illness, which lasted for eighteen years, and kept supplicating.

The reward for the patient ones

The trials and tribulations faced by the believers, who remain patient and rely on Allah (swt), never go un-rewarded. This is what Allah (swt) has promised in the Holy Quran:

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

“And be patient; verily, Allah loses not the reward of the good-doers.” (Hud 11:115)

May Allah (swt) place us among the patient believers, to whom Allah (swt) has promised greater rewards. Ameen.

Key to Productivity: Bowing to the Will of Allah (swt)

dawnIn the life of this world, we have countless matters and desires to deal with. When we believe in one God, we have this faith that whatever good or bad happens to me (us) is from Allah (swt). No human being or any other creature on this earth has the right or power to benefit me or harm me. This is the crystal clear Islamic belief, find and accept it straight.

When most of us start practicing, we focus more on ‘apparently bright sides’ and forget the ‘apparently dark sides’ of believing and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt).

Now empathize with these situations:

  • What if you are a Muslim who prays five times a day, who does Dawah and other virtuous activities; but Allah (swt) makes your son die, who was born after twelve years of marriage? Imagine your son was almost one year old and he just started playing with you well.
  • What if you are extremely ugly in the eyes of people? You do not meet the criteria of world beauty. Your body is fat, complexion is black and height is extra-large; hence you are labeled ‘ugly’. But do you still believe in God and His love for you, is that the case?
  • What if your age is perfect for marriage and everyone in your circle who is getting married makes you feel low, that you are deprived and a loser. Deep down in your heart, you are struggling to maintain chastity and wondering, ‘what is the will of Allah (swt)?’ Isn’t it the right time for the acceptance of all your Duas?
  • What about the little sinless children who die in disasters like earthquakes, wars, floods etc. Hearts ache and eyes weep on all this, but a Muslim surrenders to the will of Allah (swt), right? Ya Salam!
  • When everyone else is having a good time with their parents, enjoying being pampered by their parents’ love and affection, but you, just at the age of fifteen, are burying your father.

Will of God? Good for You?

What does Allah (swt) want? Your heart shrieks, eyes weep and brain questions. Do people make you feel extremely low? Do they make you feel deprived and less-privileged with zero self-respect?

Why is it so:

  • that Allah (swt) loves His Prophet Muhammad (sa) but He made his parents die, when he was too young?
  • That Allah (swt) gave beauty to Hazrat Yusuf (as), but he was put into problems by women because of the same beauty? Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

Oh dear people, who are entering into Islam and who have started practicing it – make sure that you train your body and mind for both sides. Wake up from dreams and fantasies that our whims and desires will be accepted because we are the best people on earth.

Yes! You’re the best but Allah’s (swt) will is the wisest.

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer.” (Ash-Shuara 42:11)

We cannot compare Allah (swt) with any of His creations. He (swt) is beyond comparison and most of us cannot comprehend the wisdom behind matters.

In the story of Musa (as) and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf, we get to know that the child was killed, because his life would have proven to be a Fitnah for his parents.

What if your child, whom you are crying for, would have deviated you from the path of Allah (swt) and let you die as Kafir? We just surrender before the decree of Allah (swt) because we know that all this is happening for best!

Allah (swt) has not over-pressurized us. He knows we are weak, which is why we are allowed to grieve for three days and nights for those who die.

Hadeeth states: Once Hazrat Sa’d Bin Ubadah became ill, and the Prophet (sa) went to see him; he was moved to tears on seeing the pitiful situation of his companion and said: “Allah (swt) does not punish because of tears, nor because of grief, but he punishes because of this” – and he pointed to his tongue. (Bukhari)

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az-Zumar 39:10)

We need to believe that life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Read out loud: life lies ahead of this Dunya!

What did I say? Life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials. This world is but a temporary abode.

As a Muslim, we need to be mature and help our fellow Muslims to stay grateful and calm. One easy way is to not show-off the blessings you have; so that those whom Allah (swt) has not given those things, will not feel bad and stay grateful.

This world is a deception – tests and trials are a reminder for good

Moreover, have this clear in your mind that afflictions are not a sign that you are a loser or Allah (swt) wants to do bad with you! No, Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and the patient ones, and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).” (Muhammad 47: 31)

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials.

Sheikh As-Sadi (ra) said: “That is don’t extend your eyes out of amazement and don’t keep looking out of approval at what people are enjoying of worldly gains- such as tasty food and drink and fancy clothing and adorned homes and beautified women; for all that is from the splendor of worldly life which the souls of deceived ones rejoice over, and which the eyes of the negligent are amazed, and which the wrongdoers enjoy – without thinking of the hereafter. Then it all passes by quickly and disappears and kills those who love and adore it; and they regret at a time when regret is of no benefit. Then when come forward at the time of Resurrection, they will know what they were upon and that Allah (swt) had only placed it as a trial and test, to see who would be deceived by it as opposed to who would be better in deed as the Exalted says (what means):

“Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. (i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s (swt) sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet (sa))” (Al-Kahf 18:7)

Article based on: http://islamqa.info/en/178673 and http://islamqa.info/en/71236

Pearls of Peace – An Extract from Surah Taubah

perla negraWe now begin Surah At-Taubah. Since it begins with the mention of Allah’s (swt) anger and wrath, we notice that unlike other Surahs it does not begin with Bismillah. May Allah (swt) not deprive us of His mercy and forgiveness. Ameen.

Be cautious – this world deceives

Again, there is a reminder to not to get deceived by the treasures of this world such as wealth and children. He says, So let not their wealth or their children amaze you (O Muhammad (sa)); in reality Allah’s Plan is to punish them with these things in the life of the this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers.” (At-Taubah 9:55) May Allah (swt) make our wealth and children a source of comfort for us and means for entering Jannah. May these blessings don’t pave our way to destruction. Ameen.

Beware of mocking Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa)

Then there is a warning against mocking Allah (swt), His Messenger (sa) and His verses. The hypocrites would come in Prophet’s (sa) gathering, give their verbal acknowledgement to whatever they learnt and when they met each other in private, they would confess their disagreement. Each time that happened, Allah (swt) would reveal their true condition to Prophet (sa). Sometimes, we receive jokes about heaven and hell, the angels and other matters of the Unseen. We read them and laugh with our friends and family. Allah (swt) says, “If you ask them (about this), they declare: We were only talking idly and joking. Say: Was it at Allah, and His verses (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger (sa) that you were mocking?” (At-Taubah 9:65)

This is not something to be taken casually; read what Allah (swt) says next about such people, “Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimun (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.)” (At-Taubah 9:66) Such a person is out of the folds of Islam. A Muslim leads a conscious life; he doesn’t get carried away by what’s happening around him. Delete such a message and reply them back with this verse. It could be that they don’t even know this verse is there in the Quran.

Heedfulness or hypocrisy?

Among the many traits of hypocrites, one is that they will not leave anyone without defaming and ridiculing him in all circumstances, even those who give away charity. If, for instance, someone gives away a large amount, the hypocrites say that he is showing off. If someone gives away a small amount, they say that Allah (swt) stands not in need of this man’s charity. Al-Awfi narrates from Ibn Abbas (ra) that one day while the Prophet (sa) was collecting charity, a man brought a Sa’ of dates (a small measure of food grains). He said, “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! This is a Sa’ of dates. I spent the night bringing water and earned two Sa’ of dates for my work. I kept one Sa’ and brought you the other Sa’.” The Prophet (sa) ordered him to add it to the charity. The hypocrites standing their commented that Allah (swt) and His Messenger are not in need of such small charity. What benefit could it bring? After that, came a rich man who wanted to give four thousand Dirhams in the way of Allah (swt). About him the hypocrites said that he gave this much amount to show off. It is the characteristic of Allah (swt) that He exposes those who lie and defame His righteous believers.

Hence this verse was revealed, “Those who defame such of the believers who give charity (in Allah’s Cause) voluntarily, and those who could not find to give charity (in Allah’s Cause) except what is available to them, so they mock at them (believers), Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and they shall have a painful torment.” (At-Taubah 9:79) A small or huge contribution does not matter. What matters is the person’s sincerity and that his wealth was earned from Halal means.

Sincerity in charity

Talking about sincerity, sometimes when we want something, we passionately make Dua and put a condition in it. We say, “O Allah (swt)! If such and such happens, I will be regular in my prayers,” or “I will give some particular amount in charity.” You know what is better than this? That we make ourselves punctual in our prayers and gave Sadaqah out of our willingness rather than putting a condition on it. Why treat Allah (swt) like a baby who you can trick with a candy for getting some work done? Allah (swt) says, “And of them are some who made a covenant with Allah (saying): If He bestowed on us of His Bounty, we will verily, give Sadaqah (Zakat and voluntary charity in Allah’s Cause) and will be certainly among those who are righteous. (At-Taubah 9:75). Know that if one can cheat their Maker, they can cheat anyone. May Allah (swt) forgive us and correct what is wrong within us. Ameen.

Zakat – an obligatory charity

Allah (swt) says, “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (At-Taubah 9:103) This command is about the obligatory charity that is Zakat. Zakat is a means for purification and increment of one’s wealth. Therefore, do not be stingy with your Zakat. How can we protect ourselves from the Fitnah of stinginess? By knowing that the wealth that Allah (swt) has given us is not ours to keep. He gave us this wealth so that we could spend it in His cause, helping the needy and the poor. Note that in the verse, the Prophet (sa) has been instructed to make Dua after collecting the Zakat. What does this teach us? It teaches us that when one is collecting donations or charity, he should make Dua for the well-being of donor. The Prophet (sa) prayed in the following words:


بَارَكَ اللهُ لَكَ فِيمَا أَمْسَكْتَ وَفِيمَا أَعْطَيْت

“May Allah bless you for what you kept and what you gave away.” (Ibn Katheer) Such a statement will act as a reassurance for the donors and encourage them to contribute in future as well. Insha’Allah.

Levels of believers

Now we learn about the levels of believers, Allah (swt) says, “And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:100) Look at their honour. We need to be very careful about what we say about the Companions and the righteous slaves of Allah (swt). We must ask Allah (swt) to bless us with the company of His righteous servants, so that we may aspire to raise our status in the Hereafter, Insha’Allah. Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” (At-Taubah 9:119)

One is known by the company he keeps. It either guarantees one peace or snatches it away. However, good company promises goodness. An evil company only increases us in evilness. Reflect on your social circle. Are they bringing you closer to Allah (swt) or only distancing you further? If it’s the latter, do not be shy to break away from them or at least maintain minimal contact. Your Iman and Hereafter is more important than anything else in this fleeting world.

Diversity in Ummah

Then we learn about the diversity in Ummah, “And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).” (At-Taubah 9:122) Some people will go out to fight. Some will stay back to teach Quran and matters of religion. This is a great encouragement, especially for the women. Women sometimes feel their task is limited to raising children and managing the house. Allah (swt) has honoured women greatly with these responsibilities. The little Momins, Insha’Allah, will be tomorrow’s scholars and soldiers of Islam. By staying at home, you can focus on your association with the Quran, learn it, live by it and teach it to others. In Islam, no one’s role is insignificant. We make it trivial only by our thoughts. Change your thinking and reflect on your skills: How can I contribute in Allah’s (swt) way.

We have been talking about the certainty of tests in one’s life; in Surah At-Taubah Allah (swt) gives us reminders regarding afflictions. He says, “See they not that they are tried once or twice every year (with different kinds of calamities, disease, famine, etc.)? Yet, they turn not in repentance, nor do they learn a lesson (from it)” (At-Taubah 9:126)

Why does Allah’s (swt) test us?

The purpose is that a person may draw himself closer to Allah (swt). There is nothing more that Allah (swt) appreciates than a servant being engaged in Astaghfar. Astaghfar does not mean that you are a sinful person. The Prophet (sa), who was the best being ever lived on the earth, used to seek Allah’s (swt) forgiveness 70 – 100 times a day.

Allah (swt) describes His Prophet (sa)

As we are talking about Muhammad (sa), let’s see how Allah (swt) describes him, “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad (sa)) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad (sa)) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire), for the believers (he (sa) is) full of pity, kind, and merciful.” (At-Taubah 9:128)

Here we need to ask ourselves three questions:

  1. Are we kind and merciful to one another?
  2. Do we grieve over the sufferings of one another?
  3. Are we concerned about one another?

Again we are reminded of good conduct. If others do not reciprocate kindness then say, “Hasbiya Allahula ilaha illa huwa alayhi tawakkaltu wa huwa rabbu al-arshi al-atheem (Allah is sufficient for me. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.)” Surah At-Taubah ends at this Dua. These words should be part of our daily remembrance of Allah (swt).

May He open up our hearts and minds to give Him our very best. Ameen.

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

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Anfal

Akoya_pearlQualities of a believer

Right in the beginning of this Surah, Allah (swt) describes the qualities of a true believer. He says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” (Al-Anfal 8:2) May Allah (swt) strengthen our Iman. Ameen.

These are those who say, “I have tried my best. Rest is all in the Hands of Allah (swt).” And they are content with that. Their other qualities are: “Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them.” (Al-Anfal 8:3) We need to check ourselves. Do we have these qualities within us? If yes, then Allah (swt) says, “It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).” (Al-Anfal 8:4) May He grant us Paradise and bless us with all the qualities of the true believers. Ameen.

Honouring claims and contracts

He then says, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him (i.e. Messenger Muhammad (sa)) while you are hearing. And be not like those who say: We have heard, but they hear not.” (Al-Anfal 8: 20-21) Several times during the day, we recite Surah Al-Fatihah, and beseech Allah (swt) to show us the right path. When the right path is shown to us, we turn away. Allah (swt) says when the message has reached you; when you have been informed what is right and what is wrong, then do not turn away. Do not become of those who claim we are the followers of Muhammad (sa). But when a command of Allah (swt) comes, they cannot be bothered to act upon it.

Once again we are reminded about the virtue of honouring contracts, Allah (swt) says, “O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know (the consequence).” (Al-Anfal 8:27) Marriage is a contract similar to business contract. By being Muslim, you naturally become an ambassador of Islam. Do not bring a bad repute to Islam because of your behaviour. Many people do not want to engage with the Muslims because of their deceit and clandestine behaviour.

Stay honest with entrusted responsibilities

“O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you).” (Al-Anfal 8:28) Your wealth and children are a test from Allah (swt). He can take them away whenever He desires. They are not yours; you have only been entrusted with their responsibility. He may never bless you with wealth and children; He may bless you with wealth but not give children; He may bless you with children but deprive you of wealth or He may give them both to you and then take them away during your lifetime or after you are gone. This is a great reminder to not get attached to that which in reality belongs to Allah (swt). He can snatch it any moment.

All belongs to Allah (swt)

When an attachment is snatched away, a person loses his peace of mind and contentment. He complains and grieves for his loss. He utters ungrateful words. And when that happens his Iman begins to diminish. May Allah (swt) strengthen us and help us accept that we will suffer loss in this world.

Taqwa – The key to right decisions

In life, we are faced with miscellaneous decision-making. We wish we had a counsellor that we could consult with; Allah (swt) says, “O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan (a criterion to judge between right and wrong, or Makhraj, i.e. making a way for you to get out from every difficulty), and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the Owner of the Great Bounty.” (Al-Anfal 8:29) What do we learn from this? The only thing required to make the right decision is Taqwa. If we are conscious of Allah (swt), He will grant us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Insha’Allah.

It’s either my way or the highway

This brings us to another important matter – in fact a great Fitnah of our times. Everyone is disagreeing with the other. The ideology is: if you do not follow my belief, then you have clearly gone astray. This continuous fighting has divided the Ummah immensely. Many people don’t come near the religion because they cannot understand who is right and who has deviated. Allah (swt) says, “And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (Al-Anfal 8:46)

The enemies are rejoicing as the Muslims fight among themselves. Let us reflect on our behaviour, be forgiving and reduce the distances between the Ummah.

We notice that in the Quran, the reminders for prayer and obligatory charity are frequently mentioned. It is because reminders benefit the believers. Each time we are reminded, we learn something new.

Consistency is the key

Allah (swt) loves those acts of worship which are done consistently. Doing them strengthens our Iman. And abandoning them can have serious implications on our heart’s condition. If you are content with worshipping and obeying Allah (swt), then you are among those who have understood their purpose in life; and know where they are heading to.

Test or punishment?

As Allah (swt) says in verse 53 of Surah Al-Anfal that He will not change a favour which He has bestowed upon His people; unless they change what was given to them. When that happens, then people deserve the gifts to be taken away. Having said that, we should remember that sometimes taking away of the favours is a test, instead of a punishment. How can one distinguish between a test and a punishment? Your heart’s condition will tell you. If your heart remains content and you say “Alhamdulillah” even in adversity, then Allah (swt) intends to increase your status by this test. On the other hand, if a calamity distances you from Allah (swt), then it could be His punishment. May Allah (swt) forgive and protect us. Ameen.

How can we nurture contentment in our hearts?

Let go of disputes and disagreements and forgive people. Look at what Allah (swt) says about confrontation with enemies, “But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Al-Anfal 8:61) Allah (swt) is asking us to make peace with the enemies if they give up fighting too.

Opt for a ceasefire; this initiative will bring you peace

If there’s someone who has had an estranged relationship with you, and he now wants to mend it, then hasten to make peace with him. It is a sign of a good believer that he is the first one to apologize and forgive. Keep forgiving others and keep your heart calm. You might want to deal with that person differently, but do forgive them. “And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers.” (Al-Anfal 8:62)

If they deceive you after making peace, then make Dua for them instead. Because Dua has the power to alter conditions. And in this we have the best example of Prophet (sa). When two greatest enemies of Islam were creating hurdles for him, he made Dua for the softness of their hearts so that either of the two would come and work for Islam. Reflect on this Dua.

Truly Muhammad (sa) was the mercy for mankind. Within moments we hear Umar ibn Al- Khattab (ra) has embraced Islam. Subhan’Allah! See the power of Dua? One of the mightiest opponents of Islam became one of the strongest proponents of Islam. A seemingly impossible situation was made possible. May Allah (swt) grant us all the strength that Umar (ra) was blessed with. Ameen. Continue making Dua and you will witness the fruit.

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

The Purpose of Life

purposeThese four words probably come to every human being’s mind regardless of religion, creed or caste. They are the motivating factors for the conversion of many non-Muslims. These words are what make us the best of creation. They make us ponder over the creation and the Creator. Furthermore, they make us realize that we were not created for mere play. The purpose of our life is not to get a job, marry, have children, grandchildren and then retire. Our purpose, our goal, our destiny is something higher. It is to gain the pleasure of our Creator and to return to our home, Jannah.

These words are what make us the best of creation. They make us ponder over the creation and the Creator. Furthermore, they make us realize that we were not created for mere play.

There comes a point in our life when we realize we are tired, tired of doing the exact same things every day. Things that are utterly useless, things that do not take us anywhere. We realize that life has lost its joy and contentment. If you haven’t felt it till now, you will feel it someday because Allah has put it in our Fitrah. You will lie on your bed, look at the ceiling and wonder why you were created, how you were created, how you will die, where you will end up and so on. Yes, we have all heard about heaven and hell but have we ever thought about it, about our real and eternal home? Have we ever desired going there? The answer for most of us is no. This is not surprising as the pleasure of life has so encompassed us that we do not desire anything higher. We have lost our vision, our belief.

However the people who have thought about the purpose of life, know that your Creator did not just create you. He is not just a Khaaliq. He is also a Rabb, the one who maintains, the one who holds you together, the one who loves you. He has sent you with an instruction manual and a role model, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (sa). Allah clearly says in the Quran in Surah Al-Mulk, Ayah 2 “Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.”

He again says in another place “And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).”(Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

The idea of a life without purpose sounds crazy. Allah expresses this in the Quran by saying,

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Al Muminun 23:115)

Our work starts here. We have to go on a Holy Quest. We have to search for the purpose. It is not hard, just one sincere prayer for guidance can lead you to the truth if He wills. Our Lord wants us to find him, to know him. Your desire to know the right path is enough for him to bring you to it, know that you just have to take the first step, He will cover the rest.