The Alchemy of Happiness

6 alchemy of happiness

Imam Al-Ghazali – Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic of Persian descent

The alchemy of happiness is a guide to transform the essence of man from baseness to the purity of the angelic state. This transformation is through increasing one’s knowledge of Allah (swt). However, before you can begin to know Allah (swt), you must first know yourself. This starts with the understanding of a human being’s two distinct components:

  • The body
  • The heart (the spiritual heart)

There are five steps to understand the heart:

  1. Recognize its existence.
  2. Know its true nature: The heart works to seek happiness through the knowledge of Allah (swt), which it acquires through the knowledge of Allah (swt)’s creation.
  3. The body is a kingdom: The body is a kingdom and within it, the limbs and organs are its workers.
    1. Appetite is the tax collector;
    2. Anger is the policeman;
    3. Intellect is the Chief Minister;
    4. The heart is the king.

The body is in a constant spiritual struggle between being held captive by appetite and anger and using them as a weapon to attain spiritual fulfillment. If the heart acts at the advice of the intellect and keeps appetite and anger under control, a part of happiness will be made accessible. But if the intellect becomes a prisoner of anger and appetite, the kingdom will become desperate, and the heart will be destroyed.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine

Is Allah (swt) Happy with Me?

How can a believer tell that Allah (swt) is happy with him? Is there any sign?

If a person is doing what pleases Allah (swt), then he or she should feel that He is happy with him or her; otherwise, what was the point of Allah (swt) telling us to do what pleases Him? We don’t have to wait for any divine sign like a bolt of lightning from the heaven, stars, and so on. It is enough to know and feel certain that we are doing what pleases Allah (swt).

How does Islam describe happiness? Are there any examples from lives of the Sahabahs? Does our present-day definition of happiness differ from that of Islam?

Happiness is when we experience a state of emotional and spiritual satisfaction or pleasure, which is the ultimate happiness. We know from the lives of the Sahabahs that they were happy in the presence of the Prophet (sa). They were happy even in giving away their lives, when needed, for Allah’s (swt) pleasure.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

[Infograph] Ramadan Prep

As Ramadan draws near, hiba presents an exclusive Ramadan prep infograph. The information in this infograph is taken from Shahr-u-Ramadan by Dr. Farhat Hashmi. Designed for hiba by Urooj Khan.

Click to enlarge


Path to Jannah; Path of Knowledge!

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

‘Dwelling in a magnificent palace made up of gold and silver bricks. Reclining on jeweled couches upholstered with rich brocade. Amidst lush green gardens with abundance of fruits at an easy reach. Rivers flowing underneath. Living with chaste and bashful spouses, so beautiful as though they were rubies and corals. Served by energetic youths with goblets of pure wine that will neither pain your head nor inebriate you.’

Subhan’Allah, what a royal reception! What sheer fascination!

That is where the ultimate success lies. That is the true definition of victory according to Allah (swt): Jannah!

“..And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).” (Al-Imran 3:185)

Do you really crave for Jannah as you crave for worldly wealth, property and success? Are you really eager for it? And, do you actually want to know the shortest and easiest route to getting there?

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“For he who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah (swt) will make the path of Jannah easy. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon over the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the prophets who bequeath neither Dinars nor Dirhams but only knowledge; he who acquires it has, in fact, acquired an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi) What an honour and prestige!

There are innumerable paths to get to this Land of Eternal Bliss; and one such path is that of seeking knowledge.

Do you really crave for Jannah as you crave for worldly wealth, property and success? Are you really eager for it? And, do you actually want to know the shortest and easiest route to getting there?

Knowledge is the cornerstone of all good; it enkindles deeds that are based on the commandments of Allah (swt) and the instructions of the Prophet (sa). Therefore, those who have knowledge are not similar to those who do not.

Hence, every Muslim must ingrain in his mind a desire to seek knowledge as our beloved Prophet (sa) said:

“Seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (Tirmidhi)

When a servant of Allah (swt) is well-versed about the knowledge of His Deen, he recognizes and truly appreciates the creation of Allah (swt); thus, wholeheartedly acknowledging His Oneness. This, in return, generates in his heart a fear, which is akin to a sincere gratitude and love of his Lord.

“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah…” (Fatir 35:28)

The Messenger of Allah (sa) constantly praised the seekers of knowledge amongst his companions. He would make Dua for a person indulged in this route. Ibn Masood (rta) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say:

“May Allah (swt) freshen the affairs of a person who hears something from us and communicates it to others exactly as he has heard it (i.e., both the meaning and the words), for it may be that the recipient of knowledge understands it better than the one who has heard it.” (Tirmidhi)

He (sa) further said:

“Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah (swt) gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully; and a man to whom Allah (swt) gives knowledge which he applies and teaches.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

When a person dies, his chances of attaining rewards come to a halt except for three things.

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity); knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” (Muslim)

“Knowledge which is beneficial” refers to knowledge that is imparted to others. The deceased continues to earn rewards for the knowledge he acquired as long as those whom he taught implement it and transmit it to others.

We need the knowledge of Quran to perfect our Ibadah. We need the knowledge of Quran to establish truth and justice; freedom and dignity.  We need it to get ourselves closer to our Lord, know His true value, and worship Him in the best possible way.

Then only may we be amongst the inheritors of Al-Firdaws Al-Ala, Insha’Allah.

How to deal with Peer Pressure?

peersHijab leads to an Abaya!  A 19-nineteen year old was surprised to see herself,and soon, the whole college was talking about her. Fatima was scared to face her friends.

Peer pressure is not a recent phenomenon; it is as old as history itself. All the prophets and their descendants faced all kinds of peer pressure. Hence, if you are facing such a thing in your life, you should be bold enough to carry it rightly and be on your straight path.

One should adopt the following rules to handle peer pressure.

1. Keep your vision upright and feed your faith

People love to talk aimlessly, and especially, when it comes to religion, they have their own golden rules and principles of understanding. Usually, they interpret rules which benefit them. Regarding Hijab, they’ll say it’s not necessary to cover your body and that one should be modest at heart.

Hijab- Gone by the wind

People totally alter the concept of basic modesty in Islam.  Thus, keep feeding your faith by:

  • Working on your relationship with Allah (swt).
  • Plug-in yourself with Quran and Sunnah

2.  Uplift your identity

The major cause of peer pressure is that we do not have a secure Muslim identity, which results in lack of knowledge about the rules in Deen. Therefore, learn about Seerah and lives of our predecessors for better acknowledgement of Deen.

3. Take lessons from those who are steadfast on Deen

Be in the company of those who practice Deen with great zeal and enthusiasm. As it is said: “The best of you are those who repent.”
So, try to be with those who can help you in moral uplifting.

4. Friends with ever-lasting benefits

Friends are the real asset. Try to be friends with those who can help you become a better Muslim.

If your friends make you feel out dated with respect to your vision about Deen, and give you grief for your beliefs- so that is their problem. All you have to do is:

  • to bail out
  • avoid their gatherings

5. Seek Allah’s (swt) help

You cannot attain anything in this life against Allah’s (swt) Will; hence, keep asking for His help and mercy, so that you can find your way easily.

  • Make Dua for complete Hidayah
  • Get down in prostration and pray for Istaqamah

6. No complains

You cannot get Jannah easily. Hurdles are always there; all you need is to act firm on your beliefs and work to gain Allah’s (swt) love. Therefore, be positive and build up your nerves to stay courageous in all circumstances.

7.  Ignore criticism and mockery

Follow the Sunnah of forgiveness, and you will be straight on your path; ignore insulting actions of ignorant people and make Dua for them.

8. Keep yourself cool

To keeping oneself cool is one of the most difficult tasks- especially, when the other half of the world is busy in making you lose control. But being a good Muslim, it’s our duty to stay calm. Allah (swt) and Prophet Muhammad (sa) love those who remain quiet at hard times.

Try to be positive and optimistic in every aspect of life; and never lose your focus just because of what others will think of you.There will be no one who will save you from the fire of Hell, except Allah (swt).

Lessons on Parenting from Umm Ammarah (ra)

flower-blooming-drawing-picture-VFqaA Strong Mother

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) defence of Islam did not end with the Prophet’s (sa) passing away; when the Fitnah (trial) of apostasy emerged, she pledged her support to Abu Bakr (ra). He acknowledged that she was indeed a strong and daring woman; hence, allowed her to join the Muslim forces fighting the apostate Musalymah Kathab.

The Battle of Yamamah was the toughest battle that the Muslims faced. Musalymah had gathered a large army and was confident that he will wipe off Islam. They plan and Allah (swt) plans too, and Allah (swt) is the Best of the planners.

Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son, Habeeb (ra) was captured by Musalymah’s forces. Musalymah asked him if he testified Muhammad (sa) to be the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied in affirmation. Musalymah then asked if he testified that he (Musalymah) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. Again Musalymah asked if he believed Muhammad (sa) was the Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) again replied in affirmation. Musalymah then repeated his question about his being a Prophet of Allah (swt). Habeeb (ra) replied that he could not hear. The show went on for some time and Habeeb (ra) remained firm in his replies.

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions.

Furious, Musalymah ordered body mutilation. With each limb being cut, Habeeb (ra) was asked the same questions and the heroic boy repeated the same answers until he died.

Musalymah was later assassinated by none other than Habeeb’s (ra) brother Abdullah Ibn Zayd (ra).

The Zayd family was not only skilful in the battlefield, but Umm Ammarah’s (ra) son Abdullah (ra), and many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the narrators of the Prophetic traditions. They were equally passionate about acquiring and transferring knowledge, as they were about defending the Prophet (sa) in the field.

Lessons: Abu Bakr (ra) did not oppose Umm Ammarah’s (ra) request to join the army because he had witnessed how skilful she was. When someone does not assign us a role, we blame the person and call him biased. But have we ever assessed our skills? Have we focused on developing ourselves and complaining less about people or our circumstances? A person who is able does not have to beg for attention, his work speaks for him.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons.

Umm Ammarah (ra) was sixty years old, but not even for a moment did she think of what use she could be. How many times have we limited ourselves or allowed others to restrict our potential? How many excuses do we have for staying behind in the service of Islam? What is our life’s mission?

Umm Ammarah (ra) did not raise her children in comfort and luxuries. She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children. It was this upbringing that made her children fearless. The entire family had one common goal: striving in the cause of Allah (swt), no matter what sacrifice it demanded. This was the family that truly lived by the verse: “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists)” (Al-Anam 6:162)

She did not reserve the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for herself alone. Rather, she transferred it to her children.

When her son got injured in the field, she attended to his wounds, and told him to get up and fight the enemy. When she was attacked, her sons defended her and dressed her wounds. When the news of her son’s disfigurement reached her, she was calm because she knew Allah (swt) had purchased the lives of the believers in exchange for Paradise. She was not attached to the world. She knew their real home was in the hereafter.

Her tranquillity was displayed in her words when the news of Habeeb’s (ra) mutilation reached her, and she said for this day she had raised her sons. How would have we reacted? How do we react to daily news of violence? How are we raising our children?

Umm Ammarah (ra) loved studying the Quran and Ahadeeth, and taught her children the same. Their love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) was so pure that Allah (swt) chose from them Hadeeth narrators. Do our children know who Allah (swt) is, who the Prophet (sa) was, what his Sunnah is, and how much he cried for us? Is their love for Allah (swt) and His Beloved (sa) apparent in their conduct? Is our Dawah limited to the people ‘outside’ our homes?

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

Jameelah Umm Saad (ra) and her relationship with the Quran

quill-and-scrollWhile Allah (swt) honoured women, we seem to bring our ladies down by limiting their choices. While Allah (swt) instructs equal treatment, we differentiate between our sons and daughters. One such example is: aspiring for our sons to be scholars of Islam and memorisers of the Book of Allah (swt), but we do not choose the same for our daughters. They are to walk the same, regular, boring path that many women have followed for years.

Today, as many means of acquiring knowledge open up, it is delightful to see women setting up their bars high. Disregarding their age and time constraints, women are taking the initiative to learn the Book of Allah (swt). Taking a step further, some have even dared to undertake the intimidating journey of memorising the Quran. If for some reason they are unable to do it themselves, they are helping and encouraging their daughters to do so.

Hafidha Quran

As per the custom of Arabia, the good friends and close relatives took care of their beloved’s family if he died. Umm Saad (ra), the child that never got to see her father was not abandoned. The daughter of the benevolent servant of Allah (swt) was looked after by another generous man – none other than Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (ra).

Many parents fear what will become of their children if they die. Stories of the Companions (ra) and the righteous, tell us that if you are a God-fearing person, Allah (swt) will not forsake your children. Entrust your children and your matters to Him, while living a life of obedience and servitude.

Many parents fear what will become of their children if they die. Stories of the Companions (ra) and the righteous, tell us that if you are a God-fearing person, Allah (swt) will not forsake your children.

Growing up under the care of Abu Bakr (ra), Umm Saad (ra) developed love for the Words of Allah (swt). If the Christians would cry hearing the recitation of Abu Bakr (ra), one can only imagine how heart-touching his recitation must be.

It is said that Jameelah, Umm Saad (ra), recited the Quran beautifully. Knowing how to recite the Quran, she was not content with mere recitation. She went a step further, and memorised it.

How did Allah (swt) reward her?

He married her to Zayd ibn Thabit (ra). The Companion (ra) assigned with the task to compile the Quran into a Mus-haf (written book). Zayd (ra) started memorising the Qur’an when he was a young boy in Madinah who had not even met the Prophet (sa). When the Prophet (sa) arrived in Madinah, Zayd (ra) was introduced to him in these words, “O Prophet of Allah (sa)! This child of ours knows by heart seventeen chapters of the Book, and recites them as accurately as they were revealed to you. Besides, he is well-versed in the matters of reading and writing. He wishes to be close to you. Listen to him, if you will.”

The Prophet (sa) listened to the boy’s recitation and found him to be clear and accurate. Witnessing his linguistic talent, the Prophet (sa) instructed young Zayd (ra) to learn Hebrew, thus facilitating the communication with the Jews. Thereon, Zayd (ra) became the official interpreter for the Prophet (sa).

Later, the couple together helped one another and the Companions (ra) in compiling and proofreading the Quran. A service that they will be forever remembered for.

Lessons: We learn how important it is to put our trust in Allah (swt), conform to the teachings and hand over our matters to Him. Apprehensions do not provide solutions, but cause fatigue.

We also learn how important it is to surround ourselves and our children with the right company; people who inspire us. Growing up with the love of the Quran and Allah (swt), one’s faith strengthens and he gets a direction in a life; not only that, but Allah (swt) becomes the Protector and Supporter of such a person. A widow, as Khalada (ra), worrying about her orphaned daughter’s marriage gets one of the best men in town as her son-in-law.

We also learn how important it is to surround ourselves and our children with the right company; people who inspire us.

In the case of Zayd (ra), we see what wonders little encouragement from the adults can do. The elders acknowledged that Zayd (ra) was talented. He was their pride. They were, however, not complacent with his current achievements, they aspired him to go higher and higher. His special skills were not used in chasing the worldly charms only, but for the service of religion as well.

How do we limit our children? Do we acknowledge their special gifts? Do we help them in finding the right direction or do we choose the same, usual path for them? Do we encourage our daughters? Do we encourage them to read, write and teach? Are they confident in their love for Islam and Allah (swt)?

May Allah (swt) allow us to look at our skills, enable us to refine them and use them in His Cause. May He also put blessing in our time and enable us to not waste it. Ameen.

(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)

How to develop Love for Quran in our children?

child-quranChild-rearing is an enormous responsibility, and it is considered leverage upon parents in terms of what they teach their child; this is revealed when they grow up, and operate as adult individuals within the society.
Al-Ghazali once wrote, ‘The child, is a trust (placed by God) in the hands of his parents, and his innocent heart is a precious element capable of taking impressions.’

It is, therefore, obligatory upon the Muslim parents that they base their nurturing upon the grounds of providing sufficient worldly and Islamic education- one that reveals unto the young minds the mysteries of their existence, and facilitates them to evaluate the purpose for which they were created.
Quran is the Holy Book which is kept aside in the modern age. This age of information technology and innovative equipments has resulted in people prioritizing their worldly competition and recreation over the fundamental devotion to Allah (swt). It is now bound upon the people of this Ummah to rise and summon those who have lost the message. This revival begins from our own sanctuaries. It is mandatory upon us as parents to shatter this predicament that the Ummah is facing. To release the Ummah from the shackles of wreckage, it is gravely required that the upcoming generation is aware of their responsibility and the pathway that they are expected to follow. For this, it is crucial that the parents play their designated role in conveying unto their kids, the importance of the Holy Book and the message it delivers. This can be done through some ways enumerated below:

  • Make Dua: God created mankind in such a fashion that they cannot fulfill any of their desires unless He himself commands for those to become true. Parents may plan out many things for their beloved children, but it all becomes worthless if Allah (swt) denies those plans. He is the best of planners, and thus, it is vital that parents make Dua for their children to be convicted Muslims, even before they enter this Dunya.
    You may recite Quranic Duas, the ones recited by Hazrat Maryam (as) or Hazrat Zakariya (as). There are plenty other supplications mentioned in the Quran. For example,
    “And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

The believers must place their trust in Allah (swt), and ask Him for pious children, the ones who will eventually end up as infinite Sadaqah-e-Jariah for them. According to a Hadeeth:

“There are three supplications that are answered – there being no doubt about it: the supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parent for his child.” (Ibn Majah)

  • Recite Quran to the unborn:  In this age of modern sciences, doctors are encouraging the expectant parents to directly converse with their unborn child as this has been witnessed to have profound effects on the baby’s intellectual advancement.
    The sound which the unborn child predominantly hears is the voice of their mother, is there a better sound for a baby to hear than the Divine words?
    It is the spoken word (كلام) of Allah (swt). This spoken word has been termed as light (نور), mercy (رَحمَةً), guidance (هُدًى) and a means of healing (شفآء), in the Quran itself.
  • Recite Quran around your children: Quran has a positive impact on hearts, whether it is babies or adults. Therefore, reading aloud Quran around your newborn or playing recitations in the household will culminate in amazing optimistic response from the baby. You may notice a considerable deceleration in the incessant ranting of your toddler. The profound effect of these words makes a child peaceful. This will also let them get used to the Holy words and develop an acquaintance with those words.
    Make sure that your words are clear to them; you may notice your toddlers synchronizing their lips along with you.
  • Read Quranic translation with your kids: Once your child enters into the age where they are able to read and understand, you may practice contemplating over the meaning of the Quran along with them. Make those sessions interesting by recreational activities, asking questions and using the language which they would easily understand. Also, ensure that these sessions are short and precise. Long sessions tend to bore the child and result in opposite effects.
    Let them know about the mercy of Allah (swt) and the blissful gardens awaiting them, and the actions which may lead them there.
  • Take them along to mosques and religious gatherings: Once your child has reached the age where he/she has developed the sense that it is mandatory to stay silent in mosques and other religious gatherings, allow them to accompany you at every local Dars or religious congregation, enabling them to attain an attachment with the religion.
  • Admit them into schools which focus on imparting Quranic education: Schooling is one really vital phase of a child’s life. The learning they acquire in this phase accompanies them throughout their lives. Thus, it must be assured that children are admitted in those schools which include Quran in their curriculum rather than keeping it aside as an extra-curricular activity. All your efforts at home will fail if the school denies the importance of Quranic knowledge.
    Such decision may result in compromising the high-level education provided by other schools, but you may notice extremely astounding results of religious schooling, too. A child absorbs more when he/she is studying with children of same age group.
    Allah (swt) is with those who make sacrifices for His sake, you will find your child at elevated levels of Dunya and Akhirah, Insha’Allah!
  • Aid your child in memorization of Quran A child’s brain is like a sponge, absorbing all it witnesses. You may desire your child to become a Hafiz some day, start functioning on this dream from the very young age of your child.
    One handy tip could be, using the bed time as recitation time, that is, repeatedly recite a portion of Quran with your child for several days. Begin with some short Surah, it would end up in your child reciting these Surahs fluently Insha’Allah.
    You may use several other encouragement techniques in accordance with the age and intellect of your child.

Remember that, you are the one responsible for the initiation of a Quranic pathway for your children. Be a role-model for them and make them realize the importance of Holy Book in our lives. Nothing can be a better Sadaqah-e-Jariah for a person than his offspring.

The Ashab-e-Kahf For Today’s Youth

Ashab e Kahf

Transcribed for hiba by Asma Imran

I would like to highlight some lessons from the story of the Ashab-e-Kahf (People of the Cave) which I feel are significantly missing in Muslim discourse especially those related to our youth.

Withdrawal from Mainstream Culture

The first thing I want to talk about is the cultural onslaught. The People of the Cave drew themselves away from the dominant culture when they observed that it was overwhelmingly evil. Actually, a verdict was passed against them according to which they were to be executed as a result of their faith; so they pulled themselves out.

One of the most important lessons to draw from this is that until our lives are in danger, we have to engage with the society. As Muslims, we cannot have the attitude that we are not going to mingle in the society because everything outside is a Fitnah from which we have to protect and shelter ourselves, and the only way we are going to preserve our faith is by totally shutting ourselves out from the outside world. This means that we’ve already accepted defeat. It says that everybody else is attacking us, and we’ve got to save ourselves by pulling back and staying strong within our fort.

However, the entire idea of Islam and the imagery that Allah (swt) presents of Islam is that of truth being hurled against falsehood. Allah (swt) gives the image of truth being like a weapon and falsehood being the victim and running away. Thus, the truth is attacking falsehood, and falsehood is on the run. So who’s on the offense and who’s on the defence? Who’s actually questioning the wrong happening in our society and engaging with it and saying: “We are here to change things?” That’s the truth. And who’s actually supposed to go into hiding? That’s supposed to be falsehood.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Harnessing Your Element

harnessing your element

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question asked of children from a very early age. As they grow and mature, their choices and, more importantly, the motivation for choosing a future profession change. When I put this question to young kids aged three to seven, I was taken aback by their courage. I had in front of me an astronaut, a policeman, a van driver, two pilots, an aircraft engineer, a gardener, a mechanical engineer, and a chef. Interestingly, the smallest children (under age of three) chose to be ‘baba’ and ‘mummy’ – undeniably smart choices, which define the right priorities in life! However, when I posed the same question to A’ level girls at a prestigious local school, the list, unsurprisingly, consisted mainly of doctors, lawyers, and engineers, with a social worker and a writer the only dissidents. Do they all truly want to be doctors and lawyers? Where have the astronauts and the chefs disappeared?

It seems that today our youngsters tend to pursue the road to success, as defined by parents, teachers, and society at large, instead of following their own dreams. More often than not, they themselves believe that financial stability is the most crucial building block of their future, leaving their passions and personal aspirations ‘for a later time’, if they consider giving them a chance at all. It is hard to blame them, as they have to make space for themselves in an increasingly materialistic world which emphasizes the rat-race above personal fulfilment. Often, they choose ‘successful’ professions for the status, prestige and, of course, the money involved, even if that means dragging themselves to work every morning. Can we help our youth to have more fulfilling work lives? Sir Ken Robinson says that we can.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Face it or Fake it

face it or fake it

People don’t fret too much about the amount of fabric covering their bodies. But they do worry sick about the make-up that conceals their face.

The billion dollar industry of cosmetics and dermatology products rests on the self-consciousness of women in particular but men are fast catching up as well. What are the common tag lines?

  • “Enhance your beauty.” (If I am beautiful, why do I need to enhance it?)
  • “Look naturally beautiful.” (So you mean to say I am ugly otherwise?)
  • “Feel confident.” (My confidence is wired to your shampoo and lipstick? Heaven help me!)

But the problem is that the standards of the world keep changing. Light is in, dark is out. Ultra-thin is in, normal thin is out. Wavy is in, straight is out. Phew! It’s impossible to catch up, let alone enjoy the moment.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Muslim Youth: Active, Aware, and Able

Muslim youth

Youth: a word that carries a thousand different connotations. It is a word that reminds us of strength, change, and potential.

Everyone is well-aware of the value of youth and its significance in a society. They are in that period of life when they believe almost anything is possible. The youth hold the power to change the world because they will be the leaders tomorrow.

The youth are full of dreams and desires, and they possess enough physical strength and will power to actively struggle through the process of achieving great things.

Benjamin Disraeli once said: “Almost everything great has been done by the youth.”

The youth of today are presented with much better life opportunities than their parents. We live in a world that preaches the message of meritocracy. You can get anywhere you want, anywhere you aspire to, if you try hard enough. This, in itself, is inspiration enough.

In Islam, great value is placed upon our youth. The Prophet (sa) is reported to have said: “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five things: how he lived his life, how he utilized his youth, with what means he earned his wealth, how he spent his wealth, and what he did with his knowledge.” (Tirmidhi)

One cannot even hope to bring about a change in the world and most importantly, in the thinking of others, without any knowledge of how the world works. Education plays a vital role in understanding the ways of the world. Only when we identify the problems can we go about addressing them.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Lessons in Love from Umm Atikah Bint Zaid (rtaf)

lessons in love

Umm Atikah bint Zaid (rtaf) was the daughter of Zaid ibn Nufayl and the sister of Saeed ibn Zaid (rtam), one of the ten lucky ones for whom the Prophet (sa) confirmed entry into Paradise. She was also related to Umar ibn al-Khattab (rtam) through her father.

A Husband’s Testimony about His Wife

When Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr (ra) saw Umm Atikah (ra), he sent her a proposal of marriage which she accepted. Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr’s fondness for his wife, however, made him slacken in his religious duties. He would remain at home more often, reduced participation in the battles, and would not hasten for the prayers like before. When Abu Bakr Siddiq (rtam) noticed this, he was deeply upset and feared for his son’s religion. Upon learning that this was due to Abdullah’s (rtam) fondness for his wife, Abu Bakr (rtam) instructed that they should be separated.

Obeying his father’s command, Abdullah (rtam) divorced Umm Atikah (rtaf) and again became active in his religious commitments. However, this did not last long, as he missed his beloved wife deeply. Her absence turned him into a poet. He uttered verses in her praise and testified that she was a woman of good habits, wisdom, and high moral character. He admired her truthfulness and her acceptance of the separation.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

At What Age do I Teach my Child?

teaching my child

Transcribed for hiba by Alia Adil

An awesome question came from a mother during the Gulf tour who asked: “My son is two-and-a-half years old. When do I begin to teach him Arabic grammar, Quran, Tajweed, and memorization because I want him to be raised with the Quran?”

What a beautiful concern you have with your child that you want him to learn the Quran, but he is three years old! What were you doing when you were three years old? You don’t remember! Kids are on the Fitrah – they are beautiful. Let them be. Teach them. Yes, teach them lovingly. Some kids have more aptitude and want to learn quickly, so you give them that opportunity. Some kids want play more – let them play more and take their time.

Parents have to be flexible with their children and not impose the same standards (on all of them). They should not compare one child to the other, especially in terms of their Quran. I have six kids; not all of them memorize Quran the same way. Not all of them study the Quran the same way. I have one child who memorizes something in five minutes – she’s so fast, amazing! I have another child for whom the same memorization could take a month. And I don’t compare: “Why don’t you do it like your sister, huh?” I don’t do that. This is Zulm, and it creates hatred towards Deen. “Because of this Book, my father likes my other sister more than me.” That’s wrong – stop it! Stop being so stressed over your kids. Allah (swt) doesn’t want your child to be a Hafiz; Allah (swt) doesn’t want your child to be an Alim (scholar). Allah (swt) wants your child to be a good Muslim. Allah (swt) wants your child to love his or her Deen. That’s what He (swt) wants.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Friends in Islam – A Powerful Reminder

friends in Islam

Transcribed for hiba by Asma Imran

Every one of us is born into a society where we interact with people from a very young age: our neighbours, people we go to school with, those whom we’ve seen elsewhere in the neighbourhood, and so on. And as time passes, we become closer to them, and they begin to be known as our friends.

What does Islam teach us about friends? We need to be aware that we should follow a certain set of rules and regulations when interacting with people whom we consider to be our friends. What should we share with them? How should they impact our lives? Let us take a look at some of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sa) in this regard.

The Prophet (sa) said: “A man follows his friend’s religion, so you should be careful about who you befriend.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood) Therefore it is very important to select our friends carefully, making sure we do not befriend those who will have a negative impact on us. These teachings of the blessed Prophet (sa) are priceless. If he says that a person is known by the type of friends that he/she keeps, we need to realize that this is exactly the way it will be.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

The Best Husband; A Complete Believer

best husband

By Ahmed Faraz Khan – Freelance writer and student at Islamic Online University

Abu Hurairah (rtam) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “The most complete believers in faith are those with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.” (Tirmidhi)

Does it matter how much you earn, what car you own, or how big your house is, if you aren’t able to be the best friend or a source of security and comfort for your wife? She should feel protected, happy, and at ease in your company.

Here are five tips for improving your relationship with your spouse:


Respect is the most important aspect of a relationship, especially when it comes to marriage. In fact, most marriage issues are somehow related to the element of respect. You have to respect your wife as an individual. Respect her likes, dislikes, moods, interests, and personality. Give her space, and don’t criticize every little thing she does. Realize that she is a unique person who deserves respect for who she is.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.