10 things to *be* in the 10 days of dhul Hijjah

10 things to *be* in the 10 days of dhul Hujjah;

Today marks the beginning of one of the *best* days in the year! Alhamdulilah we lived to witness the 10 days of dhul Hujjah! 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, nor greater in reward, than a *good deed* done during the ten days of Sacrifice.” 

*Planning* increased acts of worship and good deeds like we do in Ramadan is essential to reap the multiplied rewards and blessings;

1. Be a Mukhlis taa’eb (*Sincere repentant*) someone who decides that today also marks the beginning of a new leaf in my book of deeds! 

2. Gain taqwa through *fasting*! If one can’t fast the 9 days; fasting the day of arafah shouldn’t be missed! (expiates the sins in previous year and upcoming one!)

3. Be charitable and love it more than you love money spent on anything else! know that you give yourself when you give to *charity*…it all comes back to you invested and in the best of ways! try giving daily in these 10 days (whatever you  can give!)

4. Enlighten your heart and soul with the words of Allah: Recite the *Qur’an* with reflection and a present heart… even if a few pages…

5. Humble yourself before your creator and make *dua* knowing with certainty that all you ask for will be answered! Write a list of dua (idea> 10 for the 10 days!) and recite these dua everyday as much as you can > in your sujood, driving, after salah, etc 

6. Be visible in the Sight of Allah when most are sleeping in *Tahajud / Qiyam*… Alone, with family or a group of friends – just like in Ramadan!

7. Be from the best of Ibaad of Allah; the ones who constantly *remember Him* (swt)… busy your tongue with thikr (and avoid backbiting at all costs!)

8. Be an active believer > *Help* those who need help in your community (visit a sick person, babysit a new mums baby or kids while she rests, cook dinner for a family grieving a death, comfort a person struggling with anxiety or depression, etc)

9. Purify your heart by forgiving those who you imprisoned inside it! Let them go… This is the best time for *forgiveness* and letting go (of how others should’ve been when they weren’t > leave everyone to their own journey…we are all flawed… forgive and be free)

 10. *Breathe and reflect* consciously everyday in those ten days daily and see how much this will reflect on your mood, dealings with others, khushu in salah, etc

May Allah accept hajj from those who are in Hajj now, forgive the ones who aren’t performing hajj, and facilitate and grant a hajj next year to whoever hasn’t been yet!

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Optimism: I am as my Servant thinks of Me

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah, the Most High, said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ ” [Hadith Qudsi]

Positive thinking is a great quality of any human being. In order to be stress-free and more effective, we will have to start thinking positively. Positive thinking does not mean that we should ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that our attitude towards unpleasant situations will be more positive and we will deal with them in a more productive way. We should think the best is going to happen, not the worst. There is a negative attitude that has spread across the Muslim world. If we have trouble finding a job, we will blame society around us for being racist. If someone is going through hard times, we will assume Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is punishing them because they are bad Muslims. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an at many places that we should always expect the best of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will have mercy on us and will relieve us of hardship. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us if we seek forgiveness, will accept our repentance if we repent, will answer us if we supplicate, and will suffice us if we ask for something. We should call upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) while we are certain that we will be answered by Him. The mindset for us, and for our children, must be to fulfill our obligations while we are certain that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept our actions and forgive our sins and make our matters easier for us. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and is from the greatest of the major sins. Sometimes we assume the worst. We start to think that we are deprived of our rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and our soul bears witness to this while our tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. So, let us ask ourselves, are we protected from this type of mindset? This type of attitude is very destructive and we should try our best to keep our children from negativity and always think positive in all situations.

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “By the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, the believer is not given anything good better than his good expectations of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), and by the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, no servant of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) expects good of Him except that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives him what he expected, since all good is in His Hand.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best From Allāh, P.No:6]

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Our love of beauty a Sign..

Have you ever seen a dog stunned by the sunset,Or a bear marvelling mountains capped by snow?Or a camel enamored by a starry desert night, Or a bird breathless by the scenes it sees below?And if you’ve never seen a cat gaze fondly, in the eyes of another with resolution impressed,

then maybe something extra has been placed, in our souls, that is not be by evolution addressed,

For if we are animals just like all others, then why are our souls so easily captured,

By beautiful places and beautiful things, by beautiful moments enraptured,

May be The Beautiful made us and left, our love of beauty a sign,

that we believe in Him and recognize, that beauty points to the Divine.

~Ammar