A Woman’s love is one of the most beautiful things a man can ever possess. It’s a warm blanket over a shivering body, a word of comfort and support in the midst of lies, a sip of water and morsel of food in the belly of a starving wanderer. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “…The most blessed joy in life is a good, righteous wife.” The purity of a good woman’s love can’t be matched by any other worldly thing. Getting to a point where you can receive that love is a wholly different story. Many of us put walls up around our hearts. We’ve been taunted by people who don’t understand our faith, called by the worst names just for existing in our religious garb. And sadly, we’ve also been hurt by people in our own community. Imams of mosques throw around jokes about women as though we can’t hear them – as though it doesn’t affect us to be lumped together and stereotypically thought of as too emotional, too complicated, too female. From the sneering comments about having four wives that send the men into fits of roaring laughter to the dank dungeons of mosques to which we are relegated – women struggle with it all. Some of us are even exposed to abuse within our own families. We’re told that we can’t. That’s the word that’s most often used: “can’t.” Can’t follow your dreams because you’re a woman. Can’t ever be in the public eye because you’re a woman. Can’t speak for yourself because you’re a woman. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. But we can, and we know it, because we are some of the most intelligent, articulate human beings on the planet. And so we struggle every day to be faithful believers, to follow our dreams even though we’re being told not to, to work diligently to better our community because we love it despite its flaws. Every day we live that struggle. And so we unknowingly build walls around our hearts. Not to keep love out, but to keep pain out. To keep out the voices of people who tell us to not speak or do or think. To keep out the comments of passersby on the train saying go back to your own country. The walls are there so that the disrespectful jokes roll off our shoulders, so that we can still enter the mosque and pray even when the space is subpar. We need those walls around our hearts to survive. We’ve pieced together those exterior shells so that we are not devastated at every turn, heartbroken at every negative word, unable to lift our heads above water every time someone says we “can’t.” A woman’s love is within those walls, within that shell that has been growing and hardening for years. The unsuccessful man tries to forcefully break down those walls and reach what is within, angrily giving up when he realizes those fortresses aren’t suddenly going to come crashing down. He wants what he doesn’t yet deserve. The successful man stands and waits until he notices one single loose brick in that wall, and he nudges it and coaxes it out of its place. That’s the beginning of love – the systematic dismantling of every barrier that she has put up because she has had to survive all these years. He commits to her. He offers her his heart, even if it’s also bruised and battered, so that she can know it’s safe to finally just be. That is when true love is born. Those who have known a good woman’s love will know that there is nothing like it. Nothing sweeter. Nothing truer. Nothing else that can be a perpetual place of warmth in the midst of winter, a private running stream in the midst of drought, and a place to put your heart when your heart was once homeless. It takes a good man’s love to really know the potential of a good woman’s love. May God grant it to all those who seek it. “Good women are for good men, and good men for good women” (24:26). وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ
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.
Day 13 / Juz 13 (Ramadan ’17):-
“They said, ‘We are missing the king’s goblet. Whoever brings it shall receive a camel’s load; that I guarantee.'” [12: 72]
There’s something very fascinating about the story of Yusuf (AS). Certain things that were negative at the beginning of Yusuf’s life and which he had no control over, come back at the end but this time in a good light with him given control and power over it. Take the fact that his brothers threw him into a well; a place holding water, and this was a plot they devised as a team to get rid of him. In the end, Yusuf devised his own plan to get his beloved brother back by using the king’s cup; an instrument which holds water (the symbolism here shouldn’t escape you!) and which caused the brothers stress and divided them.
Consider Yusuf’s shirt that the brothers doused in sheep’s blood in order to hurt their father and cut off his heart and hope from Yusuf. In the end, Yusuf used his own shirt which not only brought back his father’s sight, but also removed the hurt and despair in his heart and reconnected them. Consider the fact that as a boy, Yusuf was bought as a slave with mere coins but just a few years later, he is the financial minister and no-one could dare put a value on him. Instead they all humbled themselves to him as a master of his field.
This is not just a story and these are not just coincidences that Allah is mentioning. He is teaching us realities that He’s set in the life of this world. A negative thing that happens in your life may very well open up doors of positivity later on. Something that you’ve no control over may soon fall within your control and you get to use it for your benefit. Life is dynamic and constantly changing, tables turn and events come back on themselves and arrive on your shores again. You may not have had control before, but now you do. You may not have known what to do before, but now you do. As Yusuf says later on, O Allah You are the Originator of the Universe… You return and repeat things. O Allah bless us with the understanding and ability to do what You want us to do and is beneficial for us in this life and the Next, ameen.
Day 16 / Juz 16 (Ramadan ’17):-
“He said: “My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age?”” [19: 8]
“She said: “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?”” [19: 20]
I’ve always found it intriguing to read the above two verses in Surah Maryam. When Zakariya and Maryam were both independently told the news of a child to come, they were naturally shocked and questioned it even though they knew the order was coming from Allah the Most High. This of course didn’t mean that they didn’t believe it could happen or that Allah was not capable (معاذ الله), but what it said to me was this: they had a habit of talking to Allah from the depths of their heart.
They knew He could do it and they knew it was going to happen because He said so. But that didn’t stop them from being vulnerable and totally honest with Him regarding their thoughts and their fears and hopes. It’s a beautiful habit to have; conversing with Allah about yourself and situation. Talk to Him regularly, not just in du’a and to ask of Him, but *just to talk*… To offload your issues, to find support, to clear your mind, to reconnect. He is more than just a God Who gives; He is your Wali (friend, supporter, protector, and yeah, your therapist) 🙂
The Mercy of the Gift of Tears – Understand Al-Qur’an Academy
When we first experience this world (dunya), we become so impressed by its’ glitter. So we love it. Then once the glitter falls away, we become disappointed, so we hate it. Eventually we grow up further and begin to see, and interact with, dunya for what it really is: Something we don’t need to hate–or love. Just something we need to *use*. Allah describes dunya as a ‘mata’a’. Among other meanings, ‘mata’a’ is a resource, a tool. A tool is what you make of it. It can help you–or it can kill you. Dunya is simply the bridge you must cross to take you back Home. And who gets attached to a bridge? Don’t miss the point by either loving or hating it.
The focus isn’t the bridge.
The focus is what’s on the other side!
Day 3 / Juz 3 (Ramadan ’17):-
“She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” The angel said, “Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [3: 47]
In all your du’as and hopes, your thoughts and views on life, and your ups and downs, don’t forget Who it is you’re conversing with. You’re dealing with the Most Powerful who has split seas for His slaves, resurrected the dead, and stopped time. You are not too insignificant for Him to grant you your own miracle. Ask Him whatever it is you long for, and never lower His power and capabilities in your mind.
Sometimes we rationalise du’a too much because we are focused on *ourselves*. We doubt and question. We overthink and are uncertain over the ‘how’ and ‘when’, but that’s not how it should be. The righteous before us used to say, ‘O Allah, I swear to You to do this and that’ and whilst that may shock you, they did it because they were certain of Him and they knew that you can’t push Allah against His Will. He is Majestic and Powerful and He is also Kareem – generous. So how can you not walk away with precious gifts from a Powerful and Generous being? How can you not walk away with your very own miracle in life? Try it