Empathy: A Trait that Can Transform Your Life

Empathy is a transformative character trait that positively enhances all areas of your life, including your personal well-being, family life and work relationships. Not many people know the power of empathy in enhancing their own personal well-being, as well as in changing the way they interact and feel about the world around them. In this article, we will discuss what empathy is, how it is encouraged in Islam and how you can use it to bring transformative change to your life.

https://productivemuslim.com/empathy-transform-life/

Love & Mercy

So, Allah jalla wa ‘ala says in al-Rum, 21:

“Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He placed love and mercy between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.”

There are many things to say about this magnificent verse but we do the random stuff remember?

So look at this – “He placed love and mercy between you” – just two characteristics in any old order right?

Behave. You *know* Allah doesn’t just do “any old order”!

This verse exposes the *true* reality behind all marriages, and the solution for saving them too.

See, Allah starts with the basic concept of “love” because it is really only present in the initial stage of a marriage that ignites the relationship between you, a state where there is such an attraction and forgiving nature to one another that the time period is actually called a “honeymoon period” because of just how taken they are with each other.

Actually, this doesn’t work in English. In Arabic however it makes much more sense. See, “love” is a big thing in Arabic with a bucket load of words referring to different types, levels and intensity of love. The word used in this verse is مَّوَدَّةً (mawaddah) which of course a translator can only translate to “love”, but as Allah tells us to deeply reflect on the verse at the end of it, we should realise that this is not some generic ordinary “love”, but rather one of the most intense types of love that is found when men and women get together. It involves passion and intimacy that one expects at the onset of a relationship yet it is a lesser love and level to the next higher category of love which is known as العِشْرَةُ (‘ishrah) – and ‘ishrah is only achieved as the linguists said when a significant time has passed between a husband and wife. In normal human terms it is as deep as love can get between a couple. And ‘ishrah by definition, has mawaddah as only its opening stage.

If you’ve understood *that* then you will realise that mawaddah is only limited in its impact at the beginning of a marriage, and as Allah now tells us, it will *not* be enough for a *successful* marriage in the long term.

That’s because once that initial love starts to fade and the water starts to run dry, something bigger and more important needs to kick in: MERCY.

To give the example of a dish: you might have a fabulous recipe and lovely fresh ingredients which you throw into the pot and everything starts cooking great, but now for the final perfect result we have to put the gas right down and let it simmer and trot along for the next few hours.

Leave the gas too high and *it* will burn out and it will burn everything in the pot.
Turn the gas off, you get no dish.
Put it on a low slow gas, you’ll get a perfect result at the end. And yes, that low gas is “mercy”.

That is why Allah put love and mercy in this order, to show us that although love is important, it’s not the vital ingredient; indeed, what is love except a second hand emotion as a golden oldie once told us?

Allah tells us that we need to activate the mercy button pretty quick in a marriage. We shouldn’t wait until the love runs out, but if it ever does, then being merciful – to one another’s mistakes, irritations, bad habits, laziness etc etc etc that all married couples know all too well – will be the solution to saving that marriage.

Of course this isn’t easy and there will be many legitimate complaints but most of the time this is a perfectly good relationship that is just struggling and needs as much mercy as you can possibly muster. As much Sunnah as you can possibly muster. As much hadith like “When you see something that displeases you, look to that which pleases you” as you can possibly muster.

Allah could have said “mercy and love” in the verse, but that doesn’t fit with our human experience. And because He is the Creator of the human experience, His accuracy in the verse is what we expect!

In summary: love ignites a marriage and mercy sustains it.

-Sh. Abu Eesa

Humility before Allah

** One of the toughest forms of worship **

It is one of the (1) most important acts of worship in the life of a Muslim, (2) one of the most neglected, and (3) one of the toughest acts of worship out there, one that demands immense training till one’s heart is positioned in its domain;

= I refer to Al-Khushoo’ / Humility before Allah.

This isn’t necessarily something you physically do nor is it limited to Salaah, but an inward state that envelops your heart around the clock.

It is to walk the earth whilst truly feeling in need of Allah, that you’re helpless without His assistance and paralysed without His aid.

It is when you raise your head from prostration only to realise that your heart is still prostrating. It is to buy, sell, converse and socialise with others, whilst your heart quietly calls out,

“O Allah, do not leave me to my own devises, I am at your mercy.”

“O Allah, pardon my shortcomings, You see what others don’t see.”

“O Allah, I have not worshipped You as You deserve to be worshipped.”

Consider the words of Imam Ibnul Qayyim who said,

دخلت على الله من أبواب الطاعات كلها ، فما دخلت من باب إلا رأيت عليه الزحام فلم أتمكن من الدخول

“I have tried drawing closer to Allah by entering every possible door of worship, but every time I approached a door, I found it congested with people, and so I was unable to enter..”

[In other words, the popular acts of worship like prayer, fasting, charity, Da’wah, Qur’an and their likes are practised by so many, Alhamdulillah, and so it’s hard to compete. He continues and says]

حتى جئت باب الذل والافتقار ، فإذا هو أقرب باب إليه وأوسعه ، ولا مزاحم فيه ولا معوق ، فما هو إلا أن وضعت قدمي في عتبته ، فإذا هو سبحانه قد أخذ بيدي وأدخلني عليه

“… until I approached the door of humility and bankruptcy to Allah, where I found that it was in fact the quickest and widest of all doors to Allah, but to my surprise, I realised that there wasn’t any congestion at it nor were there any barriers. I placed my foot inside and at once, I was taken by the hand and allowed to walk inside.”

Getting the outward form of worship on point is easy, but that inner state of desperation, humility, and genuine need of The King is, according to Ibnul Qayyim, the missing jigsaw piece in the lives of the masses, the piece that makes all the difference.

Honestly, it’s not all about appearances, eloquent sermons and carefully crafted Islamic posts, but it’s about that secret relationship that exists between you and Allah which nobody else sees. A single atoms worth of this quality is dearer to Allah than mountains worth of deeds that are machinelike.

Practically speaking, how is this wonder of an act of worship to be attained?

(1) By knowing Him

Imam Ibnul Qayyim said: من عرف الله أحبه ولا بد
“Whoever knows Allah has to love Allah.”

Make a conscious effort to rediscover The One whom you claim you worship through the Qur’an, through the study of his names and attributes, and watch how the Khushoo’ within you that had been asleep will slowly begin to reawaken.

(2) By thinking about Him

Allah said: أَوَلَمْ يَنْظُرُوا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ

“Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created..”

Allah said: قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا

“Say: ‘I exhort you to one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and then to think ..”

This universe is an enormous Masjid built for your contemplation. When Ummud Dardaa was asked “which act of worship did you see your husband, Abud Dardaa, engaging in the most?”

She replied: التفكر والإعتبار / “Contemplation and deep thought.”

(3) By freeing up some space for Khushoo’

We have already established the Al-Khushoo’ is not an action of the outer, but one of the heart, and with this we understand why, for many of us, it’s so difficult to attain; because we haven’t left any space for it.

There’s only so much that the human heart can house, and if you’ve filled it with sins, distractions, addictions and perversions, then how will Khushoo’ finds its place when it’s constantly being evicted? Each and every one of us knows exactly where to start and what inner items need unloading.

(4) By begging Allah for it

Memorise the words of the Prophet PBUH this Ramadan:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ،وَالْهَرَمِ،وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ،اللَّهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا،وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا، أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلَاهَا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ، وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ، وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لَا تَشْبَعُ، وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, laziness, stinginess, cowardice, senility, the torment of the grave. O Allah, make my soul obedient and purify it, for You are the best One to purify it, You are its Guardian and Lord. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that doesn’t benefit, and a heart that has no Khushoo’, and a soul that is not satisfied, and a Du’aa that is not answered.”

As millions all around the world bow and prostrate during this evening’s Taraaweeh prayers, ask yourself:

“I wonder how many, at this moment, are living the reality of Khushoo'”

-Ust Ali Hammuda

The 8 main signs of a weak/hard heart

The 8 main signs of a weak/hard heart by Ustadh Saad Tasleem:

1.You become lazy in your ibada, lazy in your worship (ex: delaying your prayer, skipping a sunnah).

2. Being lazy in goodness…in doing good deeds, and belittling your bad deeds.

3. Recitation of Qur’an doesn’t affect you, doesn’t make your heart tremble with the remembrance of Allah.

4. Things happening around you and the world don’t bother you (earthquakes, war, death), and you don’t notice the blessings Allah swt has given you (your sight, your health).

5. Pleasures of this life become your priority and you become consumed by the duniya.

6. You become not bothered by sinning taking place around you (ex: you are in a gathering where gossiping is taking place and you don’t mind it).

7. Your own sins turn into habits.

8. You’ve lost purpose in life. You live your life in a routine of going to school/work, coming home, eating dinner, going to sleep, and doing it all over again the next day, living aimlessly and uneasily.

✨🌟Easy Deeds, Massive Rewards!

✨Easy Deeds ➡Massive Rewards📈

🏆Reward of 50 Righteous Ones 💎

Rasul Alllah ﷺ said:

“Ahead of you there lie days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. 🔥

The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty men who do such deeds.

– And someone else added – They said: O Messenger of Allaah, the reward of fifty of them?

He said: “The reward of fifty of you.” 💎

📜 Abu Dawood (4341);
📜 Tirmidhi (3085) and he said: it is a hasan hadeeth.

🎖It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (494).

📌In some reports of the hadeeth it says: “They are the ones who will revive my Sunnah and teach it to the people.”

May Allahﷻ add us to this category, آمــــــــــين

Ramadan-a metaphor of life

I’ve learned something amazing. Ramadan is such a powerful and comprehensive metaphor of life. As with life, in Ramadan we must struggle hard. We must let go of things we love (food, drink, intimacy) in order to attain things we love more (mercy and pleasure of God). Our greatest day of joy is at the End–at the Final breaking of the fast. In Ramadan, that day is Eid. In life, that day is in the hereafter. And although this greatest day of joy is at the end, Allah allows us small joys along the way. In Ramadan, He gives us daily celebrations at iftar, before the Final celebration at Eid. In life, He gives us glimpses of pleasure, before the Real joy in the hereafter. In this life, He gives us the peace of prayer, the coolness of the eyes of family. A loyal friend. The beauty of a sunset, or full moon. Majestic trees. These are the small iftars, before the True Feast.
And this is why we know that for the one who fasts (from both food and what displeases Allah), there are two joys. One joy is at the time of breaking the minor fast (from food) at iftar. And the other joy is at the breaking of the major fast (from haram) at the meeting with Allah.
But, of all the life lessons of Ramadan, there is one we forget most. When we mess up the beginning, when we feel suffocated by the weight of wasted opportunities and unfulfilled plans, we still have a chance. A chance to come back. A chance to rise up from our spiritual crawl, and walk–maybe even run–to the finish line.
No matter what we’ve done, He still gives a chance to leave strong, by giving us the mercy of the night of power and the last 10 nights.
And in life, the same.
No matter how much suffering you see around you, there is also joy. No matter how dark it is for you right now, this isn’t the end; you can still leave strong. You can still rise up.
May Allah make us among those who, despite our beginnings, leave only with strong endings.

Husn ul khaatima, ya Allah.

Happiness is Found Here

In no era in history has the means of comfort and welfare ever been so within reach like they are today. Never has the knowledge of the world’s complex mysteries and the ability of subduing nature’s unfriendly elements ever been attained like it has today. Online shopping, laser eye surgery, electricity, central heating, the list continues. Despite these remarkable achievements, and in spite of possessing all the means for a better life, the goal of a pleasant life and happiness has never drifted further away like it has today.

The 21st century has taught us how to fly in the air like birds and how to swim in the oceans like fish, but many of us still do not know how to walk as happy and content individuals. And yet, when such an individual sits down to work out where the problem lies, he cannot pinpoint the problem.

Let us take a look at the life of a Muslim whose way of life has equipped him with a completely unique perspective which keeps him smiling at all times.

When cash is a little low, the believer is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān,

“And there is not a moving creature on earth except that it is upon Allāh to provide for it.”[1]

When somebody tries to degrade him, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “and dignity is for Allāh, His messenger and to the believers.”[2]

When he finds himself alone and without companionship, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Do not be sad, Allāh is with us”,[3] and he reads, “Your Lord has not forsaken you nor does He hate you.”[4]

When he feels under threat and vulnerable, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Is Allāh not sufficient for His servants?”[5]

When he feels no one understands him and no one is willing to listen to his problems, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allāh”.[6]

When any difficulty arrives at the doorstep of a believer, he is able to remain happy as he reads in the Qur’ān, “with difficulty is ease.”[7]

This is the peace of mind which Islām gives its people, just as the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“How strange is the affair of the believer, as all of his affairs are good! If he is struck with goodness, he shows gratitude and this is good for him, and if he is struck with difficulty, he shows patience and this is good for him” [8]

Thus, if someone asks you to summarise the happy life of a Muslim, respond by saying: “Gratitude during times of ease, patience during times of hardship, and the gardens of paradise in the end.” This is the beautiful life of a Muslim we wish to share with the entire world.

The life of a practicing believer is one of unexplainable bliss because he is pleased with every one of Allāh’s decrees. Happiness cannot be attained in the least without firm belief in Qadar/predestination, it is a cornerstone to happiness. The Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) also taught us what to say in various situations.

When the Muslim wakes up in the morning, he has been taught to say:

All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho gave us life after our dying and to Him will be the resurrection.”[9]

When the Muslim goes to bed at night, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho has given us food and drink, and given us enough and refuge, for how many people have neither.”[10]

When a Muslim puts on new clothes, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, You clothed me with this.”[11]

When the Muslims exits the bathroom, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho removed harm from me and gave me wellbeing.”[12]

When the Muslim sees a person with a disability, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh who has spared me from what He has trialled you with and has favoured me over you and over many whom He has created a great favouring.”[13]

When the Muslim achieves a matter he wished to accomplish, what has he been taught to say?

“All praise and thanks are due to Allah, whom, by His favour, all good things are achieved.” [14]

And when a Muslim fails to achieve a matter that he wanted to accomplish, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh in all circumstances.”[15]


And so the Muslim finds himself shifting from one form of gratitude to another, from one form of contentment to another, regardless of the outcome or situation at hand.


In the absence of this mentality pains become unbearable, calamities become intolerable and life becomes like the one who consumes salty water; theirs is a thirst that can never be satisfied. Such a person finds himself desperately alternating from one avenue of sin to another, from one bed to another, from one drink to another, from one relationship to another, from one online video of obscenity to another, in desperate search for peace and lasting happiness, but his distance from Allāh only causes his heart to further tighten and his life to further darken. He craves to fill the gaps within his heart, but this is not how they are to be filled.

Imām Ibnul Qayyim said,

“In the heart of every human being, there is a sense of scattering which can only be gathered by turning to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of loneliness which can only be filled by being close to Allāh, and in the heart there is a fear and anxiety, which can only be removed by escaping to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of regret, which can only be removed by being content with Allāh.”

By looking at these examples, we discover something profound. We realise that true peace of mind and the fullest meaning of happiness is in one’s closeness to Allāh and distance from His prohibitions. It is that simple, as Allāh said,

“Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.”[16]

And Allāh said,

“… then whoever follows My Guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, then for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”[17]

We can read all the mainstream theories, take every medicine on the shelf and try knocking on every door in search for this gem called happiness, but it will not be found anywhere except where the Creator of happiness has taught us to find it. That is because,

“It is He who grants laughter and tears.”[18]

We are happy; happy that we know Allāh, happy with Him as our Lord. We are happy that the Qur’ān is our guidance in life and that we have not been left at the mercy of the ideas of man. We are happy that we will be the first to be held accountable on day of Judgement and the first of all nations to enter Paradise.

 Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’an, Surah 11, Ayah 6

[2] Al-Qur’an, Surah 63, Ayah 8

[3] Al-Qur’an, Surah 7, Ayah 40

[4] Al-Qur’an, Surah 93, Ayah 3

[5] Al-Qur’an, Surah 39, Ayah 36

[6] Al-Qur’an, Surah 12, Ayah 86

[7] Al-Qur’an, Surah 94, Ayah 5

[8] Muslim, on the authority of Suhaib

[9] Bukhari, on the authority of Hudhaifa

[10] Muslim, on the authority of Anas

[11] AtTirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Sa’eed

[12] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Abu Dharr (Mawqoof)

[13] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Ibnu ‘Umar (Mawqoof)

[14] Al-Adkhaar of Imam AnNawawi, on the authority of ‘Aisha

[15] Ibid

[16] Al-Qur’an, Surah 16, Ayah 97

[17] Al-Qur’an, Surah 20, Aayaat 123-124

[18] Al-Qur’an, Surah 52, Ayah 43

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

Ramadan Reflections #14

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.

Ramadan Reflections #13

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) 🙂

Ramadan Reflections #7

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!

-Yasmin Mogahed

Ramadan Reflections #5

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 

Fajr

Ramadan Reflections #4

Asalamu Alaykum All!
The Loving Series

“When Allah Loves You” part I
You will probably never meet a Muslim who says they don’t love Allah. Even if they don’t pray and they commit haram they will tell you they love Allah.
So everybody loves Allah, but the bigger deal is, “Does Allah love you”?
Allah is loving and He does love His servants. That’s why one of His names is Al Wadood. “The loving”.
The scholars say love is the essence of our worship and the focal point of our relationship with Allah. Contemplate the following verse:
‎يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

“Oh you who believe whoever of you abandons his religion, then Allah is going to bring a people that He LOVES and they LOVE Him…”

Al Ma’ida 5:54
Why didn’t Allah say people who will WORSHIP Him? Or OBEY Him ? Or FEAR Him?
The verse started with Allah’s love towards them and then the love He gets in return. That is the essence of our relationship with Allah.
Allah loves the believers! Contemplate verse 14 from Surat Al Burooj where Allah says:

‎وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الْوَدُودُ

And He is the forgiving, the Loving.
69 times in the Quran “Ghafour” (forgiving ) is followed by “Raheem” (merciful), because pairing mercy with forgiveness makes more sense. But this time Allah mentions that He is forgiving yet loving. Why?

Because you might forgive someone yet still dislike them or even hate them.
But Allah wants you to know that he will forgive you and still keep loving You!
Contemplate the effect of worshipping a God that hates you. Would you be energetic in worshiping Him? Would you love to spend hours talking to Him?
A Christian scholar conducted a study and discovered that more Christians love God the Father (according to them) more than God the son. Because God the Father is the angry one who couldn’t forgive for thousands of years, while God the Son was the merciful loving one that offered to die for their sins.
People naturally gravitate towards a loving God.
Another Bonus of when Allah loves you, you become loved by the angels and you will be granted acceptance on earth.
Allah’s Messenger (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “If Allah loves someone He calls (angel) Jibreel and says: ‘I love so-and-so, so love him.’ Jibreel loves him and calls the other angels in Heaven to love that person. They love him, then his love (acceptance) is made upon earth, and he becomes loved…”

Sahih Muslim
May Allah grant us His love. Amen
Wasalam!

Sh Kamal mekki

Ramadan Reflections #2

Loving Allah:
Even though speakers and Khutab (sermons) tend to focus more on fearing Allah, the scholars say that love of Allah is stronger and better than fear.
What are the fruits of fearing Allah? You stay away from sinning!
But the fruits of loving Allah are greater in that you also stay away from sins but because you love Allah, you go above and beyond in worship and in performing voluntary acts. When you love Allah:
* it’s easier to give up bad habits.

E.g. Guy can’t quit smoking for years but he suddenly quits. You ask him how he did it and he says, “My fiancé told me that if I wanted to marry her I’d have to quit”!

He couldn’t quit for years but love made him do it in no time! If you love Allah, giving something up for His sake becomes easy.
* you love His speech!

True story…a guy spoke to his fiancé from Isha’ until dhuhr!

Another story…a guy spent three hours in the cold speaking to his fiancé over the phone!

When you love Allah you love His speech (the Quran) and you never get tired of it. For some it’s five minutes of Quran and then ….Zzzzzzzzz!
* you love Qiyyam (night prayer).

One of the early Muslims cried on his death bed, so his friends thought he was crying because he’s going to miss his children. He said, “I’m crying because I’m going to miss qiyyam al layl”!

He loved talking to Allah for hours into the night and more importantly he knows that for thousands of years he will not be able to seek forgiveness once or mention Allah a single time. So rightfully so that he cried!
* love to meet Allah.

“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah will love to meet them and whoever hates to meet Allah, Then Allah hates to meet them”.
* you accept His decree
All the above are more attainable with love than with fear.
The more you know Allah and study His attributes you naturally love Him more.

The more you recognise and contemplate His many blessing you love Him more.
Wasalam

-Sh. Kamal El Mekki

On Death & Dying

​With the current year drawing to a close, I wanted to share some personal thoughts on an inevitable journey all of us will embark upon: death. 
I have seen many people in my wider circle of friends/acquaintances express how death has seemed so much closer to us this year than previous ones. We have witnessed the passing of many a parent, teacher, sibling, friend, and child. Some of us directly suffered these losses; others suffered through seeing these losses endured by people they knew, such as friends; yet, other losses were so global and impactful that all of us were effected by them.
I was never particularly fearful of death until my daughter was born. After her birth, the fear kicked in. It was in most ways a worldly fear. I wanted to see my little one take her first steps, speak her first words, start school, become a rebellious teenager, go to college, and have a family. I wanted to live to see my child grow. 
This all changed after my father passed away. I remember standing with some of my close friends after a Quran recital telling them about how the birth of my daughter led to an increased fear of death on my part. But my attitude had changed now. I knew my father had moved into another room that was out of my sight. But I was no longer afraid to have the door to that room opened for me because I knew that he would be there. It was the first time in a long time that I was not afraid to leave the room my daughter was in for the room my father had gone too.
This taught me an important lesson. We often understand death in negative terms: we will be questioned, there is a thing called Hell, God will take us to account for everything, and so forth. The motivating factor in death for many is the fear factor. This is important, of course. Yet, the passing of my father taught me that it is also a motivator because of a love factor, a love and desire for reunion.
This was the perspective of Fatima (God be well-pleased with her). When the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was in his final illness “he said something secretly to Fatima and she wept. Then he said something secretly to her and she laughed.” [Bukhari] When asked later why she wept, she said it was because the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was moving to the next life. But when asked what made her smile, it was because she was told that she would join him in Paradise.
This was the perspective of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). In one of his final sermons, he mentioned how “God had given a slave the choice between immortality in this world or meeting his Lord, and he had chosen to meet his Lord.” He was speaking about himself. His last words according to A’isha were, “to the highest Companion!” He had chosen to move on and unite with God. [Bukhari]
To all of my brothers and sisters who have lost someone, to those saddened by separation, and to those still grieving, do not forget the union that death brings. A union with a merciful and compassionate Lord. A union with a most beautiful and perfect Prophet who will not cease pleading to God until each and every one of his followers is in Paradise with him.
Remember that your loved ones from this community wait for you, and that you have the opportunity to be with them in a place where time has ceased, where there will be no separation, nor grief, nor sadness, nor pain. It is a place where all of you can be together in utter bliss, love, and happiness.
This is the hope and trust we place in our Lord. This is why we worship and engage in righteousness: so we can reunite with those whom we love – God, His Prophet, our parents, children, siblings, friends, and others. So, do not despair, do not lose sight of the bigger picture, and make your life a road to reunion.
We ask God to renuite us in the eternal garden with those we love in the company of our Prophet (blessings upon him) and all the righteous.

-Salman Younas

Ibn al-Qayyim’s Advice for the Believer 

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim RA gave some amazing and life-changing advice for the believer:

“A friend will not (literally) share your struggles, and a loved one cannot physically take away your pain, and a close one will not stay up the night on your behalf…so look after yourself, protect it, nurture it…and don’t give life’s events more than what they are really worth…Be certain that when you break no one will heal you except you, and when you are defeated no one will give you victory except your determination…your ability to stand up again and carry on is your responsibility…Do not look for your self worth in the eyes of people; look for your worth from within your conscious…if your conscious is at peace then you will ascend high…and if you truly know yourself then what is said about you won’t harm you.

Do not carry the worries of this life… because this is for Allah…and do not carry the worries of sustenance because it is from Allah…and do not carry the anxiety for the future because it is in the Hands of Allah..

Carry one thing: How to Please Allah. Because if you please Him, He Pleases you, fulfils you and enriches you. Do not weep from a life that made your heart weep…just say “oh Allah…compensate me with good in this life and the hereafter”.

Sadness departs with a sajdah…happiness comes with a sincere du’a…Allah Does Not forget the good you do…nor Does He Forget the good you did to others and the pain you relieved them from…Nor Will He Forget the eye which was about to cry but you made it laugh..

Live your life with this principle: Be good even if you don’t receive good…not because of other’s sake but because Allah Loves the good doers”.

Subhanallah!

Sometimes the Greatest Miracle is within You

It was physically impossible for Maryam (as) to be pregnant. It was ‘impossible’ for the sea to split in half for Prophet Musa and his people to escape the army behind them. It was ‘impossible’ for Prophet Ibrahim to emerge unscathed from the fire that his people threw him into. It was ‘impossible’ for the Prophet Muhammad to travel to Al-Aqsa and ascend to the heavens all in one single night.

May peace be upon them all.

Sometimes we read about these miracles but we fail to connect them to our own existence. 

‘These miracles only happened in the past,’ we might thinks. ‘It’s not realistic for us to hope for miracles in our own lives,’ we might say.

Then, perhaps one day you’ll think that you’ll never experience happiness again after losing someone you loved deeply. But you will feel joy again – and then you’ll understand how miraculous that feels. It’s as though Allah (swt) split your heart in two like the Red Sea, and allowed hope to emerge against all odds.

He will prevent the fire of your pain from consuming you.

He will fill your mind with ideas and your heart with love and appreciation when you thought you had nothing left to give. He will fill your mind, body, and heart with the kind of life that can only be explained asmiraculous.

He will take you to places in your dreams and in your realities that you never imagined possible.

And yet we sometimes believe that miracles are all in the past.

We aren’t meant to read about the miracles of Allah and then just move on as though they’re stories of the past. We are meant to understand that the miracles of Allah are happening all the time, all around us and within us as well.

When you cry out in the middle of the chaos of life – My Lord, show me a sign! – look within yourself. Remember every difficulty He saved you from. Remember when He healed you. Remember when He gave you a light to carry in the middle of the darkness.

Remember how you’ve survived so much – only because of Him. You are a miracle.

“We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?” (41:53)

-Asma Hussein

Actions of the Heart💜

​Abu Bakr wasn’t poor like Abu Dharr or Abu Hurayrah, but he was better than them. He wasn’t perpetually tortured like Khabab and Bilal, or Sumayyah and Yasir, but he was better than them.  He wasn’t severely injured in battle like Talha or Abu Ubaydah or Khalid, but he was better than them. He wasn’t martyred like Hamza or Umar or Uthman or Ali, but he was better than them! 
So what was the secret that made Abu Bakr better than everyone?  
Bakr ibn Abdullah Al-Muzani said, “Abu Bakr didn’t precede them due to offering a lot of prayer and fasting, but because of something that settled in his heart.”
It’s the actions of the heart you see.  That’s what made his faith outweigh the faith of the entire ummah.  
We learn that faith (iman) is actions of the heart combined with statement of the tongue and actions of the limbs, but we ignored the actions of the heart even though that is its essence and core.  
Every act of worship has an essence and a physical manifestation.  
So the manifestation of the prayer is the standing and bowing and prostration, but its essence is the khushu’ (the humility, awe, reverence, concentration) of Allah.  
The manifestation of fasting is to withhold from everything that breaks the fast from sunrise to sunset but it’s essence is taqwa (consciousness) of Allah.  
The manifestation of hajj is the tawaf and sa’ee and standing on Arafat and..and..and..but it’s essence is honoring the symbols of Allah. 
The manifestation of du’a is the raising of hands and praise and request but it’s essence is the brokenness and need of Allah.  
The manifestation of Dhikr is saying Allahu Akbar and AlHamdulillah, and La illaha ila Allah etc, but it’s essence is the remembrance, reverence and love of Allah.
For on the day of Judgment it is the hearts that will be exposed, and only those who come with a serene heart, and a heart that is repentant who will be saved on that day. 
Let us then remember to monitor our hearts as severely as we monitor our actions and remember that in this world we traverse distances with our feet, but in the hereafter distances are only traversed by our hearts. 
-Adapted from the page of Shaykh Alaa ElSaadawi

Oh Allah make us among them.

​I wonder how Mu’adh ibn Jabal felt when he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Mu’adh, by Allah, I most certainly love you.”
And how did Abdullah ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, feel when the Messenger of Allah embraced him and said, “O’ Allah teach him the Book.”
Or what Ali ibn Abi Talib felt when he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Tomorrow, I will definitely hand the banner to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger, and whom Allah and His Messenger also love,” and then he found out that he was the one? 
Or Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas’s feelings when the Messenger of Allah said to him, “Throw it, Sa’d, *may my parents be ransomed for you.”*
 And how did ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan feel when he fully supplied the army heading to Tabouk, and the Messenger of Allah said, “Nothing ‘Uthman does after today could ever harm him.”?
Or how Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari felt when the Messenger of Allah said, “If you could have only seen me while I was listening to your recitation yesterday.”?
And how did Al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid feel when only the patch of hair that the Messenger of Allah wiped on his head remained black, when the remainder of his hair turned white to old age? 
And what emotions did the Ansar experience when the Messenger of Allah said to them, “If all people were to go one way, and the Ansar were to take another, I would choose the path of the Ansar.”

(Arab expression meaning that the adressed is even more beloved than one’s own parents.)
And how did the Ansar feel when the Prophet of Allah spoke about them saying, “The sign of belief is love for the Ansar, and the sign of hypocrisy is feeling animosity toward them.”
And what were the feelings of Al-Siddeeq when the Messenger of Allah said, “If I were to take a bosom friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my bosom friend.”
How did Aaisha feel when the Messenger of Allah replied unhesitatingly with her name when asked who was the most beloved person to him? 
And what were the feelings of Bilal ibn Rabah when Allah’s Messenger said to him, ” O’ Bilal, tell me about the deed in which you place most hope, for I have heard the striking of your shoes in front of me in Jannah.”
And how did ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab feel when he sought permission to enter upon the Messenger of Allah, and he (s) told the doorman, “Allow him to enter and give him glad tidings of Paradise.”

How did ALL the Sahabah feel while seeing the Messenger morning and evening? 
And how are WE going to feel when we see the Messenger of Allah, and he says to us, “You are my brothers for whom I have cried in my anticipation to meet; you are my brothers who have believed in me without ever seeing me.”
Oh Allah make us among them. 
اللهم صَلِّ  و سلم على محمد و آله

~Sh. Waleed Basyouni 

Paradise…

“And He will admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them.” [Muhammad 47: 6]
One of the things about Jannah that we don’t realise is the striking familiarity that it will carry. You have never seen Jannah and it will be nothing like the earth but somehow you will know it, and it will feel so comfortable and familiar, like it’s a part of you and your existence – it’s your Home that you’re coming back to. This why Allah calls it Dar al-Salam; the Home of Peace, because a Dar (home) is a place you always return to after some absence. 
Some of the scholars said that the verse also has another meaning… the word ‘arrafa which is translated as being ‘known’ can also mean ‘to be fragranced’. Now imagine Paradise… wherever you go there’ll be beautiful scents – not the type that annoys you or gives you a headache or sets off your allergies, but the type that hits the right senses and lifts you off your feet. Paradise – it doesn’t just look good, cozy, and familiar, but it smells good too.
The juz then ends by describing the people of Paradise, and Allah says that before entering it, they were Muhsinin – people who made effort to reach a level of righteousness in their faith. But what is that? Well, what unfolds next is a description:
– They used to sleep a little by night, i.e. they devoted some of the night to worship
– In the early morning they were found seeking forgiveness, i.e they weren’t perfect and they recognised that through humble worship
– They dedicated a portion of their wealth to the beggar and the deprived, i.e. they sacrificed and they realised that life was not just about them
– They were attentive to the Signs of Allah on earth, and the Signs within themselves.
And whatever is described in the Qur’an has a purpose. It is our hope to live up to these descriptions insha’Allah! May Allah bless everyone reading this with a beautiful home in Paradise, and may we all meet there, ameen.

~Fajr Blog

Modern Stress And Its Cure From Qur’an

by Shahid Athar , M.D.

Stress is the most common aliment of modern age. It has been implicated in the causation of peptic ulcer disease, coronary heart disease, depression, auto immune disease, hypertension, diabetes and even cancer. In milder form it manifests in form of unrest, violence, at work, school and home. Common medical problems like tension headache, insomnia, and obesity are also attributed to unusual stress. None of us are free from stress but some deal with it better than others.

Stress results from the following factors:

a. Fear of the unknown and trying to see through and control the destiny.
b. Losses in our life of people and things dear to us and our inability to recover those losses.
c. Inner conflict between our heart and mind between what is known to be the truth and our failure to accept it as truth. Acceptance of truth may require changing our habits and way of life which we may adhere to for some reason like pleasure, joys, taste, pride in race or heritage etc.

Let us examine how Quran deals with such situations.

Our losses are a trial for us:

“Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: To God we belong and to him is our return. They are those on who (DESCEND) blessings from God and mercy and they are the once that receive guidance. 2:155

Thus in Islam, we do not have concept of the ownership of goods and life. Everything belongs to God and returns to him. So if we don’t own that thing why mourn our loss? 

a. Our destiny is predetermined. We do not have control on that part. What we have control over is a limited free will, that is our actions, our choice to do good or bad, to believe in God or not to believe in Him, but we have no control over tomorrow’s event not related to our actions i.e. whether my wife will have a son or daughter, whether his/her eyes will be brown or black, or whether I will have an accident or not tomorrow. worrying over such things is of no use.

b. Rejection of faith in Quran is called a disease. This denial of truth is due to arrogance.

“In their heart there is a disease and God has increased their disease and grievous is their penalty because they lie to themselves.” (Qur’an 2:10)

Therefore after lying to ourselves, we set up an inner conflict – between heart and mind. In order to contain that conflict the mind sends signals to glands for secretion of hormones like adrenaline which leads to rapid heart rate, perspiration, tremor, the basis of lie detector test.

This lying conflict could be due to “SMALL” crimes like theft or adultery, or big crimes like rejection of God.

3 stages of spiritual development of soul age

a. Nafsul Ammara: -The Passionate soul “I do not absolve myself Lo the (human) soul is prone to evil, save that whenever my Lord has mercy. Lo, Lord is forgiving; merciful.”  (Surah Yusuf 12:53)

This soul inclines toward sensual Pleasure, passion and self gratification , anger, envy, greed, and conceit. Its concerns are pleasure of body, gratification of physical appetite, and ego.

Hadith “your most-ardent-enemy is your evil self which resides within your body” (Bukhari).

If this evil soul is not checked it will lead to unusual stress and its resultant effects. 

– b. Nafsul Lawanunah (The Reproaching Soul). “Nay, I swear by the reproaching soul” (Qur’an 75:10)

This soul is conscious or aware of Evil, resists it, asks for God’s grace, and pardon, repents and tries to amend and hopes to achieve salvation.

“And (There are) others who have acknowledged their faults. They mix a righteous action with another that was bad. It may be that Allah will relent toward them. Lo! Allah is relenting, merciful.” (Qur’an 9:102)

Hadith “These are two impulses within us. One spirit which calls towards good and confirms the truth. He who feels this impulse should know that it comes from Allah. Another impulse comes from our enemy (Devil) which leads to doubt and holds untruth and encourages evil. He who feels this should seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil.”

This soul warns people of their vain desire, guides and opens the door to virtute and righteousness. It is a positive step in spiritual growth.

c. The satisfied soul (Nafsul Mutmainnah). “O (you) soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction. Come back to your Lord, will pleased (yourself) and will pleasing unto him. Enter you then among my devotees, enter you in my heaven.” (Qur’an 89:27-30)

This is the highest state of spiritual development. satisfied soul is the state of bliss, content and peace. The soul is at peace because it knows that inspite of its failures in this world, It will return to God. Purified of tension, it emerges from the struggle with obstacles blocking the peace of mind and heart.

What should we do in panic and despair? In panic non-believers behave differently than believers. They have no one to return to, to ask for mercy and forgiveness, their life is this life, which they cannot control, thus get more depressed and increase in their state of wrong doing. Then we will see that if they are used to casual drinking will start drinking more and become alcoholic, or a barbital criminal.

On the other hand a believer should do the following:

a. Increase dhikr (Remembrance of God)
“who have believed and whose heart have Rest in the remembrance of God. Verify in the remembrance of God, do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an 13:28)

b. Increase their prayer.
“O you who believe, seek help with steadfastness and prayer. For God is with those who are steadfast.” (Qur’an 2:1530)

c. Ask forgiveness
“And I have said: seek forgiveness from your Lord. Lo He was ever forgiving.” (Qur’an 71:100)

In addition to above we are also asked to continue to struggle to up-grade ourselves.
” surely God does not change the condition in which a people are in until they change that which is in themselves.” (Qur’an 13:11)

In summary, I conclude that stress results from lack of inner peace due to conflicts within us and leads to external disturbances in our behaviour and health. Inner peace can only be achieved by believing in God, the All Mighty, and remembering him frequently and asking for his help and forgiveness in times of difficulties.

Prioritising Truth!

  

 The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When I was taken towards the heavens I got a very pleasant odour. I asked Jibril about it and he said that it was the odour of the beautician of the daughter of Firawn and her children. I asked him to tell me more about them and he said, ‘One day she was engaged in the routine task of beautifying the daughter of Firawn when the comb fell from her hands. While picking it up she said, ‘Bismillah’ (In the Name of Allah). Firawn’s daughter asked her if she referred to her father when she called the name of Allah. She replied, ‘No! But my and your father’s Lord is only Allah!’ The girl asked, ‘Shall I reveal what you say (to Firawn)?’ She replied that she may tell him if she liked. So, she revealed it to her father, Firawn, who summoned the beautician and asked, ‘Do you have any other Lord besides me?’ She answered, ‘Yes, my and your Lord is Allah.’
 Firawn had a fire kindled and a brass cow-shaped vessel was heated over it. When it was ready (very hot), he ordered that the woman and her children be thrown into it. She interjected, ‘I have something to say.’ He said, ‘Go on say, what is it?’ She said, ‘After we are burnt down, our bones (mine and the children’s) should be placed together in a cloth and buried in the earth.’ He agreed that he would do so.
 Firawn commanded that her children should be thrown into the fire first. So, they were cast into it one by one. She watched until it was the turn of the last child, the new-born baby suckling its mother’s milk. This made her sob a little. The infant suddenly spoke to her, saying, ‘Mother! Jump into this fire! For the punishment of this world is very minor compared to that of the next.’ Hence, she jumped into the fire.” [Ahmad]
 The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) learnt of this story on the night of Miraj (his ascension to the heavens). Through this hadith we learn of one of the beautiful rewards that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gives to the Shaheed. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) smelt the scent of the beautician and her children in Jannah and indeed the people who die in the path of Allah go straight to Jannah. Everybody dies, but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us in the Quran not to call the Shuhada dead, for they do not die but move directly to their existence in Jannah. That is why there is no funeral prayer prayed over the Shaheed.
 The beautician could have concealed her faith to save her life and the lives of her helpless, innocent children. But she stood firm in her love of Allah and her testimony of faith. It is the peculiarity of the field of love that those who enter it face a fresh trial every time. 
 Allah says: “Alif Lam Meem. Do the people think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe,’ and that they will not be tried? And certainly We tried those who were before them. So Allah will certainly determine those who speak truly, and He will certainly determine the liars.” [Quran 29:1-3]
 The faith of a person is tried according to his religious standing. The more religious and truthful a person is, the more he should be prepared to face trial. It is easy to make a claim but to get through with steadfastness is the real thing. 

Closing doors to open More! Ibn Al Qayyim

Translated by Muhammad Elshinawy

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ‌ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. [Surat al-Baqarah: 216]
The great imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy upon him) said,
“You should busy yourself doing what has been demanded of you, not what has been guaranteed for you. Provision and Death are two matters that are destined and finalized; so long
as the time of death does not arrived, the provision will continue to come.”
And if Allah closes one of its paths for a wisdom which He alone knows, He will – out of His mercy – open another path for you which is even more beneficial.
Ponder the state of the embryo, how it is fed from the blood of the mother through one path; the umbilical cord. Once it is born and that path is closed, two other paths – the breasts – are opened for him through which nourishment is now provided, except that it’s more delicious than what he used to receive from the first path. Thereafter, these two paths are closed upon weaning the child, but four paths of nourishment replace them which are more perfect for the human being; two food (animal and vegetation) and two drink (water and milk). Eventually, these four paths are also closed by a person dying. However, Allah will open – if he is an inhabitant of Paradise – eight paths in their stead; the eight gates of Paradise, to enter from whichever of them he pleases.
In this fashion, Allah does not prevent His slave from attaining any worldly matter, except to give him something better and more beneficial than it. No one enjoys this privilege except the believer; Allah deprives him of acquiring the lower in order to grant him the higher. But due to man’s ignorance of what is actually good for him, and the wisdom, generosity, and kindness of his Creator, he isn’t able to differentiate between what he has been prevented from and what has been preserved for him. On the contrary, he is deeply attracted to the immediate things, even if they may be inferior, and hardly yearns for what has been deferred for him, even if they are superior.
If man were just with his Creator – he is not so – he would realize the favor of Allah on him via the worldly enjoyment that He deprived him of, and it being far greater than what He gave him of its enjoyment. Indeed, He only deprived him in order to give him, and He only afflicted him in order to heal him, and He only tested him to strengthen his bond with his Creator, and He only put him to death in order to elevate him, and He only removed him from this worldly life in order to meet Him.”[1]
 

[1] Taken from [al-FawâEid], by Ibn al-Qayyim, with adaption.

Taqwa

 

Taqwa is one of those unique words in the Arabic language that cannot simply be translated into a word or two in English. As a result, many translators struggle to bring out the real meaning of the word taqwa.

Literally, taqwa means to protect and could be that one protects himself from the Wrath of Allah by protecting himself from indulging in things that Allah forbids. In the Shariah, taqwa as used in the Quran repeatedly, signifies the obedience to the Rules of Islam while avoiding Haraam, and additionally abstaining from unsuitable things in life.

Taqwa in the Qur’an

Taqwa is mentioned in the Qur’an many times over and Allah has ordered each and every Muslim to have taqwa.

A couple of verses that mention taqwa are presented below:

“It is not taqwa that you turn your faces toward East or West, but it is taqwa to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book and the Messengers, to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts you have made; to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity. Those are the truthful and those are the muttaqun.” [Qur’an 2:177]

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Qur’an 49:13]

Taqwa in Ahadith

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts.” [Tirmidhi]

Tafseer ibn Kathir mentions that Atiyah As-Sa’di said the Propeht (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The servant will not acquire the status of those with taqwa until he abandons what is harmless out of fear of falling into that which is harmful.” [Ibn Majah, Tirmizi]

Sayyiduna Ali (R.A) defined Taqwa as being the ‘fear of Jaleel (Allah), acting upon the tanzeel (Quran), being content with qaleel (little), and preparing for the day of raheel (journeying from this world).

Hadrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A) once asked Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab (R.A) the definition of taqwa. In reply Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab asked, “Have you ever had to traverse a thorny path?” Hadrat Umar replied in the affirmative and Hadrat Ka’ab continued, “How do you do so?”

Hadrat Umar said that he would carefully walk through after first having collected all loose and flowing clothing in his hands so nothing gets caught in the thorns hence injuring him. Hadrat Ka’ab said, “This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin.”

Hadrat Hasan Basri said, “Taqwa is the basis of Deen. Desire and greed destroy this basis.”

Hadrat Maulana Hafiz Ghulam Habib (r.a.) used to define taqwa as the shunning of everything and anything that causes a deficiency in one’s relationship with Allah.

May Allah give all the Muslimeen the ability to cultivate taqwa in our lives and grant us paradise, Ameen.


Source: Haqislam.org

  

Say something good, even if you don’t mean it!

Say something good, even if you don’t mean it.

This is how Hamza (r.a.) converted to Islam. One day AbuJahl verbally abused the Prophet (s) and threw a rock at his head causing him to bleed. A woman stood by watching and when she saw Hamza return from his hunting trip she told him what she had witnessed. 
Hamza (r) went to AbuJahl and struck him with his bow, and said: How dare you abuse my nephew while I am upon his religion?! [Sirah Ibn Hisham]

At this point, Hamza (r) had not actually embraced Islam, his tongue preceded his heart. He said what was not yet in his heart, but Allah brought it in his heart. 


Say what is good, even if you don’t mean it. 

Cry before Allah even if the tears don’t come naturally. 

Do dhikr of Allah, even if the heart is distracted. 

Say thank you and appreciate others’ efforts even if you don’t truly feel gratitude. 

Say sorry even if you don’t mean it. 

Show respect to those who deserve it… even if you don’t feel respect for them.

Perhaps we too will be gifted with something good.

~Taymiyyah Zubair

BLESSINGS UPON AL-MUSTAFA, OUR BELOVED MESSENGER

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

From a distance you notice his eyes – piercing, brilliant and engaging. The choicest Praise and Mercy of Allah be upon him. Muhammed, the Praised one is Ahmed, the greatest in Praise of Allah; sublimely appropriate. Al-Mustapha, the Divinely Chosen, is real. He was flesh and blood. Human.

I love him, O Allah, I love him sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

In a world of distortion, where truth is overcome by fiction, the full moon rises. Although obscured by shadows or an overcast sky, the moon remains. Such is the fame and honour of Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Of average height, he towers above the elite of history. He would stand fully erect without a lazy slump. He was powerful, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. His chest was broad with a dusting of hair that extended vertically in a thin line down to his flat stomach, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Any kind of hardships you can envision and pray to never face was shouldered by him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, simultaneously.

He experienced in his 63 years of blessed life more tribulation than a cohort. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was an orphan, a widower, battle scarred, and unjustly outcast. He outlived many of his children and buried some of his grandchildren. His uncle, the Mercy of Allah be upon him, was martyred and his body desecrated. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was defamed, mocked, lied to and lied about. He was poisoned, stoned, and had to witness his companions tortured on account of their faith in his Message, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Sabraan, remain steadfast in patience, O Family of Yasser; your destination is Paradise. His teaching was simple. Allah, the All Mighty, is the only One deserving of worship and devotion. All that we encounter is by His Command. No harm can befall without His Permission.

His hair, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was black and wavy. He liked to keep it longer in length, usually not past his earlobes. It contained a few gray strands, about 23 in number. With dark irises he could, by Divine Permission, view a world that was unseen. He had long, dark eyelashes that from a distance could be mistaken for kohl. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would not avert his attention from a petitioner until their voice fell silent. His eyes would sleep but his heart was awake. His eyes never betrayed or invited treachery, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

The weakest, poorest and socially downtrodden would access him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as readily as the chieftains. He sheltered the needy, fed the hungry, protected the vulnerable, guarded the secrets and instructed the uninformed. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was calm when others were agitated, loving when others were filled with hate, and polite when shown contempt. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is the highest standard of character and the spring of Divinely ordained etiquette.

His skin, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was soft and naturally fragrant. His blessed hands were softer than silk and gave off the scent of aromatic musk. He was reddish in colour. He was not dark, nor was he pale. His skin was blemished with the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades. He was proportional in all respects, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

In his prayer, he found comfort and pleasure. His voice quivered in awe of the All Mighty. When leading others, he would, for the most part, recite from al-Qisar (the short chapters). If he heard a child crying, he would cut the recitation short to relieve the parent of any distress. His, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, grandchildren would ride atop his back during his prostration, and he would not move until they felt content. His voice was measured, and he paused at the end of every verse. He would recite the Qur’an in various accents to accommodate all the dialects of his companions. When alone at night, he would pray. He would remain vigilant for half the night, sometimes more, sometimes less. When he recited a passage addressing Allah’s Divine Mercy, he would stop and ask for it. If one of torment, he would seek protection from it, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

His face, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was manifest beauty. His eyes were well set apart and covered by full brows. They were not sunk into his face or overtly protruding. His mouth smelled sweet, and his teeth were always clean and white. His saliva was a medicine and blessing, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. By the Grace of Allah, it was a cure to the blind, increase in food to the poor, and an ointment to the disfigured. He had a full, dark beard that obscured his slender long neck from a distance. His smile was radiant, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

He was soft spoken except when he sermonised on Friday. His voice was melodious and captivating. He spoke only when necessary and refrained from idle chit-chat. His, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, tongue was true. He loved to listen and would ask questions of those whom he instructed. He was modest and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. He smiled and laughed often, seldom loudly.

When he, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was displeased, it could be read from his face. He never raised his hand against another living creature except during Divinely ordained battle. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was courageous and led from the forefront. He stood in the ranks of his soldiers and faced the hardship they endured. He ate what they ate, slept where they slept and dressed as they dressed. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was a man unlike the world has ever seen.

He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, dressed similar to his compatriots. He never owned a throne or regal markings to distinguish himself, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, from others. He would walk without an escort and disliked sentries being placed to guard him. He preferred neutral shades of white, green and black to clothe himself with. When he ate, it was never to his fill, and he always ate while sharing his food with others. He loved milk, dates and honey. His favourite dish was tharrid – roasted mutton on buttered bread and broth.

He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, cared for the earth and despised wastefulness and corruption. He was a tree hugger LITERALLY. He loved animals and instructed his companions to show kindness to them. When a camel wept, he would stroke it and speak to it in hushed tones. When the tree whimpered, he paused his sermon and embraced its trunk, whispering to it soothing words of comfort. Animals took comfort in him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Today, his modality of life and tradition remain intact, preserved not only in print, but in conscious spirit.

He loved us so much, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He would think of those who would believe in him many generations after his generation and weep in longing and hope. He loved us more than some care to consider. Every Messenger of God was allowed a request that would be answered by Allah. All the Messengers utilised their invocation in the worldly life except for Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, preserved his invocation to be intercession on the Day of Judgement for those who accept his message!

None can truly claim faith until Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is more beloved to them than their parents, spouse and children. To know him is to love him. To love him is to obey him. If he, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was to walk into your life now, what would he think?

O you who believe, send your greetings to Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

~Sh. Yahya Ibrahim

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Hadeeth: “I Shall teach you some words”

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

On the authority of `Abdullaah bin `Abbaas رضي الله عنهما who said: One day I was (riding) behind the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (on the same mount) and he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allaah and Allaah will protect you. Be mindful of Allaah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allaah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allaah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allaah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhee (2516) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

In another narration, other than that of al-Tirmidhee, reads: “Be mindful of Allaah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allaah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease.” [Mustadrak of al-Haakim (6304)]

Some benefits from this Hadeeth:

1) The kindness the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم showed to those who were younger than him when he said: “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice].”

2) The one who has something important to say, should begin in such a way to attract the attention of the listener, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did when he said: “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice].”

3) Whoever is mindful of Allaah, Allaah تعالى will protect him, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Be mindful of Allaah and Allaah will protect you.”

4) From forgetting about Allaah is: forgetting and giving up on Allaah’s Deen. So Allaah will let him go to ruin and will not protect him. Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَلا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ﴾

{And be not like those who forgot Allaah (i.e. became disobedient to Allaah) and He caused them to forget their ownselves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah). } [Surah al-Hashr (59): 19]

5) Part of Allaah’s عز وجل protection (for His creation) is that He تعالى guides them and leads them towards that which is beneficial for them. And from Allaah’s عز وجل protection is that He prevents them from committing evil deeds.

6) If a person is need of help, he should seek Allaah’s help. But there is no problem in seeking help from someone in the things which he can help in, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “and to help a man concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, is also regarded as Sadaqah.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2891, 2989) and Saheeh Muslim (2204)]

7) The Ummah will never be able to benefit anyone except if Allaah تعالى has already preordained it (to happen), and they will never be able to harm anyone except if Allaah تعالى has already preordained it (to happen).

8) It is incumbent that a person’s hope should be upon Allaah عز وجل alone and his hope should not depend upon the creation, as the creation has no power to harm or benefit.

9) And all the affairs have already been written down, as has been authentically reported from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: “Allaah ordained the measures of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.” [Saheeh Muslim (6416)]

10) As per the second narration, if a person remembers Allaah عز وجل (and is obedient to Him) during the times of good health and ease, Allaah عز وجل will remember him during his hardship, will be compassionate towards him, will help him and will remove his difficulty.

11) A person should (always remember) that if Allaah تعالى has preordained that something should happen to him, then there is nothing to prevent it. Similarly, if Allaah تعالى did not preordain it, then it will never befall him.

12) In this there is great glad tiding for those who are patient and steadfast and that victory is the product of Sabr.

13) In this there is also great tiding that easing of distress and the removal of hardship is tied with hardship; that whenever a person faces some trouble, Allaah تعالى will relieve him from it.

14) In this there is also glad tiding that whenever a person faces some hardship, he should wait for the ease from Allaah. As Allaah تعالى has mentioned it in the Qur’aan:

﴿فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً * إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً﴾

{So truly with hardship comes ease, truly with hardship comes ease.} [Surah al-Sharh (94): 5-6]

So if things become difficult for you, then you should turn towards Allaah تعالى, waiting for ease from Him – a promise from Him that will never fail.

15) Being relaxed when some harm befalls a person and when something he liked did not reach him is one of the meanings when he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by.” The first statement is about being relaxed when some hardship befalls a person; and the second statement is about being relaxed when a person does not receive the thing which is liked.

And Allaah is the One who grants success.

[Sharh al-Arba`een al-Nawawee by Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله]

World of Dreams

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Good dreams that are from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), act as those sweet raindrops which fall from high skies to cool the heated and thirsty ground. They put the heart at ease and raise the morale of a person.

Samurah ibn Jundub said, “Whenever the Prophet finished the (morning) prayer, he would face us and ask, “Who amongst you had a dream last night?” So if anyone had seen a dream he would narrate it. The Prophet would say: “Masha’Allah” [al-Bukhari]

Before the battle of Badr set off, Allah `azza wa jall did something amazing for the believers, although it was quite subtle:

“(And remember) when Allah showed them to you as few in your dream, if He had shown them to you as many, you (the believers) would surely have been discouraged, and you would surely have disputed in making a decision. But Allah saved you. Certainly, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.” [al-Anfal: 43]

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was shown a dream in which the opposition appeared very few in number, and he then reported this to the fighters of Badr which immediately put their hearts to rest and strengthened them mentally. By simply showing this dream, Allah `azza wa jall changed the entire way the believers viewed their enemy and He totally shifted their perspective of things, leading to their success. This is something we can do in our everyday lives…

Keep yourself connected to Allah `azza wa jall. When the world’s realities are bringing you down, He can send the world of dreams to bring you right back up.

Abu Hurairah said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, “Nothing is left of Prophethood except Al-Mubashshirat.” They asked, “What are Al-Mubashshirat?” He replied, “The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings).” [al-Bukhari]

~Fajr

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A Believer’s Attitude towards Calamities

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

There are things which, if the one who is stricken with calamity thinks about them, that will make the calamity easier for him to bear.

In his valuable book Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/189-195), Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned several things, including the following:

1 – If he looks at what has befallen him, he will find that what his Lord has left for him is similar to it or better than it, and if he is patient and accepts it, He has stored up for him something that is many times greater than what he has lost through this calamity, and if He willed He could have made the calamity even greater.

2 – The fire of calamity can be extinguished by thinking of those who have been hit even harder. Let him look to his right, does he see anything but calamity? Then let him look to his left, does he see anything but loss? If he were to look at the people around him, he would not see anything but people who are tested, either by missing out on something that they like, or by having happen to them that which they dislike. The pains of this world are like dreams or like a passing shadow.

3 – It should be noted that panicking will not make the calamity go away, and in fact it makes it worse. Panicking makes one’s enemy rejoice and makes one’s friend feel sad; it makes Allaah angry and makes the shaytaan happy; it destroys reward and weakens resolve.

4 – It should be noted that what comes after being patient and seeking reward is pleasure and joy that is many times greater than what he could have got from keeping what he lost. Sufficient for him is the “house of praise” that will be built for him in Paradise as a reward for his praising his Lord and turning to Him (by saying Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)). So let him decide which of the two calamities is greater: a calamity in this world, or the calamity of missing out on the house of praise in eternal Paradise. In al-Tirmidhi it is narrated in a marfoo’ report: “On the Day of Resurrection people will wish that their skins had been cut with scissors in this world, when they see the reward of those who were struck with calamity.”
One of the salaf said: Were it not for the calamities of this world, we would come empty-handed on the Day of Resurrection.

5 – It should be noted that the One Who is testing him is the Most Wise and the Most Merciful, and that He – may He be glorified – did not send this calamity in order to destroy him or cause him pain or finish him off, rather He is checking on him, testing his patience, acceptance and faith; it is so that He may hear his du’aa’ and supplication, so that He may see him standing before Him, seeking protection, filled with humility and complaining to Him.

6 – It should be noted that were it not for the trials and tribulations of this world, a person could develop arrogance, self-admiration, a pharaonic attitude and hardheartedness which would lead to his doom in this world and in the Hereafter. It is a sign of the mercy of the Most Merciful that He checks on him from time to time with the remedy of calamity so as to protect him from these diseases, to keep his submission and servitude sound, and to eliminate all bad elements that may lead to his doom. Glory be to the One Who shows mercy by means of testing, and tests by means of blessing, as it is said:

Allaah may bless us with calamities even if that is hard, and Allaah may test some people with blessings.

7 – It should be noted that the bitterness of this world is the essence of sweetness in the Hereafter, as Allaah will turn the former into the latter. Similarly the sweetness of this world is the essence of bitterness in the Hereafter. It is better to move from temporary bitterness to eternal sweetness than the other way round. If this is still not clear to you, then think of what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Paradise is surrounded with difficulties, and Hell is surrounded with desires.” End quote.

4 Categories of People

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: When you confuse one of these groups with the other, you will find yourself in evil.

The First of them:

They are those whose company is like nourishment that one cannot do without in the morning and evening. One leaves it after fulfilling his need from it, and then returns to it when he is in need. This is how it is on a permanent basis (with such nourishment). This similitude is more precious than red brimstone. The ones (intended in this similitude) are those who know Allaah, His commandments, the plots of His enemies, the diseases of the hearts and their remedies. They are sincere to Allaah, His Messenger and His creation. In this similitude (regarding) keeping their company, there is an all-embracing benefit.

The second category:

They are those whose company is similar to medication that is needed during illness. So, as long as you are healthy, you are not in need of intermingling with them. They are those you cannot do without in (seeking after) the beneficial things of livelihood and fulfilment of various dealings, partnerships, consultation, medication and the likes.

The Third category:

They are those whose company is similar to the diseases in their various classes and types, and the differences in their severity and mildness. Amongst them is one whose company is similar to chronic illness. It is this one who does not benefit you-neither in the religious nor worldly affairs, alongside the fact that you might either incur a loss in both your religious and worldly affairs or in one of them. So if intermingling with him is made possible, then it is that disease that is feared will lead to death. And amongst them is the one whose company is similar to a tooth ache whose pain becomes severe upon you, but when it leaves you the pain abates.

The Fourth category:

It is the one whose company is absolute destruction and intermingling with him is similar to eating poison. How common is this similitude within the people! May Allaah not make them numerous, and they are Ahlul Bidah Wad Dalaalah (The people of innovation and misguidance). They are those who hinder (people) from the path of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and call to that which is in opposition to it. They are those who hinder (people) from the path of Allaah and seek to make it cooked; so they present innovation as Sunnah and Sunnah as innovation, and they present virtue as evil and evil as virtue. And when you established Tawheed amongst them, they say: You have degraded the Awliyaa (friends of Allaah) and the righteous people. And when you establish ittibaa (correct adherence to the path of the messenger with evidence) they say: You have invalidated (the affair) of the followed Imaams. And when you command that which Allaah and His Messenger command and forbid that which Allaah and His Messenger forbid, they say: You are from those who put people to trial.

[Source: بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزيةVol: 3, Page: 467-469]

Rectify your Speech

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Have you not considered that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is on the earth? There is in no private conversation of three but that He is the fourth of them, nor are there five but that He is the sixth of them – and no less than that and no more except that He is with them [in knowledge] wherever they are. Then He will inform them of what they did, on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is the All-Knower of all things.” [al-Mujadilah: 7]

This is *the* verse which we should all carry with us whenever we sit and talk with friends, family, and even strangers. If ever we find ourselves getting comfortable and gossip comes up, or it leads to things like back-biting and just generally godless speech, then this is the verse to remember. Subhan’Allah, you are never alone. And this can be the most comforting thing to know, and yet it can also be the most fearful thing to realise; that you are not alone.

The verse doesn’t just talk about normal conversation between people… it specifically mentions the ‘najwah‘ – those secretive talks, or emails, or messages which you think no-one will read, or you hide so much from other people. Those very private dialogues, be they with close friends, or be they with people who you really shouldn’t be having that private and personal relationship with. Allah let’s you know that He is part of that conversation and that He’s right there with His knowledge; He knows the intentions, thoughts, and emotions of all those who are present. Hence the verse ends with Him being the All-Knower of *all things*.

Then it all comes back on the Day of Judgement. A report. A file. A Witness. Allahul-Musta’an.

There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward. [an-Nisa:114]

May Allah rectify our speech, our circle of friends, and also rectify our ‘najwahs’ if we ever have anything like it. May He fill it with khayr, islah (goodness), and words of remembrance, ameen.

Bidding Farewell to Ramadan

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

As the month of great mercies draws to a close, as the faithful engage in final acts of Ramadan devotions, as believers anticipate divine acceptance and as Muslims across the world prepare for the coming Eid celebrations, let us close our series of Ramadan exhortations from Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali with the following:


‘Servants of God! The month of Ramadan has resolved to leave, and only a little of it now remains. Those among you who have done well in it, let them see it through till its end. Those who have fallen short, let them finish it with goodly actions. Enjoy the remaining few days and nights that are left of it. Bid it farewell with righteous deeds that will testify in your favour before the All-Knowing King. See it off by parting with it with the purest greeting of peace …

O month of Ramadan, be gentle! The tears of the lovers are streaming down at your departure and their hearts torn asunder at the pain of separation. Perhaps standing to bid you farewell may quench the flames of yearning that burn within. Perhaps a few moments of repentance and abstinence may mend of the fast all that has pierced it. Perhaps one cut-off from the caravan [of fasters] may find divine acceptance along with them. Perhaps one who was deserving of the Fire will be set free. Perhaps one shackled by sins will be liberated. Perhaps the sinner shall be shown mercy to by the Protecting Master.’1


Salamun ‘alayka ya shahr al-siyam wa’l-qiyam. Salamun ‘alayka ya shahr al-tilawati
wa’l-qur’an. Salamun ‘alayka ya shahr al-barakah wa’l-ihsan. Salamun
‘alayka ya shahr al-ghufran wa’l-ridwan. Salamun
‘alayka ya shahr al-Ramadan.
Salamun ‘alayka.
Salam.

1. Lata’if al-Ma‘arif (Riyadh: Dar Ibn Khuzaymah, 2007), 486-7.

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Allah shows you His Signs..

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

“And say, ‘Praise is due to Allah. He will show you His signs, and you will recognize them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.'” [al-Naml: 93]

Every day, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sends us some of His Signs. He shows us different things; in His Verses, in the universe, in ourselves, in incidents that occur in our lives etc. Sometimes the signs are general, sometimes they’re very personal. He alerts us to these things so that we may turn to Him, hearken to His Existence, and worship Him. These signs come to us again and again, like the verse which you keep getting reminded about, but sometimes we’re so busy looking for other things that we miss the little things in our lives that keep coming back. Have you ever wondered at your continuous hardship? The test will keep coming again and again until your learn the lesson you’re supposed to learn. There is no such thing as coincidences in this world; but they are all signs, and signs lead the way to greater meanings and purpose.

When we realise that Allah `azza wa jall is guiding us to Himself, the steps we take at that stage become all the more important. Some of us will listen, and some of us will unfortunately turn away. We know the example of the one who will be raised blind on the Day of Resurrection, and he will cry out, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I had sight?” And Allah will simply say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, but you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.” [TaHa: 124-126]

When His Signs come to you, take great care not to turn away or to disregard. He knows that you’ve recognised the sign and whatever you do at that point is ever so crucial, because as He says in the end, ‘…Your Lord is not unaware of what you do.’

May Allah grant us insight and understanding, ameen.

—Fajr blog

Hardships…Trials…Tests!

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Surah al-Anbiya’, the Chapter of Prophets. In this profound Surah we go through passages where the lives of some of the Prophets are recapped. But it’s not their entire life that is detailed here; instead, Allah `azza wa jall alerts us to their moments of hardship, their trials, and their tests.

About Ibrahim: ‘They said, “Burn him and support your gods – if you are to act.” Allah said, “O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.” –
“And remember Nuh, when he cried (to Us) aforetime…”
“And remember Dawud and Sulaiman, when they gave judgement…”
“And remember Ayub, when he cried to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.”
“And remember Isma’il and Idrees and Dhul-Kifl; all were of the patient.”
“And remember Dhan-Nun (Yunus), when he went off in anger…”
“And remember Zakariya, when he cried to his Lord: “O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors.””
“And remember she who guarded her chastity (Maryam)…”

And so the passages unfold, each one giving us an insight into the lives of the Prophets and legends before us. They were tested, and so they called out to Allah for help. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was once asked ‘Who from the people are the most tested’, and he said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment. Calamities will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin upon him.” [al-Tirmidhi, sahih]

Hence it’s no surprise that in the Chapter of the Prophets, these tests are mentioned. But immediately after each mention, Allah `azza wa jall says, “So We answered his call…’ ‘So we saved him…’ etc. And in the end, He says, “Truly! This Ummah of yours is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me.” [al-Anbiya’: 92].

We are slaves of Allah following trails set by Prophets before us. They encountered hard times, and so we will encounter hard times. They were tested, and so we will be tested. They bore patience, and so we must bear patience, because we are one Ummah, with one religion. It’s truly uplifting when we take these legends and towering figures as our role-models and guides, because despite the struggles, they remain the best men to walk the face of this planet and this is something to truly look up to and be proud of.

May Allah keep us firm on His Path and keep us strong within the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), ameen.

Qadr of Allah

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Ibn al-Qayyim said, *“Inspect yourself – Are you innocent?!”*

“I remind myself and my brothers and sisters in Islaam to sincerely think about the following statements and ponder over how distant we are from them in reality:

– “That’s just great! This is why I hate Mondays!”
– “What is wrong with this laptop? Another virus!! And of course this
would happen NOW, when I have all this important work to finish!!”
– “The car seems to break down every time I’m running late!”
– “My stupid cellphone keeps shutting down…!”
– “Oh great! One more red light! As if I’m not late enough!”
– “I stubbed my toe on that stupid table!”

These small everyday trials we face and the emotions we react with are all part of our personal test. Our reactions, beliefs, and statements are all being recorded!

With the above mentioned complaints and reactions, who are we actually displeased with? We know that the table didn’t do anything to our toe, right? We know that cars, cellphones, and laptops don’t actually choose to do things to harm us in reality, right?

So then, again – *WHO or WHAT are we really displeased with* when uttering these kinds of statements?

We desperately need our spouses, friends, and companions to remind us, quite simply, with the following question:

*Are you unhappy with the Qadr of Allaah?*

Let us replace the bad reactions mentioned with the *very best guidance available*, the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (*sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam*):

*“…And if something (bad) befalls you, do not say, ‘Had I only done such-and-such, then such-and-such would have happened, rather say:
**Qadrullaahi, wa maa shaa’ fa’ala** (This is from the Qadr of Allaah, and He does whatever He wills).”* [Muslim]

Let us affirm everything we face as the Qadr of Allaah, submit to Allaah being pleased with the trial He (and no one else) has chosen for us, and be afraid of a bad reaction that would be written against us and handed to us on the Day of Account.”

*Written by: Moosaa Richardson*
Student of knowledge

Beautiful reminder from our dear brother masha’Allaah!

The Real Challenge

Having the stamina to do good *continuously* is the sign of true excellence, and the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) confirmed that by saying,

“The best of actions are those which are done regularly, even if they are few.”

The real challenge is when your conditions change. And thus the true righteous ones are those who maintain that standard. Reflect on the statement of Allah:

إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“We can see that you are a righteous man.” (12:36 and 12:78)

This statement was repeated twice to Sayyidinā Yūsuf (‘alayhis-salām).

The first time, he was in prison: poor, powerless.

The second time, he was one of the leaders of Egypt: rich, powerful.

The two scenarios couldn’t possibly be more different, but he maintained his excellence and that’s why he deserves all the accolades he gets as one of the close friends and Prophets of Allah jalla wa ‘alā. It doesn’t need to be a huge action, it just needs to be sincere and continuous.

So whatever good you start, just keep on going.

-Ustadh Abu Eesa Niamatullah

Seerah of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) – Shaykh Yasir Qadhi

  Why study the Seerah:   This is an obligation that Allah has put upon us, we have to know this person. There are over 50 verses in the Qur’an that command us to take the Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam as an example.  لَقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِىۡ رَسُوۡلِ اللّٰهِ اُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَنۡ كَانَ يَرۡجُوا اللّٰهَ […]

Victory Comes With Patience

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said to his cousin:

“And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.”

Even in the battle of Qadisiyyah, after fighting through the whole day, the Muslim leader said “just be patient, and keep fighting.” Even into the night, when most armies stop fighting at night! But subhanallah, what happened? By the next morning, the Muslims had won.

With anything you do, there’s this one moment everyone is tired, and if you push through that moment, endure a little more, then you make it. A winner mentality. Losers are like “no, I can’t do it, I’ll just quit.” Ask people who are black-belts–they’ll tell you the same thing. There’s this one moment where you feel like quitting. But if you push through that moment, you’ve succeeded–the rest you can do on cruise-control.

So whatever you’re trying to do–whether succeed at a project, or change a habit, or achieve a goal, or conquer an enemy, remember that victory comes with patience.

And of course, patience is an active quality, not a passive quality–don’t just sit back and expect things to go your way. Work for it, strive for it, and remember that results are from Allah (سبحانه وتعالى)

And Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says in the Qur’an:

وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ

And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones.

[Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 45]

The short story of Umar Ibn Khattab RA

Umar Ibn al-Khattab: “This Verse is Referring to Me”

It was narrated that Abu Salamah said: I came to Umar when he was hitting men and women in the Haram at a sink where they were doing wudoo, in order to separate them.

Then he said, “O so and so!” I said, “Here I am”.

He said, “I am displeased with you. Did I not tell you to designate one sink for men and another for women?”

Then he went away and was met by Ali RA and he said to him, “I fear that I may be doomed.”

He asked, “Why would you be doomed?”

He said, “I hit men and women in the Haram of Allah.”

Ali said, “O Ameer al-Mumineen, you are a shepherd (in charge of the people); if you did that out of sincerity and in order to set things right, Allah will never punish you, but if you hit them for no reason then you are the wrongdoer.”

[Musannaf Abdur-Razzaq, 1/75, 76, its isnad is hasan; Mahd as-Sawab, 2/623]

It was narrated that al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Whilst Umar RA was going around in the lanes of Madeenah, he thought of this verse:

“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly… “[Quran 33:58]

He went to Ubayy ibn Ka’b and entered his house when he was sitting on cushion. He took it beneath him and said, “Take it O Ameer al-Mumineen.” He kicked it away with his foot and sat down, and recited the verse to him, and said, “I am afraid that I am the one referred to in this verse, and that I have annoyed the believers.”

He said, “You cannot but keep an eye on your people, and issue commands and prohibitions.”

Umar said, “I see what you mean, but Allah knows the best.”

[Manaqib Umar, p.162; Mahb as-Sawab, 2/623]

From – Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 233

Lessons from the Salaf

Naseehah (Advice) from Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Al-Bannaa

Once, I entered the masjid for our class with our Shaykh Hasan Abdul-Wahhaab Marzouq Al-Bannaa (may Allah preserve him, and his family upon good), I found him praying. After I offered my prayer of greeting the masjid, I greeted the Shaykh, and kissed his head. We talked about how each of us spent our Eid and the conditions of our families. After this the Shaykh began to drink his tea, which was prepared for him.

Read More »

Effects of Sin

Bismillah

Sometimes we fall into sin, sometimes we fall short in our duties, sometimes we forget and make mistakes, sometimes we lose sight of the ultimate purpose of our existence, sometimes we lose track of our sincerity and intentions, sometimes we suffer a spiritual loss without realising it, and sometimes our Deen spirals downwards and we do not even acknowledge it. We slowly begin to lose out on the Akhirah (Hereafter), but we remain in complete obliviousness.

Seeking forgiveness and repentance is hence crucial for the human who has these short-comings. By nature and by definition we are a creation prone to forgetfulness; and naturally we forget our sins and forget our shortcomings. For many of us, we do not even acknowledge when we fall into the wrong and this is perhaps the scariest thing.

The effects of sin are many, but I just want to focus on a few:

1. One effect of sin is that a person will find themselves prevented from knowledge. I guess we’re all aware of the famous poem by Imam al-Shafi’i wherein he said,

“I complained to Waki’ regarding my poor memory
So he guided me to abandon all sins
And he said to me ‘The Knowledge of Allah is a Light
And the Light of Allah is not given to a sinner.’”

2. Another effect of sin is that a person will find themselves prevented from their rizq (provisions) or restricted in their livelihood. Do you ever find yourself in financial constraints without knowing why? Do you find that there is no barakah (blessing) in your money; the pay check arrives and within a few days or weeks you’re down to restricted means again? Maybe you keep seeking avenues to make a living but find every door closes on you and frustration just keeps building up? Perhaps this is a time to sit with your soul and seek forgiveness.
“… And whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and provide him from whence he did not expect.” [al-Talaq:]

“… Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send rain to you in abundance and give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” [Nuh: 10-12]

3. Another effect of sin is that one’s supplications are prevented from being answered. In Sahih Muslim, there is a hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) where he mentioned the case of a man who: “… having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty and spreads out his hands to the sky saying, “O Lord! O Lord!” (crying out in du’a) – while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he is nourished from the unlawful, so how can he be answered?”

One of the greatest dangers we face in the West is the consumption of Riba’ (interest), the effects of which are deadly and tremendous. If things are not working out in your life, if despite your good job and family, there always seem to be problems and discontentment in life, then seek forgiveness; perhaps major sins such as this have come between you and Allah so you no longer find peace and happiness in your provision.

Hence seeking forgiveness is not just for the sinner, but it is a habit of the righteous and pious. Allah opens doors and bestows many blessings upon a person by virtue of their istighfar and remembrance.

Let’s make it our daily habit insha’Allah!

Names & Attributes of Allah

He is Allah; al-Shafi, al-Ra’uf, al-Qahhar, al-Raqib, and more…

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

“… Not a leaf does fall
but by His Knowledge.” [6:59]

He is al-Shafi – the Curer.
He heals and cures the sick ones when they fall ill, and He looks after them during their physical weakness. He is al-Shafi Who has sent down for every illness its cure, and has measured out for every sickness its duration. His medicine never fails us nor misses us because He is the Creator and Curer Who knows these bodies of ours very well. He is the only One who can truly heal us, and the only One who can guide us to the persons and places in which He has placed our cure.

الشافي

He is al-Khafidh – the Abaser. And He is al-Rafi’ – the Exalter.
He is al-Mu’izz – the Giver of Honour. And He is al-Mudhill – the Debaser.
He raises whom He Wills and lowers whom He wills. He hands the kingdom to whoever He wishes and seizes it from whoever He wishes. And such are the days that He gives to Mankind; days weighed upon scales that tip according to the Decree of al-Khafidh al-Rafi’, al-Mu’izz al-Mudhill. Don’t you see how civilizations rise only to fall after some time? Don’t you see how the oppressed of yesterday become the leaders of tomorrow? Don’t you see how the famous disappear into anonymity and the unknown one becomes the well-known and remembered? The Scale of Allah tips and so we see extraordinary days, incredible history, and ironic happenings. He is al-Rafi’ al-Mu’izz Who raises His humble Slaves, and He is al-Khafidh al-Mudhill Who lowers every arrogant head. He turns tables as He turns the earth, and He does so with Wisdom in a Supreme Law which cannot be surpassed.

“Say: ‘O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is all good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.’” [Aal ‘Imran: 26]

الخافض الرافع المعز المذل

He is al-Ra’uf – the Kind.
Not only does His Rahmah (Mercy) surround all things, but His Ra’fah (Kindness) also has a strong presence in the life of the believer. He is al-Ra’uf Who pities the slave and shows him ways out of every difficulty. He is al-Ra’uf Who inspires the slave towards deeds which He then accepts so kindly. He is al-Ra’uf Who gives us more than we deserve and blesses us daily. His Kindness to us is many times greater than the kindness of a mother to her own child. It is what spares us from His Punishment, it is what pushes us towards seeking forgiveness, and it is what saves us when we blindly rush to things that will only ruin and destroy us.

“And indeed, Allah is to you Kind, Merciful.” [al-Hadid: 9]

الروؤف

He is al-Qahhar – The Irresistible and Supreme.
He is the one Whom souls recognise and stand in awe of. His Strength is overpowering and dominating; it breaks and defeats forces you can see and forces you cannot see. He is al-Qahhar who causes the backs of the oppressors to break, the necks of the Mushrikin (polytheists) to lower, and the soul of every Man and Jinn to submit at the time of death. He is al-Qahhar to Whom everything in the heavens and the earth pays heed to, prostrates to, respects and fears so deeply. The King of Kings. The AlMighty and Supreme. Nothing can break away from His Grip when He seizes and nothing can escape His Sight or Knowledge.

“He is the Irresistible, Supreme over His slaves, and He sends guardians over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.” [al-An’am: 61]

القاهر القهار

He is al-Mubdi’ – the Initiator.
He initiated the creation and began it from nothing. He originated the heavens and the earth when they were non-existent. He is al-Mubdi’ who initiates new things in your life, and creates new circumstances – some as a blessing, some as a test, and some to just bring change into your life and a different direction. He creates you and creates your way and all that you will meet therein.

But just as He is al-Mubdi’, He is also al-Mu’eed – the One who repeats. As He created the first time, He will repeat it. As He constructed existence once, He will repeat it. But also, that smile He once placed on your face, He can certainly repeat that. Those days of joy He caused to take place, He can certainly bring those back. And just as He created certain things in your life, He can certainly repeat them. The Dunya encircles, and comes back on itself, history repeats and comes back on itself, all because of the Hand of al-Mu’eed… will we then be steadfast?

المبدئ المعيد

He is al-Raqib – the Watchful.
You’re never really alone, and you’re never really free to do as you please. The eyes of Mankind may be diverted away from you but the Eyes of Allah never sleep. He is al-Raqib Who watches His servants, each and every one of them; He watches over you and never does He lose sight of you. He watches your actions, and watches what goes on inside you. Blessed is the person who remembers al-Raqib and in turns develops within themselves what is called ‘al-muraqabah’ – to act under the watchful Eye of Allah and constantly be in a state of awareness.

الرقيب

He is al-Fattah – The Opener.
He creates a way when there seems to be no way and opens a door when there seems to be no key. He is the Judge Who decides what is best, and guides you when confusion overtakes you. Whenever you reach your dead end, don’t stand there wondering what’s happened, instead call out to the only One who can create a path from absolutely nowhere: ‘Ya Fattah, iftah ‘alayya!’ (O Opener of ways, open up my way).

He is al-Fattah, and as He opens up the skies upon the dead earth, and breaks away the darkness with the dawn, so too can He open up upon your dead heart, open your eyes to solutions, remove your obstacles, and grant you a way out.

He is al-’Aziz – The Honourable and AlMighty.
No amount of transgression can tarnish His ‘izzah (glory) and no amount of disobedience can lower His Might. He is al-’Aziz. To Him belongs ultimate ‘izzah and as such, He grants it only to those of His slaves who seek it through Him Alone, who do not seek it in other than Him, and are thus saved from the dark depths of hypocrisy.

“… And all honour, power and glory belong to Allah, His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.” [al-Munafiqun: 8]

He is al-Sabur – the Patient.
Every day we transgress His limits, we fall short of His Rights, and we forget Him. But in patience He remains and forbearance does He show, for He is al-Sabur. Don’t you see how they ascribe partners and a son to Him, how they blaspheme against Him, how they deny His very Existence, but still He keeps them alive, still He provides for them, still He gives them Signs and gives them more time.

He is al-Mu’akhir – the Delayer.
He delays certain things out of Mercy for us, but out of ignorance we become impatient. Instead of having a good opinion of Him, a deeper certainty in His Power, and more trust in His Ways, we instead become anxious, resentful, and unhappy. Our Iman (faith) then takes a dip because we’ve failed to understand. But He is al-Mu’akhir. He delays out of goodness. Does He not delay punishing the creation for their sins, so that they can come to repent?

Life is a Test

Bismillah,

 

Verily, We created man from a drop of mingled sperm so that We may test him; and therefore We made him hearing and seeing. We have indeed showed him the way, now he be grateful or ungrateful. (76:3)

 

Some Reasons Why Allah Tests Us by Problems :

The problems we face will either defeat us or develop us – depending on how we respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how Allah wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways Allah wants to use the problems in our life:

  1. Allah uses problems to DIRECT us. Sometimes Allah must light a fire under us to get us moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is Allah trying to get our attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”
  2. Allah uses problems to INSPECT us. People are like tea bags…if we want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has Allah tested our faith with a problem What do problems reveal about us? “When we have many kinds of troubles, we should be full of joy, because we know that these troubles test our faith, and this will give us patience.”
  3. Allah uses problems to CORRECT us. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child our parents told us not to touch a hot stove…. But we probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship,… by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to Allah’s laws.”
  4. Allah uses problems to PROTECT us. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents us from being harmed by something more serious. “You intended to harm me, but Allah intended it for good…”
  5. Allah uses problems to PERFECT us. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. Allah is far more interested in our character than our comfort. Our relationship to Allah and our character are the only two things we’re going to take with us into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient.. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust Allah more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.”

Here’s the point:

Allah is at work in our life – even when we do not recognize it or understand it. But it’s much easier and profitable when we cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way”

Allah Knows Best…