A Woman’s love is one of the most beautiful things a man can ever possess. It’s a warm blanket over a shivering body, a word of comfort and support in the midst of lies, a sip of water and morsel of food in the belly of a starving wanderer. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “…The most blessed joy in life is a good, righteous wife.” The purity of a good woman’s love can’t be matched by any other worldly thing. Getting to a point where you can receive that love is a wholly different story. Many of us put walls up around our hearts. We’ve been taunted by people who don’t understand our faith, called by the worst names just for existing in our religious garb. And sadly, we’ve also been hurt by people in our own community. Imams of mosques throw around jokes about women as though we can’t hear them – as though it doesn’t affect us to be lumped together and stereotypically thought of as too emotional, too complicated, too female. From the sneering comments about having four wives that send the men into fits of roaring laughter to the dank dungeons of mosques to which we are relegated – women struggle with it all. Some of us are even exposed to abuse within our own families. We’re told that we can’t. That’s the word that’s most often used: “can’t.” Can’t follow your dreams because you’re a woman. Can’t ever be in the public eye because you’re a woman. Can’t speak for yourself because you’re a woman. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. But we can, and we know it, because we are some of the most intelligent, articulate human beings on the planet. And so we struggle every day to be faithful believers, to follow our dreams even though we’re being told not to, to work diligently to better our community because we love it despite its flaws. Every day we live that struggle. And so we unknowingly build walls around our hearts. Not to keep love out, but to keep pain out. To keep out the voices of people who tell us to not speak or do or think. To keep out the comments of passersby on the train saying go back to your own country. The walls are there so that the disrespectful jokes roll off our shoulders, so that we can still enter the mosque and pray even when the space is subpar. We need those walls around our hearts to survive. We’ve pieced together those exterior shells so that we are not devastated at every turn, heartbroken at every negative word, unable to lift our heads above water every time someone says we “can’t.” A woman’s love is within those walls, within that shell that has been growing and hardening for years. The unsuccessful man tries to forcefully break down those walls and reach what is within, angrily giving up when he realizes those fortresses aren’t suddenly going to come crashing down. He wants what he doesn’t yet deserve. The successful man stands and waits until he notices one single loose brick in that wall, and he nudges it and coaxes it out of its place. That’s the beginning of love – the systematic dismantling of every barrier that she has put up because she has had to survive all these years. He commits to her. He offers her his heart, even if it’s also bruised and battered, so that she can know it’s safe to finally just be. That is when true love is born. Those who have known a good woman’s love will know that there is nothing like it. Nothing sweeter. Nothing truer. Nothing else that can be a perpetual place of warmth in the midst of winter, a private running stream in the midst of drought, and a place to put your heart when your heart was once homeless. It takes a good man’s love to really know the potential of a good woman’s love. May God grant it to all those who seek it. “Good women are for good men, and good men for good women” (24:26). وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ
The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah, the Most High, said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ ” [Hadith Qudsi]
Positive thinking is a great quality of any human being. In order to be stress-free and more effective, we will have to start thinking positively. Positive thinking does not mean that we should ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that our attitude towards unpleasant situations will be more positive and we will deal with them in a more productive way. We should think the best is going to happen, not the worst. There is a negative attitude that has spread across the Muslim world. If we have trouble finding a job, we will blame society around us for being racist. If someone is going through hard times, we will assume Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is punishing them because they are bad Muslims. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an at many places that we should always expect the best of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will have mercy on us and will relieve us of hardship. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us if we seek forgiveness, will accept our repentance if we repent, will answer us if we supplicate, and will suffice us if we ask for something. We should call upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) while we are certain that we will be answered by Him. The mindset for us, and for our children, must be to fulfill our obligations while we are certain that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept our actions and forgive our sins and make our matters easier for us. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and is from the greatest of the major sins. Sometimes we assume the worst. We start to think that we are deprived of our rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and our soul bears witness to this while our tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. So, let us ask ourselves, are we protected from this type of mindset? This type of attitude is very destructive and we should try our best to keep our children from negativity and always think positive in all situations.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “By the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, the believer is not given anything good better than his good expectations of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), and by the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, no servant of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) expects good of Him except that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives him what he expected, since all good is in His Hand.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best From Allāh, P.No:6]
Click to read more: http://productivemuslim.com
Blessings of Tahajjud prayer | Al-Isra v.79 | Dr. Sh. Yasir Qadhi
Surah Al-Isra, Verse 79:
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا
And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.
(English – Shakir)
Day 29 / Juz 29 & 30 (Ramadan ’17):-
“My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my home as a believer…” [71: 28]
The Qur’an details many of the du’as made by the Prophets and this particular du’a by Nuh (AS) is one that leaves a warm feeling in my heart. Nuh goes out of his way to seek forgiveness (a major theme in this surah) not just for his parents but also every single person who walked into his house as a believer. Such a beautiful du’a. He is essentially making his home a sanctuary where people are prayed for and they receive the gift of his prophetic supplication.
Our homes are places of safety, mercy, and well-wishes. It’s a place where we welcome others and offer our peace to them. We host them and we feed them. But Nuh went a step further and made his home a place where the forgiveness of Allah touched everyone who walked in. Paradise is called the ‘Home of Peace’ (Dar al-Salam) and so Nuh is teaching us to create homes of peace, a little oasis of Paradise right here on earth by seeking the forgiveness of Allah for ourselves, our families, and everyone who steps into our home.
As Ramadan draws to an end, I ask Allah to forgive me, my parents and family, and everyone who reads this or has read these posts and benefited. May we witness many more Ramadans, ameen 🙂
Day 28 / Juz 28 (Ramadan ’17):-
“When the prayer is finished, disperse through the land and seek the bounty of God…” [62: 10]
There is a time for this and a time for that. A time to worship and a time to do business. A time to celebrate joyously and a time to remember solemnly. A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to converse with society and a time to converse with your soul. It’s all about balance and being careful not to hit extremities or dwell for too long in the corners of life.
Even when it comes to prayer, Allah `azza wa jall is instructing us to go out and disperse through town once we are finished praying. We have to tend to the other aspects of our lives and we’re not allowed to seclude ourselves forever in worship; that’s something people have unnecessarily burdened themselves with or guilt-trip others with. As mentioned towards the end of the previous Juz, it’s not only impossible to sustain, but it’s actually not even true piety. True righteousness is being able to live in this world and despite its hustle and bustle, you still remember Allah, you still worship Him, and you still make time for Him.
Day 27 / Juz 27 (Ramadan ’17):-
“…And He will appoint for you a light whereby you shall walk…” [57: 28]
In a world that is fast being engulfed by darkness of all sorts, most of us yearn for some light. There are people that walk the earth with light; they see with clear clarity and are enlightened from within. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have any problems, but it means that despite the problems, they feel peace and are well-nourished and protected by their Iman.
Allah `azza wa jall promises us this light from Him, but all it takes is 2 things as the verse mentions: “O believers, be conscious of God, and believe in His Messenger, and He will give you a twofold portion of His mercy; and He will appoint for you a light whereby you shall walk, and forgive you; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.” [57: 28]
That’s all it takes to completely transform our lives from inside out. Have some God-consciousness within you and follow in the footsteps of His final Messenger. You will be led through the earth and led through life – with light from Him. You’ll come across mercy twice-fold. You’ll make it out of every problem and you’ll never be defeated by anything though it may test you fiercely. You will see His signs and appreciate them, and you’ll find yourself through them. How many people long to find themselves. You’ll see bravery and courage develop within you as you become fearless due to your ever-increasing fear of God, and you’ll also soften and become vulnerable in ways you didn’t stop to think about. It’s a tale of you finally seeing yourself and transforming because when light hits something, you really begin to see it for what it is – and that’s a powerful thing.
Day 26 / Juz 26 (Ramadan ’17):-
“O Mankind, indeed We have created you from a male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [49: 13]
How often we come across this verse! It tells us of our origins and why we are all so different. And ain’t that a beautiful thing 🙂 There’s a hadith that fascinates me in relation to this, and it’s when the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Allah created Adam from a handful that He gathered from the entire earth, so the sons of Adam come like the earth. Some of them are red, some are white, some are black and some are in between. Some of them are easy, some of them are difficult, some are evil and some are good.” [al-Tirmidhi, hasan sahih]
We are as different as the grains of sand on earth, and if you know anything about sand particles you’ll know how vastly different we are. This is not only to be celebrated, but it’s also to be understood… You won’t always see eye to eye with people, you won’t always understand why they react the way they do, and you won’t always understand their reasons for so many things. You may get along absolutely fine with some people and yet be stumped by others and be frustrated by them. Understand that they are from a different grain of sand.
I have a firm belief that we should all be able to get along with people on a basic level, no matter how much we disagree or dislike them. You can always choose to be amiable, choose to interpret words well, and choose to respond with balance and piety. This is how to build bridges with people who are different, and this is how we can get to know one another… after all, it’s our differences that create a strong intrigue inside each of us.