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
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.
Day 25 / Juz 25 (Ramadan ’17):-
“Allah is Subtle with His servants…” [42: 19]
It’s not difficult for Allah to show us His signs in elaborate and stark ways. It’s not difficult for Him to shake the earth beneath our feet or colour the sky above us if need be. But that’s not how He works with His slaves. He is subtle and He is consistent in His subtlety. He teaches us in ways that are gentle and personal to each of us, and He alerts us to our mistakes on a very discreet level.
I remember one time when I was studying abroad, a friend of mine asked me to listen to a lecture on a particular aspect of fiqh. I kept putting it off but it was strange because she kept asking if I had listened to it and I said no because to be honest it wasn’t a topic that interested me or concerned me. I had other subject areas that I wanted to learn more about. So I didn’t bother with it and completely dismissed it (may Allah forgive me). Subhan’Allah, within a few days, out of nowhere I fell into a predicament which concerned that *exact* same fiqh issue. I was astonished to say the least. It wasn’t a major crisis but it wasn’t an every day matter either; it was something so far from my mind at that time. But anyway, the message was ever so clear. Allah was saying to me ‘Don’t dismiss any aspect of knowledge; it’s not for you to choose’, and He was alerting me to take His gifts and opportunities for learning. What brought me to tears was how subtle everything was and how it all unfolded; from my friend’s random suggestion and persistence, to the timing of it all. Needless to say I rushed back home and listened to that lecture twice over 😀
Allah is subtle and He wishes only that we are humble enough to notice His gentle messages and act upon them. He wishes only to teach us in gentle ways because if He wished, He could’ve taught us harshly – but He chooses Mercy at every instance. O Allah, be gentle with us and guide us with Your kindness, Ya Lateef.