Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love according to Islam

Sometimes it is so easy to take those we love for granted.  We forget that our parents, siblings, spouse, children are our brothers and sisters in Islam.  We push them away, damage these most important relationships.  If only we could love everyone around us for his sake, we wouldn't be the cause of other's suffering.  They are Allah (swt)'s gift to us.  If only we could rise above our limitations, our weaknesses, ourselves and show the LOVE we truly feel deep inside for those around us.  May Allah (swt) help us SHOW the love we already feel for those around us, help us love everyone for his sake, and fulfill everyone's rights over us.

Found here

"Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory?"
Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: Allah will say on the Day of Judgment: 'Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, - on a day when there is no shade but mine I shall shade them with My shade.‌ (Sahih Muslim - 2566)
Love is among the most exalted of human feelings. When this love is focused on Allah and forms the basis for our interpersonal relationships, many problems are transcended, and great fruits are harvested for society as a whole. The Quran and Sunnah often speak about the noble status of those whom Allah graces to possess such love.
We have the famous Hadeeth that enumerates the seven people who will enjoy Allah's shade on a day when there is no shade but His. One of those mentioned are: two men who love each other for the sake of Allah alone, meeting for that reason and parting for that reason. (Sahih al-Bukhari - 660 and Sahih Muslim - 1031)
Love for Allah's sake transcends the limits of our worldly existence, enduring into the life to come. Allah says:
"Close friends on that Day will be foes to one another "except for the righteous."
Loving one another for the sake of Allah and brotherhood in faith are among the most excellent acts of worship. This worship comes with conditions upon those who would love for the sake of Allah. This love has its duties that must be fulfilled so that the relationship will be pure and free of base undercurrents. Upholding these duties brings a servant nearer to Allah and to His pleasure and, over time, it can bring about a greater nobility of person.
Among the duties of this love are the following:
1. They must truly love to extend support and assistance to each other and must love good for one another. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.  (Sahih al-Bukhari - 13 and Sahih Muslim - 45)
2. They must enjoin each another to truth and patience and give each other sincere advice. They must enjoin what is right and the forbid what is wrong and guide each other. They must help one another in carrying out works of righteousness.
Allah says:
"By time! Surely the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience."
Allah also says:
"The believing men and women are protecting friends of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong."
3. They must engage in the things that cultivate this love, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and facilitate the fulfilling of their duties to one another.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim.
They asked: "What are they, O Messenger of Allah?"
He said:
When you meet him, greet him with peace.
When he invites you, accept his invitation.
When he seeks your advice, advise him.
When he sneezes and them praises Allah, invoke Allah's blessings upon him.
When he falls ill, visit him.
When he dies, follow his funeral.
(Sahih Muslim - 2162)
4. A Muslim has the right to kind treatment from his fellow Muslim. He should be greeted with a smile and given a pleasant reception.
The Prophet (V) said: Do not view any good act as insignificant, even the act of greeting your brother with a smile on your face.  (Sahih Muslim - 2626)
Discord and division should be avoided. Ibn Taymiyah said: If every time two Muslims disagreed they shunned each another, then there would be no cooperation or brotherhood among Muslims.‌
5. They must guide each other to what is good and help each other in acts of obedience. Likewise, they must prevent and discourage one another from falling into sin and iniquity.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: One should help his brother whether he is an oppressor or the one being oppressed. If he is an oppressor, forbid him from his oppression. If he is being oppressed, then come to his aid. ‌(Sahih Muslim - 2584)
6. The love between believers completes itself in a most wonderful and genuine manner when the two are away from each other, they pray to Allah for to bless each other. This continues for the living one even after the other has departed from the Earth.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: A Muslim's supplication for his brother/sister in secret is answered. At his/her head an angel is appointed, and whenever he supplicates for his brother/sister with something good, the angel appointed to him says: Ameen, and likewise for you ‌(Sahih Muslim - 2733)
7. They must excuse one another mistakes and defend each other's honor, never speaking ill of or deriding one another. They should keep each other's secrets, advise one another sincerely, and never abuse each other.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: It is not permissible for one Muslim to distress a another. ‌ (Sunan Abu Dawud - 5004 and Musnad Ahmad  23064)

Collected and Revised
Hamadi Al-Aslani
Source: JeddahDawahCenter

Friday, February 10, 2012

After hardship comes ease - 2

Once you hit rock bottom, there is no other way but to rise up.  Alhamdulillah, the day after I got a call.  I got the job I had interviewed for.  SubhanAllah.  Allah (swt) is most merciful.  He gave it to me when I was in most need of it.

As I told my family, the whole family was overjoyed.  SubhanAllah.  This job meant more to us than it does to other regular families.  A lot of things depended on this job.  Unlike others, our life could have drastically changed if I hadn't gotten a job within this limited period of time.

I saw my mother crying tears of joy, after a long time.  I saw the open and free smile in my father's face after a long time.

That was also the day I decided to finally draw a conclusion with the guy.  He was a good guy mashaAllah, but not for me.  We were similar, and yet too different from ways that mattered the most.  I found it difficult to draw a middle ground between him and my family.  I was doubtful from the beginning, but those doubts never cleared up.  Instead he also became doubtful.  The more days went by, the more incompatible we seemed.  I took it to be the answer to my istekhara.

Surely everything happens for a reason.  Allah (swt) knows best.  Who knows, maybe the right guy is around the corner.

After hardship comes ease - 1


Surely after hardship comes ease.  This week has been a proof of that.

The melt down happened couple of days ago as I heard them speaking to me.

"I can see you are trying so hard to make everything seem normal, but it is not.  I can see it.  I have known you for three years and I have never seen you like this.  It is like you are not you anymore, I feel like I am losing my friend.  Something else has been going on and I see you sinking deeper and deeper.  Why won't you tell me what it is?"

I didn't know what to tell her.  Some things shouldn't be said.  Some things no one understands, and you don't want anyone to understand either.

"This doesn't have to be your life.  You WILL get out of it.  Just put your trust in Allah (swt).  He loves you.  He wants best for you.  So why are you losing hope?  Make dua to Allah (swt) to solve what it is that has been bothering you."

Then my sister came into the room and saw my red eyes.  A few more tears escaped as she spoke to me gently.

"Don't worry.  Everything will be okay.  Allah (swt) has always watched over you, he has always looked after you, and he always will."

And last but not least, my mother walked in on me at the end of the day and saw the traces of tears in my face.  She took me with her and tried to understand what it is that I seemed so broken about.  After a while when I couldn't explain what it is, she started crying.

"I don't know what it is that is bothering you.  I just want to see you happy.  And it hurts me when I see you so broken but I don't know what it is, and can't do anything about it.  Whatever it is that is making you depressed, get out of it."

Finally I was forced to tell her, "Mom, it's okay.  I am probably just PMSing."

My mom was startled.  I do that sometimes.  When I don't want to speak about what it is that is bothering me, or I think that others won't understand, I blame it on PMS.  It is much easier to do so than to attempt to explain the things that are going inside my head.

Some battles are my own.  I must walk through those paths alone.  The world must not know about those, specially my family.  These are the roads I don't want to walk alone, but I also don't want others to know.  It's okay.  I am not alone.  Allah (swt) is always with me.

Allah (swt) is most merciful.  He has put so much love in these people for me.  He surrounded me with love when I was in most need of it.  The concerned friend, understanding sister, and loving and caring mother.  They all cared for me, and wanted me to be happy.  All of them told me words I needed to hear.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making the changes

A lot has happened within this week.  InshaAllah I will soon write all about it.  In the mean time, a great lecture by nouman ali khan. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trials in Islam

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah.  Allah (swt) is most merciful.  It is amazing how he does things.  How he makes the end meet at the end of the day.  A great lecture on "Trials in Islam".  MashaAllah.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012



Dear friend.  Why do you stress out because of the tests life throws at you?  Why do you fear you will not pass?  Why do you fear you would fall?  When your fate has already been written.  Allah (swt) knows exactly what is going to happen.  It has already been determined for you.  So why worry about the results?  You may not get the thing you are aiming for.  To the world you may seem like a failure.  But does it really matter what the world thinks of you?  As long as to Allah (swt) is pleased with you, that's all that matters, doesn't it?

Allah (swt) does everything for the best.  So what if you fail?  So what if things don't turn out the way you wanted them to be?  If you get the things you hope to get, alhamdulillah.  If you don't, alhamdulillah.  Know that Allah (swt) is the best of planners, and he has planned something better for you.  So what if to the world you seem like a failure?  If those aunties talk about you?  If your parents are disappointed?  If you fail to make the ends meet?  As long as you try your best, and remain thankful to Allah (swt), he will reward you.  Victory will be yours in the end.  You will have a good ending.  these things in the middle, these mishaps in the middle are your tests.  Tests may be painful, but it is those painful times when we learn the most, when we learn to become stronger.  These tests are your blessings.  They make you realize how weak you are, and how powerful Allah (swt).  They may be painful, but know they are happening for the best.  Use them to your advantage.  Hold on to the rope of Allah (swt), use your tests to get closer to him, and in the end you will be a winner.

Dear friend.  Your job is not to win.  Your job is not to succeed.  For that only comes from Allah (swt).  Your job is to strive, to try your best.  Put YOUR best effort, tie your camel, then whatever that happens, be content because it is from Allah (swt).  Why stress yourself out and make things more difficult for yourself?  Just try your best and leave the results up to Allah (swt).  Have a mindset, that regardless of what happens, you will say alhamdulillah.  

Remember the story of Maryam (as).  When she was pregnant, and she was sitting under a date tree?  She was weak and alone.  Allah (swt) asked her to shake that date tree.  Now realistically speaking, can a weak and vulnerable pregnant lady really shake a tree?  Even a strong man can't do that by himself.  Allah (swt) is most wise.  He knew that she could not do that.  But he asked her to do so because he wanted to show us that regardless of our condition, we must try.  Alone we can never achieve anything.  We are weak human beings ourselves.  But if we try for his sake, he will take that little effort that we are putting, he will put barakah into it and he will give us big results like he did for Maryam (as).  Our job is not to achieve, and not to make things happen.  Our job is to put effort.  Result comes from him.

So whatever is meant to happen will happen.  There is NOTHING you can do to stop it.  You are just a weak human being.  So have faith.  Go there and fight.  This is your jihad.  Fight for his sake.  Everyday wake up and do your best to be the best servant of his that you can.  Trust him, turn to him, and praise him for everything.  Even if everything falls apart, know that at the end Allah (swt) will grant you victory.  Whether you see it in this life immediately, couple of years down the line, or even in the day of the judgement.  So smile and say alhamdulillah :)
Faith means, no worrying. Faith is passionate intuition. Every tomorrow has two handles -- we can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. He who has faith has an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well, even though to the world it may appear to come out badly. -

Monday, January 30, 2012

Letting the waswasa into your head

Worth checking out.  Lot of good articles in her blog for self development mashaAllah.  Super Muslimah Project.  One of her articles:

Found here

Rumination: Letting the Waswasa into Your Head

Looping thoughtsHave you ever caught yourself thinking about your ex-husband or an ex-friend, replaying your relationship? Or had negative thoughts about past events or people you used to know replaying round and round in your head?

It’s something that many of us do to some extent. Thoughts of things that we’ve done or experienced - especially if there are strong emotions connected to the event, such as regret, guilt, anger or embarrassment - just seem to pop into our heads uninvited and assume a life of their own!

There are times when good can come from pondering over an event; it can help you to analyse the event, learn from it and to then be able to move on. But some people get stuck in a loop. I was talking to a friend of mine recently. Her husband left 8 years ago and she said that she was still preoccupied by it. She kept on looping round and round in her head all the things that happened all those years ago, still trying to work out what she did wrong!

Rumination (going over and over things in your head) is a problem experienced by more women than men. We women tend to mull over things and hold onto them, whereas men are more pragmatic thinkers; if they can’t do something about a matter, they tend to move on from it and leave it behind. So why do we keep on doing this and how can we stop?

Shaytan's Waswasa

"And incite whoever you can among them with your voice…" (Surah Al -Israa, 17:64)

Allah warns us in the Qur’an that Shaytan will incite us to stray from the Path. He drops bad thoughts into our minds and then moves on, hoping that we'll pick them up and run with them, turning them into ideas that will harm us, our relationships and our deen.
When this happens to you, you have a choice; you can either choose to dismiss the thoughts, work out whether there is any merit pursuing them or you can let them develop into a massive story, full of twists and turns that sometimes has no connection with reality. You could embroider them so much that they take over your mind, your senses, your emotions, your time and your energy. But in the end, the choice really is yours what you do with those thoughts.

As Ibn Qayyim said: “You should know that the initial stage of every knowledge that is within your choice is your thoughts and notions. These thoughts and notions lead you into fantasies. These fantasies lead towards the will and desire to carry out [those fantasies]. These wills and desires demand the act should be committed. Repeatedly committing these acts causes them to become a habit.” (Al-Fawaid)

There can sometimes be a value in ruminating over something for a short while to understand what happened, so you can learn from the event and then move on, but the problems come when you don’t move on and they develop into something stronger.

Why Re-run Old Movies?

So why do you let yourself keep on re-running those old movies?

Is it because:
  1. You feel that you were so hurt by something that it would be ‘wrong’ to dismiss it from your mind quickly?
  2. You need to remember all the details, just in case the person who hurt you ever comes back into your life one day and then says something that will give you the opportunity to really tell them what you think of them?
  3. You’re feeling down and sorry for yourself and you want remember all the bad things that have ever happened to you to justify your feelings?
You might be laughing at what I’ve just written. But just take a second and think about the last time you caught yourself ruminating, and be honest with yourself as to why you were doing it.

Let’s look at those reasons:
  1. If you were hurt by someone, how does it help you to recover from it to keep on picking at the wound? Where is it written that you have to suffer for a certain period of time after a hurt? Just because other people do, is that the best way to handle it? What is Shaytan hoping you'll do with that thought?
  2. If we look at the death of a loved one - one of the biggest losses most people face - and the way it is marked around the world, we see that there isn’t a standard process of grief that everyone must go through, as it used to be thought. In fact some people respond to grief by laughter, celebration, and bawdiness, in addition to their sadness. This shows that the mourning process is more determined by culture than a natural human response. Likewise if someone has hurt you, you don't have to dwell on it and suffer for a long time.
  3. If someone has hurt you by leaving you and is now moving on with their life or just isn’t showing any sign of feeling guilty or sorry about something they have done, how likely is it that they are going to come back to you and want to talk about an incident that happened, especially if quite some time has passed? Do you think that they even still think about it, never mind remember it?
  4. If you keep on going over the past and rehashing it and remembering all the details, who is still suffering because of it? Not the person who hurt you, certainly; they have moved on and are now having fun. So what benefit are you getting from repeating it over and over again, except for reinforcing your feelings that you have been a victim and have a right to suffer! Is that what you want from your life too? Or do you too want to move on and enjoy your life? And would it really be so bad if they did come back and you couldn't remember all the details and you could actually forgive them? Which position do you think Shaytan is hoping you'll take?
  5. If you’re feeling down or depressed, this is the time that negative thougths most often pop into your head, when you're already feeling weak. But take a second to think; how does reminding yourself of all the sad things that have happened to you in your life help you to recover and get over your depression*? Who is benefitting from you continuing to feel like that? Once you’ve recognised that you’re feeling down, what might be a better way to respond to it?

Moving on to the Next Chapter

I read a very powerful statement the other day that epitomises the problems that occur due to rumination. It said: “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one!” How true is that?

If we keep on rehashing the past, how can we ever move on with the future? It’s like trying to drive a car while looking in the rear-view mirror! There’s a reason why the rear-view mirror is only a fraction of the size of the windscreen; it’s because we only occasionally need to look at what’s behind us. What we really need to do is to spend more time looking forward and concentrating on what’s in front of us.

Next week, I’ll be looking at a whole series of things that you can do to move on and break the cycle, some of which helped my friend to stop ruminating over her husband. In the meantime, if you’d like to share some of the things that have worked for you, let us know below.

Alternatively, if you need some help and support sooner than that, ask for a free consultation and we can discuss how I can help you though coaching.

*I'm not referring to clinical depression here, although some of the techniques I'll talk about next week can also help those who are clinically depressed too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An update...and importance of placing trust in Allah (swt)

It has been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog.  Thought I should give an update. 

I have been talking to a brother.  It has been one black hole filled with confusion.  One after another there has been obstacles, from my side, from parents side and then from his side.  Oh don’t forget the third party.  And yet somehow, one after another each obstacle passed.  I prayed istekhara, and keep praying to Allah to take him away if he isn’t the one.  But he isn’t gone yet.  Things are very uncertain right now.  The whole thing started out me being very negative, then I became positive, and now I am just neutral, I want to see where this goes.  My family and friends were also negative at the beginning, maybe because of how I was feeling at the beginning, and then somehow they became positive as well once they found out more about him.  He was positive in the beginning, but something I said made him unsure.  I understand why, and I understand his views, his feelings and his perspective, but I do not regret saying it.  According to Islam, it is my right, and he should know that if he is going to come in.  Maybe some day I will write about it, when there is an ending.  Right now, the ending is unclear.  He is coming to visit me soon inshaAllah.  So I am waiting.  My family is also waiting.  Let’s see what happens.

A note: If third party gets involved, they should really learn to differentiate between their reaction, and the reaction of the two people who all this is about.  They cause a lot of miscommunication, and bring in more confusion.  But Alhamdulillah.

Besides marriage something else has been on my mind.  SubhanAllah, marriage is the least of my worries right now.  2012 is a really big year for me and my family.  A lot has to happen, or the thing I fear and the thing we have been trying to avoid for the past 14 years will come true.  Sometimes when I think about it, I feel like a huge burden has been placed on top of me, I feel constricted and suffocated. 

Then I turn to Allah (swt) in prayers and supplication, and he lightens my burden.  I can breathe again alhamdulillah.  When I think about it, I see a mountain that I don’t know how to move.  But when I remember the power of Allah (swt), I realize the smallness of the mountain.  I remind myself of all the times that Allah (swt) has saved me before when I had given up hope.  I know whatever happens will happen for the best.  I just have to be patient and push to my limits.  Allah (swt) is most merciful, the most loving.  He blessed me with this situation so I can turn to him, and increase my iman alhamdulillah.  So I can realize how powerless and weak I am, and how powerful he is.  I know whatever happens in the end will happen for the best, whether I see that couple of years down the line, or in the hereafter, so why should I worry? 

I went to a lecture yesterday, and subhanAllah, I kept thinking this lectures is about me and my family.  Allah (swt) is so loving, that earlier that day when I prayed to him, he answered my prayers, he answered what course of action I should take, he told me the words I needed to hear through this lecture.  The topic was about “importance of placing trust in Allah (swt)”.  The things that the speaker spoke about, the example he used, were examples that could be about us.  One thing he said that stuck out was, if we are to look at our difficulties, we will not find any difficulty that the prophet (sas) hasn’t gone through.  SubhanAllah, so whenever we are going through something, let’s look at the life of the prophet, and see how he dealt with it.  Allah (swt) never places a burden on us that we can’t handle.  And he tests us to purify us.  So when something happens, let’s speak to him before we speak to our friends or family.  Let’s say innalillahi wa innailaihi rajioon.  Let’s say alhamdulillah before we can complain.  Let’s accept our situation, our tests, let’s accept that everything is from Allah (swt).  And use our tests, our difficulties, the challenges he places in front of us to rise above and get closer to him, inshaAllah.  

laa hawla wa la quwata illah billahil alyul azeem.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dear self...

Assalamu alaykum,

Life is full of tests.  Our main goal in life is to please Allah (swt) and use all the resources he has given us to please him, to pass his tests and get closer to him. 

We all want marriage.  We want that friend, that soul-mate, who will be there with us so we don’t have to be alone.  But what is the point of getting married if it makes us distant from Allah (swt).  Allah (swt) knows us best, more than we know ourselves.  Although we want something really bad, it might be bad for us in the long run.

Being in a bad marriage is much worst than being single, isn’t it?  Our main goal should be to please Allah (swt), to enter Jannah.  Although we want that path to be easy, and strive with our loved ones by our side, but if Allah (swt) has ordained singlehood to be the path to jannah, then so be it.  ALhamdulillah for whatever that happens. 

If we get married, alhamdulillah.  We can strive to please Allah (swt) through marriage.  We can work to be good wives and mothers because there is so much reward in it.   But again Allah (swt) knows us best.  Maybe we would’ve failed the test of marriage.  Maybe the test of single life is much easier for us to pass than marriage would’ve been. 

Or maybe marriage would’ve distracted us from Allah (swt).  Maybe we would’ve been so in love with our husbands that we would’ve become distant from Allah. 

It is okay to want marriage, make dua for it in tahajjut, but know that marriage isn’t everything.  Allah (swt) knows best, he has written different way to jannah for different people.  It is okay to seek marriage, but if your intentions aren’t right, the marriage market can feel like a battle field.  Having to deal with rejecting others, being rejected, emotions, parents, it can leave you feeling drained and depressed and make you want to not go back.  But sisters, if your heart is in the right place, then you will learn to say alhamdulillah after every experience.  With every prospect, you know you are getting closer to Allah (swt).  Every time it doesn’t work out with someone, you get to make the dua “oh Allah, replace what I have lost with someone better”.  “Oh Allah, every time I get hurt, make me rise in status in your eyes”.

Don’t complain to anyone but Allah. 

Pain is inevitable.  No one can run from it.  But make your pain count for something.  If you get hurt, and became ungrateful and become more distant from Allah, what was the point of it all?  Make your pain count for something, make it worth it.  Use your pain to get closer to Allah (swt).  Because otherwise, you are in a lose-lose situation.  You are getting hurt in this life, and you are losing in the eyes of Allah.  But if you set your priorities right, then yes you might get hurt, but you know in the end, victory is yours.  You know you will win at the end.  And when you do, you won’t care about all the times you have cried and been hurt.

Have a back up plan.  Being single has its advantages too.  Make a commitment to stay grateful no matter what happens.  Who else would you need if you have Allah (swt) and yourself?  Take Allah (swt) and yourself as your best friend.  If you have these two, you will need no one else. 

It is a short journey.  Life will end soon, but your soul will live forever.  What you do today determines how your life is in the hereafter.  Everyone has their own tests in life, their own struggles.  Strive to gain Allah (swt)’s pleasure through whatever path Allah (swt) has chosen for you.  This does not mean stop trying to get married, or stop wanting to get married.  However this means don’t keep the condition of having your desires fulfilled.  We may plan, but Allah (swt)’s plans are better than our plans.  Strive your utmost, and if it is good for you, he will give it to you.  But if he knows this to not be good for you, he will give you something else in return.  Your effort will not go to waste, so what do you have to worry for.  May Allah (swt) make all of our path to Jannah easy for us.  Ameen.