The little things

Isn’t it amazing the gifts that Allah has blessed us with. The ability to see, hear, talk, smell, feel physically, spiritually and emotionally. SubhanAllah when things get tough in life, we tend to forget how much Allah has blessed us with, although we would never be able to count them. 

Allah SWT says in the Qur’an; “And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah , you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” (14:34)

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by sadness when something doesn’t go our way. We forget all the good that we have. And before that issue/trial came about, were we grateful for the current state we were in? We often take for granted the ‘small’ and ‘simple’ things. We have clean drinking water, fresh food and a roof over our head. But we still feel ungrateful sometimes, SubhanAllah. 

The Messenger SAW said; “Whoever among you wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body, and he has his food for the day, it is as if he were given the entire world.

This morning I woke up in an usually agitated mood. I was a little grumpy and worried about my financial status and whether I would have enough money to last me for the next couple of weeks (I recently left my job). Anyway, I went outside into the sunshine, and read a couple of chapters of a small book that I’m reading which is based on the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (not a full seerah rather his characteristics moreso). What I read on one of the first few pages changed my mood and attitude completely. “…He trusted Allah so much that he did not fear poverty.” (Referring to Muhammad SAW). And on the next page the author wrote how much the Prophet SAW was focused on the hereafter, and how he refused to take from this world anything that was beyond his basic needs. How often we forget our purpose in this life… SubhanAllah, no wonder he was sent as a mercy to all mankind. And I posed the question to myself, and encourage everyone to also think about this; how much do we really strive to follow our Prophet SAW? It’s as if we’re in a constant state of take take take (from the dunya) yet there is a hole in our heart that can only filled by the remembrance of Allah SWT. We’re always running after this life and everything in it, forgetting that life is temporary. The Prophet SAW said: “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.”
We need to detach ourselves from the dunya, detach ourselves from anything that gets in the way of our relationship with Allah SWT. May Allah make it easy for us to always remember the reason we are here in the first place, so that we may be among the righteous and among the ones who have Allah’s shade on the day of Judgement, so that we may be in the highest level of Jannah. Ameen. 

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Weddings

One of the most significant times in a person’s life is marriage, and yet sometimes I wonder whether people get married to start a family or throw a wedding party. 

I will never understand why people spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a wedding. Whether it’s from an Islamic view or not, I just don’t get it. Yes, it’s an amazing celebration, but there are people with average salaries that blow all their life savings on one day. And on top that, they’re paying it off for another few years. I am talking Muslim weddings, ranging from 20 thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. That money could be spent helping the poor and needy- which is essentially building their akhira, but instead they spend it on this extravagant wedding in order to please people whom they don’t even like or socialise with. (And let’s face it, as a ‘wog’ or an Arab, you’re expected to invite your sisters’ husbands’ cousins’ uncle in which you only ever see once a year..!)

Not to mention all the haram that takes place on what’s supposed to be a blessed day. Free mixing, music, extravagant spending. Why would anyone want to start off their marriage disobeying Allah? “Oh but we’re in the 21st century”,”It’s not a big deal”, “it’s just one day”, it’s tradition!”… All this effort to make it seem like it’s normal or okay.  

Some people are so consumed about their wedding day plans, they almost forget why they are getting married. They spend months, sometimes years planning the ‘perfect’ wedding and engagement. Two big events, over within hours. Yet so much time, effort, money, and planning has gone into them. For what? To announce your marriage? To please people you see only on Eid? 

It’s almost funny, when you tell people that you want to conduct your marriage ceremony in the most simple way; a Walima at a Mosque, they think that you are out of your mind because you aren’t following your cultures tradition. Unfortunately, because of families disagreeing with young couples, and putting a huge amount of pressure on them- they end up compromising and end up having a traditional wedding. I’ve seen this happen. This way, the family is happy and the couple doesn’t have to hear their nagging anymore, the family feels like they have ‘properly’ celebrated their child’s wedding because they were able to get up and dance. At what cost? Are they going to save you on the day of Judgement when there is no help, but the help and shade of Allah SWT. 

We need to change our priorities. We are so consumed by the dunya that we forget that this life is only temporary. It’s hard when your family is upset at you and they don’t understand you, but don’t compromise your Deen because of them. Allah always comes first, it is only Him that is able to forgive you, it is only Allah that determines your hereafter. So don’t give in. May Allah make it easy for us to speak with our families gently when they disagree with us. May Allah make it easy for us to be calm with them, and keep good relations whilst at the same time, not making any compromises to our religion, Ameen. 

Jannah

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and it has never crossed the mind of man. All of that is reserved, besides which all that you have known is as nothing.’ Then he recited: ‘No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do’ [al-Sajdah 32:17 – interpretation of the meaning].” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3072) and Muslim (2824) — the report narrated by Muslim adds: “apart from that of which Allaah has informed you.” 

​I didn’t write the following, I don’t know who did but I absolutely love it. 

“Imagine… sitting with your spouse in Jannah. And then deciding what the plans would be for that day…

Should we go outside, sit on our thrones, with waterfalls of milk and honey flowing beneath us? And enjoy a cup of Jannah wine, while smelling the sweet scent of Jannah musk?

Should we go to the souq, the market place, and meet all of our old friends that we used to kick it off with in the dunya, and talk about what dunya was like, and how we all made it here, and how Allah (swt) bestowed His favor upon us?

And then your spouse says, you know what, how about we go visit the Prophet (ﷺ) today. And so you and your spouse, go hands in hand, walking towards the house of the Prophet (ﷺ)

You pass by the homes of Talha and Zubair (ra) and you say salaam to them. And then you go and knock on the door of the Prophet (ﷺ) in Jannah.

And lo and behold, Rasulullah (ﷺ) opens, with a big smile on his face, and says Ahlan wa Marhaban, Welcome, and embraces you.

And invites you to sit inside his home, in his noble living room, and sits right across from you and asks you if would like a cup of Jannah tea.

And you sit in the home of the Prophet (ﷺ) and Rasulullah (ﷺ) gives you a cup of tea. And he sits infront of you and gives you his undivided attention.

Imagine what that discussion would be like…what would you tell him? what would you ask him?

Would you tell him about your favorite moment in the seerah? Or would you ask him what Taif was really like? and how he still managed to remember us, as the blood spilled from his noble face?

But in Jannah, there are no more tears and no more fears. Just the sweetness of success and sacrifices.

Imagine him (ﷺ) telling you an inside joke between him and Aisha (ra)? Or the time he (ﷺ) caught Anas (ra) playing with kids, instead of running errands?

What if Rasulullah (ﷺ) told you how he remembered YOU, or how he knew YOUR name, and longed for the moment he would meet YOU?

What if Rasulullah (ﷺ) told you, that I remember when your salam reached me, and I answered Walaykumusalam so and so.

What if, at the end of that conversation, the Prophet (ﷺ) extended his hand and offered you a sip of water, after which ag6ain you would never feel thirst, not physically nor spiritually.

For the only sight more noble and beautiful than the face of Muhammad (ﷺ), is the face of the Lord of Muhammad (ﷺ), and the Lord of you.

And for that, all you have to do is look up…and you will see Allah (swt)…

Because in Al Firdos, you will never be left to imagine again.

Hijab

How times flies, it’s been a year since I decided to put on the hijab, key words (I decided). And for some reason, I don’t feel oppressed yet… Is this something that comes at a later stage? How will I know when it’s the right time to feel oppressed?

All jokes aside, while to some people, this piece of cloth on my head represents oppression, hardship, and in some cases, violence. For us Muslim women, it is the complete opposite.  There’s something liberating about this piece of cloth on my head, (well it’s more than that actually…)

In all honesty, the day I decided to put it on, I was extremely nervous as well as excited. There were a million things rushing through my head, and my heart was beating really fast. I put my trust in Allah SWT and walked out of the door feeling anxious, yet at ease at the same time.

As you may be able to read in my previous posts, the first few weeks were a  nerve racking experience. Walking into work with it on (and I had only been there for 6 weeks at this point). Going to UNI for the first time with it on, and simple things like going to the shops and other public places. I felt as though everyone was starring at me, and I later figured out that we only think people are starring when we feel uncomfortable. I mean, I wasn’t uncomfortable about wearing the hijab, I guess I was more paranoid than anything, about others feeling uncomfortable in my presence, and being called derogatory terms.

As time went by, I started to really embrace my hijab. My love towards it grew more and more each passing day. I felt like I was apart of something really special. Despite not being able to go to some activities that I normally would, I never felt restricted or disadvantaged, Alhamdulillah. I learnt that once you put your trust in Allah, everything falls into place. The hijab became apart of my identity, and eventually I was more than okay with that- and with the fact that the first thing people would know about me when seeing me is that I am a Muslim.

To this day, I struggle to understand why people still see the hijab as sign of oppression. For me personally, the most liberating thing I did was put on the hijab. For most of us, it means that our worth is not judged by the color and length of our hair, the shape of our body and eyebrows, etc. Rather, it encourages people to see you for the person you are, and for that thing inside our head i.e. brain.

To me, the hijab, niqab or ‘burkini’ symbolises freedom. Why? Because most of us choose to wear it for the sake of pleasing our Lord, not for anyone or anything else. I don’t know how being forced to undress for men liberate women? It’s a little contradictory if you ask me. The whole thing about men choosing what a women wears (whether it’s a hijab, a niqab, or being half naked) is just wrong. If you want to oppress someone, you tell them what to wear, taking away their freedom to choose. There’s so much debate over who wears what to where and how, and a lot of this discussion is by men in power. We can only feel liberation if we get to decide for ourselves, each to their own. I choose to wear the hijab as an act of worship and obedience to God. It doesn’t matter whether people disagree with me or don’t understand me.

When you do something for the right reason, Allah will help you through it. I’ll end with one my favourite hadiths; The messenger of Allah (SAW) said “You will never leave something for the sake of Allah, but Allah will give you something better in return. [musnad] How beautiful is that, you give up something impermissible for the sake of Allah, to save yourself on that Day and in the hereafter, and Allah replaces it with something better.

Racism

Do you ever get extremely frustrated with the fact that there is so much racism towards Islam and Muslims? I’m not going to lie, I get annoyed a lot of the time. But I don’t know if any of us stop to think why it’s happening… I mean, obviously because the media is bias and has got into the heads of a lot of people. But other than that, we know Allah controls everything right, so why would He allow this to happen? Have you given it any thought?

I come across an article earlier today on Facebook about Pauline Hanson and how she was stirring up things again the other day saying that Australia is in danger of being swamped by Muslims. There was a comment from a random person on there; “If it wasn’t for people like Pauline Hanson, I wouldn’t become close to God. I love my religion, my values more than ever before. I am proud to be an Australian muslim, this is something very special to me!” SubhanAllah, I smiled and thought ‘WOW’. How many more Muslims do you think are feeling the same? We don’t even realise why these things are happening, we don’t realise why people like Hanson and Trump are allowed to talk nonsense all the time. Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Allah is testing our faith? That Allah is using this as a means for us to get closer to Him? 

How strong is our faith? Is it as strong as Bilal ibn Rabah (ra)? If you don’t know the story, Bilal (ra) was one of the first people to covert to Islam, he was a slave and was tormented by the leaders of the Quraysh for not turning back to idol worshipping. He was whipped in the hot dessert, commanded to say the names of the idols, instead he would repeat “Ahad, Ahad (He is one, He is one)” referring to Allah SWT. Eventually Bilal (ra) became one of the close companions of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and also became the first person to sound the adhan. 

Alhamdulillah, our trials aren’t as difficult as what the companions faced. However, sometimes it can feel as though the world is on our shoulders and there can be moments where we feel like giving up. That’s when we should remember the following hadith. 
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials. 

Sabr is key. 

Don’t forget that Allah also tests us with ease, so at every opportunity we have, we should be trying to get closer to Him. Never underestimate the power of dua, if you are struggling, call upon the Lord of the heavens and the earth. 

Beauty…

If only our sisters focused on their Deen and their internal features as much or instead of their physical features. These days it’s all about who is wearing which brand makeup, whose contour and eyebrows is ‘on point’. It’s about who has the best body, and now we even have waist trainers so that our body may appeal to certain people. It hurts my head to see these young beautiful sisters waste so much time, effort and money on products that are there just to make them look ‘good’ in an effort to be accepted by society. I mean, let’s look at it from a non Islamic perspective for a moment; Young women often try fitting into society’s beauty standards- well, society’s corrupt idea of beauty anyway. Young women all over the world commit suicide because they don’t consider themselves ‘beautiful’. Far too many young women face mental health issues and depression because they don’t get the job they want due to not looking a certain way. 

We are told that being a certain weight is ugly- yes there are health issues behind that, no doubt, I’m not advocating that. But it doesn’t mean that all ‘skinny’ people are healthy. And not all chubby people are unhealthy. Fair enough if that’s the message they were portraying.. But does society promote health? No, they only promote physical ‘beauty’. 
What even is beauty and who gets to define it?! For me personally, a beautiful person is kind, generous, compassionate, forgiving, thoughtful, and sympathetic. A beautiful person is someone who is helpful and friendly. A beautiful person should not be defined by what they look like. 

Let’s take it back to Islam, a beautiful person is all of those aforementioned attributes and more. A beautiful person in Islam, is also someone who trusts and obeys God. Who strives to be a better Muslim everyday. Think about it, we waste so much time in front of the mirror trying to look ‘nice’ with 3 layers of foundation, fake eyelashes, and plucked eyebrow hair that Allah has blessed us with. We are so carried away with looking good, that we forget to work on improving our inner selves and our spirituality. And let’s just put aside, that of course a Muslim woman shouldn’t be beautifying herself where non Mahram men can see her… We forget that one day, we are going to be met by an Angel, who will take our soul away, and we will be alone in that grave- with no makeup, no phone, no nothing. The people we tried so much to impress will not be there to save us. Our physical self that we worked so hard on rots within a few days or weeks, SubhanAllah. This may sound harsh, but it’s reality. We are going to wait in that grave far longer than we lived on this earth. Inna lillayhi wa Inna lillayhi raji’oon. May Allah make us of those who strive everyday to be a better Muslim, may He only take us away when He is pleased with us, Ameen. 

Embrace the now

It’s funny looking at old photos, you think “Wow I used to have so much fun” and “life wasn’t as complicated”. And sometimes we dwell on the bad decisions we made, the wrong people we let into our lives. We think about how careless we used to be, and how sometimes that was a good thing. We think about all the things we could have spent time doing, and all the time and effort we put into meaningless relationships and jobs that never worked out. And sometimes we’re scared and worried about what the future will bring. 

And this is our problem. We’re either dwelling on the past was and how anxious we are for the time that hasn’t reached us yet. We’re not living in the moment, and we need to. As hard as it is, let go of the past, nothing can bring it back. All the people we’ve met, crossed our path for a reason, some of them stayed, but most of them are lessons that we’ve learnt from. As long as you have sincerely repented and keep repenting for the bad you’ve done, leave it in the hands of Allah SWT, there’s no need to worry so much that it consumes you. As for the future, it is planned by the Best of planners. It is written by the Most Merciful, the All Forgiving. Stop worrying, live in the moment. Live to build your house in Jannah, forget the luxuries of this Dunya. It doesn’t last, it doesn’t bring you peace. Remember your purpose, worship Allah SWT as much as you can. We don’t know when our last day is, so make the most of the time you have.