Comparisons

Have you ever felt really down because you felt as though one of your friends or someone you know has achieved a lot more than you have? This could be in terms of knowledge, their socio-economic status, perhaps they have a better job or they have already graduated. Maybe they’re married and have children, and you feel like you’re falling behind. I think comparing yourself to others is one of the most poisonous things you can do to yourself. Unless you are comparing your situation to those who have less than you, in order for you to be grateful.

On the authority of Abu Huraira (R.A.A.) who said: The Prophet (PBUH), said: “Look upon one who is below you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace of that God bestowed upon you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

We all know this hadith, and we know that the prophet Muhammad (SAW) only gives us the best advice. Then why do we keep comparing ourselves to those who we think are more ‘blessed’ or have more, even though we know we shouldn’t? I think sometimes it’s hard to control, it’s hard not to feel down when your friends have secure jobs and you’re job seeking almost everyday. However, it’s important that when we realise we are doing this, we stop ourselves and remember those who are less fortunate than us. It’s important that we remind ourselves that everyone has a different journey, and, that our sustenance has already been written by the Greatest of writers. If and when we are going to get married and have kids has been written by the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and He is the best of planners.

It’s also important to remember than even if we never get a job or our dream job, even if we live our whole life struggling financially, it’s ok. Why? Because wealth isn’t a measure of how much Allah SWT loves us. Health, wealth, anything in this world does not determine our status with Allah SWT. These things are a test for us, whether we pass them or not will influence our relationship with Allah SWT. If He wills that we will live our life in poverty it does not mean that He is displeased with us, and vice versa. Do we forget that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who was sent as a mercy to mankind didn’t live a life of luxury? He was handpicked by Allah SWT to spread the message of Islam, he is so beloved to Allah SWT, and he lived his life in poverty. And what about all the other prophets (peace be upon them all), they were all shepherds, only a number of them were wealthy (correct me if I’m wrong). They all lived simple and humble lives. The same goes for the companions of the Prophet (SAW), they knew that this life is temporary, and they lived according to that.

 

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Qualities in a spouse 

Whilst waiting at the Tyre shop today, a brother walked in with 2 young boys (presumably his sons), probably aged between 8 and 11. I was minding my own business, scrolling through my phone. They sat two seats away from me so it was hard not to hear. One of the boys said ‘I’m bored’. The man replied something like ‘You’re bored? Let’s get rid of your boredom. Say La illaha ilallah.’ Then he went on to say ‘Say SubhanAllah, Allahuakbar’. 

Then he started asking them ‘What does la illaha ilallah mean? What does illah mean?’. The boys were having trouble answering, and he patiently kept asking ‘What does la mean in English? What does illah sound like?’ And so on. SubhanAllah, he kept so patient and consistent with them. Many of us would just give up and tell them the answer or get frustrated, myself included. But he kept asking them different questions that related to the initial question so that they could figure out the answer. 

And I thought, that’s the quality we should be looking for in a spouse. It sounds like an obvious thing; look for someone who has deen, is patient, has a good character etc. But I think sometimes when we are faced with a potential spouse we compromise or think of compromising some very essential characteristics and traits. 

The idea of marriage and the feelings of infatuation can often get the better of us. And we might find ourselves forgetting to ask the person how they feel about kids, how they interact with kids and so on. We might feel like their looks make up for the qualities missing in their personality. And of course no one is perfect. But it’s better to look past someone’s looks rather than their deen and character. And we do this, intentionally or unintentionally. 

I was a little saddened when they told me my car was ready, as I found their conversation so beautiful and uplifting, MashaAllah. 

It made me think further about marriage and the pressure that comes from our family and society. Sometimes people settle for less because they’re scared that if they wait a few more years, no one will want to marry them. And yes, if you find someone that ticks all the boxes then go ahead. But don’t settle for less. Don’t compromise on things that you deep down know will have a detrimental affect on yourself and your children in future. Look for someone who will not only help you elevate your imaan, increase your knowledge etc. but also someone who will help you raise your children in the best islamic way, that is, in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah, in’shaa’Allah.  

May Allah keep the brother and ourselves steadfast on this deen, bless the marriage of those that are married, and grant a pious spouse to those of us who are not yet married, ameen. 

Aleppo

​You know what’s the saddest part about what’s happening in Aleppo? 

Our Ummah turns a blind eye, and I’m the most guilty of all. 

We criticize the mainstream media because they don’t see this as ‘newsworthy’. 

But we should know better, what have WE done to help? 

We criticize Muslim countries, but what have WE done? 

Our Muslim brothers and sisters are calling for our help, are we responding fast enough? Or are we too busy blaming one another?

How many times did you scroll past the horror until you realised it’s pretty serious (understatement).  

How do we have the audacity to complain about our lives? 

It’s sad to say that I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we needed the same help and they turned us away.
You know what’s the scariest part? 

What will our answer be on Yaumul Qiyama when Allah SWT asks us what we did to help our brothers and sisters in need. What were we doing whilst they were getting tortured, raped, bombed? 

What will our answer be? 

‘Oh Allah, I was too busy working’? 

‘Oh Allah, I was preoccupied with my family’?

‘Oh Allah, I was living my own life, having fun with my friends, I didn’t even stop to think’? 

‘Oh Allah, I was too selfish to put my own needs aside, I was careless’? 

‘Oh Allah I was expecting so and so to help’?

Forgive me ya Allah.

“And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” [Qur’an 2:281]
Dearest Muslim friends and family, 

Today, we feel sorry for our brothers and sisters in Aleppo. On Yaumul Qiyama, they’re probably going to feel sorry for us. 

By helping them you are essentially helping yourself, just like every good deed, every charity you give.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

“…If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim]. 

It may seem as individuals there is nothing we can do. There is always something we can do;

Make as much sincere dua as you can, raise awareness, DONATE, speak to your connections, raise money. We need to stop pointing fingers and utilise the blessings Allah SWT has given us. 

I fear the Day I have to face my Lord and tell Him why I didn’t do enough.  

#Aleppoisburning 

The Ummah is sleeping.

The lonely rose in my garden

She stood alone in the rain

Cold, wet, feeling unbearable pain

She looked up at the beauty of the sky

Then she remembered why

Why she was here

It was all made clear

She remembered why she was created

To worship her Lord unassociated

She no longer felt she was in an empty space

Being alone she could now embrace

 

Reflections from Surah Al-Fatiha

Every time I listen to a tafsir on any Surah, I am absolutely mind blown. One Surah that never ceases to amaze me is of course Surah Al-Fatiha. Whilst it’s fresh in my head, I just want to share some points so that you may also benefit in’shaa’Allah. 

When we say Alhamdulillah- We know it means All praise belongs to Allah (SWT). Not ‘I praise Allah’ or ‘We praise Allah’. Why? Because when me and you are gone, Allah is still praiseworthy. So, essentially, it translates to ‘All worship was, is and will always belong to Allah (SWT). 

Rabb- Means more than Lord and Master, it also means, Protector, Guider, Creator, Sustainer, and more. 

Rahman and Raheem we know as ‘the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. These are simple translations. Rahman also translates as Abuntantly and Unlimitedly Merciful. Raheem is Constantly Merciful. What an amazing and perfect combination, SubhanAllah. 

Middeen refers to the Day of Judgement. More specifically, Retribution- i.e. Getting what you deserve/ Consequences of ones actions. 

Iyaka Na’budu- It is only You we worship. In the word Na’budu also has the word abd which means slave. The Shaykh said so beautifully “Our prayer is proof that we are in fact slaves of Allah, otherwise it’s an empty claim if we don’t pray”. The reason for the ‘we’; Emphasises the importance of unity: The ultimate way to establish unity is through the worship of Allah (SWT). 

Wa Iyaka nasta iyn- The word Nasta’iyn comes from the word ayn which is one of two words for ‘help’ in the Arabic language. This help is the kind of help where you seek daily assistance. “A believer constantly seeks the help of Allah in every little thing he or she does”. 

At the beginning of the Surah, it started off in third person. Then went to second person (which is closer and more intimate) once ‘worship’ was mentioned. SubhanAllah. 

Nothing in the Qur’an is coincidental, so why did Allah (SWT) mention worship before help? The best way to ask Allah SWT for help is to ask straight after worshipping Him. 

Grammatically, the word ‘iyaka’ does not have to be repeated twice in the one sentence. So why does Allah SWT separate worship and help? To subtly inform His slaves that even if they haven’t been worshipping Him, they can still ask for help. SUBHANALLAH. 

It is mind blowing stuff. This was a tafsir done by a Shaykh, and what I have written is from my notes. There is only so much detail I could add in, please listen to a tafsir that will give you more detail and make it more personal. I haven’t even come to the end of the Surah. In the same tafsir, the Shaykh explains how Allah SWT tells His angels that we are praising Him. And how Allah SWT responds back to our praise. Any mistakes made are mine. Allah SWT is perfect. 

We know simple translations because it’s hard to add many words to one Arabic word. The English translation does not do justice to the eloquence of the Arabic language, and how Allah SWT places particular words in certain places. May Allah SWT make it easy for us to learn Arabic, ameen. 

I found this content in ‘Qalam Now’ where there is some short courses you can take, including Fiqh of Salah. I definitely recommend having a look into it. I had the first month free and after that it’s only $10 a month. Invest in your akhira. Assalamu alaykum 💕