Blessing in disguise

I think sometimes Allah swt wants to remind us that this world is temporary. That we need to detach ourselves from the pleasures of this world, and remember our true purpose. Sometimes the reminder comes in a hardship that you don’t think you will ever be able to overcome. But Allah does not burden us more than we can bare. And we know this, we know it so well, but we struggle to comprehend it. Whether we understand it today or not, whether we can see through the light through the tunnel or not is completely irrelevant. All we need to know and understand is that what ever has happened has happened for a reason. And that He will take care of you. All you need to do is ask. And maybe that’s another thing, maybe we’ve slacked off so much since Ramadan that Allah swt just wants us to call out to Him again, and worship Him the way we did when things weren’t so great. Forgetting our purpose in life is worse than anything I can ever think of. So maybe this hardship is not the worst thing that can happen to me right now. Maybe I need to start putting my full trust in Allah swt so that He may be pleased with me and grant me a place better than this world and everything in it.

Darkness to light 

Ughh this couldn’t be written any better. I was once at a friend’s house, and one of her friends’ was saying exactly this ‘good men are for good women’. And she was talking about how if someone has had a bad past then they’re not going to marry, or rather they’re not worthy of marrying someone who has been ‘good’ all along. 

Another friend tried to get her to understand the other side, and suggested that if someone has repented then it’s not up to us to decide whether they are a ‘good’ woman or not. However, she kept rebutting with this verse that says good men are for good women. 

For someone like me who has come from darkness into light (inshaaAllah), it was really, and I mean really hurtful and agitating to sit there and listen to someone basically say that you don’t deserve a good brother because of your past. 

Despite my frustration, I stayed quiet. Because 1. The other sister already explained to her exactly what I was thinking and she didn’t understand and 2. There is no point arguing with people when they only see things in black and white. 

This sister grew up quite religious you could say, and I guess despite her age she is quite naive to the world beyond hers. She even went the extent of saying ‘imagine marrying someone knowing they’ve kissed another woman on the cheek’. I Thought, woah, you’re living in a bubble! Now I’m not belittling the sin, I’m just trying to point out that a lot of people, including Muslims have done a lot more than that but have repented and completely changed their lifestyle. This includes reverts, your everyday Muslims, AND shaykhs, does this mean that they are not deserving of a good person because they haven’t been practicing their whole life, and who are we to make that call?

Look at the sahabah for example. Some of them were into drinking, gambling, zina, and yet when they repented and turned their life around, some of them were promised Jannah. Are you better than them? 

It’s not how you begin, it’s about how you end your life that counts. 

You can probably tell by the way I’ve written this that I’m still so frustrated about what she said, and this was probably 8 months ago. 

It is not up to us to decide whether someone is a ‘good’ man or woman, only Allah swt is the Judge of that. Especially if they have had a past, if Allah has forgiven them, then who are we to say anything? 

May Allah swt guide us all to the straight path. May He soften our hearts and forgive us for being harsh. May He pull us out of ignorance and direct us to correct knowledge and thinking. Ameen.

The Qur’an

People sometimes ask the inevitable question,

“Why do you read a book that requires so much comprehension?”
“If you do not understand what you’re reading
How do you expect to find in it healing?”

See, this book is the one that can turn the hearts of many,
Regardless of how much envy
You may have originally had
You cannot escape the plans of God, Al-Ahad.

When I recite the verses of this book,
I cannot overlook
The fact that God is speaking to me personally
How could I read it carelessly?

In this Qur’an there is a remedy,
For every pain and every calamity.
If you reflect upon its meanings,
You will find so many blessings.

It is out of God’s love and mercy,
That he sent Prophets before you and me,
Whose stories are lessons for every human being,
Not matter what hardships you might be facing.

Read this book so that it may heal
All this pain that seems surreal,
Recite in the name of your Lord,
So that you return to Him with much reward.

Near death

Two nights ago my grandfather had some sort of heart attack or stroke. His long term heart issues, plus diabetes and other health problems almost gave in on him. At one point in the night, whilst the paramedics were attempting to revive him, were told that he died. We later found out that his pacemaker stopped 62 times. SubhanAllah.

Alhamdulillah, after many attempts of defibrillation and CPR, they got his heart beating again. And of course, none of this happened except by the will of Allah (SWT). At almost 12 midnight, he was rushed to the hospital and we all followed. Not knowing anything, everyone was extremely distressed and concerned, particularly my grandmother.

After some time, we received news of his condition; 3 broken ribs due to CPR, unhealthy kidneys, at this point it was not looking good at all. We weren’t allowed to see him, and for the next few hours we waited in the waiting room, anxious and longing for answers. We were later asked a question which I never could have ever comprehended; to put him on life support or not to. We were explained the possible consequences of the choices we had, and my grandmother and aunty were quick to agree to the life support.

After a couple of hours waiting, knowing that by waiting at the hospital, news wouldn’t come any faster, I decided to leave to clean my grandmothers house before she came back. (Before I left, I walked into the house and there was blood on the bathroom floor and the lounge room was trashed with needles and rubbish from the paramedics). I desperately wanted to clear everything before anyone else came home to the mess, particularly my grandmother. And at this point, I was almost certain that he was not going to make it. At almost 2 a.m, I left the hospital to go to my grandmothers house, and my cousin followed. At first, I was kind of okay (or at least pretending to myself and to people) with going alone. Then one of our relatives told us that the carpet needs to be taken outside (due to blood on it, which I ended up just scrubbing as it wasn’t much) and suggested that my cousin should come with me. I was relieved that he did. When I got there, I waited in the car as I just did not want to enter alone into the mess I saw before I had left.

It might sound a little cliche, but you know the saying “you don’t know how strong you are until you have to be” something like that, well it’s kind of true. I’m usually not good when it comes to blood and other ‘icky’ things. But God gave me some sort of strength to clean up this pool of blood, that had also splattered on the wall, (Sorry for the image!) Although I felt a little uncomfortable doing it, I didn’t want to leave the burden on anyone else, and I was trying to stay strong as everyone else was breaking down.

I got home at about 3 a.m, and broke down. I was so sure this was it, I wasn’t being negative, I was being realistic. His heart stopped so many times, it was not looking good at all! The next morning (now yesterday morning) we woke up and we rushed to my grandmothers and then headed back to the hospital. At this point, he was stable but not breathing on his own, they had put him in intensive care, and couldn’t tell us what the outcome would be. Then late last night, they called the hospital and we were told that they plan to wake him up the following morning, (i.e this morning).

Alhamdulillah, today he woke up and was able to breathe on his own. And then in the afternoon, he was able to talk! SubhanAllah. Things are looking steady now alhamdulillah, and he will inshaaAllah slowly recover.

This incident made me think about a few things.

We celebrate birth but hate death, but death brings us closer to Allah swt (inshaaAllah). We are so surprised when someone dies, even though we know that it is the only thing guaranteed in this life, and whatever happens is the decree of Allah swt, and He knows better!

Losing a loved one is one thing, but being at the centre of the tragic moment makes things SOOO much more painful. When I lost my dad at 13, I was not with him whilst he was having a heart attack. And up until a couple of nights ago, I thought it would have been good for me to be with him in his last few moments. But witnessing someone die, being there when there are ambulances and paramedics everywhere, being there through the anticipated death is on another level. That gut wrenching feeling came once again that night, but it was a different kind of one. Knowing someone definitely passed away vs being there looking for answers and making dua that someone survives are both feelings I never want to feel again. But that is the nature of this dunya, our loved ones will leave us one day, and I don’t know how many more times I can go through this.

And this thought brought me to my next reflection, I lost one parent, but Alhamdulillah, I have my mother remaining. I almost lost my grandfather, and I don’t want people to die, simply because I don’t think I’m capable of handling it. This made me think about the people who lose family members everyday, those who are in Syria and other countries, even those in my own country who’ve lost multiple family members at once due to a car accident or something. It made me later think about the Prophet (SAW) who lost his beloved wife, uncle, companions, and many other loved ones during his life. Yet he always, always stood firm (SAW).

It also brought me back to reality. After Ramadan, we tend to slack off a little, or a lot. And seeing people on social media complain about the smallest things agitated me so much, because I just thought how small of a problem they had compared to mine and my family’s. Although this is probably not the correct way to think, I should instead, think about how many times I’ve complained over petty things and put an end to it. This incident, for a moment, removed the bubble that I had been living in. And I think it did for a few of my family members. But once we heard the good news this afternoon, I think we all started to slacken again with our prayers and other ibadah. How heedless we are, reminder after reminder, it makes me wonder; when will we learn?! A reminder to myself first!

Oh Allah, cure the diseases of our heart so that we may worship you with sincerity, ameen. Grant shifa to the sick, and sabrun jameel to their families, ameen.

Newly learnt concept: Mu’akha

Tonight I learnt somethings about the Seerah which I had no idea about. This is the Mu’akha (I believe it means brotherhood or something alike), in which after the hijra, the Prophet (SAW) paired the muhajirun and the ansar. From my understanding, this is the second thing he did after building a masjid (i.e. before establishing his own home). They took this brotherhood so seriously that they were to inherit from another if one of them passed away (until Allah SWT revealed not to do this). They took this brotherhood so seriously that some of the ansar offered half of all of their wealth to their new brothers.

Something that brought tears to my eyes was when the muhajirun complained to the Prophet (SAW) about the ansar. The ansar were so generous and helpful that the muhajirun feared that they would take their rewards away from them. SubhanAllah, the complaint was not against them, rather the muhajirun were worried about their own good deeds. The complaint was in the way of a praise.

It made me think about when someone is extremely good to us, we often get suspicious and think that they may have an ulterior motive. And SubhanAllah, this is our weakness and something we need to change, as we shouldn’t suspect bad of people. BUT look at the worry they had, the level of imaan, I can’t comprehend. May Allah SWT be pleased with them all, and may He allow us to follow their path and the path of the Prophet (SAW). Ameen.

I often think about how amazing it would have been to live in those times, although extremely, extremely hard. Just to be in the presence of the Prophet (SAW) and to be of the sahabiyat. What an honour! However, Allah SWT in His infinite wisdom chose us to live in this century- and there is greatness in this, even if we may struggle to see it.

By the way, this is the YouTube series of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, where he completes the entire Seerah (highly recommend!) And he mentions how there is a common misconception regarding the mu’akha. It is sometimes perceived that the mu’akha only lasted a short amount of time. However, it continued until the very end. He mentions that this is known due to the fact that the sahabah that were paired, their names are later mentioned together. And also at the fact that the later Muslims were also paired.

This shows us the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood in regards to the success of a community. He mentioned that it is a neglected Sunnah, and we should make an effort to revive it- particularly with our revert brothers and sisters.

I vividly thought about how this can be done within our community, and plan to brainstorm ideas about how we can implement this in our local masjid, even if it’s pairing younger sisters with older ones etc. inshaaAllah.

The prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.”

[Reported by al-Tirmidhi]

SubhanAllah, now that we know this is a sunnah, may Allah swt make it easy for us to revive it, whether it is within our home, school, workplace, masjid etc. So that we may be rewarded in the hereafter, ameen.

If you have any ideas on how this could be done within a masjid, or any other setting please feel free to share!

Best of Planners

“What has reached you was never meant to miss you and what has missed you was never meant to reach you.” Prophet Muhammad (saw).

I’ve read this many times before, but yesterday when I read it I seriously internalised it. Maybe because I was having one of those days where I was just thinking everything over. Did I make the right decision when I did this, etc.

We always think ‘What if I had done xyz?’, ‘What if it turned out to be like this instead of that?’

SubhanAllah, Allah swt is the best of Planners. Yet, sometimes we question a situation forgetting that this is the decree of Allah swt. Allah is the One who created us, He knows us better than we know ourselves, He knows what is best for us. Yet we still wonder why things didn’t go the way we wanted them to. Where is the trust?

If you were never meant to marry a particular person, then be happy with it because that is what Allah swt decreed.

If you were never meant to have that job, be sure that that is what is best for you because indeed Allah is the best of planners.

What He has in store for us is better for us than what we want for ourselves. This is something we all forget.

 

 

Blessings of an iman low

Too often we forget where we came from. I don’t mean this to be physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

About a month or two ago now, I felt like my imaan was at a high Alhamdulillah. Although I didn’t consciously recognise this until later on. 

I saw sisters coming to the mosque and attending halaqahs and wondered why they didn’t pray, I didn’t understand it. Because I felt like it was such an easy thing to do. 

Then I realised I was being judgement. And that this is not my right. 

Soon after, I fell into an iman low. This dip lasted about a week to two weeks, and although it didn’t feel good at the time, I am grateful that it happened. 

This iman low made me realise how hard worship becomes when your heart isn’t there. And I knew what I had to do to bring it back up, but I physically could not bring myself to doing these things because of the hold shaytan had on me. And I hadn’t felt like that in quite sometime. I also knew why my iman dropped, and still, I continued to do these things. 

The reason my iman dropped was that I slacked in worship and seeking knowledge, and wasted my time watching TV and on social media. I knew that I had to stop these things, and instead pray more sunnah prayers, read more Qur’an, and spend my time in seeking knowledge of the deen. But I could not bring myself to stopping these bad habits. Nor could I bring myself to worship beyond the 5 daily prayers and reading a little bit of Qur’an. 

I soon realised that this was a great test from Allah swt. I had been confident in my Deen, and critical of others, forgetting where I was 2 years ago and how much I was struggling just to pray the fard. 

This test was so that I could humble myself, to be more critical of myself rather than being critical of others. And to keep taking those little steps in worship that make a big difference to my iman, such as sunnah prayers, thikr etc. And to always, always ask for guidance because it is not guaranteed. SubhanAllah. 

I don’t know about anyone else, but I often forget how low my iman used to be. How astray I was. And how much patience, perseverance, and struggle it took for my iman to increase. SubhanAllah. 

We often forget that everyone is on a different journey. We might have the same goal, but this person may have just started learning about their religion, and maybe their strive to pray the fard is a greater reward in the sight of Allah swt then someone else who is praying their fard and sunnah prayers and doing extra worship, which isn’t as much of a struggle for them.

Therefore, when we see someone doing less than what we would normally do, it’s not ok that we look down on that person or think any less of them. 

Even when I started attending the mosque regularly. I came across sisters who had been practicing for much, much longer than I have been. And I was surprised to see them wearing makeup, and being relaxed in other matters of the deen. And I didn’t understand it. But this iman low made me realise that maybe their struggle is greater, maybe their environment is a bigger test, and maybe their reward is greater for the seemingly ‘less’ that they are doing. 

Now I try to immediately correct myself when I realise that I might be judging someone. 

This is a reminder to myself first, because I seriously struggle with this. And when I feel that I’m judging someone, I remind myself of my ‘jahiliyyah’ days, even though I tried so hard to forget it. I guess it just gives me a humble reminder of where I was, and that guidance comes if Allah wills, and it goes if Allah wills. 

May ALLAH swt protect us from pride and arrogance. It truly is evil. It damages the heart in more ways than we can imagine. 

Your struggling sister in Islam ❤

Privacy 

“There’s this idea that if other people don’t know you’re doing something, it has no value,”

Wow, how true is this statement?!

Every time we are doing something, whether it’s going skydiving or sitting on the couch, we feel the need to inform our friends/family and even strangers via social media. And I know this because people sometimes post the most pointless things, including myself. Down to the point of having a cup of coffee, watching TV, reading a book, and even private conversations and moments with their other half. Isn’t a little freaky that people know our every move, our routine, the coffee we order, or our grandmothers name. Personally, I like to keep my Facebook and Snapchat quite private whereas I am a little more lenient with Instagram because I post a lot of Islamic reminders etc. To think that a lot of people have strangers on all social media outlets and post really personal moments, is a little weird when you think about it.

Can you imagine living in the early 1800’s (before technology took over) and making a conscious effort to tell all the people in your street what you ate for breakfast. I know times have changed! But when it’s put that way, it sounds quite strange. 

I think it’s great how technology has evolved, however, I’m not so sure that we’re making the best use out of it. And I think this is where the religious aspect comes in. Personally, I struggle with the amount of time I spend on social media. I am a social media addict, and I don’t even know why. I don’t post much, yet I seem to be wasting so much time on my phone, constantly scrolling through an endless feed. This is something I’m working on. I just think, the amount of time I spent on these apps, I could have potentially memorized some verses of the Qur’an, or even read it at the very least. I could have sought knowledge which would benefit me in both this world and my hereafter. 

We will be asked how we spent our time on the Day of Judgement. We will be asked if we sought Knowledge and what we did with that knowledge. We can definately use social media to build our akhira by seeking knowledge, posting reminders and things we’ve learnt. Are we doing this or are we using social media to destroy our akhira? 

I for one, love taking photos of things that I am doing. This is so I can look back at good memories (because my memory is shocking lately). But sometimes I think that we spend too much time trying to capture things with our phones, rather than taking in the moment. Something interesting I read:

“You’ll be less likely to remember things if you spend the whole time taking pictures, rather than taking it all in.”

Everything we do should be done in moderation. One of shaytans tactics is to make us waste time on things that are permissible. Let’s make a conscious effort to use our time wisely inshaaAllah. 

(Reminder to myself first)

Gratitude

I feel like we are so accustomed to looking at what we don’t have, rather than focusing on what we do have. This is a struggle I face almost on a daily basis, getting sad over things that I have not yet attained. And then I stop and remember the things I should be grateful for.

If only we instantly looked at those who are less fortunate than us like we are supposed to, instead of looking at those who have more and wanting what they have. I’m not a materialistic person, but sometimes there are things that I want that I feel would be great use if I had it. However, through the constant use of social media, we are bombarded with content (videos, images, statuses etc) of others’ lives that have or pretend to have fancy things. And our instinct is to want the same or similar thing.

This has created such a dangerous mindset. How to overcome it is the big question.

One of the things I learnt attending weekend Islamic courses, is that there are two elements to a happy life. Gratitude and Patience. It’s so easy to lose sight of this, shaytan knows what he’s doing, therefore he will try to make us lose hope in Allah swt. Which is the last thing we need to be doing. Instead of being down about all the things that we don’t have, or the one thing that we have been trying to get for so long, we need to remember the things we do have. Even what seems to be the smallest and simplest of things. We can remember the fact that we have a house, clean water, and plenty of food in the fridge AND pantry, Alhamdulillah. And we should also remember the blessing of being able to walk, talk, see, hear, and are able to use all of our limbs Alhamdulillah. We should be grateful for all the people that we have in our life, even though sometimes they drive us mad. We should be grateful for all the people that are no longer in our lives even though we wanted them to be.

“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.” (Qur’an 14:34)

How powerful is that? We should be grateful for everything that we have and don’t have. We will never be able to count the blessings of Allah swt. There are a lot of blessings He has given us that we do not know of.

We rarely ever see the wisdom behind things at the time that it happens. Months or years later, we understand (to a certain capacity) why that job, relationship, friendship etc. didn’t work out. Maybe sometimes we may never be able to comprehend why something didn’t happen the way we wanted it to. And I guess that’s ok, as long as we are grateful.

I was actually feeling a little down before I wrote this, so this is literally a reminder to myself before anyone else. Alhamdulillah, thinking of the blessings of Allah swt, I do feel better.

May we always be grateful and patient.

Names of Allah

Everyone is searching for love.
Forgetting the One who is above.
Al-Wadud is the Most Loving,
Al-Malik, sovereign of the day of reckoning.

We try to fill this void in our heart
That can only be filled with the remembrance of Allah.
If only we would seek forgiveness in Al-Ghaffar,
And trust the Most Powerful, Al-Qahhar.

Some of us search for happiness,
Hoping it will fill our emptiness.
All we need to do is turn to As-Salam
the Source of Peace, the Lord of Abraham.

We seek answers in those who are just like us,
And we fail to turn to the One, the Only, Al-Ahad.
He is also Ar-Razzaq, the Ever Providing
Ask from Him when you feel your world colliding

How do I expect to receive His Infinite Mercy
When I struggle to forgive those who hurt me
My Lord is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.
How could I not trust the All Knowing, Al-Alim?

Al-Khaliq knows the nature of His creation,
Should we not worship Him in appreciation
For granting us security, Al-Mu’min
The Guardian, the Protector, Al-Muhaymin

Should we not be grateful to the Bestower, Al-Wahhab?
He knows all that we have.
And despite seeing all that we do,
If you want to be pardoned, just ask Al-Afuww.