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 you have.
And despite seeing all that you do,
If you want to be pardoned, just ask Al-Afuww.

Turn to Him

If the angel of death at this instant
Took your soul into the distance
Would you be happy with the life you led
Or would you want to change it instead?

Would you be happy with the decisions you made?
Or do your decisions make you afraid
Of the questioning that will happen in your grave?
Now you wish you had behaved.

Why do we waste so much time
Putting effort into a life that is only a sign
A test for you and me
My friend, you cannot flee
From the angel of death
Was it worth giving in to our nafs?

We say we will start tomorrow
But that day may never show
None of us are guaranteed the next second
Yet we plan for the next decade and,
Do you not think that you will die?
It is the only thing guaranteed in this life.

So whatever is making you sin
Remove from your life this thing
It is not worth being the reason
For your hereafter to be in prison

Turn to the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving
For only He can add quality to this life you’re living. 

“I don’t have time!”

Image result for time quotes

I know lately I’ve posted a fair bit about ‘time’, and it’s because I’m trying to be more productive with my time. And there’s the issue right there; ‘my’ time. SubhanAllah. Who has given us this time? Who has given us every single blessing that we have?

Even my 8 year old students at the Mosque give me the excuse of “I didn’t have time” when I ask them if they have practised their Qur’an and Surah’s. How can a child possibly not have enough time? That would be them following the priorities and excuses of their parents and family, but that’s a topic for another day.

So what does it mean when someone says they don’t have time? You have time to eat, to sleep, to do your school/Uni work. Why? Because these things are a priority, and what about if you didn’t do them? If you don’t eat and sleep, you will not be able to function properly. And there are consequences for not doing your school work etc.

The same way people ‘don’t have time to pray’ shouldn’t have time to eat. Because just like the nourishment of the physical body is food, the nourishment of the soul is prayer. Just like you will get sick and die if you do not eat and sleep properly, your spiritual heart can also become hard, and even worse; dead.

If we don’t have enough time to seek knowledge in Islam, then we shouldn’t have time to go to school. Sounds a little extreme, however, the Owner of time commanded certain things for us to do, and if we can’t make time for them then what is our priority? This life or the hereafter?

The clock is ticking. I was listening to a tafseer of Surah Fajr just before, which by the way is a great reminder of time. In the tafseer, the Shaykh said that on the Day of Judgement, even the pious will feel that they should have done more for the hereafter. Isn’t that scary? The amount of regret we will feel for every minute we wasted.

This is a reminder to myself first. May Allah make us of those who use our time productively, and be shaded on the Day of Judgement, ameen.

 

 

Time is of the essence.

SubhanAllah, what a wake up call!

Today I attended a weekend course Alhamdulillah. The course was called ‘Eternal Home’ by the Alkauthar Institute. It was a detailed seminar on the characteristics of heaven and hell, as well as how to reserve your spot in Jannah, and avoid being among the dwellers of Jahannam.

Here I was being okay with doing what I usually do, even though I know I need to do so much more. I am someone who procrastinates A LOT, right up until the deadline. But there is no ‘deadline’ so to speak, for ibadah (worship). No one is holding me accountable at this very moment, no one is asking what knowledge I have attained this week, or how many Sunnah prayers I have prayed.

Although lately I’ve had the intention to do more, I think today was it for me. Why are we happy or satisfied with the worship that we do? Alhamdulillah, we pray 5 times a day, read a few pages of Qur’an. And then what? Spend the rest of our day on Facebook and other social media outlets, or watching T.V. There is SO much we can do, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge I have to learn. The more I learn about this perfect deen, the more I realise there is to learn. SubhanAllah. There are so many areas of knowledge we can learn from, there is always room for improvement with our salah, our recitation, memorisation, our thikr, our deen in general. Even useful worldly knowledge.

I know that comparing ourselves to others is a big fat NO NO. But unfortunately, it’s something that we sometimes do. We may be content with reading a few pages of Qur’an a day, even though we have plenty of time. Why? Maybe because we are surrounded by people who do a lot less, surrounded by our friends and family who don’t pray, and we become okay with doing less than what we are capable of because others aren’t even doing that much. Or, we may even compare it to how we used to spend our time, maybe we’ve gone from reading one page a day to four. And we stop at 4, even though we have the time and means to read much much more. At least it’s better than what we used to read, right? Well, if we are capable of doing more then we should, without burning ourselves out of course.

We’ve become okay with being ordinary. Ordinary at everything, including our deen. It’s not to say that everyone should become scholars, rather we should work to our highest potential (which we often underestimate).

Why should we try to exceed our potential? Because we can never get back time that is lost, wasted, and gone by. Time is a blessing of Allah swt;

“The blessing of time is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slaves. Allaah even swears by time in some cases, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“By Al‑‘Asr (the time)”

[al-‘Asr 103:1] 

– because of the importance and blessing of time.  

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make the most of five things before five others: life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.” See Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077. “

Imagine all of those who have passed on. Don’t you think that they would want to come back to earth to prostrate to Allah swt. And those in graves that would give absolutely anything just to come back for one second to say “La illaha Ilallah”.

How much time do we waste? We’re going to be asked by Allah swt on that Day what we did with our time. Is our answer going to be sufficient?

I’ll leave you with one hadith inshaaAllah.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “No one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone.” They asked, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Not even me, unless Allah covers me with His Grace and Mercy” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 18; Muslim, Munafiq, 71-73).

If the Prophet saw (whom is the best of mankind), if his deeds alone are not enough for Jannah, what about us?

A reminder to myself first and foremost, and then to you. May we be productive with our time, and may Allah swt allow us into Jannah by His Infinite Mercy, ameen.

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.