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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Bite-sized

Man, being as forgetful as his Arabic name “Insaan” implies, is constantly needy of being reminded. Allah swt knows this well, of course, and thus reminds us in the Holy Qur’an:

“..and be not divided among yourselves, and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you” [3:103]

Do not forget the fact that all that has been granted to us is but a favour from our Creator; Allah owes us nothing, and He can take back His favours as and when He pleases. So think twice before you open your mouth to complain – be it about a serious matter or a trivial one – because I think, for every difficulty that has been set in your path, there are at least 100 blessings you have yet to be thankful for.

So Remember, with gratitude, Allah’s favour on you J and once you start counting your blessings, you’ll realize – that there really isn’t anything worth complaining about.

Allow me to digress a little – there is a blog i would like to promote. it belongs to our Muslim Brother Abu Ibrahim Stuart, and his posts are highly relevant, beneficial and sometimes even funny. and he updates way more often than i do, so if you like my blog, you will probably love his ^^ visit him at http://americanrevert.tumblr.com/ – may Allah bless you!

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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Questions

The saying goes, “to err is human”. I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t anything else. Maybe it was a consolation for people who made mistakes – claiming that it is in their nature to make mistakes so they won’t be held fully responsible for their actions. And yes shortcomings and accidents are inevitable; it is a fact that we are imperfect. But why was the saying never “to improve is human”, or “to be considerate is human” or even “to make the right choices is human”?

The reality that we have chosen imperfection as our defining characteristic is saying a few things. Either a) we recognize our weakness and are using it as a reminder that, no matter how rich, powerful, intelligent, etc we are, we will never be perfect – and that should douse any flames of superiority that burns in our hearts. Or b) we are trying to push away the blame of the wrong choices we made, portraying them as something unavoidable and making it an excuse to make even more mistakes.

I think (b) is a little extreme.

We are imperfect, and by His will we should all know this very well. But we are imperfect for a reason – because where else would our effort go if not towards improvement? It could be improvement in anything – I’m speaking on a non-specific scale here – as long as we are heading somewhere. Fundamentally, it is imperfection itself that drives us forward.

As Muslims we believe that nothing happens except by Allah’s permission – and Allah always has a reason behind all that He allows to happen, and there is a wisdom behind every calamity that befalls us whether we know it or not. We are constantly searching for ways to better ourselves but sometimes, it just feels like we’re going nowhere.

Don’t despair. Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an:

“.. And never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy; certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve” [12:87]

Let us be reminded that everything we posses and every good thing that has happened to us have been by Allah’s Mercy – same goes with self-improvement. We have only gone this far by Allah’s mercy, and if we pause in our tracks, Allah tells us to never give up hope of His mercy. It could be that He is testing your Iman and steadfastness, and it could be that a greater reward awaits in the end. Allah knows best J have Faith. I personally think that having Faith should be the defining characteristic of humans – what do you think?

On a another completely unrelated (but inshaAllah beneficial) note, do you know the origins of Christmas? The fact that it is nowhere near the birthday of Jesus (aka Prophet ‘Isa Pbuh) has long since been established (proven in both the Qur’an and the Bible), and there is more to this than exchanging gifts and dinners – as explained by brother Isma’eel in his Khutbah which you can check out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVxhRboTFPs

Allah Haafiz.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

A Collage of Sorts

“That to thy Lord is your Goal” [53:42]

A verse to bear in mind in all we do, all the time. To Allah is your Goal, to Allah is your Goal, to Allah is your Goal.

Today by Allah’s mercy I learnt why and how ablution helps when one is in frustration. Of course the sound of water and its cooling physical touch has a sort of calming effect, but this time there were a few steps I took, mentally, to further enhance the whole experience of wudhu’. Label it whatever you like, I am not saying what works for me will work on others too. But inshaAllah we’ll benefit one way or another from my sharing of this experience, I hope.

When I performed wudhu’ for ‘Asr prayers today I was, as you can guess, in a slight form of frustration and unrest at heart. As the norm would be when one is in this state I had garnered some not-so-nice thoughts about some things. I guessed it wouldn’t be a good thing to bring into prayers so I sincerely hoped to ‘wash away’ these thoughts through ablution.

As I rinsed my mouth I thought of the inappropriate and non-beneficial words that I’ve uttered earlier.

As I washed my face and forehead I thought of the unnecessary feelings that ran through my mind earlier,

The things I’ve seen that day which were better off unremembered.

As I washed my arms I thought of my actions that might have been displeasing to Allah swt.

And it went on that way, thinking of sins I hoped to be washed away by the water. A small sense of calm ensued afterwards and Alhamdulillah I am thankful for that. Perhaps we could utilize Wudhu’ for constant muhasabah, which is the recollecting and pondering of your previous actions, 5 times a day. Perhaps it could even help quell certain habits when we realize we’ve been hoping to ‘wash away’ the same thing every time. Perhaps. I have yet to try that out.

and i hope it works, by Allah’s will. Ameen 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Remembrance

“Behold, ye prefer the life of this world, but the life of the Hereafter is better and more enduring” [Al-Qur’an 87:16-17]

A quick and gentle reminder before I retire for the night:

Shaitan decorates the evil and makes it look beautiful, so that we are attracted to it. So beware my dear brothers and sisters, as this time and age is full of temptations. You may have heard this often, so do not take this lightly. Evil and bad deeds are real, they can be the subtlest thought or the smallest action, as it is for good deeds, they are no less real: from the smallest intention to its biggest execution.

Let’s bear in mind that all we do has an effect on our souls, we are either polishing it or polluting it. Over time the soul will either shine or crumble; so let’s work hard towards the former.

Of course, Allah is constantly testing His servants, to make our journey towards Him all the more worthwhile J the Qur’an states :

“….the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy” [12:53]

Let’s cleanse our souls with plenty of Zikr (remembrance) and ‘Ibadah (acts of worship). The soul yearns to be close to The Creator, whence it originally was – I hope to share more about this in later entries inshaAllah – so don’t deprive your soul of its needs.

SubhanAllah, wal hamduliLlah, wa laa ilaaha IllAllah wAllahu Akbar.

May Allah grant us the guidance and willpower to remain humble and steadfast to His way. We ask Him to be our eyes, our tongues and our hands, that we may engage in only what is right and lawful, Ameen.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

A system of Justice

I recently attended a lecture on the concept of justice in Islam, the very basics of which focuses on individuality and self-conduct, with piety and righteousness being the ultimate goal.

He began by saying, Islam as a way of life is the climax of man’s effort to exercise the moral code. This would mean that you may have acquired every other good quality; wisdom, good temperament, generosity and so on, but you may not necessarily be just. and as long as we are not just, we are not fully practicing Islam as a way of life.

“Allah commands justice” [16:90]

The principles of justice are permission and prohibition. These have been shown as early as during the time of Adam and Eve in Paradise, where they were prohibited from nearing a certain tree. When this law was broken Allah dealt appropriately with Adam and Eve and He dealt appropriately with Shaitan, as a lesson for the generations to come. A lesson to teach that there are laws, and every individual is equal in the eyes of the law, so nobody is excused and nobody is superior over others when justice is dealt.

Brothers and sisters, we should feel honored because Allah has demanded of us what He has made obligatory upon Himself, which is being just. One of the 99 names of Allah is Al-Hakeem which means The Just.

Of course, upholding justice and being fair in your actions comes with its challenges. For this Allah has said,

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just; that is next to piety” [5:8]

Allah says that being just is next to piety, hence it is key on the path to righteousness. Let this be a motivation for us to strive towards righteousness so that we will be able to stand before Allah on the Day, with bright, smiling faces. If we have been wronged then it is not just for us to seek revenge on our own accord, for fear that we transgress the limits of what is equal of that wrongdoing. Instead we should seek justice through appropriate mediums – like, say, the law.. or if it is something too trivial for the law to deal with (as with most cases, I think) , we should leave the matter with Allah to deal with because He is All-Knowing, All-Wise. In fact we should be thankful to the person who wronged us, for giving us the chance to further exercise and improve on our patience and tolerance.

“Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight; that is the most fitting and most advantageous in the final determination” [17:35]

This verse tells us that the fulfillment of justice must be guided by a sense of responsibility beyond the conformity of setting rules. Constant God-consciousness is essential in implementing justice, so that we will bear in mind that The Just is watching us, so we must keep within our limits, and not infringe on others’ rights for that is injustice.

Allah has warned us against acts of injustice and has explained a few examples of such acts in the following verses:

“and do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property” [2:188]

“They are (men) whom Allah hath cursed, and those whom Allah hath cursed, thou wilt find, have no one to help. Have they a share in dominion or power? Behold, they give not a farthing to their fellow men” [4:52-53]

Some may tend to use their material blessings to express their superiority over others. In a world where money means power it is very easy to be mislead into corruption and injustice. As stated in the Qur’an, eating even a little of other’s rights is dangerous.

So how do we protect ourselves from misusing Allah’s blessings upon us? Allah has said:

“but if one exhorts to a deed of charity and justice, or conciliation between men; to him who does this, seeking with the good pleasure of Allah, we shall soon give a reward of the highest value” [4:114]

So give without hesitation to others what is due to them, and let the attainment of Allah’s pleasure be the goal in all that you do. Be constantly in check of all negative aspects to your personality as Syaitan is constantly searching for your weak spots. Know yourself well, and keep focused because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

So let’s hold fast to the rope of Allah, and strive to be just in all we do. Remember:

“Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you” [49:13]

Allah Haafiz.

 

The scholar whose lecture I learnt this from has a blog too J checkitout! http://drwaffie.blogspot.com

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

The Green One

“Winning or losing depends on the faith that a person keeps, not what he has experienced in this world.”

Something I learnt recently in a Sîrah lecture, where the teacher was expounding on the story of Musa (a.s), and his experiences with Bani Isra’il.

The above statement was repeated a few times in relation to Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and the testament he exhaled in haste, during the final moments of his life. He testified, that he believed in the God of Bani Isra’il, as the walls of the Red Sea devoured and crashed down on him. Note that he testified out of ignorance, referring to Allah Almighty as the “Lord of Bani Isra’il”, Whom which he had been denying and knew nothing of, much less developed true faith in, enough to express and accept that truly there is no God but Allah.

Having said that, the story of Pharaoh is an ideal explanation of why, winning or losing depends on the faith of a person and not his experiences in this world. In my own opinion this statement means, in this life, we will go through and deal with many things; like power, poverty, decisions, etc and we must find one way or another to utilize these experiences and use them as a means to bring ourselves closer to our Creator. Should we fail in instilling faith through the challenges we face in this life, then they have not served their purpose.

May Allah guide us all, and expand our hearts with wisdom and faith in every obstacle He puts in our way, Ameen.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized