Monday, March 31, 2014

The Tongue!




The tongue is indeed a miracle from the Creator and a great blessing. Have we ever pondered on the working of the tongue? How does it move and how do the sounds and words come out of our mouths? How is speech related to the movement of the tongue? 
This is just one of the numerous and mind boggling workings of the human body. When you think about how we have come into being and how we grow up from a baby to a full human you can not stop wondering and thinking about what the driving force is. 
The tongue is no less than a miracle and a great blessing because with it's help we are able to communicate with each other. It has given the human beings so many ways to express ourselves. We use numerous words and languages to talk and express our views. 
 Only when tongue, lips and teeth work together do sounds from the throat turn into understandable letters and words. The tongue is extremely agile and quick: It can produce more than 90 words per minute, using more than 20 different movements. The tongue is essential for pronouncing the consonants “t”, “d”, “l” or the rolling “r”. When pronouncing the letter “k” the tongue is slightly narrowed at the back. And when we say “s”, the tip of the tongue moves backwards. If the tip of the tongue remains between the teeth, we hear a typical lisp.

The fact that the tongue is essential for speaking can also be seen in the ability of parrots to imitate human language: Although they only have a very simple organ of speech with fewer muscle groups than humans, they have an extraordinarily thick tongue. This helps them to produce the sounds of human language. They can touch the tip of their tongue to certain points of articulation in their mouth to imitate human words in a deceptively similar way.
Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0033703/
Speech is bestowed only to human beings. No creature can communicate the way a human can.
The tongue and the speech are great source to either spread goodness or otherwise. It is indeed wise to think about a very good use of this great blessing that we carry around. We can make friends or foes by the good and bad use of the tongue. We can tell lies or always speak the truth. The choice is ours. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Table Spread (Al Maidah) Chapter 5 Al Quran


This Chapter is unique in it's own way because it has laid down for us the clear distinctions and rulings regarding the prohibited matters especially with regard to food and drink. 
Al Maidah or the Table Spread is a beautiful chapter of the Quran which was revealed in Madinah and some of it's parts were revealed in Makkah. It was revealed after Surah Al Fath.
This chapter is also regarded as the chapter of men while Surah an Nisa is the chapter of women. 
This Chapter of the Quran was revealed in the end times of the Revelation and the 3rd verse is the last to be revealed. 
This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed on you My Favor and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. 

The rulings in this chapter are established and a Muslim should abide by them. 
When in any chapter of the Quran the verse starts with the words "O you who believe..." it is addressed to all the believers. In that verse either the believers are asked to do something good or they are stopped from some wrong.
In the beginning verses of this chapter (Al Maidah) we are addressed as "o you who believe..." and are asked to keep the promises. As the verse proceeds the believers are first told about the permissible things for eating and then they are told to respect the signs of Allah. Believers are told not to help in the matters of transgression and sin. 
The believers are also given clear understanding about all the non-permissible things for eating. 
The third verse specifically is of great importance as it tells us that Allah has chosen none but Islam as the only Religion or way of life for us!
The culture of Islam is unique from others. Islam has it's own identity which can not be mistaken for any other religion or culture.
There is no compromise in the prohibited matters as they have been made very clear in the Quran.
This chapter in it's beginning verses is also very important for learning the rulings regarding what food is permissible or prohibited for us. This is a great way to teach our children directly from the Quran and tell them that Islam is complete and perfect and it has no room for any changes or innovations.
Beautiful Chapter...beautiful beginning, beautiful end! 
#LessonsFromTheQuran #TeacherTips





Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Women: A Chapter of Mercy!



'The Women' is a chapter in the Quran which is comprehensive and full of wisdom and logic. It mostly deals with the issues of women therefore it is named in honor of the women. This chapter is also called the chapter of mercy and justice because here Allah Himself sets the Laws of Inheritance and guides us in the issues related to women, orphans and the poor. 
  • The issues of inheritance are dictated and set by Allah Himself so that we are not confused and doubtful regarding them.
  • The knowledge and wisdom of Allah is unlimited hence His Laws are based on them even if we are unable to grasp them in the first instance.
  • His decisions and rulings are based on Justice. 
  • The rights of inheritance, the rights of women and the rights and duties of men are all explained in this chapter.
  • This Surah was revealed after Surah al Mujadilah.
  • This Surah or Chapter is also called the Chapter of Justice and Mercy.
  • In the Chapter of 'The Cow' Surah Al Baqarah explains the purpose of the existence of The Muslim Ummah.
  • The Chapter 'Family of Imran' dealt with stability and focus. 
  • Now in this Surah the issues regarding the orphans, slaves, inheritors and the rights of women are dealt with. 
  • The home is like a dynasty, justice and care about the rights of those under your supervision is necessary for the smooth running and efficient planning. The Men are the guardians of the family. They are being given the responsibility to take care of their wives and children with justice. Women are responsible for the affairs of the homemaking and raising of good children with the love and support of their husbands.
  • When the rules of Justice are not applied the family unit is affected.
  • In this chapter 'the women', the 'muharramaat' or those things which are prohibited in case of marriage are also mentioned.
  • We are taught, here in this surah, not to cheat on the things which have been given in your custody, 'the amaanahs'. 
  • The Justice is emphasized so much so that it should be done with one's own self, 'the nafs'.
  • Also, the hypocrites are mentioned in this chapter.
The lessons which can be derived from this chapter devoted to women in the Quran can be summarized as follows: 
  1.  Read, understand and apply the Quran in your practical life.
  2. Avoid exaggeration in all areas of life. Do not do excess in religious matters. Tread a middle course in all things just keeping in mind the lawful and the unlawful matters. Keep a balance in your religion. 
  3. Make the Quran your Criterion for judging things or for gaining knowledge about Islam. Take help from Hadeeth if you want to understand things more deeply.
  4. The importance of 'fardh' is far more important than any other voluntary acts. First make your obligatory duties perfect and regular then take care of your 'nawafil' or voluntary duties.
  5. Prioritize things in life according to their importance and value in the light of Quran, sunnah and Aakhirah. 
  6. It is the duty of men to earn, handle and be responsible for the matters of money for the household expenses and the needs of his family. The woman must not worry unnecessarily for these matters. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ask and You will be answered!



"Allah! Please give me the Hidaayah, the Taufeeq, and the opportunity to serve You, Your Deen and live and die for Your sake only.
My only goal being the achievement of Your Pleasure and Mercy.
I do all good deeds just to please You. I do good to Your servants just to please You.
 Please do not let even a small dot of arrogance, self-praise or boastfulness, pride or showing off in my heart.
Whatever I do, make me do that just for Your sake; not to please others.
Make me content in whatever I get or have already.
 Make me realize the real happiness. Give me a soul that is satisfied. Purify my soul. Cleanse my heart of all the filth arising from bad feelings. Turn my heart toward You. Establish my heart on Your Deen.
Give me a life and death that is successful in Your eyes. Have Mercy on me, my family, relatives, friends, neighbors and all Muslims. Guide those who are in darkness toward the Light of Truth. 
Accept my prayers O My Lord!"

An Open Letter



Bismillahir Rehmanir Raheem
In the Name of Allah The Most Merciful The Most Kind

O My Lord, I am Your slave. You created me. I have sinned and erred. I have made so many mistakes. I have wronged myself. I acknowledge all my sins which I did out of ignorance, silliness, carelessness or with intention. I acknowledge that You have all the power over all things. I consider You my one and only Lord. I do not take any partners with You. You alone I worship, seek help from and ask for my needs. I am a weak slave of Yours who has not shown herself up to the mark that You have liked from Your servants.
Please Allah! make me such that I repent sincerely of all my sins, big or small, as if I did none...
Wash away all the dirt of sins from my heart...
ACCEPT MY REPENTANCE O ALLAH! As You alone Accept Repentance and Forgive Your slaves.
Make me such that I recognize Your Blessings and thank You always, remember You always, give up all the sins, worship You sincerely, pray and fulfill all my obligations and duties toward You beautifully so that accept all my good deeds.
O Allah! Make me amongst those whom You have chosen for Guidance, Forgiveness and Your Mercy till Your servants meet You, aameen.
Your Slave. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Seek and Be Sought!


As human beings we all have needs, wants and desires. When we feel hungry we eat food (some of us eat even when not hungry!), we go to sleep when we feel tired and sleepy, we drink water when thirsty. This is something no one can deny. We all fulfill our needs and desires whenever we feel the urge and the necessity to do so. 
Let us turn to those needs that are not in our direct control. We give our exams and then wait for the result because result is not in our control. We hope and pray that we get a good result. Although we all know that result is not in our hands still we strive to do the exam well, we prepare well and do hard work for best result. Why do we do that? We want to achieve something and we know that until and unless we study we won't get the desired result. It will be too silly for us to just sit back relax and still expect to pass with flying colors! We do not want to take chances. We want to have that desired thing and so we strive toward it.
Now to drive my point home, when we expect happiness, comfort, success, health, wealth and much more we strive in that way. Somethings in this journey are under our control so we do it. Somethings that we know we have no control over we leave to God. But the main point here is that when we do not strive in the way of pleasing God and doing what He asks us to do then how can we expect to get all that we desire in life. We know that God has all the power and He only can work out the things for us then how can we expect His blessings by doing exactly the opposite or the things that we know would displease Him! First we must know what displeases Allah and then we should try avoiding that. If we are engaged in things that have been mentioned in the Quran explicitly as displeasing to Allah or mentioned in the Hadeeth that they incur the curse of Allah we should be cautious regarding them. We do all that conveniently and knowingly and still expect Allah to answer all our prayers! Allah is indeed most Merciful that is why He is providing us all that we do not even deserve because of our disobedience and persistence in ignorance. If He is to punish us for each of our sins we would be dead by now! Allah is oft forgiving and Most appreciative. The servants just need to realize that what He has asked us to do is for our own good. Allah wants guidance for us. He wants ease for us. He wants to bestow His mercy on us. Are there any takers? Are we the seekers? He is bestowing even when we are not obeying Him like we should be. How would it be if we seek His Pleasure, His Mercy and His Bounties and He will seek us, hold us and keep us under His Shade!! Allah gives guidance, wisdom and Truth to those who seek them. Seek the Truth and the Truth shall seek you! Hold fast to Allah, His Messenger and His Book and He will make you His friend! He will seek to solve all your problems, worries and take away all your pain. You will witness this in this world before your eyes! Trust Allah and strive to seek His Pleasure. Abstain from all those things that have been mentioned as displeasing to Allah: shirk, disobedience to parents, magic, false testimony, theft, lying, cheating, breaking promises, breaking relationships, abusing others, changing the creation of Allah (plucking eyebrows etc), abandoning prayers, and many other acts which we indulge in unknowingly while they are grave sins and cursed by Allah and His Messenger and the Angels as well. How will a person doing any of these acts of disobedience and he does not realize and repent can expect Allah to grant Him all that he asks for and all that he desires in Life?
Know Allah and His Deen and try your best to follow it in a balanced way and you will attain all the happiness of this world and the Hereafter, In sha Allah. 



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to be thankful?


There are many ways to achieve the state of being thankful and grateful to God as well as to His Creatures.
The first among them is that you realize the reason to be thankful for. Whether you realize your blessings that come in various forms from God or you acknowledge the favors that others might do for you now and then.
Once you realize that there is something to be thankful for in your life you have crossed the first level.
The second level is to actually say 'thanks' to the one whom you think is responsible for the good that happened to you or the bad that didn't happen! Obviously, it is all from the Creator and sometimes He makes His Creatures a way to bring good to others. So, here, first we need to thank the One Who gave you all that you asked for and more, kept you safe, helped you out, was a force behind you to stay strong although apparently you could see no change in your problems etc, but despite of all the odds Who kept you there, firm and unwavering. 
Thank the One Who is the source of all blessings and strength. 
Secondly, you need to thank the persons that always stayed by your side, loved you unconditionally or did any favor for you by any means. You actually need to thank them with nice words and gestures.
The third level in achieving the state of being thankful is actually spending out of whatever you are capable of in helping out those in need. You might think that you are at present in most need but still you might find someone whose problem is worse than yours; who is homeless, hungry and ill. Whatever way you can spend whatever little you have in the way of The Creator for helping the needy you must spend. This will not decrease you in wealth rather it will open new doors of blessings upon you from the Lord of the Worlds.
The last but the most important thing to do yet the most difficult for most among us is 'not to complain'.
Most of us keep our focus fixed on 'what we don't have', 'what is missing', 'what bad happened with us', and 'what we badly need'. It is quite natural to feel the discrepancies in life but it is not impossible to try and engage ourselves in something so that we can disengage ourselves from constantly getting reminded of only the 'deprivations' in our life. Keeping busy in doing those things that bring joy, contentment and feeling of worth in us is extremely important to get out of the gloom.
Not complaining about the things we don't have and remembering the things that we do have make a big difference in our mindset. We might be really creative, useful, beneficial to others, constructive, helpful and positive by nature but the odds in life just fog those sparks in our personality. We need to clear this fog. The sparks are still there. Let them shine, and ignite your talents, your creativity and worth by working on them. Keep busy in doing things that you like to do. Do something which can benefit others. Use your talents. When we begin to shine the life of others the rays keep reflecting on us too. We bring about a brightness that engulfs our dull and gloomy life and enlightens it too!!
 Be thankful to the Almighty, be thankful to others and keep busy. 
These are the ways we can achieve thankfulness and get rid of a sad state of mind, by the Will of Almighty Allah. 
PS: These thoughts are actually learnt and understood from a lecture of my teacher. 





Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Normal?



Usually people go according to the norms of the society, the trending and the in-things. They are so governed by all that is happening around them that they sometimes do not take even a minute to decide whether what they are doing is actually good for them or not. What all the others are doing is 'normal' in their eyes and going against it is like going against the 'norm'. 
The question is, who decides what is normal and what is not?
Sometimes things that are completely acceptable and normal in one culture are totally abhorred and disliked in the other. But whether we belong to one culture or the other some things always are right and wrong. There are some grey shades where you need to use your intellect and insight to decide what is good and bad for you.
Following some age-old traditions, or newest fashions without thinking is by no means intelligent.
If something is being done by all or most of the people it is not a guarantee for it to be correct. The crowd might be going in the wrong direction! By following such a crowd we too might end up in the ditch of hurt, loss or failure. Before imitating or following something a sound minded person will always think about the pros and cons of it.
"Normal" is actually not normal for everyone. Those who do things with ease, even the bad things, might find no problem in doing it. But those who just follow others and imitate their ways thinking them to be 'normal' just because such things are being done with ease might not be able to have their cake and eat it too..they will suffer the consequences of blind following.

The Fish and I: Ponder on this!

By a German Poet The other day, I went to the sea And asked the fish,  "Do you know who made the ocean and you in i...