Monday, July 18, 2016

What to do now?

Sometimes it seems that life has come to a dead-end. There's no way to go ahead or move back. But time never comes to a standstill though it may make you 'still' in shock.
At such moments just pause and think hard. Think inside silently. Peek inside your heart. Ask yourself where you are standing. Ask yourself what you can do to come out of this frozen moment.
Do you need to change‬ anything in yourself?
Do you need to seek repentance‬?
Do you need to be more grateful‬ to God?
Do you need to be more humble‬?
Do you need to be simple‬, less demanding?
Do you need to decrease your wants‬?
Do you need to just look around and give a helping hand, support‬, compassion or your time to listen to another person?
Do you need to shift your focus from this world‬ to the Hereafter‬?
Do you need to come closer to ‪‎God‬ Almighty, to His Book & His Commands?
This will help you gain wisdom‬ and insight. It will help you to face the hard moment with poise and courage, Faith‬ and Trust.
This will help you raise your children on great morals‬ and help your partner in his ‪‎struggle‬ with more conviction.
Reflect and change your mindset. Simplify‬ your life. Make things easy‬ for yourself and others.
Turn to Allah‬ for help and guidance‬.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A session with the Quran Teacher

Assalaamalaikum dear friends, today we had a session with Dr. Farhat Hashmi in our Madrasa in Jeddah. The topic was- what we learned from this Ramzan?
I noted down a few points from her talk and the interactive session for my benefit and here I am sharing them with the hope that they will be of some benefit to my sisters as well.
1- An intelligent person is the one who plans in advance. One should think about the coming year's Ramzan beforehand and plan it to make it more and more fruitful in every aspect.
2- An intelligent person not only learns from his successful experiences rather from his failures and weaknesses as well.
3- Taqwa or God Consciousness lies in the heart.
4- Make a list of whatever you used to do during Ramzan and try to continue it afterwards too.
5- Try to figure out where you slipped and where you lagged behind and find out the reasons for the same.
6- Find out the obstacles that came in performing good deeds. Some reasons might be genuine while others might just be our laziness and lack of spirit.
7- Recitation of the Quran makes hearts soft and tender. It inspires you to do good deeds more as your Eman is raised to higher levels.
8- What triggered you to do more good deeds this Ramzan?
9- It does not take long to have high levels of Eman or for the Eman to drop to a lower level. She told the story of the Magicians at the time of Musa alayhissalaam to explain how just one incident changed their hearts and they accepted the call of Musa alayhissalaam.
10- Sila Rehmi (good relations with the kith and kin) also enhances the Eman to higher levels.
11- The reasons for obstacles in good deeds can be our own flaws, faults and sins. Reflect and ponder on your life and do much istighfar so that those mistakes are erased and Allah opens his doors of Mercy and forgiveness for you.
12- Analyse yourself whether this Ramzan brought more taqwa in your hearts or not or is it the same as it was before Ramzan.
13- Taqwa is to protect your eyes, ears, heart and mind etc from doing what Allah dislikes.
14- There is no better prescription than the Quran to cure the hearts. The best cure for the sick hearts is none but the Quran.
15- It is the only book that is not just recited individually but also read out every year in Taraweeh prayers.
16- Ramzan is a beautiful example of community worship.
17- It is human nature that when some sorrow or worries come one turns to someone close to share it. The closest to us is only Allah. He knows us inside out and He knows us the best. We must not turn to any person but turn to Allah to share our sorrows as He is the only One Who can remove them from us.
18- There is a reason for whatever worries you encounter. They come to teach you something. The pain and problems in our life come to get us closer to Allah.
19- A hypocrite never understands why those difficulties came in his life. But the attitude of a believer is different. A believer does not turn to people but he turns to Allah for the solution of his worries. You want money? Ask Allah directly. Can't He give? He has all the treasures of the Heavens and the Earth. He distributes them day and night even when we are sinning and disobedient. Ask only Allah.
20- Allah breaks you through people time and again to let you realize that people can do nothing for you. You just need to have Trust and Tawakkul in Him. Try calling Allah for every help you need. He will surely respond to your calls. Have Ikhlaas in Him.
21- Try to get more and more knowledge about Allah through the Quran where His beautiful names are mentioned. Highlight those in your copy of Quran.
22- Every problem has a solution.
23- Whatever happens is already written in Taqdeer or destiny. We should accept it as Allah's Will and never complain even if something really bad happens. There is something behind it that we can not see but Allah has all the knowledge of the Unseen.
24- Why do sadness and grief arise? Why do we have a complaining attitude? It is simply because there is conflict between the reality and the expectation. We do not accept the reality of things hence we complain when things do not happen our way.
25- Always supplicate for Aafiyah (wellness in every aspect).
26- If something happens against your will just take it as the Will of Allah. It might be that Allah wants to raise your levels.
Here I come to the end from my notes of this session. May Allah help us seek beneficial knowledge and help us to apply it to make our lives in this Duniya better and to have a better Aakhirah. aameen. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

What matters most?

According to some people being religious is most important and in this venture they do not realize that religion has no meaning without kindness and humanity.
At the other hand, many people claim that only being a good human being is enough and religion has nothing to do with anything.

In both the above mentioned cases we can see the disbalance between spirituality and practicality, when in truth, religion is nothing but a beautiful balance of both.
When anyone focuses only on religion and forgets what he/she needs to do for his/her fellow beings and doesn't care about their suffering or pain, then it is nothing but extremism and unrealistic approach to religion.

The other approach focuses only on being a good human and serving the humanity, thus one completely disregards the need to recognize the importance of the One Who has Created us. We are not brainless naive creatures that we ponder on every iota of the worldly things and very conveniently forget the Creator Himself! This is also kind of extremism in being materialistic and practical.

Let us see what actually is religion. Obviously there are many definitions of religion in the world dictionaries. According to one of them : "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods" is what religion means.

This clarifies that religion is related to the belief that there is some power that is behind the creation.
Now, as we all know there are numerous religions in the world, It is the duty of the followers of each religion to know about the belief system that he/she holds. As human beings, and undoubtedly as the pioneers of science and technology, we must behave as enlightened, active, informed individuals who are seekers of Knowledge and Truth. We should be in a constant hunt for reality and the need to uncover the mysteries of nature. Reflecting upon what goes around us all the time and pondering on the happenings of day and night, birth and death, calamities and changes in life is expected of us as sensitive human beings. This kind of nature is common for a person who has feelings and the one who uses his intellect.
A person who is trying to get acquainted with the basics of his/her belief sytem and always welcomes the need to learn more and seek beneficial knowledge, is quite religious, The followers of any particular religion are required to do at least a few things that are basic to their faith. If they practice that, they are representatives of that faith. Only taking up some particular attire does not make you religious. It is actually what you follow from the teachings of that faith which makes you the follower of that particular religion.
Suppose, the most important part of a religion is belief in One God, then kindness to parents, the poor and giving in charity, then interestingly for the followers of that religion humanity and spirituality will go hand in hand. Isn't it?
This is what Islam teaches. Worship One God who is your sole Creator, be kind and give in charity.

"And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment."

"And establish prayer and give zakah (charity) and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]."

They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it."

....And this is what is called a beautiful balance of spirituality and humanity.

Let us all, whichever religion we belong to, first strive to know what our belief system comprises of and try to seek more knowledge about it.
Let us all endeavour to find Truth and seek to embrace it.
Let us all respect our religion and follow it's teachings,
Let us not just blindly be what we are and remain so all our lives without pondering on anything.
Let us not go to extremes in seeking spirituality or in being humans.
We must seek a beautiful balance in both by acquiring knowledge and practicing the teachings or our Faith. 

The Return Journey

Yesterday I was invited at a friend’s place to a dars (a talk that involves remembering Allah and giving good advice to the audience). H...