Self reflection and discovery

A time to heal.

Hard lessons to be learned, or rather, accepted. The reality of this world is overwhelming to me. I have learned that I am not as strong as I thought I was and not nearly as patient as I thought I was. The reality is that I am emotionally ill equiped, unable to process some of life’s inevitable truths.  On one hand, I was protected from some of the ugly truths through my upbringing and my own seclusion when faced with distress, thus causing extreme sensitivity to evil. One the other hand, I was also placed right in the midst of chaos, and attempts were made to protect me, which caused confusion, denial, and conflict.

Now, I am an adult and I feel that I am going through an emotional development stage that is very uncomfortable and hard to process.

Self-reflection: I have high expectations for mankind, sorrow over the state of mankind, and emotionally processing these truths is difficult.

I hear the whispers in my ear “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.”

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I stumbled upon the following quote recently, which certainly pertains to my inner struggles/jihad:

“Today, I shall meet people who speak much, who are selfish, loathsome, and who love only themselves. Yet, I will not be annoyed or bewildered by them, because I don’t imagine the rest of the world to be any different.” (Marcus Aurelius)

In my head, I know that there are people who boast, and use words to hurt others. Their tongues (spoken or written word) are their weapons! I know that there are people who are selfish, out for themselves at the expense of others. I know that there are people who are loathsome, hate and ugliness spills from their core. And, there are people who put themselves above others, looking down as if they were given some special appointment, entitled with arrogance.

This I know, and I must truly accept and embrace, InshaAllah! But, I fight it, which is wrong! And this causes internal stress and turmoil. I have learned that my brain and heart are so intertwined that it is very difficult for me to process the spread of hate, of lies, of attacks, and hurt. I often feel as if I am walking along the perimeter, gazing in occasionally and quickly turning away. And, when I am swept into the reality and slapped in the face with evil, I feel like a stranger in a strange land. My world spins into reaction, unhealthy reaction. And, I acknowledge that I can possess these characteristics as well and I ask Allah to keep me from acting or reacting with the use of attack, hate, or intentional hurt. I know that, although I strive to perform countless good deeds, InshaAllah, I will receive blessing for not committing a bad deed, even if the thought crossed my mind.

Ibn Abbas  (رضي الله عنه) reported that our Beloved Prophet Muhammad  (صلى الله عليه وسلم) reported from Allah Most High that,

“Verily, Allah has written the good and the bad, and then explained it. So whoever inclines to perform a good deed but does not perform it, Allah writes it for him as a complete good deed. Then, if he inclined towards it and actually performs it, Allah writes it for him as ten good deeds to seven hundred times, to many times over. And if he inclines towards a bad deed but does not perform it, Allah writes it for him as a complete good deed. If he inclined towards it and then performed it, Allah writes it as one bad deed.” [Bukhari& Muslim]

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My internal struggle, my jihad, is with my own simplicity, my own understanding of life’s purpose which I know to be true, clouded by the fact that others turn from the truth.

My fishbowl is filled with worship of Allah, with love, purpose, gratitude, reflection, healing, and understanding, along with pain, sorrow, soul-searching, anger, incomprehension, and sadness at the state of mankind. Also in my fishbowl is my knowledge that this world is filled with people know their true purpose, who are kind, and whose tongues are their gifts, who are selfless, who work towards the betterment of mankind, and who embrace all of mankind as their brother/sister. They treat all of Allah’s creation with love, care, and respect. They acknowledge that we were all placed here as Allah’s vicegerents on Earth.

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I know that there is good and I know that there is evil! But, when that evil enters my world, enters my fishbowl,…..my quiet turns to chaos. Turbulence stirs within the bowl.

Why do I need to embrace this turbulence?

Because I know that nothing, not one thing happens without the Will of Allah. Everything is a creation of Allah and He created mankind, and only mankind, with the attribute of free will. It is this free will that allows us to either follow His command and gain a beautiful reward in the Hereafter, or turn away from His command and receive a just and severe punishment in the Hereafter.

It is entirely our choice!

All of the knowledge I gain, all of the experiences, the joy and the heartache, the pleasure and the pain, all continue to be tests for me and all of them will make me a stronger individual who will receive blessings from our Creator as long as I stay the course and fulfill my obligations on a daily basis. InshaAllah. He has made it easy for me to gain faith. He has allowed me to gain faith, now I must learn ask for continued patience to endure struggles within this life, InshaAllah.

My bewilderment, my confusion, my struggle?

Why would anyone want to make the choice to stray from His command. Why would anyone want to make that choice? The choice to take the hellfire over paradise? Why would anyone want to choose, through arrogance and selfishness, to take the path that clearly leads to pain over a path that leads to endless beauty and reward? Why would anyone want to sacrifice their everlasting life for a brief “want” within this world? Why would anyone want to jeopardize this? Why, for a short lived satisfaction would anyone risk complete and eternal bliss?

The answers:

Narrated Irbad ibn Sariyah (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“…I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error.”

~~

For the disbelievers:

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

“The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and forbid from Al-Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and they close their hands (from charity). They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah.)” (9:67)

~~

For the believers:

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

“Adn (Eden) Paradise, which they shall enter and (also) those wh0 acted righteously from among their fathers, and their wives, and their offspring. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate saying: “Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you) for that you persevered in patience! Escellent indeed is the final home!” (13:23-24)

~~

For the disbelievers:

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

“And Shaitan will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.)” (14:22)

~~

For the believers:

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

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For the believers:

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

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Evil, disbelief, arrogance, hate, etc. ,these are characteristics that some people possess, are all around me and to embrace this truth will only allow me to get closer to Allah. To see evil, to acknowledge it, and to do what I can to stop it, is an obligation:

 Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is  unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith”. (Muslim)

I am comforted by the fact that if I don’t possess the ability to change something with my hand, or by speaking directly about it, I can, at the very least, change it with my heart, InshaAllah.

Whispers again in my ear: “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.”

Alhamdulillah.

I have been put in situations that are foreign to me, hurtful situations that have caused  what I have self termed “post traumatic emotional stress” experiences that are relived instantly upon the slightest word, situation, misinterpretation, or painful reminder. I am healing with the help and guidance from Allah. I am learning with the help and guidance from Allah.

I know my faith, I know my purpose, and I am comforted in this. This is what brings me back and expands my fishbowl to allow for growth. This is what allows me to accept the evil. I will be tested, I will embrace these tests, and I will be patient, InshaAllah.

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

“Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (2:153)

bismillahirrahmanirrahim

 “Verily, with every hardship there is relief. Verily, with every hardship there is relief.” (94:5-6)

Alhamdulillah.

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He responds

The following hadith always brings tears to my eyes and reminds me of how much I need to seek Allah’s Mercy, and Forgiveness, and I must always praise Him and be thankful to Him alone for everything!

The Hadith is about Suratul Al Fatihah and how Allah (SWT) answers our call. This shows us the importance of developing Khushoo in our Salah so that we are  focused, humbled, and submissive to our Creator.

 We need to strive to treat each and every Salah as our opportunity to have a private conversation with Allah SWT. To have our time with Him, to speak directly to Him!

He responds. He responds. He responds.

Alhamdulillah

We must always be humble and remember that Allah is Greater than anything else!

Hadith:

Abu Hurairah (RA) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) declare that Allah SWT had said about Suratul Al Fatihah: 

“I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My slave, and My slave will receive what he asks for. “

When the servant says: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds”,

                                                  “Alhamdulillahi rabb il-âlamîn”

Allah, the Most High says: “My slave has praised Me.”

When my servant says:  “The Most Compassionate, the Merciful”

                                                      “Ar-Rahmân ir-Rahîm”

Allah, the Most High says: “ My slave has lauded Me.”

When my servant says: “Master of the Day of Judgment,

                                                        “Mâliki yawm id-dîn”

Allah SWT remarks, “My slave has glorified Me.”

When my servant says: “You alone we worship. You alone we seek guidance”

                                                   “Iyyâka na`budu wa iyyâka nasta`în”

Allah SWT says “This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.

When my servant says “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom You hast been Gracious, not of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.”

     “Ihdinâ ssirât al-mustaqîm. Sirât al-ladhîna an`amta `alayhim ghayr il-maghdûbi `alayhim wa la ddâlîn.”

Allah SWT says “This is for my slave, and My slave will receive what he asks for.”

 

SubhanAllah!

Allah SWT responds to each and every supplicant! What more could we ask for?

“Then which of the Blessing of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? (Suratul Ar-Rahman:13)

 

SubhanAllah  Alhamdulillah  Allahu Akbar!

Suratul Al Fatihah

surah_al_fatihah_by_roseintel-d34j1ir

The bigger truth!

I recently read a comment on Facebook responding to another person’s post about someone that went through a life saving surgery. The first comment in response to the post  was, “Thank God that this was able to happen.” The very next comment was “Don’t thank God, thank the surgeon who performed this surgery.”
My initial reaction to this comment was shock, I actually gasped. I thought, why would someone say NOT to thank God? To me, that was one of the most arrogant statements that someone could say!
My next reaction was to feel a sense of pity towards that person. I realized that this person is missing out on the bigger truth. The only truth. And, this person may never be able to get through his/her own arrogance and ignorance, to see the truth!
The truth is, Allah (God) should always be praised and one should always be thankful for what one has, because it is all from Allah. Allah gave that surgeon the ability to perform that life saving surgery. The surgeon could do nothing without Allah’s Will. So, the first comment “Thank God that this was able to happen” was the most appropriate comment. Allah should be thanked always for all that He has provided, and He has provided it all! This is the bigger truth!
We have all experienced pain and tragedy, some of us are going through this right now. When it strikes, it takes us to our deepest grief. And, at these times we must be ever aware. We must be thankful to Allah, and be pleased with Allah always, for everything! Even when we are going through these times, we must be pleased with Allah and thank Allah for giving us the strength to endure and to learn. This is the bigger truth!
As Muslims,we know that we must thank Allah for everything, because without Allah, there is nothing. We know that we will be tested with tough times, with very difficult times, yet with these tough times comes ease. This is the bigger truth!

Prophet Muhammad said: “How wonderful is the situation of the believer, for all his affairs are good. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not apply to anyone other than the believer.” (Muslim)

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“Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return). “Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon” (Al Baqarah: 156)

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We must understand that Allah is the best of planners. He knows what is best for us and He has provided us with the best of all role models in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Allah has provided us with the best of guides in the Qur’an. We must be pleased with all of Allah’s commandments and decrees. This is the bigger truth!

We will not always be provided with what we want, but we will always be provided with what we need. Allah does not provide for us based on our desires, He provides based on His Will. He alone knows what is best for us. We must be thankful and we must be pleased.  Some things that we desire may not be good for us, and Allah knows best. He may replace what we think is best with something that IS the best! This is the bigger truth!

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They are those on whom are the salawat(blessings) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones”. (Al-Baqarah 2:157)

We cannot be like those who are content only during good times:

“And among mankind, is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.” (Al-Hajj 22:12);

We are mere human beings. In the face of tragedy, we can still grieve. In the face of tragedy, we can still be sad. In the face of tragedy, we can still “experience”! And, we must be mindful. In both loss and gain, in sorrow and in joy, in the midst of tragedy and in the midst of abundant good, be patient, be pleased, be thankful, seek forgiveness, and seek help only from Allah. This is the bigger truth!

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On the authority of Abu `Abbas `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (RA) who said: One day I was behind the Prophet (PBUH) [riding on the same mount] and he said:

“O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]:

Be Mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you.

Be Mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you.

If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone].

And know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you.

The Pens have been lifted and the Pages have dried.” (At-Tirmidhi)

~~ 

Patience

With the darkness, comes the light.

With the storm, comes the sun.

With the draught, comes the rain.

With the pain, comes the relief.

With the sadness, comes the joy.

With the harshness, comes the comfort.

Patience

Be thankful, be pleased!

SubhanAllah

Alhamdulillah

Allahu Akbar

 This is the bigger truth!

du'a

 

 

 

 

The blessed days of Dhul Hijjah and the pilgrimage

It is believed, by some,  that The Holy Ka’bah, located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, was first built by Adam (Peace be upon him), the first man, first Prophet in the worship of One God, that it was forgotten for many years, and was later found by the Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael (Peace be upon them both).

However, most scholars are of the opinion that the Ka’bah was first built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismael, and not by Adam, as commanded by Allah.

“And remember when Ibrahim said, “My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.” He (Allah) answered: “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!”

“And remember when Ibrahim and his son Ismail were raising the foundation of the House saying, “Our Lord! Accept this service from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All- Knower.” (Surah al Baqarah: 126-127)

Makkah is also the birthplace of the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad (SAW). For years after Prophets Ibrahim and Ismael (AS) had passed, people who did not accept Allah as the One and Only God, continued to worship idols and these idols were worshipped within the Ka’bah. After many years of idol worship and lewd behavior taking place at the Ka’bah, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), reclaimed the Ka’bah as the House of Allah, and today, all Muslims pray (at least 5 times a day) towards the Ka’bah. The Ka’bah is also known as  “Bait -ul- Athey” (the oldest house)and “Bait Ullah” (house of Allah). (http://www.scribd.com/doc/7035704/The-Holy-Kaaba-in-Mecca)

The Ka’bah was the first structure ever built solely for the worship of the One God, Allah SWT.  Thousands of years later, Muslims from every corner of the Earth turn towards the Ka’bah 5 times a day (at the minimum) to perform their 5 obligatory prayers. This week, marks the beginning of the Holy Month of Dhul Hijjah. It is during the first 10 days of this month, each and every year, that thousands upon thousands of Muslims visit the Ka’bah as part of the ritual of performing Hajj.

Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam, along with Shahada (declaration of faith), Salat (5 daily prayers), Zakat (Charity), and Saum (Fasting during the month of Ramadan).

Hajj (pilgrimage) is incumbent upon all able bodied Muslims once in their lifetime. Muslims are free to perform Hajj more than once, however once is the obligation. To perform Hajj, one must be physically and financially able to go which includes being sure that your family is provided for, and not suffering, while you are gone.

Woman must be accompanied by her husband or a Mahram to perform Hajj. If she does not have a husband or a Mahram , Hajj does not become obligatory for her. A mahram is a male, whom a woman can never marry because of close relationship such as a brother, a father, or a sibling.

“And pilgrimage to the House (the Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves (i.e. denies Hajj), then he is a disbeliever of Allah, then Allah is independent of all creation.” (Surah Al Imran: 97)

As one can see from this Ayat from the Qur’an, if someone has the ability to perform Hajj and they choose not to, they are seen as disbelievers by Allah. No Muslim should take this lightly! Start putting money aside, start a “Hajj fund”, save your pennies, plan!

Just last week, I was assisting with a recent Sunday school Islamic Studies class and the subject was the importance of performing Hajj. A student shared that she knows a recently married couple who chose to go to Hajj for their “honeymoon.” SubhanAllah, May Allah accept this couple’s Hajj. They could have easily spent their money on a traditional honeymoon, as many young couples do, travelling through the Caribbean or Europe, but they chose Hajj instead. May Allah continue to guide them. Ameen.

Hajj happens once each year, however, Ummrah (the “Lesser Hajj) can be performed at any time of the year. The holy month of Dhul Hijjah is now upon us, and it is during these first most blessed days of Dhul Hijjah that pilgrims from across the globe make their way to Makkah to perform the rites of Hajj.

I was able to perform Ummrah during a brief stay in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and as I think about all of the Muslims currently making their way towards Makkah and towards the Ka’bah, I can recall my own emotions as I visited the Ka’bah for the very first time and I know what Muslims visiting the Ka’bah for the very first time will experience over the next few days.

It is hard for me to find the right words to express the emotion that one is overcome with when they see the Ka’bah in Makkah for the very first time. It is hard to convey the emotion, especially to a non-Muslim. How can a building in the shape of a cube draped in cloth (The  Ka’bah), this simple concrete structure, evoke such emotion?  You see, it is not the structure itself, it is what this structure represents.

“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”

The experience is profound. As you enter the Mosque, you are first struck by the columns and arches that you pass by as you make your way towards the Ka’bah. You feel as if you have stepped into a different space in time, you notice people ahead of you, people on both sides of you, and people behind you, all there with one shared belief.  A feeling of intense awe begins to overcome you as you are struck by the realization that millions of people have walked the very same path as you. The same path that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) walked, the same path that Prophet Muhammad (SAW),his family and his companions all walked so many many years before us. And, each and everyone of us is there for the same purpose, to worship Allah (SWT).

“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”

As I walked towards the ka’bah, my emotions were intense. I was walking and searching for the first sight of the Ka’bah. My eyes were intent on seeing it yet I wasn’t sure if I was ready.  My dear friend Amina who, along with her husband and young child,  brought me there for my first experience, said to me “Ok, get ready, you are going to to see it soon.” And then……it happened.  My eyes filled with tears, as I caught a small glimpse of the black covering which drapes the Ka’bah, I began to tear up and shake with emotion, intense happiness, intense awe, intense sadness that I wasn’t able to share the experience with my loved ones at home, along with intense overwhelming gratitude.  I was not yet ready to fully experience it, I quickly looked down and stepped to the side to let people pass as I made du’a to Allah and to let the tears flow. I felt as though if I looked up towards the ka’bah again, I would realize that I was in a dream. I took the chance…I looked, and it was still there, I could still catch a glimpse of the black cover. I quickly stepped to an area to pray 2 rakah as a prayer of greeting for the Mosque and to  thank Allah SWT for allowing me the opportunity to be there, and to make du’a and seek forgiveness.
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”
As I began to walk towards the Kaa’ba once again, I continued to experience intense emotions, the experience seemed almost surreal. Was I really there? Was this really happening? So much to take in….and then….there it was. The Ka’bah, this beautiful structure, draped in black cloth (Kiswah) with Qur’an verses embroidered in gold. The very first building to be erected for the sole purpose of worshiping Allah (SWT) so many many years ago. The Ka’bah, where 24 hours a day, each and every day of the year, people are there in worship. A place where at this very moment, people are making the pilgrimage there for “the largest temporary gathering of humanity on the globe.” (Shalabi,2001)
A place where many people will experience what I experienced.
Once you have taken it all in, performed the rituals of Hajj or Ummrah, and are able to begin to observe others, you share in their experience. You see, as people walk towards the Ka’bah and suddenly catch a glimpse…the emotion!  The tears, the amazement, the awe! You quickly remember that feeling. The feeling that I am experiencing right now as I think about the millions of Muslims who are going to experience this feeling right now.
Alhamdulillah.
A bit on Hajj:
When preparing for Hajj, pilgrims enter a state of ihram where they make their intentions to perform Hajj to Allah SWT and exchange their everyday clothes for two pieces of white cloth as their clothing (men only) just as Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did during earlier pilgrimage. Men are no longer seen as a businessman, a wealthy person, a prince, a poor person….all appear the same, equal under the eyes of Allah (SWT). They are all humble servants of Allah.
SubhanAllah.
Once one has made his intention to perform Hajj and is in the state of Ihram, he begins the journey towards Makkah. He will begin to recite the Talbiya:
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”
(I respond in obedience to You, O Allah – I respond. I respond – no partner is there to You – I respond. All praise and favor is Yours, and sovereignty. There is no partner to You.”
This is happening right now, as I type, many Muslims are reciting these very words as they make their way to Makkah.
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika laka.”

 

 

 There are several rituals that are performed during Hajj, they include:

1. Putting on Ihram

2. Circumambulating the Ka’bah seven times

3. Walking between as-Safa and al-Marwah near the Ka’bah

4. Visiting and staying at Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah

5. Throwing pebbles at three fixed places at Mina

6. Shaving or trimming hair

7. Sacrifice of an animal

InshaAllah, I will be able to go back to Makkah to perform Hajj at some point. However, even though many Muslims are unable to do Hajj, there are many things that we can do in observance of these blessed first days of Dhul Hijjah.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,  “There are no days of the year in which righteous deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah!”What are good deeds that we can do during these first 10 days?

  1. Fasting on the day of Arafat (9th of Dhul Hijjah)  If  you fast on this day, your sins will be forgiven for the year before and the year after.
  2. Dzikr. Remebrance of Allah. Saying  “Allahu Akbar”   “La illaha illAllah”    “Alhamdulillah” often throughout the day.
  3. Repent to Allah SWT with sincerity
  4. Extra voluntary deeds of prayer, charity, and Reading Qur’an
  5. Tahhajjud
  6. sacrifice an animal for the Sake of Allah SWT. After Eid. It can be done on the 10, 11, 12, or 13.  Whoever sacrifices an animal, all sins to the amount of hair on the animal will be forgiven.
  7. Pray the Eid al Adha salat (10th day of Dhul Hijjah). Eid al Adha is to commemorate the end of Hajj and to remember the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son to Allah SWT.
  8. Appreciate the blessing of Allah and come close to Him during these 10 days through all of these acts with intention, thought, appreciation, prayer, and seeking forgiveness.

May Allah SWT accept everyone’s Hajj, Du’a, and acts of worship. Ameen.

“Allahu Akbar”   “La illaha illAllah”    “Alhamdulillah”

“Allahu Akbar”   “La illaha illAllah”    “Alhamdulillah”

“Allahu Akbar”   “La illaha illAllah”    “Alhamdulillah”

Insha’Allah

One day you will ask me about my religion, not assuming that all of the stereotypes you have heard are true……Insha’Allah

One day you will ask me what I believe instead of glaring, staring, or making comments as I walk past…..Insha’Allah

One day you will listen, with an open heart……Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The One.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you will see that I am not oppressed…..Insha’Allah

One day you will see that I am in love with my choice…. Insha’Allah

One day you will recognize the truth….Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He.

The Most Merciful.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you will stop denying the signs…..Insha’Allah

One day you will stop believing that you have all the power to do……Insha’Allah.

One day you will stop denying the truth…..Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The All Powerful.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you will find that arrogance has no place…Insha’Allah

One day you will know that we are from the same…Insha’Allah

One day you will see with your heart….Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God. None other than God. One God.

No partners has He.

The Mighty.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you will see that what I believe is the way…..Insha’Allah

One day you will learn of your Lord…..Insha’Allah

One day you will accept the truth…..Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The Creator.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you can start your journey…Insha’Allah

One day you can find the path…..Insha’Allah

One day you will stay the course….Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God. None other than God. One God.

No Partners has He.

The Most Kind.

Why would you not believe?

~

The day will come

The day may be soon

The day may be too late

The day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The Witness.

Why would you not believe?

~

The day, the signs will be overwhelming.

The day, there will be no return.

The day, we will all be brought together.

The day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The Gatherer.

Why would you not believe?

~

The day your deeds will be revealed…..Insha’Allah

The day you will learn of your final abode…..Insha’Allah

The day that there is no turning back…..Insha’Allah

The day

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He.

The Reckoner.

Why would you not believe?

~

The day there are only two destinations.

The day many will cry out in despair.

The day many will end up in fire.

The day.

~

One God! None other than God! One God.

No partners has He!

The All Knowing.

Why would you not believe?

~

The day I will be allowed into Jannah…..Insha’Allah

The day I will escape the hellfire…..Insha’Allah

The day..gardens with rivers running beneath….Insha’Allah

The day.

~

One God. None other than God. One God.

No Partners has He.

The Light.

Why would you not believe?

~

One day you will ask me about my religion……Insha’Allah

One day you will ask me what I believe…..Insha’Allah

One day you will listen, with an open heart……Insha’Allah

One day

~

One God. None other than God. One God.

No partners has He.

The Truth.

Why would you not believe?

~

Maryam (AS), (Mary) Mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus) (AS). A role model for Sisters in Islam.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Maryam, (Mary), (Alaiha Salaam), Mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus) (Alaihi Salaam)

A role model for all of my dear sisters in Islam.

Maryam (AS), the mother of Prophet Isa (AS) was a remarkable woman. She was one of the greatest women of her time. She was devoted to the worship of Allah (SWT) and remained on the straight path despite many hardships and trials.

Below is her story (in brief) beginning with her mother’s supplication to Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and through the birth of Maryam’s son, Prophet Isa  (Jesus) (AS).

May we all learn from her devotion, her sacrifices, and her obedience to Allah (SWT), Insha’Allah!

Maryam’s (AS) mother, Hannah bind Faqudh was the wife of Imran. Hannah wanted very much to have children, but she was unable to conceive. She supplicated to Allah (SWT) to grant her offspring and Allah (SWT) accepted her supplication.  Hannah soon became pregnant with child.

When she became aware that Allah (SWT) had accepted her supplication, she was so thankful to Allah for answering her supplication that she said:

“O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (3:35)

Hannah certainly did not know whether or not she was carrying a male or female child when she made this supplication. When she finally gave birth, she said:

 “Oh my Lord! I have given birth to a female child” – and Allah knew better what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (AS). I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.” (3:36)

 

 

Although Hannah was worried that a daughter may not be able to fulfill her vow to Allah (SWT), He accepted Hannah’s supplication for the protection of her newborn child, Maryam (AS).

He provided for her, and put her under the care of Zakariyya (AS), her brother in law, who was a Prophet of the Children of Israel at that time.

Whenever Zakariyya (AS) visited Maryam (AS) as she was growing into adulthood, he always found her supplied with an abundance of provision. He would find her with winter fruit during the summer, and summer fruit during the winter.

Zakariyya (AS) would ask Maryam (AS):

“From where have you gotten this?”  Maryam (AS) would reply, “It is from Allah (SWT). Verily, Allah (SWT) provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limits.” ( 3:37) 

 

As Maryam grew up and became a woman, The angels said to her:

“O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you and chosen you above the women of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) of her lifetime.” “O Maryam! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those who bow down (Imran: 42-43)

 

Maryam eagerly accepted Allah’s (SWT) command and she became devoted to the worship of Allah (SWT).  She would often seclude herself from her family to worship Allah (SWT), and she became well know for her remarkable acts of worship, devotion, and perseverance.

Allah (SWT) made her grow in good manner, and be well liked. He made her accompany the righteous peoples so that she learned righteousness, knowledge, and religion.

During her time in seclusion, Allah (SWT) sent down the Angel Jibreel and he appeared to Maryam (AS) in the form of a man. When Maryam (AS) saw this man, who had come to her while she was in seclusion, she became very afraid of him. She thought that he had come to hurt her.

She said to him, “I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you do fear Allah.” (Maryam: 18).

(Maryam was trying to remind him, The Angel Jibreel, of Allah (SWT).

Jibreel responded: I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a righteous son.

 

”Maryam (AS) asked, “How can I have a son? I have no husband and I do not commit any wicked acts – no may has touched me.” (Maryam: 19-20).

 

Jibreel responded:

 “Verily, Allah has said that a boy will be born to you. Verily, Allah is the Most Able to do whatever He wills.  Allah wished to a appoint this child as a sign to mankind. A mercy from Allah, and it is a matter already decree by Allah.” (Maryam: 21)

 

Maryam knew that this was going to be a difficult trial for her and she feared what would happen when she returned to her people. As Maryam (AS) was giving birth in seclusion and was in the pain of childbirth, she said that she wished that she had not been created. She knew what lay ahead and that when she brought her baby back to her people, they would surely reject her.

Through Prophet Isa (AS), Allah (SWT) told her not to grieve, she would be taken care of and her proof would be established.

 

“Then the baby cried unto her from below her, saying, “Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you” (Maryam: 24)

 

Maryam gave birth to Isa [Jesus] (AS).

As Maryam (AS) prepared to bring her child back to her people, she was instructed by Allah, through the infant Isa (AS) to fast and to use gestures, no words, to let others know that she had vowed a fast unto Allah (SWT) and would not speak to any human on that day, a vow of silence. Maryam (AS) accepted this command from Allah (SWT).

Maryam (AS) was told that Prophet Isa (AS) would make a statement to the people. Maryam (AS) again accepted the command of Allah (SWT) and took her child back to her people.

When she arrived, the people did reject her. They accused her of committing adultery!

Throughout all of the ridicule and degradation that she was enduring, Maryam (AS) continued to direct the people’s attention to Isa (AS). They began to get very angry and felt that she was mocking them. Maryam (AS) however persisted with Allah’s (SWT) command. She remained silent as her people doubted her, slandered her, and condemned her. She pointed to Isa (AS) in his cradle, as a sign to have the people listen to him, but they asked:

 “How can we talk to a child in a cradle?”

 

“He, Isa, said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” (Maryam: 29-30)

 

This statement would be a declaration of Maryam’s (AS) innocence from all of the horrible allegations made against her.

We all know that Prophet Isa (AS) was a great Prophet of Allah (SWT).  Allah (SWT) honored Maryam (AS), due to her obedience to Him, by  allowing her to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS).

Allah (SWT) provided for her always and she praised Him and thanked Him throughout her life.

~~

All of these acts of worship and obedience to Allah (SWT), before, during, and after the birth of Prophet Isa (AS)  show us of the devotion of Maryam (AS) in worship to Allah (SWT). She was put through a tremendous test and she put all of her trust in Allah (SWT). She had been tormented, ridiculed, and accused of horrendous acts, but she remained steadfast throughout.

Allah (SWT) chose Maryam (AS) to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS) because of her service to Him, her modesty, her honor, her innocence, her piety, and her conviction.

Allah (SWT), through the angels, commanded Maryam (AS) to increase acts of worship, humbleness, submission, prostration, bowing, and so forth so that she would acquire what He had decreed for her.

Maryam’s (AS) acts earned her a higher grade in this life, the honor to be the mother of Prophet Isa (AS), and a higher grade in the Hereafter.

Maryam (AS) was the best woman of her time. She achieved a level of perfection. During Maryam’s lifetime, only two women had reached this level of perfection: Maryam (AS), daughter of Imran, and Asiah, wife of Fi’raun.

~~

Dear Sisters in Islam, let us not forget what Maryam (AS) had done (total devotion and worship) and the rewards that she received from Allah (SWT).

~~

How can Maryam (AS) teach us through her behavior?

How can we learn from her?

How can we learn to put complete trust in Allah (SWT) as she did?

Allah (SWT) has provided us with a gift by sharing the revelations regarding Maryam (AS). He has provided us with a great role model.

Just as Maryam (AS) had done, let us increase our acts of worship, our humbleness, our modesty, our submission, our devotion, and our perseverance.

Let us be in the company of righteous people so that we may stay on the straight path towards Allah (SWT).

 We, as Muslims, have been given a gift, a great blessing from Allah (SWT).

We have been chosen by Him to worship Him!

Alhamdulillah.

We need to be mindful of this great blessing throughout our trials, our suffering, and throughout all of the blessings bestowed upon us.  We must be forever thankful that we were chosen by Allah (SWT).

As we prepare for each of our Salah, let us put aside our distracting thoughts, our “list” of things to do, our frustrations and our desires.

Let us ask of Allah (SWT) to guide us, to help us perfect our Salah.

Let us remember to be thankful to Allah (SWT) throughout our day.

Let us make Duaa asking for Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness, guidance, and strength throughout the day.

Let us be role models for our young sisters, our daughters, and our new sisters.

Alhamdulillah.

Let us protect or modesty, increase our khushoo, be charitable, be kind, and continue to nourish our hearts with Islam, Insha’Allah.

May we all be rewarded with Jannatul Firdous.  Ameen.

Remember my dear sisters in Islam, Allah (SWT) said:

“When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them.

 I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on Me.

 Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, so that they may walk in the right way” (2:186)

 

 

Let’s redefine our status symbols

The dictionary defines “status symbol” as: something, such as a possession or an activity, by which one’s social or economic prestige is measured.

When one hears the expression “status symbol” what or who typically comes to mind? What images instantly pop into your brain? Monetary wealth and success? Trump Plaza? Fancy Cars? Fame? Hollywood? Designer clothes? Glamour? The Red Carpet Crowd? Rock Star Life? Living in a “Mansion?” Super Stars? Sports Stars? Extravagance?

“Status symbols” are plastered anywhere and everywhere that we go. We see these “symbols” on billboards, on TV shows, on commercials, and all over the media.

“Do this”     “Buy that”    “Gotta have one of these”     “Dress like this”     “Look like this”

VERSACE      NIKE       GUCCI       BMW      $$$$$

BEAUTY (as media defines it!!)

HUGE ESTATES

SWIMMING POOLS LINED WITH GOLD

  STATE OF THE ART HOME THEATRE

 …on and on and on and on…..

We have a phrase for all of this stuff right? Desires of the Dunya!!

Some people can afford all of these “materials” and hey, good for them! It is ok to be wealthy provided that your wealth is gained purely with good intention and that you continue to give charity to those in need. And, we must remember that wealth does not ensure a life of ease and contentment!

For others, attaining these “materials” is unrealistic and the thought of not being able to have these “materials” can be depressing and can lead someone to acquire these “materials” in ways that are detrimental to themselves or to others. Advice: Don’t “buy” into Riba!!! It is a dangerous and evil concept!

And, for others…attaining these “materials”, these possessions, is of no importance. Attaining other possessions, attaining a different kind of wealth, a different kind of “status symbol” is of utmost importance. These are the “possessions” that I hope to obtain, Insha’Allah.

I am sure that you all have heard the old saying “you can’t take it with you.”

This is true. It is certainly true that you can’t take your $$$$ with you, you can’t take your material “possessions” with you. In fact, many people leave a big mess for their family to clean up. They have enjoyed all of their “possessions” and have left all of the debt incurred while attaining all of their “possessions” as a burden for their family.

~

What if I told you that you CAN take it with you! In fact, you will take it with you!

And, what if I told you that what you can leave behind will benefit your family and the entire Ummah!

This is true! There are many possessions that we will take with us and we need be conscious of these “possessions” everyday. These possessions are what will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment.

What are these possessions that we should strive to obtain?

Wouldn’t you strive to possess strong Iman, kindness, mercy, generosity, thoughtfulness, charity, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and to have lived a pious life?

Wouldn’t you want to “possess” these qualities? Wouldn’t you want to pass these “possessions” onto your family, your companions, and to your community? No burden, no debt left behind?

Let’s take another look at the definition of status symbol:

Something, such as a possession or an activity, by which one’s social or economic prestige is measured.

Social or economic prestige?

Let’s assume that social prestige is simply how others view you, or how others define your “status”.  Simple enough, right?

The dictionary defines “economic” as: pertaining to the production, distribution, and use of income, wealth, and commodities.

Let me break down and refine this definition of “economic” to include:

  • “Production” as our continuing worship of Allah SWT throughout all of our daily actions. Our continued efforts in increasing our knowledge, our Iman, and our remembrance of Allah SWT.
  • “Distribution” as our Da’wah to Muslims and Non-Muslims
  • “Income, wealth, and commodities” (our true possessions) as the ever plentiful and continuous Blessings and Forgiveness that we receive from Allah SWT as we continue to worship Him throughout all of our daily actions, along with all that he has allowed for us.

This economic system sounds pretty fair and just! Everyone who follows the prescription benefits from this economy!

EVERYONE! No elite, and no “poverty level” within this economy.

The dictionary  defines “prestige” as: Reputation or influence arising from success, achievement, rank, or other favorable attributes.

Don’t you think we need to take a good look at our reputation, our influence, our achievement, our rank, and our other favorable attributes?

I ask you to take a good look at how you chose to live in this world….how we chose to live in this world!

 How is our “prestige” measured? We know the answer and we are accountable!

I ask you, Who takes an account of  our reputation, or our influence, or our success?

Who provides us our rank (our position)?

Who?

Allah SWT.

Subhan’Allah. How amazingly Perfect is He!

Allah, Al Wahhaab (The Bestower. Most Generous in giving plenty without any return.)

Allah, Al-Razzaaq (The Sustainer, The Provider)

~

We, as Muslims, need to redefine our symbols of status as it pertains to our Deen, and we must begin to place this newly defined social and economic prestige back into our Ummah.

 We must strive to “possess” the qualities of our beloved Prophet (SAW).

We must pass on our beneficial possessions onto our families and to the entire Ummah.

Let’s redefine our status symbols!

We have the tools!

Everything has already been laid out for us.

No need to purchase anything!

We just need to invest in our time , our actions, our “possessions” and our Iman.

We can easily do this by following the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW).

~

So, You see?

We can, and will, take it with us.

Have you figured out what IT is yet?

It is our record, our account, our book of deeds.

It is being recorded and it will be presented back to us so that we may be accountable for our actions.

Make your book a best seller!