The defining moment.

Living in Connecticut, I have the opportunity to experience all four seasons, the new beginnings of spring, the lush greens and abundant vegetation of summer, and the fresh cleanness from new fallen snow in the winter. But my favorite time of year is the fall…. Autumn in New England!

When I was  young, I used to call fall “crunchy leaf season” because of the sound the leaves made as I walked through them, kicked them, or jumped into the big leaf piles. The crunch as I stuffed handfuls of leaves into old jeans and shirts for scary Halloween decorations to be placed outside on the porch to scare trick or treaters coming to the door in search of candy.

Today, I still love the smell of  the autumn air and the fallen leaves, the change in the air from the summer heat and humidity to a nice crisp coolness. I love to watch the trees changing colors and I love to drive through the hills and hike through the many trails I grew up near, to see the foliage.  And, I love to being able to experience the most amazing sunsets of the year.

                              Subhan’Allah. (How glorious and amazingly perfect is God)

It was during the fall season, when I was in my first semester of graduate school heading from one end of the campus to other end for class with fellow students, when my outlook on life began to change. The day was gorgeous. The wind was blowing lightly causing a whirlwind effect of leaves spiraling down to the ground. “It’s such a beautiful day, I love this time of year”, I said to my classmates. “Just smell the air, feel the crispness. Its sweatshirt season again! I love this!”

Just then, a fellow student, a Muslim brother said to me: “You know what is beautiful? “What?” I asked. His response was “it is beautiful that not one leaf falls without the permission of Allah (SWT).”

“And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it” (6:59)

I stopped suddenly, unable to move. I looked up towards the sky as I watched one leaf break from a branch and slowly fall to the ground ever so gently. Then, another gust of wind came along and hundreds of leaves came down.  I thought, “Oh my God……what?  What was that he just said? That was so beautiful.” I was suddenly filled with an emotion that I had never experienced before. I felt a sense of overwhelming gratitude and awe and I actually began to tear up.

What just happened? Why did that statement have such a profound effect on me? What did I just experience?

Alhamdulillah. (All praise is for Allah)

You see, I had been struggling with my beliefs, or non-beliefs, for several years. I was raised Catholic, but it never made sense to me. What I was learning seemed to contradict itself all the time and I never got any clear cut answers to my questions that made any sense to me.  I stopped going to church as soon as I could figure out a way to do it without my parents catching me (although, I am sure that they figured it out).

I wasn’t kidding anyone, especially myself.

As I grew and matured, I continued to have this feeling that I had a purpose in life, and that this purpose was definitely not linked to what I was doing, or how I was living during that particular period of my life.

What was my purpose? Was it to be a good mother, a good wife, what was it?

I, along with most of the other people I hung with, was not concerned with anything but that very moment in time. I was not concerned with what occurred yesterday, or what may or may not occur tomorrow. But, I still had this undefined “feeling.” The feeling that this life, the here and now, today, is not what it is all about.

I started to notice that the people I surrounded myself with would simply do the same things over and over again (having fun doing stuff of course), but there was no purpose other than to catch up with one another to do the same thing again. “I soon began to view things from outside of this cycle of “sameness” or “purposeless.” What I once considered fun did nothing for me anymore. I would rather sit home and do nothing than go out and party with friends.  I struggled with depression and often felt alone and sad.

Through all of this, I had this inner drive to find my purpose, but I was too wrapped up in my own stuff to even know where to begin. I often brushed off my feelings as “being to analytic” or I would have the “come, on, just snap out of it” attitude.

But…….I knew that there was a truth out there somewhere. I just didn’t  know where or what it was. I knew that there was something to believe, some purpose, some truth.  But, what was it?

Well, amazingly, the remark that the Muslim brother said: “Not one leaf falls without the permission of Allah (SWT)” was probably THE defining moment of when I began to realize that this emotion, this “feeling” that I just experienced, has something to do with my purpose in this life.

If something so simple, so insignificant (or so I thought) as a leaf does nothing without the permission of Allah, then what is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing?

It was that day, that one brief moment in time, that I began to understand the Greatness of Allah (SWT).

Allahu Akbar. (God is the Greatest)

I began to listen to this brother talk a bit more. Things he said made so much sense, yet they were so simple! How could something so simple and easy to understand be IT, be part of my purpose?  I began doing some research, and was encouraged to seek information from someone with much more knowledge.  I met with a local Islamic scholar, each time learning more and more about the pillars of and basic beliefs of Islam.  Each time being given things to read and opportunities to ask questions. I continued to ask, to research, and to learn.

With all of this information, this new knowledge, I had to make a choice. I could:

(a) go on living the way I had been, rather recklessly and with no clear direction or purpose, or

(b) based on my new knowledge, embrace the fact that there is No deity worthy of worship but God (Allah), and that I am a servant of God. That was my purpose, to worship Allah SWT alone.

If I wanted any chance of true peace, of success in this world and in the next,  I had no choice but to embrace Islam.

Alhamdulillah. (All praise is for Allah)

So, I took my Shahada, which is the testimony of faith that one says when they embrace Islam.

“Ash-hadu An La Ilaha Illallah Wa Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadur RasoolAllah.”

“I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the final messenger of Allah.”

I began to realize that the feelings that I have always had when I experienced the beauty of this world, was my way to begin to learn about Allah SWT.  I have always loved to observe all of the natural beauty that surrounds me. I have always been in awe over the sighting of an animal in the woods, the sound of water as rivers flow past, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the sweet smell of fresh rain, the clean smell of snow, and all of the beauty that lies within this world.

It is when I am experiencing these natural wonders, that the Greatness of Allah is so apparent.

As a child, I was naturally attracted to nature. Since I was little girl, I have always found little treasures that I would bring home. Some piece of nature would find its way home with me. I could had a pocket full of sea shells from the Cape, a pocket full of rocks from a hike in the woods, a piece of driftwood or a bag of sand from a beach in Maine, a bouquet of wildflowers, or a snapshot of something beautiful I stumbled upon on my hike.  I now know that these items are my small tangible representations of a much larger truth.

I look at all of this beauty with absolute amazement and thankfulness to Allah (SWT). Every ant that crawls through the grass, every butterfly that soars by me, every step that I take on this earth that sprouts vegetation, every rain drop that falls from the clouds, every animal searching for food in the early morning hours, every waterfall, every mountain, every gorge, every leaf that falls……..all here because of the Greatness of Allah (SWT).

Allahu Akbar

All of this beauty that is found all over this earth, beautiful waters, beautiful forests, beautiful deserts, beautiful scenery, the many animals, the sky, the stars, the sun, and moon, all beautiful creations, all on a set course.

All of these creations of Allah SWT are in perfect harmony and there is no disorder. Each has a purpose, to obey and worship Allah (SWT).  And…we are able to experience this beauty because of Allah (SWT).

 Subhan’Allah

All of this vast beauty…which also has a purpose! The same purpose as me! To Worship Allah (SWT)!

He provides all that we need, Alhamdulillah.

The beauty of this world is just a small glimpse of what is to come for those of us who truly have faith and knowledge and follow the guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and worship Allah (SWT) alone.

“Those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Paradise beneath which rivers flow. They will dwell there in forever, God well pleased with them and they with Him. This is for those who hold their Lord in awe.” (98:7-8)

 

“Ash-hadu An La Ilaha Illallah Wa Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadur RasoolAllah.”

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. I testify that Muhammad (PBUH) is the final messenger of Allah.”

I call upon Allah every day in my prayers. I seek His forgiveness and I seek His assistance. I know that He provides for me and I trust in Him alone.

 I am truly a life long student, seeking as much knowledge of this beautiful deen as I can so that I continue on this beautiful path.

The defining moment.

Living in Connecticut, I have the opportunity to experience all four seasons, the new beginnings of spring, the lush greens and abundant vegetation of summer, and the fresh cleanness from new fallen snow in the winter. But my favorite time of year is the fall…. Autumn in New England!

When I was  young, I used to call fall “crunchy leaf season” because of the sound the leaves made as I walked through them, kicked them, jumped into the big leaf piles. The crunch as I stuffed handfuls of leaves into old jeans and shirts for scary Halloween decorations to be placed outside on the porch to scare trick or treaters coming to the door in search of candy.

Today, I still love the smell of  the autumn air and the fallen leaves, the change in the air from the summer heat and humidity to a nice crisp coolness. I love to watch the trees changing colors and I love to drive through the hills and hike through the many trails I grew up near, to see the foliage.  And, I love to being able to experience the most amazing sunsets of the year.

                              Subhan’Allah. (How glorious and amazingly perfect is God)

It was during the fall season, when I was in my first semester of graduate school heading from one end of the campus to other end for class with fellow students, when my outlook on life began to change. The day was gorgeous. The wind was blowing lightly causing a “whirlwind effect” of leaves spiraling down to the ground. “It’s such a beautiful day, I love this time of year”, I said to my classmates. “Just smell the air, feel the crispness. Its sweatshirt season again! I love this!”

Just then, a fellow student, a Muslim brother said to me:

“You know what is beautiful? “What?” I asked. His response was “it is beautiful that not one leaf falls without the permission of Allah (SWT).”

“And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it” (6:59)

I stopped suddenly, unable to move. I looked up towards the sky as I watched one leaf break from a branch and slowly fall to the ground ever so gently. Then, another gust of wind came along and hundreds of leaves came down.  I thought, “Oh my God……what?  What was that he just said? That was so beautiful.” I was suddenly filled with an emotion that I had never experienced before. I felt a sense of overwhelming gratitude and awe and I actually began to tear up.

What just happened? Why did that statement have such a profound effect on me? What did I just experience?

Alhamdulillah. (All praise is for Allah)

You see, I had been struggling with my beliefs, or non-beliefs, for several years. I was raised Catholic, but it never made sense to me. What I was learning seemed to contradict itself all the time and I never got any clear cut answers to my questions that made any sense to me.  I stopped going to church as soon as I could figure out a way to do it without my parents catching me (although, I am sure that they figured it out).

I wasn’t kidding anyone, especially myself.

As I grew and matured, I continued to have this feeling that I had a purpose in life, and that this purpose was definitely not linked to what I was doing, or how I was living during that particular period of my life.

What was my purpose? Was it to be a good mother, a good wife, what was it?

I, along with most of the other people I hung with, was not concerned with anything but that very moment in time. I was not concerned with what occurred yesterday, or what may or may not occur tomorrow. But, I still had this undefined “feeling.” The feeling that this life, the here and now, today, is not what it is all about.

I started to notice that the people I surrounded myself with would simply do the same things over and over again (having fun doing stuff of course), but there was no purpose other than to catch up with one another to do the same thing again. “I soon began to view things from outside of this cycle of “sameness” or “purposeless.” What I once considered fun did nothing for me anymore. I would rather sit home and do nothing than go out and party with friends.  I struggled with depression and often felt alone and sad.

Through all of this, I had this inner drive to find my purpose, but I was too wrapped up in my own stuff to even know where to begin. I often brushed off my feelings as “being to analytic” or I would have the “come, on, just snap out of it” attitude.

But…….I knew that there was this “truth” out there somewhere. I just didn’t  know where or what it was. I knew that there was something to believe, some purpose, some truth, but what was it?

Well, believe it our not, the remark that the Muslim brother said: “Not one leaf falls without the permission of Allah (SWT)” was probably THE defining moment of when I began to realize that this emotion, this “feeling” that I just experienced, has something to do with my purpose in this life.

If something so simple, so insignificant (or so I thought) as a leaf does nothing without the permission of Allah, then what is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing?

It was that day, that one brief moment in time, that I began to understand the Greatness of Allah (SWT).

Allahu Akbar. (God is the Greatest)

I began to listen to this brother talk a bit more. Things he said made so much sense, yet they were so simple! How could something so simple and easy to understand be IT, be part of my purpose?  I began doing some research, and was encouraged to seek information from someone with much more knowledge.  I met with a local Islamic scholar, each time learning more and more about the pillars of and basic beliefs of Islam.  Each time being given things to read and opportunities to ask questions. I continued to ask, to research, and to learn.

With all of this information, this new knowledge, I had to make a choice. I could:

(a) go on living the way I had been, rather recklessly and with no clear direction or purpose, or

(b) based on my new knowledge, embrace the fact that there is No deity worthy of worship but God (Allah), and that I am a servant of God. That was my purpose, to worship Allah SWT alone.

If I wanted any chance of true peace, of success in this world and the next,  I had no choice but to embrace Islam.

Alhamdulillah. (All praise is for Allah)

So, I took my Shahada, which is the testimony of faith that one says when they embrace Islam.

“Ash-hadu An La Ilaha Illallah Wa Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadur RasoolAllah.”

“I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the final messenger of Allah.”

I began to realize that the feelings that I have always had when I experienced the beauty of this world, was my way to begin to learn about Allah SWT.  I have always loved to observe all of the natural beauty that surrounds me. I have always been in awe over the sighting of an animal in the woods, the sound of water as rivers flow past, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the sweet smell of fresh rain, the clean smell of snow, and all of the beauty that lies within this world.

It is when I am experiencing these natural wonders, that the Greatness of Allah is so apparent.

As a child, I was naturally attracted to nature. Since I was little girl, I have always found little treasures that I would bring home. Some piece of nature would find its way home with me. I could had a pocket full of sea shells from the Cape, a pocket full of rocks from a hike in the woods, a piece of driftwood or a bag of sand from a beach in Maine, a bouquet of wildflowers, or a snapshot of something beautiful I stumbled upon on my hike.  I now know that these items are my small tangible representations of a much larger truth.

I look at all of this beauty with absolute amazement and thankfulness to Allah (SWT). Every ant that crawls through the grass, every butterfly that soars by me, every step that I take on this earth that sprouts vegetation, every rain drop that falls from the clouds, every animal searching for food in the early morning hours, every waterfall, every mountain, every gorge, every leaf that falls……..all here because of the Greatness of Allah (SWT).

Allahu Akbar

All of this beauty that is found all over this earth, beautiful waters, beautiful forests, beautiful deserts, beautiful scenery, the many animals, the sky, the stars, the sun, and moon, all beautiful creations, all on a set course.

All of these creations of Allah SWT are in perfect harmony and there is no disorder. Each has a purpose, to obey and worship Allah (SWT).  And…we are able to experience this beauty because of Allah (SWT).

 Subhan’Allah

All of this vast beauty…which also has a purpose! The same purpose as me! To Worship Allah (SWT)!

He provides all that we need, Alhamdulillah.

The beauty of this world is just a small glimpse of what is to come for those of us who truly have faith and knowledge and follow the guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and worship Allah (SWT) alone.

“Those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Paradise beneath which rivers flow. They will dwell there in forever, God well pleased with them and they with Him. This is for those who hold their Lord in awe.” (98:7-8)

 

“Ash-hadu An La Ilaha Illallah Wa Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadur RasoolAllah.”

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. I testify that Muhammad (PBUH) is the final messenger of Allah.”

I call upon Allah every day in my prayers. I seek His forgiveness and I seek His assistance. I know that He provides for me and I trust in Him alone.

 I am truly a life long student, seeking as much knowledge of this beautiful deen as I can so that I continue on this beautiful path.

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)

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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).

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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!