who is the drop…you or the world?

It is indeed a very strange question I wrote as the title but it was inspired by the quote I am about to share with you… and the reason why I started with this question is because in this age of information we keep reading so many things, but they don’t stay with us for more than a moment… and this lack of impact is due to the fact that we seldom stop and ponder on the things that we read… and then of course the best way to reflect on what we read is to ask questions… so here is the quote and I invite you to think on it…

“when you sit with the people of this world 

you become a drop in the ocean of this world

and when you sit with the people of the akhirah

this world becomes a drop in the ocean of existence”

The Wild Mulberries…

Different people like different parts of their homes… and I like windows the best… because they enable me to look at the sky and the sky is my thinking canvas…

Just as a painter paints on his canvas, similarly the sky is where I paint my thoughts… In a tiny fraction of a second my thoughts can just make me fly from my room out into the limitless skies… and I can think and evaluate and dream…

But what I really want to share in this post is not my dreams but the reality which I saw today… the reality of how Allah can remove the problems from your life whenever he wants… without you doing anything except for praying and hoping for his mercy…

What happened is that this morning when I looked out of the window in my room, my eyes rested on the wild mulberry trees and bushes outside the boundary wall of our house…They are in abundance and growing even wilder in this rainy season… I am very fond of trees in general but this one tree I just don’t like… it gives me a sad and lonely feeling when I see it but this morning I thought that even this has been created by Allah and how beautiful the leaves look… all broad and straight… parallel to one another and ready to catch all the rain and sunshine… busy in making oxygen for us that we breathe… so maybe I should not dislike it…

But then I thought that because of their overpowering presence I cannot see the beautiful shrubs and trees behind them… also they hide most of the skyline too… I don’t even remember what dua I made but since my heart was feeling the burden of my various problems, I guess I just asked for Allah to help me to solve them… at the back of my mind I was thinking how weak I was and how incapable of finding solutions…

After that thinking and praying session I just remembered that I had forgotten to pray the nafls of ishraaq… so I made wudhu and started praying… it hardly took 5 minutes or so but all that time I could hear some strange sounds… it seemed like someone was striking and cutting something hard… Imagine my surprise that when I finished my prayer and looked out the window to see what was happening… the mulberry trees had all been cut off… just like that… I was standing there speechless…

It seemed like a direct message from Allah that my job is to believe in his strength and power… and not to be overwhelmed with problems… even if I feel too weak and incapable of solving them. Sometimes the shaitan makes you lose hope that why isn’t there any response from Allah when you are making duas to him all the time? But we should remind ourselves that there is certainly a response every time we call him… even though it might not be visible to the eyes… And then there are times when Allah does send a “visible” response too but we are too busy blaming others and wallowing in self pity to see these signs…

But the windows of our homes and the windows of our souls are the outlets from these frustrating thoughts… So this morning’s incident proved to me that no matter how big we think our problems are but we should never forget that nothing is too big for Allah… if we remain true to him… believe in him… pray to him… make him the nucleus of our lives… depend on him only… then he can remove the wild mulberries of our lives in as little time as it takes to pray two rakahs… so is too difficult?

Beware of Pride…

Often I write a long story to prove a point but this time the point is so important and urgent that I don’t want to spare even a moment without diving right into the heart of the matter…

You know sometimes we are blessed by Allah that he saves us from certain sins… certain bad characteristics which we see in abundance all around us but Allah chose us to be free of them… but often we fall into this error of taking the credit for it and feeling proud of our righteousness; not realizing that it is, in fact, a big favour from Allah that he has kept us that way…

So when we forget that it is a favour and not an achievement then of course we don’t pause to think of the responsibility attached with that favour… And then how are we going to serve that responsibility when we didn’t even think about it?

If you really ponder on this test of life then you will realize that everything we get here in this world whether it is something material like a house or a car or a job or the money that comes with it… or whether it is something spiritual like guidance or knowledge or good habits or wisdom or the ability to love and feel and think and contemplate… all of these are gifts which come with the tag of responsibility attached to each one of them… and the responsibility is to first of all acknowledge them to be favours of Allah upon you… i.e. being humble and grateful.

Secondly we need to use these gifts to make Allah pleased with us… and that is through serving others… helping others…

And side by side we must be extremely careful not to let pride creep into our hearts because that is a poison which can kill even if it is a drop in an ocean full of goodness… So while you are being active in serving others and living a life of righteousness… just be so careful and keep checking your thoughts… what are you thinking most of the time?

Are you often thinking how bad others are and how absolutely wonderful you are… or are you thinking how great Allah is that he made you so…?

Are you picking faults of others and blaming them; or are you feeling sorry for them and making duas for them too?

Because you know Allah can easily take away what he gave you and the only way of protecting and preserving your precious gifts is to keep thanking Allah for it and keep thinking good and doing good to others… without even a grain of pride…

good person?

As I was reading Quran today there came such ayaat of Allah which gave me this absolute clarity about the definition of a good person… I mean even though being a good person seems like it hardly needs any further explanation but really if you think about it there is hardly ever been any pair of words having so many different interpretations than this… in fact everyone has their own criteria for what a good person means to them… but I wanted to know what are the qualities I must have so that I become a good person in Allah’s eyes… because when we will finally get our results; it is only Allah whose opinion will matter… all other theories will become as meaningless and worthless as scattered dust particles…

So coming back to today’s lesson from the Quran… it was from Surah Al-Hujurat (chapter-49…Ayahs 11,12)
O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people, it is quite probable that they might be better than them, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perhaps they may be better than them; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not do taubah, then they are the ones who are unjust.
O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy on one another nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.

I was surprised that all of these ayaat didn’t tell me to do anything but actually told me what not to do…

Why? Its because for most muslims it is very well known what they should be doing… so they pray and they fast… and give zakat and go to Hajj… some of them are also good to people… they are kind and helpful… they give huge amounts of charity… but they don’t realize that they cannot become good people simply by acting on these commands of Allah… that other list of things which we must stay away from is equally important… but we don’t accept or acknowledge its significance because it is hard to eliminate this stuff from our lives…

For example we pray five times a day or even get up for tahajjud but staying away from gossiping  and ridiculing others… needs more discipline than these rituals…

Fasting the whole day is easy but if someone tells you to give up backbiting… you won’t even admit that you do it…

We go for hajj spending so much money and sacrificing so much of our time… but staying away from prying into other peoples affairs… this actually requires another level of character which most of us don’t have…

 We don’t realize that these are behaviours which corrupt a person from the inside and normally people will only indulge in this stuff when they are in their like-minded company… But we don’t realize that whatever we do in the privacy of our homes becomes a part of our character and so we have to carry it wherever we go… in whichever company we are… because we can change our dress and put on the most beautiful outfit to impress others but we cannot put on any other character… our real self is what shines through our eyes… and comes through our mouths too… eventually!!

 

the forgotten list…

The article I wrote yesterday about sadness kept coming back to me over and over again… and I wondered what was so special about it… and so I read it once again and realized that in fact I had missed a very important point and it was Allah’s mercy that He had placed inside me this alarm which rings when I make a mistake…

And I am so amazed that I forgot the very same thing which we keep forgetting anyway… and that is the long list of our sins…

For those who did not read my previous article let me clarify that I was talking about making some lists to keep handy during the last ten nights of Ramadan… because when we say that one of these nights is sure to be the lailat-ul-Qadr… then obviously we don’t want to miss the chance of getting our duas accepted by Allah. And I have often experienced that when the moment arrives when we are so sure that it is a time of acceptance of duas then our minds get so overwhelmed that we cannot even remember what we really want…

Therefore I suggested making these lists:

  • Problems that make you sad

  • Dreams that you want to accomplish

  • Blessings and favours of Allah

  • Problems of the past which Allah solved for you

All of these lists are fine but the most important list which I forgot was the list of sins… the ones that we did in ignorance and also the ones which we keep on doing out of habit…

This list is most important because the main purpose of these nights is that you get your sins forgiven… and the first and foremost condition for forgiveness is that you accept and acknowledge that you have made mistakes because you are not perfect… and that you truly humble yourself in front of Allah and truly feel the guilt and regret for wasting your life in things that displease Allah and take you away from the purpose of your life…

This feeling will be a proof of your sincerity that you really mean to improve yourself and get the right direction for your life… and Allah surely guides those who want to be guided… May Allah make us of those who take the maximum benefit from these precious days and nights… ameen

Sadness…

Just moments ago I was listening to the online class of Quran and for some reason my heart filled up with this extreme sadness of what I had wanted to do in life and could not do it… what promises I had made to Allah but then did not have the courage to fulfill them… etc etc… and as my eyes welled up with tears I thought that whats the use of crying…?? what have tears ever solved for me? But then what is the solution? Whom to ask?

And just so unexpectedly I got my answer…

I suddenly got this idea that everybody must have some issues in life which they cannot resolve and they have been stressing about these things for so long… yet the problems just don’t seem to budge… so maybe the solution lies in taking our attention away from ourselves and turning to those around us… maybe Allah wants us to experience these pains exactly for this reason that we might feel the pain of others and try to bring them out of it…

And so I thought to myself maybe by sharing this idea someone somewhere might come to peace…

So basically there are these few things everyone can start doing today:

  • Talk to someone and try to help them… even if you cannot practically do anything, at least you can give sympathy, good advice, moral support…etc

  • Start making a list of your problems and keep this list with you as you worship through the last ten nights of Ramadan… making dua to Allah, crying before him, admitting your helplessness, and knowing that he has all the power to help you…

  • Also make a list of all the problems that Allah resolved for you in the past… all the difficulties He removed… all the pains that disappeared

  • And then another list of all the favours which he blessed you with… the joys of life… the good things which you did not deserve but He gave you out of Just His love and Mercy.

  • Finally a list of duas… things you want for yourself and your family… including a list of your dreams… i.e. things you wish to accomplish… things you want to do for His sake… 

So on one hand you will feel good when you shift your focus away from yourself and seek to be beneficial for others…

And on the other hand when you are alone with Allah you can just de-junk your heart by pouring out all your grief and anxiety in front of the One who alone can give you ease and tranquility… And side by side when you thank Him for all that he gave you… and all the problems that he solved for you… its going to make you love Him even more and this love is all you need to feel the tranquility that you long for…

So may Allah make it easy for us to realize that this time in which we are living right now is the most precious opportunity to bring some profound positive changes in our attitudes and in our lives too… in-sha-Allah… and I hope we can prepare all our lists of duas in the next couple of days before the arrival of the precious nights so that when the time comes we can just start praying right away… not wasting even a single moment… because that is the time when you can truly experience the ayah of surah Al Muzzammil in which Allah says:

“And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with (exclusive) devotion.  (He is) Lord of the East and the West: there is no god but He: take Him therefore for (your) Disposer of Affairs.”(73:8-9)

Hardships

As a child I used to be so upset whenever I saw anyone in distress… and I would ask my mother the same question again and again why do people have so many problems? Why can’t Allah just give everybody a problem free life in which they could be happy forever? But her answers didn’t quite satisfy my curious mind… and especially if I would complain of some difficulty she would say that we should be thankful because other people have even more problems and I would be just so upset that how can we be happy knowing that others are even worse pains… to my way of thinking that should be a cause for further turmoil and surely not for gratitude…??

But this questioning mind led me to find the answers from Allah himself who had created this world for all of us and surely he would give me a meaning behind all of this suffering…

And so when I began to understand Allah’s message to mankind in the Quran, I discovered the truth that Allah has certainly made a world for us totally free from any pain or suffering… full of happiness and enjoyment and to reach that world of pleasures is what this life is all about…

As Allah sums up the purpose of life in the following passage of surah Al-Inshiqaq (chapter 84):

“O mankind! surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him. Then as to him who is given his book in his right hand, He shall be reckoned with by an easy reckoning, And he shall go back to his people joyful.” (84:6-9)

So everyone has his or her share of hardships and they can become easy to pass only when we keep our trust in Allah and keep reminding ourselves that if we are facing these hardships in the path of Allah then there is no cause to become depressed because Allah is counting everything and he is going to give us excellent rewards which we can’t even imagine…

But on the other hand if our toiling is only to gain pleasures in this world then neither can we make it a paradise nor will there be any reward in the next world…

The Seekers Path

for the seekers of Allah's love and pleasure

iLookiListen

..on Islam

Talib-e-Ilm

Seeking Ilm, Seeking Jannah

procrastinator92

A fine WordPress.com site

Heart Talks

Fiqh-ul-Quloob made easy.

Lighten It Up

Light Up Your Life With Islam

Towards the Right Path

Ya Allah! Guide us towards the right path!

YasSarNal QuR'aN

An Effort in Facilitation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 195 other followers