Sins vs Tawfeeq.

Being humans we cannot be free of sins like angels but it doesn’t mean that we are free to do whatever we like. Rather it is a sign of our belief in Allah’s authority and the realization of our accountability in front of Him, that we will avoid sins like we avoid the fire. We walk so carefully not to fall, we drive carefully not to encounter any accident. Yet we do fall or we get hit by a car… not habitually… but accidentally. The sign that you crossed any limit of Allah by mistake, is that you will feel truly guilty for it and you will repent with humility. But if you take sins casually and you justify your transgressions, then that is a sign that Allah has stopped giving you tawfeeq to turn back to Him.

Sometimes even the most religious people have a habit of certain sins, like for instance back biting, or hurting others, or not fulfilling the rights of their spouses and children… and in their minds they stop being guilty about these things, having a self-satisfied attitude that we are so pious and we do so many acts of charity so we are naturally going to paradise. This religious pride takes away Allah’s tawfeeq from them. And outwardly they are still doing all the acts of worship but they are deprived from the ultimate benefit of religion and they don’t even realize it.

Then there are those who quote such examples of religious people who are not so good in their character and they use this as an excuse not to follow religion. They have this slogan of being a good person despite not adhering to Allah’s authority. How can a law breaking person be called “good”? but they are deprived of understanding their error. And this deprivation is also from Allah.

The third category of people are those who understand very well that they are not following the right way of life. Their intellect tells them that they must abide by the limits set by Allah, they know the harms of sinning, they want to avoid them but somehow they are too addicted to sins… and they cannot separate themselves from these fatal habits. But for these people who realize the loss they are suffering, can reverse their situation if they can truly seek forgiveness from Allah and make most sincere duas to Him repeatedly so that Allah will give them the tawfeeq to leave this destructive way of life. We must remember that the only power which can give us the determination to leave sins is the Quran. If we hold on to it most passionately like the drowning person holds on to some support… because he knows that he will drown if he leaves it!!

Similarly we must hold on to Allah’s rope… the Quran followed up by duas… not just casual duas, but seriously begging like the begging of a child who cries and cries until he gets what he wants.

So basically there are three principles which we must implement if we really want success in this life and the next.

  1. Gratitude… be truly grateful for every thing whether big or small. Be grateful for all that you have and all that you are able to do. Especially the good deeds. Thank Allah from the heart… thank him at every step, with every breath.
  2. Duas of Aafiyat… this means that make dua to Allah all the time, to protect you from all harmful things… this dua will give you safety from all kinds of troubles and especially from lack of tawfeeq too!!
  3. Pure Tawbah… yes it needs to be pure! Not a casual utterance of words but a true feeling of the heart who wants to get purified from all the filth of sins that have been collected on the soul during all the years of neglect and heedlessness. One is a tawbah for the past… and the second even more important is the on-going tawbah, in which the moment to make any mistake, the moment you take the wrong turning, the moment you get blinded by any unlawful desire… you turn back on to the right path… and this is the exact meaning of the word Tawbah… to turn back. Don’t be casual about it, do it at once. So that you can breathe fresh air into your soul which hates the pollution of sins.

At the end I ask Allah to give me and you and all of us the tawfeeq to do all that we can to stay on the right path and to enter into Allah’s shade of mercy now and forever, ameen.

Tawfeeq and Remembrance.

The most obvious sign of having tawfeeq from Allah is that a person will readily accept Islam to be the best way of life. His heart will be eager to obey Allah in all matters. Even though his circumstances might not be favorable, and outwardly he must be going through a lot of hardship in adhering to the commands of Allah, yet in his heart there is such a sweetness of achieving the pleasure of Allah that whatever he has to go through, seems so small as compared to the greatness of the blessing of Allah’s love and mercy. This openness of the heart comes only with the special mercy of Allah… as He says:

“And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his heart to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his heart closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky…” (6:125)  

The question arises that why would Allah give tawfeeq to one person and not to the other? Obviously there must be a pretty strong reason for this… as Allah says in surah Al Hashr:

“And be not like those who forgot Allah and He caused them to forget their own selves. Those are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” 59:19

This ayat reveals so clearly that if someone chooses to ignore Allah then his heart will become blind to the truth. And he will not even recognize his own benefit or loss.

Therefore, the most important characteristic which we must develop is to remember Allah while going about our various tasks. We must keep reminding ourselves that all the resources, all the energy and all help is from Allah. If we are able to do anything in life, whether big or small, it is all due to Allah’s help. If for any reason He stops giving me tawfeeq, then I will not be able to do anything, even if I have all the resources. So I have to keep pulling my thoughts back to this fact over and over again.

This constant effort to remind myself of my helplessness in front of Allah’s power, will make my heart truly grateful to Allah. When I will realize that I own nothing, only then my heart will realize the enormity of Allah’s favour on me. Because all the blessings whether they are in the form of the righteous deeds which Allah allows me to accomplish, or they are in the form of pleasures and comforts of the worldly life… both are the mercy of Allah. And my humbleness and gratitude for all these blessings, will ensure that Allah will always keep giving me more and more tawfeeq. But If I act carefree, and I ignore my duties, Or I look down on those who are less fortunate, or I think my accomplishments are a result of my own hard work and sacrifice… then Allah will stop giving me His tawfeeq. And I might not even recognize my own decline, due to the blindness that comes with arrogance. A person keeps thinking in his wishful illusions that he is on the top of the world, while in the eyes of Allah he has no status anymore.

May Allah save us from this blindness… and may we continue to remember Allah’s absolute greatness… and may we never forget even for a moment, our own status as his humble slaves who are dependent on Him for all that we have and all that we do.

(to be continued)

Fiqh-ul-Qulub

In the Arabic language there is a quote which says: “Surely things are recognized by their opposites.”

The best and most relatable example for this is the experience of drinking the first sip of water after a long hot day of fasting. You knew the importance of water anyway, but you recognized its true delight only after experiencing the painful dryness of thirst.

Same goes for intangible things as well. All our lives as Muslims, we come across words like Tawfeeq… and we are so familiar with statements like, “It is Allah who gives tawfeeq.” I thought I knew so well what it meant… but today when I learned its opposite word, I realized that my understanding about the concept of tawfeeq was like seeing half the picture only. The word which showed me the other half, and completed its meaning for me, is “Khuzlaan”.

Actually I was listening to the first lesson on this new topic, from the encyclopedia called Fiqh-ul-Qulub. The title of this lesson is “Fiqh-ul-Tawfeeq-wa-Al-Khuzlaan”; meaning the understanding of tawfeeq and khuzlaan. This word khuzlaan touched my heart like the ringing of my phone. I was reminded of a similar word I had listened in the Quran… it was ayat-160 from surah Aal-e-Imran:

If Allah helps you, no one can overcome you, but if He forsakes you, who will help you after Him? So upon Allah, let all the faithful put their trust.” (3:160)

The word Khuzlaan has been translated in this ayat as “forsake”. So it means that just like tawfeeq is in the hands of Allah and due to this tawfeeq He makes things easy and possible for some people. Similarly He deprives some people from His tawfeeq, and He leaves them alone… He forsakes them to cater to their own whims and desires.

Obviously being forsaken by Allah is not a joke… nor can it the option of any believer. Specially when we understand so well that all kinds of power and abilities are in Allah’s direct ownership. And if Allah gives us any ability or power in life then it is a gift from Him. But the biggest gift which we need is the guidance to know what to do with our abilities and resources? And then even bigger is the gift of tawfeeq, due to which, Allah makes our hearts inclined towards the most beneficial things. And He helps us to stay committed and determined to achieve these goals. And He keeps giving us the energy and motivation to pursue our targets. And so we are able to walk upon the path of success which we all know as the sirat-ul-mustaqeem… the straight path which leads to the everlasting joys of paradise. This happens only with the tawfeeq of Allah. And this most precious gift is given to those who understand its true worth. And so they give all credit to Allah for whatever they accomplish in life, whether big or small. It is due to tawfeeq of Allah that huge tasks seem easy and even lack of obvious resources doesn’t cause a person to worry… because a true believer has complete trust in the help of Allah and he never tires of asking Allah for His help and tawfeeq. By admitting to Allah again and again that we are dependent on Him for all our needs; And specially our need for guidance and to remain firmly steadfast on the path of Allah; makes us truly humble and so we are saved from two most harmful enemies of our soul:

  1. Riya… which means Showing off, seeking appreciation from others, projecting an image of righteousness.
  2. Ujub… self-appreciation, having a bloated self-image, thinking of oneself as the most righteous or the most accomplished.

When we will recognize that nothing is in our control. Only Allah allows us to understand what is best. And only He allows us to achieve whatever we do, then we will never show off to others, nor to our own selves. Especially when we will realize that both these evils lead to khuzlaan… then we will avoid this kind of arrogance and boasting, just like we avoid the fire.

How painful it is to imagine that due to my arrogance or heedlessness, Allah who is the most merciful and the most compassionate, might stop holding my hand and I will be left to cater for myself in the darkness of ignorance… without any light to guide me… then even if I have the strongest abilities or the greatest resources at my disposal, still I will not be able to find my way to success. Because without Allah’s guidance there is absolutely nothing that can help us.

That is why you must have experienced that sometimes you have very little time and very few resources, yet you are able to accomplish a lot. And then there are times when you have everything at your disposal, yet you cannot do anything.

These are signs from Allah, to wake us up and to take a good look at our hearts… is our intention true? Are we really seeking Allah’s pleasure? Or do we want people to think of us as very pious and righteous? Or do we want to look good in our own eyes? Are we making duas for Allah’s help and tawfeeq? Are we really focused and sincere in our duas?

Let us all do some real soul searching and give true answers to these questions. In-sha-Allah in the next episode I will be sharing the solutions for our lack of tawfeeq and how to avoid or come out of the state of Khuzlaan. In-Sha-Allah

Leaving Sins.

Many people have this question that how can we leave sins when we are obviously not programmed to be like angels.
The answer which came to my mind is that although it is true that no matter how much we try, we will still make errors; but what Allah has definitely made us capable of is that when we really believe that something is fatal for us then we take all measures to protect ourselves at all costs. No one will burn his hand on the fire… except by accident. And what happens when we accidentally burn ourselves? We don’t remain there standing and making excuses… rather we immediately rush towards whatever healing process that is within our reach.
But the problem is that when our souls get burnt with sins, we act so carefree. Because we don’t realize the damage.
But if someone really considers sins like fire then they will not justify their transgressions… they will not blame other people or their circumstances. Rather all their attention will be focused on how to cleanse themselves from sins.
Then whoever takes this as a mission, will definitely receive miraculous help from Allah.
May we make strong intentions and commit to this lifelong goal of freeing our souls from the chains and shackles of sins… Ameen

The long awaited Night…

For myself the biggest lesson (which I learn every year and then forget it so that it always comes as a BIG surprise every time:) is that Ramadan is not just another month but it is also another world…

In this world… of the rest of the year… there is a constant enemy hovering around us but not so in Ramadan in which the biggest blessing from Allah is that he chains him and all his armies… so that they can no longer affect us.

Therefore whatever wrong we do in this month we can clearly see the level of corruption in our own “self” or nafs or whatever you might want to call it.

It’s like Ramadan is a world of a thousand mirrors surrounding me from all sides, in which I can see my good and bad points like never before.

And when I put a stop to all my desires of eating and drinking etc… my heart becomes a world of a thousand mirrors in which I can see Allah and his massive power and blessings in a million different angles like never before.

But even though every year I think like it is going to be an automatic shift from this world to the other world… I am shocked at how stubborn the “Nafs” has become that it simply wants to close its eyes and not see even a single mirror… WHY???

Because it doesn’t want to see its faults… WHY???

Because coming out of those faults needs a lot of hard work and it wants to remain lazy and comfortable… WHY???

Because it doesn’t realize the value of success in the hereafter… it sees only this world and doesn’t want to think beyond it…

But then look at Allah’s blessing that he starts this month with the ashra of mercy and moves on to the next one of forgiveness… leading us so softly and imperceptibly to the last ten days… which even my stubborn nafs cannot ignore…

And so it has to wake up and it has to open its eyes…

And this awakening needs to be announced so that someone else who might be asleep like me can come back to life…

Wake up and collect all that you can from the rain pouring down… the rain of mercy and forgiveness…

Wake up and see yourself… wake up and see Allah smiling at you… loving your small little efforts of pleasing him… wake up and see how close you are to attaining the success of both the worlds…

1400 yrs ago Allah changed the destiny of people who became the best of the best… through receiving the ultimate gift of guidance from Allah in the form of Quran and His Prophet (s.a.w)

And today so many centuries later, Allah is going to send the same night of power to us… the night of destiny… so that whosoever desires to have the best destiny can achieve it…

We keep on lamenting on how powerless we have become against the powers of disbelief in the world…

But then here is our chance of attaining that lost glory… so are we even aware of this huge blessing from Allah?

So will we spend these precious nights sleeping or gossiping or partying?

Or will we spend each one in front of Allah… standing in his worship… reading his glorious words from the glorious Quran… begging him to save us from the fire of trials in this world and the fire of his punishment in the next?

Wake up NOW… because tonight might be the night of power… the night of your destiny… our destiny…

Wind-up toys

The other day I was listening to a scholar who was trying to explain why we continue to waste our time and energy in non productive activities even in the precious month of Ramadan. Surely the devils have been locked up, so then who is distracting us now?

The example he gave was intensely powerful and shook me to the core. He said that shaitan works on us untiringly for eleven months. And he plays with our nafs like a wind-up toy. So before being chained up for the month of Ramadan, he wind up the nafs tighter and tighter, and when he releases it, the toy works on its own. The desires of the nafs are heightened to such a level that even in Ramadan a lot of our time and attention is focused on fulfilling these desires. How the devil must be laughing at us… he must be saying look at these fools, Allah gave them a month to take a rest from my negative whispers. But they are still acting on my advice. Instead of worrying for getting Paradise, they are still worrying for what feast to prepare for aftaar. Instead of spending quality time with Allah in the night prayers… they are glued to their screens and watching all sorts of things that keep their hearts distracted away from reality.

The problem is that if Ramadan cannot shake us out of our illusions then what will?

River in the Desert

They were a small family living in their modest home a few hundred miles outside of Riyadh. Their city was literally in the middle of the desert. One Ramadan, the mother of the home became resolved to an extremely specific request from Allah. Her cornerstone du’aa in this blessed month would be as follows:

🤲 ‘Oh Allah, grant our family a grand house on a river!’

The whole month she persisted in her du’aa. Every night at the time of iftar, her husband would find her praying with heartfelt tears for her riverside dream house. He would smile and tell her, ‘A house I understand, but you want a house on the river while we live in the middle of the desert?! My dear, we are not moving to Europe anytime soon.’ ‘This does not concern you.’, she would respond. ‘This is between me and Him!’

Shortly after Ramadan of the same year, even before the Hajj season, the husband received a call from one of his relatives who lives in Riyadh. Allah had blessed this man with a good deal of wealth, and he regretted that he had not taken better care of his relatives, including the husband in our story. He called not only to offer him a good job, but also a huge house in Riyadh. The husband thanked his relative and accepted the offer on an agreement that he would put some money toward the house.

The husband traveled with his wife to the city but did not yet tell her about the house. When they arrived, he was himself surprised. This was not a house. This was a palace! The wife burst into tears and began profusely praising and thanking Allah.

Already in awe at how Allah had responded to his wife’s du’aa, the husband began searching the property for the river. He figured there must be some type of canal, perhaps a manmade lazy river, or maybe even a swimming pool. Nothing. As grateful and excited as the couple were for their new home, the wife confidently said, ‘I am sure I will get my river.’

Sometime later, the husband told their story to a shaykh. He told him how amazed he was that Allah answered his wife’s du’aa for a house more than he ever expected but wondered why Allah did not give her everything she asked for – the river.

The shaykh began asking the man details about where they lived including the neighborhood, ‘So you are close to masjid so and so?’. The husband told him that the masjid was in front of their home as he stepped out the door.

The shaykh said: ❝That is your river!❞

The shaykh was referring to the hadeeth in Saheeh AlBukhari from Abu Huraira in which the narrator says: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.”

✤ There are many reflections I have about this amazing story:

► Reflection 1:
The power of du’aa always amazes me. Allah loves for us to pray to Him and ask of Him because He loves to give to His servants, especially those recognize their need of Him.

Allah ﷻ The Almighty says:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
“When my servants ask you concerning me, I am indeed near. I respond to the caller when he calls upon me.”
(Quran, 2:186)

Have you ever noticed that in every verse in the Quran when it says “when they ask you”, it then says “tell them”? In this verse we notice two differences:

  1. First, there is no “tell them” because Allah answers His servants, each of us, directly without anyone in the middle. Everyone of us needs another person to teach us and to explain to us about Allah and His religion, but none of us need another person to pray to and ask of Allah.
  2. The second interesting difference is that there is no mention of a question like the other verses (they ask you about the moon, they ask you about the orphans, they ask you about menses). In this verse, Allah only says ‘they ask you about me’ but there is no mention of du’aa or seeking a request. Allah is the one who makes a connection between asking about Him and asking something from Him, and he addresses us directly telling us that He is near and that he responds to our call. Allah is ready and happy to answer us even before we ask!

► Reflection 2:
We might ask Allah for something, but in His infinite knowledge and wisdom Allah has something better for us. The wife was seeking the beautiful scenery of a river, but Allah gave her and her family an opportunity to raise their levels in paradise where the rivers will not only run in front of your house but beneath it as well.

يَغفِر لَكُم ذُنوبَكُم وَيُدخِلكُم جَنّاتٍ تَجري مِن تَحتِهَا الأَنهارُ وَمَساكِنَ طَيِّبَةً في جَنّاتِ عَدنٍ ۚ ذٰلِكَ الفَوزُ العَظيمُ
“He will forgive your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and house you in splendid homes in the Gardens of Eternity. That is the ultimate triumph.”
(Quran 61:12)

مَثَلُ الجَنَّةِ الَّتي وُعِدَ المُتَّقونَ ۖ فيها أَنهارٌ مِن ماءٍ غَيرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنهارٌ مِن لَبَنٍ لَم يَتَغَيَّر طَعمُهُ وَأَنهارٌ مِن خَمرٍ لَذَّةٍ لِلشّارِبينَ وَأَنهارٌ مِن عَسَلٍ مُصَفًّى ۖ وَلَهُم فيها مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَراتِ وَمَغفِرَةٌ مِن رَبِّهِم ۖ كَمَن هُوَ خالِدٌ فِي النّارِ وَسُقوا ماءً حَميمًا فَقَطَّعَ أَمعاءَهُم

“The description of Paradise which the righteous have been promised is that in it are rivers of water in which the taste and smell never change; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey. Therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are these) like those who shall dwell forever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water that tears apart their insides?” (Quran 47:15)

I am happier with the choice that Allah makes for me than the thing I wanted for myself.

► Reflection 3:
We need to learn how to see the du’aa as an opportunity to be connected with Allah instead of just a way to gain things. Allah communicated with us through the Qur’an, and we communicate with Him through our du’aa. When you pray, do not only ask for worldly things, but make sure to pray for your forgiveness and for Paradise.

Saeed bin Jubayr said that IbnAbbas said, “Some bedouins used to come to the standing area (Arafat) and supplicate saying,O Allah! Make it a rainy year, a fertile year and a year of good childbearing.’ They would not mention any of the affairs of the Hereafter.

Thus, Allah revealed about them:
‎فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـقٍ
“…But of mankind there are some who say: ‘Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!’ and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.”
(Quran 2:200)

The believers who came after them used to say:
‎رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“…Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”
(Quran 2:201)

Next, Allah revealed:
‎أُولَـئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
“For them there will be an allocated share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift in account.”
(Quran 2:202)

Allah criticizes those who only ask for this life but praised those who ask for the affairs of both this life and the Hereafter.

► Reflection 4:
Take advantage of Ramadan and increase your du’a in this month. Be bold and do not hold back in seeking from Allah. More than fifty times Allah told us that He is capable of everything and is All Powerful.

He told us in the Quran:

وَقالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادعوني أَستَجِب لَكُم

“Call on me, I will respond to you…”
(Quran 40:60)

Ramadan is the month of du’aa and answering. When you make du’aa at the time of breaking the fast, be certain that your request will be answered.

The Prophet (ﷺ ) said: “Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah): the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler”
[Tirmidhi]

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ ) said: “Du’aa is not rejected between the adhaan and iqaamah, so engage in du’aa (supplication).”
[Tirmidhi]

Whenever your du’a comes after great act of worship like fasting, that is one of the causes for the prayer to be accepted.

In Ramadan, when we eat our suhoor in the morning, this is also an excellent time for du’aa.

Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: ‘In the last third of every night, our Lord descends to the lowermost heaven and says; “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?”‘ [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Prophet (ﷺ ) said: “There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this occurs every night.”
[Muslim]

In your night prayer, take advantage of every sujood (prostration) and before you close the prayer with tasleem. Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), said: ‘The nearest a slave can be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so invoke Allah (Most High) much in it. [Muslim]

Take advantage of every Friday. Narrated Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) talked about Friday and said: “There is a moment on Friday during which if a Muslim is offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (Most High), then Allah (Most High) will definitely fulfill his request.” And he (ﷺ) indicated the shortness of that particular time with his hands. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam enters the mosque on Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over, whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (i.e., after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer). If you make du’aa the entire day, I guarantee you that you will catch it.

Take advantage of Laylat-ul-Qadr (The Night of Decree). This night is the greatest night of the year. This is the night which the almighty Allah said about it:

لَيلَةُ القَدرِ خَيرٌ مِن أَلفِ شَهرٍ

“The night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months.” [Surah al-Qadr, 97:3]

The Night of Decree is one of the nights in the last ten nights of the blessed month of Ramadan, and most likely in one of the odd nights. The angels descend down to the earth, and the earth is overwhelmed with peace and serenity until the break of dawn. It is when the doors of Paradise are opened, so open your heart and pray to your Lord.

Can you see how many opportunities you have? It all depends on how much you are willing and committed.

I encourage everyone to learn about the etiquettes of du’aa and its rulings. For me, one of the most important aspects of du’aa is that it should be sincere to Allah alone. It comes from the heart, so it does not matter what elaborate words you express or what language you use.

🤲 I ask Allah to open our hearts to call upon Him in every matter of our lives, and to give us what pleases us in this life and next.

  • Waleed Basyouni (Ph.D)
    Vice-President AlMaghrib Institute

StoriesThatTouchedMyHeart

Am I what I think I am?

One of the most amazing things about the way Allah has created us is that our eyes can see as far as the sun and the moon and the stars. And with the help of telescopes we can see far into the space and with microscopes we can go deep into the tiniest of details. But the same pair of eyes no matter how sharp the vision is, cannot see the very face on which they have been placed. So I often think to myself that in a room full of people the only person invisible to my eyes is my own self… how absolutely amazing. I mean if Allah wanted He could have designed these eyes in such a way that we could see our faces… but no… we need help for that. We need mirrors. And no one can deny this fact. I haven’t heard anyone saying that they are so intelligent and imaginative that they don’t need mirrors to tell them how they look. We can imagine all we want, and we can assume that we have the looks that we wish we had, but as soon as we stand before a mirror, it will tell us exactly what we are in reality. The fact that some people are so fond of illusions that they will still not see the reality is yet another matter altogether.

Similarly, we can assume that we possess certain qualities, and we can go around boasting about them too, but whether it is really the truth or we are living in a cloud of wishful thinking… this also demands a mirror. And Allah has given us the Quran and Hadith as two bright mirrors, to see how we really are. But it is up to us how we use these mirrors and whether we even look at them or not. This depends on what you really want… do you simply love to think of yourself as a good person… and you make sure everybody knows how good you are. Or whether you want to “be” a good person? And for whose appreciation? Your own? Or people’s? or is Allah’s approval your ultimate goal?

I was simply blown away at the extent of self-delusion which we human beings are capable of, when a lady said to me that she loves the Quran because on the very first page it proves to her that she is a successful person (!!!) I said what??? She said haven’t you read its translation? It says so clearly that if someone is a believer and they pray salah and spend their wealth and also believe in the hereafter then they are truly guided and successful. So I do all these things so it means I am guided and successful.

Trying to control my reaction I told her to flip the page and on it you will find the words… “And from among the people are those who say that they believe in Allah and the hereafter but they are not believers” So how do we know whether we really have faith or not? Surely these words are about the hypocrites. But what is the purpose of these ayat? Why is Allah telling us in such a great detail about hypocricy? Because it is a disease so well hidden that often we don’t even know that it exists inside our hearts. But for someone who is conscious about their final result on the judgement day, it is very important that they will study all the signs and symptoms of this deadly disease. So that they can identify and remove any traces that might be lurking in their hearts before they reach a stage where it is no longer curable.

Interestingly enough the very first parable that Allah has described in the Quran is about the very same issue… hypocrisy. Now it is important to understand that the purpose of these parables is to make us think and contemplate on the reality of topics which otherwise are mostly intangible in nature. Things that cannot be quantified or measured by our physical senses, can be understood very clearly when presented in the form of parables and examples.

So if you study the first example of the hypocrites, Allah tells us that it is like a person who lights up a fire but when his environment becomes illuminated, Allah took away their light. In that darkness these people are not only blinded, but they also lose their capacity to hear, or speak. Thus all the doors of guidance are closed on them and they can never come back to it.

From this we can understand very well the situation of the majority of muslims. We got faith by being born into muslim families. We became familiar with the concept of Allah and the hereafter from a very young age… but have we given any value to this gift? Do we prioritize our lives according to the approval of Allah because He is the one we worship and because He is our Master? Do we worry and strive for getting the best life in the hereafter because we are convinced that it is the eternal life that will never end? Is the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) our role model for the way we live our lives, because we believe that He was the most successful person on the face of this earth?

If we don’t care and we don’t give our faith its true value, then Allah will take the light of guidance away from us. And so we will become blind to our true reality. Not only that, but the more someone is stubborn about it, the more they lose the capacity to even listen to the truth because they are not able to face their true picture. So their lives will be filled with superficial stuff and idle talk all the time… because they don’t want to talk about things that really matter… neither do they want to listen about it.

So just as Allah has used the imagery of darkness that covers them so completely, similarly the darkness of ignorance and disbelief fills the hearts of people who chose to turn off the light of faith and guidance. This darkness of uncertainty and despair is their constant companion, which they cannot disguise even with all their attempts to entertain themselves around the clock.

What is the solution? How can we come back to light that will illuminate our lives and give us true hope and happiness? It is only a second away… or even less than a second. The source of light is in front of us, we just need to turn on the switch… and how long does it take to do that? Let’s open the Quran with the intention of getting guidance, with the intention of finding the truth about ourselves, and by submitting our lives to our Master… Allah. Because after all He is the Noor of the heavens and the earth… and where else can we get noor from except Him?

May Allah give us the true desire and the true intention to “become” truly good for His approval only… Ameen

Warm up your heart:)

(Translation of an Arabic script)
🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹
When you get out of your bed and you make wudu and you pray the Salah of Fajr in this cold weather, then remember this beautiful hadith:
The Messenger of Allah ( s.a.w) said:
Certainly Allah smiles at a person who stands in the cold night, out of his bed and his quilt and his warm clothes… then performs wudu, and then stands for Salah
So Allah, most exalted, says to the Angels: ” what has motivated this slave of mine upon what he is doing?”
So the Angels reply: ” our Master, it is hope in what you have, and fear of what is with you.
So Allah says: “Then surely I have granted him what he Hope’s for, and I have secured him from whatever he fears”
[Reflection]:
What really resonates deeply in my heart from this Hadith is that just like the cold weather does not let anything grow… and life shivers and becomes withered and comes at a stand still… similarly if we dont warm our hearts with the right intentions and the remembrance of these favours of Allah then our hearts become cold and shrivelled. So even though we toil through the acts of worship, yet our hearts remain barren due to lack of warmth and the joy of Allah’s love.
Action point: Write reminders like this and place next to our dressers or side tables so that when we get out of the cosy beds we can feel the warmth of Allah’s smile. So we will be energised with the hope that just this one act of worship will give me all that I hope to receive from my Rabb… and will also give me safety from all that I fear…
What an amazing way to rekindle our hearts every single morning… so much that eventually getting up to pray fajr will become the most delightful experience which will make us warm and peaceful… instead of being cold and miserable.
May Allah help us to remember the right thing at the right time… Ameen

How much do we love the Quran?

Simpy Amazing!
One Woman’s Love For The Qur’aan📖

A very real life story of a Trinidadian Muslimah who was recently deceased, written by her granddaughter.

From granddaughter of deceased Shafirran Khan (Jordan)

“My dear grandmother was a hard working lady, who knew how to step on her nafs and get to work. She was planting rice in the rice field when she went into labour with her first child. She went home, gave birth and then tied the baby on her back the next day and went back to work. Her friends exclaimed “We didn’t know you were expecting!”. She used to tell us this story when we were little and would laugh at the memory.

She was a sweet soft spoken lady whose job later on in life was running a small parlour attached to a part of her house. Every day she would meet customers, giving them words of advice and sharing her optimism and good opinion of Allah.

She was a light to all who knew her. She worked like this until she became bed ridden two months ago, almost 83 years old.

Around the age of 60, she started losing sight in one of her eyes due to a cataract. I remember her telling me her biggest lament about it was that she feared that she would not be able to keep up reading her juz of Qura’an every single day. That year for Ramadan however, she started reading two juz a day and thereafter doubled it.

She marveled that tawfeeq was from Allah and not necessarily in the means we were given. As she aged and her strength and eyesight weakened, she found her ability to read the Quran increased until it became her joy and companion.

During her illness last Ramadan, she was reading ten ajzaa a day and doing a khatm every three days!

SubhanAllah! She buried her parents, husband, brothers and sisters and even her son. Yet still she found no grief in her heart. Instead she would say to me in her broken Trinidadian dialect, “Well, chile, what you go do? Allah is in control.”

Last year when the scans revealed secondary tumors in her brain and the doctors gave her three months left to live, she gave the same response. We kept asking her if she was in pain and she would always have the same response “No pain, alhamdulillah”. The doctors were baffled that she had no pain and kept saying “How strange!” My mother would tell me, it is because the Qura’an is her companion, so she has no grief nor pain.

Two years ago when she was still healthy and going strong, I was leaving Trinidad and was about to bid her farewell when she put one hand on my shoulder and said with a smile to me “Come, I want to tell you something before you leave, a secret. For I do not know if we shall meet again”.

She asked me if I was reading the Quran and I mumbled a… yes-I-need-to-read-more response. She leaned in close to me and whispered ‘Well I will tell you something. The Qur’aan has the answer to every problem and it is the solution to every trial. Every need I have, that comes in my heart, Allah fulfills it before I can even turn the page of my Qur’aan, even something small such as a longing to see someone or a wish to eat something. Allah just sends it! So make the Quran your companion”

Last year, I had the opportunity to see her another time, a last time alhamdulillah, and for my children to all sit with her.

She told them this story:
“When I was about ten years old, I was reading Quran on my bed by the light of a kerosene lamp when the lamp fell on my bed and engulfed the whole bed in flames. I remember my father rushing into the room and picking me up and trying to put out the fire. They were amazed upon examining me that the fire had burnt a circle right around me and had not burnt any of my clothes or any pages of the mushaf I was holding. They kept saying how could it be! How could it be!”

My grandmother went on to tell my children that this was the reality of Allah’s words and the power and magnitude of it was that- it would be a shield for them in this world and in the next life. This is all amazing given that she did not understand or speak any Arabic at all!