Some thoughts from… day-8

Today I learned something most profound, that fasting is of three types…

  • The common fast

  • The special fast; and

  • The Ultra special fast

The common fast is to stay away from food, drink and intimacy… this is observed by the majority of people..

The special fast is to stop your whole being from doing sins…or other useless activities… this is accomplished by few people…

And the Ultra special  fast is to stop the mind from thinking negative or useless thoughts…like envy or hatred … or making false assumptions about others etc… this is the most rare form of fasting in which a person avoids thinking of anything that distracts him from remembering Allah…

It was such an eye opener for me to realize how important it is for us to keep this third type of fast…because the purpose of fasting, as defined by Allah Himself, is to attain taqwa…and since taqwa resides in the heart, therefore how important it is for us to clean and purify our hearts…

No wonder we go through the entire Ramadan, year after year… we fast and we pray and read Quran but our characters remain untouched…as soon as the blessed month is over we are back to our worldly life… as if the whole exercise that we went through was nothing but a dream…

It happens like this, because our fasting is only restricted to staying hungry and thirsty… and we never clean up our hearts…

Whereas the reality is that the hearts have to be cleansed because this is where we will sow the seeds of good thoughts and ideas that we daily learn from the Quran… and then these seeds of ideas will come out as the plants of good actions…

Imagine if every individual is going through this process of self-purification and self-development then what a revolution it will create in the whole society…we will then become the people of Quran… the representatives of Allah’s deen to the whole world… through our character and behavior…

Therefore this Ramadan we should sincerely make an intention to achieve a heart that is free from distractions and harmful thoughts… so that we can get full benefit from the guidance of Quran.

To achieve this objective we need to immerse ourselves in the company of righteous people… because if we keep following the trends of the majority then they will lead us away from success…because their lives are being motivated by assumptions and temptations… and not by any true knowledge…

The difference between ignorance and guidance is like life and death… light and darkness…

Allah has revealed a most beautiful ayah:

[6:122] Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?

The question is that if this difference is so clear then why do most people prefer to remain in the dark? Don’t they want to have life and light? The reason is that the devil has created an illusion of glamour and attraction in sins… and so the people who reject the true guidance think that they are enjoying life… they can do what they want… but this is just their self-deception… because this glitter and show of freedom is just a disguise behind which they hide their loneliness and despair… and that is why they constantly want to remain immersed in one form of entertainment or the other, because they do not want to face the reality of their purposeless existence…

Most of the time it is the pride inside the heart that makes a person so stubborn in not accepting the truth… just like the devil who was so full of himself that he refused to bow down in front of Adam (a.s.)

All his years of worship were burnt up in that one act of arrogance and disobedience… so we must never be proud of our achievements because this pride is like a fire that burns all goodness…

One of the most vivid signs of pride is that a person will want to show his good deeds to others… and his talk will be mostly about his own achievements…

Therefore we must be very careful on these two points… force yourself to keep your worship and other good deeds a secret between you and Allah… and keep a check on how you talk… choose topics that don’t begin with “I-me-myself”…

Learn to appreciate others and always think that maybe Allah loves them more because of something that only He knows about them… So be humble and ask Allah for His guidance…

We can never be totally free from sins… the most we can do is to keep trying and keep praying… This is the way of becoming a mohsin… cry over your mistakes… seek forgiveness… do taubah and move on…

May Allah accept our struggles in His path… ameen

Advertisements

Feel the true happiness… Juz-7

Allah has made Quran easy to understand but most people think that it is too hard… they say we try to learn it but it’s so tough… the reason is that it becomes easy according to the importance you give it in your life… If you think that you don’t really need any relationship with Allah’s book but just read it in order to fulfil a duty… then your heart doesn’t open up to it and so you remain distant from its meanings… but when you decide that your whole life depends on having a deep bond with Allah through His Noble Quran… when you feel like nothing can fill the emptiness of your heart except the words of Allah… when you crave for it like a thirsty person craves for water in a desert… then you will ensure that you maintain a constant relationship with it… and this constancy of returning to the word of Allah again and again will make its meanings apparent to you… so the key words are sincerity of purpose and being constant…

The other thing to understand is that the heart keeps craving for one thing or the other… just like the body needs food, similarly the heart needs to feel happiness and satisfaction… if we don’t provide it with the good and pure words of Allah, then it will seek it elsewhere… that is how people become addicted to harmful things… sometimes even getting involved in intoxicating stuff like alcohol or drugs… we should be very clear on this that all such addictions are strictly forbidden…

On the same note we see that nowadays people will remain free from these notorious things but they are addicted to other things like internet and smart phones… we should be aware that if we keep filling our hearts and minds with useless entertainment then naturally we cannot expect to find peace in salah or recitation of Quran… just like people who get hooked with junk foods cannot enjoy good and pure food…

So if we have understood the value of Quran then we need to detox our souls from the harmful addictions and stay away from them… only then the heart will get a chance to taste the sweetness of Allah’s remembrance…

Such a person who can sacrifice temporary pleasures to gain the closeness of Allah is truly a “mohsin”… I was thinking that since being a “mohsin” is my goal this Ramadan… then I should first understand what a mohsin is… this is the title for someone who goes out of his way to beautify and excel in everything that he does… whether it is salah… or being helpful and kind to others… and it begins with doing a favour on your own self and stay away from things that bring you nothing but weakness of imaan… because if you cannot do ehsaan on your own self then how can you be a mohsin for others?

To gain self-control is probably the most difficult thing in this world but look at yourself and see how you control yourself in Ramadan from such basic needs as eating and drinking? How do you accomplish this?

This is only possible because you made a promise to Allah that you will fast the whole day and so Allah helps you to complete your fast… and He makes you so very conscious about it that even when you put water in your mouth for wuzu, you spit out every drop of it even though no one is looking… but you become so aware that Allah is looking…

You knew this fact before Ramadan too… but you didn’t care enough to stop from things that Allah has clearly forbidden us…

This means that keeping a fast gives you an increased awareness of Allah and so you will not do anything that might break your fast… this is the meaning of having Taqwa which is the very essence of fasting…

So if you really want to break away from your addiction to sins and other useless stuff… then all you need to do is to make a promise to Allah… and if your intention is sincere then Allah will make your heart conscious against those things… and you will use the time and energy in beneficial things that raise your level of imaan and good deeds…

Thus your all time struggle will not be to run after personal pleasures… rather it will only be in one direction… how to make Allah happy…

Just having this intention and making sincere efforts towards it gives you a gift beyond your expectations… and that is the gift of happiness… especially from Allah…!!!

Otherwise if we prefer to remain entangled in the affairs of this worldly life at the cost of forgetting our life in the hereafter then we should remember that the pleasures of this world are nothing but an illusion… nothing can satisfy us except Allah’s remembrance because He created this need within us… and just like the need of thirst can be quenched only with water… and no amount of precious objects can be an alternative for water… similarly there can be no alternative for the love and mercy of Allah…

May Allah help us to realize it and act upon it… ameen

 

Timeless Lessons… Juz-6

Today I couldn’t listen to the class of dawra-e-Quran so I just opened the Quran and read this portion to find some of the lessons that Allah wants me to learn…

The first thing which struck me as very important is the very first ayah of this surah… 

Allah does not love the public utterance of negative speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

This includes all sorts of criticism and negative comments that we keep uttering… and we think this is so normal… but we never stop to think that Allah dislikes all such hurtful talk… so one of our goals for Ramadan should be to correct the way we talk… either it should be positive and beneficial… or we should remain quiet…

This will be a good way to detox our environment from harmful rays of negative emotions which cause anxiety and depression…

However there is only one exception and that is of a person who has been wronged… such a person against whom any injustice has been done, can express his feelings but they should also be done in front of someone who can help him solve his problem… just broadcasting your hurts in public to gain sympathy is also very counterproductive…

Next I found an ayah in which Allah is telling us that some of the good and beneficial things were also made haram for the bani Israel , which were originally allowed but later became forbidden…because of the following reasons…(4:160,161)

  • they used to do injustice

  • stopping people from the way of Allah

  • taking interest (ribaa)

  • consuming other peoples’ wealth illegally

I was thinking that how ironic it is that these same sins have become so widespread among the muslims… but even though Allah hasn’t sent any command to make certain things haram for us… but look at how many diseases have disrupted our lives …and so we have been deprived of the good things like wheat, milk, eggs, nuts and other foods due to several dietary restrictions…

So much research is done to find out the cause of these allergies and other diseases… but have we pondered over the fact that some of our sins may be the reason for it?

Another great lesson which I learnt in ayah no-171 of the same surah is that we should not exceed the limits of our religion… and stop exaggeration in our speech and actions… because Allah has not allowed us to say anything about Him and His deen which is not true…

Exaggeration is a kind of lie because you increase the value of something far beyond the limit which Allah has set for it…

The cure for this attitude is in gaining the true knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah… and stop saying things out of our own imagination… Allah says:

 O people! surely there has come to you manifest proof from your Lord and We have sent to you clear light.
Then as for those who believe in Allah and hold fast by Him, He will cause them to enter into His mercy and grace and guide them to Himself on a right path. (4:174,175)

Next comes Surah Al-Maaidah…

Allah starts it by reminding us that we should always fulfill our promises… whether these were made to people or to Allah… never take it lightly!

And then we should always support others in righteous and beneficial things… but we should never become a part of things which are sinful and unjust…

This surah contains the beautiful ayah which speaks volumes about the completeness and perfection of Allah’s Book and His deen…

 This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; (5:3)

Something that is perfect and complete doesn’t need additions…

That is why if someone invents something new in the religion then it is strongly condemned because it becomes a negation of this ayah…

One of the miracles of Quran is that it is such a compact book yet it contains so many repetitions to clarify things for us and also contains detailed instructions too… like the process of wuzu has been explained in this surah… and not only the physical steps but also the purpose has been mentioned… that it is not to put any burden on us but something to purify and refresh us so that we can enjoy the meeting with Allah is salah…

I was thinking that if we are meeting someone important and we didn’t get time to clean up and dress up then most of the pleasure gets spoiled… similarly to be really fresh and clean creates a big impact on how you feel in prayer… so Allah calls it a favor upon us that he made wuzu an obligation so that we would never be deprived of its pleasure…

I was thinking that if we could remember this then how gladly we would go to perform wuzu instead of being burdened by it…

In Ayah 14 Allah says that the people who called themselves “nasaraa” i.e. the Christians forgot much of what was revealed to them and so as a result they became divided into sects and there emitted hatred and enmity among one another…

This is an eye-opener for us that if we also don’t remember all that Allah has revealed to us in the Quran then it will only result in division and enmity and hatred…

On the contrary those who make it their goal to please Allah and they put their egos aside… then only these will be guided to the ways of peace and success…

There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book, With it Allah guides him who will follow His pleasure into the ways of safety and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His will and guides them to the right path. (5:16)

Then I came upon an ayah which really scares me… and it means that if we don’t care for our religion then Allah will replace us with other people who will do all that makes Allah happy… what scares me is that we are becoming more and more devoid of these qualities…

  • they will love Allah

  • they will be worthy of Allah’s love

  • kind and softly humble with the believers

  • firm and straightforward with those who reject the true faith

  • doing utmost struggle in the path of Allah

  • not being offended and weakened by the negative comments of critics…

So if we want to remain in Allah’s favours then each and every one of us must evaluate… how many of these points do I have in myself?

Sometimes the reality of our situation makes us sad and we feel like there is no hope for us… But Allah is ever merciful for us so he says:

 Why don’t they turn to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.(5:74)

So our solution is in seeking Allah’s forgiveness… And this includes being truly aware of our faults and then making all efforts to correct our ways…

May Allah forgive us and shower his endless mercy upon us… ameen.

 

Points to ponder… Juz-5

One of the common misconceptions about Islam is that there are too many things that are forbidden… and so there can be no pleasure in life if we follow this religion. The truth became so evident in today’s lesson that Allah has made very few things as totally haram… and these are the things which are really harmful for us anyway… On the other hand the scope for Halal pleasures is vast and open…

The reason why religion appears to be difficult to follow is because we have a natural tendency to hate anything that stands in our way… just like on a highway we have long distances on which we can drive freely but one red light that stops us makes everybody impatient… despite knowing very well that it is for our own safety!!

Therefore have trust in Allah and don’t reject His warnings when he stops you from something… the path of Allah’s pleasure leads to the greatest joys and pleasures of the hereafter… and this hope of success keeps us alive and optimistic in this life too… but it doesn’t mean that it is problem free… there will certainly be hardships along the way but if we have the conviction that Allah is with us and He has the absolute power to take us out of any tough spot…then our hearts will remain energetic and optimistic… full of the delight of faith…

Another thing we should seriously avoid is to compare ourselves with others and either be full of arrogance when we see that apparently they are lesser than us in status or capabilities… or we feel inferior and inadequate when we see others are better than us…

The fact is that these comparisons are meaningless because Allah made all of us as unique… with each and every one of us having a totally different story of life… our backgrounds, education, talents, difficulties and opportunities are not at all like any other person…

So we should just pray for Allah’s mercy and keep improving our own standards…

Similarly there can be no comparison between a man and his wife because they are both so different in their physical and psychological traits… Women have been given three times higher status because of their struggle as mothers… but sadly this great role has been made to look less worthy and women want to compete with men in order to gain some self-worth … not realizing that their beauty and esteem was in being a woman…

Actually the only one who knows our true value is Allah… because he has all the knowledge of our inner and outer beings… so Allah has forbidden us to claim piety for ourselves…

It is very common that when people come towards the religion and leave their past activities; they start thinking that they are very pious and they look down on others who have not yet come to the path of Allah … this is such a web of falsehood that we must be very careful not to fall into this error… because for one thing we cannot assess our own piety… we might have faults that we are not aware of… or we might have committed sins that destroyed our good deeds without our knowledge…

Secondly even if are truly righteous; still we cannot be sure that we will not commit any sin in the future…

And thirdly we must be careful not to think on these lines because you never know that Allah might take away the tawfeeq He has given you for the good deeds about which you are being so proud… and then what will be our fate without Allah’s help?

Most of the problems we face in life are due to our sins… and Allah sends these calamities so that we can be cautious and correct ourselves… but we lose this opportunity of self-purification because of being too busy pointing fingers and blaming others for our miseries…  

The fact is that if we could only make ourselves adhere to the advice given by Allah and His Messenger then we would be really making a lot of progress in this world as well as earning success in the hereafter… but we keep delaying things until we forget all that we have learned… the remedy is to protect our knowledge by acting on it…

How blessed we are that there are countless opportunities to learn the Quran and Hadith… but its actual blessing is to bring this knowledge into our lives so that our thoughts, words and deeds become a reflection of Allah’s religion…

But why doesn’t it happen so often? Why do people not make any progress? Its because they are not fully committed to it… a part of them wants to learn Quran… and a part of them wants to enjoy the worldly life without caring for the limits set by Allah… so this creates a split personality which is neither this way nor that…

The remedy for this disease is to make sincere duas to Allah for the purity of our hearts… may Allah give us true faith which makes us live as He wants for us… Ameen

Problems resolved… in Juz-4

Sometimes I get really upset when I see that there is not much of an improvement in my prayers or recitation of Quran… and also my attitude towards other people and things, is not what I would call excellent… So why am I still so full of faults? Why do I keep forgetting the lessons that I learn…?

The answer came in the first ayah of the fourth Juz… Allah has said so clearly that you cannot attain righteousness unless you spend from the things that you love…

And it became so obvious to me that the biggest motivational force which humans experience is the power of love… and so we need to strengthen our love for Allah… because when you love someone then the pleasure of your beloved becomes your top most priority…

But we cannot love Allah until we put Him above all the other things that we love… this requires more than just a verbal utterance… because it is so easy to say that I love Allah more than every other thing… but the truth of this statement gets absorbed in the heart only when we practically give up our attachments and spend those “beloved” things in the way of Allah… These could be our favorite things… or even activities… like spending time on the phone or sleeping in the early hours of the morning… or watching TV…

To sacrifice these things might be hard in the beginning but the result will surely be utterly sweet and satisfying… because what can be sweeter than the love of Allah!!

Next Allah says that we should have taqwa… this word is often used but what does it really mean in practical terms? The best definition that I understood so far is that Taqwa is to stop sinning because of the fear of Allah and to fulfill all your obligations.

Human beings have a great capacity to be influenced by others so we cannot attain any righteousness in isolation… that is why Allah has given us a most powerful ayah… in which He commands us to hold fast to His book unitedly as a nation… Allah calls his book as the rope of Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w) explained that one end of this rope is with Allah and we should all be holding tight to the other end… this is the thing that is missing from our lives and that is why there is lack of unity and brotherhood… Only the Quran has the power to hold us together on the straight path…

Another very powerful message was that we cannot make great progress in the path of Allah unless we have the awesome quality of controlling our anger and forgiving others…

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil). Those who spend, whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good; And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.

Why is this important? Because irritations and disagreements are bound to happen and if we keep boiling with rage then these negative feelings will make us weak…

So Allah is comforting us here that don’t be weak and don’t lose heart… He will make us successful if we just remain true to our faith…

Other people can disturb us only when our own hearts are not strong… so make them strong with faith and optimism…

Sometimes we feel so sad that why are Muslims being tortured and humiliated all across the world? Why isn’t Allah helping them? The reason I understood today is that the biggest obstruction that stands between us and Allah’s help is our own sins and transgressions against the commands of Allah… So we have to get rid of these two things if we want Allah to help us… thus Allah taught this beautiful dua which is so comforting:

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ {147}

“Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.”

Also we should remember that the results we see in this world are not complete or perfect… because this world is just a test… sometimes you do great things with a sincere intention but it seems like you are not making any progress… At such times we should remind ourselves that the real outcome of our efforts will be given in the hereafter… so instead of brooding over our failures we should intensify our efforts and purify our intentions… while having complete trust in Allah that He doesn’t waste any good that we do…

The end of Surah Al-e-Imran is a set of ayahs that remind us to ponder on the creation of Allah… and to remember Him in all times whether sitting, standing or lying down… this is the powerful tool to come close to Allah… and a great source of comfort in this world full of ups and downs…

So Allah calls us towards patience and perseverance… the ultimate formula for success!!

May Allah help us to remain steadfast on His path and carry on the good work as best as we can… ameen.

 

The fond memories from Juz-3

Today’s lesson took me back many years ago… and I was reminded of a bright and cheerful morning when I was all set to go to a Quran class… but at the last minute I got the message that my friend who had to pick me up, was caught up in something and will be late… and so I was stuck and didn’t even know how long I would have to wait…

At that moment I just got the idea that instead of being frustrated I should listen to the Quran… in those days I had the typical cassette player and just pressed the play button as it had already got some tape inside… it was the recitation of the third juz… and as I listened to the ayat-ul-kursi and the next couple of ayaat after it… they moved my heart in such a way that I played them over and over again… and it was so soothing and full of hope and comfort that I forgot all about being stranded or anything… rather I felt so rich as if these ayaat were the most priceless gifts I had received just then!!

So once again I was reminded of the fact that whenever we face any obstruction in life we should have trust that Allah has stopped us to give us some unexpected gift!!

And nothing is impossible for Allah… just look at all His beautiful names and attributes mentioned in ayat-ul-kursi… But mostly we just read it without thinking about it… and so we never reflect on the reason why Allah chose it for us to recite many times a day? 

The answer which I understood today is that through it we can get the most comprehensive introduction to Allah… and if we internalize the great names and attributes Allah has mentioned in this great ayah then we will have the true faith and trust in Allah that is the objective of our life as well as its foundation…

The next ayah after it is so beautiful that it makes my heart overflow with love and gratitude… Allah says that the person who will reject every other thing that leads him away from Allah and he puts all his faith and trust in Allah then Allah will grant this person such a protection and stronghold that will never break…

To have such a faith in Allah is not a small thing because in the next ayah Allah says that He becomes the protector and friend of those who believe in Allah… He takes them out the darkness of despair into the light of hope and energy…

On the contrary if we don’t make any effort to connect to Allah and we don’t think it is important to obey Him… then we will be caught up with all sorts of things and activities which will make us go further and further away from the light of guidance… (may Allah protect us from such a fate)

Another very powerful tool to attain strong faith is to spend your wealth and other resources in the cause of spreading Allah’s religion. This will bring you great joy and peace because you will literally feel Allah’s love and appreciation for you, for being the cause of bringing other people towards the light of faith and guidance…

Giving charity to people for their worldly needs is also a great act of worship but Allah cautions us to stay away from boasting, and humiliating the people whom we have done any favour to… also our goal should not be to prove our generosity to people… it should only be to earn the pleasure of Allah…

Only the wise people can stay away from showing off… or seeking praise from others… and this wisdom is a gift of Allah for which we should make lots of duas…

In fact dua is the essence of worship and so the end of surah Al-Baqarah is also a dua… Our Prophet (s.a.w) told us that the last two ayaat of Al-Baqarah were bestowed upon him from a treasure beneath the throne of Allah… and whoever reads them before sleeping at night… will be taken care of for all his needs…

The interesting thing is that the first of these ayahs is about having faith in Allah and the second is a dua for forgiveness, mercy and help from Allah.

It often happens that people who learn Quran and try to avoid sins, face this problem that despite all their good intentions and efforts, still fall into the same sins again and again… This dua at the end of surah Al-Baqarah seems to be tailor made for us who keep forgetting our promises to Allah and remain so miserable in the guilt for our mistakes… Allah has given us this gift so that we can take off the load of our guilt and start again with a fresh heart and soul…

 “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

Next comes another glorious Surah… Aal-e-Imran… the start of this surah reminded me that our intellect alone cannot save us from being misguided… because sometimes the devil will play with your intelligence and if you do not seek guidance from Allah and only rely on your understanding then the devil can mislead you into deriving meanings from the Quran which are totally irrelevant and out of context… So guidance is attained not from your intelligence, but by asking Allah for it with complete humbleness…

The glitter and glamour of this world will surely attract us and these desires are a part of being human but whoever has guidance from Allah will only fulfill his needs and seek real and ultimate pleasures of the hereafter… Such people are the chosen ones and most dear to Allah…

Like the wife of Imran who promised to devote the baby she was carrying in her womb, to serve Allah…

And she also prayed for the protection of her baby from the devil right from the beginning…

We on the other hand are just concerned about the physical well-being of our kids… and keep pampering them until they become slaves of their desires instead of being slaves of Allah…

This baby girl grew up into the virtuous woman we now know as Maryam (a.s.) who became the mother of Prophet Eesa (a.s.)

This shows how Allah cares for the true desires and intentions of a believer… and so even if we don’t have the resources or the strength to do things for Allah, still we should not lose heart… because we are weak but Allah is Al-Mighty… He will bless our true intentions and will make our dreams come true… if only we are sincere…

And our sincerity is judged by how much we are prepared to pay the price… the price of hard work and sacrifice… because nothing can be achieved without it…

May Allah make us truthful and sincere… may He enable us to make good intentions and work hard… Ameen

 

The Gems of… Juz-2

The second Juz starts with the story of the change of Qibla… and how the disbelievers and hypocrites in Madinah reacted to this change…

I realized that even today if someone decides to change his ways and starts following the Quran and Sunnah then people who do not understand will definitely criticize and speculate about it… some may even try to create hurdles because they feel threatened…

But we should not react to such nonsense in a negative way… rather it is best to ignore the uproar and continue to do what is right even though it might not be popular!!

The second lesson I learned was that when the orders came from Allah that the muslims must now face the Kaa’bah, there was a group of people already praying and this order reached them when they were bending in ruku… they didn’t even wait to straighten up… rather in the same bent position the whole congregation turned 180 degrees to face the Kaa’bah… it really made me ask myself… how quick is my response to Allah’s commands? We keep hearing the Quran and Hadith but it doesn’t move us to change the direction of our lives… why?

Because our hearts have become carefree about Allah’s commands… the cure for this disease is to change the focus of our lives and become eager in doing good deeds… and when we do get the opportunity to do acts of goodness then we must be thankful to Allah and not become arrogant…

But how is it possible not to feel pride when we accomplish something in the path of Allah?

The remedy is to keep remembering the greatness of Allah… and always appreciating Him for all the good things that he allows us to do…

And then there are times in our lives when things do not go well… problems come in one form or the other… how can we remain grateful in such conditions?

The answer is in patience… and prayers. When something hurts you… don’t react impulsively… rather have patience… cool down the fire of resentment by doing wuzu and pray to Allah…

Allah will surely test all of us and the most blessed will be the person who can remember his purpose of life at such moments of grief… that surely we are for Allah and we will be going back to him…

In this world we feel afraid of losing things but remember that in reality there is no loss except if you lose your connection with Allah… so this is the only asset for which you should be most concerned about… the rest of things come and go… nothing is permanent.

But how can we put Allah on top of all the things we love?… This will come according to your level of faith and trust in His love and Mercy… and one of the ways you can increase this faith is to ponder upon the signs of His creation…

Every object that Allah has created calls us to His love but we don’t listen to this call… and pass by the things as a routine…

The fact is that the greatest treasure that you can have in this world is to feel the love of Allah in your heart… because no one can ever appreciate and reciprocate your love except Allah…

When we make people our ultimate object of love, then we will definitely get hurt because people cannot truly understand or appreciate us… and so even if they try to love us back they cannot be perfect… because humans are not perfect anyway!!

Therefore just as we try to become good in the eyes of people so that they will love us… similarly to earn Allah’s love we have to purify our hearts and our actions…

Fasting is the form of worship which cleanses us from all harmful things both physically and spiritually… and how fortunate we are that soon the blessed month of Ramadan will enter our lives through which we can attain Allah’s closeness…

Although when we think of Ramadan the word that comes to our minds is fasting… but when Allah introduces this topic He doesn’t say that Ramadan is the month in which you will have to fast… Rather He said that Ramadan is the month in which Quran was revealed…

This means that Ramadan is the celebration of Quran… And Allah recommended us to fast this entire month, so that we can be free from the hassle of eating and drinking… and thus we can focus wholeheartedly on Allah’s Book… which is the greatest from of recognizing and remembering Allah… 

Because love is expressed through remembering whom we love… so the more we remember Allah the more he will bless us with His love…

But it is also inevitable that every one of us who decides to follow the path of Allah will definitely be tested on the way… like a group of believers who were going on a battle, were tested by a flowing river and they were told not to drink from it… except for a handful at the most… but they all drank except for a few… and those who drank lost all their strength while the ones who had abstained from it remained strong and won the battle even though they were so few in number…

Similarly we have to face such tough decisions in our way towards Allah’s pleasure…

The flowing river of desires calls to us with the promise of instant satisfaction… and it seems so harmless to drink from it… but we know very well that it will make us weak… so we have to protect our hearts from getting polluted by the love of this world…

Remaining constant in our struggle against all such desires that lead us away from Allah, is hard… but if we don’t stop ourselves now, then surely we will have to face regret later…

So what will you choose? The pain of discipline or the pain of regret…?

May Allah help us to choose wisely so we can enjoy the blessings of this world and also those of the hereafter… Ameen