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

The Journey begins… Juz-1

Yesterday was the first day of the thirty-day journey called “Dawra-e-Quran”… All the days that I had been waiting for this course to start I was thinking that I would try my best to write some brief points every day to summarise whatever I will learn in each para…

But now when I have finally sat down to do it… I really have no idea how in the world am I going to summarize an ocean of knowledge and inspiration in the limited space of my imperfect words…

But Allah is the Greatest… Allahu Akbar… He doesn’t need any perfection from us… all he sees is our efforts so with this hope of His mercy and His forgiveness I am going to try my best and lets hope and pray that something of value comes out of it…

Quran and Imaan…

The first Para/Juz started with the same theme that was talked about in the introduction to Ramadan… that we need to renew our faith in this blessed month… And since Quran is the most perfect source of faith and inspiration so we must make this intention that in this month I will read, understand, memorize and act on Quran so that it will increase my faith and reliance on Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala…

They only are the (true) believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord; (Al-Anfaal:2)

Daily I should check during my recitation and after listening to the explanation of the ayaat of Allah that has my heart felt the effect of Allah’s words? Has my faith increased?

Surah Al-Fatihah

Learning about the value of gratitude to Allah and His praise… His boundless love and mercy for us… His absolute control on all our affairs in this world and the next… the true spirit of worship and seeking His help… Our utmost need of His guidance for walking on the straight path… and our need to follow the true role models… All of this comprised in just one surah that appears to be so short but has been recognized as the essence of the whole Quran… no doubt Allah chose it to be the part of every single rakah of every prayer… So that we would never lose sight of the true goal of our life… but sadly we have just turned it into a mindless utterance of words… and so we remain as empty after the prayers as we were at the start… empty handed…

So we need to come back to it with a new intention and learn the powerful words with their true meaning so that our hearts are enriched and our lives are straightened out…

That is the reason that even though this surah is a prayer in itself… yet within it is embedded like a gem… a dua… that is the goal of our life…a dua we need more than we need food or water… and this dua is:

Ihdina Assirat Al Mustaqeem…

O Allah guide us to the straight path!!

Why is guidance more important than every other thing? Because with guidance comes Allah consciousness… which in one word is called Taqwa… and Allah has promised in the Quran that whoever acts with taqwa will get ease in every difficulty and Allah will provide for him from such sources that he had never even thought about…

So we need to pray for guidance with all the humbleness of a true slave… who stands before His master with a trembling heart and feels the greatness of His Lord…and recognizes his own helplessness… this is the spirit of real worship which we must acquire in this Ramadan… in sha Allah…

Surah Al-Baqarah

Our Beloved Prophet (s.a.w) taught us that this is the most noble surah of Quran so we must have a continuous relationship with it… it will save us from shaitan and will enrich our lives with its blessings…

So one of our targets this Ramadan should be to include this great surah in our daily recitation… we can also start memorizing it even if it is one ayah per day or one per week…

This surah will teach us the signs of successful people who have faith and taqwa… and also of those who reject the signs of Allah… finally those who deceive themselves claiming to have faith but not really believing.

Mostly our tendency is to start labelling people as hypocrites or kafir… but our job is to check our own hearts… and make efforts to correct our ways…

Adam (a.s.) and Hawwa (a.s)

This is a story which we have been hearing since childhood… but I was so amazed that I had never really imagined how miserable and alone our Parents must have felt when they came down on earth… their enemy along with them… How painful must be the regret of making that one mistake? But Allah is so merciful and gave them words which made their hearts come at ease… the words of taubah…

Rabbanaa zalamna anfusana…

O our Master we have certainly done wrong on ourselves… and if you will not forgive us and have mercy on us… surely we will be among the losers…

Therefore whenever we feel miserable then surely it is the burden of sins that is making us depressed… so we must seek forgiveness and mercy of Allah so that we can restore our peace of heart and soul…

Bani Israel…

Now Allah tells us so many things about the nation that was given the status of the chosen representatives of Allah’s religion on this earth but they failed to carry this responsibility… why is He telling us so many details? Not that we should start cursing them… but rather to become careful and conscious that we should not indulge in the same mistakes…

One of the worst error that they committed was to become totally self-satisfied… they would command others to do things but would not act on it themselves…

All other sins sprout from this same disease of arrogance and taking Allah’s commands lightly…

So what I learned is that even if we are now the chosen nation and we know that Allah is most loving and merciful… yet we should always keep praying for his guidance and Taqwa… and be especially careful not be carefree and causal in our obedience…

The Prophet (s.a.w) gave a very good advice to one of His companions… He told him that if you protect (be mindful of) Allah’s commands then Allah will protect you…

So from this I learned that apart from the worship of Allah, I must protect and be mindful of

  • My time…(no useless activities)

  • My speech…(speak good or remain quiet)

  • My dignity…(behave sensibly at all times)

  • Other people’s respect and honour (no backbiting)

  • My spending habits

  • My eating and sleeping habits

  • Every blessing of Allah is an amanah worth caring for… so the list can go on and on…

 Another disease that destroys our faith and our religion is jealousy and hatred for others… so in this Ramadan make lots of efforts to clean your heart from these viruses so that true faith can be restored!!

Ibrahim (a.s.)

He is the greatest role model for us because Allah calls him his friend…

His greatest quality was to surrender himself completely to Allah’s commands and to be totally focused in his goal to please Allah…that is how he passed the most difficult test with flying colors!!

At the end of the session was the golden rule for our success… which is to be concerned for one’s own deeds because what others are doing will not be asked from us… our salvation depends on our own faith and actions…

May Allah help us to internalize and implement all that Allah has taught us in His Noble Quran… Ameen

 

Ramadan and renewal of Imaan

For the last couple of months I have not been quite well… and the thing that worried me more than the decline of my health was the decreasing level of concentration in my prayers and tilawat of Quran… it happened so gradually that I didn’t even know when I started losing interest in worship… I was still doing it by the mercy of Allah but there was definitely a lack of khushu… So with the approaching Ramadan my biggest thought was that I could not make any targets this year because the One target that I need to have for all other goals to be of any use was to get my faith renewed… and so I decided that this was going to be my one and only goal for this Ramadan… I will just pray and pray to Allah to heal my heart and make it full of true faith… In a way this put me at ease and so when I bought myself a brand new journal I didn’t know what I would be writing in it but I just thought that it is a good idea to keep my “Ramadan time log” or something… I had no idea that I was going to record the lecture in it that would make my heart come alive…

Yes indeed… it came as a complete surprise to me when I sat down to listen to the pre-Ramadan lecture by my most beloved and respected Ustazah Farhat Hashmi… that she would give it the title… Ramadan and Tajdeed-e-Imaan… which means Ramadan and the renewal of faith… How amazing is that!!! It seemed like my thoughts had somehow travelled all the way to her heart and she was doing this whole lecture for me alone!!

So here I am just going to record a few points that can sum up the whole thing in sha Allah:

  • What is faith? We keep using the word Imaan but don’t know exactly what does it mean? In two words it has been defined as “Al-Yaqeen Al-Jaazim”… which means utmost conviction without any doubt or uncertainty…

  • This crystal clear conviction in Allah and the hereafter is important because all our deeds depend on it for being acceptable…

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) told us that whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan with Imaan and ehtasaab will get forgiveness for all previous sins…

So you need to have Imaan to get this benefit… ehtasaab means two things:

You should have hope of reward from Allah and also you should keep assessing yourself so as to stay on the right track.

  • Imaan depends on what we think and what we do… So if on one hand we say that we believe in Allah and on the other hand we do things that displease Him then our Imaan will definitely go down… And if we do things that please Allah then our imaan goes up…

Therefore we must start doing good deeds before Ramadan so that we can enter that blessed month with the right state of imaan…

  • First of all we need to make this a goal of our life to attain true faith and conviction… secondly we need to make duas specifically for this purpose… thirdly we need to make it strong by making ourselves occupied with what pleases Allah and likewise protecting ourselves from all evil acts… whenever we slip we should immediately do tawbah and begin again… remember this is a life long struggle and we can never be carefree till our last breath…

  • Be grateful to Allah that he has made some places and some time slots in which it is easy to increase faith… Ramadan is one of the most blessed times for this purpose… so we should be enthusiastic about it and make plans to do things in it which will make us come close to Allah and leave a permanent change in our hearts…

Make at least five targets… These can be:

  • Increase in beneficial knowledge… because imaan is deeply connected with ilm… the more you know about Allah, His names and attributes… the more you will be convinced in His power and authority… and your faith will become strong…

Therefore read Quran with understanding… and extract points for contemplation and taking action too.

  • Improve your prayers… take time to say the words while thinking about their meanings and implications… be conscious of your prostrations and make dua in them… imagine standing before your Master the Almighty and let your heart be humble and attentive…

  • Be kind and generous with the people around you… smile and make them feel at ease… help them in any way you can… give lots of charity… feed the poor and needy and gladly cook for your family too… no grudges… no complaints…

  • Do lots and lots of zikr in all shapes and forms that have been prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w) This includes duas and sharing your innermost thoughts and desires with Allah… be sure to have your wish-list ready so you don’t miss anything!

  • Patience and gratitude at all times… these are the essence of our faith. Remember whatever hardship you face with patience will take you to Jannah… and the more you are grateful for the good things the more you will be tolerant for things that are not so good… so patience and gratitude go hand in hand in increasing your Imaan…

There is so much more that I wish to say but I just hope that I can act on what I have said… May Allah make this Ramadan the means of giving me and you the true taste of faith which will make us true believers of Allah… may Allah remove whatever obstructions we have in following His true path… Ameen

 

Common Sense is not So Common…

I remember once we had a person to help around the house… and one day as he was washing the dishes I went into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of tea that I had just made a while ago… To my horror I saw that he had just drained out that same tea from the thermos right into the sink and was now washing the empty thermos vigorously… shocked and amazed at this peculiar behavior, I asked him why did he throw away the tea? He looked at me with complete innocence and explained: No Ma’m I didn’t throw it… I just turned the thermos upside down and the tea just poured out itself…

Now this was such an absurd statement that further exasperated me but later it just became a good joke to share…

But that was a time of ignorance… later when I learned Quran and held myself to account in the mirror of Allah’s book, I learnt to recognize myself and others in a new light. And I realized that whenever we do things without caring for their consequences then we are making exactly the same mistake which that person made so many years ago… but we joked about him being so silly… and we think we are so wise, don’t we…

I mean it was so easy to criticize him for his lack of common sense… didn’t he know that if you hold a container upside down then surely whatever is inside will come out?

But do we criticize ourselves for the same foolishness; when we do things which are openly prohibited by Allah, and yet we think they will not have the harmful consequences which Allah wants to save us from?

If for example, we wear tight clothes… then the most obvious consequence is that our bodies will be exposed… but when you try to explain its harmful effects people will say they are not doing this to expose themselves… but you are being exposed whether it was your intention or not…

When you tell them backbiting is a major sin and we must not say anything about anyone which will not be pleasing to him if he hears it… then they will say we are not backbiting we are just discussing in a “light” way… we don’t mean any harm… same goes for making fun of others… letting them down with hurtful remarks and then saying oh we were just joking… breaking hearts and not realizing at all…

When you tell a parent not to break their child’s personality with their harsh behavior and cruel words… they will say we love our child and want the best for him… Is being harsh and cruel going to bring any good results?

And so we go on and on in life… being so learned and educated and wise… but deep down we are just like that foolish person… holding the thermos upside down and expecting the tea to stay inside…