Lessons Learned | Part 1

There is always a sort of magical vibe surrounding the new year, with many people enthusiastically setting new goals, making new resolutions and taking up new challenges. I love their optimism and the energy they radiate. It’s heartwarming. In case you’re wondering, and even if you’re not, I don’t belong to that group of people. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in new beginnings. I mean that in the new-beginnings-totally-blow-me-away kinda way. 😄

But I hate being voluntarily stressed out about stuff. And going over stuff I want/need to get done is enough to get me all worked up, so I’m not kidding when I say I don’t do lists. Before you judge me, I’m not impulsive and this isn’t a debate about whether being spontaneous is better than planning ahead, nor am I encouraging anyone to be unsystematic and unorganized. I just do things my way, and practically writing down goals for myself is just not my thing. ‘Aint perfect, but I’m going strong. Alhumdulillah. 😊

You’ve got this.

Despite my poor track record with lists, I did make one this time anyway. Haha don’t worry, it’s not a planner or goals list, just a bunch of new things I learned in life. There’s going to be a lot of shameless preaching though. So if you hate random people throwing around unsolicited life-lessons at you like confetti, then you can choose not to read any further. Because I’m going to do just that.

The rest of y’all, brace yourselves. 😉

1. Self-doubt sucks: It sucks every bit of happiness out of you till you start questioning your own worth, it suffocates you with uncertainty, makes you anxious and responsible for everything that is not in your control. It’s like aimlessly kicking around a crushed soda can. Except you are the crushed soda can.

2. Hurt messes up our minds in ugly ways: Don’t make assumptions. Did you hear what I said? I said don’t make assumptions. You sure you heard me right the first time? I said do not make A-s-s-u-m-p-t-i-o-n-s. That’s rule#1 for staying sane. No matter how hurt you are by something someone said or did, it is stupid to make assumptions about why they did it cause it’s only going to hurt you more, as wrong assumptions naturally lead to seriously flawed conclusions, and obviously worsen the situation. If it affects you so much, talk about it to them straight up if you have to, but never ever assume. I’ve noticed that many people consider it their right to assume the worst about people who have wronged them. Like, I get it, maybe the people that hurt you really suck and things really are bad. But just maybe they don’t and things aren’t as bad as you think they are. I’m not saying you should forget the hurt and act as if it never bothered you (although you should). But before you feed your mind with negative information about someone, confirm its accuracy first.

The dude was right.

3. Swearing is a sign of weakness: It’s an act of sheer weakness. It shows how little control you have over the words that come out of your mouth. You don’t always have to be the loudest or use profanity in order to prove your strength. So whenever you have the urge to cuss someone out, you should remember that as Muslims we must either speak good or remain silent.. As a general rule, there is no excuse good enough to warrant bad language. Ever. Anger, disappointment, out of habit or just for fun. Bad language is Bad. Language.

4. Don’t give your opinion unless asked: THIS. I say this from first hand experience. What most of us fail to understand is that no two situations are exactly alike. Even if we have had experience with something similar and no matter how genuine our intentions to help the person/situation are, our perspective is going to differ from them. And when perspectives differ, it’s best to just leave it at that because pressing on the issue will make you appear extremely judgmental and critical of people. You may even end up hurting the person just by sharing your opinion. While we may think we shared helpful information, others simply may not have wanted to even hear it in the first place. 😑 Instead we should practice being a good listener and try to see and understand the situation from the other person’s perspective rather than jump to conclusions and provide hypothetical solutions to their real problems.

5. Society, you’re a crazy breed Judgment. Control. Standards. Effing double-standards. Man that shit can drive a person crazy. 😧 We seriously need to understand that conforming to society’s standards does not set us free. It confines us, controls us, and binds us with chains of enslavement. It transforms us into one of its many many many clones. Never forget this, there is nothing quite like being yourself. Just be you, let society go screw itself.

So that’s about it.

Oh and remember…

’cause I’m cutting down on the swearing 😄

If you didn’t enjoy reading this post, I hope you at least benefitted from it. And if you didn’t benefit from it, I hope you at least enjoyed reading it. And if you neither enjoyed nor benefitted. Too bad. I’m still writing a part 2 insha’Allah. 😎

Your feedback is always welcome.

Remember me in your duas.


Forget (and Maybe Forgive?)

In one of my earlier posts I said I wanted to write about a “pattern”, for lack of a better word, I noticed in people.

That was nearly a month ago. Fast forward four weeks, two days and a few hours later, and I discovered that there’s more to it than I care to admit.

I feel I need to write a book on these newly discovered personality types to be a reference source for the general public, out of a sense of moral obligation, you know? But, considering the fact that I have anger management issues I’d rather not take that risk. So we’ll have to settle with a roughly 800 word article, although even writing this much makes me want to screw up a lot of pretty faces (not to be taken literally).

The pretty faces. I mean.

Growing Up

It’s no secret that human beings are born innocent. But we’re obviously suppossed to grow more wise with time right? The whole purpose behind “adulting” (boy do I hate that word 😑) or growing up is to teach us responsibility and wisdom. What amazes me, though, is that sometimes adults, fully developed mature human beings, who are expected to take FULL responsibility of their actions forget who or rather what they are.

They act like animals. They act like aliens. They act like everything that is not human.

I don’t think it would even be fair to compare them to animals or aliens. These people are a different species all together.

They Are Called Toxic For A Reason

All of us have, at some point in our lives, exerienced hate, hostility, betrayal, manipulation, and in extreme cases emotional and verbal abuse.

(A minute of silence for all the times we oh-so-generously took shit from people.)

So who are these infamous people and how do we identify them? The answer to that question is simple. It’s written all over their faces.

I’m kidding.

On a serious note they often wear masks which makes it quite difficult to see through their facades. But an educated guess would be that they are every person that gives you shit, treats you like shit, and doesn’t give a shit about you or the things that matter to you.

Sometimes, I really do.

Not exactly sure what rock I was hiding under all these years but damn it does feel good to finally come out from under it! I admit the view is not all that pretty but guess we just gotta suck it up for now.

Let me describe it to you.

Fresh breeze from the sea, waves crashing on smooth, golden sand, water glistening like diamonds under the bright sun, as you feel the warmth of its rays on your skin…. Okay I’m kidding. That’s one effing beautiful view. Just wanted to lighten up the mood a lil. 😄 And I miss the beach. 💔

I sooo want to spend some beach time! Insha’Allah.

Coming back to toxic people, it’s very possible that they move heaven and earth to try and hide their true (evil) intentions from you but you should always remember that you know yourself best and how you feel. Period. Because that one sentence says a lot. If someone makes you feel like shit then you should know that that person has a negative impact on you.

It’s also very possible that they try everything to talk you into believing that, 1. the fault is in you, 2. you are the sole reason your life is miserable, 3. they only want you to be happy and, 4. they know what’s best for you.

Surely criticizing someone, picking faults in them, degrading and insulting them basically injecting them with a shitload of negativity day in and day out isn’t because “they want you to be happy ” or is it?

And it’s also extremely possible that they hate you openly. Because why not? Seriously screw them.

So do you still go and shake hands with such people? Shit, no. You grab their hand, twist their arm back and kick them the eff out of your life.

I’m kidding. Don’t do that ever. Well, because…

We Need to Get Back Up and Get Moving

I said moving, not moping.

The first step in moving on in life is to get back up after someone knocks you down. Sitting on the floor crying and moping around is not going to help at all.

I said moping, not mopping. Leave that to the mop.

I said mop, not mob.

Alright I get it I need to stop with the lame jokes. We’ve almost reached the end of the post anyway

So yeah, (lame) jokes apart, getting back up is the first step.

When the only thing people want to do is hurt us one way or another or repeatedly break our trust, we may feel angry, frustrated and lost but eventually we do manage to get over them. We have our own ways of dealing with and getting over such people and the crap they come with. That’s the beauty of human nature, and life in general, it goes on. .

Sadly though, yet another reality of life is that impressions last, whether we like to admit it or not, human beings tend to judge a lot of things based on firsthand experience.. Instances of hurt, heartbreak, breaking of trust, criticism get forever etched in our minds. We carry with us bitter memories from the past and somehow that does affect our personalities and how we decide to lead the rest of our lives. It sucks. I know.

It’s like once you get hurt you are scared to get attached again because you fear every person is going to break your heart. And this is what’s most disturbing, the fact that heartbreak can change a person from being the happiest person in the world to someone who forgets how to be happy altogether. Change can be scary sometimes.

So how do we get out of this downward spiral of misery?

Forgiveness is The Attribute Of The Strong

Yes, you got that right. Through forgiveness.

Allah سبحانه و تعالى (may He be glorified and exalted) Says:

“The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. Verily, He likes not the Zaalimoon (oppressors, polytheists, and wrongdoers)” [42:40].

Wanted to keep this blog sorta casual and informal so won’t be including the technical Fiqh aspects of the topic here. But would definitely love to discuss it in another post insha’Allah. 😊

So for now it’ll suffice to say that although it is permissible for a person who has been reviled to revile the person who reviled him back only as much as he reviled him, without transgressing or overstepping the mark, it is far better and closer to perfection to forgive, pardon and overlook, in the hope that Allah will pardon him on the Day of Resurrection.


Remember me in your duas

10 Useless Matters That Cannot Be Benefited From

So I’m not supposed to feel this way, but let’s be honest, I do feel bad for abandoning my blog for months on end without any explanation whatsoever and to top it off post crappy poetry on returning when I should have at least tried to make up for my absence by posting something worth your time.

But what’s a girl to do if her mind decides to go with the fairies? Yes, tag along. It does help give one a much needed breather so I won’t complain.

…and almost dropped my crown. 😆

I’m kidding. Me and my mind are in the right place and everything’s fine and dandy. Alhumdulillah ala kulli haal. I was just lazy as always.

And when you’re lazy, you don’t have any reason not to go for the laziest option. Right? And poetry, for me, is that lazy route I often like to wander through, playing with words and rhymes, trying out different genres and sometimes even daring to stray to the dark, forbidding corners of my mind. That’s where poetry like the ones I recently published comes from.

I’m trying to think of one good reason why I even post gloomy, sad, screwed up stuff on the lil ray of sunshine that my blog is, but so far I have come up empty. No reasons at all.

No reasons is actually a good enough reason for me to put an end to it. 😐

That doesn’t mean I’ll completely stop posting poetry, just that it’ll have to be positive-feel-good stuff or nothing. No more negative vibes, inshaAllah. ✌

It’s been a long time coming but I have finally realized that I should get serious about my writing. So insha’Allah I’m going to try to actually put in some effort to post some good Islamic stuff on here. Bi ithniLlah Ta’aala.

Better late than never, I guess? 😄

I’d like to share a beautiful reminder that I stumbled upon today. Which, as a matter of fact, is also what pushed me to come to this conclusion and the reason why I’m writing this post. Alhumdulillah.

In the book ‘al‐Fawā’id,’ Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:

“There are ten useless matters that cannot be benefited from:

– Knowledge that is not implemented.
– An action that is empty of sincerity, and is not based on the correct
– Wealth that is hoarded, as the owner neither enjoys it during this life,
nor obtains any reward for it in the Hereafter
– The heart that is empty of love and longing for Allāh, and of seeking
closeness to Him
– A body that does not obey and serve Allāh
– Loving Allāh without seeking His pleasure
– Time that is not spent in expiating sins or seizing opportunities to perform deeds of righteousness that will bring one closer to Allāh
– A mind that thinks about issues which bring about no benefit
– Serving those who neither bring you close to Allāh or benefit you in
your life
– Hoping and fearing one who is under the authority of Allāh, and
whose forehead is in His Hand, while he cannot bring any benefit,
harm, life, death, or resurrection to himself.

~ A Message to Every Youth

Back to the Beginning


Hey everybody! How are you guys doing? I know it’s been ages since my last post. Maybe I owe you an apology? No, I don’t? That’s great. Let’s continue from where we left. Shall we?


Oh, right. I owe ya’ll an explanation.

Right so…yeah I really really wanted to post something in the past couple of weeks but there was, still is, stuff keeping me busy. There’s been a lot on my mind lately so it’s not like I’ve stopped writing. I write almost everyday. I’ve written quite a few poems too, some of which I might share with y’all insha’Allah. Maybe I’ll write a few lines of explanation before posting them on my blog though so you guys can at least understand haha. Or maybe I won’t. 😛 Depends on a lot of things actually, like mood, time, mood, work, mood and umm…well yea mood. Actually I do a lot of things depending on my mood well because…

Ahh never mind TMI, you get the point.

Also the other reason I haven’t posted anything of late is because I just didn’t feel like it  (See? I told you so) Let me explain, when I first started this blog it was mainly focused on addressing pretty basic stuff that we, as Muslims, face on a daily basis.

You don’t want to know? Come on, history is always fun. Besides when someone’s talking you should let them talk. So now be a good listener and just listen ok? Haha. You asked for it. 😈

So what I was saying. It was simple and to the point. The purpose it served? Well I don’t know how many people benefitted from it, but one thing I know for sure is that I did benefit from it. It helped me keep a check on my actions because I knew that it would be hypocritical to preach something I didn’t practise myself. It was a reminder to myself first and I made sure that I at least tried to put it into practice. It was always there at the back of my head, in my conscience.

Now the thing is, over the past few months I observed that I was writing less and less of meaningful stuff which was getting a little frustrating. And worse my writing was not benefitting me in any way, like spiritually, you know. Of course I did put thought into it, and I enjoyed doing it but I felt there was something missing, something essential.

Maybe motivation was missing? I do have a handful of people following my blog though, I get decent stats Alhumdulillah, shares and search engines too. That’s enough to keep a writer motivated, right? But honestly I don’t even care about stats. The purpose of this blog is da’wah, it’s a long term goal insha’Allah if you know what I mean. So it doesn’t matter if I see a visible increase in my stats or not. That’s not what was bringing me down, or the reason for my lack of activity.

Will you stop beating around the bush and just get to the point?

What bush? I don’t see any bushes here. (lame joke, I know) 😄

Haha okaaay so what I’m trying to say is that I want to write something, just anything that will BENEFIT me and whoever reads my blog. The plan is to go back to writing long detailed posts with references from the Qur’an and hadiths. Soo I’m thinking of being a bit more systematic and focused. So here’s what I’ll do insha’Allah:

~ discuss topics related to Aqeedah (cause that’s the root, even linguistically, ‘aqd is Arabic word for root, we must know what the right Aqeedah is)
~ Comparative religion (I like discussing similarities and dissimilarities between Islam and other religions)
~ lessons from the Seerah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and stories of Sahabah رضي الله عنهم
~ I’d like to include a li’l bit of fiqh and hadith too
~ And of course Tafseer
~ I might post poetry once in a while insha’Allah

I really hope this works. Kindly make dua.

P.S: Did you notice the title? If you didn’t, I named this post “Back to the Beginning”. Because I believe we should never let anything bring us down, before we even think of ending our journey when we can’t see the road ahead, we should know that there is nothing wrong in starting over and no matter what there will always be a way out. In EVERY little thing in life. We should never ever give up because there’s always hope,  and being Muslim  we must have full faith in Allah عَزَّ و جل Who is capable of ALL things.

May Allah عَزَّ و جل grant us the correct understanding of our Deen and bless us with the ability to worship Him in ways which are most beloved to Him. Ameen.

Remember me in your duas. 💖

Reflections From the Shore


I like being by the coast; there’s something about the water that makes me feel good. I remember when we were kids, me and my siblings would have so much fun building sand castles with little beach toys, collecting seashells and different types of pebbles. SubhanAllah the memories are so vivid, it feels like yesterday. Just a simple walk along the shore can give you so much to contemplate.

I can feel the soft sand in between my toes as my feet sink into it leaving a trail of footprints behind me.

“On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.” [Surah Al-Muzzammil 73:14]

Human beings were created for a purpose. The earth is not our permanent abode, rather we’re here only for a limited time period after which we’ll all return to our Creator. It is as real as our very existence. But we forget; it’s almost like we have sort of a warped sense of time.

Every step I take makes me realize that we’re nothing but mere travelers. The beach which is usually filled is empty apart from a few people spread out. All that can be seen is an endless expanse of sand and water. A beautiful blue color reflecting the clear vast sky above it.

“Then watch for the Day when the sky will bring a visible smoke.” [Surah Ad-Dukhān 44:10]

I just stand still watching the waves silently crash on to the shore. But it’s not the same. For some reason the ocean seems distant. Like the freedom it symbolizes is unreal, nonexistent. I know that’s not true. Man has been granted freewill; we have the freedom to choose. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala has made us capable of reasoning, given us moral conscience and showed us the right way through His Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). He sent down the Quran as guidance and criterion between the right and wrong. We are completely responsible for our actions.

“Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken [into the earth], then who could bring you flowing water?”” [Surah Al-Mulk 67:30]

Many people think that life is just about being right here, right now. And then what? Where do we go after that?

The feel of fresh air on my face brings me out of my reverie, the wind whipping through my scarf making me wrap it tighter around my head. This world is full of temptations and things that distract us from our primary purpose. The Prophet (sallaAllahu alaihi wa salaam) said: “The example of the heart is that of a feather blown about by the wind of the desert.” [Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 88] It’s easy to slip up. But true faith is in trying to correct yourself after you’ve erred. We must hold fast to our religion, we cannot afford to let it slide.

“And it is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds, and We drive them to a dead land and give life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Thus is the resurrection.” [Surah Fatir 35:9]

Time. It’s all about time and how we utilize it.

We’re fortunate to be among those who are witnessing the blessed month this year. Alhumdulillah. It is indeed a blessing. It’s an opportunity to pray more and more, seek Allah’s forgiveness, seek His protection from the uncompromising punishment of Hell, pray for a place in Jannatul Firdaws and for guidance. We shouldn’t take it for granted. It’s just something we need to understand. SubhanAllah. May Allah forgive us.

May Allah Ta’aala give us the ability and the opportunity to worship Him in ways that are pleasing to Him, accept our ‘ibadah and forgive us if we forget or err. Ameen.

Please keep me, my family and the whole ummah in your du’as.

Allergic to “E” Challenge

Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

I was nominated by sister revels1 for a challenge called the “Allergic to “E” Challenge”. She has a great blog masha’Allah. Do check it out!

The Rules:

1) Write a whole paragraph ( a paragraph sounds easy right?) without any word containing the letter “e” (still easy for ya?)
2) By reading this you are already signed up.
3) Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge. They must do it within 24 hours or it is considered as failure.
4) If you fail or pass, suffer in the Page of Lame.
5) If you win, wallow in the Page of Fame.
6) You can check your standings on my menu Your Standings

Sounds fun, right? I think I should give it a go. Let’s do it! 🙂

Trying to put down a paragraph without utilizing an important part of it is similar to going surfing without a surfboard. How do you do that? It’s not difficult; just calls for a slightly crazy and amazing mind. So what if you forgot to carry your surfboard? You can always stand at coast and watch your pals party. A significant instruction taught in Islam, you as a Muslim, must adopt is that of loving for your rasool’s ummah that which you’d wish for your own. You may not find how it is to fly in H2O but you can always bask in sun, watch birds fly, count passing clouds, and thank Allah. Possibly your companion just might allow you to borrow his surfboard. Point is, if it rains, look for rainbows not dark clouds. And if you do go surfing watch out for that biiig whhaaaayy…!!! Oops. 😀




And, I’d like to nominate:

Slip-sliding Away…..

A Heart’s Echoes

The Outspoken Hijabi



Once you’ve completed it, don’t forget to add a link to the website of the creative person behind this challenge!


^^ That’s the blog! 🙂


Foosball (5P5S Challenge Day 5)




Foosball is basically mini football or soccer or whatever else you’d like to call it. But you don’t have to dribble, kick, or pass the ball. All you gotta do is spin, spin and spin. Point is, it’s fun. I used to play it with friends. But just like any another game or sport it takes up a lot of time. So you must keep track of it. Half an hour to forty five minutes max.

Please ignore the pool ball in the pic. I have no idea what it’s doing there. Uhm well actually I do. (: But it doesn’t really matter. So yeah, just ignore it 😀

This post is a part of the five photos five stories challenge given to me by peaceloveanunity.

And I nominate Mariyaah.

Must Hang on To Piety (5P5S Challenge – Day 1)


Jealous much? Lol Don’t be surprised, that’s not my car. 😀 I don’t have a Lamborghini either. Nor do I have a Porsche or a Corvette. But I’ve seen these and many others I don’t even know the names of (that’s how I got the picture. I mean who doesn’t get fascinated by sports cars?). Not in a showroom or any car exhibition but on the road. It’s obvious, I know. You don’t expect the rich owners of these lavish cars to lock them up in their garage?

But I just don’t get it. How can one possibly spend tens of thousands of dollars on just a car. Besides, most of these expensive cars are convertibles which are two seaters (that means you can’t even take your family on a long drive?). They look all good and smart on the road, the design especially the doors, it’s fascinating to see how the doors flip up instead of out, their speed, everything. The owners spend so much on modifying these cars, as if they weren’t already so attractive. Tinted glasses, neon lights, rims, tattoos and stcikers, tyres, and all sorts of crazy stuff. I don’t know if you know about this, but you even get something that makes your car jump up and down. Lol like how some cars can do weird stunts, yknow? That’s what I’m talking about. I think it’s called hydraulics.

Owning one of these cars is obviously a big deal. And people who buy a sports car and then spend on upgrading and modifying it must feel really proud of it. Possessing something rare and exclusive creates a feeling of power and superiority in the person. They have something most others don’t. And they know it.

Fourteen centuries ago even they were about to have something. Something they had lost. Their home. Nothing could hold them back. And they knew it. The Muslim army marched towards Makkah led by the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who was riding his camel. A black turban on his head, and his head lowered in abject humility to Allah. The Ameerul mumineen, the Prophet of Allah, the leader, the caliph, had bent forward so far; humility reflecting in his features, that his beard almost touched the back of his mount (Al Ghazzali, Fiqh us-Seerah, p414). SubhanAllah! The conquest of Makkah was the biggest victory in the history of Islam. After being heartlessly evicted from their homes, and spending painful years on a foreign land, the Muslims were returning home stronger and more confident. The Prophet and his companions had a reason to feel proud, a greater reason than owning a luxury car. But what did he do instead? He did not show any pride whatsoever. Not a bit. Rather he was grateful to Allah for this victory and the more he thought about the past sufferings the more he bowed down in humility.

Allah, Azza was Jal says in the Qur’an that

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you (muttaqun – pious). Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”

(Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13)

We love this life and everything it is sugar coated in. But the truth is that no matter what we possess, mansions or expensive cars, the most precious thing is life itself. And how we live it. How we spend our time on this earth matters because that’s basically what we’re being tested in.

Also, it’s not bad to have an expensive car (provided you have the money to buy one and don’t go around robbing houses), but you should always be grateful to Allah and most importantly be humble. Pride even the size of a mustard seed is not good for your soul (hadith). So be careful. Don’t let anything of this world distract you from your main purpose in life which is the worship of Allah.

Remember me in your du’as!

This post is a part of the Five Pictures, Five Stories Challenge given to me by peaceloveanunity. I totally lovee her blog! Amazing poetry and photography. Masha’Allah. Allahumma baarik laha. Don’t forget to check her blog out. 

P.S: Can you spot the pun in the title? 😉

Aaaand I nominate Abd!

Free to Fly

I love watching birds fly with their wings majestically stretched out treading the open skies so peacefully as if embracing freedom itself. when-fears-are-grounded-dreams-take-flight-quote-1They appear to be relaxed, carefree not bound by anything of this materialistic world. As a kid I wanted to fly along with the birds, sit on clouds which appeared like cotton candy to me; I wanted to experience what the earth would look like from high above. I’d even thought about tasting a part of the clouds to see if they actually were white cotton candy if I could somehow go up there…hey, I was only a kid back then but just imagine if it really were like that; that would be one heck of a treat. XD Even now when I look at the sky it gives me the feeling of freedom, peace and tranquility. As if untouched by man and his selfish motives.

Anyway, coming back to the birds. Do they feel the same freedom we think they possess? I don’t know. But, if you actually watch them closely, you can see the effort they have to put in so as to fly. It’s not easy. I mean I don’t have wings so I can’t say for sure but I’ve seen how they take short breaks in between their flights by sitting on branches or window panes. If they didn’t make an effort to flap their wings and take flight (knowing how difficult it was) they would never taste this so-called freedom man seeks. In other words, they were not born with this ability, rather they acquired it. And through practice they got accustomed to it, learning from their mistakes, their experiences. It’s beautiful to watch little birds learn to fly. They somehow know that in order to obtain food they have to step out of their comfort zones: the nests, and take flight. Subhan’Allah! Their determination and willpower to make it to the sky is just amazing. It’s not that they get it all perfect at the first go. No, they trip, they fall, they crash but never do they ever give up. At first they’re just struggling to stay up in the air, clumsily flailing their tiny wings so they don’t fall down. But eventually they get the hang of it, gracefully spreading their wings; flapping them with steady beats, they glide through the open sky. Here’s an important ayah (verse) that needs mention:

“Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of (the air and) the sky? Nothing holds them up but (the power of) Allah. Verily in this are signs for those who believe.” [Al-Qur’an 16:79]

So, it is only by the Will and Power of Allah ‘azza wa jal that the birds are able to fly. The scientists like to explain it very artistically making it seem as a very complicated matter. And yeah, to the human mind, it is. But the One behind it all is the Creator alone. Doing so is not difficult for Him in the slightest bit. Relate this to the verse,

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” [Al-Qur’an 2:286]

Seeing birds fly makes us want to fly like them; never once bothering to ponder on the effort it takes for them to work against the force of gravity. All we think about is how hopelessly we are grounded on earth. We dream of flying a thousand miles away from all restrictions and obligations that bind us to this world, always looking up at the sky with a persistent longing in our hearts. :\

But really, the sky’s not the limit and flying like the birds is not the ultimate experience. There’s a world beyond the vast sky and an experience beyond all imagination which is in store for the righteous.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and it has never crossed the mind of man. All of that is reserved, besides which all that you have known is as nothing.’ Then he recited: “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” [al-Sajdah 32:17 – interpretation of the meaning].

[Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3072) and Muslim (2824)]

Don’t know why but I think we all lack focus in life. Our priorities are messed up. We try to become someone we are not. And when these worldly activities take a toll on us all we want to do is escape, hide in between the clouds, dive underwater, or transform into a rock. Although I think the best option would be to go for a run. It works like a million dollar holiday, that is if you know your way back home. 😉

The truth is that there is freedom everywhere. Rules are a part of life. A bird won’t fly until it flaps it’s wings. That’s rule number one for them. Similarly, for us to survive we need to work. So that makes work an essential part of life. With work come our obligations and restrictions. That’s a part of the rulebook which cannot be neglected. So that leaves us with only one thing: our role in this grand play. The only bad news is that it is real and not theatrical. That’s the problem with us human beings; we tend to look at life as some fantasy where all our wishes should come true. But you know what, nobody, not a single soul, human or animal is in a better situation than yours. So stop wishing for somebody else’s life. No, not even a bird’s. But you are free to fly, I mean try to fly, whenever you want to. At your own risk. But just so you know, the bird has to face difficulties and challenges in life like you do. Allah does not charge us beyond what we can bear. The arrogant boss in your office was meant to be a part of the grand play, just like the annoying kids in your neighborhood, the bills you have to pay every month, judgmental people you come across, the busy day, the lonely night, the clothes you’ve grown out of or those that look like rags on you, everything. But the one thing that will make this play a success is your trust in it’s director/the Creator.

I say there is freedom because we’ve been given freewill to do what we want. We’ve been equipped with a mind that can be simply awesome almost all the time, alhumdulillah. The ability to see, hear, talk, walk and every ability Allah has blessed us with is for a purpose. And, yeah, even a difficult situation, sickness, disability, the prick of a thorn is for a reason. I know it’s easy for one to say and I apologize if I’m oversimplifying this. I don’t intend to and I mean no offence. I’m just basing this on the verse that I shared earlier. “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” [Al-Qur’an 2:286]

May Allah ‘azza wa jal ease all our affairs for us. Ameen.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to comment and/or share! 😀 ❤

A Matter of Time

So, like I promised last week I’m back with…not a poem this time but an ESSAY! After a very long time I know. My bad. It’s just that I find it easier to write poems because basically they don’t always have to make sense. 😉 Well, “Islamic poems” are a bit different for the obvious reason that they are meant to make sense or writing them would be pointless, and, in Islam, we don’t do anything just for the heck of it. Okay, sometimes we do. But that doesn’t mean it is right. After all, time is precious and we must not waste it. Reminds me of the famous hadith of the Prophet (saAllahu alaihi wa sallam), “five before five”. Most of you must be familiar with it but those that are not, this is what I’m referring to:
The Prophet (ṣallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas; Musnad Imam Ahmad.


Powerful, isn’t it?


This is the reality of life. One moment we have everything and the next it’s gone. We take for granted the blessings Allah (‘azza wa jal) has bestowed us with. We forget the significance of all that we have, what it means to us and how grateful we should really be. If I were to use an analogy, it’s like somehow we just float upon the waves and easily give in to the currents and let them drift us to just anywhere. Places we’ve never been to. We’d rather not, but we do anyway. And once we do this we get lost in the vast ocean of deception forgetting our priorities. The world we live in is vicious. Okay, I’m not being a pessimist or anything here. In fact, far from it. To be honest, I’m usually the one who is content in wearing those all too familiar rose-colored glasses and see the world as a big colorful beach ball. But doing that won’t change the facts in the slightest bit, will it? It’s great to be optimistic about our lives and generally the world but at the same time we should be concerned about our afterlife too. What usually happens is that we are told by people around us to be easygoing and carefree about life and just “do what makes you happy”. Who is to define what happiness is? They say the individual. I disagree. If I were to decide what makes me happy, I can so surely say that I’d go astray. It’s not making sense, is it? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. LOL, okay I’m kidding. Let me put it this way: some may find happiness in doing community service while some in partying all night. Basically it’s just a matter of how we are raised and what our personal choices are. To a certain degree it’s justifiable. But this will not work in the bigger picture of our existence in this world.

There’s a reason why the Prophet (saws) said what he said. We live in a world constricted by the constraints of time and space. Those twenty or so years of youth once gone won’t ever return.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saws) said: “Allah will give shade to seven [people] on the Day when there will be no shade but His…” among whom he mentioned, “a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah.” (Al-Bukhaari, 1423; Muslim, 1031)

An hour that ticks away will not come back. The dollars that you spend in throwing the most extravagant parties won’t automatically get deposited in your bank once the party is over. But you know what will? The money you spend in charity, in feeding someone or providing them with clothes.
So next time you think about putting off a good deed like going to an Islamic lecture or visiting a sick person remember this hadith. It’s never too early to do something good. In fact that’s what we are being tested in.
This is such a beautiful hadith. I mean, I want to talk more on it yet I think it is self-explanatory. You will truly appreciate it if you read it carefully pondering on every word and reflect on its meaning and most importantly the fact that you can so easily relate to it. Maybe I might further elaborate on this hadith in another post insha’Allah.
Read. Comment. Share. (Pretty please <3)

Fi Amanillah!

Who Am I?

mischa-richter-man-smiling-into-mirror-as-arms-and-hands-reach-out-and-straighten-his-bow-new-yorker-cartoon Your eyes lie,

A hundred secrets are hidden behind that smile of yours.

You are not innocent.

That’s just a mask you seem to put on always.

Have you met yourself?

Are you sure you’ve understood yourself right?

The confidence you proudly display

Is playing games with you.

Deep down you know that you are wrong.

You are not who you pretend to be;

Perhaps it never was deliberate.

You’re hiding in your shadows,

Afraid to come out and face yourself.

Yes, you heard that right.

You are afraid of yourself.

Of the blatant ignorance you flaunt,

How easily you dismiss the truth.

The real you is afraid of getting hurled away like a piece of garbage.

You know you’ve done this earlier.

You don’t realize how important it is to understand your needs.

You need your own help.

You must trust yourself, your abilities, your conscience,

The priceless gifts from Allah, Who has blessed you with a pure fitra,

The ability to distinguish between the right and wrong.

It’s time you take off that hideous mask, dust those brutal lies off yourself, cleanse your heart of impurities, free your mind from unworthy thoughts.

And ask yourself, “Who am I?”

When you do this sincerely you will find the answer you are looking for.

So get acquainted with yourself, with your soul.

Understand that your soul is worth everything in this dunya.

It is priceless.

You won’t be able to buy it back even if you had everything in this world.

It’s just one chance that everyone has been given.

Including you.

One soul. One life. There’s no going back. No second chances.

Remember this. Stop being someone you are not.

Stop lying to yourself.

You were born pure.


Don’t let the temptations of this world get on you.

Seek guidance from the Quran.

The true and blessed Words of your Lord.

Your soul is screaming to be set free from the boundaries of this world.

Set it free. Allow it to dive in the beautiful ocean of knowledge.

The knowledge of your deen, Islam.

Let yourself be guided lest you want to get lost in your own ignorance.

They say ignorance is bliss.

They don’t know what they are saying.

They don’t know what true bliss is.

But it is important that you know.

Bliss, it is to know that you are actually working towards your goal,

To feel pure love,

Unconditional, devoted love,

Which makes you do everything for His sake,

To earn His Pleasure,

To seek the meeting with Him,

It is when you yearn to be close to Him,

It’s when you are mad, upset, disappointed with yourself because of the sins you have committed.

Reflecting on your past deeds makes you regret.

Regret every little lie you’ve said,

Regret those impossibly conspicuous sins that you easily brushed under the carpet.

Bliss is to see your sinful past like it is, yet stay strong.

It is to have faith, In yourself and your Lord.

It is to know that no matter how weak or desperate you are, you will be just fine,

Because you have submitted to the One and Only.

Your heart is at ease,

Safe, secure.

You just wish time freezes and the feeling remains forever;

But you know better.

The journey is still on,

Still very real and still the same.

Although you have changed your route.

This one’s definitely better than the previous.

So better that you just want to keep going,

Until you reach where you belong.

The position, the status of being Mutma’in.

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي

[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul (mutma’innah), Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], And enter among My [righteous] servants,  And enter My Paradise.” 

[Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

Genuine Effort

Just a few days back I was reading an article on repentance. While casually checking out the comments that followed I came across one that really had me thinking. The individual would use a credit card to pay the rent of his apartment. Normally credit cards have interest on them but it has to be paid only if one fails to pay the bills on time. Due to some financial difficulties that came his way he was compelled to pay interest on the credit card he possessed. You must know that paying, taking or dealing with interest is prohibited in Islam and is considered a major sin. The man realized this late but he did what most of us fail to do. Any guesses? Well, he immediately stopped using his card. He still was in need of money and he obviously didn’t discover any hidden treasure, nevertheless, he did stop. He didn’t want to go against the command of Allah (swt) in order to pay them off. Despite the grave situation he had gotten into, he took a bold decision. He was extremely ashamed of his act and turned to Allah for forgiveness and guidance. This is what he said, “I want to repent to Allah. I could die before this happens. Death comes unannounced.”

Just look at the unwavering concern of this believer. Normally, this is not what happens.

Credit cards.

Possessing one is a matter of pride. It makes you feel proud. It makes you feel rich. You feel as if you have the key to your happiness; you can purchase anything and everything you want to without worrying about how much it costs. Be it those extravagant designer outfits or the latest phones or the lavish furniture, every single thing is just a swipe away. Now it is quite obvious that it’s not just greed that drives people to issue a credit card, rather in most cases it’s their need that tempts them into getting one. But you must know that there is no greater need than gaining our Lord’s approval and pleasure. Surely we’re not sent on this earth to just somehow manage to survive?

What each one of us should possess is the sincerity exemplified by our fellow Muslim here. He is being exceptionally true to himself, yes, his sincerity will solely benefit him. I and you will not gain anything through his repentance. All the reward that awaits this genuine effort of his is only for him. In the same vein, if you repent for the sins you’ve committed, it will only benefit you.

Prohibition of interest (usury/riba) in the Quran: “Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (Satan) leading him to insanity…” (2:275)

“…Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest.” (2:275)

There are various hadith that exactly describe the punishment of those who deal in interest. This following for instance:

Al-Bukhari recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said in the long Hadith about the dream that the Prophet had, (We reached a river -the narrator said, “I thought he said that the river was as red as blood”- and found that a man was swimming in the river, and on its bank there was another man standing with a large collection of stones next to him. The man in the river would swim, then come to the man who had collected the stones and open his mouth, and the other man would throw a stone in his mouth.)

The explanation of this dream was that the person in the river was one who consumed Riba. (Tafsir ibn Kathir)

If you are using a credit card or are dealing in any other form of riba (home loans, life insurance) then stop immediately and repent to Allah. This applies to any sin that you commit. Never think that you have enough time to repent and easily postpone it to a later date, because as simple as it sounds you really can’t tell.

With the blessed month of Ramadan just around the corner by Allah’s grace, don’t you think it’s about time you make genuine efforts to assess your deeds and try to better your soul?

Not Here to Please You

I haven’t posted anything in like ages. Sorry about that.

Although there were loads of things that I wanted to talk about in the past few months, I just couldn’t get myself to write a post for some reason I myself am not aware of. But an educated guess would be that I kept putting it off. I deserve a pat on the back for being so productive.

So I finally decided that I’d write about something even if my mind is not thinking about anything in particular at the moment. Perhaps the first thing that comes to my mind? Like a cheeseburger. Just kidding. But that really was the first thing that came to my mind.

All jokes aside; if I want to post something beneficial for the readers and myself then I must write something that’d actually benefit us all. And I know exactly what that is.

At times I wonder if I’m being true to myself, if I’m actually behaving my age, or doing justice to my life. It might sound awkward but it isn’t so weird if one actually sits down peacefully and thinks over it. Ask yourself these questions and then you might start making sense out if it. Everybody has certain things to do in life like attend school, university, go for work, socialize among other things. But it is the way of doing these that makes all the difference. For example dressing up for school; do you go overboard in looking your best? Are you particular about how you look? Why all this effort? Just because maybe you want to please your classmates, hear praises from your friends, show everybody that you’re the best and that you look the best.  Is this all why we’ve been sent to earth? To please others.  People will praise you when they like something about you. Them liking something about you means they’re pleased with what you have to offer. In other words we dress up so others are pleased. Sounds pathetic, doesn’t it?

How about if we dressed up just how we like it? Not thinking about what others would say. Or even better if we dressed up how our Lord would like it? Just perfect. It does make a lot of difference. In today’s world tank tops and skinny jeans would be what anybody would like but an ‘abaya (loose outer covering) would be what our Lord would like. It’s up to us really, whom we want to please.

It’s easy to follow the crowd but takes courage to be different and stand out from the crowd.

Getting praises or more precisely “approval” of others is something that matters a lot in this world. But why, I wonder. Rather,

It. Simply. Should. Not. Matter.

We should seek solely and wholly the approval of Allah ‘azza wa jal, our Lord, our Creator. Why are we afraid of the world’s criticism? So what if an ‘abaya is not in fashion? If others think it makes you look like an alien then why should you care if it’s what your Lord commands you to do? Paying even the slightest attention to peoples’ criticisms when you know you’re right is like accepting that they are right and you’re wrong. But if you’re truly doing what Allah asks you to, then how can you be wrong? It isn’t wrong to accept criticism and try to improve yourself, but the point here is that when people criticize you for the good in you. Obeying God is a good characteristic which has taken the form of a stereotype nowadays. Just because the Quran was revealed fourteen centuries ago, people find it unreasonable to follow it today. What they fail to realize is that the Quran is meant for all times till the end of this world.

Another drawback of modifying your actions to please others is that you start behaving like a different person. All the effort you put into looking good enough to get those praises, posting the perfect picture or status on a social networking website to get most likes and compliments, making sure you say the right things always to people you interact with, are all ways of trying to be the person you are not.

It’s just not about how you look or what you wear, nowadays almost everything is done according to what the society demands. Be it the degree you pursue in university, the kind of food you cook, whether you can speak good English (I’m not kidding. It’s true in places like India and Pakistan), the kind of programs you watch on the television, the school you send your children to, whether you go out in the weekends and other similar silly stuff. People do it all for praise. If I were to tell one thing to their face, it’d be this for sure: Get. A. Life.

The moment you follow your heart and do what’s right is when you’ll truly be doing justice to your life. Why do I say “justice”? Is this matter so huge that I had to liken it to justice? What’d you think of a judge who gave the wrong verdict causing an innocent to suffer punishment that he doesn’t even deserve?

Cruel. Ruthless. Unjust.

Now think about this. We’ve been gifted with a soul and a body to take care of  while our stay on earth and have also been given a manual to handle the situations we come across. But what we do instead is not even spare as much as a glance to the manual and do as we wish to satisfy our desires and gain praise from others. Sometimes wasting thousands of dollars just to give our homes the perfect furniture, or spending hours on perfecting our make-up, or choosing the perfect dress for a party, or going hungry for days just so we have the perfect figure and the list just goes on. Ever wondered what’d happen to the poor soul which is being deprived of the spiritual enlightenment it needs or the poor body that finds it difficult to cope with the clutter which is the result of so many demands? Doing things so as to “fit in” or to “go with the flow” will only complicate matters. It is so much more easier to do what our Lord commands.

You’ll only be true to yourself if you do what you’re supposed to do. Now, are you wondering what you’re actually supposed to do? It’s simple: only that which your Lord has commanded in the Quran and through the Prophet’s Sunnah (peace be upon him).

Know the True Islam

With each passing day the need for da’wah is increasing. There are many non-Muslims out there who are being fed with false ideas about Islam. They have a very distorted picture of Islam in their minds that it is almost impossible for them to see through the fog of lies. We need to show them the light, to educate them about the real Islam. It is the duty of every single Muslim to convey the message of Islam to his non-Muslim neighbors. You don’t have to be a scholar to preach. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Convey from me even if it’s a single ayah.”

We are responsible as far as imparting the message of tawheed (Oneness of Allah) is concerned. Neither should we force it on anyone nor should we hide it from them, rather following the example of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) we should merely impart whatever little knowledge we have. It is Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) who changes the hearts of people. We may never know that the person whom we once preached accepted Islam years later.

It’s true that in today’s world religion has taken a backseat in the lives of many. People are lost in the web of this dunya; in competing for more wealth, possessions, fame, leisure and don’t find the time to even think about their religious beliefs. Despite this we must never shy away from sharing the knowledge we have. You might be called names, made fun of, people might refuse to listen to you; but amidst all of this there is hope that the little effort from your side might have influenced someone in the crowd, be it only one single soul. This hope should keep you going. And, let’s not forget the immense reward that awaits you in the Hereafter.

Da’wah is not just for non-Muslims but even for Muslims themselves. There’s always this misconception that you can call to Islam only those who are not yet Muslim, but it’s a fact that today even Muslims lack the basic knowledge of the religion of Allah due to which they stray away from the true teachings of Islam. You’d often hear Muslims proclaiming that “Islam is the way of life” but hardly do any actually fully live by these words. Therefore the Qur’an tells us to “encourage the good and forbid the evil”. This only means that even Muslims amongst themselves should advise each other. There’s no doubt that the Qur’an deals with every aspect of life, which is further elaborated in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). So one who knows of a hadith or a Quranic verse should inform it to those who don’t. This is what our Prophet (peace be upon him) himself stated in a report.

While you’re spreading the word of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) remember that you’re doing it only for His Pleasure. So it only makes sense to avoid any kind of harsh language, sarcasm and physical abuse. Often it happens that people get so zealous in doing da’wah that they forget their limits and end up making things worse. This way nobody benefits; the non-Muslim gets a wrong picture of Islam and the da’ee (the one preaching) isn’t able to fulfill his purpose.

As much as da’wah is necessary in this age, it is the correct methodology of doing so that truly helps. It’s my humble advice to all the Muslims reading this that if you have knowledge that might benefit someone, don’t hesitate to go forward and share it with them.

To the non-Muslims and anyone who feels that Islam or any of its principles is at fault, ask yourselves why you think so. But don’t stop there. It could be that you’re concluding about Islam without possessing sufficient knowledge. If there’s any particular Muslim that’s upsetting you, do not judge Islam from their behavior. You’ll only truly know the true Islam by reading the Qur’an and learning about the life of the final Prophet sent to earth, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Finally, if you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me or any kind of feedback, feel free to drop a line below.

Why Not Believe?

Although human beings are classified as one species, every single person in this world is unique. Just look at the amount of diversity that exists among humans. We’re free to hold any belief we want to – we decide for ourselves because of the freedom we possess. But what’ll happen once the open sky that we live under ceases to exist? Is it okay to not think about it? You cannot just say that what’s going to happen after everyone dies is unknown to us or not our concern. It definitely is not something insignificant, in fact quite the opposite. We are always so eager to secure our future. Isn’t the afterlife also a part of our future?

Our eternal future, to be precise.

So why don’t we give it it’s worth? We should be working to secure it just like we work to secure our future in this life. I find it amusing how some people can just pretend as if this life is everything to them and the afterlife doesn’t exist. They move heaven and earth to achieve their ends. It’s absurd to conclude that the Hereafter is just some old fable. If it was so, our life wouldn’t have any meaning to it. It’d be a joke to exist. Why the complexity in nature when all of it is just going to perish someday? This line of thinking leaves many questions unanswered. It doesn’t take us anywhere even close to the reality. Rather it pushes us far away from it, literally. All it gives us is a false sense of security. Security that we won’t be accountable to anyone after death. An escape route to do whatever we desire. This is pure deception.

Rather, the truth is that there will be an Afterlife. 

Everything on this earth points to a Creator, the complex design, the diversity in creation, things that are beyond our comprehension, things yet to be discovered and stuff that we can’t even think about. Shutting your eyes and turning a deaf ear to the truth won’t change it. One thing is clear for sure, we humans did not create ourselves. Neither are we a result of chance. That leaves us with only one possibility; that we were created.

Yes, created. 

Being created implies submission to the Creator. We were sent on this earth to worship God.  Unlike other religions, Islam’s idea of worship is unique and special. It is not about 24/7 rituals, rather everything we do can be an act of worship if done with the intention to please God. And, that’s the reason why Islam is a complete way of life. It teaches us the right method of living life, both in times of ease and difficulty. Usually on seeing a religious person striving hard to obey God, one often concludes that the person is a monk who practices monasticism. That the person has no interest in enjoying life or is very gloomy and always talks about depressing stuff like the Hereafter. It’s hilarious. I mean, like seriously, being a good Muslim doesn’t mean you don’t want to enjoy life. Whoever holds this idea doesn’t have the slightest idea of what they’re missing out on. Every practicing Muslim has the same amount of right to have fun as do the others. Even when out there enjoying, hanging out in a mall, or playing in a park or while on a long drive, we stop to offer our obligatory prayers to thank God for all the blessings He’s bestowed on us. And no we don’t find it hard at all. We enjoy taking out time to remember the One who is keeping us alive in first place. While we can enjoy ourselves in a halal manner, we should not leave out our religious obligations.

Apart from the fact that our stay on earth is limited, it is also true that our life is a test. Therefore we should strike the right balance between fulfilling our obligations and satisfying our worldly needs. This life is a bridge to the Hereafter. Hence, all that we do on earth matters so much. But the blissful journey of a special relationship with God will start only after you convince your heart of the truth. The truth that Islam is the true religion; the religion acceptable by God. Islam is so fascinating that once you start learning it, you’ll be enthralled by the minute details in it. It is indeed a complete guide to living this life.

I’d like to conclude by quoting these powerful verses of the Quran,

“But you prefer the worldly life, While the Hereafter is better and more enduring. Indeed, this is in the former scriptures, The scriptures of Abraham and Moses.” (Al-A’la, 87:16-19)

Subservient Inclinations

A couple of days back I came across this wonderful hadith which talks about how a Muslim should go about dealing with his inclinations. It is just so relevant, makes so much of sense and the amount of reality it holds is striking.

Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah bin Amr bin al-‘As, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“None of you (truly) believes until his desire or inclination is in accordance with what I have brought or subservient to what I came with.”

[A fine and genuine hadith which was related by al-Maqdidsi in his Book of Hujjah]

It sort of freaks me out to even question myself whether or not all that I like or wish for complies with Islam. Oftentimes we develop liking towards things that are not-so-Islamic or outright un-Islamic. We might not  realize that a certain liking of ours is in fact against the values of our religion. It’s because everything has become so common nowadays that you’d always find someone or the other sharing your interests or doing what you do. So it’s like even if your conscience warns you that it’s not right, there’d be a voice at the back of your head telling you, “what’s the big deal…everybody is doing it, why can’t I?”. This is nothing but one of the traps of shaytan to mislead mankind. In fact most of the time we do a thing just because others might be doing it, like simply go with the flow, maybe out of the fear of feeling out of place or something.

Now what exactly do I mean by “desire” or “inclination”? Just what it is: anything that we like or long for. It could be endlessly watching TV soaps,  listening to music, or fanatically going to every single football/baseball/cricket match, or reading useless novels (those which apparently go against the values of Islam, like paranormal, romance, horror) and basically anything that opposes Islamic teachings. It’s sad that the problem today has gone much beyond the things that I’ve mentioned. As in, watching a football match is not wrong, but wasting your time, energy and money day and night and giving it priority over the obligatory things like Salaah is definitely wrong. It cannot be denied that anything besides worship if done excessively can cause one to go astray. So if these things are kept in control (after actually making sure that they’re allowed in Islam, obviously that doesn’t include listening to music or reading romance or the like because it’s so obvious that the’re un-Islamic) then it’s fine (actually I’m not really sure if being a fan of a sport like cricket or soccer is allowed in Islam and hence the awkwardness of this statement here, sorry for that. I’ll look that up inshaAllah and maybe write a separate post on it). [EDIT: So, here’s what I promised: Ruling on Watching Football]

I’d always prefer to completely leave something that’d negatively affect my eeman. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

This website has put it beautifully,

“Anyone who does anything that contradicts with the Message that Allah sent His Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, with and violates any of the instructions or prohibitions, is a person who is following his own desires. It should be noted that desire has to do with likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes are not the main goal. Scholars say that the main point here is not to be influenced by those likes or dislikes. If someone likes something that violates the shari’ah, this person is following his own desires. If that person is influenced by those likes or dislikes, this will lead to an act. The act will lead to forms of actions which either pleases or displeases Allah. In both cases, the person has full responsibility and accountability. The responsibility and accountability are not for the likes or dislikes. They are for what the likes or dislikes lead him to.”

It’s actually kinda creepy because what we desire sort of defines a part of our personality. It is who we are or who we want to be. So it’s really important for us to Islamically channelize our inclinations. It shouldn’t be that while we talk about being good Muslims, we also like to go to the movies every weekend. This shows a deficiency in us. Like obviously it isn’t right to watch movies in these times for obvious reasons.

Al-Imam Al-Shatibi, in his book Al-Muwafaqat, volume number 2, p. 168, mentions that the objective of shari’ah (Islamic Law) is to keep Muslims away from desires so that the believer will be a servant to Allah willingly and become an honest servant of Allah. So beautiful is this thought! SubhanAllah.

Here’s something simply amazing…(I’m copy-pasting it from the other website I linked to earlier because it’s just so awesome, you should definitely read it!)

“With regards to how one can control and deal with one’s desires, firstly Al-Imam Al-Shatibi says that the main thing is to make the law of shari’ah and its rulings as a judging authority that every Muslim should respect, appreciate, and comply with. Secondly, some other scholars mention feeling Allah’s presence, seeking knowledge, and the continuance remembrance of Allah are the ways of controlling self-desires. Thirdly, Imam Ibn Qayyim mentions about 50 ways of dealing with self-desires. Even those who are already influenced by self-desire can use any of these ways to get rid of their self-desires. He mentions this in his book Rawdat al-Muhebin (Garden of Lovers). The following are 15 selected ways:

  1. Strong resolution.
  2. Patience.
  3. Self-courage.
  4. Considering consequences.
  5. Reflecting that Muslims have been created for a great mission which cannot be fulfilled except by controlling one’s desires.
  6. Not to be enslaved by self-desires.
  7. To know that Satan is the enemy that gets through the servants of Allah. Satan uses desires to influence people.
  8. To know that following self-desires will lead to someone’s destruction and punishment by Allah.
  9. To know that fighting desires by making an effort in order not to be influenced by the desires is one of the greatest forms of jihad. Fighting desires is the essential message of Islam. Muslims are required to make every effort to adhere to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
  10. To know that the one who lets the desires take over and lead him will spoil his intellectual opinion.
  11. To know that following desires will weaken the eagerness for performing good deeds. The opposite is also true in this case – that is, not following desires leads to strengthening one’s motivation to perform good deeds.
  12. To know that not being misled by desires will lead to the honour in this life and the Hereafter.
  13. To know that following desires is the main cause of the spiritual heart disease and the remedy of the disease is to not follow desires. We have to make jihad to fight desires otherwise we will not be able to fight our enemies.
  14. To know that seeking knowledge and feeding it by performing the preferable acts will strengthen one’s faith.
  15. To know that we need to be enlightened by the Qur’an and Sunnah. This requires us to make the effort to recite the Qur’an in order to know the meaning and the wisdom behind the ayahs.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa make it easy for us to desire only that which pleases Him, the Almighty. Ameen!

Striving to Improve

So I just realized that for the past few weeks I haven’t really been doing much productive stuff. Stuff that’d increase my level of eeman or make me a better person or make me an inspiration for others or simply leave me with no regrets. Well I did try to busy myself with good deeds but not as much as I should have. I’m not being ungrateful or gloomy neither am I whining over what has already happened.  The sole purpose behind this post is so that it serves as a reminder to myself and others as well. I truly regret my slack and carefree attitude. This isn’t something new to human beings. We usually tend to inappropriately prioritize things. Like be overly concerned about trivial matters and when real important things turn up seem to not care in the least. Well this doesn’t happen always. But it does happen. We may not see it though. As an example, when your mum wants you to help her out with something while you’re talking to your friend on the phone, what’d you do? Okay let’s be honest here, you’d obviously ask your  mum to hold it till you’re done talking with your friend, or even manage it herself.  Get my drift?

This is exactly what I intend to convey. We don’t see things as they really are because either we are too busy with life (how ironic) or just too hasty in our actions. Rather if you choose to just stop and think for even a minute you’ll truly see. Basically go back a few lines, up to the example I mentioned. Now what if you had hung up the phone asking your friend to call you back later and helped out your mum instead. Would that make a difference in your day and more importantly who you are?

But, had you disobeyed your mum and preferred your friend over her, it’d be like going against the command of Allah ‘azza wa jal as regards obeying your parents. And if done repeatedly over a period of time, it’d become a part of you, a habit. Even if it might have started with a regret, gradually you’ll see no wrong in it. This is how satan plays with our souls. So even in small things in life there are big lessons with yet bigger repercussions. Well so the point is that before taking any step, yes I mean every-single-no-matter-how-little step you take, just spend a few minutes on actually realizing your purpose behind it and understanding if its truly worth it or is it simply like asking for trouble.

I keep myself telling this so often that I’ve sort of become immune to it. LOL. No seriously. Sigh…

So yeah. I needed something additional and hence I came up with the following rules for myself (You might wanna make note of them too :D)

1) Don’t ever waste time. You can sense when you’re wasting time. It becomes just so apparent. So whenever you feel that your time’s going down the drain, then just STOP. And start doing something good immediately or just relax, without letting your mind drift in that direction again.

2) STICK to your plans. Never be lax in dealing with what you’ve decided to do. You can’t say, “Meh, it’s my own timetable…I can modify it whenever I want to…it doesn’t have to be followed perfectly.” NO. You *have* to go by it. No taking escape routes.

3) Do *as-much-as* worship as you can. It doesn’t have to be 24/7 prayer. There are other ways of showing gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’laa. Just remember that no matter what don’t ever stop being conscious of God. Because if that happens (naudhubillah) then it’s a sign that you’ve allowed the devil in your mind. Slowly but subtly he’ll enter your heart. You won’t even realize. We seek Allah’s refuge from the accursed Satan.

4) Think before you act. Especially if you’re going to do something not-so-positive Islamically, like watch TV or aimlessly browse the internet.  Because y’know there are better things to do like what…you name it…read a book, work out, go for a walk, babysit ;), do household chores, study, visit a friend, learn to stitch, paint, get a makeover (kidding)…or just breathe.

Life feels much better and makes so much sense when we stop daydreaming. It’s more than a dream. In fact it is NOT a dream. Life is so real, so tangible. We can’t just live it up.

Because. There. Is. An. Afterlife. Too.

That’s what makes all the difference. It’s not like the Christians say that they’re saved by God’s grace or like the Hindus believe that they’ll get reincarnated or like the Atheists believe that there is no Judgment Day or like the Deist who just don’t care. Life, just as complex as it seems, it really is. We need to take responsibility and strive hard to do good and practise Islam as much as we can. We must strive towards ihsan (perfection), strive to follow our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). We can at least try.

Beware the Devil

What do you think is the best way to say sorry? When we commit a sin, we ought to repent, seek God’s forgiveness. Ironically though, that’s the one thing that we fail to do without fail. Imagine a situation when you’ve hurt your best friend. The guilt that you’d go through, the regret, it would haunt you for life if you didn’t apologize to her. In fact to a greater degree is our relationship with God. It is higher than the one we’d share with anybody else on earth. Then what impact should committing a sin have on us? Shouldn’t we be regretting it with all our heart? Shouldn’t we be ashamed of ourselves? Shouldn’t we turn to God for forgiveness? Shouldn’t we hate that sin most, the sin that took us away from our Lord? Shouldn’t we vow to never even go close to it ever?

It’s weird that we fail to see these things when Satan’s having his way done, when he’s instigating us to commit sin, when he makes the evil look good, when he makes us desire the evil. Desire. That’s one thing that we need to be careful about. If you’d really think over it and reason out, then you wouldn’t even require anybody else to explain it to you. It’s so clear. Well, give it a go. All you gotta do is contemplate on the word “desire”. What do you think it is? To what extent does it affect us? How should we direct it? Can we use it to justify our sins? The answer is obvious. Yet do we fail. Fail when we actually have to put it in practice. Desire simply means a want to do something that’d give us happiness, a sense of satisfaction. If definitely affects us, our behavior and our way of thinking. But ultimately any action that we do should be in the boundaries of Islam. Satan would say otherwise. Would make us think, want otherwise. But do we give in? No. We need to direct our desires in the right direction. Take the halal route and not the easy-pleasant-attractive-but-above-all-delusional haram route. And of course doing things the halal way are much more adventurous yet safe and real.

Desires if not handled correctly would cause chaos in one’s life. It is the root of one committing sins. Think about it. What is the mindset of a burglar who has set on his daily routine to burglarize a house? He’d probably be thinking that he would collect as much of stuff he can get his hands on. He would think that it’s the only means of him becoming rich, being able to fulfill his dreams, eat good food, live in a big house, have a big car, go for luxury trips and fulfill whatever other dreams he’d have had. Only if he stops for a second and reflects on the means he’s adopting to achieve his ends. He’d realize that it’s not right. Even if he’d be able to gather huge sums of money, there would be someone else getting negatively affected. Someone else losing that money, being deprived of his right. It’s not like what many people think, the end justifies the means. No. desiring to become rich isn’t wrong. Desiring to wear good clothes, eat good food, go on trips is not wrong. But what is not right is robbing someone. Taking away someone’s rights and doing injustice to him is impermissible in Islam. It isn’t morally right either. Now, if after going through this thought process, the burglar resolves to correct himself and earn legally, then he would be benefiting none but himself. Because had he not thought about it and carried on with his sin, robbed a house, deprived the owner of his rights, the latter would have nothing to lose, because ultimately on the Day of Judgment God will give him back his rights that were taken away. So would the burglar benefit? Not possible. Even if he’d have fulfilled his desires, it would only increase him in wrongdoing (unless he repents), besides, his good deeds will be taken away from him in order to compensate for the loss that he had caused another person on earth.

No, we simply cannot afford it. It costs us our afterlife. Are you in for a bargain that dooms you for eternity? It is indeed something unreasonable. Yet do we fail. What makes us so weak? Why do we desire sin? These questions have a straightforward answer and that is Satan. It’s satan who makes us weak, or rather think that we are weak. Weak to stay firm on the straight path of Islam. Once he’s successful in depressing us, he makes evil look attractive. Something that we might have abhorred earlier in life, all of a sudden seems pleasing at our times of weakness, when our eeman drops. It’s his way of doing things. You might’ve heard of the story of Burseesah. It’s one creepy tale. It warns us that no matter how pious we are, we should always be wary of satan and never cease keeping a check on our eeman and our deeds.

The Quran is crystal clear on this matter, satan is our open enemy.

O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. (The Qur’an, 2:208)

The Buck Stops with You

It’s never too late to repent, no matter how great your sins are. Human beings are bound to slip at some point or the other. It’s in our nature to err. Not because we’re sinful or “born in sin” as the Christians say, but simply because we’re not perfect, infallible. But this ain’t no leeway to sin. When we do something wrong, we’re accountable for it. Sin calls for repentance; a sincere repentance. One in which you make a firm resolve not to commit that sin ever again. In Islam there are three conditions that need to be met for one’s repentance to be accepted. One of the most eminent scholars of Islam, al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him),  said:

Repentance is essential from every sin, even if it is something between a person and Allaah and has nothing to do with the rights of another person. There are three conditions of repentance:

1. You should give up the sin

2. You should regret having done it

3. You should resolve never to go back to it.

If one of these three is missing, then your repentance is not sincere. If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are four conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person. If it is money or property, etc, it must be returned to him and so on. It’s so crystal-clear. Guidelines. Muslims are guided at every point in their lives. In a world so misleading, guidance is what’s miserably required. And we’re given just that, without even having to put in any effort.

Funny how we pay thousands of bucks to visit a counselor or a psychotherapist seeking to be guided in our lives when we ourselves have the solution. Our very own religion, faith, belief gives us the solution. It’s a wonder.

In spite of such clear-cut, point-blank guidelines something holds us back from repenting and keeps us persisting in sin. We’re all victims of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. But, one thing’s for sure; there is no justification of sin. So no matter how hard one tries to explain away his mistakes, at the end of the day if he persists in it and doesn’t turn back, he’d be accountable for it.

Perhaps it’s the “attractiveness” of the sin, something about it keeps us hooked to it. It could be the pleasure it gives or a sense of satisfaction. Although it holds a great deal of truth in it, I think this reason is just baseless. Afterall, what good is pleasure that comes out of the displeasure of our Lord? Oftentimes, we do certain wrong things out of “need”. A thief might rob a house out of his need for money, one might cheat in an exam out of the need for passing it, a person might lie, betray, kill another out of some need or the other. In fact everything we do is based on a need. But can one’s need be justified if it causes another’s loss? Definitely not.

Think you can get away with it? Y’know what, actually you can.

We must get over the habit of justifying our sins. We should avoid laying the blame for our own mistakes on other than ourselves. Justification of sin is not the solution.

Allah (‘azza wa jal) Says in the Qur’an,

“But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance.

(The Qur’an, Surah Ta Ha, 20:82)

The buck stops here. Take responsibility. Repent. It’s never too late.

Mere Coincidence?

It’s interesting to note that there are about seven billion people existing on earth. Seven billion distinct individuals. Each with his/her past, a present and a future. Okay, I know it’s obvious and perhaps you’d think I’m being naive. But really, it’s much of a wonder than you might think. For a moment concentrate on yourself, just you. You’re an individual with a unique identity which nobody else can ever possibly share, you have distinct opinions, thoughts, feelings, experiences, what you’re going through and what you’ve already been through and a future that you long for, that you live for, is unique to you alone. Now zoom out the view, you’d find tens of thousands of individuals like you but not you (pretty obvious, eh?), each having a similar past, present and future. This distinction of being an identity unlike any other makes us self-centered. Not in the literal sense but something that has become a “norm”. So much so that the only connection we see with persons around us is that we’re all human beings, and beyond that we don’t know each other and don’t even care, to say the least. I’m not saying that you should befriend every Tom, Dick and Harry you meet across the street. That’s not even possible. Neither am I saying that people have cut off all relationship with everyone. No. Everybody does have relatives, friends and family. But that’s beside the point. The “connection” being spoken of here is the one which should be experienced with respect to every person that we meet, regardless of us knowing or not knowing them.

Without further ado, let me clear up the matter. Is it simply any coincidence that two individuals were born one day, lived for a span of time, walked the same earth, built relationships, raised a family, and finally passed away? Such is life, you might argue. Yeah, that’s how life is, but you see, the essence of it all isn’t a mere coincidence or like we’d like to call it “life”. It’s beyond that. What is life anyway? You’d be shocked to know that one of the definitions the Merriam-Webster dictionary gives for life is: “the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual.” Existence. So life is merely about existing on earth? The animals are existing too! Ever wondered why we humans have the capacity for intelligence? Why not the animals? If you’re among those stuck with the Theory of Evolution, then my humble advice to you is to reconsider your beliefs. You’re smarter than you think. It’d be fun to bash the evolution theory here, but I’ll keep that for another post.

There’s more to life than simply struggling to exist. This is where the “connectedness” is rooted in.

Billions without purpose? You’ve gotta be kidding me.

We are all related to each other in that we don’t simply exist; rather we exist to fulfill a purpose. One Purpose. That’s what unites us. The earth cannot be a product of random events; our lives, which are so precious to us, cannot be a result of “aimless” random chemical reactions. It is God who created us. Not just for the heck of it, but for a defined purpose. A purpose that isn’t limited to mere existence but goes much beyond that. It is related to a sense of “accountability”. There is One Supreme Being to whom all of us are accountable. If our only purpose in life was to exist then what’s the point in a civilized life? Why do we follow rules, obey our governments when it’s definitely more fun in doing otherwise? It is because the government is responsible for the welfare of the society as a whole. So in order to ensure good for ourselves and others we are compelled to obey our governments, and if we don’t we’d be accountable to them. Similarly the dominion of the entire earth and all that exists belongs to God.

“The Day when secrets will be put on trial”
[The Qur’an, Surah al-Tariq 86:9]

“On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward (of his evil or good deeds), and what he left behind (of his good or evil traditions).”
[The Qur’an, Surah al-Qiyamah 75:13]

“And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], “You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment.”
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.”
[The Qur’an, Surah al-Kahf 18:48-49]

The feeling of connectedness that I feel when I see people around me is something that reminds me of my purpose on earth. It makes me aware of my deeds, my goals in life and the fact that I have to face my Lord one day, like everybody else.

And, that Day is enormous; its reality is beyond comprehension.