Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Fruit of Imaan

The Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A Momin does not taunt, does not curse and reproach, does not indulge in obscene talk and obscene acts.” [Tirmidhi]

Daily check list:

Did we make any sarcastic comments to anyone today?
Did we by word or gesture make fun of anyone today?
Did we insult anyone today?
Did we demoralize anyone today?
Did we put someone down for a mistake that they made?
Did we curse anyone today?
Did we say anything vulgar today?
Did we do anything obscene today?

We need to check ‘No’ next to each of these questions everyday to qualify as Momineen, inshaAllah. May Allah Most High grant us the tawfeeq to implement this hadith in our lives, ameen.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 344

1. Do not isolate or magnify the mistake of your companion, but rather view it in relation to all of his/her other good deeds.

2. One of the many reasons why the pious had "barakah" in their lives is they spent minimum time on necessities and zero time in sins.

3. Life has become hectic, we meet only at weddings or funerals. We should not spoil those rare meetings with nasty comments -- lest we lose that too.

4. Old age is a great boom for those who fear Allah, they have ample time to atone for their previous sins, otherwise a serious liability.

5. A smile is a passport that will take us any where we want to go, and a charity that will fill the hearts of humanity.

6. Avoid disappointment through minimizing expectations from others, including your children. [Shaykh Sulaiman Mulla]

Monday, December 23, 2013

The true understanding of intellect and knowledge....

Any intellect which does not have three things is overpowered by lust:

1. To give preference to obedience (to Allah Most High) over disobedience.

2. To give preference to knowledge over ignorance.

3. To give preference to Islam over this world.

Any knowledge that does not have three things is even worse:

1. Abstaining from harm by severing desire.

2. Presence of deeds with fear.

3. Meting out justice through generosity and mercy.

An intellect that is overpowered by lust is an intellect that deludes the person. It causes him to look at evil as being something good and vise versa.

No one has been embellished with anything better than intellect. And no one has worn a garment more beautiful than knowledge. This is because Allah Most High can only be truly recognized through the intellect. And He can only be truly obeyed through knowledge.

The great Tabai'i Urwa bin Zubayr (may Allah has mercy on him) said: "The best thing that the servants are given in this world is intellect, and the best thing they are given in the hereafter is the pleasure of Allah Most High." [Imam Harith al Muhasibi]

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lesson of the day 1344

Ayahs of the day:
God commands you to repay pledges to the people due them; and to judge with justice when you judge between people. Excellent is what God instructs you; for God is all-knowing, all-seeing. [4: 58]

Hadith of the day:
There is nothing dearer to Allah than supplication. [Tirmidhi]

Wise quote of the day:
Worrying about this world is a darkness in the heart, while worrying about the Hereafter is a light in the heart. [Imam al Hajr al-Asqalani]

Guidance of the day:
To withhold zakah is one of the greatest major sins. Against such behavior great threats and severe warnings have been proffered by God and His Messenger.

It is part of good manners of paying zakah to do so from the best of one's possessions. This is the most praiseworthy manner of doing it. And also to do it willingly, with pleasure, feeling good about it, grateful to those who deserve to receive it, never acting as if they are indebted to you.  To give away one's zakat while seeming to reproach for taking it annuls its reward. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
"I can forgive, but cannot forget,"is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note -- torn in two, and burnt up, so that it never can be shown against one. Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We should always thank Allah for giving us:

1. Enough happiness to keep us sweet.

2. Enough trials to keep us strong.

3. Enough sorrow to keep us human.

4. Enough hope to keep us happy.

5. Enough failure to keep us humble.

6. Enough success to keep us eager.

7. Enough friends to give us comfort.

8. Enough enthusiasm to make us look forward.

9. Enough wealth to meet our needs.

10. Enough determination to make each day a better day than the last.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 343

1. The righteous man entrusts his dependents to Allah and commits them to His safe keeping. As for the immoral hypocrite, his dependents must rely on his wealth  and whatever legacy he leaves for them from his real estate and his business.

2. The human is mixed, a blend of good and evil, so if the good predominates he is connected to the angels, and if the evil predominates he is linked to the devils.

3. Destiny (Qadar) smiles at those who are content with the divine judgment. It takes them by the hand and leads them to the King.

4. You must observe your duty (taqwa) to Allah and practice obedience to Him. Fear no one and pin your hopes on no one. Entrust all your needs to Allah, and look to Him to supply them.

5. Surrender yourselves before God in the manner of the devout saints; then God will hold you just as dearly as He did the devout who went before you. Therefore follow His command and bear every affliction with patience. Adhere consciously for this was the path chosen by the sages, the  path that will lead you to the ultimate freedom.

6. Do not lose hope  in adversity and complain that God singled you out for punishment, remitting others guilty of worse sins. Your present state could very well be His intent to elevate your spiritual station; or He could just be testing your faith. Every day that you persevere, you grow closer to perfection. Thus your present despair may be the beginning of an infinite blessing.

7. If you are destined for good fortune you will be blessed; if afflictions have been ordained, no matter where you abide they will seek you out. Submit therefore before the will of God; be grateful in well-being and endure adversity with fortitude that His light may radiate within your being.

8. Do not be confused with ignorance; turn toward and not away from Allah. Have faith in Him and refrain from transgression. For it is Allah and no other creature who can grant or take away life. He is the Infinite and will always reign Supreme. He bestows prosperity, and decrees poverty. Fear Him alone and none other; adhere to Him that you may prevail. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Life of this world -- finger dipped in ocean.....

Rasul Allah (Sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said: “By Allah, this world in comparison to the Hereafter is nothing but as though one of you dipped his finger in the sea. So ponder how much (of sea water), the finger returns with.” [Mishkaat]

The duration of the Day of Judgment is equal to 50,000 years. The sun will be brought overhead so that it is unbearably hot. People will be drenched in their sweat according to the amount of their sins. Some will be ankle deep in it, some will be in it up to their ears. In this condition, people will be standing for hundreds of earth years and not even a minute of that day will have gone by. Those who love Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) in this world will be under the shade of Allah’s Throne on the Day of Judgment – the only shade available that Day.

That is why Luqman Hakeem advised his son: “Serve this world according to the time you are going to spend in it, and work for the Akhirah according to the time you are going to spend in it.” After we have been standing in the same spot for thousands of years, our life on earth is going to look like nothing!

We need to make a ration of our time on earth compared to our time on the single Day of Judgment. If we live for a hundred years, it is 100: 50,000. The time to spend each day in the pursuit of dunya comes out to be less than 3 minutes! The rest of the day should be spent preparing for the Day of Judgment. If we were to make a ratio between the time to be spent in dunya compared to the time in Akhira, it would be 100 years: infinity. Any number compared to infinity becomes zero. Effectively, the significance of the duration of dunya becomes zero. 0 minutes, not even 3 minutes! How is it possible that we spend all our time preparing for the Akirah?

We can be in the state of worship (ibadah) every single moment of our lives just by living according to the Quran and the Sunnah. We need to evaluate what we do -- shun the things Allah has prohibited, and act upon the things we do in accordance with the teachings of our Deen. We need to realize that our lives are too precious to be wasted -- not trying to please our Creator/Sustainer every moment of our lives.

Our dunya can be spent working for the Akhirah -- at the same time that we fulfill our duties on earth just by fulfilling our roles and responsibilities according to the guidance of Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala). We need to ask ourselves, "Are we spending all our time on earth working for the Akhirah?"  May Allah grant us tawfeeq and the company of those who bring us closer to Himself, ameen.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Lesson of the day 1343

Ayahs of the day:
And do not desire what God has favored some of you with more than others. Men are to have a portion of what they have earned and women are to have a portion of what they have earned. And ask God for plenitude from divine grace; for God knows everything. [4: 32]

Hadith of the day:
It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three (days). [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
He who remembers Allah with all his heart will find that everything other than Allah will leave his heart. [Yahya bin Mu'adh]

Guidance of the day:
Do not prefer the life of this world over the next, for the next is better and more enduring  -- zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam and God has bound it to the ritual prayer in His Book. He who pays his zakah receives a great reward, a generous recompense. By so doing he will enjoy many benefits, both religious and worldly. There are in wealth afflictions, temptations, and problems. He who pays his zakah will be safe from these.

The possessions of he who pays his zakah remains safe from damage or ruin, it is protected and guarded by God, for it is full of barakah, but possessions for which zakah has not been paid will suffer damage, for it is evil and devoid of barakah. What good, what benefit can there be in wealth the barakah of which has been removed, leaving the evil and temptations? [Counsels of Religion by Imam al Haddad]

Food for thought:
The one who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. Nothing in life is to be feared -- it is only to be understood. Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt. Logic and cold reason are poor weapons to fight fear and distrust. Only faith and generosity can overcome them.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Glad tidings to the strangers!

Rasul Allah (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So,glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

Today, we have become so distant from Islam that the way in which the Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) did some things appears strange to us. Even people who welcome Islam in their lives, find Muslims behaving strangely, which on further investigation turns out to be the recommended behavior in Islam.So we should not shy from being perceived as strange.

Someone asked the Prophet (Sal Allahu alahi wa sallam), “Who are the strangers?” He replied, “The ones who break away from their people for the sake of Islam.” The Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) gave glad tidings to those who will be cut off from their people because they choose to follow Islam. Everybody else’s lifestyle will have become so contrary to Allah's wishes, that the person who follows Islam will appear strange and will be rejected.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 342

1. Give priority to the hereafter over this world, because you will then gain both of them.

2. Before you can preach to others, there is a necessary precondition to be met: you must be a Believer. It is not proper for the servant to summon his fellow creatures to the Lord of Truth before having personally attained Him.

3. Every single one of the people of Allah has a police force to protect his heart, they combat the lower self, the natural urges, the passions and highway robbers on the road to Allah.

4. You must soon return to the Lord of Truth, who will ask about your deeds. He created you for a purpose of affirming His Oneness.

5. He did not create you for the sake of this world, nor for the sake of the hereafter -- but rather He created you for Himself.

6. This world can neither satisfy your hunger nor quench your thirst. It is deceitful and cunning. Your tragedy is due to the attachment you pay to your lower self.

7. Your fascination with the superficial aspect of this world is due to the controlling influence of your lower self.

8. If you become detached from your lower self, your heart will speak to you. Then the inner most being will relate to you both. Then the Lord of Truth will befriend you.

9. Assign your outer being to the creation and your heart to the hereafter. As for the inner most being you must lodge it to the Lord of Truth, beyond both this world and the hereafter. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Monday, November 25, 2013

Who do we really love?

A man asked the Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), "When will the Hour be established O Allah's Apostle?" The Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) asked, "What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "I haven't prepared for it much of prayers or fast or alms, but I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, "You will be with those whom you love." [Bukhari]

Three important points to be noted are:

1. There is something more important than knowing when the Day of Judgement will occur. The more important thing is our preparation for that Day. What good or bad deeds have you sent forth for that Day? Each person's Judgement begins as soon as they die, and their grave becomes either a pit of fire or a garden of Paradise. Therefore, the most relevant thing to worry about is our daily deeds, as we never know when we will die and our Judgement commence.

2. The questioner in the hadith did the Fardh (required) prayers, fasts, and charity but not a whole lot extra. Some people do the opposite; they neglect the Fardh while doing a lot of the nafil (supererogatory). This is misguidance, because the greatest reward is for Fardh deeds and punishment is for neglecting the Fardh, not the nafil

3. Most sobering is that we will be with the people we love on the Day of Judgement. If we love the righteous, God fearing Believers, we will be with them and will follow them to Jannah. We can peek into our heart to see who it is we really love -- the proof of love is in appreciating and trying our best to do what they. This will tell us where we will be on the Day of Judgement.

May Almighty Allah fill our hearts with the love of His lovers, ameen. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lesson of the day 1342

Ayahs of the day:
If you avoid the worst of what you are forbidden, We will efface your evils from you and introduce you to noble behavior. [4: 31]

Hadith of the day:
None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
Every one in this world is a guest, and his wealth is but a loan. The guest must go sooner or later and the loan must be returned. [Ibn Mus'ud radi Allah anhu]

Guidance of the day:
Night vigils are among the most difficult things for the soul, especially for one to rise after having slept little. However, they become lighter to bear when one becomes accustomed to them and performs them regularly, when one has patience in enduring hardship and strives hard at the beginning. Then the door is opened to intimate comfort with God, the sweetness of communing with Him, and the pleasure of being alone with Him.

At this point one not only no longer finds night vigils too difficult, nor is inclined to surrender to indolence, but on the contrary remains ever eager for more. This happens to the virtuous among God's servants. So much so that one of them said, "If the people of the Gardens are in a state similar to ours during night, they are living pleasantly indeed." Another said, "The people of the night in their nights have more pleasure than the people of frivolity in their play." Yet another said, "Were it not for the night vigils and the company of the brothers in God, I would not have wished to remain in this world." There are innumerable well known anecdotes to this effect. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al Haddad]

Food for thought:
A happy family is but an earlier heaven. The family is one of the nature's masterpieces. Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Unique quality of a Believer -- Never gets tired of doing good

The Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A believer never gets satisfied doing good until he reaches Jannah.” [Tirmidhi]

According to this hadith, it is a quality of a Muslim that he or she is very concerned about acquiring virtues and doing good, and never tires of struggling for and living by virtuous deeds. This is because “a believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this. Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator of this statement of Abdullah ibn Masud’s) moved his hand over his nose in illustration.” [Sahih Bukhari]

High achieving students never stop studying because they never feel satisfied that what they know is sufficient. They don’t limit themselves to the bare minimum amount of knowledge needed to pass. One who does so is in danger of failing. Even when they are well prepared they feel that they could know more, or that they might make a mistake which they would have to compensate for with something else. Another reason that high achieving students keep on studying is because of their love for learning.

Similar is the case of a Muslim with good deeds. They love to please Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) and enter His Jannah. Additionally, they are afraid that what they have prepared of good deeds may not be sufficient so they keep doing what is pleasing to Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala). A borderline pass is not what they aim for, because one could easily make a mistake and end up failing. They aim for a high ‘A’. They do not underestimate the enormity of the sins that they commit and see their sins as a huge mountain looming over them. Thus, they are always trying to compensate for their shortcomings. In this struggle a Muslim reaches the end of his or her life. Such is the successful person for he achieves Jannah.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 341

1. If someone puts into practice the knowledge he has already acquired, Allah will endow him with knowledge of what he does not know.

2. If someone devotes himself sincerely to Allah for forty days, the fountains of wisdom will gush forth from his heart onto his tongue.

3. Conduct yourselves properly in this abode, so that your religion, your outward and inward may be kept safe and sound until you are made to stand before Him at the Resurrection.

4. Make no one but Him the object of your affection. Make friends with no one but Him. Open your feelings to no one but Him.

5. The believer must ask, as a way of calling himself to account and improving his behavior: "What did I intend by saying what I said? What did I intend by taking the step I took? What did I intend by eating what I ate? Why did I act as I did? Is this in accordance with the Book or Sunnah?"

6. If it should ever happen that your heart is tempted by the beauty and charm of this world, you must get away from it in a hurry, for it will no doubt chase after you.

7. Take from this world in proportion to your need, not for idle sport and to accumulate great wealth.

8. When Islam becomes real through submission, you will surrender your own self (nafs) to the hand of His destiny (qadar).

9. Wake up now, before death brings you to your senses! Be your own preacher and subdue your own self! Spread your wealth around! You are merely a traveler passing through.

10. Your true friend is he who warns you to take care (of your hereafter). [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Monday, November 11, 2013

First things first....

                                                              وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَىٰ
                               "And I hurried to You, my Lord, so that You'll be pleased."
                                                         [Taahaa, [20: 84]

A Qur'aan teacher always advised her students to live by this Ayah:

 She told them, "This Ayah is what moves me. When I hear the Adhaan and I'm occupied and in the middle of something, I remind myself of this Ayah and so I get up to pray."

"When my alarm goes off at 2am and I want to go back to sleep I remember: "And I hurried to You, my Lord, so you'll be pleased", and so I get up.

Her husband had the following arrangement with her: On his way home from work he'd call her so she'll get the food hot & ready, so he can come home and eat & sleep.

One day he asked her to make Mahshi (stuffed grape leaves) - very time consuming. You wrap many of them and put the pot of them on the stove to cook. She had 3 more to wrap then she had to put them on the stove to cook.

But the Adhaan came in. So she left the 3 remaining grape-leaves (which would have taken her 5 mins) and went to pray. Her husband kept calling & calling her phone but there was no answer.

He came home and found her in Sujood and food not ready. He saw there were only 3 grape-leaves left. So he got upset & said, "You could have just finished them & put the pot to cook then pray!"

No response.

He went to her to discover she had died in her Sujood!

SubhaanAllaah, had she waited like any of us to "finish whats in her hand" she would have died in the kitchen!  But a person dies upon what they lived on. And they are resurrected on what they died on.

When we keep our priorities straight, insha'Allah we will find amazing results --barakah in our time and much more.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Lesson of the day 1341

 Ayahs of the day:
O human kind, be conscious of your Lord, who created you from one soul, and created its mate from it, and propagated from the two, many men and women. And be conscious  of God, by whom you ask of each other; and of relationships; for God is watching you. [4: 1]

Hadith of the day:
Fear the supplication of the one who has been wronged, for there is no barrier between it an Allah. [Muslim]

Wise quote of the day:
Raise your words not your voice -- it is rain that grows flowers, not the thunder. [Mawlana Runi]

Guidance of the day:
It is part of keeping the prayer with care and propriety to be humble therein, presence of heart, reflect on what one is reciting, understand its meanings, feel submission and powerlessness before God when bowing or prostrating, have a heart full of magnitude and holiness of God when uttering the takbir and tasbih, as well as throughout every part of the prayer, avoid incidental thoughts and worldly preoccupations, and turn away from the ego's ruminations.

One should concentrate solely on the proper performance of the prayer, in the exact manner that God has prescribed, for prayer accompanied with distraction and lack of humility or presence is not good enough. Strive to be humble and present in your prayer. Reflect on what you recite of the words of your Lord. Do not be hasty in your recitation, for reflection cannot co-exist with haste. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al Haddad]

Food for thought:
The highest form of vanity is love of fame. (George Santayan)
Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character. (Harace Greeley)

Monday, November 04, 2013

Muharram Mubarak!!!!

                                      Opportunities for the Believers

Winter -- long nights and short days --  an opportunity to get closer to our Creator through our tahajjud at night and fasting during the day, inshaAllah. Let us get used to doing these (best possible things) when it is sooo easy, and afterwards inshaAllah they will still continue (during summer), because of the sweet taste we will develop for them and the result will be -- we will never want to quit.

These two things were always part of the routine  of our righteous predecessors -- whose footsteps if we follow we will inshaAllah succeed in this world and the next. May Allah Most High give us the resolve to do them and make them easy for us, and make this new year a very special experience for us, ameen.

Please read the worthwhile articles below on how to get started and the proven spiritual and health benefits of regularly fasting.



Friday, November 01, 2013

Diffused Congruence: Zahra Billoo of CAIR

For the second episode of the new podcast examining the many fascinating conversations within the American Muslim community, co-hosts Parvez Ahmed and Zaki Hasan are joined by Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), for an in-depth conversation on the goals, history, and criticisms of the venerable civil rights organization (it marks its second decade next year), and her own efforts to bridge interfaith understanding both before and after becoming a part of it. Download or stream the show below, as well as via iTunes. Send any questions and concerns to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

We are the Carpenter....

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah prepares a house in Paradise for every believer who offers twelve Raka'at of voluntary prayer everyday beyond that which is obligatory for him.” [Muslim]

Although this Hadith specifies voluntary prayer but our every act of obedience of Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) is an act of workmanship towards the properties we are preparing for ourselves in Jannah.

A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.

The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this would be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key to the carpenter and said "This is your house, my gift to you."

The carpenter was in shock! What a shame! If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have made it better than any other house that he had ever built!

Our situation can be compared to this carpenter. Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) has sent us to this world to build our homes in Paradise by obeying His commands. Now, we have to decide how well we wish to build the homes in which we will live forever.

Every work can be our last; every Salah can be our last; let's pray and work with this realization.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 340

1. If you are sensible, count yourself among the people of the fire (of Hell), because this will encourage you to improve your conduct. If you are in fact one of the people of the Garden (of Paradise), you will have demonstrated your gratitude to  Him.

2. Your ultimate destination is uncertain, so do not over estimate the purity of your spiritual state.

3. If you are still alive in the morning, do not take evening for granted, and if you are here when evening comes, do not take the next morning for granted.

4. Yesterday is past and gone with everything it contained, to be a witness for you or against you. As for tomorrow, you do not know whether you will survive till then or not. The proof of your heedlessness is your addiction to foolish company.

5. To deserve the company of your Lord, you must carry out His commandments, observe His prohibitions and comply with His wishes by accepting whatever has been decreed by Him.

6. In preserving the integrity of the heart there is indeed a job to keep one fully occupied.

7. One tiny fraction of the deeds of the heart is a thousand times better than all the deeds of the outer limbs.

8. How great is the loss of those who waste their time in the shops of greedy ambition, expectation and reputation! Your inner being will surely die, and your heart will turn dark.

9. If someone tries to worship Allah in a state of ignorance, he will do more harm than good. You must take along with you the lantern of your Lord's sacred law. By the light of law, you will enter into the domain of knowledge. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Monday, October 21, 2013

Time to experience the effects of gratitude....

And your Lord had made the proclamation, "If you are grateful, I will grant you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe indeed." (14: 7)

1.Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

2.Gratitude turns denial into acceptance.

3. Gratitude turns chaos into order.

4. Gratitude turns confusion into clarity.

5. Gratitude turns a meal into a feast.

6. Gratitude turns a house into a home.

7. Gratitude turns a strangers into a friend.

8. Gratitude turns problems into gifts -- we discover our capacity to see the solutions, and strength to solve our problems.

9. Gratitude turns failures into successes.

10. Gratitude turns unexpected to perfect timing.

11. Gratitude turns mistakes into important events -- lessons learned.

12. Gratitude turns an existence into real life -- full of obedience to our Creator.

13. Gratitude turns disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons.

14. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.

15. Gratitude makes things right -- turns negative energy into positive.

16. Gratitude is the easiest way to defeat our sworn enemy Iblis.

17. Gratitude protects us from going into despair -- which may lead to going into deep depression.

18. Gratitude is  susceptible to all situations and circumstances -- whether small or large. We can start with who we are and what we have right now.

When we say "thank You O' our Lord" long enough -- we will mean it and believe it -- that is when we will see the above mentioned effects of gratitude.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lesson of the day 1340

 Ayahs of the day:
O believers, be constant, excel in patience, and be firm. Be conscious of God, so that you  may thrive. [3: 200]

Hadith of the day:
When a man dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity ( sadaqa jariyah), beneficial knowledge, or a righteous son who will pray for him. [Muslim]

Wise quote of the day:
O son of Adam, you are but a few days, whenever a day is gone, part of you is gone too. [Hasan al Basri]

Guidance of the day:
The ritual prayer has an outward form and an inward reality. No prayer can be perfect or complete without both being performed properly.

As for the outward form, it is its standing up, recitation, bowing down, prostrating, and other such components of outward prayer. As for the inward reality, it is humility,  presence of heart, perfect sincerity, reflection, and understanding of the meanings of what is being recited, tasbih, and all other components of inward prayer.

The outward form of prayer thus belongs to the body and the senses, while inward belongs to the heart and the secret. The heart and secret are the location upon which falls the gaze of the Real (Al Haqq). [Counsels of Religion by Imam al Haddad]

Food for thought:
"Failures are divided into two classes -- those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." - John Charles Salak

"A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in the experience." - Elbert Hubbard

"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." - John Burroughs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eid Mubarak!!!!

In the Company of Prophets.

"To have just met Adam, I would give sixty cubits of gold,
Again and again, and over again, many times, manifold.

To have just met Enoch (Idris), I would give silk to cover the heavens,
Spread out, draped through the trees and rivers, covering all seven.

To have just met Noah, I would give the seas and oceans,
With their powerful waves and endless motion.

To have just met Hud, I would give the grandest mansions and towers,
Of the finest design, surrounded by gardens and daintiest flowers.

To have just met Saleh, I would give jets, horses, cars, and camels,
The fastest, gaudiest, priciest, with seats and saddles enameled.

To have just met Abraham, I would give my intelligence, sanity,
For surely, thereafter, I would lose to insanity.

To have just met Lot, I would give salt, sugar, and spices,
Cinnamon, cloves, saffron: so much to exceed all prices.

To have just met Ishmael, I would build mosques truly grand,
To cover every inch of this Earth’s land.

To have just met Isaac, I would sacrifice every ram,
Goat, horse, elephant, cow, and even clam.

To have just met Jacob (Yaqub), I would give my sight,
For certainly, thereafter, I could see much more light.

To have just met Joseph, I would give the sun, moon, and stars,
And along with them the cycles of Nisan to Adar.

To have just met Job (Ayub), I would suffer the most terrible illness,
Waiting for God’s salvation in endless quiet stillness.

To have just met Jethro [Shu’aib], I would give all to charity,
From the smallest particle to the priciest rarity.

To have just met Aaron (Harun), I would abandon speech,
Yet turn to God, and in silence beseech.

To have just met Moses, I would give the mountains,
With gushing geysers, and sparkling fountains.

To have just met David, I would give the elements,
From the toughest diamond to the thinnest filament.

To have just met Solomon, I would give every bird,
Peacocks, parrots, falcons, and penguins, furred.

To have just met Elijah [Ilyas], I would preach the Way of God,
Night and day, so we could discard all frauds.

To have just met Elisha [Alyasa’], I would give the most exceptional art,
So that I could, then, return with a purer heart.

To have just met Jonah (Yunus), I would give every pearl,
From the depths of the sea, worthy of queens and earls.

To have just met Ezekiel [Dhulkifl], I would give the newer inventions,
Given us by God, for none is from apprehension.

To have just met Zechariah, I would fast year round,
Even if around me, there were delicacies abound.

To have just met John, I would purify myself completely,
So as to present myself purely and neatly.

To have just met Jesus, I would suffer great persecution,
So that, by God’s mercy I would not suffer devolution.

To have just met Muhammad, I would give the heavens and earth and that therein,
He marked the end of Revelation and marked where the end did begin.

To have met just one prophet, would be this world’s greatest blessing,
They were the same message spreading, the same belief professing. "


Friday, October 11, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 339

1. Do not exploit your religion for worldly gain, only the hereafter can be gained through religion.

2. Death will come to you inevitably, so work to be ready for it.

3. Just two steps and you would reach the All Merciful. The lower self (nafs) and creatures, are the two things you need to step away from. Just two steps and you will reach your goal both in this world and the hereafter.

4. If you stand in the presence of any creature, trying to obtain what  he has at his disposal, Allah will despise you.

5. If someone devotes himself entirely to Allah Most High, He will provide him with everything he needs, and if a person devotes himself to this world, Allah will leave him in its care.

6. If you realized that this world was sure to leave you in the lurch, you would not ask so much of it.

7. When your inner (batin) becomes worthy to serve Allah, only then will this world become fit to serve you.

8. The wine of dunya is poison, it may taste sweet at first, but it soon turns bitter. Once it has filtered through your heart and you have come under its control, it converts into a  poison and kills you.

9. The best piece of advice is concerning your lower self, if you can control it, well and good, otherwise it will control you.

10. As a general rule, your closeness to the sons of this world keeps you far away from Allah Almighty. The right course for you is to concentrate your attention on the hereafter and on worshipful obedience, then you may be saved, while your allotted shares will come to you even if they are unwelcome. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Monday, October 07, 2013

The little girl and the plants.....

A little girl was enjoying the beauty of the garden in her home. Her father had a good collection of rare and exotic plants. He grew them with tender care.

The girl was fascinated by a plant full of fine and fragrant flowers. She went near the plant and enjoyed its beauty and the fragrance of its fine flowers. Suddenly she noted that the plant was growing in a heap of filth. She could not tolerate the presence of dirt at the bottom of the plant with such fantastic flowers.

She conceived a plan to clean the plant. She pulled the plant with all her might and uprooted it. She then carried it to the tap and washed the shoot and roots in running tap-water till all traces of dirt were washed away. She then placed the plant on a clean stone and went away, thinking that she had done a great deed indeed.

Later her father came to the garden and saw the uprooted plant. Its flowers and leaves had wilted and the plant had almost died in the scorching sun. His little daughter ran to him to exhibit her achievement. “I have cleaned it, Daddy”, she reported innocently. “It was placed in dirty soil. Now it is clean.”

The father showed her how her treatment had almost killed the plant. He told her that he had collected the filthy soil and placed it to cover the plant’s roots as it was the best medium to grow that plant. It could grow up healthily and produce fine flowers only if grown in filthy soil. She was sad that the plant had suffered and withered by her cleaning.

Pain, poverty and illness may cause agony in our life. Sight of successful people may make us depressed and envious. A qualified gardener mixes the right soil for each plant. In the same way Allah (our Sustainer, the Knower of what is best for us) provides each of us with the best environment required for our optimum spiritual growth. Outwardly it may appear to be unpleasant, and we may even complain to God about our plight , with just a little bit of patience we will certainly see the need of all the negative things in our lives -- only the best possible results will be seen, inshaAllah.

Allah Almighty says "It may be that you dislike something that is good for you, and it may be that you like something that is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. [2: 216]

Friday, October 04, 2013

Diffused Congruence Podcast: Usama Canon

Diffused Congruence is a new podcast celebrating the many facets of the American Muslim experience. For the first episode, hosts Parvez Ahmed and Zaki Hasan are joined by Usama Canon, founding director of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Ta'leef Collective, as he discusses his journey to Islam, the challenges facing young people in the 21st century, and what Ta'leef is all about. You can stream or download the episode below. Please send all questions and comments to DiffusedCongruence@gmail.com.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lesson of the day 1339

Ayahs of the day:
Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, are signs for people of understanding -- those who remember God while standing, sitting, and on their sides, contemplating the creation of the heavens and the earth -- "Our Lord! You did not create this in vain! Glory to You! Keep us, then, from the torment of the fire! [3: 190, 191]

Hadith of the day:
Allah loves the slave who is pious, independent of means and hidden from the people. [Muslim]

Wise quote of the day:
How can the laws of nature be ruptured for you so that miracles result, while you, for your part, have yet to rupture your bad habits. [Ibn Ataillah]

Guidance of the day:
Prayer (Salaat) is to religion what the head is to the body -- just as there can be no life for a headless person, so there can be no religion for he who does not pray. Thus state many hadiths. He who establishes the prayer in the manner prescribed by God and His Messenger, his prayer rebukes him from doing anything that may displease God.

It is ugly of a believer, engaged in a worldly pursuit when the time for the prayer comes, not to abandon it and hasten to perform the duty that God has prescribed for him. This can be caused only by excessive heedlessness, lack of knowledge of God, or weakness in one's desire for the hereafter. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
Our real enemies are the people who make us feel so good that we are slowly, but inexorably, pulled down into the quicksand of smugness and self-satisfaction. Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us -- avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Excellence of one's faith....

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “It is the excellence of a man’s faith that he gives up meaningless work.” [Tirmidhi, Ahmad]

We need to check all our activities and label them to see which belong to the category of meaningless. If the activity is not taking us towards a meaningful goal for any of the roles that arise from our ideology (e.g. Muslim, parent, son/daughter, self, breadwinner, da'ee, etc), then it would be to our advantage to replace it with more meaningful activity.

 Anything that does not bring us closer to Jannah and distance us from the Fire is meaningless in the long run, and will cause us to regret when it will be too late to realize why did we bother to waste your time with it.

Life is too precious to be wasted for worthless or meaningless matters. The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts life -- i.e. akhira. Life is like a cash register, in that every thought, every deed -- like every sale is registered and recorded.

Life is not lost by dying; rather life is lost minute by minute, day by day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 338

1. Seekers of this world are many, but the seekers of the hereafter are few, and few indeed are those who seek the Lord of Truth.

2. You are caught up with this world of yours by night and day, it uses you and cuts you off.

3. You aspire to the heights, but you are struck in the mud, you aspire to the Garden (Paradise), but you are not doing the work that must be done in order to gain entry to it.

4. When the heart transcends this world and becomes the guest of the nearness of the Lord of Truth, it refuses to accept any kind of dependency on any creature.

5. The remedy to susceptibility to temptation (waswasa) is making sure to eat what is pure and uncontaminated by anything unlawful or dubious. The second is to refuse to let the lower self have its way, whenever it tries to make you do something that is forbidden.

6. When someone no longer has any need of creatures, he clings to the door of the Lord of Truth, who then enriches him with His nearness. When He has enriched him with His nearness, he becomes too preoccupied with remembering Him and thanking Him to consider asking Him for anything.

7. Creatures are the most powerful weapon Satan has against you. The whole distraction resides in the abode of creatures and their dwelling place.

8. Beautify your heart, then your external appearance.

9. When Allah wishes you well, He wakes you up and makes you aware of your own faults. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Friday, September 20, 2013

Practical Parenting Advice

Spent a lovely afternoon getting parenting advice from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (a father of 3 children himself, masha'Allah) at ILM Tree . Some of the nuggets I managed to gather from him:

You're not responsible for your children's actions, only for what you teach them (or don't teach them).

Focus on teaching your children adab and akhlaq (manners and etiquette); parents don't emphasize these enough any more. Have adab with yourself before you set out to teach adab -- that means "pausing". Be willing to pause before reacting.

Adab is the capacity to have the appropriate action, attitude, and response in any given situation.

Oftentimes we do more damage by how we react to our children's mishaps. When we lose our temper with our kids, we're still "teaching" them; we're just not teaching them the appropriate reaction to life's adversities and challenges. Our kids are always learning from us.

Criticizing your children is a bid'ah (a blameworthy innovation); it's not from the Sunnah (way of the Prophet). Don't criticize; don't nag. Nagging your children about everything is a good way to guarantee that they don't listen to you about anything. Nagging never works.

Sometimes the correct response is to not say anything.

If you want to know how to raise teenagers, look at the life of Anas (radiAllahu anhu); he lived in the house of the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) from the age of 10 to 20. He broke things and made mistakes, but the Prophet (saw) never focused on whatever Allah had already destined; he never shamed Anas (rA) for his mistakes. He only focused on gentle teaching and gentle reminders. (i.e. "Did you take care of that task I asked you to do?" rather than "Why haven't you done what I asked you to do yet?! How many times do I have to remind you?!")

Children who have not yet attained the age of puberty are not held accountable by Allah (swt) even if they commit murder (God forbid), so who are we to freak out on our kids for "little things" like spilled milk?

When the Prophet (saw) saw another young sahabah (companion) eating greedily from all over a plate, he gently told him, "Say Allah's Name before eating; eat with your right hand; and eat from what is in front of you." He didn't criticize him for his (lack of) manners; he only told him the correct way to eat and then moved on.

We are not police officers or judges when it comes to our children; rather, we should be like shepherds -- we should try to gently guide them in the direction of where we want them to eventually end up.

Complaining about your children to friends is blameworthy; however, consulting with ppl who have wisdom and experience is praiseworthy. Don't talk to just anyone about you r concerns regarding your children.

When asked about getting kids to pray or to wear the hijab, he reminded us that Islam is not about do's and don'ts and a bunch of rules; it's about the heart. We need to teach kids to have hearts that are directed towards pleasing their Lord. They should desire on their own to live lives of taqwa (God-consciousness). We must model taqwa for them by how we live our own lives. Some children may need gentle nudges and reminders to do the right thing.

All virtues are virtuous; anything virtuous should be taught to and emphasized for BOTH genders (like modesty and lowering the gaze and gentleness). Boys should not be shamed for being shy. Shyness is praiseworthy.

Prayer should be a pleasant experience for the kids. He talked about his own children taking turns saying their personal duas aloud after prayer time; sometimes the kids would fall into hugging and wrestling on the prayer mat afterwards.

Teach kids about the Prophet Muhammad's (saw) life.

Remind yourself about what your parents did RIGHT.

Don't become self-satisfied and overly confident in your parenting.

Seek Allah's Pleasure through your own parenting, and facilitate for your children to seek Allah's Pleasure as well.

Aim high in both spiritual and worldly matters. Do dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and call on Allah for Help. Don't just ask that He make your kids into good Muslims; ask Him to make your kids from amongst the best and most virtuous of all Muslims ever. Trust in Him to answer your duas. Nothing is impossible for Allah.

Hina Mukhtar

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lesson of the day 1338

Ayahs of the day:
You will surely be tried in respect to your possessions and your selves. And you will surely hear much that is offensive from those whom scripture was given before you, and from idolaters. And if you are patient and conscientious, that is part of the order of things. [3 186]

Hadith of the day:
Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures -- i.e. death. [Tirmidhi]

Wise quote of the day:
Wisdom is the fruit of following the Sunnah. Chaos is the fruit of following one's ego. [Othman al-Jabri]

Guidance of the day:
Among the signs of he who is counted among those who are learned in the sciences of the hereafter are that he is neither coarse, nor rude, neither argumentative, nor quarrelsome, neither harsh, intolerant, nor of bad character, neither hypocritical, nor deceitful. He does not prefer rich people to poor, is not frequent visitor of rulers, and does not refrain from rebuking them when capable of it.

He is not avid for power, wealth, or position, on the contrary he dislikes them all, does not engage in any of them, nor accept any of them except when for a dire need or necessity. In sum, he should be everything that his knowledge enjoins him to be in the way of virtuous character and good works and should avoid every bad character or deed that his knowledge enjoins him to avoid. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
It is never wise to slip the hands of discipline. To be in good moral condition requires at least as much training as to be in good physical condition. We can never be the person we should be if pressure, tension, and discipline are taken out of our life.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Points worth reflecting....

Life is an echo
What we send out -- comes back to us,
What we sow -- we reap,
What we give -- we get,
What we see in others -- exists in us,
Remember, life is an echo -- it always comes back to us.

When something bad happens
We have three choices:
We can either let it define us,
Let it destroy us or,
Let it strengthen us.

How do we feel
If we are depressed -- we are living in the past,
If we are anxious -- we are living in the future,
If we are at peace -- we are living in the present.

We should never feel bad if people remember us at a time of their need -- we should feel privileged that they think of us like a candle in the darkness of their life.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 337

1. For its food and drink the heart is left with speaking confidentially (munajat) to Allah the Almighty, standing (Qiyam) and bowing (ruku) and making prostration (sujud) in His presence.

2. When will you isolate your heart from the creatures and seek the company of you Lord?

3. The heart of the son of Adam must continue to travel along the path of good  and evil, honor and humiliation, wealth and poverty, until he finally acknowledges that all blessings are due to Allah -- this means gratitude -- and gratitude is an act of obedience.

4. When someone really knows Allah, his tongue falls silent; he is free from want because of Him, and Him alone he is in need of.

5. A loser is he who is absent today. You do not take the first step and the second cannot be taken. The first is leaving the house of your worldly existence, and the second is His blessing.

6. Four things are conducive to soundness of the heart: The first is checking to make sure one has something fit to eat. The second is undisturbed worshipful obedience. The third is the preservation of honorable dignity. The fourth is giving up everything that distracts you from Allah.

7. The people (of the Lord), although their hearts are in a state of calm reliance on their Lord Almighty, their physical limbs and organs are actively engaged in dealing with the material means.

8. When the servant's heart is pure, he is on intimate terms with the angels, and they will often speak to him in private.

9. There is no way of avoiding the encounter with Allah Most High. Meet Him now! Leave the creatures and the lower self behind, then you will meet your Lord of Truth. Apart from remembrance of Him, all is vain. Apart from knowledge of Him, all is vain. All dealings with others apart from Him must end in failure. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Friday, September 06, 2013

Employment Opportunity for everyone....

Needed: A Sincere Believer

Job Type: Sincere, Striving Muslim as an Educator and Inspirer to him/her self and the world.

Certificate Required: Minimum B.S. (basic skills) in Forbearance, Patience, Gentleness, Veracity, Wisdom and Obedience to Allah and His Messenger.

Salary: Verily those who give (in charity and efforts), men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan - it shall be increased manifold to their credit! And theirs shall be an honorable, good reward (in this life and the next). Al-Qur'an 57:18

Full time: 24/7, Life long Commitment.

We need Honest, Sincere Believers in God who will dedicate their life to spreading the beautiful message of all that is good -- Islam.

We need people with.....
Eyes sparkling with kindness
Nose out of people's affairs
Mouth a messenger of honesty and a commander of good and forbidder of evil
Hands on honest grounds
Legs from walking to that which is not pure

When we become the embodiment of goodness, we have indeed lived the life of a true Believer!

Mothers & Daughters! You who hold the future of mankind in your arms, give us hope! The job is in demand, so raise for us competent beings who will work to bring success to mankind. O' Creator of all, make this possible. Ameen.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Lesson of the day 1337

Ayahs of the day:
Every being experiences death. And you will only be paid your due on the day of resurrection. And whoever is kept away from the fire and admitted to the Garden has gained salvation. And the life of this world is but the stuff of vain hopes. [3: 185]

Hadith of the day:
Beware of injustice, for injustice will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. [Muslim]

Wise quote of the day:
Wealth and poverty are both Divine gifts -- wealth is corrupted by forgetfulness, poverty by greed. [Al-Qushayri]

Guidance of the day:
Among the signs of he who is counted among those who are learned in the sciences of the hereafter are that he be humble, modest, fearful, anxious, in awe of God, detached from the world, content with a little of it, spending in charity whatever exceeds his needs, of good counsel to the servants of Allah All Mighty, solicitous to their welfare, compassionate, enjoining good and forbidding evil, swift to good works, constant in his devotions, guiding to good, inviting to right-guidance.

Also possessed of gravity and commanding respect, dignified, sedate, of good character, forbearing, gentle, affable with believers, neither arrogant nor overbearing, harboring no (worldly hopes) in people, not avid for worldly things, nor preferring this world to the hereafter, not given to amassing wealth, nor withholding it when it should rightfully be spent. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
Often times we miss the silver lining because we are expecting gold. If we expect perfection from people our whole life is a series of disappointments, grumblings and complaints. If, on the contrary, we pitch our expectations low, taking folks as the inefficient creatures -- which we all are, we are frequently surprised by having them perform better than we had hoped.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Triple Filter

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Keep away from ill-thinking/suspicions because ill-thinking is the greatest falsehood.” [Sahih Bukhari]

During the Abbasid period one of the scholars in Baghdad was greeted by an acquaintance who said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

Scholar: "Hold on a minute, before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

The Man: "Triple Filter Test?"

Scholar: "That's right, before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

The Man: "No, actually I just heard about it and ..."

Scholar: "All right, so you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

The Man: "No, on the contrary..."

Scholar: "So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"

The Man: "No, not really."

Scholar: "Well, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) has said: "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh (meat) of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful." [Qur'an 49:12]

Let's pass our intended speech through the triple filter test before we madly utter our every thought. And lets subject others to the triple filter test too before we hear any number of damaging things from them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pearls of Wisom 336

1. Your acquisitions have been placed at your disposal as a trial and a test.

2. When the heart becomes sound and draws close to the nearness of the Lord of Truth, He causes rivers of wisdom to flow through it.

3. The people of the Lord are not attached to this world. This world offers itself to them but they reject it.

4. The Lord of Truth makes things difficult for His servant, in order to bring him back to Himself and so that he will not attach himself to the creatures.

5. When He draws you near and puts you to the test, you must accept His tribulation with good grace, otherwise He will keep you fully occupied with your suffering.

6. The craving for worldly things makes you too disturbed to experience your nearness to Allah and interferes with your patient endurance of misfortune.

7. Anyone who does not fear Allah must have no common sense. A town without a police force will go to ruins. Flocks without shepherd would be devoured.

8. Religion is fear. A person who is afraid will be on the move at night; he does not stay put in one place, but keeps moving.

9. When you are ready to abstain from the things of this world, it will be easy for you to give them away.

10. The goal of the travels of the people (of the Lord) is nearness of the Lord of Truth. The journey of their hearts, the journey of their inner most being. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Letting go of the 'ifs' -- best possible advice

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Seek out that which benefits you, seek help from Allah and never say you can't do it. If any adversity comes to you do not say: 'If I had only acted in such-and-such a way, it would have been such-and-such;' but instead, say: 'Allah has decreed (it) and what He willed, He has done,' for verily, (the word) ‘if’ opens the way for the work of Satan." [Sahih Muslim]

Through this hadith Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) tells us to:

1. Seek the beneficial.
2. Ask Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) for help.
3. Be optimistic. Nothing is impossible if Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) wills it for us.
4. We shouldn't cry over the spilt milk.
5. We need to trust Allah (Subhanahu  wa Ta’ala) in what He has willed for us -- that there is only good in it, even though we may not understand it.

Time is like a river -- we cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow has passed and will never pass again. If there is something that will benefit us, we should make every effort and go after it and seek it out! There are no failures -- only lessons to be learned, for similar situations in the future.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lesson of the day 1336

Ayahs of the day:
Is the one who follows the pleasure of God like the one who brings wrath of God upon himself, and whose dwelling place is hell? What a miserable destination! [3:162]

Hadith of the day:
Allah says: 'Spend O son of Adam, and I will spend on you.' [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
One of your sins should seem weightier to you than a thousand of your virtues. [Imam Jafar Sadiq]

Guidance of the day:
Increasing one's knowledge of beneficial religious sciences, widening one's scope, and acquiring more than what is strictly necessary, is one of the best means to God and most meritorious things in His sight, provided that the acquisition of knowledge be purely for God and that one imposes upon oneself to practice what one knows and teach it to God's servants, again for God and the Last Abode.

This is the rank that comes next to the rank of Prophet hood. Every other rank belonging to believers is beneath it, for the scholars who practice what they know are the mediators between the Messengers (peace and blessings upon them) and the Muslims. The one who does not act upon his knowledge has no merit whatsoever. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
You never know what you can say or do that can change a person's whole day / whole life, that is why it is so important to say nothing but good, the power of a kind word or deed is indescribable.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Recipe for love....

Allah's Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "If Allah loves someone He calls (angel) Jibreel and says: 'I love so-and-so, so you love him.' Jibreel loves him and calls the other angels in Heaven to love that person. They love him, then his love is made upon earth, and he becomes loved.

And if Allah hates someone He calls Jibreel and says: 'I hate so-and-so, so you hate him.' Jibreel hates him and calls the angels in Heaven and says: Allah hates so-and-so, so you all hate him. They all hate him, and his hatred is made upon earth and he becomes hated." [Sahih Muslim]

People do all sorts of things to get others to love them. All the love you need is to be found in obeying Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Do actions sincerely to win Allah's love, and love from humans will also be yours!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 335

1. Sincere devotion (Ikhlas) also means forgetting to notice one's fellow creature (khalq), through paying constant attention to the Creator (khaliq).

2. Make frequent practice of remembering death and what lies beyond it, and the narrow bridge (sirat) and what lies beyond it.

3. Remember the hereafter with its bliss and torment.

4. Become detached from this world by concentrating on Allah Almighty, by purifying your hearts and inner most being, by struggling against your lower selves and waging war on the devil.

5. Be liberated for the sake of Allah (Exalted is He) and devote yourselves wholly to Him.

6. Every step you take is a step toward the grave. You are on a journey to the grave.

7. He who really knows Allah is too occupied with the One he knows to be concerned with acceptance or rejection, praise or blame.

8. When the servant is conscientiously devoted to Allah Almighty, He rewards him by converting ignorance into knowledge, remoteness into nearness, silence into spoken recognition, loneliness into intimate friendship, and darkness into light.

9. Supreme knowledge is fear of Allah, cheerful acceptance of the decree of Allah, and love for Allah.

10. The heart must eliminate the materiality of the lower self, so that you use it as a vehicle for your journey back to Allah. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

An Eid gift -- An inspiring award winning essay by a thirteen year old.....

                                                          Malcolm X

We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” —Malcolm X

Malcolm X, or El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, is one inspirational leader that I greatly admire, specifically because of the virtuous qualities and character traits he embodied. Of these in particular: his sincerity, passion, and ability to inspire. I believe that by modeling myself on these these principles, I can become a better person.

Malcolm X was sincere, and he showed this through his fearlessness and dedication. Malcolm’s social situation was perilous, as many white supremacist groups — often offshoots of the KKK and often not — doubtlessly had him high up on their target lists. Towards the end of his life, the Nation of Islam (NOI) also condemned him and made attempts on his life, once bombing his house and eventually succeeding in assassinating him shortly before his fortieth birthday.

Yet, despite his precarious situation, he was still prepared to speak out against the atrocities and injustices of the time. Considering that all leaders face some sort of opposition, whether small or big, I find that sincerity is the key to success. I learn from this that one should never allow threats to disrupt one’s cause. Always carry forth with the truth despite what anyone says or does. To be a leader, one must be sincere and steadfast.

His sincerity also shines forth in his ability to give up things he valued in pursuit of his goals and in his search for truth. The first major instance being when he gave up his lavish crime-based lifestyle to join the NOI. The second was when he left the NOI. He found two reasons to leave it: he realized that Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, did not abide by his own laws, and he made the Pilgrimage to Mecca where he said he found "blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers." The latter was starkly contrary to the Nation of Islam’s creed.

He then embraced Islam as taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), and returned from Mecca, this time with a message for all races. In this second instance, he made an additional enemy, the NOI, who proved to be the most dangerous. His capacity to readily jettison what he valued, in search of truth and higher principles, was an indelible mark of his sincerity. I understand from this that it is important not to get caught up in small things. One must always have the bigger picture in view. If one finds truth, one should not be caught up in one’s previous ways of thinking, or ways of doing things. To be a leader, one must embrace the truth whenever one finds it.

Malcolm was uneducated. After he was told by his favorite teacher that his dream of becoming a lawyer was “no realistic goal for a negro,” he dropped out of school. He was only fifteen years old at the time, and he soon adopted a life of crime. He moved to Boston where he became wealthy off of its underground market. He was eventually charged with theft and jailed.

It was in jail that he committed to reforming himself and making up for what he had missed in school. He read many of the books in the prison libraries, including the dictionary from beginning to end. It was during this time that his brother, Reginald, introduced him to the Nation of Islam. This accelerated self-education later became one of his most valuable assets in his numerous and spectacular debates.

Despite what his teacher had said, Malcolm X became one of the finest “lawyers” in history. I find his speeches and debates deeply inspirational, awe-inspiring, and a testament to his tenacity. Also, I find that his passion and fervor for his mission allowed him to accomplish and learn at an amazing pace.

Malcolm X underwent many trials — tests of his beliefs, tests of his determination and courage, tests of overcoming his ego — but he persevered and emerged triumphant over them. It is a testament to an underlying theme in one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Malcolm X is a name that is known throughout the world. He did not hold to the ideas that benefited his ego, rather he held to the principles in which he found truth. After making the Hajj, he readily jettisoned the idea that all white men were devils, based on the racial harmony he saw in Mecca. He found that race was unimportant, and that all that truly mattered was what a person held in his heart.

When he renounced the Nation of Islam, he became even more at risk, and could have lost much of the power he had gained as its spokesman. He said, "Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action," and truly did he remain powerful.

His ability to recognize truth when he saw it and his ability to prevent his ego from hindering him in its pursuit are virtues seldom found in leaders today. He fought against one of the most brutal atrocities in history. He once said, "I am not educated, nor am I an expert in any particular field... but I am sincere and my sincerity is my credential," and, indeed, his sincerity led him to be great. It is my hope and prayer that, God willing, I am able to cultivate in myself the sincerity and dedication Malcolm X so readily embodied.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

Lesson of the day 1335

Ayahs of the day:
If God helps you, there is no one who can overcome you; and if God abandons you, who is there that can help you after that? So let the believers trust in God. [3: 160]

Hadith of the day:
Among the portents of the Hour are that knowledge will be taken away, ignorance will prevail, alcohol will be drunk and zina will become widespread. [Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
Seek to keep the company of those who illumine one's inward and outward states with the light of their intimacy with the Divine. [Shaykh Abul Abbas]

Guidance of the day:
The likeness of the ignorant person who neglects seeking obligatory knowledge is that of a slave to whom his master sends a letter, commanding him to do certain things and  refrain from other things. The slave while able to read the letter, neglects to even look at it, let alone what it contains. And the likeness of the scholar who neglects to put into practice what he knows is that of another slave who reads his master's letter, learns what it contains, then obeys none of the commands nor refrain from any of the prohibitions he finds in the letter.

Is there any worse neglect than that of these two slaves with their master? Can they find justification before him? Is anyone more deserving of severe punishment for his impudence and disrespect for his master than they? Beware of being one of those two inauspicious men -- the ignorant who does not learn, or the learned who does not act upon his knowledge. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage -- they strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.  The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Ramadan -- let us resolve to bring the true jihad in our lives......

1. Jihad is the struggle to remove all those things from one's life that incur Allah's displeasure, and to replace them with those things that will gain His acceptance.

2. Jihad is the struggle against one's inner self and it's bestial inclinations. It is this struggle, in fact, which the Prophet of Islam (Allah's blessings and peace upon him) dubbed "the greater jihad."

3. Jihad is the struggles against the villains in our hearts which include: arrogance, avarice, pettiness, selfishness, jealousy, greed, self-delusions, and vain passions.

4. Jihad is the struggle to replace the villains in our hearts with goodly traits, such as mercy, honor, humbleness, generosity, gentleness, dignity, love, and other qualities that are aptly described as "heavenly."

5. Jihad is the struggle to fulfill the rights and responsibilities of one's family as well as those who are close, such as neighbors and relatives, to make sure that one does not harm them either with his hand or tongue.

6. Jihad is the struggle to forgive the wrongs of others, to overlook their misgivings, and hide their faults.

7. Jihad is the struggle to help the needy, the orphan, the widow, and the homeless by sacrificing our wealth.

8. Jihad is to show love and gentleness to our young ones, and respect and dignity to our elders.

9. Jihad is to protect the honor and property of every single member of society, whether man or woman.

10. Jihad is the struggle to speak out against injustice, to help the victims of oppressions, to ensure that everyone is given just measure, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion.

11. Jihad is to submit our will to Our Creator, thereby achieving peace and unity with the rest of the cosmos in celebrating His Majesty and Glory.

12. Jihad is ultimately that struggle in which we are willing to give our lives in the name of Allah so that these ideals will endure and bring peace and justice to countless others, thus truly bringing the harmony of the heavens down the earth.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 334

1. Once a person said to a dervish, "All I ask for is a small dwelling in Paradise."
 The dervish replied, "If you displayed the same contentment with what you already have in this world, you would have found ultimate bliss."

2. Do not strut proudly on account of your good deeds. Do not let pride waylay you. When you deem yourself holier than others, know that you have fallen into grave error because in your pride you believed yourself equal to God.

3. In separation from God you have become arrogant; pay heed before His scourge strikes you down. Do not exult because of your good fortune. Over and again God admonishes you with the examples of the transgressors before you. If you really want to enjoy the limitless bounty of Allah, surrender yourselves before His will and endure all afflictions with fortitude.

4. O my people prove the sincerity of your respect for the Qur'an by putting its teachings into practice, not by arguing about it.

5. Whenever hearts abound in knowledge, they draw nearer to their Lord (Almighty and Glorious), whenever a heart contains love of this world, it is screened from Allah.

6. Obedient service to Allah (Almighty and Glorious) is performed by the heart, not the outer mold.

7. Devotion to one's religious duty (taqwa) is the foundation of all that is good, it is a source of worldly benefit, a source of wisdom and all kinds of knowledge, of purity of heart and many secrets.

8. The heart is enlivened only when it receives the seed of the affirmation of oneness from a living heart. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Interview With Believuh Group

Dear All,

Assalamu alaikum wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuhu,

may our beloved Almighty Allah continue to shower us with the special Ramadan blessings -- by accepting our ibadahs and answering all our duas, ameen.

Please follow this link to read an interview I conducted recently with Believuh Group about myself and my background. Insha-Allah, I hope you'll find it beneficial and worthwhile.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ramadan Resolutions.....

Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him, should look to what he has prepared for Allah.

What a beautiful, simple formula to calculate our future with!  We can match our life against the Qur'an and the Sunnah to know who we are, and to look at what we have set aside for Allah (Subhana wa Ta’ala), and to know what Allah the Almighty and Majestic has prepared for us.

It is imperative that we take our soul to account and treat its deficiencies. Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said, "Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account, weigh your deeds before they are weighed."

Hasan al Basri (rahimahu Allah) said "A believer will always be critical of himself in his food, his drink and his speech. A sinner will not criticize himself." He also said "A believer is a guardian over himself: he takes account of himself for Allah. Those who take account of themselves in this world will be audited lightly in the Hereafter. Those who take this issue lightly will find their auditing very difficult."

When a Muslim takes account of his actions, he is able to realize the right of Allah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) over him. Ibn al-Qayyim said, "A benefit of understanding Allah's right over the servant is that it breeds condemnation of oneself and delivers one from showing off and vanity. It also opens the door of humbleness in front of Allah and closes the doors of conceit. It allows one to realize that salvation is only through Allah's grace and mercy."

It is Allah's right that He should be obeyed and not disobeyed; that He should be remembered and not forgotten; and that He should be shown gratitude and not shown ingratitude. Whoever thinks over these things will know with certainty that he cannot fulfill these conditions and, thus, has to resort to Allah's mercy. Such a person will be convinced that he cannot rely on his actions, lest he be destroyed.

We think about our rights over Allah and not about His rights over us. This is how we are detached from Allah and deprived of the desire to meet Him. This is the epitome of our ignorance of our Lord and of ourselves.

If we can make our Ramadan resolution this year to follow all the above mentioned advice -- this will be the best possible Ramadan so far, inshaAllah.

Three things of life once gone never come back -- time, words, and opportunity. Let us also make the resolution to not waste them.

With Allah's help nothing is difficult, without His help nothing is easy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lesson of the day 1334

Ayahs of the day:
And if you are killed for the sake of God, or die, surely forgiveness from God and mercy are better than what others amass. And if you die, or are killed, it is to God that you are gathered. [3: 157,158]

Hadith of the day:
Charity does not decrease wealth. No one forgives, but Allah increases him in honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah but Allah raises him in status. [Muslim]

Wise quote of the day:
What anxiety is there for the one who is detached from the world; and what need for excuses is there for the one who remains silent? [Mansur Ammar]

Guidance of the day:
The amount of knowledge that is obligatory upon all Muslims is not much. The seeker of knowledge does not have to endure hardship, because it is so easy, and because God Exalted is He -- will help and render things even easier for him should his intention be upright. An immense reward will be his.

The Prophet -- may God's blessings and peace be upon him -- said, "He who takes a path leading to acquiring knowledge, God will ease his path to the Garden, and also -- the angels lay down their wings for the seeker of knowledge." There is no excuse for an ignorant person to neglect acquiring knowledge nor an excuse for a scholar to neglect what he knows. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al-Haddad]

Food for thought:
Defeat is not the worst of failure -- not to have tried is the true failure. Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong. Those who are prepared to die for any cause are seldom defeated. Defeat is nothing but education, nothing but the first step to something better.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ramadan Mubarak!!!

A Ramadan Checklist
1. Ask Allah to enable you to reach Ramadan and to get the most out of it as the Salaf used to do.

2. Intend to fast every day with Iman and pure intention seeking the reward from Allah alone.
The Prophet peace be upon him said, "Whoever fasts in Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah) his past sins will be forgiven". (Bukhari)

3. Read the whole Qur'an at least once as the Prophet peace be upon him did.
4. Have Suhoor as the Prophet peace be upon him said, "Have Suhoor because it is blessed".

5. Make Du'a during the fast because the Prophet peace be upon him said that three people's supplication is not rejected one of them is the fasting person.
Ask for the good of this life and the next for yourself, your family and Muslims in general.

6. Make Dua before opening the fast. The Prophet peace be upon him said, "The fasting person has a supplication that is answered when he opens his fast".

7. Give Sadaqah and be good to people. The Prophet peace be upon him was the most generous of people and he was most generous in Ramadan.

8. Avoid anything that diminishes the fast such as, lying, backbiting, cheating, getting angry. The Prophet peace be upon him said "Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink." [Bukhari]

9. Do not eat too much after Iftar.

10. Ask for forgiveness since this is the month Allah frees people from the fire.

11. Pray At-Tarawih with Khushoo. If you pray in the Masjid complete the Salah with the Imam. If you pray at home prolong the Salah as long as you can.
The Prophet peace be upon him said, "Whoever prays during Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah) his past sins will be forgiven".

12. Feed the poor, provide them with their Iftar. 
The Prophet peace be upon him said, "Whoever gives Iftar to someone fasting he will have the same reward without decreasing the reward of the person fasting".

13. Try harder the last ten nights especially the odd nights. The Prophet would strive in Ramadan more than he would in any other month and more so in the last ten days.

14. Say this Dua in the nights that Laitul-Qadr is likely to fall on: Allhumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul-afwa fa'fu anni (O Allah you are Forgiving and love forgiveness so forgive me).

15. Ask Allah to accept all your good actions during this month.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 333

1. Do not deem yourself prudent, for as long as you are attached to the world, you have neither prudence nor sense. Turn to God and seek forgiveness if you wish to prevail.

2.Listen to your heart and not your ego. Your ego prompts you to boast of vain assertions to obtain the glory of this world. Turn away from vanity and seek Him in the recesses of your heart and soul. Show patience in adversity and be content in His will that you may attain proximity to God.

3. Observe how the life of this world deceives those around you. It lures into traps of vanity, wealth, and fame, and exalts them above others. This splendor blinds them, and they are lost forever in illusion. But then in one instant, life deals the blow of death, and all is gone, and with the Beguiler it stands laughing at their sad end. So overcome your egos that you may be saved from the snares that devoured kings and paupers alike.

4. Liberate yourself from the fetters of the ego and surrender yourself before God. Let the Lord be your shepherd, allow Him to attend to all your cares, and do not allow temptations to entice you. Aspirations of this world are the cause of all concern. Aspire to God and obtain freedom.

5. Forgive us, our Lord. Overlook our transgressions and remit from us our evil deeds. Condemn us not for our corruption; save us from public scorn. O Merciful, You Yourself decreed, "I alone and no other accept repentance of My servants and remit from them their evil deeds." So absolve us of our sins, O Benevolent Lord.

6. Sovereigns and slaves, oppressors and mediators, hypocrites and truthful, this world is passing, but the hereafter infinite. Strive therefore for the Lord alone. Attain to piety and purify your hearts. Save yourselves; do not be held back from divine mercy.

7.The path of adoration may render the body weak and fill the heart with sorrow, but all sorrow departs the instant He touches the heart, awakening it to an abounding freedom. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani]

Monday, July 01, 2013

Three lasting good deeds.....

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (contineous charity); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” [Sahih Muslim]

“His deeds come to an end” means that he/she is not able to perform any deeds any more and therefore does not receive reward for actions anymore. But there are three categories of actions for which he/she can receive reward even after death.

First -- Sadaqah Jariyah: This is any good deed done from which people continue to benefit despite the demise of the person who originated it. For example, the establishment of a madrassa or masjid from which people are rightly guided will be sadaqah jariya for the person who established it. Having a well dug or a shade or fruit tree planted will also accrue good deeds for a person, as long as the well or tree benefits people.

Second, “knowledge which is beneficial” means knowledge imparted verbally or by any other means through which people become better Muslims. As long as people benefit from this knowledge, the teacher will receive reward for it.

A third source of reward is having virtuous descendants. Dedicating oneself to bringing up good Muslim children and then making dua for them to be among the righteous is the best source of sadaqa jariya, so that after a person's death they continue to pray for him or her. The prayer of righteous children in favor of parents is very useful.

Needless to say all such deeds have to be done with ikhlas (sincerity) in seeking the pleasure of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Only when they are done to earn Allah’s pleasure will they be rewarded by Him. If they are done for fame, monetary gain, or any other worldly benefit, then the outcome one achieves in this world is all that they will get for it.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lesson of the day 1333

Ayahs of the day:
Believers, if you obeyed those who scoff, they would turn you back on your heels; and you would turn back losers. But God is your Protector; and God is the best of helpers. [3: 149,150]

Hadith of the day:
The best of the deeds in Islam are -- feeding others and giving the greeting of salam to those who you know and those whom you do not know. [ Bukhari]

Wise quote of the day:
Fear of God is knowledge enough; to be pleased with one's knowledge is ignorance enough. [Abdul Hakim Murad]

Guidance of the day:
The kind of ignorance that is unconditionally blameworthy is ignorance of that which God has made obligatory to know. So beware -- from this ignorance. Leave the shadows of your ignorance for the lights of knowledge. It is not obligatory upon you to acquire much knowledge, but only the amount that you cannot do without.

You must also teach your wife, children,  and anyone else you are responsible for. If you are incapable of teaching them, you should enjoin upon them to go to the scholars from whom they can learn the obligatory amount of knowledge. Otherwise both you and they will have burdened yourselves with wrongdoing. This applies to those of them who have reached the age of legal responsibility. [Counsels of Religion by Imam al_Haddad]

Food for thought:
It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do. When possible make the decisions now, even if action is in the future. A renewed decision usually is better than one reached at the last moment. The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Our Ship Afloat....

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “By Allah, I am not afraid that you will be poor, but I fear that worldly wealth will be bestowed upon you as it was bestowed upon those who lived before you. So you will compete among yourselves for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them." [Bukhari]

Wealth is like water and human beings are like ships. Ships reach their destinations by using water to cover distances. However, if water goes inside the ship, then it causes the ship to sink. Similarly, if we use wealth to earn Allah’s pleasure and bring us closer to Jannah, there is nothing like it. But if the love of wealth enters our hearts, that is when  it destroys us.

After we begin to love wealth then we compete with each other for it. Jealousy and ill-will enter our lives. After that it ceases to matter how the wealth is earned -- by halal means or haram, and preparing for the Hereafter is a forgotten thing, the wealth is not used to to earn Jannat. Thus, the destruction follows.

The attitude and approach toward life must be proper. We should not sacrifice the Hereafter which is permanent and real,  for this worldly life which is transitory and illusionary. As Hasan al-Basri so rightly and eloquently stated, "What is this world but a dream that a sleeper sees -- he delights in it for a few moments, and then wakes up to face reality."

The “reality” is the accountability in the Hereafter. Along these same lines, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) advised us that we should have an indifference towards the abode of delusions. Indeed, disconnecting one’s heart from the life of this world, as Imam Ghazali has pointed out, is not fully achieved unless one also possesses a balanced character and a sound and upright heart.

Another prophetic tradition reminds us, “Good character and morals transform errors as water melts ice, while bad character alters good deeds as vinegar cuts honey.” Therefore, when we err, we shouldn't’ lose sight of the fact that every mistake is an opportunity and a signal that it is time to grow in our relationship with Allah. And as we turn to Him walking, He turns to us rushing. May Allah help us experience this spiritual awakening and enable us to beautify our hearts and lives with His Divine Light, ameen.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom 332

1. Worship is like a work of art mastered only by the sincere, the learned scholars who practice what they know, who live and walk among people like everyone else, but in their hearts they seek freedom in the serenity of the wilderness. Because of this yearning they continue to grow until their spirits soar and become united with the numinous. About such God says, "Indeed they are finest of human beings, cherished in Us."

2. A person once asked the Prophet Muhammad to pray for him. So the Prophet implored, "O Allah, kindle within his heart the light of faith, and afford him with the courage to avert earthly wiles and submit himself before Your will." When a person turns away from the world, he adheres to God, and God lavishes incredible bounty on him.

3. Until the conviction in God is completely embedded in your heart, focus your attention on worldly responsibilities. When faith reaches fruition, turn toward Him in complete surrender, knowing that He it is who bestows all bounty, and He it is who takes away all.

4. Persevere, have faith in His benevolence. Through afflictions God only tests your faith; He is completely aware of your condition. Have patience and wait for the divine decree. Do not become like the foolish laborer who is removed from the king's palace for demanding his wages ahead of time.

5. Do not become the candle that gives light to others but itself remains in darkness. Do not follow the desires of your lower self. Should the Lord wish, He Himself will pick you out and prompt you to be a source of guidance.  He Himself shall endow you with the inner strength to endure the changes of fortune and will instill within you infinite wisdom. [Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani]