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.