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