DAY 1 : 5 Picture 5 Stories challenge

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Asalaam Aleykum Homosapiens,

I see you continue to roam this earth by Allah’s grace, ok first off, that’s not me typing as the dog in the picture. Second, read that line again….I’ll wait…. Why? because reasons… hahaha, seriously though, I have been putting off starting this challenge for so long because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to complete it or write anything worth reading, but heck, it wouldn’t be the first time I wrote something not worth reading, but people read it anyway, thank you all for your generous support.

I figure at some point I should address the elephant in the room, kheemm! I mean the dog in the picture, well…it all began when I was born, fast forward to today I found it when I googled random pictures…ta daaaa… the End. 5 days 5 pictures challenge, you guys have now arrived at random central. If you are looking for a point up until this point, I applaud you, there is no point. But let’s assume for arguments sake that there is, let me indulge you for a minute, so what do we have here, a picture of a dog looking into a camera and it’s written “watcha doin?”.

Ok, so what are we doing? really? Like right now in our lives, what are we doing and why? Do we actually know what we are doing?. It’s pretty easy to fall into routine and mistake being busy with being productive, or mistake urgency for importance. We live in a hectic world, if your feet aren’t planted firmly into the ground, the next wave will sweep you off and if your philosophical skills can turn a picture of a dog into a discussion about the purpose of life, well, still doesn’t mean much. hahaha. Okayyy So I will stop here. If you got this far inna lillahi wa inallah-e-raji’oon,

Thank you for your time, and see you tomorrow InshaAllah.

Love you all for the sake of Allah

-ABD

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MUSLIM.

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Asalaam Aleykum Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to begin this post by first apologizing for the long pause and reassuring you that I have no intention of abandoning this blog. (Sounds like I am reading that from a prompter) …I was experiencing some technical difficulties, to make up for the long pause there I will try to make this post a little bit longer this time, but just as interesting I hope.

So here is the story or so the story goes (Pick one);

In the beginning I thought hard and long about what the title of this post should be, for about a full ten minutes, ok, maybe 2 minutes, but it was hard and long anyway. At first it was “practicing Muslim” then “good Muslim” then “something (insert word here) Muslim” and I realized…why the discrimination?

Isn’t there a criterion already set for who a Muslim is? Hence the million dollar question was stumbled upon, which is; who is a Muslim? (yes! the million dollars is just hypothetical for those who already know the answer to that question, I didn’t get it either.)

Ok, so I’m guessing everyone knows that to become a Muslim all one has to do is say the testimony of faith which is “Ash hadu an laa ilaaha illallaah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan rasool-ullaah (I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)”

But, there is a little more to that, because to be Muslims means we follow the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of Iman(faith), which are as follows; {In order not to make this post too long I will not elaborate too much on the obvious.}

Pillars of Islam

1) Testimony of faith

2) Five daily prayer

3) The Zakat

4) Fasting in Ramadan

5) Pilgrimage (Hajj)

Ta daaaa, moving on to Pillars of faith..

Pillars of faith

1.) Belief in ALLAH: means believing firmly in His existence, Lordship and Divinity, and in His names and attributes.

2.) Belief in Allah’s Angels: This is to believe that the angels exist. No one knows their exact number except Him (Allah). He created them to worship Him.

3.) Belief in Allah’s Books: It is to believe that Allah revealed Divine Books to His Messengers in order for them to convey to mankind. These Books contained nothing but the truth at the time of revelation. All these Books called people to the Oneness of Allah, and that He is the Creator, Proprietor and Owner, and to Him belong the Beautiful Names and Attributes. Some of these Books are as follows:

  • The Torah: The Torah is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet Moses .
  • The Zaboor (Psalms): The Zaboor is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet David .
  • The Injeel (Gospel): The Injeel is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet Jesus .
  • The Noble Quran: One must believe that the Quran is the Speech of Allah which Angel Gabriel brought to Muhammad and that it is the last of the Divine Books which abrogated all previous Books.

4.) Belief in the Messengers of Allah: It is to believe that Allah chose the finest amongst mankind to be Messengers whom He sent to His creation with specific legislations; to worship and obey Him, and to establish His religion and His Tawheed (oneness). Allah ordered His Messengers to convey the Message to people, so that they would not have any proof against Him after He sent them.

Allah says:

(And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad] except men to whom We revealed [the message] so ask the people of the message [i.e., former scriptures] if you do not know. ) (21:7)

5.) Belief in the Last Day: It is to believe that the life of this world will come to an end. Allah says:

(Everyone upon it [i.e., the earth] will perish. And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.) (55:26-27)

6.) Belief in Qada and Qadar (Predestination): It is to believe that Allah knew everything before it came into being, and what will happen to it afterwards. He then brought them into existence, all in accordance to His Knowledge and Measure.

Now one might ask, what is the lesson here?  I mean apart from a reminder of the basics, what is this reminder for in this context? And it would be a legitimate question. This all goes back to when I heard and became part of a conversation about “modern” Muslims, fundamentalist Muslims, extremist Muslims, and all other kinds of Muslims. Somewhere along the road I asked myself, who is a Muslim? And here we are.

So now addressing just a few issues, I learnt on the way here;

Number one:

 People who choose what they want in religion and discard what they don’t want, aren’t believers. (AAHHh(shock) did he just say that? Who does he think he is?) Well don’t take my word for it, here is a verse from the Quran and it says…

Surah An-Nisa 4:150 – 152

“Indeed, those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and wish to discriminate between Allah and His messengers and say, “We believe in some and disbelieve in others,” and wish to adopt a way in between – Those are the disbelievers, truly. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment. But they who believe in Allah and His messengers and do not discriminate between any of them – to those He is going to give their rewards. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”

So, there is no such thing as “modern” Muslims, in that sense, there are just Muslims.

Number two:

What the testimony of faith implies; in the Quran it is mentioned:

Surah Al-Ahzab 33:36

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.”

Nuff said.

Number three:

That we are all going to be tested, saying that we are Muslims doesn’t mean the test has ended – Verse is self explanatory:

Surah Al Ankabut 29:2 – 3

“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?”

But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.”

Number four:

In this life of tests, we will slip and fall, and it is expected but we should always return to Allah and repent and avoid the major sins.

Surah An-Nisa 4:31

“If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your lesser sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise].”

Number five:

Remember that only the disbelievers lose hope in the Mercy of Allah, so  we should never ever ever lose hope.

Surah Yusuf 12:87

“O my sons, go and find out about Joseph and his brother and despair not of mercy from Allah . Indeed, no one despairs of mercy from Allah except the disbelieving people.”

And

Surah Az-Zumar 39:53

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”

Number six:

Shall we decide to abandon Islam, by picking what we want from it and leaving others or by picking this world over it, then…( I would say drum rolls please, but I shouldn’t crack jokes at this point… ahh look at that, I just did – lighten up a bit will ya?, but seriously tho…)

Surah Al-Maidah 5:54

“O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”

So I guess I should end this with this following verse:

Number 7:

Being guided once doesn’t necessarily mean being guided forever, we need to be grateful for being guided and ask to stay guided.

Surah Al-Imran 3:8

“[Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.”

Amen.

That’s all folks, hope you enjoyed it.

I love you all for the sake of Allah.

  • ABD

FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH

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Hey, guess who’s back…ok I never really left, just been silent, busy as usual…( Not sure why I feel the need to explain that every time but…ahhh when it feels right, what can you do?) anyway without further ado…

Opening with the following Hadith seems fitting:

It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu’minin, Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, say: “Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

It might not seem obvious but that right there is the formula to happiness. Honestly doing things for the sake of Allah is the secret to happiness… Seriously, no joke, but it’s no secret that, it’s not easy at all!

I found out that stories deliver the message better than explanations, so here is a little background story to how I came up with this topic.

So I had planned to do something for a friend and when I told the person my plan, the response was close to “good for you”.  Yea it didn’t quite make sense for a few seconds and I wasn’t actually upset but after thinking about it, I felt disappointed that the person didn’t recognize that I have very little to benefit from doing it. Either way I still wanted to do it for the person… but it was still stuck in my head, and thinking a little more I realized I shouldn’t even have been disappointed. I should be doing it solely for the sake of Allah and if my only intention was that I shouldn’t be disappointed in anyway, because it wouldn’t matter whether the person appreciated it or not.  What I thought I was doing “for them” isn’t really “for them” it’s for me (if we are going to be totally honest that is.)

What I really wanted was to be rewarded by the only one who can reward me for my deeds beyond my expectations and that is Allah. Am I making sense? I felt like I might have lost some of you on the way here… so starting from the top.. So I had planned to do something…(Gotchaaa!) ok you probably saw that one coming… yea moving on

This wasn’t the only incident when I realized doing things for the Sake of Allah makes us happier, because we don’t expect anything from anyone else. I mean we might have heard this quote before “the secret to happiness is low expectations” , my take on it is; it is half true half false. Its half true in the sense that lowering your expectations on what you get from people is more likely to keep you away from disappointment, its half false because, we can never really have low expectations, so instead lets have the highest expectations for what we do, from Allah, and trust me, still our highest expectations still will not meet this

As Allah mentions in the Quran

Surah As-Sajdah 32:17

“And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.”

Well this post barely grazes the depth of doing things for the sake of Allah, but our attention span usually doesn’t go two pages straight per post. So my closing statement is,

“Always check our intentions” and a good way to do that is to see if when we do something good and later feel upset that someone or no one seemed to appreciate it then it’s time to correct our intentions and make them for the sake of Allah. And Allah is the most Appreciative.

As Allah mentions in the Quran

Surah At-Taghabun 64:17

“If you loan Allah a goodly loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Appreciative and Forbearing.”

And so

Surah Al- An’am 6:162

Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.”

Love you all for the sake of Allah

-Abd

MARRIAGE!!

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Marriage… Yaaayyyyyy it’s that topic we all love. Or is it just me?

     Anyway let me get right to it, so the story goes, I was going around asking people what seemed to be an odd question (Story of my life), and the question was;  Why get married? No seriously why? I mean apart from legal (halal) sex of course. (wait)I sense some of you were expecting me to be more subtle…OK so why marry apart from …you know …yeeaah you know… (It actually feels like I made it worse). Moving on…

     So I asked a couple of friends and some unsuspecting random people, and I kept getting some of the same answers that weren’t really to my satisfaction. Like well some would say about the hadith;

“ Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to us: O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford It should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.”

Lowering the gaze well that has a lot to do with you know (m not making this any better am I?)

   And then there was companionship, sweet but that’s not exclusive to marriage. And in some marriages that’s not really there. I know ideally it should be in every marriage but unfortunately that’s not the case.

   So what else did they have for me? Kids, children, those little rascals in daipers? Well and good, let the Ummah grow, so marry for sex and kids? Ummm Not quite there yet.  Ahh then there was the “build each other spiritually, and support each other in that manner”….true true, very noble cause. But I remain a skeptic as the devil’s advocate in this and say again that’s not exclusive to marriage. Some marriages pull people even further away from Allah. I mean that’s if we are going to be honest about it.

Of course hence why the Prophet (s.a.w) said in the hadith;

“Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Still…I wanted to know what made marriage so special, and so recommended in Islam and basically almost every religion on the planet. In Islam its half our deen….seriously think about how huge that is…

Hadith;

Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Shu’ab al-Eemaan from al-Raqaashi: “When a person gets married he has completed half of his religion, so let him fear Allaah with regard to the other half.”

So as my search continued, I finally got the answer from a friend of mine, we don’t meet often but it happend…and we went down the same path as everyone else but finally he said, marriage makes us ( drum rolls please….keep going, not quite there yet, and..now ) marriage makes us more COMPASSIONATE (woohhhooooo finally) . We learn to truly love and care, for one another, we build a family, we become more empathetic, gentle and kind. In many ways it opens our hearts and dare I say purifies them, making us more humble and patient.

   Now I am not saying that marriage automatically makes us more compassionate or that everyone who is married is more compassionate than the rest. No, not at All, but what I am saying is that marriage is the perfect training ground for being compassionate. That’s what I found to be exclusive to marriage and it’s bloody sad that some people miss out on that after getting married. (Moment of Silence please) Moving on..

   Through forgiving mistakes, overlooking each other’s flaws, covering for one another and being selfless more often; our hearts become more tender and more human?   When you think about it, isn’t that what Islam is teaching? Being more compassionate makes us more likely to live a proper Muslim life. The type of compassion found in a marriage and a family can’t be found in other settings, and doesn’t the society stem from marriage and family? So eventually the root of compassion in a society, better yet compassion in the world stems from Marriage. –LAWYERED!!!

Well after this practically everything else falls into place, companionship, building each other spiritually, kids, love,  the whole deal.

I know you think it’s over and you would be right, but I am a firm believer of the double tap, so here is the final bullet.

This is pretty easy and a no brainer…. So what is one of Allah’s most mentioned Attribute?

That’s right….The most Compassionate.

BOOYAAH…I rest my case. (Take a bow and Exit stage left)

Love you all for the Sake of Allah

– ABD

(My apologies for the long pause there)

Am I right or am I RIGHT?? Do you  agree with me? Or got more to add?

Comment below

UNREAL REALITY

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Asalaam Aleykum Every body

 

I would like to  keep this short.

The Tube in the picture is representing the Entertainment industry,

No, I’m not going to condemn the whole entertainment industry, I’m just going to point out certain things we should bear in mind, and just be conscious of, then make our own decisions accordingly.

     What I have learnt so far from observing myself and others, one of the main effects of the entertainment industry, is that it twists our perception of reality. It makes us feel like the life portrayed in the entertainment industry is the life to live, while in reality that life is a myth, that even the entertainers who portray these lives don’t actually live them.

   The second issue is it makes us love this world more than the next, it makes us love the dunya, makes dunya feel like it could be a mini paradise. Of course that type of thinking comes with its own bag of goodies, we all know what happens when we chase this world and forget the next. To save us the suspense… It never ends well.

  Finally the issue with the Entertainment industry at the very least is that it’s a distraction for the idle citizen. If it won’t brainwash you, or get you on a wild goose chase, then at least it will waste your time. That might sound like, ahhh that’s not bad, but my personal philosophy about the value of our time is that it is proportional to the value of our lives. How we value our own lives, is how we value our own time, depending on our aspirations and ambitions.

    If we plan on changing the world, then the value of our time is almost priceless, but if we plan on going Pro in couch surfing, then the value of our time is, well, ummmm, N-E-G-A..tive??? ( shoulder shrug and squinted eyes).

     Now of course we all need a little distraction here and there, we aren’t robots. So entertainment in itself is good, but the type of entertainment and the duration of the entertainment should be controlled so it doesn’t interfere with our other obligations.

       Addiction to media is common, Junkies everywhere these days, daily fix. We might be in that crowd too, don’t believe me? Try quitting, tell me about the withdrawal symptoms, when we start our support groups, and thank you for sharing in advance. Haha

I love you all for the Sake of Allah

  • ABD

 

DIFFERENCES…

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Asalam Aleykum Fellow homosapiens,

     Just recently, in the last days of Ramadan I was at the mosque for prayer and for some reason I decided to just sit and start looking at people. Honing my observation skills, people walking, talking, praying, reading and yeaa that’s about it.   Suddenly something hit me, not something physical (don’t jump to conclusions), I mean a thought got into my mind. Which was “ heyyy look at the variety of Muslims around” , okkk wait, first don’t judge me, I am not as slow as that thought sounds.

     It’s just that I had never really thought about how many different types of Muslims there are, I’m not talking about differences in Madhab, I’m talking in terms of race, color, culture, thoughts, backgrounds, (Ok, I might be slow)  but not as a source of discrimination but as a source of beauty.

  The issue is that I had somehow taken for granted this diversity; it was just Muslims are Muslims; we are all one Ummah done deal. Signed, sealed, delivered. I never quite thought about the fact that, so many people from so many different walks of life are Muslims, to the extent that the only thing common in their lives is only Islam. Everything else is almost completely different.

It was so nice seeing so many different types of people all come together to worship Allah. Which reminded me of this Ayah;

Surah Nasr 110

When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.”

    So I left thinking about it, I told my friend about it, he must have thought I am high off Taraweeh prayers, and wobbly legs is causing simple thoughts to seem profound (I don’t usually sound coherent when these types of thoughts first get into my system). But I still like the thought of the differences and the variety it’s just amazing to me. Life would be very very boring if we were all the same, I mean borderline suicidal type of boring. What next? guess it’s the next life then, good bye monotonous world.

Surat Al-Ĥujurāt 49:13 

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

 I believe we should learn to embrace our differences and to bond in our similarities. Feel free to Quote me. Hold on, my head is tipping over to the left from ego inflation. The next verse should set it right.

 Surat Al Maidah 5:48

“And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.”

I added this so as to remind us to never ever judge anyone who isn’t Muslim or Muslim yet, since it’s clear here that Allah chose to make it so to test us in what HE has given us. I would like to think that part of that test is our tolerance towards people different from ourselves, (by ourselves I mean individually, not as an Ummah) which would be everyone.

Basically, embrace the differences within the Ummah and tolerate the differences outside the Ummah, of course the good ones in both cases. I am not advocating taking up drinking because you are “embracing the differences”… That difference is best left a difference.

Love you all for the sake of Allah

  • ABD

CHALLENGES

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    First off, I hope everyone had a blessed Ramadan, and I would like to apologize once again for the silence. It had a lot to do with Fasting, Finals, Work and a Thesis, it was fun…the only thing that could top that kind of fun is to go bungee jumping with NO STRINGS ATTACHED, then do two back flips, three rolls and finish off with a HEAD STAND! …did I mention NO STRINGS ATTACHED?  Because  it would SUCK if we left that part out. So without further ado, I bring to you;

    Challenges; We all have challenges in our lives, call them problems, call them tests, I prefer challenges. Because they are things that once you overcome them, you come out stronger and better and ready to face new and harder challenges. It shows progress. Problems on the other hand have a connotation with things that are usually random and overcoming them doesn’t really mean it leads to progress, rather it’s just something in our way best left avoided.

      So these challenges slash tests that we all have and all struggle with, facing them challenges makes us stronger and better people. Keyword “Facing”, because as we all know, not everytime or everyone faces their challenges. Sometimes we push them to the side and hope they will go away by distracting ourselves, but that’s a proven hands down failure tactic, no two ways about it. However getting the courage to get up (not literally) and face them doesnt come easy either, but eyy we gotta suck it up and get it over with if we want to live better lives and become better people. Because honestly that’s the point of challenges, to make us better. Once you overcome a challenge when you look back at it, most times it doesn’t seem like a challenge anymore. Its purpose has passed. So I would suggest that, that’s how we should look at the various challenges in our lives that they are kept there so that we may become better people.

    We want to be better at school, we want to be better at home, a better son, a better daughter, a better father, or mother, a better friend, a better worker or entrepreneur. Humans are created seeking more, wanting more and moving forward, it is never ending. Challenges can also be things like avoiding the influence of bad friends, smoking, drinking, or quiting these things.

Remember Allah would not test a servant with more than what the servant can bear

Surat al-Muminun 23:62

And We charge no soul except [with that within] its capacity, and with Us is a record which speaks with truth; and they will not be wronged.”

I’ll be honest I have had challenges mop the floor with me and the challenges that I overcame I had to bend over backwards so far that I nearly looked upright again. Yes we have all seen the dark side of our challenges, but what this Verse means is we all have it in us to overcome our challenges, we are stronger than our challenges. Whether we see it now or not, but simply being stronger doesn’t mean we don’t need to struggle for it, it just means if we do struggle we will succeed. So Keep up the Hustle. And remember

Surat al-A’raf 7:42

But those who believed and did righteous deeds – We charge no soul except [within] its capacity. Those are the companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally.”

And

Surat al-Kahf 18:88

But as for one who believes and does righteousness, he will have a reward of Paradise, and we will speak to him from our command with ease.”

Finally

Surat az-Zumar, 52-54

“Do they not know that Allah expands and restricts the provision of anyone He wills? There are certainly Signs in that for people who believe. Say [from Me]: “My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of His mercy. Truly, Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” Turn to your Lord and submit to Him before punishment comes upon you, for then you cannot be helped.

Love you all for the sake of Allah

  • ABD

QUALITY VS. QUANTITY

quality_or_quantityHEADS UP: It is a bit long, I know, I know,  this is probably the last one that will be this long. By long I don’t mean boring, far from it, (I hope), I mean it will take about five minutes to finish.

TIMER starts Now:

       Quality trumps quantity every time, unless we are financially challenged, but in an ideal world Quality would always trump Quantity.

So now let’s apply this to our spiritual life. With the following question:

Is it about how many Surahs (Verses) we have memorized or how many we understand and apply?

 Before I move on, there are two things I would like to say, number one, you may have a different opinion from mine, this is not an exam question, I don’t think there is a wrong answer. Second, I am not trying to down play memorizing the Quran without understanding or reading it the same.

   That being said, once again let us  ask ourselves which one is more valuable and meaningful, to memorize the whole Quran as though a long song and not understand a word of it, or to know and understand just a few Surahs first and apply them in our lives. Which one is better? Which one affects us more?

     Don’t get me wrong, memorizing many Surahs and eventually the whole Quran is the main goal and only Allah knows how great the reward is for that apart from the ones already mentioned in the hadiths. But the focus here is about balancing the scales, memorizing and understanding plus applying.

  I believe it’s not about how many Surahs we have memorized it’s also about how many we understand and how many we apply.

Simply put, it’s about our actions. Many Sahabahs (Companions of the Prophet (SAW)) were not Alims (Scholars), or hafiz of the Quran, but they still managed to lead very Islamic lives, and had extremely strong Imaan that inspired others and brought others to Islam. They spread Islam by their actions, application of even the little that they knew.

So what’s our excuse not to learn, memorize and practice?

   Everything we need is readily available we don’t need to travel to a foreign land to see an alim (Scholar). Smart phones can bring to us everything we need. Whether its books, or videos.

   All we need is  to decide to start practicing, ayah by Ayah, Surah by Surah, day by day and eventually we would have memorized and put into practice the whole Quran inshaAllah.

   Here is the plan, the next action step: First we learn a surah or even an Ayah, any of our choosing, short ones to begin with are good. Then get its translation word for word, so we can reflect on it, and read its tafseer (interpretation of its meaning by scholars). And the major homework is to find out how to apply it. And finally just go ahead and start applying, working on it.

    Things won’t change overnight,(I can almost guarantee you that, money back no questions asked) but sooner than later a lot of things will start to change, such as concentration in prayer will increase, since it’s easier to reflect on the Verses when we are reciting them. The Quran will have a deeper impact and meaning in our lives, because now it is not just a book we read to feel good about ourselves, but it’s a book we read because we seek guidance, and the more we seek guidance from the Quran the more we grow to understand it, and honestly when we start understanding the Quran, WE WILL LOVE IT.

    Speaking from experience, I can’t quite explain it. All your problems won’t disappear just like that, problems will continue to be there but they won’t be overwhelming anymore, our perspective of problems won’t even be problems anymore, just challenges, just things we try to understand why Allah wanted this for us. But mostly, everything that happens to us, we will consider to be good.

     Here is an example of understanding and applying verses in the Quran. A friend of mine was once telling me about the things he wants out of life, and what he prays for, which were a lot of good things, didn’t really seem it could get any better so at the end we said InshaAllah may he get all these things, and he added “Yes, I will either get these or better”… OK Pause. What did he mean “these or better” I mean from the things he said, he would be mighty blessed to get all of them, let alone get better than them. But I know him, so I understood what he meant at that time, which was Whatever Allah gives him is what’s best for him, even if it’s not the things he asked for, If Allah gives him it means they are better for him than what he asked for. It took me like a whole day to acknowledge that level of Imaan then.

     I was thinking how come I never looked at it that way? That whatever Allah gives us is what is best for us, even if it’s not exactly what we want. So When we make dua there are really only two options, Either we Get what we want how we want it or we get something better, because Allah knows best and Allah only wants to make things easy for us.

Surat An-Nisā’

4:28

“And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak.”

It also points out to make dua and know and understand whatever we get is the best for us. It’s not always easy to see things this way all the time, but Allah is the most Merciful and we do get points for trying.

Allah says in the Quran

Surat Ghāfir

40:60

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.”

And

Surat Al-Baqarah

2:186

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”

That’s a solid invitation right there to ask for each and everything we want and Ramadan is starting, so we can ask and ask and ask, a lot of asking, for forgiveness and health, family, and saying thanks and being grateful. And that million dollars we have always wanted, if you are into that sort of thing. Hahaha 😀 , But Seriously, Seeking Allah’s bounty is not only a blessed act, it is a mandatory act. We have been instructed to do so,

Surat Al-Jumu’ah

62: 9 – 10

“O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.

And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah , and remember Allah often that you may succeed.”

   And that, ladies and gentlemen is why Friday is NOT a weekend. Saturday was for Jews and Sunday for Christians, but on Friday Muslims still go hard. That’s work ethic for ya. 🙂 Even right after Friday prayer we have been instructed to go seek Allah’s bounty.

    Well this is my understanding of these few verses in my life and my application of them. Of course the understanding and application of it is not limited to one thing, that’s another beauty of the Quran.

And In conclusion, Quality over Quantity, in a way it should also makes us humble, in that we shouldn’t think just because we memorized so many verses of the Quran that we are better than someone who has only memorized a few. Think about it.

Ramadan Mubarak Everyone,

Love you all for the sake of Allah

ABD

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 Just out of curiosity which box would you tick? about Quality of application of verses memorized.

GETTING WRONGED IS A BLESSING.

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YES, I SAID IT.

WARNING: This post is a little bit long, sooo Brace yourself.

      I guess I should start with explaining why I used Obama, for this post. First off, that expression! We usually have that expression when peace talks in our own minds are failing, we are doing everything to try and stay calm after someone has pressed all the ‘right’ buttons (Nuclear launch codes), so now there is a huge mushroom cloud in our head which you can almost see through our eyes and nuclear waste is blowing out of ears and nostrils.

     Second, it’s Obama…He is the President of the U.S of A, he has to stay composed and calm at ALL times because most of the world is watching him. In this situation, let’s think of ourselves as diplomats and Servants of Allah, knowing that Allah is always watching, and the angels too, and everything is recorded in excruciating detail. Yes, Privacy is a myth.

New perspective on things usually brightens up the day.

    Ever thought about the fact that being wronged by others is actually a blessing? Like a HUGEEE Blessing. Just hear me out, first, it’s really good practice for patience and tolerance. In case you have never thought about it, 80% of the time we are wronged by someone that someone is usually close to us, very few times are we wronged by complete strangers, and even when that happens, we usually get over it in a couple of minutes, hours, days… ok sometimes months and years, but that’s rare, it’s for the “special” kind of strangers. But other than that the others are pretty mellow.

SO how is this a blessing, being wronged that is…well let’s see if I can make my case,

ONE: Allah loves those who restrain their anger and forgive others

Surah Al- Imran 3:134

“Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;”

TWO

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”  

This would mean every time we get hurt or upset and keep calm, our sins are forgiven.

THREE

“There is no calamity that befalls one of the Muslims and he responds by saying ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilahi raaji’oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w’ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it),’ but Allaah will compensate him with something better than it.” 

–      Pretty much self explanatory

FOUR

Surat An-Nūr

24:22

“And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah , and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Forgive and we shall be forgiven..

FIVE

The prayer of the one who has been wronged. In the hadeeth it says: “Fear the prayer of the one who has been wronged, for there is no barrier between it and Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 469; Muslim, 19. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The prayer of the one who has been wronged will be answered, even if he is an evildoer, for his evildoing is only against himself.” Narrated by Ahmad. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3382. 

–      Well this has two sides, first when we are wronged we should make dua, immediately, not like dua to for the person to be hit by lightning. But something more productive, like for our sins to be forgiven, fresh start, or whatever else we want. The other side is we should apologize as soon as possible when we find out we wronged someone, because they might ask for lightning. J

SIX

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ALaihi wasallam said:“The best deed before Allah is to pardon a person who has wronged you, to show affection for relatives who have broken ties with you, and to act generously towards a person who has deprived you”. Thereafter he recited the following holy verses: “Turn to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from ignorant” (7:199).

 

SEVEN

Last but not least, my favourite…The great reward given to the one who is forgiving and pardons others…

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ALaihi Wasallam) was seated in a gathering with the Sahabah when he looked towards the entrance and said, “A man of Paradise is coming.” At that instance someone who seemed to be very ordinary entered the mosque where they were seated. A Sahabi was curious as to why the Prophet .‘ said this, so he followed the man to his house. This Sahabi told the man that he was a traveler and stayed as a guest. For three days the Sahabi saw nothing unusual, so he finally told the man what the Prophet had said and asked him what was so special. The man thought for a long time and said, “There might be one thing — before going to sleep every night I forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.”

The Ultimate prize, Jannah is awarded to someone for just forgiving and pardoning others.

      So as you can see. Getting wronged is a blessing in disguise, albeit at times it can come in the middle of the night full stealth mode, guerilla warfare camouflage gear with night vision…but it’s still a blessing none the less…especially when handled well. Because we wouldn’t be in the position to get those blessings if no one wronged us.

    It’s usually easy to forgive strangers most times, because we might never see them again, or we just don’t care, but for those close to us, it’s a little bit harder because we expect them to know, we expect them to be more kind and caring.

    But if you think about it we would find it surprising that they only give us the opportunity to forgive them once a month, while we constantly wrong ourselves and Allah forgives us, daily.

Satan keeps offering us opportunities to sin and we keep accepting them like awards…

“ For me?? Really? Ohhh you are far too kind…Eehhheeemm …clearing throat, I would like to thank the evil genius in me, a special shout out to my nafs… you have always been there for me, through the thick and thin….”

    May Allah give us all the ability to forgive others for the wrong they do to us, and May Allah  give them the ability to forgive us for the wrong we do to them and May Allah forgive us all for our sins – Ameen

Love you all for the sake of Allah

ABD

FEAR ALLAH

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        Everything good and sustainable starts with the Fear of Allah. Keywords in this statement are “Good and Sustainable”. Well, I think I will start with the genesis of this idea or thought; I am usually worried (as I believe most people are) about sustaining the good things I do. I mean, as humans we forget, we forget to be kind to others sometimes, we say things we might not mean at times, our faith isn’t constantly rising, it even sinks sometimes.

       So I think it’s a justified to be worried about it. We don’t know the future, we don’t know what will happen, what type of situations we will be in and what type of options we will have. So how do we get prepared for that? So that we don’t end up making decisions that we will regret later on?

Of course you read the title so you know where I am going with this, and yeah its actually that obvious. The only way to be certain that you will not make decisions now or in the future that you might regret is by Fearing Allah.

Fearing Allah might sound abstract sometimes, I mean we would assume every Muslim Fears Allah, and intellectually that would be true, by just thinking about it, Allah’s Greatness and Might, its logical to Fear Allah, but its usually not in our Hearts.

And I don’t think it ever starts there, I think that’s the challenge, to work to get the Fear of Allah from our Minds to our Hearts, because its usually only when our Hearts truly want something or feel something that we act according to it.

Which leads to another question, how do we put the Fear of Allah in our hearts?

 Mmmhhhh….tough one

Me: we could…

Myself: no

Me: or…

Myself: that would never work

Me: then…

Myself: I’m not really sure if that’s legal

Me: A HA! It’s the Quran

Myself: it’s the Quran.

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

Surat Yūnus 10:57

O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers.”

  For those who don’t know, “in your breasts” = your heart. 🙂

    I believe that one of the diseases in the heart, probably the worst one, the most potent, which can lead to hypocrisy is the fear of anything else other than Allah.

Be it fear of the future, the past, society expectations, parents, a person, “evil”, magic, la la la, yadi yadi yada…the list goes on. If we don’t fear Allah, we will end up fearing almost everything else, but when we Fear Allah, we realize there is nothing left to Fear.

And a verse that I love in the Quran, which was the reason I wrote this post. Huge wake up call and boost of faith for all those who want to be successful in life, whatever that maybe, is this

Surah Al- Ma’idah 5:100 

“Say, “Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” So fear Allah , O you of understanding, that you may be successful.”

The Ayah really speaks for itself, there isn’t much to break down, evil and good aren’t equal, there is a lot of evil going on, don’t let that “impress you” or fool you, thinking its ok, or “normal”. Fear Allah, since you understand so that you may be successful.

Defining success, is something I will put up in one of the following posts, as well as prepping for the coming Ramadan!!!!!!…..Yaaaaayyyyy

     But the drift of all this, if you happen not to catch it, is that when we start practicing to  do things for the sake of Allah and out of Fear of Allah, we will do them with more consistency and more willingly, even if we slip and fall here and there we will never lose our way, and read any success story and tell me that’s not how it happened. No one gets it perfect, in one shot, or two, or three…or…yea but we fail forward and never lose hope in Allah’s Mercy that’s how to be successful.

     Homework: Try to help someone for the Sake of Allah, just regardless of what they might think or say, grateful for it or not, is irrelevant, because the only one who you want to impress with that deed is the only one who is really going to reward you with that deed.

That’s all for now

Love you all for the Sake of Allah

ABD