ASTAGHFIRULLAH – DHIKR

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Asalaam aleykum fellow creatures on earth,

I think I will start this post with a common scenario we have all been through at several points in our lives.

Feeling like sh@#, down, tired, confused, lost, anxious of the future and the present, sometimes the past too, regrets …

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 Let’s pause here for a second.

Yes! regrets, I know people say if you are happy with were you are now then you shouldn’t regret the things that happened before…since when?? I still get day-mares from some stupid stuff I have done in the past that send chills down my spine…but I guess most people are damaged somehow, it’s part of  becoming an adult. I think eventually we just learn to live with the regret and accept it…sort of.

Unpause:

fear, frustration, anger, you know the whole package.

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Signed, sealed, delivered.

Now my usual MO in these situations is to open that bloody package and break it down to a science to find out what is actually wrong? fix it… move on, and quarantine it in my special room labeled “Gifts from Satan”- with no freaking return address.

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But sometimes I’m too drained to even do that, I do eventually do it, but it just takes longer, I figured out a faster way to go about it recently, I’m sure most of you must have figured this out years ago, but I found out your secret now so you got nothing on me.

So in case you didn’t read the title of the post,  the fastest way to get out of these situations is istighfar, saying “astaghfirullah” continuously… and not only when the package arrives but even before it does…just every time we can remember… it’s like an antivirus. A very efficient one, with so many bonus features in one.

Here are some of the advantages that I have experienced after installing this new program to my system.

1) Humility / Humbling: Every time I say it, I think of all the wrong doings I do everyday and realize it’s a lot, it shows me I still have a long way to go.

2) Increases Tawakul: This part is mainly because, as I say Astagfirullah, I’m becoming more conscious of Allah and His attributes.

3) More Khushu in prayer: again due to being more conscious of Allah during the day it’s easier to stay focused in prayer.

4) More Calm: This is a side-effect of Tawakul, less anxious about the future, money and others

5) Peace of mind: No Muslim at any point can be asked, are you ready to meet Allah? and respond  “I am sooooo ready mannn” (Bouncing up and down, shadow boxing)… Yeah, NO. But at least if you are asking for forgiveness most of the time, you feel like you are walking around with a possibly clean slate every time you ask for forgiveness.

So this is what I have experienced so far, however there is much more promised by Allah in the Quran that will happen to you from doing something so simple as saying Astaghfirullah continuously.

And here they are:

Quran verse: HUD 11:3

“And [saying], “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favor his favor. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.”

Quran Verse: Nuh 71: 10 -12

“And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.”

Quran Verse: HUD 11: 52

“And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals.”

Quran Verse: Al-Anfal : 8:33

“But Allah would not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], are among them, and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.”

Quran Verse: Sad: 38:35

“He said, “My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower.”

Yes, you can drop your jaw now…

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That’s all folks,

ABD

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OUR PEOPLE

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Asalaam Alyekum my people,

I think I spent about a month deciding whether to name this post “Our duty to our people”, “Our duty” or “Our people. #Truestory

About a month ago, starring at the passing palm trees outside while on a cross country bus ride…a thought popped into my
head. “Why do we judge people?” not in the “someone did something bad that affected someone else” bad, but in the “how someone
decides to lead their lives” part.  A few thought trains later came to; what is a Muslims duty towards people in this world?

Long story short, it definitely wasn’t to judge people…like this one is Christian, Jew, Atheist, gay, good-Muslim or bad Muslim,
that is really not our concern nor is it something we should pay attention to, our main duty  to the people is to promote and keep the peace. I believe that is why Islam is called the religion of
Peace, it is for it’s followers to show tolerance and patience towards others and to lead by example.

Quran verse: 3:110

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in
Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most
of them are defiantly disobedient.”

This means our duty is to all man-kind, “our people” is every human being on earth, not just Muslims, not just those that we like and agree with or approve of their life choices, and our duty is to live in peace with them, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.

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Before someone uses that as the reason to judge and fight someone who might be doing wrong.

Quran verse: 2:256

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”

However, what I want to emphasize the most is that we can’t judge anyone’s choice in life, we aren’t equipped to do it nor do we have the
authority to. God judges people because HE has absolute knowledge of people and their circumstances, we don’t. So whenever we try
only hate and pointless fighting follows.

It is utterly useless to sit and hate someone else’s choices in their life or even try to fight it, instead of focusing on one’s
own flaws and shortcomings, given we don’t know how God will judge between any two people.

What we should hate and fight against
is oppression and injustice not differences.

To you and yours…

– ABD

The Precious Ones

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Asalaam Aleykum reader.. yeah you, aren’t you going to say Aleykum Salaam back?…say it, say it…tsk tsk tsk I can’t believe I had to tell you twice, you are something else I tell you… something else.

Ok so the drill here is ; explain my absence, blame my laziness, apologize and move on to the topic… Yeah let’s assume I just did that, and move on.. so here we go.

Quran An Nisa (4:34)

“ Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard.–”

I feel like most people use this verse to somehow imply that men are better than women or above women in value or something. If you have ever felt that way then this post is for ya… and if not, it’s still for you.

Let’s start with the simple premise of what it means when something is assigned to “protect and maintain something else” tell me what is usually more precious, the thing being protected or the thing protecting?

Ever heard of the jewellery store heist where the perpetrators broke in and stole all the windows, doors, bullet proof glass and left the stones untouched?. No? really??  me neither… because that would probably land the thieves a solid position in the Guinness book of records for the dumbest idiots that ever lived.

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Men were made stronger than women in whatever aspects  in order to protect them and to guard them not to oppress and belittle them. And when men fail to perform their duties, it’s understandable that women feel betrayed and try to distance themselves from men and “make it on their own” (Hence feminism, or radical feminism) .(I feel like I’m treading across a landmine with that statement but heck it’s already out there).

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Which begs the question, why are our Muslim sisters so precious?, our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.

Well a good guess might be because they are the key to our nation. They are the ones who toil for nine months carrying the next generation and there after feed and nurture them. Raise them.  They are the ones that pass on the teachings of Islam to our children, they are the ones who back up even their husbands who are meant to protect them, they give them peace of mind, support and love… in more ways than one…. Yes I said it! Sue me.

They are the Nations care-takers.

They are the MVP’s of the Muslim world and the World at large, but in all fairness, other than religion this applies to all our sisters in the world, Muslims and non-Muslims, so let’s treat them with the respect, tenderness and caring that they deserve.

Yes sometimes they will get emotional and irrational and you might hear things that would make you wish your super power was memory editing, but hey no one said this God-given protecting and maintaining gig was going to be easy. Yes… occasionally we might need to protect them from themselves too.

It comes with the territory. Cowboy up! We were made strong for a reason

 Our Muslim sisters are the most precious things on earth. They are worth it!

And sisters, take it easy on the brothers, you guys don’t come with a manual (no matter how much we pray you did) so technically speaking we have been winging it since Adam (AS). We will slip up every now and then, but eventually we’ll come around, so be patient with us.

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Love you all for the sake of Allah.

  • ABD

SERVANTS!

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It’s been 5 months since my last post….wooowww. Time flies when you are lazy.

Ok, Let’s get straight to it, I’m going to assume that by now it is public knowledge that that humans in the Holy Quran are usually referred to as servants (this isn’t some level 5 classified: for scholar’s eyes only thing). I believe the reference to humans as servants truly reflects the true nature of humans; we are at our best when serving others. The happiest of people in the world are those who are devoted to serving others.

The obvious question that follows is, given the fact that we are servants, who is it that needs our service? We already know that Allah is clearly not in need of our service, hate to burst anyone’s bubble… so the question remains, who is?

Some might hate to admit it but the answer to that question is… fellow homo-sapiens… Ba dum tsss.  Most of us forget this and some of us are completely oblivious to it, but it is especially sad when Muslims forget this.

BECAUSE… REASONS:

Quran Surah Al- Imran 3:110 .

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. – Sahih International

Although I personally like this translation more:

You are the best nation ever brought forth to men, bidding to honour, and forbidding dishonour, and believing in God. Had the People of the Book believed, it were better for them; some of them are believers, but the most of them are ungodly. – Arberry

It has a more old school feel to it.

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The thing is, apart from worshipping Allah, the number one duty bestowed to Muslims is to lead the rest of the world by example. By bidding to honor and forbidding dishonor *while I twist the end of my imaginary handlebar moustache* and make no mistake, we will be questioned about this duty given to us that we so often neglect.

Now how do we lead by example, You ask?. Well in my personal opinion (you are free to disagree with me) I don’t see it as going out on the streets and starting to preach about Islam. Being a convert,  I have experienced different kinds of dawah, and I found the “hey have you heard the good news” not to be effective at all and always evokes this mental image.

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No one converts anyone; only God can change what is in people’s hearts, which should make our job a lot easier for us. All we really are is just facilitators/ agents. You can’t convert someone who isn’t looking for the truth, you can only try to show the path to someone who is already looking for the truth on their own. Maybe the others will look for the truth later, or maybe not, it’s not up to us.

Our only duty is to be good and to do good to all mankind regardless of religion. To do things that help everyone, make everyone’s life better (Muslims and non-Muslims). Muslims are here to make the world a better place, for everyone.  Islam is for everyone not just for Muslims maybe we forget this fact sometimes. It is not to spread fear, or to discriminate.

 I believe it is enough for us to just work on being the best version of ourselves and being kind to others regardless of their race, religion, gender or age. Being a good Muslim isn’t just about praying, fasting and giving zakat. As the Quran verse below

Quran surah Al Ma’un 107: 1 -7

Have you seen him who belies the rewards and punishments of the Hereafter? He it is who drives away the orphan and does not urge giving away the food of the poor. Then woe to the praying ones, who are careless of their Prayer, who do good to be seen, and withhold small kindnesses (from the people).”

Acts of small kindness to everyone hold great value. Let us practice this. When we call ourselves servants of Allah, we should realize who we are meant to serve. The Prophet Muhammad, served humanity more than any other human being ever has and ever will, and so that is his Sunnah. Let’s take that as an example of what we are supposed to do.

Oh and before I forget, before we run outside to go serve the world, let us remember charity starts at where was that place?? Uhh that’s right… HOME sweet HOME.  Yup the annoying siblings, the cousins that won’t quit and the Uncles and Aunts who know when the world will end, even if it means ending it themselves.  (This is just a worst case scenario)

ANDDD Yes… most of the mainstream media and many other ignorant and misinformed people are trying to paint Muslims as terrorists and evil. Retards like these have and will always exist to the end of time, the fear mongers and those who promote ignorance and hate.

However that should never stop us from doing what we are supposed to be do, because we aren’t doing it to prove a point or get the acceptance of others,praise or recognition, we do it because it is our duty entrusted upon us by Allah,  that’s all there is to it! In short we do it for the sake of Allah.

Love you all for the Sake of Allah…

HOlllaaaaa

Yes that rhymed.

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  • ABD

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

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Asalaam Aleykum minions,

“See in this world there are two kinds of people my friend, those with loaded guns and those who dig… you dig.”

Well at least that’s how we want it to be… just two kinds of people, good or bad, right or wrong but the truth is, we aren’t like that, we all have our good sides, bad sides, ugly sides, weird sides, amazing sides and even more sides, our personalities aren’t two dimensional.

But we tend to judge people that way, either someone is good or bad. The person lied once, he is branded a liar, and that’s it, all his good is erased…granted lying isn’t a small thing and it isn’t something easy to wipe off your resume when you do it but the point here is being open to the fact that as humans we err, we make mistakes, we wouldn’t want to be judged solely by our mistakes or by our flaws so let’s not do the same to others. As a metaphor my teacher once told me that; humans tend to magnify the bad that people to do, such that if someone did a mountain of good and one rock sized bad, we wouldn’t be able to see the mountain because we put the rock right in front of our eyes.

As you might have noticed by now, we tend to classify people in our lives, strangers, family, friends… pretty quickly and efficiently from the first meet or from some action they did that stood out to us.  Whenever we meet new people we immediately start evaluating them according to where they fit in our spectrum of “understanding people”, based on what they say, how they say it, their race, their dress-code, their beliefs etc (it’s almost unconscious). Are they funny or boring? Do they think like me or not? Do they believe in what I believe or the opposite? Are they from where I am from or not? Are they educated or not? Are they smart or dull? The list goes on, and according to this we group them in the relevant category in our minds … which I would like to think goes something like this:

1) Nice to talk to

 2) Nice to listen to

3) Avoid but be polite (smile and wave boys…smile and wave)

4) Avoid at all costs

 5) Drawing blanks, Not really sure… wait for more information. (might be CIA)

I think we develop this talent at a very young age and I believe it’s necessary to some degree, because we don’t have the time to get a full psyche evaluation of everyone we meet and then make an informed decision on how to proceed with the relationship.

The problem is we hardly ever do re-evaluation and whenever we get new information about these people we are generally biased and pick only those that confirm our initial judgement and ignore the rest.

Which leads to why I am writing about this, as Muslims we know why judging others is bad, and why negative suspicion is bad

Quran verse: 49:12

” O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”

With this in mind I think it’s every Muslim’s duty to have an open mind about others, understanding that, yes, we are different from each other but that isn’t a reason for conflict, discrimination or segregation. On the contrary it’s a reason to get closer and get to know each other more and be tolerant of one another.

Quran verse: 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.”

Now with the refugee crisis going on, I find it weird that humans will argue for letting other humans die just because they are not from where they are from.  I mean…. Really??? That’s the whole argument??

I have never understood nationalistic pride, I happened to be born here (not out of choice) hence I am better than you or I stick only with “my people” who also didn’t choose to be born here.  Am I the only one finding this borderline retarded?

Jubair ibn Mut’im reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism. He is not one of us who dies following the way of tribalism.”

And in another Hadith, also referring to nationalism, racism, and patriotism the Prophet (S.A.W) said:

“Leave it, for it is filth.”

On the societal level, the takeaway from this is to appreciate the fact that we are all humans and we are all the same, cultures differ, race, temperaments, dress-codes, beliefs but at the core of it all, we are the same…we all have emotions, sadness, anger, fear, happiness, sorrow,  we all feel hungry when we don’t have any food to eat, we all grieve when we lose a loved one, we feel pain when we are injured, and hurt when rejected and oppressed these are things we all have in common with every human being on the planet. We usually have the same worries as well about the future, our families, life, our goals, ambitions, we all want to survive for one reason or another and that is regardless of all our differences.

On the personal level the takeaway is to be more open to re-evaluating the people we know and the new people we meet, and also keep in mind that a person is not either one of two things or three (the good, the bad and the ugly) but we have multiple dimensions to our personalities. An easy way to put this in mind is to assume everyone has multiple personalities. (With usually one or two main themes that are consistent but multi-dimensional personalities is the best guess)

The only way this thought process actually stays in our minds is if we train ourselves to always look at people that way. Yes, they do wrong, but they also do right, and those that do right also do wrong, that’s just human.

Training means practice so here is an exercise for you; think about the people you already know, and try to think about the possible other good personality traits they might have, that you know or those you don’t know because you haven’t seen them in a situation that would bring it to light. Try it now, Keep away from the bad and the ugly though.

More fun exercise when you see strangers is to try to think what their possible good traits might be, despite whatever your initial judgement of them is from what you see.

Maybe they treat their parents really well, maybe they never lie, maybe they are very hygienic, maybe they are loyal friends, maybe they are very generous, maybe they always think positively about others (you see what I did there?), maybe they are empathetic, maybe they always try to be good, even when they fail, maybe they would take a bullet for their siblings. (Go radical).

My point with all this is as Muslims we should be learn to be more open and more understanding of others and by that I mean every other human apart from ourselves.

Love you all for the sake of Allah.

-Abd

I would like to add that this only applies to normal folk, those who only languish in the normal small mistakes.

This doesn’t apply to rapists, murders, oppressors and tyrants, no, those we need to kick their buckets for them, buy their farms, cash in their chips, get them to assume room temperature etc.  – (This is my personal opinion)

I might be wrong…let me know what you think. (about the whole post not just the killing oppressors part)

DAY 5, 5 pictures 5 stories

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Hello Civilian,

Haaaa Day 5, I know it’s way way waaayyyy past due to continue with the 5 pictures 5 stories thing but I said I would do it and I insist on following through. First I guess you are wondering why I went MIA for so long. I wish I had a good excuse, something like; I had chronic writers block, worked the grave yard shift for two months, and finally the internet went down…so I called the cops. They haven’t been returning my calls since then, I guess they are really busy with the case. Tsyeaaa No, that’s not what happened.

I don’t work graveyard shifts, I didn’t have writers block, quite the contrary I have a backlog of things I have learnt over the past few months I wanted to share. So what was the reason then? what was so compelling that I didn’t post for so long? drum rolls please…. Duh da duh da duh… I am lazy…badum Tsss! read that line again, Yes I said it, I am lazy. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but something I know we all share, don’t we? with the exception of workaholics…I think.

More like the two firemen putting out the fire while simultaneously enjoying the warm heat in the comfort of those lawn chairs. It’s almost like a metaphor for most of our lives.

Let’s take a step back for a minute and look at this exciting human condition from what I would assume a “cause and effect” angle. Why are we lazy? It’s a pretty curious case right? when you know what to do, how to do it and why to do it  and yet not do it.

We do this all the time, not only in terms of work, but in the broader sense of the meaning of being lazy which now I would like to switch to “sloth”  known as one of the seven deadly sins. It’s interesting to me because sloth isn’t just about physical laziness but also emotional and spiritual laziness. I.e not doing things we know are religiously the right things to do, such as learn the Quran, or even just do something good for someone.

My theory is that laziness happens when we aren’t internally sufficiently motivated, which could be caused by a number of reasons, either we don’t understand our situation well enough to prioritize specific actions, or…ummm yea, that’s all I got.

Remedy? I am not entirely sure if there is a perfect one but I  know what works for me and I hope it works the same for most of us. My remedy is to remind myself that I am the only one accountable for my actions, my decisions and where I am now. I’m in charge and hence I am responsible. This tends to shift my perspective of things, so that I don’t and can’t blame any person, thing or situation, for whatever I am going through. Everything is on me.

I think it is empowering in a way, but mostly it is a reality check. I remind myself that judgement day is going to be a lonely day.

Quran 74:38 ” Every soul will be (held) in pledge (accountable) for its deeds”

There are a bunch of other verses that drive this point home even more, such as no one will bear another’s burden (sins) Quran 35:18, but I would like to keep this post short, kinda.

I apologize for taking such a long time off posting, I am still going to keep writing as much as I can inshaAllah. The good news is  I usually respond to comments even when I’m off, so that’s one way to get to me. 🙂

Yes, I should stop writing now, (I mean for this post, don’t feel too sad)

I love you all for the sake of Allah

– Abd

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

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