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Archive for March, 2012

In My Grave

Bismillah

I was thinking about it the other day… my grave…. a shiver up my spine…

In My Grave

Its cold and dark and somewhat wet

Moist I think is what that means

Small and constricting

It smells like bugs

I imagine the funza

Crawling all over me

Their glistening white bodies

Disgusting to behold in the daylight

Then there are also the worms

Pinkish brown, burrowing burrowing

I cannot breath, there is no breathing

I’m dead after all

What I used to do without effort

Now I appreciate and wonder at its absence

My heart has stopped beating

Hard and cold in my chest

Subhanallah everything is hard and cold

In my living there used to be the sunlight and warmth

And even on a gray day there was light and heat

And at night there was electricity

A bounty I never thanked Allah for

Water and air, clean space, motion, and companionship

All gone, taken away by their Owner

I’m left alone to contemplate, for an endless minute

What I lived for and what I died upon

Who did I really worship

The world

My comforts

The adulation of people!

Delusions all

But this is real

This earth, I can feel it

It is no longer beneath my feet to be ignored

But surrounding me to be felt, analyzed, feared

It is looming larger than life

Literarily that is

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Bismillah

A thing of depth and majesty

A creation of Allah

Having much benefit

Beautiful and calming

A place of rest

Being different than regular life

A precious containing preciousness

Its outer is attractive

Drawing a believer in

Don’t you just love watching a sister in prayer

The one who stands with Khushuu

Aren’t you inspired when you see

See the masses bowing and prostrating

When Allahu Akbar is called

Don’t you just want to join in

To see and to feel what you imagine what they are feeling

In the ocean there are jewels to be harvested

By those with intention and focus

Who live and who dwell by its shores

Who willingly and repeatedly dive into its depth

Who learn its rhythms

Who understand its exacting standards

So too within the salaat

There can be found much benefit

For the person of understanding and sincere intention

One who knows the worth of being certain

Certain in and of Allah’s promise.

Into her salat she will dive

Head long, feeling a rush

Into the rukuu she will settle

Completely immersed in the wonder

And into her sajda she will linger

Exploring with confidence

Finding precious pearls and beautiful gems

Beholding wondrous sights

Those that bring about sincere tears of appreciation

Also like the ocean

Once you leave it for a time

You become dry from the sun

And the memory and clarity starts to fade

What you have earned from trading

Those gems you had obtained from the dive,

It gets used up in daily living

So to stay away from the ocean

Is to destitute the persistent diver

So it is to stay away from salat

It is to destitute the believer

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Bismillah

O’Allah, in reciting surah Al Fatiha, let me benefit thusly and more inshallah.

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

With the name of Allah, the merciful so that He created all of creation and sustains it and the merciful so that He benefits those who turn to Him with humbleness and in truth, seeking only His face, cognizant of their faqeer (needy/poor/destitute/not owning anything) state, and thankful that He is there to rest their weary souls upon.

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Alameen

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, are for Allah alone, the Lord and Sustainer and Cherisher of all the creation. All the Hamd belongs to Him, is only for Him, and deserves only to be used in relation to Him.

He created all of creation, He sustains it and maintains it with power, everyday He brings matter to light and takes matters to darkness. How powerful and majestic is Allah!

Ar Rahmani r-Raheem

He is merciful, to His creatures who wrong Him, to all and sundry, freely and completely merciful, never ever expecting something back nor requiring it nor desiring it.

Maaliki yaumid-Deen

Ownder of the day of judgement, the day He created out of His mercy to His creatures and creation in general. On that day He will rectify wrongs, He will punish those who deserve and save those He is pleased with. On that day, He will free those that were worshipped but did not ask for this worshipping nor were they pleased with it from those who worshipped them; and He will cast into the fires of Hell those who were worshipped at their own behest or who found themselves being worshipped and loved this state and worked to further this state as much as possible. It is the day of sorting, of humiliation, it is the day where everything will end and everything will begin, for eternity. It is a day when all wrongs will be set to right, when everyone will be rewarded according to their intentions and actions, where none will be wronged. It is a day, created from the Mercy of Allah, reflecting the Mercy of Allah, and a day that testifies to the Mercy of Allah, because only the Most Merciful would create such a day of accounting that even the female girl, buried alive, against her say will be given her right and made to be happy and loved again, after she had felt so hated and worthless on account that her parents left her to die of suffocation in a dark cold grave. Oh how my hands are trembling to write this… that is great day in deed and only exists as another proof of the Mercy of my Lord.

Iyyaka na’abudu wa iyyaka nastae’en

Only You do we worship and only You do we seek from. Because You are the possessor of Mercy and because You have created this day of sorting where some will rejoice and others will be cast into misery, because You are so Powerful and Majestic and all Praise is only for You anyway, and You are the only true Mercy and all Mercy is because You are so merciful and everything is because You are or You have ordained, we then turn ourselves to worship only to You, giving rights only to You, doing everything only for You, submitting ourselves, humbling ourselves, openly realizing our neediness and insignificance in front of You. Further, only You do we seek Help from. Help because You are Merciful and will provide it and help us from the wrongs of our living day to day so as not to be debased on that day of standing, that day when only You and what You will can and will be done. We worship you to the exclusion of ourselves and our desires and we seek only from You, trusting only in You, realizing that none else can help us or even understands the depth of our need at all.

Ihdina siraatul mustaqeem

Guide us to the straight path, the true path, the path that leads to your mercy, the one that will cause us to be among the rejoicers, the freed ones, and the saved ones on that day where everything will be accounted and avenged. The path of truth, the one that you have spoken about in Your Book, the only true path, the path of the victorious party, the path that will save from Your Wrath and Punishment and the path that will cause Your Pleasure to descend upon us Inshallah.

Siratal ladheena ana’amta ‘alayhim

The path where You have guided those whom you are Pleased with, those whom You have bestowed Your Mercy upon and saved them from the fire and so made them to be righteous in this world, to be truthful, to sacrifice their wealth and selves for you, and to be leaders and guiders and bearers of glad tidings and warners for the masses. Like the Prophets and the siddiqun and the muttaqun and the mujahidun. The path of those who keep to their promises, who are patient in trial and ease, who are merciful and humble, who give what they love for the sake of dispelling your anger against their iniquities and failings, the path of those who willingly sacrifice, those who are content only when immersed in the Love of You.

Ghayril maghdhubi ‘alayhim wala dhaaaaleen

Not the path of those whom Your anger is upon, who have earned your anger by their actions, who have rejected You and what You have commanded after having known You. Not the path of persistent wrong doers, the deniers, the two faced liars, those who rejoice at misguidance, who blantantly refuse guidance, who make fun of the believers, who rejoice at the weakness of believers, who perpetrate oppression at believers, who have gone from the extreme of Your love to the extreme of Your anger/wrath.

Nor to the path of those who have gone astray, whom their desires and love of self have caused them to prefer that over your path. Those who speak about you what they know not, who are steeped in the love of intellectualism and philosophy, who make partners with You, who dedicate their love at other than You, who have left the path, only to wonder in darkness, deaf and blind, from the Nur that is You.

Please ya Allah, answer my dua, make it sincerely for you, forgive me when I err and make mistakes, make me humble in seeking you and truthful in my humility. Help me to accept your guidance and to act upon it with sincerity and humbleness.

 

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The Six Portals

Bismillah

I was reading a book by Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) and he said something that really resonated with me and makes a lot of sense even in retrospect. I have reflected on the matter and am going to paraphrase with additions of my own, what he (rahimahullah) said.

There are six (6) entry points for the Shaytan. Phew, doesn’t that make you feel a lot better to know that a) there are only 6 and b) you are about to know exactly what they are so you can guard against them? Well, that’s exactly what I felt I assure you.

The first are the eyes and ears. You can immediately see where this is going right? MashaAllah! The eyes see things and transmit that info to the heart (the brain in some cases) and the heart then yearns for those things, sometimes making the yearning the sole occupation of the heart. So if you guard the eyes from seeing that which is impermissible, or that which Allah gave more to others than to you, or that which is unattainable for you due to circumstance, or that which is harmful to your akhira if pursued in this life, then your heart will be free of yearning and aspiring and wishing for that which is of no use to you at all and may actually lead to your downfall. Some examples that come readily to mind is when the eyes view a beauty without that is not within the heart and yearn for that beauty to be theirs. Such that the person may curse Allah’s beautiful creation (the self’s appearance) by saying, “oh, how ugly I am!” Can you imagine such a scenario? Oh maybe the self will complain, sometimes very loudly, about what is lacking in their life. Things that they didn’t feel they were lacking until they saw them on others or at others or with others. Maybe the nafs will desire a bigger house, a better car, a stronger husband, more children, a high status job, better pay for work done, more vacation time, a larger extended family (or smaller one), etc.

The exact same argument goes for the ears, with one additional thing and some clarification Inshallah. The listening to gossip is sometimes the sweetest thing, making the heart feel proud that you are not in that situation, or that you are a better person in akhlaq than the one being discussed, or that you have avoided the pitfalls that the other one has fallen into, or that, it may be, your heart whispers to you that Allah has favored you over that person, so surely He must be pleased with you and will reward you even more on the day of meeting! Yes, yes, I know about what the heart whispers so don’t try to hide it o’ dear Nafs. Well, my dear, its no true, that’s the Shaytan, having entered through the listening post and is busying himself with staining your heart black so it can be deprived of the Rahma of Allah, by virtue of it being too black and too hardened.

If you want to know that which is impermissible for the ears, it is music, the luring voice of the Shaytan, speaking to your desires, arousing your emotions by using illusions hidden in flowery words. Music makes you prefer it over the Quran, the speech of Allah and that is sin enough to avoid it with a powerful avoidance. But in addition, music makes you think and feel things that aren’t really there, it causes you to yearn for delusions, it takes your heart strings and strums them so the bahar of emotions becomes tumultuous, tossing the nafs here and there, all security gone and no harbour of safety in sight. Music is the voice of the Shaytan, calling you to your destruction, to forgetfulness, to saying that which you do not know of Allah, and so many other abominations, that there isn’t enough space to cover here.

Often what the eyes see and what the ears hear causes the person to forget the blessings from Allah in their own life thereby forgetting to thank Allah for His bounties and thereby missing out on a great reward. The other thing that roaming eyes and open ears cause, is a nafs full of desire and little satisfaction. That nafs then starts running for those things it thinks will alleviate her pain or her dissatisfaction, running for the things of this dunia, the temporary things that will vanish along with everything that is set to vanish. The nafs then can become so immersed in this that it forgets its Creator, its purpose, and its final destination. The nafs then becomes lost and its affair is not something we wish to discuss for it is too painful. And Allah’s aid is sought Inshallah ya Rabb.

The next two are the mouth (tongue) and stomach. I thought you expected as much right. The mouth is the opening to all evils or all good, depending on how it is used. The freely flapping mouth, without a break, a fore thought, a pause, an examination of intentions, is the fastest and most assured entry of the Shaytan into the nafs. First lets look into its speaking. We have been ordered to speak good or remain silent yet even that small goodness that we could have earned is overturned by the bad intention behind it. That of appearing better than the others by not speaking bad about that person all of you are discussing! Yes, yes, I know dear, don’t try to hide, I know you really well you know. The tongue is also given to lying in order supposedly to protect the rights of the Nafs. It tells lies, fabricates matters, speaks at will about matters not concerning it, calls people names, tells jokes full of untruths or exaggerations, laments at the seemingly scarce bounties of Allah in one’s life, complains at the decree of Allah, pretends friendship, and so many other atrocities, I cant even think of all of them right now. Though the tongue has the opportunity to be the best part of the person, it often is their worst part and that is a shame indeed.

In addition to the mouth speaking much when in all honesty it should be very quiet, it also collaborates with the stomach, in order to fill up the stomach of unnecessary food. The mouth has cravings and the stomach is similar to skin in construction and can expand unlimitedly if it is so allowed. So while the mouth robs the Nafs of her good deeds, the stomach, full and greedily using up all the blood from the other organs, in order to work properly, it makes the Nafs lazy to commit any more good deeds. These two are thieves of the highest order because working in pairs; they grab the attention of the already lazy nafs, with entertainment, while silently and greedily stealing each and every good deed the Nafs acquired with much sacrifice in other areas.

If you notice, often the mouth and stomach are the main guests at any event of entertainment such as weddings or house parties or whatever is similar to this. The mouth busily chats away, mentioning Allah but little, rejoicing at the opportunity to showcase its ability for new words or spinning an exciting tale. At the same time, the stomach is busy collecting all that is on the table and storing it for later use. Later, when the mouth is silenced by virtue that the party is over and everyone has gone home, the stomach then comes to do its work on the food collected, making the person lazy, sleepy, tired, and fatigued so she is only interested in sitting down or lying down or sleeping, or resting with something that does not require too much mental focus because the stomach is busy and needs all others to rest while it uses their energy to work.

So next time you are invited to a party, think twice why you are going and who are taking with you. It may just be you are taking the two thieves, who will use that opportunity to rob you of your good deeds, sometimes more than a year’s worth maybe, and Allah knows best about all matters and only His aid against these two is sought.

As for the last two portals, they are the hands and the feet. The hands have the capability to do great work, yet often they are misused and instead of giving, people use them for taking, instead of sharing, they are used for appropriating and instead of helping, they are used for hoarding. The hand that gives is better than the hand that takes and is always more superior in the eyes of all and sundry, even a child knows that. Our hands are our actors in this world. By the actions of the hands, the person is known, not by his speech and certainly not his looks or possessions or anything. The person who is called a miser is termed so because no one sees his hands neither giving nor helping. And the person who is called generous is the one whose hands are open and constantly ready to help. Though none of our actions should be to please others, Allah does talk about how one knows a person and one way is through their actions and the actors are often the hands.

The feet are the carrier of the person, where they take him, he has to go. By guarding the feet, one can prevent the self from going to forbidden or disliked places, or sometimes, to places that may be in and of themselves neither forbidden nor disliked but the actions that the person will most likely do there, is either forbidden or disliked. For example, going to a house party, where there will be just your friends and family is perfectly permissible. However, one must question why they are going, who they are taking there with them (the mouth, stomach, eyes, ears, and hands), what purpose do they foresee to accomplish therein, etc. You see, its not enough that the place is permissible, there are factors to be considered which are just as important. Some people go to the Masjid, which is a beloved place to go, yet they loose more ajar by going than by not going. It maybe be they will sit in the back and chat about family (gossip/slander) or business (trade is forbidden in the masajid) or to look at the opposite gender (Allah has ordered the gaze to be lowered from the opposite gender) or to show off their new clothes or other acquisitions, etc. The intention behind the action to be committed is as important, if not more important then action under consideration is. Truly Allah is the knower of what He created and He knows what dark whispers are whispered to the heart. And we ask Allah to safe guard us from the going astray and the earning of this wrath.

So you see, Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) truly touched on exactly the places that need our highest level of vigilance against in order to safeguard one thing, the heart. The nafs resides in the heart (in a manner of speaking ok, I have no idea where the nafs is and that matter is of the unseen and as Allah has said, of its knowledge we have been given but very little and to be very honest, I don’t even possess that little knowledge and for that I’m very thankful to Allah). If the heart is the throne of all limbs, then the nafs is sitting on that throne Inshallah. And if the body is a kingdom, then the 6 portals are the entry into this kingdom. If the nafs is to direct her kingdom so it can be successful, then the portals need protection because if they kingdom is invaded, especially when the nafs is unprepared, then the kingdom may fall to the enemy and can be either ruled as a whole or be divided into smaller kingdom, each ruled by its own newly installed king, none of them willing to work together and all of them trying to establish their dominion over the others.

When this happens, it is when you will sometimes the person is given to good in some things and bad in some things, and completely unconcerned about other things. A nafs conducting a defensive war is a nafs that is in great danger, at any moment they can fall, their resources are depleted or depleting quickly, and in essence, that nafs is living from breath to breath, not sure when it will be defeated, but getting weaker and weaker, so that it may the weakness will defeat it, an internal weakness, not even the enemy that had invaded anymore. Except that the enemy would have contributed to the condition that allowed that internal weakness to manifest and cause a complete breakdown.

Now then, I cannot leave my explanation at such a low point and must give an attempt at a plan of action to combat the onslaught awaiting us Inshallah. Since we know the 6 openings from which the Shaytan and his minions can invade our stronghold, we can then work to strengthen each portal then to post guards to each portal so that it is well manned, and in case of an actual invasion, it is quickly defended and restored Inshallah.

Allah has Alhamdulillah provided a natural covering for the eyes and if we actively manage the lids by pulling them down over our eyes in all situations, we can truly start to not see this world and instead, start to see the inner reality of matters before us. This world, as Allah has explained to us, is a place of pomp and mutual boasting, a place where nothing will last and everything is bound to perish.

We can see this every spring when the earth becomes decorated beautifully as if it will never go away again and then the fall comes and all that was green and lush is dried stubble and scattered. By lowering the gaze from the illusions of this world, Allah has promised that the reality will become clear, and certainly we can start to see better our real purpose and start the process of cultivating for the real home where all of us are going. Remember, the first glance is excused and the second is the Shaytan tempting you and if you follow through with that glance, your heart will become corrupted by him. As it has been said that the eyes are directly connected to the heart so what the eyes see, the heart yearn for. So lowering the gaze is the first step to purifying the heart from the love of this world, from the love of what is illusion and starting to build the love of what is real, Allah and the life to come Inshallah.

The ears have no natural covering and will need the help of the feet and or the tongue to attain success Inshallah. So if the ears hear that which is not beneficial to its coming life, then the tongue can try to speak and change the situation and if that cannot happen, then the feet can remove the ears and carry them away to safety Inshallah. So the ears are the messengers that should activate the tongue and or the feet to righteous actions. If the ears indulge in the sin, then the tongue which did not speak and the feet which did not move, will have to answer along with the ears, for they then become corroborating appendages in the crime being committed.

The tongue is the messenger of the Nafs to the rest of the world. Therefore, let is say good or be quiet. Let is encourage righteousness and forbid evil, either with itself or with remaining limbs (hands and feet). To help busy the tongue that likes and is used to flapping for many hours of the day, it is best to recite adhkar. By reciting the names of Allah, reading the Quran or just reciting from memory, saying the beloved remembrance of Allah, about His Glory, His Praises, His Greatness, declaring the shahadah and reflecting about it, and other forms of remembrance. If the tongue tires of reciting prescribed adhkar (the ones the prophet salallahu alayhe wasalaam used to recite as has reached us through authentic Sunnah), then the Nafs can engage in a dialogue with Allah, a dua’. Dua’ as has been explained to us, also falls under the remembrance of Allah and is considered a form of prayer also. This I think is because when you are engaged in dua, you are praying to Allah for something and also by praying to Allah, you are acknowledging that Allah is there, listening and hearing you, that He is able to answer you, that He has power of whatever you are praying about, etc. So in essence, you are affirming His names and attributes, Great is He. So the best dua is the one that does this Inshallah, that is it affirms the names of Allah and His attributes and thereby, by virtue of the fact that you need Him, you are also affirming your status as a slave, and by supplicating only to Him, you are affirming that you worship only Him. How excellent is dua to save the tongue from the fire of Hell, and refuge is only sought from Allah.

The stomach must be kept neither empty nor full, but in a state such that you cannot feel it. What I mean is, since the stomach has the same construction as the skin, able to expand or contract in the same manner, being porous in the same manner, and even diseasing in the same manner, then it should feel like the skin feels, and that is like its not there, you don’t feel it, you are not aware of it.

Just think for a second, can you feel your skin? I hope not Inshallah! The stomach should be in the same state Inshallah and that is best for it Inshallah. Because if it is too empty, then it will bother you with its insistence at being fed and this may distract you from important work, and certainly may diminish your concentration. And of course, a continuously empty stomach may diminish your strength over time, making you weaker and closer to sickness than health and this is disliked if it is a condition brought upon the self purposely. As our Leader (salallahu alayhe wasalaam) has advised, fast and eat, as he (salallahu alayhe wasalaam) used to do this. And even Prophet Dawud (alayhe salaam), fasted one day and that was for worshipping, and ate the next day, and that was for being thankful to Allah.

The hands and feet should try to work in conjunction with each other as much as possible. So that the feet will carry the hands to places where goodly actions may be easily accomplished by the hands, and the reward will be for both of them Inshallah. The hands should become accustomed to giving and should rarely take, and this is a way of affirming the attribute of Allah Al Razzaq. By giving and being a provider to others, not only do you demonstrate the names of Allah who is our Provider and Sustainer, but also, you have the opportunity to affirm His Mercy, His Clemency, and certainly Inshallah His Forgiveness.

Remember, the generous person and the righteous person is the one who gives without expecting anything in return, at least not from his fellow slaves, but from the owner of himself and others. Being righteous is not just about praying and fasting and fulfilling the commands of Allah, it is also by doing actions that are deemed righteous and having right conduct Inshallah.

So a righteous slave partakes of this world only very little and give to this world as much as he can from his own provisions. This is partly because the provisions are not really his own by are actually on loan to him and partly because this world is the trading ground and those that hope for success, should trade as much of what they have as possible, as often as possible, and as correctly as possible in order to increase their stock of goods and their profit margin from their business during the trading hours, and those are short, comparatively.

So my dear lovely well meaning but somewhat misguided Nafs, set for yourself a program where you can review the state of your kingdom, along with its borders, then start the process of rectifying that which needs rectification as soon as possible. The enemy is at hand, ready to annihilate you, so let not your destruction lay at your own hands, by virtue of that you did nothing to save neither yourself nor your kingdom. Lower you gaze, cover your ears or change the subject or admonish against it, or remove yourself from that which will burn your ears. Additionally, leave your appetites at home, lock the stomach, and shut the mouth with a strong shutting, permitting little in and even less out. Make your hands be messengers of glad tidings, and your feet a means of escape once you have tried the doing all good but have failed Inshallah. Remember that Allah is with you when you are Patient and when you remember Him, do be patient and remember Him often. Know that Allah has illegalized suspicion and gossip and slander so avoid them lest you land in His jail. Know also that Allah loves those who speak truth, who fear Him much (and hence avoid wrong doing), and those who enjoin good and forbid evil so strive to do this for His sake so He may be pleased with you Inshallah.

O’ Nafs, I pray Allah gives you success and all safety.

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Battle

Bismillah

I have entered into a battlefield. It is the scariest thing alive. Half of me is ready to flee, the remaining half is looking for excuses to flee and all of me is standing about in indecision, heart pumping and ready for the sprint of a life time.

I’m facing an enemy of a thousand and I tell you right now, my eman is so weak, it would take 3 to 9 of me to fight one of them! So to say that I’m out numbered is a gross exaggeration!

There is Iblis, the commander in chief, on his war steed, powerful, terrifying and looking undefeatable. Around him is a blood bath of severed limbs from those whom he has easily defeated. His piercing knowing eyes are fixed upon me. He knew I was coming, my puny self, and he is ready. He hated me before he saw me and my presence on this battle field is a laughing matter for him. Long ago he declared his enmity against my lowly self, weak and hasty he knew I was going to be.

On his left and right sides are his minions. Many are mounted upon war steeds, powerful, them and their horses’ SubhanAllah, scary too. Not to mention the numerous foot soldiers, all at the ready to attack should I choose to move one step forward. It’s almost like him and his minions can read my ambitions, my aspirations, my hopes and dreams and they rage to crush them. It is probably certain that they know my desires, have studied in depth my weak points, and have a plethora of tools to torture all goodness and pure intentions from me.

I’m scared. That is until I look around to my left and right. Then though my fear does not subside, courage returns. I remember why I came to the battle field in the first place. Alhamdulillah!

Right next to me, on my left and right are my two recording sentinels. They are ready to record my deeds of bravery, my valour, my self sacrifice, my pure actions. As soon as I intend and do them that is. Beyond them is the creation of Allah the Majestic. They, those who have submitted themselves with a complete submission, they are all on my side. They are rooting for me, cheering for me, encouraging me. They remind me that I am battle worthy and they show me long and detailed records of the numerous defeats of Iblis and his minions.

They remind me that after all, I did make it here. Not many do. Not many can. Not many are willing to. When I look at my cheerers, my well wishers, my eman is bolstered. After all, on my side are the giants like Prophet Ibrahim alayhe salaam. He opposed everything and left everything for the sake of His Lord. When His Lord called him to *aslim*, he said *aslamtu lirabbil ‘alameen* and thereafter, Allah chose him and raised him in ranks upon ranks.

Then there is Hajar umm Sulaiman alayhe salaam. She submitted to the command of Allah and settled in the desert, to raise her son in a pure environment for the pleasure of her Lord. And she never wavered in her belief in Allah and she knew He would save her and provide for her, so long as she made her part of the effort. And her Yaqeen was rewarded with Zamzam. A spring we still drink from today, tens of thousands of years later!

And of course, the fish and the trees, the beautiful creation of Allah are all on my side, supplicating for me, cheering for me, encouraging me, tell me to be unflagging and Allah will defeat Iblis for me.

Then I look up. Laila hailallah! What can I say! Power and strength floods into my heart and I become strong and ready. You see, my Lord is above me, far above me, above me and the 7 heavens. He is watching over me. He is there, providing for me, helping me. He is ever ready to assist me, to make my efforts bear fruit.

I’m ready. Let’s battle.

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Advice for Hajj

Bismillah

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Holy Qur’an:

 

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ

 

رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ

 

خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى

 

وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ

 

The season of Pilgrimage is the months known; wherefore whosoever ordaineth unto himself the pilgrimage therein, there is no lewdness nor wickedness nor wrangling during the pilgrimage, and whatsoever of good ye do, Allah shall know it. And take provision for the journey, for verily the best provision is abstainment; and fear Me, O men of understanding!

 

[al Baqarah 2/197]

In the verse related to Hajj, the need to perform tawaaf (ritual walk around the Holy Ka’ba), sa’ee (ritual walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa), stoning of the shayaateen are not mentioned, rather Allah سبحانه وتعالى mentions the need to abstain from 3 acts :
1. Lewd talk
This means any talk which is rude, indecent, offensive or vulgar. To speak in such a manner violates the sanctity of Hajj. It does not befit a Muslim to speak in a lewd manner – it only suggests a filthy heart and mind. This prohibition during Hajj also includes speaking of conjugal relations between husband and wife which under normal circumstances would be permissible.
2. Sinning
This includes any act of disobedience to Allah سبحانه وتعالى especially not lowering one’s gaze. During Hajj, being such a large gathering of men and women, the need to lower one’s gaze becomes all the more important. Not lowering one’s gaze not only destroys the sanctity of Hajj, but one’s attention is diverted from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to the creation. Nothing is achieved by the stray gaze – it is an arrow which only returns to pierce one’s own heart.
3. Arguing
The Hajj journey makes the most patient and forbearing of people irritable because one’s sleeping and eating patterns are disrupted. In such a state and in such a large gathering of people one may be easily provoked and get into an argument. At such times one should exercise patience and self-discipline and remind himself by saying ‘I am in Hajj’ i.e. I am in a sanctified state.

These 3 sins reflect the 3 categories of sins a Muslim should avoid throughout his life i.e.
• Sins of the tongue
• Sins of the flesh
• Sins against fellow Muslims

During Hajj these 3 sins are especially dangerous yet so easy to commit. If a person engages in any of these there is a great danger that all of the reward for Hajj will be destroyed. As well as fulfilling all the rites and rituals of Hajj, it is necessary to refrain from the above sins for an accepted Hajj.

source

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Two Choices

Bismillah

SubhanAllah (Glorified is Allah)

“What would you do? You make the choice! Don’t look for a punch line; There isn’t one! Read it anyway. My question to all of you is: Would you
have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children,the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

“When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as
other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?”

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. “I believe,that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and itcomes, in the way other people treat that child.”Then he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked,”Do you think they’ll let me play?”
Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son
were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his
handicaps.

Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around for
guidance and said, “We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him
in to bat in the ninth inning.”

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench put on a team shirt with a broad smile and his Father had a small tear in his eye and warmth in
his heart. The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was
still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way,
he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base
and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that
a hit was all but impossible ’cause Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved
in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and
missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and
hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and
both teams started yelling, “Shay, run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had Shay ever ran that far but made it to first base. He
scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!” Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to second base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions and he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, “Shay, Shay, Shay,
all the Way Shay” Shay reached third base, the opposing shortstop ran to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, and
shouted, “Run to third! Shay, run to third” As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and those watching were on their feet were
screaming, “Shay, run home! Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the “grand slam” and won the game for his team.

That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and
humanity into this world.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer and died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his Father so happy and
coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day! ”

I first saw this story in February of 2006. Six years later, it’s still teaching me and still reducing me to tears. Everything Allah does has a purpose. We don’t have to understand everything, we have to trust completely that the Creator of the Universe and everything in it, would not do a purposeless thing, nor would He hurt His creation, except if and only if, it benefits them.

It is said that Allah hates to command that the Angel of Death take the souls of the believers because He knows that it hurts at the time of separation of the soul and the body, and the servant is scared. So He sends His gentlest Angels to receive that soul with the sweetest and most soothing words, thereby making the believing soul yield its soul easily, letting it come out the way water flows from a spout.

o’ Allah, purify us and take us to You while you are most Pleased with us.

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