A Vision…

14 07 2012

At a recent visioning workshop given  by Sheikh Sajid Ahmed Umar, director of Mercy Mission and an incredible man, mashaAllah! we are asked to imagine what we would like to be in 20 years time. The following story is purely fictional, any resemblance to someones life is purely co-incidental. This is how I always day-dream my life to be, 20 years ahead. May Allah make our wishes come true.

TTRRRRRRR…. I open one eye to take a look at the alarm at my bedside. 8:00 it shows. I turn around to check on my husband, but do not find him there. I quickly say my adhkar and jump out of the bed. Today is a big day for all of us! 

I freshen up and walk into the living room to find Mr Hubby working on his presentation. Its apparent that he didn’t take a nap after we prayed Fajr together (Mr Hubby is a very workaholic man, you see. May Allah give him success in this world and the hereafter). I greet him and walk into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. 

Breakfast is ready. Time to wake up my amazing mother-in-law and 3 beautiful kids. Its been our family tradition to have breakfast and dinner meals together at any cost, of course with some rare exceptions. It strengthens the bond of the members and brings us together. We try to pray our salah in jama’ah as well. Awwab has an exceptional recitation mashaAllah.

As I mentioned earlier, today is a big day. Mr Hubby has a huge presentation, if it goes well he will get a huge promotion that he had always dreamed about. Haneen, 16 and my eldest is graduating today with honors and is selected to deliver the graduation speech. Awwab, 12, is the captain of the junior basketball team. They will be playing the last match of the season later tonight inshaAllah! And then there is Azza is 8, well she is extremely excited for her siblings and we are going to bake a very big congratulation for them. She has 5 more juzz’ to complete memorizing the Quran like Haneen and Awwab. They are truly a blessing in my life and I couldn’t have asked Allah for anything better, Alhamdulillah. My kids speak 3 languages fluently and excel in their academic as well as Islamic studies. The aura of our home has always been fitnah-free and healthy. By that I mean, we didn’t leave much chance for shaytan to enter through music or TV.

I’m proud of everyone in this little household. My thoughts always turn towards my parents and my respect towards them has no limits. None of this would have been possible without their upbringing. I wish to someday achieve some of what they have. I’ve learnt the most difficult art of sacrifice and compromise from them. Year after year I see them give up their dreams and desires, only so that we could have ours. Giving up music and movies so that the children can be raised with great principles, thats something we rarely see parents of the modern generation do. May Allah reward them immensely and grant them the highest level of jannah.

Lastly, my dream of setting up a girl’s hostel for orphans in my home country has come true inshaAllah. Ever since i visited Hyderabad, India for the first time in 2010 it has been my yearning desire to do something big for the underprivileged here. My mother-in-law has been a great support with the idea from the start. Along with her and Mr. Hubby’s love and support we have opened many schools for girls across the state. The reason we chose to focus on females is that we are ‘ummah-makers’. By educating one woman, you can educate an entire generation be-ithnillah. As our beloved sheikh Sajid Ahmed Umer put it, we are the “trim- tabbers”- the small rudder on a boat or plane that turns the big rudder that turns the whole ship. We pride ourselves in imparting the best of education, all in a 100% Islamic environment. May Allah make it a success.

Signing off to a very important day in our life. I pray that we can always live in happiness.

 

Amena Mustafa

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KEEPING THE TORCH IGNITED…

9 08 2011

“He (shaitan) said: Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).” (Quran 7:16-17).

is 

Ramadan is here and almost over, the whole world seems to have come alive with the ‘Ramadan Spirit’. There is Mercy, Kindness, Love,  Charity, Brotherhood, Charity drifting in the atmosphere in this holy and blessed month.  Ramadan, for most of us is a time of renewal and reestablishment of our commitment to Allah and His religion. We fast, give charity, read the Qur’an and perform the night prayer. We avoid gossip, slander and every evil that would invalidate our fasts and additional acts of worship. This is the scenario during ramadan… but what happens after it?? prayer is replaced with slacking of, quran substituted with music, the tongue which refrained from all bad speech is once again back in shape.

Ramadan is essentially a month where we starve our bodies and nourish our weakening soul… and once Ramadaan is over we continue to neglect our souls, until they become weak and die! Is this what we want for ourselves? A dead heart has no place for the dhikr of Allah swt in it… It is deprived of the precious gift of Iman and Taqwa. Subsequently, Allah will stop giving Hidaya and we will be among those who have been lead astray.

 How do we continue the spirit of Ramadan for the entire year, and throughout our lives? The following are some ways:

 1. Guard your prayers:During Ramadan, many of us make sure to pray every prayer on time — often at the masjid. Continue to guard your prayers, because surely they will guard you. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greatest. And Allah knows that which you do.” (29:45)

 2. Remember Allah by staying close to the Qur’an:During Ramadan, many of us spend our nights and days reading Qur’an. Remembering Allah by staying close to the Qur’an everyday will protect you from shaitan and keep your heart polished. Allah’s messenger said: “There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is the remembrance of Allah.” (Bukhari) The Prophet has also said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its companions.” (Muslim)

 3. Think more and talk less:The Prophet said: “Sometimes a person says a thing that pleases Allah, and in return Allah raises his status; and sometimes a person says something that displeases Allah, and it takes him to hell.” (Bukhari) Ibrâhîm an-Nakhâ‘î, a pious predecessor, once said: “Whoever reflects will find that the noblest and most dignified person of every gathering is the one who is most silent, because silence beautifies the scholar and conceals the faults of the ignorant.”

 4. Repent often:Many of us seek forgiveness from Allah during Ramadan, but abandon this practice once Ramadan is over. Keep in mind that the Prophet Muhammad used to repent to Allah 100 times every single day. Repenting often keeps our hearts clean and always connected to Allah.





The Correct meaning of ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’ – by Shaikh ibn Baaz

5 08 2011

The Correct meaning of ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’ – by Shaikh ibn Baaz.





The Jilbaab and what Garments can Substitute It

26 07 2011

The Jilbaab and what Garments can Substitute It.





MY HEART….. A PENDULUM

4 07 2011

                      يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ

Yaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik.

Oh turner of hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.

By God, my heart is a never stopping pendulum. One day i find myself very much close to Allah swt and the next i find myself slacking off  my prayers. Why? Why is what I always wondered. Verily, Life is an ever changing tide, sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. The only thing that can keep us through is the help of Allah swt. He has the power over all thing, seen and unseen. He knows the condition of our hearts and what goes on in this little piece of flesh.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then ALLAH’s Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

Allāhumma Musarrif al-Qulūbi Sarrif Qulūbana ‘alā Tā’atika O ALLAH, Turner of the hearts, direct our hearts to Your obedience.

It is the nature of our hearts to constantly change, therefore we need to ask Allah swt to redirect our hearts to His Obedience as we are constantly falling short in our obedience to Him as we are prone to falter.

The heart is the strongest organ of the human body. It is the foundation of all thoughts and understanding. In an authentic hadith of the  Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), he pointed to his heart and said three times, “Taqwa (consciousness and fear of ALLAH) is here.” [Musnad Ahmad] This hadeeth shows us that when the heart fears ALLAH, then the limbs will follow.

May Allah strengthen our Iman and keep us firm on the right path of the Salaf As-Salih… Ameen ya Rab al Alameen

 





FADING SHADOW….. LIFE

4 07 2011

-A few ideas are taken from the book ‘Life is a Fading Shadow’ by Abdul-Malik Al Qasim

This dunya is like a shadow, if you try to catch it, you will never be able to do so but if you turn your back towards it, it has no choice but to follow you. -Ibn Al Qayyim

“Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyement, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” (40:39)

LIFE. What is LIFE?, “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, and “What is the meaning of it all?”, All these questions haunt us daily. Everyone is searching for these answers since time immemorial. A lot of ancient philosophers and thinkers have come up with some ideologies and theories on the meaning of life.

In Platonism, the meaning of life is in attaining the highest form of knowledge. Human beings are duty-bound to pursue the good, but no one can succeed in that pursuit without philosophical reasoning, which allows for true knowledge. Aristotle believes that life is all about  “happiness”, “well-being”, “flourishing”, and “excellence”. Whereas Cynic philosophers said that happiness depends upon being self-sufficient and master of one’s mental attitude; suffering is consequence of false judgments of value.

While these analogies and theories might be satisfactory in the worldly sense, it is not good enough for us to attain our peace of mind and not many are content with these definitions as they do not answer our never- ending questions on the purpose of our creation. Even though they give us a faint view on our aim in life, it pertains only to the worldly life i.e the ‘dunya’ which is temporary. Who can better answer our query on the purpose of our creation other than the ultimate creator, Allah swt!

“And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (Qur’an 51:56)

Al-Fudail bin Iyad has been reported to have beautifully said, “Entering this life is easy, but departing from it is very hard.”- Al-Ihya, vol.3 People are so caught up in worldly affairs that we seem to have forgotten that this life is just a passing stage, a bridge to the final destination, a test to see if we qualify for an eternal bliss. Instead, we are satisfied with what little this life has to offer us, while putting the bounty of Allah swt at stake.

“What have I to do with this life? The parable of me and this life is the parable of a rider who rested in the shade of a tree and then departed.”(bin Hanbal, At-tirmidhi, Ibn-Majah, Al-Albani). This is what our prophet had to say about life. So why is it that we live in this world like kings and queens and disobey the supreme power? Al-Hasan was once asked about, who will be screaming in horror the most on the Day of judgement, meaning from Allah’s torment. He said: “A man whom Allah had granted bounties which he used in the disobedience of Allah” (AlHasan AlBasri, p.47)

This life is just like a race track where the horses and their riders vie to reach the finish line before the others. This is the same case with the people of this life, but they are unaware that they are in a race, because they are engaged in heedlessness.

To pass this test is very simple, all that is to be done is enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad. May Allah give us strength and duidance to follow his path- Aameen





A BEND IN THE ROAD…

25 06 2011

 “Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).” [Q 17:15]

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn”. We are all humans and its human nature to make mistakes, big mistakes, small mistakes, dark mistakes, threatening mistakes, mistakes that can leave a life-long impact, in short all kinds of mistakes.

The fact is, you make one mistake, and people are going to judge you for the rest of your life. How much ever we try to get back to the right path, there’s always that element in hearts of people that keep them back from intensely believing that people can actually change. They tend to ignore all the good you’ve been doing just because you happened to have a made a few mistakes in life. Unfortunately, I happened to be among these people, until it happened to me.

We make a lot of mistakes, especially in teenage. That’s when an individual is in the process of identifying them self and that’s the time when we are the most vulnerable and that’s when ‘peer pressure’ can get you the most. It takes courage to grow up and become who you are!

You must be thinking its not important what people think about you or what image they hold of you, what only matters is that Allah azza wa jal forgives you. No doubt Allah Almighty’s forgiveness is very important, but today we live in a world where we are highly dependent on each other for our mere needs. Our work is highly characterized by society’s perception of us. What can make you or build you might be determined by the humanity’s approval of an individual.

Living with a mistake is tough and toilsome. We just wish we could lock our self  up in a tiny dark room and never come out. The emotion that comes from the conscience when you have done something you know is wrong is very distressing, especially when your mistakes have resulted in hurting somebody.

Today the peer pressure is so vehement, we often do stuff without giving a second thought towards the consequences. We tend to hop in the games just for the fun of the moment, without realizing that somebody might get hurt in the process. The loud laughter, the high-fiving all seem so fun that we often do not understand that our tiny joke can hurt a persons feelings.

The first thing to overcome this guilt is to owe up to your mistake. I know I was wrong, I know I messed up and that is why I’m sitting here typing this up. Apologize for your mistake. Saying sorry doesn’t mean that there isn’t guilt and forgiving doesn’t mean that the pain is gone, but we must learn to move on in life. Lastly ask for Allah’s forgiveness for he is oft- forgiving, oft- merciful! May Allah s.w.t give us guidance and help us live happily in peace in this Dunya as well as Akhirah…

Our Rabb! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter.  And save us from the torment of the Fire!  (Quran 2:201)

 i would like to sincerely apologize to all my friends who have been hurt due to my mistakes… as it was not my intention to do so, And Shaytan is the enemy of all believers…. Forgive me and remember me in your duas.