Archive for grief

A Muslim, like an ‘evergreen’ fruit-bearing tree?

Posted in Luminous Lanterns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by Ibby'sMom

There are some verses in the Quraan which make your heart love this religion even more…

‘See you not how Allâh sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high).  Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allâh sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.’ [Surah Ibrahim, 14:24-25]

***
What an interesting parable. Each of us, as Muslims, are like that goodly tree–>Shajaratun Tayyibatun. A tree which gives fruit day and night. As Muslim, all our deeds which are void of sinning will produce goodness just because of that Kalimatun Tayyibatun. Just because of Tawheed. SubhanAllah! Isn’t that amazing?

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented that Allah’s statement,

(a parable: a goodly word), refers to testifying to La ilaha illallah, (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) while, (as a goodly tree), refers to the believer, and that, (whose root is firmly fixed), indicates that La ilaha illallah, (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) is firm in the believers’ heart, (and its branches (reach) to the sky.) with which the believer’s works are ascended to heaven.

Good deeds ascend upwards?

Similar is said by Ad-Dahhak, Sa’id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Mujahid and several others. They stated that this parable describes the believer’s deeds, good statements and good actions. The believer is just like the beneficial date tree, always having good actions ascending at all times, by day and by night.

What tree does a Muslim resemble?

Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “We were with the Messenger of Allah when he asked, (Tell me about a tree that resembles the Muslim, the leaves of which do not fall in summer or winter and gives its fruit at all times by the leave of its Lord.)” Ibn `Umar said, “I thought of the date palm tree, but felt shy to answer when I saw that Abu Bakr and `Umar did not talk. When they did not give an answer, the Messenger of Allah said, (It is the date palm tree.) When we departed, I said to `Umar, `My father, by Allah! I thought that it was the date tree.’ He said, `Why did you not speak then’ I said, `I saw you were silent and I felt shy to say anything.’ `Umar said, `Had you said it, it would have been more precious to me than such things (i.e., would have been very precious to me).”’

Source: Ibn Kathir

What’s so amazing is that, as a Muslim, you don’t have to be of a certain age to get your good deeds accepted. Like for example, when you reach a certain age in the workforce, you’re made to retire. That’s not the case with Islam. Also, if you have physical challenges and illnesses/disabilities, as long as you’re a Muslim…you’re that amazing tree which will keep on bearing fruit. Your actions to be beneficial are not limited to anything at all…except that they are done in the name of Allah SWT necessitating that it’s done with the right intention and in accordance to the Sunnah of Rasulalah SAW. You don’t need to have any qualification or work experience or any exceptional skill. Just believe in Allah SWT in the manner He SWT has ordained us to…and you suddenly become that everlasting fruit-bearing beneficial tree…EVEN IF to the people of this world you’re ‘useless’, ‘good-for-nothing’, ‘mentally-weak’ and so on. Our Rabb looks into the hearts and how firmly rooted they are in Tawheed and if the heart’s healthy, it will promote the body parts to happily follow the Commands of Allah SWT.

For a Muslim, your sleep can be worship. Your love for your family can be worship. So with every breath you can get reward, whether day or night provided you have the right intentions and follow the Sunnah. The Bank of ‘Ajr is open 24/7 alhamdolilah. No limitations at all for ascension of good deeds either. B…e…a…u…t…i…f…u…l!

Isn’t understanding the Quraan an interesting activity? Would anyone of us had realized its beauty by just reciting it without pondering over it?

Hmm. Something to think about.

And Allah SWT knows best.

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Don’t ‘Freeze’ Khayr-Activities during Calamities

Posted in Vaccinations for Dunia with tags , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by Ibby'sMom

Ibn Abid-Duniay also reported that ‘Umar ibn Bakr said:

“And old Qurayshite man once said: ‘When al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn , the father of ‘Ubaydullah Ibn al-Hasan died, his son ‘Ubaydullah, was the commander and judge of al-Basrah. Many people came to console him. They argued about what reveals man’s impatience , and concluded that it is considered to be a token of impatience that man interrupts anything he used to do (before calamity).”

[‘The Way to Patience and Gratitude’, by Imam ibn Al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah(R), pp.144]

***

This then probably includes:

-not giving up on Nawafil acts of ‘Ibadah during a calamity if that’s what you engaged in prior to  the calamity

-continuing to pray with Khushoo’ and doing Faraidh in the manner ordained

-not giving up being polite and gentle to people when it’s a difficult/tensed situation

-continuing good deeds such as spending of one’s time and money for the Sake of Allah SWT when both are tight due to increased no. of responsiblities and/or financial constraints

In short, continue the acts of goodness and let not calamity become a dead end to your road to Jannah. That’s some food for thought. Hmm. Just become ‘unstoppable’ because Shaytan’s going to make you lazy/sad/down/frustrated in every way. Something to monitor within myself.

And Allah SWT knows best.

Loss of Hope in Allah’s Mercy [Question Answered]

Posted in Naseeha Notes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by Ibby'sMom

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

‘Inshaa’Allah The Good Times have Come’

This is in response to the question I got regarding fighting the whisperings of Shaytan in terms of despairing over past sins. And also how one can get rid of these thoughts that keep coming in. I apologize beforehand if I have been aggressive in my response.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Dearest Slave of Allah SWT,

We as Muslims alhamdolilah believe that whatever is in the ahadith is the Truth, right? So if the Prophet SAW said that a human is prone to sin, then why can’t we as humans accept it?

[Note:The key thing to remember is that one should remind oneself of this after they have committed a sin and not before committing it.]

He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani.]

If Allah SWT guided you, made you hate the sin of your past…who are YOU to not forgive yourself? Fine you did what you did. It’s over and done for. From here on either you can (1) continue to sin or (2) repent or (3) lose hope and fall into other sins. Often times most of us fall in the third category. This is how things normally go for most of us:

We start becoming more practicing and our past misdeeds become abhorrent-which is excellent alhamdolilah. We repent and try hard to purify ourselves. Sometimes some of us never get to see their past again. And sometimes our past tracks us down and stands in our face…reminding us of our sins. We start hating ourselves for doing whatever we did and feel as if Allah SWT didn’t forgive us. I have told this to so many people…who ARE YOU to say that Allah SWT didn’t forgive you? Honestly, do you have foresight or hidden knowledge or something? Let me first set the record straight by reminding myself and all of us with the following hadith before I go on:

The hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik (R) that is reported by, amongst others, at-Tirmidhee in his Sunan. He said,”Allaah’s Messenger SAW said: ‘Allaah, the Most High, said, ‘O son of Aadam! As long as you supplicate to Me, and hope in Me, I will forgive you what you have done and I do not care. O son of Aadam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you asked Me for forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! If you were to come to Me with enough sins to fill the earth, but you met Me not associating anything with Me – I would bring you the like of it of forgiveness.”

Tell me what that means? Take a deep breath and have a glass of water anddddddddd have mercy on yourself! Please don’t become self-destructive. Shaytan already knows that since you’re not going to commit that sin again , this is how he plans: how about if I distract this Muslim by making him/her lose hope in Allah SWT and make them :

a) Forget about Allah SWT’s Mercy

b) Forget about Allah SWT’s Might for He can forgive everyone

c) Decrease in their obligatory Ibadah and the quality of it (our energy/love tends to increase)

d) Decrease in their good behavior with their close ones leading them to become irritable and self-centered

e) Miss their Nawafil prayers and good deeds such as smiling and other types of Sadqah

f) Not be content with Allah SWT’s Decree

g) Decrease in duaa with sincerity and conviction (because obviously they’ve lost hope)

h) Decrease in Eeman and lead them to pits of depression

i) And ultimately decrease in repentance

Now tell me, wouldn’t that be the biggest accomplishment of Shaytan? To lead astray the one who initially loved Allah SWT…to make that person stop repenting and stop having the enthusiasm to do good deeds? Because frankly speaking, if you continue to have this mindset your interest in Islam is bound to go down if not completely disappear. Shaytan does all this and do you know why?

Because Allah SWT says in the Quraan out of kindness towards His Slaves:

“Will they not turn with repentance to Allaah and ask His forgiveness? For Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Maa’idah 5:74]

“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” [Ta-Ha 20:82]

What did you learn from this verse? In order for Allah SWT to forgive you , you have to do the following:

1. Repent

2. Believe in His Oneness

3. Do righteous deeds

4. Remain steadfast on Islam until death

Of course like I said before you won’t feel like doing more good deeds if you constantly think of Allah SWT as not forgiving you. So you need to come to a balance.

***

Islam Q and A:

  • And He opens the door of repentance to the hypocrites, who are worse than the kuffaar who openly show their kufr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.

146. Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous good deeds, hold fast to Allaah, and purify their religion for Allaah (by worshipping none but Allaah, and do good for Allaah’s sake only, not to show off), then they will be with the believers. And Allaah will grant the believers a great reward” [Surah An-Nisaa]

  • Everyone who repents to Allaah, Allaah accepts his repentance. The caravan of those who have repented to Allaah will not  be interrupted until the sun rises from the west. 
  • One repented from banditry, another from adultery, and others from drinking alcohol, taking drugs, severing the ties of kinship, not praying or being too lazy to pray in congregation, disobeying parents, dealing in riba (usury) and bribes, stealing, shedding blood, consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, or smoking. Anyone who repents to Allaah from any sin is to be congratulated, because it is as if they have been born anew through their sincere repentance. 
  • It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed Sa’d ibn Maalik ibn Sinaan al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There was among the people who came before you a man who killed ninety-nine people. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a hermit, so he went to him, told him that he had killed ninety-nine people, and asked if he could be forgiven. The hermit said, ‘No,’ so he killed him, thus completing one hundred. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth and was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people, and asked whether he could be forgiven. The scholar said, ‘Yes, what could possibly come between you and repentance? Go to such-and-such a town, for in it there are people who worship Allaah. Go and worship with them, and do not go back to your own town, for it is a bad place.” So the man set off, but when he was halfway there, the angel of death came to him, and the angels of mercy and the angels of wrath began to argue over him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He had repented and was seeking Allaah.’ The angels of wrath said: ‘He never did any good thing.’ An angel in human form came to them, and they asked him to decide the matter. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands (his home town and the town he was headed for), and whichever of the two he is closest to is the one to which he belongs.’ So they measured the distance, and found that he was closer to the town for which he had been headed, so the angels of mercy took him.” (Agreed upon). 
  • According to a report narrated by Muslim (2747): “Allaah rejoices more over the repentance of His slave than any one of you if he is on his camel in a desolate land, then it runs away from him and on it is his food and drink, and he despairs of finding it, so he goes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having despaired of finding his camel, then while he is like that, it suddenly appears in front of him and he takes hold of its reins and says, because of his intense joy, ‘O Allaah, You are my slave and I am your lord,’ making this mistake because of the intensity of his joy.”

***

Now that you understand how Allah SWT will accept your repentance, let’s further strengthen your belief in His Mercy:

The Messenger of Allah SAW  narrated from his Lord that He Said:

 “I am as my slave expects Me to be.” [al-Bukhari (7405) and Muslim (2675)]

What do you think this means? This is what the scholars of the past have to say(may Allah SWT have mercy on them all) about the hadith:

  • Ibn Hajar (R) said: “Meaning, I am able to do whatever he expects I will do.”
  • An-Nawawi (R) said: “The scholars say that expecting the best of Allah is to expect that He will have Mercy on him and relieve him of hardship.” an-Nawawi also said: “al-Qadi ‘Iyad said that this means He will Forgive him if he seeks such, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something. It is also said that it refers to having hope and longing for relief, and this is more correct.”
  • Ahmad bin ‘Umar al-Qurtubi (R) said: “It is said that His Saying “I am as my slave expects Me to be” means if one expects an answer when he supplicates, his repentance to be accepted, something repugnant to be repelled from him, his deeds to be accepted that are performed with their proper conditions…And this is supported by his saying: “Call upon Allah while you are certain that you will be answered.” Likewise, it is incumbent upon the one who repents, seeks forgiveness, and does good deeds to exert himself in fulfilling his obligations while he is certain that Allah will accept his actions and forgive his sins, as Allah has promised that He will accept any truthful repentance and righteous deeds. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah, and is from greatest of the major sins. Whoever dies upon this will be delivered to that which he expected.”
  • “Most people – in fact, all of them except those protected by Allah – assume other than the truth, and assume the worst. Most people believe that they are deprived of their rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and his soul bears witness to this while his tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. And whoever digs into his soul and comes to know its ins and outs will see this in it like fire in a triggered explosion…And if you dig into anyone’s soul, you will see that he blames fate and would rather have something else happen to him than what actually did, and that things should be this way or that…So, dig into your own self: are you protected from this? If you are safe from this, you have been protected from something great. Otherwise, I do not see that you have been saved.” “The more you have good expectations of your Lord and hope in Him, the more you will rely on and trust in Him. This is why some explained true reliance and trust to be having good expectations of Allah. In reality, having good expectations of Him leads to relying on and trusting in Him, as it is unthinkable that one can trust in someone that he has badexpectations of or no hope in, and Allah Knows best.”“The one who hopes in Allah should always be optimistic, cautious, and hopeful in Allah’s bounty, expecting the best from Him.”

  • Sayyid Qutb (R) said: “As for the believers whose hearts are connected to Allah, whose souls are close to Him,who experience His constant bounty – they do not despair of the Mercy of Allah even if they are surrounded on all sides by disaster and severe hardship. The believer is in the mercy of the shade of his faith, the pleasure of his connection to his Lord, and the tranquility of his confidence in his Guardian even when he is in the throes of hardship and disaster.” He also said:“The believing heart assumes the best of its Lord, and always expects the best from Him. It expects good from Him in times of ease and times of hardship, and it believes that Allah wants good for him in either situation. The secret of this is that his heart is connected to Allah, and the flow of good from Allah is never cut off. So, whenever the heart is connected to Him, it touches upon this fundamental reality and experiences it in a direct and sweet way.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best from Allah, pp. 1-2]
  •  

***

A famous example of repentance is that of Adam AS. He followed his desire but repented immediately and thus Allah SWT forgave him.

Just a reminder:

Repentance is essential from every sin, even if it is something between a person and Allaah and has nothing to do with the rights of another person. There are three conditions of repentance:

1- You should give up the sin

2- You should regret having done it

3- You should resolve never to go back to it.

If one of these three is missing, then your repentance is not sincere. If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are four conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person. If it is money or property, etc, it must be returned to him; if it had to do with slandering him etc, then you should allow him to insult him in return, or ask for his forgiveness; if it had to do with backbiting about him, then you have to ask for his pardon. It is essential to repent from all sins; if a person repents from some, his repentance from the sins from which he repented is valid – according to the scholars who follow the right path – but he must still repent from the rest as well. [Islam Q and A]

 ***

How to convert the Pleasure of the Sin into something despicable?

  • Classical conditioning:
    • pair your sin with Allah’s Anger
      • Remind yourself of the HereAfter and the punishment of the grave. This is not an easy task because most of us are far away from the remembrance of death and just by reading a few verses won’t make us fear enough. Again, it depends from a person to person. I suggest that you listen to lectures or read books from speakers who have correct Aqeedah (correct belief in all articles of Eeman and don’t do innovation in the Prophetic teachings). You’ll have to give yourself a daily dose. There’s no shortcut to this.
    • pair the pleasurable feelings of sin with negative feelings
      • Remind yourself how terribly you hated yourself after you did it and how those negative emotions interfered with your activities. This is obviously for those who don’t have a dead conscience. And since you are upset about feeling this way, inshaa’Allah it means that your heart and conscience are alive.
  • Positive Reinforcement:
    • whenever you feel under control, reward yourself with a Sajda to Allah SWT and something halal
  • As soon as a thought comes, remember I shared with you a duaa from the Quraan that seeks refuge from the whisperings of Shaytan?
  • Making duaa to Allah SWT sincerely that He SWT doesn’t hold you accountable for your natural inclinations
  • Increase in Ibadah! I can’t stress this enough. Ibadah includes fasting so try to fast! I don’t know where you live but it has started to get dark earlier where I live (since winter’s approaching) and that works for those who can’t fast during long days of summer. It might be hard for the 1st 2 days but it’ll get easier.
  • Remain busy and that doesn’t mean that if you work 5 to 9 that’s what being ‘busy’ is all about. What I mean is being busy in your free time. Idle mind = Shaytan’s hub…take up a hobby that stimulates your intellect…something that’s challenging like memorizing a page of Quraan or understanding its linguistics. You can even try memorizing short ahadith. If you’re done that, try Suduko. It’s fun and it keeps your brain cells working. Stay away from things that might beautify/legitimize your past sins such as the TV/movies/locations with music!
  • Try to be more friendly and reach out to people. The more you find out what problems others have, the less time you’d have to revisit the past that results in despair

***

Resources that I used for this post and personally in my life and which you can return back to:

  1. Most Excellent Manner of Seeking Forgiveness
  2. Reflections: Expecting the Best from Allah
  3. Diseases of the Heart and their Cures
  4. Purification of the Soul
  5. Stories of Repentance

If you need audio resources, I can refer those as well. Please let me know if you do.

Hope that helps. If you need any help in terms of achieving any of the things above, you are free to remain in touch with me if you like through commenting and possibly let me know how you’re doing. I would be happy to be of any assistance. And that goes to everyone who’s reading this. Nobody should be a victim of hopelessness especially when there over a million Muslims who can support each other for the Sake of Allah SWT.

[And Allah SWT knows best]

O Allah SWT be a Witness that I tried. And for this very attempt, save me from the Punishment in the grave and HereAfter.Ameen.

Rabbana taqabal minna innaka antal samee’ul ‘aleem. Wa tubb ‘alayna innak antal Tawabur-Raheem. Ameen.

Forgive me for any mistake or missing out anything because I am doing this in a hurry. I appreciate your patience. May Allah SWT reward you with Jannatul Firdaus.Ameen. And may He forgive me for my shortcomings.Ameen.

Please remember me and the rest of the Ummah in your duaas.

Many duaas for your mental peace,

-UmmS.

 

Sabr & Shukr: The Worry Stops Here

Posted in Vaccinations for Dunia with tags , , , , on October 1, 2010 by Ibby'sMom

Muhammad Alshareef – Sabr & Shukr: The Worry Stops Here

Yasir Qadhi – The Good Things of this World

Posted in Vaccinations for Dunia with tags , , , on August 19, 2010 by Ibby'sMom

A much needed reminder…that worked wonders for me (alhamdolilah):

Yasir Qadhi – The Good Things of this World.

Road of Calamity will Lead to Jannah only if…

Posted in Scrutinizing Soliloquies, Vaccinations for Dunia with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by Ibby'sMom

Bismillahir-rahman-nirahim

In the Name of Allah SWT-the Always All Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you all!

Sometimes you sigh and the heaviness…the burden does not lift from your heart.

At such times, close your eyes and call out to the One who will always and continuously hear.

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilâh (god) with Allâh? Little is that you remember!” [Quraan, Surah An Naml(27):62]

It’s when you feel that you have nothing left that you should actually jump for joy.

Yeah that empty feeling that comes soon after that mountain of a burden on your heart. Quite contradictory yet so very real.

It is Allah SWT who’s indirectly emptying  the vessel of your heart from the love of anything pertaining to dunia.

Can you feel that you suddenly feel all numb?

Seize the moment! Your senses after the longest time will see the Truth as Truth. Open the Quraan and recite it with translation.

Your ears will try to absorb peacefully into the His Words, your eyes will feel the coolness and your heart will engage attentively.

Vessels are never empty. They’re either filled with water or air.

Don’t waste another second and quickly fill the vessel of your heart with His Love before your lowly Nafs provokes you to fill it with anything displeasing to Him.

You may find this dunia daunting but this was not made a resting place anyway.

Imam Ahmad was asked, “When is there rest?”

He answered, “When you put your foot in Paradise, you will find rest!”

Just ask for His Guidance in the most trying of times.

“No calamity befalls, but by the Leave [i.e. Decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allâh, and whosoever believes in Allâh, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allâh from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], And Allâh is the All-Knower of everything.” [Quraan, Surah At-Taghabun (64): 11]

Don’t grieve over what’s happened.Learn from your present state. It is very likely that Allah SWT is reminding you  or teaching you something that may be very valuable in future.

“There did Allâh give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you. And Allâh is Well-Aware of all that you do.” [Quraan, Surah Ale Imran (3): 153]

So cheer up and follow the goal of Umar (RA):

“My goal now remains to find enjoyment in the different things that have been decreed for me.”

And so inshaa’Allah, your end result will be as foretold in the Quraan:

And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. [Quraan, Surah Al  Insaan(76):12]

Hold the hands of Patience and Contentment on the road of Calamity and inshaa’Allah  you’ll be guided away from the barriers to Jannah.

And Allah SWT Knows Best.

O Muslims:Take a U-turn! Come Back…REPENT!

Posted in Vaccinations for Dunia with tags , , , , on July 20, 2010 by Ibby'sMom