This Life Is Nothing But A Moment…

You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. [Qur’ān, Sūrah Fātiḥah (1), verse 5]

It has been reported from scholars and saints of the earliest centuries of Islām that Sūrah Fātiḥah is the secret (i.e. gist) of the entire Qur’ān. And this verse is the secret of the whole Sūrah for the first sentence of the verse is a declaration of one being free from shirk and from all desires to associate anyone with Allāh, and the second is an expression of one being exempt from all wish to trust in one’s own power and will. Such an affirmation would naturally lead to putting one’s self in the hands of Allāh (SWT) in all concerns.

The Qur’ān again and again commands us to do so: ‘Worship Him and put your trust in Him’. (11:123).

‘Say He is the All-Merciful, we believe in Him and we put all our trust in Him.’ (67:29).

He is the Lord of the east and the west, there is no God but He; so take Him for a guardian.’ (73:9).

All of these verses come to simply mean that a true Muslim should, in anything that he undertakes, rely neither on his own faculties nor on the help of another, but should entrust himself completely to Allah, He alone is All-Powerful and He alone is the Absolute Helper.

May Allah help us perfect our endings (ameen).

…Tests from Allah

Whatever happens in this dunya (world) for every problem we have, Allah is there with us. He is so merciful that he helps us in all problems. Allah (SWT) never gives us problems, without a solution. When there is a solution, why do we have to panic and get so frustrated about the problems we have.

Allah (SWT) is so gracious and merciful who could definitely be there for us at any moment. He listens to all our dua’s, he is watching us suffer when we have problems, but he also says come to him and talk about the problem to him. But still not everyone is talking to Allah (SWT)

There is also a Hadith saying The Prophet (SAW) said:

“If you all depend on Allah with true reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with a full belly at dusk.” (Tirmidhi)

If you are clueless on what you have to decide, why not pray 2 rakat and ask dua?

Why not cry to the one and only one who is merciful than anyone in this world?

Every problem has a solution, it’s that we have to understand how we are going to over come the problem and live our life happily.

May Allah (SWT) give all of us good imaan and strength to over come all the depressions and frustration and go closer to Allah (SWT).

The Qur’an is for OURSELVES, Not For Our SHELVES

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy

“(It is) the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for mankind, clear proofs giving guidance, and the Criterion (for distinguishing right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” [2:185]

It is important to note that our relationship with the Qur’an in this month should not be limited to just the nightly Tarawih prayers, we must devote ourselves to studying the Qur’an outside of prayer as well.

Unfortunately, the majority of us do not have any relationship with the Qur’an. Since we are in Ramadan, the blessed month of the Qur’an, and the devils have been chained up, now is the opportunity to change this sad state of affairs.

Now, to the real issue, what should we do to rectify our situation?

For those who are already in the habit of reading the Qur’an every Ramadan, try and make sure to complete the entire Qur’an, if you have not been doing so in the past. Also, take this as an opportunity to get into the habit of reading the Qur’an daily even when Ramadan is over.

If you have not been reading the Qur’an during Ramadan in the past, then decide how much time you can reasonably take out of your schedule to read Qur’an daily. Don’t push yourself to do too much, otherwise, you’ll end up right back where you started: not reading the Qur’an at all.

Also remember, “The most beloved deeds to Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Agreed Upon]

Therefore, you must make a Ramadan schedule that you can stick to.

Finally, as closing advice, do not lose heart. Keep the following hadith in the back of your mind:

“Recite the Qur’an, for, on the Day of Resurrection, it shall come as an intercessor for its companion.” [Muslim]

May Allah continue to grant us goodness, ameen.

Your Health and Free Time

All praises to the Lord of the Worlds who has out of his infinite mercy blessed us with endless blessings. Glad-tidings to the servant of the Almighty who is showered with countless bounties, day in and day out. Most unfortunate is he who does not recognize these blessings and bounties and is not thankful for them.

The Prophet (SAW) states in a Hadith:

“There are two blessings in which most people are in great loss: 1) Good health and 2) Free time.”

How true the Prophet (SAW) is. Many of us have had or have good health and free-time. However how many of us can answer with a true heart that we used these two blessings the way that they are meant to be used or have showed appreciation towards the Almighty the way we should have?

The Almighty has not given us this good health to waste, He has given health and time to us for a purpose; that we worship him the way He is meant to be worshipped, to spread His religion and to call people towards Islam; and to help Humanity who are in dire need of help.

Then again, how many of us have put this good health to use?

How many of us have worshipped Allah the way he is meant to be worshipped?

How many of us have helped the religion of Islam?

How many of us have thanked Almighty Allah for the good health that he has blessed us with?

These are all questions that we should ponder upon. As the saying goes, “The only time you realize the value of a gift is when you lose it.”

By the time we realize the value of these special gifts bestowed upon us, we would probably have lost them by then. Then no matter how much regret we have, they will never come back.

Think about our free time.

How many hours are spent sitting in front of the television?

Imagine how much we could have worshipped the Creator and attained his pleasure and high status in the hereafter. Have we no value for this time?

A saying of Imam Shafi’ee Rahmatullahi Alayhi: “Time is like a sword, cut it before it cuts you.”

He is trying to say that don’t waste your time. Every second that passes by will never come back. We have to put all this time into good use. The Prophet (SAW) has said in a Hadith:

Take advantage of five conditions before five others:

1) Youth before old age.

2) Good health before sickness.

3) Free time before you become occupied.

4) Wealth before poverty.

5) Life before death.

This free time of ours should be spent in the remembrance of the Almighty. On the Day of Judgement, the people of heaven will only have one regret; they will regret all the free time they wasted in the world. The reason for this regret will be that they could have achieved a higher status in Paradise if they didn’t waste their free time.

May Allah Taa’la give us the ability to spend our free time worshipping Him, The Almighty. Ameen

Giving Charity

The left hand shouldn’t know what the right is doing. There is wisdom in this advice. It is meant to encourage people to show discretion when performing a good deed such as charity. In Islam, the act of charity is highly encouraged. There are however two very different ways to go about it; you can either give charity publically or you can give it discretely. The latter carries more rewards, though, in some situations, public display of charitable donations is preferred because it encourages others to follow suit.

The act of charity is deemed to be one of the most favourable acts in Islam. Allah (SWT) and his Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) mentioned time and time again that the act of charity is great, and should be performed on a regular basis. There are several Ahadith on the importance of charity as well as verses in Quran that clearly tell us giving charity is a righteous and great act in the eyes of Allah (SWT). However, when giving charity, discretion is advised, hence the saying that the left hand shouldn’t know that the right hand is doing. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) once said:

“There are seven whom Allah will shade on the Day of Judgement…”

He went on to mention six of them and finally concluded by saying:

 “…A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” (Abu Hurairah) 

The last part of the Hadith mentioned above gives a very important message to all humanity. It reminds us that we, as humans, need to acknowledge the difference we can make and the motives behind it. A lot of us have forgotten the real meaning of charity, and so have ended up doing it with the wrong intentions.

A man who gives in charity and hides it, so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives, is essentially a person who cares more about helping other people with good deeds than what other people think of his good deeds. Let us all be discrete in our pledges and donations this year. Let us donate graciously as is expected of us and assist the many who are suffering right now.May Allah continue to have mercy on us, ameen

The Most Excellent Jihad…

“The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of oneself.” 

This was a saying of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), our most blessed prophet. What does it mean to conquer oneself? It is when the ruh, the spirit, the soul of the body is in control of the body and the body is no longer in control. There is a lack of understanding of the reality of the ruh (soul) and it’s position in our lives, as Muslims. 
As Sheikh Riyadh al-Haq of London explained in a lectured he delivered: 

Allah created the angels and fused in them intelligence and created them from nur (light) and thus the nature of the angels is such that they have no needs or desires. No need for food, drink, associates, and relationships. Each angel is created for a certain purpose and all that angel does is what Allah has appointed him to do. Whatever his duty is, he will obey Allah (SWT). They do not change at all. 

On the other hand, Allah created animals, the beasts. But Allah did not give them any nur or intelligence like the angels, but Allah created in them the need as well as the desire for bestial things–food, drink, relationships, the need and the urge to reproduce, the need for company. But Allah gave them no intelligence, so the animals spend life eating, drinking, associating, growing up, and dying and there’s nothing more to their lives. 

In between these two, Allah has created man. And in man, Allah has given him a bit of both. Although man is made of dust, Allah has given him some intelligence, so man, on the one hand, shares characteristics with the animals and on the other hand, he shares characteristics with the angels. Allah has also given man choice and it is within man’s grasp and ability to change himself and because he can change, Allah has promised him reward for good and righteousness and punishment for evil and sinfulness. Man, according to his obedience or lack of obedience to Allah is inclined to either of the two. Either he becomes close to the angels, their characteristics, and their ways or man can fall so low, he becomes like the animals and the beasts. 

But, Subhannallah, we have neglected the ruh and we have devoted our entire attention to the body, the cage, the shell. If we devote our entire attention to this body, the cage, the shell, the flesh, the bones, then there could be none more foolish than ourselves. Just as the body needs food, drink and nourishment, the ruh needs food, drink, and nourishment. 

May Allah include us among those who are successful in His eyes, successful in this world as Muslims (who submit fully to Allah) and more importantly, successful in the akhirah (hereafter). May Allah give us the taofeeq to better ourselves and may He include us among those of whom He has favored, not those who earn His anger, nor those who go stray. Ameen. 

Be Content

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, someone once said; It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. That’s right; being content is a choice you can make— one of the best choices you will ever make.

Allah (SWT) speaks truly life-changing and stress-reducing words to you: “And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring. [Quran, 20:131]

Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

Contentment is the greatest door that one enters to Allah. It is the source of tranquility for the worshiper and paradise on earth. Whoever does not enter it will not enter the Paradise in the Hereafter. Being content with the decree of Allah— ridaa in Arabic— is one of the greatest productivity boosters!

Let’s face it, for many of us being happy with what we have is easier said than done. Your life probably doesn’t always look exactly like you want it to, and guess what? It probably won’t. That’s why you have this world and you have Paradise. Allah (SWT) says: Verily We have created man in toil [i.e. in tiredness, hardships, afflictions and difficulties][Quran, 90:4]

If you realize from deep within that this world, its people, its possessions, its situations, its emotions are not meant to be perfect, an enormous freedom will come to your soul.  And don’t be tricked, being content co-exists with being ambitious as a believer; the key is to never let your desire for more spoil the present!

May Allah ‘azza wajal bless our souls with contentment with His actions, ameen!

Allah’s Favours

The name of Surah ar-Rahman is especially relevant because it relates to the subject matter and theme of the Surah. This Surah discusses one of the many Attributes of Allah — His Grace and Mercy.

The oft-repeated verse, “Which is it, of the Favours of your Lord, that ye deny?”, serves to remind us of our lack of gratitude towards Allah. He has showered upon us an abundance of Blessings. Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful. He has given us this life, our loved ones, as well as many other comforts.

However, we often tend to take many of His Blessings for granted. As such, we rarely offer thanks to our Lord. It is as if we are in denial of the obvious truth that without Allah’s Mercy, life cannot exist. As such, in Surah ar-Rahman, Allah repeatedly asks us: “Which is it, of the Favours of your Lord, that ye deny?”

The sun, the moon, the sky, air, water, and land are all among Allah’s Signs. He is the Lord of all the Worlds, and all that is within them. Allah is the One Who created two seas, sweet and bitter, flowing side by side but with an invisible barrier between them. He caused the earth to bear fruit and plantation, such that life can thrive on this planet. All creation will one day cease to exist, because Only Allah is the Ever Living, Free of all Needs.

On the Day of Resurrection, we will be judged according to our deeds. There will be no escape that Day. The righteous among us will be awarded for their good deeds, whereas the evil doers will be doomed to Hell.

We often hear people say “life is tough”, but that does not entitle us to belittle the wonderful gift of life that Allah has given us.

The repetition of the verse “Which is it, of the Favours of your Lord, that ye deny?” in Surah Ar-Rahman serves a very specific purpose. It reminds us to be continuously aware (and grateful) of all that has been provided to us. Faith, money, food, wealth, health, environment, sea, air, and everything else — these are Favours of our Lord that we should always be mindful of.

All praise is due to You, O Almighty! Nay, our Lord! None of Your Favours do we deny.

…All for Allah!

This statement was also made by the Holy Prophet (SAW) to declare his complete sincerity. All he did was only for Allah. He did not need anything the people could give him, for his focus and goal was to please his Lord.

To live for God, and God alone, adds a beauty to life that no worldly circumstance can tarnish. The believer who lives for God is unaffected by outside circumstances. Nothing can rattle the inner peace and calmness he feels from the strong connection to God. Although it may seem almost unattainable, this type of tranquility comes slowly through constant practice and reminders.

Living for God makes life in this world worth living. It adds zest to life, as each day is a new chance to better yourself and make the Lord happy with you. It stimulates movement towards perfection, in all aspects of life, for you want to return to God having perfected yourself as much as possible.

Living for God makes death a reunion to look forward to. Apprehension may be a part of it, but because the focus of the journey was always the Lord, the destination when it looms is a relief. It is the moment you have been waiting for all throughout life.

Say, Indeed, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord if the Universe. Quran [Q6V162]

Make this verse your daily motto. Recite it every day, and pledge your life to God. It will give you inner peace and help you handle life with a strength you didn’t know you had.

May Allah ease our tasks (ameen)

Be Grateful To Allah…

If you are ungrateful, Allah is unaffected. If you become grateful, then you have taken the first step towards becoming a true Believer. It is for this reason that the Prophet exhorted us to “Love Allah as we benefit from His grace” (Tirmidhi). 

Allah reminds us: “And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for the benefit of his own self” (Luqman 31:12). 

“For surely if it was not for the grace of God on you and His mercy, you would have been among the losers” (Al-Baqarah 2:64).

Allah explained in the Quran that the only people who truly worship Him are those who give gratitude to Him, so those who are not among the people of gratitude are not among the people of Ibadah (worship and obedience). “… and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship” (Al-Baqarah 2:172).

The classical Muslim scholars have indicated Shukr can be shown in three ways: 

– Shukr of the heart (Qalb), which is achieved by harboring and intending good for all of Allah’s creation.

– Shukr of the tongue (Lisan), which involves celebrating the praises of Allah, such as utterance of Alhamdulillah, and expressing gratefulness to Allah with our tongue. 

– Shukr of the limbs (Jawarih), which is fulfilled by using our external senses to do good. 

Every time Allah gives us a blessing, we must use it in a way that benefits humanity and that pleases Allah.

May Allah continue to grant us mercy (ameen)