Tag Archives: Pakistan

Youth Club’s 2016 – Year in Review

At the close of 2016, Youth Club reminisces its exciting new projects, the fun-filled activities, the laughs, the tears, the events, the tours and all those wonderful moments that it experienced throughout the year. Not being able to share everything in words or pictures, we bring for you a brief review of our year so you can have a share in our memories too.

 

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  • Youth Club established its HQ office in January!
  • Over 13 sisters of the YC team enrolled in a 3 year Quran course that started in January, Alhamdolillah!
  • More than 100 amulets were opened and destroyed by the CEO, Raja Zia ul Haq.
  • The YC sisters had their long-awaited first swimming event.
  • Youth Club launched its Telegram channel, telegram.me/youthclubpk
  • The team visited an old home to spread love and gifts.
  • Several classes were started under top-notch scholars at the YC office for the team, including Arabic, Usool ul Fiqh, Emaan (faith) etc. 
  • YCL launched its counselling services which were warmly welcomed by the public and catered to more than hundred young people.  
  • Youth Club Karachi had their biggest event, Crossroads, featuring many local and international speakers.
  • The brothers went on an exciting bike-trip to the northern areas.
  • The YCI team braved through the month of Ramadan in absence of the CEO, Raja Zia ul Haq, while successfully conducting 10 Ramadan exclusive courses.
  • YCK conducted 8 Ramadan halaqahs around their city while YCL conducted many in Lahore!
  • Youth Club Lahore launched its video series “Reminder series” on social media.
  • Several team members, brothers and sisters, observed aitikaf during the last ‘ashrah of the blessed month!
  • The sisters formed a special team and conducted dawah stalls in several institutes across the twin cities.
  • #JagoUthoBadalDo, the YC hashtag trended locally on Twitter before the event day!
  • The first ever youth conference was organized at Kunri, Sindh. 
  • Youth Club Karachi had its exciting dawah stall for 2 days at Talent Expo Karachi, the expo being attended by 30,000+ people.
  • YC raised the benchmark for its biggest ever female event, by holding the highly appraised “Being Her” event in F9 Park.
  • YC collaborated, hosted and worked with AlKauthar, Azaan, Live Deen, Role Model Institute, Alhuda International, Burooj Institute, IOU Speakers and many local scholars across different chapters. 
  • Youth Club Lahore launched a unique campaign “The Ultimate Role Model”, to educate the youth about the character and attributes of Prophet ﷺ
  • The brothers initiated spiritually enriching Fajr sessions at masajid!
  • YC acquired a drone phantom 3 for media productions.
  • The YCI team bid farewell to their longest standing president and the last of the founding sisters of YC, as the Karachi team welcomed her into their chapter.
  • Instagram competitions were held with many participating in it.
  • YCL conducted two mega events for the year 2016 which were attended by 300+ youth!
  • YC conducted its first ever major online event, Back on Track.
  • YC’s Facebook page hit the massive 40k likes milestone!
  • The teams successfully (well, almost) pulled off surprise parties for the ex-president YCI, ex-operations manager YCI and the standing CEO, Raja Zia ul Haq.

 

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  • YC conducted a whopping 600+ talks throughout the year.
  • More than 42,000 lives were touched and inspired.
  • Approximately 50+ institutes were visited by Youth Club where life-changing workshops were held, including LUMS, EME, NUST, FAST and IBA (among others). 
  • YCL alone conducted 30+ workshops catering to various problems of the youth.

 

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Sidra Naz of the Social Welfare department said:
“I must say I have totally transformed into a new person, I was crawling before and #YCTaughtMe to walk and then run towards the Deen of Allah”

Sana Aslam, a valuable member of YCI who shifted to Lahore a few months ago, shared her feelings:
“YC is my family in which I have my sisters, my friends, my teachers and they supported me to take new initiatives, maintain balance in life and have fun….
…Side by side or miles apart, we are sisters connected by heart!”

Ishaq bin Sadiq, President of YCK, shared the following words:
“As the president of Youth Club Karachi for the past 2 years, I have learned a lot. I consider it a blessing for myself to be a part of Youth Club and at the same time a big responsibility. Youth Club is my passion and everything for me. For past 2 years, Youth Club Karachi is becoming better and better everyday and the team is working dedicatedly in changing the lives of youth. May Allah accept our efforts and help us in the cause.”

Sana Azaz, the Decor Manager and a dedicated member who currently resides in the USA, had to say:
“My best moment of 2016?
Every moment, where I learnt something and I felt like my faith elevated at that point…

…YC has expanded especially this year, this is what I observed and that’s an amazing thing, welcoming new people. And it’s YC speciality that it has people from every field, and they are very special on their own.”

Hajrah Khawar, Ex-President of YCI who left in October of this year, said:
“Looking back at my 5 years spent in YC, and seeing it grow from an idea to this inspiring and happening organization, all I can say is YC gave me a lot! It taught me many lessons; in relationship and dealings with others, in what true friendship really is, what living for a purpose is like, what spreading love and hope means, what working in the way of Allah is, what absolutely loving your work means, how without dawah we can lead empty lives…
…a big thank you to the amazing people of Youth Club, may you always remain this amazing and be rewarded amazingly”.

Mohammad Ali, President of YCL, said:
“…Despite all the difficulties …Youth Club Lahore stood up, adopted wisdom and kept the da’wah work alive in Lahore. Youth Club Lahore inspired hundreds of youth towards the deen, through its regular workshops, courses and street da’wah.
…YCL is looked upon as a source of guidance for the educated youth as to how to be a Muslim in the 21st century. We were approached by several institutes, to name some: University of Punjab, LUMS, UET, AIMS, SIMS, as well as Akhuwat – the biggest microfinancing organisation – to conduct sessions and workshops. Hundreds of students and professionals got inspired and expressed desire to become part of Youth Club.”

Sana Taha, an amazing new addition to the YC team, shared the following:
“I just joined YC this year and it has been amazing. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to work with a motivated group of people who don’t get competitive against each other. YC showed me that it’s possible to be positive, upbeat and still give your best to your work…
… I am honored to have worked at YC and I am grateful to everyone at YC for showing me a better side of work ethics.”

Mohsin Cheema, an active and loyal member of YC, had to say:
“For me YC is not just an organisation, YC is a lifestyle! Every year we make new trends, set new records and achieve new milestones. We don’t settle for ordinary, we aim for excellence.
YC has touched many lives, including mine, and I am forever indebted to it. 2016 has been a phenomenal year for YC. We produced top-notch workshops, trainings, fun-filled activities, pizza parties, soccer camps, nights-out for boys and much more.
One thing that inspires me the most about YC, and that keeps me motivated, is the brotherhood that we share, it is beyond words. Simply the best company in town!”

Fiza Khan, the President of Youth Club Islamabad, shared her feelings with us:
“YC started as a dream, an aspiration for me. I remember making silly plans with friends to get our way into YC, after chasing around all their events around the city… YC was a motivation, a driving force for me when I was coming to the deen, a platform for me to channel my energies when I was trying to keep myself from channelling them for the negative… If I believed in their mission, I wanted to take it up as a personal responsibility and make my own little path. Never could I imagine, so soon will I get to be the one laden with the responsibility to manage the platform in such a capacity.
Youth Club has always been my happy place. It’s my go-to spot when I feel down, to work and feel that perhaps I’ve helped inspire a little positive change in the world… It’s where work feels rewarding, work feels fun, work always has room for creativity and experiment – and where work meetings feel like happy get-togethers because of the YC sisterhood.”

Zuha Bari, Social Media Manager of YC, said:
“The day I joined it, my life has never been the same!
Sometimes, I really wonder what would I’ve been doing with my life if YC wasn’t there!
…. YC has motivated me at every step. For me, YC is every thing…
My best moment of YC in 2016… when we gave a surprise to the world’s best ameer, And secondly (though it’s a bit sad too), we gave a surprise farewell party to our friend, sister and ex ameerah,… our hearts are always tied with the love of Allah, no matter how far we go from each other!”

Nadeem Ashraf, Ex-Operations Manager of YC who shifted to the UK in February, said:
“For me, the growth of YC in 2016 means the growth of dynamic style da’wah. In an increasingly doom and gloom world for the ummah around the world,the da’wah of YC comes as an increasingly breath of fresh air. As someone who is honoured to be in touch with many da’wah teams around the world, I receive glowing tributes from du’aat about YC’s unique style in the world of da’wah. 2016 has been a very positive year for team YC and as long as we are sincere, we can only go from strength to strength”.

Wrapping up YC’s 2016, in the words of the esteemed CEO, Raja Zia ul Haq:
“By the immense mercy of Allah, it is a matter of great satisfaction and joy to watch Youth Club, like a bright young child, growing bigger and stronger each year. I feel truly privileged to be a part of this wonderful organization; to be one of those who have dedicated their lives to bring about a positive change in society. Alhamdulillah, in the year 2016, we have visited hundreds of institutes, delivered over a thousand lectures, talks and workshops, and inspired countless individuals to transform their lives for the better.
May Allah accept from us and may He grant us the ability to continue on stronger.
In short; It’s been emotional!

I request you all to remember us in your duas. For indeed, some of our greatest achievements never make it to the internet.”

 

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This is not the whole story, it is only the first page. But it is the beginning of a beautiful journey, amid hopes and prayers, leading to what’s best out there inshaAllah :’)

Youth Club inspiring positive change!

 

 

 

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Top 7 things I dislike about Pakistani Weddings

By Umm Ibrahim

The wedding season has begun in full swing.  All kinds of invitation cards are pouring in: the glamorous, the simple and elegant, the flashy, and the paindu (for lack of a better word).  As I mark my calendar for all the events to be attended this winter, I sigh at the thought of the top 7 things I dislike about Pakistani weddings.  Here they are, in no particular order:

1- The Timings:

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So, you arrive one hour late, (which you believe is late enough) only to be greeted by the hotel staff setting up the stage decorations.  You sit in the empty hall, twiddling your thumbs, playing Candy Crush, and counting the tables and chairs for an hour before the hosts come bustling in.  Only politeness and decorum prevents you from saying to them what you are feeling at the moment.

2- The Pesky Photographers:

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Just because you attend someone’s wedding does not mean that you have given your consent to be filmed and photographed from all angles.  I’m not particularly camera-shy, but the photographer who pops up out of nowhere and flashes blinding light in my face, while I comfortably sit there eating biryani, better run for his life.  Whatever happened to respecting someones’ privacy?  I thought these people were supposed to be professional photographers!  Professional ethics, anyone?

3- The Food Stampede:

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There is always enough food at a wedding.  In fact, there is enough left to have the hosts get it packed, freeze it and survive on it for a week!  Why the stampede then?  All pretenses of decency and sophistication are discarded as soon as dinner is announced, and the Homo sapiens push, shove and do whatever their primal instincts direct them to do.

4- The Music:

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After being bored for an hour, you finally strike up an interesting conversation with someone on your table.  But, you have to abandon all such attempts when the music starts blaring at ear-splitting volume.  Look, everyone does not love music.  I, for one, hate music.  It’s not good for my heart, says my spiritual cardiologist.  Plus, everyone does not share your taste in music.  To force people to listen to your favorite songs over and over again for three hours is very close to the kind of torture they employ at Guantanamo Bay.  As soon as the music switches on, I feel the need need to go to the restroom.  And stay there in peace and quiet till it’s time to leave.

5- The Nosy Aunties:

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These are the ones who inspect you from head-to-toe and make detailed inquiries about every piece of clothing and jewellery you are wearing (unhindered by the fact that they are complete strangers to you).  If you’re the bride, they want to know every single detail about which piece of jewellery came from your parents and which from your in-laws, and what every thing cost.

6-The Future Mother-in-Laws:

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These are the rishta-wali (match-making) type aunties.  The only gripe I have against them is that they make their intent all too obvious.  If only they could be a bit more discreet and tactful, they wouldn’t be in this list!  A typical conversation could go like:

How are you, Beta?
I’m fine Alhamdolillah
Nice dress.  And your ring is so beautiful. Is it your engagement ring?
Thankyou, Aunty.  No, it’s not my engagement ring.
Are you engaged?
No.
How old are you?
25.
Ohhoo okay Beta. Bye.

And she goes out looking for her next potential daughter-in-law.  Too bad your son is 24, Aunty!

7- The Doodh-Pilai:

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To me, this is simply an innovative and sophisticated way of beggary-cum-extortion.  The poor groom just can’t squirm out of it.  If he says that he doesn’t like milk, the girls are equipped with Ovaltine or Horlicks to suit his taste buds.  If I were the bride, I’d just tell them to buzz off and stop bugging my husband.  The only thing I dislike more that doodh-pilai would be joota-chupai and rasta-rukai etc.  There has to be some sense to the customs and traditions you follow.

So, what is it that you dislike about our weddings?  Let me know in the comments below.

And stay tuned for the top 7 things I like about Pakistani weddings.  Yes, there’s a lot to like about our weddings too!  Meanwhile, happy wedding season!

Sacrifice, Sacrifice- Why bother?

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Did you hear-?

With the hundreds of popular ‘styles’ doing their rounds amongst us, be it in dress or living, the one quickly going out of fashion from our circles is the Sunnah style. We were to love him, Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam, more than our family and sons, yet today we hardly know him…

I can vividly remember how it started last year. ’Eid ul-Adha was approaching, dividing people into three clear groups like always. The best of them know what the festival brings with it; however the other two are unaware of its demands upon us. It was to be so that I learnt of the latter from a very close standpoint.

Firstly, there are those who take animal sacrifice in its physical sense to epic proportions, however low they may be falling on the sincerity scale. They do not allow themselves to think of their pocket, nor do they consider other fard obligations that they are responsible for, before Allah asks them if they fulfilled the sunnah of animal sacrifice. The second group however, consists of the unfortunate who find this act unnecessary in and of itself. These are two miserable extremes.

It was October 2008, and northern Pakistan suffered a massive quake. When Zulhijjah came around, a friend suggested that we should be giving away this money to stabilise our brothers and sisters in plight; come next year, we can celebrate ‘Eid along with them. In view of the emergency situation in the country, the idea did have its merit. (Many scholars have declared the sacrifice to be a Sunnah Muakkadah (confirmed Sunnah), and not Fard (obligatory).)

Another year passed, and it was ‘Eid ul-Adha again. The same person was now found to declare, “This time I had to sacrifice because Mum was too insistent, but I have decided and my (older) sister too; next year onwards we’re going to just give away this money in charity…it is a Sunnah for us anyway”.

Do you realize what is wrong with the latter scenario? We have put the spirit of the act away in the dark recesses of our mind, never to be accessed again -let it rot there until we can find better things to replace it with. Allah’s sole purpose that we do sacrifice was not so we can help the needy eat meat. It is but a secondary aim, something which will come naturally to us insha Allah, if only we were to understand the primary purpose – that of laying down our lives for His sakes if need be; that of doing away with what we love for the greater Love, His; that of remembering the submission of Ibrahim AS and Isma’el AS to Allah’s will. Ibrahim AS was ready to give away his only son, and an obedient and excellent son at that, in Allah’s way, without a second glance! He was ready to do the deed himself – do we understand even an iota of the kind of submission and love that it entails?? Allah says in the Quran:

فَلَمَّا بَلَــغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يٰبُنَيَّ اِنِّىْٓ اَرٰى فِي الْمَنَامِ اَنِّىْٓ اَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرٰى ۭ قَالَ يٰٓاَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُــؤْمَرُ ۡ سَتَجِدُنِيْٓ اِنْ شَاۗءَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الصّٰبِرِيْنَ    ١٠٢؁

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” (As-Saffaat: 102)

Soon after, Allah further elevates the status of Ibrahim AS: Indeed, he was of Our believing servants. (As-Saffaat: 111), and gives him glad tidings of a righteous son.

Considering the other extreme (that of exaggerated and ostentatious sacrifices), never does Allah promise that you exceed beyond measure in show and He shall relieve us of our obligations. The rights of Allah, and those of His creation- we are to fulfil both. He explains it beautifully in His Book:

لَنْ يَّنَالَ اللّٰهَ لُحُوْمُهَا وَلَا دِمَاۗؤُهَا وَلٰكِنْ يَّنَالُهُ التَّقْوٰي مِنْكُمْ  ۭ كَذٰلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللّٰهَ عَلٰي مَا هَدٰىكُمْ  ۭ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ  37؀

Their meat will not reach Allah , nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good. (Al-Hajj: 37)

Piety or taqwa (God-consciousness) – can it ever allow man to forget about his blood relatives in need, a brother who requires financial help etc.? Let us pray for guidance that we may be able to perform the rites of worship with sincerity and hope, and that we may grow in love and submission to Him.

CEO’s Message to the Fajr Train Crew

Raja Zia ul Haq, CEO of Youth Club, has sent you a message!

My dear brothers & sisters in Islam,

Assalaam o’Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu! 

Masha’Allah what an honor it is that our Fajr Train has finally reached its destination after forty days, in the blessed month of Ramadan. And like the cheerful flight attendant would say, “I sincerely hope you had a pleasant journey with us!” 🙂

A big thank you and jazakum’Allahu khayrn firstly to the brothers and sisters from Youth Club who helped to bring this project together and masha’Allah saw it through till the end. You guys know who you are, I have no words but can only pray that may Allah increase you in darajaat and may He be well pleased with your efforts! Seriously!

A massive congratulations to all the winner groups who stuck to their guns all the way! Alhamdulillah, if you successfully woke up for Fajr or struggled hard to do so, you are ALL winners in-sha’Allah in the sight of Allah. Keep up the good work! You know this is not the end, rather this is just the beginning. I would encourage the groups to stay in touch with each other, meet for chai/coffee etc. regularly (since, believe it or not, each of your group members lives very close to you, maybe even in your neighborhood).

Allah (SWT) tells us in the Glorious Qur’an:

 “And keep yourself patiently with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life…” [al-Kahf 18:28]

The Prophet (SAW) said:

“A person is on the religion of his friend. Therefore let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” [Tirmidhi]

I hope that this experience results in good friendships being made for the sake of Allah – so that we too may find refuge under the shade of Allah’s throne, on a Day when there will no other shade except that.

Keep the Youth Club team in your duaas and do stay in touch with us. And remember that at the end, alarm clocks are just the means, what really wakes you up for Fajr is your emaan!

May Allah always keep our hearts filled with emaan and may He grant us the taufeeq to do the things that please Him.

Jazakum’Allahu khayrn!

(It’s been emotional…*sniff*)

 

Come join us as we celebrate the success of this event this Sunday, July 21st inshaAllah. Details here: www.tinyurl.com/ftsuccess

Summer in Pakistan

The one and only thing that is constant in our lives is change. The night and days alter, the weeks and months pass by and the seasons come and go.

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Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala has not created a single thing without purpose, so the change, in itself, also has a purpose. The change perhaps is a blessing in disguise. It teaches us that nothing in life is permanent. This life, this Dunya, is not permanent. In fact it is meant to change.

Time runs and before we knew it, June is right here. It started in March when the spring was subsided before it could officially depart. With the blazing sun and with markets oozing with lawn collections in every other city across Pakistan, summer set in.

Summer in Pakistan comes with scorching sun, excessive load-shedding, lawn collections, ice creams & beverages and eternal love for mangoes.

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And well, a lot of complaining about how hard and tough summer is.

This year the complain has transformed into a concern about upcoming Ramadan (uff itni germi mei rozay kesay rakhain gay?) – “How are we ever going to fast in this extreme heat?”

Well this summer let’s not complain, and for change let us rejuvenate our Iman by following these DO’s and DON’Ts. Keep a positive attitude. 🙂

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Don’ts:

1)      Be lazy / procrastinate / miss Salah.

2)      Wear revealing lawn clothing or half/quarter sleeves in public (for women). Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam cursed the women who wore clothes but were still naked (May Allah Ta’ala not make us from them).

3)      Wear revealing thighs (for men).

4)      Have bad odor.

5)      Put excessive perfumes – women!

6)      Complain!! Absolutely no to complaining. Insha Allah.

DO’s:

1)      Make dua to Allah to keep you from laziness. (Al Bukhari 7/158)

Dua for Protection from Laziness

2)      Make dua for ease in everything – (dua from Hisnul Muslim – Ibn-e-Habban Al-Sahih)

Dua for Ease in Everything

3)      Remember that if this is so hot, Hell is much hotter. Make Istighfar and seek refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.

Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala is making us experience the high temperature because of a reason. The discomfort that we are made to face in form of summer is a direct guide to learning the ultimate lesson that Hell is hotter. And surprisingly, we get to know from an authentic Hadith of Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam that the reason of heat in summers is hell itself:

Abu Hurayrah RadiAllaahu Anhu  reported that the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam said: “The (Hell) Fire complained to its Lord saying: ‘O my Lord! My different parts consume each other, so allow me to breathe.’ Therefore He (i.e., Allaah) allowed it to take two breaths, one in the winter and the other in summer, and this is the reason for the severe heat and the bitter cold you find (in weather).” [Al-Bukhaari]

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Subhan Allah! We’re frail and we cannot even tolerate the heat of this Dunya, may Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala protect us all from hell fire. Ameen!

4)      Take bath! Summer is not a license to badodor. Muslims should love and practice cleanliness. Wear fragrance too.

One hot day, the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam came out while these people were sweating profusely due to the type of clothes they were wearing and a very bad smell emanated from them, to the extent that it offended others. When the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam smelt this, he said: “O people! On this day (i.e. Friday) you need to perform Ghusl and each of you should use the best perfume he has.”

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5)      Drink water. Feel the love of chilled water and pray to Allah that may our love for Allah become greater than the love we have for this chilled water. It is said that drinking chilled water helps in bringing Ikhlas (sincerity) in Shukar (thanking/being grateful) of Allah!

6)      Offer drinks and water to your fellow beings and earn good deeds.

7)      Put water for animals to drink as well!

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8)      Enjoy summer fruits like watermelon and mango, and thank Allah for this amazing opportunity!

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9)      Make Shukar of Allah, and be thankful to HIM for summer too. Summer offers plenty of opportunities to get Sawab (reward), no?

10)  If you find it hard to sleep on your mattresses, sleep on a mat or directly on the floor. Remember it is Sunnah! Sleeping on floor is said to inculcate humbleness in one’s self. May Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala make us more humble!

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11)  Yes! There is excessive load shedding. But Alhamdulillah we have alternates, even if it is just a manual fan. Alhamdulillah summa Alhamdulillah! Let’s make our hearts full of Shukar of Allah. As Brother Nouman Ali Khan says, ‘if we were really the people of Alhamdulillah we would have never found the energy, opportunity or even desire to complain!’

12)  Last but not the least, let’s learn to be patient in this heat and still have tongues that are wet in remembrance of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala.

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