Tag Archives: patience

My Ramadan Diary: Those People Again!

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By Umm Ibrahim

Ramadan has ended. Eid is here. Eid Mubarak! May Allah accept from us and you all!

Allah is the Greatest. There is no God but Him. And to Him belongs all Praise and Gratitude.

Many of us have been privileged to go through the entire Quran this month either on our own, in Taraweeh, or in a halaqah. When one reaches the end of the Quran, one is forced to think over the fact that the last Surah that Allah places in the Quran is an-Naas (Mankind). The last word of the Surah, and hence the Quran, is also an-Naas.

After you’ve gone through the entire Quran, with its perfect wisdom in its halal and haram, laws and stories, promises and threats, Allah reminds us at the end how vulnerable we remain to the whispers of those who whisper evil thoughts in our hearts. We are reminded that we desperately need to seek Allah’s protection from the devils from among the jinns and the humans (an-Naas).

The devils that had been chained have now been released. And yes, there are definitely devil’s agents from among the people, even among our own families and friends, those who detract us even after we have clearly seen the truth and decided to follow it. Their weapon is often words. And words hurt.

Consider some of these statements. Have they ever been hurled at you or uttered about you?

Are you trying to make fun of us?
You’ve fallen in plain error. This is absolutely wrong
You’re so foolish
You are just a liar. Allah doesn’t want us to do this.
Why don’t you just leave the city? After all, you’re so pure and holy
You’re going to be an outcast in society if you don’t return to our lifestyle.
This is all hocus-pocus and magic
You’re a loser if you follow these maulvis
Whatever proof you bring to us, we will never believe in you.
This is outdated stuff. It’s not for these times.
Your so-called religion has deceived you
That’s the way it’s always done in our family. Do you want to turn us away from it now?
You only want to be Mr. High-and-Mighty or Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes.
There is no evidence. You just forged it
Is your prayer teaching you to do all this?
Oh ya, you’re the only one with a brain?

All the above and much more was said to the Messengers. There is little or no chance that the people will say something hurtful to you that was not already said to the Messengers.

The Prophets were ridiculed and mocked by mobs. They were called misguided fools, big liars, magicians, soothsayers, and madmen. They were threatened that they would be given a painful punishment, stoned to death or exiled from the land. It didn’t stop at words. They were actually pelted with stones and thrown in pits of fire. Yet, it only made them stronger. It did not decrease them in their honour and prestige.

In comparison to all this, what the people will say to you is just child’s play.

Even then know that Allah knows it hurts.

“We do indeed know how thy heart is distressed at what they say.
But celebrate the praises of your Master, and be of those who prostrate themselves.
And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” (Surah al-Hijr: 97-99)

See, He knows it hurts. He teaches you how to cope too.
And among the descriptions of the Jannah that He promises you, He often mentions this blessing to you:

Wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech. (Surah al-Ghashiya: 11)

Once again: Eid Mubarak! May Allah accept from us and you all!

Allah is the Greatest. There is no God but Him. And to Him belongs all Praise and Gratitude!

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My Ramadan Diary: Getting on Your Nerves?

indexBy Umm Ibrahim

So, you casually resolved to maintain a smiling, cheerful countenance in Ramadan. Little did you know that something apparently so easy will also prove a tough nut to crack at times.

It’s actually quite uplifting, easy and fun to be cheerful with people who are good to you. But who wants to be cheerful around obnoxious people who take every opportunity to put you down and make you feel inferior? Their smirks, their snide comments and self-righteous attitudes can be as irksome as long nails screeching on a blackboard. This breed of people seem hell-bent to make your life miserable. They will doubt your intentions, discredit you for your good and highlight your mistakes. How can you be nice with them especially when you’re already fuzzy-brained because of hunger? How can you maintain a smiling countenance when you wish you could chew their heads off? In fact, why do such exasperating people even exist? Allah says:

“..We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? for Allah is One Who sees (all things).” (Surah al-Furqan, ayah 20)

Everyone has their share of ‘nuts’ in their lives. But you have it clearly spelled out in the ayah: 1)the reason 2)the cure (patience) and 3)the encouragement and satisfaction (that Allah is watching).

A believer is soft in the inside but sturdy on the outside. Don’t let people get to you and distract you from your destination: Jannah. Also know that your smile is precious- after all, it is a sadaqah and a Sunnah! Don’t lose it or your sleep over what Mr. X said and Ms. Y said.

Be good to others for the Pleasure of Allah. The not-so-good ones are there so that you can gauge and purify your intentions. So, have a mind of your own. And don’t just mirror what the other person does to you. Be better. Be the bigger person. Just like the sun shines on all and the rain falls on all- the good and the evil. The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) gave us priceless advice:

“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. But (instead) accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil.” (Tirmidhi)

Oh, and make sure that you are not the one proving to be a tough trial for others around you. How do you ensure that? Simple: Treat others exactly as you would love to be treated.

Chapter 3: The Waning Dusk (series)

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Myth: Can’t handle it.

Take this– if you have been whining about your growling stomach or super-conscious about your dry throat.

“Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.” (02:286)

The verse is deep even in its literal translation with many implications. Every nafs (self) has its own capacity and every nafs will be burdened and judged according to its aptitude. There is a reason why you were born into the family you did, why you have the education you do, why you are exceptionally good at some things and why you are the person that you are now. Allah has given you all your life experiences for a reason- so you can wield your Excalibur and put yourself to good use in His way; that you exhaust yourself in His cause in every way that you can. There is no perfect time for it nor is there a stage where you attain some sort of an elusive perfection to start. Contribute your bit in your capacity whatever it may be– intellectual, artistic, analytical, vocal or a bit of everything.

Suffice it to say, you can’t back out of your obligations thinking they’re beyond your “capacity”. The verse demands you keep the drama to yourself. If you find any commandment hard to carry out, you can’t opt out of it. Allah knew you could handle it and hence He ordained it. This is the other implication of this verse. So it’s either you weaseling out of tight spots or there’s something wrong with the statement.

For anyone who has suffered physical or emotional trauma, there is great comfort packed behind the words. And by trauma, I mean any life-altering event that metamorphosed you in some way or the other. Lost someone, some thing or lost a part of you…

You were put through your crucible because you could have handled it better than someone else in the same situation.

The greater your strengths are, the greater the trials and greater the reward for your patience. Also, this statement is a snippet from the last verses of Al-Baqarah that were given to the Prophet (pbuh) on the highest protocol denied even to the angels. Imagine the sheer magnitude of emphasis that comes with it. You have your parents constantly telling you to do your chores on a daily basis. Then there is “the talk” that they have on rare occasions in your room- just with you. About anything they deem important. This is exactly the case here. Allah (swt) called the Prophet up to meet Him on the Seventh Sky so He could gift his Ummah the five prayers and these verses—and to let you know that can pull through whatever the circumstances.

Journey of Steadfastness- Ten Boosters

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#StayStrong was an exciting theme on the blog, with our writers sharing their thoughts and experiences candidly.

Steadfastness (Isteqamah) is something that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has made obligatory upon the believers. Man has been created weak; therefore Allah has also taught means to achieve steadfastness.

Fancy catch phrases may sound appealing, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of actually doing things, one does need to employ boosters to stay on track and keep going.

From the writings of esteemed scholars, the Blog Team has extracted and compiled ten boosters to help us all to #StayStrong on our respective journeys.

1-      Clinging to the Quran

The Quran is the strong rope of Allah. Whoever clings to it, Allah will save him from slipping.

Allah has stated that one of the reasons why the Quran was revealed in stages was to help the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) to stay firm.

“..Thus (the Quran is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.” (Surah al-Furqan: 32)

The Quran equips you with sound understanding and values, which enable you to make correct decisions and stick to them resolutely. It also gives tranquility to your heart, and helps to refute the doubts stirred up by those who want to steer you away from the straight path.

2-      Obeying Allah and Doing Righteous Deeds

Every act of obedience and every good deed takes you one step closer to steadfastness. Allah says:

” …but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened them.” (Surah An-Nisaa: 66)

Sticking to good deeds is thus a means to attain steadfastness. If you are lazy to do righteous deeds even in smooth times, how can you stay steadfast in the rocky patches?

3-      Studying the Stories of the Prophets

We all need role models, and who better to emulate than the resolute Messengers of Allah? The stories narrated in the Quran are not there for entertainment. They were revealed for an important purpose, which is described by Allah:

“And all that We relate to you (O Messenger!) of the news of the Messengers is in order that We may make strong and firm your heart thereby…” (Surah Hud: 120)

The vivid stories of how Allah helped each Prophet- how Ibrahim was saved from the fire, how Musa stayed confident and refused to accept defeat even when trapped between the sea and Pharaoh’s army, how Yusuf stayed dignified and rejected all temptations and invitations to sin- fill the hearts with a thrill and a desire, a hope and a confidence to follow in the footsteps of these great men.

4-      Dua (Supplication)

Staying steadfast is essentially a matter of the heart. And the heart is in the absolute control of Allah, as described by the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam):

“The hearts of the sons of Adam are as one between the fingers of the Most Merciful, and He directs them as He wills.” (Ahmad)

Hence, we need to turn to Him and beseech Him to keep us steadfast till the last breath. The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) often used to supplicate,

“O Controller of the hearts, make my heart adhere firmly to Your religion.” (Tirmidhi)

5-      Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)

Whatever we do, we do out of love for Allah, hoping for His Pleasure and Reward, and fearing His Wrath and Punishment. Remembering him is a great means of sticking to the path and staying strong. It reminds us that He is watching our struggles and He will reward every ounce of it. It also reassures us that He will ease our paths. Allah says:

“O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember Allah much, so that you may be successful.” (Surah al-Anfaal :45)

Dhikr is like a strong fortress which can protect us from falling and slipping. When a powerful and beautiful woman tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf, it was by entering this fortress that he was able to save himself.

6-      Education and Training

Being firmly grounded in faith by attaining proper religious education and training also makes one aware of the ploys of Shaitan when he wants you to slack off or go weak. This training and education is like the rain which converts a barren land into a blooming garden. The best generation of all times, the Sahaba, were trained and educated in the most perfect manner by the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). Their personalities were refined by the Messenger, and it was because of this that they epitomized steadfastness in the face of all difficulties and temptations.

7-      Having Confidence in the Road you are Following

The more confident you are of the correctness of your path, the more you will stay steadfast in adhering to it. Be grateful and overjoyed at the guidance Allah has blessed you with. How can the one who is following the path of the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous ones not be confident? How can the one who is chosen by Allah suffer from an inferiority complex!? Allah says:

“Then We gave the Book (the Quran) for inheritance to such of Our slaves as We chose … ” (Surah Faatir: 32)

8-      Calling Others to Allah (Da’wah)

When you are sincerely calling others to Allah, the first one who hears and responds to the call is your own self! When you are busy utilizing your talents in this field, you are less likely to backslide. This will also train you and make you Akhirah-focused. Plus, you will grow in knowledge and will feel more connected to the Prophets, as it is the same job that you’re doing.  (Hint: Join Youth Club 😉 )

9-      Keeping Righteous Company

We all know who these people are who aid us in our efforts to stay strong. They are the ones who won’t hesitate to reprimand you when they see you slip; they are the ones who will remind you of Allah and will keep you on the right track; they are the ones who will help you get up when you do fall. Look for them. And stay close to them. They are the scholars, the da’is and the sincere friends.

The sheep that wanders away from the flock is the one that gets eaten. Don’t be an easy prey for Shaitan. (Hint: Join Youth Club 😉 )

10-  Remembering Death and the Hereafter.

Remembering death also helps us to stay on our toes. We can’t really afford to slip when we know that we could die any day, any moment.

Think of the Jannah that awaits your arrival inshaAllah. Jannah is worth giving it your all, and more. Jannah is worth striving very, very hard for. Jannah is worth every drop of sweat, tears and blood! You can convince yourself to keep walking if you remind yourself of the beautifully amazing abode that lies ahead.

This is one of the ways in which the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) encouraged his companions to stay strong in the most extreme of circumstances. He passed by Yasir’s family when they were being severely tortured in the early days of Islam and he told them,

“Patience, family of Yasir, patience, family of Yasir, for your promised destination is Paradise.” (al-Haakim)

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Read Journey of Love- Ten Boosters here: https://youthclubblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/journey-of-love-ten-boosters/