Tag Archives: peace

My Ramadan Diary: Forgive Me When I Whine

dua

By Umm Ibrahim

Hot days? Long fasts? Parched tongue? Droopy eyes? Aching legs?

This Ramadan, I will not whine! I absolutely refuse to complain. Not only will I not complain to Tom, Dick and Harry (or to Jamilah, Sakinah and Aneela) I will not even complain to myself! I feel too grateful to do that. I have been blessed with far more than what I could ever deserve or earn.

I’m grateful that Allah made me a human being, and not a monkey or a hen.

I’m grateful that He made me a Muslim, and not an atheist or a fire-worshipper.

I’m grateful that I’m alive and healthy.

And that He blessed me with yet another Ramadan- yet another opportunity.

And that He gave me the Glorious Quran.

And that I have family and friends.

In fact, I have everything I asked him for, and more! Much more.

I’m grateful for the Duas He accepted, and the ones He apparently did not (because He had better substitutes planned).

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, an extreme ingrate.” (Surah Ibrahim: 34)

And most of all, I’m thankful to Him that despite my all-year round sins, He allowed me to fast. He enabled me to open the Quran, and gave me the taufeeq to stand before Him, and put my face on the ground only for Him.

Yes, there is still hope for me. And you.

How can I complain while my heart is bursting with love and gratitude? This year, I will go the extra mile happily and willingly, inshaAllah. I will do it all with a smile, all for His sake, out of love for Him, and in anticipation of His Pleasure and Reward.

So, in conclusion: Alhamdolillah!

“Alhamdolillah fills the scales.” (Sahih Muslim)

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In Pursuit of Happiness

The writer is a convert sister from the Scandinavian part of Europe who has been following the activities of the Youth Club through the online realm. She has written this piece exclusively for the Youth Club Blog.
We welcome her to Islam, and pray that Allah grants her steadfastness.

happinessroadsign

 

I’ve been raised watching romantic comedies and all kinds of movies. I’ve also wasted a considerable amount of time playing computer games and PlayStation. I was so much into the games, that they became my world. I was obsessed with thinking about how I would get to the next level or get more points, even when I went to school, met friends or ate dinner. I would always feel energized and excited while playing. Watching movies would make me happy- I would imagine my life becoming similar to what I saw.

 

But the good feelings always disappeared and I needed more. A new game. A new movie. I could never ever get enough. I was truly seeking contentment and peace of heart through these means. But it was like chasing my shadow. I could never have fulfillment from the movies or games. I was left with an emptiness inside.

When I was going to fast my first Ramadan at the age of 19 a short time after my shahada (I’m a convert) I had no idea what to expect. I was just scared and worried, “Will I be able to make it?” In my hometown, there are hardly any Muslims and you can never hear the adhan –  there isn’t a single mosque here. I didn’t even have one single family member who was also Muslim.

Since I was a Muslim by choice, I realized that I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know it was Ramadan and that I was obliged to fast. But I doubted my own capabilities… The only One I could ask for help was my Lord, Sustainer, Helper and Guide.

As much as I could, the last few weeks before Ramadan, I would beg

“Oh Allah, this is so hard for me, I don’t know if I can do it. But everything is easy for You, and You can make the difficult easy. So, PLEASE, make it easy for me to fast!! Not just one day or one week. Please make it easy for me to fast the whole month for You. Ameen”

Never ever have I experienced more pleasure, more joy and more peace of heart in my life – as I did that Ramadan. First of all, Allah surely answered my duas!! Alhamdulillah!! The 1st, 2nd & 3rd days were sooo EASY to fast, that I didn’t eat Iftar because I was hungry, but simply because I could. And this was 19 and a half hours after my suhoor. SubhanAllah.

Needless to say, I was completely AMAZED. It was a huuuge imaan-boost. I needed no Muslim in my life to wake me up for Fajr, join me for suhoor or remind me to keep away from drink and food (and lying etc), during the day. Allah SWT was enough for me. Sitting “all alone” with my food before Fajr was one of the the greatest moments in my life. Real diamonds. It was only me and Allah. I was extremely grateful for the food He gave me and for being Muslim and for being of the very few (in my country) to actually be awake before Fajr with the intention to fast.

Before Allah gave me Islam, I would seek peace, happiness and contentment in all kinds of things from this world. Movies, games, music, friendships, popularity/fame, clothes, make-up… Now I realise that nothing came close to what Islam offered me.

Sujud, salah, fasting in Ramadan, covering my head, making duaa, learning profound lessons from the Quran, struggling to recite the Quran, reflecting upon Allah’s creation, Allah’s Beautiful Names, and the verses of the Quran, remembering Allah (dhikr) – this is what brings real joy, peace and contentment to my life (and to my heart).

For anyone who is still searching for peace & happiness in worldly things: Please stop kidding yourself… Please stop listening to Satan – who only wants to pull you away from Allah.

Take a moment to ask Allah the Almighty to guide you to that which can give you real peace in this life and the ultimate reward in the next life… Please ask Allah to guide you back to Him.

And know that Allah truly loves it when His slave returns to Him.

If you think you’re sinning too much or that your life is too far away from the straight path… Remember, that Allah is Extremely Merciful. If your sins were to reach the skies, Allah would not mind forgiving you. He loves to forgive. All you need to do is ask forgiveness. Also, remember that Allah is the Almighty, the All-Powerful. Everything is easy for Him. He brings the dead land back to life. He can bring life back to your heart.

He can change your life completely- the way my life changed.

Peace!

Peace! The whole world’s hankering after it. Today we have peace conventions, peace rallies, peace slogans, and yet, there is no peace. We are insecure in our own minds, in our own homes, in our own homeland.

Amazing though it may sound but we don’t really need to go into that much hullabaloo to get peace in our lives. That is because its perfect recipe was given by a great leader years ago. A new state had just been formed, he entered it and said,

Spread Salaam...” *1

Just like that! So simple.

Yes, you guessed it. The great leader was none other than our beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam.

Salaam is the salutation that Muslims greet each other with, when they meet. In effect, they say: Assalam u ‘alaykum, which means ‘peace be upon you’.

This great leader didn’t just state, ‘say’ salaam, rather he said, ‘spread’ salaam. Do you see the depth in his choice of words? Spread means to disseminate widely. Imagine that! Imagine us wishing peace to any and everyone we met. Would there be any discord or bad feelings left, let alone insecurities? Because if you just had to wish peace to everyone, you couldn’t hate them at the same time. That would be a contradiction in and of itself. Today we’re scared of our own neighbors. We don’t even know them. Why? We never talked to them. If we followed the rule of saying salaam to everyone, we’d come to know them, right? Communities would come together and unite peacefully. But alas! Where does salaam stand today?

According to scholars, it is obligatory to reply to the greeting of salaam. If you don’t reply, it’s a sin. Because we have been ordered in the Quran,

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it
[in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant
.”  (An-Nisa 86)

Etiquette of Salaam

> When you meet someone, it is the right of the other person that you initiate it.

> Pronounce it properly. Do not mumble.

> Say it loudly. It should be loud enough to wake a sleeping person.

> Don’t say it as if to show arrogance in front of the other person. Mean it.

Benefits of Salaam

> One of the best things is that you get reward just by saying such a simple thing as Salaam. Isn’t that cool? You get 10 or 20 or 30 rewards depending on how you say it. *2

> You can enter Paradise! Isn’t Paradise our ultimate goal? Imagine getting the thing you strove for and wanted all your life through Salaam, forever and ever. *3

> Through Salaam, you come to love one other. Lovely, yeah? ❤ *4

Know that Salaam is one of the Names of Allah. You’re taking His Name! It should connect with your heart. Say it beautifully. 🙂

Salaam

*1 “O people! spread Salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night), you shall enter paradise peacefully.” [Tirmidhi]

*2 Imran bin Husain (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “A man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum’ (peace be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Ten’ (meaning the man had earned the merit of ten good acts). Another one came and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah’ (peace and the mercy of Allah be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Twenty.’ A third one came and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu’ (peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Thirty.’” [Tirmidhi]

*3,4 Abu Huraira RA narrated: Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe; and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to a thing which if you do, you will love one another? Spread (the greeting of peace) Salaam amongst yourselves.” [Muslim]

The 2013 Youth!

So who is cooler and who makes more sense?! You decide!

So this first guy is your typical everyday 19-year-old Pakistani guy living in Islamabad and Lahore or any other major city in Pakistan.

He gets up every morning, shaves.. Because all ‘young’ people have to shave right ?! Because EVERYONE does it and says so right? .. The scratches, the itchiness, the stress on the face  is all worth it because then he’ll get looked at by mates at Uni and if lucky, a pretty girl will stare at him and fall in love with him, yeah?!  Hmmm.. Spends over 2 hours getting ready, combing every strand of his hair to perfection..! Creams his face.. Stares at the mirror almost asking the question.. “Mirror mirror on the wall..”!! He wears his tight jeans ’cause you know that’s the ‘in’ fashion nowadays! Doesn’t matter if they are uncomfortable..
Gotta look good !
Gotta look sharp!!
Puts on his best shirt, perfumes himself, bye to the family, catch the ‘wagon’.. Maybe stare at the pretty girl! You know, cheap thrills, yeah! Hoping she would look back! But no she doesn’t!! Oh well, plenty more fish in the sea (Uni), he thinks.
Gets to campus.. Meets his mates! High fives as  if they are Americans – accidentally happen to be in Pakistan(!). Gets invited to a party or 2.. Then talk about cricket.. “What a shot, what a chakka!!”.. Followed by “The government is so messed up man.. Followed by “Did you see that girl in that lecture?” .. Followed by “Let’s go Munchies/Savour/McDonald’s later yaaaaaaaar!!”.. Followed by “Oh this amazing song in that Aamir Khan movie.. Wow yaaar!” or “Have you downloaded that new track by Radiohead/Rihanna/Atif Aslam?!”
He misses all the prayers because none of his ‘friends ‘ are going to pray.. Plus he thinks he has got all his life to pray right?! Go Hajj when aged 40 and then pray regularly.. But right now I’m young! I’m cool! Wanna enjoy life! Death doesn’t come to youngsters at all right(!) right?!
Then he talks about exams stress. Lack of money.. Wish he had a Bollywood-type girl friend, had a car.. And just complain about life.. Go to the lectures.. Chill out with mates.. Go home.. More studies.. Sleep.. But before he sleeps he thinks what a boring life.. Everyday a let-down.. Why am I not at peace..? Everyday I try hard to impress the people  but the demands get higher!
Next day he goes through the same routine. Excited in the morning followed by disappointment towards the end of the day.. Same conversations. Same complaints.. Same have-to-get-this-and-that-but-can’t-get-it thinking! Frustration.. Lack of peace.. Working hard to please people.. Neglecting his duties towards the ONE that made him and therefore risking…

HELLFIRE!

OR

This other guy, who is also 19, that wakes up every morning to worships his Creator. He also goes to Uni dressed nicely, clean, without the intention of impressing his mates.
HE decides what he wears and not be dictated by some freak obscure designer in Lahore, Milan or New York. He has a beard because he wants to emulate the greatest human being that ever lived!
He goes to Uni and studies hard..
Greets his friends with greetings of peace and hand-shakes!
The kind of mates he meets are those that are thinking deeply about life! The type of conversations he engages in are:
“There is an Islamic lecture organised by YC [Youth Club].. Shall we go? We could all chip in for the taxi ride.” Followed  by “Do you have any suggestions for concentrating during Salah [prayer]?”
Followed by “Did you listen to that beautiful recitation by Qari so-and-so?”.. Then discuss a few points raised by a closet atheist.
Conversations but intellectual productive ones.
He prays his Salah.. He attends amazing thought-provoking, inspiring lectures after Uni. He has a vision for life based around worshiping the Creator. He is young, has feelings.. Wants a beautiful girl.. Some money.. Nice house.. To chill and relax.. But he knows not yet.. Not in this life.. He knows he needs to struggle and follow the commands of Islam on a daily level. His focus is excellence in worship because he knows that the wealth, the women, the fame, the compliments from people, the good food will either be given to him in this life, or better still, in..

JANNAH!

So which guy do you want to be? The one that tries hard to please this world and tragically doesn’t get what he wants and potentially loses his hereafter?
Or
The guy who is at peace, looking beyond what the people think and more concerned about what the creator of those very people thinks and is aiming to get to Paradise?

you decide

YOUTH CLUB

(Street Da`wah Team)