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Ramadan Challenge: The Smile Culture!

By Anonymous 

Do you know about that one simple curve that sets everything straight? You got it, it’s your beautiful smile! 🙂 A smile is truly the best makeup you can wear; you can use a before and after picture test to observe the difference! Its benefits are numerous, especially for your role as a caller towards Allah.

Ever met a person who’s very polite and decent in every way yet you feel something’s just not right and then it suddenly hits you that they’re not smiling? You kind of want to whisper in their ear, “Hey! Could you smile please?” 

Not only does smiling alter your outward appearance and make you much more pleasing to others, but it also transforms your own self from inside. If you feel sad and negative, and you start smiling, soon you’ll begin to feel optimistic. Similarly, you can’t help smiling when you feel happy and hopeful. Both things go hand in hand.

I’m sure you know a person who’s always upset and complaining about one thing or the other. On the contrary, you may know another person who’s always smiling, positive and cheerful. Which of the two do you like to hang out with? Who do you talk to and take advice from? The smiling one! Exactly!

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily you cannot afford to make people happy with your wealth, but you can make them happy with you by means of a cheerful face and good attitude.” [Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb (2661)].

Here are some of the benefits of having a smile on your face:

1.

When people see your smiling face, they will automatically be drawn to your warmth and kindness.

2.

People will be at ease around you within minutes of meeting you just because you appear to be a smiling contented person; you don’t have to make much of an extra effort to befriend them.

3.

You will be a favourite among your friends because no one likes frowning serious faces. If they always see you smiling, they will love you because of the positive vibes you exude.

4.

People will come to you whenever they feel low because your smile and cheerful presence will uplift their spirits.

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All of the above will help you maintain good relations with people, which is an essential part of Islam. And if you want to call people towards Allah, you can only do so if they respect you, like you and trust you.

And if you are thinking, “well, I can’t smile when I’m feeling all low or ill or moody or whatever” then know that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the most smiling person ever! Yet the problems he faced in his everyday life were huge! He was a father, a husband (to many wives), the Army General, the Chief Justice, the President, the Head of the State, the Prophet, the Counsellor…. and yet he smiled the most!

You don’t need to wear your problems on your sleeve and on your face in the form of a frown all the time. Just wear a smile and leave the problem-sharing for your sujood in private. Your smile will work wonders on your relationships.

I speak from experience when I say that just being happy, positive and friendly towards people prevents numerous issues from even arising. You don’t have to face petty grievances. Your quality of life improves markedly, as happiness is closely tied to healthy relationships.

You feel light and alive, you feel like there is hope, you just know that as the corners of your lips go up, so will you!

Some people will consider you a fool for being so optimistic. They might think you’re not aware of all that is amiss, but know that that’s not true. You must learn to fall in love with that distinct smell of freshly washed plants when all people see is a downpour. You need to be the right amidst all the wrong.

Oh and one more thing, a smile is a very good investment for the life that awaits you! The Prophet ﷺ said, “Your smiling at your brother is an act of charity.” (Tirmidhī).

So I challenge you to let no one see you today except with a smile and revel in the barakah and goodness that comes with it!

http://www.littlemissteacher.com/2017/01/17-ideas-for-2017.html?m=1

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Ramadan Challenge: It’s Time To Talk!

By Abdul Rehman Raza

In the life of a Muslim, the importance of dawah (calling people towards Allah) cannot be ignored. How can we not call towards the One we believe in and place our trust in? How can we not want others to have the same happiness in their lives? Yet we often avoid doing dawah because it seems tough; telling someone to do good and avoid evil?! Umm…how do I even?!

Well, here’s something to help you! Keep your hesitations and fears aside and go through the following, you’ll be wanting to stop people and talk to them this very minute!

Play the Role of Prophets

We are here in this world for a specific purpose. Many of us go astray. In the past, Allah sent Prophets to remind people again and again, now when there are no more Prophets to come, the duty falls on us. When you give dawah, you are literally playing the role of Prophets. You are among the very few whom Allah has chosen to convey His message. Consider this an honour for yourself. Feel confident, honoured and humbled at the same time.

Talk Something Positive

Mostly when we sit with friends or family, we waste our time talking about useless things. We would discuss movies, sports or at times resort to really bad things like backbiting, insulting. We need to change our habits. We need to use this great opportunity of sitting in a gathering to talk about something positive. A few words on praying, doing zikr, being good and kind to others etc. Calling people to Allah is probably the best thing possible. And how good a gathering would be in which Allah is mentioned.

Save Your Own Self

Not only is doing dawah a responsibility but also if you don’t stop people from doing evil, they’ll only corrupt the world you live in. If you don’t stop others from backbiting or stealing, tomorrow they will backbite about you and steal from you. By doing dawah, you’re not just saving their neck, but your own too!

doing dawah

It is the Quality of the Righteous

Allah says about the righteous people in surah Ale-Imran:

“They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.” (Surah 3, verse 114)

Doing dawah, calling people to good, forbidding evil becomes a prerequisite to be righteous.

Sharing Good with Others

Whenever we get to know something good, we share it with others. It’s in the human nature. If we find a good restaurant, we would tell everyone around us. Similarly, when we learn something about Allah and His religion, we must share this with people around us. The good part, we get a bonus here, the more we share this great thing, the more it increases.

 

Keep Trying and Never Give Up

Very often we think that what if I give dawah and no one listens, what if I give dawah and it doesn’t go well, what if people mock me? Such questions do discourage us. However, we need to realise that even the Prophets were mocked, ridiculed and rejected. Take the example of any Prophet, Nuh (AS) or our last Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. We must understand that our duty is only to convey the message of Allah and give dawah in the best and wise way possible, that is it. Whether people listen or not, that is not in our hands. Our duty is to put in our best effort, leave the rest to Allah.

So, take this great responsibility today, play the role of Prophets and speak on behalf of Allah. For your own good and for the good of people around you.

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Of good company and positive attitudes

This post is an anonymous entry sent in by one of our readers for the theme #Sinless. We pray that Allah keeps the writer steadfast on her own journey.

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How do people view practicing Muslims these days? Outdated? Orthodox? Old-school? Of course!

I mean, just imagine! How can those people live without listening to music? I can’t even picture myself sitting alone and not plugging my earphones into my ears (to listen to the latest beats).

And then there’s the whole covering up issue.  Personally I believe that the only modesty is that of the gaze- don’t stare, that’s all. These Abaya-clad girls are usually looked more keenly upon. Obviously they invite more glances. How can they claim to be modest when they stand out like that? How are they even comfortable being inspected so?  You can’t talk, walk, or act like a normal human being in that kind of dress- completely out of the question!

There’s so much in this world alone; so much to see, so much to do- so little time (and money). You are obliged to earn by whatever means you can. How can you possibly make time for the daily prayers, and that too 5 times a day, what with your otherwise hectic schedule?

Then there’s these Maulvis… Nothing but a bunch of the most deviant people imaginable. All they do is impose a new fatwa every now and then- make life hard for the rest of us.  And then they have the audacity to plead about immodesty in the community. I mean they should just focus on themselves. I’m fine the way I am. I don’t need someone dictating my life!


Is this you? I don’t know about you, but this is definitely me.

I’m sorry I’m mistaken.

This WAS definitely me.

Practicing religion to the old me was just like sticking to the most frustrating restrictions one could possibly think of. And I’m not the only young person I know who had this problem- so did most of the other young people I knew.

It was a great blessing that Allah blessed me with some amazing friends who were practical examples of people who practice religion, but remain down-to-earth and ‘normal’ at the same time. Pretty amazing, right? LOL. They would talk, walk and act normal. They had fun. They were fun to be around. And their positive outlook on life helped solve many of MY problems too!

They somehow managed to live without listening to the kind of messed up music that is popular nowadays. They prayed five times a day in spite of their busy routines. They weren’t modest about their gaze alone, but also in the way they dressed.

And I could not do anything but also get inspired! Unbelievable but true- all you need to do is spend some time in good company yourself to understand this.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”[Sunan Abu Dawud: 4833]

Yeah! My company did change the way I viewed the world. My heart started to be more inclined towards Allah and His religion. I wanted to find the source of this goodness- I wanted to be one of them. I started perfecting my own Salah. And as it is mentioned in the Quraan:-

“Indeed Salah stops you from Immodesty and Munkar (That which is forbidden)” [Surah Al-Ankaboot, Ayah: 43]

My prayers helped me to  strive even further and take more steps towards my Lord. It felt like a relief when I wore my hijab for the first time in front of my male cousins. Believe it or not, it felt better than seeing myself in front of the mirror, dressed to perfection. I gave up music slowly and turned towards Quraan. It did feel better than that temporary happiness that would blow my ears away through those meaningless lyrics. These changes were not abrupt. It took time to make them impact my heart and mind.

But there was no other option for me when all of these things made complete sense to me. No ifs, no buts. The way forward was obvious.

Only then did I understand the importance of Hijab, giving up music, praying five times a day with the utmost devotion to Allah and doing all else that was required by my religion. They all made sense now that I was sincerely tuning into Allah’s commands.  But that only happened once I had decided that I wanted to understand-  with a true and receptive heart. Temptations struck me from all sides.  I surrounded myself with an even tighter circle of strong, righteous friends.

And even after that, the struggle was not over.

This struggle won’t ever be over as it is not possible for anyone to be completely sinless. The Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] said:

 “All human beings without exception are sinful, but the best sinners are those who repent the most.” [Tirmidhi]

But it’s definitely something worth striving for, especially with the help of good company. It’s time we all took out a moment to reflect. Allah is always ready to forgive. Can we expect any better?

Miracles Happen!

Miracles Happen!


miracles

Being close to nature can have a very soothing effect on you.  What could be better than going out in the beautiful fields to ponder over the mysteries of our life!  As I stood there surrounded by the beauty of His Creation, I could only wonder how Beautiful He, Himself, would be.  I grabbed the opportunity to tune in to to the echoes of my heart.  His words reverberated in my soul.  I stood there pondering over the events of my life.

Perhaps, you can never really appreciate the All Knowing, the All Wise without facing the trials and hardships in your life.  And when the dawn finally embraces you, you let the tears trickle down your cheeks in awe, gratitude and complete submission, begging for His forgiveness, realizing how ungrateful and impatient you had been before.

Sometimes, our lives seem to be unjust towards us.  Our destinies appear to be unfairly penned.  Every creature that once seemed loving becomes loathsome.  The unresolved questions leave us lost within a labyrinth, entwined within the intricate web of our lives.  In this tough battle of life, most of us begin to distance ourselves from the Creator.  It is then that we lose hope.  The human brain is an amazingly sophisticated creation of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.  Sometimes, all this brain needs to do is to stop!  Yes, there are times when we desperately need to give a halt to the whirlwind of miserable thoughts.  We need to take the time to instead analyze and question ourselves.

Is it really that our lives are being unjust towards us or is it that our perspective of looking at this beautiful life is skewed?  Are we acting wisely as “masters”, or are we acting as mere “victims” of the current circumstances in our lives?

Let us unleash our memories and get a bit nostalgic.  Remember all those moments when you called out to Him, and He responded?  Honestly, I have multitude of such incidents: asking Him to unbolt a jammed door, seeking His aid just to open a jar, asking Him for the translated copy of the Noble Qur’an, begging Him to postpone a silly test for which I hadn’t prepared.  These everyday incidents that we tend to dismiss and forget are too many to list.  But, SubhanAllah! He did respond every single time.  The door swung up – unbolted, the jammed cap of the jar loosened, the translated word of Allah, that I couldn’t purchase myself was received as a gift, and that test was not only postponed but cancelled!  The miracles happened!  Yes, the miracles happen!

Allah says in the Qur’an,

“And whosoever is conscious of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.”

[Surat At-Talaq: 2-3]

Allah also says in the Qur’an,

“Say, O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.”

[Surah Az-Zumar: 53-54]

Being conscious of Him, placing our trust in Him, and sincerely repenting to him- this is the sure-shot way out of our hardships.  These are the areas we need to ruthlessly work on.  We need to redirect our thought process to focus more on solving our problems rather than just fizzling out by blaming and complaining about everything to everyone.  Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is the one who created the silver lining to every cloud.  With firm faith in this, our eyes must seek the positivity in every ‘negative’ situation.  Rather than being bogged down by your worries, zoom out of your problems and focus on Him, who is closer to you than your jugular vein.

Your life is beautiful.  Your destiny has been wonderfully penned at the command of your Rabb, and there’s an amazing journey ahead of you, insha Allah.  All you need to do is to change your perception of your life and put complete trust in your Creator with full conviction and patience- which really does create miracles.  What seems impossible for you is as simple for the Almighty as saying “Kun” (“Be”).  Maintain closeness to the Almighty at times of ease too, and you will find His Promised Help close-by during times of hardship.  And, then, behold how your life becomes sweeter and beautiful than ever before!

Winds Of Change

Winds Of Change

*This is a guest post by Br. Ali Naqash, a member of Youth Club.

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Best 2 days of my life at IIUI, Faisal Masjid auditorium, Sector E-7 Campus

Imagine seeing people of all ages and from various backgrounds smiling, crying and laughing all together. Imagine them realizing how each and every one of them has truly had a rich learning experience and many awe-inspiring moments by listening to world-famous speakers! Now imagine all of that happening in Pakistan! And the amazing thing is that it has happened before too! But words do no justice to how awesome it is! I had missed the previous one, the Winds Of Change (WOC) 2012 tour, and the awe-inspiring video clips of the previous tour made me adamant not to miss out on the one being held this year! And Alhamdulillah, I had the best time of my life. Even though I have traveled much, from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, the fun that I had in these 2 weeks at the Winds Of Change Tour was truly what the Pakistani Youth, like me, desperately need!

The Winds Of Change tour is an annual event that is organized by Youth Club (YC) with the simple yet much-needed concept of bringing about positive change. It lasts for about 2 weeks and is organized usually in the months of January & February. Although this is only the second time that the tour was held, it has risen in popularity very quickly.

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Jam-Packed audience at NUST, H-12 Campus

What started out as a simple concept by a few sisters who participated in the Shifa Inter-Scholastic Tournament (SIST) 2011, became within 2 years, with the mercy of Allah, much dedication, sincerity and a lot of excited volunteers, a large organized platform dedicated to the Youth (which is anyone whose heart is young) by the name of Youth Club! Youth Club has been inviting speakers from the world-renowned Da’wah organization iERA on the WOC tour until now, and hopefully in the future speakers from other parts of the world would also be invited.

In the Winds Of Change tour, various universities, schools and colleges all over Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and elsewhere, invite these speakers to deliver inspiring, motivational and FREE lectures & seminars at their institutes. And not just that, but during SIST, which happens to be Pakistan’s biggest Youth Islamic event and is now an integral part of the yearly Winds Of Change tour, students from as far as Canada & the UK to as near as the next door college compete against each other in exciting events. These include competitions in 3-D art, Short Film, Debates, Spoken Word (Poetry), Tajweed, Nasheed, Calligraphy, Futsal and many more. The amazing stalls put up by Youth Club, Al Falah Manzil, Muslims United and many other organizations made the place look all the more attractive.

The speakers at Winds Of Change Tour by Youth Club have been invited from Pakistan’s top universities such as NUST, LUMS, FAST, Quaid-e-Azam University, Bahria National University, Air University, Shifa College of Medicine, Riphah Medical University, IIUI, Punjab University, UCP (and many more) to schools such as Alma, OPF School, and Lahore Grammar School and all the way to Islamic and Community Centers. The students, faculty and even the administrative staff felt refreshed and highly motivated after listening to the thought provoking words of the speakers.

Attentive Audience at COMSATS University, Islamabad
Attentive Audience at COMSATS University, Islamabad

The purpose of the Winds of Change Tour is to bridge the gap between Islam and Muslims, so as to make Muslims really practicing and not just Muslims by name. As with every noble cause comes great support, no exception was found here as well. People who had never met before, cooperated with each other only for the sake of Allah and loved each other only for His sake and such unparalleled sincerity has truly been a positive change in and of itself! In a country that is occupied with news flashes of robbery, kidnapping and murder, all this is a really good news.

This year’s event featured famous speakers such as Yusuf Chambers, Adnan Rashid, Imran Ibn Mansoor, Raja Zia-ul-Haq (CEO Youth Club), Sarah Chaudhry (for sisters only), Dr. Saeed Akhtar, Dr. Abdus Samie, Kamran Kiyani, Dr. Yousuf Raza etc. After the tour Dr. Tawfique Chawdhury (CEO Mercy Mission World) arrived all the way from Australia on invitation by Al-Huda International Welfare Foundation on a 10-day tour of Pakistan. Considering the fact that some of these speakers had to travel to Pakistan for the first time, goes on to prove just how dedicated they are to the cause of propagating Islam. May Allah accept the efforts done by everyone, Ameen ya Rab!

The Dawah Man - Imran Ibn Mansour!
The Dawah Man – Imran Ibn Mansoor!

If there was anything that I think could make this event even more fantastic, it would be to make it bi-annual because those who can’t attend it in January or February can benefit from it in the summers at least. But, then again, it’s easier said than done. However, there is always room for improvement and in sha Allah if YOU feel like contributing please feel welcome to do so. After all, this is all about inspiring positive change! 🙂

Below, are a few photos from this year’s event:

At Quaid-e-Azam University
At Quaid-e-Azam University

The one of many feedback  notice boards!
The one of many feedback notice boards!

At FAST University
At FAST University

On a Morning TV Show
On a Morning TV Show

At Peshawar Medical College
At Peshawar Medical College

Habibi which means in arabic "my love" :P
Habibi, meaning “My Love” in Arabic, was the perfect backdrop for this photo! 😛

Yusuf Chambers inspiring people!
Brother Yusuf Chambers inspiring people!

Brother Imran Ibn Mansour Speaking At Al-Falah Manzil Islamic Centre
Brother Imran Ibn Mansour Speaking At Al-Falah Manzil Islamic Centre

Inspiring +ve Change! :)
Inspiring +ve Change! 🙂

Art Competion!
Art Competion!

At Shifa College of Medicine inside Shifa Hosital
At Shifa College of Medicine inside Shifa Hospital

Free Books & Reading Materials! Well, almost all of them! :)
Free Books & Reading Materials!

The Action Man!
The Action Man!

A great approach to help understand the purpose of Life!
A great approach to help understand the purpose of Life!

At the YOUTH TALK Studio with (L-R) Brothers Nadeem Ashraf, Yusuf Chambers & Raja Zia-ul-Haq
At the YOUTH TALK Studio with (L-R) Brothers Nadeem Ashraf, Yusuf Chambers & Raja Zia-ul-Haq

Hisham Al Hadi, Ladies & gentleman!
Brother Hisham Al Hadi, Ladies & gentleman!

In Lahore
At Ali Institute, Lahore

The young ones also got a chance to share their opinions
The young ones also got a chance to share their opinions

The Positive Change
The Positive Change

Brother Yusuf Chambers at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
Brother Yusuf Chambers at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

YC Stall
YC Stall

At Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel
At Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel

The positive Change even in the speakers! :)
The positive Change even in the speakers! 🙂

This is what happens when the speaker gets disturbed too much during a seminar! :P
This is what happens when the speaker gets disturbed too much during a seminar! 😛

Brother Yusuf Chambers explaining in a hilarious way how he became a Muslim
Brother Yusuf Chambers explaining in a hilarious way, how he became a Muslim

We ran out of such incredible free books due to their high demand!
We ran out of such incredible free books due to their high demand!

Art in the making!
Art in the making!

The elegantly beautiful official SIST 2013 Poster designed by Sharaiz Tabasam!
The elegantly beautiful official SIST 2013 Poster, designed by Shahraiz Tabassam!

Lights, Camera, Action!
Lights, Camera, Action!

At Oxbridge School - with the little ones!
At Oxbridge School – with the little ones!

Abstract Beauty in this year's theme "Six Feet and below"
Abstract Beauty

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Elegant Official Cover Photo

At OPF School
At OPF School

The SIST 2013 WInning trophy was awarded to the "SIST-ers" team!
The SIST 2013 Winning trophy was awarded to the “SIST-ers” team!

Program Recording at FM 102.2 Radio Station
Program Recording at FM 102.2 Radio Station

Fahd Ahsan From Head Start School initiating the Program before Brother Adnan Rashid's Enlightening Seminar
Fahd Ahsan From Head Start School initiating the Program before Brother Adnan Rashid’s Enlightening Seminar

Food for Thought! :)
Food for Thought! 🙂

So, if you missed out on the fun this year or you can’t wait and wish to volunteer for the next year’s event or any other event in between, then please, do keep yourself up-to-date on the following links:

www.facebook.com/youthclub.pk

http://www.shifastudentsociety.com/

youthclub.pk@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/yclahore

http://twitter.com//youthclubpk

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Ali Naqash is a Final Year Structural Engineering student at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), H-12 Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan, and is a Proud Muslim.

He wants to change himself and the society for the better, even if it be a small positive change. He can be contacted at engineering_logic@yahoo.com or on www.world1stop.com

About

Inspiring Positive Change.

Mission:

Having religion as the main ingredient, we involve today’s educated youth in constructive work to help the society towards betterment. We want to engage with the youth and get them to think about life in a deeper way rather than adopting fruitless lifestyles, devoid of deep reflection.

Our target is to ensure active participation from our members by involving them in activities like “Street Dawah”, “School Troupes,” and “Custom Workshops”.

In other words, we want our youth to be scuba-diving in oceans of knowledge, extracting pearls of wisdom to nourish their souls and revitalize their minds.

We’re trying to be the change we want to see in this world.

Description:

Youth Club is a unique platform for our youth, enabling them to utilize their time, skills and energies in a positive direction. The aim and purpose of Youth Club is to provide an avenue for the youth to collectively work towards their individual salvation and the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala. We believe that only the Creator of mankind, the Creator of feelings, thinking, knowledge and  intellect has the solution to all of life’s issues and problems!

So to connect with our Creator, has come about Youth Club!

In order to unplug yourself from the tangles of perplexity and turmoil, to find the solutions to your problems, to be a part of the positive change, to have your skills and talents utilized in the right direction, to become ‘one of us’, simply fill this form (online): http://bit.ly/ycregister

Want to donate, volunteer or invite us to your institutes? Drop a line at: info@theyouthclub.org

Help us grow and spread the message of peace!

General Information:

Join our new and improved Fb groups for better, fun-er, halal-er interaction with the YC peoples. 😀

For brothers: http://www.facebook.com/groups/388485707847380/
For sisters: http://www.facebook.com/groups/384575858239392/

Contact Info

Phone +923135550005 (for brothers only) +923466382750 (for sisters only)
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