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Ramadan Challenge: Reflect- Upon the Quran

By Dr. Sonia Mohsin 

When you see the world through the Quran, it enlightens your whole life. It’s like a new pair of glasses which make things much clearer than they were, and puts everything in its right perspective. That’s why it is so important to make it a part of your daily routine. When you give the Quran its due share of attention, you will witness miracles! That, my friends, is guaranteed!

Today, I challenge you to read a verse of the Quran and ponder over its meaning.

Let me share with you some insight that I gained in the taraweeh prayer, yesterday. I heard this ayah from Surah As-Saff, which struck me hard:

“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” (Al-Quran 61:10-11)

These verses are a game changer for anyone who wants to make a change in this world. Allah is talking to you and I– the people who have believed, who are already Muslims. Then he talks about saving them from the painful punishment of hell-fire. But wait! Weren’t all Muslims supposed to go to Jannah? Guess not! This verse proves that saying the kalima e shahadat (testimony of faith) alone, doesn’t save us from punishment. There is something more that needs to be done.

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Allah calls you towards action – towards a cause. Life is meaningless, if it has no goals or missions. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal – not to people or things”. Having a goal is what gives life meaning. The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal, it lies in having no goals, to reach. So, stop letting other people hire or dictate you to build their dreams. Have dreams of your own. How? Allah tells you that too. It is the mission that is described by Allah for every Muslim. I’ll put it in bold in the hope that you never forget. Paste it somewhere you can see it every day!

STRIVE IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH WITH YOUR WEALTH AND YOUR LIVES

This is the true meaning of jihad – this is the true purpose of this life. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager or an adult – there needs to be something so big in your life, that you wake up jubilant every morning and sleep with the contentment that you have achieved something, every night. Allah calls you to put in just a portion of your life into striving for the cause of Allah. A few practical ways of doing this are:

First Step – Gain Beneficial Knowledge: No matter how little or how much of your time you can spare, dedicate it to learning and understanding parts of the Quran or hadith. Remember, Allah loves consistency, so it is the key to success.

Second Step – Understand: Eventually, as the knowledge starts to seep in, you will start seeing the world differently, things will start to make sense. The systems of life, the truth & justice in it, will all start getting apparent. View the world from Allah’s perspective and you will see it is so much more beautiful than you thought!

Third step – Self Implementation: Soon, if you are true to yourself, you will start noticing disparities between what you understand and what you do. This is the time to make a change. Remember that change always begins from within yourself. You need to be the change you want to see. Implement the Quran, one step at a time, on yourself. This is the hardest form of jihad (struggle) – to strive against the nafs (self).

Fourth Step – Social Implementation: When you feel like you have aligned the disparities as much as you could, or at least are in the process of it, that’s when it’s time to look around you. Do not to raise fingers at everything that’s wrong, but step in to make the change yourself. Involve people into a cause that you personally believe in, like going green or beginning a cleaning drive. Invite people into study circles, create a community of harmony and of as many people as you can. This is what Islam is all about. Don’t be disheartened if you are all alone, initially. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was also just one man – who changed the entire course of history. Maybe we can at least be a fraction of what he was. After all, he is our beloved Prophet (ﷺ)

Fifth Step – Find Your Niche: Every individual has his own unique talent. As Allah says in the Quran: “Say, “Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.” (Al Quran 17:84) Our salvation lies in recognizing that hidden talent or interest that can best be used for the cause of Islam and then investing into it. Maybe you are a good graphic designer and can make amazing posters with Islamic messages on it. Maybe you are a good writer who can start a blog for the awareness of Islam. Maybe you are a good speaker and would like to tell people about Islam through it. Whatever it maybe, you need to work on it and improve it. This is what will lead to guidance and salvation from the punishment of hell-fire. At the end of this step, go back to step 1 and start all over again. This is the complete circle of life.

In the end, you see, life is too short to be wasted on games, movies and music. There is more to life than what the eye can see. These tough times upon the Muslims require our collective efforts.

We need to stretch ourselves and strive harder, because if we don’t, we will sink into the ocean of darkness, without the safe boat of Islam to relax on.  As long as we are swimming (doing jihad), we have hope.

I pray that this Ramadan opens the door for the reawakening of every Muslim, and helps us strive towards the cause of Allah in the best way possible! May Allah accept all our efforts!

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Ramadan Challenge: Life Goals

By Mahnoor Arif

This Ramadan started off with a trail of memories from the past as Facebook reminded me that last year, this was a time when I was immersed in countless (a bit exaggerated, though) projects, assignments reports and … My Final Year Project. Yes! I was graduating.

Most of us know the struggle of universities, the toil you have to go through, and the feeling that all those 16 years of your life are closing down upon you now as you make your way through the continuous daily grind but the struggle just doesn’t seem to be getting over. Last Ramadan had been all about this, when the announcement of the moon of Ramadan being sighted didn’t matter because the moon of Final FINAL exams of Engineering had been sighted with it as well. Even when the final exams were over, FYP (final year project) was staring right in our eyes with all its glory ready to consume all the little energies left. Last Ramadan was all about finalizing reports, testing, circuits, presentations, and all you can expect from a graduating engineering student. But it did come with its feeling of accomplishment, the feeling that its finally over after 16 years of stress and mental breakdowns.

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A year ago, it felt like accomplishing a lot. It felt like being successful finally. It was finally a time when I could raise my head high and say that I have made my parents proud by getting a degree in engineering from a prestigious university with amazing grades and you can definitely say that after all those years of getting a formal education.

Little did I know that I will be introduced to a whole new meaning of success later on.

This year, I enrolled myself in a year-long Quran course (that includes explanation of the Quran cover to cover plus many other related subjects) and that was the beginning of an all new phase of my life. Before I got introduced to the true spirit of our religion through Quran, it seemed like life is all good. Whatever little I know is fine. A few lectures here and there, some dawah projects, some classes and all done! But my first class introduced me to life as we never know it. It felt like a blind person getting to see for the first time.

All my life, I had excelled at my studies, learning those formulas, solving those equations with perfection, researching about a particular phenomenon, designing circuits, encoding and decoding but the meaning of one word ‘Al-Aleem’ belittled it all. We casually translate it as The All-Knowing but do we know what that means? He knows whatever is inside you or even whatever is building up inside you, He knows what you show outside and He even knows what your heart desires. He presents the example of a visible mosquito and even knows about the parasite invisible to our eyes that lives on the wing of that mosquito. Our knowledge compared to His is like a drop in an ocean or even lesser than that. What was I proud of?

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The meaning of the word ‘Hikmat’ turned my life upside down as I always thought that I am a person who has done things at the right moment in her life but No! The word opens a new world of good decision making, time management, stress management, family relations and basically putting anything into perspective in your life which made me realize that I have never excelled at all of them simultaneously.

The meaning of ‘Ash-Shaakir’ put me into thought for days because I have never thanked Him enough for all the countless blessings that He has given me and He is rather appreciative of whatever little good that we do. Just let that sink in! He appreciates whatever we do and we haven’t ever been grateful enough.

SubhanAllah! Quran is filled with eye-openers like that where you feel like THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR!! OH MY GOD!! THIS IS ABOUT ME!! It has been less than 30 days and only 2 juz but there has been an immense sea of wisdom in the little that I have studied. And comparison of my previous year and this time of the year leaves me in extreme love for The Lord Who gave me the opportunity not only to study His beautiful Book but to perceive it as well, to understand it and to apply it or at least try to.

Just as I graduated a year ago, I imagine the day when I will be completing all 30 juz and the amazing miracles that will come with it. It will surely be a graduation of its kind where efforts will have been spent understanding root words and their analysis, where throats will be parched practising tajweed lessons and where sleep will be managed in order to learn translation lessons. As Allah rightly says in Quran, ‘For each is a direction toward which it faces.’ [2:148], there was a direction then and there is a direction now! Rightly put into perspective!

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And the beauty of this journey is that it will never be over. The course will end but the lessons will continue, the knowledge gained will increase with passing life as our final purpose is not to gain but to apply and spread to attain our ultimate goal in the hereafter and what is our ultimate goal, you may ask? It is to see His face which will make us forget all about that ever bothered us, all that ever pleased or displeased us, all that ever worried us and all that we had to go through. Imagine that moment!

How can you get there? This is a month of spiritual high when everyone is trying to make the most out of it but attaining Allah’s pleasure is a life long goal.

CHALLENGE: Enrol yourself in something similar, pledge to understand His Book, find a regular course near you which helps you get on this journey. Make dua for it and make an effort because every moment and every bit of energy spent towards getting closer to Him will count and will bring with it lots of barakah (blessings). Make it your intention and Allah will definitely make a way for you. This is a never ending journey and you just have to keep working towards it. One day, you will get there inshaAllah.

May Allah make us of the people who understand His Book with zeal, act upon it and spread it like a light that is for everyone and everywhere. Ameen.

The Hearts that Allaah Likes

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The Hearts that Allaah Likes

Assalam u alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

This is part 1 in a series of 3 posts I will be making in shaa Allaah under the category of:

أنواع القلوب فى القرآن الكريم The Types of Hearts in the Noble Quran

(As heard in a lecture by Qari Suhaib Ahmad Meer Muhammadi Hafizahullaah in the annual conference – Jubail)

As a foreword I would like to mention that these “types” are actually different states of the heart which a single heart can have in different times. Shaykh Ibn e Uthaymeen Rahimahullaah said that every beat of “breath” of the heart is a state of it. When the heart remains in a single state for a long time, then that is what becomes its Creed.

There are many types of hearts that Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa has mentioned in the Quran. From them the ones that Allaah likes are:

1 – القلبُ السَّلِيْمْ The Sound Heart

It is the heart that is full of sincerity to Allaah and Taqwa and free of infidelity and hypocrisy and immorality.

As Allaah SWT says in the Quran:

إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّـهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart. [26:89]

 

2 – القلبُ المُنِيْبْ The Repentant Heart

It is the heart that is persistent in returning to Allaah in repentance and always returning to His obedience.

As Allaah SWT says in the Quran:

مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَـٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ ﴿٣٣﴾ ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُلُودِ ﴿٣٤

Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance]. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.”[50:33-34]

 

3 – القلبُ المُخْبِتْ The Submissive Heart

The word “ikhbaat” in Arabic means a lot of focus.

It is the heart that focuses a lot towards Allaah, filled with the love of Allaah. Such a heart has peace in it and Allaah SWT says about such a heart in the Quran:

وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

And so those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path. [22:54]

 

4 – القلبُ الوجِلْ The Fearful Heart

It is the heart that creates in itself the fear that whether its good deeds will be accepted by Allaah or not. It is always thinking about this and wonders what will happen to it on the Day of Qiyaamah. Allaah says about such a heart in the Quran

وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ 

And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord. [23:60]

Imam Ahmad recorded from ‘Aishah: I said: “O Messenger of Allaah,

(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear…) Are these the ones who steal and commit Zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allaah?”

The Messenger of Allaah replied:

(No, O daughter of Abu Bakr. O daughter of As-Siddiq, the one who prays, fast and gives in charity, fearing Allaah). This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded something similar in which the Prophet said:

(No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them, (It is these who hasten  in the good deeds.)) This is how Ibn ‘Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi and Al-Hasan Al-Basri interpreted this Ayah.

Hazrat Aamir bin Rabee’ah reports that he once saw Umar (RadiAllaahu Anhu) pick up a twig from the ground and say, “I wish I had been this twig. I wish that I had never been created. I wish that I had been nothing. I wish that my mother had never given birth to me. I wish that I had been something gone and forgotten.”

Ibn Mubaarak, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musaddad and Ibn Asaakir.

 

5 – القلبُ التَّقِّيْ The Pious Heart

It is the heart that sees and honors the signs of Allaah around it. Allaah SWT says about such a heart:

وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّـهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوب

And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts. [22:32]

The scholars are the inheritors of Prophets and due to their knowledge they are the most fearful of Allaah. (Reported by Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhee and Ibn Hibbaan. Al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his Saheeh Collection in his Book of Knowledge, Chapter: Knowledge precedes Speech and Action, the part from it: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”)

The scholars say that those who do not respect the people of knowledge cannot be pious.

At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), a person such described the reciters of the Quran: When it is time to fight, they flee. But when it is time to eat, they are the first ones. One of the Sahaba (radiAllaahu anhu) heard this and said you have lied, and was on his way to communicate this to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when the following verse was revealed:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّـهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” [9:65]

Allaah and His Messenger were not being mocked. But in reality the people of knowledge, the people of Quran, the scholars, were being mocked and Allaah related it to mocking Allaah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

 

6 – القلبُ المَهْدِي The Guided Heart

It is the heart that is satisfied on the Qadr of Allaah and is satisfied with His decisions.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that whoever wants to know his status in the sight of Allaah should look at his heart and see how satisfied it is with the decisions of Allaah. Allaah said about such a heart in the Quran:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۗوَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things. [64:11]

Whatever is decreed for you, you will get it even if it is buried under the mountains. Whatever is not decreed for you, you will not get it even if it is in your hands.

Imam Ghazali Rahimahullaah used to say that if man was told to write what he wants and the disadvantages of that are also written, then he is shown what Allaah has written for him he will tear apart what he has written for himself and will say I am pleased with what Allaah has written for me.

 

7 – القلبُ المُطْمَئِنْ The Satisfied Heart

It is the heart that, due to the remembrance of Allaah, is calm, tranquil, and satisfied. Allaah SWT says in the Quran.

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. [13:28]

When we compare the number of suicides committed by Muslims as opposed to non-Muslims, the number is higher for non-Muslims. This is because their hearts are not satisfied. Even after doing and achieving everything in the world, they realize there is still an empty space that they cannot fill.

Likewise, billionaires, despite having an abundance of money, still take the aid of sleeping pills to fall asleep. In contrast, look at the people of the Quran and Hadith. They sleep so soundly that sometimes you have to try very hard just to wake them up for Fajr. 🙂

If you keep your tongue wet by the Zikr of Allaah you will be free from all the worries of the world.

 

8 – القلبُ الحَيَّ The Living Heart

It is the heart that listens carefully to the Quran. It ponders over how the previous nations were destroyed by Allaah. Allaah says in the Quran:

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. [50:37]

These reminders only benefit those who have a heedful heart. Otherwise there were people who sat with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and yet the best of reminders did not benefit them.

May Allaah make our heart the way that He loves. Ameen.

Chapter 30: The Waning Dusk (series)

Chapter 30: The Waning Dusk (series)

indexMyth: Let’s kill time

It’s the time that’s killing us.

I (swear) by the Time, Man is in a state of loss indeed, Except those who believed and did righteous deeds, and exhorted each other to follow truth, and exhorted each other to observe patience. (103:1-3)

There can be no fitting ending to this series than Surah Al-Asr, the summary of the entire Quran. I started off with a post that made a reference to it and I will converge everything here too. It’s a whole comprehensive chapter in itself and according to Imam Shafa’i, it can substitute for the whole Quran and suffice everyone. There can be no greater lesson to be picked from Ramadan. That if nothing else, we have learnt how quickly time flies by. And that tiny tinge of regret, that state of loss that it leaves us with– it’s going to be amplified when life leaves us for real. And with each passing day we are heading towards the end of our timeline. Not a day goes by when you aren’t getting closer to death, or your friends aren’t nearing their ends; some faster than others. Now that you know what loss feels like, don’t let another day pass by without making the most of it.

Allah starts with swearing by Time that is running out to make a point that we are drowning in a state of loss. But that’s not it. Allah did not just swear by time. He used all the emphasis in the second verse to make the thunderous statement. And He made the emphasis thrice! Now you don’t normally do that– unless you’re mad or Shakespeare (as Sh. Abu Abdissalam puts it). So if there’s one thing you’ve got to get out of Surah Al-Asr– it’s respect for time.

And those who believe and doing righteous deeds are the only ones not losing out. The word Saalihaat implies a handful of good deeds. Not a lot. And we can’t even do a lot after Ramadan. So Allah is not asking for much either. Except a few good deeds and a constant show of support to encourage people on the track and pulling in back those who are losing track. Find good company to check up on you and do something productive with the free time slots you’ve got.

Nothing damages faith more than free time. It’s when you decide to watch a film, play video games and go on a heedless spree. Keep yourself busy with things. Either study something interesting, memorize portions of the Quran, learn new skills or find a job. Just don’t be idle. Time is all you’ve got now. As Hasan Al-Basri had said, “Son of Adam is but a number of days…”

My Ramadan Diary: Those People Again!

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!

Chapter 23: The Waning Dusk (series)

Chapter 23: The Waning Dusk (series)

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Myth: That book was a gripping page-turner…

You get goosebumps from watching a certain movie that you could relate to. That fills you with such an intense fervor that you brood on it for another hour so. Or it was a song in sync with your melancholy. So you listen to it over and over again till it takes over. Then you tell your friends to watch that movie so they could feel what you felt. So that your souls share the same two-hour rush from a motion film that was very well-directed. And you want this person to breathe in that same song too as you split the earphones and cozy up in a corner. And maybe you spent your time together reading the same books and loving the same characters. You collected years and wisdom from the tales of those in the yellow pages and shared their moments as if they were yours. And you gasped and laughed and cried at the right places.

But very few of us have friends with whom we shared some spine-tingling moments together in a revered gathering about Allah. Where hearts are turned over. Where we mentally resolved to make a fresh start or turn over. Where we let the lives of companions consume us into an odd stillness and the battles past had us awestruck and thinking. Because the bond strengthened with each passage of the Quran as it was read and delved into. So hold on to these little moments that had more joy and meaning than the rest of your time together, spent in a cause that is unlike any other.

Because there’s divinity in the shivers you get reading about real people and real parables and glimpses from your own sequel that will follow.

Allah has sent down the best discourse, a book containing subjects resembling each other, mentioned again and again, shivered from which are the skins of those who have awe of their Lord. Then, their skins and their hearts become soft enough to tend to the remembrance of Allah. This is the Guidance of Allah with which He brings to the right path whomsoever He wills. As for the one whom Allah lets go astray, for him there is no one to guide. (39:23)

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Chapter 22: The Waning Dusk (series)

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Myth: She probably likes me.

“She giggles every time I answer a question. Does she like me or is this some kind of game?”

Men are clueless. But I had no idea they were THAT clueless. A guy asked me this a long time ago and I had to struggle to give an answer that didn’t sound half as scathing as the ones in my head. Won’t go into the foreground or background of my opening lines that must have raised some eyebrows by now. The point you need to chew– is in this verse.

So, do not be too soft in your speech, lest someone having disease in his heart should develop fancies (about you); and do speak with appropriate words. (33:32)

This is something every parent should tell his or her daughter before sending her off to co-ed school. Your non-verbal cues, gestures, tone and choice of words are some of the most important things you need to keep a check on when interacting with the opposite gender. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just women who spin fantasies in their heads, though their khush fehmiyan are arguably well-grounded. It’s usually men who tend to pick up the wrong signals. In my defense– I’m not generalizing here. Only talking about the ones this verse has singled out– men who have a disease in their hearts. And you will find most of these in your college/university.

As for females who habitually giggle every time a guy asks them something, I hope they choke on it. It’s frustrating to have your lectures and Q/A sessions punctuated by joint heads in the back seats with their message beeps timed with a combo giggle explosion.

And there are some who go extra-soft in their conduct with people. Honestly, a no-nonsense, cut-the-crap tone can curb many societal evils (no kidding) and spare both sexes from a lot of over-thinking, reading between giggles, figuring out subtext and a deluded conclusion: “she’s totally into me”.

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