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Is there a deity beside Allah?

When the truth is lucid clear, when the questions are so powerful, when you feel your heart thumping loud, when you feel exhausted by the weight, when your ignorance has been made apparent, then know that it is time to confess… 

27:59

Say, [O Muhammad], “Praise be to Allah , and peace upon His servants whom He has chosen. Is Allah better or what they associate with Him?

27:60

[More precisely], is He [not best] who created the heavens and the earth and sent down for you rain from the sky, causing to grow thereby gardens of joyful beauty which you could not [otherwise] have grown the trees thereof? Is there a deity with Allah ? [NO], but they are a people who ascribe equals [to Him].

27:61

Is He [not best] who made the earth a stable ground and placed within it rivers and made for it firmly set mountains and placed between the two seas a barrier? Is there a deity with Allah ? [NO], but most of them do not know.

27:62

Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah ? Little do you remember.

27:63

Is He [not best] who guides you through the darknesses of the land and sea and who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy? Is there a deity with Allah? High is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.

27:64

Is He [not best] who begins creation and then repeats it and who provides for you from the heaven and earth? Is there a deity with Allah ? Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

[Surah An-Naml, Verses 59-64 ]

…It is time to Submit to the Truth

Verse images from quran.com

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Miles Away

Islam stated the purpose of man’s existence as, “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Al Quran, 51:56).

They understood what this verse really implied.

Once the call was made, they left the faith of their forefathers and submitted to the will of Allah SWT. They turned their backs on their families to obey one true God. They left their homes and migrated in the way of Allah.

They laid down their lives for Islam. They spent their wealth in the way of Allah SWT; At times, they were left with nothing in their homes, save a piece of date. Our beloved Prophet himself, when he didn’t have food at home, he fasted instead. They sacrificed their peaceful sleep at nights for standing in prayers seeking forgiveness. In the mornings, they engaged themselves in learning the Quran and acquiring knowledge from the Messenger of Allah sallellahu alaihi wa sallam.

Their hearts used to tremble with fear and their eyes used to shed endless tears when they recited the verses of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They used to fear committing even minor sins, intentionally or unintentionally, that their lips used to be moist with the remembrance of Allah and seeking His forgiveness.

They knew that their stay on earth was temporary, they knew that the real house was Jannah. They hoped and prayed to achieve this reward and so worked accordingly, completely busied their souls in doing good deeds.

Not a little bit of fear entered their hearts when they faced the enemies of Islam on the battlefield. They knew that stepping feet on the battlefield could even snatch away their precious life with one strike of a sword. The sharpness of the sword, the pain it would cause once it touched their skins did not deter them from obeying the commandments of Allah.

Such were the lives of the companions of Prophet Muhammad sallellahu alaihi wa sallam. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with them all.

———————————-

I’m very reluctant to attempt at putting forward my life, to compare it with theirs. I know it would leave me disappointed. I know my faith is miles away from what they had. All I can do is, sit and wonder and only hope that I would be blessed with such unwavering faith as theirs.

Questions and logical arguments nag at my conscience.

I find myself at fault.

The message is the same. They had the Glorious Quran, I have too. They had the teachings of the Prophet, I have too.

What is the solution and how do I increase the level of my faith?

I’m left to find a solution to my ignorant life, and so are you!

“From My Imagination” – On Writing Fictional Stories

I’ve been addicted to reading story books for as long as I can remember. From childhood to my college days I’ve been reading and reading. From Cinderella to Enid Blyton to Roald Dahl to R.L. Stine (yes, there was a time I used to read horror books) to J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter (of course, who didn’t read this one?) and my best genre of all – mystery books! Sometimes, I picked up random huge fictional books from the library. Early in the mornings, late in the nights, sacrificing my lunch, socializing less, I used to be glued to these books, these novels. I grew up with story books. Literally.

But, a time came, about three years back when I stopped reading. I don’t exactly know what it was that made me less interested in reading fiction, but yes, I stopped. Probably, life had taken to a fast track and I didn’t find time to read. I reasoned with myself that it was taking up a lot of my time, and I needed to come out of my addiction of story books. However, another interest crept up in me this very month – writing stories. I was so excited about it. It was going to be a new step, I thought. I have pretty good imagination skills, alhamdulillah, so that was a plus point of why I thought I should write Islamic fictional stories (Maybe, I could be a published novelist through it). Just yesterday, I found myself caught up in my own reverie of becoming a professional novelist that something dense struck me. Is is allowed to write fictional stories in Islam? I was completely taken aback, because it came all of a sudden. I had never thought about it earlier. Immediately, I researched a lot about it. And, guess what I found?- The scholars say that it’s allowed. So many websites, all reiterating the same thing. Still, I kept browsing and browsing more. No different answer. “It’s allowed as long as you do not write anything that contradicts Islam and it must be free from lewdness, etc and that you make a point to mention that it’s fictional, and not real” – This summarises what most of the websites said in simpler terms.

However, there was this comment on some article, where the person said according to his personal opinion, something along the lines of – it’s not right to write fictional stories, coz it involves excessive description of the characters of your story, the characters that you created from your imagination, you gave them a figure, an inner self (i.e. their personality), a life of their own, in which they pray, they work, etc. All of which is just an imagination. A piece of fiction. Only Allah has the power to create people, and not us. I know this is an extreme interpretation of a simple thing, i.e. writing imaginative stories. A simple harmless thing. Yet, I was compelled to ponder over that comment. In a certain way, he’s right.

The truth of the matter is that, I’m not satisfied with either sides of the arguments. I like writing stories from my imagination and it seems kind of harmless to me. But, at the same time, I agree that something’s not right in the way storywriters “create” characters, describe them, etc. Of course, their intention is not to imitate the creation of Allah. Moreover, Muslim writers, especially, have this pure intention of conveying the message in an interesting way. Many people like reading and talking about me, at times I struggle to find good books devoid of lewdness and vulgarity, as is common in books written by Western authors. I have this inner urge of reading stories penned by Muslim writers. But, it’s all so confusing now. I’m indifferent about this whole issue now coz of this doubt that’s lingering in my mind, reluctant to leave. Wallaahu ‘alam what the truth is.

Thinking about the sahaabaah and the early scholars, I don’t know of anyone who was involved in writing fictional stories, eventhough in the Prophetic Age, poetry, eloquence, etc was extensively done. Another proof supporting the view that fictional stories can be written is the hadith, “haraam is clear, halaal is clear”. It’s true, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never declared it haraam, niether did he say that it’s halaal. Of course, I respect the opinion of modern-day scholars that they allow it and encourage authors to utilize their writing skills. But, I’m still unsure about it, coz afterall there is no explicit proof from a primary source, i.e. either Quran or Sunnah. Perhaps, if I get a stronger proof of it’s permissibility, I would accept it. Anyway, I think it is a person’s choice at the end of the day, coz it’s not an issue of Aqeedah, or atleast I think. It’s a contemporary issue and upto the scholars knowledge to deduce an apt solution to this question.

Personally, I’m planning to keep a hold on my interest of penning down fictional stories. But hey, no worries, I can still write memoirs (true narrations) or non-fiction stories, inshaAllah and hone my story-writing skills, inshaAllah. :)

Before I publish this, guys, whoever is reading this post right now, please share your views on this topic. What, according to your knowledge of Islam, do you think is the most right thing to do – Stay away from fiction writing, coz it’s doubtful or accept all these proofs and write?

Jazakumullahu Khayr.

Everything good in this post is from Allah and all mistakes are due to my ignorance or Shaytan’s handiwork. Forgive me for my errors, if any.

Christmas – Original or Innovated?

images-of-christmas-tree-and-santa-claus-10

It’s that time of the year again where you see Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, red and white candy bars, mistletoes everywhere you go. More than two million Christians world over celebrate this much awaited “religious” festival, a very sacred time for family get-togethers, prayers and celebrations. But, how many of them really bother to go back in history and find out the origins of Christmas? Was Jesus really born on the 25th of December? What’s the story behind Christmas trees? Who is this Santa Claus? Blah, blah and blah. Now, you may ask me why am I, being a Muslim, bothered about all this? Well, I have many reasons, the prime ones being – Christianity is an Abrahamic faith – i.e. a sister religion to Islam, so we have the same roots. Same origins. We can come to common terms provided we talk it out. Clarify our doubts, share true knowledge with each other, etc. Therefore, this post. Another reason is, Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) is our Prophet, he was a Prophet of Islam. And, this whole issue about Christianity is something that is based on him. SO, as a Muslim, I kinda feel obliged to clarify what I can and what I have knowledege of, inshaAllah. Yup, so without any further ado, let’s dig into the history of Christmas.

Was Jesus really born on the 25th of December?
NO.
No, Jesus was NOT born on December 25. There are no known accounts of the exact date of birth of Jesus. Moreover, biblical research has shown that December 25th cannot, in any way, be the birthday of Jesus. SO, the very basis of Christmas is flawed. If the person whose birthday you are celebrating was not born on that day, then what’s the use of partying? The day which is special for supposedly being the birth day of Jesus is not special anymore, coz now you know the truth. For the record, Jesus was NOT born on December the 25th! Don’t believe these words coming from the tongue of a Muslim? Well then, google it. There are umpteen number of knowledgeable religious Christian personalities who have confessed this fact.

So then, How did Christmas come about?
Christmas was not celebrated by Jesus ever, nor did his disciples celebrate it. It was a known fact by the early Christians that celebrating birthdays is a pagan custom. I’m sorry, but this is another blow to your beliefs. Yes, that’s right – Birthday celebrations are not from Christianity. The early Christians didn’t celebrate their own birthday, let alone Christmas. Christmas has its roots in paganism. Christmas is purely pagan.
Who exactly introduced Christmas into the religion? I don’t really know the exact details of this. But, I’ll share what I do know for sure. It’s said that, more than 3 centuries after the death of Jesus, there was some monk who guessed that probably Jesus was born on 25th December and that it should be celebrated as his birthday. Wow, what a noble deed, right? WRONG. It’s not a noble deed. Firstly, the monk wasn’t even sure that Jesus was really born on 25 Dec or not! Secondly, Christianity is a revealed religion, it “was” pure, until people like this monk and others stepped foot on earth. How can anyone, in his right mind, introduce something new and false in his religion? It’s akin to blasphemy. Anyway, let’s quit talking about this saint. What he did was a test for him and his affair rests with the Lord.
This idea of celebrating birthdays of “gods” was rooted in the pagan reilgions of Greece and Rome. When Christianity spread to these countries, the practices of these pagan people seeped into Christianity. For example, the day of worship was shifted from Saturday to Sunday, because Apollo who was the “sun” god used to be worshipped on this day. Christmas came about due to influence from another festival named Saturnalia – the day dedicated to the worship of Saturn – the roman god of harvest/agriculture. So, when the fields were harvested, rites of worship used to be dedicated to Saturn, gifts used to be exchanged, etc.

What about the Christmas trees?
Now that you are kinda getting the hang of the true story of Christmas, I think you would have guessed the reality of the Christmas trees as well. Yup, it too is rooted in paganism! People have different versions of how it all started. One of the stories goes all the way to Scandinavia. The people there used to believe in tree gods. If they wanted to ask something from god or say thanks, they used to knock on the tree trunk, thinking that god lived in the trees. Knock on wood. Does that ring a bell? People used to hang everygreen boughs on their doors, etc to keep evil away. The evergreens remained green throughout, even in winter, so that was a sign of everlasting life and so these were chosen for being Christmas trees.

Who is this Santa Claus guy?
Santa Claus DOES NOT exist now. It’s your parents/elder siblings sneaking in the late hours of the night and wrapping up presents and placing it under your Christmas tree or tucking it in socks. I’m so sure kids are pretty intelligent nowadays to realize this falsehood at an early age. I don’t really need to talk on this one, coz the world knows. Santa Claus is a national lie. Period.

All of this that I’ve written up here was from my knowledge and what I’ve read over a few years. I didn’t bother to link each and every of my statement to some authentic source. Therefore, my post may be prone to errors. I apologize for that. However, the main purpose of this post was to point at the crux of the matter i.e. Christmas is NOT originial. It is innovated. Adopted from paganism! I just introduced you to this issue of whether Christmas is real or fake. Now, it’s upto you. The choice is yours. You can either close this tab, forget all about this post and happily celebrate Christmas or you can research further on this issue, find out the truth, look deep into your heart and decide for yourself.. Are you gonna follow the religion of God? Or are you gonna follow the religion of some ignorant pagans (some of who thought god lived in trees :| )!?!

Here are some links to give you a headstart for your research on Christmas:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xhFLhGL53DY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxhFLhGL53DY#

http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/when-was-jesus-christ-born-was-jesus-born-december-25-christmas-day

http://www.history.com/topics/christmas

http://www.history.com/topics/santa-claus

http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-christmas-trees

Look Beyond What You See…

Assalamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

It’s been a long long time that I last posted on this blog. But no, it wasn’t writer’s block alhamdulillah, just some personal obligations and a pinch of laziness added to it. Anyway, I’m so glad that I’m here again writing a special post for a special occasion & a special person, Alhamdulillah!

Alhamdulillah, yesterday was Youm-ul-‘Arafah i.e. the Day of ‘Arafah. I hope all of us, who were not performing Hajj this year, had kept our fasts. SubhanAllah, the blessing of fasting on this day is great, really great. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told us that whoever fasts on the day of ‘Arafah will have their previous year’s and coming year’s sins forgiven! SubhanAllah ya’ani, If this was a special promotion offer in a supermarket – it would read something like this – “Buy ONE day of your life for fasting, and have your TWO years – previous and next year’s sins forgiven.” I don’t think that there’ll ever be any offer greater than this one! subhanAllah, Allah ‘azza wa jal has made so much of ease in our lives that we can never fathom the deepness of blessings that we have been showered with. There are many more blessings attached to the day of ‘arafah, but I think I’ll save it for another post, inshaAllah, coz I’ve logged into wordpress for a special reason – to share the recipe of a totally new food for thought, which I’m sure you guys will find utterly delicious, inshaAllah.

Our life in this world is short-lived. We’re so busy that it’s difficult to admire these li’l things in life – the li’l things in life like the vastness of the sky, like the random smile that a baby gives you, like a glass of cold water that quenches your thirst. All these are insignificant aspects of our lives. But if we just spare a few minutes for reflection, maybe 10 minutes in all, we would realise that we are in fact so so blessed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
There are some beautiful people in life with whom you can share a mere 10 minute talk in 5 months, maybe, and yet those mere 10 minutes bring a warm smile on your face, making you feel good for at least that one day, subhanAllah. I don’t know if you guys have ever met such people in life, but I sure have Alhamdulillah. And this special post is dedicated to one such special person, whom I’ve never ever seen, never ever met, don’t know her much, talk to her rarely, sometimes, even just once in 6 months, yet that small talk gives me happiness that lasts for a complete day, Alhamdulillah. I guess, this quality is special to us Muslims, that happiness of knowing that there’s someone out there who talks to you solely for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. No personal gains, no nothing. Just a simple talk for the sake of Allah, a small salaam once in a while, inquiring about each other’s well-being, just that. SubhanAllah.

If you’re reading this, dear special person :P… I want to tell you that I thank Allah ta’ala for having the opportunity to know you, Alhamdulillah. May Allah ‘azza wa jall unite us in Jannatul-Firdaws. Ameen. I don’t know if at all we will keep in touch often, maybe we’re miles apart, perhaps we just talk very very rarely but those few minutes are special for me Alhamdulillah, and I see that as a blessing from Allah ta’ala. InshaAllah ta’ala I’ll try to keep you in my dua’as for as long as I have a good memory inshaAllah ;)…and I ask you to keep me in your duas too. I pray to Allah ta’ala that you achieve the goals that you’ve set for yourselves, that you become a very pious Muslimah and that all your pure dreams come true. Ameeeen!!!

Through this small post, I hope I’ve conveyed my message to people out there who don’t spare time to reflect. There are great lessons, great blessings packed for us in small packages- all we gotta do is sit in some nice quiet place and reflect, inshaAllah. Perhaps, you too have some special friend like mine with whom you talk rarely, but when you do he/she brings an instant smile on your face, or perhaps you haven’t thanked your mom for the tasty food she cooks for you, or perhaps you haven’t admired that li’l sparrow perching on your window, perhaps you haven’t seen the beauty in the slow steps that you grandparents take with their fragile feet, perhaps you haven’t seen the twinkle of happiness in the eyes of the li’l beggar children playing on the streets. Go for it, look beyond what you see! Try this for once and see great surprises appear before you ..almost like magic.

Lastly, I wish a very very very happy, blessed and scrumptious Eid –Ul Adha :P…to all my fellow Muslims reading this post and a special Eid Mubarak to Miss Doctorji! ;)

تقبل الله منا و منكم أعمال الصالحة

The Tounge – A Dangerous Matter – A Tearful Admonition [Video|Ar-En]

Originally posted on Audio-Islam.com:

By Shaykh ‘Abdullaah adh-Dhimaaree
Video Courtesy: WeFilmHD

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Praying With Khushoo

In the last post that I made, I had promised to publish my next post laying down some guidelines that would ensure tranquility in our salaah. So, inshaaAllah, here I am trying to solve this ever-so-troublesome problem of  our lackadaisical attitude towards our daily salaah. 

First and foremost, our preparation for our salaah should start with the adhaan. We are taught from a very young age the etiquette of responding to the adhaan when we hear it. Alhamdulillah for that. However, it does not stop with just responding to the adhaan. Rather, the adhaan or the call for prayer is literally a call. A call towards righteousness. A call towards success. In these times that we live, we are overcome with so much stress, piles of work, hundreds of people with different personalities to face, the crowded streets to walk through everyday. In all of this, the five daily prayers are a blessing, really. It’s a call to relax. To have a soothing time off from the hectic issues of life, in front of our Lord. So, basically, with the adhaan starts our preparation for salaah. The moment we hear the adhaan, our hearts should feel that relaxing feeling. We should be overcome by the happiness of retreating to our prayer mats/masjid. Our souls should feel at peace. That should be the effect of the adhaan on the soul. And, this love for salaah should be the first step for praying it with khushoo’.

Second is wudoo‘. Starting off soon after the adhaan is one of the most important factor towards a perfect wudoo’. If we keep delaying and waiting for the sound of the iqaamah, then how can our heart be at ease? How can our wudoo’ be complete, let alone perfect? Therefore, my dear self and my dear brothers and sisters, let’s all get up as soon as we are done with replying to the adhaan and make wudoo’. One important point that most of us forget is saying “bismillah” before starting our ablution. It may be shocking for you, but a wudoo’ is not complete without bismillah! and, do not forget to say the second kalimah and dua’a after finishing your wudoo’.

Third, after you’re done with perfectly responding to the adhaan, doing a good wudoo’, what’s better than two rak’ahs of nafil salaah. SubhanAllah. A very famous narration is a must mention here. Paraphrasing: Once Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him asked Bilal radi’ Allahu ‘anhu, “O Bilal! I hear your footsteps hurrying before mine in jannah!”. Upon hearing this Bilal may Allah be pleased with him said, “I did not do any act in Islam for which I hope to get any benefit, but this, that when I perform complete ablution during the night or day I observe prayer with that purification, what Allah has ordained for me to pray.”’” [Sahih Muslim].  SubhanAllah. How dear are these two nafil raka’ahs to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala! Let’s all start this noble practice to gain benefit in this world and the next, bi idhnillah! 

Fourth, even after doing all of the above, inshaAllah ta’ala, Allah ‘azza wa jal will bless your time so much that you would be left with still more time before the iqaamah. What’s better than making dua’a in this blessed time?It’s narrated in Abu Dawood and others,  Anas (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘A supplication made between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.” SubhanAllah! Ya akhi and ukhti, ask Allah, ask Allah ta’ala all you want and He will answer you for each and every li’l dua’a that you made.

What high spirits will a soul, who did all of the above with utmost sincerity, be in? May Allah grant us hidayah so that we are that much sincere in our acts of worship as well as the worldly affairs. Ameen.

salaah

Now, the actual salaah.

There are two situations in this. First is if you are praying at the masjid and the second one is mostly for my sisters who would be most likely praying in their houses.

If you are praying at the masjid, it’s a tad bit easier than if you were praying at home. Here’s why? In jam’ah or congregation, all you do is follow the Imam. And, subhanAllah, when we are praying in congregation, it’s a lot easier because the Imam recites so slowly and beautifully which adds glitter to our salaah. And, all the actions of the rukoo’ or sujood are prolonged and not made in a hurry. So, that’s a big big plus point. I would like to advice my dear brothers and sisters who are “dangerously” hasty in their salaah to pray salaah at the masjid, so as to get an idea of how to pray properly and calmly. InshaAllah. But but but, even if you are at the masjid, shaytan is all set to distract you, so we need to beware. I will briefly mention a few pointers (specifically for those who are praying in congregation):

- Listen to the Imaam attentively. Try to get in the flow of the recitation, even if you may not be knowing the surah.

- Have your gaze fixed at the place of your prostration.

- Breathe peacefully. Let go of all the stress of the day, let the problems fly away somewhere far. Remember that you are in the best place of refuge, in the best comfort zone. You are in front of your Lord, Who ‘azza wa jal Knows all your distresses, all your troubles and worries. He will solve them for you if there’s benefit for you in it. 

- Put you trust in Him and seek, seek that calmness, seek that peace of mind which you yearn for which can only be achieved through Allah ‘azza wa jal.

Okay, now moving on to praying alone at home. My dear sisters, attention please! This is really really important. Most of us pray at home and that is actually  a blessing from Allah. Allah ‘azza wa jal gave us the opportunity to be standing alone in front of Him, presenting our individual prayer. Beautifying it, adding glimmer and shine all we want. It would be solely our work, subhanAllah and the reward would be solely ours, inshaAllah. Sometimes, we whine and complain and force our husbands or fathers or brothers to take us to the masjids so that we would get a reward of the congregation i.e 27 times the reward! But, that’s not how it is. The congregation is not compulsory for us, and for good enough reasons. SubhanAllah. We have the opportunity of beautifying our salaah, praying it with full khushoo’, all alone, far from the eyes of the world, free from riyaa or show-off. Let’s do our best in improving our salaah, inshaAllah. This is some easy reward which cannot be missed, inshaAllah. 

So, the pointers for those praying at home are similar to those of the masjid apart from the fact that we would be reciting oursleves instead of the imaam. 

- Concentrate on what your saying. I remember reading somewhere that a mind can concentrate on only a few things at a time, I guess it was four. So it was like, while praying, let these four things occupy your attention: 1) reciting 2)understanding the meaning of what your reciting 3) having the consciousness that you are standing in front of Allah 4) having the consciousness that Allah is watching you. I guess it was something like this. I don’t really remember it exactly. Anyway, inshaAllah will update it later in case it was something else.

- Recite calmly and beautifully.

- Prolong your rukoo’ and your sujood. Don’t be hasty. Doing the acts of rukoo’ and sujood quickly in order to get over with is is like stealing from the salaah. It’s like being a theif. Na’oozubillah. And, anyway what’s the best time of our day than being in front of our Lord? Where do we want to run to? This world which deceives us? These daily TV soaps which misguide us? This social networking which absorbs all our precious time leaving us with nothing but regret?

May Allah protect and preserve us and keep us in good health and eeman. Ameen.

Alhamdulillah for all the blessings that Allah ‘azza wa jal has bestowed upon us, particularly that of salaah. May Allah ‘azza wa jal help us achieve khushoo’ in our salaah.

Everything beneficial in this post is by the blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Any mistake is because of my own limitations or an evil handiwork of shaytaan. Jazakumullahu Khayran for reading. Hope you benefit from this. Do remember me in your dua’as.

The Facebook FACT! – A Muslim sister’s personal experience.

Originally posted on mindyummy:

-
Dedicated to two beautiful sisters of mine whom I want to let know how much I really appreciate our friendship:
*Sara, who always understands what I’m saying even when I’m not saying it understandably to my own ears.
*Sirine, who for the past 10 years that I’ve known her, has this knack of saying a tiny phrase that gets you thinking for hours! (So much so that here I am, writing a blog post about it)
 3 benches

On January 1, 2012, I quit Facebook “for good”.

Eleven months later (what do you know!)… I’m back on.

A lot of people prefer flattery over honesty, and I suppose in some cases a white lie is called for. The reason, I think, that brutal honesty is not favorable with many people is because it is often a blow to the person’s ego, or they automatically assume that the critique himself…

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Judge Yourself.

Source: http://muhumin.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/judge-yourself/

painting

Once upon a time there was a painter who had just completed his course. He took 3 days and painted beautiful scenery. He wanted people’s opinion about his caliber and painting skills.
He put his creation at a busy street-crossing. And just down below a board which read -”I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. Please put a cross wherever you see a mistake.”

While he came back in the evening to collect his painting he was completely shattered to see that whole canvass was filled with Xs (crosses) and some people had even written their comments on the painting.

Disheartened and broken completely he ran to his master’s place and burst into tears.
This young artist was breathing heavily and master heard him saying” I’m useless and if this is what I have learnt to paint I’m not worth becoming a painter. People have rejected me completely. I feel like dying”

Master smiled and suggested “My Son, I will prove that you are a great artist and have learnt flawless painting. Do as I say without questioning it. It will work.”
Young artist reluctantly agreed and two days later early morning he presented a replica of his earlier painting to his master. Master took that gracefully and smiled.

“Come with me.” master said.

They reached the same street-square early morning and displayed the same painting exactly at the same place. Now master took out another board which read -”Gentlemen, I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. I have put a box with colors and brushes just below. Please do a favor. If you see a mistake, kindly pick up the brush and correct it.”

Master and disciple walked back home.

They both visited the place same evening. Young painter was surprised to see that actually there was not a single correction done so far. Next day again they visited and found painting remained untouched. The painting was kept there for a month but no correction came in!

Moral of the story:

It is easier to criticize, but difficult to Improve!
So don’t get carried away or judge yourself by someone else’s criticism and feel depressed.
Judge yourself!

Do We Realize?

Imagine this:

You enter slowly, watching each step, carefully moving forward making sure that the “tap tap” of your shoe is not too loud. The room you have just stepped in is huge and everything is extremely quiet. So quiet that you can hear the lub-dub of your frightened heart frivolously pumping blood. Today is your big day, these 30 minutes of your life are so precious to you. You’ve made sure that you look your best, you’ve applied the most expensive perfume you had, now all you need to do is watch your actions, and watch your talk. One error here or one error there, and you’ll be done for. You have to be at your best ever.

For how on earth can you be so stupid to make mistakes in your job interview and lose the opportunity to earn those big fat bucks?!?

Struck a chord?

Yeah, this is about salaah. I often sadly wonder why is it that most of us Muslims have a serious problem of not being able to pray our salaah with khushoo’ (consciousness). Five times a day we hear the adhaan, five times a day we make wudoo’, five times a day we stand in front of our Lord, all set for a direct face-to-face communication with the One Who created us, yet it’s as if we aren’t aware of the magnanimity of the act of praying! How stupid can we be! SubhanAllah.

Yeah, it’s true that shaytaan distracts one throughout the salaah. But, don’t we share the blame equally?

Do we consider our five times a day salaah, to say the least like that oh-so-important  job interview? I don’t think so. Many of us have reduced the act of praying to something that is merely a ritual. Something that we must do because our parents do or because my weekly Islamic class teacher says so or because I’m a Muslim and I need to act like I’m one, so let me randomly pray. No! It’s not like that. May Allah ta’ala protect us from this kind of attitude. Each of those five times that we say “Allahu Akbar“, we enter into a mode of direct communication with Allah ‘azza wa jal. No intermediaries. No agents. No sub-inspectors. No HR managers. No nothing in between. This is a direct meeting with our Lord. Do we realize the magnanimity of this? Do we? SubhanAllah.

Then, why are we so lazy while praying? Why do we take it as a burden upon us? Why do a thousand other thoughts run through our minds while praying? Why do we rush through the fard rak’ahs and skip the sunnah ones?

Why? Because we haven’t yet realized the magnanimity of our five daily prayers. We haven’t yet realized that we are literally talking to the Lord of the Heavens and the earth, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Believe me, once we realize the magnanimity of our salaah, we would be ready to ransom anything we possess to have one single salaah perfect and accepted by Allah ‘azza wa jal.

I agree that we all are struggling with this issue of Khushoo’. At times, we pray with full sincerity while at other times we hurry with our prayers. I know that it keeps on fluctuating. But, a true striving Muslim/Muslimah would be the one, who in spite of his/her shortcomings, keeps on trying hard. Sometimes falling, but standing up again and dusting off the dirt, falling again, getting up again, till one day when he/she never ever falls and is admitted into the Gardens of Eternal bliss. Ameen. 

muslim-children-pray

Some guidelines related to praying Salaah with Khushoo’ coming up in the next post, insha’Allah. Stay tuned!