A new chapter

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

And so it begins..a new chapter of my life about to be written.

Honestly, just like when I was about to leave for Australia 5 years ago, I’m anxious at the thought of adapting and living in a new country. The environment and (slightly) different culture is always daunting at first but I’m hoping to accustom quickly to the new surrounding insha’Allah. I secretly wished that it’s Australia I’m leaving for 😦

If anyone’s wondering hehe, I’m actually moving across the border for my Masters which is a couple of hours drive to the main city. Insha’Allah I’ll be there for two years.

If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to is the Islamic environment that the University offers, according to my cousin and friends who are studying there. The University holds many Islamic lectures by various intellectuals from local and overseas. Plus, I heard about the strict dress code that is enforced upon the students – both Muslims and non-Muslims. Perhaps even ikhtilat is not allowed? Masha’Allah, looking forward to the much needed eemaan rush there! 🙂

Also, in less than 2 weeks there will be an Al Maghrib seminar by Sh Riad which I signed up for! 😀

Duas please! 🙂

p/s/ I’ll do some ‘clean up’ of this blog once I’ve settled down insha’Allah 🙂

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Difference between a ‘cult’ and ‘community’

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

An interesting take on the differences between a ‘cult’ and a ‘community’. The existence of such ‘cults’ are undeniably causing a lot of divisions within the Ummah and this is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. Allahu Mustaan..

Once I was discussing with a sister about some practices which I completely disagree with, and seeing that convincing me was futile, she told me to make dua that He guides us to the right source of knowledge and keep us far away from misguidance.. in other words, I felt like she was telling me that as much as we are sure we are on the right path, we should never fail to invoke Him for guidance because, we might be wrong on certain things. Even Imaams have said that they are not ma’sum so how about us, whose knowledge is a mere scratch on the surface?

Be thankful

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakatuh,

It’s always easy to encourage others to be thankful in any circumstances but undeniably the most difficult to implement in our lives. I always believe that this strength lies within everyone of us; to be able to give thanks when in prosperity but also in adversity.

During my time working at a support centre for Muslim women, I was exposed to sisters of various cultural and social background. The centre supports mainly women who face financial difficulties, domestic violence, new reverts to Islam and especially women refugees. I’ve met and spoken to some of them and realized that these ladies have taught me in their own ways, a valuable life lesson: be thankful.

Listening to their stories, it occurred to me that the hardships they have undergone were more than an average person have faced. I was most touched by stories of women refugees who have gone through a great struggle to run away from persecution and oppression in their country through desperate ways which most of the time, endangering their own lives. Some have lived through war; Some have lost or separated from the people they love as a result of oppression by their government; And there is an undetermined number of those who suffer from mental and health problems as a result of severe trauma they faced.

Almost too often, we complain over the most trivial issues. We complain about things we know we cannot change. Or even the things we can change but choose to complain anyway. The things we have do not seem to suffice us and we complain due to a lack of it. I shouldn’t say ‘we’ but start with myself first and foremost because I whine too, just like everyone. It’s embarrassing to think that our complaints are so minor as compared to the hardships faced by others. There’s a hadith which states that:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (R.A.A.) who said: The Prophet (PBUH), said: “Look upon one who is below you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace of that God bestowed upon you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Subhan’Allah, when we compare ourselves to the less fortunate, we find that we have a lot to be thankful to Him. I worked with this particular sister who has gone through as described but each day, she will always find something to be thankful for. Even through difficulties, she sees it as an opportunity to be patient and believed that Allah place these hardships for a reason in our lives. I remember sharing with her my struggles and worries and she would give me a whole different perspective about life and facing the challenges. Her advice to me is to always be grateful for the good and bad for Allah knows what’s best in our lives.

Her hardships have shaped her into the person she is today and now, she is working for the betterment of the lives of other women. It’s amazing to note that there are other women like her too, working at the centre to help the less fortunate women. Masha’Allah

Truly, we can be considered ‘rich’ when the most basic necessities are met even if some are not able to afford it. Most of us are fortunate to live in a relatively safe country where our freedom and rights are respected. Allah has said in His book:

14:7

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe’. [14:7]

Look around you and be thankful for the things you have no matter how little it may be. And have faith that the things we desire in this world but do not have, are far better for you as there are also blessings in the things He restrict in our lives.

Sit awhile before you sleep…

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Ibn al-Qayyim said,

‘Avoid those things that necessitate the punishment of the grave.

And from the most beneficial of them is that when a man wants to sleep, he sits for an hour, for the Sake of Allaah, calling himself to account over the things that he has lost and gained during that day of his. Then, between him and his Lord, he renews his sincere repentance over those things that he lost, and sleeps on that repentance, firmly resolving not to return to the sin when he wakes up–and he does this every night.

So if he dies on that night of his, he would have died upon repentance and if he wakes up, he will wake up going towards action, pleased with the postponement of his appointed time so that he can turn to his Lord and set right what he missed out on.

And there is nothing more beneficial for the servant than this sleep, especially when he follows that [i.e., his resolve to renew his repentance] up with the remembrance of Allaah, performing those sunnahs which have been reported from the Prophet of Allaah when going to bed, [doing so] until sleep overtakes him.

So whoever Allaah wishes good for, He will grant him the success to do that. And there is neither movement, nor power except through Allaah.”

Ar-Rooh, p. 79.

 

A short tazkirah on friends

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

The tazkirah for our Qur’an session on Monday was nothing more ordinary than about choosing your friends. I’m sure all of us have heard it at a lecture or from your own ilm circles but the sister who shared it delved into this topic further. Yes, we choose people whom we define as ‘good’ in our lives, or those whom share the same passion as you do. Perhaps even, those whom we have known for years are those we consider our close friends (the number of years are important yes?). But the question is – do they make you happy?

The author who wrote the article which the sister quoted from, said your friend is not necessarily one whom you have known for a long time, or have the same interests. Instead, he/she is someone whom you rush at every possibility to have lunch dates with; or that thinking of them brings you peace in your heart and a smile on your face.

You could have met them just once or a short amount of time, but it is how they make you feel that is important. You may have known some of your friends for a many years but by being around them, you ‘absorb’ the negativity they radiate which you might not be aware of. For example, if you find that you are around someone who is constantly complaining about the most trivial issues, this trait itself might influence you to behave the same. This is just like the saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together”. A more apt example is  the hadeeth:

On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (radiAllahu anhu), the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:

“The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]

The author then invited 10 friends whom she feels has a positive effect in her life and made her happy, to her house to watch a movie together. Some of them were surprised when they were invited because of the short amount of time they had known each other. The author then explained her reasons why and said she wanted to keep them in her life and hopefully be able to see them more often.

She has also listed friends whom she thought knew her well since they had known her for a longer duration but they hurt her despite knowing the things she likes and dislikes etc. With this group of people, she would lessen her time spent with them but also advised not to cut them off from your life.

I think it is important that we identify the friends whom we want to spend most of our time with. It’s true that everyone has their flaws but if they were to constantly negatively affect you, then are they really worth (most of) your time? I’ve met sisters who are so positive about almost everything, whether it is good or bad, and this has influenced me to have the same outlook of life. On the other hand, there are some who only see the negative and inadvertently, we take the trait in and implement it in our lives.

Insha’Allah something we can think about.

Imaam al-Bukhaaree rahimahu-Allaahu reported in his Saheeh that Aaishah radi Allaahu Anha said: “I heard the Prophet sallAllaahu Alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with.” 

*I’ve added some of my own thoughts and views on top of the article

Advice from Shaykh Rabee

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Masha’Allah.. advice from Shaykh Rabee’ about softness and speaking with hikmah when giving da’wah 🙂 It never fail to amaze me that the youth of our time (including myself) behave the exact opposite to the advice given by Salafi scholars especially when it comes to the manner we convey haqq to others. And what confuses me the most is that we say we try to mirror the life of Prophet Sallallahu alayhi salam – his actions and worship as close as possible – but what happened to emulating his akhlaq and the way he treated and interacted with others? Why is our focus ONLY on the fiqh aspect of the Deen but then entirely ignore the spirit of Islam? Have we forgotten that Prophet of Allah has said that ‘the best of you is one who has the best in character’ ? If only everyone were to reflect on this.. Allahu Mustaan.