Attachment to this world

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[Transcribed from “A commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah’s Essy on the Heart” translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips]

When one is attached to this world, its pleasures and pursuits, this attachment occupies a great portion of the heart, which was created to be attached to Allaah. Hence, it distracts the person from the higher goals of attaining closeness to Allaah, righteousness, and Paradise. This is why Allaah warns us, saying,

63:9

O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers. [63:9]

Allaah also said,

102:1

102:2

The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). [102:1-2]

Though Muslims are certain of the fact that the world will perish, most of them have not internalised this reality and its implications in their hearts. They are instead preoccupied with their worldly desires and goals, not realizing the insignificance of this world. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam once passed by a dead goat which had either very small ears or mutilated ears. The Prophet took it and asked his companions, “Which of you would like to have this for one dirham?” They said, “We don’t want it. What would we use it for?” He said, “Would you like to have it for [free]?” They replied, “By Allaah, even if it were alive, we would find it defective, since it has small ears. What do you think now that it’s dead?”

Allaah’s Messenger sallallahu alayhi salam then told them, “By Allaah, the world is more insignificant to Allaah than this [dead goat] is to you.” (Muslim). Realizing this would help us implement the Prophet’s statement, “Be in this world like a traveller or a wayfarer.”

Furthermore, regardless of one’s efforts seeking the pleasures of this world, these efforts do not ensure that they will attain what they seek. As a matter of fact, the one who detaches himself from the pleasures of this life will be rewarded with the dunya, as well as inner contentment and ease in his affairs. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam said,” Whoever makes this world his (main) goal, then Allaah will scatter his affairs for him, He will place poverty before his very eyes, and nothing will come to him of this world except that which was already written for him. But whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, then Allaah will gather his affairs for him, He will place richness in his heart, and the world will come to him conquered and submissive.”

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New books! :D

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh!

I dropped by this Sunnah bookshop on the way back home today. I had no intention of  spending any money but I ended up purchasing 4 books – and that was after ‘eliminating’ a couple of other books. The bookshop stocked up on new books because the last time I went these were not on the shelves yet. I was attracted to the slick book covers first. The crisp new pages and that new-book smell enticed me even more . The books are classical collections so the covers are designed to reflect that… is it even allowed to buy books because of its cover? lol..

Anyway, here are the titles:

  1. Disciplining the Soul by Ibn al-Jawzi
  2. The Journey of the Strangers by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali & Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri
  3. Diseases of the Hearts & Their cures by Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah
  4. Dua: The weapon of the believer by Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi

Here’s a task for you: Help me choose 2 books that I should pack in my luggage! I still have not decided unfortunately :/

 

Causes that lead to a hardened heart #1

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[Transcribed from “A commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah’s Essy on the Heart” translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips]

The main causes that lead to a hardened heart are identified in the following six verses from the Qur’an that expound on the topic of hardened hearts.

1.  Ignoring Allah’s Signs

2:74

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder…” [2:74]

After the miracle of a dead man briefly coming back to life and identifying his murderers when his corpse was struck with a part of the sacrificed cow, the Jews denied it and their hearts became hardened. Allah went on to say in a parable that some stones are even softer than their hearts as they acknowledge the truth to which they were called. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp.260-1)

Human hearts become hardened whenever they ignore the signs of Allah. The signs of Allah are for human guidance. Consequently, when they are deliberately and consistently ignored, the heart becomes hardened to them and they have no effect. Allah’s signs are all around humans and even within themselves. Before, during and after a person commits a sin, a variety of warning signals go off like alarms. Prior to committing a sin the innate conscience recognizes the sin, so the potential sinner can stop himself or herself before the thought becomes an act. This conscience is the awareness of good and evil which Allah inspired in each and every human heart, saying: “He inspired it know its corruption and piety.” 

Then again, as the potential sinner plods ahead ignoring his conscience, the angel assigned to every person advises him not to go ahead. Following the spiritual signs, Allah then sends a series of physical signs to discourage the potential sinner. The physical signs could be another person’s advice, a telephone call, a flat tire, etc. They give the potential sinner a chance to re-think what he is about to do. If he reverses his decision he earns for himself a reward from Allah as the Prophet sallallahy alayhi salam said: “Whoever intends to do evil deed and does not do it earns one reward.”

Even while actually doing the sin, further signs are sent so that the sinner can stop before completing the act. And after the sin, other signs are sent to encourage the sinner to repent. When these signs are continually ignored, the heart develops a shell which effectively seals it off from the signs and their effects.

Being Me – Muslimah Empowered

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Years ago, two other sisters and I could only dream of attending such an international convention that was for sisters by sisters. We used to wonder if this was ever possible because of the magnitude of the event and then again, who would be interested to attend, we thought. Masha’Allah there is one coming up end of June this year and if you have the chance to attend, don’t miss the opportunity! International speakers such as Sr. Yasmin Mogahed will be there too 🙂

How fantastic is it that there is such a convention to empower Muslimahs! I believe that everyone of us has the potential to shine but perhaps lack of confidence, low self esteem, shyness are some factors that impede us from reaching for our dreams.

p/s/ not sure if I can attend this event but thought I post it in case there are sisters who might be interested 😀

Dhikr

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[Transcribed from “A commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah’s Essy on the Heart” translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips]

Which type of remembrance is a true nourishment for the heart? People often think of dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in the very narrow sense: repeating certain prescribed statements of remembrance.

However, dhikr is in fact the heart’s remembrance and consciousness of Allaah which should accompany every believer’s actions and statements. Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, “Dhikr is obedience to Allaah Whoever obeys Allaah has in fact remembered Him. Whoever does not obey Him is not one who remembers Him, even if He says tasbeeh, and recites the Book a lot.” (Sharh as-Sunnah, al-Baghawee, vol.5, p.10)

Ibn Taymiyyah also stated in his Majmoo’ al-n, “Every statement made by the tongue and conceived by the heart which takes one closer to Allaah, including learning knowledge, teaching it, commanding good and forbidding evil, is a form of dhikr of Allaah.” (vol. 10, p.661)

This mindfulness of Allaah is the nourishment of the heart, while the formal form of dhikr – wherein a person remembers Allaah with specific words at specific times, as defind by the sunnah – aids and develops the true remembrance of the heart.

Furthermore, since dhikr is the heart’s nourishment, a heart which lacks it is a dead heart. Hence, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam said, “The similitude of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember his lord is like the similitude of death and life.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

Reminded in my salaah..

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

I just wanted to share something peculiar which happened to me today whilst I was praying. I had a lot of things going on in my head during Asr prayers so obviously, my kusyu’ wasn’t exactly there. During my last raka’ah, I was reciting Surah al-Kauthar and as we all know, it’s the shortest suraah consisting of only 3 ayaah.

The strangest thing was that I couldn’t recall the second and third ayaah and instead, was reciting from another Suraah. I repeated Suraah al-Kauthar the second time and was still mixing the ayaah from another Suraah. The third time… still the same. I changed to a different Suraah and after salaah, I opened my Qur’an to re-read Surah al-Kauthar again when the Suraah which I kept confusing with caught my eyes.  So this is the ayaah which I kept repeating in my salaah today:

110:3

So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask for His Forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives. [Surah An-Nasr:3]

My jaw dropped when I read it! It was as though Allah was telling me – remember Me in your salaah and not something else! The next time you start to lose kusyu’ in your prayers, remember that He knows what is running through your head. It’s stating the obvious of course since Allah is Al-‘Aleem (The All-Knowing) but sometimes we forget this once we start our prayers. Our minds start to wander and if we don’t catch ourselves fast enough, our salaah has little or no value when it is filled with nothing but the Dunya.

A reminder to myself first especially..

Questions.. and loads of them :)

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Blessed Jumaah everyone! Hope that all of you are doing/will be doing something beneficial today insha’Allah! (reminder to self!) 🙂

I told Sis Nasmira that I would answer her questions last weekend but had a submission this week 😦 My apologies to her! The questions are from Sis Nasmira’s page but I’ll cut and paste them here insha’Allah 🙂

Rules:

1.You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Here are my eleven questions:

  1. Summer or winter?
  2. The latest book you read?
  3. If you could swap your country/nationality for any other, which one would it be?
  4. One random fact about yourself
  5. What would you have named yourself if you were given the chance to?
  6. When was the last time you wrote a hand written letter?
  7. If you could rewrite ONE historic event..what would it be?
  8. When was the last time you hugged a child, looked into those innocent eyes and told you love him/her?
  9. When was the last time a stranger smiled at u because of your kind word/deed to him/her ?
  10. What’s your favorite color 😀
  11. What got you into blogging?

My answers:

1) Summer or winter?

Winter without a doubt! 🙂 I told my summer-loving sisters that in winter you can always pile on more clothes when it’s cold but in Summer, you can’t *possibly* remove your clothes to cool yourself down. However, taking wudu’ and waking up for Fajr in winter can be a real challenge!

2) The latest book you read?

Gaza in crisis by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pape. Still reading the book btw 🙂 If anyone is wondering why I read non-fiction books is that each time I try to read a fiction novel, there’s a voice at the back of my head which keeps saying “It’s/he’s not true/real!” haha. yes I acknowledge that I’m slightly weird 😛

3) If you could swap your country/nationality for any other, which one would it be?

It would have to be Madinah 🙂 Words cannot describe how much I would love love love to live there.

4) One random fact about yourself

I wanted to become a dentist because I like looking at people’s teeth LOL. So sisters, either you cover your mouth with something or wear niqaab when you’re talking to me 😛

5) What would you have named yourself if you were given the chance to?

Safiyyah. Love the meaning of this name and that it sounds pleasant to my ears 🙂

6) When was the last time you wrote a hand written letter?

Reckon in January to my childhood friend. We were ‘celebrating’ our 20 years of friendship 🙂 (geez, I’m that old!)

7) If you could rewrite ONE historic event..what would it be?

Hmm.. I wish I can rewrite all the wars because so many lives were lost.. and for what? But since you said ONE, at the top of my head, I would rewrite the Serb-Bosnian war because so many Muslims were killed unjustly. They surrendered their weapons in return for protection promised to them but in the end, were massacred. May Allah grant all the Muslims who had been oppressed, highest place in Jannah!

8) When was the last time you hugged a child, looked into those innocent eyes and told you love him/her?

Hugged my 4 year old niece a couple of weeks ago before I left. When I told her I love her, she actually reciprocated lol. Usually she ignores me (read: pride lol)

9) When was the last time a stranger smiled at u because of your kind word/deed to him/her ?

Today at a lecture I attended. I congratulated the sister who was seating beside me. She will be graduating end of this semester insha’Allah 🙂

10) What’s your favorite color 😀

RED!! Most of my things are red hehe..If I had my way, I want everything to be red (except my clothes)

11) What got you into blogging?

I started blogging a couple of years ago when I had just started learning about Islam. New knowledge would excite me so much that I had to share it with someone. And since my close friends were either non Muslims or not practising, blogging about Islam was the one of the ways I could discuss any Islam-related topics with other Muslims. At the same time, I could look back and see where I stood in terms of my spirituality and whether I have grown or lagging behind.

My 11 questions:

  1. What is the one thing you love to do the most (religion aside)?
  2. Share one interesting experience you had.
  3. What is your favourite Suraah and why?
  4. If I were to give you $100 right now, what would you do with it?
  5. Is there any public figure whom you have great respect for?
  6. Can you recall what you were doing last year around this month?
  7. If you’re not a (fill in your occupation), what would you love to be?
  8. What is your secret to happiness?
  9. Choose one of the two options – would you rather swim in shark infested waters or parachute from a helicopter (haha random question sorry!)
  10. A word that describes you best
  11. Lastly, which Sahaabi/Sahabiyyaat (May Allah be pleased with all of them) are you in awe with the most?

TAGS:

I only know a few bloggers who read my blog so I can’t tag 11 people (lol, how sad I know). So anyone who is reading this, you are most welcome to answer the questions. And as for those bloggers who frequent here, it is FARDH (under my Shari’ah laws lol) upon you to answer. Ok I’m just teasing.. Looking forward to read them! 🙂