Fastabiqul Khairat <3

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[update] I pray that all of you are in the best of health and eemaan insha’Allah. I haven’t been blogging much lately because subhan’Allah, work seems to be piling up :/ Al-Hamdulillah ala kulli hal! I wanted to apologize too if I take a loooong time to approve and reply to the comments. And also some of the posts have been written weeks ago so I don’t keep track when they are up..

If anyone is wondering why I use this phrase ‘fastabiqul khairat’ [or ‘race to all that is good’] as my blog title, it’s actually a reminder for me from time to time that I should increase in good deeds. Subhan’Allah, I’m impressed when I browse through blogs I find that sisters and brothers out there are doing so much for Islam and yet I’m still lacking farrr behind. There are posts on raising awareness about Islam, clearing misconceptions, reminders … a whole list of them! I would like to tell all of you to keep it up insha’Allah!

Apart from online reminders, we should also find a company of friends who are constantly encouraging us to become better Muslims. If you have friends who are always racing you to do good deeds, you’ll find yourself joining in the race with them! The people we spend most of time with affect our eemaan whether we like it or not so we need to watch who we are friends with. I’m sure some of you can vouch for this..

Subhan’Allah, I unexpectedly became close friends with this sister who is masha’Allah such an eemaan booster to me. She’s in one of my classes and although we sit together sometimes, we rarely speak to each other much except after class but we are always rushing home since it’s already late. Recently, I invited her to have lunch with me .. it was one of those days whereby I was feeling a bit impulsive so when she crossed my mind the night before, I sent her a text message about lunch. Al-Hamdulillah I felt like my eemaan skyrocketed up the roof from that few hours spent with her lol.

I learnt that she prays all her salaah at masjid despite staying quite a distance from masjid. It is of course preferable that a woman prays at home, but at the same time Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam did not forbid the women from going to the masjid because of the rewards one can attain from congregational prayers.  Not everyone is able to do that! She does volunteer work at a few Muslim-based NGOs here and she goes for Islamic classes despite the workload! And there are a whole list of other things which I found out too after doing some ‘digging up’ from her lol.

Bottomline is that: I’m strangely jealous of her good deeds and now I’m finding ways to ‘overtake’ her lol. My dormitory is the closest to the masjid and yet I find it difficult to perform all of my salaah there. But subhan’Allah, just knowing that the sister will be at the masjid has become sort of a motivation for me. She has listened to me whine about school work and her advice has always been reminders taken from Qur’an and Sunnah. There is a saying of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam (which I plucked from the book called “In the Early Hours”):

The best friend is one who makes you remember Allah when you see him

Also,

Whoever Allah wishes good for, He will grant him a righteous friend who will remind him if he forgets and aids him if he remembers

The writer also mentioned something beautiful:

And the Qur’an says: “Bind yourself upon those who call upon Allah morning and evening” [Al-Kahf: 18: 27-28]. As soon as you see the seed of iman planted in your heart and you recognise it in someone else’s and you find that he agrees with you,  you will feel ten times stronger. Social scientist have also discovered that group life is one of the most powerful forces to stimulate and improve human being

 Ya Rabb, I am truly blessed for all the righteous sisters I’ve met for the past few months ever since I came here al-Hamdulillah. There had been some really amazing sisters, apart from the sister mentioned above, who are equally as inspiring. I’m excited to meet more of them insha’Allah.

May all of us be blessed with the best companions who will be of benefit to us in this Dunya and Aakhirah!

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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.”

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 🙂

Scenic view

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

This picture was captured a few days ago when I was out with a sister to catch the sunset. I had been down in the dumps for the past few weeks so the sister suggested that she take me for a drive to catch sunset at the beach. Initially I thought that I would be tongue tied considering how I had been before. I become lost for words when I’m with her because she’s one of those whom I have such great respect for and I don’t want to say something stupid in front of her.. but she’s really down to earth despite being a well respected lady who has done so much for the community.

Our view was blocked by the rocks so the sister suggested that we climb on it to get a good spot. And true enough, despite the overcast clouds and gloomy weather that day,  we managed to capture a glimpse of  wonderment when the sun slowly started to set just as we sat nicely on the rocks. Allahu Akbar!

Maghrib came and we prayed on the beach together. The sound of waves crashing on the rocks and cool breeze enveloping us while we pray was one of the things that gave me the sense of tranquility and peace.

Anyway, I feel slightly rejuvenated after that night and am glad that I spent some time talking to the sister. It’s comforting to know that if I need talk to someone, there’s always one who will be there al-Hamdulillah.. But of course most importantly, Allah is always there for us when we need him 🙂

Jumuah #17

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

This is by far one of my favorite lectures by Bro Nouman Ali Khan. The story of Prophet Ibrahim Alayhi Salam is an inspiration to me and this is the reason I chose this kunyah ‘Umm Khaleel’ 🙂

p/s/ on a sidenote, I’m a graduate! Al-Hamdulillah! 😀

Jumaah #14

Masha’Allah, Bro Boonaa is pretty awesome! Love this video especially.. Insha’Allah the MSA is planning to have him, Baba Ali and another Sheikh over here down under this coming July! They are having a ‘Strangers tour’ around Aus and NZ so we’re getting funds for their flights etc.

Did I mention that Bro Omar Regan’s comedy show is perhaps one of the best da’wah events I’ve attended? I laughed so hard that my cheeks hurt! He also included reminders, ahadeeth and ayaah from Qur’an in his speech. Although it was slightly different from the usual lecture style, I think we did learn something after the show al-Hamdulillah.

I missed both Imaam Abu Hafsa Clare’s lectures and heard they were great. A sister who went asked him an intriguing question – Since he cannot see Allah’s creations, how does he have such a firm faith in Allah? He simply replied: Sister, breathe in, and breath out.. Isn’t that a miracle in itself? Subhan’Allah!

Jumaah #13

(Taken from Al-Jumaah Magazine Vol 21, pp. 33-34)

Check your conduct against the Qur’an

  • When facing insult at the hands of the ignorant, say peae and forgive
Those who spend [in Allah’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers). [3:134]
And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. [25:63]
  • When walking, walk in humility and peace
And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. [25:63]
And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster. [ 13:18]
  • When looking, control your gaze, and guard your chastity
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. [24:30]
  • When with your parents,  be kind, and lower “wings of humility” before them
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. [17:23]
  • When thinking and reflecting, think of Allah’s creation
Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. [3:190-1]
  • When judging, evaluating, making tough decisions, be just and give each other their due
Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer. [4:58]
  • When listening to the Qur’an, or when Allah is mentioned, check your heart
The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); [8:2]
Say (O Muhammad SAW to them): “Believe in it (the Quran) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled. And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility. [17:107-109]
  • When faced with grief and difficulty, look only to Allah’s mercy and be sure of it
And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).  And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things. [65:2-3]
  • When having fun, never put down any one
O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”, etc.]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.) [49:11]
  • When dealing with your enemies or those who hurt you, still be just
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [5:8]