Archive for the 'A Fortress of Reminders' Category

How do you know if you are close to Allah?

This is something I found on Hijrah To Algeria… blog and I just had to share…

If you want to find out whether you are close to Allah, this is the way:

Look at how easy or difficult it is to do different actions that are pleasing to Allah (reading qu’ran, giving sadaqa, qiyam, siyam, etc).

If you are so happy and take great pleasure at performing these acts, and it is easy for you – this is a sign that you are close to Allah.

If it is difficult for you and you find yourself making excuses, and it is hard for you and you literally have to drag yourself to do these acts, then know that you do not have a close relationship with Allah.’

Advertisements

Who can ever hold a burning coal?

Alhamdulillah this past weekend we were able to take a trip to hear a couple of very beneficial lectures by Br. Mohammad Elshinawy. One of the lectures “Walking Alone: Bearing the Flag of the Stranger” was something that we really needed to hear.

This lecture was based on the hadeeth;

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so *tooba (glad tidings) to the strangers.”

*Tooba is a tree in Paradise promised to the strangers of this dunya. It is such a special gift because it is not something easily attainable. The strangers are the likes of the believers mentioned in Surah Al-Ahzab, in the incident of the Battle of the Ditch (Khandaq), whose faith was strengthened in the face of great adversity.

Trials and tests are necessary because they act as a mechanism to filter out those who are pure and to expose those who have the disease of doubts in their hearts.

In times of ease it is easy to claim eman, but it is only in times of trials that our true colors are revealed. Hence we only know our true selves by seeing how well or how miserably we fare while undergoing difficulties and hardships in this life.

Masha-Allah there are sooo many lessons from this lecture but one that truly struck me was when Brother Mohammad mentioned the hadeeth;

“There will come a time of patience when the one who adheres steadfastly to his religion will be like one who holds a burning coal.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2260; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 957. )

And then he asked the question:

Who can ever hold a burning coal?

And then came the crystal clear answer:

With certainty that if I let go of this coal, what comes after it will be hotter….i.e. hell-fire.

Being Able to Homeschool is a Favor from Allah

These last couple of weeks we took a trip to visit a friend whose husband recently passed away. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’oon. Verily to Allah we belong and to Him we will return.

Like me she has 3 very young kids, and she has been a homemaker eversince her first child was born. But now Mommy has to be Daddy too and insha-Allah she will begin her new job soon. Her younger kids will be sent to a Muslim runned daycare while the oldest one will enter an Islamic school bi ithnillah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make it easy for her and her family. Ameen.

Looking at her situation made me realize the great favor that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has blessed me with, and which I have taken for granted all these years…that He has given me a husband who is healthy and fit and is able to provide for us so that I can be a full-time mom and homeschool my kids.

You know homeschooling in itself can be trying at times and one of the most hardest experience I’ve had was to homeschool and attend to a nursing baby at the same time. Alhamdulillah, my son is fully weaned now and those days seem far away, yet when I really think about it, if given a choice I would willingly go through that all over again rather than go out and work. Yes, it’s true that just the mere thought of not being able to be home with my kids is enough to make me feel all queasy inside!

And Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that I do have a choice and I chose to be a stay at home Mom. What I really need to understand is that if Allah wills, it could easily be that I do not have a choice but to work. O Allah please help me to remember this and be grateful to you for your favors. Ameen.

Sometime ago I remember reading a very beautiful piece of naseeha from Tea & A Think:

“As one du`aa goes (received by email one day):

Allah, I thank Thee for this sink of dirty dishes… we have plenty of food to eat.

I thank Thee for this pile of dirty, stinky, laundry… we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank Thee, for those unmade beds in there. They were so comfortable last night. I know many have no bed.

My thanks to Thee, Allah, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory… they are so convenient.

I thank Thee for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

I thank Thee Allah, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today… it has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for all that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking… we all enjoy the yard.

I thank Thee Allah, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Alhamdulillah.

Allah, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says Thou has richly blessed my family. I shall do them all cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully, In sha Allah.”

Even though the du’a is specifically about being thankful to Allah for having household chores (which I do not particularly look forward to) and looking at them from a different angle and actually appreciating them, I think we can change it to accomodate any circumstance in our lives…

In my case for example;

O Allah I thank you for all the whining and squabbling from my kids that I hear on a daily basis…alhamdulillah I have kids and am able to be home with them and enjoy their company.

O Allah I thank you for all the trials and tests I’ve had to deal with in homeschooling…alhamdulillah my kids do not have to attend public school.

O Allah I thank you for all the times I wish my husband wasn’t so busy with his work and studies so he would have more time to spend with us…alhamdulillah we have enough money so that I do not have to go out and share the burden of providing for the family.

Shukoor Alhamdulillah. All praise and thanks be to the Lord of all the Worlds.

When the going gets tough…

When I was younger, whenever I was faced with hardships and trials, I would always look for a way out. In my mind I thought there was a place somewhere on earth that I could be where life would be free from any struggles or hardships.

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ

Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) of those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to the test). (Surah Al-Ankabut: 2-3)

 

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاء

وَالضَّرَّاء وَزُلْزِلُواحَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللّهِ  

أَلا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ  

Or do you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah”? Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! (Surah Al-Baqarah:214)

As I matured and grew up and learnt more about the religion, I came to the realisation and acceptance that life is a continous struggle. No doubt there will be good days but there will be bad days too. And our best course of action would be to prepare for those bad days.

So here in this little blog of mine, under the category “A Fortress of Reminders”, insha-Allah I hope to build a list of reminders that I can go to again and again to help cope with those stressful times. (smiles)

Of course the degree of our trials and tests is only equivalent to our level of eman and my own little tests are in no way comparable to the trials faced by the prophets or scholars. But it is humbling to look at those who have been tested to a greater degree and see how they passed through the tests successfully. Insha-Allah their stories will serve as inspirations in dealing with our trials.

One such example is the life of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) who led a life of poverty and  was imprisoned and severely tortured towards the end of his life.

Due to the hardships and trials that Imam Ahmad was going through, his son Abdullah asked him, “O my father, when is relaxation (from all this pain and poverty) going to come? And Imam Ahmad’s answer was, “With the first step into jannah”.

Insha-Allah, I hope that the days when I feel stressed out I’ll remember this and be more patient. (smiles)

The story of Imam Ahmad was mentioned in a really inspiring khutbah by Muhammad AlShareef; ‘Have you tasted Jannah?’ and you can listen to it here.

A Painful Reminder

As we go about our daily tasks as homemakers, from time to time the inevitable accident occurs, and for me, it usually takes place in the kitchen; for eg getting a small cut while slicing those onions, getting slight burns on my arms and hands from hot oil as it shoots out the pan while frying fish… etc, etc, etc.

But these are just tiny accidents Alhamdulillah and I thank Allah and seek His protection from any major accidents. Ameen.

Moreover, feeling a little pain from time to time is actually good for you. (smiles) And what’s my proof? None other than the hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhe wa salam;

‘Abdullah Bin ‘Amr reported that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhe wa salam said:

“If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgement.” (Bukhari)

Also having a very active son, who likes to jump or rather pounce on you can send some painful shocks to your body, especially when you are caught offguard. It’s during these times that the above hadeeth comes in handy too and helps to ease some of the pain, alhamdulillah. (smiles)

Imagine that Allah subhana wa ta’ala is going to reward you and remove some of your sins just by being  pricked by a thorn. In the light of that, multiply that pain by a hundred, a thousand times or more and imagine the reward we would get for every single contraction. Masha-Allah!

Now, if only we could remember the hadeeth the moments when we really need it….

I was reminded of the hadeeth while reading an article by Shaykh Salim Al-Hilali; “The Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life”. You can read the whole article  here.