Barrows Of Strength On Board

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Sitting and waiting patiently at a crossroad, I was in awe at the precise workmanship and accessories required to build a bridge. Now, I don’t know much about building bridges but looking at the steels and pillions, the massive blocks of cement etc, a thought came to mind. Building a bridge is a team effort so the structure of the bridges required is also the structure of the teamwork involved. Architects, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, project managers, welders, steel fixers and many more professions and trades are involved. The project leaders have to build a great team in order to build a great bridge.

Let’s take the architect. He has to design a bridge that can withstand different levels of loads at all times. Can you imagine if he hits one flaw in the design, what the scenario would be like. A smart and beautiful structure can be the death of many, if even one flaw goes undetected. Likewise ALLAH (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the architect of our being. Fortunate enough to be born with good physical structure, perfect feet to perfect nose. But our character is what perfects the end result of a beautiful structure. Our pillions, steel and accessories are family, friends and co-workers.

Every structure that falls into place are the people we meet or befriend. Enemies are those that refuse to interlock into your structure. The good and the bad that we encounter are the loads that travel on a bridge. In the same way our Imaan, our heart has to be properly entrenched in faith to overcome negative encounters and gain knowledge from positive ones. Positive encounters act as steel and cement that re-enforce our faith within us.

A man made structure, the bridge, is steadfast for many many years, unfailing in its responsibility to carry the different loads of life. Strong and faithful, never failing even though it’s faced with the erosions of winds, rain and ever changing challenges of Mother Nature and man. In a similar vein Shaitaan, Nafs and bad company forms inroads of negativity in our lives. But it’s the strong Imaan in us that keeps them at bay. Stops us from succumbing and self destructing.

“O you who believe, fear ALLAH and be among the truthful ones.” [Qur’aan, 9:119]

It is astonishing how people can influence others simply by being in each other’s company.

One of the most beautiful traditions of the Prophet ﷺ captures this concept perfectly.

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Commentary: This Hadith enjoins that one should sit in the company of the pious persons and avoid the impious ones because the former has the quality of a perfume seller and the latter of a blacksmith. In the association of pious men, one stands to gain all the time and ultimately becomes like them. In bad company one is out-and-out a loser and can never hope to gain any benefit from them.

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Keep only a Believer for a companion and let only a pious eat your food.” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

Commentary: This Hadith forbids Muslims from befriending Non-Muslims and stresses that they should establish a bond of friendship and fraternity with the pious persons only.

Abu Hurairah (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported: I heard the Prophet ﷺ saying, “Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends.” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

Commentary: Maintaining good company cannot be overstated as it plays a pivotal role in shaping who you are and influences you to choose either the straight path or a destructive one. It is important to reflect on the company that you keep both at work and in your leisure time. A Muslim who befriends another who prays five times a day is more likely to follow suit and pray with him. Similarly, befriending those who have bad habits will cause one to adopt their habits due to their constant presence and influence. So a beautiful structure needs to be beautiful inside too. And faith is the best beautifier…..

Just then a cement truck came within my vision and on it were the words: “BARROWS OF STRENGTH ON BOARD”

Need I say more???

By Sister Amatullah


~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

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A Flower from the Flowers of ALLAH’S Garden

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“Her fragrance perfumed her husband’s mind even after She withered away.”

Maulana Ismail Bayat Hafidhahullah) is an Ustadh of Madressah Ta’leemuddeen and the head of the Jamiatul ‘Ulama (KZN) Ta’limi Board. An awe inspiring article that he has written regarding his respected beloved wife who passed away few days ago.   

اَللّٰهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ فِيْ بَلَآئِكَ وَصَنِيْعِكَ اِلىٰ خَلْقِكَ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ فِي بَلَآئِكَ وَصَنِيْعِكَ اِلىٰۤ اَهْلِ بُيُوْتِنَا، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ فِيْ بَلَآئِكَ وَصَنِيْعِكَ اِلىٰۤ اَنْفُسِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِمَا هَدَيْتَنَا، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِمَا اَكْرَمْتَنا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِمَا سَتَرْتَنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِالْقُرْاٰنِ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِالْاَهْلِ وَالْمَالِ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ بِالْمُعَافَاةِ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ حَتّٰى تَرْضٰى، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ اِذَا رَضِيْتَ يَا اَهْلَ التَّقْوٰى وَاَهْلَ الْمَغْفِرَةِ.

O ALLAH, all Praises are due to YOU in YOUR test and doings with YOUR creation. All Praises are due to YOU with YOUR test and doings with our household. All Praises are due to YOU in YOUR test and doings specifically with our selves. All Praise is due to YOU for having guided us. Praise is due to YOU for having honoured us. Praise is due to YOU for covering our faults. Praise is due to YOU on account of the Holy Qur’aan and Praise is due to YOU for the family and wealth (YOU bestowed on us). Praise is due to YOU for having granted us safety and Praise be to YOU until YOU are pleased. May Praises be for YOU when YOU become pleased, O The One who ought to be feared and The One who is worthy of forgiving (sins).

Introduction

On Sunday, 01 Sha’baan 1437 (corresponding to 08 May 2016), we met in a fatal accident on the N3 near Hillcrest. My beloved wife and son passed away in the accident and my eldest daughter was seriously injured, losing her left arm and breaking her left leg. May ALLAH TA’ALA forgive us all and grant all who have passed on the highest stages in Jannat-ul-Firdaus, Aameen!

My respected and honourable Ustadh, Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhum), suggested that I write a few lines regarding my beloved wife and the manner in which she left this world with the hope that it may serve as an inspiration for us all.

This wonderful woman, who was a great gift and bounty from ALLAH TA’ALA, blessed me with immense happiness and support throughout my married life. She was my backbone and was always there to help me and support me in all my Deeni endeavours. She had so many sterling qualities that it will not be possible for me to enumerate them all in this short article. However, I will try to mention some of the things that she had done in the last few days of her life which I hope will inspire us.

Tahjjaud Salaah and Du‘a

In the last ladies program held in Isipingo Beach, Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhum) had encouraged the ladies and children to wake up for tahajjud salaah. Since that day, she would wake up every night consistently, performing lengthy rakaats of tahajjud salaah and making lengthy Du‘as. I once asked her jokingly, “Very long Du‘as you’re making! I hope you’re making Du‘a for me and your children also.” She laughed and said to me, “I always make Du‘a for you and your Madressah work, and every day I make Du‘a for my children.” I then told her, “Make special Du‘a for your son because in this day and age, bringing up boys is not so easy.” When I said this, she replied, “I make six Du‘as for my son every day.” When I asked her which Du‘as she would make for her son, she told me that she made the following six Du‘as for him every day, the first two of which are the Du‘as that Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhum) had told us to make for them, and the other four of which she had added from her own side:

1. ALLAH TA’ALA unku ache ghar naseeb farmaye. (May ALLAH TA’ALA grant him a good home). This was the Du‘a of Hadhrat Maulana In‘aamul Hasan (Rahmatullahi Alaih). Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhum) explained this to be a very comprehensive Du‘a which has many meanings. The essence of the Du‘a is that ALLAH TA’ALA should bless him with a good home in this world, a good spouse, a good home in the qabar and a good home in the Aakhirah.

2. ALLAH TA’ALA haara lokho haate kaam pare. (May ALLAH TA’ALA always keep him in contact with good people). This is a Du‘a in Gujarati which the old people used to make for their children. Throughout our lives, we come into contact with different people, whether at home or on travel, hence the need to always be in contact with good people.

The following 4 Du‘as are her own Du‘as:

3. ALLAH TA’ALA must make him a jayyid (excellent) Haafidh, a Qaari and a practicing Aalim who will serve the deen of ALLAH TA’ALA with Ikhlaas (sincerity) until his end.

4. ALLAH TA’ALA must make him perform all his Salaah with jamaat in the first saff.

5. ALLAH TA’ALA must always keep him in the company of the Auliyaa (pious) of the time.

6. ALLAH TA’ALA must save him from ever having love for SPORTS in his heart.

Gheebat

An amazing quality in her life was that she hardly ever made gheebat. If I had to bring up a topic and start speaking something bad about someone, she would immediately stop me and say, “Why are you talking about that person? Aapre to whadaare kharaab che? (we are much worse than them).” I eventually became very apprehensive to speak anything negative about anyone in front of her. She was very careful with her tongue and would not quickly blurt out things. Even if someone ridiculed her in some way, she would brush it off with a sweet smile. Our senior ‘Ulama have mentioned that if someone is careful with the use of their tongue, ALLAH TA’ALA will bless them with a good death.

Purdah

Al-Hamdulillah! She was very conscious of purdah and would never interact freely with non-mahram men, even if they were her brothers-in-law and cousins. She always donned a burqah over her cloak and would wear a double-flap purdah. She hated it when young girls wore indecent clothing beneath their cloaks. On one occasion, I remember her reprimanding her niece for wearing jeans under her cloak. She made her immediately go and change her clothing and asked her to wear loose fitting trousers under her cloak.

Preparation for Maut

By the Grace of ALLAH TA’ALA, she had no qadha fasts or qadha salaah outstanding. After the month of Ramadhaan, she would calculate all her missed fasts and write them down on her dressing table cupboard. Most of the time, she would complete all her qadha in the month of Shawwaal. In fact, just before she passed away, on our way to Umhlanga, where we were supposed to have a family program and I was supposed to give a small talk, she suggested to me that I speak about the importance of completing ones qadha fasts before the month of Ramadhaan, as the fasts are sometimes delayed right until the end of Sha’baan.

She had also paid all her debts for pastries, meats, etc. and she did not owe money to anyone.

Love for ‘Ulama and Students of Deen

She always had a deep love for our Madressah Ta’leemuddeen and the students of the Madressah. She always told me, “Whenever you want to bring ‘Ulama home, please bring them and I will happily feed them.” She had a very soft spot, especially for the Madressah students, and would make a point of calling them home regularly and feeding them. She would specifically feel sorry for the foreign Hifdh students at the Madressah, and would ask me to take sweets and food for them on special occasions such as Eid, Aa’shurah, Ramadhaan, etc.

Love and Respect for ​Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barkaatuhum)

This she mentioned to me on several occasions, “If ever Hadhrat Mufti Saahib needs any khidmat (service), you must immediately carry it out for him. If he needs to go anywhere, put his work ahead of my work.” She was very passionate about the Ramadhaan I’tikaaf and would make all the arrangements for its meals by phoning the local ladies and drawing up a roster for the iftaar at the Masjid. When it was her turn, she would be very excited and would go out of her way to prepare a lavish meal. I would sometimes scold her and tell her that she was over doing it. However, her standard reply would be, “These are my mehmaan (guests) and I will prepare for them how I want.”

ALLAH TA’ALA blessed me on a few occasions to join Hadhrat Mufti Saahib for Umrah in Ramadhaan. I always asked her to tell me what she wanted from Makkah Mukarramah and Madeenah Munawwarah so that I could buy it for her. Her standard reply would be, “I don’t want anything. I only want you to stay at Hadhrat’s side and make his khidmat (serve him). Just stay with Hadhrat and look after him.”

There are always visitors at the Madressah and they often come unannounced. She would tell me, “Please tell Hadhrat Mufti Saahib that if ever he needs to feed any guests, he must just send them home without even informing me. If he needs tea and samoosas to be sent to the office, I will willingly make it and send it.” Al-Hamdulillah! This quality is found in all her sisters; they enjoy feeding and looking after guests.

Khidmat for Her Parents

Al-Hamdulillah! In this aspect also, she used to go out of her way to take care of her parents, just like her other sisters, her brother and her sister-in-law. Her mother and father have been ill from some time and so she would regularly go to their home to help them as best as she could. In December, her father was diagnosed with cancer and had to be operated on immediately. Al-Hamdulillah! She stayed with them for six weeks in December and took good care of them for the entire period. Whenever she went to their home, she had a habit of rubbing and massaging her father’s feet. Being diabetic, his feet always become swollen and so every night without fail, she would rub his feet with arnica oil.

In the last week before she passed away, she was very concerned for her mother’s Ramadhaan preparations. She spent the whole week preparing the filling, etc. and had all her mother’s samoosas filled by one of the local ladies in Isipingo Beach. Indeed she was loved dearly by her parents and would go out of her way to help them.

Interaction with Her in-laws

In the 17 years that I am married to her, she has never once had a fight with my mother or my sisters. She always treated my parents very well. The house we are living in belongs to her. It was a gift that her father had given her when we got married. Yet she always made my parents feel very welcome in her home. When we extended the house, she once told my father, “Papa, we made this section especially for you and mummy to come and live with us.” She told me to make a set of keys for the house and give it to my father and tell him that whenever he wanted to come and stay at the house, he may do so at his leisure. There was no need for him to ask us to come and stay.

The day before she passed away, we went to Estcourt and spent the night by my parents. I was not so keen on going but SHE insisted that we all go, as my parents were leaving for Umrah the next day. She phoned my mother and told her not to make supper. My father wanted to eat fish curry and rotla, hence she prepared the fish, made the rotlas and took it to Estcourt for supper. My father really enjoyed it and thanked her for making it for him.

Before leaving home, she made a whole lot of Ramadhaan savouries for my parents. She told my mother, “Mummy, you go nicely for ‘umrah and don’t worry about your savouries.” That night, she offered to help my mother pack her bags. She sat till quite late in my mother’s room and helped her with her luggage and packing. In the morning, she quickly helped her pack her pad-kos (food for the road) and her cooler bags and packed them into the car. My mother really loved her and took her as her own daughter.

Obedience ​to Her Husband

This year, while speaking to the Final Year students at Madressah Ta’leemuddeen, I mentioned to them that I am now married for 17 years and I am still on Honey-Moon. In this statement of mine there was no word of lie. Really, she was an excellent wife to me. She would cook delicious meals for me every day and have them hot and ready at meals times. She was never an impediment in any of my Deeni works and she used to say this to me as well, “In’Shaa’ALLAH I will never become an obstruction in any of your Deeni works. If you ever need to go anywhere, you may go with pleasure, as I know that I will also receive an equal share in the thawaab (reward).”

The night before she passed away, I was so happy with her for the manner in which she conducted herself with my parents, that when I came into the room to sleep, I said to her, “How can I ever thank you for doing so much for my parents? You make me so happy.” I then looked up towards the sky and said to ALLAH TA’ALA more than 10 times, “O ALLAH! I am happy with her, YOU be happy with her. O ALLAH! I am pleased with her, please YOU be pleased with her.” I continued making Du‘a for her and she kept on smiling at me. It is mentioned in one hadeeth that if a woman’s husband is happy with her, she is a guaranteed Jannati.

Children

She always took good care of my children and passed good values on to them. She was extremely particular about their salaah and would always ensure that she woke them up at the time of fajr. She was also very careful to never send them anywhere without parental supervision. Their aunts would often request that the children come for holiday, but she would never allow them to go if she was not present as well. This was because Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhum) once advised us not to send them anywhere without parental supervision.

She was also very particular about Ta’leem at home. The Thursday before she passed away, I was gone to Umlazi for a program and came back late after Esha. I walked into the house, only to find my whole family sitting together, reciting durood shareef and reading Fazaail-e-Aa’maal. After we completed the recitation of Durood, she asked me to make Du‘a. I told her that she should make the Du‘a to which she replied by giving me a stiff look and saying, “Stop showing off now and make the Du‘a.” Al-Hamdulillah! We made a lot of Du‘a together as a family and amongst the Du‘as we made was the Du‘a that ALLAH TA’ALA bless us all with Shahaadat (martyrdom) and Jannat-ul-Firdaus, In’Shaa’ALLAH! ALLAH TA’ALA accepted this Du‘a in her favour.

Family

She loved her immediate and extended family very much. She was extremely happy the weekend before she passed away as she had spent the weekend with her uncles, aunts and some cousins at her uncle’s farm in Camperdown. They all got along so well that it’s hard in this day and age to find cousins and families that have so much of unity and love. May ALLAH TA’ALA increase their love.

Death

Death is a reality and everyone has to drink from the cup of death. At the appointed time no one and simply no one is able to delay the appointed time. I am really happy for her that ALLAH TA’ALA blessed her with Shahaadat (martyrdom). What gives me the greatest solace is that she repeatedly recited the kalimah, over and over again, before she fell unconscious.

She had such a smile on her face on that day that I never, in my entire life, saw her smile as broadly as she did on that day. When her janaazah was brought into the room and her face was revealed, everyone in the room saw that it was shining radiantly with noor. At the time of ghusal, her Shahaadat finger remained in a position where it was facing towards the sky as one does in Tashahhud. The crowd that had attended the janaazah was extremely large, consisting of many ‘Ulama and pious people.

May ALLAH TA’AL forgive her, be pleased with her and grant her and her son the highest stages in Jannat-ul-Firdaus, Aameen!


~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

Conforming to Islam

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ALLAH TA’ALA, out of HIS Infinite Grace and Kindness, gifted us with this beautiful Deen  of Islam. It is unfortunate that we look at Deen today and see it to be something that does not fit our lifestyles, something which does not comply with our whims and fancies and something which needs to be amended because the societies of the world frown upon it… (Na Uzu Billah)

Due to our weakness, we look towards “trimming” Islam down.

On an individual level, many say that the Sunnats are not important,  the Mustahabbat and Nawaafil can be left out. The thinking is: I can leave out Fajr because I find it too difficult to wake up for. But this is okay because I will still be a Muslim. I can leave out the beard… and I can leave off (this) and (that) and there should be no problem because I will still be a Muslim.

Many women also think along the same lines: I can leave off the Hijaab, I can leave off the scarf, I can do (this) and (that). … (Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Ra’jioon)

We have been granted the priceless gift of Islam. It is perfection. ALLAH TA’ALA says:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed MY favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Surah Maa’idah 5 : 3]
                                
We cannot carve and chisel Islam to suit our nafs; rather it is for us to cut our nafs down to size, to humble ourselves before ALLAH TA’ALA – as slaves and servants, and conform and comply to Deen and Shari’ah.

ALLAH TA’ALA instructs us:

“O you have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] …” [Sarah Baqarah 2 : 208]

Furthermore, we cannot chop and chip Islam to fit into modern times. Let modern day fit into Islam!

To make society happy, to blend in with society, to be accepted by the society, we want to downsize Islam; whereas, there is nothing as fresh, beautiful, progressive and “up-to-date” as Islam.

What is the modern day of today?

It is immortality, adultery, pornography, drugs, rape, gambling, theft, deception and every kind of evil… Must Islam fit into that kind of filthy society? Na Uzu Billahi Min Zaalik.

Let’s value this beautiful religion by practising upon it entirely. Let us not subtract and divide, select and discard, as if we are authority over Islam.

Through the practical implementation of Deen and Shari’ah – as it is, in its pristine and pure form – the societies of the world will be left in awe and wonder-struck at the beauty of Sunnah, and this then will become the catalyst for thousands entering into the fold of Islam.

May ALLAH TA’ALA grant us the understanding, the appreciation and bless us to live by Islam, die by it and be resurrected by it. Aameen!

By Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Is’ haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

“The Festive Season” : As Muslims How Should We Approach It?

As the festive season (Christmas/New Year approaches people are preparing to celebrate. This preparation often includes many practices that are unacceptable such as alcohol, illicit drugs, music, dancing, partying till midnight, fireworks, free intermingling of sexes, adultery and other acts of disobedience. We as Muslims need to ask our selves a very fundamental question, should we be involved in this celebration at all? The answer to the question is a very certain NO.

Temptations will always be there. If there was no temptation, then there would have been no such thing as Taqwah. The demand is to resist, to stay away, to abstain. Not to commit sins is so much easier than ‘committing’ sins and besides engaging in evil causes harm to our Deen and Aakhirah. As Muslims we have an in-built moral compass. The Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) alluding to this states, “Sin is that which troubles your conscience and that which you dislike coming to public notice.” [Hadith-Sahih Muslim]

A pious scholar as aptly said: “…For temptation will lead you into trouble and make you cry.” 

Indeed, this is exactly what happens when one gives into the temptation to engage in any Haraam (act of disobedience) and you will feel there is a distance between yourself and the Almighty ALLAH, know that HE hasn’t moved an inch, you have! Many Muslims have been led astray by the dazzling attractions, never to return there from… Many loose their identity during this “festive period” and sometimes even their Imaan and suffer the loss of their Aakhirah (Hereafter). Therefore, don’t let the chains of desire bind you to Dunya, whilst restraining your soul from pursuing Jannah.

Distance oneself from the dens of sins and endeavour to participate in good, Deeni programmes and associating with the pious. Deen and Shari’ah do not strifle us, do not deprive us of pleasure and enjoyment, do not deny us happiness and celebration. Our beautiful Deen and Shari’ah accommodate leisure and pleasure. Islam is indeed Most Beautiful. Islam is not ‘dry’ and ‘kill joy’. It is ‘cool’ and enjoyable. Our beloved ALLAH TA’ALA has only placed certain boundaries through HIS Divine prohibitions for our own benefit, safety and well-being.

“Beware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way, do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it.” [Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi]

This holiday period is a time of great test and trial. Don’t let Salaah become a forgotten duty and discard Islamic dress and identity so that there is freedom to engage in these haraam celebrations. Those who celebrate this day will surely endure ALLAH’S anger. What would be the condition of that person who comes face to face with the Angel of Death whilst engaged in drink, dance, raves, adultery or fornication?

Evil and Shamelessness is a sin and characteristic of evil people. The Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) tells us that “modesty comes from Imaan (Faith).” [Hadith-Sahih Bukhari]

Therefore, a dearth of modesty is a reflection of a scarcity of Imaan.

Which Muslim wants to return to ALLAH TA’ALA in a state of sin? Such matters should not be taken lightly. Pray to ALLAH to adorn our soul with the veil of Hayaa as a protection from lures of fitnah(evil), and ask HIM to make what time we all have left profitable for the life after death and let’s us live as good Muslims gaining success in this life and the next. Let’s live our life according to the Sunnah (practices) of our beloved Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) so that ALLAH TA’ALA will look on us favourably.

Most importantly…

•►Let us not forget that we are Muslims.

•►Let us not forget our relationship with ALLAH TA’ALA.

•►Let us not forget that death can visit very unexpectedly.

•►Let us not forget that there is accountability.

•►Let us not forget Jannah (Paradise).

•►Let us not forget Jahannum (Hell).

The Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “The world is a prison for the Believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.” [Hadith-Sahih Muslim]

What will be ‘good’ for the disbelievers will not always be good for the Believers. If they find enjoyment in Haraam (evil), the Muslim will find HARM in that same Haraam. We must seek refuge in ALLAH from the Evils of this festive season. Death seeks us all. Prioritize your Deen. If we adopt Taqwah, we restrain and abstain from disobedience to ALLAH TA’ALA, then when we leave this world, we leave behind a prison, we leave free. When the disbeliever leaves this world, he leaves behind his paradise. When he leaves this world, he enters a prison; wherein there is no escape.

The SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS ARE APPARENT and we are closer to them then we think! We do not know what the next day will bring, will the next day be our last or will it bring happiness, only ALLAH knows best. With no guarantee we should realize that our lives are in the hands of ALLAH TA’ALA and we should do only what HE has prescribed for us, and that is to WORSHIP HIM.

Imam Sha’afi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) summed up this life very simply and aptly:

“This worldly life is a just a moment; let it be a moment of obedience.”

May ALLAH TA’ALA guide us and grant us the ability to celebrate our happiness in the light of Sunnah and make us amongst the obedient ones, Aameen Ya Rabb!

~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

True Beauty Lies Within You

Inner beauty is such a misnomer, if you give it a second consideration.

What is inner beauty? It is a concept, so it isn’t something you can just look at, and say, “Wow! Isn’t that gorgeous?” Inner beauty is the most beautiful feature in our human being. All of our actions in a day draw from that inner beauty or soul, if you wish. Someone that is spiritually evolved and has a beautiful soul. They give everything and expect nothing, always putting others needs before their own. They never judge others unfairly if at all, they can teach you things that change the way you view the world, they can bring out the best in you. Many have spend a lifetime trying to achieve their interpretation of inner beauty; spirituality, kindness, sensitivity, tenderness, compassion and humility. It’s the real beauty of a person that goes far beyond just physical appearances. People shouldn’t be judged via their physical beauty but instead their inner beauty.

As we all know, physical beauty fades over the years but a person can create inner beauty as they age or when they are young. Adding to your inner beauty can be simple by volunteering your time for others and being compassionate when you see them in pain or suffering. Compassion comes from inner beauty, at times you can feel it tug at your heart, sometimes you can ignore it but deep down it’s always there.

Inner beauty helps you appreciate outer beauty. If you love, appreciate and feel good about yourself, you would feel more confident about facing and interacting with other beautiful people in the world. Remember, outer beauty can give you a glance, it’s inner beauty that makes someone stay. The priority one sets on appearances in the physical realm is to deny oneself the quality and beauty of spirit. If you choose to focus on the beauty within, you will receive the value of true communication with another. To ignore the essence of another is to deny your own humanity. I have met people I honestly did not think were that physically attractive but after getting to know them I was just astounded by their beauty! The way someone acts has a HUGE effect on how beautiful they are perceived to be.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to make yourself beautiful on the outside. Can you be more beautiful than you already are? No. Sure, every car needs a fresh coat of paint and a few new pin stripes but the real, true beauty comes from within your chassis.

There is boldness in choice and people can easily recognize it in you. To choose beauty, determines that you have pondered the question, objectified the issues and made a choice. You have asked, “What will I project today? What will I put out into the world?” Then you choose and follow it through. When you fill your thoughts with positive energy and inner beauty, you’d appreciate the things that are around you a lot more too. Embracing victimhood is a way to lick your past wounds but it never yields any positive future-oriented gain. You lead by example. Choose beauty. After all, it’s the inside that holds your true being.

“Create a beautiful inside and you will look beautiful on the outside.”

Look at a flower as you would look upon a work of art. It seems more beautiful to you because you see that beauty overflows within you reflect in everything around you. Appreciate it. Enjoy it. Relax and just let it all in. Then look at yourself the same way. You are a perfect and unique creation of Almighty ALLAH, just like a flower. This may be hard to do and you must persist through all of the negativity and voices in your head. Remember those voices do not speak truth. They are merely the echoes of insecurity and comic relief. Appreciation for beauty isn’t forced. Beauty cannot be beaten into you. Beauty must be invited and must flow. If you want to exhibit your true nature, all you can do is let go. Your inner beauty can flourish and grow, no one can quell it and no one can take it away.

“Whole life is a search for beauty. But, when the beauty is found inside, the search ends and a beautiful journey begins.”

What Makes A Beautiful Heart?

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect.

There was not a mark or a flaw in it.

Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen.

The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.”

The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly … but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in … but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.

In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people starred … how could he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?

The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine … mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

“Yes!” said the old man, “Yours is perfect looking … but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them … and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart … but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away … and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges … giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too … and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting.”

“So now do you see what true beauty is?”, said the old man.

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart.

It fits but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.

Indeed, true beauty is simply love. It’s the love within you that you share, receive and feel.

Do You Have It?

Whether or not you think you have true beauty—you do. You are already equipped! You were born with it.

The true beauty you have hasn’t gone anywhere at all. All you need to do is remember, look in the mirror and look within. You’ve got! So go on out there, because there’s a whole world waiting for the beautiful you.

…and you thought beauty was the outward show – but now you know the truth, it’s the inner beauty that holds your true being…

~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

Qur’aan – The Only Book Where The Author Is In Love With The Reader

Something was causing me a great deal of grief and distress, and I started to think long and hard about how to get out of this situation by any means, but I could not find any way out… by the Mercy of Almighty ALLAH I came across this beautiful article by Dr. Farhat Hashmi. Surah Ad-Duha, its powerful message strongly moved my emotions and revived my optimism, Subhaan’ALLAH!

Surah Ad-Duha

This is one of my most beloved Surahs of the Qur’aan because it became known to me at a time when I most needed it. It was the spring of 2005… I had been listening to the Tafseer of the Qur’aan for more than a year and had reached the 18th chapter, but quite often it seemed to me like my heart was still not free from negative and depressive thoughts. And it used to hurt me a lot that why the Qur’aan is not having a permanent healing effect on me. Why did I keep falling back to the same self-pity and hopelessness… So one night when I couldn’t sleep due to restlessness and anxiety, I just picked a book lying on my shelf, thinking that by reading a few pages I might be able to find some peace… the book was about the life of the Beloved Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and I started reading the same page where it had opened on its own. At first I couldn’t properly focus on the words but after a few lines there was an excerpt from the translation of the Qur’aan which held my heart with its stunning effect…

It was Surah Ad-Duha and I felt like it was a special message for me, coming directly from Almighty ALLAH… full of hope and love; reminding me that just as there are happy times full of light and life, similarly ALLAH puts us through difficult times in which there seems to be no light and no hope… but they are both a test… the brighter times are a test of our gratitude and appreciation and likewise the hard times are a test of our faith and patience…

Most of us are deceived by Shaitaan when we face any disappointment in life. Shaitaan makes us think that it is a sign of ALLAH’S displeasure or that HE (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) doesn’t care for us… whereas the fact is that ALLAH never forsakes a true Believer… and we should never lose hope in HIS Mercy.

Your Rabb has neither forsaken you (O Muhammad), nor is HE displeased. [Verse 3]

We have all experienced that the good times pass by too quickly but the difficult phases in life seem endless. Here ALLAH is giving us hope that even though the problems might seem bigger than mountains but ALLAH is bigger than every other thing. So HE (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) can solve all issues no matter how impossible they might seem to us. The road to ALLAH’S pleasure and forgiveness is full of hurdles but the end is very sweet.

And verily, your Lord will give you (all i.e. good) so that you shall be well-pleased. [Verse 5]

Certainly the later period shall be better for you than the earlier. Soon your Rabb shall grant you something with which you will be well-pleased.

Going back in the memory lane, I remember that these words were enough to open my eyes and I understood that my depression was nothing but an illusion created by Shaitaan and I was trapped in it due to the weakness of my own self. I realized that if I wanted to get rid of these illusions then I will have to strengthen my faith in ALLAH by focusing on the understanding of the Qur’aan and being conscious in my Salaat and Du’as. Just making this decision in my heart I seemed to be filled with a new energy… as if all of a sudden the darkness was replaced with a brilliant light. And when I read on to the next words, I was so moved by their truth that I started crying…

Did HE not find you [O Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)] an orphan and gave you a refuge? [Verse 6]

I cried because I felt the sadness of the small child who had been born to a widowed mother and she too left him at the tender age of 6… That was how our Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) started His life… but then we see that He (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) grew up to be a man full of truth and honesty. There are no traces of self pity in His (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) brilliant character. Who gave Him (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) this confidence? The same ALLAH who guided Him (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) to the ultimate truth.

Did HE not find you lost and gave you guidance? [Verse 7]

My tears were not only for the Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) but also for realizing the truth about my own life. For the first time I realized that the same ALLAH who cared for HIS Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was caring for me, and the same ALLAH who guided Him (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was giving me the gift of guidance too… ALLAH has given us the same Qur’aan which was revealed on the heart of His Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) but how many times have we been really grateful for this great gift? We cry for petty little deprivations of life because we don’t know the value of the Qur’aan and its guidance, which we keep ignoring. Hasn’t ALLAH given us so much that we cannot even count?

Did HE not find you poor and made you self-sufficient? [Verse 8]

We keep worrying over things which we don’t have. Or sometimes we feel proud of having so many blessings. But very few people realize that all blessings are a test. On the day of Judgement we will not be given any reward for what we had in life; but it will be seen how we used those gifts to please ALLAH TA’ALA… that is the real test. Therefore ALLAH TA’ALA is reminding us of some very important duties.

Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness. [Verse 9]

When we see any helpless person, we tend to feel superior… so we have to correct this attitude by thinking that we could also have been in the same situation. Therefore we should express our gratitude to ALLAH TA’ALA by being extra nice and helpful to the orphans and other needy people.

And as for the beggar; do not repel him. [Verse 10]

And finally ALLAH reminds us of our most important responsibility.

And as for the bounty of your Rabb; express it. [Verse 11]

Normally we are all the time grumbling and complaining about “how hard life is” but ALLAH TA’ALA is telling us here that we should not only focus on what we have, but also express it. And our greatest thanks should be for the greatest gift… and that is the gift of guidance. We should tell the whole world about the miracle of Qur’aan and how it changes our life and gives us the hope of eternal success… May Almighty ALLAH guide us all to that beautiful destination… Aameen!

~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~

An Oasis Of Healing

As you walk through the desert of life, may you always find your oasis—a place where you can find peace and contentment.

Sometimes in life we feel so lost and confused, our path seems foggy and we don’t know which route to take. …Weeping amid the ruins. Remember, in those hopeless times step away from the chaos, the distractions, and seek solace in solitude… just you and ALLAH TA’ALA. Times of difficulty test our faith, our fortitude and our strength. During these times, the level of our Imaan becomes manifest. It is HE (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) sends the storm; HE makes the need through a created situation, so that we will be driven to seek shelter. ALLAH TA’ALA knows our struggles. There is comfort in knowing that someone sees our struggles.

The Subtle One; The Inexpressible, Unfathomable, HE who knows the delicate meaning of everything. HE who creates things most subtly, which cannot be understood by people, and HE who gives blessings to people in the most subtle ways.

The One who saves you in the subtlest of ways such that you don’t even realize you were in danger. Subhaan-ALLAH (Glory be to ALLAH)

The sweetest thing in life is standing before ALLAH in prayer, feeling HIS presence and addressing HIM by reciting HIS words! In the desert of everyday existence Salaah is an oasis we gladly retire to. Let your soul be washed with inner peace and tranquility. Know that it is only you and ALLAH—try to feel that there is nothing else; try to remove the knowledge of existence of all the other things from your mind—unnecessary thoughts, worries, painful memories. And let yourself indulge in HIS greatness and love. Forget about everything and just keep focus. Let your every tear speak to HIM in ways which you’ve never been able to express. Let them all be washed away with the tranquility of remembrance of your Beloved Almighty ALLAH! And, allow your soul to be elated in this joy of being only with HIM (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala). After the Salaah, raise your hands in supplication and weep to your heart’s content to ALLAH TA’ALA. Know that HE is Most Merciful, Most Kind, Most Loving, Most Compassionate; HE Loves to listen to the one who calls HIM. HE Loves to listen to the cry of the faithful servant. HE is generous in giving. HE is shy to turn away HIS beloved servant empty handed! HE will sure heal all that is broken in you. Your sadness will be alleviated. And, then notice how light your soul feels instantaneously. Your pain will be replaced with inner peace. Subhaan-ALLAH (Glory be to ALLAH)

The feeling of closeness to HIM, can not be described. It is extremely beautiful and the heart is filled with serenity and peace.

Almighty ALLAH states in a Hadith-e-Qudsi: “Out of all the ways through which MY servant gets closer to ME, Salaat is the dearest to ME.” [Al-Bukhari]

Throughout these ever-changing moments and days which are given to men in turns, a person experiences the promises of ALLAH which are destined for the patient. The Noble Qur’aan tell us: “We shall test you…” Before ending with a great promise: “… And give glad-tidings to the patient.” [Qur’aan, 2:155]

As we bear patience over these days of hardship, we will always come to live with the promises of Ar-Rahmaan (The Compassionate). Don’t you see how despite the storm ALLAH TA’ALA descends calm, peace and tranquility to your heart. And, takes it into safety covering with HIS Mercy. The one by one, HIS promises will come to be—like gems and shells along the shore which you collect during your journey.

A beautiful example in our Beloved Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) relied on Salaah as a source of comfort. As we all know, He (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was tested with many trials and tribulations in His time, and it is with Salaah that He found mental calmness.

The Salaah of Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was always with great humbleness, full concentration and sincere submission to Almighty ALLAH. This is what is known as the state of Al-Khushu, the softness of the heart, its being gentle, still, submissive, broken, and yearning. A state of full awareness of Almighty ALLAH as we direct our minds and heart to our Lord alone.

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of ALLAH an excellent pattern…” [Qur’aan, 33:21]

“Certainly will the Believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive…” [Qur’aan, 23:1-2]

Don’t let your sorrows drown you. Use them to deepen you, humble and soften you. Sometimes it just hurts beyond pain, but still know that ALLAH TA’ALA (Exalted is HE) will never burden anyone beyond their capacity of endurance. Forget the whole world, better don’t let anyone know and turn to HIM. For what can anyone really do, it is HE who has given you the pain, therefore, it is only HE who can alleviate it. There is greatness in being broken, and there is always a meaning to all this anguish. Seek HIM and achieve the greatness and find the reasons. If agony has gone to extreme, surely the answer lies close by.

If we establish a direct link with our Creator, In’Sha’ALLAH everything will go smooth for us. In Salaah it is where the soul is quenched and the drained body is rejuvenated. By putting full trust in HIM that HE will surely provide the best for us, we will live this life happily with a peaceful heart. Knowing that there is someone up there watching over us, taking care of us in time of need and ease. And would only give us the best. Isn’t it great to have such a feeling? Despite all the hardships we face in our daily life, we still have ALLAH TA’ALA (Exalted is HE) to turn to.

“And when MY servant ask You [O Muhammad], concerning ME – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he call upon ME. So let them respond to ME [by obedience] and believe in ME that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Qur’aan, 2:186]

HE is near. HE responds to the call of the callers. So, whenever you feel low, kneel down, pray to HIM. HE is As-Sami (The All-Hearing) and Al-Mujeeb (The One Who Responds)

One of the most beautiful words of Ibn al-Qayyim captures this concept in an eloquent term:

“Had ALLAH lifted the veil for HIS slave and shown him how HE handles his affairs for him, and how ALLAH is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for ALLAH and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to ALLAH. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that ALLAH wishes to hear your voice by way of Du’a. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know; that verily ALLAH does not forget it.”

Do not lose heart against the heaviest of trials and never be in a state of grief for you are bound to succeed if you are true in faith. [Qur’aan, 3:139]

When we are in the midst of a storm, sometimes it’s hard to believe the sun is waiting to shine again. But ALLAH’S love is just like the sun and the fresh breeze early morning even when you cannot see it—it’s waiting to fill your days and your heart with warmth and light. Trust that every hard time ends, that prayers are answered, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. So let days go forth, and let them take you through the valleys and the desert, through land and sea…
Days will brighten just as they did before and soon glad-tidings are placed and embroidered into your life; ever so beautifully. It’s bitter, it’s tough, it’s testing. But it’s worth it in the end.

Are you at a crossroads in your life?

Are you ready for a new season of life?

Do you see yourself taking a different pathway that could potentially be more fulfilling than your present one?

Need COURAGE to take that next step?

Ask ALLAH for GUIDANCE … ASK in Salaah.

Nothing feels better than the feeling of contentment and peace when our forehead touches the ground in Sujood to our Beloved ALLAH!

~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~