Temporary – Like A Bubble

We know that a bubble is a thin liquid film containing air. It is amazingly fragile.
…And it does not last long. It bursts very soon and is then nothing. So it has no value.

…Despite this, its different colours captivate children and we see how they enjoy blowing bubbles, running after them and they even try to catch them. Even as adults, we, ourselves, are fascinated seeing the beautiful, shimmering colours of bubbles – the yellow, blue, crimson, green and other colours.

In everything, there is some lesson, and we find even in a bubble, a Muslim can take beautiful lesson. Al-Hamdulillah. When a person considers a bubble, then a similarity and resemblance can be drawn to the worldly life. Dunya is an Arabic word which literally means lower or inferior. …In comparison to the real and everlasting life of the Hereafter, this world is inferior, superficial and contemptible. And ALLAH TA’ALA describes the worldly life as an illusion and deception:

“…The life of this world is nothing but an illusion.” [Surah Al-Hadeed  57 : 20]

…Like a bubble, Dunya has no value. On the outside, there is colour, there is glitter and glamour – and we are charmed by it. The gold and silver, the palatial homes, the luxury cars, and other commodities of Dunya look beautiful and striking. It not only appeals to us; it captivates us. It sometimes steals our hearts. ALLAH TA’ALA informs us:

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but ALLAH has with HIM the best return.” [Surah Aal-i-Imraan 3 : 14]

When Hubbud dunya (love for the world) settles in the heart, it diverts the attention away from ALLAH TA’ALA, away from the
objective of this worldly life – which is to recognize ALLAH TA’ALA, love ALLAH TA’ALA and worship ALLAH TA’ALA, in the footsteps of our Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Unfortunately, we become so enamoured, we forget there is another life which is yet to come, and which we have to prepare for. We become obsessed with all the artificial and superficial enjoyments of this world.

However, the enjoyment is short lived – and like bubbles, the things of Dunya also dissipate and disappear. Like little children who try to catch the colourful bubbles – to no avail, we run after material commodities, trying to acquire them – but for how long do we enjoy them? …The bubble of Dunya is fragile and temporal like a soap bubble and it too, inevitably bursts and is no more. We become so blinded by our love for material things that we, ourselves, end up living in bubbles.

Sometimes the bubble bursts in our lifetime, right before our eyes: The wife or husband is involved in an extra-marital relationship, gambling or other vices which inevitably cause the bubble to burst. Or the son is caught up in drugs or drink, or the daughter eloped with some disreputable character, etc. …May ALLAH TA’ALA protect us all; but these are frequent incidents and happenings.

…In English, a very well-known idiom is used: ‘(I don’t want to) burst your bubble.’ – that is to say that like how quickly a bubble bursts, so too, our enjoyments can abruptly come to an end, our hopes can suddenly be dashed and our “dreams” and plans can be shattered. This is sometimes the consequences of our own heedlessness and even indulgences in sins.

If not, then the bubble bursts in the form of death and a person realises at this point that this world was just a dream. The world has disappeared like a bubble which is no more. It was there and now it is not. We were in the world, but now there is no world. We have entered into the realm of the Aakhirah.This reminds me of a verse of poetry by our Sheikh, Hadhrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alaih):

“The world appeared to be so glamorous.
Its reality dawned upon me only when I went to the grave;
That what I had seen all along was but a dream,
What I had heard all along was but a tale.”

How beautifully ALLAH TA’ALA reminds and cautions us:

“You prefer the worldly life (to the Hereafter), whereas the hereafter is best and ever-lasting.” [Surah al-A’la : 16-17]

“O mankind, indeed the promise of ALLAH is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about ALLAH by the Deceiver.” [Surah Faatir 35 :5]

The easiest way to remedy the heart of the sickness of “Hubbud-Dunya” and the Ghaflat which follows hubbud-Dunya is to keep the company of the Ahlullah. Their hearts have been purified of the vestiges of this lowly world and it is only the Love of ALLAH TA’ALA and HIS Rasul (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) which occupy their hearts. Their connection is with the heavens, even though they are on earth.
Their condition has been beautifully encapsulated in the following words:

“In this World they resided – yet devoid of worldly ties. In its Oceans they have been submerged – yet no wetness touched their clothes.”

It is in their Suhbat, that our connection with Dunya will wane and our connection with Aakhirah will be established, In-Sha-Allah. We will then understand the beautiful Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam):

“Verily, the world has been created for you and you have been created for the Hereafter.”

We will then make use of the worldly commodities, but will not give our hearts to them; rather we will use them to acquire the best of the Hereafter.

May ALLAH TA’ALA grant us the understanding of this worldly life and the Taufeeq of preparing for the Hereafter. Aameen!

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

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

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Courage

Many of us are poor imitations of what we ought to be . . .

It is a fact of life that all successful men and women have one trait in common—courage. Without it there is little hope for achievement and fulfillment. We can never be our true selves until we learn to be courageous. Courage enables us to face difficulty, danger or pain in a way that allows us to maintain control over a situation. We can build courage by identifying things that frighten or challenge us and thinking of strategies for coping with them. We can also build courage by remembering that nothing can harm us unless ALLAH wills it and nothing can benefit us unless ALLAH wills it. Many of us are poor imitations of what we ought to be, our actions often governed by other people’s opinions—hardly a satisfactory way to control one’s destiny.

So what is this thing called courage, and how can it transform the humdrum lives most of us seem to lead? It is not just mastering of fear. Courage requires us to remain steadfast in our beliefs. It asks that we stand by the convictions we express and never give in an inch, no matter what the cost. It can be likened to taking a blank sheet of paper and writing the first sentence of novel; to saying “No” when “Yes” is so much easier. It is the force which thrusts life onwards. It is to be cultivated and nurtured. If you know what you want to do with your life, take your first step forward today. Deep down most us know what we want, we simply lack the courage to take that first step, so we procrastinate. And, together with indecision, procrastination can prevent you from ever achieving anything.

Once you know what you want, make up your mind to look ahead—with courage. Some people are always planning to do great things; they declare they know exactly what they want and how to go about it. Yet some how they never get started; never get past the preparatory stage. Because fear enters the picture. They lack the courage to step into the unknown. If you are such a person, make up your mind to put fear behind you, to go ahead, to make decisions. When you’ve made your decision, it’s time for action. Pluck up your courage and ACT! DON’T let yourself down.

Let me give you a practical illustration. Let’s assume you feel you should be promoted. You work hard and keep hoping. But that’s not good enough. Your employer probably takes it for granted that you’re satisfied, so it’s up to you to set the wheels in motion concerning your future. Speak to your employer. Ask him/her to consider you for a better position when one is available. Be bold. Explain why you deserve promotion. If he/she refuses even to consider your request you must either accept the situation or look for another job which will give you the opportunities you’re looking for.

No matter how difficult it may seem. Make the choice to live consciously. Do not succumb to that half-conscious realm of fear-based thinking, filling your life with distractions to avoid facing what you feel in those silent spaces between your thoughts. Either exercise your human endowment of courage and progressively build strength to face you deepest, darkest fears to live as the empowered being you truly are, or admit that your fears are too much for you, and embrace life as a mouse. But make this choice consciously and with full awareness of its consequences. If you are going to allow fear to win the battle for your life, then proclaim it the victor and forfeit the match. If you simply avoid living consciously and courageously, then that is equivalent to giving up on life itself, where your continued existence becomes little more than a waiting period before physical death—the nothing as opposed to the daring adventure of life.

Courage, according to the Qur’aan Kareem, requires fearing nothing and no one other than ALLAH; not hesitating to act in the way which conforms the nearest to ALLAH’S good pleasure, and showing determination. Amongst the most important characteristics of the faithful are that they do not give up when faced with difficulty, and fear nothing and no one but ALLAH. They know that there is no power other than HE. This fosters courage in them, to overcome any kind of fear. An example of such exemplary behavior is given in the Qur’aan Kareem:

(It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of ALLAH, and fear HIM, and fear none but ALLAH: And ALLAH suffices as a Reckoner. [Qur’aan 32, Verse 39]

Don’t give up without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be. You may go broke. You may experience failure and rejection repeatedly. You may endure multiple dysfunctional relationships. But these are all milestones along the path of a life lived courageously. They are you private victories, carving a deeper space within you to be filled with an abundance of joy, happiness, and fulfillment.

A rose only becomes beautiful and gives fragrance when it opens up and blooms. Its greatest tragedy is to stay in a tight-closed bud, never fulfilling its potential… So, recognize your potential and utilize them. That is strength undefeatable.

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

Hajj – A Beautiful Journey

Vision cannot encompass this beautiful sight (the Ka’bah). Each glance return with a greater delight! Glory be to ALLAH TA’ALA for making the Ka’bah the rendezvous of the Ummah, for making Hajj the key expression of solidarity among Believers and as a manifestation of the bond of fraternity and mutual affinity. A journey full of symbolism, for it represents the soul’s journey towards ALLAH. Each stage and each aspect of the pilgrimage is replete with profound meanings about life, worship and realities of faith, especially the love and awe of ALLAH TA’ALA.

An observer might wonder at the wisdom underlying the circumambulation, the running and the pelting, but the Muslim should not be concerned about the wisdoms beneath these acts. Render these acts believing them to be the Commands of ALLAH TA’ALA and that HIS remembrance will be grounded in the heart by observing these acts. The relationship of the Believer with ALLAH TA’ALA is strengthened and his/her love is tested. Without understanding the wisdom of these acts, the Muslim is in love with ALLAH TA’ALA, executes them because of the Command of ALLAH TA’ALA. All Commands of ALLAH TA’ALA are carried out because of HIS love. These acts of Hajj are permeated with love. Love overwhelms intelligence regarding Hajj.

The pilgrimage take place each year between the 8th and the 12th days of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar. Its first rite is the donning of Ihraam.

By ALLAH TA’ALA whose House (Makkah) the loving pilgrims visit, a beautiful journey begins by responding with the Ihraam at the appointed limit. During Ihraam there is a sense of humility before ALLAH to Whom faces bow in servility. The donning of the Ihraam is accompanied by the primary invocation of the Hajj, the Talbiyah:

Here I am, O ALLAH, at Thy Command! Here I am at Thy Command! Thou art without associate; Here I am at Thy Command! Thine are praise and grace and dominion! Thou art without associate.

The thunderous, melodious chants of the Talbiyah ring out not only in Makkah but also at the nearby sacred locations connected with the Hajj.

On the first day of the Hajj, pilgrims sweep out of Makkah toward Mina, a plain just outside Makkah. As their throngs spread through Mina, the pilgrims generally spend their time meditating and praying, as our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) did on His pilgrimage in preparation for the great Day of Ara’fah the following morning. For Ibn al-Qayyim, even the tent is symbolic, put so aptly in His Qasidah Mimiyyah, “My heart is encamped in YOUR eternal plains!” That is, the human heart is sheltered within the confines of the Sacred Law, which help to protect it against all the perils in existence.

During the second day, the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, pilgrims leave Mina for the plain of Ara’fat the wuquf, “the standing”, the central cite of the Hajj. As they congregate there, the pilgrims stance and gathering reminds them of the Day of Reckoning. The irresistible draws near with HIS Mercy, HIS Majesty manifest, boasting to HIS Angels, for HE is the Mightiest, “My slaves have come to ME so lovingly, I’ll be generous and merciful and most kind to them willingly. On this sacred spot, they reach the culmination of their religious lives as they feel the presence and closeness of the Most Merciful ALLAH. This is the day of the Great Pilgrimage; a day of praise for ALLAH, a day of remembrance and repentance.

The first English woman to perform Hajj, Lady Evelyn Cobbold, described in 1934 the feelings pilgrims experience during the wuquf at Ara’fat. “It would require a master pen to describe the scene, poignant in its intensity, of that great concourse of humanity of which I was one small unit, completely lost to their surroundings in fervor of religious enthusiasm. Many of the pilgrims had tears streaming down their cheeks; others raised their faces to the starlit sky that had witnessed this drama so often in the past centuries. The shining eyes, the passionate appeals, the pitiful hands outstretched in prayer moved me in a way that nothing had ever done before, and I felt caught up in a strange wave of spiritual exaltation. I was one with rest of the pilgrims in a sublime act of complete surrender to the Supreme Will which is Islam.”

The Beloved Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is reported to have asked ALLAH to pardon the sins of pilgrims who “stood” at Ara’fat, and was granted His wish. Thus, the hopeful pilgrims prepare to leave this plain joyfully, feeling reborn without sin and intending to turn over a new leaf.

Just after sunset, the mass of pilgrims proceeds to Muzdalifah, an open plain about halfway between Ara’fat and Mina. In the sacred area they pray and then collect a fixed amount of pebbles to use on the following days. Before daybreak on the third day pilgrims move en masse from Muzdalifah to Mina. As pilgrims throw seven pebbles at each of these white pillars, they remember the story of Shaytaan’s attempt to persuade Ibrahim al-Khalill (Alaihis Salaam) to disregard ALLAH’S Command to sacrifice His son. A total of 70 pebbles are used to symbolically stone the Shaytaan, the throwing of each pebble being accompanied with the expression, ALLAHU AKBAR! (ALLAH is the Greatest!). This is one of the most powerful and piognant expressions of Takbir during the Hajj experience.

As the pilgrims have, at this stage, finished a major part of Hajj, they are now allowed to shed their Ihraam and put on everyday clothes. On this day Muslims around the world share the happiness the pilgrims feel and join them by performing identical, individual sacrifices in a worldwide celebration of Eid-ul-Adha, “the Festival of Sacrifice”. Still sojourning in Mina, pilgrims visit Makkah to perform another essential rite of the Hajj: the Tawaaf al-Ifadah, the seven-fold circling of the Ka’bah, with a prayer recited during each circuit. The visit in it so much splendour, receiving their rewards and plenty of honour.

After completing the Tawaaf, pilgrims pray, preferably at the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim al-Khalill (Alaihis Salaam), the site were Ibrahim al-Khalill (Alaihis Salaam) stood while He built the Ka’bah. Then they drink the water of Zamzam. Another, and sometimes final, rite is the Sa’i, or “the Running”. This is a re-enactment of a memorable episode in the life of Haajar (May ALLAH be pleased with her), who was taken into what the Qur’aan Kareem calls the “uncultivable valley” of Makkah, with her infant son Isma’il, to settle there. The Sa’i commemorates Haajar’s frantic search for water to quench Isma’il’s thirst. She ran back and forth seven times between two rocky hillocks, al-Safa and al-Marwah, until she found the sacred water known as Zamzam.

They now return to Mina, where they stay up to the 12th or 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah. Every minute wish is granted and hearts are content. They stone the the pillars daily after the sun’s decline with a slogan of Takbir in the presence of the Divine! Their palms outstretched, hoping for ALLAH’S Mercy share! Praying and begging for HIS overflowing Mercy. When they’ve achieved at Mina all their gains, once more they fill the valleys and plains. Before leaving Makkah pilgrims make a final Tawaaf round the Ka’bah to bid farewell to the Blessed City.

When the departure nears and they are certain that the bond of nearness, closeness is about to loosen. Now for ALLAH the eyes fill and swell with tears, and for ALLAH are the heavy hearts that turn into cauldrons of desire where fire does burn. The passionate sighs whose hearts are so fill with the love of ALLAH, nearly melts the lover of ALLAH in HIS glorification and remembrance! ….whilst others chant their sorrowful song: “I depart, but there remains for YOU YA ALLAH my yearning, my fire of grief is raging and burning in my heart and soul. I bid farewell YA ALLAH to YOUR House, but longing and hoping for YOUR Mercy again and again! My heart and soul is encamped in YOUR eternal plains!”

Although not a legally-essential part of Hajj, the spiritual trip is not complete without a visit to Madinah and the Prophet’s (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) Masjid, giving the pilgrims the wonderful opportunity to greet their beloved Leader, Prophet and Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Sweet Madinah, Beautiful Madinah – is rich in moving memories and historical sites that are evocative of Him as a Prophet and statesman.

As pilgrims of diverse races and tongues return to their homes, they carry with them cherished memories of Ibrahim al-Khalill, Isma’il, Haajar and Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). They will remember that universal concourse, where poor and rich, young and old, met on equal footing.

They return with a sense of awe and serenity: awe for their experience at Ara’fat, when they felt closest to ALLAH TA’ALA as they stood on the site where the Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) delivered His sermon during His first and last pilgrimage; serenity for having shed their sins on that plain, and being thus relieved of such a heavy burden.

The pilgrims go back radiant with hope and joy, for they have fulfilled ALLAH’S injunction to humankind to undertake the pilgrimage. Their blessed radiance has become part of their experience, forever transforming them. As they spiralled away from the heart of their world, back into the clouds, returning to the minutia of their daily life, but forever changed from the phenomenal experience. Above all, they return with a prayer on their lips: May it please ALLAH TA’ALA, they pray, to find their Hajj acceptable, and may what the Beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said be true of their own individual journey:

“There is no reward for a pious pilgrimage but Paradise.”

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

Preparing For Ramadhaan – The ‘Month Of Mercy’

All and absolute Praise belong to ALLAH TA’ALA, Who has revealed to HIS servants the Book, not corrupted, but correct, in order to be a warning, guidance, healing and mercy to the worlds from their Lord. May the most beautiful and complete blessings and peace be upon Ar-Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), the bearer of glad tidings and the trustworthy conveyer of the last revelation to mankind. May the Mercy of ALLAH TA’ALA be upon His esteemed household, the virtuous companions and all those who guard over the message of ALLAH TA’ALA, finding tranquility for their soul and inspiration for an exemplary life in this world.

As the dawn of Ramadhaan approaches, offering us glimpse of its golden rays of purity, every Muslim around the world prepares to experience the warm ambience which only this month can bring. From Suhoor to Iftaar to Taraaweeh Salaah, Ramadhaan brings together brothers, sisters, parents and children. In order to derive the utmost benefit from the sacred month of Ramadhaan, it is crucial to recognize the spiritual significance and importance of this month. Fasting during this month should be only for ALLAH TA’ALA, and that HE will give the reward for it, for the reward of ALLAH, the Bountiful and Munificent, is greater and vaster than anyone could imagine, Subhaan-ALLAH!

A Hadith so beautifully encapsulates: “The reward for every good deed of Aadam will be multiplied anywhere between ten and seven hundred times. ALLAH said: ‘Except for fasting, because it is for ME and I MYSELF will give recompense for it. He gives up his food and his passion for ME.’ For the one who fasts, there are two times of rejoicing, one when he breaks the fast, and one when he meets his Lord. Verily the smell that comes from the mouth of one who is fasting is more pleasing to ALLAH than the scent of musk.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Beloved Reader! This is a month which ALLAH TA’ALA has designated for the revitalization of the soul and one’s spiritual ascension after a year full of sin and spiritual retrogression. However, all this will only be possible if we value this precious month and prepare for it accordingly. It is reported that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to commence His preparation two months prior to Ramadhaan by reciting the following supplication at the beginning of Rajab, “O ALLAH! bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan and make us reach Ramadhaan”. This shows the importance of conditioning oneself mentally and spiritually for the advent of this month. Ramadhaan is a long- awaited celestial guest; accordingly, we ought to prepare the grandest reception in appreciation for all of it’s beautiful blessings and barakah. It is only through such yearning and longing that the significance of Ramadhaan will develop in our hearts serving as a catalyst to increase our good deeds and to fulfil the objectives of Ramadhaan.

Therefore, we should strike a balance, during this all-too-short blessed month, between our domestic duties and the opportunity this month brings, to draw closer to ALLAH through worship and good deeds. Do not let our household chores and other work distract us from performing the obligatory Salaah at the appointed times or from reading the Qur’aan Kareem or Nafl Salaah. Nor should we let traditional late-night family gatherings keep us from performing Qiyaam al-Layl and making Du’a. There are three main objectives to attain from this blessed month, namely absolution of one’s sins, attainment of piety and enhancing one’s communion with ALLAH TA’ALA. In regards to absolution of sin, Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned, “Whoever fasts and stands for worship in Ramadhaan out of faith and anticipation of reward, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Ibn Majah]

The main element mentioned in this Hadith is that our effort and striving in worship throughout the month should be with the zest of Imaan and zeal of reward. The recompense of this will be a thorough effacement of sins. The veil of inhibition that impedes a person from his or her Rabb will be removed and the doors to a life of spiritual bliss, ecstasy and harmony will be flung open. Subhaan-ALLAH!

ALLAH TA’ALA states,

“O you who believe, fasting has made compulsory upon you as it made compulsory upon those before you so that you may become ALLAH fearing.” [Qur’aan 2 :183]

Al-Hamdulillah! Fasting is one of the best spiritual exercises to establish piety, patience and a perpetual consciousness of ALLAH TA’ALA and the reward for true patience is Jannah. In this beautiful month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Rabb, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Rabb, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no diety to worship except ALLAH (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa Ilaaha Illallaah) and make much Istighfaar (beg ALLAH’S forgiveness with Astaghfirullaah). “And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of ALLAH, entrance into Paradise and ask refuge in HIM from Jahannam(Hell).” Once a person feels the bliss of being completely pardoned and relieved from the burden of sins coupled with the feelings of ALLAH’S Omnipresence, he or she would have reached a very high pedestal of divine communion. This pedestal is what referred to as the stage of Ihsaan; where a person worships ALLAH as if he or she is seeing HIM or with the full conviction and cognizance that ALLAH is watching him or her.

Beloved Reader! The Mubarak month of Ramadhaan requires special preparation because it requires complete dedication on part of the Mu’min. Below are a few easy ways to In’Shaa’ALLAH (ALLAH willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.

1. INTENTION TO PREPARE:
One of the most essential elements of preparing for the arrival of Ramadhaan is to make the intention for preparation for verily “every action judged by it’s intention” [Al-Bukhari]. The preparation begins the day you start practicing humility and patience and learn how to control your nafs (desires) and anger.

2. PERFORM REWARDING ACTIONS:
In the spirit of Ramadhaan, it is best to start preparing for the blessed month by performing actions that are rewarding and appreciated by our beautiful ALLAH. According to a Hadith, “If a person says, “SubhaanALLAH” (Glory be to ALLAH) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away.”

3. INCREASE THE WORSHIP:
To start preparing for the blessed month of Ramadhaan, it is best if you start increasing your worship. This will allow you to adjust your routine for the arrival of Ramadhaan.  Increase all forms of Ibaadah (worship) such Fasting, recitation of Qur’aan, Dhikr, Sadaqah (Charity), Nafl (voluntary) Salaah etc.

4. DETERMINE SPECIFIC DAYS FOR FASTING:
To adjust your body to fasting, it is best that you start fasting beforehand. You should define specific days for fasting. For example, if you fast every Monday and Thursday, you will be more fully prepared for Ramadhaan making the adjustment much easier.

5. READ THE MUBARAK QUR’AAN  REGULARLY:
For individuals who have not prepared for reading and reciting Qur’aan during Ramadhaan, Qur’aan Kareem recitation while fasting becomes difficult. It is best if you start reading the Mubarak Qur’aan  after Fajr Salaah on a daily basis just to prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit.

6. ADJUST SLEEPING HABITS:
Ramadhaan teaches us to adjust the way we lead our life. Therefore, before the arrival of Ramadhaan, it is ideal if you start adjusting your sleeping habits. You should start off by going to bed early and rising early. If you are used to this routine, you will not feel sleepy and tired when Ramadhaan arrives.

7. DEFINE OBJECTIVES:
Ramadhaan is the ideal month to embark on your journey to fresh objectives. If you are a smoker and want to quit this habit, you should start off with this month. If you want to be an early riser, still Ramadhaan is the perfect month for you.

In essence, Ramadhaan is the most blessed and rewarding month. Therefore, all Muslims should try their best prepare for this auspicious month of Ramadhaan. Regular recitation of Qur’aan, voluntary charity and recitation and offering prayers will help you prepare for the Ramadhaan spirit. In’Shaa’ALLAH!

O Beloved Reader! Let us embellish our Akhlaaq (character) in this beautiful and blessed month with gifts presented by the Prophet of guidance (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Let us make this Ramadhaan a means of gaining nearness to ALLAH TA’ALA and preparing for the eternal journey that each and every one of us must traverse.

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

Problems Are The Growth Points Of Life And Progress

PROBLEMS. . . how we hate them! The time and energy we waste, stewing over problems instead of tackling them cheerfully and constructively, recognising them as the growth points of life and progress. Life is a series of problems. Problems evoke in us a great deal of emotional pain, such as sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, sadness etc. These are uncomfortable emotions. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems… it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. Since life invokes a series of problems, life also unleashes a series of pain.

Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes success and failure. Problems are what cause us to grow mentally and spiritually. Without growth, we’re doomed to stay as we have always been. Wise people learn not to dread problems, but to welcome and expect problems. Fearing the pain involved from problems causes most people to avoid problems. Many people go to any lengths to avoid their problems and the suffering they cause, attempting to escape from or ignore them. Or building out the most elaborate fantasies in which to live, sometimes to the total exclusion of reality. A little pain, perhaps, in facing a problem… a little patience, courage, thought and effort to try and solve it – they’re preferable to burying it and risk becoming a neurotic cripple who may need psychiatric treatment. In avoiding the problem, we stop growth which we learn from the problems that life brings. Therefore, we avoid real life for the replaced fantasy. When we stop the growth, we also stop the healing we could have attained if we faced our problems and pain with proper responses. When we stop growing, we also stop the very meaning and purpose that problems can bring us.

As Muslims, we are in direct communication with the Almighty ALLAH. No matter how bad you perceive your situation and your strength is no longer enough to carry them, don’t give up! Because, where your strength ends, the grace of ALLAH begins. So, cry your heart to none but ALLAH. Only ALLAH TA’ALA can and will heal you in all possible ways! HE is the only One Who not only hears and knows all, but Who can change our situation and give us the patience to deal with our difficulties. ALLAH, the Most Wise, says:

“Remember Me, and I shall remember you; be grateful to Me, and deny Me not.” [Qur’aan 2:152]

Life is difficult, and the world is full of troubles, but the sun still shine, and ALLAH’S blessings are everywhere in our lives. Many have complained that “Life isn’t fair.” I simply reply, who said the life was supposed to be fair? They are just test papers given by Almighty ALLAH to see how much you learnt in HIS subject called “LIFE”. Sometimes ALLAH tests us so that we can see the rainbow after a stormy rain. If we can’t see the rainbow in this world, then In’Sha’ALLAH we can in the Hereafter. Just be strong in your heart and mind! Furnish it with faith, love, trust, and sincerity for the sake of ALLAH. Make your imagination embroidered with HIS love and light. In’Sha’ALLAH tranquility and contentment will penetrate into our soul. That is when our imagination triumphs over intelligence. Never give up on ALLAH. Doing so is actually tantamount to disbelief.

“Truly no one despairs of ALLAH’S soothing Mercy except those who have no faith.” [Qur’aan 12:87]

Be it the silence in your life right now or the rumble of the forthcoming storm… you have ALLAH TA’ALA to guide you through! HE sends you hope in the most desperate moments. Don’t forget; the heaviest rain comes out of the darkest clouds. And have faith that it shall pass and a sunshine of Sabr (patience) will shine down on you. So, often we associate problems with “the unwanted, difficulty, stress.” We should rather associate them with “lessons, opportunity, growth.” Problems are like washing machines, they twist us, spin us and knock us around, but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before. Avoiding problems is our attempt to avoid true life’s learning opportunities. True emotional and spiritual health comes from acknowledging that life is full of problems. And with this truth, we discover the tools to dealing with these problems. The tools we must discover is found inside discipline. When we develop discipline within every area of our life, we also develop the tools we shall need to successfully confront and overcome all problems, In’Shaa’ALLAH!

Here are few guidelines for problem solving:

• Develop the habit of viewing problems optimistically and tackling them creatively. With patience, prayer and supplication, most problems can be overcome. Prayer is the key that unlocks all doors.

• Have faith in your ability to solve problems, often while you sleep. Write down what’s worrying you before you go to bed, then trust your subconscious to work on the problem while you sleep. Often an answer comes like a flash in the morning. “Sleep on a problem” is sound common-sense which has worked throughout the ages.

• Recognise which problems need to be lived through and which to be worked through. Recognise also that there are no definite answers to every problem.

• Don’t suppose that, if you change your circumstances, problems will vanish. Many people think that if this and if that, they would be happy – but every situation has its problems. The secret is to change your attitude towards them.

• Place your forehead on the ground and mention ALLAH’S Praises, so that you can obtain true freedom. Let your tears flow in front of HIM and read the supplication of Prophet Yaqoob (Alaihis Salaam), “I only complain of my suffering and grief to ALLAH…” [Qur’aan 12:86]

• Write down several possible solutions. If you can’t think of any, remember ALLAH, call out HIS name, and ask HIM for help. HE will make a way when there seems to be no way!!!

“…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…” [Qur’aan 65:2-3]

Accept your problems. View them creatively and courageously. And, yes, be grateful for them – for, in learning to cope, you’ll grow in stature and wisdom. Take the time out every day to thank ALLAH for the blessings in your life – not only will you be overwhelmed because you will never be able to enumerate them, but you will truly recognise ALLAH’S presence in your life.

Stay strong, firm and beautiful because things will get better, In’Sha’ALLAH! It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.

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

How The Right Thoughts Can Work Miracles

You may have been told to “guard your thoughts”, but felt the advice to be pointless. After all, your thoughts are private. How can they possibly affect someone else? The fact is, thoughts do seem to boomerang in some mysterious ways. Science has not found a way to measure them as they have invisible sound waves. In order to understand how positive thinking works, and how to use it efficiently, it is important to understand the power of negative thinking.

“Negative thoughts and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us but, we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our mind.”

The mind can be directed towards positive thinking or negative thinking. The power of thoughts is a neutral power. The way one thinks determines whether the results are positive and beneficial or negative and harmful. It is the same of energy acting in different ways. Persistent inner work can change habits of thoughts. You must be willing to put energy and time to avoid negative thinking and pursue positive thinking, in order to change your mental attitude. Think of those things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, in other words, to fill your mind with noble, good thoughts, leaving no room for negative ones to take root.

The most powerful weapon you have at your disposal is Du’a. Use it and use it often. The basis of prayer is to lift us and situations to Almighty ALLAH — an inner act of visualisation. A further step is to contemplate on our beautiful teachings of Islam — this involves controlling and directing out thoughts. A simple way to think of this is to imagine your mind to be like a garden. That garden can be spoilt and overrun by negative, destructive thoughts (weeds), or it can become a place of peace and harmony by the cultivation of flowers (uplifting thoughts).

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers. Or you can grow weeds.”

Are you prone to depression? Do you see your life as a hopeless mess… consider yourself a failure? If you do, then you will close your mind, see no opportunities, and behave and react in such ways, as to repel people and opportunities. You let the power of negative thinking rule your life. Try replacing such negative thoughts with positive one. Talk to your beloved ALLAH, ALLAH does not create a lock without a key, and ALLAH doesn’t give you problems without its solutions. Trust HIM! While recognising these problems, picture yourself as mastering each one. Visualise yourself handling each situation creatively; being a success; gradually allowing your given potential to blossom.

The beloved Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) says it in a most eloquent term: “تفاءلو بالخير تجدوه”

Which means if you look forward to good things, it will happen In’Shaa’ALLAH, but sure thinking positive is a very important element of Islam, just always think that ALLAH has a plan for you, if something goes wrong, it will probably lead you to something good. HE is working things out for you, even if you don’t feel it. Have faith and be thankful. Where faith and hope grows, miracles blossoms, ALLAHU AKBAR!

At first, this kind of thought control may seem like an inner game — but you’ll be surprised at how, slowly but surely, your outer circumstances begin to change. For thought precedes action, and the right thoughts precede a chain of good actions. Destructive thoughts, on the other hand, act as poisoning agents. They embitter and limit the thinker, preventing him or her from developing good relationships, because others sense the wrong thoughts telepathically, and shy away instinctively.

Conversely, if you greet people with the thought that they’ll probably be nice to know, such a positive thought will affect their response. If you’re afraid of someone, replace that fear with a thought which recognises that the person’s given potential “core” is probably hidden under layers of unhappiness and wrong thinking. Silently bless that person, and ask that his or her true self be given a chance to manifest.

A friend was once terribly upset because someone was spreading false rumours about her. She could not deny the rumour publicly. All she could do was pray for the woman, try to think about her charitably and visualise her acting differently. She did this consistently for some weeks. One day, out of the blue, the woman phoned her to apologise and say she’d been mistaken, Subhaan-ALLAH! It seemed like a miracle! But right thinking can work miracles… Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn’t mean the end of the book. Be positive and keep your faith in ALLAH. Once we function in harmony with ALLAH’S beautiful laws of love and forgiveness — and this includes spreading good, true and beautiful thoughts — our lives will flower as they were meant to.

“Think positive, Think different. Don’t waste your precious energy on negative thoughts.”

Decide that from today, from this very moment, you are leaving negative thinking behind, and starting on the way towards positive thinking and behavior. It is never too late. Soon your life will turn into a fascinating, wonderful journey. Wake up every morning with the thought that something beautiful is about to happen. Let’s welcome each day with a smile and bid farewell with a smile. We thank ALLAH for HIS blessings. Take advantage of our positive energy and employ them in doing well in this life. Let’s learn, read and after that, we will find the entire universe will extend to us it’s heart and the whole world will hug us with its beauty… Subhaan-ALLAH!

There is something beautiful in everyday. You just have to find it….! Look for the positive.

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

Securing Rewards In Marriage

The Thawaab (reward) for the Sabr (patience) a woman exercises over her difficulties in managing the home of her husband and fulfilling the rights of her husband and children sometimes is such, which makes her ‘reach’ ALLAH TA’ALA very quickly. This, however, is conditional to her obedience to ALLAH TA’ALA; fulfilling HIS Rights, the Rights of HIS Rasul (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), as well as the Rights of HIS Creation.

Women who have a number of children, sometimes even a temperamental husband, together with many household chores and other responsibilitie­s sometimes think that they cannot achieve the ranks of the Auliya ALLAH because they do not have time for ‘wazeefas’ and Nawaafil (optional prayers).

I tell them that they need not worry about too many wazeefas. The most important ‘wazeefa’ is abstinence from all sins. Added to this they should just correct their niyyah or intention in all that they are doing as routine housework. Make the intention of pleasing ALLAH TA’ALA, then that same housework becomes Ibaadah. In this simple way, they will easily secure great rewards and the same spiritual stages, if not higher.

Similarly, the Thawaab for the Sabr (patience) a man exercises over his wife’s shortcomings, emotional outbursts or mood swings is a medium by which he too acquires great rewards and reaches ALLAH TA’ALA very, very quickly.

Many Auliya ALLAH reached great spiritual heights, and were accepted for tremendous service to Deen on the patience they adopted with their wives, and on the love, care, affection, tenderness and generosity they also extended to their wives.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) set the perfect example for husbands. Despite the tremendous responsibilitie­s that He was entrusted with, He gave due attention and time to His wives and treated them with love and generosity.

He was never harsh or insensitive towards any single wife.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) also said: “The best amongst the Believers is he is whose character is the best. And the best among you is the one who is best towards his wife.”

By Hadhrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi Alaih)

He was a Murshid (Guide) to thousands of people across the globe who were taught by Him how to drink from the fountain of divine love.

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